1) On Wednesday (2/5), I read in the Daily News that the President of the Gun Owners of America, Larry Pratt, was on a radio show and essentially said that if American blacks paid attention to the more contented Africans from Africa they could be a lot happier or just get a lot better attitude.
At least that is what I got out of this quote that elicited from his mouth: “Generally, the African from Africa is a very pro-American person, a very happy person. I know several… they always just happy with a joke, pleasant smile on their face… they clearly don’t identify with the surliness that’s all too frequently the attitude of their fellow African-Americans here.”
Now folks have tweeted back that Pratt’s words were everything from “clueless” and “disgraceful” to “Possibly the most racist thing I’ve ever heard from someone not actually burning a cross.”
Now, I don’t know jack about what these tweet happy peeps are saying but my opinion is this: Little black sambo don’t live here anymore, dumbass.
I’m not real sure who Pratt is speaking about but I’m willing to bet it ain’t the average dude living in the poorest sections of whatever city he is visiting in Africa. Because, if it were, then I am sure he would have seen a lot more surliness and a lot more unhappiness than he claims to have seen.
I mean, what the hell; they have no slums in Africa? Everything is just fine and dandy? No worries? No poverty? No hunger?
I really don’t think so, if, I go by what I see on most news reports and most articles that I read in the papers. I’m not saying it’s all dread and gloom but there is a lot of the same problems over there as is here and some places are in a lot worse shape than we can ever imagine. To put it mildly… some of those African governments are a tad restrictive. Ah, fuck… who am I kidding? Some of those countries are run by governments that are run by mad men, who are mother rapers, father stabbers, child molesters… who wage war on their own kind and burn men, women, kids, and entire villages.
So, once again, Larry… what the hell you been drinking to make your brain allow your voice to utter the things that you done said. Bathtub gin… purple drank? And, remember ya little twit: Black sambo, little or big, don’t live here no more. The days of the knee slapping, tap dancing, happy colored boy eating watermelon and fried chicken done left the room forever.
“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” Martin Luther King Jr.
2) On Thursday (2/6) Police are investigating anonymous death threats against 5-year-old Mia Talerico who is an actress in DisneyChannel’s “Good Luck Charlie”.
“Good Luck Charlie,” is one of Disney’s most popular shows and it recently made headlines because it worked a lesbian couple
into the story line of the show. And, this managed to anger some conservative parenting groups. Now, it’s not clear if this, the lesbian couple on the show, is the reason behind the threats to Miss Talerico but where there is smoke unfortunately there is usually a damn fire either blazing or ready to blaze. So, I am willing to wager that it also pissed off some other folks that lean towards taking things to the extremes to convince us other folks how we should think and act.Now let’s suppose whatever words that peeps find in the Bible are right and homosexuality is an abomination against God… do you think that God want folks to go around threatening to maim, or kill, children… especially five-year- olds?
But, then, what the hell, threatening always solves stuff, don’t it? Tell me how that works… tell me how threatening black people stopped the civil rights movement … tell me how threatening college students and the so-called hippies in the 1970’s stopped them from protesting the Vietnam War and stopped the antiwar movement… tell me how threatening women stopped the women’s movement and stopped women from fighting for more equality in the work place… yeah, I know… blacks still get shit on as do people who rage against war and women still aren’t fully equal… but tell me how all them folks being threatened stopped them from getting closer and closer to their goals.
Simply put, it may have thrown up roadblocks, but, in the final analysis, it didn’t do shit, and, all them folks and groups that were threatened are all still out there keeping good the struggle towards the summit of their dreams and the equality they should have had from the get go.
You cannot do anything with threats except make people more pissed off and ultimately more determined to get up off the ground and take a stand. And, ya know what? God, or Jesus, don’t like killing no matter what the reasons for… (thank you, John Prine!). Even Pope Franny says he welcomes gays into his church… he doesn’t think what they do with their sexual lives is right but he does not fear them nor does he hate them and I doubt he would ever threaten them, or, a child whose TV show they appeared on.
3) There is a reason I essentially do not agree with the death penalty… case in point… On the morning of June 18, 1992, two Coney Island teenagers, Anthony Yarbough and Sharrif Wilson, after a night on the town, went to Yarbough’s home and discovered the bodies of his mother, her daughter and another girl, both 12, who had been stabbed and strangled. Yarbough and Wilson were arrested for the murders of the three females. There were no witnesses, no physical evidence, in fact, police couldn’t establish a real motive with which to connect them to the crimes.
Wilson, all of 15 and scared shitless, was convinced to confess to committing the crimes and testifying against Yarbough. In return, the prosecution told him they would recommend a lesser sentence than the one that could be doled out for a triple murder. Both were convicted of the murders and were sentenced to long prison sentences. Wilson’ deal with the district attorney’s office got him a nine-years-to-life sentence. Yarbough was sentenced to 75 years to life in prison.
In 1999, a woman was murdered in Brooklyn. The particulars of the crime were extraordinarily similar to the murders that Yarbough and Wilson were found guilty of committing.
Not a hell of lot happened… no one it appears even came close to connecting any dots. Or, if they did they discarded the thought as fast as it had entered into their brain. As far as the justice system was concerned the murders of the mom, her daughter and her daughter’s friend were already in prison so there was no need to reopen that case… it was already a feather in some detectives hat, as well as a plus on some prosecutor’s conviction ledger… justice had been served.
Except it was possible, and probable, the justice system had the wrong men.
Then in 2005, or about after 13 years of incarceration for the two, a weird circumstance came about… Wilson wrote Yarbough’s family and told them that he had lied at the trial.
Yarbough’s attorney and the district attorney’s office began revisiting the case in 2010. Why it took another 5 years for someone to “revisit” the case is strange but then, sadly, the saying that the wheels of justice turn slow does appear to have a hint of truth to it after all.
Now, the lawyers who had been working on Yarbough’s case went to the court and made a motion for Yarbough and Wilson to be set free. Wilson recanted his confession and thereby his testimony that convicted Yarbough. Then at long last on Thursday (2/6), just 21 years and 238 days since he was placed behind bars, a judge, with the blessing of the presiding DA’s office, vacated Yarbough’s … and Wilson’s … convictions.
During a press conference Yarbough said, “If there had been a death penalty in New York I would be dead by now. But instead I have lived long enough to get my freedom and be exonerated.”
And that, is why I cannot in good conscience accept a death penalty except in the most grievous of cases and with the most exacting, absolute and incontrovertible evidence that is possible… like eye witnesses out the ying yang and a “smoking gun” in the killer’s hand.
When a reporter asked Yarbough about Wilson, Yarbough said he has no animosity. In fact he said,
“I’m happy that he’s out. I wish him and his family nothing but the best.”
Me? I gotta say… How the fuck did Wilson live with himself all through those years knowing that he was innocent of that crime… and worse… knowing that he had placed someone else at the scene of the crime; had testified falsely and sent an innocent man behind bars for the rest of his natural life? And, then Yarbough’s attitude… some dude cost him almost 22 years of his life… and for all intents and purposes it looked like it was gonna be a lot longer… And, he holds no animosity?
Damn… the resentment I would be seething with at that point is beyond compare… I may not have acted on that resentment… and, I probably would have resolved the resentment somehow… but, boy, let me tell ya’ll the thought of doing some harm to Wilson’s genitals and where they might wind up afterwards would have certainly crossed my mind…
But, maybe the reason why he has no animosity towards Wilson is summed up with the words he said when he walked out in free air for the first time in 22 years… “I want the person who did this to my family to be caught and have to live through the hell I went through for 22 years… I want to start my life with a clean slate.”
Anthony Yarbough then walked away to go have his first meal as free man… with family and loved ones … with a second chance to live his life… very lucky to be alive at all.
Because, if some things had just been slightly different Wilson would had never have needed to recant his confession and Yarbough would have been lethally injected.
4) Then just last Thursday (2/6), I caught this little item in the NYDN: ‘Cashmere’ coats made by Chinese-run firms contain rat fur: Italian police After a year-long investigation the Italian police raided five Rome textile firms; seized over a million items and arrested 14 Chinese nationals on charges of fraud.”
Why fraud? Because they were allegedly marketing high end clothing that was supposedly manufactured with materials such as cashmere, silk, and merino wool but in actuality contained synthetic materials as well as “fur from rats and other animals”. Okay… that’s it… now it’s bad enough the Chinese are spying on us; controlling our real-estate and essentially own our debt… now they got to go try and take over the garment industry with knockoffs that are made from rat fur? Their competing with the Mafia? Is nothing sacred anymore? Ye gods and little fishes! What the hell’s next? Disneyland? Mickey, himself?
5) Also, on Thursday (2/6), the Daily News ran a story about a Louisiana 13-year old boy who abused a little pup dawg by whacking it with his hand so that it fell over and then posting a 7 second video of the heinous act on Facebook. He withdraw the video probably after thinking, or more likely from hearing from other folks, that it was not a good idea to post evidence of himself committing a crime.
To their credit several Facebook peeps complained to the local police and the cops ultimately found the stupid child and he is presently charged with animal cruelty. Also to the Facebook peeps credit is the fact that several of them made a video of the horrendous and despicable video and presented those videos as evidence to the police as well as a local TV station, KSLA.
According to the NYDN, the pup dawg is doing well; is no longer in that boy’s home and police have said a new home for the pup dawg will be found.
As for the boy.. I have a suggestion… would it be cruel and inhumane punishment to place him in a kennel with a chain around his neck with… Ohhhhhhh… say a dobie and a pit-bull? Nothing vicious or anything but he don’t need to know that.
6) Last week in WTF (2/5) I wrote about how Andrea Kremer and Jonathan Vilma had a conversation about gays in the NFL and Vilma made his side of the story exceptionally clear… What he said was that he thought a gay athlete would not be accepted in football locker-rooms, and then, in the next breath said that he, and other players, were not “homophobic”. Yeah… right… not very homophobic at all, Jonny.
Well now we get to find out if what he says, and thinks, is true or not because a draftable college player has come out saying he is a gay person. In his own words: “I’m not afraid to tell the world who I am. I’m Michael Sam: I’m a college graduate. I’m African American, and I’m gay. I’m comfortable in my skin… I want to own my truth. … No one else should tell my story but me.”
Expect everything from peeps saying that he is a courageous man for doing what he did, to them saying that he won’t be accepted in NFL locker rooms. But, know this: Back in August, Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin told GQ magazine that “I think there are (gay players) right now, and if they’re looking for a window to just come out, I mean now is the window.”
Well, the damn window done been opened and opened very wide. So, let’s see what transpires… And my thinking is that there will be some bullshit to deal with but that in the long run it will be just like the rest of the world… some people will accept him; some will never accept him, but, everyone will essentially deal with it. And, just as in real life there may be some assholes… then, hopefully the NFL will deal with them, and, if necessary the legal system will, too. But, if he contributes to his team winning then, at least his teammates, will probably not give a fuck… especially, if they be hefting a Lombardi trophy in the near future. Hell they might even give the… Nah, I won’t go there…
Let’s just say if the sum’na’bitch contributes and makes the plays he is supposed to make and his team wins then I think he will be accepted… maybe very grudgingly by some but they will accept him… Winning heals a lot of wounds and can change a lot of minds.
Even some peeps thinking about getting into showers with gay people and what might happen if they drop their soap.
And, before I leave this issue… how come this is always.. being gay or not… a big issue for men a lot more than it is for women? Women athletes come out as gay all the time and it never seems to be an issue in women’s locker rooms or their communal showers. Why is that?
7) Over the weekend I saw this little piece buried in the pages of the Daily News: “McDonald’s opens first location in Vietnam.”
It seems this dude, one Henry Nguyen, who worked at a McDonald’s while growing up in the United States said it was his dream to
open a Mickey Ds in his homeland… go figure. But hey, who am I to cast dispersions on a man’s dreams… But, now long after our participation in the Vietnam war ended with the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, and, long after most so-called experts saying we had lost that war, it appears maybe after almost 39 years later that we didn’t lose it after all… at least not as far as our so-called economic philosophy goes.
And, here’s what I consider the kicker to this whole ball of wax… the new House of McDonald’s is based in Ho Chi Minh City and this dude… Nguyen… is the Viet prime minister’s son-in-law. Chairman Ho has gots to be spinning in his mausoleum in Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi.
So, as hundreds of Vietnamese citizens lined up for the opening of the fast food restaurant this past weekend, let it be known that McDonald’s now joins Starbucks, Subway and KFC in the so-called Communist country of Vietnam. In retrospect, I reckon we done fucked up those 39-plus years ago… instead of trying to win the hearts and souls of the Vietnamese with guns, bombs and napalm we should have been trying to win their hearts and souls through their stomachs and taste buds.
8) On Saturday (2/8) various wire services reported that a celebrity boxing match between George Zimmerman and DMX had been cancelled. Now I gotta say, when I first heard that someone had approached Zimmerman and that he had agreed to be promoted in a celebrity boxing match, I thought, “Oh, brother there is gonna be a line a mile long to get into the ring with good ole wanna be cop Georgie boy… and, whoever finally gets the matchup is gonna agree to anything but once he gets into that ring with Georgie, he will fuck him up in any way that he can.”
Seems a bunch of other folks felt the same way because as the news of the fight began to hit the airwaves, newsprint and internet all sorts of protestations came about… from petitions to all sorts of raising cane in general. Peeps twittered and created a Facebook page and even sent a petition to the White House through Change.Org in an effort to put a halt to the fight. Some people thought another celebrity battle was stupid, some simply thought that Zimmerman was gonna get his ass pummeled into fertilizer in the name of so-called evening the score and others thought it was just using racial divisions within our society to promote the fight all in the name of money…
But, the one person who probably nailed why the fight should not take place was best said when Dan Obeidallah at the Daily Beast posted: “This event is truly despicable. I can’t even imagine the pain that the media reports of this boxing match must be causing the parents of Trayvon Martin. First, they lose their son. And now the man, who killed him, will be starring in a TV special where he’s considered a ‘celebrity.’ Let’s be clear: this is far from the typical celebrity boxing match that (Damon) Feldman has set up in the past which featured the likes of Tanya Harding, Jose Canseco and Michael Lohan. This match showcases a man who shot and killed someone. That is the sole reason we know the name George Zimmerman and why he is considered a ‘celebrity’…
Simply put: Zimmerman—with the help of DMX and Feldman—are seeking to profit off the killing a black teenager.”
So, despite Zimmerman saying he had been boxing to lose weight and get into shape and was ready for the fight, and, despite rapper DMX, who was rumored to have agreed to fight Zimmerman, saying “I am going to beat the living fuck out of him… I am breaking every rule in boxing to make sure I fuck him right up”, the promoter, Damon Feldman, announced on Saturday (2/8) that he was walking away from the fight because of the public’s outrage, or, more reasonably because of the bad publicity he was receiving for trying to stage the fight.
While in my heart, my brain and my soul I agree this fight is despicable… and it is despicable for all the reasons referenced above… somewhere in my inner feelings, I sort of really wanted it to take place. It may not have been for all the right reasons but it damn well would have served up a big old slab of street justice. The same kind of street justice that Zimmerman doled out when he saw some kid walking down a street one night wearing a hoodie, and, despite being told to stand down by the local police; didn’t, and, he took it into his own hands to initiate a confrontation that resulted into somebody dying. The big difference between that night and the night that the fight would happen is that at the end of the night Zimmerman would still be alive, in some freaking pain but nothing that he wouldn’t recover from, and, he would still have his life to live.
Sometimes people just get lucky despite what they wish for. Depsite his wanting to go into a ring and earn a big pay day to get rid of some big bills, Zimmermann just lucked out when the fight was cancelled. Because, what really happened was that he just got lucky and was saved from getting a richly deserved beating.
I guess, it really is better to be lucky than good even if you don’t know it.
9) You may have read, or heard, in the last few days that a report released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said an effect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA aka Obamacare) was that it would impact national employment by reducing the total number of hours worked by 1.5-2.0 percent. Now, this immediately sent certain politicians, most notably the elephant gang, and of course many media peeps, into a frenzy of “Oh my freaking god look what that dastardly Obamacare done did now! Horrors!”
Why? Because they all said this reduction is equal to 2.0-2.5 million fewer people working… and that means that “Obamacare is a jobs killer, damn it! We told you this was bad juju See? We were right!”
What they don’t say is that this is… (cough cough… sotto voce) over the next decade.
But, what’s that? Ya’ll say “Hold on thar Baba Looey… it still means that people are losing jobs and that can’t be good right? So, no matter when it occurs it means this damn Obamacare is hurting workers.”
In the words of Dean Baker (Co-founder of The Center for Economic and Policy Research or CEPR) “That’s pretty powerful stuff, but it turns reality on its head.”
Because as Baker continues to say, “The CBO assessment was that because people could now get access to health insurance through the exchanges rather than having to get insurance through their jobs, many people might decide not to work or to work fewer hours…”
Now hold onto to your seats my dear readers because… “This voluntary reduction in work hours is one of the goals of Obamacare; it is not an unforeseen consequence.”
Why would the government want people to quit their jobs? Damn good question because I asked myself that one. Because, like most others, I was feeding into the media frenzy about the CBO report and I actually support the ACA.
But, according to Baker there are bunches of folks… millions, in fact… who struggle to work because they have serious health problems, but, they can’t afford to pay for health insurance on their own and need to either work at a job that provides health insurance as a benefit or at any job, regardless of the bennies, just so they can make enough to pay for health insurance on their own until they get to 65-years- old and can get on Medicare.
Now the health care exchanges make it possible for many of these people to get insurance at prices they can afford, since… and, this is the biggie… insurers are not allowed to discriminate based on pre-existing conditions. So, as the result of this is that some older workers will either say “Heck maybe I’ll retire now”, or, maybe “I’ll just cut down on the amount of hours I need to work each week to make my ends meet”, or, maybe “I’ll tell my boss to take this low pay shit-eating job and shove it”.
And according to Baker, “Giving people this option was one of the main goals of health care reform.”
Baker also says, that there are a lot of workers, younger folks with kids, who want to be stay at home moms (or dads) or just want to work part time. However, they previously did not have that option but with the ACA will now have it. And, that dear reader was a prime intention of the hated Obamacare plans. See it was an intention because some folks that advocated health care reform thought it was good thing if the parents of young children had the opportunity to work less to be with their kids, if that is what they choose to do.
The bottom line is that as a result of the ACA all of the above peeps can now work fewer hours… or no hours… if that is what they choose to do.
So as Baker says, “When CBO did its analysis and said that Obamacare would lead to some reduction in work hours, it was saying the ACA would have its intended effect. It was freeing people from health care related job-lock. This is a feature, not a bug.”
He then adds with a sarcastic flair that I envy: “It’s remarkable that so many people could have reached the direct opposite conclusion. Of course almost any measure that protects workers will have some negative impact on people’s willingness to work. If we eliminated Medicare and made older people pay for their health care then we could get more people to work into their 70’s, 80’s, even 90’s. Wouldn’t that be great?”
And guess what? This reduction of people in the jobs market will be a positive, rather than a negative. Because for all those who want to work there will now be more opportunities for them to actually get work. And, get this… as the job market demand increases… wages are likely to increase.
Why is that? Because of a main principle of capitalist economics: supply and demand. If, the supply of labor is reduced because people choose not to work then that opens up the job market. And, if employers can’t begin to fill those jobs at an acceptable rate… or demand… then they will most likely raise wages to attract workers.
So the bottom line? Put away the doom and gloom about the travesty of the Affordable Care Act and buck up there buckaroos because it ain’t all that damn bad.
People who had been screwed into jobs because they needed the attached health insurance or who been screwed into shit jobs… low paying, bad or both… to just pay for insurance, now don’t need to stay at those jobs. And, that means jobs will open up for other folks who really need jobs and probably at better pay than the other peeps who had the jobs were previously receiving.
So tell me? How’s this a bad thing? Ohhhhh, yeahhhh… for all those whose job it is to oppose the Affordable Care Act it’s another reason they should get fired (unelected) isn’t it? Or, maybe it just ends certain employers access to cheap labor?
Just saying and expressing my opinion… with a little help from my friends at CERP.
10) Unless you have been living in a cave or completely cut off from outside communications, you must know by now that the south and most of the eastern parts of the country are about to get waylaid by another winter storm that will leave anywhere from inches of ice in the south to six inches to a foot or more of snow and ice in the northeast areas. So, get ready to see more of this:
And. without further delay the gratitious pictures of the week… Now, just a note this week’s pics were inspired by a rumor going around that this lady was most likely SI’s choice to be its cover girl for its swimsuit edition… so… being the dude that I am I just had to check her out… Chrissy Teigen…
and a few thousand words more…
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