Some say the economy is getting better; some say it’s not and some say it’s stagnated… and another faction says it’s not the economy at all, stupid; it’s the greed.
1) What’s wrong with this picture… “While incomes of the lowest earners have stagnated, those of the wealthiest New Yorkers have soared, benefiting in part from the resurgence of the financial industry.” (From the NYT)
Exhibiting keen insight into the obvious, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Thursday (9/18) that the so-called Great Recession showed a lot of families are “extraordinarily vulnerable” to financial problems setbacks, that can be at times grievously debilitating, because they have few assets to fall back on.
Yellen added that a Survey by her department showed that even as little as $400 could force a family into having to go somewhere to borrow the cash to pay the bill, or, simply not pay the bill. Both scenarios would cause an onset of new circumstances to further muddle a family’s financial situation and its existing indebtedness. A third alternative would be the selling off of some possessions in an effort to pay off the new debt. But, that would be, at best, a stalling tactic of holding the wolf at the door at bay. For the next instance of unforeseen debt would escalte the family’s entire financial debacle to grow even larger. And, the family’s next move would likely drive them even further into debt and closer to having a lack of resources to keep up with the cost of providing the family with food, clothing and shelter.
The Survey also revealed that the bottom fifth of households by income… some 25 million households… had median net worth in 2013 of just $6,400, and many of these families had nothing saved or negative net worth. Translation… their debts were greater than their assets.
And, the Fed’s 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances found that one-fifth of households had a net worth of only $27,900 in 2013 and that the bottom two-fifths of households had seen declines in net worth since the Fed’s last survey in 2010.
Get ready for keen insight into the obvious number 2… Yellen said one reason for this decline was that incomes for these families had continued to decline… “For many lower-income families without assets, the definition of a financial crisis is a month or two without a paycheck, or the advent of a sudden illness or some other unexpected expense.”
Keen insight into the obvious number 3… Yellen said that families with assets can treat financial setbacks as a “bumps in the road. Families without these assets can end up, very suddenly, off the road.”
Then she comes up with a solution… She said that the Fed wanted to encourage families to take small steps that could over time lead to the accumulation of assets.
Exactly how and in what manner can someone save anything if what they presently have can’t even keep up with keeping on?
Keen insight into the obvious number 4… Yellen said the economy has improved but there were still a number of problems yet to be resolved including weak wage growth…
Really? For that you paid how much? I mean… my question is how much do these surveys cost? Because I just gotta ask… you needed a survey to figure that stuff out? All anyone had to do is go out onto almost any street; stop the first 100 or so folks walking by and the same info could have been gotten a lot simpler and faster.
It’s not obvious from the way folks are struggling day to day? It’s not obvious with the cost of everything and the constant droning pleas from all directions for a minimum wage increase? It’s not obvious as costs rise at the grocery stores, the gas pumps, at the department stores… essentially every where a family turns to get stuff they need to just get by on a day to day basis? The cost of getting over is getting overly ridiculous while most folk’s pay… and probably almost all of that bottom fifth that Yellen references… have seen a miniscule to no raise.
It’s no wonder what little financial nest egg they had is dwindling and a small debt becomes… damn it… now I need $400 to fix that freaking toilet, or, get brakes for the car, or, the kids need shoes…
One more time… the problem is that families don’t have enough money to pay for what they need. And, it ain’t just a poor folk thing… it’s all of us folks from the poor to the so-called working class to the various stages of the multi-tiered middle class. Everything cost too damn much!
Want my solution?… I have pronounced it before… forget about minimum wage increases. Even forget about raising wages… although only a fool would refuse one… but, realistically, if, you follow my advice a wage increase would not be necessary right now. Want to make it easier for us all to live? Lower the damn prices… have big money corporations take less. Start with Big Oil and Big Finance and let them reduce their profits and as that lady from Alaska is apt to say… you betcha… prices would start to decline where folk’s money could buy what they need and maybe they could even start stashing some aside for some of them unforeseen expenses that come up… or.. even for something silly like a child’s college education or maybe retirement… or… or… brakes or fixing that leaky toilet.
Go back to the first line of this piece… Who has incomes that have soared? Nuff said in my book.
Listen up… I got nothing against peeps making money… I got a lot against peeps making money while other peeps suffer when they really shouldn’t be. It’s not their fault the economy is where it is. They were just trying to keep it real and get by day to day and then everything went into the shitter and prices all went kablooey while their wages stagnated.
The economy is improving for whom again?
That needs to change… less profits for the top means lower prices for us folks down underneath. It’s time for the trickle down to start flowing down if ya’ll catch my drift.
It’s not what we all be making; it’s what everything costs… if, they raise the minimum wage… if everyone was to get an across the board raise… the only thing that the fat cats would do is raise the cost of everything one more time to compensate for those raises. So, let’s try something new… instead of constantly raising the bridge lets lower the river… reduce the cost of goods and services and make it affordable for everyone. Believe you me… I’m willing to lay 10 to 1 odds the fat cats won’t suffer a bit and still be lighting cigars with thousand dollar bills wherever they sit and read their Wall Street Journals.
2) I want to and need to get something off of my chest… maybe, I should say discuss something as objectively as I can. And, that would be a big improvement over my past handling of a story that I did in my column last week.
If, you read this column last week… ya’ll know that I lambasted the LAPD for rousting a black woman who was kissing a white man… hell… I took them royally to task, and, I did so for not only their past history with so-called minority folks but because of some of my past history with them as well as the CHP. I did add towards the end of the rant a few sentences stating the LAPD… specifically the main arresting cop’s opinion of the situation and added a link to an audio of the event as it occurred. And, I said… it was for ya’ll to judge for yourself.
Since that day that I wrote what I wrote, TMZ pics have surfaced that seem to show that a lot more than kissing
was going on between the two folks who got “rousted” by LAPD. Enough so that I had to rethink my thinking and that maybe I had made rash and judgmental statements. And, I thought maybe this lady might have used the race card where the circumstances may have not justified its use.
Then on Friday… further stuff comes out where the lady… Danielle Watts… in question here is in new audio that captured the emotional moments after she was cuffed is shown to have said, “I know my rights … I played a cop on TV…”
Before I go further… I gotta say that comment made me take a long breath and then question this lady’s sense of reality… playing a cop on freaking TV doesn’t mean you know diddley about anything, if, the truth be known. TV… movies… books… all fudge around with what is true and what is not true…and… the so-called art forms may also use, or show, stuff that is true but rarely adhered to… or… it may totally obfuscate the facts.
Back to Ms. Watts, “… and I know when somebody asks for your ID, you’re not required to give it.”
One of the cops says, “Actually that’s wrong, that’s not right.”
Earlier in the recording, Watts is heard crying as a male officer asks her to let him explain the reason for her detainment. He can be heard saying, “I’m being very calm. I’m not being an asshole to you.”
She replies…”You’re not the one who’s spent your life being called a nigger and growing up in the South and now I get the cops called on me.”
Then when she is heard talking in the new recording with other responding/backup cops and says “The (original investigating officers) pulled us over because (they) thought I was a prostitute. So just because somebody calls and says I was having sex, I’m in handcuffs?”
So, taking that on face value I went and made a whole lot of assumptions and wrote what I wrote.
But, what also is interesting is what Sgt. Jim Parker, the senior officer with 25 years on the force, who first made contact with the “suspects” tells the NYDN and that is that he found it “funny” that Watts played the race card because he is gay while the two other officers involved in the stop and interrogation were a woman and a Latino male.
He adds, “… if (Watts) had taken the time to act like an adult with us and converse with us, she would have seen none of it was race based… I could have held her longer and gone inside the building and asked the witnesses if they wanted to make a citizen’s arrest. I could have done that… (and)… I didn’t do that. And I’m not going to
escalate to an arrest just because someone is hyper and playing the race card, because that would be spiteful. I didn’t want anyone arrested.”
Now… all of this makes me seeing things with a lot of variables and possibilities…
First… it made me think that I may have been wrong. Second… it also made me think there is a lot more here than meets the eye.
If, she did indeed had a history of dealing with racial crap being flung at her and maybe even had some past incidents with cops… like myself… which would make her leery of any police interaction then it’s somewhat understandable why she might pull out the race card… still not justifiable in the end result if the cops acted as everything seems to indicate. AND… put in the ethnicity and the sexual orientation, etc…of the cops… and it seems she overreacted. Big time!
Look… in my younger days I have done all sorts of funky things in a car that, believe you me, I could have been busted for, at the minimum, indent exposure… doesn’t mean it was right or decent but I understand getting frisky and what it can sometimes lead to. But… if… she and hubby were doing what it seems they were doing… which by the TMZ pics is more than kissing and probably a lot close to doing the horizontal mambo… then… I can see someone maybe saying “Get a room”. And, depending on how far it was going maybe even calling the cops.
So, to immediately pull the race card, as it certainly seems now is the case, was wrong on her part. Maybe on some level understandable, but, she overreacted and it was wrong. All sorts of rationalizations can be used and all sorts of justifications can be made but ultimately… STOP… and here’s the deal… just show your damn ID and move on along and next time if ya’ll get a little frisky try to go and do it somewhere where it’s a tad more private.
Yeah… there might be some red faces and maybe it shouldn’t have gone as far as it did when the cops saw there really wasn’t that much involved but they are the police and they do have right… and maybe even an obligation… to ask for ID if a complaint has been issued.
So, the LAPD gets my apology… but I still be looking at you… so don’t ya’ll go mucking it all up and thinking this is a free pass to get over.
BUT… I will also say… I usually vet my info a lot better than I did when I first wrote about this incident and for that I apologize to my readers. I believe my opinion was shaded by my own past experiences… and while that may be understandable, and somewhat legitimate, it is no excuse for not following my own adherence to due diligence when reporting on stuff and then opining about that same stuff. I have taken many folks to task within this column for not being responsible for their words…
I blew it. I am sorry. I was wrong and I damn well hope it doesn’t happen again but being human I would bet ya’ll it will… I just have to be on my toes; redouble my efforts and be a hell of a lot more careful to try and make sure it doesn’t.
Addendum to this story…
Civil rights leaders on Saturday (9/22) demanded that the “Django Unchained” actress handcuffed by Los Angeles police apologize for playing the race card.
Daniele Watts, a black actress, went berserk and accused cops of racially profiling her after she and her white boyfriend were detained for allegedly having sex in public.
“Civil rights leaders in Los Angeles are demanding that she apologize to the officers and community because when she made the allegations of racial profiling, which we take extremely seriously, we were in the forefront of speaking up for her,” Najee Ali, the president of Project Islamic Hope, told The News.
But Ali added he was disappointed Watts has declined to apologize — saying she doesn’t have the guts to admit she was wrong. (Source… NYDN)
3) Ya know something is strange and that it must be the foretelling of the end of the world or something… well maybe just a full moon with all of its weirdness… but when folks who are supposed to be of a similar ilk and even have some of the some enemies start going “WTF ya’ll is doing is freaking wrong and immoral”… well… then ya know something is strange here and ya don’t know what it is do you, Mr. Jones?
What all am I rambling on about? … simply this … according to news wire sources, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denounced Islamic State’s (aka ISIS aka ISIL) beheading of innocent people and he said that the group’s actions violate the teachings of Islam. Most of his opinions were originally heard on an NBC News report.
Specifically Rouhani said, “From the viewpoint of the Islamic tenets and culture, killing an innocent people equals the killing of the whole humanity. And therefore, the killing and beheading of innocent people in fact is a matter of shame for them and it’s the matter of concern and sorrow for all the human and all the mankind.”
There ain’t too much to say here except… Ya know ya’ll got a problem when peeps who have they themselves done some real nasty crap go and start chiming in on how wrong ya’ll is.
4) News bite from Cleveland… “Ohio prosecutors have started reviewing evidence to determine if charges should be filed against teens accused of duping a special-needs boy who thought he was participating in the ALS ‘Ice Bucket Challenge.’”
Seems Cuyahoga County prosecutors met last Tuesday (9/16) with police from Bay Village, where the jackasses had dumped a mixture of urine and tobacco butts onto a 15-year-old with autistic kid who thought it was just the popular charity challenge.
The news bite also reported that an attorney for one of the aforementioned jackasses said… “…the group of teens were all friends and had been playing pranks on each other over the summer. He said the boys were not aware the 15-year-old was diagnosed as autistic.”
Now let me ask… do I… or anybody from the prosecutors’ office or police or the kid who got “pranked” or his family… got stupid written across our foreheads?
Because, that is simply an asshole thing to say.
It would have been a lot better to STFU and let things go through the system and try to get his client off with some form of probation rather than go out and possibly insult people with a statement like that.
Let’s be clear here… pouring urine and tobacco butts over anybody’s head is not a prank it is a vicious, asinine, cowardly, bullying, disgraceful and abusive attack… regardless if the person being attacked and disgraced is autistic or not.
What’s the line… it is better to stay silent than to open your maw and prove you’re an asshole or something like that?
5) Remember back when Celebrity chef Paula Deen, referred to an employee with a racial expletive? She got chastised… hell she got roasted over the coals… everybody cut her loose, in fact. Lost her TV show as well as most of her of her money making connections.
According to a trailer airing around… “The website at PaulaDeenNetwork.com will feature recipes, cooking demonstrations, games, contests and ‘a whole lot of laughter, love and family.’”
It also has good ole Paula saying… “It’s filled with online recipes and tools that are gonna make meal planning and cooking so easy and so fun. I can’t hardly wait to show y’all everything.”
The network, which launches September 24, is the first major foray and attempt to getting Deen anywhere near to what she used to be before the Food Network let her contract lapse after she referred to a former worker with various racial slurs.
Just goes to prove it all over again… stay in the background long enough… keep your nose relatively clean and your mouth essentially shut and this too shall pass…
Hmmm… wonder if Roger Goodell could have used some of that there strategy in how he handled his latest travails…
6) Ben Affleck has admitted that he’s been caught counting cards while at casinos, but he doesn’t see it as a big deal.
According to Ben… “That is a true story. I took some time to learn the game and became a decent blackjack player. And once I became decent, the casinos asked me not to play blackjack.”
Affleck is talking about an episode back in an April incident when he was asked to leave the Hard Rock Las Vegas after he was seen counting cards at the casino’s high-rollers table. The talk about town was that he was asked to leave the place and was banned for life from playing blackjack at the casino. It was also said that the Hard Rock passed the word around to the other casinos about bad old Ben.
Now here’s my problem with this casino BS… if ya’ll ever been to a casino or even know anything about how a casino operates then ya’ll know that most of them make money primarily because they are stacked in the casinos favor. It’s a biggie why they are either so prolific in some states or are being considered as a form of revenue in other states. Got debt that the state can’t handle then let someone open up a casino or at least put slot machines around the state and capitalize on most people’s penchant for spending a buck or two to get rich quick.
So, it’s not a reach to say the house usually has the odds in its favor and no one complains all that much about it. Hell… they see someone make a hit every now and then for some big bucks and its like that lottery commercial they used to run on TV… a dollar and a dreammm. Or, in the case of the casinos… a stack of quarters, or chips, and that same dream.
And, ya’ll know what? It’s lot of hooey, too.
There is nothing illegal about card counting… ever play poker or blackjack? Any card game for that matter…pinochle… bridge… gin… name it. If, it’s a serious game then I betcha someone at the table can probably tell you every card that’s been played and how many of what is left in he deck. I can get close if I pay attention but I ain’t that good or that serious in the long run… it’s a lot of mental effort and work. But, I have known peeps that were that good, and, hey, it’s to their advantage and it’s not someone I usually want at the table… especially, if, there be money involved. But, it ain’t cheating. They just know when to fold them and when to hold them is all.
And, that was Ben’s point in talking about it all… he wanted to “…correct the impression that there’s something wrong with it or that it demonstrates some, like, compulsive activity (on my part).”
“Usually, when you’re a compulsive gambler, the casinos don’t ask you to leave because you’re beating them. You know?’”
And, the other thing… he ain’t barred from the casino… just from playing blackjack… because as Ben says… they all told him while he couldn’t play blackjack anymore it was just fine and dandy “… to come, do whatever you want, see a show, have dinner. We’ll comp ya. Play roulette, we know you don’t play craps, but hang out, we still want your presence and business.’”
Ben did have realistic take on the subject though… he said that as far as the tabloid rags’ stories… “Usually they say, like, ‘He’s homeless!’(but now they are saying) He’s good at blackjack! Well, I’ll take that.”
Bet you damn well would, ya little card counter, you.
7) Saw this in my hometown rag…the Connecticut Post… seems back around September 17th some motorcyclist was tooling on some road somewhere and saw some jerk toss a bag of trash… fast food refuse… out a car window. She pulls over; stops picks up the trash, and, then gets her bike up to speed… pulls up to the driver’s side of the offending vehicle… sees the window is still open and tosses the trash into the drivers lap.
Further checking this story out and I found there is a series of videos that show the biker at various times spotting litter being tossed from car windows. She then returns the items to their original owners in a very uncompromising way.
The first clip shows a driver, parked in a bus stop, tossing an empty cigarette packet to the ground.The biker picks up a trash can’s ashtray, catches up to the litter’s car and WHAMO… she dumps it through the window and onto the unsuspecting driver.
A second clip shows her picking up a dropped plastic bottle, riding up to the car that tossed it and then taping it to the vehicle’s side view mirror.
And, a third clip shows a McDonald’s customer dumping a bag of trash in the parking lot… the biker picks it up and pulls up alongside the litterbug’s vehicle; motions for the driver to roll his window down and BAM…tosses the trash onto the drivers lap as she zooms away.
I don’t know how or where this took place but the subtitles of the tape are in Russian. And, other stories seem to indicate it’s all in Russia, also.
I also am not sure if the scenes were staged or not but I really hope they weren’t. Even though I wouldn’t recommend doing what this woman did because any one of the drivers could have swerved at any time… or worse… pulled out a weapon and then, oops, one very hurt cyclist or maybe even one former cyclist lying in the middle of the road.
But, still I like the image it presents.
Wanna see the biker in action? It’s in a YouTube video called “Elusive girl on a motorcycle against debris.” Love the entire image… sort of like that old commercial where someone throws garbage out of car window and then the camera pans to an Indian with a tear running down his cheek… only this time it’s like “Take that, mudderfukker!”
8) A skunk with a beer can stuck on its head had to be rescued near a fraternity house in southwestern Ohio.
Oxford (OH) police answered a call about a skunk’s predicament out near a frat house near a local college. When they got to the scene they found Pepe LePew with a beer can stuck over his head. The critter was blindly banging around from here to there trying to get the damn fool thing off his furry little self.
Now, you, and I, both know skunks are known for one very obvious thing… if they feel threatened they spray. In other words, if someone was to startle the critter it’s serious stink time. But, a police official, when they saw the situation, called in an animal control officer who was able to free the skunk without getting sprayed.
The animal was then released.
Now I have no idea how this guy did this without having the skunk let loose with the big one… but he did. Must be some kind of skunk whisperer or something. But, I, for one, am glad that the skunk was freed and was able to scurry away back to his little skunk family in the woods.
But, the thing is if some dumbass didn’t carelessly toss away the can like the dumbass litterbug that he… or she… was then that little critter never would have been stuck in the first place.
Peeps, listen up… if, you can carry it into wherever you be going then you can carry it out.. besides the damn cans are lighter on the way out. So, what is the problem? It ain’t real hard… besides if you stop littering you just might save yourself a visit from the leather cald Russian litter vigilante…
9) There’s an epidemic of violence going on in our inner cities especially with gang related violence. A lot of guns and a lot of peeps getting killed… not only the gang related peeps but some very innocent peeps including children. Usually the deaths are the result of bullets that fail to hit the intended mark or marks. Now a story came out on Tuesday (9/23) from Chicago’s South Side where gang members purposefully shot and killed shot a 9-year-old boy out walking in his neighborhood last month because they thought he was trying to warn rival gangbangers about their whereabouts.
Police reports say that five gang members were stalking two rival gang members back in late August when one of the five saw Antonio Smith Jr. and thought the boy was yelling out to warn the targets so he shot him multiple times and left him to die.
Police found the third-grader’s blood soaked body and rushed the child to a local children’s hospital but to no avail as he was soon pronounced dead.
Police said the boy had no gang ties. Antonio was the youngest person to be killed by gun violence in Chicago this year.
Outraged community members raised $13,500 for information leading to an arrest and spoke out about the senseless “execution” of the little boy.
The killer was arrested last Wednesday (9/17) after police spotted him carrying a weapon. During questioning he admitted his connection to the boy’s killing and then dimed-out his gangbanger accomplishes. All five punks were ordered to be held without bond.
At a news conference Friday (9/19), police credited community and religious leaders with helping to bring the men to justice. Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said “Our investigators initially had very little to work with, but the nature of this murder, that a 9-year-old boy could be gunned down in cold blood, outraged the community.”
Now… I ain’t even gonna start in on the diatribe on WTF is wrong with the world because it’s just getting old… and I believe all you readers already share the disgust I feel as well as the agony I also feel over knowing that another innocent has died too soon.
But, unfortunately there’s more to this story… Antonio was on the street because he had asked his mom if he could have a snack but she said no… so he got pissed at her and tore his butt out of the place.
The killer was on the street because he had just recently been released from prison after he had served about two years of a three and a half year sentence for weapons charges. According to Superintendent McCarthy… “He should not have been on the street to commit this murder. The real kicker to this entire case is that it didn’t have to happen.”
Some fucking damn shame of a kicker if ya’ll ask me…
10) Ever wanted tell an employer take this job and shove it?
Well, an Alaska TV reporter did just that but she took it to an entirely higher level.
KTVA reporter Charlo Greene was doing a story “live and on the air” on the Alaska Cannabis Club on Sunday night’s broadcast and as he was ending her newscast she said…
“Now everything you’ve heard is why I, the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, will be dedicating all of my energy toward fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalizing marijuana here in Alaska…and as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but, fuck it, I quit.”
Greene then walked off the set.
And, this week’s gratuitous pictures…
Mýa Marie Harrison (34), better known as Mýa, is an American R&B singer, record producer, philanthropist, and actress.
Another thousand words…
Tiny URL for this post: