Thursday, March 31, 2016

Open thread.

MORE DISCLAIMERS I am on the road this weekend (traveling to some warmer climes), but I am taking my trusty laptop with me.

Anyway, I just saw an article about black and white folks not even being able to agree on how to cook cornbread. 

So tonight's question of discussion is this: What are some of the things that black and white folks agree on or have in common?

I mean we know the obvious ones, such as a love of sports and watermelon, but give me something that is not as obvious, like the music of Barry Manilow, for instance.

"Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl
With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there
She would merengue and do the cha-cha
And while she tried to be a star
Tony always tended bar
Across the crowded floor, they worked from eight til four
They were young and they had each other
Who could ask for more?"

At the Copa, Copacabana, the hottest sport north of Havana...

I freaking love that song.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A shooting in Arizona, and "trainspotting" in Philadelphia.

Image result for police images mesa arizona badge Tonight, once again, I have to do a blog post about someone in authority taking the life of a fellow citizen.

Let's go to what is becoming one of the most regressive states in the union: Arizona.

"PHOENIX — A Texas man fatally shot by a Mesa police officer in January was heard begging for his life moments before his death, according to a police report released Tuesday morning.

A witness and a transcription of officer video footage describe ****** saying “Please don’t shoot me” and “Please don’t shoot,” just before an officer later identified as Philip "Mitch" Brailsford unloaded his service weapon.

Brailsford has been charged with second-degree murder and was terminated from the Police Department.

On Tuesday, the Mesa Police Department released the police report, 911 calls and other material from its investigation of Brailsford's shooting of ******, who was unarmed, at a hotel in January.

Just wow. I redacted the name of the victim because to make a point.

Raise your hands if you thought that the victim was black.

Well he wasn't, and honestly, it really shouldn't matter.  His rights as a human being and as a citizen were violated, and he lost his life as a result.

"Shaver, 26, died after being shot in a hallway outside his room at a Mesa La Quinta Inn & Suites on Jan. 18. Brailsford was charged with one count of second-degree murder in a direct complaint by the County Attorney's Office on March 4.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said body-camera footage obtained from the officer was used in his office's review of the case. The fatal shooting was the result of unjustified deadly force, Montgomery said.

The county attorney's complaint stated Brailsford was "manifesting an extreme indifference to human life recklessly causing the death of another."

Shaver's widow, Laney Sweet, said earlier this month that she had grown more and more frustrated by the lack of details made available to the public, including the circumstances surrounding her husband's death, two months after it occurred. They are the parents of two young girls."

This might be a good time to quote that famous poem written by Pastor Martin Niemöller. "First They Came."

Finally, two train related incidents happened recently here in Philadelphia that has me seeing both the good and the bad in humanity.

The bad had to do with these out of control kids and their abhorrent and despicable behavior on the elevated train. Their behavior was sad on so many levels. Obviously they are living in an environment tat is not healthy.

I saw their mother and step-father tonight on the evening news, and they were actually blaming the behavior of their little hooligans on the guy filming them.

Look, Philly is a tough town with a lot of tough people. But these little guys are starting way too young.

Now the good:

"Two subway riders on Wednesday prevented an apparently suicidal man from jumping in front of a train on SEPTA's Broad Street Line.

Heather Redfern, a SEPTA spokeswoman, said the incident, which unfolded about 9:30 a.m. at the Race-Vine Station, delayed southbound service for 15 minutes until police could respond.
Police went to the station after they received a call that a person was threatening to jump in front of a train.

When they arrived, they found two people restraining the man on the platform, Redfern said.
Police took the man to a hospital for evaluation."

Nice. And, to be fair, here in Philly we tend to do stuff like this. It just never gets noticed cause we have such a bad rep. You know, booing Santa and all.  When you do stuff like that the rest of the country tends to view you in a bad light.

But hey, that was a long time ago. We are working on making ourselves better. I guess we can start by having a long talk with the parents of those children from the elevated train. 

*Pic from pinterest.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The diversity conundrum.

Image result for diversity imagesTonight's cut and paste job has to do with diversity in America, and how some people in the majority population fear it.

Imagine, if you will, America being one big California. The thought of it just terrifies some folks.

"America's ongoing diversity explosion should be greeted with optimism because of the opportunities it presents for revitalizing our country, energizing our labor force and providing greater connectivity to the global economy. But there is a hidden danger lurking in the form of an emerging generation gap with strong racial overtones that, left unchecked, could become a significant obstacle to progress. This gap has been greatly inflamed by the rhetoric of the presidential primaries. Its potential harm was illustrated in the canceled Donald Trump event earlier this month in Chicago, which saw young people of mixed races protesting against the views of what one of them called "white suburbanites" who embrace, often angrily, a vision of America that would shut them out.
With more than a subtle focus on race, each party's candidates have also been talking to different generations.
Hillary Clinton emphasizes concern for children in Flint, Michigan, ending child poverty and deportation and reforming the criminal justice system. Bernie Sanders reaches out to young people concerned about student debt and jobs. In contrast, Trump continues to talk tough on immigration and keeping out Muslims, on maintaining traditional American values, backing strong policing and protecting the middle class from tax increases.
These stances mirror generationally different attitudes revealed in a 2012 Pew Survey that showed that more than half of white baby boomers and seniors view the rise of newcomers from other countries as a threat to traditional American values and customs, a view that was held by a minority of the millennial generation born in the early 1980s to the early 2000s. Generations are also divided on the role of government, with older people eschewing more services and higher taxes, and younger ones embracing the programs those services support.
The demographic reality is that America's youth -- and more specifically its racial minority youth -- is its future. The white population in this country is rapidly graying with a median age of 43 (compared with 37 for the whole population and 28 for Hispanics) -- and it is growing very slowly. According to census estimates, there is an absolute decline in the number of white youth younger than 20 that is projected to continue over the foreseeable future.
Because of the growth of Hispanics, Asians, blacks and other races, the United States will be able to replenish its younger population, unlike Germany, some other European countries and Japan. Two years ago, minorities began to account for more than half of public school children, and between now and 2030, all of the growth in the population in prime labor force ages (18-64) will be comprised of racial minorities.
However, the nation's young minority population, now more important than ever to its future, has a long way to go. Underresourced and effectively segregated schools are still the norm in many urban areas, leading to Hispanic and black high school dropout rates still well above those of whites. And the range of campus protests last fall in both large public and elite private schools signals future difficulties in assimilating generations to come." [More]
Honestly, I don't know what to make of all of that. I guess it's just yet another story explaining the angst among white voters in this political seasons, which caused the rise of men like trump ad Cruz.
Some in America didn't think that they could survive Obama, but it would seems that they did.
Still, just the thought of a black man having lead them for the past seven years keeps them up at night, and creates terror in their minds about an uncertain future.
Fortunately, we will know a little bit more about that future come November, 2016. It should be fun watch.    
*Pic from

Monday, March 28, 2016

Are we all Victor Frankenstein?

Image result for rise of trump image*There is an interesting debate going on in political circles and in the media as well as the pundit class about who is responsible for the rise of Donald trump. Apparently "decent Americans" still can't believe that they created this misogynistic, self-centered, xenophobe.  They are now collectively trying to figure out how the monster grew so much.

Of course we all know that they all should take some blame. When Donald trump was running around with his racist and preposterous rant that the president of the United States is not a citizen, some people chose to ignore the racist implications, and others chose to embrace and buy into his screeds.

Had the GOP disavowed and condemned trump then, they probably would not be having this trump problem within their party now. Sadly,  condemning trump when he was on his  mission of hate would not have done much good, as many among the republican base thought that he (trump) was on to something.

The president said as much a few days ago, and he was spot on.

“I don’t think that I was the one to prompt questions about my birth certificate, for example,” the president added. “I don’t remember saying, ‘Hey, why don’t you ask me about that?’ or ‘Why don’t you question whether I’m American, or whether I‘m loyal or whether I have America’s best interests at heart?’ ... So what you’re seeing within the Republican Party is, to some degree, all of those efforts over a course of time creating an environment where somebody like a Donald Trump can thrive.” [Source]

So trump is their monster, and he is one that they (and the rest of us) have to live with, for better or for worse.

Finally, here is another case of a citizen just trying to get her work on, only to be falsely imprisoned by a SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority) police officer.

"ON CHRISTMAS DAY two years ago, Muibat Williamson, a neurology nurse at Einstein Medical Center, received a concussion and a set of handcuffs for the holiday when a SEPTA cop allegedly rammed her head into an ATM machine and detained her for trying to file a complaint against him over an encounter the two had at Dunkin' Donuts in Suburban Station, according to court documents.
This year, Williamson is giving that former SEPTA police officer, Douglas Ioven, a Christmas present of his own in return - a civil lawsuit.

"What did I do to this man for him to treat me like this?" Williamson said in an interview. "Every time since then when I see the police, I still remember that day and I back away from them."
Williamson, 54, a native of Nigeria who moved to the U.S. in 1982, said when she ended her 12-hour shift at Einstein around 8 a.m. on Dec. 25, 2013, she headed to the Dunkin' Donuts at Suburban Station to get a coffee for her train ride home to Prospect Park, Delaware County.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed Dec. 11 in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Ioven cut in front of Williamson in the Dunkin' Donuts line and then stepped on her foot. Williamson said when she asked the officer for an apology, he refused.

"He said 'I will not apologize' and I said 'But, you're a policeman!' " Williamson recalled. "A gentle lady in line said to us 'This is Christmas, let's have a nice day,' and I said 'OK.' "

However, when Ioven left, Williamson said that same "gentle lady" urged her to file a complaint.

"The woman said 'You don't know what he's doing to other people. He looks like a bully,' " Williamson said.

When she went to file the complaint at SEPTA police's Suburban Station office, Ioven saw her knocking and ran over, she said. When he asked what she was doing, Williamson told him.
"I said 'I'm going to report you' and he said 'Get the f--- out of this place or I will cuff you,'" Williamson said. "I didn't listen. Then, he put the coffee and donuts down, and I ran and he ran after me."

Williamson said she tried to run back to where there were other people to witness the alleged attack, but she was first cornered near an ATM, into which Ioven allegedly rammed her head.
"He put my head in like POW!" Williamson said. "I said 'OK, I need to save my life. My life is in danger.' "

Williamson said three other SEPTA cops arrived on scene. A supervisor took her to file a report against Ioven, she said.

According to her suit, Williamson suffered a concussion, headaches, a hand injury, a cervical sprain and emotional trauma as a result of the incident. She is seeking more than $50,000 from Ioven and SEPTA, which is also named as a defendant in the suit.

Andrew Busch, SEPTA spokesman, said he could not comment on pending litigation. He did, however confirm that SEPTA dismissed Ioven in March 2014, following an internal investigation" [Source]

Unlike the police officers in New York, Mr. Ioven was dismissed, and he was convicted of false imprisonment, today. All the other charges against him were dismissed.

*Pic from


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Delivering the mail while black.

*If folks are wondering why a lot of minorities-- particularly in urban areas-- do not trust or respect the police, the following story might give you a better understanding of what drives their negative perceptions of the boys in blue. 

"Late in the afternoon on St. Patrick’s Day, Glen Grays, a 27-year-old African-American mail carrier, was making his rounds in Crown Heights, in Brooklyn, about to leave a package at 999 President Street. Mr. Grays prides himself on getting to know the community he serves, he told me on Wednesday. He figures out who is sick, or old, or enfeebled, and makes sure that their parcels, especially if they contain medication — “I can shake a box and usually figure that out,” he said — land directly at the doors of the people waiting for them, even if they live in fourth- or fifth-floor apartments, in walk-up buildings.
On this afternoon, Mr. Grays was descending the steps of his mail truck backward, as postal workers often do to minimize wear and tear on the knees, when out of the corner of his eye he noticed a car making a sharp right turn onto President from Franklin Avenue. Mr. Grays shouted at the driver, climbing back up the steps to avoid getting sideswiped. The black car, in Mr. Grays’s telling, came tearing back his way in reverse. The driver said to him, Mr. Grays recounted, “I have the right of way because I’m law enforcement.” The unmarked car held four plainclothes police officers, according to the Brooklyn borough president’s office, which has taken an interest in the case.
By the time Mr. Grays arrived at the front door of 999 President Street, the police were approaching him. A video of the incident, taken by an observer on the street, begins at this point and shows Mr. Grays, in his postal uniform, as he is handcuffed, frisked and taken to the unmarked car. The officers tell him to stop resisting, even though there is no evidence in the video of resistance. What the video does not show, Mr. Grays said, is what happened next, after he was placed in the back seat of the unmarked car, with his hands cuffed and without a seatbelt, compelling him to leave the mail truck unattended. The driver, who had turned around to taunt him, hit the vehicle in front of them, Mr. Grays said, causing him to bang his shoulder against the front seat. Mr. Grays was then taken to the 71st Precinct station, where he was issued a summons for disorderly conduct that will require him to appear in court. He was then released." [More here]
Wow, the man is a federal employee and getting his grind on (in his uniform no less), and a bunch of out of control cops with huge chips on their shoulders decide to show him who is the boss. It's sad, really, but this is the mindset of far too many of the people roaming the streets in uniforms these days. It's a tough job, and it takes a special type of person to do it, so when these bad apples ruin it for the whole bunch it makes those honest hard working police officers out there have a tougher job on their hands.
We are living in an age when conservatives are trying to teach children that racism no longer exists  and that America has never really been a racist country. 
Still, when we see incidents like the one with Mr. Grays happening on a daily basis, we can't help but wonder what country they are living in.   
*Pic from the


Saturday, March 26, 2016



I need a caption for this pic.

Example: Feel the Bird.

*Pic from

Friday, March 25, 2016

Open thread Friday.

MORE DISCLAIMERS It's open thread Friday, so give me your thoughts on Ted Cruz and his alleged affairs, and who you think is behind the NE story.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The big lie.

I despise the manstream media for so many reasons. One of them being that they hand pick stories to serve their corporate interests.

For instance, why isn't there more reporting on the bombshell revelation that "the war on drugs" was all a lie, and that the ulterior motive of our government at the time was to push drugs into the black neighborhoods in order to destroy the social fabric of our community?

I would like to thank former Nixon aide, John D. Ehrlichman, for confirming what most of us black folks knew all along: That it was all a big scam. And it now makes stories like this one about Reagan and his band of merry men, seem all the more credible.  

"An eye-opening remark from a former aide to President Richard Nixon pulls back the curtain on the true motivation of the United States’ war on drugs.

John Ehrlichman, who served 18 months in prison for his central role in the Watergate scandal, was Nixon’s chief domestic advisor when the president announced the “war on drugs” in 1971. The administration cited a high death toll and the negative social impacts of drugs to justify expanding federal drug control agencies. Doing so set the scene for decades of socially and economically disastrous policies.

Journalist Dan Baum wrote in the April cover story of Harper’s about how he interviewed Ehrlichman in 1994 while working on a book about drug prohibition. Ehrlichman provided some shockingly honest insight into the motives behind the drug war. From Harper’s:
“You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
In other words, the intense racial targeting that’s become synonymous with the drug war wasn’t an unintended side effect — it was the whole point." [Source]

 But I get it. We don't want to stir up the Negroes and let them know what their government is capable of. Let sleeping dogs lie.

Finally, I would like to once again remind Americans that right-wingnut conservatives are the biggest hypocrites on the planet. Especially when it comes to matters of sex and morality. We read about it time , and time , and time , again. These self-righteous do- gooders tell us to do one thing publicly, while they do something quite different when the lights go down and they are behind closed doors.

Yes, guys like Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and Gary Hart played the field, but they weren't preaching to the rest of us and telling us how God fearing they were.

The latest fraud comes to us from the state of Alabama, where the governor (who looks like he should be starring in one of those AARP insurance ads)  has been allegedly getting his freak on with a top aide.

"Alabama's scandal-scarred governor was refusing to quit Thursday after he was accused of sleeping with his top political adviser — and after steamy excerpts from a purported telephone conversation between the alleged adulterers emerged.

 Image result for alabama affair image         **
"Baby, lemme tell you what we're gonna have to do tonight," Gov. Robert Bentley can be heard telling someone named "Rebekah" at one point. "Start locking the door. If we're going to do what we did the other day we're going to have to start locking the door."

Bentley, who does not deny it was him on the tape — but has refused to admit to a sexual relationship with Mason — was back at work.
"He is not resigning," Bentley's spokeswoman Jennifer Ardis told NBC News Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile, his alleged paramour, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, issued a statement to Alabama Local News that dodged the question of whether they had an affair, but accused their accuser — fired Alabama top cop Spencer Collier — of gender bias.

"As a wife and working mother, I commute four hours a day to serve on a team alongside some of the most dedicated and talented people in the state, who are committed to helping our people," Mason said.

"Unfortunately there are still people who are set on hindering the ability of women to work in the political arena. I am proud of what I have accomplished in my professional career."

Collier blew the whistle on Bentley and Mason during a Wednesday press conference that send shock waves through the Alabama statehouse. He claimed he was fired from his post as head of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency on Tuesday because he refused to cover up the governor's affair... Pressed to explain how he can claim they didn't have sex, Bentley answered: "That is not a physical relationship, making those statements."
Asked if he loved Mason, Bentley answered: "I love many members of my staff. In fact all the members of my staff. Do I love some more than others? Absolutely." [Source]

I am sure you do, Gov. I am sure you do.

*Pic from

** Pic from

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hump Day thoughts.

MORE DISCLAIMERSIt's Hump Day, and I have some things on my mind.

First and foremost, RIP Phife Dawg. You were a truly great lyricist.

You and Q- Tip went together like peanut butter and jelly.

 “MCs like to meddle, but here’s my proposition / I let my lyrics flow, and juxt your whole position”

There is lots more where that came from. The "five foot assassin" will be missed.

Second, just when you thought the republicans couldn't get any lower, they start going after each other's wives. This is some really low down stuff.

This has all gotten  so bad that at the next debate I fully expect to see Ted Cruz walk across the stage, get in the orange man's ugly mug, and demand an apology.

I expect it, but I am quite sure that it won't happen. Politicians just aren't built like that. Especially slimy self-centered ones like Ted Cruz.

Then there is Michelle Bachmann. I must admit that when I first heard this story I thought that it was from The Onion. I figured that it was just too preposterous to be true. But then, I realized, we are talking about Michele Bachmann.

“Our feckless U.S. president appeared unfazed by the message he portrayed of American incompetence and historic irrelevance,” Bachmann wrote in a column for World Net Daily.

“In fact, the president appeared pleased with himself and seemed to revel in his infallible cleverness,” she added. “Only he could break the barriers of isolation his misguided predecessors had painstakingly built. Only he could vouchsafe freedom against attack from legions of murderous Communist regimes and Jew-hating ayatollahs.”

But, she said — not without some satisfaction — “the turn of world events humiliated him,” and she wondered if ISIS terrorists might even have been doing God’s will when they bombed an airport and subway station in Brussels, Belgium.

“Maybe our president’s humiliation comes in a manner so devastating it makes one wonder whether the Creator of humankind isn’t reminding this world of the inferiority of foolishness in the face of wisdom,” Bachmann said.

“The president once again mocked his nemesis, the Jewish people and the nation of Israel, by cleverly turning the international press corps toward his brilliant work in Cuba, instead of covering ongoing Islamic attacks against the Jewish state as outlined that very same day at the annual pro-Israel AIPAC meeting in Washington, D.C.,”  [Source]

You know what's even scarier than what she wrote? The fact that "normal" citizens actually voted to send her to Washington over someone else.

Finally, it seems that even dying while black has become a problem.

"MONDAY, March 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Black heart attack patients are more likely than whites to have their ambulance diverted to another hospital due to overcrowding in the closest emergency department, a new study shows.

The researchers also found that long diversions reduced black patients' chances of receiving specialized heart care and increased their risk of death within a year.

The study looked at 2001-11 Medicare data. The researchers included information on nearly 30,000 heart attack patients who were transported by ambulance to hospitals in 26 California counties.
Half the patients had no ambulance diversion, the study found. Another quarter had diversions lasting six hours or less, researchers said. Fifteen percent of heart attack patients had six to 12 hours of diversion, and 10 percent had more than 12 hours of diversion, the study said.

Diversions were more likely to occur for patients being taken to hospitals that served minorities -- particularly those that served large numbers of black patients, according to the study.
Patients with more than 12 hours of ambulance diversion were:
  • 4.4 percent less likely to be treated in cardiac care units
  • 3.4 percent less likely to be treated in catheterization labs or facilities specializing in procedures to improve blood flow to the heart
  • 4.3 percent less likely to receive catheterization
  • 9.6 percent more likely to die during the following year.

The study was published recently in the journal BMJ Open."
"Diversions". Another fancy term for institutionalized racism.
Enjoy what's left of your Hump Day, people.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Battlefield, Brussels.

Image result for brussels terror image   "Until the philosophy which hold one race superior
And another
Is finally
And permanently
And abandoned
Everywhere is war
Me say war.

That until there no longer
First class and second class citizens of any nation
Until the colour of a man's skin
Is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes
Me say war.

That until the basic human rights
Are equally guaranteed to all,
Without regard to race
This is a war."

~Bob Marley~

War indeed. Whether it's on the hot sand-strewn battle fields of the Middle East,  or on the streets of Europe, I don't see it ending anytime soon.

You can always kill the terrorist, but killing their ideology is going to be much more difficult.

Terror came to our friends in Europe today. So, once again, it's time for Americans to cower in fear.  (I always wonder why it's only when terror comes to folks in Europe that we act this way. Those terrorist in Africa are just as scary and should be just as newsworthy.)  It's time for us to be fed with 24 hour cable news loops of the same scenes over and over, and for us to have to listen to right-wingnut politicians demagogue the issue in order to gain political power. (Really Ted? Police patrol Muslim neighborhoods in America? And where exactly would that be?)

Anyway, I would love to hear some suggestions from some of you field-hands about how we could rid society of the scourge that is Isis.

*Pic from

Monday, March 21, 2016

Make America "beautiful" again.

So did you hear the one about Donald trump hitting on that Washington Post reporter?

Girlfriend wanted some answers to some policy questions,  but  Donald being Donald was thinking of her as just another contestant for one of his beauty pageants.

Wingnuts, of course, thought that it was perfectly fine: "What's wrong with you liberals? Can't your women take a compliment? This is political correctness gone wild."

Liberals, and normal people, thought that Donald was being sexist and crass, and that the editorial boardroom was no place to try and get your Mack on.

I suspect that even if Donald trump could be mistaken for Idris  Elba the reporter would have been offended. It is not cool to try and pull up on a woman who is trying to do her job. Donald should know that. Should.

Here is the story as told by Mediaite:

screen_shot_2016-03-21_at_5.38.45_pm_720Washington Post‘s Karen Attiah sounded the alarms of sorts this afternoon when she Tweeted out the following cryptic message after a meeting with Donald Trump and the WaPo Editorial Board:

"So I got hit on today by Donald Trump."

As you can see from the user engagement on the Tweet, people were quick to follow up on Attiah’s commentary, asking for any clarification on this newly-emerging behavior from the Republican frontrunner.

Hayes Brown

@HayesBrown writing now

Then Monday night, Attiah — who serves as the Deputy Opinions Editor for the Post — released her story with the headline “I asked Trump a policy question. Then he called me ‘beautiful.’
Attiah mentioned, and transcribed, some of the policy-related conversation that they had with the Republican frontrunner (“But do you feel that your messages, your rhetoric, are dangerous and divisive for this country?”, seemingly commonplace topics for Trump questioning these days), before detailing the after-meeting exchange she shared with Trump personally:
As the meeting ended and we were walking out of the room, I thanked Trump for taking my question. He turned to me and said, “I really hope I answered your question,” and added casually with a smile, “Beautiful.” I was stunned. I didn’t say thank you, and I don’t think I smiled. He then walked out to meet with my Post colleagues briefly before heading to the elevator. I stayed in the conference room for a few minutes as it sunk in that the potential GOP nominee for president thought it was okay to comment on my appearance. Did he just say that?

Perhaps he thought that calling me beautiful would make me ignore the fact that he brazenly lied about his polling numbers among Hispanic voters. Or make me believe that he wasn’t really a racist. Who knows? At least now I know, firsthand, that the sexism that Trump puts on display against Megyn Kelly under the lights of national TV is not that much different from how he is in real life toward female journalists.

Sad." [Source]

Megyn, you might be in luck. Tear up the restraining order. I think that Donald is turning his attention to print media.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Viva La Cuba.

Cuba's President Fidel Castro visits Jamaica's Michael Manley during a huge rally in Montego Bay on Sept. 17, 1977.

"I kill a communist for fun" ~Tony Montana, Scarface~

That was a classic quote from the movie, Scarface. Tony Montana's character was a criminal in Cuba, and he had no love for Fidel Castro or his government.  He called himself a "political prisoner", but as we all remember from the movie, he was nothing more than a drug dealer and a murderer.

Unfortunately too many leaders in our history have had a similar simplistic view of the Fidel Castro government like the fictional character from the Scarface movie.

Personally, I tend to disagree with Tony's assessment of the Cuban leader, and I am glad for the president's historic trip to Cuba today. I have never understood the trade embargo and sanctions against Cuba for all these years when we were trading with the Chinese and Russians for crying out loud.  

I remember as a kid in Jamaica, listening to one of Fidel Castro's speeches, I didn't know a word of Spanish, but even before the interpreter told us what he was saying, I remember cheering my ass off. He was that charismatic.

Maybe it's because the man who I consider one of the greatest leaders in history, Michael Manley, had to turn to Fidel at a time when the American government and the West turned their backs on the Jamaican people, as we tried to cope with the draconian benchmarks for the country's recovery set by the IMF.

It was Castro and the Cuban government that gave Jamaica micro- dams, adult literacy, trained physicians ,quality health care, and innovative teaching methods that merged education and sports.

And, if that wasn't enough, it was the Cuban government and Fidel Castro who helped to end Apartheid in South Africa . It was also Cuban soldiers who fought alongside the Angolan people in their fight for liberation. 

Throw in the fact that the people who were in Cuba ---who didn't have a pot to piss in before the revolution--- look more like I do than Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and you can see where I am coming from. Afro Cubans didn't flee to Miami with their riches, because they had no riches.

Barack Obama and is family going to Havana sends a powerful message to those Cubans living on the island and to the world.

It is a message that is long overdue.

Now if you will excuse me I have a  cigar to smoke.

*Pic from AP.


Saturday, March 19, 2016


I need a caption for this pic.

Example: Dear white people, I come in peace.

*Pic from

Friday, March 18, 2016

Revenge of the angry white males.

 I will give it to the elites in this country, they have done a wonderful job of convincing poor white folks that the brown bogeyman is going to get them. That somehow all of their misery and frustration with whatever sad fate life dealt them, is the black and brown man's fault.

Donald trump, instead of trying to enlighten the poor and working class, has chosen to exploit those fears instead of trying to educate his army of frustrated angry white males. 

One of the greatest tricks that the powerful was able to pull off was convincing all of these people that conservatism is their ticket out of trailer park and rowhomes.

Anyway, I read an interesting article this morning ( by someone named Ian Walsh, I think) from the white perspective about the rise of trump, and this might be a good time to share it.

"This is not hard to understand. Wages for working class white males peaked in 1968, fourty-eight [sic] years ago. Coincidentally, I was born 1968.

I am not young.

For their entire working lives, conditions for working class males have been getting worse.
“Free trade” has not worked for them. China joined the WTO in 2000. Here’s what happened.

Now, imagine that chart adjusted for population increases.

So, for damn near 48 years, poor whites have done terribly. For fourty-eight years, ordinary politicians have promised to do something about it, and nothing has improved.

Do not tell me, or them, that they are “privileged.” Yes, it is better to be poor and white than poor and black, and better to be a poor white man than a poor white woman, but people who are in pain do not react well to some smug, upper-middle-class jerk telling them they are privileged when their lives are clearly terrible.

It is a FACT that working class whites will not see any improvement worth mentioning under any normal politician, including Clinton. They may see an improvement under Trump, they certainly would under Sanders.

They are voting for what they see as their interests, and they are not necessarily wrong. Certainly, Trump is more likely to help than Clinton, as the chance of Clinton helping them is zero. Zip. Nada.
It is insanity to expect poor white males to accept 48 years of decline and not get angry. It’s perfectly reasonable for them to respond to a man who offers them a better life in a way that is different from all the politicians who have failed them in the past.

Trump does not feel or campaign like an ordinary politician. Poor whites read this as: “He might not betray us like all the normal politicians do.”

At the least, it is worth a try.

Now, when I say “poor whites,” smart people should hear “people who are willing to be violent.”
Who mans America’s actual fighting regiments? That’s right, poor whites.

Who are your police? Who are your prison guards?

Right. Even if they make decent money as a cop or guard, they’re poor whites by culture: Scots-Irish core.

These are bad people to alienate to the point where they are willing to turn, en-masse, to a demagogue.

Just saying.

You may not like this, but the cold reality is that you need to keep the people who enjoy violence under control and, ideally happy–wanting other things more than they want to crack skulls. At the least, you make sure that they spend all their time killing and hurting each other and poor brown people, not their “betters.”

You have to be real stupid to lose control of your society’s fighting class. You have to be real stupid to degrade them over a period of decades, to employ them en-masse in jobs where they beat up other people.

Demonizing poor white men as “trailer trash” has simply alienated them. Telling them they are all sexist, racist scum has not “raised their consciousness.” Strangely, they don’t think that all the people who tell them they’re bad are right. Instead, they think those people are assholes.

In many cases, they’d like to give a good beating to said assholes. For example, Kevin Williamson:
If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy—which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog—you will come to an awful realization. … The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die.
You have treated these people like shit. You know how you get treated at bad jobs? Like disposable trash who can be ordered to do anything?

People become how they are treated. You have to feed the better parts of them if you want those parts to win. If half the “good jobs” available to these people jobs that involve violence, if the remaining non-violent jobs (manufacturing) are disappearing, and if the rest of their jobs are ass, you should not be surprised that they become mean.

You make them this way, then you demonize them for it.

Trump does not talk to these people like he despises them. (Neither does Bernie.)

Clinton does. She’s pandering, she knows it, and it comes through. The disdain drips.

The quality of life for the average “white male” peaked in 1968. Then, you call them trash, they have almost no good jobs, and you’re surprised they’re angry? You think they aren’t human? You think they are Jesus, and can be treated like crap for longer than most of them have been alive and that there won’t be consequences? You think that because other people are treated even worse, they will sublimate their own mistreatment?

Worse, you marginalized them and then used them as your primary violent enforcers?
That’s not just immoral, that’s crazy stupid.

Remember, they don’t just hate people who are brown. They hate most rich whites. And by rich, they mean a lot more people than the actual rich.

Treat people like trash, and don’t be surprised when they come back to bite you." [Source]

Ok, we get it, it  they will "come back to bite" us. But I am pretty sure that the people in the top ten percent will not be getting bit.

Instead, all of the barking will be at the people who look a little different than they do, but sadly, who are just as weak and as helpless as they are.

*Pic from