Saturday, October 03, 2015


I need a caption for this pic.

Example: Does your mom have more of that  mac and cheese that she packed for your lunch?

*Pic by Chris Hill featured on

Thursday, October 01, 2015

It happened again!

Image result for gun shooting oregon images Another day another mass shooting in America. No words.

My thoughts go out to the family members and loved ones of those who lost their lives today.

I am not going to give my opinions about guns and gun violence. You all know where I have stood on this issue over the years, so there is no need for me to rant about this latest tragedy.

The president has had enough, and he said as much tonight when he spoke to the nation about this latest slaughter of innocents.

He tried, once again, to use the "bully pulpit" to change our opinions about the gun culture that exists in our country, but as we have seen time and time again this is just an exercise in futility.

Anyway, I would like to know what you (regardless of how you feel about guns) would do to help curb the senseless gun violence that is so widespread in our society.

*Pic from

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Marco Rubio gets it, John McWhorter does not.

"Black Lives MatterThis is a legitimate issue," Rubio said. "It is a fact that in the African-American community around this country there has been, for a number of years now, a growing resentment toward the way law enforcement and the criminal justice system interacts with the community. It is particularly endemic among young African-American males — that in some communities in this country have a much higher chance of interacting with criminal justice than higher education. We do need to face this. It is a serious problem in this country."

Rubio also gave a personal anecdote: "I have one friend in particular who's been stopped in the last 18 months eight to nine different times. Never got a ticket for being stopped — just stopped. If that happened to me, after eight or nine times, I'd be wondering what's going on here. I'd be upset about it. So would anybody else." [Source] 

Five stars for Marco Rubio for taking the time to understand the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and speaking in a thoughtful and instructive way about it.

If only some of his colleagues running for president could be as thoughtful and not just throw red black meat to their base to score brownie points when it comes to this issue. 

Contrast what Rubio is saying to the words of John McWhorter.

McWhorter's knee jerk essay about the BLM movement is a classic example of what is wrong with this debate. He focuses on the obvious problem of black on black crime within the community and by doing that he tries to downplay a very real problem that is one of the factors that contribute to black pain and suffering: The misconduct of those in authority  

Of course he will get a lot of shine because he happens to be black. People like McWhorter who like to say that we are the problem is the kind of Negro that America loves. 

Memo to McWhorter: Most of the people in the BLM movement (or those who support it) are quite aware of the problems within the black community, and they have been trying to do something about it for years. It is not impossible to bring attention to police misconduct and black on black violence at the same time.

"Black Lives Matter has become Exhibit A in this ideological conflict. Make no mistake, I admire Black Lives Matter. I’m just worried about it. I have never seen America getting closer to not just “talking about,” but actually doing something about, the relationship between black men and the cops. If there is one thing I have learned in 15 years of writing about and thinking about race, it is that this problem is the main one keeping America from getting past race. I was not offended by BLM’s conduct toward Bernie Sanders, quite frankly. And I consider the riposte “All Lives Matter” almost willfully uncomprehending of the issues that face us.

However, the way our smart people are covering Black Lives Matter, and some of the assumptions of the group itself, are bubble gum on our shoes. A movement cannot make a real difference in 2015 by pretending that it’s still 1965.

Here’s the problem. The going notion for anyone left of, roughly, the old New Republic is that disapproval of Black Lives Matter must come from “racism.” Charles Blow put this best, recently:

“Discomfort with Black Lives Matter is, on some level and to some degree, a discomfort with blackness itself.”

But this, even with the careful hedges, is a hasty, and even lazy, reading of the issue. I imagine there are some people out there who don’t like BLM because it’s black people making noise. But what disturbs a great many—and I highly suspect many more—people about the philosophical underpinnings of BLM is that black people in poor neighborhoods are in vastly more danger of being killed by young black men than by the occasional bad cop.

“Our demand is simple: Stop killing us,” the movement says—while people `````nationwide look on and see, especially during the summers, tragic epidemics of black-on-black homicides and maimings in one city after another. But America wonders: What about “Let’s stop killing each other”?
This year alone, in Chicago almost 80 percent of the people killed have been black. In Baltimore the figure is 216 black people versus 11 white, in Philadelphia 200 black people versus 44 white. Most by other black people....." And blah blah blah....

McWhorter falls into the old house Negro trap of seeking approval and acceptance from the majority population in our fight for social justice. When he says "while people nationwide look on and see" the people killed in places like Baltimore, Chicago and Philly, he is basically saying that we are to blame for all those killings and we have no authority to speak out until we get our house in order. Forgetting, of course, that those "people looking on" are the reason our house is out of order in the first place.

"The problem is not an America blind to racism, or even an America that thinks racism is solely the n-word, cross-burnings, and housing covenants. The problem is, I hate to say, a progressive ideology on race that confuses performance with action."

Sorry John, but if we followed your lead there would be no action at all.

*Pic from twitter.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fetus, lies, and videotapes.

Image result for planned parenthood chart images chaffetzI love how some people "care" about unborn children but you could never tell that by their behavior towards said children once they get here.

The abortion debate is one that I never like to jump into, because, quite frankly, I have no stake in it.

Jason Chaffetz (and other men) would do well to follow my lead, especially after he made a complete fool of himself today while trying to grandstand and dress down (no pun intended) the head of Planned Parenthood in Washington. (I loved the part where he rolled out the chart *see above* to show that  abortions went up and other health services went down under Planned Parenthood, only to be told that the chart was prepared by a popular anti-abortion group. )

They are not paying me so I am going to give my republican friends some free advice: Tread softly on this Planed Parenthood issue. Sometimes when you live in an echo camber--- like some of my wingnut friends do---- your views of the real world tends to get a little skewed. Most Americans have no problem with women making their own decisions about what to do with their bodies.

Carly Fiorina might be rising in the polls but her grand sermonis was built on a lie, and she knows it. At this point she and her campaign is just scrambling to find a video (any video) to justify the lies she told under the bright lights of that CNN stage. They will find none. But she will continue to dig herself deeper into a hole and her supporters will continue to back her.

This includes powerful male friends in Congress.

"Chaffetz, who took the gavel for this often politically contentious committee at the start of the new Congress in January, put up a chart that purported to show Planned Parenthood's breast cancer screenings going down over time as the number of its abortions spiked.

Richards appeared flummoxed, saying she didn't know where those numbers came from.
"You're going to deny?" Chaffetz incredulously replied.

Richards said she would deny those numbers because she'd never seen them.

With every exchange, Richards and Chaffetz raised their voices until both were practically yelling over each other.

Chaffetz told her he pulled them from her corporate reports. "Oh," Richards said, appearing deflated.
Then staff behind Richards leaned over to whisper into her ear. She interrupted Chaffetz.

"Excuse me, my lawyer is informing me that the source of this is actually Americans United for Life, which is an antiabortion group," she said. "So, I would check your source."

It was Chaffetz's turn to appear deflated. "Then we will get to the bottom of the truth of that," he said."

Another lie.

*Pic from

Monday, September 28, 2015

The "N-word", white people, and context.

Tonight, after reading a story from Virginia, I want to get your feedback about the issue involved that is not as black and white (pun intended) as one might think.

Here is the story:

"A white, Newport News, Va., history teacher – who was placed on a week-long paid leave for mentioning the 'N-word' in the context of a history lesson – has been reinstated and will be back in school Tuesday.
Last week, history teacher Lynne Pierce, says that she uttered the 'N-word' as part of an example during an Advanced Placement history course at Heritage High School, whose student  population is 90 percent black. On Monday, her 40-year teaching career hung in the balance.

In an interview, Ms. Pierce says that on Sept. 18 she was placed on paid administrative leave, pending an investigation to determine if she should be disciplined, or even allowed back in the classroom.

At noon on Monday, Ms. Pierce said: “I’ll be back in the classroom tomorrow. It’s what I’ve wanted all along. All I wanted to do was teach. Now we’ve lost valuable time and we’re going to have to make it up.”

Pierce says she was speaking the word in the context of her lesson plan for the college-level course which examines “how America celebrates racism without realizing it.” The case in point was the ongoing controversy over the name of the NFL team, the Washington Redskins, a pejorative term for Native Americans.

“I was teaching a lesson on Native Americans. We had already talked about bias and propaganda and stereotypes and one of the students asked me, ‘What’s the big deal about calling a team the Washington Redskins,’” Pierce recounts.

“And I was trying to explain that to them. And the kids said they didn’t see anything wrong with it. So what? And as an example I said to them, ‘Well what would you think if someone was going to start a team and call it the Newport News N***ers? And they didn’t like it. I said, ‘Well of course you don’t like it. That’s the whole point!’

Pierce adds, “Just because something doesn’t personally affect you doesn’t mean it’s not offensive to someone else If you want to be respected in the terms you don’t want to be called, then you should understand that other people feel the same way. That, basically, is what happened.”

“A parent complained and this is the route the principal chose to take,” she says. “I would have handled it differently.”

petition in defense of Pierce started by Juslena Williams, who is black and a Heritage alumni, has gained over 1,600 signatures. The petition also started the hashtag #imnotoffended.
Bring Back Ms. Pierce - Sign the Petition #ImNotOffended— Kierra Barnes (@KierraLBarnes) September 25, 2015

#imnotoffended when someone uses an offensive word in a discussion about the word— Ray (@RayBoddieJr) September 28, 2015

Lynne Pierce seems like a nice woman who was trying to teach kids a valuable lesson about #racism #imnotoffended @nnschools get a grip— Daniel Carry (@DanielPCarry) September 25, 2015
The “Bring Back Ms. Pierce” petition argued that Pierce "gave a logical, historical, and educational example of ignored racism in America."

"The high school is 90% Black," the petition continues, "so the comparison was appropriate to show students how offensive it is on both side of the spectrum. Ms. Pierce did nothing wrong. She is a history teacher, she cannot be censored for teaching terms and beliefs that people had throughout history.”

Dennis Parker, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Racial Justice Program, says in an email about the incident, “I don’t know what the NAACP opinion is on this, but I would be very uncomfortable saying that a word can never be used regardless of the context. I would be concerned given the fact that efforts to ban the use of words have been used as a justification for banning works of literature, including some which are focused on issues of racial equality.”

Senior ACLU staff attorney Lee Rowland  adds, “Schools are highly regulated environments, and even if courts were to find that a school could discipline a teacher for saying a certain word, that in no way supports a broader governmental power to regulate that word when it's spoken outside of the school context.”

Mr. Parker concludes that his personal opinion, and not necessarily that of the ACLU, is that perhaps setting ground rules informing that the word may come up in context could be a best practices alternative for teachers like Pierce in future.

'I recently spoke at a symposium for high school and middle school students at the New York Historical Society about "To Kill a Mockingbird” and they began the discussion by telling people that the discussion would involve using the word, but that it was not being used casually and for historical and other reasons would not be left out,” Parker writes. “I think that acknowledging that it and similar words are painful and that their use is not casual is a good practice.”' [Story]

So what should have happened to Ms. Pierce?

Should she have been:

A. Suspended without pay.
B. Suspended with pay and sent to sensitivity training.
C. Terminated forthwith.
D. Nothing.

I will tell you my choice later.  

*Pic from Chaz's blog on featuring "The N Word" movie.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Goodbye Pope Francis, Philly enjoyed having you. Goodbye John, your fellow Republicans did not enjoy you.

Image result for philly pope Ben Franklin images       I would like to take this time to say goodbye to Pope Francis. It was nice having you here for a couple of days, and you certainly seemed to inspire the faithful.

I know that some business folks are complaining, but I think Philly shined big time for a  national  and international audience.

I got a lot of e-mails and texts from friends who are not from here, who were surprised at how beautiful the Benjamin Franklin Parkway looked for the festivities. (For those of you who have ever traveled to Paris, I think that you will agree with me that it [The Parkway] is the closest thing that you will find to the  Champs-Élysées. )

Image result for philly pope Ben Franklin imagesAnyway, I hope that American politricksters take heed to the big guy's message of inclusiveness and love.

“I ask you not to forget that, like those who came here before you, you bring many gifts to your new nation. You should never be ashamed of your traditions,” the pope said. “I repeat, do not be ashamed of what is part of you, your lifeblood.”

Yo Donald, check the polls. This Pope guy is stealing your thunder. 

Anyway, the Pope certainly inspired John Boehner to find his religion and make some life changing moves. Now the devout Catholic is calling out his fellow wingnut politicians for being  "false prophets".

"But the Bible says "Beware of false prophets." There are people out there spreading the noise about how much can get done. This whole idea that we're going to shut down the government to get rid of Obamacare in 2013, that plan never had a chance."

Oh my! Those are strong words from the outgoing speaker.  It's a shame it took a message from His Holiness to make him see the light.  Now it's too little too late. His legacy has already been tarnished.

Finally, let me end this post with some breaking news: Carly Fiorina just had a stage collapse at a campaign event in Texas.

Calm down Mr. Trump, everyone seems to be alright. You're going to have Carly to contend with for the next few months.  

*Pic from &


Saturday, September 26, 2015


I need a caption for this pic.

For example: Sorry John, there is no drinks on this menu. 

Pic courtesy of credit Charles Dharapak / AP

Friday, September 25, 2015

Doing good among those who don't.

I don't know how my man Francis does it. Dude has to be pushing 80 and he is acting like he plays guitar for the Rolling Stones or something. They are the only other septuagenarian who can rock so many crowds and keep going like this. Washington. Congress. The UN. Harlem. Madison Square Garden. Philly. And crowds in the hundreds of thousands out in the streets just trying to get a glimpse of him, while he just keeps going like the Energizer Bunny with that perpetual smile on his face.

Anyway, he will be here in Philly tonight. Unfortunately he might have the city all to himself. Damn near everyone who lives in the city has left town or vowed not to venture anywhere near Center City.

I have my fingers crossed that the Mayor's plan to shut the city down doesn't backfire. I am looking at Washington and New York and folks are coming out in droves to show love.  I have heard that we are expecting a million or so saints.  Right now we are just "praying" that they come.  

"Heading into the final week before the pope’s U.S. trip, hotels in Philadelphia had more than 1,000 rooms available. Regional transit agency SEPTA had sold only about a third of its papal visit rail passes, and the southern New Jersey commuter rail, PATCO, less than a sixth. 
And a plan to turn Fairmount Park, one of the largest urban green spaces in the nation, into “Francis Fields” campground was scrapped due to a lack of interest." [Source]

Y'all better come out and show Francis some love. The Eagles are 0-2 for crying out loud!

Speaking of showing Francis love, my man has been getting love everywhere he goes. He talked about Dr. King's I Have A Dream speech in East Harlem, and seemed to be more at ease with poor people, immigrants, and children than he was with all those dignitaries in Washington and at the United Nations. That's my kind of guy.

Speaking of dignitaries in Washington, one of them decided to make a life changing decision after meeting the Pope, yesterday.

"WASHINGTON — It took a visit from the pope, a brewing conservative rebellion, and a good night’s sleep for John Boehner — the son of a bartender and a devout Catholic from Cincinnati — to decide that Friday morning was the right moment for him to end his tumultuous five-year speakership and bring his 25-year career in Congress to a close.

This morning, I woke up and I said my prayers and I decided today’s the day I’m going to this,” Boehner told reporters in an emotional news conference on Friday afternoon, a few hours after he stunned Washington by announcing that he planned to resign, effective Oct. 30. “It’s as simple as that.”

But of course, it was not that simple.

Boehner disclosed his decision less than 24 hours after he reveled in the first-ever papal speech to a joint session of Congress, something he has dreamed of for 20 years — and as the government was on the verge of another shutdown, with Boehner's fractious caucus battling over a bill to fund the government beyond Sept. 30."

Poor John. As usual he got all weepy, but those might be tears of joy because he doesn't have to deal with some of the lunatics in his party anymore. They actually cheered at a big republican conference when the "faithful" heard that he was on his way out, and some of the republican candidates for president couldn't wait to kick him in the ass as he went out the door. 

I suppose that they are all still mad that they couldn't stop the Socialist in Chief from getting two terms and getting his way with some significant pieces of legislation.

Now we know, of course, that they started plotting on inauguration night.

"WASHINGTON -- As President Barack Obama was celebrating his inauguration at various balls, top Republican lawmakers and strategists were conjuring up ways to submarine his presidency at a private dinner in Washington.

The event -- which provides a telling revelation for how quickly the post-election climate soured -- serves as the prologue of Robert Draper's much-discussed and heavily-reported new book, "Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives."

According to Draper, the guest list that night (which was just over 15 people in total) included Republican Reps. Eric Cantor (Va.), Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Paul Ryan (Wis.), Pete Sessions (Texas), Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Pete Hoekstra (Mich.) and Dan Lungren (Calif.), along with Republican Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Ensign (Nev.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.). The non-lawmakers present included Newt Gingrich, several years removed from his presidential campaign, and Frank Luntz, the long-time Republican wordsmith. Notably absent were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) -- who, Draper writes, had an acrimonious relationship with Luntz.
For several hours in the Caucus Room (a high-end D.C. establishment), the book says they plotted out ways to not just win back political power, but to also put the brakes on Obama's legislative platform." [Source]

Forgive them father, for they know not what they do.

*Pic from (Courtesy of David  Goldman/Getty Images)


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Teaching Dylann's history.

Members of the KKK hold a rally (Martin/Flickr )I have a lot of love for the Color Of Change folks, and I think that they do important work by keeping us focused on issues that matter.

They recently sent me an e-mail which I am going to share with you because the s**t is that serious.

  "Dear Wayne, 
Schools should be a place for learning, not spreading racist ideology. But not in Texas. This fall, five million children across Texas were given textbooks that profess the same toxic and distorted view of history professed by Dylann Roof and defenders of the Confederate Flag.
These textbooks omit, sanitize, and downplay how horrible slavery was and glorify historical figures who defended slavery. All because the Texas State Board of Education has an agenda to promote a neo-Confederate ideology.  
And if the Texas State Board of Education has their way, future textbooks could be even worse than they are right now.1 Future textbooks could remove altogether any references to Jim Crow, the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Codes- the foundation for modern day prison labor exploitation. The half-truths and omissions in these educational materials will teach a new generation of children a deliberately distorted view of American history and the story of race in our country.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. If we put factual and accurate educational materials about Black history in school libraries across Texas, we can give countless students access to the resources they need to learn the truth. Join the fight to get books about Black history directly into the hands of children across Texas.
The harm that these textbooks do is real. Not only are these whitewashed textbooks inaccurate and racially damaging, they even hurt the academic performance of both Black and white students. Studies have shown that both Black and white students who are exposed to negative racial stereotypes about Black people perform significantly worse on standardized tests.23
The intentional whitewashing of the story of the Civil War happens as early as grade school and not just in the books you read. Right now there are 29 schools in Texas named after generals like Robert E. Lee. There are textbooks and educational videos that glorify politicians like John C. Calhoun, who believed that owning, abusing and exploiting Black humans was key to achieving the American dream and was the architect behind the enforcement of the Indian Removal Act. Too often, the stories and truths of all the Black and Brown folks that built this country are either censored or completely left out of the books we consume from early on in life."
I don't usually do this kind of thing, but... OK, I will go ahead and give the COC folks some love. 
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Francis love.

Image result for love statue imagesThe Pope will be here in a couple of days, so in keeping with the spirit of love, unity, and kindness that my man has been spreading, I am going to have a positive post tonight. In case you all didn't notice, this Pope is kind of a rock star. Everybody is feeling what he is bringing to the table. Well, almost everybody.

So anyway, I am tired of being called a cynical black man who doesn't see the good in people.

Tonight my post will have nothing but good kind words and words of love.

Good, kindness, love. Good, kindness, love.
Good, kindness, love. Good, kindness, love.
Good, kindness, love. Good, kindness, love.
Good, kindness, love. Good, kindness, love.
Good, kindness, love. Good, kindness, love.

Good, kindness, love. Good, kindness, love.
Good, kindness, love. Good, kindness, love.
Good, kindness, love. Good, kindness, love.
Good, kindness, love. Good, kindness, love.
Good, kindness, love. Good, kindness, love.

Pope Francis, I hope that you feel nothing but love while you are here.

Heck I am feeling it already and you haven't even landed yet.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Still the leader of the pack.

Et tu, Jeb? Man having the crazy outspoken Donald Trump in the republican field has really led some otherwise "normal" politicians to say some crazy things.

"Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush warned America is “creeping toward multiculturalism” during a campaign stop Tuesday, and said he worries about areas where the assimilation process is “retarded.”

In response to a young woman’s question about how to empower immigrants as Americans, Bush said at an event at a Cedar Falls, Iowa diner that multiculturalism should not be the goal.

“We should not have a multicultural society,” Bush said. “When you create pockets of isolation, and in some cases, the assimilation process has been retarded, it’s wrong. It limits people’s aspirations.”
He said Americans’ national identity is defined by the “set of values that people share,” rather than race. Bush also said learning English is an important part of the assimilation process." [Source]

But...but....isn't Jeb's wife Hispanic? It's going to be very cold in the Bush household tonight.
Jeb, you might want to get comfortable with the guest room, or worse, the sofa.

And, speaking of Donald Trump, the following article from the Huffington Post says that it might be time to stick a fork in him.

"There comes a moment in the political life of every big-personality, more-sizzle-than-steak candidate when they step across the line of legitimacy, or illegitimacy (depending on your perspective), even for media addicted to the high ratings these candidate-entertainers provide. That moment for Sarah Palin was her Katie Couric interview in 2008 -- the hockey-mom-has-no-clothes revealing from which she, and the McCain campaign, never recovered. In Donald Trump's candidacy -- which The Huffington Post is appropriately covering in our Entertainment section -- the equivalent moment might have just happened.

It was not the moment in the second Republican debate when Carly Fiorina carved him up like an Easter ham with her withering "I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said" zinger. That drew blood (as did the dramatic 12 seconds she remained silent after her response), but it wasn't fatal. No, historians looking back will peg the beginning of the end of the Trump show to his New Hampshire moment last week. Taking questions at a town hall event in Rochester, Trump listened as an audience member asserted that President Obama is a Muslim, "not even an American." Trump looked the man square in the eye, and declared: "No ... He's a decent family man [and] a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign's all about. He's not [an Arab]."

Just kidding. That was actually what John McCain -- the one Trump said is "not a war hero" -- said to a woman at a campaign rally in 2008 who claimed that President Obama was an Arab. What Trump really said was, well, pretty much nothing: "We are going to be looking at a lot of different things and, you know, a lot of people are saying that."

There are few things as absolute in damning a candidate as a refusal to acknowledge simple reality -- especially a candidate who says he'll be tough with our enemies but refuses to even stand up to his own supporters. Refusing to acknowledge that Obama was born in this country is the equivalent of refusing to say that the earth is round. Even Trump's own supporters are embarrassed. Mark Cuban on Real Time with Bill Maher last Friday had to scramble for cover by categorically stating that the candidate he's supporting for president "is not gonna win. He's got no chance... none."

So when will the media be embarrassed enough to refuse to continue to give Trump the large megaphone they are giving him? Not because he's the front-runner -- come on, let's stop pretending that's the reason -- but because of the ratings he fuels as the entertainer he undoubtedly is.

As Sarah Palin demonstrated, even the ratings-crazed media are capable of falling out of love with a big-ratings stunt candidate. With Trump, you can already see it happening. The cracks are beginning to show. And when the media fall out of love they fall out of love very quickly." [Source]

Hmmm, methinks this is wishful thinking on Arianna Huffington's part. I just checked the latest Iowa polls, and Trump is still leading the field, comfortably.  

So the crazy train just keeps on running, and everyone seems to be on board.