Saturday, January 28, 2023

Memphis Blues, and the slave-catcher mentality.

If you have been paying attention over the past few days, you know by now that the most popular news story coming out of Memphis, Tennessee, is not the success of their basketball team, but the horrific beating and killing of one of the city's citizens at the hands of those who are sworn to serve and protect. 


I must confess, I still have not had the stomach or the emotional discipline to watch the video.  I have seen enough graphic videos and horrific scenes in my life as a criminal lawyer in Philadelphia over the past twenty years to be able to withstand seeing one more such acts of horror. But honestly, I am just exhausted at this point.   

What makes this story particularly unique and nuanced,  is the fact that the five perpetrators, like Tyre Nichols, were black men. This, to me, is not surprising. I have been telling you about house Negroes and the danger they present to our community my entire blogging career, but unfortunately folks have not been paying attention. It's that slave-catching house Negro mentality that made it so easy for these Memphis police officers to savagely beat Tyre Nichols to death. We devalue the lives of our own, which makes it easier for others in the majority population to devalue us. One thing we are learning about this specialized unit formed by the Memphis police, is that it was staffed with mostly black officers because they did not want the scrutiny when it comes to civil rights violations that white officers would bring. The fact that these officers would sign up for this should make us all realize that the slave-catcher mentality is still alive and well. 

And let's look at the majority population for a minute.  Please note how quiet all the usual conservative suspects (who are always quick to support the police and demonize victims) are being when it comes to this particular case. Not surprising given the fact that the police officers doing the beatings were black. These officers were quickly fired and charged with second degree murder, and that's a good thing. But think what usually happens when a white officer, or officers, are guilty of doing similar things. They are put on administrative leave WITH pay. It takes weeks (and in some cases months) to release the video tape, and the right-wing media machine falls in lockstep to defend them and tell us what a dangerous job policing is. That is not the case here, and these clueless house Negroes who thought they were protected by the blue wall, will now realize that the wall does not extend to them. 

There is something the mother of Tyre Nichols said that really moved me. She talked about his love for Vans, and not Air Jordan sneakers to highlight his individuality. She also said that he liked art, and he loved skateboarding, and that he cried out her name while he was being savagely beaten to death.  

Stay peaceful.  

*Image from yahoo news.

 

 

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Caption Sunday.


I need a caption for this pic.

I have one: POS in boots.  

Sunday, January 08, 2023

The chaos Congress is here.

 


The 15th time was a charm for Kevin Mc-Qanon-rthy. If you are a republican and you are not embarrassed by the actions of the folks who represent your party over the past week, you have not been paying attention. How are they going conduct the people's business if they can't even get their own s*** together? 

While the GOP reps were auditioning to join the MMA, Hakeem Jefferies and the democrats were just enjoying the moment and savoring in the obvious difference between the two parties. No one is surprised. This is tfg's party, and we all know that chaos follows everything that he is associated with like a paparazzi follows the Kardashians. 

You have to wonder what's in store for this Congress over the next two years. My prediction is that it will be one big mess, and the group in power will get nothing done. They have a feckless and weak leader who seemed to have wanted the speaker's gavel at all cost.  A leader without a spine is not a leader, as we have seen from Kevin McQanon-arthy, he is simply a person who will go with the wind to suit his own purpose. This is who the new GOP Speaker is, and as we live out the next two years Americans will get to watch the train wreck that's coming play itself out before our eyes. 

Congresswoman, Katherine Clark, said it best: 

“Years of blindly pursuing power, currying the favor of special interests and bowing to election deniers has left the GOP in shambles,”....Kevin McCarthy is now being held hostage to his own ambitions by the dangerous members that he’s enabled.”

Popcorn anyone? 



 

Saturday, December 24, 2022

The naughty and the nice.


 Tis the season of holiday cheer,  and your friendly neighborhood field negro is checking his list to find out who has been naughty and who has been nice. 

Let's start with the nice.  I have a few candidates who should be on Santa's good side. 

1. Anthony Fauci: This poor guy has been branded as a pariah by the anti-science right-wingnuts from day one of the COVID-19 pandemic. And, to his credit, he did not let it deter him from fighting the good fight against the misinformation and ignorance that came from the right during what was a terrible time in our country.  Thousands of dead Americans and the poor man still had to defend himself against the onslaught of negativity and disinformation on a daily basis. 

2. Wes Moore: Becoming the first black governor of the state of Maryland was a historic achievement. Having yawdie roots and showing that he has the political chops to take his political career even further puts him in Santa's nice bag.   

3. Bennie Thompson: His job was to oversee the January 6th Commission, and he and his committee delivered the goods. Some folks will  cry that it (the committee) was too partisan, but the right had their chance to have folks added to the committee and they played games. Thompson's committee was thorough and effective. Their criminal referrals to the DOJ now puts the ball in Merrick Garland's court.  

4. The voters of Georgia: I know it was too close for comfort, but stopping Herschel Walker from becoming a United States Senator was nice.  

5. Jalen Hurts: Showing the NFL world that hard work pays off, and doing it while you are the quarterback of my birds, gets you on Santa's good side for sure. 

6. Volodymyr Zelenski: The American right hates this guy more than they do Putin. Why? Because he is everything that their de facto leader, donald trump, is not. Brave, courageous, and willing to fight side by side with his fellow countrymen.  One of their biggest beefs with him is that he wore a military sweater to address congress.  Does this faux outrage seem familiar? Think Obama's tan suit. 

7. LeBron James: Glad you didn't just "shut up and dribble" bro. 

8. The ten CNN heroes of 2022: No explanation needed. Just go to the link.   

9. Cassidy Hutchinson: Having the courage to stare down evil and corruption is nice. Being brave enough to speak to the country about it puts you in Santa's good graces.  

10. The Capitol police: These men and women defended the Capitol against that marauding group of insurrectionist on January 6th. The MAGA lunatics literally tried to seize power from the government after a legitimate and fair election. The scary thing is that they almost succeeded.   

And now the naughty. No toys for you.

1. Tucker Carlson: Night after night he spews nothing but hateful and vile rhetoric meant to divide and drive up the ratings on his popular television show. The fact that he is on a major television network tells you all you need to know about where we are as a country. 

2. Marjorie Taylor Greene: This racist and anti- Semite has been sent back to Washington by her constituents. She is now more powerful than ever, due to the right's slim majority in congress. That should scare every American with a brain. The phrase you are a product of your environment certainly holds true when it comes to Marjorie.    

3. Kari Lake:  She just lost a free and fair election, and yet she continues to push the lie that it was stolen from her. Sound familiar ?    

4. Jerry Jones: Maybe he was only fifteen when he was seen in a photo that put him on the wrong side of an ugly chapter in America's history, but he has done nothing over the years to show us that he did not co-sign with the behavior of his peers back then.   

5. Candace Owens/Kanye West: These two go together like eggnog and Christmas for their coonery and ignorance. 

6.  Matt Gaetz: This Florida man has managed to stay one step ahead of being charged as a pedophile, and yet he still maintains a high profile while doing one obnoxious and borderline treasonous thing after another.  He has definitely been naughty.  

7.  Van Jones: Van has to realize by now that the bothsideism game is getting old.     

8. Urban Terrorists: These clueless wannabe gangsters who contribute to the destruction of their communities have all been naughty this year.  Five hundred murders in my city of Philadelphia this year is not cool.  

9. Elon Musk: Long ago, before I realized what kind of man Musk is, I considered purchasing a Tesla. I wouldn't take one now if you gave it to me.  

10. Kyrsten Sinema: She went to Washington for one purpose: To make money. Sadly, it has been working for her. She switched parties not long ago because she knew she would not make it out of a democratic primary. Hopefully the people of Arizona will wise up and end her craven selfish reign as a politician.   

11. The Supreme Court majority: No explanation needed. 

That's it folks. Enjoy the rest of your holiday. Oh, and your gifts as well, because all of you FN readers have been nice. :) 




Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Name this movie

 

 



Photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times/Pool/Getty Images)

 

Thursday, December 01, 2022

Jerry's ugly world.

 


My wife, bless her Cajun heart, is from Louisiana. Unfortunately, though,  she doesn't like Mardi Gras. This is because as a young child she had a horrible experience while visiting New Orleans to witness a Mardi Grass parade. People are shaped by their life experiences, and it doesn't matter how old you are. If you are old enough to remember, it can effect on how you view the world and things around you. 

If you have been following the Jerry Jones story, you know where I am going with this.

I am going to put my cards on the table and state up front that it's easy for me to dislike Jerry Jones. He is, after all, the owner of the team that I hate most of all the professional sports teams in the world: the Dallas calfboys. But this isn't about his ownership and his handling of the team. It's about who he is as a human being, and what he has done with his life since being a fourteen year old teenager with a front row seat to one of the most ugly chapters in America's history. An event that was certainly part of the zeitgeist of the time.  

I have heard all the excuses. He was only a young teenager. It was over sixty five five years ago. Look how many black people he employees. His team has a black quarterback, and on and on. People (black and white) will continue to make excuses for Jerry Jones, because he is a billionaire with influence.  But take the time to read the Washington Post article that featured the picture, and you will see that Jerry is a man who was shaped by his upbringing, and not in a good way. 

LeBron James called out the American press yesterday for ignoring the story, and I am glad that he did. Maybe it will get us talking about it again. And maybe someone will try to ask Jerry Jones, once again, what he was thinking when he was witnessing that ugly scene in Arkansas. His canned answer about just being "curios" isn't going to cut it. He had a chance to speak about how horrible of a time that was and how ugly and and abhorrent racism is, but he chose not to. This is the guy who told his players that they better not kneel with Colin Kaepernick. And he is the same guy who has never, in his thirty three years as owner, hired a black head coach, and who has had only two (count em, two) offensive or defensive coordinators who were black. since he owned the team. 

I would like to thank LeBron for putting this story back into the limelight. It will die down again soon, but at least, for now, we can take another look at Jerry's World and see the ugliness that's lurking right below the surface. 

Go Eagles!! 

   

   


Friday, November 11, 2022

No "red wave", and MAGA is to blame.


 You voted, and the "red wave"  that all the pundits saw coming, turned out to be a little more than a puddle.  

Maybe some of you really do care about democracy.  And maybe, just maybe, you realize that paying a little more for gas --and the food you buy-- is not quite as serious as having your  freedom taken away. 

Now comes the fun part. The right-wingnuts will start to turn on each other, as we all know that the malevolent narcissist living in South Florida had his ego seriously bruised. He has started already. He is now threatening to take his cult and their red hats and totally abandon the republican party. 

I, for one, do not feel sorry for the republican establishment. This is what happens when you make a Faustian bargain; at some point you are sure to get burned. 

Anyway, I recently read an article by Mark Greene (an incredible writer whom I just discovered), and it summed up the age of MAGA, and the madness that surrounds it, perfectly. 

Here goes: 

"The MAGA movement, based on aging white boomer victimhood is a bell curve. That bell curve has peaked for the simple reason that boomers, of which I am one, are dying off. We are the MAGA movement. How we got here is a combination of our own disconnection and the vulnerability which that created to decades of carefully crafted manipulation.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Vote!

 Vote!!

Monday, October 17, 2022

Herschel's troubling run.


I think I finally figured out what it is about Herschel Walker's run for the United States Senate that bothers me so much. It's not the obvious. Not the hypocrisy when it comes to his stance on abortion. Not his obvious mental issues. Not the fact that he doesn't know the difference between NATO and NASCAR. Not the fact that he probably doesn't think that there is another Athens outside of the one in North Georgia. Or the fact that he could be the poster-boy for deadbeat dads. These are all troubling things to be sure. But to me, the most troubling thing of all is how the right is using this shell of a man in their quest for power. The fact that he happens to be a man of color makes it hurt even more. 

For the record, I have no problem with black folks who consider themselves conservatives, and who are sincere in there convictions. Particularly those who are thinkers and who put some thought into what they are espousing. Shelby Steele, bless his right leaning heart, is one of my favorite authors. And I have a lot of respect for folks like Thomas Sowell as well.  Black republican politicians are out there, and there will always be a Tim Scott or JC Watt to tickle the right's fancy, and allow them to say: See, we have a black friend, just like you do. 

But this thing with Herschel is just sad. I saw some of his debate with the democratic nominee, Ralph Warnock, and it was painful to watch. Why would someone let themselves be used this why? And who would be so cruel as to put someone out there like that just because they can? That's a rhetorical question. We all know who. And because the republican party is a glorified cult these days, everyone just got in line and said, "Herschel is our guy". The scary thing is he might win. Then what? How will  he serve the people of Georgia for six years in the "greatest deliberative body in the world"? 

“Do you know right now, I have something that [you can bring] into a building, that will clean you of Covid, as you walk through this, this dry mist?”....“As you walk through the door, it will kill any Covid on your body,” said Walker, “EPA-, FDA-approved. When you leave, it will kill the virus as you leave, this here product.” 

“They continue to try to fool you that they are helping you out. But they’re not. Because a lot of money it’s going to trees. Don’t we have enough trees around here?”

Lord have mercy! When is the next Race Draft? The black delegation would like to make a trade. 

*Pic from usatoday.com






Friday, October 07, 2022

? of the day.

 


With all the right- wing chatter about a Civil War coming our way, I have to ask the following question: How many of you actually believe that America is heading for a Civil War? (A real one.) And if you do, why?  

Saturday, September 24, 2022

"The paradox that defines this moment."


As democracy takes its last dying breath here in America, articles like the following from author David Graham, writing for The Atlantic, must be shared whenever possible. 

Sadly, fifty percent of the people in the country could care less.  Some, because of partisan tribalism. Some, because the people putting our democracy in danger looks like them (see racism), and some, because...well...they are just typical Americans, and they can't see past the next sound bite (or the latest trend or gadget) to feed into their own selfish desires and immediate needs. 

Article: 

"The good news is that President Donald Trump’s attempts to defy the results of the election and remain in office keep falling flat. In court after court, judges have ruled against the Trump campaign and tossed out its lawsuits. Today, Georgia certified Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the state’s presidential electors, after a federal judge yesterday rejected a prominent conservative lawyer’s suit seeking to block certification.

The bad news is that as Trump’s chances grow dimmer and deadlines near, his attempts to steal the election and subvert democracy have become more dangerous. This is the paradox that defines this moment: As Trump’s odds of success decrease, the risks that his ever more extreme efforts pose are increasing.

In the first hours and days after the polls closed, the president argued that if all the legal votes were counted, he would win. Now he has moved to trying to have votes thrown out—asking state legislators or courts to just ignore the balloting altogether, flout the will of voters, and simply make him president. Incredibly, he and his aides have not even bothered to offer some other pretense. They are now openly explaining, in media accounts (albeit anonymously) and in court filings, that the point is to disregard voters’ wishes.

“President Donald Trump’s strategy for retaining power despite losing the U.S. election is focused increasingly on persuading Republican legislators to intervene on his behalf in battleground states Democrat Joe Biden won, three people familiar with the effort said,” Reuters reported Thursday. “A senior Trump campaign official told Reuters its plan is to cast enough doubt on vote-counting in big, Democratic cities that Republican lawmakers will have little choice but to intercede.”

As usual, Trump is doing all this in plain sight. He summoned the Republican leaders of the Michigan state House and Senate to the White House today for a meeting. Both men, though allies of Trump, have publicly rejected the idea of legislators throwing out the vote and selecting a slate of electors, and legal experts agree that state law precludes the move—though it will be interesting to see what the leaders say after their meeting.

Earlier this week, Republican members of a board of canvassing in Wayne County, which includes Detroit, threatened not to certify the election over minor discrepancies, then reversed themselves. Trump then reportedly called one of the two Republicans, who tried (unsuccessfully) to reverse their reversal. They insist the president did not pressure them. Meanwhile, Trump’s legal team is trying to achieve the same result by slightly different means in Pennsylvania, asking a court to throw out the vote and declare the president the winner.

A bizarre press conference yesterday at the Republican National Committee headquarters showed how chimerical the president’s legal case is. Rudy Giuliani harangued the press for not reporting that he has evidence of fraud, then refused to share the evidence with reporters. (Sidney Powell, another attorney, wouldn’t even share the supposed proof with friendly TV host Tucker Carlson, presumably because it doesn’t exist.) The lawyers offered a farrago of conspiracy theories—mysterious truckloads of votes arriving at counting centers, poll workers being instructed to ignore rules, shadowy foreign voting-machine companies futzing with the count to hand the election to Biden.

These ideas have all been comprehensively debunked, but they also make no logical sense, whether taken together or individually. Why would Democrats bother stuffing the ballot boxes with paper ballots if they could just change the totals later? Why would they bother fixing the presidential election while allowing Republicans to have a great night in House, Senate, and other down-ballot races? (The Pennsylvania suit asks that the presidential result be thrown out but has no problem with the commonwealth certifying all the other results that depend on the same ballots.) Why did Trump improve his performance relative to 2016 in the cities where fraud allegedly took place, even while losing ground in suburban counties where his campaign isn’t disputing the tallies?

In another case, Trump lawyers argued that the Michigan results are invalid because the number of votes cast exceeds the number of voters in the precinct. But as the Trump-friendly Powerline notes, the lawyers appear to have confused Michigan and Minnesota precincts.

The Trump campaign’s initial strategy this month was to contend that some votes that were cast by mail should not have legally been allowed. This argument lacked grounding in law and sought to disenfranchise citizens who had followed the rules in casting their votes, but at least it offered some consistency and logic about which votes shouldn’t be counted. Since that failed, the president is now simply insisting without evidence that there is fraud and hoping that judges or legislators will toss the results wholesale in certain counties or states.

The Trump team’s tenuous claims would be laughable were they not so dangerous. First, there is always the outside chance that some enterprising legislators might actually try to discard votes, which would be a miscarriage of democracy. Second, the flimsiness of the claims is probably irrelevant. Polling suggests that huge portions of Republicans believe the election was rigged, and no number of debunkings is likely to convince them otherwise—this is motivated partisan reasoning, not thoughtful analysis. Besides, once the president has decided to place all his chips on simply circumventing the will of the voters, the strength of his argument no longer matters. What is important is brute strength. Luckily, he doesn’t seem to have it.

Nonetheless, most Republicans remain distressingly slow to challenge Trump’s claims. Early on, GOP lawmakers contended (anonymously, of course) that there was little harm in letting Trump throw his tantrum, since it would come to naught. This was a bad argument then, and it has not improved with age. As the president’s claims get more and more far-fetched, and his attempt to steal the election grows more overt, most Republicans are still remaining on the sidelines.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appears to have concluded that Trump’s strategy probably won’t work, but that if it does, that’s fine. The few exceptions include the usual suspects, including Senators Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse. Other Republicans have tried to have it both ways, declining to condemn Trump or call Biden the president-elect, but also saying the administration should allow the transition to proceed, just in case. None of this rises to the challenge of the moment. Former President Barack Obama seems to have it right when he says these officials are going along with the subversion “not because they actually believe it, but because they feel intimidated by it.”

Although Trump is deeply unlikely to succeed in his attempted theft, he’s revealing weaknesses and softening up the system for a future authoritarian, who, as Zeynep Tufekci has written, is unlikely to be as bumbling as he is. Defeating Trump in an election was a straightforward enough task, and defeating him in court has proved even easier. But if he succeeds in undermining the system badly enough, it will mean that defeat at the polls just won’t matter next time." [Source]

The author is more optimistic than I am.  Yes, tfg's efforts are "falling flat" for now. But for how long? His rabid base and cult like followers are still out there. And now, thanks to being under the umbrella of a major political party, they have hijacked the halls of power. 

All we can do now is wait for the inevitable.