Monday, March 31, 2014

More Rand, but Republicans want Jeb.

I hate to write about the Senator from Kentucky with the funny hair cut that only Donald Trump could love. (Is that even his real hair?) Because, when I do, I always get crazy e-mails from Libertarian nut jobs.

Personally, I am as Libertarian as it gets on social issues, but I don't need the black helicopter crowd telling me to put away my currency and start using gold.
Or that the government is trying to put me in a death camp in Mississippi. 

Anyhoo, it seems like every day Rand Paul finds himself stepping into some new pot of hot water.

This latest brouhaha comes with some statements he made about sanctions on foreign governments.

"A top adviser to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Monday that Paul's comments about American sanctions and World War II are being taken out of context.
The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin reported Sunday on a 2012 video in which Paul said that sanctions against Japan and Nazi Germany might have contributed to their aggression.

"There are times when sanctions have made it worse," Paul said. "Leading up to World War II, we cut off trade with Japan. That probably caused Japan to react angrily. We also had a blockade on Germany after World War I that probably encouraged some of their anger." 

After some criticism, Paul's senior adviser, Doug Stafford, issued a statement to The Washington Post clarifying that Paul is not opposed to having fought World War II and that the blame belongs on the shoulders of Adolf Hitler.

"World War II was a necessary war, a just war, a fully declared war, and an entirely victorious war; the megalomaniac Hitler was to blame for the war and the Holocaust," Stafford said. "Anyone who misstates Sen. Paul's position otherwise is writing fiction."

Stafford added that Paul has made clear that he believes sanctions are warranted in some cases." [Source]

I am glad he straightened that out. But I am afraid it might be too little too late for the always colorful Mr. Paul. The fact that he is being exposed by Jennifer Rubin of all people means that he is probably not the republican establishment's guy.

They all seem to be trying to clear the way for Jeb these days. Chris Christie, fresh off of being exonerated by...wait for it, his own investigation, must be getting nervous. There is only so much big money out there, and it takes millions and millions of dollars to run for president.

It didn't help that Chris might have pissed off one of the republican's biggest money guys whose ring they were all kissing this weekend. Just think, before all this Bridgegate stuff, Chris was turning away donors. What a difference a few months make.

Hillary's people, who are already measuring the drapes at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, would do well to remember that 2016 is far out. Two years is an eternity in politics.

Bush v. Clinton in 2016? Wow! And here I thought that only the Brits loved royal families.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Thug culture, and the O'Reilly Lee feud continues.

 Tucson Police arrest an unruly man as students riot after Arizona loses in the Elite Eight.
Man the urban youth are really out of control in America. This thug culture and love of lawlessness has taken over our young people. Why just the other night a bunch of youths took to the streets  and displayed some riotous out of control behavior.

 "Students at the University of Arizona apparently did not take Saturday night’s loss to Wisconsin in the Elite Eight well.

According to student newspaper Daily Wildcat’s Twitter account (@dailywildcat): “Dozens of students shot with beanbags” by law enforcement who were wearing riot gear and gas masks.

Tucson police said they shot pepper spray at several hundred fans who took to the streets and threw beer bottles and firecrackers at officers after the team's overtime loss in the NCAA Tournament.

There were no reports of injuries to fans or officers, but 15 people were arrested for offenses such as resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly, Tucson police Sgt. Pete Dugan said." [Source] bad, those wonderful suburban college kids were just blowing off some steam. Kids will be kids. Nothing to see here folks, let's move along.

OReilly_image.jpgSo the Bill O'Reilly Barbara Lee feud continues. He started it all by calling her a "race baiter" and "race hustler" in his continued disinformation campaign over at FOX Views.

Lately O'Reilly has tried to ride the ratings train on the issue of race in America by pretending to have solutions to the problems that ail black America. Hey he had dinner in a black restaurant once, so now he figures that he is an expert on all things black.

Fortunately the Congresswoman was not intimidated by the egomaniacal blowhard, and she fired back with a statement of her own the day after O'Reilly attacked her.

Of course O'Reilly wasn't finished, and he doubled down by calling her a "pin head" and a "liar" on his program, recently.

So Bill has his own little race war going, and that's just fine with his viewers and his bosses over at FOX.

Because, at the end of the day, it's all about the hustle.

*Pic from Newshounds.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Tremors in Cali, and Reince vs. Ebony.

California is a beautiful state. The weather, the people, and just the overall vibe. It's all good.

Driving up the PCH1 from Los Angeles to San Francisco should be on every person's bucket list.

Having said that, if you happen to live in California you might want to consider finally making a move away from there. I say that because of the recent quakes and aftershocks that have hit the area. If you know anything about these things you know that there will be more to come.

Everyone knows that state is sitting on the San Andreas Fault and that the damn thing is unstable as hell. I know that folks from Cali accept earthquakes as an unfortunate bi-product of living in paradise--- kind of like the folks in Florida accept hurricanes, but why take the risk?

We actually had an earthquake here in Philly a couple of years a go, and it scared the s*** out of me. I can't imagine the folks in Cali living with the threat of that every day.

"Tonight's earthquake is the second in two weeks, and reminds us to be prepared," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said.

An hour earlier, a magnitude-3.6 tremor struck the same area, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quakes come on the heels of a magnitude-4.4 tremor that hit near downtown Los Angeles a week ago. It shook nearby buildings but did not cause significant damage.

Southern California has experienced relatively minor tremors since 1994 when a magnitude-6.7 quake killed dozens and caused $42 billion in damage. It now stands as the second-costliest disaster in U.S. history, after Hurricane Katrina."

Let us hope that these tremors stay "minor". As we all have learned over the past few years, Mother Nature can be very unpredictable.

Finally, I know that the GOP has a big push for minority outreach going on, and that they are doing everything to at least get you Negroes to pay attention to their message, but someone should tell their party chairman that picking a fight with Ebony magazine and calling them racist isn't going to help them with that effort.
"On Thursday, Ebony senior editor Jamilah Lemieux pointed out a new magazine edited by black conservative Ben Carson on TwitterLemieux began mocking Carson's magazine, and said she wanted to know less than she already did about it, not more. That's where Raffi Williams, the GOP's deputy press secretary, came in: 
Lemieux apologized for not looking more carefully at his photo, but then said she didn't care to hear anything he had to say. Preibus wrote that she "went on to deride those who were criticizing her as 'a house full of roaches.'"

Lemieux had tweeted, "I forgot that tweeting something about a Conservative is like leaving a cookie out in a house full of roaches and turning off the lights." There was definitely a swarm of internet activity about it. 

Many on the right are now arguing that Ebony supports racism, particularly, black (liberal) on black (conservative) racism. At The Daily BeastRon Christie, a black conservative, called the Lemieux/Williams Twitter exchange "another disgusting display of racism — once again at the hands of a supposed enlightened black person attacking a black conservative for his political beliefs."

Emphasis added. Note that half the controversy here is that she mistakenly called him white. He then calls Lemieux's comment a "slur" and quotes from Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech to drive his point home. The Daily Caller called it an "attack" as well, and Town Hall's headline read "Ebony Editor Questions RNC Staffer's Ethnicity," which implies that she contradicted his assertion that he is black, instead of apologizing for being unaware, which is what actually happened. 

Reince Priebus by Gage Skidmore.jpg"Attacking someone for his or her race, heritage or political views is the very thing Ebony has worked to discourage," Priebus writes. That argument will appeal to black Republicans, whose right-wing convictions are sometimes unfairly challenged by the left. Allen West and Clarence Thomas, two noteworthy black Republicans, have publicly said as much. To everyone else, however, black-on-black racism seems like a stretch. While Lemieux was definitely dismissive of conservatives, especially Ben Carson, her tweet doesn't rise to the level of racism described above. 
Ebony, in a statement titled "Diversity of Thought," said Lemieux displayed a "lack of judgment on her personal Twitter account" and "apologize(d) to Raffi Williams and the Black Republican community." Several black writers found this apology surprising and/or embarrassing

The RNC's insistence on an apology (which they got), "not just for making assumptions about (the staffer's) race but more importantly for dismissing black Republicans and the validity of their opinions in public discourse," is not going to work on their target demographic — black people — mainly because they're trying to paint an ideological prejudice against conservatives as a racial one." [Source]

"Ideological prejudice"? Yes. "Racial prejudice"? Not so much.

Big difference, Reince. Big difference.


A baller leaves the nest.

My football team cut their best play maker, DeSean Jackson, and I am pissed about it. Apparently the coach didn't like him very much, something about not buying into his system. Then there is the whole gang ties thing. This would really be a joke, because I am pretty sure that DeSean Jackson is not a member of the Crips.

So he Crip walks after a touchdown, big deal, Serena Williams Crip walked after beating down an opponent on the tennis court. Is she a Crip? Of course not. But girlfriend, like Jackson, is from an area in Los Angles where it is hard to escape gangs and gang culture.

From a strictly football standpoint, this moves sucks. (Darren Sproles? Please!)
From a PR perspective it sucks as well. It has split the fan base right down the middle. Some people want to know why we keep a known racist and even reward him with a new contract , but cut someone with alleged ties to a gang. Others are fine with it. "We don't need bad characters on our team". OK, whatever. This is football. I want players who can ball out and help us plan a celebration on Broad Street, not choir boys.

But this is the NFL these days. It is a league full of double standards and greed.
A team with a derogatory name and an owner who refuses to consider changing it. An owner charged with DUI and jailed, and yet crickets from the league.

One former player, Derrick Ward, posted a twitter rant about the Birds releasing Jackson that is making the rounds.

"These ESPN analyst sound real dumb right now talking about @DeseanJackson10 They think they know what they're talking about but they don't.

@ESPN stop trying to discuss a conversation you know nothing about. U guys are assuming every single thing your talking about right now.

Im sorry but has @DeseanJackson10 ever been arrested? Suspended? DUI? Drugs? No so why are these dumb asses on @espn trying to make him seem
Like he's a horrible person. The NFL is so Contridictive I swear. Especially these punk ESPN Analyst.

and @RonJaworski_BFL shut the F**k up. You sound so dumb right now. and fake ass Teddy Bruschi for someone who use to play in the league
recently you sure are trying your hardest to act like you where Gods gift to football. I know almost everyone of your old teammates hated u
because you where that one guy that everyone had on there team that goes and snitches to the head coach about other players. Bottom line

I know @DeseanJackson10 very very very well. If the Eagles where so concerned about his "Gang Ties" they wouldnt had drafted him 6 years ago
The @Eagles gonna cut @DeseanJackson10 because they "Think" he might know gang members but they'll keep and resign a well known Racist?

I'm born and raised in South Central LA. I have uncles who are still gang bangin cousins who still gang bang. But what does that have to do with someone playing football and ballin out for your team? I'm sorry but Every NFL team knows what there players are doing who there hangin

out with. In 6 years has he had 1 single incident? 1 single crime? The NFL is a bunch of BS Im so glad I'm done with that joke of a league

Mark my words there won't be an NFL in the next 20 years watch and see There so worried about who a player knows and a player dunking on the

goal post than actually worry about whats really important. And the funny thing about it Chip Kelly coached@t Oregon which recruited players

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Kobe's short memory.

Kobe The Miami Heat I remember Kobe Bryant when he was a school boy at Lower Marion High School right outside of Philly. The guy had skills, and I knew that he was going to be good at the next level, although I didn't know that he would be this good.
Unfortunately, now that he is in the twilight of his career, he is letting his mouth and not his game do the talking. And that's sad.
His latest screed about Trayvon Martin and black solidarity was so far over the top that most people reading it had to do a double take.
Talk about irony. Isn't this the same Negro who was charged with getting his freak on with Missy against her will? I bet he had no problem with racial solidarity then.
Now, in retrospect…..hey, I am just saying. You never know.

"I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American. That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well, we’ve progressed as a society, then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won’t assert myself."

"Something happens"? A little more than something just happened, Kobe. This unarmed young man was shot and killed in cold blood.

Now if you are so desperate to be embraced by the majority population that you would diminish the memory of Trayvon Martin, well then good luck to you.

You had a Hall of Fame career on the court; you are a first class jerk off of it.

Finally, there is this Negro in Charlotte who allegedly betrayed the public trust and is going down for corruption.

Now you all know how I feel about corrupt black politicians; they are the lowest of the low. They are put in a unique position to help others and they throw it all away because of greed.

Sadly, there is a long list of them, from Jesse Jr. to Kwame, to Ray . The hits just keep on coming with these greedy Negroes.

And please don't tell me that they were set up by "the man", and that "the man" only targets black politicians. If they were doing what they were supposed to do and they weren't so money hungry, all the stings in the world couldn't pull them in.

"Mayor Patrick Cannon was getting ready to close the deal with the big-time developer, but was reluctant to take a briefcase containing $20,000 while sitting in his city office.

"I just got to be conscious about that kind of stuff here, you know," Cannon told the fictitious developer, who was, in fact, an undercover FBI agent.

Yet when the "developer" left, the briefcase, given to Cannon in exchange for his offer to pull strings with important city officials, stayed behind, according to court documents."

Some of you Negroes I swear.

*Pic from Urban Daily



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

An old organization gets a makeover.

Image is important to everybody, even the kkk. Now, thanks to their imperial wizard, Frank Ancona, they are trying to improve theirs. Frank thinks that his group has gotten a bad rap over the years.

"Ancona contends, ”We don’t hate people because of their race. We are a Christian organization. Because of the acts of a few rogue Klansmen, all are supposed to be murderers and wanting to lynch Black people and we’re supposed to be terrorists. That’s a complete falsehood.”

The Klansman, who has been heading his chapter for the past six years, is adamant about changing the organization’s public  image.  Ancona maintains that there is nothing morally or ethically wrong in wanting to keep his race White, telling NBC 12, “We want to stay White. It’s not a hateful thing to want to maintain White supremacy.” [Source]

A "Christian organization" indeed. In fact, they used the bible to justify a lot of their actions back in the day. I suspect that this is still the case.

I am not sure why there is a need for a new public relations push, since the election of America's first black president has caused membership in organizations such as the klan to increase dramatically.

“There are at least 1,000 White power organizations operating in the United States, either under the name of the Ku Klux Klan or under other names with the exact same agenda and beliefs.” Clary also states that the “FBI, SPLC, and ADL put support and membership at an all-time alarming rate.”

Damn! And all this because Canaan thought it was cool to make fun of his naked father.

Speaking of which, the movie about Canaan's father is drawing criticism because of its historical inaccuracies.

Think about that for a minute. Like these people really know what went down with that big flood.

No wonder Russell Crowe is upset.

"Noah has been panned for its inaccuracies, but Crowe insisted it’s a very respectful film and took a few shots at critics speaking out before actually seeing it.
“We’ve had probably over a year now of harsh criticism from a bunch of people who have put their name and stamp on an opinion that’s not even based on the movie or seeing the movie, just an assumption of what it could be or how bad it could be or, you know, how wrong it could be in their eyes. Which, you know, I think quite frankly is bordering on absolute stupidity.”
He added it has a universal message that you can appreciate whether you’re religious or not."

Yes Russell, we can always use a good message. 


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

And an "ape" shall lead them.

View image on TwitterThose poor Obamas, between conservatives and Belgium newspaper editors they just can't get away from the ape references.

Honestly, Donald Rumsfeld should know better than referring to an ape when comparing the first black president to something. It's sad, really, you would think that we can do better than that in this country.

Rumsfeld is a man of some stature. He is not some ignorant redneck posting anonymously on the Internet from his mother's basement.

Understandably, black folks are upset:

 "I’m not sure what’s more exhausting: The invocation of primates when discussing Black people, much less the first Black man to be elected president of the United States, or the people who pretend not to know the racist implications behind the comparison.

Now begs the question whether former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will follow suit.

In an interview with FOX News’ Greta Van Susteren on Monday, Rumsfeld offered a harsh critique of President Obama’s diplomatic dealings with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Rumsfeld went as far as to say he doesn’t fault the Afghans for supporting Vladimir Putin.
Rumsfeld explained:
By golly they have trashed Karzai publicly over and over and over. I really think it’s understandable given the terrible, terrible diplomacy that the United States has conducted with Afghanistan over the past several years.”
Then came the unfortunate inclusion of ape talk:
A trained ape could get a status of forces agreement. It doesn’t take a genius.
Rumsfeld is referring to the extension of a 2003 agreement that recognizes the American military presence.

As of now, Donald Rumsfeld has yet to apologize to President Obama for comparing him to an ape. I’m not sure that walking, blabbering example of curmudgeonliness will say he’s sorry, though he certainly should." [Source]

And then there are the folks over in Belgium:

"A Belgian newspaper is under fire for an image it printed showing President Barack Obama and the First Lady as apes.

The progressive newspaper De Morgen is being accused of racism for the image along with an article it published just prior to Obama's visit to the Netherlands Monday morning.
The image clearly depicts the couple as two apes-- an editorial decision that has been slammed as "stale racist drivel." [Source]

Oh my, racist "progressives"? Who knew? Anyway, some folks from De Morgen will be sending out feelers to FOX Views, soon. Because you can never have enough racists in the cable news business.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Plantation angst.

12 Years a Slave film poster.jpgI finally saw 12 Years a Slave with the Mrs. Field. I would have watched it earlier but the Mrs. refused to watch in a theater.

I thought it got a lot of historical things right (loved the Native American scene), and, IMHO, it fairly depicted the brutality and inhumanity of slavery.

It was based on a Louisiana plantation, so the Mrs. could relate to the scenery and backdrop throughout the flick. 

Anyway, speaking of Louisiana plantations, I saw an interesting article today from the Baton Rouge online paper about plantation tours refusing to acknowledge slavery.

"Louisiana’s magnificent antebellum plantation homes draw thousands of visitors each year to the state. The tourists come to see the stately live oaks, the imposing columns, the luxurious 19th-century furnishings.

But what the visitors most probably won’t encounter is any meaningful discussion of the slavery underpinning the wealth that led to the creation of these homes.

And that’s starting to become a problem.

“There are places that don’t want to talk about it,” said Aaron Sheehan-Dean, a history professor at LSU. “It’s a strange thing if you’re advertising yourself as a resort, but you are advertising yourself as a historical property as well but choose to ignore the topic of slavery. I don’t see much value in trying to sideline or ignore it.”

The Nottoway Plantation and Resort in Iberville Parish recently saw firsthand the backlash that can result from years of ignoring, or downplaying, the slavery narrative.

In December, singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco, long identified with social activism, had to cancel a songwriting and performing retreat she had scheduled at Nottoway after an online firestorm of criticism and angry posts objecting to her appearance at the resort.

In an online article posted on Jezebel, a writer chided Nottoway Plantation and Resort for posting a statement on its website that referred to the slaves who worked there as a “willing workforce.”

The statement can no longer be found on the plantation’s website. In fact, the Nottoway Plantation and Resort website doesn’t make any direct mention of slavery or offerings of slavery education to its visitors and guests.

Even lodging facilities modeled after slave quarters are simply referred to on the Nottoway website as “cottages.”

Neil Castaldi, Nottoway’s general manager, declined to answer questions related to the property’s portrayal of slavery and the recent controversy connected to the canceled DiFranco retreat.

“No matter what we say, it gets picked apart, so we’ve decided not to comment at all,” he said.

But not every plantation property tour is hesitant to tackle the topic.

Alta Cannaday, a former Louisiana resident now living in Maryland, makes frequent visits back home to visit plantations and museums.

Cannaday, 61, lived in New Orleans for more than 12 years and served as adviser and consultant on the Public Broadcasting Service series “Finding Your Roots.”

Cannaday, in a telephone interview, praised Evergreen Plantation in Edgard, which in its tour packages weaves insight about the lives of the slaves who lived and worked on the plantation. The plantation is one of the few in the state that still has a village of original slave cabins — 22 of them — on the property.

The plantation’s slave village is such a rare find that director Quentin Tarantino used them as a backdrop while filming his movie “Django Unchained” in 2012.
Evergreen Plantation’s director never returned calls to answer questions about its operations.

“Evergreen is the only one, to me, that even gave any homage to the people that lived there. Everyone else didn’t give a damn, to tell you the truth,” Cannaday said.

She said that on her last visit to Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie three years ago, there was barely even a mention of the role of slaves in the history of the site.

“There was virtually no mention of the life of the people who actually worked the plantation,” Cannaday said of Oak Alley. “I heard all about the owners, their financial holdings and their lineage. But we know that plantation was not running itself. As an educated black woman, I was expecting a complete story. Telling a partial story was an injustice.”

Laura Kilcer, the consulting curator at Oak Alley Plantation, said she thinks Cannaday’s points are valid, which is why the plantation has made recent strides to correct the problem.

In July, Oak Alley added a new exhibit titled “Slavery at Oak Alley” that features six reconstructed slave quarters used as a window into the lives of its enslaved workers.

Kilcer said the self-guided tour is just a step toward Oak Alley’s effort to paint a more complete picture of the plantation’s story — something driven in part by consumer demand.

“For whatever reason, plantations chose one narrative — and that was the narrative of the great white master,” Kilcer said. “That narrative responded to whatever cultural influences of the day were. It was the most attractive, focusing on power, wealth and success of the owners. As a result, it mitigated the very people that created that power. But now the culture has changed, and it’s certainly something we were aware of. That’s why we made the decision to reassess our narrative.”

David Floyd, executive director of LSU’s Rural Life Museum, said Oak Alley’s recent move to include the slavery exhibit is a trend he expects to see more of in the immediate future.

The Rural Life Museum, located off Essen Lane in Baton Rouge, already features an impressive outdoor exhibit called the Plantation Quarters, where actual structures from a sugar plantation in St. James Parish were reassembled on the museum grounds in their original layout.

The museum’s slavery exhibit includes three slave cabins, an overseer’s house, schoolhouse and blacksmith shed.

“There’s an interest in it,” Floyd said. “That’s why plantations are starting to cater to it. They were receiving pressure from African-American travelers around the country who wanted to know about the lives of the slaves.”

Many tourists seeking this information opt to visit River Road African American Museum in Donaldsonville.

The museum’s owner, Kathe Hambrick, opened the facility in 1994, in part because of the neglect regional plantations showed at telling slavery history.
The River Road African American Museum is filled with a treasure trove of artifacts, historical records and information about the lives and success stories of the slaves and free people of color who lived in Louisiana.

And Sheehan-Dean said more plantations may finally be taking a step, like Oak Alley, to address the interplay of slavery in the development of the plantations.
“We’re all responsible for figuring it out together. It’s not just the South’s history, it’s all of our history,” Sheehan-Dean said. “The purpose is not to make people feel guilty about the past. The purpose is to make people understand the past. And the first step in doing that is knowing what really happened there.” [Source]

I am glad that some of the plantations are coming around. I know that this is an uncomfortable part of our history, but we can't run from our past. And if you are going to open up a plantation for tours, you have to tell the entire story of how the plantation was run and the slaves who were the economic backbone of those plantations.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Love is in the air.

I could write about the evidence all around us of our country being divided, but I am trying to stay positive tonight. It is, after all, springtime. I mean they have Nazis in Minnesota now for crying out loud. So we could use some positive vibrations.

Tonight, I will post an article about all the "racial harmony" going down in Las Vegas, Nevada of all places.

"When Las Vegas comes to mind, it's usually accompanied by memories of throbbing hangovers and squandered paychecks.

Rarely do you think of racial integration. But that might change soon, according to Al Jazeera: Vegas and other fast growing metros in America's Sun Belt — encompassing much of the South and Southwest — are more likely to see people of different races and ethnicities living side by side.

"I have never lived some place that was so diverse," said Andrew Spivak, a west Vegas resident and sociology professor at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. "Probably half the kids are black or Hispanic."

"Doesn't matter if you're black or white." There's a simple reason for this: Many older cities, especially in the Midwest and Northeast, remain starkly divided because of old segregationist policies — including redlining and discriminatory housing practices. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 was designed to combat these, but as ProPublica reports, the government did little to actually enforce it.

To worsen matters, the legacy of segregation, racial violence and hostility can stain a city's reputation for decades, swaying residents' housing decisions for years. The result is a country where "less segregated does not necessarily mean integrated."

But … The planned communities and residential subdivisions of Las Vegas are so new that this history doesn't apply. This is not to say bigotry doesn't exist: In the first half of the 20th century for instance, black residents were pushed to North Las Vegas and the area west of what's now I-15. Many rioted in response to the Rodney King verdict in 1992. Segregation maps still reflect this division:

But the real difference is seen more and more in the newer housing developments. The 2010 census found that Vegas is still pretty white in terms of sheer numbers — 62.1% of residents identify as Caucasian, followed by 31.5% Hispanic and 11.1% black. But the Population Reference Bureau ranks it second on its list of least black-white segregated cities in America, which is usually the starkest racial division, considering its history.

This is increasingly typical of such fast-growing metros, a list that includes Raleigh, NC and Riverside, Calif. On the other hand, shrinking or low-growth areas like Detroit and Chicago see more pronounced segregation:

Vegas experienced a 41.8% population growth rate between 2000 and 2010, one of the nation's fastest in that time span. People of different races and backgrounds are still drawn to the area's affordable housing, job prospects and increasingly family-friendly entertainment — even though the region led the U.S. in foreclosures for a long time after the financial crisis. This influx of new residents is bringing a more laissez-faire attitude toward who lives where — a difference that's especially apparent in the city's black-white segregation.

The takeaway: If you want to live in a "rainbow children of god"-level paradise where ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony — well, it doesn't really exist in America. But Las Vegas and cities like it provide a promising glimpse into the future. If rapidly growing cities show higher levels of integration, it seems to speak well to our growing tolerance as a nation.

Not that there isn't work to be done. But it's a good start." [Source]

Ohhh, how sweet. I think this calls for a song:



Saturday, March 22, 2014

Paul Ryan and the right wing poverty pimps.

Like most of you reading this (most of you) I have never experienced true poverty. Yes, there were a couple of Ramen Noodles stints in college, when I was too proud to call home for money, but nothing like I am sure that some poor folks are experiencing in America (and the world) as I write this.

Unlike most of you reading this, I have seen real poverty. To do that you have to travel the world and go to countries where poverty is a completely different animal. I understand that it's all somewhat relative, and you can't tell a poor person that his or her situation isn't as bad as it gets. I don't care what country he or she lives in. 

Here in America, thanks to cable television outlets like FOX Views, and certain republican politicians telling their base what they want to hear, it's become very popular to bash and demonize the poor these days. Particularly the urban poor. (See black people.) With Paul Ryan's recent pronouncements the right went public with their views in a very dramatic way. And citing Charles Murray as an authority on the subject crystallized Ryan's position even more.

This is an old republican trick of turning everyone else against urban black folks by demonizing them and portraying them as lazy and shiftless. From Reagan's welfare queen to Romney's 47%; it's always been those bad poor people with no power who have been scolded. Forgetting, of course, that seemingly wealthy white folks are the ones who are guilty of some of the most egregious instances of welfare fraud and trying to get over on the government. Or, for that matter, that most poor people--- and a much higher percentage of poor people than most people think, are white.

Cynthia Tucker's take on the subject is on point:

"Can we have an honest conversation about the nation's poor and near-poor? Can we discuss the subject as if we want to find solutions and not just pass judgment on the less fortunate?

If we were to have an honest conversation, one based on verifiable facts, hard data and empirical evidence, we wouldn't use the inartful term "inner city," as GOP star Paul Ryan did recently -- serving up a phrase that suggests that poverty is primarily a condition limited to darker-hued citizens. That's simply incorrect.

Getting it right matters if we care about policies that help people climb the ladder toward financial stability and if we want to fund programs that give folks a hand up. If we don't really understand the problem, it's hard to find the right solution. (If we only want to look down on the have-nots from our positions of superiority, making ill-informed judgments will suffice.)

As chairman of the House Budget Committee and an alleged GOP policy wonk, Ryan ought to know better; however, he is certainly not the only American to make wrong-headed assumptions about poverty and race. Since Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty, which 50 years ago highlighted the abysmal living conditions of so many black Americans, many have assumed that poor equals black. That notion is woven through our politics.

But it's wrong. As American Prospect writer Paul Waldman noted recently, 41 percent of the nation's poor people are white. That's a substantial plurality. Drawing on government data, Waldman pointed out that blacks make up 23 percent of the nation's poor, while Latinos account for 28 percent. (Other ethnic groups account for the rest.) So, to recap, 41 percent of the poor -- close to half -- are white, not black or brown.

But that's not the public conversation we are having. The assumption -- whether revealed in phrases such as "inner city" or not -- is that poverty in America is a problem of black and brown "pathologies."  [Source]

Now let's not get it twisted, some folks in urban America are lazy and shiftless. And they would rather lead a life of crime than do an honest day's work. But this is also true of some folks on Wall Street and in Appalachia as well.

The majority of people in urban America work hard like everyone else. And they do it with fewer opportunities available to them and under tremendously trying conditions. If you think it's easy to get up at four in the morning and catch two buses to get to your job in the suburbs, where you have to bathe old people and clean their shit all day, well then go for it.

I think that we can all agree that the best way to guarantee that you won't live a life of poverty is to get a good education. That's where it all begins. The rest will depend on how hard you want to work and the kind of principles that you allow to guide your life.

But you won't hear politicians talking about better schools or proper funding for education. They would much rather talk about a "tailspin of culture in our inner cities". That's how they get votes, and that's how they turn those of you who think that you are not poor, against those who are.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A country full of "tar babies".

"What do I do to make you want me
What have I gotta do to be heard
What do I say when it's all over
Sorry seems to be the hardest word"

Sorry Elton, but sorry isn't such a hard word to say anymore. In fact, it has become quite easy.

The latest member of the I Am Sorry Club is GOP lawmaker (of course),Frank Ruff.

Unfortunately Frank thought that it was cool to drop the "tar baby" reference when talking about the Affordable Care Act.

"State Senator Frank Ruff (R-VA) has apologized for comparing the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion program to a “tar baby” at a breakfast held by the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce this week. In an interview with the Virginia Pilot, which first reported the comments, Ruff said he “meant nothing racial” by what he said.

While Ruff said he understood the term “tar baby” to mean a “sticky situation” and nothing more, it also has a negative racial connotation that derives from the Uncle Remus stories of the late 19th century in which Br’er Rabbit is trapped by a doll made of tar. In 2006, Mitt Romney had to apologize for using the term in reference to the fatal tunnel collapse in Boston.

Ruff told the Pilot he also called Danville’s African-American Mayor Sherman Saunders, who was present when he made the remark, to apologize."

Serious question: Who goes around using the term "tar baby"? And let's forget about the racial implications for a minute. A poster over at Mediaite made a comment that nailed the absurdity of using the term. 

"Matt Stone> BillBuckley •14 hours ago
Just yesterday I was at the grocery store and I got suckered in by a coupon that had expired and I was all like 'WELL DON'T I FEEL LIKE A TAR BABY' and me and the cashier just laughed and laughed."

The sooner these good ole boys join the rest of us in the 21st Century, the better off their party will be.  

Speaking of the 21st Century, apparently if you are a white conservative you are very afraid of what the future might bring. You fear that you are losing your country and the power that comes from being the dominant race running it.

You never believed all those banal declarations about equality and freedom. It was just something to keep those minorities in line. Just more platitudes to make you feel better about yourself. You could run things if you are in the majority. But can they?

This racial dilemma for republican conservatives, as observed brilliantly by Francis Wilkinson, is now manifesting itself when it comes to immigration reform.

"This is the immigration vise in which Republicans find themselves. Through the birth of the Tea Party to Obama phones and Obamacare, fear of losing out to the "47 percent" has pervaded and largely defined conservative politics since President Barack Obama's 2008 election. Much of the conservative base views demographic change as zero sum, with whites on the losing end.

Immigration and race are inexorably linked in American political culture and always have been. As John Higham wrote in his history of American nativism, "Strangers in the Land," American white Protestants considered themselves heirs of "the supreme Anglo-Saxon virtue, a gift for political freedom," which included a "unique capacity for self-government." By muddying the racial composition of the nation, immigration not only jeopardizes white privilege, it risks undermining the foundations of freedom itself.

Racial animosity is only one among several threads of opposition to immigration, of course, including economic rationales rooted in concern for the working class. But race has an especially visceral power. The declining white share of the population already has many conservatives rattled. If it declines more rapidly due to mass legalization of undocumented immigrants, many conservatives figure it can only be bad for them and their vision of the good life.
Republicans cannot continue to thrive as a nearly all-white party. Party strategists know they need to pass immigration reform -- with a legalization (though not necessarily citizenship) component -- to eliminate the first of multiple obstacles to winning Hispanic votes. Yet the House has managed to pass only punitive legislation in this Congress, alienating Republicans further from the voters they desperately need to win.

From outside the conservative bubble, the Republicans' Caucasian march into a multiracial century looks like political malpractice -- terminal short-sightedness or possibly the onset of madness. But resistance is deeply rooted in conservatism. It's clear from House Speaker John Boehner's repeated efforts to bring up immigration reform that he desperately wants to clear the party's path to the future. Trouble is, that future is the stuff of conservative nightmares." [Source]

Yes, tar babies everywhere.



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Things don't always go better with Koch.

Congrats to the Koch brothers for "making it rain" in the upcoming elections. Those boys have lots of money and they know how to use it to shape the country to fit their own political ideology.

Hey, I am not mad at them, the supremes gave them a way to do it and they are taking advantage of the law. It's the American way: The man with the most money wins.

"WASHINGTON -- Democrats appear to be winning the fundraising race at nearly every turn in Senate contests and doing well enough at the House level this year. Their congressional party committees and super PACs are on record pace ahead of their Republican counterparts, while the majority of Democratic incumbents in key races boast a financial advantage over their opponents. And yet, it's still likely Democrats will be outspent by wide margins.

The reason can be summed up in three words: the Koch brothers.

The two billionaire industrialists, Charles and David Koch, and their dual networks of undisclosed donors and "dark money" nonprofits, have emerged as the largest independent political force on the Republican side. Already, groups linked to the Kochs have spent more than $25 million on television and radio in crucial 2014 House and  Senate races, according to Democratic media-buying sources. Other reports, which also count spending on digital advertising, show a total that is closer to $30 million." [Source]

Personally, I guess it's cool to spend tons of your own money on things you care about. But why aren't they open and up front about it ? Why all the "dark money"? It's as if they are ashamed to be identified with their money.

Anyway, I sure hope the money isn't going towards electing more folks like Susan Atanus into office. I mean that would be downright scary.

Susan, in case you were wondering, has some strange ideas about how the lord works.

"On Tuesday, Illinois Republicans opted to nominate Susanne Atanus as their party’s choice in the primary for that state’s 9th district by a margin of almost five percentage points. Earlier this year, Atanus drew attention by telling The Daily Herald newspaper that as a “God-first conservative Republican” she believes many of the plights of the last several decades, including droughts, tornadoes and diseases like autism and dementia are God’s punishment for gay marriage and legalized abortions.

“God controls the weather,” Atanus said definitively in January. “God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions. We are provoking him with same-sex marriage, gay rights, civil unions.”

Lord, I know that according to Susanne you are a right wing "conservative Republican", but please have mercy on us all.

I am glad that one of my favorite congressmen, John Lewis, can sing and dance to Happy by Pharrell. But with all that "dark money" out there helping to get wingnuts like Susanne Atanus elected to public office, I can guarantee you that he won't be happy much longer.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Military love.

Barack Obama, Santiago EreviaThose of you who visit the fields on a regular basis know how much I love and respect the men and women who serve in the military. The folks who give the ultimate sacrifice for a country where I can get on the Internet every night and write exactly how I feel about any subject that I feel like will always hold a special place in my heart.

This is why I was glad to see President Obama recognize some well deserving veterans and award them the Medal of Honor. I just wish that all of the deserving soldiers could have actually been alive to accept it. Sadly, many of these individuals have passed away.

"WASHINGTON (AP) — They were heroes who didn’t get their due.
On Tuesday, 24 mostly ethnic or minority U.S. soldiers who performed bravely under fire in three of the nation’s wars finally received the Medal of Honor that the government concluded should have been awarded a long time ago.

The servicemen – Hispanics, Jews and African-Americans – were identified following a congressionally mandated review to ensure that eligible recipients of the country’s highest recognition for valor were not bypassed due to prejudice. Only three of the 24 were alive for President Barack Obama to drape the medals and ribbons around their necks.

“Today we have the chance to set the record straight,” Obama said. “No nation is perfect, but here in America we confront our imperfections and face a sometimes painful past, including the truth that some of these soldiers fought and died for a country that did not always see them as equal.”

The three surviving recipients – Vietnam veterans Jose Rodela, Melvin Morris and Santiago Erevia – received a prolonged standing ovation at Obama’s side, their faces set in somber acknowledgement of the honor." [Source]

Of course we know that the usual suspects are going to say that this is just president Obama making further attempts to divide the country. "Why should these minority soldiers be singled out for special recognition?" they will cry. "Why recognize them now?"

Because they did something that many of these red white and blue flag waving chicken hawks would be afraid to do: They served their country, bravely. 

Finally, there are a few other stories that I thought about blogging about tonight. The woman kicked out of her gym in California because she looked too "toned". The poor mentally ill inmate who "baked to death" in his jail cell on Rikers Island. Bill De Blasio's Obama type problem. Or the Russian official who loves 2 Pac.

Ultimately, though, I think I will pass. Because honestly, it's just been one of those days.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Desperate times....

*Every time I do a post like the one I am about to drop I get in trouble. ---Especially with the sisters out there. As if I don't admonish black men constantly about the importance of personal responsibility and fatherhood.

It's just that invariably it is going to be the woman who is stuck raising that child (or children) that she cannot afford. I just wonder why you put yourselves in this position, that's all.

I mean if Joe Lothario has three or four children out there that he does not care for with women he no longer cares about, what makes you think that you are going to be any different?

Now this is going to sound harsh, and it damn sure is unconstitutional, (Skinner v. Oklahoma, I get it) but if I were King of the world birth control would be mandatory if you have to depend on any form of government assistance. Sorry. We can't just allow you to have children if you can't take care of them. At some point this becomes a public health issue. If you have three kids and you are struggling, you damn sure don't need another one.

"Lord have mercy Field are you going Nixon circa 1970 now?"

Nope. I would be very upfront with folks about what they are getting into.

"But Field, that's eugenics, how dare you? Do you know what the history of eugenics is with our people in this country? That's a slippery slope, Field. I am sure you know what will come next.

Yes I do, but desperate times......

Besides, I am not advocating for eugenics. Eugenics is *quotes from Wikipedia* "a social philosophy advocating the improvement of human genetic traits through the promotion of higher reproduction of people with desired traits (positive eugenics), and reduced reproduction of people with less-desired or undesired traits. (negative eugenics)

I am calling for none of the above. I could care less about the intelligence and traits of the people having these children. What I care about is the fact that they are not financially capable of taking care of them, and, in most cases, there is no support system in place to help them through tough financial times. 

I write about this issue as someone who has a unique perspective on this particular problem in our society. I see tragic results of dysfunctional families as someone of authority in the family court system and as an advocate and defender in the criminal justice system as well. You have to believe me when I tell you that it's not pretty: Crime; poverty; and an endless cycle of hopelessness from generation to generation.

I had a lady tell me the other day that her daughter has two kids and she is only seventeen, but she is so happy because she is almost 18, and she will soon be able to get her own welfare check and take care of her own kids. Broke my heart. I didn't even have it in me to lecture her about what she had just said.

If you don't believe what I just wrote about check out this little bit of news that went down Sunday here in the Philadelphia area.

"UPPER DARBY — A 31-year-old mother of four is behind bars after her 2-year-old daughter was found running down a street naked Sunday afternoon.

Christina Staley, of the 7000 block of Clover Lane, is charged with four counts of endangering the welfare of a minor for allegedly leaving her four children — ages 2, 3, 6 and 8 — home alone in their Clover Lane home Sunday.

“Zero tolerance,” police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said on Monday. “You leave your children alone and you’ll get locked up.”

The temperature outside was about 35 degrees at 4 p.m., when police received a call that a little girl wearing no clothing had been seen running along Clover Lane, Chitwood said.

Neighbors directed responding officers to a house in the 7000 block of Clover Lane. When they knocked on the door, a 6-year-old boy answered, police said. Two other children were inside the house at the time, a 3-year-old boy and the 2-year-old girl. An 8-year-old boy returned to the house while police still were there.

“(Officers) asked where their parents were and the children said they had no idea,” Chitwood said. 

Police called a cellphone number they found in the house. Staley reportedly answered, saying she was on her way home from that Pathmark on 69th Street, police said.

Staley reportedly told police she had gone to the store to pick up food and medicine, but she returned home empty-handed, police said.

Authorities are unsure if the children’s father is involved in their upbringing, but said Staley is their primary caretaker." [Source]

Yep, it's a pretty good bet that the sperm donor isn't "involved in their upbringing". Because.....well, that's what sperm donors do.

*Pic from Delco Times.

Upper Darby residents who found a 2-year-old girl running naked down their street yesterday called police, who discovered that the girl and her three brothers - ages 3,6 and 8 - had been left home alone, said police Superintendent Michael Chitwood.
When police arrived on scene at Clover Lane near Church, neighbors pointed officers to a house the little girl had run into, Chitwood said. A 6-year-old boy answered the door and cops found the 2- and-3-year-old children inside. The 8-year-old boy arrived home a short time later, police said.

Upper Darby residents who found a 2-year-old girl running naked down their street yesterday called police, who discovered that the girl and her three brothers - ages 3,6 and 8 - had been left home alone, said police Superintendent Michael Chitwood.
When police arrived on scene at Clover Lane near Church, neighbors pointed officers to a house the little girl had run into, Chitwood said. A 6-year-old boy answered the door and cops found the 2- and-3-year-old children inside. The 8-year-old boy arrived home a short time later, police said.