That g_oddamn stupid fa__ot sunovabitch

Source: Wikipedia
This photo has nothing to do with the article. I just thought it was really cool

Let me tell you a little story about a friend of mine who is a lifetime Texan. He served with my dad in the Air Force as a NCO during Korea (replaced propellers on B29 bombers). He had a short stint as some kind of intelligence officer during Vietnam. He retired to a small ranch southwest of Amarillo that’s been in his family for some untold decades. We talk on the phone every once in a while; he doesn’t own a “g__damn computer” and doesn’t have time for the “g__damn Internet.”

You see, old Thurman Kemp is a man who walks firmly and proudly in the rut of his ancestors. His “internet” is a white and red 1974 Ford pickup has a gun rack in the cab with two weapons: an old 12-gauge pump and a baseball bat. He takes the truck (and accessories) to the local watering hole for ‘chat sessions’ that he says is better than that “g_damn CNN or any other of those fa__ot journalists” – present company excluded. The bat says he is ready for anybody he doesn’t like that needs an “impression”; the shotgun is there to help emphasize any point that the bat fails to make.

He has brown hands that look like cracked mud and lines on his face like old leather. He still clings to the dream that history will eventually see that LBJ was one of this country’s best presidents. He is a bitter-minded, opinionated, foul-mouthed, beer swilling old fart that loves “old” country music (“none of that g_ddamn sonovabitch fa__ot music” that the “young humps” listen to these days).

Now that you have a firm picture in your mind of this old Texan’s outward character, you can appreciate what he has to say about Mr. Perry’s recent tirade about secession: “That g_oddamn stupid fa__ot sunovabitch is right off the book – made us [Texans] look like we’re nuttier than a sack of weasels. I don’t need that kind of f__king grief, I gotta tell you. Not one f__king g_ddamn bit. That f__king stupid treasonous sonovabitch fa__ot is f__king gone, I’ll tell you whut.”

I’m no Texan and I really don’t know Rick Perry from a hole in the ground, but I get the point, tell you whut.

Is Barack Obama a RACIST??

Obama with VetsHe is if you believe some bloggers and a handful of anonymous email.

Here are the facts. Obama attends Trinity United Church of Christ which adopted the Black Value System written by the Manford Byrd Recognition Committee chaired by Vallmer Jordan in 1981. They identify “12 precepts and covenantal statements” that reflect on “Black Ethics” which “must be taught and exemplified in homes, churches, nurseries and schools, wherever Blacks are gathered.”

The concepts of “Black Ethics”:

1. Commitment to God
2. Commitment to the Black Community
3. Commitment to the Black Family
4. Dedication to the Pursuit of Education
5. Dedication to the Pursuit of Excellence
6. Adherence to the Black Work Ethic
7. Commitment to Self-Discipline and Self-Respect
8. Disavowal of the Pursuit of “Middleclassness”
9. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the Black Community
10. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions
11. Pledge allegiance to all Black leadership who espouse and embrace the Black Value System
12. Personal commitment to embracement of the Black Value System.

Now to return to the claim that Obama’s church (and by association Obama himself) are racists. Obviously not. Clearly the sources of this claim are ultracon groups and race-driven derivatives of the soon to be late Bush era who are a bit upset that the last 8 years has produced such a backlash that their most dear enemy, Hillary, and their worst nightmare, a black presidential candidate, are poised to take over the Executive branch. These points alone draw serious doubt on any validity, but on the point of fact, it is fallacious.

First off, black communities and churches were formed because of Jim Crow and subsequent social conditioning. The conditioning came in the form of total segregation and subjugation that lasted more than 100 years. White communities viciously conspired against blacks and forced them to live separate lives. It is no surprise to sociologists that the social barrier lingers. It took what I consider the Second Civil War of 1963 to FORCE white communities to cease the subduction of the black community. But we were too late; the damage was done.

Deep problems continue to plague many black Americans and this church is simply recognizing them as community borne and a communal burden. By stating “Black Ethics” they are taking making an honest attempt to repair the social damage caused by a lack of identity and security. Everything in this mission statement is an intelligent distillation of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – creating togetherness, collective membership, and support through Christian fellowship. And they have done this hand-in-hand with the spirit of God of mercy and love. Clearly, statements like ‘black community,’ ‘black family,’ and ‘black leadership’ are constructs for self-improvement and self-motivation, not ambitions toward racial supremacy.

Which leads me to my second point. There have never been nor is there likely ever going to be roving black church death squads killing whitey. Hit the buzzer, ain’t going to happen. Nor will the greater Black Community ever condone any action that aims to marginalize any other ethic community. Personally, I think the long lesson of communal suffering has made black leaders stronger that way; they are quicker in sniffing out the stench of racial injustice in all its insidious forms.
The wording of this mission statement may be jarring to some, but I think non-whites feel threatened being around blacks because of background social guilt over the centuries of injustice against Blacks. But it is entirely likely that a white person could walk into that church and worship Jesus right alongside the rest of the parishioners – and receive the Lord’s blessing just the same. But what would happen if a black person walked into a church somewhere in the Deep South?

In fact, is it not true that portions of the White Community are still active in promoting “White Ethics” ala KKK? Are there not churches throughout the country continue to marginalize and discriminate against non-whites? Not only do they spread hate for black people, but they also heap up Jews and any body else who doesn’t measure up to their brand of whiteness. But what is really scary is that you don’t even need the KKK to seed racial terrorism: America did it to the American Indians from the colonial times and right through the 1800’s. Then they did it to Chinese immigrants who slaved to build the railroads and man the factories and mines during the 1800’s. The Japanese took a good strong turn during and after WWII. And now they’re doing it to the Latinos – this time under the guise of national security.

There is no practicable argument that can successfully equate a black Christian church making an honest attempt to address social problems in their community with KKK White churches that created the terrorism of racial “ethics.” I can only conclude that this position is seeded by an appalling ignorance and is mere slander.

UPDATE: “Pastor Gate” doesn’t change a whit. But this time I suspect other politico machination at work (e.g., White Dems who may fear Obama’s strength with independent voters). Sadly, the populace is responding in predictable ways.

To My Surprise

Ohmy!I’m a bit surprised by the results from the latest primaries… surprised that we’re diving into the motherlode without clear front-runners. But this is a good thing. Like a close World Series or a hot match up in the NFL, the race is heating up the popular vote, making people pay attention (we Americans love a close race). Here’s my opinion slate as of today: I’m giving Obama a second look – impressed that he has galvanized younger voters, but there are simply not enough of them to matter I think (the ‘Boomers’ and elders outnumber them 3:1 in voting). But I really dig the way he’s rattled up those folks in the ivory tower – I savor good strong debate between him and just about anybody from the red column. I’m still askance with Hillary, never did like her laugh, but I am more than interested in the idea of her as America’s first female president (note: nearly every developed nation on the planet has had a woman in their executive office; so what’s up with that?).

Pretty much over Huckabee – he’s just way too Baptist for me. I’m not in the least entertained by that proclivity of his leaking out little foibles over social issues (e.g., religion vs constitution). I’m still rooting for McCain, but I always have had a soft touch for perennial underdogs. I’m very happy to see Edwards’ falling star – the man was just pissing me off with his populist gladwrapping and glittering generalities. I’m even more irritated with Romney, perfect hair and all – but that cultish religion of his his will never go over with me (yep, I said it – Mormonism is a cult). Glad to see people have pretty much forgotten about Rudy – what a ‘tard. And I have all but given up hope for Michael Bloomberg and a third party. The timing isn’t right – again. Way too many populists appealing to the indies. Maybe next time, Mike. But I think that Hillary is going to clench it with the Dems. Too early to tell if she’ll be in a position to pick Obama as her running mate (certainly will not be Edwards). Clinton-Obama. What a ticket that would be!

Is Obama up to the job?

Obama Obama has certainly scared the living daylights out of the established powers. To be honest, I like the idea of a candidate who worries the very people who have made the term ‘healthcare’ an oxymoron in the U.S. I enjoy the prospects of a candidate who furrows the brows of the ultra-wealthy and those who have sought to make game out of socio-economic misery. And I rather relish the idea that the masses might overcome the wishes of American dynastic politics – and Karl Rove in particular.

But I have been a second-guesser since birth and while the urge to cheer rises to my lips I wonder about Obama’s ability to be more than a visionary and a charismatic presenter? Make no mistake, the coming years will be very difficult for us. A deep recession not withstanding, we also have the prospects of further devaluation of our currency, harsher economic situations for the poor, and spiraling cost for energy and other commodities. We cannot afford to make any more rash decisions and unschooled policies. And on the military side, the situation may be worse than you know.

For those of you looking for a quick exit from Iraq. Forget it – unless you really want trouble. The fact is Bush broke Iraq – now we have to fix it or suffer some very dire consequences down the road. I think even a dove like Obama knows this – or will come to realize the fullness of the situation and end up trampling his campaign promise to leave (remember George Bush’s “read my lips”).

We can’t leave Afghanistan either – if we did the whole place would quickly fall back into the hands of the Taliban. And there’s the Sino-Triangle. This is the only place in the planet where three major nuclear powers share the same border; India, China, Pakistan; and guess what? There are long-standing border disputes with all three. This place has always held special attention with global strategists. These days, even far-out scenarios (e.g., Pakistan starts a global nuclear war) now bears grim scrutiny in our highest intelligence offices. And need I mention a rising Russia, an emboldened China, the rest of the Mid-East, and an awakening Third World that’s not really pleased with their colonial legacy. These issues require experienced leadership, elder statesmanship, and more than charisma to navigate. So think before you cheer and wave the red shirt of victory. I like Obama too, but is he the right man for this time?

The Great Fibber

Bill and HillI’m not a die-hard dem and I never considered myself a supporter of Hillary Clinton, but it really makes my blood boil every time I hear some nimrod or bush-head call Bill Clinton a liar – and as though lying is a unique family trait.

Get YOUR facts straight kiddies. Bush 41 lied through his teeth when he denied involvement in Iran-Contra. He lied about his involvement in the grandmother of CIA coverups when they silenced Noriega. But Bush 43 has surpassed every president in recent memory as the Great Fibber. And there’s really no need to get into a quibble over why that is.

No matter how cynical you want to be, when Clinton lied, nobody died. The Clinton stain is on some dumb girl’s dress and tarnished the office of the U.S. President. Dubya’s stain is on the Flag and in the sands of Iraq – and we may never wash that out and there are quite a few people who will never forgive us. Clearly, Bush and the the ultra-cons (with Cheney, et al as their beloved leaders) betrayed this country with their lies and deceit. So, the more THEY chant “Clinton Lied” the more I am likely to say “FU” and pull that lever in Hillary Clinton’s favor.

The nightmare is now kids. Time to wake up.

God Bless America.

Success vs Happiness

!headuphis.jpgConfucius noted that there are two distinct paths that a human can take: one of happiness and the other of success and power. To appreciate the path of happiness, one must live in the present and forget all that has past and disavow any notion of the future. Thus he is happy because he lives only with what he sees before him. Conversely, to embark on the path to success, one must remember the past, plan for the future and obsess about the present, for success and power requires strategy and tactics that foreshadow the goal. Sometimes I think that Confucius was a judgmental asshole. There must be at least some people out there who have planned well for a job that they loved and is/was successful and happy all their lives – and who are not monks and don’t have their heads up their asses. Then again, what do I know?

Give Pedro Zapeta His Money Back

Pedro Zapeta Have you heard of this one? It’s all over the ‘sphere. The long and short of it is a dishwasher Guatemalan immigrant named Pedro Zapeta who worked for 11 years and managed to scrape together $59k in savings. He tried to walk into an airport to cart his cash haul home. The Feds seized the money because it was undeclared and now this guy is back to washing dishes… that is, until the Feds come back to toss him out of the country.

It’s too easy to be cynical and look to law and order as a reason for putting this bloke in so much pain. He isn’t a criminal – he doesn’t even have a parking ticket. He didn’t shirk the law any more than the next working stiff and he’s certainly no Enron corporate hack working at the behest of Kenneth Lay. No… Pedro came here with the best intentions of doing a job that few Americans will do – he cleans our dinner plates for a buck.

I did the math. If Pedro trimmed his living expenses to 50% of income, worked a steady 8 to 10 hours per day, 6 days a week (accounting for about 25 days off per year besides Sundays and perhaps some down days when he couldn’t find work, he could have easily accumulated $59k in savings after 11 years.Two things come to mind. One: I earn almost ten times what this guy earned per year and can barely scrape together enough to meet the IRS minimum for my IRA exemption. Two: most people I know earn at least 10 times what this poor guy earned and are struggling to pay their mortgage and Beemer lease payments. I’m certain that there are folks out there who think that there’s a deeper more sinister story here. But I assure you, there isn’t. Perhaps we’re all fed by the same lopsided American consumerist attitude; what doesn’t make instant sense makes us so cautious that we become overly judgmental and cruel.We should be able to figure out how to give this guy a break. Yeah, okay; force him to pay income tax; at his bracket that might be around 20% of gross. Maybe fine him a little for trying to walk through the airport with all that cash. But he should at least walk away with about $30k – definitely not empty handed.

This story assails our sense of fairness in so many ways. On one side are folks to believe that the letter of the law must be observed; in their mind, fairness comes from equal application of punishment. But this view ignores the ‘global effect’ of our current economic activities. It is no secret that we are the primary beneficiaries of a thick web of offshore supply and demand – in terms of products and services, but also in blood, sweat and tears labor. Our actions clearly affect the emotions and attitudes that are directed toward us; as a country and as a society; individually and severally. Therefore, it is in our best interest to at least show some kindness from time to time. Are WE THE PEOPLE blind-minded bureaucrats, hard-nosed executors for the rule of law? Or are we a grateful citizenry, obedient to another, much higher order of law that requires us to acknowledge the sacrifices of those who come to this country to do the work that none of us want to do, e.g, wash our dirty dishes for a buck.

By the way, if you disagree with the ruling of US District Judge James I. Cohn (the guy who exacted justice on Mr Zapeta), let the Hon. Judge Cohn know what you think. Hold him accountable for his cruelty. Call 1-954-769-5490, then press 6 and either talk to his staffer or leave a message.Or you could write him: this is his address: 299 East Broward Boulevard, 203F, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301

Let them make MILLIONS!

I just posted this remark on some sports page somewhere. I find that I’m doing a lot of that lately, so I’ll just repost them here for whoever stumbles on this lonely outpost.

Upon reading newsstories about the mega millions sports players are now earning and weighing the various initiatives for raising minimum wage plus the social-economic imperative for better wealth distribution in the country, I now stand corrected on my long held view that commercialized sports is a waste of time and money; the “Mega Salary” professional player is a fantastic model for wealth distribution. And I hope they make a heck of a lot more. How else can a dirt-poor kid end up making millions of dollars just for playing a game he/she learned for simple entertainment or to stay out of trouble? There are some fans who complain that players are overpaid… that’s probably because they don’t like the price of admission (which is either cable television or paying scalper prices for seats). But sports fans, there are alternatives. Like, paying a living wage to the security guards, maids, janitors (et cetera) who are often the parents of many of these former dirt-poor kids. If these parents could afford better housing and better education for their kids perhaps there would be fewer mega-rich players and more affluent citizens… at least they’d be better educated and wouldn’t have to burn up their lives for this sort of visceral entertainment. And as for the fights… let them fight. Besides, these guys don’t give two hoots about what gentrified suburbia thinks millions of dollars ought to behave. If you don’t like the fights… don’t tune in.

Books Never Written

A woman recently contacted me. She just won a creative writing contest put on by a local newspaper and now envisions herself making money from writing – copywriting no less. At the risk of sounding like some self-important nabob who owns secret knowledge about the Zen of writing, I am discouraging her from joining the “field” – and I do this as a reflection of my own long, sad, and insignificant career.

Offering encouragement to enter commercial writing makes me think of one addict showing another where to put the needle. The bulk of my product is bland by any comparison. I have taken some short trips into creative writing, but nothing has stuck mostly on account that I have trained as a commercial writer. Now it’s a bad habit – an addiction from twenty plus years of ends meeting means. Not comforting in the least is the idea that had I not been such a fucking “accidental” novice I may have penned as many as five novels by now. What is even more pathetic is that I know their titles. I feel like a lonely mother who remembers the names of long-dead children. Of course, had I done so I probably wouldn’t have gotten married to the most wonderful woman in the world and had two really terrific kids. But I constantly wonder about my other life… what I could have been… the stories I could have told. The drawer is filled with dozens more that have never been given enough oxygen to grow and thrive.

I implore all writers who may be thinking about taking that all-important first leap into commercial writing to turn their backs and forget about it. From personal experience, I can tell you that it’s not a dream job and it can be a living nightmare – especially for those of us who are gifted enough to have the ability to do something else with their talent; something other than adding to the heaps of advertising crap that’s produced every day.

Aside from my “lost children,” I also think about the writers who escaped the temptation of “easy money” and went on to succeed as authors: JK Rowling who toiled as a single mother with an hourly wage and went on to write a stunning series of books based on stories she told her son; Patrick O’Brian who was a researcher almost all his adult life until one day he began writing wonderfully detailed and artful stories about a Royal Navy captain and his surgeon; and Frank Herbert who at age 47 had the balls to give up being an advertising executive to write a fantastic tale about a revolution in a distant galaxy. The list goes on… hundreds of writers who went on to be successful authors… and any one of them could have stayed home with their simple, safe occupations and failed to pen much more than titles for books never written.

Confronting the Debate

Lately, President Dubya and Vice DICK Cheney have been issuing warnings of disaster and mayhem if the opposition party is successful in taking over both chambers of Congress. Now British PM Blair is in on the act – recently claiming that a democratic discussion in the Parliament on Iraq could cause unbearable demoralization of the troops. It seems to me that we have endured quite enough disaster, mayhem and demoralization from the present course. It may be just as the war hawks say, that the arbiters of terror are just waiting for the electorate to grow weary of the so-called “war on terror,” we’ll let up our guard and they’ll strike us again. But, it could also be that history has dished out ample lessons on the folly of confronting terror with warfare. Five years of warfare, massive death, and chaos are hardly what I call productive signs. Look at what we have accomplished: We have taught the world that the so-called “free democracies” are limited in both capability and means to stop terror and that we are willing to compromise our democratic principles to that end; that our war machine has a limit to what it can do while the terrorists are unlimited; that we don’t care what happens to the citizen on the street so long as our homeland is safe and we have plenty of gas in the tank. I feel like Dorothy meeting the Wizard for the first time… peering around the curtain to learn the truth. Let the debates rage.