Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fox vs .... The Muppets???

The muppet movie is communist? They vilify rich people? Why are we doing this to the children? Why do we have to indoctrinate the children with this socliast message?  I'm at the point where this is not even worth having a discussion.  Shaking my head….Really?! You must have really needed something to talk about for about 10 minutes 'cause this is nuts.

The muppet response:

sigh….Only on the internet is this even a discussion.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Earth to Moon Base Gingrich...come in...over

All of y'all know that I'm a total geek when it comes to space right?  I can't do science but I love it! Newt Gingrich is now saying we need a space station on the moon.  When I hear him say it, my antennae go up to the "ridiculometer" for ridiculousness. But the geek in me would be like, "Dude…that is sooo cool!" I want to go! It would be great."  But when Newt says it, something just can't be right.

The problem is that, right now, economically it doesn't make sense the way he wants to do it. Newt wants business to fund space exploration.  That won't work, dog.  As Neil Tyson explains it correctly, government funds risk, business exploits the results.  That's how it always works.  Tyson says that all the exploratory missions of our great Euro-American past were funded by the monarchies and governments: Columbus, Lewis and Clark, Pizzaro…No business man funded this stuff because…Flying off into the unknown is dangerous! You don't know what the hell is going to happen! Didn't Newt ever watch Alien or any other space exploration movie? People get picked off by all manor of stuff you can't foresee.  In Star Trek, you NEVER wanted to be the man in the red shirt, cause you ALWAYS got picked off; and generally FIRST, in the most gruesome way possible. And the Federation was the government and Starfleet was the military/explorative arm of the…you guessed it…the government.

All this to say, space exploration is not bad.  It can yield great scientific knowledge much of which may have commercial application.  I wouldn't be typing on this computer without the moon shot, ultimately. Much of the technology we have today can be directly or indirectly connected to the space program: which is GOVERNMENT FUNDED! Government's role can be to undertake risk on a scale that individuals or industry cannot. Government pools the resources of a society (via the dreaded taxes) and is charged with  thinking of the long range public good.  That's government's job.  I keep saying this over and over because it seems like we've lost sight of what government does and why it's there.  It doesn't just provide for the common defense and hasn't for a long time. Commercial exploitation comes AFTER government, 'cause it's awfully hard to run business with thieves and bandits trying to take your cake.  That's why the failed states of Sudan and Somalia have no business infrastructure -- their government is nonexistent.

I soooo want to see more space exploration because I am a sci-fi nut. It's so cool I can hardly stand it.  But if you want to do it in real life, you have to make a real case for it, in adult terms, not just because you want to go.  And you have to understand how we did it in the first place  -- NASA -- short for Government funded space exploration.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Note To Mark Oxner: Slave ship references are N-E-V-E-R cool

Ok, whew...gotta take a breath myself. OMG..take a breath...breathe in...let it out slowly...thru the nose and out the mouth...whew..

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!?! Who told you this was an appropriate ad for any candidate? ...Woo...take a breath... breathe diva....just breathe...

A SLAVE SHIP?!?!? AND OBAMA'S AT THE HELM?  LITTLE WHITE CHILDREN (with one black person on the side, just so they could say it wasn't racist) manning the oars all dirtied up?!?!? ...take a breath girl....just take a breath...OMG!  I'm gonna pimp slap someone...just stick my highest heeled shoe up someone's....breathe girl...WHAT?!?!?

Maybe there was a better way to do it...maybe if the kids were working on a field with Obama as the no...that's not cool...maybe if they were working in a factory and Obama was the manager....naw...

I Think. This. was. not. cool.

D'Angelo's Back!

Thank GOD! He's back! Yeahhhhh! Wooooooo! Sooo happy! I hope he's able to maintain this one performance into many many more.  This musician and artist is one of those great ones that comes along only a few times in a lifetime.  He changed the entire music game for a while.  He had his own sound, his own style, his own swagger... and he did it without pandering to the public--well he did do that one sexy as HELL video.  y'all know the one...where the camera panned down just to the very limit of broadcasting standards...yeah.  That was nice.  And he can sing, write and play...just all the better...sighing contentedly...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Conservatives: Holy Sh*t! Newt could actually win….

POLITICO: Drudge, conservative media criticize Newt Gingrich

I've actually witnessed, heard actually, this happening.  If you listen to conservative radio at all, they are pooping in their pants about Newt. O.M.G! I find it fascinating because as another conservative talk show host said, "this is going to come back to haunt us.  Don't you think that people are going to remember later on that a few months ago, Ann Coulter said that if you nominate Romney, Pres. Obama WINS?!  Now she's hating on (my words.  republican commentators never use such blatant ebonics) Newt?  Do you think the electorate is stupid?!"  Umm hmmm…yes, yes they do. The Clinton machine tried to do some of this to Obama and people got real pissed…and he's in the White House now.  

The republican establishment is scared out of their MINDS that this guy is actually going to make it through and so he must be stopped, by any means necessary.  Have you all noticed the amount of pics on Facebook showing Newt as a big baby?!  A BIG FAT UGLY BABY?!  Not even an attractive one. If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would say that the GOP "elite" are making sure these things are out there, or at the very least, forwarding them to the "right" people.

Here's what a republican "official" said:  

“It could happen, and it would be a disaster,” said the conservative, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect private conversations. “All of us who were around and saw how he operated as speaker — there’s no one who’s not appalled by the prospect of what could happen. He thinks he embodies conservatism and if he wakes up one day and has a grandiose thought, he is going to expect all of us to fall in line behind him. 
“There’s just so much risk on so many levels,” the official continued. “Everyone’s thinking, ‘It could really happen.’ He could win the presidency if there’s a way to win with 45 percent — a second recession or a third-party candidate. The immediate worry is him winning the nomination and losing the election, tanking candidates down-ballot. In a worst-case scenario, you could see unified Democratic governance, and we’d be back where we were in ’09 and ’10. It’s insane.”

A super pac is also also saying this:

“Reagan rejected Newt’s ideas. On leadership and character, Gingrich is no Ronald Reagan...”
To a certain extent, this would be actually funny to observe, if the stakes weren't so deadly serious. If the republican establishment is not careful, people are going to vote for Gingrich just to screw with them.  As the article states, republicans in Delaware chose an actual disavowed Witch - -  the kind with a broom y'all -- to be their nominee for the SENATE, not even the House.  What do you think they'll do with a candidate they don't really like (Romney) when Ole Speakah' Gingrich continues to surge?  A surge which, by the way, is already starting to wane since the last debate disallowed the outbursts by the crowd that Newt has been feeding upon; another sly Elite Republican tactic to change the race! Oh I could watch this stuff all day….(whistling while skipping)

GUEST BLOGGER: George Colligan on the SOTU

State Of The Union: Bat S#&t Crazy

I watched part of the State of the Union speech the other night with my son. We sat together on the couch. Two year old Liam was snuggled up next to me. “That’s Obama…” 
I taught him. “He’s the President. Can you say Obama?”
“Watch Thomas The Train!” Liam said, unimpressed by Obama’s impassioned declarations. I wondered if the Island of Sodor, so prominently featured on the kid’s show Thomas and Friends, was somehow a territory of the United States. 

Despite my son’s protests, I watched most of the address. I hadn’t thought about Obama so much for the past few years. I lived part time in Socialist Canada for two years; during my time in Winnipeg, Manitoba, I was too worried about freezing to death to follow American politics. Now that I’m safely and warmly back in the Capitalist Capital of the World, I’m thinking once again about the good old U.S. of A. As I watched Obama’s speech, which not even the angriest and most ultra-racist of tea partyers could deny was delivered with pitch-perfect eloquence, I realized that no one has been paying any attention to President Barack Obama for months. We’ve been so diverted by the Endless Campaign Of Dangerously Incompetent Manchurian Candidates for the Republican Nomination that Obama has been off the radar. We’ve heard more from Jon Huntsman, who had less chance of being President Of The United States than Paris Hilton has of winning the Oscar for Best Actress, than we have heard from the Actual President Of The United States. (Actually, since you can pretty much buy anything now, I’m sure someday Hilton will be able to use her vast fortune to buy herself the Oscar for Best Actress. Now that I think about it, based on everything we’ve seen, Paris Hilton probably has a better chance of becoming President in 20 years than Jon Huntsman ever will.)
I think Obama is extremely shrewd in that he’s let the Republican Knuckleheads slowly and publically self-destruct before re-introducing himself to America. He let the dust settle, and then made his move. Now, since I’m somewhat smarter than a fifth grader, I actually have a memory beyond one month back. So I remember how, in 2008, America fell in love with Barack Obama, the great Hope for Change. I remember how so many people I knew, especially black people, were so optimistic and emotional after Obama was declared the winner. When I travelled abroad, I was no longer ashamed to be American, like I was from 2000 until Bush thankfully left office. That’s right, George W. Bush used to be President! Remember?
And I remember how much the Bush years sucked. Yes, I remember back that far, too. 9-11? Sucked. Two wars? Sucked? Guantanamo? Sucked. Wall Street Collapse? REALLY sucked. Dick Cheney? (Don’t even get me started on how much THAT guy sucked and, somewhere in Wyoming, still sucks.) My 42 year old brain can even go back to 2000 when Gore was robbed by the Supreme Court. We’ve really been through a lot as a nation since 2000. 

What the GOP(The Grand OUT OF THEIR MIND Party) counts on is our lack of memory. They want you to forget that Bush ever existed. It’s always been Obama’s fault. Obama caused the banking crisis. He caused the deficit. He caused 9-11. He caused The Vietnam War, World War II, The Great Depression, and even the Teapot Dome Scandal! All the fault of Obama! He’s been a Socialist Dictator for 100 years! We must stop him!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mitt you had help, just own it man!

"What does piss me off is Mitt's perpetual assertion that people are somehow envious of his success. This line of reasoning comes up in every debate, as well as Mitt's assertion that he is a self-made millionaire who didn't inherit anything. The inference seems to be that practically anyone can pull this off, if they just happen to be smart and resourceful enough. This is obvious bullsh*t.
Romney's Dad was the one-time Governor of Michigan and CEO of American Motors Corporation. It's fair to say that Mitt's upbringing wasn't that of a typical American, and it's equally fair to say that his father's wealth and influence opened doors that many other Americans aren't privy to."

this pretty much says what I've been thinking for a while.  When you come from a background of privilege, there are doors open for you that are not open to those who grew up having to use food stamps or whose father worked as a construction worker. Nobody's begrudging this man his wealth.  What they are getting mad at is that he wants to act like he is one of us, just a slob like one us. HE'S NOT. He had help. Completely understandable help, given the successes of his father. But he shouldn't think that people aren't aware that he had doors open for him that others can't find, or even tunnel under, to get to where he is. There is a larger conversation to be had about class structure and mobility that we need to have. Mitt's envy assertion is similar to a person with a six figure income saying to a homeless woman and her children,"Why don't you just pull yourself up by your bootstraps and find a job?! Your children are hungry…don't you have any self-respect?!"

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ann Coulter's Logic

Today I was listening to the Michael Medve Show.  I tend to listen to him on the republican side because I think that he's reasonable and has opinions that, though they may be different than mine, I feel like he respects diverse opinions.  At least that's what I tell myself.  Today he had the really annoying Ann Coulter on.  She loves Mitt Romney and does not like Newt Gingrich.  During an interchange she talked about the shut down of the Government in the mid '90s and how Gingrich lost the argument with the American people because of his incendiary comments.  Clinton is generally acknowledged to have won that battle, so far as the public is concerned.  

Now, that wasn't the part that I'm responding to. What Coulter said was: Clinton and Democrats always crow about how they balanced the budget when "they didn't really balance the budget.  It was Reagan!" (paraphrased) "Don't you people understand that it was the peacetime dividend?! They were able to cut defense spending because Reagan won the cold war!"

Ok, so Clinton didn't really do anything, it was Reagan, and we should give Reagan the credit.  Ok.  So Reagan left power in 1988.  Clinton started to balance the budget in around 1995 or so.  So that's around 8 years.  Keep this number in mind.

Now, republicans have been saying that the present economy's issues are the fault of Obama.  Can't talk about Bush anymore.  He's been out of power for 3 years!  Bush didn't actually cause the recession, and Obama's policy's have made a bad situation worse.  It's all Obama's fault.

Here's my question and my issue:  From what point does the previous president get the credit and/or have to take responsibility for what is going on now?  According to Ann Coulter, at least eight years.  So, according to Ann Coulter, we're still in that pre-president responsibility phase and Obama's off the hook for the current economy.  Thanks Ann, for clearing that up! :) 

SOTU Anxieties...

I find myself nervous for the first time in my life about politics.  Why? Because things feels more personal.  Frankly, I'm of an age now that I really understand, very deeply, how the political system affects my life, my parents' lives and the lives of my children.  Who represents you in government makes a very big difference locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.  The policies enacted will be in place for a while and affect me personally with regards to my children's education, my health care and insurance, my mortgage, my tax rates, my retirement, my job and entrepreneurial prospects.  I have followed this election cycle really closely because, not only is it funny as hell, and better than any soap opera written, but there are real issues that are going to be changed as a result of who is in office at the highest level.

But, most importantly, and I don't kid myself: I'm really concerned about the brother Obama. To put it mildly, black people are concerned that he doesn't f*ck up because it makes us all look bad. We as black people root for all people that look like us, sometimes whether we believe in them or not, because for a very long time, and still somewhat today, if ANY BLACK PERSON MAKES A MISTAKE, WE ALL LOOK BAD!  How many times have you been at work and when some black person robs or steals something and it's in the news, you just cringe when others bring it up.  How many times have you been the only black person in the room and when you're having a discussion about OJ or Henry Louis Gates, or Rev Al Sharpton, or just Jamal or Ebony on the corner, you are the one who gets asked for the "black" response?  We, individually, have always been representatives of an entire race.  And personally, I'm nervous because if Obama looses…it makes us look bad. When will another african-american (or minority) get another opportunity at the Presidency if Obama is seen as a failure?? 

Now, in this era of "Post Blackness", as the commentator Toure likes to call it, we're not supposed to have to feel this way, but I'm sorry…I'm nervous.  I like Obama. I like his family.  I also lean towards his policies, and I hope I'm not overly beholden to him and his platform.  But the presidential election is very personal to me, I unexpectedly find.  As the president gets ready for his last state of the Union Speech of his first term in office, I am frankly nervous like I'm getting ready to go on stage and sing.  How will he do?  What will he say?  How will he defend himself against the "liar!" calls and what can he say since this year, legislatively speaking, there was not a lot done? I am very connected to this outcome in a way that I have never been before, and one of the major reasons is because a black man is up there on the podium. I remember the feeling when I was in NYC and Marion Barry got busted for cocaine, went to jail, and later was re-elected to the Mayoral position.  Almost daily, people said to me,"What's up with your mayor dude? Why is/was he smokin' crack? and why is he mayor today?" I felt I had to speak up for not only the man, but black people and my home city of Washington, DC. 

This is strange because I didn't expect to feel this way.  I thought that we were over this kind of racial identification to a certain extent. I am astonished and fascinated by my own responses. 

Well, the man better have a decent speech and actually follow through on what he proposes, cause if not I just don't wanna hear about it afterwards...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

To Red Tail or Not to Red Tail, that is the question...

There has been a lot of push back concerning the "hysteria" of Black people  who feel we HAVE to see the George Lucas film because he spent $58 million of his own money and hollywood won't make Black films again, ever, if we don't go see this.  Now, I believe that we should support this movie because it focuses on our history and african-american contributions are not often lauded in the public sphere. HOWEVER, as these two articles put it, they ain't buying it. Bomani Jones puts it this way:

What, you think the reason Hollywood doesn’t make big budget movies about black people is because…black people won’t watch them? You really think, if every black person in America goes and sees “Red Tails,” there’s going to be a long line of big-budget black movies hitting theaters near you? What, black people are the reason the studios don’t think these films will make international bank? They drawing that many folks to the box office in Africa?
Noooooo, the reason movies like these can’t get made is, clearly, studios don’t think white people will go see serious depiction of the African-American experience (or, put in a way less likely to offend, “can’t market it”). I’d gander that’s also the same reason that television shows with predominantly black casts are dinosauric on television now. Hell, I’ve never heard a person who truly watched the wire say something less than laudatory, but it couldn’t get a ratings foothold in any of its five years with its brilliant, predominantly black cast.

Many are mad, if you check the comments section after these article, because black woman aren't depicted.  Another salient point is that George Lucas brought us the lovely and talented computer animated character who only needs a razor to make the coon-like picture complete: Jar Jar Binks.  So what does he know about creating solid black characters that are not stereotypes.

Long gone are the days that we should have to feel a need to prove anything to Hollywood.  If anything, it is the reverse.  And if Hollywood is as racist as we all know it is why should we feel the need to let the decision of what images gets green-lighted continue to be placed in the hands of those, who don’t see us as human beings? I mean, the last time Hollywood took interest in the black market we got a bunch of one-dimensional Blaxiploitation and gangster flicks in both the 70s and in the 90s.
Instead let’s throw our support – and dollars – behind filmmakers, who continue to make conscious efforts to not only make films despite not having the blessings of mainstream Hollywood but make good films period.

So if we don't goto this movie, there will be others because frankly, the iPhone exists and you can make a damn good movie on that thing; and I don't even need a degree from the NYU film school...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Transparent Aluminum?!!

Ok…the next geek out moment for me is that this is actually coming true.  Y'all remember Scotty saying, "Computer?"(add scottish accent) then trying again with no response and then scoffs,"Keyboard?!" and then types out something really quickly…and then the fat nerdy guy says,"Transparent Aluminum?!" and then Scotty says,"How much would that be worth to ya now, laddy?"  I think I have seen that movie oh…100 times.  It was the movie I went to on my first date with my husband.

Transparent aluminum is actually HAPPENING!? Mind Blowing. Next thing you know we'll start sling shooting around the sun to find out when Battlestar Galactica settled on the earth, thereby populating the planet with Cylons…

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Velvet Glove...

I will take you out!  I will listen to you, but if you take advantage of me I will…wait for it…CRUSH YOU!  He should be a jazz musician.

The President sings...on pitch!!

Cool factor, at least for me.

The president actually sang Al Green's Let's Stay Together.  Most importantly, with a pleasant tone and IN PITCH.  The cool factor just went way up…way up.  Imagine him singing you to sleep each night, baby!  You know you dream about it! Don't play me…that sh*t is cool!

Newt, Newt, Newt...

Ok, Newt may not want to deal with this but…man you are just something else! Do you just attract sick women only to leave them for the next one?  Is it that when they get sick they ain't attractive no more? MS sex ain't that satisfying? No cancer kisses on your lips? Ok…ok…ok, that's just bad.  But really? I hope this current wife doesn't come down with Lou Gehrigs disease or a bad case of acne, cause it sounds like if that happened…well, there are more healthy fish in the sea.  

As I've said an earlier blog, there's a special place in hell for those who leave their women in the midst of illness. John Edwards is dealing with that one.  More importantly, you can't just say you're for marriage.  You actually have to BE FOR MARRIAGE!  If you want to be with another woman, get a divorce, but not when they're sick or dying? That's just not cool, man.  And you know how I like a cool president.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Oil is expensive...Good or bad thing??

Fareed Zakaria detailed some startling energy facts in his recent blog
"I saw some striking numbers this week: Look at the "break-even" costs for the world's top oil producers. That is the minimum price at which these countries need to sell oil so that they can balance their budgets. 
Russia now needs oil at $110 a barrel to manage its finances. For Iraq, the number is $100. Even Saudi Arabia now needs oil to trade around $80 a barrel just to balance its budgets. The numbers are also high for Algeria, Qatar, and Oman. Only a decade ago Saudi Arabia was able to balance its budget with oil prices averaging around $25 a barrel."
Let's think about this.  Putting aside for a moment the very real dangers posed by the geo-political instabilities that are helping keep oil and gas prices inflated - - no easy feat, I recognize - - let's focus on the social behavioral modifications that high energy costs can lead to.  For I'm an advocate of what I'll call the "Tom Friedman school of thought on energy independence", which says more or less that high fossil fuel costs are actually good for America.  Even though this will be painful in the short term.  Put bluntly, the ONLY way we're going to move to other types of fuels and energy sources is if it's too dang expensive to get a tank of gas!  The costs related to alternative energy sources such as solar panels, electricity produced without coal, and non-corn ethanol need to be at least on par with oil in order for me to even think about switching.  

Sh$t, I don't even take the subway to all my respective jobs, even though the train station is, literally, one block away from my door, because the DC Metro train fare COST TOO MUCH!  It's cheaper for me to burn my own personal fossil fuels while I listen to my Mary Mary CD, then switch to the Diane Rehm show, and catch snippets of the Dennis Prager Show, while I do business on my phone, while handing the baby a snack, and, "be quiet back there! (K. singing loudly in the background, while J. takes off her shoes and throws them and her socks to the ground screaming loudly for more of her cereal bar…)"

Hmmm…maybe I should re-think this train thing...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

MLK Jr. Day continued...

Ok, so why were all those white people at my predominately black church on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday? [see my previous blog for the first part of this story] Because the pastor, Rev. Hagler, had invited participants from the occupy DC and wall street movements to the church.  He proposed that the occupy wall street movement were the new prophets of this day and age.  That Martin would have been a part of the movement. Rev. Hagler said people like to white wash MLK's legacy and choose not to see the radicalness of his message.

I largely agree with this viewpoint, but not for the same reason.  I think Americans are really mad right now.  I do think the tea party and the occupy movement are simply rural and urban, southern and northern, coastal and inland, inversions of one another; I strongly suspect Martin Luther King, Jr. would have applauded, "bravo!"  I tend to believe he would have sided more with the occupy movement because of the nature of the politics surrounding the situation. However, it should be duly noted that both of these movements are standing up for what they believe, using the tactics of non-violent resistance to advocate for change via the political system.  Perhaps even more importantly, and some will be mad at me for saying this and maybe bring up the Koch brothers, but…both movements are all about the "little guy" not being beaten up by corporate interests and having their voices squashed simply because they don't have the same amount of money to buy influence as someone richer.

But back to the MLK day service: some of the occupy protestors got up and spoke before the congregation.  The words of one of them really struck me.  I'm paraphrasing, but the gist of what he said, "I get spit on a lot and told to get a job.  But I don't hate them…they just don't understand…they're also a part of the 99%, like me."  Now it just so happens that even though he was dressed in work type boots and some flannel-type shirt (NOT de-riguer for a black church), he's also got long blond hair and that don-johnson-kinda-stubble.  He could easily be the model on the cover of some crunchy granola romance novel or some such.  It always helps when the spokesmen look pretty good.  But this is frankly the essence of the non-violent movement that Martin Luther King, Jr. pioneered in America.  Based off of Christ's teaching that, because sometimes others know not what they do, you need not hate the other.  Nelson Mandela utilized the same approach when he was imprisoned. It makes us larger as human beings when we choose to look at things this way.

I ended up being asked to sing the next day on WPFW (89.3FM) the song I sang at church, Duke Ellington's powerful and beautiful ballad, Come Sunday.  I had a chance to meet with some of the protestors and all were very focused on what they felt needed to be done. They understood that they needed to reach out to people so the movement would grow and have solid understandings of their goals and interests; that and they were just nice people who had varied backgrounds and where not "serial" protestors as the right sometimes like to call them.

All in all, one of my most interesting days in awhile.  Plus I had to conduct the choir with a 26 lb toddler on my hip.  That was a unique experience to say the least….

Why don't african-americans support Jazz??

I'm included on a discussion about Jazz and the issues surrounding audience participation at with the great Jazz presenter, educator, and all around Jazz-head Wiliard Jenkins.  He asked me about a question that's really hard: Where are the african-american concert goers in the jazz audience? And I told him what I thought.  Thanks to him for listening and for soliciting my opinion. I hope I sound like an edumacated person.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pres. Obama wants to put free enterprise on trial.  And in the last few days, we’ve seen some desperate Republicans join forces with him.This is such a mistake for our party and – and for our nation.  The country already has a leader who divides us with the bitter politics of envy.  We have to offer an alternative vision.  I stand ready to lead us down a different path where we’re lifted up by our desire to succeed – not dragged down by a resentment of success. - Mitt Romney in South Carolina
Ok, I don't have a problem with Romney saying what he needs to say politically, but the "politics of envy" and "resentment of success"? So now we are envious of rich people?!  That's endearing.  There's nothing that says I feel your pain like telling me I'm jealous of you. I just don't think he gets it.  You want us to LIKE YOU, you dummy. Nothin' says lovin' like envy and resentment in the oven.

This brings up a larger point that needs to be addressed:  Questioning ideas and systems and their efficacy doesn't necessarily make you anti-anything.  Questioning the particulars of how we practice capitalism in this country and the effect it is having upon society at large doesn't mean that all of a sudden I am a socialist or that I want someone not to succeed because I'm envious of his/her wealth!  And by the way, can we stop turning things that we disagree with into bad words?  The president's been called a muslim, like that's a BAD thing; like being a muslim is akin to being a satanist or something.  Now it's SOCIALISM (said in my most boogie man trying to scare little children voice).   It's like if you have anything to say about free market capitalism or income inequality, or the laws and regulations that have made legal the raping and pillaging of the economy i.e. 2007, then you must be a card carrying socialist that takes a Karl Marx lunch box to school every day filled with Stalin and Lenin action figures.  That we can't even have a public discussion about whether or not Bain capital and venture capitalists in general have been healthy for our society without deciding that one side is against the free world and are just hippies/welfare queens wanting to live off of the government teat is disheartening, to say the least.  Just plain stupid if you want to be harsh.

Caint (Not Can't but Caint) Roll with it...

Nope nope, nope nope and nope…I caint roll with that.  Beyonce is a lovely singer and truly an artist of her time.  She works super hard and I have much respect for her. But I can't roll with comparing her to Ella.  And it's just not necessary to compare these two utterly distinct artists. Clint Eastwood, a life-long jazz fan and patron, should know better.

But honestly, does it matter to the real world? I'd say not...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Today's the day we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's birth

I am, for a time, conducting the choir in the church I grew up in, Plymouth Congregational Church in NE Washington, DC.  Before I go any further, I have to say how strange and surreal it is to be conducting people who were the adults when I was in the youth choir.  I'm accustomed to looking up to these people. So when I became conductor I felt totally afeared - - that's afraid for those who may not speak southern or understand my made up words - -  that these people would take one look at me an' wanna just pinch my cheeks and not pay attention to anything I said.  But they have been lovely.

So yesterday at MLK Jr. sunday church service, I'm conducting the choir in an early morning practice.  I put on my choir robes.  Make sure the children are set with their grandmother.  The choir and I go up the steps to the choir loft and then we sit down.  I get myself together for the opening hymn, and I not only do I do a double take, but  a triple take.  Who in the hel--I'm mean heck-- are all these white people in the congregation?! Now the church has  a few white members, but there were SEVERAL PEWS worth of them in the narthex (that's the place where you worship for all you non-church going people out there, of which I should admit I myself have been one at several points in my life) and some of them were even up in the balcony! What is this?!  This is a Black church! We wear large, brightly colored hats and suits and wing tip shoes to church, not jeans or a dress that you would wear to school on a slightly dressy day; no khakis or boat shoes here.  What were these people doing in this church??

Then I thought for a moment.  Mine had been exactly the same reaction that white people in the past, and I'm sure sometimes in the present, had when they saw blacks or any other group of people that were different from them in the church (or basically any other place) where they congregated.  I thought again, "Wait…this is Martin Luther King, Jr Day. Shouldn't we be celebrating with all people?"  And the preacher said,"Martin Luther King, Jr didn't fight for a black utopia or heaven.  He fought and died for all people to be treated fairly in society…." Yeah…that's exactly right: Though it was important for black people to have advocated for the rights we are constitutionally supposed to enjoy, it was not important just because we are black; it was in spite of it.  ALL peoples should be able to pursue their lives in the manner they choose, in America.  We should be coming together on all days, but most especially on this day. Because it's a day that's really about all of us...

But, having said all that, why exactly were all them white people in the church? Ahhh you gotta wait for the follow up blog :)

As I said...

...Jon Huntsman apparently understood the gig was up...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

R-E-S-P-E-C-T Part 4

Ok, really!!!?? sigh…shaking head from side to side.  He's the president y'all.  Let's think about this.  

I was playing with photo morphing sites and the first one I goto they have all these celebrity photo's that had been morphed.  Tom Cruise with David Beckham, Selena Gomez with Justim Beiber, etc.  All good.  But then…I'm not kidding: Barak Obama and Chewbacca.  Chewbacca!!! Really!? Heavy Sigh… I don't make these things up y'all.  I ain't playin'.  If it had been anything or almost anyone else, with all the pretty white people, I'da been cool, but…Chewbacca?!

Sigh….head shaking from side to side…

In the words of Bill Cosby: C'mon People!

Anti-Obesity Ad Sparks Controversy

Anti-obesity ads spark controversy in Georgia

Off the political circuit for a moment, this is an ad that is running in georgia to help fight obesity in children.

Now, the really telling thing about this ad isn't the sad child in it.  It's the breathing at the end.  You gotta listen for it.  Being the child of a doctor does come in handy occasionally.  Hear the child's breathing?  When you are overweight you breath harder because there's just more to have to carry.  Many overweight adults have sleep apnea and they have to wear an apparatus on their faces at night so they don't suffocate and die.  This beautiful girl, because of her weight, may have to deal with this in the future.  Or, it could have been a really hot mic that catches everything.

Well, regardless, there weren't that many overweight people in the past, because there wasn't as much food readily available in the past.  More food available, the more you eat; it ain't so hard to figure.  Politically speaking, we need to better deal with the stark reality that as a country we are fat…(as I eat the last piece of Caribbean fruitcake and a cold piece of pizza for breakfast)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Jon Huntsman it's time to collect your parting gifts...

Jon Huntsman has been a consistant conservative.  Um hmm..."I've had larger than expected crowds at events..."Meaning what, like ten...20 people?? Ok, why do I care.  He's not going to be the nominee.  He's not even a good candidate at this point.  Maybe he needs to run, like Romney,  for an additional 4-5 years and then he'll be able to talk the talk. [Announcers Voice] Jon Huntsman! You, and your buddy Rick Perry, have won the "I'm Running For President!" board game as a consolation prize.  So now you can go sell a book and start your promo tour...

Sullivan: Yes, Romney Could Lose...

Andrew Sullivan echoes my cool factor argument as to why Romney probably will not win in November 2012. Speaking personally, I am not in any way against capitalism!  People start businesses, people make money, people hire other people, people buy things, and people make more money; and so on, and so on...just like that 70's shampoo commercial. Its all good! 

The problem with Mitt is that he keeps displaying a lack of connection to what people actually feel like when they lose a job by -- saying he knows what it's like to get a pink-slip! Bruh c'mon! You don't know what it's like.  Being fired when you have no money is tough.  It changes your whole life, unless you get another job pretty quick.  You could lose your house, you definitely lose your health care, you may have to move to another city or move in with other can be d-e-v-a-s-t-a-t-i-n-g.

If you, Mitt Romney, are fired, you may feel bad, like you failed, and to make yourself feel better, you'll go on a trip to, say Bora Bora, or the south of France; maybe even Hawaii.  You may hole yourself up in your house and get depressed.  You may have to go into therapy to deal with your issues, or go on a shopping binge to...wait, that'd be a woman...scratch that.  You just don't have regular-people-type of money problems.  Just admit that.  You don't feel our pain, and you never can or will.  Deal with it, and just be rich and happy, and own that, "though I didn't grow up with money issues, I want what is best for all Americans and you can see that by my work with (insert appropriate charity(s) here)." Say stuff like that more often and people might start to believe you're sincere. 

That's why the "documentary" about Bain Capitol is so damaging.  It doesn't matter that eventually there were jobs created, to the person who lost his/her job in the 'creative destruction' it just doesn't matter 'cause their job is GONE.  Since  Romney apparently doesn't understand this in his gut, he has a quite a bit of difficulty conveying to people that he understands this lack of distinction.  The most recent primaries have shown that clearly conservatives aren't all that exited about anyone and are just voting for the one who could possibly defeat Obama.  The main problem is...sigh...I'm sorry but...nobody really likes you all that much, Mitt.  People may disagree with Obama's policy's but...most people LIKE HIM personally.  They like his family, and his wife, and...just him.  He seems like a nice guy.  He didn't destroy Hillary Clinton in their presidential primary contest like Romney destroyed Gingrich with Super PAC dollars.  None of  Romney's competitors like him; they HATE him, despise him on a deeply personal level.  So if the other presidential candidates hate you, how do you think their base voters feel? They may support you in the end, but just because there's no other choice, not because you make them feel good inside.  You got a few months to turn yourself into someone likable, cause if you don't...Just make sure you get large speaking fees cause...oh don't need to worry about money... never mind...carryon, sir, carryon.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Movie A Republican SHOULD Love...But WILL they??

Republicans should LOVE this movie.  Especially southern republicans.  It's all patriotic.  It's about WW II.  They're fighter pilots shooting down the nasty Germans who are trying to take over the world. The fighter pilots are heroic.  They do hero-type things.  It's a real story about real people.  Wave your flags y'all.  Raise them high, because America is a great country, producing great military heroes.  This movie should be a blockbuster.  You should be able to take your kids to the movie; at least your young boys.  They should love it!

Let's see what happens when they see that it's about Black people.  Black Americans.  Heroic Black Americans.  Heroic Black American WAR HEROES.  Wait, wait, I forgot.  All black people are poor and on welfare.

Oh Nevermind.

Ho Hum New Hampshire

So I just finished watching the coverage for the New Hampshire Primary.  Mitt won again, but, as I said earlier, Mitt just ain't cool, so, even though it's looking like he may have just about wrapped this race up only two states into it, I still don't think he's gonna win.  With his talk of his love of firing people (even though it was completely taken out of context, since he was talking about firing a health care plan that didn't work for you) and that he's feared receiving a pink-slip or two, no one really likes him all that much.  And the pink-slip comment.  REALLY!? You ain't never been fired, man!  And even if you had been, you wouldn't have had to change your lifestyle.  All that might have been hurt was your ego; man you're RICH!  I've been fired before (although I must say that after my one and only firing I bought myself a lobster dinner because I felt that this was the great universal spirit telling me it was time to concentrate on my music, which has worked out pretty good  for me ) and it's not a good feeling at all. It hurts both emotionally or financially.  Being laid off because of budgetary reasons ain't fun neither.  "You did a good job, but we have no more money for your area of expertise." But I digress…

I was really fascinated by the different coverage styles of the three main networks: CNN, MSNBC, and FOX.  I watched all three for a while, till I fell a asleep on the couch (while eating a mediocre, but oh so satisfying, chocolate cream pie slice that was on sale for $1).  MSNBC and FOX used their semi-news pundits to have a round table like discussion of events.  Earlier in the night, FOX did a lot more "hard news" coverage of the event, utilizing reporters more than pundits.  However, the award for dumbest story for the night was CNN's, "Let's follow the actual ballots in a car right behind the car that's taking the ballots to their final resting place…" Ummm…WHO DE' HELL CARES?!?!  Normally, the dumb CNN thing has to do with some cool, but stupid technology like holograms or computer generated bobble heads, and smart boards that move in ways that no one really cares about.  If you're gonna go low tech, do it with something people care about.  Following votes behind a car?! Is Princess Diana back from the dead and there's gonna be a shoot out or something while you're following the votes?  Are you following them in a suspicious white bronco in LA?!  Maybe Obama's real kenyan birth certificate is in there or something and Geraldo is going to jump out saying that Al Copone's treasure is somewhere within the ballots cast in New Hampshire.  Why do we care about this?!  You got all this technology to tell us what the results are, what gives with the filler story?  What de hell?!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

BOA building goes under

Now ain't this some Sh%t!  The Bank of America building in Atlanta , GA is going into foreclosure.  Smiling sigh…though the bank is not really involved, it makes me feel good to know that somebody's having the same issues as I have with my house.  One of y'all needs to go down, even f it's only symbolically.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fair and Balanced

Just to balance things out a bit…from twitter:

BorowitzReport Andy Borowitz 

It says something about Mitt Romney that even compared to Rick Santorum he still seems like a dick.

santorum (san-TOR-um) n.

I didn't write this.  I didn't make this up.  Readers of Dan Savage coined the term years ago. But Jon Stewart made note of an interesting coincidence the other night:  apparently, brown seems to be Santorum's "color" on CNN, the color used whenever they air graphics referring to Santorum. I promise, I did not make this up.  And Mitt Romney did not approve this communication... (spoken very fast in a low radio voice)

Santorum: Leather...its what's for dinner

Ok, I don't really want to help to Mitt Romney bash Rick Santorum's campaign but…this stuff is so daggum easy.  I just want to let y'all know, I did not search for this.  It came up on Facebook in a couple seconds of looking through the "news feed" of my wall.  

But…ahem…(I'm taking a second to make sure I put this the right way)…ARE Blacks the only poor people in the United states?!  Are black people the only people to benefit from entitlement spending?!  I seem to remember that we are only 12% of the population.  Don't Whites and Hispanics and Asians and Native Americans also receive welfare and food stamp benefits?  Just sayin'....

Rick Santorum must like the taste of shoe leather...

My good friend L. Michael Gipson tipped me off on this.  Here is Rick Santorum talking about how great the president is for having a date night with his wife.  He's a roll model to blacks that don't really engage in marriage as a good thing. And it's so great that he values his wife as a romantic partner.  Okaaaayyyy (said slowly in that manner women use when they're trying not to appear angry)  Then he goes on to add that going to a broadway show seems a little extravagant.  You can go to the local bar and have a beer, he says, but the important thing is spending time with your wife.

I don't know about you, but if my husband took me to the corner bar for a shot, a beer, or whatever, he would get no lovin' from me! Who in de' hell wouldn't want to be wished off to a grand city to see a Broadway show in a limo or something like that.  Isn't that what Richard Gere did in "Pretty Woman"?!?!  Didn't every woman want to be Julia Roberts in that moment, putting on a diamond necklace and red flowing evening gown?!  Is Rick Santorum nuts?!  I do hope his wife loves him, cause he's going to need to arrange a nice dinner in his best looking sweater vest to at least the Olive Garden or somethin' to pay for that remark.  Maybe Maggiano's is more upscale…Caraba's is another chain like substitute…. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Preach On! "Why An "A" Is Not Enough

Here is as well articulated an argument as any for why we Americans need to ensure that arts education is not only kept in schools, but fostered and strengthened.  This conductor of European classical music in a high school explains that just doing "A" worthy work is not enough.  But more importantly, music made in groups allows us to express the skills that we need to use in our daily lives: working with people to make things work well, shoring up our neighbor, creating beauty with community, and following a leader effectively. Music allows our spirits to sing in all the ways that we as human beings were evolved to express. As my mother always said, "joy shared is joy multiplied."

Friday, January 6, 2012

Reason why Mitt Romney probably won't win the presidency

As I said earlier, there is a cool factor.  But more importantly, there is the wuss/authentic factor as well.  Most all the previous losers in modern day presidential elections to incumbents were frankly....wusses.  And not only is Mitt a wuss, he's a plastic wuss.  Frankly, so was John Kerry.  So was Walter Mondale. Bob Dole was a wuss too.  He kept referring to himself in the third person with that pen in his hand. That was just weird (although in all fairness this was due to an injury suffered fighting for his country)

Mitt has been running for president for SEVEN YEARS! He has yet to break 25% in any poll for that entire time.  Why? 'Cause as John Stewart puts it: he looks like he bought the "how to look like a presidential candidate kit" for $14 million. He looks like a ken doll.  There is not a hair out of place.  His wife is very pretty.  His kids are very clean.  It's all too dang perfect, and perfect just feels wrong. When we heard Pres. Bush had had a drinking problem in the past some of us sighed and shook our heads, but inside, we knew that at least he was human.  Humans get drunk and make mistakes.  

Also, if you gonna look perfect, you gotta look cool doing it.  My favorite James Bond is Sean Connery, because not only was he fine as hell, he really looked like he he could fight...he was dirty sometimes.  But most importantly, he looked cool as hell.  Mitt don't look cool.  He looks like the guy in the movie that's the villain in the geek-as-hero movie.  He's that fraternity brother that just dumps on the good guy just because he's not perfect, like him.   

We like people that look like one of us, just a slob like all of us(see Joan Osborne's song, "What if God was one of us").  And just because he's rich, doesn't mean he can't be cool.  Kennedy's family was rich as a golden ball. All three of the famous Kennedy brothers were cool, the ladies man, and the dorky one, the drunkard (apologies to my brothers namesake!).  They had everything and sailed on yachts and played rich people was like watching P. Diddy at a white party, but they were there first.  You wanted to be them.  Nobody wants to BE Mitt Romney.  Ain't no woman dreaming about mitt Romney. Nobody's writing songs about Mitt Romney. And then he starts reciting the God Bless America and goes to verse 3, the words of which nobody even knows....not cool, just ain't cool...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Cool Factor: Why I believe Obama will be re-elected

You know, thinking about the election, I've come to believe Obama will win, not primarily based on the strength of his record and how people might judge it.  It'll be because he's so daggum cool.  When you see him in a pair of shades, he looks like a secret agent or something.  He's tall, he's good looking - - but he's married, lovingly, to his wife, and it's obvious that he's into some Michelle, loves his kids.  He's a romance novel hero-type guy; at least in a picture.  

Most of the modern presidents have had a similar cool factor in some way or another.  I'd say a certain segment of america likes it's top politician to be cool; a guy you can have a beer with but who is still a larger than life persona. Bush was the Harvard marlborough man who partied hard and just barely squeaked by.  Everyone knows that guy.  They all like him.

Bill Clinton was the hillbilly intellectual.  He liked fries with his shake, and a lady serving them to him was a good thing.  He played sax and would be fun at parties and always had an interesting story to tell.

Ronald Reagan was slightly forgetful, cuddly and soft, but the grandpa you always loved and respected. As an actor he'd been sort of a poor-mans-John Wayne.  He made you feel protected and comforted and laughed at all your jokes.

Few, if any, of these personality attributes really have all that much to do with their ability to govern or their knowledge of the issues.  They're just cool man...  Each had his own cool factor that made you want to be around them.  And when it boils down to it, people don't always vote because of a candidates' command of the issues.  Folks vote their gut, and we always want the girl who looks the best in a swimsuit to win Ms. America, we don't care much at all about her platform.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ron Paul and....MLK??

Interesting, with eyebrow raised.  Ron Paul is a slick mofo.  He seems to be working to become a powerhouse in the Republican party, whether they want him to be or not. This article in the tells the story of how Ron Paul not only made sure his people arrived early to caucus, but stayed late in order to become delegates for Iowa.  They ain't playin'.  They are trying to affect the platform of the party on the sly...

However, Jonathan Bersnstein over at a plain blog about politics is convinced that it doesn't matter because he won't be able to gather enough to make a difference and frankly no one will care and they'll just end up doing whatever they want anyway.

Just my two cents: I think Ron Paul is like the proverbial MLK, Jr. turtle in the race. He may not get to see you on the mountain top of no-government, ass hanging out in the wind because we don't need a nanny state getting in the way of our liberty of doing whatever the hell we want regardless of what or how it affects anybody else and it doesn't matter anyway because we abolished every department that makes sure your food, education, air, and water are ok…as I say he may not get there with you, but he can see the promised land….

Santorum wins...or does he??

So, Rick Santorum did well in Iowa.  This whole situation reminds me of the beauty and nightmare that are Girl Scout cookies.  EVERYBODY waits for those dang cookies to come out every year because they are soooo dang good. Thin Mints anyone? My daughter joined the Girl Scouts this year, and I'm so happy that these cookies are here.  BUT.  With all the other activities she's been doing and the social networking she needs to do (which really means: I have to do), it's gonna be a tough slog to get to whatever prizes have been lined up for the person who sells the most cookies in the troop.  

We gotta identify:  (1) who to sell to,  (2) how many we think we can get them to buy, (3) who we can guilt into buying, (grandma don't even eat cookies, but she'll buy a box) and best of all - (4) who's gonna just come to us saying,"I heard you got Girl scout cookies for sale. I want 8 boxes!"

This is exactly the difficulty Rick Santorum now has.  Girl Scout Cookie time is here!  He won the opportunity to keep on selling.  He just hoped, beyond hope, that he could gain the opportunity, but didn't really expect it.  Now that he does, will he be able to ante up the infrastructure, money, and time needed to capitalize?

Now, to digress a little bit,  there is this mom at my daughter's dance class who is selling stuff constantly: bags, cookies, cards, you name it.  It's all to fundraise for her child's private school.  This woman has it together.  She has her group of people she goes to each time for her products.  Always making sure she doesn't sell to the same people over and over again.  That whole sheet of orders is filled to the brim; three or four times A YEAR! She has her ducks in a row, networks in place, infrastructure down.  Her daughter's gonna get whatever prize is in place for whomever sells the largest amount.  It's a shoe-in.  I'm just trying to sell a few boxes of cookies, so I can have my thin mints, man.

And that leads me to my point: since Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are like that over-achieving mother, Romney more so than Gingrinch, how in the heck is Santorum gonna stand up to the pressure when right now he only has one cookie selling sheet, and Romney gotta staff of people selling cookies in every daggum state on his behalf. What's Santorum gonna do?? Well, all I know is if any of y'all want some cookies, just comment on my blog with pertinent contact info (I'm serious). Cause it's time to ingest some sugar…mmmm…chocolate crispy goodness.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Economist: R's have jumped the shark

The Economist website yesterday had a fascinating article about the republican presidential race.  Now, no one would call The Economist a left-leaning publication.  Though they call themselves independent, they are more like a global version of the Wall Street Journal to my thinking.  This publication is calling the republicans…well…they're calling them dumb a***s, for lack of a better term.  They're using the word Fatwa,  FATWA people, to describe REPUBLICANS' actions because they see the party is utterly inflexible. Here are the Fatwa's they are describing the republicans having proclaimed:

"…that abortion should be illegal in all cases; that gay marriage must be banned even in states that want it; that the 12m illegal immigrants, even those who have lived in America for decades, must all be sent home; that the 46m people who lack health insurance have only themselves to blame; that global warming is a conspiracy; that any form of gun control is unconstitutional; that any form of tax increase must be vetoed, even if the increase is only the cancelling of an expensive and market-distorting perk; that Israel can do no wrong and the “so-called Palestinians”, to use Mr Gingrich’s term, can do no right; that the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education and others whose names you do not have to remember should be abolished. "
The whole article is essentially saying what many people have been thinking: Y'all is crazy! The crap you're doing doesn't make sense!  Here's a bit more (after the, uh, jump):