About Me

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New York City, New York, United States
41 year old African-American Male. I like to think of myself as a jack of all trades and a master of none...I rely on reasoned common sense, rationality and what my gut tells me is right/wrong (combined with the well reasoned opinions of others!). I don't consider myself an expert on anything in particular, but I have lots of opinions.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Playing Politics With the Rights of the Citizenry

reminder that serious issues remain with respect to ensuring that all duly qualified citizens who have the right to vote are able to exercise that right...I wish and hope that people in the affected states are not asleep and allowing these undue restrictions to happen without a fight!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

If You Are Interested in Recapturing a Long Forgotten Time...

I should be offended by this story, but I am not...It's just so damn stupid...It shows the sheer cluelessness of some in the  fashion industry (I don't want to denigrate an entire industry of people).  Truly, a "what were they thinking?" moment.  Additionally, I hate the use of the term "ethnic" when describing jewelry, clothing, etc.  What in the hell does that mean?  For me, the implicit statement is that there is some objective standard (read: white/European) and any deviation from that standard is "ethnic", when really, everything probably has some ethnic orign (ie., related to some ethnic or culture group). 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

video
I am late to the game on this...Jon Stewart's take on the blowhards at Fox News who have lambasted Warren Buffet's op-ed piece...Honestly, there is not much more that I can say, the clips speak for themselves...

Part II

video

In fairness, I have to link back to this article from The Atlantic I discovered the clips (I am in the bad when Stewart comes on).

Snooze Alert

Far be it for me to judge how anyone uses his/her time, but I think that there are most likely better uses of social media than this---a flash mob at a suburban shopping mall (unfortunately, I have been to Strongsville, OH...maybe there isn't much else to do).  I guess I shouldn't be surprised by this cheap publicity stunt considering that this guy is affiliated with Bad Boy Records (do they even exist?).  Sigh and yawn at the same time...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Thank Goodness Someone Else Wants to Take Back America!

Looks like Van Jones has been keeping busy...His group is planning a big march on Washington.  I am glad to see folks on the left/Progessives doing something (better late than never) to combat the misinformation and out right lies being perpetrated by corporate media/MSM and the far right.  I really wish that I could go, but timing is off (maybe I am not sacrificing enough?????  That's an internal debate that I will have to resolve).  I wish them the best and I will be following.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Philly Mayor Michael McNutt thinks that the so-called "flash mobs" of primarily young blacks (and especially men) are doing a disservice to "their race" (Actually, I am really paraphrasing...He said that the dress and demeanor of some young black male youths is doing a disservice to "race", but the article that I linked to referenced the flash mobs...I think that they are related).  I have to disagree.  I think that the lack of self respect that these folks manifest (whether they are in flash mobs or are just generally unproductive) is a disservice to THEMSELVES [even if I am empathetic to some of the root causes behind this dysfunction]...Call me crazy, but I am just not going to accept everything that some black person does (whether it is good or bad) as an indictment or reflection on the entire race.  That makes absolutely no sense [to me, at least].  Its not an a matter of being black unidentified (or naive), its just a reflection of my thought process.

I wish I could explain how I feel, but this strain of monolithic black essentialism is incredibly troubling to me (and, its not something that's new).  I think that is part of the tendency to see a black person who has "achieved" some level of success in American society and want to translate that "success" out to the larger black community irrespective of whether the community actually benefits (which, generally speaking, they do not).  I understand the importance of symbolism (which is a separate but related issue).  I felt it the night that President Obama was elected.  At the same time, I have had a realistic perspective on what he could actually achieve (and, I recognized that he was not quite as progressive as I would have liked).  Similarly, I have just taken the position that I am not going to extrapolate the behaviors of individuals across the black community as a whole...This may not make much sense and it may appear to be two disparate strains of thought...But, in my warped mind, they are one in the same.

Random Thoughts to Close Out the Evening...

I am watching "The Last Word" (Melissa Harris-Perry is substituting for Lawrence O'Donnell) where they featured some interesting clips on Rick Perry...I am not surprised by any of the fact, but I hope that people who don't know take some time to read up on this guy...Its almost like GW II (maybe its just the Texas accent)...


Additionally, I downloaded to my Kindle Professor Randall Kennedy's latest tome, The Persistence of the Color Line (one review here)...so far, so good...Surprisingly, this is the first book by Professor Kennedy that I have read (but, it won't be the last), which surprises me since I tend to gravitate toward books by law professors that analyze and critique social issues...I can't explain why I have been sleeping on this guy!

A&F is TRIPPIN'?

A&F is going to pay someone NOT to wear its clothes?  I don't watch "Jersey Shore" nor do I wear A&F (although I find it hilarious that the company refers to itself as an "aspirational" brand...really? for whom, 10 year olds?  But, I digress...).  Given A&F's marketing campaigns over the years, this seems a little silly...I don't know ANYONE (maybe I need to widen my circle) who would get distressed b/c the clothing from a mass market retail brand where they happen to shop is also worn by a... (I'm thinking of a delicate way to put this...) "colorful" reality show television personality...I think someone is taking themselves too seriously and its not the guy from the television show...

Two Guys Board a Bus...

I have to say, I was cracking up when I read this---Steve Harvey clowns Tavis and Dr. Cornell...As I have said repeatedly, I don't have problems with folks who want to criticize the President (and in deed, there is plenty to be critical of him about), but there should be some logical or rationality behind it...I liked Harvey's pointing out that poverty existed before the President's inauguration (this is the same argument I have used against the Tea Party---where were they when President Bush & Congress were spending like drunken sailors at a strip club?).  I just seems to be that some of the criticism is personal and the professed "issues" are subterfuge...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Country Doesn't Matter

Fiction Can Be Better Than Facts

Some interesting points on Texas Governor Rick Perry from those who have ran against him.  The media seems really into his entry into the GOP nominating contest, if for no other reason than the rest of the field is a total mess.  I lived in TX for 3-4 years and honestly don't remember anything about Perry.  Over the last few years, he has made some memorable comments---TX should secede from the Union (imagine if President Obama had said something similar...Of course, Obama is President and not a governor, but I found this comment interesting considering that Obama's patriotism has been relentlessly challenged), and then there is today's comment that printing more money would amount to "treason" (of course, there is no explanation...which is typical of this field...make ridiculous and inflammatory statements without backing them up).  Based upon my time in Texas, I don't know if the state's mindset will translate nationally (admittedly, it worked once, but boy did that cost us!!).  I guess only time will tell.  Personally, I see Rick Perry as the male version of Sarah Palin---a governor (or, former governor) who has managed to lead a wild-card state and benefit from intrinsic aspects of that state, which in turn, hasn't required much from of them in terms of putting forth novel ideas.  More often than not, they [Perry/Palin] says boneheaded things, which captivates the MSM, but at the end of the day, there is not much there in terms of substance (Palin's ridiculousness is well documented.  Perry's ridiculousness is starting to come to light...Like his claim to have balanced the state's budge...He fails to mentioned that it was done with the dreaded STIMULUS money, but why let a minor detail stand in the way of a great story?!). 

YAWN

This story is a snoozer on so many levels...I certainly hope that Jay and K didn't pay $370k for this car (most likely, it was furnished for the publicity) and who wld pay any kind of money for an automobile that is effectively, a piece of junk?  ( Sure, some people might call it "art", but I call it junk).  In these times of economic uncertainy, is it wise to engage in this kind of frivolity (I don't have have an opinion on this particular issue---I think that whole thing is kind of stupid, my that's my opinion).  Oh well, I guess you can't please everyone.

Monday, August 15, 2011

What's Wrong With This Picture?

I don't want to accuse anyone of doing anything improper, but this should raise plenty of eyebrows---perhaps even more than Vice President Joe Biden charging the Secret Service rent or Congresswoman Michele Bachman's own blatant hypocrisy on government spending...Maybe I am just naive, but I tend to think that when you take an oath to serve the public interest (an oath that I have not taken), I think that you should do just that...Apparently, others disagree...

A Reminder

Ok...I am child-less (and intend to remain that way), but I have a 13 year old nephew and 9 month old niece, in addition, I have an 11 year old God-daughter and a partner who has young nephews...my point is that I am definitely into rearing (or ASSISTING) in raising well-mannered, introspective young people...I came across this article in Parents.Com and quite frankly, I know plenty of adults who should keep these ideas in mind---saying "please", "thank you" and/or "excuse me" is always welcomed!

Why We Need to Increase Government Revenue

Attached is an op-ed piece that appears in the New York Times and is written by none other than Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest men in the WORLD, on the problem with the "no revenue increases" mantra that is being touted by a certain vocal segment in Congress.  In very plain language, Mr. Buffett outlines the absurdity of this position in a time of alleged "shared sacrifice".  I have yet to understand how this crazed minority (if you believe public opinion polls) has been able to convince the America public that raising taxes on the "super rich" will be bad for the economy.  WE ALL benefit for services provided by the government, from defense of the country to maintaining the safety of air travel (when its not being held hostage to political wrangling) to research conducted by various federal agencies.  Yet, WE ALL don't pay for these benefits equally.  Personally, I don't have an income or investment portfolio that comes close to approximating that of Mr. Buffett and his super rich friends (and, in fact, he pays more in taxes that I can probably expect to earn over the course of my life). Yet, I earn considerably more than the average American.  I would have no problem paying more in taxes if it means that those less fortunate are able to retain more of their income---those  the people most likely to spend and quite frankly, they are the ones most in need.  And, its the right thing to do.

There is this narrative that prevails in this country about hard work and self reliance.  Quite frankly, its a lie.  In fact most of those who are "self made" are anything but, whether its through connections, education or through  the maintenance of a system that tolerates such gross inequalities in wealth distribution, no one has ever really made it 100% on his/her own.  But, people believe in that tired story because it makes them feel good.  I wish that the President would just be frank and honest about why tax increases are both important and necessary.  Its not about patriotism (another lie in itself) or notions of altruism.  Its the price we pay to live in this society and each of us to should be forced to pay according to our resources (this is a bit simplistic, but I think that the point still applies).

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html?_r=1