Friday, December 30, 2016

Sports, Politics, and ... "Anti-White Lives Matter" Protesters?

 - Have you ever seen so many one-handed catches in football? It must be the gloves. When I see NFL receivers wearing gloves in 75 degree weather, I am convinced the gloves given them an edge. Otherwise, why wear them?

Better to ban all gloves for eligible receivers in the NFL. Let them have their gloves in the college game, the way they allow college baseball players t use aluminum bats. When the cream of that crop reach the Major Leagues, they are stripped of those rocket-launching aluminum bats and made to prove themselves the old fashioned way - like men, with wooden bats. Strip NFL receivers of those gloves; let them earn their money the old-fashioned way - bare-handed, like men. Maybe, then we can see once more who has "great hands," and who doesn't.

- Have you noticed: Nearly everyone in the NFL has an effective two-minute offense. No one seems to have an effective two-minute defense.

- Speaking of football:  Are we tired, yet, of being remind that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote? It's like the losing football team crying out:  "We gained the most total yards!" Who cares?

- Do you know what's wrong with basketball? Too many time-outs, especially at the end of close games. It's pure tedium. I watched this year's WNBA game between LA Sparks and the Minnesota Lynx. Both teams were out of time-outs coming down the stretch. Good. Bang! Bang! Bang! went the finish. It was fun.

Caught this CNN news flash on November 19, 2016:  "White Lives Matter" protesters face off against "Anti-White Lives Matter" protesters in Dallas, Texas.  What the heck is an "Anti-White Lives Matter" protester... and why?

Monday, December 12, 2016

Confederacy Rising

The Confederacy is loving it. Jeff "the Ku-Klux-Klan-don't-bother-me" Sessions is going to be the US Attorney General, and will head the Justice Department. Steve "I-love-the-Stars & Bars" Bannon is to be President Trump's top strategist. "We're taking our country back!" must be the modern version of "The South will rise again."

We often hear people say, "America is a divided nation." Let's be real: All nations are divided in one way or another - between Conservative and Labor, Hutu and Tutsi, Shiite and Sunni, rich and poor. It is natural to take sides. America's divide, however runs deeper than most because of one word: slavery. The Mason-Dixon Line which divided North from South - the Union from the Confederacy - existed long before the Civil War that finished the Confederacy as a physical entity. Relegated to an ideal, that state of mind continues to seethe in the former Confederate states that stretch from South Carolina to Texas.

Slavery is a difficult thing to get past, especially a system of slavery such as the one that existed in America - so rigid, so built to last. It seems, sometimes, that whites cannot get past the fact they once owned blacks. Neither has blacks gotten over that 250 year hump that has metastasized into the meanest callous ever visited upon mankind.

This country has come a long way since the Confederacy's physical body extinguished. But, its spirit lives on; it is divisive by nature. As the poet, Dylan Thomas, would say, it will "not go gently into that good night."

Monday, November 28, 2016

Oh, What a Tangled Web...

It doesn't seem real. Trump. President. I would have bet Kanye West would have had a better chance. Aii, the Democrats have no one to blame but themselves.

The Dems cheated; they cheated their own people. The Democratic National Committee hijacked the democratic process during the Democratic primary. They did it for Hillary. They believed she was entitled. Bill Clinton said it himself, said, "She deserves it." Deserves? Royalty, and "due of birth," deserves. Americans earn.

Trump, despite his boorishness, fought his way through 15 other seeming more competent Republican candidates to get the Republican nomination - candidates which included eight governors, five senators, a Fortunes 500 CEO, and a physician. Meanwhile, Hillary was sailing along, past her only competition - that was by design - a 73 year-old socialist Independent from the quiet state of Vermont. (He made her look young, to boot.) Could her road to the Democratic nomination have been made any easier?

But, that wasn't enough. Then, Donna Brazile, Democratic National Committee chairperson, lifted a debate question from CNN and passed it on to Hillary. When that question was posed to her in the subsequent debate, Hillary hit it out of the park. Later, after CNN discovered Brazile's breach, the network fired her. The damage was done.

There is an idealism about young people that is precious. For all the talk about Hillary's emails, Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation and "pay for play," the lifted debate question - that deft bit of skullduggery - may have been the drop of water that sent Hillary's cup to overflowing, and swept her away. No matter how much the heavy-hitters - Beyonce, LeBron, Barack, Michelle - implored the millennials to get out and vote for Hillary, those young people could not get the bad taste out of their mouths left by a woman who appeared to have everything, and still stooped to cheat an old gentleman named "Bernie", who appeared to have so little.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The "Machado" Card

Hillary Clinton, the self-proclaimed "champion of women's rights", has pulled out her "Machado card", again. Ms. Machado is the Venezuelan beauty queen infamously slammed by Donald Trump for "getting fat" back in 1991 when he was owner of the pageant. Hillary introduced Machado to Americans at the first presidential debate, seeking to highlight Trump's abusive treatment of women. That swipe sent Trump into a week-long rant.

On November 1, Hillary used Machado again - this time, asking the young lady to introduce her (Hillary) at an Ohio rally. One CNN correspondent described Hillary's actions (rather benignly) as "seeking to bait Trump" - to get under his thin skin, again, and send him off on another tangent.

What appears to go unnoticed is Hillary's cynicism. Her dangling of Machado in front of Trump reminds one of how a matador manipulates a red cape to incite a bull. In essence, Hillary is exploiting Machado in real time - doubling down on the poor woman's victimhood, using the spectacle of Machado's public shaming for her (Hillary's) political gain.

That isn't all of the damage Hillary has done to women, (or inspired them to do to themselves); especially women of color in this campaign.

Debbie Wasser-Schulz, the Hispanic-American congresswoman from Florida, was forced to step down as Democratic National Committee chairperson for wrongs she committed against Bernie Sanders in her over-zealous effort to pave the way for Hillary.

Donna Brazile, an African-American, and CNN analyst who replaced Wasserman-Schulz as DNC chairperson, was ignominiously fired this past week by CNN for stealing primary debate questions from the network and passing them on to Hillary prior to her primary debate against Sanders. When Fox News' Megan Kelly called Brazile out on her indiscretions, Brazile became indignant, and declared: "I'm a Christian woman..." (mumbling some passage from the Bible), and then blamed the Russians.

Meanwhile, Huma Aberdeen, and Arab-American, and Hillary's "right-hand woman," is being chased by the FBI.

Nevertheless, a smiling Hillary stood before a crowd in Ohio and insured them that: "They (the FBI) have nothing on me."

For a moment - I swear - I got a glimpse of Al Capone. "Go Hill!"

Thursday, October 20, 2016

America, Your Vote is You

As much as I admire our First Lady, Michelle Obama, I winced when she told a crowd of millennials that a vote for third party candidate, Gary Johnson, is a “wasted vote.”  Where she should have been uplifting those young people, she chose to bully them instead.

The beauty of democracy lies in the ability of every single voter to dream, to imagine that his or her vote holds magic; that maybe… just, maybe…

Imagine 34% of the electorate ignoring Bill, Barack, Biden, and Bernie, and the other “shrill, shills for Hill,” end deciding on Election Day, “I will vote for whom I chose.” Is it not possible to catch “lightning in a bottle;” might not millions of Americans look at those two dinosaurs – Trump and Clinton – and say to themselves, “Too old, too dishonest.” Imagine they then decide to vote for Jill (Stein) or Gary (Johnson).

Might not this be the time to make America a true democracy, and throw off the shackles of a two-party system that increasingly leaves Americans holding their noses while they vote? Instead of voting for whom the polls command them to vote, might not it be time for Americans to take that vote in hand and declare: “This vote is mine!”

When “Hill’s shills” tell American voters that there are only two options – Hillary, or utter dissipation – they harpoon the very magic that makes democracy the dynamic force it is meant to be. 

Listen, America; especially you young people:  Your vote is you.  It is an irresponsible vote only when you deny your conscience, and put someone else in charge of it. You must believe. Otherwise, democracy is a farce, a failed experiment. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

To the Black Community: Conduct Yourself Like "Black Lives Matter"

The African-American community is in crisis. Nothing so illustrates its plight as the carnage that has become the streets of Chicago. That city – where, on average, 12 people are shot daily – is a furious and unfortunate snapshot of black communities across the country. That group, Black Lives Matter, is marching. Individuals like LeBron James and Colin Kaepernick are lending the light of their celebrity to illumine African-America’s dire straits. They mean well, but they deal in platitudes when they rail against guns, drugs, police brutality – the usual suspects – and give a pass to the supreme culprit – ourselves. 

Earlier this year, at Henderson State University in Arkansas, the administration banned excessive profanity, loudness, and sagging pants.  The black community immediately branded their action “racist” for daring to call out transgressions the black community apparently owns, and feels obliged to defend. That tells us that the insanity driving the destruction of the black community includes presumably sane leaders who shelter the cancer that threatens to devour that community from the inside, out. 

It is convenient for minority communities to villianize the police, whom many feel exist for the protection of the majority community from when they come. Certainly, there are bullies and racists among the police, and those rogues must be challenged, asked: “Why are the police so much more likely to ‘shoot to kill’ a black suspect than a white one?” Even so, the police exist on the periphery of our lives, just as does this specter of “black oppression.” And so, what if “black oppression” exists in America? What chance does such watered-down bigotry have against a people who have ascended through centuries of “fierce oppression,” and did it with dignity and resolve? Stop whining, African-America, and start doing a better job of policing yourself. 

The devastation being wreaked upon the black community today comes not from drugs, guns, or the police. It is spawned by the most destructive force in civilized society – undisciplined boys who grow to become undisciplined men. They are pandemonium personalized – walking around with their pants down, spewing obscenities, while making babies right and left, and teaching them nothing. These people disrespect their elders, endanger the children, and despoil the very air with their racket. They live by chaos. Chaos make them feel needed; gives them the impression that they are in control. In a way, they are. Decent society fears chaos. Each time these brigands pique our fears, they tweak their control over our lives. 

Today, Americans are armed to the teeth – 300 million guns in the hands of the public; 40% of all the public-held guns on Earth. We are armed out of fear – not fear of ISIS or Al Quaeda, but fear of young, black men.

I was born in ’52, and cut my teeth on the detritus of “Jim Crow.” We knew segregation, sit-in, race riots. We marched into the breach created by black men and black women who marched before us. We fought and bled and died. We won. History books call it the “Civil Rights Era.” I call it “African-American’s finest moment”, or simply, “The Struggle.”

Perhaps today’s young people long for such a struggle - one that will define their moment in American history. I respect that they care. I trust that, they, too, have courage. But their message loses its resonance when many of the people they march for, they should be marching against. 

We fought for black women forced to give up their seats so that white men could sit down. We fought for black men lynched for speaking to white women. We fought for four black kills killed in the bombing of a Birmingham, Alabama church. Today’s activities fight for the likes of Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and Dequann Jackson – hoodlums, bullies, habitual offenders, tramplers of the rights of the defenseless in their own neighborhoods. We won the civil rights struggle of the 50’s and the 60’s, not because we were brave, but because we were right. When today’s activities line up to champion the lives of people who defile their own communities, they are not right, and no one will win. 

Time for the black community to pivot, and march on itself. Instead of trying to convince white people that “black lives matter,” let’s tell that to our black children. Better yet, let’s not say anything – “Love” is an action word. Show them that their lives matter by spending more time helping to shape their lives, and less time seeking to satiate our own. At a time when black children are dying in record numbers, there is far too much fun, adult fun, being had in the black community. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Searching for Another Hitler

At a rally in Orlando, Florida, Trump playfully told people in the audience to hold up their hand and pledge to vote for him in the primary. When the people playfully took part in the show, members of the media compared their raised hands to the "Hitler salute." Really?

At another rally, Trump told members of his audience that "if you see someone about to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of him." Hitler? Sounds more like Archie Bunker to me.

Americans like to compare anyone they dislike to Hitler. They called Obama, "Hitler." They compared Iraq's Saddam Hussein to Hitler, and Iran's current regime to the Third Reich.

Let's get real: Hitler was a mega-racist; perhaps the greatest racist of all time. Trump is not a racist at all, except that he comes from America, whose every citizen is, somehow, touched by an ingrained racism that spans half a millennium.

Trump's New York is the most racially-diverse city on Earth. If he were a racist - considering his outspoken celebrity - we would have known about it long before now. He does not hate African-americans, nor Hispanics, nor Asians. He only dislike those who are here illegally, or who try to enter the country illegally. That makes him a nationalist. H-u-u-g-e difference.

Now, they are calling ISIS, Hitler. They compare ISIS' genocide against Christians in the Middle East to Hitler's genocide against the Jews. Really? ISIS is an equal opportunity killing machine. They kill everybody: Jews, Muslims (Sunni and Shiite), and any Christian who gets in their way. They killRussians, Germans, Americans, Brits, Chinese, and the French. They kill Taliban, Al Qaeda, and Hezbollah. (Come to think of it, they do sound like Hitler, except they are missing the most important component: military might.)

At best, ISIS has 50,000 fighters. Hitler had an army of five million disciplined soldiers - men who brought an area over four millions square miles - stretching from Paris to the outskirts of Moscow - under his control. ISIS has killed thousands. Hitler's troops killed 20 million Russians, alone.

So, just stop it. There are no Hitlers in the world today, just like there are no Abraham Lincoln.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Supreme Blunder in the Offering

It is curious that the Republicans have outright refused to consider any Obama nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. They will lose again.

The Republicans claim that an Obama nominee will skew the delicate balance the conservatives enjoyed with Scalia on the bench. Now that Scalia has died, almost any Democratic nominee will, in their minds, tip the Supreme Court in the Democrat's favor.

President Obama is well aware of their concerns. That is one reason why he has nominated Merrick Garland, a moderate who has worked under both Democratic and Republican administrations. Mr. Garland is a compromise candidate the Republicans would be foolish to ignore.

If Trump is the Republican nominee for president, the senate Republicans down-ticket (20 are up for re-election) will likely suffer, perhaps so much so that it tilts the Senate back into the hands of the Democrats. With the strong chance that Hillary wins the White House, and the Dems take back the Senate, that slight tilt of the Court the Republicans fear Obama's pick might effect, will be a toppling when she - under no such constraints as Obama - sends her pick to her Senate.

An Obama nominee may be the last best chance the Republicans have to get something out of Scalia's death. However, with their backsides still raw from the repeated spankings Obama has put on them these past seven years, they may cut off their nose to spite their face, clearing the way for Hillary to righteously drive the stake deeper into their confederate hearts.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Why Not Trump?

This is America, the Land of Opportunity. It is a country where any boy or girl, no matter how rich or humble their origin, can become president. We were told this in grade school. Like you and me, Trump probably sat at a small desk practicing his cursive, while being told the same thing. So, why not Trump?

All presidential candidates are saddled with their own unique set of problems. Trump’s are magnified because he wants it that way. Some people call that “crazy”, some call it “confidence”, others call it “genius.” You get the sense with Trump that if you were to find a skeleton in his closet, he’d simply say, “That’s where it belongs.” 

Many of Trump’s detractors are plain phonies. Trump reminds us of the America Americans like to pretend does not exist. You hear them say of Trump’s outrageous blasts, “America is better than that.” No, it is not. American is what it is. Trump makes it see itself in techni-colored animation. They chide him as the antithesis of America when, in many ways, he is its mirror image.

It’s like this, folks:  Donald Trump is a megalomaniac; America’s id – an unconscious burst of energy derived from that ethereal substance in America’s DNA that wants it all. He is big, brash, and a bullying bomb-thrower. He does what he wants, when he wants. Impulsive, spoiled, he is the “Ugly American.” And his people love him because he shamelessly seeks to satisfy their insatiable thirsts for more. 

When Trump’s minions look at him, they see America in all of its glory, and its infamy. They do not mind. They just want to win. Iowa aside, no one wins like Trump; just ask him. 

So, why not Trump? Because Rubio will beat him in the primaries. Then, he will beat Hillary in the general election. 

Rubio is bright – the Republican’s Barack Obama. Hillary is dated, and she screeches. Besides, America loves small children in the White House, especially girls. Witness Amy, Chelsea, the Bush twins, and Sasha and Malia. Rubio does not have girls; he has two handsome little boys. America will love them, too.

Hillary has Bill. Kind of creepy when you think of it:  Like having the ghost of presidents past knocking around the White House. No, thanks.

Rubio, 2016! That’s the best America can do this time around.

Monday, February 1, 2016

In Bizzarro World, the Unlikeliest is Likely

Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton have a problem. Both entered this presidential campaign as the likely nominees for their respective parties. Both are "establishment" candidates in a year when the establishment is scorned.

Jeb, who is polling at 4% in national polls (while his most formidable opponent, Donald Trump, is polling around 30%), could be on the verge of getting his walking papers. Hillary's numbers, too, are slipping. Fortunately for Hillary, her chief opponent, Bernie Sanders, is a 73 year-old, self-proclaimed socialist. Unfortunately for Hillary, the FBI is investigating her for improprieties in her handling of classified emails. They are also looking in the possibility that she may have used her position as head of the State Department to peddle influence with foreign entities on behalf of the Clinton Foundation. An unlikely indictment would likely derail her presidential hopes, clearing the path for the first socialist to head a major party ticket. Waiting for him could be an unlikely Republican nominee in the person of the inimitable Donald Trump.

Imagine, America's top capitalists going toe-to-toe against its pre-eminent communist. In the land of the "Almighty Dollar - Mean Green!"  it is likely "The Donald" would blow the old Bolshevik right out of his troika. Except, 'tis the season of the unlikely.