22 December 2005

The Good, The Bad and The Senate.

At first I was happy and surprised and then I was sad and not surprised.

At first, the Republican controlled Senate found the scruples and the testicular fortitude to vote down a bill supporting oil exploration and drilling in the National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. This provision was embedded in a larger bill which provided funding for our troops in the Middle East warzone and for hurricane Katrina relief money. You know - the money that mostly goes to the no bid contracts in the Gulf. The same money that FEMA doesn't spend on getting trailer homes for many of the displaced families in the Gulf. Yeah - that money!

Well, anyway - the Senate found the where-with-all to vote against the passage of this bill. Collectively, they didn't like the part about the oil drilling. Now, some people might be surprised that they voted down one of W's pet projects. After all, there's billions of dollars to be made sucking that black gold out of the ground. All by Halliburton, probably. But they voted against it. Of course, now, when it comes to reelection time the hardcore Bush lovers on the right side of the isle are going to call all of the Republicans that voted against the bill - "Unpatriotic!" They are going to say - "these people voted against money for our boys in the war!" - "They voted against the war on terror!" Some red state voters are going to agree. However, I think everybody on the hill knows that W is a Lame Duck, and a Lame Duck with 75% of his presidency ahead of him. Some of these Senators know a sinking ship when they see one.

So, even though the drilling language is going to be 'tweeked' and stuck elsewhere, I fully expect Halliburton trucks to be plowing through the homes of red crested squirrels and long haired elk in Alaska within six months. But at least the Senate had balls for a few minutes.

Then I was sad.

Then Tricky Dick Cheney cast the deciding vote in a bill to make aggressive cuts in Medicare and student loans - all in an effort to save $40 billion. I find that laughable. "Hey Dick! Hey Dick! If you really cared about saving taxpayers money and avoiding excessive spending - you should have told W to keep our troops out of Iraq! If Saddam was such a brutal bastard, one of those Shiites I see on the news every night should have put a hollow point through the back of his head 10 years ago!" Saddam served a useful purpose over there - he was an arrogant, but needed buffer between Iran and Syria and the oil fields of Saudi Arabia - plain and simple. Now Bush has toppled his regime and that buffer is gone, so we have to fight, and fight, and fight, and die and fight and die and fight.

Don't get me wrong, I truly believe Saddam was an ass-clown, but he was their ass-clown, and now, our ass-clowns have knocked him off his seat of power, so we have to not only pay for our troops and our war effort but we also have to rebuild the country that we blew up when this whole shit storm started. If we had just wiped the entire Taliban off the map, rained down cruise missiles on the Pakistani mountains where that punk ass Osama is hiding. We would have been fine. We'd still have $400 Billion dollars in the U.S. Treasury, we could give a shit less about Saddam and dare I say, W's approval rating would probably be over 60%. But the Bush White House wanted to blow as much money as the could.

Now Dick Cheney and the Senate want to make old people and college kids pay the price for their fiscal irresponsibility. Shame on you! Shame on you all.

Remember when America used to be great? Remember when the President would get a little chunky lovin' from his 20-something intern? Remember when gas used to be $1.39 a gallon? I'm glad you remember those times, because until we get a Democrat back in the White House - it ain't gonna be happenin'.


16 December 2005

It's okay. The white guys were drunk.

Only alcohol fueled white kids cause trouble.

For Blacks, Latinos, Philippino's, Asians, Hispanics, Cubans, Haitians, Dominicans, etc. it is often anti-social behavior driven by poor education, lack of self control, inborn violence, or poor conflict resolution skills - all this according to the media.

But when whites act like fools and show their rage or their racism or their plan old ignorance - the mass media is quick to nullify its significance by just writing them off as "rowdy drunk kids." These reports, if you read between the lines, are basically saying - "It's okay, the white guys were drunk, they didn't mean any harm."

This past weekend in Australia was a great example of this drunk "white guy" rage - according to the media. It seems as though hundreds of white males went on a violent rampage attacking people of apparent middle-eastern descent. These attacks were very violent and destructive but all - ALL - accounts brushed their actions off with the precursor... "Today, hundreds of drunk men..."

Here are some actual quotes from mainstream media.
"On Sunday a mob of 5,000 white men, many of them drunk, attacked men they believed were of Middle Eastern descent" (SOURCE - CNN)

"About 5,000 white men, many of them drunk, targeted people believed to be of Arab or Middle Eastern descent..." (SOURCE - FORBES)

However, when Blacks or Latinos or anyone else act like fools, it's presented to the world, almost like... "here these savages go again..." That is almost how it is presented! I hate the way white guys are allowed to act like complete asses in the public light, and have there behavior 'white-washed' with the soapy foam of a cold Budweiser.


13 December 2005

Laughter Lives On!!! Thanks Mr.Pryor!!!

This past Saturday, Richard Pryor died at the age of 65. He will be missed.

When I heard this, I couldn't help but think back on my first taste of Richard Pryor's comedy. I was 13 and when my parents were at work, I'd sneak into my dad's closet, way in the back at the top and I'd pull out Richard Pryor's "WANTED" LP. I'd listen to it all the time and laugh my ass off. Throwing a brick at Jim Brown... Monkeys making love in the trees... It was all so funny to me. I loved it!

Richard Pryor's style of humor, his "tell it like it is" look at society, race relations, love, sex, being black, being white, being human - was so special. He put it all out there for everyone to see. If you preferred a less edgey approach to your comedy, you still had Bill Cosby, Rich Little and those guys. But if you were willing to let the walls be painted blue, then Richard Pryor was for you. If imitation is the best form of flattery, then guys like, Sam Kinnison, Andrew 'Dice' Clay, Bernie Mac, Chris Rock, Eddie Griffin, Cedric the Entertainer and countless others flattered him and acknowledged him as the true Master of comedy.

Richard Pryor - the man is gone, but his comedic legacy will live on for ever.

Thanks for the laughs Mr. Pryor, I'll always cherish my sneaks to the back of my dad's closet!!!


08 December 2005

What is WEALTH?

I just turned off an episode of CRIBS. You know the show - where celebrities like to show off their bling, their cars, their gear, their CRIBS. I typically don't watch the show because it should be called, "Look At All The Shit I Have That You Don't"

Am I hatin'? Sure, maybe a little. But who could blame me?

I mean, you have some rapper, or some dude that rides skateboards for a living and they have a $2,000,000.00 home, with 6 bedrooms, 2 heated pools, a massive game room, 2 basketball courts, a tennis court, a baseball field, a yacht and 14 cars. And they rap or ride bikes or dribble a basketball for a living. Whereas I, a fairly smart guy, a decent family guy with a nice job and beautiful family and friends don't have all that shit. So - you're damned right - I am hatin' a little.

But, my hate aside - this show and shows like it, hurt some Black folks. These shows mispresent wealth and what it is to be wealthy. Many Blacks see these shows and figure Lil'Bow-Wow, or Snoop Dogg, or Tony Hawks and these guys are wealthy. They figure - like many folks - that in order to be wealthy you must have possessions. And not only have possessions - but be able to show people these possessions.

Take for example: Many rappers and other people are now buying gold 'fangs' to put over their teeth, they have diamond encrusted rings and watches and rims to SHOW everyone that they are wealthy. You see this in day to day actions with non-celebrity people too - how many of us have seen these teen aged mom's with little 2 year olds wearing $130 Avirex leather jackets? Or how many times have we seen men and women driving $60,000 cars and parking them in front of apartments that cost less than $500 a month?

Many of our people are so blinded by the concept of wealth being material goods AND the ability to show off these goods that they do nothing more than make themselves poor.

Consider this situation: A man hit the lottery and won $500,000 dollars. He proceeded to do this:

-Bought 4 cars - A Porsche, a BMW, a Cadillac Escalade, and a Corvette - $230,000
-Customized all 4 - $55,000
-Bought 3 new motorcycles - $19,000
-Took 17 friends to Las Vegas for a weekend gambling trip - $48,000
-Bought new clothes, DVD players, Plasma TV's, games, CD's, DVD's etc. - $26,000
-Gave family and friends gifts - $50,000
-Spent $17,000 on [mostly] losing lottery tickets. - $17,000
-Paid his $900 a month rent in advance for six months - $5,500

This poor fellow is still bragging to everyone that he is rich, he is wealthy - he still says this to people! To meet this man - wearing a sharp suit, driving a shiny BMW and listening to him talk about his motorcycles and his cars - many folks might accept that he has been successful and has been rewarded in life with financial security. This would be a lie though. This man is broke and in even more debt than he had before he hit the lottery. He, like many others is disillusioned into believing that wealth mean possessions. The only people WEALTHY in this deal are the companies that sold him the cars and motorcycles and clothes and electronics. This man is very very poor. But he has furthered the wealth of Porsche, Cadillac, Sony, Suzuki, Harley Davidson, Chevrolet, Calvin Klein and others.

I want and I hope that Black people can keep this example in mind and we can stop giving all of our money and our true wealth away to multi-million and multi-billion dollar companies all to try and one-up our neighbors and to try and impress those around us. I'm not saying - take a vow of poverty or be ashamed of living well, no - nothing of the sort. I just want people, especially my Black Brothers and Sisters to use our wealth, wisely.

What is wealth? Well, you can look the word up in a dictionary and get several meanings. But to The Thinking Black Man, I'd have to say that wealth is the financial means to live well, to support one's self and all of one's dependents while still having the money to afford various luxuries and revenue generating endeavours. WHEW - Now that was a mouthful!

But, I will also tell you what wealth is not. (In my opinion)

WEALTH is not having more money in your driveway than you make in a year.
WEALTH is not spending one months salary on sneakers.
WEALTH is not putting more gold in your mouth than you have in your pocket.
WEALTH is not dressing your child in a $300 outfit when you can barely afford to feed him.
WEALTH is not defined by the names Fendi, Chanel,Prada or Dolce & Gabanna.

Define your wealth - don't let others define it for you.


05 December 2005

Homeland Insecurity

Tom Kean is the ex-Governor of New Jersey and the former chairman of the 9/11 Commission. Recently the members of the Commission gave President Bush and his White House a series of failing grades in implementing their recommendations for prevent future terrorist attacks in this country.

Of course, President Bush sent his National Security guy, Stephen Hadley to the media with catchy soundbites: "America is safer but not yet safe." President Bush also said that measures requested by the commission still have to be passed by congress, and that will take time...

Can someone please give me a freakin' break here? I mean is this complete bullshit or what?

The congress IS Republican and the congress hasn't said, "No." to Bush for ANYTHING he truly wants them to pass. The facts are like this: The threat of Terrorism is not a legitimate concern of this administration. Bush and his cronies are only successful when they are scaring people and when they can point to radicals and say, "Look at these people that want to hurt us." That's all they can do well, so why should they want to REALLY prevent the only thing that can boost the Presidents approval rating. Just as they turned their heads on pre 9/11 warnings that Al-Qaeda was planning on high jacking planes, they are turning their heads away from logical steps that could make our country safer.

With Bush's national approval rating at 37% [or less] and considering his poor track record with good decisions, I'm sure that some of his henchmen are whispering in his ear, "Mr. President, you know that terrorist events make YOU look VERY presidential. So, maybe we should look like we're TRYING to do something good, but we'll drag our feet and then blame the democrats in congress for slowing things down. That way, we come out blameless, and the Dem's come out looking stupid, lazy and weak. You know - like they always do."

I can't help but feel that the Bush White House is willing to arrogantly take our national safety for granted by carelessly disregarding the practical and achievable goals of the 9/11 recommendations.

01 December 2005

Roe, Roe, Roe v. Wade gently down the stream...

The Christian Conservative Right that runs this country is living for one day and one day only. The day the Supremes overturn Roe v. Wade.

I expect half naked white kids and pasty old men and women dancing and frolicking in the streets from coast to coast the day of the decision. People will be getting "Pro-Life" tattooed on their asses and foreheads and basically all of the red states will glow a little brighter under their own self-righteousness. Ah, yes - there will be celebrations in the victory over the evil abortion lovin', tree huggin' baby kissin' Left-wing liberals!

Ahh, the streets will run creamy and sticky with the flowing milk and honey of Christian Conservative purity.

But what I find most amusing in all this, is when Roe v. Wade is overturned, and it will be if Bush gets to name one more Supreme, is that when the daughters of these current pro-lifers get knocked up. Mom and dad are gonna hustle them to the nearest blue state for a quicky abortion. See, when abortion loses its federal protection, the individual states can wage their own little wars to see where abortions are legal and where they're illegal. The states will probably line up much like they did when Dubba-ya got elected [the first time] in 2004. Blues will be pro-choice, and Reds will be pro-life. But mark my words. Many of these pro-lifers will march and sing and even kill to stop people from having abortions, but when they win their battle and little Susie or little Katelyn ends up knocked up by the blond haired blue eyed quarterback... these folks are gonna sweep their daughters to the blue states and into the stirrups so fast, your head will spin!

This fight against RVW is nearing the end. These pro-lifers are happy to wave their bibles and tell the world how wrong young women are for having abortions, but when the tide is turned and their own daughters are holding EPT's (Early Pregnancy Tests) with the little blue plus signs. The rules they've been fighting for will no longer apply.