30 November 2006

When is enough sh-t, enough?

The kid next door is yellin' at his mom again, so it's either time to blog or time to go over there and whup his ass. Since his mom would probably have me locked up for the latter, I'll try the former.

Every few weeks I can hear the 20 year old boy next door yelling at his mother. Yes he's 20 and yes he's a BOY. He's an asshole actually [ I don't want to give 'boys' a bad name] and I think he's got some wires crossed in his head. Outside the house, he's mild mannered and quiet, soft spoken and polite. You'd think he takes his halo home each night and polishes it up before saying his prayers and taking his vitamins. But when he gets angry, he lays into his mother with a profanity laden diatribe that makes my eyebrows raise! I don't think he has a chemical imbalance or anything, I just think that he knows he's a little runt of a punk and if he talked to anybody in the street like that, they'd whip his little ass and stuff him into his own pants pocket. But he knows that his mother baby's him, she coddles him, she allows him to treat her like shit and she is not strong enough or willing to kick his triflin', disrespectful, loser ass out into the street.

The way he treats her always brings me to a question that I always find myself asking:
"When is enough shit, enough?"

To hear this woman talk about her son, you'd think he was a fine young man, but she is clearly in a massive state of denial.

Here's another situation that had me asking myself this question: I found myself in a hospital lobby a few weeks ago. There was a woman in her late 30's there with her mother who was about 60 years old. The younger woman walked over to her mother and said, "Give me $5.00 so I can go get some fries from downstairs." The mother quickly pulled out a handful of bills and gave her daughter a five and then peeled off a second five. The daughter rejected the second five and said [with some attitude] "Why you givin' me $10? All I'm gettin' is some fries!" The mother said, "Well, I need you to bring me something to drink. All I can have is diet Pespi." The daughter seemed very irritated and said, "Shoot, five is enough for fries and a soda. Stuff downstairs ain't that expensive!" She walked away.

Ten minutes later the daughter came back with a chicken fingers platter with fries and a clear colored soda. The mother shot me a quick embarrased look and asked her daughter, "Where's my diet Pespi?" The daughter sat down and started shaking her catsup packet and replied dismissively, "I changed my mind when I got down there and I wanted some chicken and a Sprite, so I didn't have enough to get your soda." The mother shrugged and shook her head sheepishly. She glanced back towards me helpless and embarrased. I swear to God, this is exactly how this went down with NO exaggerations!!!

Now, in my book, any number of things could have caused the daughter not to have any cash on her, but to straight up diss her mother like this! To just shit all over her mother like this! I got the strangest feeling that this assinine treatment was nothing new from her.

Again I ask...
"When is enough shit, enough?"

Then there was the woman I was talking to who had once dated a guy, and they decided to play house and they bought a home together and then they had a kid. Of course, hardly anyone gets married these days, and these two were no different - they'll share a mortgage and bring a life into the world but far be it for them to try and make a commitment to each other. Anyway...

Homeboy turns straight punk after a year or so and he bails out on the woman I was talking to. No child support, no financial support for the house-hold, nothing. So the woman is damned near homeless and penniless for a long time before she gets herself together, but she refuses to take him to court for child support. So, a few years go by and she's doing better, but her Grandmother is now on her death bed. She manages to balance her day between being at her Grandmothers bedside, being at her job and being a mother. Then Homeboy's mother becomes ill at the same time and mind you, he's still dissin' her and their kid, but this woman goes to be with him at his mothers bedside. So she's now spending everyday driving all over creation to run from one hospital to the next and then to work and then to daycare and then home. She's standing beside this guy despite how cold he's treated her. Then when her Grandmother dies, this asshole doesn't even have the decency to show up at the funeral - if not for her grandmother, then at least to show his appreciation for her stading by his sick mother. But she still finds a way to defend this clown to people.

Can someone tell me...
"When is enough shit, enough?"

I mean, when do you say to yourself, "I've allowed this person to treat me so bad that I can't look myself in the mirror. I have thrown away all of my self-respect because I continue to allow this person to treat me like I'm worthless." When do you say, "I have more value than this!"

I understand that some things just aren't for me to understand. I accept that the things that make me tick, don't make everyone else tick the same way, but at some point damn-it, isn't enough, enough?


19 November 2006

Greenleaf is five miles from Caldwell! And now you know too...

A few days ago in the town of Greenleaf, Idaho - the city passed Ordinance #208, which was basically called "Greenleaf's Gun Ownership Ordinance."

Basically, it requested (but did not require) that all residents keep a gun in their homes for protection and to deter crime.

Personally, I don't have any issues with law abiding citizens owning guns to protect themselves and deter crime, especially in their homes. I don't even have an issue with city ordiances requesting this. I hate criminals with a passion and if more people had guns IN THEIR HOMES, I think many hoodlums and thugs would think twice before breaking and entering.

My issue with the Greenleaf situation is that after seeing the chaos of Hurricane Katrina, a city councilor in this tiny Idaho town founded by pacifist Quakers came up with what he considered a novel idea. He wanted Greenleaf residents to keep a gun at home in case they were overrun by refugees from the Gulf Coast.

"This is not an 'it'll never happen here kind of thing,'" said Steven Jett, the ordinance's sponsor. "We could get refugees." This is actually what he said!

The actual ordinance reads.
“In order to provide for the emergency management of the city, and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, it is recommended that every head of household residing in the city limits maintain a firearm, together with ammunition therefore, and obtain appropriate training relating to proper, safe and lawful handling of firearms.”

Okay, it's a gun ordinance. But I hate the fact that this asshole Steven Jett is trying to use racism and racial ignorance to promote this plan. If you want your folks to buy guns because you're an NRA patsy, then go ahead and push the guns. But, damnit don't try to stir up an unreasonable fear of black people within your white community! By far, the face of the Katrina evacuees where black. What this asshole Jett is saying is... "White folks of Greenleaf, be scared! Be scared because BLACK PEOPLE might come to our town! Whoooooo! Whooooooo! Be afraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaid! Whooooooo!"

What an asshole.

Now, I try to be the first person to call a duck a duck. And, I've heard the stories, I've read the reports - there are large numbers of criminals that have been relocated from New Orleans and lots of these hoodlums have be relocated around the country and started doing the shit that got them locked down in the first place - and I FIRMLY believe these people should be taken off the streets and put behind bars accordingly. But, for Idaho's Steven Jett to try and paint all Katrina evacuees as criminal, it is absolutely, racist and it is absolutely criminal.

And since I'm calling Steven Jett an asshole here, I'd like to comment on all assholes that misuse the US Constitution...

"Steven Jett, the sponsor of the proposal wrote, 'I am the city councilman that has proposed the ordinance in Greenleaf, Idaho. You would agree that this is not a new idea. The 2nd amendment was ratified 215 years ago (12/15/1791). I am only supporting it.' "

The 2nd
amendment reads:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

So many assholes cut and chop this sentence up to use it towards their own end. Steven Jett is no different. He's trying to justify the "right of the people to keep and bear arms..." Personally, I think owning a gun is fine if it is legally purchased and registered and the owner is a law abiding citizen with proper mental faculties. But I do not believe that the 2nd amendment is a cart blanche allowance for everyone to have a gun. If you read the text itself, it is clear that it was written to assure that the 18th century American militia was well armed and ready to stand in armed defense of the United States. Well, in today's United States we have an Army, a Navy, an Air Force, and the best damned fighters in THE WORLD - THE UNITED STATES MARINES to protect our homeland. The whole militia thing isn't quite what it used to be. But folks still try to use the 2nd amendment to serve their own purposes. Just read people! Read and use your heads!


13 November 2006

A Message to Joe Gibbs

Dear Joe,

It's time to play Jason Campbell.

It's time to play Jason Campbell.
Sure, we all love you and respect you from our glory days. Your legend here in DC will live for generations. But now, Mr. Gibbs, you are killing us. You and Mark Brunell are killing us with your ineffective gameplay. He is slow and jittery and passes like a little girl. You, sir, seem to be in another world - shrugging your shoulders and scratching your head like you can't figure out what is going on.

It's time to play Jason Campbell.
See, at this point, nobody takes the Redskins seriously. You have a slow and immobile quarterback who cannot and will not run the ball. In the modern NFL you have fast QB's like Mike Vick and Steve McNair and you have big strong QB's like Culpepper, Peyton Manning, Brian Leftwich and then you have QB's that can really throw like Fauvre, Brees, McNabb, Manning, and Brady. These kinds of QB's keep defenses on their toes, because you have to be prepared for anything. A deep pass, a run, a screen, ascramble, a short pass, anything. Mark Brunell [God Bless him] he just doesn't bring the depth and the talent and the threat that you need to keep opponents on their heels. And, now Portis is out! You need to bench Brunell.

It's time to play Jason Campbell.
Lord, Joe! You traded three draft picks to get this Campbell kid. And now you won't play him!?!?! We all are wondering if you've lost your mind. You sell all your stocks to by a Porsche and yet you leave it in the garage so you can go tooling around town in your '81 LeBaron. You can no longer say that he isn't ready to play yet, the ONLY WAY HE WILL GET READY IS IF YOU PLAY HIM!!! If he is awful, it will show, but he can only get better. This guy is not fine wine Joe, he does NOT get better sitting in your basement aging. He needs to be on the field.

It's time to play Jason Campbell.
Frankly Joe, we all like loyalty. But this "Love Fest" you have going on with Mark Brunell is a smack in the face to all of us fans who cheer for the Redskins each week, EACH SEASON!!! We bleed burgundy and gold for God's sake!!! The Redskins ARE NOT YOURS!!! They are ours Joe! They are ours! They belong to the fans! You coaches come and go, the players come and go! But us fans - we stay forever! So, I don't care what you and Mark have to prove to each other. I don't know if you have seen one too many Hollywood movies where the old fart comes in and saves the day. But that is not for you and Mark to try and prove to each other! That is not fair to us fans! Your stubborness and almost flippant attitude towards benching Brunell are almost criminal. You owe the fans a winning team. You are slapping us fans and the rest of the Redskin players right in the face by refusing to put the best team possible on the field each Sunday.

Joe, I love you - But I'm afraid this game may have passed you and Brunell by. It is time play step aside and play Jason Campbell.


12 November 2006

Angry Dad...

Today I am still, The Angry Dad.

Yesterday, my four year old son was at a Chuck-E-Cheese birthday party for one of his little friends. I didn't go, but when my wife got back, my son had some scratches on his face that he didn't have when he left for the party.

According to my wife, while my son was playing up in these 'tubes' they have running along the walls and ceiling for the kids climb, play and slide in, he got into a scuffle with another little boy. Another little Black kid, just like himself.

When the two of them came out of the 'tubes' my son was in tears, he had fresh bleeding scratches and the other kid had a busted lip. My wife didn't know what had happened, but like the leveled headed, intelligent woman that she is she didn't point fingers or make a scene. She called for the other boys mother and proceeded to tell both of them that fighting is not how you settle your problems. The first to show up for the other boy was [probably] his grandmother and then some very young looking 20 something woman assuming the role of his mother. My wife tried to explain what happened from her perspecive and tried to determine if apologies [from either side] were needed and to just get something by way of response from the other mother. The woman looked her kid over, said some things to the grandmother lady and flat ignored my wife and child. When I say IGNORED, I mean did not say a word or anything, she just took her kid and walked away. My wife was dumbfounded.

I wish I was there to comfort my son. I'm sure my wife did a fine job, but I would have liked to have been there too. Actually I probably would have done more harm than good and while I'd like to think I would have stressed to both boys that fighting is not something they should have done, I think I would have gone to jail for the verbal assault upon the other kids mother. I mean, how fuckin' triflin' is a mother who refuses to even acknowledge the child or the MOTHER of the child that just got into a fight with her child. How ghetto could this trick really be. What kind of mother is she? She is the ignorant, flippant, arrogant type of mother that far too many young children have. I am quite certain that I would not have allowed her to just walk away from me. That's not a knock on my wife, but I'm certain that I would have given this woman a significant piece of my mind. She inturn would have probably cursed me out and I would have finished her off with a precision onslaught of verbal declarations and assumptions about her, her family, her family's pets, her hygene and her sexual habits. As I said, I may have caused more harm than good by being there.

A few things about this incident really stung me. ONE, my son has this wide-eyed innocence about him. He thinks that everyone is his friend and everyone wants to play with him and all kids like to be nice to each other. This incident has proven to him that this simply isn't true. TWO, I couldn't help but think about a conversation I had with my father years ago. He told me that he could not understand why it seemed that young Black kids had such a high propensity to fight each other. He said that when you put large numbers of White kids together or Asian kids or Spanish kids, you don't see the same volume of little kids calling each other names and fighting each other. I've never scientifically looked at this phenomenon - but on the surface, I tend to agree with my dad. My opinions are formed by the conversations I hear and see in public, the things I've encountered at playgrounds and things I've been exposed to in general. My father's words came back to me significantly with this incident yesterday.

I stressed to my son yesterday, that fighting is not the way boys and men should settle their differences. I also told him that some kids are just not friendly and some kids don't like to play fair. I told him that I wish I was there for him when this happened. And then I told him words that I was told a hundred times and only violated once [okay, twice] - "Don't throw the first punch, but if somebody hits you first, then do what you have to do to protect yourself." I really wish I didn't have to tell him this at this point, but that really wasn't up to me.

-I'm still angry, though.


07 November 2006

Election Day blues...

Okay, it's late afternoon on election day.

The news is full of nothing substaintial. A lot of election day fluff and expert interviews that all end in... "well we'll just have to wait a see..." I just want to yell - "So what the HELL are YOU being interviewed for?"

Two things have my blood pressure up though-

The first is: there have been large numbers of election flyers being distributed in black communities with a "Ehrlich - Steele, Democtratic Voting Guide" title line. The cover of the flyer has pictures of three Black men on it including Democratic Maryland congressman Kweisi Mfume, Wayne Curry and Prince George's County executive Jack Johnson. For the record none of these three men endorse the current Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich. Yet, on the inside of the flyer where the candidates are listed - the Republican Governor is listed as the top candidate along with Michael Steele the Republican Senate candidate.

On top of that, the people handing these flyers out we're homeless people from Philadelphia that were bused in solely because they didn't know who was who in our election. And according to then, this was the only chance for food and money that they had.

From the Bob Ehrlich camp, they admitted that they had paid for and provided these flyers, "but it was not an attempt to confuse voters."


This is a sad and shameless attempt to trick voters that may not be paying as much attention as they should. Now I have to say - that anyone who is not mentally sound enough to know who's a Republican and who's a Democrat, and they're not able to read a flyer to see who's who, then frankly, I really don't want them voting. Yeah I know some folks will figure it's cute when a 93 year old blind grandmother still gets out to the polls to vote like she did 20 years ago and she refuses to let anybody read the ballot to her... but come on! Regardless of how I feel about the voting process, some people are going to be deceived and some are going to hurt the future of our state and nation.

I still think Bob Ehrlich is the lesser or two evils for Maryland's Governor, but he is a low down dirty dog... wait wait... I like dogs - he is a low down dirty bastard for pulling a stunt like this! Shame on him!

The second thing that is bothering me today is: The black vote and Michael Steele. From media estimates, there are a lot of Black people voting along color lines. I as a Black man am 100% ashamed of these ignorant people.

If you are Black and you vote for Steele because you like his policies, or you like George Bush, or you are against embryonic stem cell research, or you want to stay the course in Iraq. Then fine. Those are real issues and that's what elections are all about. You're an asshole - but at least you are voting the issues. So I can't fault you.

But, if you look at his face and say, "I'm voting for him because he's Black and I'm Black." and you don't know his politics, or you don't know his history, then you are absolutely worthless as a human being. You are a sellout, you are a fool, you are not worthy of the time it would take to have your ass kicked.

All I can say is...


please, please, please


And, please, please, please - PLEASE...

Give a damn.


04 November 2006

It started with puppies and ended with Multiple Sclerosis

With election day less than 72 hours away. I found myself turning an ever increasing deaf ear to the political ads squeezed in between my favorite television shows. It was my ignoring ear that heard a certain silence in an ad that actually caught my attention.

Let me back up for a second to explain why I heard that silence.

About four months ago I first saw a TV ad with Michael Steele on it. He started out by warning us that "The Washington set" was about to start a series of dark and frightening ad's, demonizing him and accusing him of everything under the sun, including hating puppies. He proceeded to touch on a few political points and then pulled a puppy from off camera and rubbed it under the chin and said, "For the record. I like puppies." I thought that was amusing.

Then over the next few days I started noticing people, Black People, asking each other, "Are you voting for Michael Steele?" Before long the question came around to me and I asked, "Why in the world do you think I'd vote for Michael Steele?" People would then kinda' bob and weave a little and I follow up with, "Because he's Black?" They'd shuffle a little and answer, "Yeah, I was just wondering."

I then proceeded to tell everyone almost the same answer, verbatim. "There is no way in the world that I would vote for someone just because our skin was the same color! And, there is no way - at this point in history that I would play a part in giving a Republican a seat in the Senate or the House. I want Democrats to take over the Congress and hold hearings that will hold President George Bush 100% accountable for the illegal and unjustified invasion of Iraq, The unnecessary deaths and injuries to thousands and tens of thousands of American Servicemen and women, The unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of dead and injured Iraqis, The privatization and for-profit contracting of services performed in the Iraq Theater of Operations, and the lack of support in the hunt for Osama bin Laden!" So Hell no, I ain't voting for Michael Steele! At this point in my answer my face would ususally be red and I'd be scowling!

So that is where I stand on Mike Steele. He's a Bush Republican, Republicans tend to give less than a damn about minorities, middle class and lower income families. I believe that Republicans have arrogantly stolen the concept of moral decency and claimed it as solely their domain and told America that you are either moral and with us or immoral and against us - there is no middle ground and only we are civil and just. Of course those Republicans that have recently been accused of paying off abused mistresses; or tax evasion; or flirting with pedophillia; or stealing; or having methamphetimene fueled gay sex with a prostitute. Should simply be ignored and not factored into the GOP's principles - yet when Bill Clinton foolishly got a blowjob in the oval office, Republicans labeled the whole party as horny and immoral. These people have got to be kidding!

Am I voting for Michael Steele? Am I voting for a Republican? Am I voting for a Black Republican? Am I voting to help give George W. Bush a free pass on accountability?

To steal a quote from Senator Clay Davis on HBO's "The Wire"


Well, back to the silence I heard.

This past week I started seeing commericals featuring Mike Steele's sister, Dr. Monica Turner. She started her ads by saying, "Congressman Ben Cardin is attacking Michael Steele with deceptive, tasteless ads," speaking about recent Democratic ads featuring Michael J. Fox and the need to have Ben Carin in the Senate to help Democrats push through federal funding for Embryonic stem cell research. As everyone knows, Fox has Parkinson's disease and his muscle spasms are clear in the ad. She goes on specifically to say Cardin "is using the victim of a terrible disease to frighten people all for his own political gain."

She goes on for a few more seconds before closing with this statement about Michael Steele "He does support stem cell research, and he cares deeply for those who suffer from disease. How do I know? I'm Michael Steele's little sister. I have MS, and I know he cares about me."

When I heard this I nearly fell out of my seat! Isn't Michael Steele doing the same thing he's accusing Cardin of doing. Isn't he using M.S. to frighten people in the same political vein that Cardin used Parkinson's? Isn't there the same amount of logic AND shamelessness in both ad's?

Well, last night as Dr. Turner was interrupting a new episode of Divorce Court, I noticed that Dr. Turner's ad ended a few words shorter than normal. She said, "How do I know? I'm Michael Steele's little sister." PERIOD! CUT! END! STOP! after over a week of this ad running, I think someone in Steele's camp realized that they looked just as pitiful as his opponent. Either way - it doesn't matter. I think folks have already made up their minds. I can only hope and pray that no matter how people vote, they vote THE ISSUES and they vote THEIR CONSCIENCE. With a large Black democratic group in Prince George's county throwing their public endorsement to Steele. I find myself worried and disheartened. I'm afraid that many Blacks are going to side with Steele because of his color. If this is the case, then their decision will be a slap in the face of all the men and women who sacrificed their lives so that we could be afforded the right to vote.

I'm going to end this post with one of my favorite quotes from an anti-Steele ad:

"Michael Steele likes puppies, but he loves George Bush!"
Think people, before you vote on Tuesday. It's not about Black or White, it's about good and bad, right and wrong.