Thursday, January 25, 2018

You Go Alan!

So the Gop is outraged at Alan Graysons 3rd grade-esque school-yard taunts and fiery un-statesmanlike rants?   I say let him speak.   As a matter of fact if it were up to me I would assign a film crew to do nothing but follow him around and have a microphone in his face every possible moment.  My only question is who can we get to play Beevis? I would make him famous - The face of the Democratic party.  For there was rarely anything more aptly said than that: There is nothing worse you can do to a fool than to let him speak.  You Go Alan!

Trusting Tim

Hey I was worried for quite some time about the absurd amounts of money that we have been borrowing from China. They seemed to be increasingly nervous about extending us more credit. And Moody's, those guys that actually establish the worlds credit ratings; They have directly warned in no uncertain terms that our credit rating is at risk if we continue as we are. Many countries that have lent us money in the past have stopped doing so. Economists everywhere within our country and around the world are feverishly sounding alarm bells to anyone that will listen. Pundits and politicians from the far left, to the far right are wringing their hands and predicting dire consequences of continuing to race obliviously toward the cliff.  It's all enough to give one anxiety attacks. I was becoming extremely worried until recently reassured by our peerless Tim Geithner. When faced with this barrage of facts, queries and admonitions, from the ostensible Goliath before him of the Congressional Inquisition he stood his ground unwaveringly and proclaimed boldly that all is well. He assured us that we will never lose our triple A credit Rating. Thus sayeth Tim Geithner - Thus shall it be. Whew! Thank the lord, I was really worried there. Well I for one have the weight of the world off of my shoulders. I am going to just go get a job right away. Hell, maybe I'll even start a new business and create [or save] a bunch of new jobs! After all if you can't trust the guy who can't get his own taxes right for several years, and was part of the agency at the epicenter of the meltdown and never saw it coming who can ya trust to see cataclysmic economic events bearing down on us. Good thing Tim set Moody's and the Chinese straight. You go Tim!
So John Murtha has finally come up against the only real Congressional Term Limit... Finally.  Rumor has it that he left a note saying that:

"in case anything went wrong it was not an accident but a conspiracy by a bunch of marines that sneaked into my room and killed me while I slept, peacefully dreaming of how to get reelected by my ignorant, racist, red-neck constituents."

 By the way - gutsy move Jack; calling the military a bunch of cold blooded killers before going under anesthesia in a miltary hospital! And if you think I am evil for speaking ill of the dead before he is even cold I have a few things I'd like to share:

 In those great scales in the sky, the world is better off without John Murtha:
 I am glad he's dead.

 I will apologize when he apologizes for falsely accusing those marines of "Killing innocent civilians in cold blood."

 Murtha has proved [long before he died]there actually is such a thing as an Ex-marine.

La Hypocresia

So there's Obama and Calderon up there doing their version of "Dueling Banjo's," each trying to out platitude the other.  I noticed a few things that were, as usual, evidently lost on the media.
Calderon mentioned in his speech that they have done, and will continue to do all in their power to stem the tide of guns, drugs and money across the border. Do you notice anything distinctly absent from that sentence?

Well here's a hint: he reaffirmed their absolute opposition to "any attempt to criminalize immigration."  Huh?  What in the hell is criminalizing immigration? Does that mean we should not have any control over who comes to this country, and under what circumstances? Can you name one country in the world who does such a thing? Do Calderon and Mexico just throw open their borders to assure the respect of "human rights" to any that can sneak across their border?  Just try that Schtick when ILLEGALY crossing Mexico's southern border. When caught there doing so by Mexican officials you will generally be either beaten, robbed, raped, and/or killed, and tossed back over the border.

My question to El Presidente is: How would you like if we just adopt your country's immigration policies and practices?

Note to El Presidente: I don't care how flowery your platitudes about our mutual slobbering adoration and friendship, if you do not respect my country's border you are no mi amigo.
PS: And by the way Felipe, If you are running your own country  so damn great why is everyone that can swim, wade, run, or climb a fence leaving there?

It Isnt Easy Being GReen

So I am checking out potential hot new stock picks, and I come upon Solyndra, Inc.  Well, with all of the "Green" job fervor I am thinking that I may be on to something here.  Looking closer I am seeing some fascinating and promising details about the company.  Their website sure looks amazing. And hey, these guys are everywhere in the forefront of Green news. It seems everyone who is someone is endorsing, visiting, or doing photo-ops with them.  They have just built two huge new state-of-the-art solar-power factories. They have stated that they expect a 250% boost in capacity in the next year!
Wow! - but wait...theres more!  The Federal government just gave them a $535 million loan guarantee [The Federal Green-for-Green initiatives - I just made that term up :)  Add to that over a [b]illion in private equity funding, and visits and endorsements from Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger,  and President Barack Obama. and I am just starting to salivate.  It is all enough to make one bow to Ra - The Sun God.  Except... except... There is the little fact... inconsequential really, that Solyndra is  currently doing there best Hindenburg impression.
 (Hindenburg Pic Here)Well, That new [second] factory is quite impressive by all accounts. (I have family that drive by it frequently.) Too bad their first factory is now dead as Detroit. Makes you wonder what the investors of Solyndra (and the Hindenburg) must have been thinking. Yep everything seemed to be going splendidly right up to the moment that it all went up in a gigantic fireball. Well Solyndra is now closing it's first factory just after opening their second. The second plant is as quiet as Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory during an OOmpa Loompa Strike. It's founding CEO has "stepped down." Solyndra has announced that expansion at the new plant will be "delayed" by about half of their previous claims.
Luckily the Obama Administration has "Saved-or-Created" about a zillion new-and-used "Green Jobs" for the approximately 140 employees that Solyndra have recently "let go."(Laid off) Yep I am definitely going to give all due consideration to investing in the new "Green" technologies.

Deregulation For Dummies

Too Big To Fail - Squawk
Too Big To Fail - Squawk
Deregulation Bad - Squawk
Deregulation Bad - Squawk.
Polly want a cracker....

Listen you morons.  Do you want to commit the perfect murder, without leaving any trace? Just parrot the "deregulation is bad" nonsense in my presence one more time and I will probably drop over dead of an embolism on the spot. There is no such thing as "Deregulation." Deregulation is a slogan created to portray political enemies as allowing large companies to pour nuclear and toxic waste into rivers and kiddie pools, and greedy corporate fat cats to commit fraud on gargantuan scales, and throw the "little guys" from the parapets of their ivory towers over lunch just for fun.<!--more-->

Lesson #1 from Ben's book of deregulation for idiots is: Huge companies love regulations. The more the better. Regulations always create an expense. Lots and lots of expense. Ginormous Multinational Corporations can absorb these costs easily without so much as a blink, while passing them to their customer's virtually imperceptibly. A regulation that costs every company twenty million dollars can be spread over a huge company's products and only raise the cost of each of their products by a few tenths of a cent. Small companies that must also comply with the same regulation and incur the same expense will necessarily raise their competing products to an exponentially higher degree, giving them a glaring, and potentially insurmountable competitive disadvantage. Regulations are the most effective tool large companies have to hammer their smaller and often better competitors into oblivion. So for all of you progressives "looking out for the underdog," how is putting the little guy out of business "Looking out for him?" If you will stop chanting your idiot mantra's just for a moment you might hear the desperate pleas of "little guy's" everywhere begging "Please stop helping!"

Lesson # 2 from Ben's book of deregulation for dummies. If you are a Progressive, please put down your Chai Latte for a moment, and try to follow along. Insurance companies cannot currently do business across state lines. This applies to the big guys, and the "little guys."  In reality, there are no "Little Guy's" in insurance. After all, who wants to be insured by a little guy with little resources, who could be put out of business by the smallest run on their resources.  So, far from limiting these companies the regulations have actually created insurance Monopolies in each state. Republicans want to allow [and force] these companies to compete. Competition always lowers consumer prices. [Yes I know this is a no-brainer - be patient, I am trying to explain this to the liberals.] So OK, follow the slowly bouncing ball: "Allowing Competition Is Deregulation." It's maybe not as simple or as catchy as "Deregulation Bad," or "Polly wants a Cracker," but it is a fact, and I am inviting any Progressives reading this to join us in our fact-based universe. Deregulation is what happened to Ma-Bell in the eighties, which is why you don't have one phone company option at $300 per month.
Lesson # 3 from Ben's book of deregulation for Morons: "Deregulation" was not the cause of the bubble or the collapse of the bubble. Absurd feel good regulations created an artificial and unsustainable bubble that could not do anything but eventually collapse. The CRA and other Regulations forced banks to make loans that they knew would fail. They forced Banks to loan in sectors that had proven historically to fail like lemmings heading to a fun day at the beach. The government in return promised to absorb the impact when the inevitable collapse came, thereby passing the loss back to the little guy. This portal to shuttle the risk and the bad debt back to you and me we call Fannie, and Freddie. So the government says go ahead and hand out bad loans like Halloween candy to anyone that rings your doorbell and then just pass these bad loans to bigger banks, who will pass them to the Government insured Behemoths of Fannie and Freddie, who will then just pass them to us, and we will pass them on back to the little people, all the while blaming corporate greed. Oh, and meanwhile we will hopscotch back and forth between our executive jobs at these "Evil" ginormous banks and government jobs created to "oversee and regulate them," raking off millions from these companies that we were "regulating" and excoriating the week before from our government perches.

So now President OBags-a-money and his bevy of  former Wall Street Fat Cats now working for him are going to stick it too these greedy bastards. They are going to create new regulations to protect the little guy. Why does that sound to me like Deja Vu all over again? Tell me, how are the previous round of regulations to protect the little guy working out for you so far? So, OK, OK, I know, the the Progressive mission statement must prevail: "If something has been proven to be a bad idea do it on a larger and larger scale until it works." If you will stop squawking your mantras for even a moment and pay attention you might notice that some of the most prolific recipients of Fat Cat contributions are the very guys now creating these new "consumer protections." If you pay attention at all you will see these same politicians pounding the podium with one fist and decrying these evil greedy bastards and promising crushing regulations while these same Fat Cats are shoving wads of cash into the other fist behind their back. Did you notice for instance that all of these regulations completely ignore Fannie and Freddie, who trade executives back and forth with the government at a pace that would make a world Ping-pong champion dizzy?

Lesson #4, from Ben's book of "Orwellian Government-speak for dummies: "Too Big Too Fail," is the tool that those who are in Companies who have found favor with the government [read: contribution/bribe] use to disassemble their competitors with the gleeful abandon of the neighborhood bully knocking over your Dominoes, your lovingly created house of cards or sticking a pin in your balloon with a loud "pop" and a sincere "Oh, sorry." If you stop your parroting of the latest slogan for just a moment you might notice that the largest, most government protected, and the most rife with politician/executive Ping-pong balls entities of Fannie and Freddie are once again specifically excluded from these "consumer protections." If anyone is to0 massive to fail would it not be Fannie and Freddie, who are ate the very top of the heap?

Who else by the way, is "Too Big To Fail?" Well, the term was specifically used to justify the massive and continuing infusions of taxpayer blood into those glorious examples of corporate thrift and innovation: GM and Chrysler. After all without raping the taxpayer to save all of these union jobs we may never again be blessed with such technological marvels as the Pinto, The Gremlin, The Pacer, the Edsel, and the Corvair. And isn't it interesting that these same government money vending machine-politicians that rained down money on Chrysler and GM are now wagging their fingers at Toyota, promising to stomp on the necks of one of their primary competitors with the rapt attention of a cat atop a quivering mouse. Yep, no conflict there.

So, yeah, if we should start dismantling companies that are "Too Big To Fail," that "caused" the meltdown, perhaps we should start with those companies that are currently engaged in a deep french kiss with Washington, that have their hands deep in the pockets of our current savior-politicians. Perhaps we should start by dismantling Fanny and Freddie brick by brick and draining the corporate swimming pool of the ostensible tons of "spare" cash, and putting the public soaking executive/politicians in the driveway with the pile of other obsolete items for the Goodwill trucks to pick up. Next I say we dismantle GM and Chrysler into a bunch of competing little companies, and see how well they do against our foreign competitors who don't think it a winning economic policy to hobble their largest employers.

Or... perhaps we could as a society endeavor to actually exist in a fact based universe and actually learn something about how we are being used once again by the same Populist Preachers promising us the salvation of "Redistribution, Regulation, Rainbows, and lollipops."

Census Adventures

So there I am just minding my own business... and then... and then... Well I have long said for many years now, that Chief Joseph and I - "will fight no more forever." I have really been such a good compliant citizen for so any years now. Just as Billy Joel opined in his song; "I once believed in causes too. I had my pointless point of view. I found that just surviving... was a noble fight, da da deh..." So Chief Joseph, Billy, and I were henceforth determined to just "Let it be." And did our dear Federal government hold similar sentiments? Well as it turns out - Not so much.<!--more-->
So... as I say, I am just going through my mail when I see it; "YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY LAW." Now that's scary lookin, thinks I. So as it turns out, it is the census. So I, the diligent civic minded citizen open the envelope to see what "Response" is "Required." Well I remember from my senior year civics class somethin about them countin us to determine how many representatives to "apportion" for our congressional district. I also have watched the recent barrage of commercials jingling on about the government not being able to go on till they received our census response. [Well we could only hope!] So, anyway, thinks I, counting how many people are in the area sure seems reasonable. So I go to answer how many people are at the residence and I then notice something very odd... Well it seems that in addition to how many people are in the residence they want to know what the racial make-up is of the house, along with my marital relationship and that of everyone in the house, where I work, and a whole lot of private information about myself, and anyone who lived here but has recently left. So now I am starting to get bugged.

So now I am thinking that they are really asking a whole lot of information that they just have no right to. "But do they?" I wonder. So I fire up my "Google - Everything you ever wanted to know about anything machine" and soon am in possession of the pertinent statutes. They are 13USC Sections 221, and 223 respectively. I will post them under the documents tab with the pertinent section of the constitution but for simplicity I will truncate or paraphrase them here.

Well as it turns out 13 USC Section 221 does specifically require everyone to answer any and all questions put to them without limitation. It specifies a $100 fine for non-compliance or neglect, and a $500 fine for lying. Section 223 further specifies a $500 fine for refusing to grant access to any agent, etc. of the census bureau to your house for the purpose of gathering whatever information the deem important. So now I am getting reeaaalllly bugged.

So I, knowing a teensy bit about the constitution, know that they can only require information specifically authorized therein. The downside to this of course is if the constitution just vaguely specifies "Information" or some other ridiculous non-specific drivel. But as I recall the authors of the document were rather careful and specific about their wording. So I crank up the old Google again and soon am staring at our precious constitution, and more specifically Article 1, Section 2. This is the section that talks about "enumerating" the people for the purposes of determining numbers of representatives and "apportioning" taxes. So right there in the text it clearly and unambiguously defines the limits of the granted authority and the exact associated requirements of all citizens pertaining to it. So what does it say exactly?

Well it says they can tally up all "free persons," and all "Indians not taxed," and "Three fifth of all other persons." Now as for the tree fifths persons, you'll probably remember from high school civics that this was referring to blacks, who would conveniently only be counted as three fifths of a person. This has of course been changed, and they are now counted amongst the free persons as whole people. And of course the Fourteenth Amendment has made the "Free" persons" designation obsolete as well. So that leaves two things specifically authorized to ask the citizens in regard to "enumerating" them. They are authorized to ask how many persons reside at each residence, and how many are "Indians not taxed." Now after very careful examination I cannot find anything in the original article or any subsequent amendments authorizing them to gather any further information for any purpose whatsoever. Now it could be there, but it isn't in any copy of the constitution I have ever seen.

So this all got me wondering what would happen if I just answered these two questions and nothing more. Sooo... back I go to Google. Well it seems that there are a lot of people disenchanted with the arbitrary ignoring of the constitution and Draconian pronouncements of the heavy boot of governmental displeasure on the necks of any citizens with the impudence to insist on them remaining within their constitutional restraints. So included in this bunch of 'Wackos" refusing to answer arbitrary, private, and unauthorized inquiries is none other than Congresswoman Michelle Bachman. Ms. Bachman has stated unequivocally that she is only answering as to the number of persons residing at her premises, and answering not a word more. So in deference to Keith Olberman I am hereby proclaiming Ms. Bachman this weeks winner of my Bestest person award. Ms. Bachman's spine [and soul] are clearly intact.

So wandering further throughout the web I happen upon the musings of disgruntled, and gruntled former census SS operatives. My favorite amongst these is the one who explains various techniques of garnering information from the neighbors of the non-compliant. Additionally he/she suggests to the new crop of Gestapo goons that as a last resort they could bring the local police to the door to intimidate the impudent residents into compliance. "This always," he/she insists,"does the trick." So now I' getting reeeaallly, reeaally bugged.

So, a short time later I am, statutes and pertinent constitutional section in hand, standing in front of the local police commander. So I am asking him if the portrayed scenario is likely, and if they would be raising the stakes from a civil infraction to some kind of obstruction/refusal to cooperate situation. I am especially concerned with Section 223 that specifies that we must grant access to our house to these thugs or face a fine. Well he assures me that they will never allow any governmental operative to enter our home and would never do so themselves absent some probable cause to believe a crime was taking place or some imminent harm to someone therein. In regard to them bringing along a constable for the intimidation factor the police Commander stated most emphatically that any such request would be met with the unequivocal suggestion that they "Pack Sand."

So, I like the good citizen that I am go home and answer the "Required" parts of the "Census Confession." For question #1 I state that there are two persons residing at the residence. I then scrawl across the rest of the document in bold red Sharpe: "See Attached." I then attach a letter properly addressed to the Census Bureau stating briefly: "I believe you are confused as to the limits of your constitutional authority. I have included them for your review." I then go on to include all of Article 1, section 2 of the constitution. I conclude with: "In compliance with my civic duty and with consideration to your constitutional authority and limitations I will tell you that there are two persons residing at [this address], and they are not "Indians not taxed." And I sign it Sincerely the resident of....

epilogue: Well it is my understanding that in a few months the governmental worker bees will be descending on the neighborhoods, clipboards in hands, to round up the missing information from the "neglectful" and the "disobedient." I have printed up additional copies of the letter to provide them when they come calling. I am eager to ask them to show me from where in the constitution they derive their authority to demand any additional information. I am fascinated to ponder what their response will be.


Those who lack the courage to attempt the impossible may forever deny themeselves the knowledge of just how majestically they can fail...  (B. Owen 2011)

Who is braver? The optimist that believes he will eventually win through perseverence, and a little luck, or the man who marches stoically on to certain doom?

Optimism: Pathological ignorance of imminent doom. (B. Owen 2011)

We Can do this!"  - The phrase most often used to lead an army of well-meaning idiots to their deaths. (B. Owen 2011)

"There is nothing to fear but fear Itself!" - The phrase most often used to lure a bunch of half-wits that do not consider the factuality (or idiocy) of that statement to their doom.

"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead." Credited to Admiral David Farragut during the civil war but actually coined by two others before him... who could not take credit because they were blown up.
So Bill O'Reilly was going on about the Superbowl Taco Bell commercial being disrespectful of the elderly. I have enclosed my reponse:

Old idiots deserve no more respect than young idiots. They have just been stupid longer. I reserve my respect for the good and the wise: not for those who have been stupid longer than I have been alive.
So I get this email that has been forwarded about a zillion times; Huge panic. Obama is going to give Social Security benefits to illegal aliens. And hey, why are they suddenly no longer "Undocumented Workers?" But I digress. So suddenly everyone is freaked out. Let's all play "sign the petition." yada yada... After all, Obama will certainly give in to public pressure. [tongue firmly in cheek.]
Soooo anyway, It's all a big hoax. There's no petition, No Social Security for illegal's, and according to the left, there aren't even any Illegal Aliens.

Irregardless of this [Yes I know that that is a double negative and not a real word but I like the way it sounds; kind of "extra-regardless.] so [r]egardless of these facts the frantic plea got the old juices flowing, and here was, and is, my response:

First: I realize that this is a hoax. With that said
This is truly unbelievable! Not that he would do this, but that you are surprised by it. Barack Obama is a far left liberal; the most far left that has ever gotten access to the most powerful position in the world. Of course he is going to give all governmental handouts to everyone. He has promised it since he came onto the national scene. He promised it long before. I have been begging everyone I know to do the most cursory research, to just be informed, and I have been blown off as the right wing loon. This is the "social justice" that he has promised ad nauseam. He has promised Amnesty to all of the illegal's, although it will be called "A path out of the shadows" or some other Orwellian title. He will swear it is not amnesty but it will have all of it's disastrous effects.

Social Security is already bankrupt. It is already a Ponzi scheme that would make Bernie Maddoff blush. The federal courts, and even the Supreme Court have stated exactly that. Social Security is on track to implode by 2017 unless massive tax infusions are added (that's right, substantial new payroll taxes taken from your checks) George Bush tried to address this, albeit weakly, and the left wing stuck their fingers in their ears and called him a moron for it.

The Supreme Court has already ruled several times that any benefit given to one person must be available to all "persons," regardless of their citizenship status. This is guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, and cannot be abrogated by any law. That is why illegal's cannot be turned away from emergency rooms. That is why illegal's currently get L&amp;I ( Workers Comp.) and other state and federal benefits. That is already the law of the land. That is why all of the current twenty million or so illegal's and any of their kin who can swim, wade, walk, crawl, etc here will have access to the new healthcare regardless of what Obama or anyone promises. It already is the law of the land, and cannot be changed.

The supreme court decided decades ago that the government can give Social Security to anyone it wished regardless if they ever paid into it. They further stated that it is simply a tax, and does not obligate the government to pay any money out to anyone ever, as long as they provide benefits equally to all. In other words they can kill Social Security at any time and not owe one cent to anyone. Social Security will be unsustainable within the next decade. That is no ones opinion. It is simply an accounting fact.</p>

Medicare and it's bastard child, Medicaid are actually much worse, at something like $50 trillion dollars in the red, currently. As more and more doctors cease to take these patients due to ridiculously declining reimbursements the signs are becoming impossible not to see. These too will inevitably implode under their own weight. Continuing to pretend otherwise will not protect us from it.
This is the path we are on. We are racing down it while the liberals and progressives remain blissfully ignorant, holding hands, singing Kumbaya as they drag us all over the cliff with them.</p>
This is the Hope and change your hero promised. He promised repeatedly to "fundamentally change America." he promised ad nauseam to drag America kicking and screaming to a world of Left Wing Nirvana of "Social Justice." This is who Obama is. This is who he promised to be. You were warned. This is just the tip of a massive iceberg of disastrous things he is doing right now and promises to do in the near future. This is what I have been ranting about for a very long time, that people have not wanted to listen to. This is the natural course of a left wing world view. Obama is just the latest and best of socialist / fascist demagogues preaching clever rhetorical platitudes to an ignorant populace who have no desire for any distressing and inconvenient facts.

Once again the "progressives" have fallen for the same old "We"ll only tax the evil rich" nonsense. Once again they are learning that in trying to save the world with other peoples money they have only picked their own pockets and all of their neighbors. Thus has it always been. Thus must it always be.
No stupid petition is going to stop the deluge. It is simply the proverbial finger in the dike. If you put 12 progressives in a boat you can guarantee that 3 will be busy patching holes, three will be drilling new holes, three will be bailing out the water, and three will be congratulating everyone on the full employment they have created for everyone in the boat. The hard thing for me is the whining of the left as they realize that actual consequences and outcomes are more important than good intentions.
Your friendly neighborhood Right Wing Whacko.

Anyone Lose A Bomb ?

So there's Eric Holder at the obligatory news conference telling us all about the car-bomb in Times Square. You've really gotta appreciate his ability to talk on and on without taking a position on anything. I am in constant awe of the seeming pinnacle of the evolution of the Yellow-bellied Ass-Covering Bureaucrat. [Beuaracratus-Slickious]  So Eric is going on about not being too hasty and jumping to any conclusions about the possibility of this being a terrorist event. Huh?<!--more--> What in the hell would a car-bomb left in probably the busiest public square on the planet be other than a terrorist plot? Does he think that someone accidentally misplaced their bomb? Does he think that some senile grandma is wondering to herself "Now where did I leave that car full of explosives? I am just so addled these days!" Perhaps Eric should have gone on national TV and just asked: "Hey, did any of y'all out there lose a Bomb?" We'd really like to get it back to the rightful owner. Oh, and you are also illegally parked."

So just two short days later Mr. Holder; the ostensibly indispensable and smartest guy in the Justice Department has decided that an abandoned smoking car bomb in Times Square is an actual Terrorist Activity. Thank you Captain Obvious!  Well with guys like this in charge of protecting us; as well as Treasury Secretaries who don't see the relevance of their tax dodging to their job, or Homeland Security chiefs saying that terrorists getting bombs onto our planes is evidence that "the system is working," I sure feel safe; How 'bout you?  Yeah, Kudos Eric on your firm grasp of what everyone else on the planet figured out days ago. Way to sniff out the clues McGruff!

Race Baiting

So the first black person I really knew was Tony. He was a total cliche. He was quite a bit taller than any of our classmates, and taller still with his large Afro. He was untouchable at basketball, and most sports for that matter. I didn't think much about his race, except that he was a rarity as the only black person in our school. We didn't call them African American's yet. I think we were just switching over from "Colored," to "Black" We still heard a few "nigger" jokes, but these were already mostly out of vogue and mostly spoken only in hushed tones. I was unaware of any great racial divide and I don't know if Tony had any special animus against whites.

Over the years I met many more blacks as they slowly filtered into our region, and as I moved around to other regions. I never experienced much racial tension. Though the news told us continually that racial tensions were high all around us. I never noticed that much difference  in them in regard to the old stereotypes and prejudices. They did not seem any less intelligent or honest or anything "less than" the whites around me. Over the years I began however to notice a quite inescapable trend. The blacks seemed to have an increasing self imposed segregation from the whites. It's not that they resided apart; there were actually no ghetto’s, slums, or racially segregated zones where I lived.   It's just that they just seemed to associate mostly just among themselves, at school, and around town. They seemed more and more to glance at us from "over there" in their huddled cliques. When they glanced outwardly toward "us" they seemed increasingly angry and accusing. In time the animosity became more direct and outspoken. We began to be informed that "we" were racists, and that we were "keeping them down." As Stevie and Paul harmonized their ode to piano's and race relations, crooning how well their black and white piano keys got along, while lamenting "Why can't we," I continually wondered “ I thought we already were. [?]”

So let’s get something out of the way up front. The word: “Nigger.” I will not use the politically correct euphemism of “The N Word.” I refuse. I will never call or associate any person with the word, but if we are constrained to cripple our speech so much as to not use a word simply because it is rhetorically charged or because someone might decide that they should be personally offended just by the utterance of the word then we might as well not even bothering to speak at all.  - [Yes, I am aware that that is a rampant run-on sentence].

So, to the meat of my rant – [finally].

1.     If you are alive today [as evidenced by the fact that you are reading this] you know nothing more than I do about slavery than I that you didn’t read in a book, regardless of the color of your skin.

2.      If you are in your mid 40’s or younger you never experienced any of the Jim Crow laws directly. You never drank from a different fountain, used another restroom, rode in the “back of the bus,” or any other “separate but equal” or even separate but unequal treatment. Regardless of what your parents may have told you of their personal experiences there is far more information available to anyone of any race in the thousands of books, videos, and photographs on the subject

3.     If you are black man in America the only one more protected and favored by law than you is a black woman or perhaps a black gay woman.

4.     You are not an African-American unless you hold dual citizenship to both of those countries.

5.     If you are a “black” American you are probably nowhere near black, and most likely a pleasant shade of brown. Your hair may credibly be called black. This ink is black. You are most likely not.

6.     I am not white. The inside of your refrigerator is white. This page is white. I am somewhat lighter shade of brown than most ‘Black” men.

7.     Being Black in America does not mean you are automatically a descendant of slaves.

8.     Many Blacks in America today, or their ancestors came here willingly from Africa.

9.     Being a White American does not mean I am a descendant of slave owners.

10.  The first leg of the slave trade was Africans selling Africans. Your ancestors could have been slave traders as well as slaves, or perhaps even both.

11.  My ancestors could have been with the Underground Railroad or myriad other abolitionist groups risking their lives and all that they had to free slaves.

12.  Thousands upon thousands of White Americans died in the civil war freeing the slaves.

13.  Many that look “Black” and self-designate as black are actually quite often Black & White, often with several other races mixed in.

And Finally:

14.  If you are the descendant of Slaves in America you have probably been done a huge favor. When your eyes stop bleeding and you stop screaming at your monitor take a breath and think this through dispassionately and logically. Yes your ancestors were definitely screwed. I am certain that it was as inhuman and horrifying for them as has ever been described to us, but; Africa is a hellhole. Millions upon millions have died there in the past several hundred years from epidemics, plagues, war, ethnic machete massacres, and any other groovy way to die that you can imagine. Slavery is still rampant there. Ethnic massacres are rampant. Aids has wiped out vast numbers of the population and ravaged the continent. There seems to be only two classes: The corrupt and the destitute, the strong and their prey. The odds are enormous that had your ancestors not been dragged here, and brutalized that you would be there in Africa today experiencing horrors that can hardly be imagined, or that your lineage would have been destroyed long before you existed.