Shout OUT!

HAPPY BDAY to Bella Baggins (7/6) and the BIGS (7/13)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

2 week notice, now you are on notice!

- I got a friend of mine who put in her 2 week notice.  This got me thinking as she was telling me she was still working...WHY ARE YOU WORKING?  Isn't a 2 week notice like a notice that says, you have me for 2 weeks but I ain't gonna be doing shit!  Serious, who expects quality work from a person no longer bound to that paycheck that comes every 2 weeks or so.

- In sports yesterday, the Spurs failed to look at the Pacers V Heat series and pulled out their best rebounder and player last night in Tim Duncan, and watched as the Heats rebounded the ball and made a critical Heart stabbing 3.  Thank you Ray Allen for reminding us all that if you ignore your history, you are doomed to repeat it.

- Kanye is a father.  People are wondering what type of dad he will be.  They are wondering if his latest album is a reflection of his future tenure as a dad.  It's a fucking album and his baby momma has already been pimping the fetus on her show for weeks now.  CLEARLY, it doesn't matter what kind of father he will be because you know she destined for the Pole.

- Chief Keef has been arrested for speeding, and hit with two paternity suits.  If a rapper doesn't live in Northbrook, does anyone hear about this?

- The NSA is currently spying on you.  The government has been doing this every since the words GOVERNMENT were created.  Quit ur bitching and stop worrying that anyone cares that you like to look at porn.  If ur looking up a bomb, or ways to fuck shit up, then you deserve to be spied on and your house raided by Special Forces and guys who are itching to shoot a terrorist.  This isnt a violation of civil liberties, this is what we all bitch about.  Dont believe me?  BENGHAZI...yeah..go complain now.

- Free festivals are all over the city.  Get out and enjoy one.  No really!  Don't sit at home wondering if your kid has ADHD as you let him play on the tablet for 6 hours.  Don't wonder why u have a spare tire and white walls to match as you sit there watching a cooking show with no food in your refrigerator.  GET OUTSIDE.

i am arrogant..why aren't you!

Friday, June 14, 2013

The untold story behind the of the lack of fathers

I know this blog space isn't always the place for the most serious of topics, but since Father's Day is Sunday, this entry is quite timely.

We like to laugh, joke and tease (myself included) about men who have children they don't know about or don't claim, or "baby's daddies" and the lengths they will go to avoid paying child support, but this isn't one of those pieces.  Absentee fathers have a major impact on our communities, and the domino effects that follow are making the world we live in worse.

First and probably most obvious is the impact it has on boys and young men.  While mother's play a significant role in the lives of all children, at some point a boy needs an example of manhood to follow, someone to teach him not only what responsibility is, but what it looks like.  In too many instances, we have examples of dodging responsibility (and subsequently the negative talk surrounding those actions--which have another impact on the child, but that's another subject altogether) rather than examples of sacrifice in the face of responsibility.  Additionally, boys and young men need examples on how to treat women; often this initial impression is made on how the men his mother surrounds herself with treat her.  If the boy/young man observes men smash and dash on his mother, he will believe this is acceptable behavior--after all his mother tolerates it.  Other than the company a boy's mother keeps, an absentee father means a boys only other examples are what the entertainment industry provides--an industry determined to paint men as conquistadors of vagina.  The end result is men who believe women are objects to be used for their instant gratification who don't take any responsibility for the end result that often comes...another child.  And the cycle continues.

Less obvious is the impact on girls and young women.  Because of the above cycle, women are often forced to raise their little girls with a sense of independence.  While that certainly is not a bad thing, when those girls become women, it can negatively impact how they are able to work within a relationship setting (unless of course she finds a man who bends to her every whim).  The whole "I don't need you" attitude is in direct contrast to a situation (i.e. a relationship) that's supposed to be symbiotic--each person relying on the other for encouragement, strength, etc.  What one lacks the other should have...and be readily willing to provide it.  This blurs the line of the roles that each should play, since mom played all the roles that must mean the girl can play all roles too.  That simply doesn't work where two people are involved--a woman can't be the man and the woman at the same time when there is a man involved.  Women raised without a father also lack an example like the boys above of what a "man" should look like.  This can lead to a lot of trial and error and maybe a few baby daddies of their own.  Perhaps even worse you get a situation that breeds domestic violence--two people raised without fathers who have no idea the roles the other should play or how to treat each other with each trying to "show" the other who's boss (i.e. the girl asserting her independence and dominance; the man trying to assert the same).  And the cycle continues.

We honor single mothers for overcoming many trials to do an amazing thing--raise a productive member of society on their own.  But just because its done every day doesn't mean it should be.  This Father's Day if you know someone who needs to be in their children's lives, encourage them to be active participants.  Because despite all that mothers continue to do, the lack of fathers is hurting our communities more than we can tell on the surface.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Shit is real, got me feeling ISRAELIAN

On June 3, 2013 the United States Supreme Court reversed the decision of a Maryland Court tossing out a man's conviction for rape, where the primary piece of evidence linking him to the rape was gained incident to an arrest unrelated to the rape.  In doing so, the Supreme Court opened the door to police taking DNA samples from an arrestee.  Non-lawyers everywhere are going nuts about how crazy this is.  I'm here to tell you how crazy it isn't.

I'll start by saying the majority (the five justices whose decision is now law) fucked up.  There is no question that their reasoning is flawed based on other elements of Maryland's statutory scheme (which I won't explore here.  Just know that the court says the purpose of the DNA sample is to help ID people, yet the statute presupposes you already know who the person is since there's information that must be included with the DNA sample when it is taken).  Justice Scalia in his dissent argues that taking a DNA swab is an unreasonable search because the swab is taken for the purpose of investigating another act of which there is no other evidence.  Under the law there must be some idiom of suspicion before a search can be granted, and even then a warrant is more than likely necessary.  But searches incident to arrest do not require a warrant; the suspect is already in custody and assumes the arrest had valid probable cause.  Once at the station the police can ask you to strip, go through your pockets and purse and even ask you to provide a urine or breath sample (assuming you're arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol).  The type of search has to be rationally related to the reason for the arrest; asking someone arrested for battery to get naked, squat and cough is not a search rationally related to the crime of beating someone's ass.  Collecting a sample of the battery suspect's DNA however might be rationally related to the crime of beating someone's ass--that DNA may end up being a valuable piece of evidence should other identification become a problem.

What is glossed over throughout the opinion however is that building a database of criminal information is not problematic.  Building a database of violent offenders post conviction is not an issue; the FBI already does it.  When someone is arrested, it is completely constitutional to take their picture, capture fingerprints, note scars, tattoos or other markings...and add them into a database.  Each fingerprint (and information tied to the prints) are given a unique identifier called an IR number.  The majority opinion suggests that DNA evidence gathered subsequent to arrest is like these other methods (fingerprinting, photographs, etc)...but never argues that the point of doing so was to perform a completely valid reason of building a database of information on criminals.  The majority specifically avoids suggesting replacing fingerprints with DNA, but doing so would have made its decision more valid.

This is where collection of DNA is not crazy.  The state's interest in the cases of people like James Holmes, Adam Lanza and Nidal Malik Hasan is such that it vastly outweighs their privacy rights.  These people allegedly pulled assault rifles out on defenseless people and allegedly pulled the trigger allegedly killing many. I'm pretty sure having a database of nut jobs like these is constitutional.  No not people who may be mentally ill or have a history of mental illness, but a database of people who are charged with crimes against people (aka "violent crimes" although all violent crimes aren't always violent, like for instance burglary).  Collecting DNA in these cases is certainly related to the crime for which they are arrested--it could very well be evidence in that case.  Collecting a DNA sample for a DUI or other crimes against the state or property...not so much.

Everyone should calm down with regard to the police collection of DNA evidence (the FBI and NSA's project to build a face recognition database should be much more problematic).  The collection is certainly a search, but it has to be rationally related to the crime committed.  Better yet--just don't break the law and you should be fine.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Rantations of a pretty Prince...

1)  So let me get this straight--Chicago Public Schools are being UNDER utilized...yet we just had a teachers strike where the staff alleged that they weren't paid enough and that they needed smaller classes.  The school system is also fiscally broke...yet the city can spend $55 million to help DePaul (a private, religious institution) build a new stadium for its mediocre--no scratch that, HORRIBLE--men's basketball program, and a hotel nearby.  I get it--the money earned from amusement taxes on tickets (if any are purchased) and hotel rooms will make the city a bunch of money.  And the $55 mil isn't real cash, its more "tax credits" where money is actually taken from several sources (or not paid into several sources)--including schools.  But somehow this doesn't seem right.  Money we could use to fund our inner-city-mostly attended by black and brown student-schools is going to fund...a stadium where white people can go and watch one predominantly white, catholic school's team get decimated by another predominantly white school whose entire team is made up of about 50% of their black students.

2)  Folks are up in arms that Dr. Dre gave $35 million to USC to help establish a specialized degree program.  They're mad because as a successful Black man, he chose to spend his money at a rich, quality predominantly white institution, instead of giving his cash to a struggling Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to improve one of those schools.  The argument--$35 million to USC is a drop in the USC bucket, considering that USC's endowment is larger than all the endowments of all the HBCUs combined--including Howard, Morehouse and Spellman.  Now I won't go so far as to say there isn't a need for HBCUs anymore, but there should definitely be fewer.  I'm all about creating as many opportunities as possible for those who otherwise wouldn't get them.  But if those "opportunities" aren't useful, what's the point?  Shouldn't we be more about a quality education these days?  Why support an institution barely staying afloat or able to keep its accreditation?

3)  I don't want to hear another American claim to be thug or gangsta.  Until we get people who will run over someone with their car, then get out of the car with hatchets, and then attempt to chop up the body while the person is still broad daylight with people watching...and then give a TV interview after...while still holding the hatchet...and not wearing a mask, they aren't gangsta.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

America doesn't like brown people

Not to sound like Kanye West--and by no means am I a Kanye apologist--but he was right.  George Bush didn't like Black people.  The former President of the United States was simply a symbol of the bigger entity--the United States of America.

Make no mistake, we now have a Black President.  Yet the policies of these United States with regard how it treats its own citizens--particularly those born with more melanin in their skin--haven't changed.  Sure he's appointed several worthy Black, brown and yellow people to high posts, but as a whole, nothing has changed.  And you only need one example to see my point.

In Afghanistan--the country we invaded in order to fight a war on an ideology--part of the United States' strategy was to use foreign aid in order to improve the conditions of the people in the country.  The idea: the better the conditions, the fewer "insurgents."  In other words, give the people another option, and they won't want to go join the Taliban.

In America we have gangs who operate in similar fashion to the Taliban.  They don't own any property (or own limited property) yet through intimidation and strong arm tactics "run" certain territories.  They operate outside the bounds of the law--an insurgency if you will.  Arguably gangs don't threaten the "national security" of the United States in the same fashion the Taliban has and allegedly continues to, however they do threaten the security of several communities (Chicago for example had 20 people shot on May 1 alone).

Despite these parallels, the United States continues to push for cuts in domestic aid, while continuing to pour billions in foreign aid in other countries for the purposes of defeating insurgency.  Said another way, providing opportunities at home for young Black and brown people to give them other options than joining a gang is of less importance than providing opportunities to others abroad to dissuade them from joining in "jihad" against the United States.  The domestic idiot with a gun is more likely to kill innocents than some foreign national thousands of miles away--its probably why Chicago hasn't been a terrorist target.  Here in the windy city, we're used to seeing innocent people killed as a result of senseless violence.  Its damn near a daily occurrence.  Militants may want to attack, but figure "damn, they're already killing each other!  What's the point?"  From a media standpoint however, "tragedy" occurs when the innocents are a little..."lighter" complected.

In 2001 the United States made great efforts to strip certain constitutional rights away in order to be able to defeat "terrorism."  These laws sought to find both foreign and domestic threats.  They've been used occasionally--see the attempted shoe bomber, the attempted Christmas Day bomber, and the recent Boston bombing--but I contend they should be used a little more liberally.  Declare the Latin Kings, the Bloods, GDKs, etc. "terrorist organizations" and their members "enemy combatants."  Give the state police and county sheriff's departments the same powers and resources of Homeland Security (broadly covering the DOJ, I.C.E., and the FBI) and let's see what happens this summer.  Giving illegal firearm possession stiffer penalties isn't the answer.  You think criminals are scared of MORE jail time?  That's like threatening Hugh Heffner with busty brunettes if he keeps baggin hot blonds.  The threat of going to jail longer isn't going to stop someone who's already an idiot and looking to shoot up a crowd.  "Man if I pull this trigger I could get 20 years instead of 6..."  Fuck outta here.  Even more hilarious about that idea is jail overcrowding forces the state legislatures (and the feds) to have provisions where prisoners only do a certain percentage of the time sentenced.  "Stiffer penalties" won't get you less stiffs.  Put that P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act to use and sic the alphabet-boys on these fools.

Yeah I know I should be your monarch,

Monday, March 18, 2013

Holy shit we still have a blog?

As the title explains, I forgot we still had a blog.  Luckily, my good friend SHO-NUFF has been keeping the lights on, the fireplace roaring, and the fridge well stocked with craft beers and the finest meats and cheeses.


  • Why anyone, ANYONE thinks that it is cool to have conceal and carry in Chicago.  It only solves one, ONE fucking specific problem.  You encounter a situation where a criminal announces himself, and allows you time to pull the gun and fire at said criminal.  It does not in anyway solve the issue of fucking assholes coming to the city and getting all mad because someone keyed their car, grabbed their girlfriend's ass, or losing a fight after stalking someone for three blocks without any fighting skill.
  • Why do people key cars?  My shit just got keyed and I want to pull my concealed nerf gun and go to town.  Thank Jesus I dont own any weapons other than some sweet ass bat-a-rangs my brother bought me.  What is the purpose of keying my car assholes?
  • You ever wonder what goes on in the mind of a guy who builds a bunker in his backyard and hates the government, but loves the flag?  You either...interesting?
  • I have been asked to alert parents (new and experienced) that your life has not ended because you had a child, or 9.  No, it is ok to go out still and have a good time.  Quit telling us that you can't go out because you have a child at home with that "I WILL CALL DCFS BECAUSE YOU ARE OUT" stare.  You're lucky we dont have conceal and carry I tell you!
More to come....Much love people!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Finally a stat that matters

Recently on talk radio I heard a discussion about who had hotter women--Jeter or The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Now Known as Prince Again--and realized the discussion is completely arbitrary and subjective.  Also we know way more of Jeter's women than we know of Prince's women, since Jeter tends to date famous women and Prince MAKES women famous.  This discussion was preceded by a discussion of various nerdy baseball stats and I decided why not put these two discussions together to determine once and for all who has the hotter women?  With that in mind I submit to you HAR (Hotness Above Replacement).

HAR should be able to tell us a level of a woman's hotness when compared to another woman given the same physical characteristics (much like WAR takes into account a players performance in multiple categories compared to other players) but also takes into account things such as personality (is she a down ass bitch??), genetics, and earning potential.  For example, Mila Kunis has a higher HAR than Megan Fox because Kunis generally seems to be a better person, doesn't have toes for thumbs (although she does have HUGE eyes) and has higher earning potential than Fox as witnessed by Kunis' ability to land a variety of roles (from comedic to dramatic) and the fact that Fox can't sleep her way into an acting gig if she wanted to right now, mainly because her personality sucks.  Most red-blooded men would never say Kunis is hotter than Fox by any traditional measure--Fox would be a legitimate 7-9 on the traditional "10" scale--but when weighted against possible replacements (Kunis being one example) she's really only average compared to your other brown haired actress types.

Put simply, HAR helps us evaluate what a woman brings to the table other than her looks when compared to another woman similarly situated.  With than in mind I must say Jeter beats The Artist.  Primarily because we actually KNOW who most of Jeter's women are, and because once The Artist's women become famous they are mainly famous for having been with The Artist.  Few of them have any merit on their own beyond their looks.  I guess that's why they call him "The Captain."

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Playbook

Finally saw "Think Like a Man," the comedy based on Steve Harvey's book "Act like a Lady, Think Like a Man."  Though I've never read the book, I'm pretty confident that this book has ruined the game for single men everywhere.  Steve in fact betrayed us as Kevin Hart's character said.  Well I'm here to re-write the playbook.  Take heed.

1) Pussy is not worth waiting for.

That's right I said it.  If you've already determined she's not worth your time, not worthy of meeting your friends or family, or isn't worthy of having your last name, why the hell would you wait 90--or even 9--days to hit the skins??  What she won't do, someone else will.  Don't waste time trying to conquer.  Lose the ego and move on.

2) Wifey IS worth waiting for.

Contrast to pussy, a woman worth being with is worth waiting for.  Can she walk AND chew gum?  What are HER short and long term goals?  Does SHE have character and morals?  Or is she just a big butt and a smile?  They shouldn't be the only ones with standards.  You meet someone that you might consider giving your last name then you jump through all necessary hoops.

3) She should at least stand up to the standard set by your mother.

Just about everyone's first example of what a woman is is their mother.  I'm not saying a woman should take care of you or keep you safe like your momma.  She should carry herself a certain way though.  Understand her role like your mother.  Be willing to sacrifice if necessary like your mother probably did.  Said another way: she should be "down for you."  If she's not she should be dismissed.  That doesn't make you a mommas boy.  It means she should be a woman--not a girl.

4) Rings are just jewelry

Sure "bands a make a dance" but with the divorce rate over 50%, rings are just jewels; nothing more than trinkets to show off to friends and family.  If she wants a ring buy her one.  Just as long as you're honest with her about what the situation is you shouldn't have a problem.  Shit is just decoration anyways.

Fuck Steve Harvey

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Black Jesus

Back in 2008, this country elected its first Black president.  In the four years that followed, Black people in America sat back and waited for Obama to "do something for us."  Sure he appointed a Black U.S. Attorney, but what else?  Its as if we expected Obama to morph into Jesse Jackson circa 1984--but with a better chance at winning.  We were looking for our savior.

Fast forward to 2012--Black people still wait for Obama to "throw us a bone" (as if the Democratic Party would have nominated this guy in 2008 if he was intent on "blacking out" the White House).  But Obama, in the words of Jay-Z, is off that.  Obama sees the future and it ain't Black folks.

Black people are no longer the "dominant" minority in America.  Sure we blazed the trail for the rest, but we've rested on our laurels of the Civil Rights movement way too long.  It's time for Blacks to realize it ain't just about us anymore.  Check the election stats.  Obama received less than 40% of the white vote, but over 60% of the Black and Latino vote.  Blacks and Latinos together make up about a quarter of the U.S. population, with the Latino population being the fastest growing group in the country.  Within two years Latinos will out number Blacks.  Their birth rates are higher, their incarceration rates are lower (at least proportionately) and theres still that whole immigration thing.  In fact, the same things can be said for just about every racial minority in America (with the exception of birth rates).  The answer then for Black people is to form alliances.

Let's be real: the success of Civil Rights movement has left Blacks feeling entitled.  We did this in the '60s, so it's only right you do that for us now.  There should be more Black federal judges.  There should be a broader safety net.  There should be more government contracts given to minority (read Black) contractors.  And so on and so on.  The problem with this is that Blacks are politically a dying breed.  We don't vote with regularity.  Fewer and fewer Black men are receiving college degrees and more and more are being incarcerated.  Sure we could blame the justice system, but that doesn't explain the decisions that led to any questionable administration of justice in the first place.  With more Black men being convicted felons, that takes away a portion of the electorate (since convicted felons can't vote).  Why invest political capital in a group that's slowly being overtaken by a group that's on the way up?  Obama made his choice, now the rest of Black America needs to make theirs.  If we want Obama to "hook us up" we need to be a part of the group getting hooked up.  That means political (and maybe even economic) alliances with Latino Americans.  Its time to look toward the future and stop living in the past.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Taboo topic...real talk

Whenever I read about how our dealings in the Middle East have some basis in religion I'd shrug it off.  "It's about that oil!" I'd say.  But our national interest in the Middle East (and in other regions in the world) is more about religion than I came to realize.

America isn't trying to spread Christianity like in the days of the Crusades.  And don't let some politician into tricking you into believing that we're spreading democracy either.  America is monotheistic for sure--our trust just doesn't lie with God anymore as our currency would suggest.  America's new religion is capitalism.

I know.  You're all like "good call GENIUS!  DUH!"  Yes I admit I'm slow on this.  It took me reading an interesting book (although a truly difficult read--so difficult to the point that I haven't finished it) called "The Evolution of God."  This book attempts to trace and explain how God has evolved as we have.  The less civilized we were as a people, the simpler our religion, i.e. we were polytheistic.  As we became more civilized--gained understanding of science, etc.--we became more monotheistic.  Certainly we continued to acknowledge the existence of other gods, but through centuries of geo-political struggle (i.e. war) the god of Abraham came to reign supreme through Christianity, Islam and Judaism.  America has evolved beyond God--America now worships the dollar.

What America does now isn't new.  People would conquer and instill their belief system--mainly dictated by their religion--on the conquered in an effort to "improve" their lives.  Even slavery was thought to be a better condition than living as "savages."  America similarly brings "democracy" to nations that were ruled by dictators or the military in an effort to "improve" the lives of the citizenry.  Sure we promote the ideas of democracy and basic human freedoms and rights.  But the main goal, is to bring about free enterprise.  Free enterprise will improve their education.  Free enterprise will provide livable wages.  Both true--both bullshit.

America brings this free enterprise under the guise of a geopolitical struggle, but the entire point is to open new markets.  The point is to sell more goods, to make more money.  This in turn increases the dependency of everyone on money because without it, they can't buy goods.  So they work harder (some) or get more than one job (others) or pump out kids--all in an effort to get more dollars.  The more we put in, the more we get out (or so it's supposed to go).

Compare this to religion.  God supplies all our needs.  The more we praise, the more the blessings flow.  The more obedient we are, the greater the reward.  Prosperity will follow.  People then increase their activity within their various religious institutions and more importantly increase their giving to these institutions.  The more we put in the more we get out (or so it's supposed to go).

This is why America's religion is the most tolerant monotheistic religion in history.  We even have the freedom to choose our own religion in this country--picture someone converting from Islam to Christianity in Iran.  America doesn't care as long as you're a buyer, as long as you keep using that dollar.  Anyone who is a threat to that--a threat to Americans making money--is an enemy of the state.  No this isn't about us hating Muslims or even Muslims hating on Christians.  This is about money--Americas new god.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Collective Bargaining is awesome...except when its not.

First let me say that I've never been part of a union, so this piece is written from the perspective of someone who has never experienced the benefits of collective bargaining but certainly understands its necessity in the public sector.

Second, the good and bad of unions is on display in Chicago this week.  In case you missed it, the teachers union which represents the teachers of Chicago's public school system, authorized a strike yesterday after the union could not reach a contract agreement with the city.  The good: there is no way each teacher would be able to command a guaranteed salary increase of 4% each year for the next four years bargaining individually.  The city would simply let go of the disgruntled employee (Illinois is after all an at-will employment state) and hire someone else looking for work as a teacher (or lets be frank: anyone looking for work).  However there's no way the city could let go of 30,000 people who were unhappy about their salary.  Trust me when I tell you that this is a good thing.  (Cut to any and every County employee not a member of a union nodding).

The bad: unions help shelter unproductive or under-performing members generally.  Part of the bargain is the process by which employee-members are evaluated and the process by which their employment is terminated.  There's usually an agreement by which the terminated employee-member leaves with at least a gold-lined parachute.  Maybe it just has gold strings, but the chute itself is still nylon.  The point is, a union employee fired by his/her employer usually leaves with more than your normal at-will employee without a contract, and that union employee is much harder to fire.  Because the point of the union is to protect its members and to extract the most benefit for its members, some employees get away with all sorts of what would under normal circumstances be fireable offenses simply because they pay union dues.

Unions raised the standard of living and the standards the employers had to meet in order to employ us; now employers ship jobs where the standard of living is less than ours and the workplace standards are even lower.  The existence of unions in a "free-market" society is actually amazing since they are generally counter to a free-market.  In a free-market, every employee is paid based on their skill and productivity; with a union those employees are paid based on how long they've held the job, which could really just be a function of how hard it is to fire them despite their lack of productivity or skill.

This dichotomy is on full display for the world to see here in our great city.  The teacher's are striking certainly because they deserve greater pay.  They are charged with the task of educating and planting the seeds of this country's future.  But they're also striking because the new system suggested to evaluate their performance would mean cutting 30% of them, meaning 9,000 of Chicago's 30,000 teachers are failing our children.  That's 9,000 teachers who want pay increases but shouldn't get one.  Its no wonder that by many measures Chicago's public school systems is thought to be one of the nations worst.  Yes the city needs to provide its teachers with the resources they need to do their jobs, in addition to rewarding them for their hard work.  But the teachers need to call out its under-performing members and help the city trim some fat.  Our children deserve better.  Our city deserves better.  Our future and survival as a nation requires better.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hypocrisy and politics

Some thoughts on the RNC's keynote address:

1) Anyone who runs for executive office and makes promises to make wholesale changes is full of shit.  Our system of government isn't designed for one office or branch to have power.  It's the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT REASON why Obama's presidency can be judged a failure--lack of cooperation from the legislative branch.

2) The amount of hypocrisy that came from the lips of the man entrusted by many to be their candidate for president of our country is appalling.  Some may term his final comments a call to unity, but I heard him blame Obama for the lack of unity in this country.  Really?  When the sole purpose of the republican party since January 2009 has been to oppose, block, gridlock, and hate on President Obama?  So is that the reason we have so much disunity because Obama is the president or is he the cause?  Either way, the GOP needs to hold up a mirror when casting blame on America's lack of unity.

3) Mr. Romney is probably much smarter than me when it comes to economics but he seems to misunderstand something.  He is absolutely correct about America needing jobs and that we need to get the private sector to create them.  What he seems to miss (or not say at least) is that private corporations aren't doing the things necessary to stimulate job growth.  In fact they're hoarding profits, rather than reinvesting them in their businesses.  So some entity has to fill that gap.  Unfortunately for the tax payers it's been the US government.

We can debate the tax code for at least a decade and its influence on private corporations' incentive to spend domestically.  But the reality is that a) America became a service economy decades ago and b) it's too costly to build anything here thanks to the high standards the average American expects in the workplace.

Say hypothetically you could get the same quality of burger at Morton's the Steakhouse as you could at say Burger King, with the only difference being BK prepared it in different conditions.  The beef is the same.  The bun is the same.  Toppings equally as fresh.  BK uses a 5' x 5' kitchen manned by a person making $6.50/hr whereas Morton's uses a gigantic state of the art facility where it's chefs are paid six figures.  BK charges $1.99; Morton's $15.99.  BK's profits on burgers are higher because of less overhead.  Who do you think other burger makers, interested in profit, are going to emulate?  Who do you think the America worker wants to emulate?  As a result, guess where burgers are more likely to be made?

4) Romney will win votes among Christians because of his promise to allow God to be his guide in governing the country.  There is a sincere belief by some that if God guides the president, then we will be alright.  There are a couple problems with this theory.  First, the President has to make some tough calls in the interest of "national security," you know like ordering the murder of tyrants, etc.  Last I checked, thou shalt not kill so that'd be a tough call to make no?  Second, this assumes that the United States has divine purpose and promise.  This is the same country built on slavery, disenfranchisement and the oppression of the fairer sex.  The same country where many of it's greatest success stories start with illegal or at least immoral activity.  God's nation according to Christianity is Israel not the United States.  The United States' purpose is NOT divine.  God did not anoint or even bless America; America rose up and took it gangsta style.  The rain falls on the just AND the unjust; just because American has been dominant doesn't make us ordained.  Get a grip and read some prophecy.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Newsroom Moment

America is NOT the greatest country on the planet.  That's right--I said it.  America is certainly the worlds best idea, but not its best country.  In an effort not to make this blog entry any longer than it already will be I won't go into the reasons why its not.  The list is simply too long.  Instead I'll harp on one: lack of unity.

See America is awesome because we have "freedom."  There's freedom of speech which allows us to say what we want, when we want with certain obvious limits--like not yelling fire in a crowded public place.  There's the freedom to practice whatever religion you want.  There's supposed freedom of the press so that the electorate (that's the people who actually vote, not everyone that's eligible) are informed when they go to make decisions.  "Freedom of the press" means no government influence.  Unfortunately here in America we have corporate influence--which may be worse than government influence--but I digress.

My point is with all these freedoms, there's one we seem to miss: the freedom to disagree.  This is often lost on the citizenry, mainly because the press acts as an instigator.  Rather than reporting the facts, the facts are often reported on and weighed in on by "experts"--people who either share one view or another to give THEIR opinion.  Soon, you have a handful of blowhards representing the "voice of the people" and by the "people" I mean the group that shares opinion X.  This leads to divisiveness, and thanks to social media--the revolution that brought democratic principals to the globe--it helps spread it like a virus.

As a result the United States is more divided now than at any other time in it's history--and we actually fought a civil war at one point.  I'd even argue that the fight never really ended.  Yeah we abolished slavery, but freed slaves were still second class citizens.  Even after Blacks were given rights by law, they weren't afforded them in practice.  Women were treated unequally even after the Civil Rights movement.  Racism is still alive and well in this country; the targets are just more diverse.  But it doesn't just stop with race and gender.

Our nation is divided on issues that are personal matters (and in some cases personal choices) that are really no one's business.  Race and gender are issues beyond our control.  You're born that way.  But where I buy a friggin chicken sandwich and what my personal beliefs are shouldn't be media fodder.  And if my thoughts and feelings on either issue are unimportant so are anyone else's no matter their fame or position.  These things just don't matter.

Now people want to legislate what they believe and make it law.  We need to ban same sex marriage because its immoral.  Says who?  God?  I'd co-sign that sentiment...except we live in a country where God and matters of state are supposed to be separate.  If you can give me some rational basis that any state or government has to ban ANYONE from marrying who the hell they please then by all means provide it.  What interest does the State have in any of your personal choices (aside from possession/use of drugs)?  Its like the ban on fois gois (sp).  The State can't MAKE people make kosher choices in food.  What makes people think the state can dictate who you can marry?

Furthermore, the state can't then force a private owned business out because the CEO (not even the owner/operator) runs his company based on religious principals.  Private organizations can do that.  The State cannot.  That's the difference.  While this private company is a business that is one of public access (i.e. it can't discriminate), that isn't even the allegation in play here.  No one has said "Chick-fil-a will deny access or employment to anyone lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered."  First of all, HOW WOULD THEY KNOW???  Yes some are obvious.  But really, being gay is NOT the same as being say Latino or Asian--you can SEE that someone is Latino or Asian.  Did anyone know Teddy Pendergrass was on the down-low?  NO--at least not until he got in that car accident while getting a hummer from a transvestite prostitute.  But you knew Teddy P was Black.

With Facebook and Twitter blowing up over such issues, they suddenly become newsworthy--to the point that now our news outlets report on them.  HOW IS THIS SHIT NEWS??  What difference does it make what anyone who does not have a direct effect on the personal lives of the citizenry believes personally???  Does it matter what President Obama thinks?  Sure to a degree.  What really matters is what our collective legislatures think, and they'll think whatever the majority wants them to in order to get elected.  But what the majority thinks about personal issues like these SHOULDN'T MATTER.  Because once the state has enough of an interest in my personal life to start to legislate it, freedom goes out the window.  Bet you lack of "freedom" will unify some folks.  It worked so well in the 1860s.

Your highness in waiting,