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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,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Anthony Rizzo walks on water... an undercover report of recent Cubs musing

Let me begin with, as a South Side Sox Fan, it is great that we have this "rivalry" in this city to give us something to do when our teams are not performing well.  It is also amusing to debate Chicago baseball at bars with lifelong fans ping ponging their opinions and views back and forth as biblical fact and then all of us ultimately deciding that with Ditka the Bears would be undefeated in baseball (Chicago thing...come find out).  Recently though, the north side of town has been caught up in a buzz and lathered itself into a fever pitch that has blinded them to the fact they are about to ruin another prospect's career with hopeless and impossible expectations.  If you don't know, the Cubs traded for a player named Anthony Rizzo, a prospect for the San Diego Padres who hit .141 in 129 at bats for the Padres last season.  He is seen as a can't miss prospect due to his ability to .....well hell i am not sure.  Still, the PR campaign is overwhelming so I wanted to share with you a sampling of what I am hearing.

What Cubs fans are expecting Anthony Rizzo to do!

  • Lead the league in Homers, RBI's, Batting Average, ERA, Saves, WAR, WHIP, and if he has time, Walks.
  • Trade Alfonso Soriano's entire contract for a young Major League Star.  It is rumored he will include his batting jersey for Bryce Harper if necessary, and the thinking is the Nationals are strongly considering it.
  • Hit 4th in the lineup and 9th for the pitcher from the opposite side to escape suspicion.
  • Negotiate the Teacher's union strike and make the Mayor and Union happy.  If he has time he may opine on the Firefighter's talks as well.
  • Create more jobs and lower unemployment back to acceptable level (~2.5%)
  • Play 1st Base and cover most of Second Base to allow Darwin Barney more time to chat with Starlin Castro and remind him how many outs there are.
  • Remind Starlin Castro how many outs there are since Darwin isn't doing his job
  • Step in as the new hitting coach by being the only player taking batting practice so the team can mimic his swing.
  • Destroy Twitter and raise Facebook's stock value
  • Draft up a new strategy to combat the shootings in Chicago and address the mob actions in River North.  He will also put more police on streets while lowering cost.
  • Raise property values as a whole in Chicago as people flock to see him.
  • Rebuild Wrigley overnight to include luxury suites, more seating, more space for ads, a JumboTron, and create outdoor festival space on Sheffield and Waveland by building and underground passage on those two streets by Saturday or at least before the Blues Brother's screening.  He will also do this so that Wrigley faces the city and the residents will allow for night games (something about a soundproof force field).
  • Help get Obama elected and get Rahm off their back.  
  • Provide diversity and sensitivity training to the Wiener Circle staff
  • Eliminate PEDs from Baseball, Football, and water Polo.
  • Clean up the Chicago river so we can swim in it...not that he will need to since he will be walking on it.
That is a short list of what I am hearing coming from the north side so this will be an interesting Summer in Chicago.  Wait, i just heard Rizzo will be extending summer in Chicago to at least 8 months out of the year.  If you hear anything else please share!  We on the Southside will be practicing our YOUK! chants and may even use them in person.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day one of being a sports DAD

As a kid, having my dad in the dugout with me during games was awesome.  We didnt chatter during the game because he was my coach and that would be weird.  Instead he would just coach spanish...and only spanish.  it would always start with "mijo..." and i would go out there with visions of MLB glory and try to do what he told me.  I always knew he was going to be the toughest coach and the most supportive and it was cool.  What i never gave any thought to, or spent any time on was what the parents in the crowd were doing.  I knew my mom was out there somewhere and that my sister, forced to come to my game, was sitting there wondering what was so great about this stupid ass game, but I never cared.  My dad would always tell me watch the game.  Pay attention to the game.  It was always about the game on the field, the chatter in the clubhouse and everything else was there to be ignored.  (personal note: the announcer announcing my name for the first time was kinda hard to ignore because it was so cool!).  As I grew up this never left me.  My family will come to games now and my Bells and awesome lilMAN will sit there and i focus on the game as they ....well i have no idea what they do except the occasional wave of support.  It is not because I don't appreciate them, but because that is what I do.  FOCUS ON THE GAME.  Watch how the fielders are set up.  Is the RF sleeping?  Is the 3B too far back?  What chant are we going to use to throw this pitcher off his game?!?!

Now i am on the other side of the metal fence that separates the game from the spectators.  I am not the coach or even the volunteer.  I am the dad that got his son ready and told him to run to practice because he was already late, and "you can't be late".  I sat as close as I could to hear the coach talk, but that got weird.  I am not the coach, so I had to move away.  I met parents, I talked to other coaches, and i glad handed so much my political friends would be proud of me.  It was great watching my boy opening up, running, and having a great time.  I just stood there watching him and enjoying it. Then i wanted to tell him to get to that passing lane.  I wanted him to show off his incredible speed and powerful left leg.  i wanted him to thread passes and play 'D' like the little monster he turns into when he wants the ball.  Instead I spent the time shutting up, talking about other people's dates and glad handing!  Twice, the dam broke and I gave some dumb obvious instructions and twice I had to shut the hell up embarrassed because I didn't want to be that dad.

I remember when my dad hung up his spikes to be my coach.  He wasn't even 30 yet, and he waved goodbye to Harrison Park and talking shit with his teammates.  I remember no longer watching him play, but him watching me play and coaching his boy on the game we loved.  We sat in those dugouts and practiced on those dirt fields and it was awesome!  I never knew how my mom felt until now.  She watched a sport she knew nothing about and kept it pretty cool while doing it.  If you know my mom, you know it had to be hard not to yell at umps and opposing players!  Now it is my turn to get my player ready and tell him how important it is that he is on time.  Tell him to focus on the game.  Listen to your coach, talk to your teammates and be a part of a team.  My responsibilities are to get my folding chair, the water bottles, and orange slices and join my fellow parents straining to keep it cool.  This is day one...oh man this is going to be a fun ride!

Soccer DAD!

Monday, March 19, 2012

THings I think I think Vol 6

Whats up bizznitches.  Its me, Jokey Jokemaker.  This week I had these thoughts:

1)  Ismael Julio Lopez's attempt to take the blog and put it on facebook was really really really lame. 

2)  Tim Tebow got screwed in the ass so hard, he may be pregnant and give birth to a politician.  Peyton Manning waffled, and the fates of several NFL franchises hung in the balance.  The 49ers were left with no quarterback, the Dolphins were left with the scrub from last year, and Alex Smith was left with the leftover scraps of Manning, Flynn, Quinn, Campbell, Henne, and a ton of other quarterbacks that signed quickly. 

3)  So the New New York Knicks coach runs a crapload of iso's for Carmelo, and all of a sudden team chemistry is better? 

4)  One hot weekend, 10 shootings.  All it takes is a bit of warm weather for the Wiz Khlaifas to come out.  Wix Khalifas and people who most likely would vote democrat.  Wix Khalifas, Democrats, and people who tattoo names in old english font.

5)  Whitney Houston is still dead.  But she will always love me.

6)  Mayor Emmanuel is moving to make some tech high schools, 6 year schools.  the last two years would be college coursework.  ITS CALLED COMMUNITY COLLEGE PEOPLE!.  People are walking around like Rahm invented Calculus.  The true genuis was not getting everyone to go to college by calling it something else, the genuis was in getting big Tech Firms to fund it.  Bravo

7)  Quick financial lesson to my daughter who said that the more somthing costs the better it is.  I told her "The government we have is the most expensive ever, and they cant even pass enogh bills to keep the country going for more than 3 months at a time. "  Expensive is not best.  Then I explained quality.  Since I could not find any examples of quality in Government, I chose to use steak.   Choice cuts are always tastiest, but not always most expensive.  The most expensive steaks are the ones with the mike symbol on them.  Nike sells almost everything.

8)  Pretty soon, ticket cameras will begin to put Chicago Police officers out of work.  New cameras will be able to get vin info off your dashvboard at 60 mph.  They will also be able to spot if you have a seatbelt on.  BEFORE YOU START trying to collect money for every fine you can think of, how bout you use these cameras to find the killers of the 6 year old girl in Little Village?

9)  There is a new show coming called Chicago Mob Wives.  I am already bored of it.  I bet though the show will be generic and dull as all the other reality tv.  I sure hope though, that  they find enough Italian old women, desperate to cling to their fading looks and sagging tits to fill the show.  Where oh where will we find enough brash women married to gangsters to go on tv and say shit like OMERTA/ Know the code/Cosa Nostra/whaddya kiddin me?/Fugeddaboutidit/you never go against the family/you're dead to me/etc.     The real mob was based in secrecy, and the thought of a mobster snitching to the cops to get off, and then hve his wife go on a show a publicise their secrets, has to make all those fat greasy mobsters roll over in their graves.  I am reminded of the geto boys lyric:  "real gangsta-ass niggas don't flex nuts, cause reall gangsta-ass niggas know they got em."  

10)  The Bears made big moves, and the Bulls wisely resisted making biug moves.  The blackhawks should follow suit, and we should all be inspired to pack the cubs off and send them to Seattle, so a rich guy can buy themm and move them to Oklahoma and make them great.

11)   The more i think about it, the more it feels like Romney is stringing along Santorum, until just before the Convention.  Then, Santorum, Paul, and anyone else will be easily eliminated setting a final showdown between Romney and Obama.  This will be one of the most depressing final showdowns ever.  Obama has sucked. i mean really really bad.  Call it a racist government, too much charisma, too little knowledge, a bad streak of luck.  The president has not gotten shit done.  The answer sure as hell not another 4 years.  The answer is sure as hell not Romney.  At this point, I am ready to to hire the quality control team of Toyota motor company.  They have been streamlining processes and making quality products for years and years and years and years.  I am sure we can take those same ideas to our government and get better results.  At the very least we can get rid of a few jerk politicians, and improve it year to year.      

     Thats it for now guys.

Jokey Jokemaker

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

We need a new word for 'wack'

Sometimes, something is so terrible, there are not words to describe it. This here is a list that embodies that idea: here is listed the top five wackest rappers of all time. To meet this criteria, the rapper had to acheive great financial success and fame, yet not possess the skills to justify the success. We're talkin big record deals, bitches, the whole nine. So without further adeu, the worst rappers of all time, in order:

1. Baby a/k/a Birdman
While most of his money has been made as the head of Cash Money Records, this coonegro has the nerve to continue to put out his own stuff, much like Puff (n/k/a Diddy) did in the 90s. But even Puff was better than this clown. Ladies and gentlemen, your wackest of the wack!

2a. Juvenile
2b. Master P
Am I just hating on southern rappers? I guess we'll see in a few. Doesn't matter if I am or not--bottom line these dudes sucked.

3. Rick Ross
Okay so I'm hating on southern rappers. Sure they spit to hot beats bitches like to get naked to in shady establishments, but there's really no reason we should reward them for sub-par abilities. Would you pay your doctor illions (yeah you read that right--insert your own first letter) if their skills were sub-par? NO! So why do people attend concerts and buy records featuring wack MCs???

4a. Soulja Boy
4b. Tyga
Pretty much the same dude. Soulja Boy taught us to Superman hoes, and Tyga introduced us to Rack City Chicks. Both high quality examples of coonery.

5 Gucci Mane

Nuff said.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mourn someone who matters.

Joe Paterno passed away this past Sunday at the tender age of 85.

People will mourn his death no likely but not me. I don't care if his wife is crying. I don't care if his children are sad or if his grandchildren are wondering when Grandpa Joe is coming back from heaven to visit him. Their tears have no meaning. They have no substance.

For a man who is supposed to mold children into men he failed to do what a responsible adult would do. He failed to take care of the children. The children he possibly one day could have coached. The children who one day could have helped expand his "legacy" as the winningest football coach in NCAA history.

Like it or not that is what a coach is. A father figure to those football players he took in as young men. From the ages of 18-22 those men look to their coach for leadership, guidance, and advice. And he failed. Miserably.

He failed everyday for almost 14 years. He failed everyday to correct a mistake he made. He could have woke up one morning and decided to take more action. He could have decided that a man who raped children being put in prison was more important than saving the reputation of Penn State University. He could have told an actual person whose responsibility it was to protect and serve the people of Pennsylvania but he chose not to.

After the first incident, in 1998, he saw his friend with children around campus but did nothing. After the grad assistant came to his house in 2002 he still did nothing. Again, he still saw him walking around campus with children after 2002 and once more did nothing. Let me correct myself. After 2002 he did something. He did the absolute minimum, legally.

I wonder if he would have allowed his grandchildren to sleepover Sandusky's house? Sleep in the special rape room he had set aside downstairs? Would he have helped his grandchild when they screamed for help while Sandusky raped them? Or would he have looked the other way like Sandusky's wife did?

This was an 85 year old heavily Catholic man. A man who supposedly never heard of a man raping a boy. Remember, an 85 year old Catholic man who never heard of a man raping a boy. Didn't the Milwaukee, WI archdiocese file for bankruptcy due to all the money they've had to pay out for hmmm what was it again? Oh yeah, men raping little boys.

I am not celebrating this man's death. So spare me the Martin Luther King quotes about celebrating people's deaths. But I do not mourn his death. The tears his family shed should be shed for what he failed to do. Their father/grandfather looked the other way when his good friend was raping children. Those children deserve the tears. Their lives are ruined because a leader of men did the absolute minimum when it came to protecting this world's most cherished asset. The children.

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." - MLK

Saturday, January 21, 2012

America: Land of the free, home of the entiteld

I recently read an article about how Apple (and other of America's most successful companies) outsources its manufacturing, such that few if any of the products sold to Americans are made in America.  Of course there was talk about now "nimble" and "flexible" the factories are and how "skilled" the workers are abroad, and there was definitely talk about how the labor is "cheaper."  But the article (as well as any discussion about outsourcing) failed to discuss the elephant in the room: the attitude of entitlement among Americans.

The article pointed out an example about the iPhone and how there was a design configuration change at the last minute (six weeks before the launch of the phone) and a plant in China was able to not only implement it within 24 hours, but it also began pumping out 10,000 iPhones a week.  The interesting part about the example for me was the fact the factory was able to implement the change within 24 hours because the workers are housed in dormitories at the plant, they worked 12 hour shifts, they were awakened in the middle of the night to work, and fed a biscuit and tea--as if to say "this should tide you over.  Now get to work."  There was a quote--something about no other facility in America could have done such a turn around and produced so quickly.  Well there's a reason for that, and it has nothing to do with the fact our workers demand higher wages or that they aren't trained or skilled enough to do it.

Sometime around World War II, there was a shift among the attitudes of American workers.  They demanded that their employer treat them--and pay them--with respect.  They demanded certain working conditions, refused to work over a certain amount of hours per day or week and put limits on the ages of our workers.  It was then that manufacturing in America (and the middle class it created) began to decline.

After decades of federal and state regulation setting standards in America's work places, there is definitely not a plant in America that could have done what the plant in China did for the iPhone.  Workers aren't living in rooms at the plant.  They certainly are going to want more than a biscuit and tea for breakfast, and they'll be damned if they're working 12 hour shifts for six straight weeks without getting paid overtime.

According to the article, President Obama asked Steve Jobs what it would take to bring those jobs back to the US.  Jobs said (inaudibly to the POTUS) "Those jobs are never coming back."  Damn right they aren't--especially since the workforce those jobs would employ in America would rather collect government aid than subject themselves to the same working conditions as the Chinese, Indians, Koreans, Taiwanese and others that have those jobs now.  Get on the train to elitism or die a broke muthafucka; there's no in between anymore.

The meanest, prettiest, the baddest low-down mofo around this town,

Why Hollywood should forget about SOPA and PIPA

America has long been the home of the enterprising, even to the extent it was illegal. From bootlegging liquor during prohibition to selling knock-offs or contraband in Chinatown, alternative channels to acquire what one wants is as American as apple pie and capitalism.

Which is why Hollywood and the music industry need to wake up. "Piracy" exists simply because the movie and music industry refuse to embrace alterative distribution channels. The model they've always used is antiquated and should be adjusted.  They'd rather let someone else do it for them--and then continue to complain about how much money is lost in the black/secondary markets.

"Pirates" do the same, some for profit, others for free. The problem is the actual producers of the content don't see any coin. How do we fix this? The content providers need to up their game and get with the times. Give people options.  In other words, the content providers themselves need to completely takeover distribution, instead of trying to figure out ways to make pirating harder.  Eventually the government found a way to make selling liquor work--tax the hell out of it.  The content providers need to figure out a way to make distributing their content work.  CDs and DVDs are still made and sold despite the presence of iTunes and Netflix; Apple and Netflix simply offered another distribution channel.  I'm pretty sure people would still go see movies in movie theaters, even if they could download/stream "MI:3" in their house on opening weekend.

Spare me the crap about how piracy lessens the motivation to create artistic works--just say it's really about the money because that's what it's about.  Record companies and movie studios do a lot of complaining about their own pockets, yet their actions are such as to protect the pockets of their partners.  Fact is there are two many other entities making money off the content the movie and music studios produce for this idea to ever take hold.  Apple, Amazon, Netflix, the cable providers, RedBox, AMC, Marcus Theaters, etc. etc. are all making money from the ability to distribute content from Hollywood.  But if Hollywood was so concerned about the money lost in alternative markets, they'd step their game up with regard to distribution, their partner's pockets be damned.

I'm pretty sure if the movie/album is good enough, people will still go to the secondary markets (iTunes, Amazon, buying a CD/DVD at Target) to enjoy/purchase it like they do now.  So why not open up a studio backed streaming service (similar to Hulu for TV) and count the money that comes rolling in?  There are plenty of ways to make money from this--from putting ads at the beginning of the movie (instead of trailers) to small banner ads that work similar to subtitles--money can be made.  You really want to stop piracy?  Forget SOPA--start distributing the product directly in a way that incentivizes people to pay you for it.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Big respect to the father tht saw his kid in the video (The only one not wearing a mask) and asked him:  "Why did you do this?"  When the stupid kid answered the way stupid kids do, "I don't know,"  The dad called the police and turned his kid in.  The dad is a former Cook County Sherrif, and knew that right is right.  It took a lot of courage and strength to do something like that, and in that instance, the kid is a piece of shit, and should be flushed away.  It takes strength to lock your kid up knowing that for evrey day he is in jail, he will be raped and and beaten for being a cops kid, and for showing weakness in participating in mob mentality violence.  This kid will probably get his teeth smashed out, and his ass painted red for easy oral/anal sex indentification.  This poor kid's ass will be passed around like canadian nickles, and find his untimely end in the back of some boiler room with a shiv up his bloody ass.  The other kids will be luckier, as they will spend time in Juvie, where there are less boiler rooms.      

Obama just lost the election

Monday, January 16, 2012

Don't wake me...this dream isn't over yet

Way back in 2008 when Barack Obama was elected President of these United States, some people swore that Martin Luther King Jr's "dream" was fulfilled. I'll go ahead and point out the obvious that these folk had no clue what Dr. King's dream was about. Certainly Dr. King (the spokesperson of the Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s) wanted to move our country in a direction of racial equality--where Blacks (primarily) were on par with whites. Here in 2012 however our country is more diverse than ever; equality isn't just Black and white anymore. Race may not even play a factor--and in that respect perhaps Dr. King's "dream" is a reality. I for one feel we have a ways to go.

The color barrier isn't broken down, but it is admittedly cracked. The bigger picture though--equality--is still a problem. From the digital divide to income inequality, America (and western civilization generally) still suffers from gross inequality among its citizenry. It just so happens that many of the people on the "wrong" side of these inequities are not white. Centuries of racism definitely played a part in creating this "caste" system, but the issue these days isn't so much about the amount of melanin in ones skin as it is about the "haves" and "have nots."

In terms of progress, there are more wealthy people of color in 2012 than their were in 1963 when Dr. King revealed to the world his "dream." Our schools systems are integrated (technically). Public facilities are exactly that--public. Integration however has not solved the underlying problem: how do we get to a point where everyone, regardless of race or background has access to the American dream? That is, how can each generation improve on the next? It's really quite simple: Incentivize progress.

You may be saying to yourself, "what that means?" It means it should be better to change where you are but remember where you're from than to stay where you're from in order to "keep it real." It means revamping student aid. It means rewarding people who roll off the government social service programs to become greater contributors to society. The rates of recidivism for Americas social service programs suggest they aren't working; instead they create a cycle where generation after generation continues to live a government subsidized lifestyle. Making it more beneficial to be OFF government assistance than it is to continue on it would help us get closer to fulfilling the "dream". It shouldn't be cool to be "hood." Moving out of the hood shouldn't be frowned upon. Contributing to the progress of your fellow human because you remember what it was like in the hood is what we should strive for. Having a hustle is cool; turning that hustle into a legitimate business is better. Having the people on your block revere you is much better than them fearing you, so instead of shooting it up, build it up.

Once we make it cool for everyone to move forward THEN we will be closer to Dr. King's "dream." Until then, keep sleeping.