Wednesday, August 28, 2013

MLK's Entire "I Have A Dream" Speech.

Today's the 50th anniversary of the March On Washington. No, I'm not down there on the Mall, I'll just have to watch everything today once I get home from my Day Job. I'm sure MLK would have approved. That said, if you've never actually watched the entire "I Have A Dream" speech in its entirety, have a look.

Question: How far are we as a nation from seeing Dr. King's dream realized?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Would You Twerk To Pay Your Tuition?!?

My daugher is now 15 months old, and she is truly the apple of daddy's eye. She can do no wrong. No. Wrong. She craps rainbows and her eye boogers prolly taste like Skittles. She is the world's cutest baby by a wiiide margin, and that's not even up for debate. She's a baaadd girl.[1]

Last night, for the first time, she escaped the crib, which in some odd way let me know she's not a baby anymore. She also talks, sings along the the medley of her favorite Nick Jr. shows, and of yeah, she dances. Anytime music of any sort (gospel, children's music, techno, lullabies) my child immediately starts gyrating up and down. It's a really innocent thing, of course, and the subject of hours of entertainment for our entire family.

And now, in the most awkward segue of all time (don't worry, I'll tie this all together), I present to you, the next candidate for 2013's Most Ignorant Display Of Niggerish Behavior By A Black Male: Southeast Regional Bracket.
Who says twerking doesn't pay? Yesterday, Juicy J promised tuition money for the best female twerk champions, tweeting, "im giving out a 50k scholarships to the best chik that can twerk.”

However, he didn't give up any other details, which means the post could've been a prank or a publicity stunt promoting Stay Trippy, which includes a track called "Scholarships." If the former is true, not everyone in the Twitterverse laughed it off. "Juicy J is giving away a scholarship to the girl who sends in the best twerk video? And my hope for human race is OFFICIALLY gone…," tweeted user @DanaLynn03.

Others were more than willing to twerk it for college funds and a bunch refused to believe the story all together.

Juicy eventually deleted the tweets but kept up those regarding Stay Trippy, out next Tuesday (Aug. 27). The release, his first on Wiz Khalifa's Taylor Gang imprint, features A$AP Rocky, Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake, Big Sean, Trina and more.
Okay, where do I begin here?

1) While I'm happy that Juicy J has somehow managed to re-invent himself and milk his Grammy win, adding another 3-4 years to his career, I can't help but wonder why a 40 year old man thinks this is a good idea. Does he not have daughters of his own? Nieces? Shouldn't you graduate from this sorta sh*t around age 35?

2) That said, I can't really pick on this guy for his age when 40 year old rappers seem obsessed with keeping pace with peers half their age. Patron Saint of all cRappers Jay-Z even had a "come to Jesus moment" and said (then retracted, which only made it worse) he'd stop referring to women as b*tches now that he's got a woman to raise. So, no, rappers don't have the greatest track record of acting their age. Does this mean point 1 isn't valid? No.

3) Isn't this sorta pointless? Isn't the whole "stripping to pay tuition" (as opposed to "because I have Daddy Issues") thing already accepted as a cultural norm? If anyone should be offended, I think it would be exotic dancers.

4) I won't go as far as to say "twerkin'" is ruining an entire generation of young girls, both black and white (I see ya' Miley), but it's damn sure making them look bad. And unemployable. Seriously, if you know of an underaged girl with a #TwerkTeam video on Youtube, please tell her parents to have that sh*t removed. No, it won't disappear from the internets forever, but damn, at least make it harder for potential employers to Google. Cause yeah, potential employers do look at this stuff.

5) I suppose I'm supposed to make some grand point about Miley Cyrus now becoming the most famous twerker of all time, and how this makes her a cultural interloper along the lines of Elvis, Justin Timberlake, and Robin Thicke, and how that's an awful thing. Seriously, I ain't got the energy for all that. If the girl wants to twerk, let her twerk. She will be eating off Hannah Montana residuals for the next 50 years. There aren't exactly the same ramifications for her. And besides, it's twerkin', not jazz, not beebop, not rhythm & blues. It's just twerkin'. In the annals of "sh*t I'm perfectly fine with white people claiming", this ranks right up there with the word "bling", The Harlem Shake, and Wayne Brady. Take em' all. Please.

As for my child, there shall be no twerkin'. Nor will my sons be PIMP Scholars[2]. They will all get into [insert your own prestigious college here] the old fashioned way: Good grades and racial quotas.

Question: Would you allow your child to apply to be a "Twerk Scholar"? Other than a lame excuse to plug Juicy J's next album (#GrandHu$tle), is there anything more we should infer about this publicity stunt and what it says about the state of hip-hop?

[1] The fact that she'll someday be gawked at by boys (and men) isn't lost on me at all. And yes, that sh*t keeps me up at night. And yes, I'm considering getting a gun. Just off GP. And no, that's not a joke.

[2] This was the begining of the end for Nelly. Well, that country music song prolly was, but this ain't exactly help.

How Antoinette Tuff Restored (And Eroded) My Faith In 'Merica.

It's a story that's already old news now, but for about 48 hours late last week, Antoinette Tuff was the toast of both Black and White Twitter, which is no small feat. In case you were under a rock, Tuff is the Georgia school bookkeeper who singlehandedly prevented a mass school shooting by talking the demented gunman into turning himself in. It's a story that captured the imagination of the country, and would be optioned to Lifetime Movies For Women any moment now if we lived in a truly postracial society.[1] Seriously, Hollywood couldn't make this sh*t up, and Hollywood made up Avatar, so that just tells you how unlikely this story is.

After the story broke and the details of Tuff's heroism were disclosed, I was personally dismayed that she wasn't immediately being given "The Real American Hero" treatment. There were no next day interviews on GMA, no rumors of a 7 figure book deal, no celebrities tweeting (self-congratulatory) congrats to the heroine. Nothing. By Thursday, Tuff made some appearances on CNN and other national outlets, the President called to say thanks and invite her to the White House (at some point in the future) and then... well, nothing. With the Match On Washington this weekend, the story has basically disappeared from our consciousness. A hero is certainly more than a sandwich, but not all heroes are made equal.[2]

I can't help but compare the treatment this story has gotten when compared to other similar "Real American Hero" stories of late. Captain Sully landed an airplane in the Hudson River and had since gained international renown. The media followed Edward Snowden around the world after the snitched and gave away NSA secrets. Bradley Manning was a hero, until Conservatives realized he liked wearing women's clothes and wants to now be known as Chelsea. Hell, you'll recall Charles Ramsey, the Cleveland dishwasher who rescued three women from captivity got a greater reception, although the attention her garnered likely had a lot to do with this "colorful" personality.

So yeah, pardon me for giving the sideye to America for not showering Tuff with the typical trappings of instant fame. To wit: the fund that Tuff established for donations to the organization for underprivileged kids that she's a part of hasn't even raised $100,000 yet.[2] I can't help but juxtapose this to the plight of bus monitor Karen Huff Klein, who endured taunts from kids and ended up with over $1M to retire with. I'm not saying that was wrong, I'm merely observing the contrast. Maybe people can personally identify with an elderly bus driver who was a victim than a middle aged black woman who was a hero. Maybe it's because no kids actually died. Maybe it's cause these were middle-lower classed black kids in the suburbs. Seriously, I have no idea, but something about the comparative receptions rubs me the wrong way. No Johnny Gill.

Is it wrong to equate heroism with monetary donations and media attention? Sure it is. But like it or not, it's the American way. And based on the amount of those this story has generated so far, I can only conclude that America doesn't think Antoinette Tuff's "our kinda hero".

Question: Do you feel like Tuff's story is getting the amount of attention it deserves? Have you personally donated to her fund yet?

[1] I watch an inordinate amount of LMN for a grown, straight male. I've covered the reasons why here, already. One common thread on LMN: the heroines are never, ever, ever black. Thus the above comment.

[2] I will confess I'm somewhat surprised that those on the right haven't (yet) started trying to tear down/discredit Tuff now that she got a call from the President and had the nerve to say he was a "good leader". I was pretty sure they'd be digging into her tax, government assistance, or state employee records looking for dirt by now. You know, the typical "guilt by Obama Association" sh*t. Word to Shirley Sherrod.

[3] Before you ask, yes. I did.

The 10 Biggest Robberies In History.

Whenever someone utters the word “crime” the first thing that pops in many people’s heads is the heist or robbery. Whether carried out by lowly criminals or sophisticated professionals, in TV or in real life, robberies and heists have captivated us for many years. As you may imagine, the most compelling heists and robberies have involved elaborate planning and eye-popping sums of money being stolen (used diamonds aren’t enough for these high caliber thieves) from secured vaults. Let’s take a quick look at some of the biggest robberies in history.

10. John Dillinger’s Heist (over $75 million). Probably the most famous robber from the depression-era, John Dillinger stole several hundred thousand dollars from banks in the early 1930’s. His biggest robbery took place at the Central Nation Bank and Trust Company of Greencastle, Indiana, where he went away with over $75,000 in stolen cash.

9. Antwerp Diamond heist (over $100 million). Also known as the “heist of the century”, this elaborated crime was carried out by Leonardo Notarbartolo and his team of professional thieves. Notarbartolo and his crew were able to pull off one of the most expensive diamond heists in history.

8. Harry Winston ($108 million). Four armed men (3 of which were dressed in women’s clothing) entered a famous jewelry store (“Jeweler to the Stars”) just a few minutes before closing. After swiping the most expensive display cases, they forced staff to loot the storage area, where millions worth of jewels were kept.

7. Schipol Airport ($118 million). Four men disguised themselves as KLM Royal Dutch Airline employees and drove a KLM truck that had just hauled in uncut diamonds due to be delivered to Antwerp. They had no setbacks and managed to get away with $118 million worth in diamonds.

6. E.G. Bührle Art Museum Robbery (almost $139 million). Three men in ski masks managed to get inside E.G. Bührle Art Museum in Zurich and took with them four different paintings that were valued at nearly $139 million.

5. Knightsbridge Security Deposit ($174 million). The Italian Valerio Viccei and an accomplice entered the Knightsbridge Safe Deposit Centre and asked to rent a Safe Deposit Box. Afterwards they managed to subdue the guards and proceeded to steal $174 million.

4. Baghdad Bank Robbery ($282 million). It is believed that 3 guards at the Dar Es Salaam bank went away with $282 million. It is suspected that they had the assistance of the militia.

3. Boston Museum ($300 million). Two men disguised as police officers convinced 2 inexperienced security guards at the Gardner Museum to let them in. The faux police officers then handcuffed the security guards without using any weaponry and calmly stole several pieces of art worth over $300 million.

2. City Bonds Robbery (£292 million). John Goddard was a 58 year old messenger that was delivering Bank of England Treasury bills from banks and building societies. He was mugges while carrying a briefcase with more than 301 treasury bills worth £1 million each.

1. Central Bank of Iraq ($1 billion). The largest robbery in history was also one of the most simple. Shortly after the bombing of Iraq, Saddam Hussein sent his son to make a withdrawal on his behalf with a handwritten note. Qusay couldn’t make it very far, as he was killed by US forces while Saddam was in hiding. US troops found more than $650 million hidden in the walls of one of his palaces. The remaining $350 million has been lost.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013 NewsBriefs.

Yes, I'm on vacation (yet) again. It's the end of the summer, so this is likely the last breather. In the interim, I appreciate everyone who has kept this blog moving along after what's been a very sporadic month of postings. Things will get back to their prolific normals soon. For now, a few links for the road.

Fox and Friends: Where’s the Outrage From Sharpton, Obama on Chris Lane? - The killing of Chris Lane by three thugs who "just wanted to shoot someone" is a tragedy. The man was just out for a job, and three morons gunned him down. There are no early indications this is a hate crime, but it doesn't matter because these three will be tried as adults, and will not be seeing the light of day anytime soon. That said, the Conservative narrative that this is a counterpoint to the Trayvon Martin shooting is nonsensical and simply reinforces what I've known all along: this is actually about President Obama. Not Martin, not Zimmerman. Some people's hatred of the POTUS is so strong that any issue even remotely involving a black person is immediately polarizing and some people can simply not view such issues beyond any lense other than that of their Obama hatred. And that's a really, really, really sad commentary on where we are as a country.

Terrified parents waited for word in Ga. school shooting; 20-year-old suspect charged - This story just makes me wanna pray and go listen to "Straight From The Dec" on repeat for a few hours. Thank you Lord, this bumbling idiot didn't actually harm anyone. And thank you Jesus for the school employee who was calm enough to talk this disturbed individual out of doing anything crazy. Antoinette Tuff, you are my Shero. This song's for you.

Bill O’Reilly Grills Murdered Girl’s Father on ‘Madness’ of Rejecting Stop-and-Frisk - Staying on that topic, the Conservative outrage about Stop And Frisk laws being deems illegal in NYC is equally moronic. I won't bother discussing S&F stats here, look them up yourself. It's clear the law violates the rights of innocent people, and it's quite unclear that it's responsible for the drop in NYC murders. Violent crimes nationwide are at 40 year lows, but many on the right are defending the right for cops to pat down innocent Americans for no reason at all. These were the same people upset about NSA wiretapping laws designed to prevent us from being attacked. Apparently, civil liberties don't matter much when it comes to Negroes. Again, call me nuts, but I'm thinking Obama/Holder Derangement Syndrome is somewhere at play here.

"The Butler" Director Lee Daniels Says America Is Still Racist. Conservatives Disagree. - Uhhh, just go watch this bullsh*t for yourself.

Rapper The Game Unveils New Tattoo in Honor of Trayvon Martin - This guy really shoulda read Monday's story. Seriously, Jayceon? Really?

Republican Maine Governor Allegedly Said Obama ‘Hates White People’ - But we're postracial tho'.

Question: What's on your mind today? Drop some links, start a convo.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Absolute Worst Way To Pay Tribute To Trayvon Martin.

In the months prior to the George Zimmerman trial, Hoodies were omnipresent. Especially online. Millions of people changed their social media avatars to an image of themselves, or Martin, or their kids, of their pets, or MLK (seriously, WTF?) wearing a hoodie. I never really got with this (okay, maybe the day prior to the verdict), because I thought there were far better ways to show solidarity with the Martin family. Namely: registering to vote, and showing my black ass up for jury duty when called. You could throw mentoring/tutoring/coaching kids in there if you're really bad ass. But hey, Drive-By Activism is a lot easier. Change that avatar!

In the pantheon of "supportive social gestures", I thought wearing a hoodie was pretty lame. But whatever.

This woman, though, well, she was really dedicated to the cause. So dedicated she quit her damn job. And wrote a self congratulatory opinion piece that the Washington Post ran Sunday.
Last month, when a jury found Zimmerman not guilty in Martin’s death, it wasn’t the end of the story. People young and old, black and white, took to the streets from coast to coast. For Zimmerman, too, much was not resolved; whatever you may think of him, he can’t be happy that he killed a young man on the cusp of adulthood, with dreams and goals and loving parents who presented the most graceful bearing of grief I’ve ever seen.

I needed to do something. The Monday after the trial ended, I went to my job at a small doctor’s office and made my computer desktop wallpaper (which was not viewable to the public) an image of a hoodie. This image had sprung up on the Internet and social media as an expression of support for the Martin family. It is meant as an acknowledgement that this senseless death had not gone unnoticed.


Our president asked that we “do some soul-searching.” He let us know that he didn’t have much faith in politicians organizing conversations on race, but he said that he thought that in our families, churches and workplaces we might succeed.

But that’s not what happened in my case. On Aug. 1, at the end of a long work day, my boss called me into his office. Apparently, during the two weeks since I had selected the hoodie image for my computer desktop, some of my co-workers had complained. They felt that this image, which could be seen only when I logged in or minimized all the windows open on my screen, was inappropriate. My boss, looking distressed, told me that I had to change it.

There was no room for discussion between him and me or me and them. There would be no way to explain, to anyone who felt frightened or threatened by what I had done, that I wasn’t making some call to arms, or a black-power salute, or in fact trying to express any anger at all. It was merely an image of a piece of clothing worn by a young man who was wrongfully killed. By displaying it, I was simply saying that I was sad.


So, I went to my computer and composed a letter of resignation. It would be the last document I would ever complete at my workplace of six years. It wasn’t easy, but it also wasn’t hard. Either way, the real problem remained. When everything was said and done, the life of a young man who should have made it home safely that night still had been cut short.
You'll need to read the whole thing to get the full effect. And no, I'm not stupid enough to believe that this incident is the only reason why this woman (Brenda Howard) quit her job. This was probably the tip of the iceberg for both Ms. Howard and her employer, the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. So no, I'm not buying that whole "I had to speak truth to power so I quit" bull. Miss me with that.

Jokes aside, I'm wondering why this lady thought it was okay to use company property to make a halfhearted political statement. I didn't understand President Obama's call for people to discuss race in their workplace, because the workplace in an inherently apolitical institution by nature. Just as I wouldn't have wanted to see a colleague with an "I Stand With Zimmerman" screensaver, I understand why some might be offended by the image of the hoodie. And even if they weren't, customers could potentially be offended. The employer was well within his right to ask her to simply remove the image from his computer. And Ms. Howard was well within her right to quit the job, regardless of how silly/trivial the reason.[1]

Good luck landing a new receptionist job, Ms. Howard. That said, your article is hovering around the magical 5,000 comment mark on The Post right now. I think you've got a bright future somewhere.

Question: Did this woman make a grand social statement, or just quit her job for no damn reason? Have you ever made a social statement on the job? Is there any good way to discuss political/social/racial issues while at work?

[1] Wouldn't "wearing a hoodie" to work have been a more impactful social statement, and one that would have been far harder for her employer to prevent?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Russell Simmons Culturally Tone Deaf Comedy Jam.

Black Twitter has been afflutter the past couple of days by a sketch comedy bit called "The Harriett Tubman Sex Tape", which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. In case you've been under a rock, or don't know what Black Twitter is, here it go...

The fact that Russell Simmons is responsible for that f*ckery didn't help. Simmons apologized and pulled the video almost immediately. Of course, this being the internet and all, it's still around. Nothing ever actually "goes away" on the web.
Russell Simmons is apologizing after coming under fire for a video that appeared on his new All Def Digital YouTube channel.

The "Harriet Tubman Sex Tape" depicts an actress portraying the famous abolitionist having sex with her "Massa" in order to allow her to run the Underground Railroad. The video has since been taken down. Simmons issued an apology on in which he says he was contacted by his "buddies" at the NAACP asking for removal of the video.

"I'm a very liberal person with thick skin," wrote Simmons. "My first impression of the Harriet Tubman piece was that it was about what one of actors said in the video, that 162 years later, there's still tremendous injustice. And with Harriet Tubman outwitting the slave master? I thought it was politically correct. Silly me. I can now understand why so many people are upset. I have taken down the video. Lastly, I would never condone violence against women in any form, and for all of those I offended, I am sincerely sorry."
While many are up in arms about the fact that a(n ex-) slave is portayed having consensual relations with a (presumed) slaveowner and taping it, I'm actually not. There's nothing rapey about this video, and I really wish people didn't go there. I also don't have any issue with Harriett Tubman, a beloved historial figure, being used for comedic intents. Nope, my problem is something entirely different altogether.

This sh*t just wasn't funny. At all. Period.

That's the first rule of comedy: make people laugh. Nothing here was funny. Nothing.

I don't consider any topic off limits. In the hands of capable writers and on screen talent, you can take a taboo subject and make it both hilarious and thought provoking. Comedians like Richard Pryor, Dave Chappelle, Patrice O'Neal, and my current favorite Hannibal Burress have all more or less made careers of this. But these no-name, no talent bums in the Simmons' funded sketch had nothing going for them. There's no social commentary. No physical humor. Nothing.

Still, I don't get all the uproar here. This isn't the first comedy sketch that bombed, nor will it be the last. The fact that the NAACP is involved in this f*ckery, and that rodeo clown incident in the same week says something. Exactly what I'm not sure. But something.

I'm sorta outraged at all the outrage. You?

Question: Was this just a poorly conceived comedy skit that went really bad, or a sign of the collapse of Negro civilization?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Who? Us Racist? Oprah, Obama The Clown, & Doug Gansler.

Three race related stories have dominated the news to varying degrees this past week. Since I'm already late to the party, I'll just give you my two cents on each of them. Keep the change. Or whatever the snappy comeback to two cents is.


Oprah Winfrey recently made waves when she spoke about an incident at a Tom Ford store in Switzerland. A clerk apparently didn't show Oprah a $38,000 bag she was interested in because she didn't think the billionaire could afford it. Oprah inferring this was racism (she didn't exactly spell it out, however), the shop owner swore it was "an absolute classic misunderstanding"[1], the clerk swears it didn't go down like that, and Oprah, in a somewhat puzzling turn of events, has actually apologized, albeit in classic Oprah fashion.

I don't pop mollys, nor do I rock Tom Ford.[2] One thing I do not do, however, is give my money to people who don't pay me the common respect they afford other customers. That's basically all Oprah was saying, and billionairess or not, that's something everyone should be able to understand. Of course, since the specter of race was in the mix, this story's been playing out via the media, with talking heads damn near exploding alleging Oprah played "The Race Card". Curiously, the "Black Card" she mentioned in the initial story was the literal type, not the figurative one. But this is America and all, so f*ck nuance. Race War!!! Verdict: That sh*t is racist!

A rodeo in The Show Me State Of Missouri recently found itself in hot water for dressing up a clown in an Obama mask, and announcing to the crowd that the bull was going to "stomp him now". The clown and the rodeo commissioner have since be relieved of their duties, which is a nice way of saying they'll be taking their talents across the state line to Illinois.

Here's the thing: while this is most certainly in bad taste, I'm not really sure how this is racist. Yes, it's tacky, but so is the thought of sitting around for 2 hours watching grown assed men riding on bulls. Sorta comes with the tacky territory, no? Much like tractor pulls, pro wrestling, and Kenny Chesney concerts, there's a lot of sh*t that goes on in Real America that I'd prefer to not know more about, and certainly won't ever be a part of. That last line probably made no sense, so lemme just quit while I'm ahead. So should the NAACP, which is calling on the Justice Department to investigate this "incendiary event". Seriously? Ya'll don't have bigger trout to fry? Verdict: Tacky as hell, but not really racist.

Doug Gansler is the Attorney General in my state, and is gearing up to run for governor vs current Lietenant Governor Anthony Brown. Brown, for those unaware, is known in Maryland as Baby Barack. A biracial military vet who looks a little like the POTUS, and whose (new) wife actually looks a little like Michelle, Brown is somewhat of a longshot to win, whereas the better connected Gansler is considered a career climber that sees the Governorship as his launching pad to the Presidency. In a blue state, the winner of next year's primary essentially replaced outgoing Governor O'Malley, a man with his own 2016 aspirations.

Anyways, since Maryland's Democratic electorate is 35% black, courting the black vote's essential for anyone who wants to win, and Brown is (perhaps unwisely) touting the historic possibility as one of his selling points. Gansler (who is Jewish), was recently caught on tape disparaging Brown, essentially saying his only qualification is that he's black. On the same tape, Gansler, in a strangely self-unaware fashion, posits that he'll find a black running mate (any black running mate) to neutralize Brown's sole advantage. It's really pretty sickening stuff, and to those who insist that race pandering is the sole province of the GOP, I'd encourage you to look into this more. Verdict: That sh*t is racist!

Question: Was Oprah discriminated against? Is the Missouri rodeo clown racist? What about the Democratic infighting in Maryland?

[1] What the f*ck, exactly, is "an absolute classic misunderstanding"? Is that better than a "garden variety misunderstanding"? How so?

[2] Magna Carta Holy Grail Corporate Synergy Disguised As An Overhyped Album was pretty freakin' lousy, but I do like this one song.

Yet Another Plane Crash. Will You Stop Flying?!?

What's up with all these planes crashing lately? This morning in Alabama, a UPS cargo plane crashed, killing the pilot and co-pilot. A few weeks ago, a particularly horrific incident occurred with a small prop plane crashed into a Connecticut home, killing a 13 and 1 year old. And of course there were deadly crashes earlier this year at San Francisco and LaGuardia.

My Day Job requires frequent travel. I accept the possibility that I might not return home (in one piece) each time I board a plane. I've gotten so used to flying over the years that it's hardly a second thought, and seldom if ever induces any level of anxiety.[1] But I'd be lying if I told you I didn't say a quick prayer and brace myself everytime my flight prepares for landing. Thankfully (and obviously) this has worked out fairly well for me thus far.

I'm not one of those "when it's your time you gotta go" people, but I do accept that when I board a flight, I'm to some degree putting my fate in the hands of someone else. Someone else who may be operating on miminal sleep, intoxicated, disgruntled, or just plain inexperienced. This sounds harrowing, but then again, so does driving everywhere, John Madden style. And we know more people meet their fate behind the wheel than via the air.

So yeah, it is what it is. Maybe NTSB looks into this spate of seemingly unavoidable incidents and devises some new standards to minimize the possibility of these happening in the future. Maybe not. I'm just gonna keep flying in the meantime.

And praying. Definitely praying.

Question: Does this recent spate of aviation accidents discourage you from flying? Are you scared of flying in the first place?

[1] One thing I'd advice everyone to never do: Watching plane crash-related movies, while on a plane. I tried to watch that Denzel movie "Flight" a few months ago, while in the air. Not exactly a wise idea.

Monday, August 12, 2013 Monday Open Mic.

I'm on the road the next couple of days, so ya'll have at it. The blog will be back to normal shortly.

Question: What's on your mind today? Drop some links, start a convo.

Thursday, August 8, 2013 Open Mic Thursday (Yes, I'm Back!)

It's still technically my birthday (the whole month of August is) but I'm back to work. The blog will be back in action soon. Thanks to all for the wishes. And no, that was not my cake. But anyways, on to the linkage...
Canceled summit is latest sign of faltering U.S.-Russia ties - Say what you will about the POTUS, but the man clearly knows where his bread is buttered and does not f*ck around when it comes to his LGBT supporters. I'm sure there's a lesson for black America hidden in here somewhere, but I don't have the energy to expound.

Priebus to CNN: Don't air documentary - The GOP is threatening to boycot debates on both CNN and NBC if they air scheduled Hilary Clinton docs/miniseries ahead of 2016 primaries. Not really sure if this is a wise idea.

Riley Cooper Welcomed Back To Eagles' Camp - I don't have the time...

Hannity And Guests Savage Oprah’s Trayvon Comments: ‘Idiocy,’ She Knows ‘Diddly-Squat’ About Civil Rights! - Just in case you wanna burn a few brain cells today, have a gander.

Paula Deen More Popular Than Martin Luther King Among Georgia Republicans, Poll Finds - Raise your hand if you find this shocking.

Murder-kidnap case - Dimaggio murder/kidnapping story is made for Lifetime TV. You know it's coming.
Question: What's on your mind today? Drop some links, start a convo.

Learn to Play Poker With Free Online Games.

Playing Poker for real money can be a bad investment if you really do not understand the basics of the game. It is far wiser financially to learn the game at a free online site. At such sites, you can get the basics and beyond if you do want to play the game for money in real life or you can just play for fun while learning new skills online.

At the site there are easy to use courses with quizzes, articles offering advice from Poker pros, and live Poker training sessions where coaches will analyze hands as they play helping you to understand the game by watching the game in real time. The site also has a forum available online to allow chat with other players about rules, strategy and other advice.

This kind of sites offerssimilar learning opportunities. The normally have a Poker guide that includes everything from basic tips for the game to rules and strategies. It also informs players of acceptable etiquette for the game. Players can play simple games and enter tournaments against each other.

They are also other sites with more content on it: they offer the tips and strategies of other sites, but does offer some things not mentioned at other sites. Each lesson has a video included with written text. Players can take quizzes when finished to insure understanding like other sites. A study guide is user friendly and has step-by-step instruction. There is an available video library for extra content designed as supplemental to lessons. Reference charts can be viewed online or printed for offline study. The charts include poker hands ranking, poker odds, and poker probability.

Online sites offer a no financial risk ability to learn Poker basics and strategies. Players can learn at a comfortable pace according to how much more Poker knowledge is needed.