Wednesday, December 31, 2014's Happy New Year Open Mic.

I hope everyone had a great holiday. My New Year's Resolution is to get this blog back on track next week when vacation is over. I might even bring back some of the old "features" that made this blog what it (once) was. So bear with me.

You'll see more ads... errrr... posts.. here soon. Sit tight.

Question: What are your New Year's Resolutions for 2015?!?

Which MLB Team Had The Best Offseason?!?

Is it already time for baseball? Nah, it's always time for baseball. Especially if you're a San Francisco Giants fan. Last season the franchise won its 3rd championship in 5 years, topping the Kansas City Royals in a thrilling 9 game series that came down to the final at-bat. This, of course, totally sucked if you're a Royals fan, considering they came outta nowhere having not made the postseason since Ronal Reagan was in office. As if living in Kansas City wan't enough pain to endure already. They do have great BBQ there though. Shout out to Gates!

As a softcore Nats fan that's just happy to see the Redskins season come to a merciful end, I won't pretend I've paid much attention to what's happened during baseball's winter meetings. Not with my Wizards having their best season in 4 decades, my kids bankrupting me for Christmas, the end of the year, and whatnot. But before you know it, Spring Training will be here, so let's take a look at the biggest moves that have transpired so far, ranked by my personal order.
Francisco Liriano re-upped with the Pittsburgh Pirates for three years and $39 million.

The Dodgers traded for Howie Kendrick.

The New York Yankees resigned third baseman Chase Headley to a four-year, $52 million pact.

The San Diego Padres acquire (Matt Kemp and Justin Upton.

Giants re-sign Jake Peavy to 2-year, $24 million deal.

Rays sign Asdrubal Cabrera to a 1 year deal.
Smart money says the Padres (assuming they still get a healthy Matt Kemp) have improved the most, while the Giants have likely done enough to ensure themselves a fair shot at another title next Fall. There are still many more moves to be made before camps open, but some franchises clearly have a definitive parlay strategy, and others don't. We'll see what happens before Grapefruit & Cactus Leagues get underway.

Monday, December 15, 2014 Long Overdue Open Mic.

Yeah, I fell off. I already know this. I've been super busy with work and blah blah blah excuses.

You'll see more ads... errrr... posts.. here soon. Sit tight.

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

Friday, December 5, 2014

Brother & Sister Rob Auto Parts Store While Wearing Uniforms Of Competing Store.

There are dumb criminals, and then there are dumb criminal families.
After more than two years, a Montgomery County woman was sentenced Thursday for a violent rash of armed robberies. She and two family members are facing serious time behind bars.

The Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office says the crime spree was a family affair. A woman, her brother and cousin were sentenced for robbing three businesses and attacking the clerks and an 83-year-old customer.

Surveillance video from one of the robberies shows the 83-year-old man violently being shoved to the ground. Then the suspect pushes a store clerk to the ground and puts a gun to his back.

As the armed robbery proceeds, the suspect wearing a gas mask also points a gun at another employee and proceeds to bind his hands. In video from another connected robbery, two different suspects brazenly walk into a store with no masks.

According to the state's attorney's office, that trio of bandits is actually a family of thieves. The last of the three was finally convicted more than two years after the crimes. The string of violent armed robberies happened in 2011 and 2012 at three Advance Auto Parts locations. In all, they made off with thousands of dollars in cash.

Steven Williams was arrested because of surveillance video and evidence he left behind at the scene. “One of the guys that left the shirt at the scene had a dry cleaning tag that identified that particular uniform to him,” said Korionoff.

And he confessed that his cousin, Terriet Williams, and sister, Wanda Battle, were his accomplices. But the case remained open because Battle got away and remained on the run until U.S. marshals caught up with her.

The suspects were sentenced to ten, twelve and 15 years behind bars. It also turns out one of the suspects, Steven Williams, was a former employee of Advance Auto Parts.
My wife and I watched this one the local news last night, and had to rewind and re-watch it about 30 times. Seriously, just hit play already.

Let's count all the N-Word Nonsense in this 1:56 clip.
1) Robbing a store with your sibling. #DaFam
2) Robbing a store without a ski mask or anything to conceal your face.
3) Can't convince a 83 year old man to Get Down or Lay Down.
4) Can't even afford a real gas mask.
5) Using a Halloween gas mask to conceal your face.
6) Not realizing your face is already on the security cameras.
7) See Number Two.
8) Seriously, See Number Two again. Jesus Freakin' Christ, breh.
9) How much you wanna bet Wanda got that mask off the AutoZone shelf?
10) See Number Two again. #SMH
11) Wait, is he riding that guy's back as he makes him open the safe?
12) Wait, they had a cousin in on this scheme?
13) This is the 3rd time these morons did this?
14) They robbed the same damn franchise 3 times?
15) Worst family mugshot off all time. Of. All. Time.
16) This N-Word actually worked an AutoZone 10 miles away from the one he robbed?
17) Hmmmmm... I wonder why he got fired? I'm gonna guess... he stole something.
18) The reporter actually said "Major Fail"! Never change, Jackie Bensen.
19) These dumbasses showed up for a robbery wearing matching uniforms... of a competitor?
20) You leave a drycleaning ticket on the floor when you rob a store? Werd?
21) The drycleaning ticket actually has your name on it?
22) The 3 people who worked at the store during the robbery quit? No sh*t Sherlock.
23) The detective and prosecutor look like they're trying their best not to laugh.
24) This is why I love DC.
25) This is also why I hate DC.
Look, I'm not trying to make light of this. I worked at a grocery store and witnessed an armed robbery firsthand. It was probably the most terrifying 3 minutes of my entire life, and there's certainly nothing funny about a person waving a gun at you. Believe me, I know. That sh*t is not funny in any way.

But seriously, these dummies really thought they could pull this off? Lock them up, discard the key. The world's a better place with them in captivity.

Question: Are these the dumbest criminals you've ever seen?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Eric Garner's Killer Will Not Be Charged.

I'd call this deja vu, but it's probably more accurate to just call it "being black in America".
A Staten Island grand jury has voted not to bring criminal charges in the death of Eric Garner, a black man who died after being placed in a chokehold by a white police officer.

The decision was reached on Wednesday after months of testimony including from the officer who used the chokehold, Daniel Pantaleo. Mr. Garner died after the violent confrontation. The grand jury reached its decision less than two weeks after a grand jury in Ferguson, Mo., declined to bring charges against a white officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown.

For days, the New York Police Department has been readying for a new round of protests, which began in the city after the Ferguson decision and were expected to continue and possibly grow if the grand jury declined to bring charges against the officer.

Jonathan C. Moore, a lawyer for the Garner family, said they hoped that federal prosecutors would continue to examine the case, and he urged people upset by the decision to voice their dismay, but to do so peacefully.

The grand jury, impanelled by District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan Jr. in September, has weighed evidence – including a video recorded by bystanders of Mr. Garner’s violent arrest – and heard testimony from the officers involved.

Grand juries determine whether enough evidence exists for a case to go forward to a criminal trial, either before a jury or a judge. By law, they operate in secret and hear only evidence presented by prosecutors, who also instruct the grand jurors on the law. Defense lawyers are barred from speaking. For a decision, 12 jurors who have heard all the evidence must agree.

An indictment was considered only against Officer Pantaleo, who testified last, on Nov. 21, his lawyer, Stuart London, said. The other officers received immunity, he said.
How many more brothers need to be killed by cops before something, anything, happens?

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Ferguson Grand Jury Verdict Is In...

The verdict is in. The results we be announced momentarily. Weigh in here.

Question: What do you think about the verdict?

Make money online with the best binary options sites

Binary Options are becoming more and more popular, due to the fact that most brokers are now regulated. Binary Options are a simple way to make money online and is in many ways similar to online poker.

You don’t have to be a stock market analyst or any financial expert to get into binary options.

What are binary options?

There are many ways to trade currencies online. One of these is through binary options. Binary options are a type of exotic trading instrument that is offered by exchanges around the world.

The trading is done on the internet through a dedicated website portal called broker. There are many sites that compare the best binary options brokers, like the one maintained by Matteka Anderson. This way you can read real reviews before depositing your money.

A binary option is a speculative trading instrument. It is presented in a simple yes or no question by a broker online. For example, a binary option can be presented as “Will the price of gold be above $1, 500 at 2.00pm?” this is an option that you can buy or sell.

As such, it has a bid price which is its selling price and an ask price which is its buying price. Binary options are good trading instruments where you can win or lose depending on the market conditions.

Characteristics of binary options

Binary options are great because they are simple to trade. These options are similar to online poker. You can deposit money and win or lose it. For example depositing and withdrawing works the same way, many companies that are active in the online poker industry also joined the binary options industry. Especially for online poker players, who are familiar with odds and probability, it is very easy to get into binary options.

Moreover, the binary options trading market is a zero sum game. This means that when you are winning, there is someone else losing by exactly the same margin.

However, if you buy the option at the ask price of $44.50, you risk this exact amount if the option expires at $0. Therefore, chances at the option even out for both traders. Binary options take many forms. They can be questions about stock markets, oil price fluctuations, prices of trading commodities and more. Each option is also known as a contract. You can buy more than one of these contracts if you really believe in your trading position. Of course, there is more risk in doing this but there is also more reward.

Advantages of trading binary options

One of the biggest advantages of trading binary options is that you can trade many different types of investment assets across various industries and markets at the same time. Most binary options brokers are now regulated by CySec.

As such, for a smart trader, the returns can be huge in a short period of time. Another benefit of trading binary options is that you have a chance to invest a low amount of money in the options. As such, you can risk only as much as you can afford. As long as you have a capital base of $100, you can get in on any option or contract in the market.

Each and every option gives you information about the amount you can win or lose prior to your investing in the option. This information is presented in the option’s bid and ask prices. Therefore, you can make an informed decision before investing in an option. Most other financial trading instruments do not have this option. With binary options it is possible to know when your trade will expire.

This is because each option has an expiry time period. Some of the options expire in 15 minutes and others in a week. Thus, you can get your money in a short time as opposed to other financial trading instruments that take months for you to get your returns. Binary options are an awesome way to invest money over the internet.

If you are still unsure, you can always try a demo account, where you don’t have to invest real money. This way you can see if this is something you want to invest in or not.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

White Daughters & Black Boyfriends: A Father's Worst Nightmare?!?

I would blame this one on Obama, but well, that excuse is getting a little played out...
Students at Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk, Virginia walked out of class on Monday to protest a school official’s Twitter message that referred to young black men as a “nightmare” for white fathers.

According to WVEC, the Twitter post was made in June by the school administrator, but students only recently noticed it.

The tweet was a reposting of a message from an account called @OrNahhTweets. It showed a photograph of seven white girls in prom-style dresses with seven African-American young men in tuxedos. The caption on the photo read, “every white girl’s father’s worst nightmare or not.”

Over a dozen African-American students walked out of classes with protest signs on Monday after they said that school officials and the school board refused to respond to their complaints.

“This was the only actual way we could get someone’s attention, was to walk outside. It shouldn’t have come to this, but [the administrator has] avoided all meetings and public speakings and emails, just avoided them all,” student Michael Lemelle told WVEC. The students said that they didn’t want the school administrator fired, they just want officials to know how hurtful the tweet was.

“Me being a young African-American, I don’t think of myself as anyone’s worst nightmare,” Lemelle explained
Here's the video.

Every black male has and example of encountering such racism during their teenage years. I remember sitting at a table in my high school library with two other black male classmates and a white girl working on a class project. The librarian, an old white man, walked over, grabbed the girl's arm, and told her "you don't need to be around them". Mind you, we were working on a project for class, because we were all assigned to the same group. We weren't trying to gangb*ng the girl, we just wanted to get an A on the project.

I told my parents when I got home and they hit the roof. They met with the principal the next day, told him what happened, and the librarian (who apparently had a history of this sort of thing) was suspended indefinitely without pay. He "retired" at the end of the year.

My point being: this sh*t happens all the damn time to black males. It just happens to be more out in the open in the age of social media, but it is nothing new.

As a Dad of three, my worst nightmare is my kids being taught by an a$$hole like this.

Question: Do you have such an example of racism from your high school days?

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Day Darren Wilson Walked...

There's a great chance that today, a day when 20 degree temperatures and snow are forecast for the Greater St. Louis Area, will be the day that the Darren Wilson grand jury decision is announced. I'm not saying that the timing is intentional, and being done in a manner least likely to lead to civil unrest, but well, that's just me being a paranoid conspiracy theorist. As usual.

I'm only about 99.9% sure that Wilson is going to walk, and I'm somewhat shocked that there are still people who think otherwise. The cops have been leaking "details" for months now that have all but poisoned the well for potential jurors in an effort to make it clear that Brown got what he had coming. Never mind recent video surveillance that showed Wilson had hardly a scratch on his face a couple of hours after the shooting, which contradicts his claims that Mike Brown was beating him senseless. Nope, all that matters is that that Brown had it coming and got what he deserved.

St Louis County has stocked up on extra riot gear just because, and Ferguson residents have been buying guns at a startling rate in anticipation of what Negroes will do once the decision goes public.

When I think about this story, one thing just really, really sticks out to me: the Ferguson police department's utter incompetence throughout the entire ordeal, and how it's likely emblematic of what residents in that city experience on a daily basis. From the misplaced cruiser cams, to Wilson (allegedly) turning his radio off during the (alleged) scuffle, to the horrible optics of how information about the case was trickled out.

Think about this: had the police immediately said that Brown was a suspect in a strong-armed robbery, instead of leaking that small detail a week after the fact, would people have maybe seen this story in a different light from the very beginning? Had they given the family the common decency of not letting their child's body lay in the street for 4 hours, might tempers have not flared nearly as much? Had they treated (understandably) agitated citizens who are merely looking for answers with a bit of respect instead of confronting them with military grade weaponry, might tensions have been diffused a bit? Again, the level of rank incompetence is astounding.

Now put yourself in a community in which that rank incompetence is displayed on a daily basis. Live with, deal with, accept said rank incompetence on a daily basis for your entire life. And ask yourself how you might have responded when said rank incompetence resulted in the death of an 18 year old.

Say a prayer for Ferguson. I have a bad feeling that city (as a whole) is gonna need all it can get in the next few days.

Question: What do you expect the grand jury decision to be? Will there be rioting? BTW, should the verdict be announced today, this will be the open mic. I probably won't be writing anything more about this.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ashy Or Classy?!? Fat Joe Leans Back Into A Pyramid Scheme.

I believe the operative term is "multilevel marketing", but seriously, it's the same sh*t. Any business in which you have to recruit others under you to prosper is a damn pyramid. No matter what "business services" they might be peddling. I can't really hate on Fat Joe for this though. Rap doesn't come with a 401k Plan. Big Pun been dead. There will not be Lean Back Part II. So yeah, do whatever you gotta do to avoid becoming Joey Crack again. This is semi-Ashy tho.

Question: Ashy Or Classy? Would you sign up for Fat Joe's Invisible Train? Have you ever been suckered into a MLM scheme?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Day The GOP "Got It's Country Back".

For the first time in my adult life, I didn't vote on Tuesday. It wasn't because I didn't want to, it was because a last minute Day Job-related travel requirement forced me to. I didn't really feel all that guilty about this, since I live in a blue state where elections are but a mere formality. Well, we all know how that turned out, don't we Anthony Brown?

Brown, for this unaware, was to proceed the outgoing Democratic Governor and skate to a win, which would have made him just the 3rd black man ever elected Governor of any of the 50 United States. Yet despite having a 2-1 edge in Democratic registrations, rallies with the Clintons and Obamas, and a sh*tload of money, Brown got trounced by a GOP competitor that most Marylanders couldn't pick out of a police lineup. It was shocking, yet if you look at national results, it really shouldn't have been.

The GOP, in short, kicked the Democrats a$$ses and retook the Senate, which coupled with their stranglehold on the Congress leaves them a mere Presidency away from taking back their country. The folks over at Fox News were so giddy the other night, I'm about 90% certain that someone on that network got impregnated that night. Don't abort that fetus, Karl Rove! #ProLife

[Somewhat Related Sidebar: The GOP has been whining and complaining about "getting their country back" since 2008. Has anyone actually thought about what that might look like, should they recapture the White House in 2016? I've come to associate them so much with whining, Obama hatred, a$$holery, conspiracy theories, racism, sexist, ism-ism, incompetence, obstruction, and victimhood for so long that I forgot what having them in power looked like. A GOP-run government in the age of Twitter might be mildly amusing, if it didn't have such frightening real world implications. Fox News would certainly have to change their entire steez. MSNBC/CNN would prolly just fold. So might this blog.]

Anyways, the President predictably gave a somber post-election speech yesterday, which is something we should be used to by now.

That, my friends, is the sound of a defeated man. A man who probably misplayed the first couple of years of his Presidency and as a result has been the world's most well paid lame duck for the past 4 years. The epilogue of his 2 terms has yet to be written, but I'm pretty sure it's going to include the words "potential" and "disappointment" more times than a Robert Griffin III scouting report. With that in mind, I'm also certain the President is going to try and get something, anything done over the next 2 years because he wants to remembered as something for other than being "The First Black President". At this rate, I'm not even sure he's gonna get the usual "streets and schools in black neighborhoods" that most black people of acclaim do. It's been an all around clusterf*ck. No two ways around that, no excuses.

So yeah, expect him to agree with the GOP on some very controversial items in the name of "cooperation", "just getting something done", "legacy building", and "because I'm just tired of not doing sh*t for the past 4 years". Mostly the latter. And yeah, you'll probably find yourself very "disappointed". Repeatedly.

Question: What's Obama going to do for the next 2 years.

T-Pain Singing Without Autotune Is Awesome. And Sad.

[Editor's Note: I'm giving the thinkpiece treatment to a web video about a has-been singer. Yeah, it's that kinda day. You thought I'd be talking about the election results?]

Yeah, I realize I'm a few days late with this one. Whatever, I've been working. It happens. In any event, the Internets were going Nuts earlier this week when a video of T-Pain doing an edition of NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert made the rounds. Most of the comments expressed amazement that Teddy Pinned Her A$$ Down could actually carry a tune without the assistance of a computer. And after having watched this myself, I found it enjoyable, and sad at the same time.

I'm not exactly shocked that T-Pain can carry a tune. The guy is naturally talented. He can rap better than 75% of the numbskulls on the radio right now, can write songs, is funny, and probably would have made the transition to TV/acting if he had a more foreward looking manager. Well, that, and Jay-Z's "Death Of Autotune", a mostly pointless and forgettable song that somehow convinced people that T-Pain was lame and essentially stalled his career.

I guess the more surprising thing here is that people thought T-Pain couldn't sing. I mean, come on, seriously? What's the likelihood that a husky darkskinned guy from Tallahassee would get put on if he couldn't sing in the first place? Making it as an R&B singer today requires some level of talent after all. What's sad is that the industry's so screwed up that an otherwise talented person had to resort to using a gimmick to be relevant. In a different era, T-Pain woulda been Jeffrey Osborne or Peabo Bryson, and might not be reduced to singing songs about bartenders and a$$es to get airplay. But alas, this is not such an era. R&B sucks, "urban radio" is unlistenable, and I've got Little Dragon in my headphones a whole lot of late.

Here's to hoping T-Pain using his newfound (fleeting?) notoriety to get his career back on track.

Eff' an autotune.

Question: Were you shocked that T-Pain could actually sing.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 Wednesday Open Mic.

I'm on the road this week, in the great state of Missouri. No, not Ferguson (as if), just somewhere else.

Busy week here. Ya'll talk amongst yourselves. I'll be back soon.

I'm sure you wanna discuss the election results. Have at it.

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

The Crazy World of HR – Taming the Data.

Working in HR is strange. People can’t decide whether they love or hate you.

When there is serious illness in the family or a bereavement the help and support provided by HR is appreciated. You get a warm welcome.

The moment you implement and push through changes to working conditions you are the worst person on earth. It’s then people start referring to the HR department as Human Remains rather than Human Resources. Not as funny as it sounds if you are on the receiving end and have had a tough week and I’ve had a few of them lately.

Right now, our firm is growing at an amazing rate. It seems like every time I clock in there is some new skinny, spotty new kid in a freshly ironed shirt and a new suit waiting for induction. Surprises even me how many there are, and the chances are I hired them.
When it came to new staff, things were really getting out of control. We could not keep track of them all. People were not being paid and our training files were not in good order either. If one of the new people had had an accident, we would have been hard pressed to prove that they had undergone the right training.

Part of the problem was our ancient HR system. It had kind of evolved over the years, which meant that we had the data on each employee spread across several different systems.

For years, it worked OK. When there were not so many people in the company and less turnover. It also worked because our HR clerks had been with us from the beginning. They knew the wrinkles of the system. The problems really started when one of them went on maternity and we hired a temp. She just not get her head around our sprawling system and things were missed and lost.

Our ancient HR systems stopped us from being able hire a third party accountant to do our payroll. Our old HR software was so far out of date we could not convert the database into a format the accountant could use. In short, it was a mess.

Fortunately, we found an answer we are now using HR Systems from CIPHR. Everything is in the same place and everyone, who needs to, can access the information. The whole system is much more efficient. The training module is also helping us to train our staff faster. It is far less labour intensive.

Even the technophobes managed to get their heads around the system within a week. It took a few weeks to go back over the temps work and put everything right on the system that had been missed, but apart from that, the transition was easy.

No more new recruits coming to the HR office on Friday night wondering if they have been let go because their wages had not been paid. Now the pressure is off I will be back writing more.

...and the morale of the story is... don’t stand still, update your systems regularly. The improved efficiencies are worth the investment.

Now if this whole post sounds like me subtly justifying my replacing my iPhone 5 with a got me.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

2014: The Year Black Men (Collectively) Took An "L".

I refrained from commenting on yesterday's video in #StreetHarassment because something about the entire situation just didn't sit right with me. I still don't quite know what it is. This post is an attempt to figure it out, with your help.

Sorry, I can't ignore the racial politics at play in that video. Yes, the street harassment is unsightly and that's something that certainly needs to be addressed. I learned a thing or two from watching this, much of which makes having a daughter suddenly very scary.

But come on, there's definitely some selective editing going on. The creator of the video (a white guy) said there were plenty of white dudes who also catcalled her, but they had problems capturing the audio or some such nonsense. Really?

Ray Rice. Adrian Peterson. Jesse Matthew. Mike Brown. Random N-Words on a street corner calling women "Mami".

Darn near every viral media story that's "inspiring a national conversation on [insert cause that people have been discussing for years in the privacy of their own homes here]" this year has involved a black protagonist (or victim) in some way.

Brothers have been catching a serious "L" in 2014. January can't get here quick enough.

I can't help but think that there's some connecting of the dots here that's somewhat deliberate in nature. I'm waiting for the inevitable thinkpiece on this sometime soon. I have neither the energy, nor skill level required. Maybe ya'll can jumpstart this in the comments section.

Question: Am I being reverse-racially paranoid as usual, or is something more pervasive going on here?

About That Bobby Shmurda Audition Video....

If you haven't heard "Hot N*gga", don't know what the "Shmoney Dance" is, or generally have decent taste in music, you might wanna sit this one out. I don't have the time, energy, or inclination to describe the fleeting one-hit-wonder known as Bobby Shmurda. I just hope he, that weirdo who sings "Club Goin' Up On A Tuesday", and Trinidad James all have good financial handlers. Because they're all gonna be back to working the 3rd shift at Wendy's at some point, and the folks who pull up at the drive-thru are gonna have plenty of material to rag them about.

Case in point.

That, my friends, is what is often referred to as coonery. Apparently when he went to Epic to negotiate his record deal, Shmurda put on an impromptu concert with a medley of his biggest hits. And yeah, it was cringeworthy. Look at the white women in the first row. They look like they've just been street harassed at their Day Job. Look at the (smattering of) black folks. They look like "did I just spend $150k on an Columbia education to deal with this sh*t?"

I could make a larger point about how indicative this is of the current state of hip-hop, but whatever. I'm more interested about how "behind closed doors" meetings somehow get recorded and go viral. What's up with that?

Question: Does this make you sadder for Bobby Shmurda or the handful of "black record company execs" in the room?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Is There A Fine Line Between "Street Harassment" And Innocent Compliments?

I'm just gonna toss this one out there, as a social experiment. Because it's trending and because I'm interested in knowing what you guys see here. But mostly because the video is trending. Anyways, watch the whole thing first, then weigh in below.

Question: Was the woman being harassed or complimented? Ladies, have you experienced such treatment?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ashy Or Classy?!? Ray Rice Halloween Costumes.

For the first time in my adult life, I'm actually dressing up for Halloween. I'm going as a Secret Service Agent, to provide security for my 2 year old, who is going as Princess Tiana. I know some of you are saying "why Secret Service Agent", and the answer is really simple: because it's the easiest costume ever. Put on a black suit, crisp white dress shirt, all black tie, and black shades. I might have to create an earpiece, but whatever. It's a simple, largely inoffensive costume.

Of course, for some people, simple and inoffensive isn't what Halloween's all about. Some people truly push the envelope, often with disastrous results.
Photos of people dressing up as Ray Rice for Halloween are drawing ire from social media.

Last month, Rice was cut from the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely from the NFL after video surfaced of the football player punching his now-wife Janay Rice unconscious in an elevator.

In one photo, a man wearing Rice's No. 27 Ravens jersey drags a blow-up doll by a leg. In another photo, a man in blackface wears a Rice jersey and poses next to a woman, who has a black eye. Kids are dressing up as Rice as well. In one instance, a boy carries a doll by the hair.
So yeah, this happened. Seriously, white folks, WTF?!?

Whatever "parent" allowed their kid to dress up as Ray Rice, complete with an "abused Janay Palmer doll" needs to have CPS called to their house pronto. This sh*t is Ashy and damn near perverted.

Question: Ashy Or Classy? Are these costumes disgusting, or good ole' fashioned American fun?!?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

White Candidate Runs "Scandal" Themed Ad Against Black Female Competitor. Racist or Racial?!?

For those somehow unaware, I live in the great state of Maryland, not far from the border of the District Of Columbia. And yes, I refuse to call The DC Metro Urreah by that corny, contrived, wanna-be cool "DMV" nickname. That sh*t is l.a.m.e.

In any event, the area is considered one of the most politically "progressive" parts of the country, which is basically just code for "blue states (and a District with no Congressional voting rights)". The area would also like to consider itself among the most racially progressive, and for the most part I'd agree. Of course, my sample size is small. I've spent half my life here, and the other half in North Carolina. So yeah, the results might be a bit skewed.

In any event, Maryland is very quietly on the verge of making possible political history next month, as Anthony Brown is the odds-on favorite to become just the 3rd elected black Governor in US history. It's a race few people care about, and in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1, it's somewhat of a forgone conclusion. But don't tell that to Brown's Republican competitor, Larry Hogan, who is running one of the most sneakily racist commercials I've seen in ages.

Watch this and tell me if you caught it...

"Has Brown earned a promotion?"

Come on, you can't tell me that's not on some low-key, infamous Jesse Helms/Harvey Gantt "Hands" ad sh*t. Kick rocks, Larry Hogan.

A bit to the South, there's a similarly sneaky racebaiting incident in the District, where two uninspiring mayoral candidates (no, Marion Barry isn't still the mayor!) are duking it out.
Independent candidate David A. Catania has gone to some lengths during his mayoral campaign to paint Democratic nominee Muriel E. Bowser as untrustworthy and in thrall to powerful supporters.

Most of that has surrounded the saga of the Park Southern Apartments, the deteriorating Ward 8 complex briefly managed by a prominent Bowser backer who explored purchasing the property in a questionable transaction that city officials have characterized as a sweetheart deal. Catania has slammed Bowser for not using her council committee to investigate and otherwise “greasing the wheels” for Jones.

Now Catania has opened another front, sending out a mail piece that notes the fact that a prominent ex-adviser of Bowser’s is embroiled in other corruption allegations. The mailer, which started landing in mailboxes over the weekend, has a “Scandal” theme — as in the Shonda Rhimes-produced, Kerry Washington-starring, Thursday-nights-on-ABC phenomenon.

Meanwhile, the “Scandal” mailer has gotten a good run not only in mailboxes but on social media, where it has stirred up considerable reaction — including from the Bowser campaign.
Catania had a puncher's chance of actually upsetting Bowser, who has all the charisma of a half-smoke, but this is probably the final nail for him. And yeah, that sh*t is racist. Had Bowser sent out a "Queer As Folk" ad about Catania, who is gay, she'd be dead wrong. So yeah, Catania's dead wrong. And like Hogan, he's gonna lose.

Question: Are these two political attack ads "racist" or merely "racial"?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Miscellaneous Stuff Of Note.

I've been out a lot lately, not that you didn't notice. While the blog gets back to normal (whatever that entails these days) here's a few things you might wanna check out.
Five reasons to love the Kansas City Royals - I haven't paid attention to baseball since the Nats lost, but this is a feel good story. Unless you live in B-More.

CDC permitted health worker to fly despite fever - The Strain is coming to life.

School Soccer Team Taunts African Student with ‘Ebola’ Chant, Coaches Resign - USA! USA! USA!

Apple leaks new iPad details - Apple's officially out of new ideas.

Ann Romney still done with 2016, but never say never - Just say never. Please.

Mark Driscoll, top megachurch pastor, resigns - This story is really fishy. Really.

Stewart vs. O’Reilly Showdown: Intense Battle over White Privilege - Two rich white guys argue about poor black people. Ugh.
Question: Got any links to share?

Bringing Online Poker to the People

The US online poker market is by far the most lucrative in the world. This may be a little surprising given the fact that just 3 states presently authorize online poker gaming – Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. It should be remembered that prior to the infamous Black Friday in 2011, online poker sites had carte blanche to operate in US cyberspace. This multibillion dollar a year industry has Americans chomping at the bit – hook, line and sinker. For the remainder of 2014, it's unlikely that we will see any additional US states regulating online poker, but there is plenty of action going on behind the scenes. Lawmakers in California and Pennsylvania are toying with various online gaming bills to introduce online poker to their respective states.

The online poker industry is in its infancy stages in the US – at least in a regulated form. US players can dabble in all manner of online poker games including SNGs, MTTs, freerolls and bounty tournaments. Diehard poker fans will undoubtedly recall the popularity of the country's two biggest online poker sites: PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. Their absence to date is largely attributed with the anaemic growth rate of online poker in the US, but times they are a changing. In June, the Amaya Gaming Group (based in Montréal) announced a record breaking deal to acquire the Oldford Group and the Rational Group. This company owns PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. High-level discussions are underway in New Jersey and Nevada to bring these poker giants back into US cyberspace. Current legislation in various states prohibits the erstwhile versions of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker from operating, owing to bad actor clauses.

The PPA is Working to Prevent Online Gaming Prohibition

The mid-term elections are coming up in November, and the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) is determined to prevent Congress from pushing through any legislation that would ban – at a Federal level – online gaming. More importantly, they are looking to protect the entire industry, not only online poker which has a strong support base among many lawmakers. The executive director of the Poker Players Alliance – John Pappas – is keeping a watchful eye on Congress during this lame-duck session. Democrats in the Senate under Harry Reid are more inclined to push legislation in favor of online gaming, while Republicans are less supportive.

It should be noted that the PPA is not against online casino gaming; it actually supports it because online casino games are viewed as necessary supplements to the online poker industry. There is a great deal of symbiosis between the casino and poker industries, and the PPA wants to protect it all. The PPA is a little concerned that the GOP will likely win the Senate and attempt to push through legislation to appease Sheldon Adelson – an opponent of online gaming. The ongoing back and forth between the PPA and congressional lawmakers is covered in detail at

Crunching the Numbers

Online poker pundits have been optimistic about how much revenue New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada can generate from the game. To date, the numbers are lower than anticipated with online poker revenues from New Jersey amounting to $21.1 million from January 2014 through August 2014. This figure comprises approximately 25% of total online gaming revenues in New Jersey. For Nevada poker, the January through August tally amounts to $6.141 million, while for Delaware the total is $473,962. The University of Las Vegas Nevada Centre for Gaming Research Report further illustrates that total US online gaming is worth $12 million per month.

Analysts point out that rather than being viewed as alternatives to online poker, online casino games are complements. In each state where online poker and online casino games are legal, there are at most 2 or 3 operators competing with one another. The industry has been intentionally structured in that manner, to provide a sustainable and competitive business model. The online gaming industry has taken a leaf out of the traditional land-based casino industry, especially where issues like oversupply are prevalent. For example, New Jersey's Atlantic City started 2014 with 12 casinos, but only 8 remain today. New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, wants to be sure that the emerging online gaming industry is nurtured, and protected from oversupply.

Depositing Funds into Your Online Poker Account

Online poker rooms offer freerolls to players, but the big-money typically comes from real money games. Fortunately, there are several ways to deposit at your preferred online poker room, and each of them is 100% safe and secure. Some of these methods include prepaid cards, Cage Deposits at a land-based casino, MasterCard, Neteller, ACH checks, bank transfer, Visa, Skrill and other payment options there are presently being developed. In all instances, you have to be at least 21 years of age and you have to be physically present in the state that allows online poker gaming. These issues are verified by way of Social Security numbers, ID checks and geolocation technology. Of course, players win money when they win poker games and the house generates revenue by way of advertising, the rake and tournament entry fees.

Know Your Online Poker Room
Many players wonder whether online poker rooms are legal in their state. As mentioned, there are presently 3 states allowing online poker and online casino games. However you will likely find many unregulated online poker rooms offering games to players across all 50 states. It should be remembered that only regulated operators can be trusted, because they are vetted by the US gambling regulatory authorities. Since many operators have offshore poker sites, it's not always possible for the authorities to police each and every one of them at all times. Therefore it is incumbent upon players to check out each of these sites, to make sure that they are legit.

A big part of the reason why you don't want to be playing at an unregulated online poker room is because you don't know if you will get paid out or not. Other issues to consider include trustworthiness of the gaming platform, customer support and player numbers. At least with regulated online poker rooms, you have recourse in the event of unethical conduct. A recently released McAfee report states that the online gambling industry will be worth an estimated $43 billion by 2015, with an annualised growth rate of 7.3%. It's easy to see why shady operators would want to cash in on this lucrative industry. Fortunately, most poker players are savvy enough to think first and act later!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Black Jesus and black-ish: Great Sitcoms Or Borderline Coonin'?!?

In post-Tyler Perry America, the black sitcom has pretty much gone the way of the blackberry smartphone dinosaur. Sure, shows like Are We There Yet and Meet The Browns air several times a week in syndication, but seriously, who watches that sh*t? Thankfully, two new "black sitcoms" recently premiered, but I'm struggling to understand how I feel about them.

black-ish airs on ABC and stars Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross as parents raising black kids in the lily white suburbs. While the show's pilot was (predictably) iffy, subsequent episodes have explored some dynamics of black life seldom seen on network TV. After 3 weeks, I'm beginning to really love this show. Some people (I see you Donald Trump!) just can't get beyond the title, and that's a shame, because it's hard to imagine any other name describing this show as well as black-ish.

Black Jesus is the brainchild of The Boondocks ex-producer Aaron McGruder and airs on The Cartoon Network. In it, (black) Jesus comes back to earth in South (Central) Los Angeles, where he hangs out with a crew of ne'r do wells and plants weed in the community garden. There's not much of a plot to speak of beyond that. If you tuned into this show expecting social commentary, you're probably gonna be pissed. There's nothing nuanced, or thoughtful, or profound about this show. It is pure, uncut ignorance, and personally, as an upstanding member of the African American community, I find myself a little conflicted about how much I enjoy it.

Question: Have you watched either of these shows? What did you think?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

St. Louis Cop Shoots And Kills Teen Armed.... With A Subway Sandwich.

Remind me to never, ever, ever go back to St. Louis. Ever.
Another police-involved fatal shooting of a teenager, this time in south St. Louis not far from the Missouri Botanical Garden, led to hours of protests overnight Wednesday and into Thursday morning as an angry crowd gathered quickly when news spread across social media.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said the officer was off-duty, working a secondary job for a private security company, when he chased and fatally shot an 18-year-old male Wednesday night who came at him aggressively in a gangway.

The teen had a gun and fired at least three shots at the officer, who returned fire, the chief said. The teenager attempted to fire more but his gun jammed, Dotson said.

The officer was unhurt. The officer fired 17 times, he said. It is unclear how many times the teenager was struck. Police said they recovered a 9mm Ruger.

Relatives of the dead teen who came to the scene identified him as Vonderrit Myers Jr., 18. They disputed the police version. They say he didn't have a weapon. Police did not identify the 18-year-old but said he "was no stranger to law enforcement."

Jackie Williams, 47, said Myers was his nephew and lived with him in the 4200 block of Castleman Avenue, near the shooting scene. He said he had talked to several people who had been with his nephew or saw the shooting.

“My nephew was coming out of a store from purchasing a sandwich. Security was supposedly searching for someone else. They Tased him,” Williams said. “I don’t know how this happened, but they went off and shot him 16 times. That’s outright murder.”
Let's step back and wait for details to actually come out. Unlike the Mike Brown story, this guy appears to have been armed and appears to have shot at the cop (for reasons that are unclear). Let's not conflate the two cases, just because a cop and a black teen were involved. That seems to be where the similarities end.

Question: Is everyone going to jump to a conclusion here without waiting for more details?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Steve Harvey, Paula Deen, Racial Forgiveness, And Sold Souls.

Sorry, but due to time constraints, this post isn't gonna be nearly as awesome as its title might suggest. My bad. Anyways, Steve Harvey's got tailors to pay, and the people responsible for making Paula Deen a household name would like to get back to cashing checks. I now present to you: Great Moments In (Purchased) Racial Forgiveness.
In an episode of the Steve Harvey Show set to air on Thursday, October 2, Paula Deen will speak with Harvey about what many might consider to be her surprising involvement with the Steve Harvey Mentoring Camp.

The annual four day event, held in Dallas during Father’s Day weekend, was founded by Harvey to teach hundreds of fatherless young men about “personal responsibility, dream building and the importance of nutrition and physical fitness,” according to the organization’s official website.

he 67 year-old Deen is slated to bring her famous Southern-style cuisine and talented team of chefs to Harvey’s mentoring program in an effort to help those boys who have an interest in the culinary arts. Harvey, in a recently released clip from the upcoming show, says that “Paula and her team has agreed to take as many boys as I want to fly down to Savannah [Georgia] … and teach them culinary skills. That, to me, is how you get something from something.” A one-time staple of the Food Network, a June 2013 controversy surrounding Deen’s admitted use of the “the N-word” in the past caused the channel to decline renewing her contract.

In addition to the mentoring announcement, the interview with Harvey addresses the 2013 controversy, with the host saying, “I just know the good in her. That’s all I know. And it outweighs the bad by a landslide.” Acknowledging that there could be a backlash from critics and the blogosphere for working with a woman some might still consider a racist, Harvey also said, “Now, when you blog about me … can you please type, right after you get through typing, that I don’t give a damn. Just for me.”
I don't give a damn, Steve. There, you asked for it.

You really have to step back and admire Steve Harvey's hustle. I mean, think about this: this guy went from being the 3rd stringer on the King's Of Comedy Tour to a household name quicker than you can say "Bernie Mack died?" I don't know who his image consultant is, but I'd bet that person is bathing in 20 dollar bills. Rebranding Harvey, a man married more times that Zsa Zsa Gabor as a relationship guru was a stroke of genius. He's ridden that train to a couple of so-so rom coms, a daytime talk show, a national radio show, and a hosting gig for Family Feud. The man is everywhere, clearly because someone responsible for determining who gets to shine gave him the seal of approval.

When I watch pure f*ckery like this Paul Deen interview, I wonder what strings came attached to that approval.

This is not to say than Deen doesn't deserve a 2nd shot. This is America, a country where people can drunkenly run over a man and play football the following year, or urinate on a teen and still have a career as a recording artist. So yeah, as long as she can make other people mounds of cash, she deserves another shot.

I just don't know that Harvey needs to be the one giving it.

Question: Is Steve Harvey "The Ultimate Hustler" or what? Should Rebb'n Al and Jesse be concerned about him stealing their racial forgiveness business?

Mike Brown Protestors And Cardinals Fans Collide. It Gets Ugly.

As a very casual baseball fan, I have little love for the St. Louis Cardinals. Beyond the obvious booting of my Nationals out of the playoffs a few seasons ago, the Cards are known to have MLB's most obnoxious fans this side of the Bronx. Last night, for some odd reason, a group of Mike Brown supporters decided to show up at Busch Stadium. Cardinals fans were not enthused. A very ugly moment in modern American history ensued.
After Monday night’s Cardinals game in St. Louis, a number of fans clashed with a small group of Ferguson protesters who were outside the stadium. One man taped a sign with the phrase “I am Darren Wilson” to his Jersey.

Darren Wilson is the name of the police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 8. One white Cardinals fans shouted to the crowd of protesters, who from the video seem to be mostly black, that they “need to get jobs.” Then he tells the camera: “That’s right! If they’d be working, we wouldn’t have this problem!”

Around 2:40, the Cardinals fans drown out the demonstrators’ chants with cries of “Let’s go Darren!” At about 10:25, a women tells the crowd: “We’re the ones who gave all y’all the freedoms that you have!”

The footage doesn’t get better — At 16:43, a Cardinals fan screams “Africa! Africa! Africa!” and others chant “USA!” to drown out the Michael Brown demonstrators. Less than a minute later, another Cardinals supporter chants “remove your hat” and an older white man tells Ferguson protesters to “pull up your pants.”

The Ferguson protesters counter with chants of: “This is what democracy looks like.”
Here's the video. It's long, and it's probably going to make you very sad.

I gotta keep it one hunned here: I don't know what the Mike Brown supporters were trying to accomplish here. These "fans" were here to presumably watch a ballgame. Unless you're attempting to make a political statement about the sporting event itself (see: Redskins protestors) you're probably just wasting your time trying to convert the un-convertable. Mix in some booze and a bunch of "fans" who are waaay to amped after a win, and this is what you get.

On the other hand, seriously, WTF? Watching people immediately resort to "we gave you your freedom", "pull up your pants", "you aren't American", "you need to get a job", "USA! USA! USA!" and "go back to Africa" is like the comments section of in human flesh. I'm not even sure it would be accurate to classify these "fans" as "racist". Mentally in-deficient and completely lacking in human decorum might be a better description. Seriously, St. Louis, fuck you and your lame assed Arch.

Question: Seriously, WTF?

Raven Symone Wants You To Know She Isn't Black Anymore.

I used to love watching That's So Raven. I don't know how much I like Raven Symone after this BS.

I suppose I get what she was trying to say. I just don't really see the point in saying it. At all. You?

Question: What's up with this chick?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Mom Stalks Her Child To School. Records And Facebooks It.

Whatever happned to the days when parents just showed up at school with a switch in hand?

Here's the full video.

Question: Is this Mom unhinged or is this a good way to shame your child into doing the right thing?!?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

White Lesbian Couple Accidentally Given Black Donor's Sperm. Hilarity Ensues.

Sometimes, I come across a blog post that basically writes itself. This would be one such post.
A white Ohio woman is suing a Downers Grove-based sperm bank, alleging that the company mistakenly gave her vials from an African-American donor, a fact that she said has made it difficult for her and her same-sex partner to raise their now 2-year-old daughter in an all-white community.

Jennifer Cramblett, of Uniontown, Ohio, alleges in the lawsuit filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court that Midwest Sperm Bank sent her the vials of an African-American donor's sperm in September 2011 instead of those of a white donor that she and her white partner had ordered.

Cramblett, 36, learned of the mistake in April 2012, when she was pregnant and ordering more vials so that the couple could have another child with sperm from the same donor, according to the lawsuit. The sperm bank delivered vials from the correct donor in August 2011, but Cramblett later requested more vials, according to the suit.

"On August 21, 2012, Jennifer gave birth to Payton, a beautiful, obviously mixed-race baby girl," the lawsuit states. "Jennifer bonded with Payton easily and she and Amanda love her very much. Even so, Jennifer lives each day with fears, anxieties and uncertainty about her future and Payton's future."

Raising a mixed-race daughter has been stressful in Cramblett and Zinkon's small, all-white community, according to the suit. Cramblett was raised around people with stereotypical attitudes about nonwhites, the lawsuit states, and did not know African-Americans until she attended college at the University of Akron.

"Because of this background and upbringing, Jennifer acknowledges her limited cultural competency relative to African-Americans and steep learning curve, particularly in small, homogenous Uniontown, which she regards as too racially intolerant," the lawsuit states.

Part of that learning curve has included getting her daughter's hair cut, which according to the suit requires Cramblett to travel to a black neighborhood, "where she is obviously different in appearance, and not overtly welcome."

She fears that her "all white and unconsciously insensitive family," which has never been able to fully embrace Jennifer's homosexuality, could have a negative effect on her daughter, according to the lawsuit.
Look, I sympathize with this woman, as well as her partner, who is conspicuously absent from this suit. She wanted a white child. There's absolutely nothing wrong, or racist about that. When she found out about the mixup, she chose the see the pregnancy to term, and at least on the surface appears to be a loving and supportive mother of a child she didn't ideally want. So there's that.

On the other hand, I can't help but cringe at the conflation of her lily-white town's racial climate and that of the "black neighborhood, where she is obviously different in appearance, and not overtly welcome". Seriously, what the f*ck is that sh*t? Is she trying to say that this baby's making her life harder because she has to spend a couple of hours a month around dreaded N-words to keep the child's high bun looking fresh? Because if so, I have bad news for her: raising a black child is gonna get a lot more complicated.

I'm also not sure what she's aiming for here. The lab admitted its error. She made the decision to see the pregnancy through. She also made the decision to raise said child in an environment that she already knew to be racially hostile. I suspect a lot of her family's backlash is related to her sexual orientation as well. So where's she gonna move? She's scared of black people but has a black baby? This sh*t just don't add up.

I feel for this woman, but I really feel for that kid. What do ya'll think?

Question: Does this woman have a case? Is the lab liable beyond the initial admission of error and subsequent refund?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 Wednesday Open Mic

Yeah, life's been hectic and this blog has suffered. I'm sorry for that, but hey...

Busy week here. Ya'll talk amongst yourselves. I'll be back soon. Maybe.

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

Monday, September 22, 2014

What Sort Of Self-Respecting Black Man Wears Rundown Sneakers?

[Editor's Note: File this one under "Random Thoughts I Have While Waiting On My K-Cup To Finish Brewing"... or something like that.]

I am a 41 year old black man. I do not care about sneakers. I never have. Clearly, something must be wrong with me.

I make good money, much of which goes to my wife's internet shopping hobby feed, clothe, and educate my 3 children. Beyond that, I certainly love the occasional slurge, but I'm what most people with label as "miserly". Note, this isn't the same thing as "cheap", although sometimes my wife would beg to differ. It simply means I prefer to save and invest, as opposed to blowin' money fast.

I waste money on lots (and I do mean lots) on frivolous sh*t, but one exception is footwear. Yes, I have some very nice dress shoes. But when it comes to sneakers, I just don't care. I get a few new pair a year. They usually begin as running shoes, and then at some point reach retirement and become everyday shoes. When they're totally done, I put them out to pasture and use them when I do yardwork. Most of them are New Balance. I wash and care for these shoes, so they don't look totally rundown, but they aren't by any stretch of the imagination "new".

Everytime I'm out, I'll inevitably pass brothers on the street, some my age, some younger, and most of them are wearing absolutely spotless, brand new shoes. The shoes will often match whatever outfit the dude's wearing, and yeah, the overall effect will usually look pretty fresh. Then I'll look down at my feet and see a pair of 993s with lots of mileage on them. For a moment, I'll feel like I'm missing out on something.

And then I'll realize, that try and I might, I simply cannot scrounge up two f*cks about shoes, and I'll just keep it pushin'.

I don't begrudge these brothers their right to wear brand new $150 kicks. It's just not for me. And I wonder what, if anything, that means. Ya'll tell me.

Question: Am I the only black man that doesn't wear brand new sneakers everyday? Does this make me a weirdo?

How Will The Obama Presidency Be Remembered?!?

You'll notice that in addition to not posting much at all here lately, I haven't said much about President Obama here for some time. The reasons are many, and I'll prolly elaborate once I get a bit more time to breathe. But as The Obama Era lurches into its final years, many are already beginning to write its epitath. I find that a little silly. It would be like beginning to write a movie review at the 3/4 mark, or leaving a sporting event at the end of the 3rd quarter. But hey, it's a slow news day, so how about we let mediocre documentarian Michael Moore weigh in on this topic?
Let it be known that Michael Moore is not a fan of President Obama.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter from the Toronto International Film Festival, the Academy-Award winning director was asked about the current state of Detroit and from there, dissects what the president’s legacy will be. His prognosis? Not great.

“I think Obama…he’s done many, many good things,” he said. “But he’s been a huge disappointment. I really think somebody should say to him, that when the history is written of this era, this is how you’ll be remembered. He was the first black president. That’s it. A hundred years from now, he was the first black American that got elected president. That’s what people will remember.”
I have some (admittedly premature) thoughts of my own, but I'd rather hear yours first. Weigh in below.

Question: How will history view the Obama presidency? How will you personally view it, based on your expectations when he was elected?

Black News Anchor Quits Job In Most Gangsta Way Possible.

Wow. What a way to go out...

Question: Just curious, have you even quit a job in dramatic fashion? Tell your story here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Adrian Peterson: Serial Child Abuser Or Concerned Father?!?

I just spent the past few days being extorted by a Mouse, so I'm sorta playing catchup right now. In any event, last week was a less-than-great week for the world of professional sports. Between the Atlanta Hawks situation, the Ray Rice video, Chris Johnson's roid rage, and Roger Goodell's general nonsense, you got the impression things couldn't possibly get any worse.

And then Adrian Peterson happened.
Adrian Peterson, already facing felony charges in Texas for child abuse, was accused in a previous incident involving another son who was 4 years old, KHOU-TV in Houston has reported. They are allegations the Minnesota Vikings running back's lawyer says were unfounded and more than a year old.

KHOU cited text messages that reportedly include a photo of the son with an apparent head wound covered by bandages. Houston TV station KHOU reported Adrian Peterson was previously accused of child abuse in a separate incident involving another son who was 4 years old.

Peterson was indicted by a grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child on Friday. The prosecution in the ongoing case was aware of the June 2013 incident, a source familiar with the case told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Peterson, who apologized in a statement Monday for "the hurt I have brought to my child," also said he will testify in court that he did not intend to harm his son and said he is "without a doubt, not a child abuser."

The Houston TV station reported that the mother of the 4-year-old -- who is different from the mother of the child he stands charged with abusing -- filed a report with Child Protective Services, but no charges were brought.

Peterson attorney Rusty Hardin said in a statement that the accusation was more than a year old and that "authorities took no action."

"An adult witness admittedly insists Adrian did nothing inappropriate with his son," Hardin said in the statement to media.

The Vikings released a statement Monday night, saying they would "defer any further questions" from the media regarding the accusations to Hardin.

"As part of the information we have gathered throughout this process, we were made aware of an allegation from 2013 in which authorities took no action against Adrian," the Vikings said in the news release.

The reported text exchange was as follows, according to KHOU-TV:

Mother: "What happened to his head?"

Peterson: "Hit his head on the Carseat."

More from
By letting Adrian Peterson return, the Vikings and the NFL are sending the message that winning trumps social responsibility, even if they say otherwise, Kevin Seifert writes. Story

Mother: "How does that happen, he got a whoopin in the car."

Peterson: "Yep."

Mother: "Why?"

Peterson: "I felt so bad. But he did it his self."

According to the report, Peterson then goes on to say he was disciplining his son for cursing at a sibling, though how specifically the child was wounded wasn't made clear.

Mother: "What did you hit him with?"

Peterson never directly answered, the report said, but later replied: "Be still n take ya whooping he would have saved the scare [scar]. He aight [all right]."

When asked about the 2013 accusation, Peterson's father, Nelson, said, "I haven't seen that report. I haven't heard any allegations."

Peterson has faced heavy criticism for his use of a so-called switch to discipline the other son, but the running back said in the statement released Monday that he "never imagined being in a position where the world is judging my parenting skills or calling me a child abuser because of the discipline I administered to my son."
The Peterson incident has "sparked a nationwide debate on how parents should/should not discipline their children", and has also sparked a million examples of culturally unaware white media members trying to explain what a "switch" is.

I grew up in the South. And growing up in the South, in the 70/80s meant that sometimes when your grandparents needed to discipline you, they sent you behind the house to "pick a switch". I'll note that my parents didn't even (to my best recollection) deploy this style of punishment, but they were well aware my grandparents did. It was simply a traditional style of discipline, passed down from generations. It was not necessarily any more painful than a belt, but it was more humiliating, and certainly seemed to get the point across. I don't think I got "the switch" more than 4-5 times as a kid. The message was effectively relayed.

Many who are defending Peterson seem to echo the same sentiments: This is just what black parents in the South do/did and isn't child abuse. I think that's where I disagree. Using a switch isn't "child abuse" in and of itself. But using the switch to the point that blood is drawn and welts are visible days later is definitely child abuse. Peterson overdid it (something he acknowledged) and will/probably should face charges. He took it too far. There's a thin line between discipline and abuse, and he crossed it. It should also be noted that his childrens' mothers waited awhile to report the incidents, but well, that's another topic for another day.

[Editor's Note: BTW, AP, you have (at least) 7 kids now. You're a 30 For 30 episode of "Broke" just waiting to happen. Wear a condom, my n*gga. For real. #PullOutForWhat]

One subtext that's really disturbed me about this incident has been the scores of black people insisting that "getting the switch" is good, because they got it, and it "worked". I think that's shortsighted, plantation thinking at best, self-hatred at worst. I mean, come on, sure it "worked", but so might have a million and one other discipline techniques, from "being on punishment", to losing toys/TV time, to the proverbial "time out". Just because something "worked" doesn't mean it was the best way to handle the situation. I could use a hammer to kill a fly, but a flyswatter would probably work just as well and not cause as much damage to my granite countertops.

I don't know how prevalent "the switch" still is as a disciplinary tool in black households. My wife and I don't use it (although we do spank our children when the need occasionally arises). I'd be interesting in your thoughts.

Question: Did you parents use "the switch"? Do you still use it? Did Peterson overdo it?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Should Ray Rice Be Suspended For Life?!?

Domestic violence is no laughing matter, but the suspension the NFL handed to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice after such an incident last Winter has roundly been criticized as a joke. Rice, for those unaware, cold cocked his then-fiancee in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino (what is it with black people and elevator fights?) in February. After investigating the incident, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell gave Rice a palty two game suspension.

To put this in context, Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon was suspended this entire season after testing positive for a banned substance (aka: Tha Chronic). Sure, Gordon's suspension was extreme because was a repeat offender (what is it with pro athletes and weed?) but still, the message conveyed didn't look great optically. I mean, come on, NFL players have literally killed people and gotten the same suspension! But going MMA on your wife means you can be back by Week 3? Come on.

In any event, Rice's suspension was the end soon, but TMZ just released additional footage of the elevator incident and many are now calling for Goodell to drop the hammer on Rice.
Shocking new video shows Ravens running back Ray Rice delivering a ferocious punch to his fiancée, which knocked her out cold and landed him a two-game NFL suspension.

In video obtained by TMZ, Rice can be seen lunging at his fiancée several times as he tries to intimidate her outside the elevator at the Revel casino in Atlantic City. She angrily gives him a backhand slap before they make their way towards the open doors.

Once they get on, Janay Palmer — who is now Rice’s wife — keeps her head down and doesn’t say a word, but the New Rochelle native’s intimidation tactics continue. The elevator doors don’t even get a chance to close before Rice jumps in his future wife’s face two more times and follows up with a quick swipe with his left hand, but it doesn’t appear to fully connect. When Palmer appears to stand up to him, Rice throws a pulverizing left punch which drops her head on the elevator hand rail — knocking her out cold.

The Pro Bowler looks down at her unconscious body as the elevator stops at a floor. When it finally arrives at their destination, Rice drags her body out of the elevator before cruelly dropping her on her face. Previous footage had shown Rice dragging Palmer’s body out of the elevator, but these are the first shots of the incident.

The NFL suspended Rice for Baltimore’s first two games of this season, a decision that has earned Commissioner Roger Goodell much criticism and ultimately led to the league adding harsher domestic violence policies. It was believed Goodell had access to this new footage before his ruling came down, but the NFL said differently on Monday.
I won't be embedding the video here for very obvious reasons. If you feel the need to see this, you'll need to find it on your own.

I don't believe for one moment that the NFL didn't have this footage when they issued their initial suspension. I mean, come on, it's the freakin' NFL. With all the resources they have at their disposal, I find it hard to believe that they got outworked by TMZ. They obviously knew about this, and didn't care. Rice is a marquee player and the Ravens are a marquee team. They knew better, but really just didn't give a sh*t.

Even if you bought their story that they didn't have the elevator video, what's undeniable is the hallway footage, which they most certainly did have. It's indisputable that Rice cold cocked his wife. Seeing him in the process of cold cocking her doesn't change that. The outcome's the same. He knocked his now-wife unconscious. Period.

In any event, the league's now got a fullblown PR disaster on their hands, one that's neatly timed to overshadow the one the NBA is experiencing.

Good luck with that, Mr. Goodell.

Question: What should the proper suspension be for Ray Rice?!? Did the NFL really have the footage beforehand?

Why Did Bruce Levenson Really Sell The Atlanta Hawks?!?

As an avid NBA fan, one fringe benefit of having a job that requires frequent travel is that I get to go to NBA games in other cities. I'd conservatively say I've attended a game in 2/3 of NBA arenas. Some franchises (The Celtics, Knicks, Blazers) have a festive game night atmosphere that's downright amazing. Some others (The Bucks, Pistons, Raptors) are so dead you wonder if you accidentally stumbled into Barnes & Noble. The Atlanta Hawks fell somewhere in the middle the one time I went. Not dead, not certainly no Golden State Warriors.

Getting paying fans in the seats is an ongoing problem for virtually every pro sports league except the NFL. The NBA particularly has this issue in markets like DC, Miami (pre-Big 3), and Atlanta where people are generally more transient and bring rooting interests from their hometowns. It's not abnormal to go to a Wizards game and have 75% of the crowd cheering for the opposing team. For the people who own and market such franchises, getting fans to show up and remain engaged is a challenge, especially if the teams aren't going particularly well on the court.

Atlanta Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson apparently had some grand ideas on how to solve this problem, and stated them in an internal memo that somehow became public yesterday. The memo had some very pointed statements about black fans vs white fans, and has some people comparing Levenson to Donald Sterling.
Atlanta Hawks controlling owner Bruce Levenson has self-reported to the NBA that he sent a racist e-mail in August 2012 and will sell his interest in the team.

Levenson reported the e-mail to the NBA in July, almost two years after it was sent but while the league was deep in litigation over the now-completed sale of the Los Angeles Clippers. The investigation was ongoing when Levenson decided to leave the team.

The e-mail, to Hawks President Danny Ferry, details Levenson's belief that the Hawks' fan base was too heavily African-American. (Scroll down for full text of the e-mail.)

"I wrote an e-mail two years ago that was inappropriate and offensive," Levenson said in a Hawks news release Sunday morning. "I trivialized our fans by making clichéd assumptions about their interests (i.e., hip hop vs. country, white vs. black cheerleaders, etc.) and by stereotyping their perceptions of one another (i.e., that white fans might be afraid of our black fans). By focusing on race, I also sent the unintentional and hurtful message that our white fans are more valuable than our black fans."

Levenson was one of the strongest critics among owners of Donald Sterling, the Clippers owner who was recorded making racist comments and quickly banned for life from the league. Levenson is stepping down, effective immediately. Hawks CEO Steve Koonin, who joined the team in April after leading Turner Entertainment, will take over team operations.

The NBA will look for a buyer now. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer set a high bar in purchasing the Clippers for $2 billion from the Sterling family, but the Hawks likely won't draw that level of interest.
I'd encourage everyone to actually read the email before commenting. It's full of a lot of misinformation and expressed an unnecessarily myopic viewpoint on why the Hawks can't draw fans. Personally, while there was plenty of "racial" commentary in the email, I didn't necessarily find it "racist", and I certainly don't understand how it compares to the Donald Sterling situation.

Many of Levenson's comments, particularly the ones about black fans not cheering as hard, as observations I've made myself over the years of being a season ticket holder. Some of what he's saying (ie: the issues with the cheerleaders and black fans hanging at the bar) are silly. Others (black fathers not bringing their sons to the games) were spot-on from my personal experience.

Eerily absent: any comments about the actual product on the floor. Reality is, black or white, nobody wants to spend good money to see a boring .500 team. Nobody but me, of course. Go Wizards!

The oddest thing is the NBA's insistence that Levenson "self reported" and internal email from 2 years ago? Uhhh, sure, okay. Whatever.

Anyways, read the email and let me know what you think.

Question: Was this really an offense worthy of selling your portion of the team, or did Levenson just take the easy way out? How do you think this actually went down? What did you think about the email? Racist or just racial?

Friday, September 5, 2014 NewsBriefs.

Uhhh, so yeah, I got missing for a couple of weeks. Between work, and kids going back to school, and a short vacation for my 13th anniversary (yes, it's been that long) I just didn't have time, folks. Sorry.

Things should get back to normal in a few days. Until then, here's a few stories of interest.
Virginia Governor Found Guilty Of 11 Corruption Charges [WashPost]

Counties Around Ferguson, MO Have Longstanding Reputation For "Poor Taxes" [Slate]

August Jobs Report Was A Mixed Bag, Unemployment Rate Falls To 6.1% [WashPost]

RIP Joan Rivers [Grantland]

White Privilege In Police Treatment. Seriously, Watch This Video [Salon]

Pam Oliver Talks About The Humiliation Of Being Canned For Erin Andrews [Essence]
Question: Got any links/stories to share?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Dear White People: Sharpton & Jackson Are Not Our Leaders.

Dear White People,

There are almost 40 Million Black People in America. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson but two of them, and both are media personalities. They are not our "leaders". Both have done some good things, and both have their flaws. We don't hate them, but we damn sure don't "follow" them to the outlandish degree that you seem to think we do. Neither has been of much relevance since the mid 1990's. Please update your Racial Boogeymen.

It's getting a little silly, and your continued fascination with these two guys just underscores how little of a clue you have about the Black community as a whole. Seriously, just quit it already, you're looking really stupid.

Contrary to popular belief, Black People can, and do, think for ourselves. You know, just like White People do. It's not a revelatory concept, it's called being human.


Black People

P.S. Go ahead and add Louis Farrakhan to this list, just in case you had some wise idea.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The President Needs To Get His A$$ To Ferguson, Already!!!

As the civil unrest in Ferguson carries into a second week with no end in sight, my patience with the President's lack of visibility on this situation is wearing thin. Check that, it wore thin last Wednesday.

Thus far, the President has issued a written statement and given short public remarks. That's about it. Yes, I know the Department of Justice is already involved here and is performing its own independent investigation. That's good, and quite honestly, it's the bare minimum I'd expect of any administration on a story garnering this level of public interest. But I'm not going to give him credit for sh*t he's supposed to do. Nope, I'm looking for more. Because he's the President.

As you might know, the President and basically everyone else on the Hill is on vacation right now. He's momentarily back in DC for a couple of days, before going back to Martha's Vineyard to resume his vacation?[1] Nobody begrudges the man for taking time off from arguably the toughest job in the world.[2] But come on, bruh, you've been on the links for a week already. How many more rounds of golf and fundraisers do you need to do before you take time away from your not-so-busy schedule and go see what's happening in Ferguson with your own eyes?

When an American suburb, full of actual Real Americans, is under siege and in a perpetual state of civil unrest that only intensifies by the day, it might be a good idea for the President to go there. Sure, let the people who can actually "fix" things do their job, but still go there. In times like this, people need to know that they matter, that you care. And if there's one thing the President has been really good at, it's speaking to and calming the American people during trying times.

He did it in Fort Hood.
He did it in Tucson.
He did it in Boston.
He did it in Newtown.
He did it in Aurora.
He did it in Washington.

Why in the hell hasn't he done it in Ferguson yet?

I'm sure someone's gonna mention George Bush and how it took him forever to go to New Orleans, post-Katrina. While that's all quite true, it has absolutely no bearing here. How about we stop judging Obama's actions versus those of his predecessor, a guy whom many consider to be The Most Inept President Of All Time. Saying "Sure, Obama did this, but what about Bush?" is setting an embarrassingly low bar for competence. It's like a guy who beats his wife telling her, "Sure, I gave you a busted lip, but your last husband gave you two black eyes!" So yeah, enough of that sh*t.

We've watched this President run from issues of race repeatedly during his 6 years in office. I understand that going to Missouri may not be a politically wise move. Many are already saying Obama's done too much by getting involved with a local issue, asking that the DoJ be involved, etc. But guess what? Sometimes you need to not worry about what your detractors are going to say and do what's right. The right thing is going to Ferguson right now. Speak with Mike Brown's family. Look the local officials in the eyes. Walk the streets and engage the community directly. And yes, give a speech. Let people there know that their aspirations, their fears, their concerns, their voices, their children, their lives matter.

History, for better or for worse, is being written by the minute in Ferguson, MO. This is a defining moment of the Obama presidency right now. And he's receiving an incomplete grade.

Question: Is the President doing enough about the situation in Ferguson? Do symbolic gestures like speeches even matter?

[1] Who does that?

[2] Well, they do, but I'm not one of them.