Thursday, April 30, 2015

@Carl Stokes: No, the "N" Word Is NOT Synonymous With Thug

I'm sorry about it all: the more than a few wrongful killings
of young African Americans by white police, about Baltimore
aflame, about the necessity and embarrassment of calling in
the National Guard to restore and maintain order there.

But I do have a serious bone to pick with you, sir:
you were wrong to use the "N" word on CNN when the
young white interviewer asked you if "thug" isn't the proper
word to use regarding the rioting and looting there. She may/
may not have had an agenda, as you very confrontationally
and defensively implied, inflamed by being lectured to a
bit about right vs. wrong, impelling you to employ that
nastiest of racial expletives...and it wasn't OK because you
also are "Black".

First, a little lexicography: the original "thugs" (thugees) were
roving bands of indigenous gangs engaged in murder and
mayhem in the India of the 1800s. The modern meaning of
"thug" has come to define criminality perpetrated by young
toughs wearing hoods, as well as mob enforcers. Short of
murder, "thug" does describe the riotous, arson fire-setting,
property-smashing behavior by Baltimore's bad boys of the
week. (--Yes, "boys" are any human males under the age of
18  in my book.) Mr. Stokes, if you don't have an adequate
understanding of this well in hand, you ought to resign from
the Baltimore City Council.

The "N" word is a degrading, unjust pejorative branding
anyone of color, whether law-abiding or not, male, female
or child.  Only a racist (and yes, there are still very many
here at home and elsewhere) would use such a term to
explain what went wrong this April in Baltimore.

Thugs, though, can be Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian
(let's not forget China's infamous Tongs), African and
African American; they are usually under the age of 45
and reasonably physically fit. Whether the mob action
happens after a major sports event or any other occasion,
it's always wrong, irrespective of the racial makeup
of those involved.

But I see you do understand, Mr. Stokes, a sad truth
about our society: we never left the Civil War, trading
troop action for uncivil, unkind  behavior of every
stripe: murder, trafficking, kidnapping, sexism, racism,
ageism, class warfare/elitism, etc. Ancient atavisms
antecede even the days of officially-sanctioned slavery,
which still occurs.

Only when almost all of us unite to do away with
all injustice will we truly achieve Civilization.

In the meantime, please do not equate thug behavior
with the "N" word--you aren't helping; you're
just plain  wrong.

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Guy's Gyro Copter Caper Gives New Meaning to "Going Postal"

Here we have a little paradox: an aging guy, Doug Hughes,
modest, self-abnegating postal worker, conceives a splashy
caper. He puts himself and 535 letters into his tiny gyro copter,
flying it from Gettysburg, PA over state lines into Maryland,
into restricted airspace, below the radar, landing on Congress'
lawn, where he produced the building's evacuation and  a
whole media and security kerfuffle...

But dear Douggie, he is modesty personified--it's not about
me, he insists; it's about all this big money controlling what
comes into and out of Washington, DC. --WHAT??
He can't be so unaware as all that. He knew he'd be
getting at least five minutes of fame, which must matter
to him, stunt-spending, planning and executing as he did.
With all the hoopla, most of his message went unremarked;
how had he missed that?

Most of us also think the many millions of dollars showering
unchecked over DC and NYC are a disaster--a second
Gilded Age more dangerous than the first. But Mr. Hughes
has been bitten by the celebrity bug, that's plain enough.
He would be better advised to take care of his bankruptcy he still employed by the U.S. Postal Service?

Meanwhile, the unconscionable political spending by the
Koch Brothers et al. continues in a ruinous, rushing river
flood, taking all of us with it. We've never had a democracy,
but the Republic we do have has almost capitulated to
an Oligarchy--so unnecessary if most adult Americans
would just do their damn job, read, speak out and vote.

Now, however, "going postal" has acquired a new meaning.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How Americans Anywhere Demonstrate Their Values with Discretionary Spending

Watching the news today (04/22/'15) on Chicago's
independent TV station, WGN, I was struck yet
again by the vapid spending choices too many make
here in the USA:

Lady Gaga came to Chicago yesterday to raise
funds for her charity Born This Way. For $2,500
someone could bike alongside the entertainment
diva on stationary cycles at a local bike shop. TV
file film showed a respectable turnout for this
event, but raises some telling questions:

(1) Why is it necessary to have celebrities rub
shoulders with fans to persuade them to part
with contributions for worthy causes?  Can't they
simply send a check? ( Or pay via the electronic
equivalent thereof.)

(2)  What's the  motivation here? Are these
fans philanthropists, or are they shelling out
kale for later bragging rights? (--I seriously
suspect the latter.)

This brings to mind most of discretionary
spending in the United States; how do
relative amounts between spending on
entertainment vs. donating to the needy
and/or unfortunate compare?  I'll wager
much more is spent on sports tix, movies,
concerts, cds, dvds, etc. (-Time for more
research just to be certain....)

Whatever the true figures, imagine how much
more aid work the American Red Cross,
the WHO, the United Way, the ASPCA and any
other charitable organization could accomplish
--but worshipping at the altar of fun will sharply
militate against such sharing.

Attempting to demonstrate discretion,
Donna Quixote signs off for now.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Abolish American Aristocracy in Time for 2016

--When we'd better have better choices than the same
ol', same ol' names, namely, Kennedy, Clinton
and Bush. (--An aristocracy by any other name
STILL stinks, methinks!)

Regarding all these three families: Is our nation a
joke, or do we truly wish to give every qualified
person a chance to reach the top, elected-leader
wise?? That we don't call the Clintons lord and/or
lady doesn't disguise their presumption in handing
down their political power to spouse and  offspring.

Check Parliament in England, where you and yours
are awarded a seat in the House of Lords into
(-practically) perpetuity. Aren't both nations
aristocracies, yes or no?? Bill and Hill have publicly,
proudly proclaimed their only child, Chelsea, as
qualified to make a run for president some day.
In my book, in the USA, that's a no-go theorem...
along with the Bushes' desire to have THREE
U.S. presidents in one family, beating the Adams
and Roosevelt clans.

Chicago, Illinois: The Berrios family has taken
every political job except, perhaps, dog-catcher.
Ditto Daleys and Mells, to a fare-thee-well. (!)
This is NOT an inevitable  succession due to
fine family talent, civic-mindedness, etc. It IS
slurping up every last available public penny in
the taxpayers' trough--with so little shame!
Greedy ambition, a lust for fame, automatic
entrance to the game (entitlement), propel people
like these...then the nation, and the world, pay.

If fortune favors the bold, I'll just say it:
Abolish American aristocracy in time for
2016. Plenty of principle, political prowess
and acumen resides in others of our country
not named Bush, Clinton or Kennedy....

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The U.S. and Around the World: Good News This Week, April 1-8, 2015

First and foremost: Ferguson, Missouri has elected two
African-Americans (they now constitute the majority) to
its council. There was only one African-American serving
there previously, too frequently outvoted when it came to
concerns affecting the 67% Black population there, clearly
a travesty of purported fairness. How will the White minority
react to that? Are we seeing the last of South African-like
Apartheid in Missouri? Perhaps peace and equity will now
arrive there, perhaps last for a good while.

A White policeman has now been charged with murder in
South Carolina after killing a Black man during a routine
traffic stop in North Charleston...FINALLY! Better late
than never, I suppose, but cool comfort to the many families
tragically altered after their loved ones were murdered
in the same or similar scenario. More charges like this
may follow, forcing less-than stellar cops to up their
game and use intelligence, humanity and other skill sets
when dealing with other races or ethnic groups.

Even amid all the uproar and varied interpretations, a
seemingly workable deal was struck between Iran and the
U.S. re: No new nukes of a weapons nature. There will be
much ado still, but this is a significant step, one legally taken
by President Obama and the White House according to the
United States Constitution, despite the clamoring of the radical
right in Congress, each wishing to out-power and actually
BE the president.--Stay in your lane! Self-important radicals,
reread our highest law of the land once a week, and respect it;
you'll then be doing a superior job, rather than the inferior one
you're doing now, to the embarrassment of many millions.

It's a big world, apologists for the small world theory to the
contrary, so I've missed some positively inspiring news here,
I'm afraid. These three examples may make for some
good news to celebrate--and I, at least, will.

Best Wishes, everybody, and Happy Spring!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Nigeria's Good News: Good Luck, Jonathon, You'll Need It, Now

I hope Nigeria's new regime, a history-making first,
will eventually rid Nigeria of Boko Haram... at least
the new president, Muhammadu Buhari has vowed
to do so!  We will no longer see Mrs. Jonathon try
to run the nation by ill-advised fiat, now that "Good
Luck" has been voted out of the presidency there.

This is today's (04/01/'15) best news, for my money-
more to follow? Maybe we can also permanently bid
Charles Taylor bye-bye from the African political
scene as well, a fond future forever wish...even though
he's currently serving a prison sentence in England,
escapes are a part of his history, so I'm not betting
anyone's farm on a certainty here--recall that Napoleon
escaped at least once before he was done, and Taylor
did too, TWICE.

Good luck, Mr. and Mrs. Jonathon. Play it straight
in your retirement--you'll almost have to, no??