Your Thoughts: The Airstrike on Syria

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Here are some of the major points to know about this latest and troubling news story as provided by the New York Times:

  • The United States fired 59 Tomahawk missiles on Thursday at an airfield in Syria from which officials said a chemical weapons attack originated this week.
  • Russian forces, which were in the area, were given no more than 90 minutes’ notice of the attack.
  • President Trump drew support from Republicans who had opposed plans for a 2013 strike.
  • Syria strike puts U.S. relationship with Russia at risk.
  • U.S. is prepared to take further action, the U.N. ambassador says.

Click here for a more about this report. Also check out The Guardian’s article further explaining the conflict in Syria.

It’s also worth noting that Trump ordered a ban against Syrian refugees from entering the country. However, he saw fit to fire shots at their nation despite the potential of harming civilians. Also, as mentioned above, the plan to bomb Syria was put forth under Obama’s watch. Yet, Republicans refused to support it. And the bombing that happened in 2013 was reported as much deadlier than the recent attack. Why the flip-flop?

What are your thoughts on this and the entire situation with Syria?

R.I.P. Don Rickles

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From The Guardian:

Even when discussing his brash comedic style, Don Rickles couldn’t help himself. “Every night when I go out on stage, there’s always one nagging fear in the back of my mind,” he once explained. “I’m always afraid that somewhere out there, there is one person in the audience that I’m not going to offend.”

Fortunately for the man universally and ironically known as “Mr Warmth”, Rickles offended plenty of audience members throughout a landmark and unmatched career in American comedy, endearing him to generations of fans. The legendary comic’s death at 90 marks the arguable end of an era dominated by old-school comedians with a passion for both the silly and the crass, with Rickles one of the last surviving – and performing – marquee names of 60s and 70s Rat Pack-era show business.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

Bill O’Reilly, Fox News’ MVP No Matter What a Douche Bag He Is

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Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly poses on the set of his show "The O'Reilly Factor" in New York

There’s no logical or moral reason to sugarcoat what kind of a person Fox News’ most popular commentator Bill O’Reilly is. If we want to refer to him as a complete and total asshole, even that may still be going easy on him.

Matt Gertz at Media Matters lists all of O’Reilly’s greatest hits that qualify him winning the Nobel Piece of Shit Prize of the year. (This is posted on Alternet’s site):

“Over the past two years, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly has drawn attention to President Barack Obama’s clothing at a Muslim wedding and claimed Rep. Maxine Waters’  (D-CA) was wearing a “James Brown wig,” called “many” African-Americans “ill-educated” with “tattoos on their foreheads,” and praised the workplace conditions of the slaves who built the White House. A co-worker accused him of reducing her on-air time on his show after she turned down his repeated sexual advances. His yarns about heroically covering conflicts in the Falkland IslandsEl Salvador, and Northern Ireland were exposed as fiction. His latest biography was rejected as “a disservice to history” written by “an opportunistic interloper” who “debases the historian’s craft.” This fall marks the 10th anniversary of O’Reilly’s shocked declaration that African-American patron sat a famous Harlem restaurant weren’t screaming expletives at the waitstaff.”

And there’s more. You remember the sexual harassment allegations against Fox News’ former CEO Roger Ailes? It turns out he wasn’t the only perverted pig within the conservative news giant. The New York Times dropped a huge bombshell that exposed Ole’ Bill as an alleged sexual deviant and that Fox paid off his victims in million dollar settlements to keep them from pursuing legal action:

“Behind the scenes, the company has repeatedly stood by Mr. O’Reilly as he faced a series of allegations of sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior.

An investigation by The New York Times has found a total of five women who have received payouts from either Mr. O’Reilly or the company in exchange for agreeing to not pursue litigation or speak about their accusations against him. The agreements totaled about $13 million.”

Damn!

So, if Bill O’Reilly’s behavior is this horrible, why on Earth would Fox News keep him? When you think about it, it’s not that hard to figure out. Fox News has a reputation of being the number one go-to news and information site for angry white males wishing to go back in time before the end of the 1950’s and for lost people of color who love those angry white males wishing to go back in time before the end of the 1950’s.

But the main reason is that O’Reilly’s bullshit commentary is Fox News’ ultimate cash cow. His program The O’Reilly Factor is the network’s highest rated program bringing in millions of viewers for almost two decades. Fox News can’t afford to fire O’Reilly. Doing so is to bring about its own self-destruction.

Of course, the downside is that O’Reilly’s bad behavior will go unpunished. For every stupid racist remark or allegation of his unwanted sexual advances, Fox News will conduct damage control behind the cameras and the O’Reilly Factor will continue to drive ratings through the roof thanks to the good old boys complex at Fox News.

List of Things Black Folks Need To Stop Believing About Themselves NOW!

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It’s safe to say that few centuries of violent white supremacy inflicted on black people have created a black inferiority complex (internalized racism). That campaign continues as black pathology has become a ‘thing’. Certain human problems have been morphed into black problems exclusively. Even the most ‘woke’ among us will blurt or rant at least one thing that hovers over the conviction that only black folks do this and that, which explains why we’re supposedly so fucked up.

We blame ourselves for the bullshit. And even if it’s explained, including the part how they are human problems and not black problems, we still think of ourselves as the most pathetic race on the planet because we somehow excel greatly at those problems with no reasonable explanation.

We see and hear this during conversations in barbershops, beauty shops or on social media sites, among other places.

But the self-depreciating crap needs to end. It’s easier than it sounds as white supremacy is all around us at every turn. So, I compiled a list of things I’ve heard from black folks that sound like baseline negative stereotypes and will deconstruct them one by one. I hope.

We spend more money trying to look rich instead of trying to be rich. 

There’s this notion among ourselves that we have horrible spending habits. We seem to think we pay too much attention buying rims, weaves and Jordans than actually putting our cash into starting our own businesses. And we must look to Jews, Koreans and white people as entrepreneurial models, because they got their shit together.

But as Peter Coy of Bloomberg explains, it’s not that simple:

It’s natural to assume that if blacks have less wealth it’s because they’re doing less saving—i.e., more of each dollar of income is going to consumption. The opposite is the case, according to a Duke University study published last year and cited by the authors. At every income level, blacks spend less than similarly situated whites, the Duke researchers found: “Retail desertification in racially segregated neighborhoods, restricted access to affordable credit for blacks, and consumer racial discrimination, we argue, result in lower overall spending for blacks at all income levels,” they said.

Most of us are on welfare and most people that are on welfare are us. 

We hear a lot from right wing whites. They strongly stick onto pinning welfare as a ‘black thing’. It helps confirm the racist beliefs they hold that black people are lazy always wanting ‘free stuff’. That connection has been debunked as the most folks on welfare are white. Strange though how they don’t consider them lazy.

However, we cannot afford to ignore that a significant population of Black Americans on welfare. But there’s more to the issue than trying to put racial myths to rest while ignoring elephants in the room. MsShona at Daily Kos says, “It is nothing but a distraction away from the real issue. And that issue is the handicapped economy of the Black American community…We need to wake up and grow up here. This is a welfare problem in the Black community. But that problem is not simply the fact that we accept it. The problem is that we still need it; in spite of living in one of the most prosperous countries on the planet. 27% of Black Americans live in poverty compared to only 10% of non-Hispanic White Americans. And that’s a more telling statistic. If Black Americans have a ‘in the ballpark range’ regarding the percentage of college graduates to White Americans (18% vs. 32%), then how come our poverty rates are still significantly higher?”

Only black men treat their women extremely poor.

Does the black community have a misogyny problem? Hell to the yeah it does. There’s no sugarcoating that many brothas look down or actively hate our sistas. We even have a name for it, Misogynoir. And yes, we damn sure need to have a conversation about this and look for ways to fix it.

But this woman hating attitude isn’t, by any stretch, a black problem. White men, Asian men, Latinx men, men from all backgrounds have problems with women, mostly due to their resiliency and drive, succeed above all odds, speaking their minds and defying expectations that goes against man’s natural order where women are quiet, subservient and are only born for pleasure and procreation. Though some issues are similar across the board, each group have their own uniqueness of misogyny. Regardless, they’re all extremely harmful.

Black women have bad attitudes. 

This one needs to definitely drop off the face of the Earth, especially among brothas.

This is an age-old racist and sexist stereotype that demeans and controls black women. Their emotions do not define who they are. If they are angry, listen to the reasons why. However, do not think that their anger identifies themselves as black women. It’s not like everyone else doesn’t get pissed off, and it’s definitely not like black women aren’t oppressed.

Over 70% of black births are out-of-wedlock, and single black mothers are what’s wrong with the black community.

Ta-nehisi Coates of the Atlantic argues, ” no one disputes that 70 percent of black babies are born out of wedlock–or maybe they do, I never have. What we dispute are the reasons why. One notion that’s gained quite a bit of currency is that over the last 40 years, black mothers have, for whatever reason, decided that they’d much rather be single mothers. But the facts don’t back this up. As the data shows unmarried black women are having less, not more, kids then they were having 40 years ago. Furthermore, the number of unmarried black women having kids is declining, while the number of unmarried women–overall–having babies is increasing.”

Click here for more data.

There are more black men in prison than in college.

I don’t know how old this idea is. I’ve heard it at least ten years ago, and it’s just as false then as it is today. The American Council of Education breaks down where the myth came from and what the numbers actually show:

“The origin of this statement is a 2000 report from the Justice Policy Institute titled Cellblocks or Classrooms? The Funding of Higher Education and Corrections and Its Impact on African American Men. The report found that more African-American males were under the jurisdiction of a federal, state, or local penal system (791,600) than were enrolled in higher education (603,032). The report attributed this sobering finding to increased state investment in corrections and decreased support for higher education throughout the 1980s and 90s.”

But…

“By 2002, African-American males in college outnumbered those incarcerated. Moreover, because a large portion of postsecondary institutions did not begin counting students who enrolled after the fall semester until 2002, it is quite possible that even in 2000 more African-American males were in college than in prison or jail.”

Click here to view the charts.

Only black people (insert human problem existing in all groups and cultures here).  

When you’ve done research, which doesn’t take much, you will see that we are not singular when it comes to problems. But to believe that the troubles of crime, misogyny and poor economics, to name a few are examples that black people have some sort of remarkable pathology is to acquiesce to the myth of black inferiority in some way, shape or form. This is in no way a means to excuse or overlook such problems. But this is affirm that we’re not the only ones with problems. If we believe otherwise, we may as well practice on saying ‘yes, massa’ to any and all racial stereotypes thrown as us.

If there are any other damaging myths about us you would like to dispel, feel free to post them in the comment section.

xPrae, Roger, whatever you want to call yourself, YOU’VE BEEN WARNED (UPDATE)

No more!

I tried to be civil, patient and I even tried to ignore you. None of that worked. You constantly invade my blog with your snobbish demeanor, cyberstalking through sock puppetry and juvenile style of name calling and peer pressure that should be above you but apparently isn’t due to you using numerous identities and take no responsibility for any of them. This is no longer a battle of ideologies or politics. This is about you being so deranged that you can’t tear yourself away from a simple gotdamn blog who’s sick and tired of you. All of you!

xPrae, Roger, Apollo, whoever you are. I warned you. And even though your alter ego Roger used a different IP address, I’m not stupid enough to be convinced that you’re two different people. And even if you are, Roger, you’re as much of a sorry ass bully as xPrae. I don’t care if you claim you’re a professor at fucking Hogwarts. You should know better than that!

So yes. Cry, bitch and moan about how the left is restricting your freedom of speech. Call me names if that makes you feel superior while compensating for something. But let me inform you that with freedom comes responsibility. Just because you can say whatever you want is not a license for diarrhea of the mouth. And you calling me a coward shows you’re not intellectual or mature enough not to resort to childlike tactics to get your points across, disagree and take a hint like an adult.

And yet, you still call me a coward. To that I say fuck you.

So, I have no choice but to report you to Word Press. It will take time, but I will make my case clear and concise. How they will handle this is unclear, but I hope they will do something to get you off my back.

If anyone else has problems with xPrae, please chime in.

UPDATE: I got some advice from others, and the best way to remedy this is to block your IP addresses, the one you usually use and the one you used as Roger. And if you use another IP address, I’ll block it as well. Consider this my farewell present.

Early Thoughts on the Ohio Nightclub Mass Shooting

The the wee hours of Sunday morning, a mass shooting occurred at a club in Ohio. CNN reports:

One person was killed and 14 others injured when gunfire broke out at a nightclub in Cincinnati early Sunday, police said.

The shooting happened at Cameo Night Club just after 1 a.m. ET, CNN affiliate WLWT reported.

Several people are undergoing surgery, Cincinnati Police Sgt. Eric Franz told CNN. Police do not have any suspects in custody, but are interviewing witnesses.
Franz initially said “multiple shooters” were involved.

Cincinnati Assistant Police Chief Paul Neudigate later said there was “only one reported shooter.”

While the motive is unclear, there’s no reason to suspect terrorism at this point, he said.

Cameo Night Club hires police officers for extra security. Two officers were stationed at the club’s entrance and another two in the parking lot, Franz said.

I only have three thoughts at this point:

One, my thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims. As it seems to be the norm, a place built for partying is a powerful magnet for angry and sometimes drunk or high gun-toting trouble makers ready to pull the trigger if his ego is bruised in the slightest which leads me to…

Two, I gave up clubbing after my college days for safety reasons, keeping away from bullets from potential gunmen with short tempers, plenty of alcohol and hair triggers. Though it doesn’t happen all the time, the last time I’ve been to a club – last year after my high school’s homecoming – it reminded me how especially dangerous a nightclub can get. That was the slap of sense I needed.

And three, and I know a lot of black people hearing about this are doing the same, I’m hoping and praying that the gunman or gunmen involved are not black. It’s silly. I know. But that’s part of the psychology living as a minority in a nation where racism is not only unchecked but is sustained. What will happen as a result of this if the shooter(s) is indeed black is undetermined. Though it will probably involve a call for more policing in black neighborhoods and a footnote for racists to use against action against police-involved shootings of black folks.

And already there are racist comments being made.

It’s too early to tell. Again, these are just my initial thoughts on the matter. Realistically, it could’ve happened anywhere by anyone. But how will American society treat it will always depend on the identities of the person responsible and his(her) victims. 

Stay tune to the news for more developments.

America doesn’t care if scores of black and brown girls are missing unless we tell them to, and that’s what’s wrong

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Young girl holding skateboard and preparing for a ride

In a world where what you are brings certain advantages that some others don’t have based on the society they live in, people want to point out the unfairness that comes with it. In many cases, we bring up ‘what if’ questions if it happened to the ones not so ‘privileged’ to point out double standard bullshit, and it will continue until changes are made that brings the same about of respect and dignity to everyone and not just a select few.

The uproar over reports of numerous missing black and brown girls in Washington D.C. is one of those cases where we point out that if they were white girls from middle and upper class neighborhoods, the media and criminal justice system would be in a frenzy telling the country to give several damns, develop feelings over the crisis and help find them. But it takes a considerable effort to make the same media and criminal ‘justice’ system so much as take a hint that girls of color are going missing to make them realize that their lives are worth something too. That’s the problem!

Yesha Callahan of The Root describes how her past article about the issue picked up steam:

On March 12, 2017, I wrote about the number of black and Latino teens who have gone missing in the Washington, D.C., area since February. At the time, 10 teens, including one young man, were missing. The Metropolitan (D.C.) Police Department reported that a few had been found, but there were still missing cases open.

Before I wrote that initial article, the only mention of these missing teens had come in a couple of tweets from individuals expressing their concerns, as well as tweets from the Metropolitan Police Department. After the article caught the department’s attention, the MPD noted that sometimes it fails to update its social accounts with information about teens who have been located.

Within two days, other websites, like Teen Vogue (which directly quoted my article and used a similar headline), wrote about the missing teens, too.

On Wednesday, there was a town hall meeting held in D.C. in response to the missing girls. The room was filled with black men and women who wanted answers. But of course, even in a city noted for its rising gentrification, there was not one white face in the crowd.

I’m not surprised by that last statement. Expecting white people to care is like expecting to see actual proof of the Loch Ness Monster’s existence. And making some of them care can be as painful as a root canal without anesthetics. But the main thing is that we care. And many of us do as missing children of color being ignored that been an issue for years not restricted in the D.C. area.

Shaun King of the New York Daily News weighs in:

The stories of young black girls and women who are missing don’t get the Elizabeth Smart or Natalee Holloway treatment. We don’t see primetime television specials on them. Their images don’t become permanent fixtures on Twitter. Their names don’t get hashtags or trending topics. Nationwide manhunts or search parties don’t ensue. Crying black parents, pleading for their children to be found, don’t interrupt our sitcoms as breaking news.

It appears that having blonde hair and blue eyes, and having white parents in suburban America, makes it far more likely that a story of a missing young girl will be told.

He’s not wrong. The Western news media has what’s known as the Missing White Girl Syndrome, which is a name coined by social scientists to label the mainstream media’s extensive coverage focusing on the disappearances of white middle and upper class women. I don’t think there’s a need to reiterate what would happen if even one white girl from richer suburbs vanishes. The news and law officials expect everyone to be emotionally charged and help locate her. But in this case, hundreds and thousands of black and brown girls from poorer neighborhoods are missing across this nation, almost two dozen from D.C. alone in recent days. And America seemed not to be slightly worried until concerned people started talking and screaming for answers and, more importantly, for their safe return. If all of us are expected to feel and pray for the whereabouts of missing white women, then those same people telling us to do so should have the same feelings for missing women of color.

Please click on this link from Hello Beautiful to find out how you can help.

R.I.P. Chuck Barris

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From the NY Times:

Chuck Barris, the “Gong Show” creator, songwriter and novelist who sought to add to his already eclectic résumé with a made-up — or was it? — story about being an assassin for the C.I.A., died Tuesday in Palisades, N.Y. He was 87.

Mr. Barris died of natural causes, said Paul Shefrin, his publicist, according to The Associated Press.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

Sometimes ignoring trolls won’t help

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xPraetorius, ‘xPrae’ as I call him and the author of the blog Praetorian Writers’ Group, hasn’t given up on debunking my views on racism while flaunting his supposed intellectual prowess and general arrogance. It’s cool that he does. After all, it’s his blog, and he can do whatever he wants with it.

At the same time, I have my blog, and I have authority over it as well. So, when xPrae disagrees, I respected it. However, he trashes your opinions and even refutes actual proof in a manner fitting a Fox News correspondent all while making you feel small and crazy if it disagrees with his text book conservatism. He will turn your words against you and may even attempt to gaslight you. Any attempt to call him on it will be stopped with denial.

So eventually, I had to kick xPrae out of my den. His condescension was practically cyber bullying. I thought I heard the last of him here. But it turns out he may have returned anyway under different aliases.

Over time, I dealt with the likes of patrons named Apollo, Flyonthewall, Viewer, Rational Observer, Deshawn, a host of other people and just recently a troll named Roger. All appeared armed with arguments, criticisms and insults to my articles and the comments left by visitors in a manner similar, more or less, to how xPrae writes.

Coincidence? Hardly.

I heard about this internet tactic of using sock puppets. Individuals would create multiple accounts under different names for just as many purposes, one of them being trolling. So, I researched on how to spot sock puppets. And one of the easiest indicators is to check their IP address, the number designated to a computer or some other device connected to the net. If several people leave comments in your site, and you see them all sharing a set of numbers and decimals (the IP address) underneath their names, that means they’re all using the same computer.

That doesn’t necessarily point to sock puppetry though in every case as some people genuinely use a single computer such as a family using their private PC or numerous people using a public computer. But most of those using sock puppetry do so for nefarious intentions.

As with the case with xPrae, he shares the same exact IP address with Apollo, Flyonthewall, Viewer, and several others who came and went during and after his visits. 

In the end, you have to put two and two together. These people all comment within the same perimeters of how xPrae talks. So, either xPrae has a gang all with the same personality, or lack thereof, as he. Or he was all of those people.

I took xPrae to task to admit that he was trolling my blog using his sock puppets after his latest imaginary foot soldier Roger came and taunted me. I went to his blog – yes, I decided to step to him – and I gave him a chance to come clean. He squashed every opportunity as I knew he would, and flatly denied his actions.

It’s next to impossible to take someone seriously who said in his blog, “As objectionable as slavery is, it’s by far the best thing that ever happened to 21st Century Black Americans.” xPrae may be delusional as he parades around as the intellectual superior to us ‘liberals’ who claims he knows black people better than me, a black man, but he’s far from weak. Ignoring him seems futile. He sees me as Q sees Captain Picard (Yes, I’m a Trekkie), as his living toy. Sooner or later, based on his behavior, xPrae will intrude again under another phony identity posing as his own greatest fan.

R.I.P. Chuck Berry

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From USA Today:

Every time you see a rocker strutting the stage, slinging their guitar around and cutting loose with killer riffs, Chuck Berry’s musical DNA is at work.

Berry, who died Saturday at 90 according to the St. Charles County Missouri police department, created the rock star blueprint more than 50 years ago and generations later, there’s still nobody who can touch the original. It’s no wonder that when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland inducted its inaugural members in 1986, the Brown Eyed Handsome Man was at the head of the class.

Click here to read the rest of this article.