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Thursday, April 30, 2015

New Black Panthers Dumber Than Old Black Panthers

I’m all for an independent Black Nation just as long as they don’t expect me to pay for that too.

This misplaced anger at “America” is unfounded since most working Americans are more concerned with their jobs, families, communities and making ends meet in a volatile economy than about “Keeping the Black Man Down.” It isn't like black people don’t live in our neighborhoods already. It isn't like they don’t own good looking homes, have nice cars and have their kids in public school because they do.

It is not these black folks that anyone in the media and national radical groups care to talk about. This isn't about THEM.

It’s about the urban dwelling black youth which have grown up without fathers and only have mothers who exist on welfare and that have little opportunity and little education. These are the people that matter and it’s true to a certain extent since it is these people who are having a problem adjusting to the prospect of no future. And why wouldn't they?

So they lash out and to help them voice their distress, they have people like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and this new up and coming "leader" Hashim Nzinga. Mr. Nzinga is purportedly is the head of the NEW Black Panthers group and who can only dream of occupying a position of power like Al and Jesse where he can embezzle all the dough he cares to embezzle, screw around with all sorts of women and just get away with it like those two have always seemed to do.

Now that’s living the dream!

But until then Mr. Nzinga is an angry black man and is looking for a target. The problem is, all he has targeted as the enemy right now is AMERICA. Yes, to Mr. Nzinga “America” is the enemy. This at first glance seems rather broad. The American people are a bit preoccupied right now with their own problems. 

But, to look at the situation more closely, what group would currently be in the best position to help solve these systemic social issues in our large American Urban center?

Hmmm, could it be...Democrat Mayors and their administrations? 

I say that Mr. Hashim Nzinga should narrow down his “Hit List” so to speak and attempt to find the real enemy of the black youth.

Perhaps he should start with who is keeping the Welfare State the way it is. A Welfare State that favors single motherhood over two parent families. A Welfare State that does not question the whereabouts of the father or hold anyone responsible for their actions. That’s not what it’s all about, is it?

Or how about who is keeping inner city children stupid and who are the ones who won’t allow a School Voucher program that would get and WAS getting poor and minority children into better schools. That is, before the Teachers Union killed the measure like they did in Washington, DC of all places that could use it the most.  It's not "America" running that show, it's the political Left, the people who call themselves the Democratic Party who are in control of it. It's THEIR call. 

No, Mr. Angry Black Man, you should go after the real enemy of poor minorities everywhere. The real enemy that robs them of opportunity that stifles ambition and instead of providing an even playing field for business to thrive in minority neighborhoods instead gives them Welfare and subsidized housing under their control. The finger-pointing bureaucrats in charge should look in the mirror. But a press release is much easier to do. 

You know, the New Slavery is so different from the Old Slavery. There’s hardly any heavy lifting at all anymore. Now all that is required is that every now and then you get in a van that takes you to the polling station where you vote for the Democratic Mayor. Then you get to keep your housing and your EBT card and all the money you make any other way you can.

And it's not just Baltimore, MD. The same sorry scenario is playing out in New York City, Philadelphia, PA, Worchester, MA, Burlington, VT, Boston, MA, Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA, Camden, NJ, Hartford, CT, Providence, RI, Washington, DC, Chicago, IL...need I say more?Now what do these cities all have in common? A Democrat Mayor perhaps? Yes, these cities have been waging a War on Poverty for decades and decades yet no matter how much money they tax out of the working folks and spread among the "poor", the situation never seems to get any better does it? Now an intelligent person may draw a conclusion concerning this statistic.

So go ahead Mr. Nzinga, go to war with America if you can find it. I’m all for it. Like Huey P. Newton before you in a different age and time, you can go tilting at windmills and never get anywhere and "his people" will never progress. 


Because he doesn't know who to fight. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Baltimore, MD: A City With No Future

I met a couple once years ago that had traveled to Obscurity, MA where I live. They had previously lived in Baltimore. They had left because of the crime, the poverty and lack of jobs. And this was in the 1980s.

They didn't have two nickels to rub together and she was pregnant and the story they told of their treatment at the hands of Baltimore's Social Services Department and the squalid conditions they had to endure made me vow never to set foot in the place. They finally resorted to thumbing on the highway to get out of town and when the trucker who picked them up and drove them to the Massachusetts line dropped them off, he took off with the rest of their belongings. It's a story you never forget. 

Baltimore was NEVER a good place to live as far as I could tell. Never wanted to go there and I didn’t even like to drive by it on my way to somewhere else on Interstate 95. 

Baltimore represents all that is wrong with the welfare state. Like any of the crappy big cities like Philadelphia, PA, Cleveland, OH, Camden, NJ or Washington, DC, they'll give you what you need to survive but that ain’t living. And in order to get the money to fund these respective welfare states, they tax and regulate away real opportunity. Then they wonder why nobody wants to open a business in Baltimore. The money has to come from somewhere. It’s a Socialist Paradox. They take your opportunity and give you welfare and food stamps because, well, you can't find a job but there are no jobs so you quit looking and just take the short money and lump it. 

There are plenty of stupid people in Baltimore. They have voted for the Social Democrats for decades and nothing ever seems to get better and they can’t figure it out. It must mean that they aren't throwing enough money at the problem. It must mean that GOVERNMENT is not doing enough!

Anyone who stays in Baltimore and thinks it’s going to get any better is a FOOL. It hasn't and it won’t. If you stay there the odds are very good you will never get anywhere in life. You have to get your ass out of Baltimore or you will only ever get what the government gives you. You’re a slave to the State. What’s the difference who your Massa is? You still have a Massa!

No opportunity, no future. The government can’t give you a future. They can’t manufacture a job without taking from others with jobs and putting the burden on THEM to support you. Without self-reliance, you can never be free. You own yourself so now what are you going to do with yourself? You going to go loot a chain drug store? That’s your future? You're just waiting for the bullet. 

And it looks like the local police force are all too happy to help you out with that final exit. Yes, it seems that one of the six policemen or perhaps ALL of the six policemen tried to twist poor Freddie Gray’s head off for being, for the most part, a wise guy. It is not up to the police to decide the Mr. Gray’s fate like that, it’s for the courts and all six of them should be arrested and tried. Only in this fashion will the truth come out.  Will it happen? Most likely no, since we still have an unapologetic unaccountable police force and this is starting to lead to some big problems nationally.

But that has nothing to do with why Baltimore is a DUMP.  A dump made worse by recent lawlessness permitted if not condoned by the Leftist Mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who mistakenly believed that by letting these home-grown Hooligans run rampant in the city streets unchecked that it would somehow lessen the damage in the long run. Did you see all those cop cars burning? With all the technology in those cruisers, they must cost $70,000 apiece. Where is the money to replace them going to come from? Oh, they’ll just raise taxes on businesses and property owners so no worries there.

And people are calling the cops and none are coming. If the mayor let’s this sort of mayhem happen when unrest breaks out, who is going to invest in Baltimore? Like we will see in Ferguson, businesses and people will be on the move…out of town.

And it will be a good move. Life is too short to hang around waiting for change that never comes. Better to walk away and seek opportunities elsewhere. Or they can stay and take the short money and waste their lives on a Baltimore street corner, dealing drugs and “Fightin’ the Power”.

Good luck with that. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

EU Throws Cash Down A Greek Commode

When is Germany and the other major EU countries going to wake up to the fact that they’re never going to get their money back.

Didn't this sort of thing already happen during the post WWI era with U.S. Stock investment in Germany that lead to the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and triggered the first Great Depression? Does this ring a bell with anybody?

As the story goes, the stock investments were supposed to build factories and office buildings in Germany to restore the nation and deliver a return on investment. Like in the old Broken Window theory of economics, Germany needed everything. But little did the investors know that the money instead went to paying France the formidable war reparations it was awarded in the Armistice. 

In this fashion, none of the money that was pouring into Greece is going to where it is supposed to go either.
The smokescreen being thrown up by the latest Greek government is not unlike the smokescreen that was thrown up by the last Greek government. It’s a Dog and Pony Show, just a put-on for the rubes meant to keep the status quo when everyone knows it can’t go on.

Nobody wants to throw in the towel on the EU when its intrinsic flaws were evident from the very beginning. The EU can’t strangle the shit out of another EU country by taxing them back to the Stone Age like our government in theses United States can do and has been doing.  Also if an EU country goes into debt and like Greece, MASSIVE debt, in a currency they can’t print, then there is no economic force, like inflating the currency, that can be pulled without effecting the rest of the EU nations.They’re just stuck with the debt and THAT effects the other EU nations. 

So Germany ends up doing what the U.S. did in the 1980s with its stupid loans to South America: They start lending MORE money to the debtor nations so that they can pay the interest on the U.S. loan debt. But instead of banks laying out case, Germany and France are going to the taxpayer well and that is a BAD HABIT.

At least the U.S. banks did this to buy time to eventually write down and charge off the losses but they still had to take the loss. Drawing out the write off only softened the blow to investors. What is the EU going to do? It doesn’t look like this is their plan.

Hello, EU, Greece has NO INTENTION of paying back the money! 

They are still in some weird War Mentality with Germany where they are trying to justify their non-compliance with their EU monetary responsibilities as an act of defiance for being flattened by Germany in WWII. As if the EU put a gun to the heads of Greek politicians when they signed their ridiculous retirement and pension agreements, giving their massive and massively wasteful Public Sector the right to a job and a right to retire from that job at, what, 55 to 58 years old? And come on, they only SAY they are going to start collecting property taxes, they aren't actually going to DO IT!

And in this case it’s the German taxpayer who really suffers and the working class of France and the people who bust their asses at real jobs who see their tax money being funneled to the unworthy, the unmutable and the unwilling to cooperate with the plan. Is this the result of a long simmering dislike based on the past or is this merely an excuse by a desperate nation that is living the Ant and the Cricket Aesop Fable? It looks like the later but the result will be the same.

So why should the EU throw any more money at Greece? Greece is going to just waste it and laugh. Of course they will only laugh long enough til they realize they aren’t going to get any more.

But that is Nationalism for you. People are very protective of their system. Even if it’s shit, it’s still THEIR shit system and they aren’t going to let France or Germany dictate the terms even if it was they themselves that Screwed the Pooch on their finances. What do they care? The sun and ocean is still warm and the olives are in season. The tourists will still come and at least they’ll make SOMETHING. Hell, they’re not paying any taxes so the overhead is low.

It used to be that the U.S. had a sense of Nationalism and pride like that. Right now there are too many American Citizens who think the U.S. is the problem nation of the world. As a percentage there seems to be fewer people who believe in the old American ideals of self-sufficiency, self-reliance and the advantages of hard work in a Meritocracy. They feel the people who have should give all to those that don’t  regardless of the circumstances and that if you have something, then you must have taken it from someone else and so corrections must be implemented. Any this is how a nation ends up when too many people feel that way. This sort of Wrong Thinking can destroy everything. And here we are.  

But that’s what you get when a nation lets in millions of undocumented and therefore illegal foreign nationals. They walked right in without going through the rigors of a legal naturalized citizen. They did not have to learn about what it means to be an American Citizen. They didn't have to do anything but climb a fence or crawl through a tunnel and they get what the people who struggled to follow the rules get so becoming an American Citizen no longer carries any weight. It’s really not that important to anybody, especially our government. What difference does it make at this point? And those not vested in the process will only choose to ignore it. They already have.

So the experiment that is the EU, much like the experiment that was the CCCP, will yield to the reality of Market Forces and come apart at the seams. Either that they’ll just limp on into the future and collapse later. Hopefully it won’t take 79 years of misery like the Soviet Union.

Perhaps these things just have to run their course. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Happy Drunken Irish Day!

As a third generation American of Irish decent, am I the only one offended at the concept of St Patrick's Day being promoted and roundly observed as a big drinking day? And is naming a drink an "Irish Car Bomb" even remotely funny?

After a long history of invasions, repressions, starvation and servitude, getting our asses kicked by the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons, the Vikings and the Normans/British, the only thing a modern person of Irish decent can look forward to is skipping a day of work to get plastered on St Paddy's Day and publicly making fools of themselves?

It even has it's own parade.

This is what our ancestors, who often came with only the clothes on their backs and leaving everything they had back in the old country, risked their necks to come to America for?

And once here they endured 10 hour days 6 days a week as fodder for the vast and giant, smokey brickwork mills of the industrial revolution, living crowded together in substandard housing and inhabiting the low end of the social scale until they established themselves in a new world. Nobody handed them anything, it was all earned by the sweat of their brow, the strength of their backs and the desire and resolve in their hearts.

Many died in the famine, many died in the Atlantic crossing and many died in the factories and crowded slums.

All so that in modern times we can perpetuate the image that we're a bunch of drunks.

Good thing their dead, 'cause this would kill 'em!

Just like the Italian's lack of humor when it comes to references to "The Mafia" or the Great American South to those "Duke's of Hazard" style hillbillies, I shudder each year at the prospect of this "Special" day and all the morons that come out for it.

But people can and should do what they want just as long as they only do it to themselves. It's just all done in such poor taste. And what a low class affair to pay $25- $35 to go into a pub you normally walk in free the rest of the year. But that's the way it is with the Irish I suppose, falling into their stereotypes for all to see. From Brendan Behan to Shane McGowan. It's a shame we haven't smartened up.

So drinking til one vomits it is for St. Patrick's Day. On this side of the pond anyway. Don't know how it's done in Ireland but I suppose somebody over there at least knows why they're doing it. For me I just find it insulting that this Irish Amature Night is not much better than Cinco de Mayo in the annals of marketing and manufactured ignorance.

And while we're at it, if the Fighting Irish symbol of Notre Dame University depicted a person of any other color or of any other race, there would be a such a hue and cry that everybody associated with it would have to resign in disgrace. But it's an Irishman, isn't it?

And nobody cares if they offend an Irishman.

I was watching a PBS special on the Civil Rights Movement the other night when the commentator said they "took Martin Luther King Jr. away in a Paddy Wagon.". I thought that statement summed it all up nicely.

So go ahead, drink up Boyos, and stumble down a flight of stairs for "Old Saint Paddy" for all I care. Sing your sad love songs and happy fighting songs while you're all in your cups.

I'll be home on my couch with a blanket pulled up over my head waiting for it all to be over, again.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Let’s Do Away with the TSA

They are supposed to protect us from terrorists but who will protect us from the TSA?

The Transportation Security Administration, the biggest bunch of government backed bullies ever to grace the American continent since the Pinkerton Detective Service clubbed down the Molly McGuires in the late 1870s.  Anyone who questions their authority is harassed, threatened and branded as kooks and malcontents. They are the emblem of wrong thinking and the embodiment of big, evil and wasteful Big Government.

These useless dolts, who that phony conservative George W. Bush not only invented but also unionized, creating a boat-load of federally funded union hacks, live to display their self-important swagger and harass hard working people who’s only crime is to want to get from point A to point B without being humiliated and treated like criminals.

The TSA has not stopped one potential bombing on a plane or one terrorist from boarding one. The “Shoe Bomber” Richard Reid was stopped by fellow passengers as was also Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the “Underwear Bomber”.  In fact all of the latest incidents that we have heard of have been stopped by passengers while already on the plane. There seems to be no statistics on what the TSA has actually accomplished in comparison to the private security they replaced other than pissing off a majority of the flying public and pissing through tons of taxpayer money.

We don’t need the TSA and we certainly can live without the attitude, the threats, the thievery, the bravado and the scandals of this embarrassing knot of toads passing for safety officers telling us all what to do for no discernible reason other than “They can”. After all, you don't want to be bumped from your flight. It'll cost you. So you lump it but that's not because you feel safe. The TSA isn't there to make you feel safe. When you're in line, you're the last on the list of priorities. It's their show now and you're along for the ride.You only have the privilege of paying for it. Consider it a pay off for the military men and women who fought GW Bush's useless wars. They get priority in hiring and there are even signs touting TSA employees who were in the military. As if that makes it all better.

The TSA is a tick on the ass of the American traveling public and it's time for this taxpayer funded Dog and Pony show to end. 

We've heard the unbelievable stories, the protests and the weak justifications. The verdict is in. The TSA should go. We've been felt up enough as a nation and we want a return to dignity and freedom. Neither will return as long as this government gang of bullies are allowed to run our airports.

They cost too much money, they are highly inefficient and above all, they’re ineffectual. For all the money, the delays, the scanners that don’t work and may or may not give off too much radiation, the widespread groping humiliations and the apologies, they haven’t made one bit of difference in the protection of flights and passengers. Like most government services, it’s all just a dog and pony show and the economy is all the weaker for it since that big bloated taxpayer funded budget has gone to naught. This money would be better spent elsewhere.

The sooner the airports rid themselves of these trolls, the better for all.

Let’s hope the airports, aided by the new opt out laws passed by Congress, will declare enough is enough. The TSAs time has come and gone. They were a bad idea and remain a bad idea.

Good riddance. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Boston Rock of the 1980s: Boston Band Names

How important is having a good band name? It is most important! Most bands agonize over the name and they should too. For a band it’s about something bigger than the sum of its parts, it’s the name you hang out front, it’s what people will remember…or not. A good band name is a sign of imagination, an indication of your collective creativity and…it’s a king-size pain in the ass!

It’s so tough to get band members to agree on a stupid band name. “Jeez, just call it anything.” Oh, but it can’t be just ANYTHING! It’s got to mean SOMETHING, right?

Our first band, Cool McCool, was a trio and yet it took us three months to agree on a name. Tony thought “Second Sight” was a really cool name which James and I thought rightly, of course, was just plain stupid. At one point in our machinations I cracked and blurted out; “We don’t want anything sullen and gloomy like “Nuclear Winter” or anything like that do we?!”  At this James and Tony looked at each other and said “Now THAT would be a good name.”

I don’t know who it was but someone said that, with his dark hair and mustache, James looked just like that cartoon character Cool McCool that was on Saturday morning TV right after George of the Jungle. Whether it was fatigue, the fact we didn’t dismiss it out of hand or that we may actually have liked it, we agreed on it at any rate and were able to move on with our lives, our imaginations and collective creativity exhausted.

Anyway, I didn’t get to see all of these bands but here are some of the Boston Bands whose names I thought were really cool back in the day:
Arms Akimbo: Never saw them but they played the Rat a lot as well as other places in town. I remember reading that Amie Mann said she liked them back when she was fronting Til Tuesday. If you don’t know already it’s the term for falling backwards with your arms outstretched. Pretty clever in mho.
Band 19: Not to be confused with Forever 19 that had a rehearsal room next to ours at the Pixie Theater in Hyde Park. The story goes that this was the bandleader’s 19th band that he had put together. That’s enough personnel changes to last a lifetime.
Berlin Airlift: Rick Berlin’s band, get it? I guess he could have just called the band “Berlin”. Previously Rick had put together a much talked about act named; Orchestra Luna.
Del Fuegos: “Of the Fire” in Spanish. Wonder how they came up with that one? These guys endured some hardships along the way when they were touring the country all crammed into a ford van, had all their shit stolen and a local radio station held a radio-thon to raise some money for them and put their album on the air and the band on the map. We shared the stage with them twice ourselves and I still cover “Don’t Run Wild” solo. Frank Zane has recorded a few children’s music projects that can be found in stores. Liked the name, liked the band.
Extreme: Not remarkable in itself except the back story was that this band was first called “The Dream” and then the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) was developing a series about a young band trying (stop me if you’ve heard this one before) to climb their way to the top and this TV band and the series was to be called The Dream. So the story goes that NBC paid The Dream handsomely for their name so they could produce their very very short lived series. The Dream became the “Ex-Dream” or “The Extreme”. Coincidence? Perhaps. A fairy tale? I don’t know.
Girl on Top: A trio fronted by a chic guitar player. Played a gig with them in the waning days of Green Street Station.  Good attention grabbing name I think. Got my attention at any rate.

Loners Shoot Presidents: This is a great name for a punk band which they were. Tim Catz, the drummer for this group went on to win the 1991 Rock & Roll Rumble with the band Seka, named for an “exotic dancer” in Boston’s red light district known as the Combat Zone. 

Pajama Slave Dancers: I really enjoyed these guys; they were hardcore and funny at the same time. Songs like “Defreeze Walt Disney”, “Farm Rap” and “Homo Truck Driving Man” are classics. I think they put out three albums in all of which I have two. I was told they were originally from Springfield, MA. The name is a wacky as the band's stage show. You see that name, you pretty much know what you're going to get. Cool.

Plate o’ Shrimp: A ska band most likely out of Brighton since it seems all the ska bands in town emanate from there. This came from a monologue by the character Miller in one of my favorite movies of all time, Repo Man. After Miller’s monologue an ad with the term can also be seen on a wall of a fast food place in the movie.

Rash of Stabbings: This name was fine for these guys for years and years and then all of a sudden somebody somewhere realized they found it offensive. Sort of like the character of Uncle Fester on the Adams Family. One day you hear it and say “Hey, do you know what that name really means?” They had to go as RoS afterwards since nobody would book them. I think it’s a cool name reflective of the kind of rock & roll they played. They didn’t invent the term.

Sleep Chamber: As far as I know, this band only ever played at Chet’s Last Call but they had very cool, very erotic hand drawn black & white posters with women in bondage themes. One band I really wish I could have seen live.

Stop Calling Me Frank: Our friends from Hyde Park. Never got a straight answer as to how they came up with the name. The explanation changed with each telling. Dave Forbes on guitar and Lenny was the frontman. Three chord full speed ahead rock & roll band. Their big hit was “Cyclone Ranger” “My baby treat me like a cyclone ranger, she spin me round and round, she pick me up, she put me down, she spin me round and round”. That’s gold!

Valdez the Sinner: Saw these guys at “Chetstock” and never saw their name on a marque ever again. The one set I ever saw them play was a great one, however. How they came up with this name is a mystery. Nobody was named Valdez. Maybe it was someone they knew? 

Perhaps this will be food for thought for fledgling groups banging their heads against a wall trying to come up with a band name.

Good Luck!