Friday, October 29, 2010

Weekend Humor

While walking down the street one day a prominent member of congress is tragically hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance."Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure just what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the congressman. "Well, ya see I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in Hell and one in Heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity." "Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,' says the congressman." "I'm sorry, but we have our rules," said St. Peter.

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. Saddamn Hussein and Adolf Hitler wave to him! In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him. There's Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Ann Coulter, just to name a few.

Everyone is very happy and in the distance, Sarah Palin and Christine Odonnell are walking around in sexy evening dresses. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.

They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar, cracked crab, and champagne. Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly and nice guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it's time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises. The elevator goes up, up, up, and the door reopens on Heaven, where St. Peter is waiting for him. "Now it's time to visit heaven," says St. Peter. So, 24 hours pass with the MP joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp, and singing. They have a good time and before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

"Well, then... you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now, choose your eternity." The congressman reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean Heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in Hell." So, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to Hell. The doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash, and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above. Old Satan comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. "I don't understand," stammers the Congressman. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse... and we ate lobster, caviar, and cracked crab... we drank champagne, danced, and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What in hell happened? No pun intended." "It's cool" laughs old Satan.

Satan looks at him, smiles, and says... "Yesterday, we were campaigning. Today, you voted!"

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Random Thoughts

1. I'm sick of chasing my dreams... I'm going to ask them to stand still so I can catch up with them!

2. People who make mountains out of mole hills take a lot longer to get to where they are going!

3. I just found out that there is a rapper named Wocka Flocka Flames. Have I been away from hip-hop that long? I used to know everybody worth knowing!

4. I was looking at a photo of me and some friends taken a few years ago. Two of the people in the photo are now dead and the other person in the photo and I don't speak anymore. It's funny how three years can change a whole lot of things.

5. These random posts have definitely shown the influence that both Facebook and Twitter have taken on my writing and creative process. Is that a good thing?

6.The older you get, the less time you have to waste time... especially on waste-of-time people!

7. I've said it once and I'll say it again... When somebody shows you who they really are, by all means believe them! Maya Angelou taught me that!

8. Everybody is looking for a Guru... What you need to look for is the real you!

9. Any day you are living and breathing above the ground is a good day. If you don't believe that, then try missing a day!

10. Love and hate can't occupy the same space!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Summer Of Lebron Is Over!

It's that time again... basketball season! I'm a true fan. I sat back and watched this summer as Lebron James left Cleveland and headed to Miami, along with Chris Bosh, who left Toronto. I watched the coach of Cleveland go nuts and I listened to him being criticized by every sportswriter and every legendary former basketball player from Michael Jordan to Charles Barkley to even Larry Bird, who usually doesn't say much about anything.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I even wrote a blog post defending Lebron. I said that like any other player who's contract is up, he had a right to go to whatever team he wanted. Athletes in all sports do it everyday. Why was everybody making a big deal out of him going to Miami? That is what I said... a month later, I was sorry I said anything.

First off, he had that ridiculous ESPN special called "The Decision", where he ended all of the speculating and finally revealed to America that he was leaving Cleveland and going to Miami. This was after much pontificating and several commercials for McDonalds, Nik,e and Jiffy Lube! Then, when he and Chris Bosh get to Miami with Dwayne Wade and form the so-called "Super Team", the three of them are once again on television in yet another ridiculous special announcing that they are here and ready to rule the NBA! This is what happens when you hire your best friend from the hood (who dropped out of college) to be your Public Relations Manager! What gets me is that neither Lebron nor his PR guy understand why people outside of Cleveland are pissed at him! He comes off now as another arrogant, spoiled, crybaby athlete.

The sportscasters have all but annointed them the future NBA champions! As I write this, the Boston Celtics (that uh, other super team) is running a clinic on the would-be champions... up by as many as 20 points at times in this game. Lebron is blaming his bad PR on racism, making nutty Nike commercials with Don Johnson (of Miami Vice fame), and whining about keeping scores of all of the athletes who have criticized him, mainly Charles Barkley.

I imagine that right now, the defending world champions, the Los Angelas Lakers and Kobe Bryant, are thankful for all of the attention that is now on the Heat and Lebron James. Kobe, who was formerly the most hated basketball player in America, is now the patron saint of the sport. All of the daggers are now aimed at Lebron James. See how fast America forgets?

Lebron James can take solace in this and only this... he is still not the most hated athlete in America. Last time I checked, Tiger Woods is still holding on to that title strongly! The summer of Lebron is thankfully over and now the defending champs, the would-be champs, and the annointed champs all are on equal ground. None of them have won a game yet. Some of them haven't played a game yet. It's put up or shut-up time now. We will see who wears the crown in June. But for now, let the games begin!

NBA... It's fantastic!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

R.I.P. Gregory Isaacs 1951-2010

"The Cool Ruler"

Gregory Isaacs, the Jamaican reggae singer whose smooth style earned him the nickname "Cool Ruler," has died. He was 59 years old. Gregory Isaacs' manager, Copeland Forbes, said the singer died yesterday at his London home. Isaacs had been diagnosed with lung cancer a year ago, but continued performing until weeks before his death. His wife, Linda, said Isaacs was "well-loved by everyone, his fans, and his family, and he worked really hard to make sure he delivered the music they loved and enjoyed."

Born in a Kingston, Jamaica slum on July 15, 1951, Isaacs began recording in his teens and went on to produce scores of albums. With his sinuous baritone and romantic songs, Isaacs became a leading proponent of the mellow "Lovers Rock" style of reggae. He hit his stride in the mid-1970s with ballads like "Love is Overdue" and "All I Have Is Love." Later that decade, he teamed up with the Jamaican production duo of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare for several hit songs including "Soon Forward" and "What A Feeling."

"Gregory's voice and writing ability was wicked. He was one of those soulful singers you could sit and listen to for hours,"Sly Dunbar said of him on Monday. Isaacs was best known internationally for the title song from his 1982 album, "Night Nurse," a club favorite which later became a hit for Simply Red. I remember my brother, a big fan of reggae, playing the grooves off of this record back then.

Unfortunately, like many artists, Issacs's career was stalled by a cocaine habit that landed him in jail on several occasions. Isaacs said ruefully in a 2007 interview that he'd gone to "Cocaine High School ... the greatest college ever, but the most expensive school fee ever paid."

Drug abuse took a toll on his vocals but he kept right on making music, releasing a well-received final album, "Brand New Me," in 2008. Suggs, lead singer of reggae-influenced British band Madness, said the dapper, fedora-sporting Isaacs was "a great reggae artist and also one of the most sartorially elegant stars on the world stage."

Rest in Peace Cool Ruler!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Scary Candidates

There is a scary Tea Party-backed candidate running for a Senate seat from my state. His name is Pat Toomey, a former Wall Streeter and a right-wing extremist. This very important Senate race could turn the tide and shake things up. You see, Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak has trailed scary Republican candidate Pat Toomey for months, and a Republican victory always has seemed likely, given that it's a Republican-trending year in this perpetually contested state of mine. Yet, the recent polls suggest Joe Sestak has closed the gap, and Republican leaders are imploring supporters not to panic even as they ask themselves, What the hell is going on?

The Pat Toomey-Joe Sestak Senate race mirrors other Senate contests that are making this one of the most intriguing and unpredictable mid-term elections in years, and one that is making me just a little bit nervous, but determined to get out and vote myself. But, I always vote... even in the so-called "not important elections"

The one nagging and intriguing fact about these races is this... In Nevada, Colorado, Kentucky, and perhaps even Alaska and Connecticut, each one of these candidates is an accomplished but imperfect politician, and the Tea Party movement is playing a big but uncertain role. Too big, if you ask me.

In most of those states, plus Washington and California, Senate races are tightening to nail-biting margins. That means Republicans might pick up a few seats or as many as ten, which would give them the majority. Democrats privately concede they may be unable to keep their House majority, but losing the Senate would simply be devastating.

President Barack Obama's travels now focus largely on trying to save Democratic senators in Washington, California, Nevada, and Wisconsin, a clear sign that he and his party is still playing defense. I hope you'll excuse the football terms... my team just lost as I'm writing this.

While the states of California and Washington see Senate GOP challengers creeping up on Democratic incumbents, it's embattled Democrats who seem to be rising elsewhere. They have seized on a common claim: A dangerous fringe movement, the Tea Party, has taken over the Republican Party. Which after all is true... but doesn't seem to scare enough people. The Nazi's rose to power in Germany the exact same way. And yes, I'm equating one with the other.

The scary man from this state that I'm talking about named Pat Toomey would seem to fit more comfortably in the GOP's business-friendly, low-tax tradition than in the hot-blooded, anti-establishment Tea Party model. Still, he has accepted Tea Party champion Sarah Palin's endorsement and begun to talk crazy like they do when they don't think anybody is listening to them other than people who are looney like they are!

I guess you can tell that I really don't like the Tea Party can't you? Joey Sestak is using that fact, plus curiously, the notoriety of Tea Partier Christine ("I'm not a witch anymore.") O'Donnell. The nutty GOP Senate nominee in neighboring Delaware to paint Toomey as a pilot of a new and scary Republican Party veering dangerously to the fringe. You would think that some republicans would be a bit frightened by this new nut fringe that is taking over their party. (Some really are, but they are far and few in between.)

In speeches and ads, Joe Sestak ties Pat Toomey to Christine O'Donnell, the headline-grabbing upstart who trails by double digits in Delaware polls. In a debate Wednesday, Joe Sestak said he worries about "those extreme candidates" who take advantage of "the extreme fringe of the Tea Party. There are those that are running with Congressman Toomey. Miss O'Donnell next door, for example."

Pound it home Joe... maybe you will scare some sense into the larger voting populace (White voters). African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and LGBT voters already know how scary these folks are, but a lot of white voters don't seem to find these Tea Party folks frightening enough.

While many analysts have predicted a tightening of Senate races, the strategy might be working. If that perception spreads, it will embolden Democrats making similar claims against Tea Party Republicans in Nevada, Colorado, and elsewhere.

It might even give hope to Democratic Senate nominee Jack Conway in Kentucky, where Republican Rand Paul has not quite sealed a victory. In Alaska's complex race, Sen. Lisa Murkowski is slapping the too-extreme label on Joe Miller, the Tea Party favorite who denied her the Republican nomination. Murkowski is trying a write-in campaign, while the Democratic nominee, Scott McAdams, seems to be running third.

If good people of all races and orientations can turn these scary candidates back, it will go a long way to keeping this country on not only the right track, but from becoming the laughing stock of the entire free world!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Weekend Humor

I just knew I was in big trouble at work when...

1. The new policy on sexual harassment included a photo of me.

2. The security guard made a complete inventory of my office.

3. My administrative assistant began responding to my memos with, "Yeah, whatever."

4. I got a "It's for you, loser" wave receiving email, and not a chime.

5. My new Pentium was replaced with an 386sx-16 last weekend.

6. The Human Resources Department requested an update of my arrest record.

7. The boss asked if I still had a copy of my 5 year contract.

8. I noticed co-workers measuring my office when I arrived at work.

9. My parking spot was relocated next to the dumpster.

10. My administrative assistant says things like, "Get the phone, my nails aren't dry."

11. Three people began helping me write a "desk manual" for my job.

12. The LAN suddenly began backing-up my computer every 10 minutes.

13. A large paper recycling box was placed next to my file cabinets.

14. The receptionist began saying "Who???" to anyone calling on me.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Might Dance In the Streets

Time to listen to the experts again and here is what they say in politics. They say that exactly two weeks until election Day, Republicans remain poised to make significant mid-term gains across the country, with 50% of likely voters preferring a GOP-controlled Congress, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

What's more, Republicans appear to be benefiting from the public's pessimistic mood, as approximately six in 10 registered voters think that the country is on the wrong track, and that the economy will get worse or stay the same in the next 12 months. According to Democratic pollster Peter Hart, "Election Day is coming, the hurricane force has not diminished and it is going to hit the Democrats head on."

But, what if... just what if... he and all of the other experts were wrong? What if all of the people who have not been polled (like just about everybody I know) got up and voted. And come November 3rd, The Republicans didn't have the House, didn't have the Senate, and everything these pollsters have been telling us was wrong?

I Might Dance In The Streets!

Columnist Ken Rosenthal must have something against the Philadelphia Phillies. He roots against us in almost every series. He had some choice words for the Yankees too. He wrote... "I will say the same thing about the Phillies that several New York columnists said about the Yankees and their decision to start righty A.J. Burnett on Tuesday night, while trailing by the same margin in their ALCS series, two games to one.

If the Yankees were so good, they should have figured out a way to hammer Rangers right-hander Tommy Hunter and overcome a typically heartbreaking performance by Burnett in Game 4. If the Phillies are so good, they should figure out a way to beat rookie left-hander Madison Bumgarner, even though Blanton will be starting for the first time in 21 days on Wednesday."

Needless to say, he and several "experts" are saying that both the Phillies and the Yankees are done this year. Their series aren't even over yet, but this is what the "experts "say. But, what if... what if they were wrong? What if they had to appear on television the next morning blubbering and stutturing?

I Might Dance In The Streets!

Just because pollsters and self-appointed experts tell you something is so, it doesn't necessarily mean make it so. Let us see what the end will be first.

I Might Dance In the Streets!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Random Thoughts

1. I talk a lot of crap... and I reckon I mean about fifty percent of it.

2. The secret to true acheivement of a goal is to not let what you are doing get to you before you get to it.

3. If you eat food for thought, one thing is certain... you won't gain any weight.

4. Sooner or later you pay for everything in this life... some pay now, some pay later. But you don't leave here without paying in someway.

5. Nobody gets out of life alive.

6. When I was wise, I admitted and learned from my mistakes. When I was insecure, I denied that I even made any mistakes. When I was being a damn fool, I repeated my mistakes

7. I'd rather ride a broken down bus to heaven, than a fancy limosine to hell!

8. When they say "Til Death do us part"... it doesn't mean until you try to kill me.

9. Don't change who you are for the approval of other people... because at the end of the day, anybody you had to change for really doesn't care about you.

10. In the words of one of my cousins, "Judgemental people don't have a heaven to put me in or a hell to send me to!"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

You Might Want To Curb Your Speech

I wrote a post about cyberbullying the week before last. And then, racist comments I read on YouTube and several sports sites incensed me even more. I noticed that all of these folks used some kind of clever moniker that served to hide their real identity. I mused to myself that some of these racist writers probably work with and live right next door to Blacks, Hispanics, and even Arab people who they were taunting.

I thought about how someone once said that the internet creates "brave" people out of cowards. I wondered if these people would make such ignorant or hateful remarks if their real identity was suddenly put out there? No doubt, some would... but most would not. A landmark case that I read about recently has forced Google, to reveal the identity of three cyberbullies.

Carla Franklin, a former model who also has biology and psychology degrees from Duke, caused quite a stir this summer when she went after those she called cyberbullies: "JoeBloom08," "JimmyJean008," and "greyspector09". She said they posted "malicious and untrue" statements about her (like calling her a "whore") under what sounds like unauthorized promotional clips from Columbia, featuring a trip to Africa and Franklin addressing incoming MBA students, according to the New York Daily News.

It turns out that Franklin had reason to take the extreme measure of suing Google in Manhattan Supreme Court: She'd been the object of some real life stalking that carried over online. This is part of the statement she released on

"I have been dealing with ongoing obsessive and harassing behavior since 2006. Despite ignoring phone calls, emails, changing my number, trying to be nice, and hoping that the obsessive behavior would stop, the behavior continued over a four-year period. Last year, things escalated online. An anonymous YouTube account was created to make a channel or "shrine" dedicated to me, using video clips of me talking to a friend. The personal information that was included and the obsessive, "shrine-like" nature of this YouTube channel scared me."

Carla Franklin follows in the high heels of another model named Liskula Cohen, who last year was able to lobby successfully for Google to expose the trash talkers who had the audacity to call her a "skank" and an "old hag."

Such language is not civil and very hateful. Even though everyone has a right to free speech, I feel that we the public, who maybe offended by such speech, have the right to know who you are when you exercise your right to be ignorant.

I'm sure the offensive jerks will holler foul when they get ensnared, but if they know like I know, they might want to curb their speech.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Seven (7 Worst Members Of Congress)

In my opinion, these are the seven worst members of Congress. And, guess what? They're not all Republicans either. I know this may come as a shock to some of my readers because I bash the G.O.P. so much... but, I'm being fair and voting across the board on this post. I hope when you guys go to vote next month (And, you are going to vote, right?), you look at each candidate objectively, intelligently, and vote for the one that best represents your interests. This is all I can ask. Now that you've read my disclaimer, here they are (drum roll puhlease!)...

1. Joe Barton, Republican-Texas

An amazing thing happened this summer as BP CEO Tony Hayward was testifying before an Energy and Commerce sub-committee. When it came Joe Barton's turn to grill the SOB, whose rotten company was befouling the waters off Barton's home state, Barton instead abjectly apologized to a stunned Hayward for President Obama's demand that BP pay for the disaster the foreign corporation had created in American waters. Call Barton a private servant, because throughout his deplorable career, he has never served the public much. His is a strain of conservatism that gives preference to private interests over the public interest every time. And, worst of all, Barton stands to become chairman of Energy and Commerce, should the Republicans take the House this year.

2. Joseph Lieberman, Independent-Connecticut

Can you believe that this guy was almost Vice-President? Can you believe that this guy was once a Democrat? Can you believe that this guy was once a Republican? Can you believe this guy period? There was a time when Lieberman's quavering sanctimony act was somewhat convincing (e.g., his blistering speech against President Clinton during the Great Blowjob Crisis of 1998). But, not anymore. Oh, the quavering sanctimony is still there, but it is now but a fig leaf for Lieberman's utter venality, for these days he quavers not on behalf of the country, but on behalf of himself.

He has never gotten over the fact that his party had no interest at all in supporting him for the presidency in 2004... and then, actually went and knocked him off in the Democratic Senate primary in 2006. Re-elected as an independent, Lieberman's now about as popular in Connecticut as bank foreclosures. His favorite game to play now when it comes to major bills is to keep 'em guessing... Will he go with the Republicans this time? With the Demorcrats? Will poor Harry Reid have to do the dance of the seven veils again? Memo to Senator Lieberman: No one cares for your dog and pony show anymore.

3. Charles Rangel, Democrat-New York

Surprised? You shouldn't be. When you've been in Congress for 40 years like this guy has and have ascended to the chairmanship of the incredibly powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which drafts all of the tax laws for the United States, are you to be believed when you say that you didn't realize that you were supposed to have paid taxes on that swank beachfront property YOU own? And then, when you get fairly busted for other corruption of office and you vow to fight, fight, fight, what exactly are we to believe you are fighting for? Well, in the sad case of Charlie Rangel, you are fighting for none other than yourself. And, you are taking your place in an embarrassing pantheon of black urban public officials who with discouraging regularity act as if they own the office to which they have merely been elected. Come on man, give us all a break!

4. David Vitter, Republican-Louisiana

Okayyyy player, playa! It's one thing if you're a whoremonger and make no real pretensions to be anything but... there's even a kind of Laissez les bon temps rouler integrity to that type of rascal that we may even have to admire a little bit. He is, after all, what he appears to be. Edwin Edwards comes to mind. Remember a few years back when David Duke wrested the Republican nomination for governor of Louisiana to face Democrat Edwards in the general election? All the establishment Republicans panicked about having an actual sheet wearer as their standard-bearer, and so they all lined up behind the colorful Edwards with the slogan: "Vote for the crook. It's important." Now, those were the days, way back when slippery characters didn't pretend to take God's dictation.

Flash forward to now... which brings me to the case of David Vitter, who is the worst kind of reprobate to be found in heaven, hell, or Washington. Dave Vitter is not at all what or who he says he is. A self-described "values conservative," the public figure of David Vitter that we are all subjected to is a pinched, prissy man who sits in judgment of everyone and won't shush about Jesus. He's just a horrible bore who doesn't like for sick children to have health insurance, hates family planning, is appalled by gay people and gay marriage, and brown people from south of the border and the United Nations. All of which in the Dave Vitter moral universe blur into the same thing (Can somebody say racism? Xenophobia?)... grave threats to the tautly ordered no-fun zone that is David Vitter's immortal soul.

And oh, how David Vitter does like to instruct on personal sexual conduct. "Abstinence education is a public health strategy focused on risk avoidance... by teaching teenagers that saving sex until marriage and remaining faithful afterwards is the best choice," says Vitter. Well, Aristotle and Shakespeare knew where this story was going centuries before any of us were ever born. Because, of course, David Vitter loves prostitutes. And of course, of course, of course, he got caught. And yet, he still wears his grotesque mask of self- righteousness and Louisiana seems poised to be fooled again by this hypocrite this Election Day. Maybe they should first talk to Mrs. Vitter, who during more innocent times said of Hillary Clinton (and her husband's manhood)... "I'm a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If David does something like that, I'm walking away with one thing and it's not alimony, trust me." Hmmmmmm! Indeed!

5. Ben Nelson, Democrat-Nebraska

They used to call this cat the "60th Vote". Ben Nelson swung a sweet deal for his home state to have its mandated expansion of Medicaid paid for by the federal government permanently in order to get his vote for health care reform. This is a deal no other state gets. Republicans mocked this arrangement as the "Cornhusker Kickback" and Nelson was stunned to find that every last person in his home state was horribly embarrassed by his deal. He muttered that it was all a misunderstanding, and it was really all about abortion funding anyway, which is one of his standby excuses for everything. Anti-abortion groups, once stalwarts for the senator, decided that they didn't trust him either.

Now, no body trusts this dude and he has been tarred with a catchy new name for the stupid thing he did, which imperiled the passage of health care reform. In the end, Harry Reid found a way to pass the House bill without Nelson's vote and Nelson was compelled pathetically to plead that his sweet deal be removed from the final bill. Because that's how Ben Nelson rolls.

6. Michelle Bachman, Republican-Minnesota

I did a blog post about her two years ago in which I called her the "stupidest elected candidate alive" and I still haven't changed my opinion. She makes Sarah Palin look like a Rhoades Scholar. She's a Republican soccer mom-styled official who first got famous by gobsmacking Chris Matthews shortly before the 2008 elections by asserting that she wanted an investigation into which of her colleagues were anti-American. Subsequently, she was one of the first onto the Tea Party crazy wagon, telling audiences of the agitated elderly about death panels and about how the Obama administration was going to make "slaves" of us all, and even leading a rally on the steps of the Capitol; at which people protested the health care reform bill by waving pictures of Dachau. I don't believe I have to say anything more about her.

7. Steve King, Republican-Iowa

Another Tea Party nutcase... the man who has never met an Obama conspiracy he didn't love. It was King who brought birtherism to the floor of the House. It was King who accused the White House of serving "ACORN cookies" at a social event. It was King who joined Bachmann in arguing that the $10 billion intended to save the jobs of 160,000 teachers around the country was actually "money laundering" on behalf of the teachers' unions. And, it was King who told the world that President Obama has a "mechanism that favors the black person." King insists on name-calling and divisive politics, and I don't think that plays well with western Iowa. It doesn't play well with the rest of the sensible world.

So, in closing folks, please, please, please get out and vote! Some of these people already in office are scary enough... don't elect anymore like them. Thank You! This has been a public service announcement from the Maverick of All Bloggers.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Weekend Humor

Two guys are playing a round of golf when they get stuck behind two women. Eventually, one of the guys walks over to ask if they can play through. He scuttles back and says... "Yo Man, when I got closer, I realized it was my wife and my jump-off (mistress)," he says. "You go and ask them instead."

"Okay, give me a minute." says the other guy. The other guy walks over to the women but hurries back and says... "Hey man, one of them gals is my wife and the other is my jump-off. Small world, huh?"

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What I've Learned (From Muhammad Ali)

1. A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.

2. Friendship is not something you learn in school... but if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything.

3. Hating people because of their color is wrong... and it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong.

4. He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.

5. I know where I'm going and I know the truth, and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want.

6. It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out, t's the pebble in your shoe.

7. It's not bragging if you can back it up.

8. Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.

9. Rivers, ponds, lakes, and streams... they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do, they all contain truths.

10. Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Only In Philadelphia

This past Sunday, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden graced our fair city. They were here to energize (or re-energize) the Democratic faithful and get them motivated to go out and vote next month in the Primary elections.

Pennsylvainia Governor Ed Rendell, took the day off from his other gig, sportscasting to host this rally. No, I'm not kidding... our governor appears weekly on Comcast Cable channel 63 after each Eagles game, along with three others, to breakdown the Eagles game. He is probably the only governor in the 50 states that moonlights as a sportscaster, while still in office!

But I digress... that's probably the mildest in the theatre of the bizzare that occurred on this day. A naked man ran past the stage where the president was speaking with the website written on his chest. He was reportedly offered one million dollars to streak in front of the president. After he gets out of jail, I'm sure his money will be there waiting for him-LOL!

If that wasn't bizzare enough, an over exuberant guy throws a book up on the stage while the president is waving to the crowd. I saw the film footage and the president didn't even see the book when it was thrown. It went up in the air and then fell down behind him. Alert Secret Service Agents handcuffed the book... (No, I'm kidding!) they questioned the man and, as it turned out, he meant no harm. In fact, he wrote the book... he was just a little over exuberant, so he was released.

Of course, Fox News played it up as though the man who tossed the book on the stage was like the Iraqi shoe thrower who hurled his shoes at President Bush a few years ago... but, it was not the same thing. Sorry guys... no Tea Party sympathizers at this rally. Yet, the goings on were nutty enough that they could've only have happened in Philadelphia!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Follow This Money Trail

If you weren't concerned about who got booted off of "Dancin With The Stars" last week , you still might not know about this scandal. Certain people in the Tea Party and their sponsor party, the G.O.P., would like to keep this a secret...

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the largest sources of corporate cash backing Republican candidates this year, has been using money from foreign corporations in India, Bahrain, and elsewhere to fund its attack ads, in apparent violation of the law. Yes, I said in violation of the law. But, when has that really mattered to people like this? Only when you and I are breaking it.

This explosive news could shift the course of the election if the Chamber of Commerce is forced to scale back and all the right-wing tea party candidates they’re helping will have to answer for it. This will be quite interesting. There was a time when news like this would've had people out in the streets yelling their heads off in outrage... but that time has come and gone.

I was still in high school when people actually cared and thought that they just might have a say in things. Now, people only get passionate about Michael Bolton being kicked off of Dancing With The Stars. Folks were actually upset about that! And, the people in the Chamber of Commerce responsible for this knows it. Their strategy is to give no quarter and hope this blows over. In the last week, they’ve actually spent millions more on ads targeted against President Barack Obama and other Democratic and progressive candidates.

They claim in the chamber that it has internal systems to keep the money separate, but the new report shows that the foreign corporations donate directly to the Chamber’s general fund, which is where the funding for their political attacks comes from. This would represent a shocking disregard for longstanding American campaign finance laws, all to advance a corporate, right-wing agenda of outsourcing jobs and giving huge tax breaks to multi-national corporations.

These guys are something else! They are allegedly raising money from firms in China, India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Russia, and many other places. They are borrowing and spending more money than any other lobbyist group to back the Tea Party and right-wing nut jobs, which tells me they are afraid. They don't like what's going on and want to change things back to the way they were... despite the fact that the shape of the nation right now proves that didn't work.

They want their tax cuts back, I suppose. I used to watch "The Wire" and I remember Detective McNulty used to say... "If you follow drug dealers, all you'll find is drugs and guns. But, if you follow THE MONEY, there's no telling where you'll wind up or what you'll find? You can be sure this money is not only backing these politicians, but going towards a lot of other sinister things that you and I don't know anything about and won't know anything about, if these shadowy guys have their way.

Until they come knocking on my door in the dark of the night, I'll continue to keep you posted on what people in your government is doing. Until then, this is another public service announcement from none other than, the Maverick of All Bloggers!

Monday, October 11, 2010

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In Loving Memory of My Mother

My mother (top right, click on image for a larger view) is featured in this promotional poster, along with three other breast cancer survivors. Ironically, she survived her bout with breast cancer, only to be felled by colon cancer eight years later. The poster was displayed on billboards, buses, trollies, trains, and subway stations around Philadelphia during the early part of the previous decade. It is a reminder that breast cancer is a serious ailment, but can be treated and is survivable if diagnosed in time. If you have a loved one, tell them to see their doctor and get a check up. Let's try not to lose anyone else to breast cancer!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The King Of Rock & Soul Dies

This name may not mean a lot to my younger readers and shouldn't mean a lot to me, considering that a great deal of his finest work was done before I was old enough to appreciate it... but, being the music historian I am (R&B, Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Pop), I had an appreciation for Mr. Soloman Burke. Thanks to my blog buddy, "The Stepfather of Soul", I found out that Soloman Burke, a soul music giant passed away yesterday. The power of blogging... the power of the internet!

Soul singer Solomon Burke, who wrote "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love", died at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. He was 70 years old. He wrote the song in 1964 and it was quickly recorded by the Rolling Stones and Wilson Pickett. Later, and perhaps most famously, it was done by the Blues Brothers. If you guys never heard the song by anybody else, I know you at least heard the Blues Brothers version at the very end of the movie. Burke also recorded the hit "Cry To Me", which was used in the movie "Dirty Dancing".

Airport police spokesman Robert van Kapel confirmed the death of the singer yesterday and referred further questions to the performer's management. Dutch national broadcaster NOS said he died on a plane early yesterday morning after arriving on a flight from Los Angelas. The cause of death was not immediately clear at the time. Soloman Burke, who was both a Grammy winner and a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, was due to perform at a well-known club in Amsterdam on Tuesday. He was named the "King of Rock & Soul" by a Baltimore disc jockey in 1964 and he adopted the title as his own... even sitting in a large throne to the delight of his fans.

Mr. Burke, like myself, hails from Philadelphia, PA. He was highly acclaimed by music critics, fellow musicians, and many loyal fans (no easy fete). Soloman Burke never reached the same level of fame as soul performers like James Brown or Marvin Gaye, but he should have. However, legendary Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler once called Soloman Burke "the best soul singer of all time."

According to a 2002 interview with Philadelphia Weekly, Soloman Burke fathered 21 children (My Lord!) and has scores of grandchildren. He was living in Los Angelas at the time of his death.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Weekend Humor

Joe, a college student at Temple University, was taking a course in ornithology, the study of birds. The night before the biggest test of the semester, Joe spent all night studying. He had the textbook nearly memorized. He knew his class notes backward and forward. Joe was ready. Joe was on point!

The morning of the test, Joe entered the auditorium and took a seat in the front row. On the table in the front was a row of ten stuffed birds. Each bird had a sack covering its body, and only the legs were showing. When class started, the professor announced that the students were to identify each bird by looking at its legs and give its common name, species, habitat, mating habits, etc.

Joe looked at each of the birds' legs. They all looked the same to him. He started to get angry. He had stayed up all night studying for this test and now he had to identify birds by their LEGS? The more he thought about the situation, the angrier he got.

Finally, he reached his boiling point. He stood up, marched up to the professor's desk, crumpled up his exam paper and threw it on the desk. He told the professor, "What a ridiculous test! How could anyone tell the difference between these birds by looking at their legs? This exam is the biggest rip-off I've ever seen!"

With that, Joe turned and stormed toward the exit. The professor was a bit shocked, and it took him a moment to regain his composure. Then, just as Joe was about to walk out the door, the professor shouted out, "Wait a minute, young man, what's your name?"

Joe turned around, pulled up his pant legs and hollered, "You tell me, man... You tell me!"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bully 4 U

Facebook is not where I usually go to start a really serious discussion. I know that's where a lot of people go to start one, but I like to flesh my ideas out... that's why the way I talk on FB is a 360 degree difference from the way I talk on this blog. Some people only know me through FB and if they read this blog, they wouldn't recognize me. I keep it 99% smurfy and light-hearted on FB and to an extent, on my other two blogs too. But, this blog is the closest thing you're going to get to who I really am. Now, with that said, let me say this...

Today I posted a serious question on Facebook. I was halfway joking about this, but I asked how is it possible for a person to be cyber-bullied? I read an article (see, I do read) about all of these kids who committed suicide this past year over things people were saying to them on line and I just couldn't understand it. One of my FB friends, who is also a fellow blogger, said that these kids today are just soft... which is a position I myself took at first.

It took a young woman (I've known since she was about 11 years old) who has grown into a beautiful and intelligent mother, school teacher, and mentor to young children to set us both straight on this issue. She told me some things I didn't know. She said (and I'll quote her), "Keith, cyber-bullying is real. All of the lies posted on Facebook (Twitter, Skype, My Space, YouTube) and texts can make gossip travel faster than it ever could when we were young. Kids have taken cruelty to a new level. That's why schools have to be proactive. Now, people posts pictures they've doctored using Photoshop and all kinds of mess. Sticks and stones work for whatever you said in passing, but the cyber-bullying thing is bullying exponentially."

This was a whole new spin on it. I didn't think about the new technology and things kids have at their disposal now that I didn't have in the mid-1970's and early 1980s when I was in high school and college. People at that age are cruel anyway and with the new technology, I guess they have taken being an asshole to a whole notha level, just like she said. She also went on to say, "You remember getting dressed for gym? Now, you have to worry if someone snapped your photo on a camera phone and posted it somewhere or sent it to everyone in their address book. I talk to my kids about their technology use and what is and isn't appropriate. I understand what kids are capable of because I taught school. It's a brave new world!"

I thanked her on Facebook for her insights. I told my cousin's wife that this is why I ask questions when I don't know something... so I can find out things. In this case, I was glad to find out about this. I can't pretend to have an answer to just what you can do about this, but parents and teachers have to be there for the children they are responsible for, they have to believe them and, most importantly, do something about the situation.

In many of the cases where bullied kids have either killed themselves or come back to school with a gun and mowed down others, the kids often felt as though they were in a hopeless situation. No one was listening to them, no one was willing to go to bat for them. The bullies have to see that their foolishness will not be tolerated. The parents of a bully have to send this message... (In most cases, they won't because, after all, Little Johnny or Little Shaniqua is an angel.)

How many more Columbines will it take to bring this message home?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Notes On The Coming Primary

For a minute, you probably thought you landed on Good Foodie by mistake, didn't you? LOL! Well, as the November Primary gets closer and closer there are certain questions I keep asking myself and I hope you good people are asking them too. Questions like...

Are Americans stupid enough to elect a witch? Are Americans stupid enough to elect a former WWE steroid-using wrestler now CEO? Are Americans stupid enough to elect another CEO who admittedly hires illegal aliens... as well as a guy in Tennessee who says he wants to repeal the 1965 Civil Rights act... or a whole cast of characters who want to cut the (already) minimum wage? If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then we as a nation are in big, big trouble.

These are just a sampling of Republican/Tea Party backed candidates that are actually running for office next month. The inmates have finally escaped from the asylum and what's worse, they're being taken seriously. But how can they be?

According to pollster Mark Murray, "Democrats have cut in half the GOP's early-September advantage on the question of which party's candidates voters say they will support on November 2nd. They have also made small gains on the question of which party people trust to handle big issues, such as the economy and health care.

President Obama's approval rating has rebounded to where it was in July. But, despite these apparent signs of improvement, the new Post-ABC poll suggests that Democrats remain at a significant disadvantage. Among likely voters, Republicans hold a six-point edge, 49% to 43, on the congressional ballot.

At this time four years ago, Democrats led by 12 points. Then, Democrats also held a 19-point advantage when voters were asked which party they trusted to deal with the country's main problems. Wow, how fickle are the American voters? What a difference two years can make... this is a fast food, quick-fix generation. Americans are spoiled rotten and used to living a certain way. In fact, we arrogantly expect to live a certain way. Nobody has time to read, analyze, or truly understand a problem. So, likewise, nobody has anytime to see a plan work itself out either.

Mike Sargent of the New York Post wrote, "Forty-nine percent think the GOP would lead the country in a 'new direction,' versus only 43% who think the GOP would return to Bush policies. Apologies for repeating this, but the simple fact is that the GOP may have already achieved separation from the party of Bush that ran the economy into the ground. Voters may not be buying a core Dem message in the numbers Dems need."

Yes, but have they looked at some of the candidates the Republicans have put before them? Have they heard one solution the Republican Party has come up with to improve the economy and get people working again? I've been waiting and all I've seen them do is say "No!" and try to veto everything this president and the party in power has attempted to do. That's fine if you have a better idea... a plan... or even a clue. But, if all you have is anger and a lot of crazy agendas that don't begin to address the issues, that's clearly not improvemant... that's insanity!

They say people get the kind of government they deserve. If any of the clowns I mentioned gets elected to Congress, then we deserve the laughter, scorn, and disdain of the entire world. We as a nation don't deserve to say anything to the people of Iraq, Iran, or Afghanistan about "good government" because we don't even pay close attention to our own!

Monday, October 4, 2010

What I've Learned

1. Every barber I've ever had has been bald!

2. You can't be happy without ever being unhappy. How would you know the difference?

3. I've always liked my name... it was simple and easy to remember. It serves me well in social situations.

4. People who have money always say that it's not important. I've never heard a poor person say that money wasn't important!

5. I never learned anything when I was talking, only when I was listening!

6. My mother always said that "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar". I didn't understand that clearly until I was about 40 years old... that was around the time I mellowed some.

7. It's not the fall that kills you... it's that sudden stop. I've fallen from grace many times, but I've never stopped. At some point, I headed back towards the top of the heap!

8. I grew a moustache when I was 19 years so I could look older and get into bars/clubs and I've had it ever since... even though it has outlived it's usefulness!

9. A good marriage is loving someone in a lot of different circumstances.

10. Love is huge!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday Seven (7 Skills It Would Be Cool For A Man To Have)

1. Give A Great Massage: Forget that jive two-minute guilt-trip massage. She deserves a full forty-five minutes of pleasure. (Right Ladies?)

2. Be Able To Buy A Woman Clothing (besides lingerie): Come on, get your grown man on, learn her dress size... utilize that credit or atm card. She'll appreciate your attention to detail.

3. Console A Crying Woman: Being a gentleman means carrying a handkerchief, then approaching as if advancing on a wounded animal. There is definitely a seductive skill to being able to do this... ask Babyface and Brian Mcknight!

4. Console a Crying Baby: As a grandfather twice over, I've had plenty of practice at this one. First of all, don't get all bent out of shape. Accept that the baby's feelings are legitimate. The infant must perceive your empathy and calm and feel absolutely confident in it.

5. Look Damn Good In a Photograph: Find a photo of yourself you like (or that your wife or significant other likes) and study it. Notice the way you're holding your head and the way your body is positioned. Those are the angles that work for you. Work it, man!

6. Parallel Park A Car Like A Man, Damn It!: I must admit that this is why I had to take my driving exam multiple times before I finally passed it... but, it is a great skill to have. Parallel parking is 90% formula with just a little wiggle room for feel and flair.

7. Make A Decent Drink, Just For Her: It has been my experience that some ladies always know just what they want to drink. Others don't. Some want a suggestion, a surprise, something light and delicious and just for them. Something like the Rose Cocktail, a Parisian favorite from the 1920s that turns vermouth and dry cherry brandy into something very special indeed. (I saw James Bond order that for somebody in one of his movies. I've never had vermouth in my life!) Still being able to make your lady love a simple drink is a great skill to have.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Weekend Humor

Two men died and went to Heaven. St. Peter greeted them and said, "I'm sorry, guys... but your mansions aren't ready yet. Until they are, I can send you back to earth as whatever you want to be."

"Great!" said the first guy. "I want to be an eagle soaring above beautiful scenery!" "No problem", replied St. Peter and POOF! the guy was gone. "And what do you want to be?", St. Peter asked the other guy. "St. Pete, I'd like to be one cool stud!", the second guy replied. "Easy", replied St. Peter and POOF! the other guy was gone.

After a few months, their mansions were finished and St. Peter sent an angel to fetch them back. He told the angel, "You'll find them easily. One of them is soaring above the Grand Canyon and the other one is on a snow tire somewhere in West Philly."


"Mommy, can I go to Timmy's blog and play?"

Click on image to enlarge for reading

Click on image to enlarge for reading

Click on image to enlarge for reading