Monday, July 31, 2017

Another Army of Lovers ?

When Trump tweeted about his opposition to having transgender members of the military,
 initially I agreed with him.

But somewhere between Corporal Klinger and Joan of Arc there is an answer.

But this ain't my fight.
Not being a member of the LGBTIQ community - not being 'family' - I lack the understanding to comment on such issues.
And having never served in our military I'm doubly underqualified.

Sunday, July 30, 2017


Many place too much weight on the value of an IQ.
The truth is, one's IQ is not a definitive indicator of one's future success.

Think of and IQ test as one would view the results of an NFL combine.
Sure, one may test well on what has been determined to be desirable traits and skills but they may still be a flop when put into game situations while competing against equally talented players.

Think of Tom Brady.
His combine performance was so bad that the guy was taken with the 199th pick in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft.
Six quarterbacks were taken before him.
(The 199th pick? That's like getting taken after the girls and the handicapped kids at a schoolyard kickball game.)

Brady initially struggled in high school, college and in the NFL - often only gaining the starting role after the first string quarterback went down with an injury.
Brady needed a mentor to help him with his confidence at Michigan where he even considered transferring to California.

For an overachieving scrub he seems to have benefited from some coddling.
Luck also seems to have played a part in his success.
Being placed into systems which took advantage of his skillset also seems to be a factor.
Most importantly his drive and hard work were used to his advantage because he had some help along the way.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Just Turning Corners

I spent yesterday turning corners with the son of an ex.
The kid was mad because he pissed dirty at his newly acquired refinery job.
The kid is only 18 but he got hooked-up with a summer job that pays $25 an hour so that he could stack his war chest before beginning school if the fall.

We live in a low cost of living town and the kid still lives with his mom so $25 an hour, the ability to work overtime, having no real bills - he should have been mini-ballin'.
But the kid lost that because he wanted to smoke weed?

Apparently this happened a couple of weeks ago but the kid finally built up the courage to let me know.
I was kind of mad so I told him that he had to be my driver for the day.

We stopped at respectable homes, trap houses, nightclubs (during the day - before they were open) and the home of a regional drug lord.

Of all the places we'd been the kid was most impressed with the dope man.

The guy was not showy - he was almost humble.
I had to go to a back room to give advice on a situation so the kid was left in a front room with the guy's entourage.
They spoke to the kid about AAU basketball, video games and girls.
They ordered lunch for the kid and introduced him to anyone who passed through as 'John's son'.
When it was time to leave I told him to shake hands with everyone and to thank them for their hospitality.

After we left the kid asked how I could deal with those in the hood even though I don't look, speak or act 'hood'.
The thing is - those are the reasons that I am able to deal with situations.
I'm not a thug but I'm not a bitch - and those in the hood know this.

Before we left the house the dope man offered to give me a brick of weed for the kid - for free.
The kid's eyes widened - but I declined the gift.
Everyone apologised for the offer - one of his workers said, ' You know John's legit...'.
( I had to explain to the kid that even though it may be free today that it would cost me something down the road. And I don't rock with those dudes on that level)

We also stopped by a club that is being remodeled but it was vandalized.
Someone broke the liquor bottles, sliced the furniture and spray painted 'Fuck John' on the mirrors.
I was shown the damage and just laughed.

' Who would do this?', I asked.
 'Do they know who this club belongs to?', I continued.
I was told that the owners of the building had had the alarm system turned off the day before.
That they were currently in a battle to take the club back from the new tenants but they couldn't because as long as I'd been involved the tenant's profits enabled them to catch up on their lease payments.
'Don't worry - it's handled.' I was reassured.

I wasn't really worried.
It wasn't my club - I am just training and consulting.
But the investors in this club aren't those to take lightly.
'It's handled?', the kid asked.
'You didn't hear that. Not everything is your business.', I told him.
We finished our tour of the improvements and then bounced.

On our ride home through the ghetto the kid said, '12 o'clock' as he saw the flashing lights as we were pulled over by the po-po.
The kid's car smelled like someone had sprayed a whole can of Fabreeze.
I just gave him a look and told him to turn down the radio and to follow directions.

Apparently the kid had changed lanes without signaling and he wasn't wearing his seatbelt.
Back-up arrived and asked if we had drugs, guns or anything else we shouldn't have.
I just laughed and told them that we were just riding around talking.
I told them to handcuff us and to let their dogs sniff the car and that they didn't have to feel threatened.
'No, sir. That won't be necessary.', the officer said.

'Whats's up John?', another officer asked.
'Nothin', just riding around getting something to eat and trying to get this kid straight.' I replied.
' Man, can I get out. I don't want this other guy shooting me.', I said.
We made small talk about the heat, clubs and crime in the area.
The first officer warned the kid about his seatbelt and driving habits and left for another call.
After thanking the officers we left as well.

'Good thing you didn't accept that weed.', the kid said with his eyes still wide from being pulled over.
'Yeah, good thing...', I replied.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Detroit, Philadelphia and Chicago?

(Lions, Eagles and Bears through the years)

I'm scared to imagine what this most recent Gang of Three will accomplish.


(Scaramucci doing the Carlton)
How bad was Hillary Clinton that Trump was seen as the better option?
This administration is a hot mess with allegations of being shot with hot pee.
No one could even make this shit up.

Thursday, July 27, 2017


I was reading the posts of a blogger who has recently moved to an LA exurb and I became homesick.
No, not for the area as it is today
 but for certain parts of town as they once were. 

Back in the day LA was looked down on by well traveled friends.
And if LA was thought of as being filled with the uncultured heathens then my hometown of Riverside must have been seen as a Mayberry twin.

My hometown was in the middle of nowhere but it was also the center of everywhere.
Depending on direction one could be at the beach, in the desert, in the mountains or in the city in 45 minutes. (Development and traffic weren't as bad then.) Vegas was only a cheap 45 minute pre-911 flight away.

 To feel as though we were cooler than our schoolmates we'd often venture to South Coast Plaza or Fashion Island in the OC to shop for clothes and accessories we could not find in our town.
When we wanted to be really cool we'd head to LA..
The Third Street Promenade, Beverly Center (Back then the Beverly Center had America's first Hard Rock Cafe, the largest cineplex in the nation and tons of restaurants.), and Melrose.
Especially Melrose.

Billy Shire (top photo) owned what was probably the area's anchor
The Soap Plant, Wacko (Most night time scenes in movies of LA at the time featured his shop's neon signage.) and La Luz de Jesus were in the middle of everything in a two-story brightly decorated building next to the newsstand.

Melrose at the time was a mix of one-off (sometimes two-off) stores in an almost rundown part of town.
It was as though a group of people had ideas of stores but had no idea of how stores were supposed to be run.
But it worked.

The coolest part of walking Melrose was chilling with the old folks at the retirement home on their balconies while watching TV and the crowds.
It was odd - there was a retirement home right in the middle of what would become one of the coolest streets in America. Only on Melrose.

Like everything else that was once cutting-edge, Melrose has become a homogeneous blob of commercialization.
These days Melrose may as well be Universal Citywalk or Old Town Pasadena.

 Peter Shire is Billy's brother.

 Peter Shire is known for being a member of the Memphis design group from the 80's.
As well as his work with the 1984 Olympics.
As they say, 'Everything old is new again'.
The Shire brothers each have studios in the hometown Silver Lake and Echo Park areas.
Together with the Los Feliz area, this almost rundown part of town is seen as 'cool' by many.
With the Olympics coming back to Los Angeles maybe both of the Shire brothers can contribute to the current gentrification of the city in preparation.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

It's STILL Obamacare

 Trump acts as though he was left with a mess concerning Obamacare.
Sure, the current system does suck but it's his job to fix it.
That's what a President does.

In 1999 Trump proposed a 14.25% tax on the wealthy to pay for for a universal health care system.
In his 2000 book  The America We Deserve, Trump stated, '...I'm a conservative on most issues but a liberal on this one...', concerning a single-payer program.

By 2011 Trump had already seemed to shy away from his previous beliefs in a single-payer system in favor of a blended system which was pretty similar to the current Obamacare. He favored a universal 'market based' plan that would offer a range of options.

But in a 2015 exchange with Letterman, Trump cited Scotland's healthcare system as being ideal.
The thing is, Scotland has a well-funded single-payer system.

 Since 2006 the American Medical Association seems to have committed to a plan that would include coverage for all - including the support for the American Care Act in 2010.
It was one of the very few times the AMA had supported a universal healthcare plan since the American Association of Labor Legislation proposed a plan back in 1914.

When Rockefeller and other philanthropists proposed a plan - the AMA branded the concept as 'socialized medicine'.
When Henry Kaiser wanted to open his not-for-profit hospitals to the general public the AMA lobbied against it.
When Truman proposed universal healthcare, once again the AMA opposed the concept.
When the Johnson administration was implementing Medicare/Medicaid - the AMA lobbied against that as well.
Clintoncare? Nope. The AMA was against that too.

 Trump ran on the promise of being the outsider, the firebrand, the people's champ.
Trump said that he would fight against Wall St, cronyism and nepotism.
Trump was not supposed to be influenced by political insiders.
 But then something happened.
Trump seems to have failed his grammar school civic lessons in that he thinks that the Presidency is a dictatorship.
Trump doesn't seem to understand that the checks and balances are in place to protect our country from egomaniacs like himself.
The thing Trump should do is to acknowledge the difficulty Obama faced in passing the first real legislation regarding universal healthcare in almost fifty years.
Trump should give his predecessor props for using his social capital to lay the groundwork for a program that will ultimately end up being a single-payer plan for all.
Any new legislation improving upon the existing Obamacare will ultimately be seen as just another step forward, not as a whole new thing.

In the end Obamacare will be seen as a seminal turn in the way America covers its citizens' health.
And for that, Trump should be grateful.

Better Living Through Science

I guess it's time for me to make my tinfoil hat - as though it isn't already, technology is just getting crazy intrusive.

 In earlier generations, most Americans would probably refuse to have microchips placed in their hands or anywhere on their faces.
Most were familiar with the prevailing understanding of Revelation 13:16-18 and many would avoid any association with any type of Mark of the Beast.
Like having a 13th floor in a building - the number and it's meaning were to be avoided.
But in today's tech-savvy, apostate-filled world - few even notice.

Some European companies have used employee implanted microchips for years.
But now an American company is placing microchips in the hands of their employees - promising NOT to use the chip as a GPS tracking system.

Ummm, no.
I don't trust them.
Even Roomba maps your house and these maps are being shopped by iRobot to the likes of Apple, Amazon or Google. 

If that's not bad enough - facebook has plans to use your phone's camera to spy on you.
So, by using facebook you're giving them permission to spy on you using your device's camera... WHEN IT'S NOT EVEN TURNED ON?

And don't even get me started on Alexa and all of its spying capabilities.

I guess Kellyanne Conway wasn't too far off in her thinking that microwaves were used to spy on people.
It's a Brave New World.


Damn, how times have changed.
Or maybe very little has changed?

I remember when many whites were secure enough in their whiteness to not give a hoot about what non-whites (Really: non-white/male/Protestant/straight/...) thought of them.

A Black person talks trash? 'Shut up Nigger.', would be the reply.
A woman gets out of line? 'Shut up Bitch.', was the usual response.
A member of the LGBTQ community asserts him/herself? 'Go away fag/dike.', was the likely retort.
And so on and so forth.
These days it seems that many white males are searching for their own nationally recognized victim card.
When did the anchors of American society become so soft?
When did John Galt become Barney Fife?

Maybe it's just the way it is with this snowflake, participation-trophy generation.
Maybe some have been conditioned to think that they are somehow superior and special just because they were born.

I never knew that Negro Fatigue was a thing.
How can less than fifteen percent of the population ruin the lives of the majority population.
How can a people most whites have limited contact with be their primary source of woe?

I googled 'Negro Fatigue' and found the above images on a site which seems to blame some white men's lack of education, skill and 'game' on every group but their own.
I found complaints and comments from victims of the  niggerazation of America who claimed that '...we (white people) created everything good in the world but everyone else wants to take credit..'.
It's funny though - most of the 'We' crowd has never been more than an easily replaceable prole in Oceania who never actually created anything themselves.
Most use the 'We' in an effort associate themselves with white people who have actually had some sort of value or who have made some sort of difference (whether good or bad) throughout history.
In the words of Tyler Durden, ' You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. '.

But I get it.
You're life is miserable and you're a scrub and someone has to take the blame.
You see too many Blacks who - under the ideally hegemonic, meritocratic and capitalist system you created - are doing better than yourselves.
I get it.
Many of you feel obsolete in a world to which you failed to adapt.
Many of you are scared.

 Really, I understand.
You had to sit through decades of watching Tiger Woods plow through country clubs, the competition and white women while you worked your dull and low paying jobs only to come home to a wife you're no longer attracted to and kids who are a disappointment.

You had to not only watch a gay movie win the best picture Oscar but it had to be 'Blackback Mountain'!

Even the milquetoast ballet has seen the rise of Misty Copeland. (Not that many of you are even cultured enough to know anything about the ballet.)

And I know it hurt - it hurt real bad - when another Black woman (Kara McCullough) won the Miss USA pageant. And a conservative freethinking 'nucular' scientist at that.

But you still have Hockey.
And monster truck rallies,
And 'wraslin''...
Oh wait, never mind. I guess The Rock has crossed over to mainstream success too.

But you still have swimming.
Wait, damn it Simone Manuel....

Golf, swimming, tennis - what's left of the traditional country club sports?
I guess Serena Williams completes the hat-trick.

Simone. Biles.

But that was all just sports.
Black people can't have IQs higher than a 75.
There will never be a Black man who is seen as the face of science in America.
And Donald Trump has proven that  ANYONE can grow up to be POTUS.

I know you're sick of seeing the celebrity worship of Black entertainers in this country.

What could only be worse is seeing that the earliest known depictions of Christ show him a being a person of color.

I had no idea that even white nerds were apoplectic over finding out that Storm beat Wonder Woman.

All I want to know is - Where have all the REAL white men gone?
The ones who founded this country.
Those who were not victims?
Those who didn't take the credit for the things they didn't do
and who never felt the need to overstate even their smallest accomplishments?
I mean the real Christian white men who founded America to escape religious and cultural oppression from...
other white people.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Po-Po Just Scurred

Maybe they thought the woman had a gun,
Or was resisting arrest,
Or she had a rap sheet.
Maybe she was wearing a hoodie,
Or was selling loosies,
Or she was walking away.
Maybe she matched a description,
Or she was reaching for her ID,
(Was she even here legally?)
Or maybe she was just white and African immigrants are conditioned to be afraid of white immigrants for good reason.
Maybe if neither person was allowed to immigrate into our country none of this would have happened.

Last Weekend;
'You're all so calm.', a police officer said to me as we were clearing the road of debris after one of the club's doormen was hit by a hit and run driver.
The accident occurred a couple of miles from the club so we had enough people on hand to control the situation.

The guy walked to the back of a truck and laid down until the ambulance came.
We took pictures and texted them to the supervising officer upon his arrival.
We directed traffic around the accident site until the other officers arrived to make their report.

'Just thank you for being so calm.', the officer said as we were preparing to leave.
'What did you expect?', I asked.
'Oh, nothing. There are just so many of you guys.' he replied.
'No problem', I concluded as I shook his hand and went home.

Honestly, what did the officer expect us to do, riot?
I know that police officers have a stressful and demanding job but to me - most popo are just scared.

Mammies and Coons

I'm not hating on Steve Harvey - like all the other Coons, if that's what he chooses to do in order 'make it' then more power to him.

 What I'm hating is the acceptance and celebration of being an uneducated Black man who must Coon for a wider audience in order to be accepted.
What I'm hating is a nicca' who reinforces the white stereotypes of shuckin' and jivin' Blacks who 'know their place' as entertainers and nothing more.

Stepin Fetchit was was a sassy Negro who would never be described as being 'uppity'.

 From Uncle Remus to...
Steve Harvey - Blacks have always been accepted as long as they played the fool/clown or could entertain.
As long as a Black male is able to entertain he is never seen as a threat.

Why do you think people are afraid of clowns?
It just seems to me that clowns are modeled after minstrels with their over-exaggerated features.
Not at a distance, or as long they they remain where they belong - it's just that no one wants to actually have one in their every day presence.

Now, if I could just get say... Steve Harvey and Tyler Perry  and a few of their friends to recreate this scene from Dumbo I'd be a fan.

Most Malls Are Obsolete

 Back in the day, going to the mall was an event.
No, not that it was a big deal but in that it was the spot to be to meet friends, meet girls, see a movie and (most of the time) just to be seen.

During the heyday of mall culture most were pretty much the same as any other.
Most had a few anchor stores and lots of smaller local, regional and national shops.

 I lived in a developing suburb.
Our malls were not the destination models still thriving today.
Our malls catered to local tastes and local economies.

For 'better' goods and services we'd travel to the more upscale malls in the O.C. or in L.A..

 If we saved enough of our allowance, birthday money, lawnmowing/paper route/babysitting money and Christmas money we could shop at Buffum's (Now defunct.)
Buffum's  Had the requisite snob-appeal required to impress our friends out in the sticks.

Then there was Bullock's (also defunct)...
 and I Magnin (defunct).
If we shopped at these stores we were ballin'.

Sure, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and (later) Norstrom were around,
but they still exist.

Consolidation seemed like a good idea at the time but malls are losing anchors at an incredible clip.

How did Southern California lose its venerated Buffum's, Bullocks and I Magnin stores in favor of a failing Macys/Federated string of mergers and acquisitions?

I don't even shop at malls anymore - online is just easier.

Locally our store if choice was a regional chain named Harris'.
The original store was intended to be the anchor of a redevelopment project of the neighboring town of San Bernardino.
The brands were relatively high-end, the service was good and the female workers were more attractive than the surrounding population.
But being located in the gang and crime infested town of San Bernardino was more than the store could overcome.

A second store was built in neighboring Riverside in their new open-air mall.

The open-air concept and mix of stores was a hit and the mall prospered by catering to the needs of the local economy.

But then the 80's hit and competition from newer or expanded malls forced the mall owners to attempt a makeover.
The mall was enclosed to resemble the other malls in America.
The tacky styling of the era soon looked worn out and dated and the mall was on the verge of closure.

What else could the struggling mall do besides return to its roots as a local lifestyle center

(What's funny is that it's original Jetson's-style marquee from the fifties looks more modern than the new contemporary version.)

The mall is doing better now with its curated mix of tenants.
When I'm home I always seem to stop by the mall for lunch, a movie or just to be seen.

But one company seems to be on a roll.
Simon Property Group owns or operates five of the ten best performing malls in the country.
The company owns The Mills outlet malls and many destination properties throughout the country.

The mall concept itself isn't necessarily dead - it just seems as though the old standard way of doing things is.
Malls have to learn to keep updated in order not to become outdated.