Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Divider’s Game

Growing up, we’re each born and initiated into a given country, religion, gender and ethnic/racial group. Part of every initiation is the core belief that “our group” is the best. In short, we willingly and deliberately divide ourselves up, so for any of us to ask, “How did we get so divided,” comes off as either completely disingenuous, or hopelessly na├»ve.

NONE of those things are within any of our control. We didn't choose our nation of birth, or religion, race, or ethnicity, or gender.

The one true divider is “money,” or achievement.

Over a century ago, America’s first super-wealthy - the Rockefellers, Morgans and Rothschilds did see themselves as different...and decidedly apart from “the people.”

After all, achievement, like failure, is something we choose, or at least bring about by our own actions – both intentional and unintentional.

Unfortunately, achievement and the wealth and power it brings, doesn't generally bring along an affinity for others, quite the reverse. In virtually EVERY case, the initiators of great fortunes were themselves sharks, who fought their way to the apex of the achievement food chain. You might think they’d admire those they’d see as fellow sharks on the way up among the younger generation, but instead they universally fear, loathe and revile them, because they KNOW their own heirs don’t have the sharpened skills that adversity hones in a real shark. While they may have the genetics, they usually don’t have the environment conducive to forging a cut-throat shark.

John D. Rockefeller infamously said, “Competition is a sin.”

It’s views like that which forged our “modern” Corporatist world. In America, the “Robber Barons” (Rockefellers, Morgans, Carnegies, etc.) saw only one path to maintaining their fortunes going forward and it wasn't via the shark infested waters of the free market, at least not in their views. Their heirs weren't as savvy, nor as cut-throat as they were, so a new alliance had to be forged.

In the past religions had partnered with governments, forming Theocracies, in order to more easily both maintain the illusion of legitimacy (“the Divine Right of Kings”) and compel the people to obey.

In the “modern” era, where “commerce is king,” the new alliance became that between government and Corporations...that is exclusively large, multi-national Corporations.

In America that partnership began in earnest in 1913 with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act and the 16th Amendment. Since that time that alliance between “Big Business” (multi-national corporations) and government has only grown stronger.

From that alliance has sprung up a new and separate class in America – the political class and with a Corporately owned and controlled media, our mainstream media has been peopled almost entirely from the members of the political class. When leading politicians want to find jobs for their children, they’re often found in the media (Chris Cuomo, Jenna Bush, Chelsea Clinton and many others). Far more insidious is that political operatives, like George Stephanopoulos (a Dukakis campaign aide and later communications director for the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign of Bill Clinton) and Chris Matthews (a Jimmy Carter speech writer and staff member of at least 4 Congressmen) move back and forth between the media and the political world. Moreover, many of the News Directors in the U.S. media flow easily back and forth between media and various political jobs.

The media plays a vital part in hiding our Corporatist government, first by constantly referring to our current and ongoing economic Corporatism, or “Crony Capitalism” as pure Capitalism and perhaps more importantly continuing the lie that “America’s political class springs up from ‘the people’ just like you and me.”

But what the media does that is most vital is to divide the people, or more aptly to deepen, darken and exploit those divisions to the benefit of the political class and their corporate benefactors.

The easiest division to exploit is the most obvious in America, its black/white fault line. Blacks generally don’t trust whites and vice versa. It often appears that they exist in two separate realities and thanks, in part, to media manipulation they DO!

Take just two recent national stories that centered around race, the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida, and the Michael Brown killing in Missouri. In both shootings the media presented TO very different stories – one to blacks and another to whites.

The black version of the Trayvon Martin shooting portrayed Trayvon Martin as a 12 y/o...a picture of him at age 12 was widely used by the media...who was followed and viciously confronted by a white neighborhood watch member, George Zimmerman...who just happened to be Hispanic. In this version Trayvon Martin was executed in cold blood by a racist white authority figure, for doing nothing more than “walking while black.”

In the white version, diligent neighborhood watch Captain, George Zimmerman (who also happened to be an unstable “cop wannabe”), happened upon Trayvon Martin (a troubled 17 y/o with a history of petty burglaries) lurking between two residences within the gated community, the way a would-be burglar might case out a target. In this version, Zimmerman calls the police to report this behavior and is asked by police dispatch what address the suspect is at and George Zimmerman gets out of his car to verify the address and is viciously attacked by Trayvon Martin on his way back to his car. Trayvon Martin is shot, according to this version, as he struggles for Zimmerman’s gun.

Two such conflicting accounts that become gospel in their respective communities not only deepens already existing divisions, but creates a cavernous gulf between blacks and whites, to the point that rational dialogue between the two groups is almost impossible. Blacks are indignant that whites seem to “be justifying the execution of a 17 y/o black youth,” and whites perceive blacks to be “supporting a black kid’s right to assault a man for merely following him over some obviously suspicious behavior.” Both sides see THEIR perceptions as ironclad and right and thus see the other side as both hateful and immoral.

Likewise, in the Michael Brown shooting, there were TWO very different and distinct stories told by the media – one to blacks and one to whites. In the version geared toward blacks, Michael Brown was walking down the street with his friend Dorian Johnson, when white police officer, Darren Wilson, came upon them cussed them and tried to drag Brown into his police cruiser. When he couldn’t do that, according to Dorian Johnson, he then shot a fleeing Brown in the back, then executed him as the youth turned around with his hands up, in a sign of surrender.

In the white version, Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson had just engaged in a petty (under $50 in value) “strong-arm robbery” at a local convenience store (making off with a bunch of cigarillos). Officer Darren Wilson approaches the two teens as they saunter down the center of a well-trafficked thoroughfare and orders them both onto the sidewalk. Dorian Johnson complies, but the far larger Mike Brown does not and as Wilson opens his car door to exit, the 290 pound Michael Brown charges the police cruiser, pinning Wilson inside, then punches the officer in the face and struggles for his gun. Two shots are fired from inside the car and one of them hits Michael Brown in the hand. Wilson gets out of the car with his weapon drawn and orders Brown to the ground and when Brown responds by charging him shoots him until he goes down.

In BOTH versions any belief in the other narrative is not only inconsistent, but outrageously immoral. From the “black perspective,” the white narrative “justifies a racist white cop executing a scared black teen trying to surrender.” From the “white perspective” the black narrative “rationalizes black lawlessness and a potentially deadly assault on a police officer.” There is no common ground between the two versions, nor between those with a vested interest in either scenario.

Grand Juries are tasked with the unenviable task of sorting out the facts. In the Trayvon Martin case, Zimmerman’s injuries were consistent with his version of being attacked and having his head bashed against the sidewalk, while Trayvon Martin’s body had no other injuries (consistent with being attacked) other than a single gunshot wound to the chest. IF Zimmerman was the mad dog bigot he was accused of being, this would’ve been more of a “crime of passion,” with multiple gunshot wounds, etc. brought on by rage.

In that case, as flawed an individual as Zimmerman was, the facts in that particular case seemed to back up Zimmerman’s story more than that of the narrative that presented Martin as a victim of a racist execution, and George Zimmerman was cleared of the charges.

In the Michael Brown case, the autopsy showed no bullets entered Mike Brown’s back, so witness accounts like Dorian Johnson’s (who claimed that Wilson shot Brown in the back) must be dismissed. The two shots fired inside the car also tend to back up Wilson’s narrative about being attacked inside his vehicle. Moreover, Dorian Johnson, who complied with the officer’s lawful directive to get out of the street, was unharmed. Had Darren Wilson been a rogue racist, you’d think he’d have killed them both. Again, the Grand Jury clears the shooter, but the two different and distinct narratives live on and that means that those vested in “the black narrative” feel that the system let them down. Anger and division are exponentially increased and the reaction of skeptical whites who see nothing but immorality and racial bigotry in the black narrative, only increases the alienation and divisions between the two groups.

And the WINNER is...the political class and their corporate masters.

If you’re not part of the political class, or a titan of industry or a major Banker, you are part of the rabble...“the people.” The poor, both black and white are dispossessed. In fact, poor whites (72% of the poor) are even more dispossessed because they are mostly rural and unseen. Unlike the black poor, they have no champions in government, the media nor in corporate suites.

In both the above incidents George Zimmerman and Darren Wilson were merely working class people who became engaged in situations that quickly spiraled out of control into life and death struggles.

Ultimately their real crime was survival.

In both cases four lives were ruined, two men killed and two men’s lives completely destroyed. None of that matters to the political class because none of the four matter at all to the “elites.”

Most importantly, for the political class, the people remain divided and distracted. That allows them...the REAL go on exploiting and abusing the rest of us.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

CNN’s VERY Mixed Messages on Race and Crime

Don Lemon

Carol Costello

Ashley Banfield

Is it me, or has CNN cynically played the subject of “race in America,” both ways?

In both the Trayvon Martin and the Michael Brown shootings, they (almost certainly deliberately) failed to make an affirmative argument in favor of either racial profiling, OR murder in either case, while at the same time, many CNN hosts seemed to exhibit a rooting interest in the cases.

In the Brown case, in particular, CNN seemed to buy into Brown’s assaulting Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson from the start. Nothing at all wrong with that, as that’s almost certainly what happened, but then commentators from Erin Burnett, to Brooke Baldwin to Carol Costello, to Ashley Banfield and Don Lemon than cynically played the story both ways.

There’s something wrong with a station seemingly undermining its own official meme (IF indeed “a crisis of black victimization” is truly their meme), by constantly trumpeting America’s wildly disproportionate violent crime stats. I can’t even count the number of times I've heard CNN anchors talk about how 6% of the population (black males) commit at least 50% of the murders nationwide. Such stats certainly DO seem to make the case for greater police scrutiny and a greater chance of such catastrophic encounters with law enforcement.

Why else pick such terrible cases to make their case for “black victimization”? Apparently Trayvon Martin attacked George Zimmerman and tried to wrest the local “community watch captain’s” gun from him, and it now seems all but certain that Michael Brown charged Officer Wilson’s cruiser, pummeled the cop and struggled for that police officer’s gun! Those are hardly incidents of “black victimization,” in fact, they seem much more like examples of blacks victimizing others!

On Staten Island (my home town) Eric Garner was killed while non-violently resisting arrest, this past July (, and more recently, a rookie police officer in the NYPD (Peter Liang) apparently had his finger on the trigger of his gun while patrolling a housing project's stairwell and killed 28 y/o Akai Gurley with a single gunshot that ricocheted off a wall.

BOTH of these cases seem to be much stronger cases, with much better chances of a determination of some degree of police misconduct.

So, WHY does CNN continually do this? Using such poor cases to advance an alleged agenda, other than to deliberately undermine an agenda they themselves don’t really believe in? If that's truly the case, than THAT is sickeningly cynical.

The fact is, in the United States, all citizens are legally bound to comply with ALL police directives. If a cop orders you off the street, non-compliance WILL and SHOULD result in an arrest. There is NO right to confront, debate or otherwise contest police action in the streets. The courts exist to adjudicate (judge), the police exist ONLY to enforce the law.

The minute a police officer says the words, “You are under arrest,” you are ALREADY under arrest. Merely backing away and proclaiming, “I didn’t do anything” (even if true) is a crime - RESISTING ARREST. Just pushing a cops hands away as he tries to handcuff you is “ASSAULTING a POLICE OFFICER.”

Again, there is NO right to negotiate in the street. Police merely enforce the laws. The COURTS adjudicate charges and determine guilt or innocence.

In the Michael Brown case, there’s virtually NO DOUBT that Michael Brown assaulted a cop (Darren Wilson), actually struggling with that cop for his gun. A New York State cop was murdered with his own gun by an "unarmed" man just 4 months prior to the Mike Brown shooting ( and yet some misguided and misinformed media people act as though that can't happen!

At any rate, that struggle (inside that police cruiser) amounted to attempted murder. Sadly, for him and his family, Michael Brown got exactly what he deserved.

One of the refrains throughout these protests is the “lack of respect” police exhibit...I suppose like Officer Wilson telling Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson to “Get the f*ck outta the street,” as they sauntered down the center of a busy thoroughfare, and sentiments about “our servants shouldn't be pushing us around.” The police are NOT any individual’s servants. They SERVE the LAW...they serve the greater society at large.

I and others like me (very probably Carol Costello, Ashley Banfield, Don Lemon and Erin Burnett) WANT the police to enforce the laws and we revile citizens who’d do anything we wouldn't challenging, or confronting a police officer, or actively resisting arrest.

On the one hand, I DO commend CNN for NOT hiding the widely disparate violent crime rates in America (black males, appx. 6% of the population commit nearly 50% of all homicides in America), HOWEVER, I deride them for failing to even attempt to make a credible argument in favor of blacks being abused, or disproportionately singled out for criminal investigation by law enforcement.

Doesn't CNN have the responsibility to at least make an attempt to defend a meme they purport to advance?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Most Cowardly Bigots of All Are White “Progressives”

Lois Lerner of "IRS Targeting" Infamy

Way back in 1881 when James Abram Garfield (“The last of the log cabin Presidents”) was assassinated by a disgruntled job seeker (Charles Guiteau), the Civil Service reform movement began in earnest.

The scrapping of the various old patronage systems and replacing them with “the modern Civil Service Merit System,” took decades and was vehemently opposed from virtually every locally elected official from shore to shore. After all, the patronage mills were one of the most effective means of building a base and rewarding political fealty. Police Departments, Fire Departments and Public schools were filled with Civil Servants of “the right political affiliation for that locale. In some cases, the varied Civil Servants were expected to “kick back” 1% or more of their annual salaries to the Party...more or less, as tribute.

Civil Service Reform was about as popular with politicians as was Paden’s (Kevin Kline’s character) returning to town was with Cobb (Brian Dennehy) the sheriff in Silverado.

Ever since, politicians of every stripe have sought ways around the “Merit System,” ways of getting those they favor into jobs and those they don’t...out. In New York City it began with the much reviled “1-in-3” rule, where the city could take any candidates among the next three highest scores. It was sparingly before the 1970s, but used extensively for the first time in the 1971 FDNY Entrance Exam, in which 1 of every 3 new hires had to be either black or Hispanic.

No politician has sought to rein in such abuses of the Merit System, not Ed Koch, not Rudy Giuliani, not even billionaire Mike Bloomberg.

Worse yet, the most cowardly bigots have been white so-called “progressives,” who’ve championed lowering, even eliminating some basic standards in the name of “diversity,” specifically “to get more blacks and females on these jobs.” In other words, these “progressive” whites (mostly white males) have thrown blacks and women under the proverbial bus to further a completely unrelated agenda...scuttling the Merit System by eliminating standards-based “merit.” In short, they have pushed forward the idea of “presumed incompetence of blacks” (“African-Americans just can’t compete with other groups on such standardized exams”) and the physical incapacity of females instead of recruiting members of those groups (perhaps from military installations, etc.) who COULD compete effectively for those jobs.

Apparently even supporting and espousing such vile, petty bigotries are justified to advance an agenda they see as critical.

I have been directly involved in a group (Merit Matters) that has fought to preserve the Civil Service Merit System and basic standards since that group was formed back in 2009. This endorsing and espousing of blatant bigotry is neither new, nor is very much deliberate and it shows just how little white male “progressives” care about the dignity of those they claim to champion.

In the FDNY, Tyrone Hughes, an attorney on its Department of Investigations and Trials is one of those leaned upon to push that bigotry...that “basic written standards ‘discriminate’ against blacks and basic physical standards ‘discriminate’ against females,” while steadfastly denying that it is bigotry behind their labeling certain groups non-competitive (incompetent). In fact, they loudly claim that those opposed to that bigotry are the actual bigots.

Tyrone Hughes is a pawn, like Lois Lerner was at the IRS. Neither has ever made actual arguments for the views they put into practice because neither one has often been challenged to do so. It’s also highly unlikely that either of them actually believes in, nor fully understands the views behind what they enforce, because, quite simply, they don’t need to understand. They are easily replaceable. Lois Lerner was very quickly replaced by the IRS. And that’s what is truly sad, even after THEY are thrown under the bus by those who’ve used them as pawns, they refuse to come forward and “give up,” or expose those who’ve directed their actions. Perhaps their pensions are held hostage. Who knows? But whatever the collateral being used, it’s been reliably effective, which is lucky for the real bigots who continue to hide in the slime.

On Image and Reality

I used to think of myself as “a throwback.” Some kind of “blue collar, traditional, parochial, working class hero” kind of guy, but I was never that, especially those times when I most thought of myself that way.

For one thing I didn't merely “not connect” with people, I just didn't connect with much of anything...with “god,” or country,” or anything else. I didn't believe what others believed. I didn't even believe the things I often felt I needed to pretend to believe, in order to keep from standing out like a sore thumb...or a rotting fish in a florist shop.

For one thing, I always KNEW...I just didn't merely believe, I KNEW that women were as dangerous as men, even more so, on account of men not believing women could be dangerous, nor even get mad, or shit or piss. A LOT of men...very capable men of the past held an idealized doll’s image of women, which is, of course, completely at odds with reality. Women are HUMAN, after all, so they piss and shit…and get mad.

Not to say there aren't pronounced “gender differences,” there are...BUT those differences don’t make women any less dangerous, in fact, their stealth or indirectness, has made many female crimes harder to detect. Just as “only a male” would climb up on a bell tower and randomly shoot a bunch of College students because he got “mad at the world,” it’s just as true that “only a woman” could poison her husband by putting ethylene glycol (which used to be the primary ingredient in antifreeze) and watch the poor schlub slowly croak in front of her.

I wasn't the only one who saw this, and I was far from the first. Hell radio raconteur Gene Shepherd (famous for authoring and narrating A Christmas Story) once remarked about this very topic…back in the early 1960's when he recalled talking to a cop friend, a detective from Chicago and asking the detective, “What do you guys look for when you come across someone cut up into 408 small pieces? I mean I guess you must start lookin’ for a mad man,” to which his detective friend allegedly replied, “No, in those kinds of cases we actually first start looking for a mad woman, because it takes a great deal of emotional attachment to engender that kind of rage.”

As Shepherd wryly noted, “In other words, Lizzie Borden was no fluke, friends.”

But for eons women have been exempted from labor…that is, work, or labor OUTSIDE the home, because society AND men valued that contribution that highly.

Women weren't barred from work, there were always women who worked outside the paternal grandmother, born around the turn of the last century, nearly all her life. The 1950s American woman was best portrayed by “Alice” on The Honeymooners, then by Jane Wyatt (Father Knows Best) or Barbara Billingsley (Leave it to Beaver).

Some of the idealistic views men had about women created unreasonable expectations for women and boxed them into confined spaces, but they did that for males as well.

The rejection of that traditional mindset has had some humorous and disastrous consequences. Women are not as capable as fighters, so they are not very effective street cops, firefighters or combat troops. Is there a very small percentage of women who CAN do those jobs?

Yes, but that number is very small (low single digits probably) and the number of those women who WANT to do those jobs is even smaller.

Hell, the difference between male and female military personnel is the difference between Robert Hansen (“the Butcher Baker” – a serial killer in Alaska) and Andrea Yates (the mother who murdered her five children in Harris County, within Houston, TX).

Recent videos that have gone viral that purport to show “outrages against women,” like “10 Hours of Walking the Streets of New York as a Woman” the now infamous “F Train SLAP” really just clearly demonstrate that females are NOT built or conditioned for confrontation.

Seriously, if you’re offended by remarks like “God bless you, have a nice day,” and “You’re beautiful,” and if you’re unable to physically back up your initial assault with a weapon (a stiletto heel, in the F Train attack), you have no business even thinking about doing Police work, firefighting or any other “Death Professions,” because they’re going to be “just too hard” for people of that ilk.

In the past society held to the view that women for making and running the home, rearing children, etc. deserved an exalted status and an exemption from the daily indignities and abuses that men who worked the “death professions” regularly dealt with, but in a world of stay-at-home Dads, and women who willingly confront and physically challenge men ( such a status, such chivalry quickly becomes quaint and antiquated.

We live in a drastically changing world, not only has religion lost influence as Theism (the partnership between religion and government) has been replaced by Corporatism (the partnership between Corporations and government), but the definition of the family, the male/female dynamic and the very nature of work are all changing rapidly.

While the economic dislocation has left millions adrift without meaningful full time work, tens of thousands have forged ways to forge income from home, whether by becoming professional sellers on EBay, Amazon and other retail sites (some have even started their own small outlet sites), doing bookkeeping, and providing other such services online and/or doing consulting work.

The things have already changed radically. That was probably inevitable. Things will almost certainly change even more drastically down the road in ways we probably can’t even fully conceive of now, but it’s more vital than ever to maintain a clear picture of what we gave up...even if it’s what we HAD to give up, to get to a “better place.”

It was NOT a terrible world. It WAS a simpler time, in some respects, and at least in some people’s minds, a better time. It can be argued that, “It had to be derided in order to make giving it up that much more palatable,” but we’re past all that now. That way of life is gone and gone for good and we NEED to be open to seeing both its good and bad aspects.

NY Penal Code 512.34.C; “When Da Bithch Steps Up, I’m Smackin’ Da Ho!”

...And RIGHTLY so!

Chivalry ain't exactly dead, but like organized religion, its influence is definitely ebbing.

This week, 25 y/o Jorge Pena, a 6’6” bouncer was cleared of all charges for slapping a woman who struck him with the heel of her stiletto shoe…and in my view, RIGHTLY SO!

THIS is what real “gender equality” looks like;

After sorting out the combatants, Pena was cleared of all charges, as they were judged “self defense, while his attacker, the inebriated Danay Howard was ultimately charged with assault; ( and

This isn’t the first time a male has been cleared by way of self-defense, against a female attacker. Perhaps one of the more famous and hilarious cases was “The McBeatdown” that occurred in a Greenwich Village McDonalds back in 2011; Look at the sick, twisted reaction of the howling blonde woman! She didn’t have a problem with the two skanks jumping the counter to attack the McDonald’s worker “like a man,” she just had a BIG  problem with them getting their asses beat. Somebody should’ve stuck a fist in her mouth and shut her up.

Personally, I think NYC’s penal code is absolutely correct in treating a female attacker “like a man.” House a Pain was right when they belted out one of my favorite songs  from back in the day; “I’ll serve it out like John McEnroe, If your girl steps up, I’m smacking the ho.” True poets with a real modern-day message.

Better learn to duck home girl, or you’re gonna get least in NYC ya will!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

“So Goes Obama, So Goes MSNBC?” Not Exactly…

Upside down WHAT'S NEW?

Quietly, even stealthily, MSNBC’s ratings have nose-dived from there already low perch. Some in the media have even suggested that they are in “free fall.”

The Washington Post’s Eric Wemple recently suggested the “So goes Obama, so goes MSNBC”theory, but that doesn’t hold water. Even when President was riding high, with an approval rating of 53% after his win over Romney in 2012, MSNBC was mired in 3rd place among cable newsers, behind FNC & CNN.

The median age of the MSNBC viewer has also ticked upward. Five years ago it was 58; now it is 61. Yes, the hippies are getting older. In the first quarter of 2009, MSNBC averaged 392,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic for its weeknight lineup. In the third quarter of this year, the number was down to 125,000. FNC leads in this vital demographic, despite having the oldest average listening audience of the three...such is the size of FNC’s lead over its competitors.

Even under its previous management (Jeff Imelt’s GE), MSNBC was the “hate-America’s” network of choice, the place for those who firmly believe that the USA is the source of all the evils of the world...the problem is that there just aren’t all that many of them, certainly not enough to make a huge audience of!

Worse still, there “journalistic” standards, never very high to begin with (think Keith Olbermann and Ed Schultz), set new lows when they took on Melissa Harris-Perry (famous for wearing tampon earrings on her show) and Al Sharpton...the black equivalent of David Duke....WAIT! Apologies may have to be made to David Duke. After all, Mr. Duke never pushed criminal charges he knew to be false against law enforcement officials, the way Sharpton did in the Tawana Brawley hoax and David Duke has never been associated with a mass murder the way Al Sharpton forever is with the “Freddie’s Fashion Mart Massacre” in Harlem! Perhaps Tom Metzger (leader of the Aryan Nation) would be a more apt comparison.

Sharpton has sought to compensate for his complete lack of journalistic skills by taking to, in effect, covering his own causes and rallies as “news” stories.

No, Obama’s poor approval ratings are NOT what ails MSNBC, some spectacularly poor choices, like Harris-Perry and Sharpton very much ARE!

Melissa Harris-Perry donning tampon earrings
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