Click to get on our mailing list for notices of
Also from BenQQ
Evocative Photography by BenQQ!
Photography and videography
The Country Cat Family series of childrens picture books. Fantastic picture book life lessons from a real country cat family--being respectful to others, keeping promises and learning for the future.
Custom and Gift Art Magnets and Picto-Haiku of the same media. All metal and magnetized as well as mylar wrapped to make your art really "pop," these classy customised memory jewels keeps friends, customers, clients and patients in touch with you and your business just about forever. Better than any purchased media for long term impact. Get free art as well as a tip sheet for best ways to put your custom art magnets to work for you. As low as 1.99 ea and lower for large orders. myartmagnets.com -- images from Benqq. Check this space periodically for frequent image additions to art magnet collection.
We also do standard art and issue pieces. Can we design one for you? Here's a sample: Voltaire Free Speech Art Magnet--give it to everyone you know. Get it here.
HYPNOGOGUE the Fifth Cycle
Like a scary read? Try this one. HYPNOGOGUE The Fifth Cycle
Like your horror prophetic with a touch of southern demonic treacle? Here comes a novel, the first in a series, about a Memphis newspaper reporter who discovers he just can't escape a devilish past of the old South.
Order today at the links below.
What's Doin' Memphis?! (WDM sample)
a multi-media series to document
life in Memphis. Free with photo coverage of your event. Let us know about your future events. Ongoing: a photo book about Memphis. Contact us to be in it.
Professional and flexible art and certificate hanging in homes and offices without damage to walls. Certified.
Communications and Production Services
print and digital design, targeted campaigns and tools, Web pages, video, copy and
Please email us for new post announcements.
How to respond: you can email us directly. Your email may be posted under your name unless you indicate otherwise. We're also glad to take suggestions, tips, links and editorial proposals.
General bio here.
Memphispixnews.com is a part of Todd Holding Group, Inc., a Wyoming corp.
Demise of a Park cont. from far right 2 col>>
Regardless the flying golf balls and periodic roaming off road vehicles, the park buildings themselves are lawsuits waiting to happen. A rusty security door is ripped open above.
Another door on the same building is broken open to reveal a way to the roof and a perfect secret room for whatever purposes.
From Demise of a Park far right 2 col>>
Artistic rendering of a Blessing of the Animals beneficiary
(10.11.16) Among the things you could have done on a perfect Sunday afternoon past was watch animals receive their blessing officiated by the Mullins United Methodist Church in Memphis. They, the animals that is, seemed to enjoy the ceremony as much as their human companions.
Images of Blessing of the Animals event
It was St Thomas of Assisi, Roman Catholic patron saint of animals, who is usually credited for starting the whole thing sometime between 1210-15. Story has it that he was dejected and in the throes of self-doubt until he saw sparrows on his walk. He began preaching to them and started the whole "talking to the animals" thing right there. Hence, the celebration is on Feast Day of St. Francis on or about Oct. 4.
There was a lot of talking to the animals in Avon Park Sunday as about three dozen church and community members congregated with their pets, mostly dogs, but there was one lizard and cats did not even attend. (The only way I could see cats receiving a benediction was to drive by in a car, as one church offered.)
Understanding and communing with animals has a fairly recognized role in religious life. However, with the animal blessing what used to be a fairly internal event for participating churches and synagogues has taken on underlying meanings. Though not to infer any political messaging here, the event kept suggesting to me we now live in a period of greater awareness of animals and even species. Call it spirtual, political, naturalist, or various shades between.
Perhaps no recent cultural phenom is more symbolic of that than the outrage over the shooting of Cecil the Lion. (That massively reported event ironically reportedly forced Zimbabwe to shoot 200 to cull the population decimating small game.) More broadly, the popular awareness of the waning of species, animal protection and even "rights" movements all overlaid by BP style eco disasters and the global warming debate seem to make the little celebration of animals in Memphis not so local. (Here a former mayor and senate candidate lost because, as I wrote then, he raised ire by mocking the city's new animal shelter.)
However, the tradition got started in ancient Judaism, according to this writer, who cites a spring ceremony often performed on the seventh day of Passover celebrating "the Hebrews’ (and their animals’) emancipation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,000 years ago."
Left: Church member, his dog with officials and Rev. Ken Stewart, right.
My reasons don't have the immediate gut punch as a Benghazi or private email server that easily let hackers in. Mine sift up from what is known elsewhere as the "preponderance of evidence" or "macro-evidence." They leap out when you read quietly between the lines or listen to what's not said. You cannot escape them, even amid the pointless and noisy.
1) The culture of credentials. A vote for Clinton continues the culture of "let the professionals handle it" or what I call "credentialism." Americans instinctively know better. Professionals of the political ilk gave us Vietnam and Obamacare, to name too few. They had and have self-validating credentials out their ears. However, these credentialed geniuses made gargantuan blunders. In the end credentials did little to make the big things right. Watch out for these types of "leaders." Hillary is one. She is a follower of Obama no matter how she and husband now try to sequester her from him. When Hillary says she has the best qualifications, know she is talking about a certain set of credentials that she presents as a commonly accepted ethos.
2) The loss or lack of use of political will. Clinton's ultra contempo ethos (which has been around since the creation of nation-state) has robbed us, even aims to make us feel good about, the loss of our own political free will. (BTW, this is closely related to the lack of privacy and the government's constant encroachment therein as well.) The prevailing assumption is we've relinquished political, as well as personal, free will to the likes of ivy league know-it-alls ensconced in institutional media, government and big business. All three bathe us in messages that are good for them. Need I mention one of Obmacare's main authors, Jonathan ("stupidity of the American voter") Gruber, who admitted to writing the ACA purposely confusing. Yet we were told condescendingly and insufferably enough that we had to have it, it was the only answer and you were somehow deficient if you wanted to think about it. The height of their cynicism notwithstanding, how is it that we have a government, let alone media, that thinks obfuscation is the right thing to do?
The loss of free will relieves us of owning our our own decisions. Consequently, easier to let the professionals handle it--the global corporate elitists, lifelong local politicians that have no fear of losing elections no matter how venal, ambitious and/or dumb.
Now, what does that do? Among other things, it creates a...
3) Fear of Risk. Fear of risk is bad, not good. We fear we're not good enough, not smart enough, not hip enough to make our own decisions, that somehow big biz, big media and big gov have the same interests as we do. Not. They want us to fear everything from Donald Trump to the weather. A fearful populace is a docile electorate. Thanks to Hillary and the last eight years of Obama, now we fear even ourselves. Blame this one on two things: media hysteria, largely in the bag for Obama/Clinton and our refusal to know about our own history. Fear of risk immobilizes us and pushes us back from the edge. We need to return to that edge, look over it and decide if we are going to let fear dominate our every decision. Granted, that idea alone is fearful.
The culture of credentials, the manipulative exploitation of the fear and the decreasing exercise of free will is the essence of both Clinton and Obama.
I believe Trump is in fact one directive answer, but not the final answer. He is the beginning of change. Clinton's constant manipulation of fear, credentials and theft of free will only lead to further stasis and erosion of common rights.
FB, Twit or email
(9.22.16) Memphis, home of the blues, Elvis and wet BBQ. Now, the biggest home of the real estate flip, according to the Q2 2016 U.S. Home Flipping Report, released by ATTOM Data Solutions. With cheap housing and a large rental market, investors from all over the world eye Memphis as a way to make a killing in buying real estate property, then flipping it into rentals.That's what flipping means: buy low and flip to higher value.
However, one real estate appraiser thinks they are driving up prices and contributing to the flood of abandoned properties throughout the city.
Most of these sales come from purchasers working the "inside," that is, real estate agents, management companies and buyers aiming for the quick profit.
"Management companies flip within their own ring of investors. They maintain a roster of flippers they flip to. The management companies maintain the the rental unit--and the result is higher pricing, higher values and higher rents," says the long time Memphis real estate appraiser.
"They maintains them artifically high until the market collapses. You can't afford to pay $1200 a month to rent a house here. But if you're from California, New York or China you think the pricing is fantastic but the properties you are buying are often overpriced."
This RE appraiser is not a fan of flipping. "You can always trace it to a repeat loan agents, real estate agents, and management companies. They are repeat offenders."
Eventually the whole system collapses, "which it always does because the values are inflated and not supported by the true market values. This is the bubble that happened in 2006-08 and at that time Memphis had the highest foreclosure rate in America. Now, we have the highest flipping rate."
That's why this RE appraiser has a rosy picture of the future. "This is a ghost market. We are going to face the bubble very soon and worse this time. Banks are making big loans still. They make their profit off interest points and escrow, then they sell it off in packages to other people. Worthless paper all over priced and not secured. Used to be the rule of thumb for non-owner occupied was 30% down. Now nothing down."
The appraiser concludes: "Finally, what does a buyer do when he can't make money with rentals for an overpriced unit? He walks."
What does that do? Leaves neighborhoods abandoned with empty properties.
(7.22.16) I watched a lot of the RNC--and the first thing noticeable was the Black Lives Matter movement was absent from the streets. Perhaps many of the BLM activists didn't want to be associated in any way with the recent massacres of policemen. Perhaps the professional commie organizers that I suspect are behind the movement thought the recent police massacres undermined their message. Mabybe that's giving them too much credit. Maybe it was just the heat. So much for weather warriors. But let's wait and see, the Dems are ready to skewer Trump head to toe at their turn coming up and we'll see if their rhetoric stirs up the misquided mob yet again.
Now comes a new study.
Roland G. Fryer's study, as reported by the Washington Post, shows blacks and Hispanics are more likely to get abused--from getting beat up to on the spot detainment--by police racially biased toward them. Not all police, but a significant part. And, because of subjectivity of police reports, the study didn't take in all the variables like dangerous conditions and characterization of suspect behaviors.
The study made the scene soon before Donald Trump called himself the "law and order candidate."
But because media hardly ever see the daily interactions of police with people of any color, including whites, law enforcement acted usually out of general sight. Its taken a few years, but now things have changed. With everybody having a cell phone camera, police have generally accepted, but not after legal battles and threats to the recorder, of being recorded. Police gave up their opposition to public cameras recording them when they themselves adopted the use of body cameras, as well.
People who had never had any negative interactions with the police, now saw nothing short of video of police at best over reacting and at worst physically bullying citizens who had committed no crime nor were even suspected of such.
Good cop work calls for basic people skills, which requires more applied discipline than usually has the basic person. Get to as many demonstrations as I have and you see the police missing the opportunity to be "people persons" as people used to say when they didn't have real job skills. (Now with people having the social communication level of a Twitter poster, people skills are coming back as a desired social, if not employable, personal asset.)
For some cops, its as if they've taken policing lessons from the movies. Police have no right to detain anybody without communicating to the detainee a good lawful reason. Even just a rude and verbally abusive cop, much less one that physically crosses the line, creates resentment that propagates throughout the community. A friendly personally supportive cop creates cooperation and what law enforcement theorists call a "good tone" within their service areas.
(7.15.16) At about 11PM their time, yet another terrorist viciously ripped away the remaining tatters of the Obama's legacy, as well as Clinton's political cover of being the "adult in the room" when she self-contrasted to her presidential opponent.
Instantly, Nice changed the political layout in no small way. Trump has called for war and double downed on not allowing entry of migrants from "terrorist nations" to enter the country without "extreme vetting." Newt Gingrich said followers of Sharia should be deported because they are "incompatible with western civilization."
The only choice for Hillary is to keep repeating she is proud of the Obama history of keeping us out of another war. It is an apologetic. The only problem with that, jihadists are bombing and killing in western targets on almost a regular basis. Such video is sprayed all over by media. Listening carefully to the tone of her voice this morning, she seemed less assertive of her reasoning in the face of the most recent French carnage. So too with her allies. MSNBC defensively reported both Trump and Clinton said we were at war, totally ignoring their big differences in the execution of such.
Three years ago, I wrote we should "just kill the bastards." There was no way out with the Islamic fascists, just as their was no way out of the German and Japanese fascists of a previous generation. The current batch of religiously backward maniacs pretty much wiped out Christians, while Obama smugly congratulated himself for lifting those who had not already been killed from a mountain. Remember? In the meantime, we watched ISIS slaughter tens of thousands, crucify children and (reportedly) bury one little girl alive in a coffin of live snakes because she refused to be a sex slave. People said the US could not be a "policeman" to the world. Well, then Nice is what you get--just like you would ithout a policeman in your neighborhood.
There is nothing wrong with being emotional in the face of this kind of evil. Obama and Clinton have taken the intellectual, cool, academically superior approach. Don't you worry. We've got everything under control. You just be good little citizens. As with most of their endeavors, they've turned out to be wrong. The American people may be ready to accept there is no other way than to reenter with eyes open the theatre that Obama relinquished back to the enemy.
On the other hand, you can accept Clinton's defacto position that we can tolerate mass carnage every now and then, ongoing genocide, as well as the injection of an unreformed religious ideology into American culture.
(7.1.16) The patina of smarmy lap dogging indelibly marks Attorney General Loretta Lynch and her already besmirched department. She should not only recuse herself, but resign as AG. After a local Phoenix reporter spilled the beans about the Lynch-Bill Clinton airport tarmac meeting, Washington Post opinion-reporter Jonathan Capehart is suddenly seen interviewing Lynch trying in what appeared to be an attempt to clean up the mess. No surprise here. Politicians naturally gravitate toward friendly big media reporters. (Note as example Trump to CNN's O'Rielly on the other side.)
Lynch could be a prospect for the US Supreme Court if Hillary Clinton wins. Nomatter what excuses the Dems want to make about her "mistake," the tarmac incident puts her into direct conflict with her decision to prosecute Hillary Clinton.
Further, if she had any integrity left, Hillary Clinton herself should call for Lynch to resign.
An unfortunate mistake on her part or not, the incident shows the coded lingua of power politics in general and the Clintons in particular. Interviewed this morning, the local reporter said the FBI mandated "no pictures" of the meeting. I presume that meant there would be no standup photo ops of Clinton toothily glad handing Lynch, not the reporter lifting a camera in a public place and snapping the Democratic family don bee-lining into the cabin where it would seem Lynch was awaiting instructions.
If the latter, we would definitely have another set of problems. The leading government law enforcement agency would then be protecting a political party from media conversation. It would be surprising if the FBI pulled such a stunt, but not the DOJ. Remember, this is the agency devoted to "justice" but refused to prosecute the Black Panthers in Philly for physically threatening white voters. Years later, there was the resignation of one of its attorneys, alleging the department had become more interested in politics than justice--another indelible legacy of the Obama admin.
Dems at first tried to represent the meeting as a chance encounter, but like in so many Obama/Clinton shenanigans before, that ghost had to be given up even as her friends were forced to admit at least to the "appearance of impropriety." Of course Bill Clinton would not ask her about the most media covered FBI case directly. That would be too crude if not illegal outright.
Like a Mafia don, the former president fortuitously appeared on the same airport tarmac where in the whole wide nation the Attorney General had happened along, to chat about, yes, grandkids and golf. How friendly. What a great guy. Yet, the viper smiles--if vipers could smile--belied a mission.
(6.24.16) Overnite the wind changed. The Hillary prattlers on tv followed along her line--just about the only thing she could say after supporting staying in--that her priority was making sure the impact of Brexit "did not hurt families." (sic) Ho-hum and shovel more money back into the bottomless money vacuum of government.
Brits declared: no foreign control! This despite what the banks and multinational corporations wanted. They could have cared less about the personal choices of the little people. To be sure, they thought they had them. Aren't they, that is, the titans of industry, the wise wonder workers of government, the elite and well educated, just plan smarter, "the best and the brightest" to coin a phrase to describe the same "elite" that drug us into VietNam?
Twenty years ago maybe the elite could have pulled it off for fairly simple reasons: they controlled the media with money and politics. Then the internet and cable tv were still fledgling. However, this time the "grownup" posturing of the BBC and establishment media could do little to staunch the flow of information that revealed a vast EU bureaucracy horning into Brits' lives. Enough.
Now, for the elites, that mangey alley cat is out of the bag. The little people aren't so little any more. They want their government back from the faceless policy drones to whom they shell out the big bucks for unnecessay and even restrictive bureacracies.
The parallels, of course, cannot be lost on Trump, Clinton or Obama. This is just what the election will be about--an ineffective government that's too big and over-compensated to the point of making Washington DC real estate the most expensive in the country, leadership that won't declare war on the radical Islamic jihadists, lackluster job growth, and a character flaw that let Hillary sleep while Americans defended to the death American soil.
(4.15.16) Back September last, Maria Hallas, Local Fox 24, reported in a series of stories Memphis had been one of the cities to use Stingray, a "vacuum" technology that sucks up private cell phone calls using "simulated" cell towers. My original comments are here. (scroll down when there)
Mayor elect Jim Strickland had promised "transparency" in city government, but apparently withdrew that stance regarding Stingray. However, Strickland said of the city's new spy tool: "Number one, the city does use cell site simulators. Number two, we do it pursuant to court order. Number three, it's used by law enforcement on the local and federal level. Four, it's an important crime-fighting tool."
Now, seems to me the question would be, does Stingray invade communications of a specific person targeted by a court order or does the warrant authorize mass monitoring within the suspect's area of activities?
To be fair, the new Mayor had inherited Stingray and all its implications of unnecessary privacy invasions of law abiding citizens. Still, Strickland's comment above was vague, though he may have just started digesting what Mayor Wharton had previously committed the city to in the expensive secret agreement.
However, even as recent as March he was repeating, apparently unaware there really is a Fourth Amendment that could arguably trump any "non-disclosure" or contractual nonsense Wharton may have pulled the city into. The new mayor took the old way out: as just another Memphis politician.
Hallas' reporting from Sept. '15 to March '16 documents the city's rather gynmastic reasoning not to provide details on the super secret spy tool. Strickland first said he could not answer questions due to a non-disclosure agreement the city made with the Stingray manufacturer. Further, just as federal officials justify monitoring private email, Web sites and phone calls in order ostensibly to stop terrorists, city officials site the invasive technology is essential (my word) for law enforcement.
According to Hallas' reports, the ACLU says New York City, Milwaukee, and Tallahassee, apparently among others, have released such information.
And all this begs the questions: has the expensive tax-payer purchased system stopped or apprehended any criminals? If so, could such crime prevention justify getting into private phone conversations? A tech/legal critique can be found here.
Now, a number of organizations, including the liberal The Nation, which is how we found out about it, have mounted a campaign everyone can take seriously if they value privacy from government intrusion.
Unknown to us is whether Mayor Stickland is holding to his recent positions herein regarding Stingray. We have inquired. No response as of 4.24.
(4.6.16) Ans: both use fine print nobody reads.
If you are a political consumer of any stripe, the easiest, quickest way to advance your politics is to use an existing platform. In this case, those would be the Repubs and the Dems.
Now, here's where my comparison happens: how many times have you accepted the terms of new software when installing it on your computer? Just click AGREE and you get a license. I have dozens of programs for which I've paid a use license. In so doing I agreed to abide by their rules of use. Fair enough. I wanted the benefits of such use immediately and would legally use the software to make this publication, create Web sites, edit video, process photos, do billing, etc. thereby avoiding my spending time developing my own--or at least having a learning curve on new--software to meet my specific needs.
Continuing the comparison, old line political parties are to political consumers (i.e. activists) what software companies are to their users. Once you start using them, its very hard to stop and replace. They're so damn convenient--just click OK and you can start using them to meet your market, right?
But there's a catch and to a limited extent it is like intalling software on your company in that old line political establshments of each party can place their own "use terms" on everyone entering their "big tent"--a laughable term of democratic values made empty by their own behavior.
Like the software companies dominating any one field, the political "consumers" need robust competition of new parties. We could be at a turning point where we finally see the use of third and fourth parties--and alternates to even those. The proponents of Sanders and Trump will have have a big pill to swallow if their candidates are robbed of nomination through arcane manipulation or outright voiding of their votes through pre-committed "super delegates." The old political parties just may be at a turning point from which they can't return.
(3.28.16) With influence from unions and politicians, California just started the process of raising minimum wage to $15 per hour. While most hourly workers would see this as yet more mana from Democrats, such a heavy handed intrusion into private business is sure to raise prices and cost jobs. Few Dems understand business. So, there must be a prophylactic barrier of the impact of their policies on everybody else. California businesses reportedly did not even have a seat at the table as their government pulled the rug from under their feet.
Given the insipid "vote for benefits" ethos that has taken hold among a vast swath of Democratic voters, there is one solution the Republicans can pull out of the bag before the Democrats catch on: a Guranteed National Income (GNI).
Unlike the rush of the Dems to create more programs and benefits, a GNI does not provide specific solutions to every need--for example, health, housing, getting arround, education, etc. Rather, when the size of government is pared down to its leanest essential functionality (including replacing the IRS with some kind of flat tax, desizing/eliminating departments and controlling waste), a well planned GNI could provide the same basic monthly payout to every citizen regardless of work status or income.
Further, a portion of a GNI could be reserved for health insurance that would replace all of Obamacare. In my humble opinion, such a standard payment (single payer by any other name) would drive down health insurance costs, especially when combined with other incentives like cross state availabilities.
Hence, the government would be forced out of administering massive social welfare, education and health programs (though there would be exceptions) in favor of providing citizens funding they could use in any way they see fit.
Though I doubt they ever will, the Republicans should take proffer some form of GNI plan that would first include radically reducing the debt. Then, in response to the Dems' ever growing trough of freebies and voter reward, the Repubs could offer, for example, a GNI that would provide $1,000 (half to a third of which dedicated to health insurance) for everyone aged 18-24. My plan would ultimately cost $2.4 trillion annully, but depending on the size of the payout, how government is cut, the parameters of the plan as well as any necessary taxes, some kind of plan could be worked out.
Otherwise, politicians will not fail to offer an ever growing array of benefits to their growing select constituency--as the Romans first discovered.
(3-12-16 BenQQ) That is, don't look to support from your colleagues, your political opponents within your party who should have the guts to rally around you in support of everyone's free speech, including their own. Trump's Republican opponents now have proved they will willingly fall in line behind those who would want to deny "hate speech" (defined by them, no doubt) and endorse "free speech" (also defined by them, no doubt).
If you haven't heard, being offensive is not against the law. Being offended doesn't give you a right to trump the first amendment.
Trump's Chicago rally last night was a planned disruption to shut down a political rally inside a venue into which people legally congregated to hear a candidate. The disruptors had no right. This is about free speech, not bad "rhetoric" as the media and ALL of Trump's political opponents would like to fix it.
Cruz's, Rubio's and Kasich's support of the take-over crowd reveals their astounding whorish willingness to abandon the first amendment just to get votes at the first political opportunity. Instead of standing for free and unfettered speech, they decided to condemn their colleague for what? Being plain spoken? Using harsh rhetoric? Talking with sharp edges? I'd expect that from Hillary, (but it was somewhat (illogically enough) dissappinting to hear the same from Sanders)
Since Trump's rally in Chicago last night, so many TV commentators histrionically announced the newest frantic meme that we are "losing America" over Trump's comments. They are so wrong in their greasy slippage behind the lines. We "lose America" when a candidate loses his right to offend, make people uncomfortable and use full bodied free "rhetoric" to persuade.
BTY, I've hit Trump on many things. Scroll down to see a couple. However, since his Republican opponents have come out on the side of those who would shut down speech, I'm voting for him--until and unless I hear 3 unconditional apologies to him and to the American people. Wonder how many others feel that way I do.
(3.5.16 BenQQ) In the Detroit GOP debate Donald Trump seemed to have contravened an apparent previous policy stance on H1-B visas coming out in its strong favor.
To a question put to him by Megyn Kelley Trump suddenly voiced his emphatic approval: (from Fox News):
“I’m changing. We need highly-skilled people in this country,” Trump said during the Fox News Republican debate in Detroit. “If we can’t do it, we will get them in.”
Trump’s stance toward awarding H1-B visas is different from the one he takes on his campaign website, which argues that more visas for highly-skilled foreigners would 'decimate American workers'."
“One of the biggest problems we have is people go to the best colleges … as soon as they’re finished, they get shoved out. They want to stay in this country," Trump said at the debate. "They want to stay here desperately. They’re not able to stay here. For that purpose, we absolutely have to be able to keep the brainpower in this country.”
Then his campaign tried to nuance his statement it in a press release dated Mar. 3. He seemed to have changed back: "I remain totally committed to eliminating rampant, widespread H-1B abuse and ending outrageous practices such as those that occurred at Disney in Florida when Americans were forced to train their foreign replacements. I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program. No exceptions."
In a week, Trump swung from supporting a foreign worker policy to prohibiting it. No gray area in between. No talk of continued training for legal residents nor having to show stricter proof of the absolute need for corporate hires. My suspicion: its about money. Trump's big business friends would have to pay Americans a higher salary than incoming foreign workers who even have to be trained by those American employees before the employer fires them. How about a hire Americans first policy the same way everybody supports hiring veterans?
I admit H1-B is a sticky problem. Companies should have the right to hire who they want, but not under a policy that gives those companies favor and harms jobs for Americans. Further, I hope there is a backlash from the market, starting with Disney.
I would suspect the Democratic ideologues on the left to be politically torn as well between protecting American jobs and the rights of immigrants to compete in our job market.
Trump seemed to have shot off his mouth for his corporate friends even when stepping away from his own original Web site position. Despite the attacks from the GOP establishment, many more of these Trumpean policy blunders, he will have succeeded where Mitt Romney could never have.
(2.24.16 BenQQ) WMC's newser Jason Miles' story yesterday annoyed me, but not in the reporting. His story tilted toward a University of Memphis venue turning away an overflow crowd showing up to hear a free lecture from film director Spike Lee. The annoyance came from someone deciding the media was not to be let in to report on his talk.
Clearly my prejudice will show here: Hollywood generally turns out to be irritating on some level. As a younger man I remember going to an American Film Institute lecture by a big director. When everyone got themselves seated to pay obeisance to the great one, the word got out the seating arrangement of attendees was not to his liking. An AFI grunt staffer suddenly appeared to hustle everyone out of the first few rows so the great one's late arriving entourage could have the best seats.
Now, that's not my impression of Lee. He is obviously honest in his themes of race and society and his films are thoughtful works.
That's why I was surprised to hear Miles' report the media were not allowed into yesterday's Spike Lee talk, sponsored by the University of Memphis Black Students Association. When he said he offered not to video, he reported, with a notable jab, he was told he could not enter because he "could still make notes." Let's let that sink in.
My first question is: will the University of Memphis be among others to declare off limits to media in the face of the Black Lives Matter crowd? Did the university even know media were barred from a free event to which the public was invited?
Why? What did Mr. Lee say? He had to have at least mentioned--or was it an entire oration--on the reasons why he endorsed Bernie Sanders earlier today?
But that's not the point. The people of Memphis will never know why the "famous Hollywood director" dropped ex machina from the sky.
If I could have a drink with Spike--excuse me, by whiskey time we should be on a first name basis--I'd have to ask him why would he have any motivation to bar the media? Was it because they get him wrong most of the time? Was he offended at their coverage? So what.
And if he in fact demanded the university bar media from his event, did a star struck (or politically intimidated) U of M acquiesce? From at least a public relations view, this is wrong. The last time I heard, universities were supposed to offer robust and free discussion. Was this not to be a policy when outspoken auteurs get a gig at the university?
I think U of M, as well as Lee and the Black Students Association should at least provide a statement as to why the media were barred from covering the event. And perhaps any of those attending could shoot me an email and reveal the essence of Spike Lee' Big Secret Talk. I think that would be the right thing to do.
Facebook, Twit or email
(1.26.16) Pretty much all of this month, I've been busy working on my own business projects designed to make me more money. So, like most would, I decided to concentrate on them, wickedly venal as I am, at the expense of this little publication. My Web site analytics show people dropped by, knocked on my digital door, but quickly left. Nothing new here. They may have imagined me in my underwear passed out on the couch surrounded by an assortment of whiskey bottles. I would never do that. That would be an abuse of good whiskey. (Of course, those on my mailing list would have spared themselves such a mental image only venturing into my digital neighborhood when receiving a notice--above left.)
Anyway, its not that there hasn't been anything to write about.
But what I saw on TV last night propelled me back to these pages like I was a rock in a slingshot: the Democratic candidates answering questions from obviously pre-positioned Dems in a roomful of same. It was an opera by the Untrustworthy One, the Good Looking One and the Commie--Clinton, O'Malley and Sanders. The dentist may as well have been drilling.
This exercise of journalistic pablum was brought to you by CNN's Chris Cuomo and assorted "people" questioners bearing such urgent questions as equal pay, gun control, Obamacare, raising minimum wage and even slatheringly supporting Hillary's performance before the latest failed Benghazi committee.
Incidentally, no one asked her where the *&^% she was during the 13 hours when Obama and co. failed to bring aid to Americans under attack. Ditto with a guaranteed national income that put the Dem poverticians' freebie programs out of business. Continue on with Daesh and fascist Islamic movements globally. To the Democrats their atrocities and even homeland attacks apparently don't exist.
Now, these type of controlled political extravaganzas appear under the pretext of "information" provided by the TV gatekeepers ostensibly to provide real questions from members of the public. Last night the questions may have been real, but they have been rehashed repeatedly. The candidates threw their hash and TV ate it up.
The same, of couse, can be said of the Republicans.
This type of tv format journalism dominates and shapes the quality of information flowing to the public. Such format is even imitated on local TV. Here in Memphis local mayor candidates were assembled where news moderators controlled the crowd as if they were a classroom of eith graders. It was embarassing for all concerned. My view: let eith graders be eith graders and the candidates forced to be themselves before them.
In fact, TV hosts and commentators everywhere are so overexposed and processed, they will, if they haven't already, experience the same rebellion from viewers as politicians from voters. Viewers have wised up to the overpaid talking heads who don't have a clue to what its like to keep your lights turned on and your rent paid. Hence, the vast gulf between their questions and most people and the reason people are searching the internet for real information.
My solution: Uncontrolled open audiences of throwing questions spontaneously to the candidates of opposing views (or parties). Then would you get to see candidates at their best and worst. News moderators don't come close to getting to the marrow of an issue like invested participants. They are too concerned about being "professional."
Would any of the candidates have the courage to face them, to face hostile questions as never before? Questions that, like really, represent the hot opinionated opposition?
(1.3.16) All of last year the media elite were predicting the demise of one Donald Trump. He was a flash in the pan, a glint of the tacky casino gold found in the foyers of his properties. As the media sucked off his ratings feed, the commentariot all but tripped over their dangling jaws. Despite their dire warnings, Trump just kept rising in the polls, even devilishly baiting their camera crews.
(12.9.15) In the face of jaw dropping smoking gun evidence, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are once again revealed to be outright liars regarding the Benghazi coverup. We are not referring to the now discredited manufactured fiction of a video that Clinton and her underlings claimed prompted the Benghazi attack, but an email from Leon Panetta’s chief of staff Jeremy Bash regarding Americans under attack at the time. Such a response could have possibly saved at least two of the four who lost their lives defending the American Embassy there.
The smoking gun email reads: "After consulting with General Dempsey, General Ham and the Joint Staff, we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak. They include a [redacted]."
In what should, but won't, be a nail in the coffin for her political career, Judicial Watch, the organization that has kept pressing for State emails of the 9/11/12 attack, notes this, "...leaves no doubt military assets were offered and ready to go, and awaiting State Department signoff, which did not come.”
Said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The email makes readily apparent that the military was prepared to launch immediate assistance that could have made a difference, at least at the CIA Annex. The fact that the Obama Administration withheld this email for so long only worsens the scandal of Benghazi.”
Meanwhile, the Obama administration declared yesterday Donald Trump "unqualified" to be president for outrage of prohibiting terrorist seeded Muslim populations from entering the country. Aside from wondering what makes him think he can decide who is "qualified" to be president in the first place, we wonder, considering these most recent Benghazi revelations, what ever made him qualified?
(New York 11.24.15 BenQQ) His casual remark rang like someone banging a frying pan with a hammer. Don Lemon and apparently approving anchors of CNN's New Day, Chris Cuomo and Michaela Pereira, revealed the network's heavy racial slant. That is, blacks have not made headway in the news biz until recently, kept out by the man. Hogwash. At best it reveals a certain lack of depth and at worst, a willingness to exacerbate newfound racial tension.
Brought onto this morning's New Day to tout the latest CNN poll on race relations in America, Lemon said "30 to 40" years ago they would not be "sitting here," apparently referencing Pereira and himself. (I did not find immediately the New Day segment yet on-site. Lemon might have said, "probably," but my gist here is the same.) Does anyone at CNN know their own, if not general, broadcast news industry?
In glaring contrast to the content of Lemon's tilted remark, let it be known that Bernard Shaw anchored the first CNN news cable cast when Ted Turner launched CNN in 1980, 35 years ago.
Bernard Shaw Source Wikipedia
Even in the big three broadcast news networks there was black headway into the news industry in contradiction to Lemon's remark.
Max Robinson came to national prominence in July 1978 when he became a co-anchor the ABC News weeknight program ''World News Tonight.''
Max Robinson Source: NY Times
In television generally, the 1960s was actually a golden age for black performers with 38 series featuring blacks as stars, co-stars, or continuing characters. A far cry from what viewers would be lead to believe with Lemon's remark. Source
When reporters, especially national media, want to paint the history of race relations in extreme colors, as Lemon did this morning regarding his show tonight on the CNN poll, perhaps he, and they, should think about who came first.
Tale of Two Poles: NBC/WSJ vs Fox News
(10.16.16) NBC this morning ballyhooed its new poll showing Trump down by 11 points.
NBC reported Trump's behavior variously as "kissing and groping," his referring (not even "allegedly") to women in "vulgar and crude terms" thereby concluding he's in a "weaker position" compared to September. It quotes a Dem pollster saying, "This poll is showing the writing on the wall." Still, it continued on saying, "...just 32 percent say that the video disqualifies Trump from being president and believe that he should withdraw from the race, versus 53 percent who disagree."
However, down in the story was something else that puts in question the Hillary win that the NBC/WSJ so desperately want: "By a 53 percent-to-40 percent margin, the poll also finds registered voters saying they'd be more likely to support a Republican candidate who will be a check and balance to Hillary Clinton and congressional Democrats, versus a Democratic candidate who will help Clinton and Democrats pass their agenda."
NBC/WSJ ended on saying, not surprisgly, 53% of the respondents approve Obama's presidency.
Simultaneously this morning Fox News showed Trump behind by only 4 points. If that's the right poll (compared to NBC), it will show Americans, at best, think the media irrelevant. They don't need "professional" journalists and mouthpieces willingly dancing to the tune of Obama and his "experts." The media has abandoned the role of providing facts (because their not as much fun, maybe?)
So even the NBC/WSJ poll reveals a fear of the Dems controlling congress. What else it reveals is a fear of Donald Trump. That's Trump's fault. So far he has failed to overwhelmingly deliver his case. He has failed, unbelievably and amazingly, to upturn Hillary's parochial issues of group sensitivity.
Spectacular Democratic failures of policy to cynical manipulative politics are mostly what the Dem's have. Hence, the unified front on Trump's alleged past bad behavior. Note: his current bad behavior falls into the category of insensitivity and rudeness but that went into relative political disuse when the Dems discovered the AH tape.
Perhaps the numbers reflect the "deplorable" sector of Americans believe that style is more useful now than that of the current professional political crowd?
Trump can still pull it off, but his attack must be on course correction that includes specifics. He alone has to lift the fog Wednesday night.
Regarding Donald or what did we ever pretend not to know? Et tu, Ryan?
(10-8-16) In my junior high typing class we had to type over and over, "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of..." OK, it was another little indoctrination point of why the left thinks men of Trump's age are irredeemably sexist. Of course similarly can be found even older cringe worthy racial references in early childhood education. Remember how a tiger chased "little black Sambo" around and around until he turned into butter? Let the entire white male race stand and chant in unison: "We are guilty o great Hillary. We shall begin our mutual self flagellation now and it shall last until Nov. 8."
The entire appeal of Donald Trump was that he was a political non-pro who understood the average working shmo. Consequently he has, wittingly or not, propelled himself to within a few points of the biggest executive desk in his career. In that happy warrior process he's scared the pants off the old political establishment tripartite--politicians, press and multinational globalists. They all lock stepped behind the Hillary camp. (Odd how things change. In my rebellious youth I thought of her as a fellow traveler who had gotten into the bowels of power. Now, of course, I think of her as the essence of that corrupt bowel in need of a purgative flushing "movement.")
That metaphoric image aside, many Repub politicos lost little time in announcing they were taking back previous statements of support. How noble of them. What great examplars of leadership, courage and judgement. They now might as well hang a sandwich sign around their neck with this wordy plea: "See? I'm not a sexist! I condemn all sexism even when spoken in private ten years ago! Don't forget in the next election. I stabbed our candidate in the back (and please forget that Brutus thing) over loose words and let Hillary finally get power to the irretrievable detriment of the country."
The Trump ship-jumpers prefer to cower by the warm comforting fires of the establishment rather than stepping out into the frightening fray outside. They put a toe outside once and didn't particularly light it. Now they were given a convenient self serving reason to hunker this one out--even when same day leaks of Hillary's emails expose her as an open border proponent and "unfettered" free trader. This in the face of her repeated statements, thanks no doubt to Trump raising the issue in the first place, that she would fight unfair trade.
My only question: What are the ship-jumping Trumpers pretending not to know? We all knew he was a Club 54 guy, a womanizer and multiple divorcee of loose marital vows. He never took much pain to hide it. The real question the media should be asking is how does Trump's staying power overcome his past? I'll answer here: culture changed and the Clinton machine finally got stuck in the craw of the country (as well as the throats of several women victims of sexual assault.)
We will find Trump's ability to be a non-professional far outweighs the consequences, whether in this election or the next. The media and Hillary simultaneously declared him a loser with his remarks, but anybody with any political sense knows this is not much different than his previous verbal pecadillos. Whether he wins or not, Trump already has succeeded in showing the country a non-professional politician can hold his own against the established power brokers--and change the national conversation. Then all bets are off.
FB, Twit or email
Daily Mail shows a couple reportedly overdosing on heroin in Memphis
(10-5-16) The story identified the couple as married and ran pictures of them in what it reported as a state of overdose. The British paper reported a crowd laughed and cracked jokes as the couple lost consciousness on the sidewalk.
Memphis City Council "Decriminalizes" marijuana possession but still gives pollce the discretion to charge criminally
(10-5-16) Pecuniary legal contortions award should go to the Memphis City Council for both "legalizing" marijuana while making it a revenue generating offense for the city.
Everybody by now should know the damage done by the drug war. It is unarguable and shows the damage a state can do through knee jerk law and order policies. The ordinance is a big step in the right direction and it shows evidence Memphis is not immune to national trends.
In effect, the city says having a small amount --if you consider a half ounce a small amount--of marijuana is not a criminal offense while the state can continue to say it is. (Sooner or later, the state will have to get in on this as well.)
So inhale this: according to the new law, a person caught with less than an ounce can be fined $50 or do 10 hours of community service. At the same time, the officer can the "offender" criminally under state law.
The city ordinance also calls for detailed record keeping of marijuana citations, including race. The stats could possibly show a comparison between the rate of citations and criminal charges of black youth. If police really have it in for black youth (ignoring for the moment there are tens of thousands of other white users) those numbers should tell at least part of that story.
According to council stats reported over WMCTV today, 3,800 arrests were made for possesion of less than half an ounce. 90% of those were black, giving them a criminal record that will stay with them forever. That itself is criminal. By comparison 2012 saw 23,488 arrests statewide with possible criminal penalties of 1 year and/or $250 fine (NORML).
This has long been the racial issue. Laws have moved away from criminalizing victimless personal lifestyle choices among adults. The consequences for this lifestyle choice has fallen inordinately on blacks. Such is long time coming for those charged with marijuana use. This is where the NAACP, Black Lives Matter or even reparation groups could mount a national campaign to vacate all marijuana (and other minor drug) records. Stats show it really is a racial thing. It should be noted Rep Steve Cohen (D-9th Dist. incl. Memphis) has been a real fighter in congress regarding decriminalizing archaic marijuana laws.
Is Memphis on the road to becoming a marijuana users "sanctuary city"? This ordinance takes a step in that direction. Once marijuana use becomes an issue of private lifestyle choice vs government privacy invasion, the issue will blast wide open. The next, or maybe the next after, will see the complete legalization with use controls similar to alcohol.
I'm only picking this up from other news outlets, but I wonder if any council member had the idea of simply creating a personal marijuana use license? Then to use marijuana in Memphis, you'd have to pay $50 annually to use (and grow) privately. (A mistake Colorado made was to set up stringent dealer rules that has served to create big business legal marijuana dealers for those who could afford it.)
Why keep up the pretense of punishment when, like Colorado, the city could reap huge revenue dividends from a marijuana use license. Oh, and the police would have to forget about issuing criminal state charges. Just thinking out loud.
FB, Twit or email
(9-30-16) Not too long ago, you could hear intramural softball teams and their fans playing hard and loud in this large park in north Memphis. Not so much this past summer, though. Now much of the park remains unused except by the Memphis Business Academy, a private charter school, that leases one or more diamonds or, if one is to believed, fully half of the park. Other users include golfers, only one of which takes up a huge chunk of the park to practice their swing and off road vehicles plowing over the still kept greens.
So when I was walking around the diamond they were using last week, a staff member walked up to me and objected. He said the school "owned" this side of the park and by inference that included all four diamonds. He instructed me not to walk west of the main entrance drive that, according to him, "belonged" to the school. In other words, use the portion of the park into which golfers regularly launch their potentially skull cracking orbs, though I noticed one sending them in the direction of the "Executives," an aspirational term I heard one MBA coach use in addressing his young players. Another coach objected to my taking pictures of the teams using the park. As far as I know, there are no rules prohibiting photography in a public park where there is no expectation of privacy. As mentioned below, a private organization, I still believe, cannot set rules that would otherwise apply to its facilities in a public space.
Anyway, a bad golf chip could be disastrous or worse. (There used to be signs up prohibitting golf and motor vehicles in the park. The city apparently gave up on that long ago.)
Regardless, during our conversation, the MBA staffer said the school had rewired the diamond at $172,000 and otherwise took care of that entire western side of the park. I was thinking that was a good deal for the city if the MBA would not try to turn it into a "members only" club grounds. (I'm not saying they are. It was only one staffer that got after me and he was probably talking through his hat.) Still, even on the MBA side the little concession and restroom building had been long locked. Two portable toilets were placed alongside in resignation.
On the opposite side of the park the softball diamonds surround the service building that is non-functional.
We parted amicably. I complied with his instructions but remained curious, if not outright dubious of the purhase claims. I wanted to get the details on the alleged "purchase" of the big portion of the park. How much? When? Why weren't their signs posted? How about a "members only" sign?
The next day I left a message with an MBA phone staffer requesting to speak with the person who handled media relations. She said the media rep would definitely get back to me. She never did. Not an unusual response for this publication.
Upon inquiry Monday, a Memphis City Park Commission staffer said the school rents "one diamond" to the MBA in the sprawling park.
But egads I saw executives in two and sometimes three at a time in their own diamond. So, could the definition of "diamond" be not just one but all four fields that are adjacent to each other? No, then they would have to be called a "pie" or something.
But to counter my own thought, if no one else wants to use the diamonds, how could that use be prohibited? Would a city official pull up in a pickup and tell them to get off the diamond because their group had rented another diamond exclusively? Obviously not. So the MBA may have a rightful claim to one diamond at the time of actual use, but have casual access to any other parts of the park just like anyone else. By my unlegal thinking, the city has given them implied temporary permission over that part of the park exclusively. And that's fine. Their efforts at renovation, upkeep and sheer continual use are beneficial to everybody.
However, the access road to all the east side diamonds are frequently blocked or gate locked (below) even when they are not in use. (below) Does that mean the school really has rented all four diamonds or the entire western section of the park?
A thought lingers: if the students are the executives, what are the teachers? Board members?
With that muse, let me return to the reason I wanted to do this little piece anyway. It wasn't about the school. It was about Rodney Baber Park, once a destination for games from teams around the region. It is now a wreck. The city keeps the grass cut but the park is used little by even local Frayser residents.
The pics tell the rest of the story...
Security door to concession booth broken open.
<<Cont. w/pix far left col.
(7.24.16) Comment: I wonder if there is one staffer or volunteer that paused to actually consider: what am I doing working for an organizaiton that considers sighting a person,s religion to win. Is the mania towin worth it? What am I trading in order to win? In other words, there's a price, always a price. It may not come home to roost immediately but it will eventually come around in the reduced difficulty in making a similar decision in the future.
The Dems had best leave their sanctimony at the door
(7.13.16) This has got to be getting embarrassing to his supporters. Undeniably, Donald Trump can't help himself. Its part of his charm. Some now consider it even an asset. Even his supporters (of which I situationally am) say, "Yeah, he may be a jackass, but he's our jackass!"
So with that low standard in this presidential battle, the bigger jackass is Hillary Clinton, given her flatted footed denials of fact ranging from Benghazi to a range of political and personal failures.
However, Trump's latest is making an age-centric claim against US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 83, a Clinton appointee. She inappropritely enough, injected herself (Trump like) into the presidential race by calling him a "faker."
Trump responded bitingly in a CNN interview today, “For someone on the Supreme Court who is going to be calling balls and strikes in the future based upon whatever the next president and Congress does, that strikes me as inherently biased and out of the realm.”
Said she to the New York Times, according to the independent.com.uk: “He is a faker,“ she said. ”He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego... How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”
So in yet another Twitter tizzy, Trump decided to blast her with the unfounded claim, "...Her mind is shot..."
His full twit: “Justice Ginsburg of the US Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot – resign!“ he declared.
This is what the media gets to cover--because it is easy and not deep. Meanwhile, the candidates get by without bringing anything new to the table--Trump likes his tax plan that is good but doesn't really change anything. Clinton likes her basket of government paid goodies hand picked to buy votes.
Samo-Samo. Here's something neither talks about: a basic Guaranteed National Income (GNI) to every adult citizen between 18-65 in exchange of eliminating most other government payout programs and wasteful, ineffectual and redundant bureacracies, including Obamacare. We haven't reached a point yet where the government is frozen in its own charities. Then we can talk about GNI as a "new" idea.
(6.28.16) There must be something, like the famous Peter Principle where you rise to your own level of incompetence. In politics, that says the higher up you get, the less culpable you can be found. (This despite all the "buck stops here" pablum you here about leadership from over compensated commentators.)
Now comes that Peter Principle again except its in politics. Let's call it the "Hillary
Principle." A corollary in business might be the "Too Big to Fail Principle" in high risk banking.
The Benghazi Committee's second report, this one about 800 pages, fuels both sides to claim being right all along--left, right--while leaving the real question--just how responsible was Secretary of State Clinton for the deaths of the four Americans at the Benghazi Consulate? waffling in the wind. Did she do everything she could have to save them? Did she act as any other American would to protect American soil under attack? In short, was she derelect or worse? Such large questions lead to others with, as they say, more "granularity," the most important of which is just how much did her illegal private email server play in keeping her levels of malfeasance secret? How complicit was she in furthering the totally made up from whole cloth fabrication that the entire attack was spontaneious and caused by a video?
One thing that's new in the report, reveals the chaos, disorganization, if not outright unwillingness, of any kind of military response. A response team (either held up by locals or waiting for clearance from US officials) to depart from the Tripoli Airport for 3 hours, changed military/civilian clothing 4 times.
From a political stance, all the Dems can do at this point is to bewail the "politicization" of the Benghazi "tragedy." They love to point to the obviously deficient security policies at the time for embassies. Keeping it there keeps them innoculated from the calculations from Obama-Hillary politics: Obama's unwillingness to use military force even when American soil was under attack because that would have upended his claim the jihadists were in control. This leads to the still unanswered question: was Hillary complicit with Obama in trying to reduce the profile of the event on the voters' radar screen so close to the national election?
Of course they can't fall back on the politics of both the President and Secretary of State, the combo of which created a perfect storm of incompetence that ranged from absurd lies to extreme derelection. In order to save the Benghazi defenders, Hillary Clinton should have had the inner stuff to screech at the President the way she did at the first Benghazi Committee, if not thrown a few lamps as she is reported to have done on other occasions of lesser import. It is not a character issue if she yells. It IS a character issue of what she yells about.
Some historian that gets deep access to White House and State Dept. records (sans her emails of course) years from now when interest in this matter is even less than it is today will reveal this footnote in history, a footnote that tells the story of when four Americans died as they expected, and didn't get, help from their "leaders."
(5.16.16) HBO satirist John Oliver picked Memphis, among other cities, to use as illustrative of the need to upgrade 911 technology and services on his last night's show Last Week Tonight.Usually Oliver takes a bigger bite out of his targets, but the issue itself is big enough. He focused mostly on the workers handling the calls and stayed away from inept responses by politicians (mostly) to his show in favor of overhauling a national 911 system.Certainly Memphis, a city I would bet his writers might say, chooses to spend money on spying on its citizens (Stingray, mid. col.) instead of improving ways to save them. What a yuck fest that would have made. Further, he could have edited in news shots of the biggest local mass threat to human life itself--our celebration for gorging on pork at the BBQ festival, followed with closeups of deep fried cardio blasters at any of our fairs, and while we're at it, our swill strip of Beale Street.
Anyway, the city kind of made it under the fence on this Oliver story, but one group still wants him to turn an ongoing local story, the Overton Park parking issue, into a subject for his show. Here's their pitch. In it they need to include a skit of some cutaways of the adjacent zoo's residents responding in favor (or not) to their side. Afterall, Oliver once interpreted the US Supreme Court in canine form. Too funny.
FB, Twit or email
(4.30.16) "Hillary Goes Off the Reservation." Of course by now you've heard Hillary used another condemned phrase, meant to be humorous I think, that has set some of her followers hair on fire. Today she used the words "off the reservation" in describing a class of men she now admits have occupied her world. In one swoop she injected herself into a strain of feminism that disregards a bad history while openly admitting the male of our species should be kept penned in.
It wasn't a mistake. Her wording plays to the far left of center feminists in her camp, a camp she fears may be bolting due to Trump's actually verbalizing about spouse Bill's open marital transgressions.
However, I sort of think she meant also those unruly and unrepentent males who had crossed her in politics and policy. If any such male strays are wandering about Hillary's world now, I suspect she imagines putting them in FEMA camps for re-education, as many YouTube writers claim. But I digress.
Since she chose to use that historic phraseology that has a specific meaning about control over Native Americans, maybe there's an analogy to what the New York Times said Oct. 26, 1886 about them: "shiftless, untameable...a rampant and intractable enemy to civilization."
You see, I believe she wasn't thinking only about Bill. Rather, I imagine she was drawing from a dark psycho corner nobody brings up at Georgetown cocktail parties. She was referring to all of "them".
We all understand the nature of the phrase. It conjures up another catastrophe white males (and females) visited upon another set of less powerful non-whites. Perhaps Hillary remembered seeing a "Trail of Tears" sign that marked the route of the Choctaws when they were death marched across Arkansas from Mississippi. In fact, I worked "on that reservation" editing a tribal newspaper that mostly extolled the chief going to Washington and getting money. That not withstanding, the tribal members and college educated reservation bureacracy were keenly aware of such language. Consider its origins:
"The acting commissioner of Indian affairs to-day received a telegram from Agent Roorke of the Klamath (Oregon) agency, dated July 6, [...] says: 'No Indians are off the reservation without authority. All my Indians are loyal and peaceable, and doing well." (Baltimore Sun, July 11, 1878)
"Secretary Hoke Smith...has requested of the Secretary of War the aid of the United States troops to arrest a band of Navajo Indians living off the reservation near American Valley, New Mexico, who have been killing cattle, etc." (Washington Post, May 23, 1894)
"Apaches off the reservation...killing deer and gathering wild fruits." (New York Times, Sept. 7, 1897)
From a presidential candidate that's wound so tight, her inability to handle--not that she actually said it--such a loaded blunder shows a reluctance to be or even trust herself. Moreso she can't recover from such gaffes with alacrity as husband did and Trump does seemingly guiltlessly without even thinking. Its so unfair.
My uncredentialed head shrinking continues: her response is to create a loud ideologically driven personna that sounds good to herself and her core following, though I suspect even they are tired of it. She'll assign others to say how smart, funny, sensitive and warm she is. (And nomatter what, they just can't switch to Bernie, though they really, really want to.)
Compare to Donald Trump, who almost at the very same time, effortlessly played the crowd impromptu at the GOP state meeting in California. He cracked he had maneuvered over a "wall" just to get in. Clearly it was a reference about the wall he has said he's going to build on the southern border. Insensitive if you must, but so hilarious everybody related. That's the difference between the two.
FB, Twit or email
(4.26.16) In the last couple of days on his show WREC 600's Ben Ferguson hysterically enough declaimed that "perverts" at Target now would use the bathroom with his audience's wives and little girls as a result of the company's "gender neutral" (my term for lack of a better one) bathroom policy. Ben skated past the best elements of a conversation about same in favor of making it sound like a horde of criminal transgenders is sneaking into women's restrooms to commit assault. It smacked of rabble rousing. His opinion gig at CNN could be history had he uttered such pablum there. In fact, as far as I heard, he gave no stats to support his thesis that transgenders assail women and girls more than other criminals. A more entertaining approach for a paid conversationalist would have been to call Target live--as I could imagine Schnitt, (now not even carried locally according to his site) the talker who held Ferguson's time slot previously and ask the highest corp. executive he could get on-air if he would be comfortable for his wife or girl being alone in a Target bathroom with a transgender. Considering socal norms today, it would have made for some entertaining if not awkward radio. Instead Ferguson took the low road by alleging transgender criminality without backup. By the way, I've known a few transgenders. They had assailed no one. Weirdness is not criminal. FB, Twit or email
(4.20.16) Today is Prince day for all the media. Even a local television station reported the times he had played in Memphis. I didn't realize he was a cultural icon until the reporter so informed me. Sure, I saw Purple Rain, but I thought Morris Day was the real hit. Not that Prince was a bad thing: its great that he didn't move to Hollywood, was self taught and earned his way to the top. But when I hear people calling him a "genius" i gotta stop. A genius, to me, is someone who cures cancer, builds a rocket to outer space or makes an atom smasher work. Everybody else has the knack of performance in an approving culture. As Penelope Cruz proclaimed in Woody Allen's To Rome With Love "Its talent, not genius!" (sic) Also, like all spectacularly rich celeb artists who are awarded unlimited money and praise, we will find he had the usual threats oblivious to him and unrecognized by his paid adulants. Speaking of culture... FB, Twit or email
(4.20.16) Is Donald Trump like Andrew Jackson? Heard they were going to replace his picture on the $20 bill with that of Harriet Tubman. The commentariot, as exampled by Fox's Bill O'Reily, predictably tripped over themselves in fits of liberal reforms and rationalizations, conveniently forgetting Jackson was the last of the presidents who participated in the American Revolution. Strange but not how no one inveighed against the money change. But it falls into the current trend of denying the uncomfortable facts--and therefore people--of history. We are too offended to think our historic figures may behave as a part of their own contemporary culture instead of ours. Personally, there are things I liked about President Jackson, among them he was the first real American president badass who killed a man for offending his wife. Way too passionate by today's standards. Standards today demand people we all be shocked when we hear Donald Trump wax at the podium about Bronx street justice. Soon, probably, we'll start erasing historical figures from modern memory (like Stalin did with his unfortunate cronies.) OK, please flagellate me about how Jackson launched the Trail of Tears in what might be called America's first mass ethnic cleansing and native genocide and was a slave holder. Hey, even Chinese revere their sado-masochist mass killing leader Mao Tse Tung. Now, if they ever were to replace the face on the twenty dollar bill, I have a suggestion: use the shot of Marilyn Monroe as hot air lifted her dress above a New York sidewalk. She did more for American women, if not men, than any feminist then or now ever did. Culture beats politics, at least when it comes to Marilyn. FB, Twit or email
(4.16.16) Hilary Clinton says she likes hot sauce. Black people should vote for her for that. On a black hosted radio show in New York, a question something like was posed, "What is it you carry with you all the time in your purse?" Revealing it was nothing if not a setup question to make her look more "blackish," she responded without any reflection instantly, "hot sauce." Some called that pandering because, as we all know, most blacks take hot sauce straight up on everything. Coming after the "CP" joke with tall and ambitious New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio (to whom she blamed the joke on as if it were not prearranged with him), what could be more cringe worthy? The two doctrinaire liberals like Hillary and DeBlasio thought the crowd would be hep with their geste. Hey, they were two of them afer all. They'd get it. They, the crowd, were not hep. They did not get it. However, nothing beats Hillary's fakery when deploying her black church inflection on a congregation. I admit, even her "hot sauce" loses its heat by comparison.
FB, Twit or email
(4.11.16) No comment. Daily Mail sites Memphis homicide rate as more than Chicago. Link.
(4.2.16) How Soviet of You! Another revealing micromoment of America's most insipid administration went on display yesterday, when Fox News reported the White House actually cut the word "Islamic" before "terrorism" in President Hollande's translated remarks. Obama's Progressive paternalism to treat the American people as children and to deny the facts is nothing but failed leadership. And people wonder why Trump is popular.
(3.21.16) What I want Rep Cohen's to bring back to Memphis from Cuba..OK, I like the idea we've opened relations with the brutal and corrupt dictatorship of those swingin' Castro bros.
Trade and interaction among people always helps, except maybe with China. But returning to this byte, I hope Rep. Cohen lands a good Cuban restaurant to Memphis, a city bereft of good restaurants to start with. So Cohen's mission could be twofold: culinary diplomacy and adding to local business. If you've ever eaten at Versailles on Venice Blvd. in Culver City, CA you'd know why I bring up this urgent issue. Specifically, garlic chicken, whole red snapper, banana plantains, rice and black beans and a treasure of other delights.
Of course, I will try to choke back those delights by forgetting. Forgetting that isomewhere in Cuba someone who expressed a disagreeable opinion to the prison island's kleptocratic rulers' is getting their head bashed in.
But, hey, those plantains can't be beat.
(3.18.16) "Act of War" In today's presser with Belgium and French PMs, the Nov. attack on Paris was described as an "act of war." Finally. That has been rarely heard in West. The sooner the West understands these attacks are launched by a foreign Islamic state, or their sympathizers, the sooner we deal with it definitive terms, if you know what I mean. Sure, Obama made his congratulatory call. We will have to wait eight months before another president gets a chance to do the right thing.
(3.17.16) Kerry's pompous announcement Yesterday SoS John Kerry formally stood before cameras and rhetorically proclaimed it was official: ISIS had been committing genoide. As if not one person had watched TV for the last few years, Kerry pompously pronounced it was true: ISIS had been killing Christians and sects of other religions en masse. Don't know, but ISIS has probably murdered or enslaved all of them by now. The only thing Kerry really succeeded in his announcement, was that after Hitler and the "never again" mantra among the West after WWll was alive and well. We saw it again and again with the ilk of Mao, Pol Pot, Idi Imin and other genocidal rodents like Stalin. At least, Obama is not alone in blowing it with ISIS. No particular courage, resolution nor particular concern, let alone outrage. Hey, he can always point to Roosevelt who infamously refused to even bomb a symbolic portion of the railroad tracks taking millions of Jews to their slaughter.
(3-9-16) Once again, Obama refuses to be a C in C. Jaw dropping and head slapping follows news that we've captured a high level ISIS chemical warfare official that we will NOT (caps rarely used) detain in Quantanamo where interrogators, possibly in concert with other chemical captives, have at him indefinitely at will. Instead, its reported Obama--who is determined to close Quantanamo before he leaves office--wants to give him to the Kurds after 60 days. Of course, if we were to imprison this enemy combatant on American soil, we'd have to give him his Miranda rights as if he were a regular criminal miscreant. Our president is a pure ideologue. I'd bet even King Tam of countrycat family.com would realize this ISIS savage knows about long or even short term plans to attack American targets with chemical weapons--not to mention Western allies. For security's sake, getting Obama out of office is a race against time, not to mention the race to defeat his previous colleague Hillary Clinton.
(3-7-16) Of Autos and Guns. In the Demo debate Sunday night in Michigan, Hillary all but said she wanted ban the sale of guns. Presumably any inanimate object that causes human suffering should be excluded from our life. That would include, therefore, automobiles. However, I doubt her objection to autos would not quite be the same, nor as beneficial, as with guns.
As with the Tea Party, some hand made signage revealed a withering yet joyful wit.
The crowd was well ensconced against the front railing when I arrived about two hours early. This is a shot behind the camera stand. Offloading first was former presidential candidate Chris Christie. He repeated parts of his endorsement speech, after which Trump said he could go home, according to report. Gratuitous humiliation of an ex-political opponent? If it was a put down, it didn't end there. The sound system, at least to me, made Christie's voice somewhat alto, reminding me of one of the Munchkins in the Wizard of Oz.
(2.28.16) Fresh from yesterday's campaign stop at Bentonville AR, location of the Walmart corporate home, Donald Trump stopped over at Millington, TN located 11 miles from Memphis. I heard Trump himself just claimed to newser Chris Wallace that 15,000 people showed up. A media report said 11,000. I'm no good at head counting, but it doesn't seem possible that number could be right. Granted, the event was held in a large hangar at a small airport. People were penned in shoulder to shoulder, making it look like a lot more, especially when the crowd was boisterous and energized enthusiastic.
15,000? Don't see it by the looks of an absence of port-a-potty queues (in upper pic left) and by the empty space below. There may have been 15k that were issued tickets off the internet, but tickets were not counted upon entrance. Pic time above: 7:02 PM. The hangar was abut 65% full by my estimation then. Real attendance: I'd guess maybe 6,000.
Airport Hangar politics. From Uncle Sam to the back line of the crowd, hangar is half empty. Not to say it wasn't a large crowd, but probably considerably smaller than the numbers bandied about. Shot taken at 5:48 pm. The event was schedule to start at 6:00 pm, although Trump arrived early.
For campaign managers, holding an event in this enclosed space was genius. It has the perceptual advantage of making the crowd seem as large as his previous events elsewhere. The enclosed space also made the crowd's response to Trump's dog attack rips seem strangely celestially awesome. More pics...
Planting a state and Trump flags.
On crutches she walked with sign.
If anything, the media should take campaign turnout numbers with at least some fictional embellishment. Perhaps they should place an intern at the entrance to take an actual count.
Post note: Trump is yet the only candidate I've heard who can have his backers repeat his lines. I haven't heard it from any of the others. You? For example, he told the crowd when former Mexican President Fox announced he "would not build that wall," (but with a little more expletive flourish), Trump paused and asked the crowd how he would respond. The crowd, like the thunderous voice of God, responded, "You will build it ten feet higher!"
Now, that's confidence.
(2.26.16 BenQQ) He makes all other media, as well as commentators, reporters and just about everybody else's old professional standards, irrelevant. American politics, maybe all of society, has been trumpetized, meaning commoners are back. At lest rich commoners. Doesn't matter he's filthy rich, to which he noticeably points. In contrast are opponents Cruz and Rubio who harken to their poor parents and personal struggles. Not Trump. Cuing into romantic American myth is not his thing. Maybe that's because he doesn't have much of one.
credit: John Garra, Buzzfeed News via www.readandenjoy.me
In fact, he has made himself a workaday chump of mind-blowing success without having to put on airs. What's more, people believe it. Forget the wise old values of Abe Lincoln. Enter The Donald with cringeworthy insults and bombastic egotism. Come to think of it, nobody has had Abe's values since Abe.
Otherwise self congratulating commentariot have thrown in the towel trying to peg him. Fact is, Trump's style leaps beyond the low bar normal, not to mention political, standards. He's blunt as if having only time to speak in text messages, not worrying much about what he did or said before or even what he says in the moment. But whatever he says is coming from him, not likely a writer delivering him lines.
Above, left wing extremists have latched onto Trump, comparing him to assorted murderers, jihadists and Southern Confederates, not to mention conservative commentator Ann Coulter looking up transfixed. Credit: cover of the Southern Poverty Law Center report on extremism in which they say Trump has inspired violence.
That's the relatable common man part of his appeal though he may not be equivalent to pistol packing (tho I hear he packs heat) Andrew Jackson who is said to have, regretfully enough, invited "the people" to his innauguration that turned into a three day drunken bash.
However, a strange brand of honest populism unrelated to his wealth will likely propel him into the oval office. He's an amazing, great guy and he'll tell you so. And just imagine his stunningly gorgeous multi-lingual wife holding forth royally at White House events. It will be a guaranteed sight.
He matches perfectly the theme of today's nihilistic self-absorption. Not saying that's a bad thing. He doesn't care if he's talking off the top of his head. Deep thoughts are slow and cumbersome. He says he'll listen to the policy wonks. He doesn't pretend to be an expert, except in himself.
His people like that. So do I.
(Los Angeles 11.19.15 BenQQ) Apparently not caring they sounded like Nazi thugs threatening performers in a prewar Berlin nightclub, as in the movie Cabaret, Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada, said recently a "prominent" member of Hillary Clinton's campaign demanded he take down a three minute video, entitled, what else? “Hillary vs. The First Amendment.” It of course made fun of the candidate. As a result, Masada said, “I have received complain(t)s before but never a call like this, threatening to put me out of business if I don’t cut the video,” according to the Judicial Watch Corruption Chronicles. Not only that, he said the unnamed campaign officio wanted to know the personal contact information of the performers in the video. Here's the story and the link to the video. The three minute video is still running.
Perhaps more important, it would be interesting to know if current Hillary supporters believe this tactic is OK with them. If so, expect worse. Seig Heil, Hillary, Seig Heil.
(10.21.15 BenQQ) Here are seven little questions I'd like to ask Hillary Clinton regarding the 9-11-12 attack:
If you were visiting these pages soon after Sept 11, 2012, you might recall my outrage culminating in a call for Obama's impeachment because he failed to offer not even a concern to protect American soil during the attack. Both Clinton and Obama apparently have gotten a pass for not being particularly responsible before the attack (despite numerous warnings).
The Democrats have exhibited a shameless craven partisanship in pretending to want to get to the bottom of this scandal, the only Obama scandal that has resulted in loss of life. They point to the previous seven (7) hearings as quite enough, thank you. They, and their media as well, fail to point out the previous hearings were mostly finger pointing exercises from one agency to the other.
The American people, not government agencies, most deserve to have the answers only the Benghazi committee can bring them. With the exception of a few investigative reporters, no other body has the mission nor the budget to uncover the truth.
Watch the hearing tomorrow.