Sky piloting

I took part in Buffalo’s Sky Ride for the first time last year. Ignoring a fear of heights to get a new perspective was a real thrill so signing up for another go was automatic.



I was caught at a slow traffic light on one of the busier streets in my city last week. I couldn’t help but notice that, across the street, an attempt at parallel parking was going on. A young woman, with plenty of room for her car, was trying to maneuver her car. What was revealing was her reliance on just the backup camera. She didn’t crane her neck at all or look out the windows, just purely stared at the camera. It apparently revealed all that she needed to know, gently guiding her in to tapping both of the adjoining cars, despite the vast amount of space there was with which to work. Focused solely on the camera, the driver did herself a great disservice. By forgetting that she had both windows and a moveable neck, she managed to “kiss” both the cars on the edges of the space she was attempting to fill.

Later that night, CNN screened “Roadrunner,” the story of Anthony Bourdain’s rise to media prominence and his all too early end. While most celebrity passings come and go for me, that one did hit me rather hard. I really liked his writing and religiously watched his television offerings. The common thread between the programs was just showing things, customs, cooking, life entirely. It didn’t seem that he was rushing to confirm a particular judgement, but to seem something completely. Hopefully a better understanding was the end result. He tried vegetarian cuisines. He shot machine guns with Ted Nugent. He chatted with both Trumpers and nontrumpers. The fundamental curiosity and the willing to find stuff out I knew drew me in and at the heart of it, that helps me fuel my critical thinking and outlook. i really appreciated his notion of seeing the whole thing, being curious enough to find out, to use all that was available from enjoying a meal to forming a notion.

That seems to have evaporated. I mean it is okay to not have a take yet, but it seems like we are skipping the duty of being interested in finding something out then we are in having a snappy comeback,

It would certainly make all the media dogwhistles that we hear a lot less effective. Now, that isn’t a media thing. It’s not like there is a big conference call every morning where all the media gathers and decides things collectively. It’s the how we react to stuff.

This has been on my mind a lot of late. An acquaintance posted about the recent nomination hearings of Ketanji Brown Jackson. The acquaintance was against the nomination based mostly on the made for TV theatrics of Sens. Hawley, Cruz and Graham. The three stooges in their never ending quest for camera time ahead of time, you know, working, were trying to make a stink of the judge’s sentencing record. The hearing was filled with hysterically stated generalizations that didn’t take in account cases, legal nuances, charges or make much sense. I don’t believe they believe a word of it. They were just out to scuttle the nomination and screw up a president they aren’t fond of, the petty buffoons. The actual cases are too nuanced for those jamokes.

Ron DeSantis, in his quest to turn Florida back to the 1940s, got the Don’t Say Gay law put in place and is championing himself as the protector of the next generation. You do a little digging and find out that he didn’t win by much the last time, a little over 33,000 accordng to Politico. Maybe, I’m cynical…okay, I am. I don’t think he gives a rat’s behind about what gets taught. He certainly didn’t hold students in any high regard – berating those wearing Covid masks at a recent ceremony. He is trying to get apathetic voters to turn up to keep him employed. The Disney company admirably came out against the law with that pesky freedom of speech and DeSantis came out swinging against them. Facebook political “scholars” were cheering him on as he wants to take away Disney’s self policing of their Florida holdings. You did a little deeper and the bill the Florida residents would have to pay if this all actually came to pass should cause his impeachment. Good thing, it is all political theater.

I started writing this prior to the leak of the draft of the Supreme Court decision that could overturn Roe versus Wade. While that potential is horrifying enough as it will endanger women for the sake of control over them (as well as reveal how the past three justices perjured themselves to get their jobs), I am thinking that leak might have come from Justice Thomas whose spouse really wanted to abuse her clout to overturn the the 2020 election.

We need to stop and think about that.

We also need to stop and act more for the consequences of the Buffalo shooting. As it sits about 1/2 mile from my residence, I’ve been trying to pitch in where I can either financially, with sweat equity or just making space. As the cameras are dissipating, the hole in the heart of that neighborhood is deep. The help needs to be there as the wounds run very deep. The city hasn’t done much to help things aside from getting the supermarket there in the first place. But more needs to occur as the history even leading up the shooting isn’t good. This is a good piece for perspective. Jefferson, Bailey, Genesee, Fillmore should be just as significant as Elmwood, Delaware and Main. Hopefully this all proves impetus for a positive direction guided by the people who call it home. It’s beyond disturbing that teachers and grocery store employees have to plot hiding places and escape routes. I admire our sports team for offering help, but I’m not really comfortable with commemorative t-shirts and their revenues going down untold paths when there are grassroots organizations doing the work

It happened two weeks ago, and already the horror isn’t even the freshest nightmare, If you weren’t sure what terrible excuses for human beings Ted Cruz and Greg Abbott were before, they certainly showed it. With musings like bulletproof school doors (Cruz) to insight like “it could have been worse,” (Abbott), they aren’t exactly distinguishing themselves as public servants, just buffoons prioritizing their NRA donations.

Given that the AR-15 is the en vogue weapon of choice and there is absolutely no reason for civilians to own one (no, not even you, Joe Sportsman), perhaps look at making them tougher to get for disturbed 18 year olds.

This is not who we are goes the refrain. Sorry, but it exactly who we are. We need to be better to aspire, genuinely aspire to be better.

I was hard on myself for what I’ve done to help with efforts here in Buffalo as they felt a little lacking in my mind, but I know I’ve contributed more that either of those two jamokes will to better the situation in Texas.

In a world of Abbotts, be a Beto

Chickens are good people

1 = 1 =5. Perfect math for these disconnected times. It comes from a meme that really rang true for me. If you want to believe 1+1 does equal 5, I’m not going to try to dissuade you as I’ve come to realize what folly that truly is. People are arguing on social media based on emotions and the confirmation of their preferred narrative not the facts.

Where do you start? So many things to be mad about but I fear for my overtaxed outrage, The Texas anti-woman crusade? Uncle George Carlin from almost twenty years ago put it right

Pretty much says it right,

We do seem to be a pattern of instead of addressing an issue proactively, we seem to fight about it. That law is about control, not about actual behavior, the healthcare, but control. The need of some backwards cromudgeonly cromagnon old white guys (who as George notes, nobody wants to mess with anyway) asserting control in an area where the governor wants ignore the pandemic. Apparently the virus has more rights in Texas than the female citizenry.

You wouldn’t think people would have the capacity to not see the wrongness here, but somewhere, somehow, there are jugheads arguing about it. Gp get ’em, Merrick Garland. This needs repair not pointless internet arguing.

We don’t look for facts, we look for preferences.

It’s not Facebook’s fault that people aren’t getting covid shots, but that does seem to be a battle front where the line between barstool philospher and infectious disease expert seems to be pretty hazy (maybe that is a side effect). A year and a half into the pandemic, nobody really has an absolute. We all just think we do. What I think, getting vaccinated doesn’t necessarily absolutely cure or keep Covid completely away, but it seems a good step to take to reduce the severity if it landed, a good step to take, but you do you, or don’t.

I can’t help but wonder if there has been a bit of ripple effect in the workforce from 700,000 people dying from Covid. People have fought about nobody wanting to work because of the supposed great living you made during the expanded unemployment benefits when those were around. Sure, there are folks gaming the system. I can think of 535 of them in the house and senate. Given the extraordinary nature of the pandemic where nobody could be certain of anything, maybe folks reprioritized, maybe some postings were exposed to not be that great, maybe some employers aren’t worth hiring, maybe years of being in hospitality didn’t prepare you for being a mask or vaccination police person (see that poor woman attacked by customers at her NYC restaurant for doing her job), maybe years as a flight attendant didn’t prepare you for self-righteous buffoons attacking each other and you in flight, and maybe some places are depending on the vicissitudes of hiring algorithms to fill postings. I’ll check my resume for keywords. Anyhoo, it’s a complex situation that doesn’t have easy answers that will never get properly addressed in any facebook status update arguments.

I’d rather my city have a mayor with a few parking tickets than one whose office gets raided by the FBI. And while I am at it, socialist programs do not mean Trotsky is a coming. Most of the new deal was socialist programming. Social security, farm price supports, unemployment, bank deposit insurance, streets getting repaved, hell, anytime government does something for anybody fits the definition. People are running from a word without bothering to look it up. Perhaps they can research it while they are looking up their vaccine research.

I can’t help but wonder if anybody is even doing that, researching their vaccine, and if they did, do they know what they are looking at? Unlikely, but give em a meme to post and they will admonish anybody who doubts.

Witness the all the partisians on facebook now that are choosing sides as Congress continues to screw around with bills that are designed to help people, keep social security payments, pay the military, trivial stuff like that, invest in roads and bridges and each party is so hell bent on screwing the other, it is going to be the citizenry who is going to lose, yet apparently the country came here for an argument once more.

We aren’t fixing anything. With so much broken you’d think that might be job one, but no, it’s easier to throw spitballs from the back of the internet, shouting your possibly baked notion louder than the next, not to any real end other than to be louder than what you don’t want to hear.

It reminds me of the belligerently written posts to raise awareness or post this on your wall or I know real friend will posts, I hate those things they do nothing than serve as vehicles for attention. Everybody likes to posit that social media is an evil, but never stopping to consider a paraphrase of Pogo: “We have seen the enemy and it is us.”

Let’s fix something. Get it fixed and at the bar when the job is done we can toast how it should have been.

Political Pandemic Blues.

I have had my fill. The pandemic has warped all our intellects. I’m weary, I mean like working at home. Between projects today, I got chores done. It would occasionally be good to go for a bike ride with somebody else. I miss concerts, hugs and overpriced beer with good friends. My granddaughter is 10 months old and I’m pretty sure thinks that there is a definite limit of people in her world, somewhere around 20 of us. There is a very fine line between solitude and isolation. With the numbers significantly worse than last spring when this started, I remain resolute. I thought I had a grasp on it all, but the days are getting weirder. Strange Days indeed as the Erie County Comptroller is taken to caring about what the County Executive is doing for a half hour on Sunday morning? I would have thought that would have been the weirdest thing I would I have heard in January, but instead it’s not even close. That’s a little bizarro, shouldn’t the comptroller be comptrolling something. I guess we deserve it. In the last election, the choice was an experienced financial professional and him. His nose seems to extend into the business of those of who don’t blanket agree with him. It’s been revealed the poor devil shows up for work in his office as much as 5 days a month. Must be exhausting.

In an ongoing attempt to fix anything by slapping a fee on it, the City of Buffalo installed cameras near five schools to monitor motorists’ speeds during school hours. We need a new mayor. Initially they were supposed to run all day, then during school arrival and dismissal hours. Apparently functioning at all is a tall order. The mayor insists this isn’t a cash grab. Respectfully, I disagree. We need a new leader at the top. I picked my candidate. I think it is an effort to shore up the books on the backs of city residents that may have been overextended. The books are definitely overextended thorough reserve use. The citizens definitely. We need to live within our means, so should our municipality. The most efficient thing to do at this point would seem to admit failure and perhaps throw in the towel, that along with quit trying to fix everything with a new fee.

Charge SENS. CRUZ, JOHNSON AND HAWLEY UNDER 18 US CODE 2385. We have laws against trying to overthrow the government by advocating things like the extra-constitutional “Emergency Audit” @TedCruz proposed. When it is close, you get your recount. When it isn’t close, you don’t. There are no mass accusations of fraud, there are no disputed states. There is a lopsided pile of lawsuits that died because of lack of evidence. Sedition from supposed public servants. 59 lawsuits filed with just one victory. These self-absorbed “Patriots” need to rethink this. This isn’t about serving the people or making sure 70 million people are heard (they were, Senator Hawley, they were). It is all about stealing the election and lighting a corner of the constitution ablaze to stay in power which wasn’t earned. As this movement has nothing, literally nothing, it would wonderous if they knew how much they should be paying attention to Georgia instead of nonsensical gestures like this one. The events of January 6th are at their feet. Now if we could just figure out why they keep getting elected when they deliver so little for the people they supposedly represent. People drank some Kool-Aid hard. I don’t know what it is about the hate-yam’s yammering other than it has been a project prior to his winning in 2016. These jamokes had me agreeing with Mitt Romney, that is weird. Makes me crazy that after the GOP riot/flawed coup, the Mittster was the voice of reason. Tell us the truth? Crazy talk. Crazier still when you consider how many would prefer not to hear it. I liked Angry Mitt.

Same thing with Hawley. If you voted to overturn the results of a certified election with zero evidence, stop whining about unity. You’re traitors.

I felt the need to include the above because somehow being removed from Twitter is being construed with freedom of speech. Anybody who signs up on a service (like this one) is subject of the rules of that service. If the President really wanted to talk, there is a whole press room within walking distance of his office that could have lapped up the day’s lies, fabrications and insults with great ease.

Something else that has been bothering me. When Mr. Trump was elected, those extremely on the left started up with “He’s not my president.” Bad news for you folks, he was. He was the president, got to run the show. The same thing goes with the new administration. Regardless of how you feel about him, he is running the show.

I still can’t help but wonder what people saw in him. I understand your party is your party, but what exactly was there. The very words from then Press Secretary Sean Spicer was a daring to pick a fight with the White House Press Corp about the size of the Trump inaugural crowds.

I’m sure President Biden will do something or somethings to displease me, but he does seem to get that the Presidency is a public service job, not for a personal profiteering notion. In addition to jumping on Mr. Biden for sporting a Rolodex watch and owning a Peloton, the New York Times did stop to discover that much of the funding for organizing of the January 6th riots came from the Trump campaign.

As perhaps my favorite voices and writers (Bruce Springsteen) noted on his radio show this week noted:

“Now, I’m curious: What kind of narcissist are you that thinks you have the right to trash our People’s House, stop the wheels of our democracy, while we are in the process of performing one of our most sacred duties, the peaceful transfer of power, in the most powerful nation on Earth, and to act based on a cheap, easily disproven lie of a stolen election, a lie that has been reviewed, disproven, debunked and rejected by every court in the land, including our own Trump-filled Supreme Court. I mean, who do you think you are to desecrate the halls of our democracy purely on the word of a delusional, broken carny barker of a president, who knows allegiance only … to himself. He is a dime store seditionist and a low-rent traitor to the Constitution, and to the United States of America.

“I ask my good American brothers and sisters to value yourselves and your allegiances more deeply. Donald J. Trump does not deserve your good soul and your honest and heartfelt commitment. Your country, your real country, awaits and needs you. So I say this with pain and love in my heart: Don’t waste your compassion on those who do not deserve it. You are better and worth much more than that. In this world, God’s world, no infallible truth resides in just one man. There is only one truth, God’s truth, and it is a truth of deep inquiry, humility in the face of facts, and it is grounded in the faith and love and respect you carry for your neighbors and your country. Let us all pray to God we have the strength to see clearly with our mind, heart and eyes, and that we may hold our faith high, humbly, and in service of our country and the truth.”

Well said, Boss. An extremist couple, of course, armed with recording cell phone accosted Mitt Romney in an airport wanting to know how he was going to vote in Electoral College certification (something they likely didn’t know about four years previous) and got abusive when the Senator didn’t give them the answer they wanted. 1999 Lindsey Graham said that if we support Trump we deserve our end. It’s too bad he didn’t give 2021 Lindsey the news. Cruz, Graham, Rubio, Hawley sold their souls for somebody who didn’t give a crap about theirs. They are all so hellbent to stay in power, not to represent, but to stay in power, witness how none of them have said boo about the covid situation getting worse. Hopefully the new senate will be forced into working together. There are no guarantees, no assured successes, but it feels a little more like, i don’t know, the folks at the top aren’t there to fill their larters.

Boss gets the last word

We are lost

I have been thinking a lot about the 2020 Presidential election lately, especially since the 2024 campaign will be starting later this month. We are under a metamorphosis that isn’t good. The election of the President is a pretty amazing thing. It is one of the few things that every voter does get a say. So many folks have been concerned lately that they have been taken to posting “if I can drag myself/If you can be food/etc, you can come and vote in person.” Why does the method matter so much? Isn’t it the greater good that I show up in some fashion at all. With the pandemic, I opted (as a new grandfather, emergency contact for both my parents) to go the absentee route, since covid concerns were taken into account at least by the Board of Elections.

The job of President is a big deal. I think if we all knew all the details of all the decisions they have to make while in office might cause voters to rethink a lot. I like to think there is a need for gravitas, a willingness to see the big picture, to stand up, to glad and to take the heat that goes with the office, to deal with proven facts, to represent the best of all of us, even if we didn’t select him or her at election time.

Not everybody can do it. You got to be engaged and made for these times. Our criteria for what works has decidedly taken a turn for the weird. Are they going to represent me well seems to be a secondary issue to whether or not they were fun to get a beer with?

One of my favorite fictional characters once spoke of government as a “place where everyone can come together, and nobody gets left behind.” The writer of the words that came out of his mouth had penchant for Capra-esque cheer leading speechifying, but who came blame him and those words were written during the second Bush adminstration. We’ve sunken and it’s getting harder to get up.

Seeds of hatred have people public typing their applause when people with differing views get run over or cheering/degrading protests on public road and waterways. A president can be a uniter, bringing people together. The current one chose not to be that guy on day 1, choosing bluster over pretty much everything else including specifics on well, anything and is floating the idea of declaring himself the winner when he feels like during Election Night. If he was truly representing everybody, he would shut it until the votes are counted. The election hasn’t been certified the night of in some time. The guy who seeks his office has a tall list to overcome.

The President has been musing that he hasn’t gotten many mail-in ballots. This is after spending two months or more discrediting mail-in ballots, now he has shifting to villifying election workers who seem to just fine by plenty of republicans.

It’s not the best commentary on our country that snycophants like Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell or Marco Rubio can spinelessly slink back into the jobs. I mean if there was going to be some cheating, don’t you think one of those suckers would have been targeted.

I think of all the reprobates and crooks and schnooks that will go with the President in defeat. The relief of educators losing the incompetent Betsy Devos is palpable.

Neither party possesses the answers and it seems like we have to vilify that which we aren’t embracing. I mean blind faith in anything is a seriously bad notion. I like that Joe Biden preached process and calm, that it isn’t about him and about us. I’m thrilled with Senator Harris already taking out multiple glass ceilings. The former Vice-President wasn’t my first choice either, but at the very least he seems to know that it is about all of us. That is a pretty good place to start.

Bruce Springsteen shared the following poem by Elayne Griffin Baker on his radio show.

There’s no art in this White House.

There’s no literature, no poetry, no music.

There are no pets in this White House, no loyal man’s best friend, no Socks the family cat, no kids’ science fairs.

No time when the president takes off his blue suit red tie uniform and becomes human, except when he puts on his white shirt and khaki pants uniform and hides from the American people to play golf.

There are no images of the First Family enjoying themselves together in a moment of relaxation.

No Obamas on the beach in Hawaii moments, or Bushes fishing in Kennebunkport.

No Reagans on horseback, no Kennedys playing touch football on the Cape.

Where’d that country go?

Where did all the fun, the joy and the expression of love and happiness go?

We used to be the country that did the Ice Bucket Challenge and raised millions for charity.

We used to have a President that calmed and soothed the nation instead dividing it, and a First Lady who planted a garden instead of ripping one out.

We are rudderless and joyless.

We have lost the cultural aspects of society that make America great.

We have lost our mojo, our fun, our happiness, our cheering on of others.

The shared experience of humanity that makes it all worth it.

The challenges and the triumphs that we shared and celebrated.

The unique can-do spirit that America has always been known for.

We are lost.

We have lost so much in so short a time.

-Elaine Griffin Baker

Send the lawyers home, Donnie, you are out of your element

The Division Bell

An old acquaintance of mine wrote on that screed of the uninformed, Facebook, that “the Obamas divided us.” That really struck me that as per usual for such statements, no evidence was offered as to how this was done.

Donald Trump didn’t divide us. Despite his attempts to actually do so, Mitch McConnell didn’t do so either. The media hasn’t divided us. Social media isn’t guilty. The Pandemic (which, I don’t know who needs to hear this, ISN’T OVER) isn’t even guilty.

It seems to me that the division has always been bubbling underneath and the trick has always been to be able to overcome that, instead of blaming anything and taking responsibility. When George Floyd was murdered, a lot of well-meaning people hopped online with quotes from Martin Luther King. That’s a nice thought I’ll grant you, but as a few folks I know pointed out, he wasn’t the only black man to turn a phrase. I keep thinking of James Baldwin and his writings of the idea of America, the promise of America, praising those things while contrasting them with the reality of America, that the social contract isn’t the same for all its citizens.

Mr. Baldwin was absolutely correct. People of color are and have been marginalized. It isn’t anything new.

I think while on the leadership side, things took a turn during the battles between President Clinton and Newt Gingrich, along with the rise of Fox News. Through court cases deciding the 2000 election, the tea partiers, Mitch McConnell’s well documented edict to block anything President Obama sent to the senate to President Trump’s screaming law and order in every medium all the while flouting the laws he is not above and is supposed to abide by, but doesn’t.

Now, as the Boss once said, “Blind Faith in anything, in your leaders, in anything, will get you killed.” But it seems we are at a point that power (without it even being absolute) corrupts absolutely. People like Jeff Flake and Susan Collins warned that the President probably should not be engaged in certain activities. Yet despite being in positions to put stops on those things, they refused to do.

While the President didn’t create the divide between parties, between science and luddites, between races, between media and audiences, he manages to exploit them to his benefit as our collective attention span doesn’t drill down for details.

We used to be thinkers, well-informed instead of seekers of our preferred narrative. But the President cut through regulation to slash spending – there are people who yell “great” as that does sound good, until some of the regulations kept our water clean, protected land, fed children and maintained offices for the study of infectious disease and pandemics. That last one might come in handy during the course of this year.

Instead everybody is blaming. He’s taking a victory lap over blocking flights from China, ignoring that Italy was fighting the same thing and Italy is a lot closer to New York all the while lambasting the W.H.O. and the C.D.C. and a litany of experts in the field because they aren’t telling him what they want to hear. He is more interested in golf than fighting Covid. Remember all the GOP senators in a dither (incorrectly) about Benghazi. Apparently when the numbers get to high we no longer keep score when you get past 180, 000.

But that is another blog post that I already wrote.

Division…a facebook poster I know a little bit objected to NFL players putting messages about needed social change and victims of police violence on their helmets, complaining that we were no longer “one”. If it was worth it (and that’s a big if) to wade into a Facebook argument, I’d point out that the likelihood is that we’ve never been “one,” that we’ve talked about it, but we have never delivered on that promise. Those for whom “:one” has been talked of, but really weren’t included. That “oneness” is the goal, but it hasn’t been the case. To make that transition, to bring about that “oneness” requires an acknowledgement that we haven’t been truly there, that the circle needed everybody and throughout our history, it has been closed off to too many.

The promise sounds great, but the execution has been flawed and enough people aren’t silently accepting that anymore as well they shouldn’t. The thing has never really worked, but to get there isn’t insurmountable. For everybody who screams All Lives Matter, they should stop and realize that the whole point is that that is a nice goal, but it hasn’t been proven true and that not all lives are treated like that. That’s what this is all about. We’re not dividing, just never been completely united.

In reading some posts and feeds this weekend, I again saw a poster blaming social media instead of advocating taking responsibility for what he posts. Another decried that when Herman Cain passed, Cain was accorded the reverence afforded to Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I have no idea about what drew that gentleman to that conclusion, but Facebook didn’t make him stupid, he apparently already was that dumb. Justice Ginsberg was a committed advocate for making the world a better place, to serving the people even ones who didn’t agree with her. Cain smiled as he dove into a petri dish of Covid 19 to later catch Covid 19.

This thing of ours remains a great blueprint, but it isn’t working for all. People are  left behind, marginalized, shunned, attacked, killed and we shouldn’t be okay with any of that as it has been going on long before there was any social media to cry “where’s the media” on. People are still searching for that preferred narrative and social media didn’t cause that, just capitalizes on that.

I think the my way or highway schism on the political spectrum has its roots in Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton and has been spiraling out of control ever since and everybody has the keyboard to spout from and when confronted by actual issues, it is easier to hide keyboard-eque (he said from behind a keyboard, but hey I admit it). The buddha of my youth and midage once opined about how blind faith can get you killed.

Same source offered up this truism, Nobody wins unless everybody wins. And that means everybody.

He’s right in both instances. I still remain convinced that if we place the energy in spouting off with making the tent bigger and all-inclusive, realizing that we are all people who need each other, nothing is impossible.




If you get the tax taken out from the enhanced unemployment, that is what you get. This program has been one of the few good ideas to come out of the government during the Covid 19 pandemic.

While some senators would already have way too much vacation voiced that “it’s a disincentive to get people to work,” as you might expect I don’t share that opinion. I’ve been the recipient of two confidence shaking furloughs and am not quite out of the woods a third. That extra bit has kept me in my home, paid bills, bought groceries and gone BACK INTO THE FLIPPING ECONOMY!!!

The senators (let’s call them McConnell and Graham) think in stupidly general terms instead of doing what is right and just for the people they supposedly represent. It’s money I’ve been paying into since I started working at age 15.

Regular unemployment benefits don’t do it. These chuckleheads seem to think it is coming out of their pockets. What good is propping up cruiselines (THAT PAY NO TAXES!!!) when nobody can afford to partake.

I’m not saying we should be cruising but when government forces a shutdown, this is what you run budgets up for, not for when tax  rolls don’t favor your friends enough. There has been complaints that this had underminded folks desire to work. I don’t agree. I was on the program for a few weeks and I paid the rent, car and pushed it all back into that economy that will suddenly be without a lot of spending if this deadline goes by the way side, which should be a concern for those wanting the economy to move again. This has larger ramifications that morons saying get a job on facebook posts. To those morons, yeah, everybody should be working indeed and I’m sorry you didn’t get rewarded as your job didn’t end, but have you tried to apply for something when you are over age say, 35, it gets tougher. A manufacturing union rep looking for workers says the benefits are over a $1000 a week and he can’t compete with that. That has the benefit of not being true.

Sure, a few played the system like every government program ever, but can you imagine if you are a restaurant worker and your place has reduced capacity, so you are making minimum and because that reduced capacity, you aren’t going to clear as many tips, and you have to take on sanitizing and mask policing, I’m not going to lie, that does slow your roll a bit.

But unemployment does want you to be looking. My time down? That’s all I was doing. These are unprecedented times and we do need to not be so selfish when folks are squirming because of circumstances forced upon them.

As has been often said, “nobody wins, unless everybody wins.”


In the News

I need to vent. It’s all getting to me. Since nobody ever gets their mind changed by anything ever posted on Facebook, I thought I’d bring my gripes over here where I can at least get them out of my head without hopping on all these various threads on all these current issues. Telling many folks how wrong they are is a lot of work.

“I worked throughout the entire pandemic, share if you can” – Well, congratulations there, Skippy. I and many others would have liked to as well but some of us were subject (through no fault of our own) to furloughs, layoffs, flat out job losses. I would like my work to be uninterrupted, to not be diminished or suffer that stigma, but here we are. Getting furloughed is humiliating, humbling and to see people who are basically bragging that their salary went interrupted is maddening.

“We’re making it too easy for them to stay on unemployment” – This is just really dumb. I hate swiping generalizations like this. I want to contribute, I’m eager to get back at it, I thought the economy would favor me, but that is taking time. The $600 a week that apparently grinds your gears? I’ve been paying into that too and it is making it a little easier to keep my home, pay my car and keep me alive. And none of it, I mean none it is hurting you. Maybe you can’t attract a minimum wage worker for your bubble tea boutique because maybe you aren’t a worthy employer. Maybe it’s you.

“Are you getting excited to be in a restaurant again?” – In a word, no. Covid hasn’t gone anyplace. The icus and emergency rooms just have space now. Nobody knows nothing else with any certainty. Not crazy about masking wearing, especially on a bike ride, but I’m going to continue. If your faith needs to you be in a building to worship, that would be a faith I’d worry about.

“Social Media is dividing us” – Oh, good lord shut up. It is a inanimate object. If you foresake personal responsibilty and just toss stuff out there for the sake of audience reaction (like I’m doing now), own it.

“George Floyd was…” – Again, really flipping dumb. I don’t care if he was a Security guard or securities trader. It doesn’t matter. To invest time searching for disparaging memes, just reveals the amount of how small a person you are. Mr. Floyd’s death was inhumane and I hope the movement spurred continues to affect change.

“All Lives Matter” – If you have ever let this pass your lips, that is just foolish and you are missing the point. All lives should matter but the whole point of the Black Lives Matter movement is that all lives haven’t mattered, that is what needs to be changed. We all need to matter equally and we haven’t.

“Defund the Police” – Of course not! It’s a crappy slogan, but I mean nobody wants to do that despite what the President and certain candidates for congress would have you believe. Instead of spending money on ratcheting up it’s militarization, lighten their load a bit to concentrate on laws, reallocate some of the dollars on other areas to improve the complete picture a little bit. One congressional candidate in the New York 27 has already taken up pandering to that point. I hope that the people who live there ignore him.

“He was scanning their equipment” – There is no way that 75 year old Martin Gugino was “scanning” police frequencies with his consumer cellular smart phone. As a 75 year old, he might have stepped forward a bit to hear what he was being instructed by the Buffalo police. Yes there was a curfew, but no, there was no excuse for the shove or the callous strutting away after said shove.

The police who shot Breona Taylor need to face the music however. I hope the Attorney General can make the charges against Mr. Floyd’s killers stick and  the changes and calls for changes are genuine. This isn’t okay.

I worry of some of the political bluster means something. I am feeling that the mayor of Buffalo came out with a press conference to announce some reforms to mostly say he announced some reforms, much like the parade of companies who through either posters, ads or other collateral mean it, not just doing so with an eye to showing that “some of our best friends are black.”

Confederate symbols – There is one that I would especially like to see come down. McConnell.


Take a breath, be grateful you have that option

The names change, but the color does not. That is a elegantly tragic sentiment that came from Governor Cuomo. I’ve been trying to process everything about what happened to George Floyd and I’m not even close.

This has been a horrifying period of time to watch over and over as a thankfully now former Minneapolis policeman burrow his knee into Mr. Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes. Paramedics were quote that Mr. Floyd was dead at the scene. The officer was so casual about making Mr. Floyd a victim that he had a one hand in a pants pocket while he snuffed the last breathe from Mr. Floyd.The cell phone camera has offered more protection to Black Americans than any law enforcement agency, court, prosecutor, elected official, or news organization.

The horrifying video has been a tipping point. Yes to protests and continued silence does nothing but add to body counts. While I am not a fan of the violent destruction of property, I get it. When you haven’t been heard, when you, time and time again, get ignored, shown that not all lives matter, I defy you dear reader to not want to lash out in some form.

While that form isn’t great, Target will be fine. Yes, there are some people taking advantage (of all colors) and some of the destruction was at the hands of folks paler than me, but consider that it took 4 days for that officer to be charged, 4 more for the other three officers there to be charged for killing him.

It seems like we are two countries, one that fights for equality and another who fights for brunch. Here I sit, as a middle aged white guy, who raised that we are all people, and I am seeking the council of Ben & Jerry’s, but for once not of their ice cream.

I am fortunate. I married into a proud African American family that welcomed me like my seat at the table was waiting for me to sit right at it. I was raised by two supportive parents who continually showed that while the world is a fundamentally a good place, it wasn’t such for everybody and that needed to change. It still does. My children are the three smartest people I know and I’m sorry that their African American side still faces that struggle that our elders know all too well. I know firsthand of some of the hurdles they have faced because of the ignorance of others and my imagination doesn’t want to envision what else they may have encountered when their mother or I wasn’t around. That they have love in the hearts shows me the incredible people they are in spite of what the world continues to want to serve up. My daughters have both married upstanding tremendous men. I want to appropriate what my one son-in-law posted earlier:

“Check in on your friends and family of color. Everyone needs support right now. Making this post to let everyone in my life know that if you don’t support people of color and #blacklivesmatter , we have no reason to be in contact. This is not a political agenda, it’s a human right violation. I love my black family and I support you.”

Spot on and goes for me too. Before you respond at all with “well, all lives matter,” just don’t. Yes, they should, but they haven’t. There is white folk then everybody else. I know I can drive through a suburb nearby without so much as raising an eye, given my impervious shield of white privilege while my black brother-in-law might raise some eyebrows for doing the exact same thing.

In race riots in Buffalo, NY in the late sixties, my dad was directed to hide out for safety in an office supply shop. I like believing my future father-in-law gave him that direction. Easy to imagine in that both my dad and my pop sought a better world.

Pale breathren, don’t ask your black friends how you can help all the sudden. This shit has been going on for a long damn time, not just since last week. and they’d be right to ask where’ve you been. We have a president who seems to hate everybody who isn’t in the donor database he keeps. He has looted his own foundation, the 9/11 relief fund, casino bond holders, people who trusted his only charity, military families for a wall he said Mexico would fund and the U.S. Treasury directly into his for-profit golf resorts. He is bigoted, documented liar and racist, who demanded yes man like subservience and you are lesser if you have spine. He apparently has no trouble tear gassing his own citizens, but when called on it denies it, despite evidence to the contrary. What the little bunker bitch needs to realize is that what will make this country great is realizing that we all need to be in this together. The marginalization of every culture nonwhite has been destructive and hasn’t really improved the white folks either. We haven’t been one, but in those rare times, those few instances where the matters immediately at hand trumped (there’s that word), like Hurricane Harvey, people have the capacity to pull together as one. It should stop being the exception and be the rule.Let’s keep talking, listening, remembering honoring and actually heeding the thought that


This I found on Facebook and am going to reshare as we need to remember people and how this situation needs to improve, that the riots are the voices of the unheard, but beyond the demonstrations…

In America – because I am a human who happens to have white skin, I can do all of these things without thinking twice:
I can go birding (#ChristianCooper)
I can go jogging (#AmaudArbery)
I can relax in the comfort of my own home (#BothemSean and #AtatianaJefferson)
I can ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride)
I can have a cellphone (#StephonClark)
I can leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards)
I can play loud music (#JordanDavis)
I can sell CDs (#AltonSterling)
I can sleep (#AiyanaJones)
I can walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown)
I can play cops and robbers (#TamirRice)
I can go to church (#Charleston9)
I can walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin)
I can hold a hair brush while leaving my own bachelor party (#SeanBell)
I can party on New Years (#OscarGrant)
I can get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland)
I can lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile)
I can break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones)
I can shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford)
I can have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher)
I can read a book in my own car (#KeithScott)
I can be a 10 yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover)
I can decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese)
I can ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans)
I can cash a check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood)
I can take out my wallet (#AmadouDiallo)
I can run (#WalterScott)
I can breathe (#EricGarner)
I can live (#FreddieGray)

White privilege is real. Take a minute to consider a Black person’s experience today.

Living in your American skin shouldn’t get you killed no matter what color.

In the end, nobody wins, unless everybody wins.


Tell the patient to be patient

You are all concerning me a bit.

I mean, I’d like our existence to be a little more open. I don’t want to say normal as I’m not sure what we were doing was normal, but I’d like to see my kids, my granddaughter, my mom and dad, my significant other and be able to touch, hug and generally be.

But as the nursing home next to my building afforded a grave reminder, Covid is everywhere, taking four people who shouldn’t have had to wage that particular fight.

As I watched the parade of morons block up Niagara Square in Buffalo with their pleas of haircuts, work, etc, while heavily armed (curiously, everything is a second amendment issue), it angered me that these jamokes think everybody is expendable. There are government officials who think people are expendable. Clearly the president just wants to move on from covid. I half expect him to next recommend windex for everything like the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

The leaders in Georgia, Tennessee and Las Vegas are anxious to get people out. Everybody wants out, but for the mayor of Las Vegas to recommend her city as a “Control Group” was beyond stupid.

For the mayor in Jacksonville to want his beaches open so badly with no regard for consequence, I can’t help but wonder how these buffoons get elected.

I think we need to chill on our quest for normal, but I’m pretty sure that we aren’t on the downward slope. Because the federal response has lagged and because testing is so fractional of the bigger picture, I don’t think hitting a plateau is anything to get to excited about. When the death tally is a maybe a dozen less than the day before, that isn’t a good thing. It’s a less horrible thing.

I don’t know when bowling got to be at the head of the class in terms of things to open first. I mean everybody, me included, wants to open up. I want to share the experience of a Rolling Stones concert with my son, but I’d rather him healthy and well and me too. Jumping the gun is so unbelieveabily risky.

Nobody is expendable or a casualty of the price you pay for “fighting a war.”

Nor should this be the case for profiteering. I was gobsmacked that Rose’ Chris steakhouse got funding, that Harvard got funding, but I guess I shouldn’t be shocked.

50,000 people have died and people are protesting to get a haircut. Work has been cutback everywhere and Lindsey Graham (a guy who should be out of work) thinks we are enabled to sitting at home. Mitch McConnell (I wish somebody would tear him down and put up a human being) doesn’t want to help you at all if you live in the wrong state, despite his never delivering for his own.

(from WBFO’s web page)

Yes, it is an inconvenience, but we don’t know where we accurately are currently. What the yahoos in the picture above don’t know is that in their quest to resume life as it was in February is that they don’t know where the Covid is hiding (Psst, short answer, everywhere).

I don’t want anymore presidential sarcasm, denying of science, musings at to what might cure when it could fool around and come right back to us.

We all want to resume our lives, nobody disagrees with that all, I just want to be around to enjoy it.

Proceed with caution