Drving with no brakes on the Short Bus of Fail

"We're all bozos on this bus. La-la-la!"

Note:  This is a rant.  If you don’t care for pro football, the San Francisco Choking Dogs or bad language, please pass this by.  We’ll resume our irregularly scheduled socially responsible posting at a later time.  Right now, I’m too mad, too pissed and too lost in a foul, ugly mood to do anything but rage a bit.

This was supposed to be the year everything fell into place for Alex Smith, the overall Number One draft pick.  He finally had the same offensive coordinator for two seasons in a row.  He was loaded with weapons on offensive in stud RB Frank Gore, TE Vernon Davis and WR Michael Crabtree.  The Niners drafted two offensive linemen to give Smith time to stay upright while trying to decide which sexy toy he was going to play with next. And it’s all turned to crap because the offensive coordinator is  either senile, can’t figure out what plays to call or can’t call them fast enough before the play clock expires. Take your pick.

When losing become a part of a team’s psyche it permeates every facet of their game.  The Niners look for new ways to lose each week and have been wildly successful in finding them.  Against the Seahawks, they blew opportunities to score early and when Seattle figured it out they strafed the Niners through the air and rolled them as the coaches looked confused and bewildered. Result: Seahawks: 31 49ers: 6

Up next,   the Saints.  The Niners outplayed, out-hit and out-hustled the world champs but still lost.  Like 53 Charlie Browns they looked for ways to screw themselves.   They muffed punts, they fumbled, and saw not one, but two footballs bounce off the fingertips of a receiver and into the waiting arms of a Saint defender.  Even when they came back to score the game and convert a two-point conversion to possibly send the game into overtime, they left too much time on the ground for Drew Brees who found a wide-open Marcus Colston at a critical phase and set up the winning field goal.   Result: Saints: 25 49ers: 22Bolstered by a above-par performance that fell just short, the Niners confused losing narrowly with almost winning. They weren’t shy about talking shit over how they had kicked the Saints’ ass up and down the field, but had shot themselves in the foot with turnovers and penalties.  Vernon Davis felt cocky enough to guarantee a win over the unbeaten Chiefs.

Big mistake.  As it turned out, a HUGE mistake because they got run off the field.The defense collapsed again as beleaguered Chiefs QB Matt Cassell passed for 250 yards and three touchdowns as the running backs rolled up another 207 yards on the ground as the once-proud 49ers defense was shredded.

Meanwhile the 49ers offense didn’t bother showing up as the offensive line was truly offensive as first round pick Anthony Davis was a turnstile personally giving up three of the five sacks to the Chiefs.  Result: Chiefs: 31 49ers: 10   (and all alone in the cellar of the putrid NFC West). How’s that guarantee working out for ya, Vernon?  Next time, have a nice, big cup of shut the fuck up and wait until you’ve actually won the game to start talking shit.   The 49ers have been totally exposed as phonies, posers and pretenders.  Forget about winning the division.  Forget about the playoffs.  That’s all over now. This team is staring at going 0-5 before the Raiders come to town and that’s hardly a gimme anymore. If the 49ers were a television show, they’d be The Biggest Loser.   There’s not a winless team among the five 0-3 teams that has underwhelmed the way the Niners have.

No, you don't work here anymore. Yes, you can keep the hat.

Nobody’s surprised the Bills, Lions, Browns and Panthers are winless.  They’re all either young, rebuilding or both.  The 49ers were the sexy pick to not only win the division and crash the playoffs,  but a  few idiots actually had them as a Super Bowl pick.    How stupid do those dopes feel right about now?  And no, I was not one of those front-running fools.

The Browns and Bills played hard and came up short against superior teams in the Ravens and Patriots respectively.  I don’t believe for one second the Chiefs have more talent than the 49ers.  But talent without heart, guts or brains is useless and right about now the 49ers have no heart, play gutless, pathetically dull ball and may be the dumbest team in the NFL.

The optimists will say the Niners play in the 17-week monument to mediocrity that is the  NFC West so if they can put together a winning streak  9-7 might be enough to win it.   Except when you record is already closer to those seven losses than the nine wins that’s not thinking realistically.   This team is toast.  Samurai Mike Singletary talks a  great game, but more accomplished as a motivational speaker than a NFL head coach.   He doesn’t call plays and he apparently can’t make adjustments on the fly or during halftime to the game plan when things go ass up.   For this team to take that next step they thought they were ready for this season it’s going to take an experienced general manager in the front office and a proven head coach on the field to get the job done.  Jon Gruden and Bill Cowher, Jeb York just put in a “friend” request on Facebook.

Singletary says there will be personnel changes made after this latest skunking.   A scant 24 hours after proclaiming Raye would remain the team’s offensive coordinator, he was toast.  Yahoo! Sports provided  a chart of his career “success” which proves Raye makes teams worse, not better.

When you’re as fucked up as the 49ers are sacrifices must be made and scalps must be claimed.  Dumping clueless offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye was sad for him, but good for an offense stifled by his overly cautious and conservative approach.

But blaming Raye’s dull 31st ranked offense as the obvious whipping boy in the touchdown crazed NFL misses the point.  This is a team effort. Raye’s timid play-calling  only put up 38 points in three games, but coordinator Greg Manusky’s defense has given up a whopping 84 points and the special teams have been nothing to get excited about either.

Looks like I picked the wrong season to get Direct TV and the NFL Sunday Ticket.  Nice going 49ers.  Stinking up the joint and sucking elephant balls so far and being both boring and bad in the process.

It’s enough to make a brother switch over to the Bengals or Browns (yes, it has come to that!).

The 49ers boy wonder and brain trust. God save us.

Advertisements

One man’s guitar heaven is another’s guitar hell.

At some point your heroes become sell-outs.

There was a time when the release of a new Santana album was a reason to check my wallet, grab the car keys and head off to the record store to get it the same day it came out.  Now I buy most of my new music online as there aren’t many record stores to drive to and it’s been a good decade since I greeted a new Santana album with anything but a sigh and a yawn.  

I have not heard Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time and the chances are excellent I never will.  I haven’t paid much attention to anything Carlos has done since 1999.  He caught lighting in a bottle with the mega-selling sensation that was Supernatural.  But like Michael Jackson who spent the rest of his career vainly trying to recreate Thriller,  Guitar Heaven  is just the latest entry in the formula Carlos and his svengali, Clive Davis came up pairing the aging guitar hero with “superstar” guest sings.  I have grown very tired and bored with this formula as it has resulted in a series of dull, calculated albums (Shaman, All That I Am)  that sound as if they’ve been created by accountants, not musicians and have turned Santana into a supporting player on his own albums.  

Do I really need to hear Scott Weiland, Chris Daughtry, Gavin Rossdale, Chris Cornell, Joe Cocker, Nas, India.Arie and Yo-Yo Ma working over the likes of “Whole Lotta Love,” “Bang A Gong” and  “Smoke On the Water” while Santana himself again plays the role of sideman on his own record?  Why bother when there’s no way they’re goiing to improve on the original (and when did “Riders On the Storm” ever qualify as a great guitar song)?   

Santana has a faithful and loyal fan base, but here is one particular fan  that would be happy for Carlos the Collaborator to go away and return to just being Santana and his band minus all the superfluous guest appearances. 

"Guitar Heaven" ain't raising no hell.

Back in the day when he was off on a spiritual trip as “Devadip” Carlos Santana, he made some truly weird albums such as Illuminations with Alice Coltrane on harp and the mammoth Lotus, a three-record live album featuring Leon Thomas on vocals, perhaps the worst singer Santana ever had who introduced yodeling to rock.  

Santana’s 1972  collaboration with John McLaughlin Love Devotion Surrender was an eclectic, but blistering collaboration that went far beyond the expectations of what even  jazz-rock fusion fans were expecting.  He would push the envelope further with Welcome (1973), the second in a series of albums (Caravanserai, Welcome, Lotus, Borboletta) departing  from rock and exploring the frontiers of jazz fused with the classic Santana percussion.   Any one of those albums are bolder and edgier than the vapid pop sludge Carlos currently cranks out  

I would rather pull out those underrated albums or the Brothers album with his brother Jorge and nephew Carlos Hernandez.  I wish THAT Carlos Santana would come back  instead of  this wuss and his lame duets with even lamer “rock” singers like Chad Kroger of Nickelback.  

Carlos needs to ditch Davis and his formula in the worst way.   Guitar Heaven might have more appeal if Santana  paired off with guest guitarists, not vocalists.  Trading licks with Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen would have been a thousand times more exciting than another tepid try at coming up with another “Smooth.”   

What genius thought Nas rapping  “Back in Black” or India.Arie and Yo-Yo Ma—two names that do not rock–on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” was a masterstroke?     

I haven’t  given up hope Carlos will ever again make a record again worth buying and I’d still go see him if he came to town because Santana playing live is never boring.   After finally running out of ideas on Borboletta, Carlos recalibrated his sound and with Amigos (1976)  celebrated his return to rock n’ roll relevance.  

I just wish he’d stop cheapening his immense talent in pursuit of another massive mega-hit song.   Most artists don’t get even one big hit in their careers.  Hoping to manufacture another one has left Carlos mostly spinning his wheels with ever duller and unimaginative albums.   That’s what happens though when you stop making music from the heart and start chasing dollars.  

It’s no fun to watch a guitar hero turn into a hack, but the evidence of his sloppily paint-by-numbers approach to music leads me to conclude that is exactly what Santana  is dangerously close to becoming.     

The Hard Fall and Slow Rise of Michael Vick

Michael Vick: on the run to redemption?

 

After two fairly successful outings (one win and a narrow loss), Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid named Michael Vick as the team’s new starting quarterback.  This news was greeted with enthusiasm by fantasy football freaks hoping Vick’s abilities with his arm and legs will pay off,  and surprisingly mild, but  predictable derision by the animal rights group PETA which sniped in a press release, “As long as he’s throwing a football and not electrocuting a dog,  PETA is pleased he is focused on his game.” 

The worst lapse of good taste came by way of the Philadelphia Daily News and a front page cover of Vick with the tagline, “Top Dog.”   They could have been classy or they could have been cute.  They went with cute.   

Kevin Kolb, the guy Reid traded Donovan McNabb away for, suffered a concussion in the opening game, opening the door for Vick.   Vick is in the last year of his contract and if he performs well he could expect to earn millions from the Eagles or as a free agent for some other quarterback starved NFL team.   

The Philly faithful will cheer Vick because he’s taken so much crap from the clueless elitists who compare him to rapists, murderers, sex offenders, pedophiles, the Frankenstein monster and Attila the Hun. 

Maybe they’re as sick of the lynch mob mentality as I am. Go boycott a puppy mill or something.   

Society can nurse a grudge against those whom have offended society, but that only increases the odds they will re-offend. Deprive a man of legitimate means to take care of his needs and he will resort to illegitimate means.   

I respect the right of people not to forgive Vick.  I have a problem with  people who believe the life of a dog holds more value than the life of a human being.  As lovable as any dog may be they still don’t outrank human beings on the evolutionary food chain.  That includes Michael Vick. 

Nor do I respect people who throw their superior morality in your face then get their ass on their shoulder if you’re not as outraged as they are.   Vick went to jail, lost his freedom, lost years of his professional career, lost millions and lost the respect of many in society. He can get some of the money and respect back but he has to earn both. For the hardcore hater, Vick will always be guilty, always unforgiven and permanently loathed. No matter what Vick does to repent for his crimes it will never be enough for those cynics. Their minds are made up and they will never accept any evidence to the contrary. 

He did the crime and he did the time. He’s out and back in the NFL. That’s all, folks.      

It's official: there's no joke that's too sick for some people.

 

Nobody believes anyone owes Michael Vick anything but withering contempt and utter revulsion for opening our eyes to the existence of “rape stands” and the other hellish accouterments of dog fighting.   Consider this  though:  when the fights were confined to the alleys, garages and lots where homies, rednecks, bikers, and vatos watched two dogs tear each other to bloody shreds, this illicit subculture operated pretty much out of sight and out of mind.   

 Now this ugly little world has been exposed and its veil of secrecy forever ripped away.  Vick gave this vicious game his name and face.  No matter what he does the rest of his NFL career he will have a conjunction attached to the accomplishment.  “Michael Vick, Super Bowl quarterback–and dog killer.”  There’s no trips to Disneyland and no schmoozing on Jay Leno’s couch in his future.  Not now or ever.     

There isn’t a sponsor who would ever entertain  the vaguest of  hopes Vick might rehab his reputation to the point he could ever be a practical pitchman again. It does happen.  Kobe Bryant was accused of rape and now he’s back to shilling shoes for Nike.  Ray Lewis was indicted in a murder and now he wants you to smell like him by wearing Old Spice body wash.  But there isn’t a similar memory lapse coming to the rescue of Mike Vick.   Like O.J. Simpson, his status as a fallen hero is permanent and irrevocable.     That’s a punishment that will endure long after the pained, dying yelps of Vick’s dogs have faded away.I think he deserves one shot at a second chance. I think almost everybody does.  I’m not an Eagles fan and I have nothing invested in Vick’s success or failure.   

But I hope he is successful.  Michael Vick will never be a hero and certainly no role model.   

If he can pull off  the trick of simply becoming a decent human being again that’s good enough.

Got Obama Fatigue Syndrome?

"Does Barack Obama have to bust a cap in 'yo ass?"

“I need everybody here to go back to your neighborhoods, to go back your workplaces, to go to the churches and go to the barbershops and go to the beauty shops. And tell them we’ve got more work to do.”

— President Obama speaking to the Congressional Black Caucus

“I’m exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for.  I’ve been told that I voted for a man who was going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class and I’m waiting sir, I’m waiting. I still don’t feel it yet.”

— Velma Hart, an African-American woman  speaking to the president at town hall meeting who identified herself as a chief financial officer, a mother and a military veteran.

Oh no!  There are Obama supporters that aren’t feeling the love anymore?   Does this mean–gulp!–President Obama could lose the Black vote?

Sometimes the scenarios the press and pundits bang away at are already written.  They sit back and wait for someone to fill in the blanks.

Velma Hart tells the man she voted for she’s tired of defending him and waiting for the change he promised he’d bring to Washington.  Film at 11:00.   The line forms to the left Mrs. Hart of those folks who feel exactly the same way.

Frustration sometimes gets confused with disappointment.  At times accidentally.  Other times quite purposefully.

Hart’s heartfelt words were seized upon by Obama critics as a sure sign African-Americans have lost faith in him.  “In plain English, she’s T-I-D-E of pretending the black agenda is being addressed” harrumphed blogger and “citizen journalist” Faye Anderson, a former colleague of mine when we both wrote the now moribund Politically Black.com.

I didn’t hear a woman frustrated with the president for not pushing “the Black agenda.”  I heard a woman frustrated with President Obama. That’s a fairly common sentiment these days.

If she had been a White woman and said the same thing, would Faye be claiming she was distressed about Obama not pushing “the Black agenda?”   This is Faye thumping the mythical “Black Agenda.”

Velma Hart needs a nap.

Obama is flailing a bit.  He’s pissed after two years he doesn’t seem to be getting any credit for the good things he’s done and he knows the Dems are probably going to get pounded in November.    Joe Biden is putting on a happy face and saying the Democrats are going to hold the House and Senate.  What else can he say?  “We’re gonna get our asses kicked?”

By the way, if there is a “Black agenda” who created it and why wasn’t I included?   Bob Herbert in the New York Times thinks he knows what set Mrs. Hart off.

Mr. Obama has seldom addressed black concerns directly, although many of his initiatives have benefited blacks. What has taken a toll is the perception that the president has consistently seemed more concerned about the needs and interests of those who are already well off, who are hostile to policies that would help working people and ethnic minorities, and who in many cases would like nothing better than to see Mr. Obama fail.

Most blacks are reluctant to publicly express their concerns about the president because they are so outraged by the blatantly unfair and often racist attacks against him from the political right. But many blacks are unhappy that Mr. Obama hasn’t been more forceful in the fight to create jobs. And there is disappointment over the dearth of black faces in high-profile posts in the administration.

There is real danger here for black people. In many cases, because of an excess of caution, policies that would help people in need are never even seriously considered, much less implemented. Forces that are hostile to blacks are not aggressively confronted, which, of course, empowers them. Perhaps more important, when you have to tiptoe around absolutely anything that has to do with blacks, it can leave the insidious impression that there is, in fact, something wrong with being black, something to be ashamed of.

We need to be careful not to corrode the joy and pride felt by blacks in the triumphs of African-American leaders.

Obama has twisted himself into a pretzel trying not to be ghettoized as “the Black President” but as “the American President who happens to be Black.”  He hasn’t always been successful pulling it off, but while I don’t deny there are issues of specific and particular interest to me as a Black man, I never was sold on the idea a Black man in the White House meant everyday was Kool-Aid and buttermilk biscuits for the next four years.

However, my friend Faye apparently has a different take on what Obama should have done.

I need a spreadsheet to keep track of the black-agenda-deniers’ efforts to, well, deny that African Americans expected more from President Obama than more of the same. But that would be too exhausting. Instead, I’ll track black voter turnout for the midterm election, which is only 41 days away.

Apples and oranges, Miss Anderson.

Black voter turnout is not indicative of a lack of faith in President Obama.  He’s not on the ballot, but thousands of White Democrats are. All politics are local and if local Democrats don’t deliver the goods it’s a referendum on their job performance and their campaigns, not the president.

Miss Hart says undeniable progress has been made by Obama, not “more of the same” but apparently you overlooked that little point?

It doesn’t make me a “Black Agenda denier” to ask WHAT the Black Agenda is, WHO created it and WHY I never got a chance to make my suggestions of what should be part of it.  I check my e-mail daily and return all messages promptly.

There is no Black Agenda.  There is no Black Agenda.  There is no Black Agenda.  Oh, and by the way, THERE. IS. NO. BLACK. AGENDA.

The Black Agenda is like Bigfoot: often talked about but never seen.

Obama needs to get things fired up

Outsourcing Dinesh D’souza

“Yes, I don’t know what I’m talking about. No, that doesn’t stop me.”

Some books  really have no  good reason to exist.   One example of this is The End of Racism, a poorly-written and ill-conceived example of reading history badly, drawing all the wrong conclusions and fooling a publisher into believing there is a vast audience eager and stupid enough to put down $25 for bullshit like this:

“The American slave was treated like property, which is to say, pretty well.”

That kind of dim-witted pronouncement could have been made by any over served happy idiot just before closing time, but it since it was vomited forth by pseudo-intellectual Dinesh D’Souza, it proved once again that there’s no idea so stupid that there isn’t a conservative reader happy to part with $25 to have their prejudices affirmed.  I say “pseudo-intellectual” because D’Souza is so clearly out of his depth attempting to decipher the complexities of American race relations that he comes as a total dumb-ass. At the time he wrote his pretentious bit of quackery, D’ Souza was only 17 years relocated from Mumbai, India.  Hardly enough time to be sufficiently informed on the subject, but pompous enough to throw his two cents in any way.

When D’Souza appeared on a local radio program in 1996, I called in to thank him.  Cheerfully, I informed him I had written a review of his book for an alternative newspaper trashing his arguments and had won a “Best Critical Writing/Analysis” award from the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.   Proving yet again it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow some good to someone.

Right-wingers taking cheap shots and potshots at President Obama is nothing new, but every so often they find particularly repulsive avenues of attacks.   D’Souza got in on the act in scribbling  an essay for Forbes magazine, a piece of shit publication nobody I know admits to reading, for his book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage, suggesting the president is motivated by the dreams of his father in trying to weaken the country.

“Incredibly, the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman in the 1950s.  This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anticolonial ambitions, is now setting the nation’s agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son,”  D’Souza writes, “The son makes it happen, but he candidly admits he is only living out his father’s dream.  The invisible father provides the inspiration and the son dutifully gets the job done.  America today is governed by a ghost.”

“Intellectuals” like D’Souza and his dusky, like-minded soul brother, the irrelevant Thomas Sowell, are taken seriously only by their White patrons who flaunt them as examples of conservative “diversity.”

Newt Gingrich, the failed former Speaker of the House who hopes if America can choose a skinny Black guy named “Barack” won’t hesitate to replace him in 2012 with an ugly White guy named “Newt,” practically popped a woody proclaiming D’Souza’s ramblings as divinely inspired.

“FIVE! I said FIVE cheeseburgers, dammit!”

Newt said D’Souza provided a “stunning insight” into the character of the president and said, “What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?   That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.”

“This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president,” the Newt babbled to The National Review.

Got that you nearly 70 million morons who actually voted for this con man in 2008?  You got fooled.  And it took a guy named after a small, slimy little amphibian that produces toxins in their skin secretions such as salmonella to figure it out for you.

There are some brothers and sisters holding’ it down as conservatives whom I like, respect and even admire.  Then there are those like D’Souza or Michele Malkin and their ilk whom are straight-up bastards, sore losers and divisive assholes.  What makes them particularly vile is the gleeful way they feel they must prove their conservative credentials by being even more intolerant to racial minorities than their Caucasian counterparts.

That sort of smug arrogance and cheerful willingness to victimize others is to be expected from a nerdy punk like D’Souza whom as the editor of The Dartmouth Review published the names of officers of the Gay Student Alliance including the names of those who were still closeted.

Happily, not every conservative of color feels obliged to be a lawn jockey for the White Right.  One of the most principled and respected men in America, Colin Powell, went on Meet the Press and put the Newt in check.

“I would just tell my fellow Americans: think carefully about what was just said, think carefully about some of the stuff that is coming across the blogs and the airwaves. Let’s make a couple points: One, the president was born in the United States of America. Let’s get rid of that one, let’s get rid of the birther thing. Let’s attack him on policy and not nonsense. Next, he is a Christian. He is not a Muslim. Twenty percent of the people see he is a Muslim, 80 percent apparently do not believe he is a Muslim.”

Moderator David Gregory noted even more Republicans (30 percent, roughly) bought the Obama-is-a-Muslim myth.

“Well surprise, surprise. But I bet you a dollar if the unemployment rate was not 9.5 percent but it was down to four percent then you would find only five percent think he is a Muslim. So they are attacking the president on this line. But he is not a Muslim. He is a Christian, and I think we have to be careful when we take things like Dinesh D’souza’s book, which is the source for all this, and suggest that somehow the president of the United States is channeling his dead father through some Kenyan spirits. This doesn’t make any sense. Mr. Gingrich does these things from time to time, with a big bold statement. He did it with [Sonia] Sotomayor, she’s a reverse racist; he did it with Elena Kagan, she ought to be taken off the nomination for Supreme Court justice; and he does it occasionally to make news and also to stir up dust.”

Thank you Gen. Powell for being a reasonable man in an unreasonable time.  Two years after the fact, D’Souza still can’t wrap his  tiny brain and oversized ego around the concept that a Black man named Barack Obama could actually be President.  Lacking the courage to attack Obama on his policies D’Souza digs up the corpse of his father to slap him around a bit as a philandering, inebriated African socialist.”

It’s a special kind of coward that attacks the son through his dead father, but that’s the dubious content of Dinesh Souza’s scummy character.

A reasonable man in an unreasonable time

Enhanced by Zemanta

A Hate Crime? Never Mind.

  

Have you seen this woman? Only in Bethany Storro's imagination

 

Every black person knows that moment of vague discomfort.  The 6:00 evening news is leading off with a brutally savage and senseless crime. It’s a particularly cruel act of murder or vicious case of rape.  Someone has suffered in a particularly ugly way.  The police have a description of the subject and before the image flashes on the TV screen, a silent prayer is murmured. “I sure hope he ain’t black…”  

When is a hate crime not a hate crime?  When there’s no perpetrator and no victim.   Bethany Storro was white and pretty.  Her alleged assailant was black and dangerous.  Who goes around with a cup of acid and throwing it in the face of pretty white girls?  Apparently someone with a severe mental disorder.   As it turns out that person was Storro herself whom apparently splashed acid in her own face and put the finger on an unknown and mysterious black woman.    

Storro said she had been approached by a stranger outside of a Starbucks in Vancouver, Washington on August 30 and was asked, “Hey, pretty little girl, want to take a drink of this?”   Storro claimed she was splashed with an acid-like liquid by an African-American woman wearing her hair pulled back into a ponytail.   Apparently, the only thing that saved Storro’s eyesight was a pair of sunglasses she had purchased less than an hour before the attack.  

There’s no way to know how many sisters in Vancouver immediately stopped wearing their hair in ponytails.   

This particular urban nightmare garnered Storro national press coverage, outpourings of sympathy from around the world, financial donations for her medical bills and reconstructive facial surgery, and a scheduled appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show.  Storro cancelled out on Oprah saying on her now-closed Facebook page, “I was going to be on Oprah, but [that’s] not going to happen!  From the very beginning I wanted to inspire people (hope I have) and tell them about Jesus.  The show was going to possibly turned into another direction, so my family and I have decided not to go on.” 

Typically when you need a go-to scapegoat you can usually “blame a brother.”  Storro stepped up her game to “slander a sister.” 

After all, pretty white girls who get acid thrown in their face by psychotic black women sporting ponytails are instantly sympathetic figures.  Who wouldn’t feel sorry for Storro? 

Too bad she’s apparently a psychotic liar. One of Storro’s biggest skeptics was Marcus Griffith, a blogger for The Vancouver Voice.  Griffith wrote several columns poking several holes in Storro’s story including one about a homeless man who encountered the screaming Storro but never saw her assailant.  Griffith didn’t take a victory lap after Storro’s fraud was exposed as he wrote, “For daring to seek the truth of the Storro matter, I have been insulted, harassed and publicly ridiculed.  Yet I find myself lacking any malice toward Storro.”  

“My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the Bethany Storro hoax,” Griffin wrote.  “That includes the general public, those wrongly profiled, those that lived in fear, the business that lost customers, and by all means, Storro’s family and friends.  And even Storro herself.”  

Storro pulled off a new hustle on an depressingly old riff

 

This poor woman needs professional help. Anyone who would deliberately disfigure herself to gain sympathy, donations, and an appearance on Oprah is obviously quite mentally unbalanced.  Then immediately after she gets treatment, Miss Storro needs to go straight to jail.  Do not pass “Go.”  Do not write a book on how she pulled this fraud and do not go on television to explain her hustle.  

Vancouver prosecutors are mulling whether to charge Storro with false reporting and felony theft by deception because of the money donated to cover her medical bills.  This should not be a tough call to make.  

Storro may be disturbed or just plain nuts, but she was aware enough to know the hot buttons that are pushed by the specter of Black criminals preying upon White victims.   It worked for Charles Stuart when he gunned down his pregnant wife, shot himself and blamed it on a black mugger and it worked for Susan Smith when she drowned her two kids and blamed it on a black carjacker and it worked for Ashley Todd when she said a crazy black supporter of Barack Obama carved a “B” on her cheek.  

Why do these vile lies work so well and are believed so throughly?  Could it be the nagging suspicion that America is a dangerous place and it’s most violent criminals are blacks preying on innocent whites?   Never mind that black criminals typically prey on black people and stranger-on-stranger crimes such as random acid attacks are rare.  It fits into a narrative of street crime too many believe to be the gospel truth.     

This particular moment in post-racial America and skillful media manipulation has been brought to you by Bethany Storro and everyone who got suckered into her web of lies, manipulation and deception.   

The only reason it’s tough to pull the race card here is after the Tawana Brawley and the Duke lacrosse cases isn’t it all too clear two can play the game of false accusations?  Every time there is one of these “cry wolf” hoaxes it makes the cries of the legitimate victims of hate crimes sound a bit tinny and hollow.  

Let’s make a deal:  The next time one of these little horror stories occur (and there will be a next time) we should show reasonable compassion for the innocent but reserve a healthy amount of skepticism and judgment until someone is actually determined to be guilty.  Indicting a whole race for the bad behavior of a few is for chumps.  So is swallowing hook, line and sinker every fantastic fish story because it seems to confirm the worst about an already despised group.

Republicans Continue Eating Their Own

Mama Grizzly devours GOP elephant. Film at eleven.

Here’s  a little secret about the American electorate.   They are amused by political jokes like Alvin Green but they don’t want to elect them.   Weirdos, freaks, flakes and flat-out nut cases entertain the activists and a bored stupid mainstream media, but they don’t play so well with the general populace.

Extremism scares most folks whether it comes from the Right or Left side of the aisle.  Extremists entertain, but moderates get elected.

Normally a Republican primary in Delaware would not attract national attention but when Tea Party backed candidate Christine O’ Donnell beat Michael Castle, a moderate Republican congressman, it sent shivers down the spine of the Republican establishment as yet another insurgent ousted the hand-picked candidate.   This same drama of Republicans eating their own played out in Utah, Alaska, Kentucky and Florida and burdened by a slate of possible unelectable challengers, threatens their chances of seizing control of Congress away from the Democrats.

There’s just one problem  and it’s a big one.  While O’Donnell excites the base of the GOP, she terrifies party elders who fear she’s an unelectable nut.

Even Evil Karl Rove isn’t feeling the love for O’Donnell as he made clear in a discussion with Fox News butt-boy Sean Hannity:

Rove: I’ve met her. I got to tell you, I wasn’t frankly impressed as her abilities as a candidate. And again, these serious questions about how does she make her living? Why did she mislead voters about her college education? How come it took nearly two decades to pay her college bills so she could get her college degree? How did she make a living? Why didn’t she sue a well-known and well – conservative think tank?

Hannity: This is probably one of the few times we’re going to disagree here because I met her. I’ve interviewed her a lot over the years. I found her quite impressive. More importantly, she is a solid conservative. I think what people are saying in this primary, in this race and I think all across the country in these other races that we are mentioning here is that you know what, if you vote for cap and tax and have an opponent that says they wouldn’t they have an choice, they have an option.

So I think it was very substantive, very based on issues, very based on the voting record of one and the promised voting record of another.

Rove: Again, you are making my case this was about Mike Castle’s bad votes. It does conservatives little good to support candidates who at the end of the day while they may be conservative in their public statements do not event the characteristics of rectitude, truthfulness and sincerity and character that the voters are looking for.

We’ll see how she can answer these questions. She sure as heck didn’t answer them thus far in the campaign and not in the general election that she will be asked about.

Hannity: I interviewed her and I felt her explanations were more plausible —

Rove: Did you ask her about the people who were following her home to her headquarters and how she has checked each night in the bushes? Did you asked her – I mean, there were a lot of nutty things she has been saying that just simply don’t add up to —

Hannity: It sounds like you don’t support her, but I will tell you, I think —

Rove: I’m for the Republican, but I got to tell you, we were looking at eight to nine seats in the Senate. We are now looking at seven to eight in my opinion. This is not a race we’re going to be able to win.

A guy like Rove doesn’t go public with his reservations about a Republican candidate if hasn’t already divined the tea leaves and wasn’t thrilled by the results.

Karl won't get down for Christine.

Here are some of the reasons the GOP establishment isn’t feeling the love for this particular Mama Grizzly.

O’Donnell’s team calls Castle “King RINO” — that is, Republican In Name Only. She has received endorsements from major interest groups and leading conservatives, including the Tea Party Express, Sarah Palin, the National Rifle Association and Sen. Jim DeMint. Yet she and her camp have been associated with so many controversies that many Republicans consider her unelectable. Her chief detractors are the state GOP and other conservatives. Republican State Party Chairman Tom Ross referred Monday, for example, to her “long series of dishonest and ethically questionable actions.”

Among other things, O’Donnell claimed falsely to have won two of the state’s three counties against Joe Biden in the 2008 Senate race; she also claimed falsely to have a 1993 degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University (she received the degree earlier this month after paying tuition bills from the 1990s and finishing an additional class).

O’Donnell’s finances are irregular, especially for a political candidate. As The News Journal of Wilmington summarized, “Public records show O’Donnell has no steady income, no savings, no investments and owns no property.” She reported income of only $5,800 last year. Her mortgage was almost foreclosed in 2008 and this year the IRS filed a lien against her for unpaid income taxes. Also noteworthy: She said her political enemies lurk outside her house, she is against masturbation, and in 2005, claiming mental anguish, she filed a $6.95 million lawsuit accusing a conservative group of demoting her because she is a woman.

An anti-masturbation U.S. Senator?  Oh good, at last someone is finally thinking about the children!

I’m always cautious about saying a candidate is “unelectable” because voters have a nasty habit of making pollsters look stupid by doing exactly what they damn well please.  It would be silly to suggest Christine O’Donnell can’t win because in every election weird stuff goes down nobody predicted, nobody saw coming and nobody understands how it happened.

Still,  if I were the Democrat trying to hold on to Joe Biden’s old Senate seat, I would be feeling  better about the chances of doing so when the opponent is a far-right reactionary and not another colorless centrist.

A Woman’s Body is a Woman’s Business.

"Pretty Woman" is the fantasy...

There was an article in Sunday’s Washington Post about the Five Myths of Prostitution.  Well worth the time to read it and educate oneself on a subject for too many people their primary reference point for information about play for pay is a Pretty Woman rerun.

Whenever there is a discussion about legalizing prostitution the usual counter-argument is how it will lead to sexual slavery and unwilling women exploited by pimps,  how children will be exploited and how streetwalkers will be serving up blow jobs in the bushes of churches and public schools.

This is nothing but nonsense and scare tactics.  There are no mythical horde of sex-crazed prostitutes about to descend upon innocent men, tearing off their zippers with yellowed teeth and demanding $50 for French lessons without a translator.

Nobody is in favor of allowing women and children to be coerced into sexual slavery.  Nobody is in favor of underage and teen prostitution.  Nobody is in favor of women being exploited by pimps, madams and agencies.

That said, what consenting adults do in private is not the business of the state, politicians, moral crusaders and busy bodies.   Prostitution should be decriminalized and the dollars and hours wasted by the Sex Police would be better spent elsewhere going after real criminals and protecting real victims.

There are literally thousands of women who with a clear and rational mind make for themselves the decision to use their bodies how they see fit to use them and if they should make a profit while doing so, that’s just gravy on the biscuit.   Boxers, basketball players and other athletes employ their bodies as a means to an end.  Why so much drama when a woman uses hers to give another person pleasure instead beating each other into bloody pulps as fighters routinely do?

Personally, if I have to choose between keeping a drunk driver who has wiped out a car full of kids in jail or letting him out so I can lock up a woman who gave some slob seven minutes of pleasure in the back seat of a SUV, I know which one I would consider the greater menace to society.

The last thing the cops need to be worried about is being pressured to enforce another series of stupid laws. Just like medical marijuana, those who choose to partake of the services of a sex worker are engaged in a “crime” without a victim.

Haven’t we learned by now from the failure of Prohibition and the unwinnable War on Drugs (aka The War on the Poor, the Black, the Brown and Those Without a Good Lobbyist in Washington) that you can only limit the access to the vices a person wishes to pursue? You can never eradicate it completely and certainly not by dubious laws dreamt up by zealots and moralists.

The possible benefit of legalizing or decriminalizing prostitution is permitting the police to stop wasting time, money and resources for a consensual sex act between adults. Of course nobody wants to see their daughter having sex with strangers for money. However, nobody wants to see their daughter working in a non-union clothing sweatshop, busing tables while horny men check out her legs or otherwise being exploited by some pig.

Decriminalizing prostitution is not the same thing as legalizing it. Legalizing prostitution is sanctioning the practice and opens it up for the regulation of prostitution.  The unintended consequence is to turn government regulators into pimps.  It is not the want of sex workers to have government bureaucrats knock at their door to see if they have properly disinfected their sex toys after every usage or to inspect their underwear drawer to make sure they aren’t buying lacy little things made in Chinese sweat shops.

Sexwork is not the first option most women would choose for themselves, but why should a woman who chooses to put a price tag on her sexual favors be scorned while another who gives it away is not? There’s some inconsistency here.

Camille Paglia said it well: The most successful prostitutes are invisible, because the sign of a prostitute’s success is her absolute blending with the environment. She’s so shrewd, she never becomes visible. She never gets in trouble. She has command of her life, and her clients. The ones who get into the surveys have drug problems or psychological problems. They’re the ones who were sexually abused. Feminists are using amateurs to condemn a whole profession.

...Amanda Brooks is the reality.

One of the ten smartest people I’ve met (in the virtual world since we’ve never laid eyes on each other face-to-face) is Amanda Brooks, the author of The Internet Escort’s Handbook.   Miss Brooks is a college educated escort and activist  and we’ve been swapping e-mails and mutual admiration for several years now.  I don’t see her as some sort of  a Internet leper, a disease-ridden degenerate, an over-priced floozy or some sort of freak show that runs around seducing men for fun and profit.  Amanda is simply a woman who makes her living in a way society generally looks down its nose by day while eagerly compensating her for services rendered by night.

We can wring our hands and cluck our tongues and wag our crooked little fingers at these fallen women and their tawdry profession.   But there is a certain fact a late friend touched upon during a discussion about prostitution that can no more be challenged than gravity.

SEX IS A COMMODITY (And It Always Has Been).