Showing posts with label black lives matter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label black lives matter. Show all posts

Friday, November 19, 2021

It’s All a Con, Man

 A Conspiracies of Convenience column

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.   

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional meltdown.  

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlereader  

"Life isn't black and white, It's a million grey areas, don't you find?"
-Ridley Scott

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

In a past life — and a long time ago in a state far, far away (Texas) — I found myself working briefly but closely with a gentleperson named Bob. We were co-managers of a company that ran ice cream trucks in Austin.

Managing the gentlepeople who drive ice cream trucks was the inspiration for the phrase, like herding cats.

Bob had a habit of saying, “It’s all a con, man” whenever something even weirder/stranger/more disturbing/etcetering than usual happened and peed on our Chi. I got into the habit of responding, “It’s a feckin conspiracy, what it is.”

I have written elsewhere that "A conspiracy of convenience is one that doesn't require a Dr. Evil or even a Simon Bar Sinister to concoct and control." People can find themselves involved in the same conspiracy without ever having met most, if any, of their fellow conspirators."

Multiple virtual conspirators who appear to be part of an organized conspiracy are, often as not, merely individuals who happen to be inspired by the same ideology — or following the money. 

I was thinking about my brief Texas adventure the other day, something I do from time to time. I met my late, great wife there, the culmination of the best year of my life (so far).

However, I'm sorry Bob, but I don't usually think about you.

{Let me guess, this is where you tell us about how although you haven't seen each other since 1985 you faithfully exchange Christmas cards and...}

Nope. Haven't seen hide nor hair (nor Christmas Card) since. But I've never forgotten Bob's world-class cynicism and great sense of humor, both of which shielded a man with a big heart.

This is why, when I was recently reminded that the Black Lives Matter organization still exists, I thought of Bob.

{Right. Obviously?}

Well... I knew that, like me, Bob would have two questions if he was recently reminded that BLM still exists (assuming Bob still exists). The first one would be, I wonder where all the money went? 

The other would be, what changed between the summer of 2020 and the summer of 2021 for African-Americans? And where did all the mostly peaceful protestors go?

{Wait, wait, wait. What was it that got you thinking about the BLM organization in the first place? You're clearly a POP (person of pallor).} 

I was reminded that the organization still exists, at least in New York City, when Eric Adams — former cop, current African-American, and the next mayor of the Big Apple — was "called out" by Hawk Newsom (co-founder of BLMs New York Chapter) after the group recently met with Adams.

Adam's promised that if he was elected, he'd take back control of the streets. Mr. Newsom said, "There will be riots, there will be fire and there will be bloodshed" if the new mayor fulfills his promise to reinstate plainclothes cops in NYC.    

Anyways... where did all the money go? Type something like the following into your search engine of choice (I prefer the Googs). "What did Black Lives Matter do with all the donations they received in 2020?

I followed several links and came to the following conclusion. Officially, BLM pulled in roughly $90,000,000 in 2020, gave grants of $21,700,000 to various organizations, and spent $8,400,000 on expenses. 

This left them with a balance of about $60,000,000. 

These numbers come from an Associated Press story that appeared in the LA Times under the headline, Exclusive: Black Lives Matters opens up about its finances, which was published last February, a variation of which all sorts of media outlets have used for their coverage. 

I'm probably missing something, but the article's point seems to be that factions within the organization have turned on each other and the money doesn't seem to be flowing downhill, and not much about how the money was/is actually spent.  

{So what did happen last summer? 2020 is ancient history. Where did all the mostly peaceful protestors go? After all, systemic racism is still a thing.}

I don't know.     

I googled the question, what happened to Black Lives Matter in 2021? Try it yourself. If I had to give an answer I'd say the movement is now a mostly virtual/social media phenomenon. Protests are relatively small, relatively rare, and mostly peaceful.

The BLM website itself now appears to be primarily just another focused news aggregation site. But you can buy $30 t-shirts and 3"x3" BLACK LIVES MATTER stickers for two bucks each by clicking on the SHOP link.    

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Friday, February 19, 2021

Black Lives (obviously) Matter

A week of, action?

                                                     Image by ludi from Pixabay

This is: A weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids and my great-grandkids — the Stickies — to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — A Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering. Viewing with a tablet or a monitor is highly recommended for maximum enjoyment.

Please Note: If ya click on an Amazon ad, thus opening a portal to Amazon, and buy anything, Lord Jeffrey will toss a few pence in my direction and you won't have to feel guilty about enjoying my work  well, hopefully  for free. Win/Win.  

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"When school children start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interests of school children." -Albert Shanker

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

It's Black History Month and Black Lives Matter is back in the news, sort of. Although the first week of February was A WEEK OF ACTION neither the websites of MSNBC or CNN covered it as best I can tell.

There's even a website, Black Lives Matter At School, that called for, as mentioned above, a week of action (Feb 1 - 5, 2021) — as well as a year of purpose and a lifetime of practice. 

The reason that I'm aware that the week of action came and went with little fanfare is that I compare and contrast the websites of FOX News and CNN at least once a  day, every day, seven days a week so that you don't have to. 

FOX posted a few stories about an educational curriculum (CNN mentioned nothing) developed by Black Lives Matter or I would've been completely unaware that it was a week of action. I thought surely MSNBC would be all over it, a site I normally don't peruse being a neo-neoconservative, but nope.

They made me turn off my ad-blocker after a few viewings if I wanted to keep accessing the site. You'd think either Microsoft or NBC news (same policy) wouldn't be short of money but...

[Hold up there, Sparky. Comcast, the owner of both NBC and MSNBC, bought out Microsoft a while back and...]  

Comcast? Are you sure, Dana? Comcast, a ginormous, profit-hungry corporation owns MSNBC? MSNBC is to progressives as FOX is to conservatives...    

Did you know that one of the reasons TV news happened, even though daily newspapers (and radio) still supplied most people's news when TV first started, was because the FCC required that stations provide an element of "public service" programming along with entertainment for the masses, since the public, at least in theory, owns the airwaves?

When the sale of television sets took off NBC was the first to offer news broadcasts seven days a week — sponsored by R.J. Reynolds/Camel cigarettes. Did I ever tell you that my dad, who died from a heart attack at the age of 58 smoked Camels for decades, and died when he was nine years younger than I am now? 


[Man, you are old, aren't you? And this particular column has gone off the rails.]

Heavy sigh... When you're right, you're right, Dana. I wonder if Bill Gates... well, nevermind, where was I? Oh, yeah, BLM and the underreported week of action.

Okay, so FOX, as you might imagine, was less than impressed with the whole week of action thing, particularly the suggested school curriculum developed by BLM.  

My favorite story was a story about a FOX News (cable version) story featured on The Ingraham Angle.

[A story about a story?]

Yeah, CNN does it all the time as well. Anyway, it mentions the fact that at the bottom of the first page of the Black Lives Matter At School site, there's a quote from one Assata Shakur who currently is on the lam resides in Cuba. 

"It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love eachother and support eachother. We have nothing to lose but our chains." (Not my creative spelling by the way.)

Ms. Shakur, a convicted cop-killer (among other things) is the first woman to be placed on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist List and has a $2,000,000 bounty on her head if any of you Junior G-menpersons out there are looking for a potentially profitable adventure.

Now, while I was delighted to note that BLM is apparently spending some of its massive and still mostly unaccounted for donations on something more or less real, I wish to make a new suggestion and reiterate a suggestion I've made before.

The new suggestion is to consider hiring a public relations professional.

The old suggestion is to consider opening a charter school in the same neighborhood as one of the many failed and failing public schools in black neighborhoods all over America. 

Considering that teacher's unions are resisting going back into the classrooms in spite of the science, guidance from the CDC, Uncle Joe's request, and the fact many private and charter schools have done so safely, the unions would seem to be guilty of practicing systemic racism.     
Here's a chance to battle systemic racism, demonstrate the efficacy of BLMs curriculum, and change the world for a lot of African-American kids. 

Win/win and win. 

Apropos of nothing above...

But since I'm somewhat obsessed with the dismaying fact that Uncle Joe felt free to render 11,000 well paid (and many unionized) workers unemployed with the stroke of a pen and the tepid response from the press and organized labor — the teacher's unions for example — here's a quote from our new Climate Czar.

(The rich dude that flys around in a huge private jet saving us from ourselves.) 

"Paris alone is not enough. Not when almost 90% of all of the planet's emissions, global emissions, come from outside of U.S. borders. We could go to zero [carbon emissions] tomorrow and the problem isn't solved," -John Kerry-Heinz

Ruh-roh Raggy, who's next?

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Cranky don't tweet.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Defund the Teachers!

Image by Roy Harryman from Pixabay 

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids and my great-grandkids — the Stickies — to advise them and haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering



Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"We keep hearing that black lives matter but they only seem to matter when that helps politicians to get votes... The other 99% of black lives destroyed by people who are not police do not seem to attract nearly as much attention in the media." -Dr. Thomas Sowell

Dear Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

Defund the Teachers! I don't really mean it but since hyperbole rules nowadays a cranks gotta do what a cranks gotta do to get a little attention. 

After all, in an era of "alternative facts" (HT: Kellyanne Conway) wherein defund the police doesn't necessarily mean defund the police who am I to resist substituting slogans and sound bites for substance?

While I admit that Defund the Teachers! is hardly in the same league as a world-class slogan like Black Lives Matter it's (hopefully) an attention-getter and might snag me an extra reader or two.

[So you're admitting the title of this week's column is clickbait?] 

Is it, Dana? Is it just manipulative clickbait or is it clever SEO? Potato or potahto? Low road or high road? After all...

[What's SEO? No wait, we'll come back to that. Are you saying black lives don't matter?]

Of course not, black lives obviously matter. That's one of the reasons the slogan is a work of genius. Who in their right mind can argue otherwise? Who is arguing otherwise? How can you argue with a statement that any sane person accepts and simultaneously means different things to different people?

Even the international organization called the BLM Global Network has an agenda of sweeping generalizations bereft of specifics.

For example: "We disrupt the Western prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and villages that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable."

Alrighty then... But what, specifically, should The Fedrl Gummit, the state and local summits, and non-black fellow Americans do to improve the lot of African-Americans?

[That's not the point! The point is that...]

My point is that protests and taking down monuments, legally or by the mob, is a lot of "sound and fury, signifying nothing." I repeat myself, what, specifically, needs to be done?

As to clickbait and SEO: one man's/woman's/person's clickbait is another M/W/Ps search engine optimization

If you're not familiar with this term it simply refers to the tricks, tools, and techniques used to get you to find and/or click on one of the literally billions of choices available.

For example, low-rent techniques like the feeble ones I sometimes use, such as clickbatish title above (Defund the Teachers!) that's repeated in bold early on in the column and then sprinkled throughout the column to get the attention of the Goog.

As I've mentioned previously, and I'm mentioning again because the Crank is all about public service, a small but lucrative industry exists whose purpose is to find ways to get you to click on links and/or get the Goog to offer up said links when you go a-googlin'.

The Goog always wins by monetizing the data it's always collecting. The Goog never sleeps but you get some free software and services. That's fair, right?

Now, as to the title of this column, Defund the Teachers! Ever wonder how the Wokies have managed to turn American English into Newspeak (see Orwell, George: 1984) and place brainwashed, smartphone addled, whiny tattletales in every profession and on every corner so quickly?

America's education system, which consists of:

Overpriced colleges and universities, top-heavy with "critical" social justice administrators and compliance officers, as well as fake scholars teaching fake subjects.

"Mom and dad, I've decided to major in Feminist Geography." (If you only click on only one link in this missive, click on this one.)

And the schools of education staffed with "activists" cranking out woke primary and secondary school teachers for America's, um... slightly less than world-class public school system.

Which brings us back to Black Lives Matter.

[Huh? Has your brain always worked like this?]

With all due respect, and given the following, I'd like to make a specific suggestion.

BLM has been criticized because of how it spent 1.8 million dollars worth of donations in 2019.

(25% went to salaries, benefits, and payroll taxes, 46% to consultant fees, and the rest went to small grants, accounting, bank fees, information tech, insurance, and legal fees.)

Since the murder of George Floyd, BLM has received a flood of donations from both personal and corporate sources that are still pouring in.

Given that nationwide there are better than 1,000,000 kids on waiting lists for charter schools, many of which are located in underserved, poor/minority neighborhoods, why not spend some of that money on supporting or opening charter schools in neighborhoods where black kids are trapped in failed public schools?

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Cranky don't tweet.



Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Round and Round and Round We Go

I'm a tweaker. No, not that kind of tweaker, I'm a post tweaker, by which I mean that I tweak my posts, not that I'm a consumer of recreational stimulants. I'm sorry to bother you with this but due to the fact my readership has snowballed (there are literally tens of people reading my work) I feel that I must be transparent about how I do things so as not to violate the trust of my readers. The fact is, I don't hesitate to make changes to anything you'll find written here.

Why? Kaizen. No, that's not a battle cry (KAI-ZEN!) it's a philosophy, and an attitude of sorts. I define it as continuous tweaking, the purpose of which is continuous improvement. I'll spare you a lecture on the who/what/when/where/why of the word because it would be boring and besides, I'm eminently unqualified to do so.

Let's just define it as a Japanese business philosophy that posits that continuous improvements (tweaking) are one of the best ways to deal with one of life's immutable laws, rust never sleeps. Toyota is really good at this sort of thing, I try to be. I don't think twice about changing my words around if I think that a given change enhances clarity or meaning, or might be funnier. So if you should have occasion to reread something you found here and it's different, well, don't be alarmed, it's me, not you.

Finally, it may be worth your while to reread anything you happened to have liked in the past, it might be better. It might not, but then you can rant about what a hoople-head I am. Kick me, spare your dog.

In my personal version of Kaizen, facts are very important. Sometimes, what is written in stone may turn out to be false and may require the services of your stone carver of choice for updates. However inconvenient this may be there's no way around it, not if you believe, as I do, that continually tweaking facts to reflect reality as it is, not as what we'd like it to be, is of the utmost importance.

I would like to rent a larger, nicer house than the one I do but if I refuse to acknowledge that I'm living in the best house I can currently afford, I risk creating a downward spiral that could end with me living in the back of my van. Though the van is paid for, my house is more comfortable and has a bathroom.

Now, when I, my snifficant others and/or the other kids on the playground have to hammer out how we're going to solve a given problem or deal with a given phenomenon, trying to agree on the facts of the matter is the place to start. If we can't agree on what's actually going on, we can't agree on a rational course of action or a solution.

The Donald, the preferred presidential candidate of wrestling and reality show fans everywhere, has assured himself, at the very least, a place in American history in part by exploiting recent violent tragedies perpetrated by illegal immigrants. He, along with our who needs context when there's blood in the water media, often ignore one inconvenient fact.

Multiple studies (feel free to google among yourselves) have come to the conclusion that immigrants, legal or not, are less likely to commit crimes of all sorts, than the natives. Round and Round and Round we go.

So, are cops deliberately killing African Americans? Is the Black Lives Matter movement correct in asserting that they are and that this justifies people chanting, "Pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon," during protest marches? We don't know.

There are no legally mandated national reporting requirements for the FBI to create a database to try and answer the question. This doesn't prevent people on either side of the question from quoting from what statistics there are in order to promote their cause. But not only do we not truly know, there's no objective effort underway to find out, at least that I'm aware of. Round and Round and Round we go.

We do know that African-Americans, roughly 13% of the population of the US, commit slightly more than half of all murders and that they are mostly killing other black folks. More than 90% of murdered African-Americans are killed by other African-Americans.

Obviously, the average black citizen is just as unlikely to be a killer as the average white citizen, considerably less than 1% of the 13% I would think. Finding a solution to this factual problem would seem to be of benefit to both blacks and whites. So what. If you bring it up you're a racist if you're white, and if you're black, an uncle Tom. Round and Round and Round we go, where we stop, nobody knows.

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." John Adams

Have an OK day.

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©2015 Mark Mehlmauer   (The Flyoverland Crank)

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