Saturday, March 24, 2012

Trayvon Martin

Wednesday's front page  headline in the USA Today was "Trayvon Martin is dead; nation is soul-searching". Really?? Let's take an honest look at this situation. First, I think that it is tragic when a young man's life is cut short by violence. Having said that, let's be honest about this idea that the "nation is soul-searching".

Almost every day in this country, a young black man is killed, usually by another young black man. Black on black violence is an epidemic. If Trayvon Martin had been killed by another young black man, it would not have made the front page of the USA Today. The outrage is caused by the fact that he was killed by a man who speaks Spanish. The alleged killer's father is white and his mother is from Peru. I guess that torn between sympathy for the Hispanic and sympathy for the Negro, the USA Today went with the black kid.

This real story in this case is the reaction of the black community to a person of Hispanic heritage killing a black man. Evidently blacks are free to kill their own, but someone of another ethnic group must be prosecuted for doing that. What kind of standard is that? Where were all of these protesters when all of those other young black men were killed? Why the big deal about this one? The big deal is that this time the killer speaks Spanish.

How do blacks react when a black man is killed by one of their own? In 1996, rapper Tupac Shakur was killed in Las Vegas. Surrounded by more than 20 of his best homeys, nobody saw a thing. Hmmm. Every year in Greensboro, North Carolina A&T holds their huge homecoming celebration. The only question worth asking is "What will be the body count?" Almost every year, someone gets shot and killed that weekend. I don't recall any demonstrations about that level of violence.

The real race relations problem today is not between whites and blacks, it's between blacks and immigrants. Blacks regard immigrants as the "Nouveau poor". They think that they are taking the jobs previously reserved for blacks. There is a certain amount of envy when immigrants have been successful.

 Why isn't the Obama administration examining how blacks treat immigrants? Have they ever charged any blacks for hate crimes against Mexicans, Koreans or Vietnamese? Let's pull out all of the facts and compare the number of Hispanics slain by blacks with the number of blacks slain by Hispanics. What are the chances of that discussion ever taking place?

A few years ago, I walked into a conversation between three black cooks in the kitchen at work. One was complaining loudly about a store opened by some Koreans near his home. He asked,"What are they doing in my neighborhood?" He then complained that the government gave Koreans the money to go into business, but they did not do it for blacks. I told them that they sounded like those racist white folks they were always complaining about. I guess nobody likes it when the tables get turned. You could have put pointed hats, white hoods and cloaks on those three brothers and passed them off as Klansmen.

Geraldo Rivera weighed in last night with a comment about how Martin was dressed. Rivera said that if you dress like a criminal, you will probably get treated like one. Some NBA players are wearing hoodies to show their support for the Martin protesters. Given the criminal records of some NBA players, Rivera may be right.

So what's all of this mean? If you are enraged about Trayvon Martin, tell me why you haven't done anything when all of these other young black men died. Let's have an honest conversation about race relations and let's talk about the issues between blacks and immigrants.

I await your hate mail.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Alice update

My grand daughter Alice has spent the last few days with us while her mother has been in the hospital. Alice has been to a lot of different places. She was at T&S for breakfast on Monday. She met The Queen, Talmadge, Charley, Craig, Mary and other assorted friends of mine.

She's been to the bank, Buffalo Church, the Post Office and lots of other places. She travels well. Of course, that's after loading up the van with all of her supplies. Today she will be greeting people at Gil's. She may be at dinner at Buffalo. We're trying to test Grand Gil's tolerance levels!

Here's a picture of her sleeping on Grandma's bed.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

R.I.P. Joel

When I came home from church this evening I turned on the computer to check my e-mail. There was a message from Caring Bridge. I knew what it was before I opened it. Joel Fleishman had died.

Joel had pancreatic cancer surgery in December of 2010. He spent a little more than a year cancer free. A few weeks ago the cancer returned with a vengeance. I talked to him a couple of weeks ago. He had accepted his condition and seemed to be at peace with it. We talked about fifteen minutes and he threw in enough profanity to let me know that he still had some fight left in him. "Damn it, I really miss you, buddy" were his parting words.

Joel and I had become friends over the last twenty one years at Tex & Shirley's. Joel usually came in Monday through Friday at breakfast. Once in a while, he and his wife, Linda, would come in for dinner. Joel was never in on Saturday or Sunday. I think that on Saturday, he went to Danny's Restaurant. He always told me how good their grits were.

I told a friend once that the older I get, the more I realize that I am more like Joel than I want to admit. She told me that I was wrong .She said, "Joel seems like a nice guy, but at heart, he's a grumpy old guy. On the other hand, you seem to be a grumpy old guy and are actually really nice at heart." I think that she was just trying to be nice.

Joel couldn't even spell "sugarcoat". He was so blunt that he made me look diplomatic. He spared no one. He had been the team manager on the 1957 UNC National Champion Basketball team. One morning after a Carolina loss the previous night, I asked Joel about the game and the Tarheels. "Half of them didn't show up and those that did were shit!" was his response. He was an equal opportunity critic.

Joel was just as blunt with his appraisals of the restaurant. On more than one occasion he told me, "I can be here ten seconds and know whether or not you're in the building." If he got bad service, he let you know. But he also told you when things were good. Yes, that happened some times.

When Joel was in the hospital in 2010 for his surgery, we made a large sign at the restaurant and had employees and customers sign it. I took it over to Baptist Hospital one Friday and visited Joel and Linda. When I returned, someone told me, "That was a nice thing to do for Joel." I realized that I didn't do it just  for Joel, I had done it for myself. At age 57, I finally understood the value of friendship.

After his recovery from surgery, we tended to talk longer when he was in the restaurant. I think that he had actually mellowed a little. I think that he knew that he didn't have a lot of time left, even before the cancer returned.

I tell people that Joel has been my "sarcasm and insults mentor" for the last twenty one years. He did a good job. Joel's death is the end of an era for me.

It's my turn to say goodbye.
"Damn it, I really miss you, buddy"

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Daylight Savings Sunday

Today was time change Sunday. This is the first year in the last forty years that I haven't had to worry about employees moving their clocks ahead.

I received an e-mail from a friend telling me about a Christmas movie they had watched this evening. I responded by telling them that we only moved the clocks ahead an hour.

I was at the State Fairgrounds Flea Market yesterday. The weather was good and people were in a buying mood. I managed to avoid getting my head sunburned so it was a good day. From the couple next to me, I bought a great drawing that had been in a biker bar in Fort Myers, Florida. I also bought a print of a military school cadet from the two gay guys set up on the other side of my spaces.

Yes, the two gay guys set up on the other side of my spaces. These guys were a scream!! At my sarcastic best, I would be hard pressed to top some of the remarks that I heard yesterday. I stunned one of the guys when he was looking at some coats I had for sale. He tried one coat on and asked me laughingly, "Do you think this goes with my pink shirt?" I responded, "I've got three pink shirts at home and I wouldn't wear any of them with that coat." He may still be stunned, I am.

I am going to Charlotte tomorrow to rescue the guy who claims to be my "only friend". I have already explained to him that I have at least one more friend.

Dolly has not adjusted to Daylight Savings Time yet. I usually take her out at 8:00 P.M. She wanted out at 9:00 tonight. She's going to have to adjust soon.

I watched the FSU-UNC basketball game. My heart can't take that level of stress on a regular basis. Having been born in North Carolina, I grew up in Florida. I have several friends who went to FSU, but I know lots of people who went to Carolina. Carolina finally woke up with a couple of minutes left in the first half. The second half was much closer, but Carolina was unable to take the lead. FSU won their first ACC basketball championship.

Can Mitt Romney win in the South on Tuesday?? Unlikely. Gingrich said today that Romney is "the weakest front runner since Leonard Wood in 1920." He's probably right. What passes for a Republican in Massachusetts won't pass for one in Alabama.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Thursday Thinking

In Michigan, a woman who won one million dollars in the state lottery is still receiving food stamps. I guess that words like "pride" and "self-respect" are not in her vocabulary.

St. Patrick's Day is next Saturday, March 17. If you are expecting a St. Pat's Day card from me, walk away from the mailbox.

In the Super Tuesday primaries, Virginia was the story. In a state that went for Obama in 2008, there were only two Republicans on the ballot. So few people believe that Romney is actually a conservative, 40% of them voted for Ron Paul. Paul usually gets about 10% of the vote in eastern states.

In Sunday School we were discussing Raphael's painting, "The School of Athens". It features Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Diogenes, Euclid, Pythagoras and other great thinkers. We tried to come up with names of people to use if we were going to put together a current equivalent of that painting. Can you picture "The School of Washington, D.C."??

Californians think that the rest of us are not as sophisticated as they are. On Tuesday a California man was arrested for the death of his girlfriend. He fired a home made cannon into a room in their trailer and killed her. Thank God that happened in California and not Alabama. If it had happened in the South, it would have been the lead story on CNN.

Next week at Buffalo, we are having corned beef and cabbage on Wednesday night. Green beer is out, we're not Catholics! I was thinking about green cornbread, but when I ran that idea by my focus group, their faces all indicated that would not be good. Given my color deficient eye sight, I am reluctant to use food color in anything. Back in the fall, I had yellow cake with some kind of electric pumpkin color icing. Maybe I should just serve green cabbage and let it go at that.

My second favorite Ms. Carroll was delighted to read my comment about her and her ex-boyfriend in an earlier post. Lainey, is he dating girls yet??

The Charlotte Auto Fair is April 19-22. Craving personal insults? I'll post my space numbers before the show so that you can stop by. I'll post a full report upon my return.

The Charlotte show had to change their dates this tear due to a conflict with the drag strip there. This change in dates will cause me to miss the Great Pinto Bean Lunch at Buffalo. Way too many possibilities for bad jokes there, I'll let it go.

I have kicked off my election year blog, "Let's Throw the Bastards Out". My first post features a message from the Chosen One. Here's a link to take you there:

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Sex on Saturday??

I received an e-mail from a friend earlier today about Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law School student labeled as a "slut" and a "prostitute" by entertainer(?) Rush Limbaugh. The e-mail and my response are below.

The female law student who thinks we should furnish her birth control.

$3,000+ per year
If condoms were $3.00 EACH
That would be 1,000 condoms
Which would be almost 3 condoms per day!!!!!
When does she study????
I checked on line – condoms cost $3.99 per PACKAGE……(that changes above statistics, doesn’t it?)

My response:
Just remember that you started this discussion. HA!!

Condoms are much less than $3 each. They are 75 cents or a dollar in restroom vending machines. They are much less at Wal-Mart or Walgreen’s. I checked online at Amazon, the average latex condom costs between 20 and 30 cents. They also had them available by the case, saving more money. Besides all of that, most colleges and universities are giving condoms away. If not, almost ALL health departments are giving them away.

If condoms are her chosen method of birth control, why is she having to provide them? Surely the man or men in her life furnish their own condoms. My personal experience in this area is extremely limited, but I can assure you that I never asked a woman if they had brought a condom with them. I grew up learning to open doors, pull out chairs and carry things for women. I would have died before I would have asked a woman for a condom.

You can’t have sex 1000 times a year and go to school. When I was that age, I couldn’t get a girl to talk to me three times a day, much less have sex. If she’s having sex three times a day, the Democrats are lucky that she didn’t have to stop during the hearing for some.

Birth control pills aren’t $3000 a year. That’s $250 a month. Health department? Free.

Her problem is that she attends Georgetown Law School, a school operated by the Jesuits. This is an attempt by the Democrats to keep alive the notion that we must compel religious institutions to violate their own beliefs and furnish birth control. Only Limbaugh with his enormous ego and bigger mouth, has turned this girl’s sex life into a national news story. A guy who went deaf due to a drug habit should be reluctant to criticize some young girl’s sex habit.

Why doesn’t Limbaugh pull his foot out of his mouth and simply present the facts?? He has changed the scene from one where she and the Demoncrats are distorting the facts to one where he is calling her names. Bad move!!

Friday, March 02, 2012

Here comes Peter Cottontail