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Walking Down The Street in New York – Revisited January 30, 2009

Posted by Robert in Humor, Not Political, Social Commentary, Travel.
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5 comments
Fools!  You should have left home earlier!

Fools! You should have left home earlier!

In one of the earlier posts on this blog, I made an attempt to give some helpful hints to would-be visitors of the fine city of New York, in order to make their trip here more enjoyable.

Specifically, I gave insight on how best to navigate the sidewalks and get to where you’re going without A: Killing Yourself and B: Pissing off the locals.

I felt that I covered the topic in a fair manner and hadn’t thought much about it since I had originally written it.  Then today I was emailed by wordpress and asked to approve a comment from a Fred Berkins in California.  This is the comment.

Dude,
one could also argue that if you are arriving late to work everyday (whether that be because of tourists or not), then you need to set off earlier.

As for the comparison to driving down the road, it’s not really the same is it. It is illegal to stop in the middle of the freeway, it’s not however illegal to stop in the middle of the sidewalk though.

So actually, it’s YOUR PROBLEM !

ist2_2056780_finger_pointing

Well said, or should I say right said, Fred.   Clearly the entire city of New York is simply late all the time and should really take a collective look at their morning routines.  Maybe self evaluation is the key to making the sidewalks of this city easier to navigate.

I also appreciate your keen ability to correctly identify flaws in logic.  You’re right, sidewalks are nothing like freeways.  People can stop walking on sidewalks without fear of being pulled over.  You might also notice that instead of people driving cars on sidewalk, as they would on the freeway, they prefer more humble methods of locomotion like sneakers or loafers.   Gosh, now that I think of it there’s no helpful lines pained on sidewalks either, as there are on highways to indicate lanes and such.

Boy, thank goodness you came along Fred.  For the first time in my life I’ve seen the folly of my ways.  I should really look inward to find my happiness.  I shouldn’t expect people to adapt to their surroundings.

Because you know what they say don’t ‘cha Fred?

When in Rome,  F%*k Rome.

rome-holiday-colosseum-full

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The Inauguration Concert – We Are One January 19, 2009

Posted by Robert in Election 08, inauguration, Music, Politics, Social Commentary, Travel.
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DSC_0474

It was cold, dusty and there were several people who would have fit in better in the parking lot of a Dave Matthews concert, but for a proud Obamite like myself, it was Woodstock.

We arrived at about 11:30 and the National Mall was packed already.

There’s one at every show.

Steve Carell

That kid’s chin is ready for change.

Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuce!

Marine One?

So it would appear.

Security was tight, but very polite and not oppressive.  Snipers?

US Boarder Patrol.  They must have pulled every uniformed officer into DC.

DC’s Finest.

The American Communist Party.

These guys were popular.

Later we realized that they were probably playing this because George Lucas was in the front row.  Seriously.

“That was good chanting everybody!”  Thanks Elmo.

Lots. Of. People.

Garth sorta brought the house down.  “American Pie” into “Shout”

U2 – Pride In The Name Of Love, one day before Dr. King’s birthday.

U2 – City of Blinding Lights

Pete Seger and Bruce Springsteen – This Land is Your Land.  The whole crowd was singing along.  This was one of the more moving parts of the day for me.

Someone decided that Beyonce got to do the finale.  Ah well, I would have given it to Pete and Bruce.

Smilin’ Joe Biden’s Speech.

Barack’s speech.  He’s just warming up for Tuesday.

The streets out of The National Mall were absolutely packed to the gills with people.

Yes, we can. Yes, we have. Yes, we will. November 5, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Not Political, Politics, Social Commentary.
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3 comments

american-flag-2a

Congratulations to Barack Obama, the 44th President of The United State of America.   I had the privilege of watching the results from Rockefeller Plaza in Mid-town Manhattan.   It was absolutely packed to the gills with humanity.  Yes, it was overwhelmingly a Democratic and Pro-Obama crowd, but if you were there it seemed like more than that.  The word catharsis comes to mind.

Congratulations to John McCain, who ran a strong race and gave a moving and unifying concession speech.  He gave me hope that the John McCain that I grew to love and admire 4 years ago is still in there somewhere and will hopefully reemerge as a stalwart of the senate that all Americans can look to for a cool head and an honest opinion.   His party did not let him be himself during this election, but now that it’s over, I hope he goes back to answering only to himself.   That’s the McCain I loved.

Tonight, my wish was granted.  Now lets see if we, the American People, can stand up and answer my prayer.

In closing…

Top 5 songs for when Obama Wins (and 5 for if he doesn’t) November 4, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Humor, Politics, Social Commentary.
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highfidelity460

So depending on when you’re reading this,  Barack Obama may have been elected as the next president of The United States of America.   Or, John McCain may have defied all the odds and pulled this out.

If Obama has pulled this out and secured the presidency, then I give you my top 5 songs to celebrate an Obama victory.

1.  The Times They Are A Changin’ – Bob Dylan

This song is just as relevant as it was decades ago when Dylan wrote it.  Sadly the times didn’t exactly a’change as quickly as the song promised.  But, now that our country has elected the first African American president, hopeful some real change is headed our way.

2.  Growing On Me – The Darkness

This gem from the short lived neo-arena rockers The Darkness is a perfect song for those that didn’t vote for Barack, but soon realize that he’s everything they’ve ever wanted in a president.   Don’t be afraid McCain voters, he won’t bite.

3.  Black President – Nas

Um… Really? Do you need an explanation for this one?

4.  Cry Me A River – Justin Timberlake

This one is for all of the Haters you will no doubt hear that say an Obama presidency will be the end of this country as we know it.  Only the chorus is relevant, so I recommend you put that part on loop, crank up your system and drive around anyone’s house that still has their McCain/Palin sign in their front yard.

5. A Change is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke

People get ready.  Yes We Can has become Yes We Did.  Love it or hate it, change is on it’s way.

That is, unless…

John McCain has won.   If he has, you will need these 5 songs to get you through the next administration.

5.  B.Y.O.B. – System of a Down

“Why don’t president’s fight the war? Why do we always send the poor?”  Good questions that deserve answers.

4.  Take the Power Back – Rage Against The Machine

These next 4 years might seem like a long time, but you can make sure your voice is heard long before the 2012 elections.  If you disagree with policy, let your voice be heard.  Demonstrate, protest and make sure those in power know that they work at your pleasure, not the other way around.

3.  Push – Pharoahe Monch

“Sometime you might fall down, but you get back up.”  “If you represent the struggle than PUSH”

2.  Fight The Power – Public Enemy

“Our Freedom of Speech, is Freedoem, or Death”

1.  List of Demands – Saul Williams

“I ain’t afraid of you.  I’m just a victim of your fear”   Don’t let them scare you into submission.  Fear is the first weapon used to get people to fall in line en-masse.  Fear is what got this country behind a false war.  Don’t let it happen again.


Well there you have it.  Good music to play no matter how things turn out today.

On The Eve of The Election: An American Prayer November 4, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Not Political, Politics, Social Commentary.
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3 comments

vote

Good Day America.   I write this post not as an amateur political pundit or an avid supporter of Senator Obama’s Candidacy or a wack-job, bed-wetting liberal.  Although I know that depending on who is reading this, you will inevitably group me into one of these 3 categories.

I write this as an American, in prayer.   Not a hypothetical “prayer” either.  An actual prayer that I will be praying tonight to the being that I call God.   The Catholic God of my childhood if you want details.   The same God that I’ve prayed to thousands of times before, be it the night before a spelling test in 3rd grade or for the recovery of an ailing loved-one or for a friend that I knew was going to be in harms way for a while.

I won’t be praying for the victory of a particular candidate,  God knows who I’d prefer to see win the Presidency and he knows that I feel very passionate about it (if you’re offended by my referring to the Judeo-Christian God as “He” my apologies.  Feel free to replace it with whatever 3rd person pronoun you prefer).  My prayer tonight will be for my country.  A country that I know will be in desperate need of some long overdue healing come Wednesday morning (at the very earliest).  My prayer will be very simple and very short.

Despite what you think about  the way this country has been handled in the days, months and years since George W. Bush was elected by electoral vote,  you would be hard pressed to point to a president that will leave office with a more divided country.    People are angry.  They are angry because they see a country that deem it unnecessary to provide equal and adequate health-care to all citizens.  They are angry because they see a country that allows women to terminate their pregnancies for reasons legally.   They are angry because to them, large sections of the country do not seem to have enough pride in our nation’s military.  They are angry because they see a country that is capable of rigging elections.

Whether or not any of these concerns are well-founded is up for debate.  What is not, is how bad this country needs to heal.   I don’t care if you live in Birmingham, Alabama or The Upper West Side of Manhattan Island,  you’ve undoubtedly overheard people talking about this election and what they plan on doing if the person they don’t want to win, wins.  You’ll hear everything from “I’m moving to Mexico” to “Well the Republicans/Democrats are already cheating so it doesn’t matter.”

I’ll be honest,  I am worried about what will happen to this country if Barack Obama loses.   I am in stark disagreement with Senator McCain on most issues and I haven’t exactly been vague in my criticism of his choice for his running-mate. To be brutally honest, she scares the ever-living hell out of me.   But what worries me more is the prospect that no matter which candidate wins, this country is going to continue to hate half (give or take) of itself.

Therefore, tonight I invite you whomever you are to join me.   Before you fall asleep tonight I hope that you will take a moment and say a prayer or wish upon a star or talk to yourself.   Just give a thought for this country and remember that even if the side you want to win doesn’t, that doesn’t mean this country is incapable of bettering itself.

In case you’re wondering, my prayer is only one word long.

Unity.

Can you imagine being married to this? October 23, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Politics, Social Commentary.
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My. Sweet. Lord.

How do these people think for a second that this kind of hatred and bigotry can hold up to biblical scrutiny.   If nothing else, Christianity is supposed to represent forgiveness and charity, not this neo-christian brand of hatred and fear mongering.

This woman represents everything that is wrong with this country.  She needs to be reminded that there are Muslim-American citizens who are fighting and dying for this country.   Her close minded/open mouthed attitude is scary, but useless as a weapon against the sweeping referendum that is coming to our country.  

Elsheba Khan at the grave of her son, Specialist Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan.

This photo is part of a photo essay by photographer, Platon. Orignally printed in The New Yorker.  Source.

During his endorsement of Barack Obama for President, former Secretary of State Colin Powell mentioned how foolish it is that some American’s think that Obama is a Muslim and how foolish it would be to fault him even if he was (which again, he is not).   Soldiers like Kareem R. Khan gave their lives to protect this country.  Anytime these philistines claim that there is something wrong with being Muslim, they’re not only making themselves looks stupid, they’re besmirching the entire Armed Forces, this country and it’s Constitution.

Shame on you Ugly Woman on Youtube who’s name I can’t locate.

Shame.

These people share the same country as us. October 17, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Politics, Social Commentary, Television.
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It’s sad to think that the most honest uncensored real-world testimonials are coming from Al-Jezeera, a news organization that was once and in some circles still is reviled as a mouthpiece of Islamic extremists.

But remember people, freedom of speech means all speech not just the speech that you agree with.  These people maybe be uninformed and hateful, but they have the same right to speak their minds as any other American.  It would just be nice if the American media was free to cover it as honestly as the Islamic media.

The terrible part of it is that it is we, the public that causes so much censorship and filtration of our news.   We are the ones who file FCC complaints en masse when we see half a nipple a Super-Bowl Halftime show causing decades of increased content sensibilities in broadcasting.  It is we who fund and fuel the special interest groups who’s job it is to make sure that if someone in the public eye says a poorly worded sentence that as many people as possible find out about it and are told where to complain.

We have the power to stop this. It’s called the remote control.

Next. Time. Just. Change. The. Channel.

Shocking Obama Secret Revealed! October 2, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Humor, Politics, Social Commentary.
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Senator Obama has been pulling the wool over the American peoples eyes for too long. It really pains me to say this because I really had high hopes for him to turn this country around and usher in a new kind of politics. But thank God that Florida resident Andy Lacasse has uncovered the horrible truth.  You see, after discovering Obama’s dirty secret, Andy decided to fashion this articulate and well researched sign in his front yard to warn potential Obama voters of their folly.

I know,  you must be as shocked as I was.  Here I was going about my day telling people to vote for Barack Obama because I though he stood a real chance of getting our country back from the neo-conservative, Bush/Cheney/Rove years and then this pops up.  Man, I’d say that I’m crushed, but that would be too much of an understatement.

To think that not only was Barack Obama lying to us about his past, but he’s not even eligible to be President.  Everyone knows that you have to be a natural born American citizen over the age of 35 and you must not be a finely woven cotton fabric.   To think that I was going to vote for a “Half-Breed Muslin” to be my president.  His mother probably slept with a length of polyester when she was in college or something.

And don’t you left wing wack-jobs even think about going down to Andy’s home in Barefoot Bay, Florida and trying to remove his sign or take away his freedom of speech.  He’s waiting for you.  Just read the warning he gave to local news channel 13.

“I got nothing good to say about Obama. If I see anybody touching that sign, I got a club sitting right over there.”

That’s right folks.  A Club, and he don’t mean he’s going to fix you a tasty multi-layered sandwich either.  He means this kind of club.

Andy Locasste

Andy Lacasse - An artist's conception

Well, thank you Andy Lacasse.  Your open mindedness, pursuit of truth and mastery of the English language has shown me the light.

Talking Ducks Teach Lessons on Inflation October 1, 2008

Posted by Robert in Humor, Politics, Social Commentary.
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This one’s for you, Mark.

McCain Campaign Continues It’s Shadow Puppetry. September 23, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Humor, Politics, Social Commentary, Television.
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The McCain campaign continued it’s “Nothing to see here. Hey isn’t that a giant robot bunny?” style of campaigning today by consistently trying to draw attention away from it’s lack of identity and focus on false and tepid diplomacy stunts and economic non-statements.

Sarah Palin traveled to the UN to meet with a few world leaders including Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Henry Kissinger.   Unfortunately for the American voter who might be looking to events like this to help make their decision, the McCain campaign decided it would be a bad idea to allow reporters to observe these “diplomatic meetings”.

This is some scary stuff right here ladies and gentleman.   We’re just getting through what is arguably the most secretive and covert administrations in the history of the office of The President and at least one of the major candidate’s campaigns is quickly showing that in terms of journalistic transparency, they will be more of the same.    I don’t care if you’re Republican, Democrat or politically Bi-Curious, that should send chills down your spine.

This country needs a press corp that is free to cover the news where and when it finds it, not when it’s deemed politically convenient for it’s leaders, would-be or otherwise.   Beware the person who has the political strategy of staying outside of the public eye as much as possible.  If John McCain is worried that he will not benefit from more journalistic scrutiny, he should not be looking to fill the most powerful office in the land.  And if he feels that his choice for a running mate is better served by being allowed to campaign in a vacuum (no, that is not a sexist comment about her being a woman),  he should have left her to the relative anonymity of our northern-most state.

Look John, as a candidate you can’t expect to be able to stick to your talking points 24/7.   It’s just the nature of running a presidential campaign in these modern times.  You don’t get to give a press conference for 11 minutes and then take a few weeks off, sheltered from the main stream media.   You have to be there, non stop, answering whatever question is thrown at you.  You owe us that much.   You want us to follow you for the next 4 years?  Then answer every single question.  Allow the press open access to you, your running mate, your advisers and anyone else who might be able to give us some insight as to the type of leader you will make.

This is the absolute least we should be able to expect from our potential leader.  Let us ask and the free press we depend on to ask you anything.  Don’t call it “unfair scrutiny” when there is no such thing in this game.   All is fair in politics and if you can’t understand that, you don’t get to play. Period.

See you Friday boys.  John, lets see if you can channel that guy from 2004 who used to make me believe that non-partisan politics really were possible.