Sunday, February 28, 2016

This Hurts...

It hurts more than I can describe....

I just lost a brother and his wife today. A car crossed the road and ran them over head-on.

A cage ran over a bike...

Without knowing anything, I can only assume that the cager was either drunk or fell asleep at the wheel.

It doesn't matter. My friends are dead. And they leave behind an 8-year old daughter. 

Orphaned....

These were two incredible people. Incredible people. They did much for the local biker community. And they are now gone....

Gone....

You never know what's coming for you. 

I can't believe this....  Fuck....

Friday, February 26, 2016

Last Night's Republican "Debate" (sic)

Well, it finally happened. As some headlines note today, it took nine months, but opponents to Donald Trump have finally attacked him. Where's the substance of his policies? Where does he really stand on significant conservative issues? How does he propose to honestly fund all the things he plans to implement? How is he going to implement these proposals?

His answer: "I'll make American great again!"

And that was basically it!

NOTE: He still has full control and momentum to be the Republican Presidential nominee. But, there is no doubt, the luster and aura of his candidacy lost lots of its shine last night at the debate.

Trump can count on a solid 30-35% Republican voter support all the way to the convention. His supporters didn't hear (or don't want to hear) the things exposed about Trump last night. As commentators noted, no Republican candidate TO DATE has done a good job on opposition research on Trump. Starting to dig around now, with Super Tuesday only days away, is really too little, too late.

But he has been exposed. The emperor is wearing less clothes today than he did yesterday.

I'm chuckling at this whole process. Perhaps this is what finally destroys the Republican Party.

I can only hope!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Planning the Spring Break Ride

On a shoestring....

I'll be heading out in one week for New Orleans and then most of Texas for Spring Break. I don't believe I'll be staying in a hotel more than three days on the trip, and those rooms are covered anyway.

I'm looking forward to some New Orleans food, music, and fellowship. It will be great to see my daughter Cece in Houston. She has a wonderful place that I've not seen yet. I've got to spend some time with a Boozefighter brother who went down right before Christmas--he hasn't fully gain consciousness yet, but its important to me to show support for him when I get out there.

Heading to Killeen and Temple will be fun. It's been over a year since I've been back there. So many friends, so little time.

Then, it's on to Borger where I have to go to a court hearing about the guardianship of my cousin.

A nice bike ride. Hoping the weather will hold up for most of the trip. I know the temperatures will be wonderful. It will definitely be a great trip.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Mardi Gras in Exile--Again....

We spend another year away from home on this most special of days--Mardi Gras....

I'm getting tired of this....

I know we can't go home for a long time. We have a familial obligation up here in Tennessee and we will follow through with that. Susan's family was there for us when we evacuated from the Storm ten years ago and we will be here for them now.

But for the past two weeks, I've done nothing but miss home and wish that I was back in New Orleans.

It's hard to believe that we haven't been home for a Mardi Gras since 2007. Nine years! Nine fuckin' years!!!

There is no doubt that next year we will be back home for Mardi Gras. The planning and saving takes place now.

At least I know I have one year to make my costume!

Happy Mardi Gras everyone!

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Vanguard of the Revolution--The Black Panthers

I took some of my students last night to see a special screening of "Vanguard of the Revolution--The Black Panthers." http://theblackpanthers.com/home/ It was a good documentary, and given the questions and responses from my students it was a part of America's Civil Rights movement that they knew nothing about.

It is due to be presented on PBS on February 16 I believe.

That being said....

It clearly was meant for a "mainstream" audience....

The moderators at last night's event underscored that we only saw a 70-minute highlight of the total 2-hour documentary. OK--I can accept that. But what I saw really "sugar-coated" the history of the Panthers. 

The foundation of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, CA was Maoist Communism. Pure and simple.

I fully support that foundation.

Now, Huey and Bobby "knew" that the image of black berets, leather jackets and open-carry firearms would "attract" members to the Party. What they did with these new members, both males and females, was incredible. The programs initiated at the community level have been implemented in our society in a variety of ways (Free Breakfast and Lunch programs for the poor, free groceries, legal counseling, etc.). But the essence of the 10-Point Plan and the Party was Maoist Communism.

This philosophy began to be marginalized when Eldridge Cleaver joined the party....

There are a number of choice video snippets in the documentary. I am not going to give any away, other than to say the words of Governor Reagan and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover "floored" my students. Be on the watch for those great public statements.

For me, the key is that in the late-60s/early 70s we, as a society, had the greatest potential in our history to radically reshape our society. The previous opportunity happened after the Great Depression. Just as with that time, the Federal Government did its damned-est to physically eradicate elements of dissension and change within society. What emerged after the Great Depression were the social programs initiated by the Roosevelt Administration. What emerged after the 70s, though, was a movement to reverse the FDR policies. A total shift--a reaction to the growing fear in our society of strong social movements led by minorities and young people.

The documentary is important because it exposes an important part of our social history that many in today's generation know little, if anything, about. 

It is also important for cynics like myself to see how little we have progressed as a society since that time....

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Trump’s Loss

It was wonderful seeing Trump lose in the Iowa caucuses, but it is only a momentary glitch in his accelerating momentum.

If you look at the polls, he has a commanding lead in New Hampshire and South Carolina. He has the momentum to take many (if not all) of the states in the Super Tuesday primaries.

It was certainly great to see him “concede” last night’s election. Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing many more of those concession speeches.