Monday, December 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Some years ago I heard, or read conspiracy chatter about contrails being a sinister plot by the government to spray chemicals over the country as some kind of mass experiment. It may have been talk show host Art Bell who did a program about contrails. Doesn't really matter who. I heard it somewhere and had to laugh about it.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
A Black National Anthem: Have We Lost Our Collective Minds?
No. We haven’t lost our collective minds. We just can’t be bothered to use them any longer. Too lazy, perhaps. Too distracted with the price of gas maybe? Or has stupidity and arrogance taken over as the driving, guiding force in our society today?
No. This country’s citizens simply don’t have the collective balls to stand up for our history, our common heritage (blemishes and all), or the ideal of a nation striving for equality and justice for all. So to speak. And, yes, stupidity and arrogance have taken over as the driving, guiding force in our society today, as demonstrated by jazz singer Rene Marie on July 1, 2008 in Denver, Colorado during the opening of the Denver State of the City Address.
A “Black National Anthem”? Who’s asinine idea was that? Well, I suppose it wasn’t conceived as asinine when penned in February of 1900 by James Weldon Johnson. (1871-1938) Written by Johnson as a poem titled “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”, the work was set to music by Johnson’s brother, and performed in Jacksonville, Florida by a children’s choir to celebrate Lincoln’s birthday on February 12, 1900. It was considered to be a song of patriotism and hope for the future for African American citizens, and was nicknamed the “Black National Anthem” by, I suppose no one in particular or of any consequence. That’s all well and fine.
However, jazz singer Rene Marie was invited by the Denver Mayor’s office to sing the National Anthem before his annual State of the City Address. Instead, she performed “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” to the melody of the Star Spangled Banner.
She has, fortunately for those of us with some national dignity left, been criticized and rebuked for her action. But unfortunately, Ms Marie did not apologize, but said that she had no regrets. As quoted in a story by Russell Goldman of ABC News, Ms Marie said that she wanted to express how she felt about “...living in this country as a black woman.” “Art is supposed to make you think, “ she said. “ I wanted to express how I felt, being a black woman living in this country.”
Therein lies the arrogance. No one asked her how she felt as a black woman, a woman, a jazz singer, or as an aging diva in her own mind. No one was interested in her “art”. They simply wanted her to sing the National Anthem. That, in itself should have been a hint to Ms Marie that she was (I stress WAS) a respected citizen, woman, and if skin color had anything to do with it, a “black woman.” Damn, woman! Just sing the Star Spangled Banner and let that be its own expression! What’s wrong with people?
Next time, the mayor’s office should simply get a children’s choir to sing the National Anthem. But the stupidity is that Rene Marie will become a sounding board for those with an ax to grind, or an agenda to push. Maybe she and Michelle Obama can team up and give us all lessons in art, pride, and expression.
Come on Americans. Start making noise about these self-serving “artists” and activists who cannot or will not join together and celebrate a common bond of citizenship. Such arrogance as demonstrated by Rene Marie this week, only creates divisions between all races, all creeds, all citizens. Let’s end the stupidity or there may be more serious sentiments we will all have to “express” about living in this country.
I hope jazz singer Rene Marie will have an opportunity this July 4th to say the Pledge and sing the National Anthem, and keep the arrogance and stupidity of her "art" to herself.
(c)R.Burnett Baker 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Honestly, I don’t want to be “green”. I don’t believe the hype about so-called global warming, and couldn’t give two craps about my carbon footprint. I happen to like incandescent light bulbs and believe that they could be produced to last longer, and burn efficiently. Changing light bulbs won’t stop climate change. Drinking water out of plastic bottles is convenient, and often I reuse the bottles over and over again. I resent a town, city, or any governmental body telling me through legislation that I cannot use plastic bags.
Having said all that, I believe we should all strive to be good stewards of the environment.
Now he’s talking out of both sides of his mouth, you might be thinking. Well, yes I am.
Here’s the deal. Citizens of the world in general, and North Americans in particular, are being fed a pig’s trough of informational slop to induced fear, guilt, and self-loathing all for political and economic expediency of the true masters of the planet: Multinational corporations, or what I nicknamed several years ago, international, or multinational corportocracy.
A news article on Yahoo June 8, 2008 told us about some of the evils of bottled water without really saying anything at all. In the article, Cornell University professor Doug James was quoted as saying about Fiji Water that one-liter bottles are “...taken out of the aquifer of this little island, and shipped all the way across the world, producing like (yes, he said “like”) half a pound of greenhouse gases so you can have this one-liter bottle of water.”
If I were any good at math I’d want to see the calculations for that statement. I’m not good at math, but I’d STILL like to see those calculations and know who did the measurements.
Professor Doug tweaked my curiosity, so I looked at the Fiji Water web site, and a couple of other related articles. Seems to me that if we were to all be green and boycott Fiji Water because of our concern for “global warming” , a major industry of a tiny nation might be shut down, and the citizens of that tiny nation could continue to be quaint little brown people stringing pukka shells and grass skirts for the Al Gore tourists of the world.
Seems that after some negative “green” press last year, Fiji Water will this year strive to be “carbon negative”, whatever that means. Actually what that means, is that through the counseling of organizations like Conservation International, and ICF International, Fiji Water will supposedly be able to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 25%, reduce packaging by about 20% and waste by over 30%, and increase by 50% the amount of production energy that comes from renewable resources. What it means is that some elite industrial slave masters will be making money and getting richer.
It also portends the ever increasing financial and political control and subjugation of the masses in both the developed and developing worlds that the multinational corportocracy will possess.
Oh yes... According to Environmentalleader.com (“The Executive’s Daily Green Briefing) any remaining carbon emissions produced by Fiji Water “...will be mitigated through a portfolio of forest carbon and renewable energy offset projects...” under the auspices of Conservation International.
You, inquisitive reader, can look into the above mentioned organizations and explore their web sites to learn who their “partners” are: Governmental agencies, military affiliations, corporations, and oh yes, governmental agencies. It’s not my goal in this screed to give fine details, but rather encourage any reader to further research where all this information comes from, who is involved in disseminating it, and what the underlying and/or over arching objectives might be. (Hint: Political and economic expediency)
As for the legislation part I alluded to at the beginning: In 2002, Ireland was the first nation to introduce a plastic bag tax (“PlasTax”). Since then other high-minded cities and governments have been pushing similar legislation. But that’s a discussion for another day.
In the meantime, I will stop at my local inconvenient store tomorrow, purchase a bottle of Fiji Water, drink it and use the bottle over and over again.
And I’ll carry it to my car in that handy plastic bag that I can use again as well.
(c)R. Burnett Baker 2008