Civic Basics: What is a Right?

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Still working my way through the Constitution – so far “rights” are listed as the right of life, liberty and property. I guessed the first two correctly, but didn’t think of the third as being a right – the right to own property. Hmm, as a Black American, I think I will always look sideways at the right to own property. But if I just consider its benign meaning, I’m ok with it.

Anyway, I realized that just reading about the founding rights was somewhat incomplete. After all, I am currently thinking about the current popular movements demanding free health care and a minimum wage as rights? Technically, don’t these fall under the right to life and if you stretch the definition, do a back flip and look side ways at this, the right to own property as well?. Maybe, but not quite.

Which is why I am glad that I stumbled over this video that explicitly defined what a right is.

Just in case this video is removed – here is a brief transcription of the pertinent audio of what is a right as defined by economist Walter Williams.

Currently, I am reading “The Black Book of Communism” and reading list after list of  incidents of violence, murder and terror to impose rules on others. Well, let’s just say that I am acutely aware of the horror of enforcing someone else’s standard on another individual.

“A right is something that exists simultaneously among people. A right does not confer any obligation on another.” – Walter Williams

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The Week of Rights

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I have come to the galling realization that I only have a faint idea of what “rights” are.

This ignorance applies down the board – Civil Rights, Human Rights, Gender Rights (Men and Women’s) and to keep up with the latest fads Gay and Transgender right.

So, the next week will be dedicated to writing about my findings.

First up,

68_ppc_mule

Civil Rights.

How one breakthrough candidate dampened my excitement for the next

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The quickest of the quickest background needed for this piece – 1. I am a life long Democrat voter and 2. I voted for President -soon to be former – President Obama twice.

I still remember the Election Day from that year. The day just carried an excitement, I remember hearing people honking in the streets as they – as we waited for the tally to come in to confirm what so many people expected, hoped for – America had elected its first Black president.

The next election, 2012, was a decidedly less exciting affair. I don’t remember the day, the excitement. I do remember voting – this time I did early voting. The lines were long, but  the weather was pleasant. The only celebrity I met in person was Mario Van Peebles who stopped by to “encourage” the voters to stay in the voting line and actually vote I suppose.

The novelty of the first African American president(technically he is mixed, but I feel confident his race will be recorded as African American) had been greatly lowered. These people elected to their jobs were, well, expected to do their jobs. I was increasingly aggravated by the slow process that change that Obama administration had promised.

And to be more honest, I didn’t even remember what I wanted the Obama administration to accomplish. I just got caught up in the day to day fights of Democrats vs Republicans, but I had no overarching dreams/goals for the administration to accomplish. Wow, that’s sad to say, but when I announce myself as a life long Democrat, essentially I am saying that I took my marching orders as far as the most important issues from the Democratic party. Abortion, gun rights, social issues – I had an opinion about these issues because they were the issues being talked about.

Enter Madame Hilary Clinton. The supposed first female president  of the United States. And I didn’t care.  I knew the Hillary Clinton name from years of public use, she was a woman, I do believe women are capable of handling leadership roles. But her gender didn’t matter to me. I had learned from watching President Obama.

Skin color and sex didn’t matter. It comes down to whether she could do the job.

And I didn’t know if she could. Moreover, I didn’t trust her to do the job.

So I didn’t vote for her. I didn’t vote for Trump. For the first time, in my voting life, I didn’t vote at all. I felt embarrassed not to be able to say that I voted for someone.But I didn’t believe the other candidates had a chance and I don’t believe in a protest vote.

 

 

 

Saying no to a black collective

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It’s been a twisted road getting here, but after discarding most of my support of feminism, and a generalized SJWism, I have arrived here – turning away from a path of black collectivism.

I’m tired and feel weird even typing this but I want to go on record and well, record this moment. Also, I want to figure out how on earth I got here.

Maybe it as all building up. Saying good bye to one type of collectivism after another (4th wave feminism, SJWism) so it made sense that I also would say good by to black collectivism for brevity let’s say it happened in three phases.

  1. Feeling obligated to support (i.e. spend money on) movies I didn’t want to see.
    1.  Red Tails, 12 Years a Slave, Roots, most recently Birth of a Nation – there seemed to be a slew of movies released whose marketing included the implicit and sometimes explicit message that my blackness obligated me to see. My skin color, not my tastes, my own desires. Go because you are black. I rarely go to the movies now (I have internet access is a sufficient explanation), so I need to be excited enough, interested enough in a movie to persuade myself to dish out the dollars. So I was growing increasingly annoyed how I, myself, me who resides underneath this skin was being IGNORED and told to come to the movies in service of others.
    2. Black collectivism demands that you treat others of your ilk like a charity.
    3. Black collectivism speaks of a unspecified, vague explanation that support (my money) is required for “the greater good.” What greater good? To help others grow rich. What good does an individual black person being rich do for the collective? Well, it boosts black people’s image to the wider world – Hmm, ok. It Allegedly it will also benefit other black people because this black company will hire black workers and will spend money in black communities. Well, this would only apply to small mom and pop black businesses – businesses anchored in the black community. But I see the buy black to support other blacks applied to large “black owned” conglomeromates as well- the formerly black owned Carol’s Daughter, . When Tidal attempted to spin a yarn of being black owned I possibly damaged my eyeballs from rolling them so hard. buy black is a comforting pr spin but not really beneficial as well.
    4. Black collectivism is based on non issued promises.
      1. Touchy example-a black person buys a nother black person’s movie tickets to support what a black person is doing. They bought the ticket becuase they had been taught that they were obligated to, that purchase symbolize them holding up their part of the bargain. However it comes out tht the movie director/actor that you bought the ticket to support is a Republican married interracially or is living in some other way that you do not approve of – promises not kept. Queue the outraged social media protests. Stuff the online outrage says I of today. Because the person did not make any explicit promises to you. Accept it or move on.
    5. Black collectivism stuffs you in a box and relies on guilt and shame to keep you there.
      1. certain behaviors such as the music you are suppose to like to the way you dress talk and style your hair

Another #bbhmm essay i.e. I don’t buy Rihanna as a bill collector

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BBBHM is a tale of revenge, that was highly celebrated in some circles and highly criticized in others.

In my circle of one (I complete me), I was …. than enthused with the video and the song for that matter.

  1. Revenge is a dish best served cold is how the saying goes. That is true for the person who is perpetrating the avenging actions. For those who witness such actions to sympathize and later route for the actor causing violence and havoc it is best to “feel” for their character – be outraged at their betrayal, see the devastating effects of that betrayal – on a personal emotional level and any subsequent concrete effects.
    1. The real word inspiration for Rihanna’s revenge fantasy was the fact that Rihanna’s accountant had alleged stolen money – $9 million to be approximate – (not so much stolen as gave really crummy accounting advice), regardless under his wisdom the Bajan beauty found herself nearly bankrupt by the end of 2009.
      1. Regardless of the cause, rumors about the main actors in Rihanna’s financial drama have been circulating for years. The thing is – Rihanna never came out and cried broke, gave any interviews (that I recall and none that an admittedly quick google search revealed) about her pain about being taken advantage of or experiencing Hollywood star levels of poverty. I heard the stories, looked at Rihanna – the glamour, the clothes, the homes, the travel and…..everything looked fine, so I moved on, nothing to see here, nothing to worry or cry about over here.
      2. In othe words, as an audience member I wasn’t exactly demanding that RiRi get retribution.
    2.  The character of Rihanna does not strike me as a bill collector. Yes #BBHMM is essentially a song about a bill collector. Bill collectors are demanding, dogged, unrelenting – hounding their targets at all times of the day and night, paying insistent attention to detail. The public personae/character of Rihanna is that of a stoner, a party girl, she throws shades and then goes back to the party. However else her actual private behaviors are, Rihanna’s behavior in public screams she will get sassy but overall stays in chill position.    That is to say I did not believe that the Rihanna was the right person to star in video/song. I believe the character of Rihanna wouldn’t have qualms about committing such acts I just don’t believe she would be the mastermind or the driving force behind this plot.

They said there would be riots in Boston….and there was….why?

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Somehow, somewhere I heard that people would definitely riot in Boston come Sunday last.

And since I was told that it would be so, I immediately doubled down on my natural inclination to think that riots will NOT occur.

But….this happened.

And I want to want to know why did it happen? Can you accurately predict when a riot will occur? Who is rioting, who usually riots? But always coming back to my initial curiosity – how can you predict when a riot will occur?

***(I’ll also toss in, can’t promise that I will answer this time, ever burning question – do rioters ever destroy/riot outside of their own neighborhoods? , is that a line that separates a riot from a revolution?)

“Do Cooking TV Shows Make You Fat?”

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“Do Cooking TV Shows Make You Fat?”

I laughed out loud when I saw this article’s title.

I loooovvve cooking TV shows, among my favorite are Good Eats (I re-watch reruns, that’s how much I heart this show) and currently my favorite cooking competition show is the Taste.

I laughed out loud because I realized I rarely actually cook what I see on tv.   A combination of costs of groceries, time to cook meals and even motivation to take on cooking show recipes that often are – if not complex – then definitely time consuming, often leaves me reaching for the simplest recipes. These simplest recipes usually come from myself – uhhm, steamed broccoli anyone, to random searches conducted online. Online I usually search for recipes for particular menu items that I already have or for dietary concerns.

I save my more adventurous cooking for the weekend, and even then costs plays a major role in my menu planning.

Cooking tv shows make you fat, **shaking my head with  a smile** well it made me chuckle on a really stressful Wednesday, so I think the article had value.