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March 2013

Rep. Young Opens Mouth and Inserts Foot

Alaska Representative Don Young set back Republican - Latino relations by using the term "wetbacks" during a recent interview. The public outrage was swift and the apology by Young was clumsy.

The term "wetbacks" often refers to Mexican migrants who have entered the country illegally. Young, an Alaska congressman, discussing the labor market during an interview with radio station KRBD in Ketchikan, Alaska, said that on his father's ranch, "we used to have 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes." He said, "It takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It's all done by machine."

It's easy to jump on Young's case. Yeah, call him racist...out of touch...and any number of other unflattering terms but don't miss what's really happening in this post-racial America.

What's happening is those of us not in Young's circle of friends, are learning what he really thinks of minorities, in this instance, Latinos. We should not miss the point that Young experienced such difficulty in apologizing for his interview snafu because he probably doesn't think he did anything wrong. He was so comfortable in using the ethnic slur that reasonable people would surmise he's used that term several times.

Young and other like-minded people don't view ethnic minorities, women or homosexuals as equals. These same individuals make our laws and hire people and determine if people receive certain services while viewing others through a tainted prism.

In this post-racial society, many ethnic and gender obstacles have been overcome but the reality is many have not. Folks like Rep. Young may never change and to be honest, I prefer to know his true feelings rather than witness fakery.

The Green Thing

This was forwarded to me by one of my elders. It's a long blog post but worthwhile reading.

Upon checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days."

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."

She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books. But too bad we didn't do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service.

We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from smartass young people.

We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off.

Searching for Terrilynn Monette

New Orleans teacher and California native Terrilynn Monette has been missing since March 2. Her car, a 2012 black Honda Accord has not been recovered either.

If you have seen Terrilynn or have any information on this case, please call (504) 658-4000.


Mitt Romney and His Modern Slave Labor Mistake

N_lw_2prouty_130314I waited a bit before writing about Scott Prouty, the man who videoed the famous ’47% comment’ made by presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a private fundraiser in Florida. I waited for the media thrashing Prouty would receive as he had surely made himself a target of the media and a few anti-Obama folks. 

Since no earth shattering, negative news has been published as of yet, I'd like to thank and congratulate Scott Prouty.  It could not have been easy wrestling with the decision to make the video public and possibly change the course of history.

Let’s not forget Prouty’s motivation for exposing Mitt Romney. It wasn’t the 47% comment the media harped on and made the focal point of their broadcasts, it was the description of the slave-like working conditions at a plant that Romney described in enough detail to have horrified most people but was apparently the business model that he wants in play in this country. That is bone chilling.

If the American public doesn’t wake up and smell the coffee, we are still headed in that direction albeit, we may arrive a little slower. Workers rights…voting rights…health care…education…poverty are all issues that are inextricably tied and need to be addressed and corrected. 

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Prouty showed us our possible future and it was not pretty. 


Photo/Video:   The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell

Throw Mama from the Train Pt. 2: 82 year-old Emma Anderson Meets Miami Metrorail Security Guard [VIDEO]


82 year-old Emma Anderson was dragged from a Metrorail train by a security guard in Miami, FL on February 20, 2013.

I live in Miami, Florida. I love living in Miami most of the time. Today is not one of those times though. After hearing the story of 82 year-old Emma Anderson being dragged off a Metrorail train at the Brickell station some seven miles away from her home on February 20, 2013.


Mrs. Anderson was asked to stop singing by one of the security guards representing 50 State Security, a subcontractor hired by Miami-Dade County. When Mrs. Anderson didn’t stop, the security guard forcibly removed her from the train. In the process, Mrs. Anderson’s hip and shoulder were injured.

Since this is 2013, you know some folks on the train captured the incident on their cell phones. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez quickly apologized for the incident. Hearing about it is bad enough, seeing it and hearing the comments from witnesses makes it all the more disgusting.


Some folks have focused on the religious aspect of this incident because Mrs. Anderson was singing gospel songs. Other folks have tried to make it a racial issue as Mrs. Anderson is black and the guard appears to be white Hispanic. 

It’s reasonable to believe that Mrs. Anderson wasn’t asked to stop singing because she chose to sing a religious song. She was asked to stop singing because she was singing too loud and drumming on her thigh. While that is in violation of a noise rule, an elderly woman should not have been treated in such an inhumane manner. 

This is the response from Miami-Dade Transit spokesperson Karla Damian:

Miami-Dade Transit has a responsibility to all its passengers to provide a safe and comfortable travel experience. The elderly passenger, Ms. Anderson, who was escorted from a Metrorail train, was initially asked by a security guard to refrain from singing loudly and playing an instrument while on the train.

She refused to comply. County rules associated with transit use prohibit anyone from singing, dancing or playing a musical instrument unless a commercial permit is issued by MDT. Further, Ms. Anderson’s singing was causing a disturbance to other passengers and impeding important train announcements from being heard.

We regret that Ms. Anderson had to eventually be escorted out, but regardless of age, all passengers need to abide by the rules associated with using transit.

Really, Ms. Damian? This is the best response you guys could come up with? Wow. I shudder to think how any prudent individual could describe the guard's actions as "escorting" Mrs. Anderson.  

As far as the racial aspect goes, one cannot read the thoughts of the security guard who assaulted Mrs. Anderson but there have been other documented incidents involving 50 State Security. Check out this video on The Huffington Post. Miami photographer and blogger Carlos Miller was physically restrained then handcuffed by 50 State guards at a Metrorail station. He is white.


How long are the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners going to allow this abuse to continue? I live in Miami, Florida. I love living in Miami most of the time. Today is not one of those times though.