In which our dear leaders pontificate on the issues of the day…

December 17, 2011

J. Rashad Brown: I must admit that I’ve been suffering from a bit of writer’s block lately, but not in the way you might think. I haven’t had a problem trying to decide about what I’d like to write. Quite the contrary; there’s been so much tomfoolery going on in the world to focus on one thing.

As a member of the Quarters Magazine QUARTIES AWARD Nomination Committee, I’ve found myself sitting at my desk, fingers on keyboard, ready to rip into one thing or another, only to find out about some other malfeasance. Thus, I’ve decided to save it all up and present it here.

Michael H. Samuels: Completely understandable, my friend. And I look forward to reading about all the tomfoolery that crosses your desk and your take on it. After spending all my down time worrying about diapers, baby food and talking like what would appear to be a complete idiot if I didn’t have a cute little baby bear in my midst.

Why, just today I saw a “story” on Yahoo about how new “research” states that the popular “cry it out” method could actually be detrimental for babies. That may be the case, but it’s worked for us. And said bear is sleeping as we speak, giving me time to write this. Well, that, and the story included this quote:

“A crying baby in our ancestral environment would have signaled predators to tasty morsels,” writes Darcia Narvaez, an Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Collaborative for Ethical Education at the University of Notre Dame. “So our evolved parenting practices alleviated baby distress and precluded crying except in emergencies.”

What does all that mean, you ask? It’s a parent thing, my friend, you wouldn’t understand.

Maybe some day.

JRB: Indeed. But, I wouldn’t hold your breath.

So, raise your ire, your awareness and, of course, a glass for this week’s edition of…


Leading off this week, I’m going to lob a read-the-13th-amendment-asshole QUARTIE to Cincinnati, OH’s own Jamie Hein. Hein, a white woman, posted a sign at the pool of the duplex she owns that read, “Public Swimming Pool, White Only.”Hein posted the sign after the biracial, teenage daughter of her tenants visited her parents and got in the pool. Hein said she posted the sign because the chemicals used in the girl’s hair made the water in the pool “cloudy.”You can expect what came afterwards … the girl’s parents moved out of the duplex and promptly filed a discrimination charge to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, an investigation by said commission and a decision against Hein. Currently, the commission has agreed to readdress the issue, but I would imagine the outcome will be the same.Of course, racial tension, is nothing new in Cincinnati and one only need look at the Tea Party to see that, regardless of the happy-fuzzy feelings brought about the election of the current POTUS, racial problems are still alive and well in this country. But, we sometimes become complacent in fighting them. So, thank you, Ms. Hein, for reminding us there is much work to be done.

What’s up with you, Esmerelda?

MHS: Well, I’m going to start off with a talk-of-the-Big-Apple QUARTIE week to Young & Rubicam, the owners and operators of the elevators involved in the horrific elevator accident that killed a woman earlier this week. She was barely inside the elevator when it shot up,  crushing her legs and killing her.

Now, I live in an old building with an old elevator, but I never, ever, thought something like that could happen.

I’ve been trapped in an elevator before. It’s not as cool as you would think, and also not as scary. It’s a bit surreal, actually. You’re stuck. You have no way out. You hit the alarm button, you try to pry the door open. You laugh, you cry.

Luckily for me, the elevator started moving a few minutes later and let me out. Unfortunately, ad executive Suzanne Hart had her legs and life crushed out of her. Makes you think twice before boarding an elevator again.

On another note, I would be remiss if we didn’t give a good ole Mission Accomplished QUARTIE to President Barack Obama and the U.S. military for officially ending the war in Iraq.

It took nine years and nearly 4,500 American soldiers were killed in the war President George W. Bush declared “Mission Accomplished” in 2003. More than 32,000 U.S. soldiers were wounded in battle as well, and now they all are returning home to the worst economy since the Great Depression. Where will they all find jobs if the rest of us can’t? I don’t have the answers, but I’m sure glad they’re back here and no longer over there.

I have a feeling you agree with me, Alisha.

JRB: I do, Anitra. And I would be happier about it if I wasn’t so worried that we’re leaving Iraq right now just to gear up to go into Iran in the near future. But, that’s another show. Regardless, it is nice that they’ll be home for the holidays.

Also home for the holidays will be the fine members of Congress. I’d like to deliver a hand-wrapped nothing-to-see-here QUARTIE to the United States Government for, extending payroll taxes for two more months, once again, averting a budget crisis/government shutdown. The short extension was necessary because members of both parties were unable to come to a compromise to extend them for an entire year.

Well, at least the holidays weren’t ruined.
There are several resources to get the particulars on exactly what went down here but please allow me to nutshell it for you.The ebbs and flows of our government are dictated by the whims of the corporate masters who control the people we all thought we elected to represent us. Some are more beholden than others and, thus, are more brazen in their ass-kissery than others, but make no mistake about who these people serve.Here’s a hint, it ain’t us.The whole thing reminds me of the NBA lockout that recently ended. Warring factions argue over relatively (to them) small amounts of money while the people the fight actually affects — people in the middle class and below — suffer. Except, this is is on a much larger scale.


MHS: I appreciate where your head is at, Lauren, especially since the fam and I are taking a road trip this weekeed to our nation’s capital.

Now, we didn’t plan to visit any of our esteemed public officials during our time in D.C., but if there is anyone you wanted us to drop in on, just say the word and I’m sure we can fit a visit into our schedule.

I wish the National Prayer Breakfast was this weekend. If it was, I would try to lead everyone there in a round of Tebowing. That leads to me a this-thing-has-gotten-a-bit-out-of-control QUARTIE to the school officials in Riverhead, NY (yeah, that’s on Long Island where I work, I can’t escape these maniacs).

Seems that twin brothers on the football team decided they wanted to lead a group of students in an innocent group Tebowing. Only, apparently (and this part is a bit unclear), school officials told them not to. Being teenagers, they did so anyway and, alas, got suspended.

Now, I know we’re a bit biased on the whole Tebow craze being Gators and all, and yeah, if teach says no, be prepared to pay the consequences. That said… really? I mean, c’mon, really? The officials claim that 40 students all Tebowing at the same time posed a safety hazard, but let’s ease up on the outrage here a bit.

I mean… it’s not like these kids were trying to emulate Sam Hurd. (JRB: HEY-OHH!!)

Finally, to top off my Quarties for the week, I want to give a you-gotta-do-better-than-that QUARTIE to all the mall Santas out there. We took the baby bear to see Santa this week and Santa was either dog tired, drunk as a skunk or done with the whole Santa thing for the day. Regardless, I wasn’t impressed with his performance. Dude didn’t smile. He didn’t try to engage the bear at all.

In fact, the wife had to sit in the picture and goad a little something, anything, out of not-so-jolly St. Nick. So, Santa Baby, cheer up. It’s Christmas. You’re getting paid to smile and be cheerful for kids. Do your job.

How’s that for being a Scrooge, Jasmine?

JRB: I have visions of Bad Santa dancing in my head. What’s happenin’ Lauren Graham?

OK, I’ve been a bit negative this week. Time to bring out the happy. My final all-in-the-family QUARTIE of the week goes out to America’s Team: Your Miami Heat for locking up head coach Erik Spolestra to a contract extension. Coach Spo’s contract was set to expire at the end of this season.

The extension was announced when Basketball Czar, Pat Riley came from on high to mingle with the commoners in the media during his annual preseason press availability. Generalissimo Riley also said he’d be sticking around for the foreseeable future as well, no doubt to nurture the team he constructed (and, bask in the glory he feels it will bring).

OK, that’s our time. Goodnight everybody!


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