Thursday, October 30, 2008
Believing that your kids are wonderful and gifted may not make them a millionaire but it might keep them out of the penitentiary and help them live a long full life. We have to tell them that they are somebody so they will expect more of themselves and not embrace being less than what they should be. That's just my opinion. If one of my babies tell me they want to fly a spaceship I will help them pick out the planet they are flying to first.
I would like to dedicate Donny Hathaway to the babies.
The City of
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Since crime is the issue and murder is the most serious part of that, I would like to dedicate this video to end of young brothers murdering each other. A special shout out goes to my friend Renaldo (1974-1993). He was a good and loyal friend with some messed up circumstances. I miss your crazy ass and I still tell people the laser beam joke.
Did I ever mention to anyone that my dream job would be a radio DJ? It would have to be at one of those independent stations where I could play what I wanted. I couldn’t see playing Mariah Carey’s new song 20 times a day and pretending like someone actually called and requested it the last 15 times. This song is dedicated to Joe Biden, conservative radio hosts, everybody on MSNBC, and a few of my co-workers.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
It’s a beautiful day outside today. After a long week of working this is the time to relax and get away from bills, politics, and all that other junk. I’m about to watch someone else work the grill (not everybody gets to use my baby) drink a few cold ones, watch a little football and play some music. If all goes well I will wake up with a stomach ache and a hangover. Here’s some of
There is no denying that Barack Obama Mania is sweeping through the black community. It’s so intense that people who have never wanted to discuss politics before or sending me emails and text messages about any news story that hits the wire about McCain, Palin, Biden and anyone else that has something to do with the campaign. His impact is everywhere. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are Obama posters in the club. That’s not a bad thing even though it is getting a little obnoxious. It’s good when people are engaged and paying attention. The only part that concerns me is that I never hear most of these same people talking about any of the local races in their area. I haven’t had many conversations about the District Attorney. No one sent me any messages when the senate debate was on television. Almost all of our attention is set firmly on the biggest prize and I understand why. If he wins I plan on sitting in front of my television in amazement with tears in my eyes like everyone else. Knowing where we have came from in this country makes it impossible for me not to get caught up in it.
I also can not ignore what is going on around me. I would just like to remind everybody that all those races you might be ignoring have much more to do with your everyday way of life than the presidency. Remember the saying that all politics is local? That is true. The next president is going to have so many things on his plate from day one. He’s got two wars happening. The economy is in trouble and some things are going on globally he needs to deal with. He can’t possibly be expected to deal with the cats selling drugs on the corner near your house and the conditions of your schools. These kinds of problems start with your house then the community. Then if needed it moves on to your district representation, then to the city, the state, the Congress, Senate and finally work their way to the White House. There’s a whole bunch of folks that have to do their jobs before the president can do anything directly for your neighborhood. You need to hold all those folks accountable.
If you want the change that Senator Obama keeps talking about and you are promoting on those t-shirts, pins and bumper stickers, you better pay attention to who your council person is. You better do some research on the Senate candidates. You better start paying attention to who’s going to run for mayor in your city. You need to do all of that plus make sure your own responsibilities are in order to really fulfill that promise. Hell, we could bring about change by doing this even if he doesn’t win. Barack Obama would tell you this himself if he had the time.
If we don’t maintain that energy and stay engaged personally and locally then I guess all we really wanted was just to see him win for the symbolism and not to really change anything. If that’s the case I suggest everyone get a copy of the inauguration so when stories like this one keep happening we can replay it to feel good about our failure to take care of ourselves.
Monday, October 20, 2008
This message goes out to both parties.
I can’t take it anymore. I want to know when I am going to be considered a “real American”. I have been listening to the ass kissing of “
My grandfather was a World War II veteran. He was in the U.S. Navy just like John McCain. After the war, he bought some land and built his own home. Here is a man that was working at the age of nine to take care of himself. He raised five kids. One of them was a nurse. One worked in the school cafeteria. One was a chef. The other two ran their own business. A few of them went to college. Not only that, all of them was married to the mothers or fathers of their children. They also all owned their own homes. After Katrina destroyed the ones they had they went other places and bought others instead of waiting for a handout.
My dad is a
My family also contains a pastor, teachers, firemen, government employees and all kinds of other hard working professions. Going by the crap I see in the news everyday, I have the most American family you could have. We might represent American values more than most. Why isn’t anyone talking about how Cliff the Contractor is living in
I wonder if there are any Republicans out there who would admit out loud that they had the one man who could have transformed their party forever and wasted his political career to validate George Bush's war plans. Colin Powell is everything Republicans look for in a candidate but somehow he never ran for president. You would think they would have been begging him to run for years.
Republicans need to look into whether or not what they claim to believe about America is actually what they really practice. They say the American dream works for everyone if you work hard. All people have to do is get out there, educate themselves and put their best foot forward to be rewarded on their own merits regardless of things like race and religion but it doesn't show in their own decisions. Condoleezza Rice is more qualified than every candidate who ran for president in both parties including the four people running right now. Did John McCain talk to her about being vice president? If the official word is that she wasn't interested then the question becomes why wouldn't she be? Why would someone of her stature be so content letting people less qualified than her get all the glory? In 2012 the Republican Party should consider a Powell/Rice ticket. That would shake things up and be fun to watch.
I already detached from any great hope for this team after the Vikings game on Monday Night....
After 30 years of following the New Orleans Saints like they are a member of my family I am almost ready to declare that this season is going to go down as the most disappointing ever. The only season that comes close to this is the year Aaron Brooks played those last three games with his arm about to fall off and we only needed one win for the playoffs. I realize the Saints have had some rough years. We didn’t win a playoff game until 2000.
The difference between now and the old days is that in the old days those teams didn’t have enough talent to win. Even in the Dome Patrol years we were never a better team than the 49ers. It was alright if they lost as long as they played hard. Those teams gave everything even when they were outmanned. They lost a lot and you felt bad for them because you could tell they wanted to win.
Some of these modern guys look like they are out there just to get paid. On paper they should be a contender but for some reason they just look like they play every game in a daze. I watch other teams running around and playing like it’s do or die. My team plays like it’s a 40 game season and they have lots of chances to make up all the games they keep giving away like a charity organization. With the exception of Brees, Bush, Deuce, and a few other guys this is a hard team to root for. This game in London may be one of the most embarrassing in New Orleans sports history and that’s saying something.
Thank goodness we have Chris Paul to take the pain away.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I want to tell you about Mr. Henry. When I first met him 16 years ago he was in his late 60’s. We worked together and our only problem with him was trying to tell him to stop working so we could go home. He’s a retired army sergeant and a World War II veteran. He also had already retired from working another company after 30 years of service. He didn’t need any money and I couldn’t figure out what the hell he kept working for. He’s also probably one of the craziest old men I have ever met. He would give me rides home at night and talk to me about the old days. We joked around a lot with each other but when he decided to get serious I never took what he said for granted. It was almost like having a bonus grandfather except we looked at women together. After we stopped working together I would still pass by his house and have a highball with him or run into him at Bally’s Casino flirting with young women.
I saw him in
Thursday evening I was leaving
Sometimes men have a strange way of saying I love you and I miss you. The conversation went something like this.
Henry: You tank head summa bitch! What you doing all sweaty boy? I know you ain’t working out. You are going home to eat a whole chicken for dinner.
Me : Shut up you old goat. Who gave you a security guard job anyway? It’s a good thing you don’t have a pistol. First of all you can’t see. Secondly, you might have a D-Day flash back and kill somebody.
Henry: Don’t you know boy if I hit you, you gonna bleed?
Me: Just because some young woman got you thinking you still a young man don’t mean you should try running up on me.
Henry: Shut up boy……when we drinking a highball?
Me: Whenever you are up to it.
The chance of things like this happening is one of the reasons I am glad I moved back to New Orleans.
Friday, October 17, 2008
I took a few days off from work this week. I am one of those people who never take off from work unless it’s absolutely necessary. Because of that I have about 14 weeks of leave if you add sick time with vacation together. I could take off the rest of the year and still get paid. Don’t be jealous. Something strange happened to me Thursday. I went the whole day without one serious thought. It was great. That’s’ been nearly impossible since Katrina. No matter how hard I try to relax I always seem to have something dominating my brain. That’s a warning that this post might suck.
Don’t you know those people who never seem to be bothered or affected by anything? They amaze me. Don’t you wish you knew how to do that?
I know you all want me to say something about all those clergymen who came out in support of Bill Jefferson and how Paul Morton said he would rather see him get elected then removed after being convicted instead of Moreno winning……..I was raised a little too old school to cuss at the pastors.
With all this negative campaigning going on, the question for the next three weeks is can Al Sharpton maintain his control and not go completely bonkers before the election. The fact that Reverend Al has been so quiet shows you the importance to the people of Obama winning. After the election we are turning the pitbull loose. Can you imagine Al and his crew rolling into Wasilla, Alaska?
Why would Joe the Plumber show up at a campaign event and speak to Obama knowing he was lying and owed the state of Ohio money? What was he thinking about? When you owe someone money you lay low. This is another example of why Americans need to communicate with one another. Everyone in the hood knows not to make yourself seen when you owe someone money.
Am I the only person that has come to terms with the fact that no matter who wins the presidential election this country will be divided as ever because of the way we conduct the election process? There is no way half of the population won’t hate the other candidate before the inauguration.
I work in the IT field but is there anyone worse than the smart ass IT guy at the computer store who laughs at you when he points out some obvious problem that he could see and you couldn’t? Don’t you just want to slap that guy?
Will the New Orleans City Council ever be able to resolve any issue without making a spectacle of it? Does ever error or mistake in this city have to turn into Watergate?
Why does my neighbor’s son get out of his car, go inside the house and leaves gangster rap music playing with the windows down? Why does he do that? Is there an imaginary friend in the car with him? I wish he brings him inside too and cuts that noise off?
As Vice President of the Richard Pryor Fan Club I have been waiting for a chance to put one of his clips on here and have it be relevant to something current. Here’s my chance. I assure you Barack Obama’s press conference won’t be like this if he’s elected.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
All week I watched Senator McCain and Governor Palin play the fear strategy against Barack Obama. For the first time since this election started I actually have some concern for Senator Obama. Misguided fear has cost many black man their lives. I would actually rather someone hate me than fear me. If you hate me you may still engage me and I can change your feelings. If you fear me you will avoid me and try to eliminate me. I think Senator McCain got the picture himself and had to calm the mob down at that rally before the N word started jumping off and someone brought out a noose. In a strange way I think it was a good thing for black people to see those crazy folks at McCain’s rally Friday. It’s a reality check.
I have two middle aged white middle class female friends from my old job. They are Republicans, their kids go to private school and they live in the same district that voted for the guy who wants to sterilize poor people. I love them both and those ladies love me. Every year I worked with them they put together and bought me a Christmas gift. When my daughter was born they bought stuff for her. I even went to one of their weddings when she got re-married. When I see them it’s like reconnecting with one of my sisters. I am welcome in their home and they are welcome in mine. I have friends of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. However, that doesn’t mean that sometimes I go in a store that is not that used to seeing brothers in it and don’t get followed around. One night I had a blown stop light and the officers that pulled me over got out with guns drawn like I had five kilos of cocaine in the car. There have been times I have been in the presence of some ladies that look like my friends and they pulled out the mace bottle.
My point is that this election has been like no other. Barack Obama has ran it as a candidate for everyone. He can’t win it without open white Americans seeing him as just the most qualified candidate. On the other side black people are riding a wave of pride and accomplishment that is so great that even some friends that have never voted before call me on the mornings after debates to discuss what they heard. I think that’s a beautiful thing. However, just because there are open minded white people and black people feel the glass ceiling has been broken doesn’t mean that on November 5 you won’t run into that lady who called Barack Obama an Arab somewhere.
We have come a long way as a country but Senator Obama is not the end game for racial division. If he wins the next few years will be some of the most racially revealing years in the country's history. We need to be prepared for the good parts and the bad.....and there will be some bad along the way! I'm afraid that McCain rally was just a drop in the bucket.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
It's a beautiful Saturday in the city. It's perfect outside weather. I’m sitting in my window watching these kids make mud pies. I remember when my sisters used to make mud pies inside of our red Western Flyer wagon. Do people still buy wagons for kids? That’s one functional toy. I can’t imagine being a kid and staying inside all time playing video games. Our parents used to put us out at 10:00 AM on Saturdays and we didn’t come in until Mid South Wrestling came on. Kids should be outside using their minds to make up games to play. Where are the girls playing double dutch? Where are all the little boys playing football in the street? Here are some of the things we used to do.
Teddy Ball – I know this isn’t the proper name but that’s what we called it. All you need to play is some old stockings, a busted basketball and a stop sign poll. Now I don’t know the rules or the object of the game so I can’t tell you how to play. All I know is that if I am driving through
Cool Can – The family kids used to play this in the lot behind our grandparents’ house. The grown folks used to coach us. Only real old school
Marbles – Do stores even sell Cat Eye marbles anymore? If you are over the age of 50 you can use the circle ring. Everyone under that has to use the fish ring. Me and grandpa almost had our only argument behind this.
"Boy, how in the hell you gonna draw a fish on the damn ground to shoot marbles. That ain't a ring! Put a circle down there."
"Grandpa, this is how we play it."
"Well ya'll playing it wrong. Let me draw that circle.......Now you gotta ring."
Pitch up tackle football – Throw the ball in the air and whoever catches has to run with it and get tackled by the entire neighborhood. I’m not sure how running through 20 guys without any blocking is supposed to be fun but it was. You don’t even need a real football to play pitch up tackle. You can use a tennis ball, old socks bunched together
Man Overboard – When you play man overboard you have two bases on both sides of the park, parking lot, and schoolyard and wherever you decide to play. One person gets touched and he is the man overboard. The object of the game is for that guy to tag someone who’s trying to make it from one base to the other. Once someone gets tagged they have to help him catch other people. Whoever is the last person on base wins and gets to pick the next man overboard. This is a great game for dozens of kids to play together. This is also a game that will lower the fat kids in the neighborhood self esteem. One time Big G got picked as the man overboard and the look of depression on his face after 30 minutes of trying to catch someone was so serious I got caught on purpose just to help him. That moment is probably why we are still friends to this day. Plus, if I hadn’t started helping him we might still be out there playing.
I left homemade bicycle ramps off this list because of all the bad memories. They are the reason I walk with my right leg slightly higher than my left. Looking back at it now, propping up the old dining room table that Peanut's mama threw away under two cement blocks and trying to jump over it wasn't the smartest thing in the world to try. I’m surprised me or any of my friends can have children after some of those ramp disasters. Just talking about it now is making my voice higher.
I'm going outside. Feel free to add your own games...........
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I was sitting there writing another angry tirade Sunday about the elections and how and why people vote for who they do when I got a reality check. While typing away my baby asked me to help her with her weekend homework. I don’t know what they are doing at the school but she is taking to it like a fish to water. That responsibility shifted my energy. Then I went outside for some fresh air and noticed that towards the end of the block some of my neighbors are still trying to get their house ready to move back. The people who live behind me and the one directly across the street are doing the same thing. That’s when I realized that at the end of the day no matter who wins some personal work has to be done to make things happen the way we want them to. Instead of acting like I am waiting on a politician to save me. Here are some things that need to be worked on.
- Spend money more wisely: 2008 has been a rough financial year. I have been feeling the economic pinch. I know we have a national crisis but the reality of it is that if I would have taken a few dollars and got my old car fixed instead of buying a new truck and taking on extra debt I could have gotten a lot of things done. What’s worse is that I bought it because I thought it would make me feel more accomplished since it was new. It’s been a year now and the only thing I feel is stupid for giving away all my extra money every month to drive to the same places.
- Get to know my neighbors: I know most of my neighbors in passing but I don’t know anything about them personally. We live in that modern day philosophy where everyone wants to do their own thing and mind their own business. You could have someone a few houses down on the verge of collapse and sitting in their house hungry. You will never know if you don’t go down there and try to make acquaintances.
- Mind the Chiren! : Ladies and gentlemen, these kids have too much leeway to go out and destroy themselves and we just sit by and let them do it. Whatever group came up with the idea a kid has rights should be abolished. Kids have to do whatever the hell we say to. Up until the age of 18 I still had to tell my mom where I was, who I was with and how long I was going to be there. That was a little embarrassing in the hood but I am still here. We also need to get back to the day where someone can stop their car or step outside their door and put some kid in check for doing wrong even if it’s not their own.
- More Snitching: Let’s have a keep it real moment. Some of us don’t trust the police because of years and years of corruption and brutality. Even as kids being the tattle tale is a bad thing. When things are going on in the community we tend to keep it under wraps and not share the information we know. We are paying a horrible price for that now. You know, this is not 1960 when Ms. Gladys’ son was a bad boy but not a killer and you might hide him to keep the racist police from beating him up in the back of the station. It’s 2008 and Ms Gladys’ son and his friends will kill you and your whole family to keep control of the block. We can’t dislike and distrust police enough to live in an environment that feels like we are under siege by a rebel army of our own people. We need to tell where the drugs, guns and the money are. We know where it is.
Monday, October 6, 2008
This is a good Monday.
I got a good job.
The Saints are playing on Monday Night Football.
I don’t have a hangover.
Gas is under 3.50
I got some extra cash in my pocket and the stock market is hurting but I don’t have any stock to really feel a difference. This is a perfect day to ignore all my co-workers and listen to old school hip hop at my desk.
I am in such a good mood that I would like to take this time to extend the branch of brotherhood to all those people are truly panicking about the financial crisis. It’s times like this when you need a friend who grew up on a hard time budget. We can handle these times like a summer vacation. Some of my most fondest memories happened with no money. Not only can I show you how to pay all your bills using the every other month/extension method. I will get my daddy to personally make up your dinner menus so you won’t have any extra cash but at least you will be full. You can feed a family of 6 on his plan for about twenty dollars a week as long as you are not one of those people who can only shop at Whole Foods.
Just relax everybody and don’t worry. Those 700 billion dollars of our tax dollars will be kicking in any minute now to save the day. Pretty soon we will all be paid in full like Eric B and Rakim were back in '86.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
This is probably the biggest voting year for black since the Voting Rights Act passed and they got the chance to vote for the first time. I have never seen so many of my folks eager to have a political discussion or getting involved in the process. That makes me proud and scared at the same time. I am scared because black voters are the most gullible people in the country and sometimes have no idea what their votes mean.
How in the hell is William Jefferson in a run-off for his congressional seat? He will be on the ballot against Helena Moreno on the day when there will be the biggest black voter turnout of all time. Unless a miracle happens he’s going to win and I can’t be more pissed off.
I remember back in 1994 when Marion Barry became mayor of
Here we are down here in
All these problems can be corrected but it’s going to take money that we don’t have. We are about to send a representative back to Congress when he and almost his entire immediate family has been indicted for hustling public funds. That’s the person you need to send when you really need some money. The message we are saying to the rest of the country is this:
It’s just a foolish idea to send him back to Congress. There is no excuse for voting for him and he was selfish to even run again. Even the most pro black/anti whitey black people who vote strictly for a candidate because of his color have no excuse for this. There were five other brothers running! You could have still voted black five different ways and not voted for Bill! You have to know where you live, what you need and vote according to who has the best chance of delivering that. Maybe Congressman Jefferson had a moment of bad judgment and is really a good man. That’s fine but you don’t have to put him back in office to validate your forgiveness. He can be a good guy and rebuild his name from his house while a new, less scandalous person works in
I love and respect Barak Obama because of what he is trying to do and how he has went about doing it. When he wins it will forever change the game and expectations for every black person and all generations afterwards. However, if he gets in office and falls flat on is face, I will be the first person in line to get him out of there and build up the next brother who can do things the right way. I’m never going to sacrifice the whole community for the sake of one person no matter what he did in the past. You have to do it that way because if you don’t then you can’t say anything when you don’t get what you need.
Now, if anyone has read this and doesn’t agree, please send me an email and I will tell you where to pick me up so you can drive me to the black neighborhood in Congressman Jefferson’s district that is thriving and doing so well that I have to post a public apology. I know one thing; we won’t be driving anywhere close to my house. We don’t have an open hospital.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I have never watched a vice-presidential debate before because in the scheme of things they never really matter. Sarah Palin has drawn me into this one because I have to see how she does. I can’t think of another person with this much pressure on them for one event. For the media coverage she got the last two weeks, I think she is doing a respectable job. I expected her to start crying by now. You can’t expect her to know as many details as Joe Biden. He was in Washington before I was born.
We just passed a 700 billion dollar bailout and no one got fired or forced to resign. No one is allowed to talk about poor people getting over on the government for at least five years.
If Katie Couric was black and did to Barak Obama’s reputation what she did to Sarah Palin’s she would have had to move to an undisclosed location and change her name.
I would like to officially endorse the city charter change in the election this weekend concerning the Inspector General’s office. We need that kind of thing even though many influential people will be pissed off early in the process.
Kids can’t buy liquor and they can’t buy cigarettes. That’s a good thing. I drive to the city everyday in the morning and afternoon. If a 13 year old girl can wear a school uniform that is so tight and so small you can see every curve of her body and her belly button ring, you might as well let her get a pack of Newport’s and a fifth of Crown Royal because there can’t be nothing more dangerous to her health than aroused teenage boys with no self control.
I want to go to some high school football games but my ear to the street is not what it used to be. I am certain there is no one looking to do me anything but what if I make a mistake and sit down next to the new downtown kingpin?
I would never tell anyone who to vote for because everyone has to vote on their own beliefs and circumstances. However, this candidate has a link to my blog on her page. That means she has to be brilliant right? If I was in her district she would get strong consideration from me.
This clip is an excellent way to get through a rough work day with some extra energy.
Sometimes you write these blogs and you are never really sure if someone is actually reading besides your friends. Apparently some people do. I received this email after Mr. LaBruzzo’s statements. I promised to post this story but I got sidetracked and forgot. I can't put anything else up here until I do this first. My apologies to Ms. Langdale not doing this when I first said I would.
With all of the buzz about LaBruzzo's possible bill proposal going around, it's hard to remember the people that are facing Louisiana's problems head on and actually doing something to help build a new and better New Orleans, instead of just making the it infertile. Being a New Orleanian, I thought you might be interested in a local girl that is now receiving national recognition for the work she's done to rebuild the city - Sarah Trahan.
For the last 3 years, Sarah dedicated herself to rebuilding her home city of
In honor of her efforts to fight for a just cause, Ortho Women’s Health & Urology recently named Sarah Trahan the September “It Girl” – an award for winning their It Girl Essentials contest. The contest sought to identify the ultimate real-life “It Girls” who embody confidence, reliability, compassion and a little bit of flair. I’ve provided some key information about the contest below.
If Sarah’s story and recent award is of interest to you and your readers, please feel free to contact me. I am happy to provide photos and more detailed information for you to share with readers on Cliff's Crib.
Fleishman-Hillard, on behalf of 2008 Ortho Women’s Health & Urology
A day in the life of Sarah ... After her hometown was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina during her freshman year of college, Sarah dedicated herself to rebuilding the metro
What is important to Sarah? “My greatest desire is to see that children from impoverished families are able to receive mental health care at little to no cost. Coming from a family with five siblings, I know how much having someone to talk to helps.” After getting married in the Summer of 2007, Sarah also has a new priority in her life, her husband Josh: “With life taking yet another turn, this time for the better, we began to plan for our new life together. We discussed our plans for a family and took into consideration that I still had three years ahead of me in school, and decided that prescription birth control would be a responsible way to plan our family.”
What does Sarah consider her greatest accomplishment? Sarah has always loved the arts and is very proud to be a graduate of NOCCA (