An Important Relationship in Trouble

by the Squid

According to Sharon Rivkin, there are seven signs that a relationship is in trouble, and in reading it, I began to feel that I am in trouble with a very important relationship in my life: my relationship with New York State.

I was raised in upstate New York and so was my extended family.  A few of us have left the state to live, but we all came back.  Now, with the sagging economy, dysfunctional legislature, massive $12 billion dollar deficit, general low wages and industry leaving the state in droves, I have begun to seriously look at this relationship and I am beginning to think it is about over.

1) Fighting has become the rule rather than the exception

Who would have thought that once the bulldozer called Eliot Spitzer left office, soon followed by the tough Republican Joe Bruno, that New York state legislature would become MORE dysfunctional.  New York’s State Senators all seem to be petty, power-hungry egomaniacs who are looking to serve their own self-interests before those of the citizens of this state.

2) You find yourself looking outside the relationship for comfort, care and understanding

While New York was getting pounded with an ice storm, Charlotte, North Carolina, had temperatures in the 50′s.  Taking the Presidential election in context, North Carolina was in play for the Democrats because people are leaving NY and other Northeast states for the South with its low taxes, pleasant weather, low cost of living and perception of growth both in industry and social prosperity.

And if you look at the tax rates for other states, five have no taxes at all, while others allow personal exemptions or overall lower tax rates.

Why would someone want to stay in a place where jobs/companies are leaving, taxes are high, weather is fickle and people running the state are self-serving pariahs?

3) You can’t remember what attracted you to your partner in the first place

Much like point two;  I have forgotten why I came back to this state.

4) There is little intimacy in the relationship

As a resident, I believe New York has forgotten about me and the other upstate residents.  The top three leaders of the state are from one of the five boroughs or Long Island.  There has always been a downstate vs. upstate rivalry, but that was partially kept in check by the very powerful upstate Republican Joe Bruno.  Since his retirement, I believe the upstate voice has been diminished considerably.

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My Selfish Racism

by the squid

I am not a sentimental person; but Tuesday night I was rocked to the core.

My wife and I are raising three mixed-race children; I am the black, she is the white.  We have a nice life, but sometimes I worried. I worried about how our children were going to identify themselves to others and I wondered how they will feel about me and their mother while growing up.

In our community, I am still a minority; however there is a wide range of people and experiences with which my children interact; but to know going forward, for the next four years, they will see a man of color – one the same hue as their father and uncle – being articulate, being vigorously debated, having state dinners, making decisions that matter for millions of people and who has a wife which reminds them of one of their grandmothers really affected me.

After Obama was elected, my wife and I spoke about race (as it occasionally comes up in our lives) and she said, “He is not African-American, he is half white…”  For the record, she said the same thing years ago when Halle Berry won the Oscar.

My wife’s point asks: What about the mother?  My wife doesn’t consider our children Black, but hers, and she feels the mother’s genes should be considered as well.  So my wife and I came up with a name for my wife’s condition: White woman with Black kids syndrome.

For the first time, Wednesday night, my five year old daughter said she was African-American; but to be accurate, our kids may have to identify themselves as half Black, a quarter Irish and a quarter Italian.

However,  America considers them Black because of me.

Now my children will see someone, who looks like me and who is not an actor, or a sports star or an entertainer, but as a person who has to make important decisions about life and limb much like their father, but only on a smaller scale.

It was a selfish racism which, I felt, would deter America from electing a person of color. There have been times in my life where, as a father, I have held myself back with feelings of inferiority and hoped that my fear would not translate or be seen by my children.

Now I feel I have a little bit of help from Mr. Obama.  He won’t be able to pay my mortgage, but he may be able to alleviate a burden my children would have to bear because of me – and that was a point on which both my wife and I agreed.

The cost of a ticket to history

by the squid

http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20080608/capt.43af8b1f62c64554ab866bf04bb57dcd.aptopix_belmont_stakes_horse_racing_nydp125.jpg

What do the Presidential Election, Belmont Stakes and the nightly news have in common?

Hype.

The horse racing scene gets but a few days a year where it is fashionable to be at the stables and looking over betting sheets, when novice betters get to try their hand at a sport that normally only consumes the thoughts and dollars of a select few.

If you have ever gone the a race track on “non-event” days, you know what I mean. The environment is seedy, stale and depressing.

However, during these few times when it is acceptable to get on your Sunday best for a Saturday event that mixes the rich with the poor, all have the expectation of witnessing history. This year, the media, sports-minded sportsmen, trainers and laymen were all assured a blowout.

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When the weak act strong…

by the squid

http://www.booksshouldbefree.com/images/big/45.jpgCongratulations to Senator Obama on sealing the Democratic nomination, he can finally exhale. However, he now needs to make the most important decision of his entire campaign – selecting a Vice President.

Sun Tzu implored strategists: When you are weak, act strong, when you are strong, act weak.

Senator Obama is now strong, but he has a very, very soft underbelly: experience. This is not said to undermine his historic win, as Obama has just beaten his most difficult rival.

However, it is important to remember what happened when Obama ran for his Senate seat in Illinois.

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New York State is just silly…

by the squid

Today New York State signed into law legislation which would require pedophiles to register their screen names and e-mail addresses that so they can not be used when trolling for children on the social networking sites. I am not a fan of pedophiles, they are the lowest of the low. However, I am a fan of human nature.

My spidy-sense makes me think that those who are trolling on social websites posing as teenagers looking to “score” with the under-age are not the “follow-the-rules” type of people. The new law demands that the CONVICTED sex offender notify the proper authorities within ten days of changing or adding a new screen-name or e-mail address.

“Under the new law, registered sex offenders must also disclose all their user names and e-mail accounts for the purposes of chat, instant messaging, or social networking. If they create any new online profiles, they must notify the state within 10 days or face prosecution for a new felony. “

That is just silly.

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New York Football Giants and The Democrats

by the squid

I am a New York Giants fan. I am more Democrat than Republican, but I do want a Democrat to win the White House. However, I am definitely a Giants fans.

All the Giants fans I know were happy, thrilled in fact, to see the Giants get to this years Super Bowl. We all gathered together, wore our jerseys and settled in for a nice Rocky vs. The Russian battle. But as Giants fans, we have gotten pretty used to having a talented football team find novel ways to blow leads or execute plays poorly and finally lose games which should have been won.

We saw it with the Panthers a few years ago; and lets not forget Junkin, the long snapper who flubbed two long snaps in a row in a tie game with no time left; that game ended with a wayward field goal attempt. As a Giants fans, one does not celebrate until the score is in our favor and the clock reads “0:00.”

This year, the Patriots with their golden boy quarterback Tom Brady and an undefeated season looked to smack around the Giants and waltz into the history books. We Giants fans thought the same and only hoped the loss would be admirable and tolerable. We were prepared, as Giants fans always are, for a new and novel defeat. As the loss comes, we always lean back and say, “Well, that was interesting. How will we lose next week.”

I feel the same about the Democrats. Somehow, someway, they always find a way to lose and I feel by having both Hillary and Barack running they will do just that; Lose a White House bid to more of the same Republican propaganda. The media loves that both Hillary and Barack are running. It makes for GREAT television, and it makes for great conversation. Hillary and Barack are breaths of fresh air in a stagnant room, but the reality is that people – voters – are NOT rational.

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No Justice, No Peace…

by the squid

I watched the morning news today. There was a segment about the group of girls viscously beating up another girl to make a YouTube video.

http://www.local6.com/2008/0407/15818007.jpgAmongst the interviewers, someone posed the question: Why would you record yourself committing a crime and then post it on the internet for all to see?

A rational thought, if The Squid says so himself.

However, I have to think that in this land of instant celebrity, lack of personal responsibility, lack of respect for laws, as well as unbalanced penalties within the justice system, teens and young adults simply have no thought, or clue, of penalty or prosecution.

http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:llT1gG06y-LEHM:http://img.thesun.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00458/barbie-bandits_682_458108a.jpgCase in point, two blondes walk into a bank….and rob it of $11,000 and go on a shopping spree. Once caught and convicted, one is sentenced to ten years probation, the other two years in jail and eight years probation.

Last I checked, robbing a bank was a federal offense worthy of some serious jail time.

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The Squid Returns…

by the squid

Many have not heard of the Humboldt squid, or “red devil” as known by divers and fishermen. However those who know, have lived in fear of this red flashing animal, with tentacles, an anti-social attitude, and attacks without provocation. It travels in packs, much like the politicos in Albany NY, once led by Govenor Eliot Spitzer.

A mysterious sea creature up to 7 feet long, with 10 arms, a sharp beak and a ravenous appetite, has invaded ocean waters off Northern California. Packs of fierce Humboldt Squid attack nearly everything they see, from fish to scuba divers. Marine biologists are working to discover why they’ve headed north from their traditional homes off South America.

Video: http://www.kqed.org/quest/television/view/774

The Humboldt squid is small, ugly, and ruthless. It attacks for no other reason than to attack. It is fun. It is in its blood. It is what it does. And it does so, because it knows it can. Much like those in power, the elite among us, who abuse their status because they can.

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Made in France – False Statements

by the squid

So finally, some poor graduate students were asked to over all the rhetoric leading up the the Iraq war. They found 935 false statements.

“The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.”

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