Dumb B@$+@&%$: So, It Has Come To This!

It’s time to Break It Down!

On Monday, Donald Trump called CNN “dumb bastards” for focusing news coverage on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump made the remarks during a campaign rally in Prescott, Arizona. His supporters cheered when he said that the public was tiring of the pandemic, while insulting the news network and claiming it is attempting to dissuade voters from participating in the election.

Let that sink in. With 15 days left in the campaign, that’s what the guy who has disparaged mail in voting, ridiculed his opponent, belittled the debate commission, said the election rigged unless he won, and refused to commit to a peaceful transition, were he to lose, had to say about a national news outlet, while claiming it was discouraging voters. And his supporters cheered. I’m not sure which is more alarming; the full frontal deception of the candidate, or the raucous response of his loyalists.

That’s all I got. “Dumb B@$+@&%$: So, It Has Come to This!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

For more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post, consult the link below:

https://www.newsweek.com/trump-says-cnn-only-covers-covid-calls-them-dumb-bastards-1540421

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2020/10/21/dumb-b-so-it-has-come-to-this/

Obamagate: Nada, Nil, Nothing, Not Even A Report

It’s time to Break It Down!

As Baseball winds its way toward the 2020 World Series, perhaps the phrase, no runs, no hits, no errors, is one that best describes the outcome of the Trump/Barr unmasking investigation…A.K.A. Obamagate. Mr. Trump and his loyalists have breathlessly gone on for months on end about the pending collapse of Obama’s house of cards. This, at last, was to be the be-all-end-all of this particular Trump crusade. He has had a few. This one, like its predecessors appears to have ended with a whimper, rather than with a bang. To absolutely no rational thinking person’s surprise, I might add. Here’s the deal, summarized:

Per the Washington Post (10/13/20)

“The federal prosecutor appointed by Attorney General William P. Barr to review whether Obama-era officials improperly requested the identities of individuals whose names were redacted in intelligence documents has completed his work without finding any substantive wrongdoing, according to people familiar with the matter.”

“The revelation that U.S. Attorney John Bash, who left the department last week, had concluded his review without criminal charges or any public report will rankle President Trump at a moment when he is particularly upset at the Justice Department. The department has so far declined to release the results of Bash’s work, though people familiar with his findings say they would likely disappoint conservatives who have tried to paint the “unmasking” of names — a common practice in government to help understand classified documents — as a political conspiracy.”

“The end of Bash’s case is similar to that of a review conducted by John Huber, the U.S. attorney in Utah, who was asked in November 2017 by Sessions to look into concerns raised by Trump and his allies in Congress that the FBI had not fully pursued cases of possible corruption at the Clinton Foundation and during Clinton’s time as secretary of state. The Post reported in January that the inquiry had effectively ended with no tangible results. In the months that followed, Trump bemoaned the state of the inquiry on Twitter, asserting that Huber “did absolutely NOTHING.””

That’s all folks. Obamagate: Nada, Nil, Nothing, Not Even a Report!

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

For more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post, consult the link below:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/barr-unmasking-review-no-charges/2020/10/13/0f63fd2e-0d67-11eb-8074-0e943a91bf08_story.html

https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/13/politics/william-barr-unmasking-investigation/index.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/sethcohen/2020/05/14/the-real-scandal-of-obamagate-unmasking-the-leadership-of-distraction/#72314b5b28bd

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2020/10/14/obamagate-nada-nil-nothing-not-even-a-report/

The Wrong Side of the Ledger: But Who’s Counting?

It’s time to Break It Down!

For starters, you should.

Donald Trump continues to compare the coronavirus to the seasonal flu. He tweeted just yesterday that coronavirus is “far less lethal” than the flu in most populations, and added, that sometimes more than 100,000 people die from the flu. Here’s the tweet:

“Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!”

Here’s the inside straight. Both of these assertions are patently false. The peak number of American deaths from the flu in one season is 61,000. Just to be clear, the coronavirus’ death rate in the U.S. is also far higher than that of the flu. Wait, before I move on, allow me to emphasize, not just higher; far higher.

However, the most crucial difference between the flu and the coronavirus is that the virus is far deadlier. The death rate for the flu is about 0.1%. In the U.S; the death rate for coronavirus was 1.8%, as of Monday. Coronavirus is also much more contagious. Research indicates a person with the flu infects an average of about 1.28 other people. Without mitigation efforts, however, such as stay-at-home orders, a person with novel coronavirus infects an average of about 2 to 3 other people.

The incubation period for the flu is relatively short. People usually start to feel sick one to four days after infection, with  symptoms often showing up within two days. Consequently, people infected by the flu will know they are sick fairly soon, and are more likely to stay at home, avoiding contact with others.

Conversely, the incubation period with coronavirus is roughly three to fourteen days, and “symptoms generally appear within four or five days after exposure, based on data reported by Harvard Medical School.

We have learned that an individual with COVID-19 may be contagious 48 to 72 hours before starting to experience symptoms. According to Harvard research, “people may actually be most likely to spread the virus to others during the 48 hours before they begin experiencing symptoms.

Why does all, or any of, thiatmatter? 

In the wee hours of last Friday morning, Mr. Trump tweeted that he and Mrs. Trump had tested positive for COVID-19, and they were beginning their quarantine. That led to a drama filled three-day period with countless questions about Trump’s last negative test, his first positive test, how often he is actually tested, a Sunday ride to greet his adoring loyalists, and an unmasked salute upon his “triumphant” return to the White House. Most of those questions, and a host of others remain unanswered.

As we edge closer toward that pivotal day, November 3rd, when America will next cast its official vote to determine who will lead the country for the next four years, the issues of the day, and of the future will be parsed. One of the issues near the top of the list is how we as a nation are navigating the persistently rough seas of the COVID-19 pandemic. I encourage you to work diligently to inform yourself on this and other issues of importance to you. After getting informed, use the information to exercise your franchise, and vote for candidates of your choice, up and down the ballot. If you live in North Carolina and have yet to register, you have until this Friday, October 9th, to do so. Early voting begins Thursday of next week, October 15th, and lasts until Saturday, October 31st. Absentee and mail-in voting options are also available to North Carolina voters.

The countdown is underway. Voting commences in 27 days. There will be cries of fake news…and there will be fake news. Know the difference. “The Wrong Side of the Ledger: But Who’s Counting?”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

For more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post, consult the link below:

https://www.azfamily.com/more-people-have-died-from-covid-19-than-in-the-past-5-flu-seasons-combined/article_cc8eb3c0-3565-5ae8-b8da-81d9a6539b9b.html

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/past-seasons.html

https://www.vote.org/early-voting-calendar/

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2020/10/07/the-wrong-side-of-the-ledger-but-whos-counting/

Debating Our Future: Round One

It’s time to Break It Down!

Last night, Donald Trump and Joe Biden kicked off the next segment of this Election year, Debate Season. I will stipulate from the outset, what students and fans of the process will consider anathema. I didn’t watch. Clearly, saying that foreshadows this as a short post.

For those of you who did, I invite your feedback. You can find my posts, including this one, at WordPress, FaceBook, Linkedin, and at my Twitter account. Feel free to tell me what I missed…and if you like, why I should have watched. I look forward to hearing from you.

In addition to my Wall, I frequently post my work on numerous FB sites, many of which dissuade political posts. And I get that. There are myriad sites that encourage political discourse, and typically, when I’m discussing political topics, I post on them. Today, I want to cite my position. Clear-eyed and resolutely, I have not one scintilla of doubt about for whom I will be voting. Here’s a newsflash. I also seriously doubt there is a substantive number of eligible voters whom, at this late date, are undecided.

Frequently over the last four years, I’ve noted the chasm between left and right leaning political interests in this country is deep and wide. If anything, if possible, it is deepening, and getting wider. Yes, there are independents. But frankly, in my opinion, given our individual and collective experiences of the last four years, most rational observers have seen enough to decide for whom they are going to vote. They may wish they had different choices, but of the two available…they know.

Having said all that, if you know me, you undoubtedly know where I will land. I will be sharing that before Election Day. At the moment, there are three additional scheduled debates, two between Trump and Biden, and one between Pence and Harris. I’m not committing to watching any of them, or even mentioning them again. But I did want to reference it today to make it clear that my not writing about it, or even watching it, was intentional. The one enduring message that I wish to underscore today is that if you are an American, this country belongs to you. If you are interested in embracing the framer’s initial design, you will engage in perfecting the Union. With 34 days left until Election Day, the best way to personally participate in perfecting our Union is to exercise your franchise and VOTE, whether early, or by mail, or by dropping off your Absentee Ballot, or of course, by going to your precinct and voting on November 3rd“Debating Our Future: Round One!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

For more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post, consult the link below:

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2020/09/30/debating-our-future-round-one/

Register & Vote: The Foundation of Our Democracy

It’s time to Break It Down!

Yesterday was National Voter Registration Day in the United States. It is observed each year on the fourth Tuesday in September, and this year coincided with the advent of autumn. There are 40 days left until the 2020 General Election, and unregistered voters have only a few days left to register in order to qualify to vote on November 3rd. The occasion is a nonpartisan endeavor intended to emphasize bringing attention to our democracy, exercising our franchise, and of course, engaging in executing our civic duty.

In 2016, 100 million people didn’t vote. I remember entertaining conversations with many people four years ago who opted out. They all had reasons. Some contended their vote would not count, others argued the candidates were same/it did not matter which one would win, still others didn’t go to the polls because of one of many voter suppression tactics, and last, for the purpose of this post, far too many individuals succumbed to apathy. In reflecting on the aforementioned rationales, I am reminded of an old witticism, repackaged to apply to voting:

Upon learning of a new acquaintance’s voting status, Mr. Smith inquired, “Mr. Jones, why did you not vote? Was it due to ignorance, or because of apathy?”

After giving the query his full consideration, Mr. Jones replied, “Mr. Smith, I don’t know, and I don’t care.”

The reality is voting is central to making our government work effectively. I once had the honor and privilege to oversee a local election. It was a huge responsibility, and an incredibly important event in our community. There are always lots of moving parts, bracing tension, and a whirlwind of frenzy surrounding elections; even more so during the quadrennial that features the Presidential Election. This year the ante has been upped by a President who has cast aspersions on the process, and fomented an assault on the USPS in a year when, due to a global pandemic, voting by mail will be the desired, and for many, necessary option for more Americans than in any previous election in our history.

Let me be clear. This post is not about the President, or the Postmaster; nor is it about Democrats or Republicans. It is about you doing your part to ensure that our government, on all levels, works the way it is supposed to, and reflects the will of “We The People.” To that end, I urge you to do your duty. “Register & Vote: The Foundation of Our Democracy!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

For more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post, consult the links below:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/it-s-national-voter-registration-day-do-it-or-risk-this-parody-stuck-in-your-head-all-day/ar-BB19jhjQ

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2020/09/23/register-vote-the-foundation-of-our-democracy/

Rage: #MAGA Deflection

Labor Day and 9/11 do not always fall within the same calendar week. I would normally re-share a vintage post this week, commemorating the fallen heroes lost during that tragic episode in our country’s history. Even though the date occurred Friday of last week, I want to share a passage from that post, denoting the scope of what our nation lost in that act of terror. 

Even after nearly two decade, with nineteen years’ worth of context building, and the accompanying development of perspective, the numbers behind Nine-Eleven are chilling.  Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives, and thousands of others were injured, and many more sustained post-event trauma.  Examples of the carnage include:

2,977 Victims killed (not including the 19 hijackers)

2,606 Killed at the World Trade Center Towers

125 Killed at the Pentagon

40 Killed in Shanksville, PA

87 Killed on American Flight 11/NYC World Trade Center North Tower

60 Killed on United Flight 175/NYC World Trade Center South Tower

59 Killed on American Flight 77/Arlington – The Pentagon

40 Killed United Flight 93/Shanksville, PA

19 Hijackers

246 Passengers Killed on the four planes

19 Hijackers Killed (on the four planes)

2,996 Killed on Nine-Eleven

411 Emergency workers killed at the World Trade Centers

341 FDNY fire fighters killed

Paramedics killed

23 NYPD officers killed

37 Port Authority Police Department officers killed

EMT’s killed

658 Employees of Cantor Fitzgerald, L.P. (Investment Bank) killed; most of any employer

1,631 Bodies positively identified from World Trade Center Towers

1,122 Bodies (41%) remain unidentified

Bone fragments were still being found in 2005 by workers preparing to demolish the damaged Deutsche Bank Building

72 Additional remains found in 2010by a team of anthropologists and archeologists

To paraphrase FDR, September 11, 2001, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked. Condolences to the families of those who lost their lives due to those horrific events. May their memories be a blessing.

Back to this week, the latest tome taking on the credibility, or lack thereof, of Donald Trump was released yesterday. Rage, by Bob Woodward, of Watergate, Woodward and Bernstein fame, hit the shelves yesterday. There have been a number of books, claiming to reveal all manner of insider details about Trump and his administration. If methods are any indicator, Rage should be a giant step ahead of any other book, to date. Woodward conducted 19 interviews with Trump, 18 before the book went to press, 7 initiated by calls from Mr. Trump, and at least one Oval Office appearance. According to Woodward, the interviews totaled 9 hours and 41 minutes.

I’m not going to link the book. It’s sure to be a best seller without my help. It has been teased for about 10 days now, with Woodward doing a host of TV appearances, including, 60 -Minutes, and CNN. Two years ago, Woodward never spoke to Trump when he wrote Fear: Trump in the White House. That detail purportedly irritated Trump, regarding the previous book. He appears to have gone out of his way to make sure it didn’t happen again.

Whether John Kelly not being around to act as gatekeeper this time around was the key difference, or not, in terms of whether Woodward got to speak to Trump, at all, Mr. Trump seemed determined to ensure that he weighed in numerous times, and by presidential standards, sometimes at length, this go-around. A number of elements have been teased. In lieu of the preceding preamble referencing 9/11 and the lives lost, the central issue for most observers seems to have been Mr. Trump choosing to downplay the COVID-19 pandemic with the American people. In early February, he told Woodward (as verified by the tapes/no fake news here) that the virus was much more deadly than the flu, while weeks, if not months later, he was still telling the American public it was under control and would soon go away. Even now, he eschews masks, and glibly notes, “it will go away, someday.”   

As with most things pertaining to Trump, the line of demarcation between his loyalists and advocates, and those who are inherently skeptical of his words, actions, deeds, and motives, is clear, bright, wide, and chasmic deep. His peeps, when last seen, were adamantly insisting that The Atlantic piece by Jeffrey Goldberg, asserting that Trump called American soldiers who died in battle were ‘Losers and Suckers,’ was a hit piece, full of fake news, because it contained anonymous sources. Do you ever notice how Trump frequently refers to “many people say,” and “they said,” and the like? Those are anonymous sources, that Trump acolytes find totally acceptable. But I digress. Bereft of their favorite patsy, a source they can disparage, because in this case Trump, himself, is the source, the best excuse I’ve heard his dearly beloved come up with is, “if he had told the truth, the left would have accused him of trying to instill panic.”

To those of us who deign to hold him accountable, it’s a simple matter. He misled (lied to) the American people. Repeatedly. There are other details of note, but as noted, I’m not marketing the book. Just noting that it’s out there. The title itself comes with its own backstory. Apparently, Mr. Trump is aware that he has a special effect on people. Woodward noted that he said he creates rage. I actually appreciate that he has that level of self-awareness, and that he was able to admit it. I never doubted he knew, because, I think it’s intentional. His admission was the prize in the Cracker Jack box. The rage, in my opinion is two-fold. For his base, it’s empowering; a sense of agency. For the rest of us, it’s a compelling distraction. The sort of thing designed to induce one to take their mind off the prize. We are called to do better. It’s imperative to stay focused, and not fall prey to Rage: #MAGA Deception!

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

For more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post, consult the links below:

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2018/09/12/nine-eleven-a-seventeen-year-retrospective/

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2017/09/13/sixteen-years-later-reflecting-on-nine-eleven/

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2013/09/11/calling-all-patriots-nine-eleven-ten-years-later/

http://thesphinxofcharlotte.blogspot.com/2011/09/calling-all-patriots-nine-eleven-ten.html

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2019/09/11/nine-eleven-eighteen-years-later/

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2020/09/16/rage-maga-deflection/

Labor Day: It’s All About the Workers Redux ’20

It’s Time to Break It Down!

(This post appeared originally in this space on August 31, 2011. It was re-purposed and presented again September 3, 2014, September 7, 2016, September 6, 2017, September 5, 2018, September 4, 2019, and once again today, September 9, 2020)

As you know, Monday was Labor Day. As with most holidays, I knock it down a few notches so readers can enjoy their time off, and ease into a vintage post, if they so choose. At its core, according to the U.S. Department of LaborLabor Day in the United States was designed to commemorate the creation of the labor movement; dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.  The holiday focuses on contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.

First observed in September 1882, the event has always been observed on the first Monday of the month.  Initiated by the Central Labor Union of New York, the celebration became a federal holiday in 1894.

In addition to its formal structure and purpose, Labor Day has a number of symbolic associations.  It is considered:

The unofficial End of Summer

The last 3-Day warm weather weekend for vacationers

By High Society standards, the last day for which it is appropriate for women to wear white

The beginning of the College Football Season (Maybe)

The start of the NFL Season (Hopefully))

The conventional kick-off of hard-core political campaign season

Backto-School shopping (Eh, well, sort of)

Labor Day also validates and recognizes an often-controversial mechanism that frequently divides American opinion; labor unions.  Scorned by many who fancy themselves as Free Enterprise Capitalists, unions and their members have not only been actively involved historically, in debates that framed public policy for American workers, they have won or forced hard-earned concessions that in the shimmering glow of reflective perspective, must be considered to have fundamentally altered the playing field (known as the workplace), including:

Pensions

Health Care Benefits

Paid Vacations

Equal Pay to women

The Development of Child Labor Laws

The 5-Day Work Week

The 40-Hour Work Week

The8-Hour Workday

Worker’s Compensation benefits

Female Flight Attendants permitted to marry

These and many other important cherished and effective employee rights are attributable to the efforts of the American Labor Movement.  But, this is not an ode to Labor Unions.  Unions also have downsides.  They create or contribute to:

The potential for strikes

Additional costs to all employees (membership dues; whether a member or not)

Loss of individuality (ability to represent one’s self in a grievance)

Subject to fines & discipline by the Union

Disincentives to productivity and competition

Lack of promotions

Burdensome salary demands (relative to the market)

Loss of profits (and/or pay) due to strike

Inefficient & ineffective contracts

Increased unemployment due to failure to reach agreement w/management

The first Labor Day celebration was led by a Labor Union.  The history of the Day has been linked, inextricably, with Labor organizations, ever since.  But if it is the American Worker the Day was intended to commemorate.

The political convention season, largely virtual for the first time ever, is behind us, and there are 55 days until what many people will assert is the most important election of our collective lifetimes. We are confronted with many issues, but for most of us, no matter which side of the political spectrum we fall, few are more critical than who will be elected to carry the mantle of the presidency effective January 20, 2021. You already know the incumbent team, as well as the contenders. But that is not fodder for today. In due time, I’ll address the race.

Meanwhile, contemplate “Labor Day: It’s All About The Workers Redux ’20,” and while we’ve got plenty of issues to temper our celebration, we should indeed celebrate America’s phenomenal Labor Movement. I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

For more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post, consult the links below:

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2018/09/05/labor-day-its-all-about-the-workers/

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2019/09/04/labor-day-its-all-about-the-workers-redux-19/

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2020/09/09/labor-day-its-all-about-the-workers-redux-20/

Chadwick Boseman: Rest In Eternal Peace & Power Kind Sir

It’s time to Break It Down!

It is said far too frequently of young talented individuals, they left us too soon. Boseman in his 43 years on this orb called earth delivered enough iconic performances (of icons), to last a lifetime, and he made it look easy, while doing so. Still, he left us too soon.

He took the silver screen by storm in noteworthy performances rekindling the life and times of men who didn’t need to be named, in order for it to be understood about whom one was speaking, including, Jackie Robinson in 42, (2013), and The Godfather of Soul, James Brown (2014), in  Get on Up, and a jurist who’s first or last name was all that needed to be uttered to make clear the subject, (Thurgood) Marshall, in 2017. He delivered signature performances in all three films. 

But the film and role for which Mr. Boseman, undoubtedly will be immortalized is, the Marvel Comic Universe’s Black Panther, in which he forever etched himself into the memories of millions of viewers and fans, as King T’Challa, of Wakanda. For the novel Marvel Universe fans, he will always stand out as simply, the Black Panther. He appeared in several episodes of the franchise, in addition to one in which he starred.

Boseman initially achieved new fame in 2016 with his performance as Black Panther in the MCU’s Captain America: Civil War. He subsequently played the character in an eponymous 2018 film, which earned him an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. He returned as Black Panther in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019) and was contracted to appear in at least one additional MCU film prior to his death.

He played other roles, to be sure, including early in his career when he performed in a string of guest appearances on television and was a series regular on the short-lived Lincoln Heights (2008–2009) and Persons Unknown (2010). He starred in the independent film The Kill Hole (2012). Boseman also had supporting roles in the films Draft Day (2014) and Gods of Egypt (2016).

In the past couple of years, he headlined the film 21 Bridges (2019) and had a supporting role in the film Da 5 Bloods (2020). His final film, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, is scheduled to be released posthumously.

A native of Anderson, SC, Chadwick matriculated at HBCU, Howard University, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in the year 2000. He returned to his venerable alma mater to deliver the Commencement Address in 2018.

Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016, the same year he first portrayed Black Panther. He kept his condition private, continuing to pursue his acting career while receiving treatment for the illness. After a four-year battle, he died last Friday, August 28, 2020 from complications related to the cancer. Condolences to his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward. “Chadwick Boseman: Rest In Eternal Peace & Power Kind Sir!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” 

Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chadwick_Boseman

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2020/09/02/chadwick-boseman-rest-in-eternal-peace-power-kind-sir/

10 Things I Believe: 10 Things I Do Not!

It’s time to Break It Down!

I believe:

  1. There is an omnificent, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent (Almighty) God.
  2. Aside from God, no one else has any or all of those traits.
  3. The earth is round, rotates on its axis, and revolves around the sun.
  4. Gravity is a thing.
  5. Man has traveled to, and walked on the moon, and in space.
  6. Mary Trump
  7. The Middle Passage was cruel and devastatingly inhumane
  8. The 2020 Election is “A Serious Matter!”
  9. Racism is real…in America today; “This Is America!”
  10. Black Lives Matter.

I do not believe:

  1. Black Lives Matter means Blue Lives Don’t.
  2. The righteous will be forsaken
  3. COVID-19 is a hoax
  4. Rules requiring mask-wearing during the pandemic violate anyone’s rights.
  5. Satan-worshipping pedophiles are plotting against Donald Trump (QAnon).
  6. African slaves were guest workers
  7. African slaves were also immigrants
  8. There is a last straw…for Trump supporters
  9. Opting out of voting is the answer (to anything, except how to give up).
  10. Donald J. Trump is a big-brained stable genius.

Naturally, there are many more things I believe, and a good deal more that I don’t. Ten is a nice round number, and an apt cut-off point. The beauty of this post is, you may disagree with every single item I have posited above. The line of demarcation is clearly delineated. Those are things I believe, or do not believe. None of which is subject to change because it doesn’t align with your views. Have a great Wednesday. “10 Things I Believe; 10 Things I Do not!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” 

Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2020/08/26/10-things-i-believe-10-things-i-do-not/

Obama Plays The Inexperience Card Redux ’20

It’s time to Break It Down!

(Note: This is a Reprised and Amended Presentation of My Original Blog Post)

HAPPY 13th ANNIVERSARY “BREAK IT DOWN!”

Today, in acknowledgement of the 13th anniversary of “Break It Down,” As I have done occasionally in the past, I am revisiting my inaugural blog post.

Before launching into the post, it’s certainly appropriate to contextualize my original post within the parameters of our contemporary timeframe. To do that, I note that post was about a young lion, Barack Obama, coming into what would become his era. Last night, the Democratic Party, via virtual Convention, officially installed Joe Biden as this year’s nominee. Whereas, Obama was one of the youngest to ever carry the banner, Biden is the oldest. That bit of history/trivia is augmented by his selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate. Senator Harris will be formally installed tonight. She is the fourth woman to be part of a Presidential Ticket, the third as a VP Candidate, and the first woman of color. Biden has had two unsuccessful runs. This outing will determine whether he will be able to register the third time as the charm, while Senator Harris is attempting to break the proverbial glass ceiling for women on a ticket.

Their work is cut out for them, in the form of the Republican opponents. The GOP will conduct it’s Convention, part virtual, part in person, in Charlotte, and part at the White House. The virtual aspects of the Conventions was necessitated due to COVID-19. Donald Trump, of course, is the Party’s nominee, and he is expected (at least by me) to retain Mike Pence, the current VP, as his running mate. I mention it in passing, only because there is speculation in some corners that Trump will replace Pence, perhaps with a woman. While Trump and his loyalists like to brand him as an anti-establishmentarian, the thought that he’d engage in such a high risk, low reward gambit strikes me as unlikely. If there is any present day pol that’s unlikely to elevate a woman to his second-in-command, the name Donald Trump leaps out at me. Enough about the conventions.

Tempus fugit (Time Flies)!  Tomorrow marked a significant milestone in the life and development of “Break It Down!”  I initiated this blog August 20, 2007, on a lark…almost a dare.  That was twelve years (and 685 editions) ago.  Having related the story a number of times over the past several years, I will not repeat the complete details today.

I will note, however, that on that summer’s eve, I contemplated and discussed, in five paragraphs, the experience, or in reality the lack thereof, of then Senator Barack Obama, as he navigated the early stages of his historic Presidential Campaign.  The prodigious parameters of that history were not evident at the time.  To be sure, over the next 14-½ months, he bested the odds and won, not only the Democratic Nomination, but also the Presidency, not so unlike what Donald Trump did in 2015-16.  In so doing, my lack of conviction, along with that of many others, in Mr. Obama’s ability to claim the nation’s biggest political prize, was exposed as a patently errant assessment. Without question, just as many people missed on their own un-Nostradamus like projections regarding Donald Trump’s prospects.

I want to make one more note about the blog.  In addition to this week marking the Twelfth Anniversary of Break It Down, today’s post commemorates the Seven-year Anniversary of my using WordPress as the primary Host Platform for the blog.  The link, http://TheSphinxofCharlotte.com is simpler and more straightforward than the Blogger (Blogspot) link, http://TheSphinxofCharlotte.blogspot.com.  The site design and presentation at WordPress are cleaner, and less busy than the setup I used at Blogger.  Please note, while I may eventually migrate Break It Down exclusively to WordPress, the blog remains available at both sites for the foreseeable future.

So, this was the message in Post #1; five brisk paragraphs and a sign-off:

In an apparent calculated act of derring-do, Obama declares the virtue of inexperience. Gotta love it!

Personal footnote of recollection: I recall Jimmy Carter running the classic “anti-Washington” (i.e., lack of Capitol Hill experience) campaign in ’75-76. You know what, it worked.

The problem was, once JC sent all the reigning bureaucrats & policy wonks home, he was left with an assembly of newbies who didn’t understand how to get things done in DC. The result was that a very smart guy, genuine humanitarian, and erstwhile successful leader presided over what was widely perceived as a disastrous presidency. President Carter’s solitary term was fraught with innumerable policy failures (see the Shah of Iran, double-digit inflation, runaway gas prices, & the outrageous Interest/Mortgage rate morass) and public relations gaffes (remember the killer rabbit, and the failed helicopter gambit).

Fortunately for him he was able to live long enough and subsequently do enough good deeds to distance himself from most of an unremarkable tenure as a one-term president, followed by a resounding defeat by that cowboy actor Teflon guy.

Of course, none of that has anything to do with Obama…except in the unlikely event he prevails. If he does, let’s hope he doesn’t take that inexperience thing too far. As W constantly reminds us, getting to the White House is one thing (after all, he’s done it twice), providing prudent and effective leadership once there is quite another.

’06!

Posted on Mon, Aug. 20, 2007

Just for perspective, see a news story that the AP carried on the subject that day:

DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFULS DEBATE IN IOWA

Obama posits virtue of inexperience

What rivals criticize as naiveté; he presents as break from status quo

MIKE GLOVER

Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa –Democrat Barack Obama on Sunday tried to parlay his relative lack of national experience into a positive attribute, chiding his rivals for adhering to “conventional thinking” that led the country to war and has divided the country.

In their latest debate, the candidates also said they favored more federal action to address economic woes that have resulted from a housing slump and tighter credit. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson called the current financial crisis “the Katrina of the mortgage-lending industry.”

Prodded by moderator George Stephanopoulos at the outset of the debate, Obama’s rivals critiqued his recent comments on Pakistan and whether he would meet with foreign leaders — including North Korea’s head of state — without conditions.

“To prepare for this debate I rode in the bumper cars at the state fair,” the first-term senator from Illinois said to laughter and applause from the audience at Drake University.

The debate capped an intense week of politicking in Iowa, an early voting state in the process of picking a nominee. The Iowa State Fair is a magnet for White House hopefuls each presidential election.

Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., directly addressing a question about Obama’s relative inexperience, said: “You’re not going to have time in January of ’09 to get ready for this job.” Dodd has served in Congress for more than 30 years.

Former Sen. John Edwards said Obama’s opinions “add something to this debate.” But Edwards said politicians who aspire to be president should not talk about hypothetical solutions to serious problems.

“It effectively limits your options,” Edwards said.

Obama said he could handle the rigors of international diplomacy and noted that many in the race, including Dodd, Edwards and Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Joe Biden, voted to authorize the Iraq war in 2002.

“Nobody had more experience than Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney and many of the people on this stage that authorized this war,” Obama said. “And it indicates how we get into trouble when we engage in the sort of conventional thinking that has become the habit in Washington.”

The debate, hosted and broadcast nationally by ABC, took place less than five months before Iowa caucus-goers begin the process of selecting the parties’ presidential nominees.

As we reflect upon the Campaign of 2008 it really does harken the recognition of how swiftly time and events pass.  Indeed, I am especially reminded of how supremely confidently the Senator approached his moment.  I shall always recall that it propelled me to write, “Obama Plays the Inexperience Card!” Needless to say, he has gained an enormous amount of experience in the years ensuing since then.

As I wrap this up in 2019, it is with a completely different appreciation for what an inexperienced Barack Obama brought to his job, vis-à-vis what a politically inexperienced Donald Trump is currently bringing to the job. Mr. Obama inherited a fragile country with a downward spiraling economy, a nearly double-digit employment rate, and a foreboding 700,000 job losses per month. By the time he left 8 years later, the unemployment rate had been halved, to less than 5%, the country enjoyed the longest period of consecutive job gains, 75 months, in history, over 11 million jobs had been added, including 1.2 million in his last 6 months in office, while the Dow Jones rose from a slumping 7,949 when he took office to 19, 887 when he exited. No President controls every single lever that triggers all that happens during his (or her) tenure, when things go south, he/she occupies the space where the proverbial buck stops. Conversely, when things trend rosy, he gets a fair amount of the accrued shine.

In that light, Mr. Trump entered office in a much different environment, benefiting from what can rightfully be called the Obama Recovery. Let’s be clear. There is definitely still work to do. But anyone who suggests that Obama didn’t bequeath more and better than he inherited is full of bovine excrement. Full stop!

With that said, these are the salad days of the Trump Administration. It must be said he has delighted his base. At least the ones with whom I have spoken believe he’s the cat’s meow, and they say (whether they believe it or not) he’s been doing exactly what they hoped for when they voted for him. I would suggest that anyone who didn’t vote for, or support him, or who is undecided about supporting him, should let that sink in for a moment or two, or twenty.

Team Trump contends Democrats, liberals, the Main Stream Media, and some nebulous ill-defined entity referred to as the deep state, are solely responsible for all that has stymied or delayed even potential successes by the Trump Administration. So, health care, travel ban (or whatever appellation one cares to affix to it), Transgender Military Policy, Charlottesville Messaging, the Obama wiretapping claim, the Flynn firing, the Comey firing, the Spicer firing, the Priebus firing, the Scaramucci firing, the Bannon firing, and oh by the way dare I say, his tweets…Can we really blame all that on the Party that held a minority in both Houses for two years, and that still holds only one House of Congress, or on a media that has no votes, and presumably no say in who Trump hires in the first place, or fires for that matter, or on the deep state, whatever the Sam Hill that is?

If you are a Trump trooper, you can, and you almost certainly do. If you are not, then you probably think such an assertion is sheer lunacy on its face. Perhaps…just maybe, he is finding difficulty gaining traction because he is not only fighting through an experience deficit, but he is operating with a startling lack of curiosity, matched only by an overabundance of hubris. All things considered, I am inclined to look back on the time when I wrote, “Obama Plays the Experience Card,” and conclude that we (who should be a grateful nation) were considerably better served than with the current inexperienced occupant of the Oval Office. So today, my emphasis is…“Obama Plays the Inexperience Card Redux ’20!” 

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” 

Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2019/08/21/obama-plays-the-inexperience-card-redux-19/

https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2020/08/19/obama-plays-the-inexperience-card-redux-20/