Monday, December 07, 2009

Ben and Zarla go to White Castle
...the extremely scenic way.

My former bandmate slash good friend accompanied by his lovely lady are conquering the roads of America. As well, they are wonderfully capturing the nation's beauty in photographs and the heart of the people through conversation. Check out their journey: A Travel Blog by Ben Bornstein and Zarla Ludin

Saturday, November 28, 2009

BBC News - Golf icon Tiger Woods faces police questions over crash:
"Golf icon Tiger Woods faces police questions over crash."

(BBC News) Police are expected to question world number one golfer Tiger Woods later on Saturday more than a day after a car crash outside his Florida home.
The star was found semi-conscious with facial injuries after his car reportedly hit a fire hydrant and tree.
Officers were told Woods' wife Elin had used a golf club to break the rear window of the car and help him out after the accident early on Friday.
The 14-time major champion was admitted to hospital and later released.


There are TWO Black men that are not allowed to EVER break the law. Tiger Woods and Barack Obama. Tiger... your f*cking up!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Obama Rushes to Quell Racial Uproar He Helped Fire - ABC News:
"Obama conceded his words had been ill-chosen, but he stopped short of a public apology."~Nancy Benac, AP

Rightly so! Unless Sergeant James Crowley, the arresting officer, apologizes for his overreaction in the incident then President Obama should not be compelled to apologize for saying the officer "acted stupidly" because the same ill-thinking that started this lingers in the form of Crowley's stubbornness to admit that error. The officer had a judgment call in arresting Professor Gates but let his pride get in the way of what was right. He may not have been technically wrong but he was out of line subjectively. That said, if Crowley can't own up to his faults, how are we to believe he has really grown or in this case stopped 'acting stupidly'? Which also speaks volumes about the police unions standing behind Crowley.

However, just because someone 'acts stupidly' doesn't mean that person is stupid. It is merely an intelligent individual having a less than stellar moment. But, it is still right to call them on it, especially in the hopes that everyone learns from that blunder.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cops arrest renowned scholar for breaking into his own home...

Cops Arrest Gates
Cambridge, Mass., Sgt. James Crowley arrested Henry Louis Gates Jr. in his home last week after he responded to a report of two black men attempting to break in to Gates' home.

It turned out that Gates, head of Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, had broken into his own home after being unable to find his keys upon his return from a trip to China.

A police report of the incident written by Officer Carlos Figueroa, who responded to the call with Crowley, says Crowley was already in the house when he walked in. The report says Crowley had asked Gates for some identification and Gates shouted that he would not give any information and called the sergeant a racist.

According to the report, Gates then yelled, "This is what happens to black men in America." When Crowley tried to calm him down, Gates shouted, "You don't know who you're messing with."

The report continues that the shouting went on after Gates and the officers walked out onto the front porch. When Gates allegedly wouldn't cooperate or calm down, Crowley arrested him.

(Source: Cambridge Police Officer To Obama: Butt Out of My Arrest)

Sgt. Crowley's side of this argument is "bitchassness" at it's (and apparently Cambridge's) finest. How are you going to arrest someone for public disturbance in the privacy of their own home? What public? At best it would have been on this man's front porch. Was the tongue-lashing that severe? Did he insult your mother/manhood/intelligence to that degree? Even further, to arrest someone for what must of been the most epic verbal abuse ever just makes Crowley look like even more of a wuss. "Creating a public disturbance" eh? Were there formal noise complaints from the neighbors filed? Even just a "keep it down" from anyone not in uniform? Or what he just creating a scene. I see scenes created all the time, but I don't see people being arrested for those without formal complaints. Maybe that's why the charges were dropped.

Also, someone called the cops on this man for breaking into his own home. It says something about America that your own neighbors don't know you. I must admit, I don't know any of the people that live around me. Not sure that I want to. However, if I lived in a neighborhood like the one in which Professor Gates resides I'm sure my neighbors would know who I was. I may not know my neighbors but I bet they know where I live. Just as I'm pretty sure he stands out as the "different" neighbor near Harvard Square. So then you have to wonder about the relationships and biases of the people in the neighborhood. I'm sure the police were quick to arrive.

Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. being arrested essentially for insulting Sergeant James Crowley over his disturbance entering Gates' home is also a matter of class relations too. By that I mean the role the education Crowley received versus that of Professor Gates plays into the incident. Anyone would have been upset about the situation. Think about the history a man in Professor Gates position has lived through and to get to where he has professionally. Which would lead into a discussion on the hiring practices throughout history of law enforcement, what jobs were essentially "given" to what class of immigrants versus the requirements to become an officer today which also changed with the increase in diversity. As well as professional incomes and why some people are paid more for their education/profession than others. Though I'm sure there would be broad generalizations carelessly cast about in these debates, I know this sure is an EXCELLENT example to reference in the age of Obama.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Associated Press: Obama losing some support among nervous Dems: "'This is the worst economic time anyone under the age of 80 has ever experienced, and you can't discount people being afraid. Now that we are in July, the fear is turning to disappointment that the president hasn't fixed everything yet. I don't know why they thought he could change everything by now, but some did.'" ~ Steve Glorioso, Democratic strategist

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson dies at age 50
A tale of rise and fall fitting a King...

The Los Angeles Times was the first to report his hospitalization and passing. Then announced that Jackson was in a coma before confirming that, at age 50, Michael Jackson suffered a fatal cardiac arrest.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

This week's tweets:

--->: Apparently teachers are just as fun/funny if not more so than your average partiers when inebriated. (2 seconds ago from TwitterGadget)

--->: EZ Pass is my new favorite invention! No doubt about it. (about 2 hours ago from TwitterGadget)EZ Pass is my new favorite invention! No doubt about it.

--->: Off to another gig. Hello Jersey. Allow me to sing for you. (about 9 hours ago from TwitterGadget)Off to another gig. Hello Jersey. Allow me to sing for you.

--->: Yay! My vehicle is legal again! Sidenote: New York DMV is not nearly as bad as one would assume. Just gotta have your forms ON POINT! ... (about 15 hours ago from web)

--->: Just returned from a trip to Boston. Went to surprise someone but they kind of waylayed the plans. Fun times. (about 15 hours ago from web)

--->: Off to rehearse with the band again. Hmph, I wonder if someone calls the initial rehearsal a "hearsal"? A "hearing" maybe? Eh, too legal. (06/17/2009 10:50:38 AM from TwitterGadget)

--->: I just discovered that I CAN live without the internet. I just prefer not to. (06/16/2009 5:43:27 PM from TwitterGadget)

--->: All I'm saying is... you SHOULD be offended if I start cleaning your place without you asking me to help. (06/15/2009 2:07:55 PM from TwitterGadget)

--->: Whether you dream big or dream small, if you aren't confident you can make things happen, what's the point? Might as well go to the movies. (06/14/2009 11:59:37 PM from TwitterGadget)

--->: Just killed it at not one, but two gigs! Love singing. I should really record something beyond the Melodesiac album. (06/14/2009 2:08:01 AM from TwitterGadget)

--->: Gig in New Jersey tomorrow. Yet, I have no idea what songs will be called. Dah well. Guess that's what makes it a show, ha.☻ (06/12/2009 10:24:54 PM from TwitterGadget)

--->: You know how they say "It costs money to make money." Well, they should also say that money is expensive. (06/12/2009 12:04:13 PM from TwitterGadget)

--->: The Boondocks is easily my favorite television series. (06/12/2009 12:39:06 AM from TwitterGadget)

--->: Just re-strung a guitar for the first time! Correction: my guitar. (06/11/2009 7:16:49 PM from TwitterGadget)

--->: Must get rid of the noise. Gah...mixers, cables, computers!! (06/10/2009 11:04:49 PM from TwitterGadget)

--->: My drummer and bassist are the jam. Where's T.W. at?! (06/10/2009 9:04:09 PM from TwitterGadget)

--->: Off to band rehearsal with ... hmph... we should think of a name. (06/10/2009 12:56:05 PM from TwitterGadget)

--->: Is there a sign on me that begs for investigation or is there something else about me that draws police attention? Hmmm. (06/10/2009 3:16:10 AM from TwitterGadget)

--->: Google Calendar is making my life easier. (06/10/2009 12:13:50 AM from TwitterGadget)

--->: I enjoy that moment when you realize you have new liberties but then don't really know where to go/start with that freedom. (06/09/2009 8:03:48 AM from TwitterGadget)

Monday, May 25, 2009

First Financial Bank, Experts at Committing Credit Card Fraud

(Courtesy: Matthew Miller)
I've been trying to close my First Financial Credit card for three months now. It all started when I got a bill with a positive balance. As their customer service was closed when I opened the bill, and the car had carried a zero balance for a number of months, I reported an unauthorized transaction.

The charge was later revealed to be an "Annual membership fee."

Over the next couple months, despite repeated calls to cancel the account and promises that the charges would be reversed, I got another bill for January 2008. [more]

I didn't even want their card, but my mom insisted I get it when I was 18. I agreed on the condition that she pay for it. I don't know if she even missed a payment but the harrassment calls started. After resolving everything, I could have sworn we closed the account but apparrently not. Recently the calls started again. One around 10am, another around 4pm and usually one more around dinner time.

Numbers they "can be reached at":
786 217 9720
218 940 5230
281 668 5176

I seriously hate them and encourage everyone to report them to the BBB. Love Bank of America though. Never been called by them unless it was something useful like stopping fraudulent charges from Kyrgyzstan. WaMu was great when it existed as well.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Burma's Suu Kyi 'to face trial' | BBC NEWS
Ms Suu Kyi is reportedly suffering from low blood pressure and dehydration, but clearly she must be a threat to the state.

Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is to face trial for breaching the conditions of her detention under house arrest, her lawyer has said.
Ms Suu Kyi will stand trial on 18 May, the lawyer, Hla Myo Myint, said.
She was taken to a prison from her home in Rangoon, where she has spent most of the past 19 years, to hear the charges.
A US man whose uninvited visit to her home led to the charges, will also be tried on immigration and security offences, the lawyer added.

The American man, John Yettaw, was arrested after swimming across a lake to her house and staying there secretly for two days.
The charges are yet to be confirmed by the government.
But it looks as though this is a device to keep her detained until elections due in 2010 which the generals think will give them some legitimacy, says BBC South-East Asia correspondent Jonathan Head.
Another of her lawyers said they would contest the charge.
'The charge is going to be violating the conditions of her house arrest and what her lawyer is going to argue is that of course that's ridiculous because, yes under the terms of her arrest she cannot invite people to visit her but she of course did not invite this person to visit her,' Jared Genser told the BBC.
'If somebody shows up at her door step in violation of Burmese law she can not be held responsible for it.'

Friday, May 08, 2009

We gon' party like it's ya birthday!

I hereby claim my birthday as a Holiday. Everyone should do something special for themselves in my honor. Your welcome. :-)

Friday, May 01, 2009


"I paid a hundred tolls, a hundred tickets, I live in New Yo-o-ork. New Yo-o-ork!"

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Last Boston post...

There really is no point to this one here. I just wanted to write my last post from Boston... ever? Okay, maybe if i'm on tour here again. Other than that, it will be the last post from here for a good while. So, later Beantown. It was wicke... nah, still can't say it. It was cool enough. I'll see ya around.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Recently I transferred posts from over to my personal blog here. Feel free to go back through the logs and see what you didn't know you missed. As well, I'll try to identify ones you should mouse over with an asterisk. Beyond that I'll try to write more. Though, I clearly make no promises.

In other news, I'm moving to New York City. I can't help think of Pace Picante Sauce when i say the full name like that thus i usually abbreviate it. Sorry, NYC, that marketing worked. Though I never bought the brand so i guess not well enough. I'm dating someone new. And I currently don't know where my June money will come from. Fun times. :-/

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Quoth Dr. Philbert...

When showing my apartment to my potential replacement tenant his accompanying cohort attempted to spread the gospel of Philbert. To place it in context, my bestfriend was chilling on the futon as I "sold" the room. Philbert first suggested that my friend and I live together to ease the cost of living in Boston. I responded 'long story'. Unbeknownst to Philbert, my bestfriend and I one mere month prior ended our five year romantic relationship, as well were each happily dating someone new. Having picked up on the most miniscule inkling of the split, Philbert offered this gem:

"I don't see why two people should not live together over a disagreement. Instead they should just. . . agree."

The evil part of me enjoyed pretending that Dr. Philbert had just given me the 'Advice of the Year' worthy of my most humbled nod, shrug and additionally defeated "true".
My friend struggled to keep a straight face whilst I thought, "Wow, all up in the Kool-Aid and don't know the flavor!'"

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Menace II Society...*
A cop gettin his Rodney King on...

2:19 am. My girlfriend and I are returning home from a social at a coworkers house driving down the main street in my town a few lights away from our turn. I notice a police cruiser parallel parked across the street. I happen to look at the officer as we pass, curious to see if he was vigilantly watching the area or working on the computer most cruisers have. Behind me is an SUV. As I pass the officer, I notice his attention is locked on to me. He promptly u-turns and falls in behind the SUV. Then pulls up along the right side of the SUV. Now, I know good and well he's not interested in the SUV but for the sake of doubt I somewhat casually make the next left as the officer is in the right lane blocked by the SUV and it would be hard for him to follow inconspicuously.

Clearly subtly isn't his strong suit as he awkwardly maneuvers to follow me some 30 feet back. Since I've clearly piqued his interest, I pull over. As this is not the first time I've aroused authoritative suspicion by simply existing, I know a few tricks to these encounters. Plus my record is spotless, and I have character witnesses for days. Thus this time I decide to do the "can I help you, Officer Friendly?" having already started by pulling over. I know everything that happens from here has to be flawless else this situation can go very badly very easily. My only mistake thus far is the place I've picked to stop. I've stopped near a "No Parking" zone, so I don't turn off my engine, thus I'm legally "standing". He's still a ways back so I turn off my lights thinking maybe he'll just cruise by thinking I'm going to get out soon. He doesn't. Instead he stays 25 feet back now, just watching and brazenly blocking the street were anyone else needing to come along. As well, he doesn't pull up along side right away making the inevitable encounter more suspicious. Thus my only mistake so far is swelling into a huge error if I don't play this exactly right. Even worse, my girl is in the car and she's never been here for these types of "protect and serve" occurrences. Clearly I'm not getting out because I don't live here. Clearly I'm watching him just like he's watching me. As well, I've turned off my lights so he can't read my plates which I'll bestow him the aptitude of picking up on.

Now it's the waiting game. I'm not getting out. Mainly because I can't play it off like I'm going anywhere around here, also I don't know how inept this officer may be and last thing I want to do is get shot reaching for the identification he would ask from me. As well, that would fall back into I'm parked in a no parking zone. I'm in check. Can't just drive off now, because clearly I've stopped here to watch him as he is watching me so he will just keep following me. I'd rather do this here than at my place. Really not comfortable with a shady cop at my spot. Let's just say I was feeling less than civil. After a long 7 minutes of waiting he finally pulls up next to me. I look at him. He looks at me. I roll down my window ready for whatever bull he is about to spew.

"Hello" with the Leave-It-To-Beaver nod. Your move officer.
"You know you can't park here, right?"
"I know."
"So why are you stopped here?"
"You were following me."
"Well... I'm just on my patrol. So why are you parked here?"
"You were following me. I am not parked, my engine is running."
"So why did you turn your lights off?"
"I didn't want to waste the battery."
"Do you live here?"
"No, we don't."
"Where are you... whose we?"
"My girlfriend and me."
"So does your girlfriend live here?"
"So why are you stopped here?"
"You were following me. May I help you?"
"What makes you say I was following you?"
"You saw me, made a quick u turn, followed me as I turned on to this street and waited as I pulled over."
"...?!" [Debate standoff rule: First one to speak loses.]

"... Where are you from?"
"...I'm from around here."
"..." [He is in check. From here I know I can wrap it up.]

"Would you like to follow me home?"
"Do you need a ride?"
"No... I'm fine."
"Where do you live?"
"...What street?"
"[Name of my actual street.]"
"...." Stalemate.

We just stare at each other for a few moments. Him knowing that I find him just as suspicious as he finds me. He had no justifiable reason to follow me to this spot just as I have no reason to be here. As well, the situation of "we're talking here because you were followed me here" is so cyclical that he can't do anything about it. The more philosophically straightforward query being 'would we be there had he not so brazenly followed me there?' Lastly, I know he saw me trying to look at his unit number but he'd pulled up in such a way that it just happened to be out of sight the way the town marks the cruisers. As well, in my attempt not to say anymore than I needed to, I forgot to ask him his name.

"...I think you better head on home."
"Yeah, you have a good night too, officer." Slightly failing to hide my rejuvenated contempt.

Turned on my lights (released the parking brake, shhhh) and hastily drove off, making sure he couldn't fault me for any moving violations henceforth. I looked in my mirror the few blocks home, just to see if he might actually follow me. The headlights in the distance didn't seem like his.

My girlfriend felt I should have just driven home to begin with and let him follow us if he wanted. I disagreed citing location of the possible encounter. She retorted that the side street I chose wasn't ideal. I chuckled a bit acknowledging that fact. I was so focused on making the officer do something that he couldn't explain away -were he not "arbitrarily patrolling"- that I was a bit further down the side street than I would have liked to have been. We enjoyed the moment of levity before falling back into the reality of being Black in America.