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Op Ed

The Trump Doctrine (or Storms Will Come, This We Know For Sure)

mrmarlonrice@gmail.com'

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So, here we are, eleven days after the inauguration of Donald Trump into the office of President of the United States. It was all good just two weeks ago. Just like that, Obamacare is being ripped apart, the pipeline is back under construction, and Melania is back at Trump Towers in NYC, never to set foot into the Nation’s Capital again. Every senior administrator at the State Department resigned. And the wall, the biggest most expensive and unnecessary project in the history of America, was signed and sealed. Trump says Mexico is paying for it. The Mexican president created the hashtag #fuckingwall. He ain’t paying for shit. El Chapo says walls don’t stop tunnels. The idiot Press Secretary Sean Spicer says Trump may add a 20% tax on Mexican imports to pay for the wall, so you’ll be paying $9.50 for an avocado. A ban on Muslims created chaos in airports across America. Eleven days in and it’s already a mess. Damn, it was all good just two weeks ago.

While we watch the resumption of the arms race, the possibility of the National Guard conducting marshal law on the streets of South Side Chicago, and the Vice President taking part in a Pro-Life rally against abortion, you might be thinking to yourself WTF? FML! SMMFH!!

Right off the bat we’re seeing signs of the Trump doctrine; Isolationism, state influence on personal liberties, alternative facts, and an egregious desire to be the strongest, even if that power-trip unnerves the entire paradigm. He’s pushing to have us pay for a wall we don’t need, all the while ignoring the very basic need for clean water that Flint has been dealing with for years now. Yes, years. There are countries that have 200 mph super-trains and all kinds of neat technological creations that aide in the human experience; while this guy spends every moment he gets in front of a camera to complain because the media says hardly anyone came to his inauguration. It’s becoming clear, even to those that voted for him, that the only place this man is going to lead us is right off of the cliff. We should yell Geronimo when we finally take that leap. They always yell Geronimo on the cartoons, and this shit is definitely cartoonish.

But just as we begin to catch the previews of our ultimate demise, here comes BET with the 3-part New Edition movie. Every black woman between the ages of 35-50 stopped everything they were doing this week to watch the story of the most acclaimed kids group since The Jackson 5. The music, the era, the story, it all evokes memories of the past, when we were children and life was about having crushes, eating Chick-O-Sticks and playing outside until your mother screamed from the window for you to come upstairs. Our age of innocence, when Reganomics was destroying the middle class, crack was destroying the Black family and the pyrotechnics in the Pepsi commercial was destroying Michael Jackson’s Jheri curl. Adults tend to romanticize their childhood. We loved the beans and franks and the mayonnaise sandwiches, without considering the economic struggles involved when that is all a mother can afford to feed to her children. Those were the good ole days, right?

BET capitalized on the sweet nostalgia of our youth and easily recorded the best viewership its had in years. I swear I haven’t watched BET since Tigger hosted Rap City. Neither have you, I’m sure. Knowing that they had more eyes on them this week than they’ve had since GhostFace Killah told Tigger to wipe that smile off his face, BET decided to use the ample commercial space between 4 minute sections of movie to introduce viewers to their new lineup of shows. Let’s see, you have the show about the HBCU where chicks are getting assaulted and hospitalized, the white guy is still the Quarterback and hi-jinks ensues amidst a bad and bougee parade. Then there is the show where the Black woman cop decides to become a vigilante with laid edges, having shootouts in the street and then going home to make love to Method Man. Then there was some series called Media, which I still have no idea what that’s about, but I do know that it stars a bunch of cool Black folk. I watched those commercials over and over again throughout the three-night movie series thinking that if I was 15 years old I’d probably really like these new shows.

Sadly though, I’m no longer in that age of innocence where distractions and nonsense are masked as fun and entertaining. With all due respect, I don’t have the time or the desire to watch Black Entertainment Television at a time when the President is a man who seems to think that Black and entertainment are synonymous, judging by the Black men he chose to meet with in the days leading up to him taking that oath.

It’s becoming clear, even to those that voted for him, that the only place this man is going to lead us is right off of the cliff.

The ubiquitous Johnny Gill once said that storms may come. He followed that with the assertion that we know this, for sure. Well, the storm has arrived, and we are soon to drown in an administration that is sure to set black rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, and human rights way back to a time when the only rights existed for the expressed consent of the White man. What we need from our Black television executives are leads and clues on how to stay dry, how to weather the storm, not more salacious programming to distract us from the fact that we are drowning. Shit ain’t sweet, pardon my French. The New Edition movie was fun to watch, but Black Entertainment Television will never truly service Black folk by trying to be White Entertainment Television. The moment they put out Black Information Television, I’m all in. Black Holistic Television, Black Spiritual Television, Black Revolutionary Television, Black Scientific Television. Holla at me when any of those networks drop. And, if you use any of my titles for your new network I’m coming for my money like Diddy visiting Steve Stoute’s office.

P.S. The absolutely worse place for a panhandler to setup is at the door to a bank’s ATM location. The ATM is spitting $10’s and $20’s out and you’re asking for change? C’mon people, I need you to think smarter. You want to get to that bag? Ride the R train from Bay Ridge 95th Street all the way to Forest Hills 71st Ave, going car to car for 8 hours a day. You’ll probably gross more than 40% of the people going to and from work. Now you’re not a pan handler, you’re an entrepreneur. Get to it now, though, before Trump makes panhandling a felonious hate crime, punishable by 15 years in prison.

Op Ed

Why Do You Hate All the Black Men?

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When I was in 5th grade at PS 398 in Brooklyn, NY, I had a teacher whom I have no love lost for; Mrs. Thompson. From what I can remember, she was a bit of an old, out of touch, ornery woman, built like an old school nun and seemed to have a special distaste for the boys in the classroom. Now I could be wrong because after all, we are talking about the critical thinking mind of a 10 year old who made these complex character assessments probably after profound discussions like “would King Kong beat Godzilla in a fair fight?” Be that as it may, I had gotten so upset at her constant acrimony towards us that one day after class, I snuck back into the classroom and wrote on the chalkboard in 260 pt font “WHY DO YOU FAVOR THE GIRLS?

Needless to say, the entire class saw my social graffiti the next morning and Mrs. Thompson was none too pleased. I somehow didn’t get in trouble but she knew it was me (I’m left handed and I write like a distressed deer that stumbled into a lion’s sweet sixteen party.) Penmanship aside, it seems the time has come again for me to ask the modern day version of Mrs. Thompson (The internets) … “Why Do You Hate All the Black Men?

I’m really not a fan of the current “The black woman is the least protected” movement. Of all the Af-Am women and men that I know personally, I can’t think of one man who wouldn’t or hasn’t come to a woman’s aid when necessary and I can’t think of one woman (again, that I know personally) who doesn’t have a man of Af-Am descent in their life who would come to their aid at a moment’s notice. Now I am not oblivious to the fact that there are many men, many many many many men, who have put women in harm’s way or have been the one’s who women have needed protection from. The truth is the truth and in order for your truth to be respected, acknowledged and equally believed, you must also be open to the truths of others. So I want make it 100% clear that ladies, I HEAR AND BELIEVE YOU. My
contention has never been if not feeling protected in your communities is a reality but rather, that BLACK MEN are some how less adept than any other race of men.

I do not ever discount how black women feel. What I take contention with is that the issue of feeling unprotected is somehow an issue specific to Af-Am women. When we make it race specific, we paint a public picture of yet another perceived deficiency in the black community when women on a whole, regardless of race and region are not protected. I’m sure Asian and Middle Eastern women would feel they are the least protected. My argument (sad as it is) is simply “If he ain’t shit, it’s probably not because he’s black.”

I KNOW the black man is the least protected and most exploited historically and because of that trend, statements like these tend to roll off everyone’s tongue with ease. Sexism and stereotypes are the root cause of a majority of these issues between the sexes but because that is too daunting to tackle, we cherry pick what is closest to us and place blame.

We all need to be taught and no one comes with preset instructions. I absolutely believe that there are men who know how to protect a woman (physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc.) and men who need to be taught. Call me crazy but I assume there aren’t a bunch of White, Indian, Spanish, Middle Eastern and Asian men with capes on, ready to swoop in at a moments notice and save their respective cultural counterparts and ethnic empresses. I also venture to guess, like “black on black“ crime, the ratios and sentiments are most likely comparable across all races.

Whomever you are, please, if you can stop making certain things a black issue when it may just be a common issue and the person who you hold responsible happens to be of Af-Am descent, it would be appreciated.

When Brooklyn Has Fallen and you have that one guy who will leave his job and run across town on foot to protect you, whether he’s a friend, family or otherwise, he’s not gonna appreciate when you publicly decree you have no one to protect you.

Sidebar: I remember being 13 years old and not knowing what to do when some dude had cursed my mom out. I remember my dad getting in my a$$ for that when he found out. I remember being an adult and someone tried to raise their voice at my mom while I was in the vicinity at an airport. I remember the police having to escort me away because I was about to hop over the counter at Alaskan Airlines and drag this clown up and down the airport. Lesson learned. Sidebar Complete!

Crazed Afrykan is a writer / hip hop producer (Nas / Damien Marely) and aficionado of hip hop culture. For over 30 years, he has gained personal introspective into the motivations, rhymes and reasons for one of the most revered genres in modern music. He is also a smug, smart ass with a perplexing penchant for alliterations. You’ve been warned.

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Op Ed

SHUT ‘EM DOWN

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The longest shutdown in our government’s history continues on and should lead us to ponder these particular questions; Who would go to work for no pay? Why is congress still receiving pay checks? What is the tipping point to institute some serious changes in this government?

“Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth”

If these questions have not entered your consciousness, you aren’t paying attention and will be forced to do so sooner than later. An estimated 800,000 people aren’t getting paid due to the ineffectiveness of our government officials and the impact is real.

Below is a list of several federal employees not being compensated in multiple departments that effect us all.

Law enforcement

  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents
  • Bureau of Prisons correctional officers
  • FBI agents
  • Deputy U.S. Marshals
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents

Homeland security

  • TSA employees
  • Customs and Border Protection agents and customs officers
  • Coast Guard employees
  • U.S. Forest Service firefighters
  • National Weather Service forecasters

Furloughed employees

  • Department of Commerce
  • NASA
  • The National Park Service
  • The Forest Service
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • IRS staff members

The notion that this is occurring over the need of a wall for national security is preposterous. Placing agencies responsible for protecting us at a disadvantage is a direct attack on our national security. This is not a matter of opinion but an absolute fact. The vulnerability our elected officials have placed this country in should be viewed as a dereliction of duty punishable by replacement.

Checks and balances were created to avert the impulses of absurdity by one of the three equal branches of government. Allowing the executive branch to steer this republic towards the behaviors of a dictatorship is a crime that history won’t remember kindly. Hopefully the silent mouths/votes in congress will put country over party before one of our adversaries realizes just how weak we are and fully aims to take advantage of it.Z

But before that occurs let us all remember the famous quote by Abraham Lincoln. “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” It’s our turn and the time is now to place those words into practice! We can no longer sit idly by and hope for the best.

If we aren’t already at the tipping point, how much more can we really endure? When will enough be enough? Being used as political pawns and discard-able commodities has become clearer by the day. We’ve got to SHUT ‘EM down!

Mypens Real is immersed in the digital world with the keen eye of sifting through the fat and pulling out the meat. Always keeping tabs on the latest pros & cons technology has to offer. Whether it's sports, politics or pure stupidity...he'll find what's what.

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Op Ed

Who’s Sleeping With Your Man?

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People who involve themselves in contracts without understanding the terms and conditions are bound to encounter issues down the line. Comprehending the obligations presented in a written or verbal doctrine is a basic (and primary) tenet of contract negotiations. You know exactly how many chicken nuggets are supposed to be in your value meal and you will graciously burn that Mc’Establishment to the ground should they misplace a single nug. Yet, we’ve all made the same mistakes when it comes to negotiating monogamous relationship contracts; No one ever addresses frequency!

Within the confines of a relationship, it is expected that you engage sexually with one, and only one, person. This stipulation is clear, concise and widely understood. No one discusses however, how much sex you would like to have with your partner. Funny how we speak of quality without batting an eyelash (“How was I?”) but no mention of quantity. What good is amazing sex if it occurs as frequently as Game of Throne’s episodes? If 7- 8 times a year is the net amount of sexual encounters with your mate, winter may be the only thing coming.


You wouldn’t accept a job that told you what you would be doing but did not specify frequency or pay rate. It’s also a recipe for disaster to expect an employee to show up whenever and wherever you requested. So how come we try to apply these unspoken rules to relationships and expect them to work?

If you knew your wife was only going to have sex once every 2 months, would you have married her? If you knew your husband wanted to have sex during every commercial break of every show, would you have married him? Some may say those levels of infrequency border ridiculous but given the amount of relationships that end as a result of infidelity in which infrequency plays a role, is it really a crazy notion to have the discussion to set and manage expectations?

What good is amazing sex if it occurs as frequently as Game of Throne’s episodes?

Feeling your partner up, er…I mean out, which is most often common practice during the courtship phase, seems like a logical method of determining sexual frequency/compatibility. Unfortunately, you are probably having sex every free second you can get your hands on each other in the initial stages so to assume your sexual rampage will continue at that rate is almost a recipe for disaster. There aren’t enough condoms at Walmart to sustain this pace and you may fracture her vertebrae attempting to do so. Blown backs aside, the best you can do is probably just have a conversation and hope both parties are honest with themselves and have at least assessed their own desires before attempting to make someone else responsible for fulling them.

When dating, we tend to ask for what I believe to be idiotic requisites. Let me guess; you want to be with someone that is smart, funny, attractive, caring, etc.. What the hell does that even mean? Was there ever a time in your life that you (or anyone) were in search of an ignorant, troll faced heathen of a person to form a happy union? The answer is undoubtedly “Hell to the No!” You want someone to fit these qualifications as you see fit. It is very important that you always keep that in mind. There isn’t a pool of candidates just sitting there that you can’t seem to obtain. You are looking for something that is very specific and that you conjured up in your imagination. Don’t get upset at an entire gender or the “Dating game” when you can’t find what you are looking for. Maybe we should start asking questions and looking for actual building blocks relevant to a healthy relationship and not canned ideals of what a worthy mate should be.

 Sidebar; This article was not written to justify infidelity. The intent of this is to open dialogue to avoid future transgressions, not rationalize them. Its amazing what one discovers when you revisit desires you believe have been addressed but were only assumed. Sidebar Complete.

Crazed Afrykan is a writer / hip hop producer (Nas / Damien Marely) and aficionado of hip hop culture. For over 30 years, he has gained personal introspective into the motivations, rhymes and reasons for one of the most revered genres in modern music. He is also a smug, smart ass with a perplexing penchant for alliterations. You’ve been warned.

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