Yankee ingenuity -- in the South!
Barkeep Rufus Terrill had enough of drug use, panhandling, and other anti-social behavior in his Atlanta neighborhood. So he put together what is basically a meat smoker mounted onto a three-wheeled scooter. Voila: the Bumbot! The gizmo allows Terrill to keep his neighborhood tidy via remote control with such armaments as a spotlight, a water hose and a loudspeaker. Plans for a flamethrower and Taser were foiled by police.
Here's the Bumbot, as seen on The Colbert Report.
You go, Man!
I have been following Bill Cosby's crusade for a couple of years but have not purchased the book he co-authored with Harvard psychologist Alvin Poussaint, Come on People. But an article in the May 2008 Atlantic Monthly article consolidates it well. It's subtitle says it all: "The audacity of Bill Cosby's black conservatism."
Cosby has been doing a series of "call-outs" in black venues in large cities across the country, including Milwaukee. Essentially, he is preaching the gospel of elf-reliance, a return to the philosophy of Booker T. Washington as opposed to the rival platform of reliance on government solutions espoused, at roughly the same time early in the last century, by W.E.B. DuBois.
Among other things, he implores young men to quit calling women "hos." He asks whether the civil rights pioneers marched and died so that they could bandy about the "N word" nd wear their pants around their knees. The article notes:
Cosby had come to Detroit aiming to grab the city's black men by their collars and shake them out of the torpor that has left so many of them -- like their peers across the country -- under-educated, over-incarcerated, and under-represented in the ranks of active fathers.
Manhood means more than virility and strut, that it calls for discipline and dutiful stewardship. That the ultimate fate of black people lies in their own hands, not in the hands of their antagonists. That as an African American, he has a duty to his family, his community and his ancestors.
Instead of focusing on some abstract notion of equality, Cosby argues, blacks need to cleanse their culture, embrace personal responsibility, and reclaim the traditions that fortified them in the past.
Ironically, author Ta-Nehisi Coates cites a New York Times visit to Louisville, which was "once ground zero in the fight to integrate schools. But the Times found that sides had switched and that black parents were more interested in educational progress than racial parity."
Around and about
- Speaking of which, rolling back the Mistakes of the Great Society: Milwaukee School Board gets kids off the buses and into neighborhood schools.
- "Even those who believe there is no connection between transients and the killing say the homeless need to be brought into line," reported The Chicago Tribune on April 27.
- "Once upon a time, the afternoon newspaper was the Internet of its day ... giving afternoon baseball scores and stock market reports in a quick turnaround," reported The New York Times about The Capital Times on April 28.
Banned on Bassett Street. I name names and show faces.