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June 19, 2007

A cluster of Rapper opinions

Due to the insidious nature of our television culture, the typical American likes bite-sized chunks of opinion — a product of our 30-minute-max mentality (the length of a typical sitcom). This was driven home by the “stranger-on-the-street” (“Hey, you’re The Plain Brown Bag”) comments. So, here’s what you asked for, Rappites and haters alike.Loyalty to the Commander-in-Chief and Senator McConnellDuring the RUFF AND TUMBLE CUTTHROAT DAYS of national College Republican politics, there was a phrase perfected by my acquaintances Morton Blackwell (later to be Reagan’s religious advisor) and Karl Rove (yes, the Karl Rove). It was “an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.” This was the touchstone of The Gulfport Conspiracy, led by Morton to get Karl elected national chairman of the College Republicans.Enter Mitch.He has voted 19 times to back Bush on various Iraq issues — 19 times in the face of public opinion (two-thirds of Kentuckians oppose the war, and support for our occupation continues to erode).Mitch McConnell is in lockstep with the Commander-in-Chief, regardless of your opinion of Iraq II (soon to be called the precipitator of WWIII — you heard it here first). Way to go, Sen. McConnell! You have adopted the “representative,” not the “reaction to public sentiment,” model of governance.It must be scary for you.But, fella, you’re a bloody statesman in my book.Smile.Ricky L. JonesPeople think LEO columnists have face-to-face desks and come into the office every day. Nothing could be further from the truth. We in the main don’t even know each other.So it was by happenstance or providence that I met Dr. Ricky L. Jones a few years ago at a health department hearing on the smoking ban — on opposite sides. You can guess my position (“smoke ’em if ya got ’em”), while Ricky took the politically correct position that smoking kills.It was like love at first sight. “My brother, Ricky Lee Jones,” I said on meeting him. He gave me a brilliant smile as our hands shook each other’s. It was as though he knew I grew up at 28th and Dumesnil and felt (literally) the sting of racism when I had my head bashed onto the cobblestones by Ace, my next-door neighbor, because I was white. I remember like yesterday my best friend Buster acting as an apologist for my color — claiming “Carl is black, too; his mom just washed it off.”And I heard the eloquence of Ricky L. Jones at an anti-war rally.I carefully read Dr. Jones’ columns and find myself simpatico in the main.He is the conscience of the 21st century African-American, and his writing reflects the rage and anger, like some Black Panther.Write on!An idea or three about protecting our troops from roadside bombsThe New York Times’ front page recently blasted the country with this headline: “IRAQI BOMBERS THWART EFFORTS TO SHIELD G.I.’S: BILLIONS SPENT, BUT TOLL IS CONTINUING TO RISE.”A quote from this chilling article: “American commanders are expressing frustration at the increasing death toll in Iraq caused by makeshift explosives, which have killed 80 percent of the Americans who died in combat over the last three months, despite the billions of dollars being spent to fight the threat.”Here are a few ideas, free of charge:1) Use those vehicles with HUGE tires, the ones shipped to Iraq (had the vehicles stayed in Louisiana, they could have been used during Hurricane Katrina ... but that’s another column ...). Use it or lose it.2) Equip the vehicles — front, back and both sides — with deflecting shields.3) Put money into hovercrafts floating on air. We probably already have some. No contact, no explosions.Life without a screenI threw my computer in the alley and cut off the cable. I need to live a secluded life again, almost reading by candlelight. Studies show those with depression or manic-depression are helped by “news blackouts.”I’ll give it a try.That’s all, folks. Just the own damn opinions of Louisville’s Plain Brown Rapper. If you don’t like it, sue me. Just reflect on these things ... Contact the writer at plainbrownrapper2001@yahoo.com