Who would dare spend $188,000 on something that’s worth only $10,000 at face value?
An anonymous bidder at a Florida auction house recently purchased one of the rarest novelties of United States currency that’s ever been minted. Only about 300 of these so-called “bearer banknotes” are known to exist. They are so rare that most people probably wouldn’t be able to identify the face on the bill. Yet, there’s a good chance many of you reading this article have seen and even stood alongside one-hundred of these banknotes in pristine condition, unaware that collection represented about one-third of all such bills in the world. You may gave even had your photo taken with this one, which was sold. Although they do remain legal tender, the U.S. Treasury Department began pulling the banknotes from circulation in 1969. What remains out there has been snapped up by collectors. That’s what makes them so rare.
Twisting what’s become a current popular political slogan — do “Black Oscars Matter?”
I believe the answer is — yes. The Academy Awards are widely perceived as one of society’s most important cultural benchmarks of racial equality, particularly on Black and White issues. Along with its consortium in politics and sports — including who occupies the Oval Office and Black starting quarterbacks in the National Football League (undeniably two major arenas where Blacks have broken down old barriers) — those we chose to recognize as icons in the entertainment industry may indicate some lingering collective biases.
Controversy erupted again last week when this year’s Academy Award nominations were announced. For the second consecutive year, no Blacks were nominated in any of the so-called major categories. Some Black activists and advocacy groups expressed outrage at what was perceived as not merely an oversight but an affront. A few celebrities even pledged to boycott the Oscars. Instead of discussing the most deserving nominees and celebrating artistic achievement in cinema, the movie industry’s alleged racial inequities have now taken center stage and captured much of the media’s attention. Clearly, this is not what Hollywood had in mind for the entertainment industry’s premier showcase event.
Do the protesters have a point? I believe the answer is — a little bit yes, but mostly no.
Never in a million years did I think I’d type the following words: There’s a chance Donald Trump might become the next President of the United States.
As horrifying as that prospect still is to a majority of Americans, Trump now has a clear path to victory in the Republican primaries this spring, at the national convention held during the summer, and in the general election coming up next fall. Yes, it could happen.
Yesterday, there was another mass shooting in America.
That was the 355th murderous tirade this year, a rate of more than one mass shooting per day. More than 600 innocents have been killed by guns, and 1,620 seriously injured. That’s in addition to the tens of thousands of gun accidents, domestic altercations, and countless other tragedies which have involved the misuse of firearms.
The conservative movement has perfected the dark art of victimhood to detestable new lows, even for them.
Once again, they’ve torn out the most incendiary pages of the far right’s twisted Machiavellian playbook, butchered most of the facts, and ignited the tinder box brimming over with anger and paranoia. Once again, they’ve manipulated a seemingly trivial event for their own selfish political (and financial) gain. Once again, they’ve frightened the living daylights out of their most gullible followers. And once again, their dubious tactics seem to be working. Like I said, it’s a dark art.
Whether it’s guns, or Bibles, or banks, or big oil they’re credulously protecting with the incessant screams of shrill voices and enraged sense of false patriotism, these susceptible pawns shifting around on the American political chessboard have sardined themselves with the rest of the can of crazies in what’s increasing become a vicious collective mass hysteria of guppies with unmistakable aims to obfuscate any attempt at rational discourse. Their favored tactic? Sling enough shit around, and something is bound to stick somewhere.