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Five Questions: Miss California, Nazis, Menacing Computers, World Citizens, Racists

What's crackin' friends and frienemies? I have been so remiss with Burnettiquette. But hey, I had news to find and write, because my bills don't pay themselves.

We need to catch up. And I think the easiest way to do so is ask you five of the most pressing questions on my mind.

Without further ado:

  1. If "contract violations" are a good enough reason for Donald Trump to snatch Miss California Carrie Prejean's crown off her head today, why weren't they a good enough reason a month ago when Trump said she could keep her crown? Make up your mind, Trump.
  2. The number of people hurt by computer equipment rose eight-fold from 1994 to 2006, to more than 78,000. About 39% of the injuries are llacerations to the head. Victims age 9 and under were injured climbing on or playing near computer stuff. I get that. But how in the world do adults with all their faculties cut themselves on computers? I've got computer equipment everywhere at home. It has never wounded me...except for that time I shattered the stupid mouse 'cause it wouldn't respond. That hurt my wrist.
  3. "88" is a common tattoo on the slimy bodies of Nazi-wannabes, because "H" is the eighth letter of the alphabet, thus "88" is a supposedly clever and coy way for them to say "HH!" or Heil Hitler. You're welcome for the lesson. But my point is the irony: An 88-year-old Nazi-wannabe shot a guard in the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. today. The guard shot him back. No word on either man's condition as of the writing of this post. Why is anyone still angry at 88-years-old? Why not write off the parts of life that angered you most and spend the rest of your days or years engaged in your hobby...unless your hobby is plotting museum shootings?
  4.  I sorta liked Ronald Reagan. There I said it. Deal with it. If it makes you feel any better, I liked a few things about Bill Clinton too. Anyway, I think former House Speaker Newt Gingrich dishonored the late president Monday night in his speech at a Republican fundraiser, when he took a jab at Pres. Obama for calling himself "a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world." Gingrich left out the "proud...United States" part of Obama's quote. He also failed to mention this quote Reagan made in a 1982 speech at the United Nations: "I speak today as both a citizen of the United States and of the world." What's the difference? BTW, it's not that the GOP doesn't have jabs that could work against Obama, but if this were a boxing match Gingrich's goofy swat on Monday was the equivalent of waving to his fans instead of throwing punches that will score points with the judges (voters).
  5. While we're talking politics, a friend who always asks me what he thinks are trick questions in the hope of tripping me up and "catching" me saying something racist, asked me if I have ever been in a situation where I thought my race made me better able to get the job done than a white person. My answer: Skill trumps everything. But...I do recall being with a white colleague at a rowdy homicide scene years ago in a black neighborhood. We each took one side of the block so we could talk to witnesses. On her side she ran into trouble when a group of young black males started yelling at her and accusing her of being everything from "the man" to an undercover cop. Silly accusations. But my colleague is tough. She was unruffled and persisted with her questioning. The guys grew more agitated and not only stopped answering questions but began hinting that they might get violent. So I crossed the street, intervened, and pulled my colleague aside to tell her to let me finish the interview. The guys calmed down and talked to me. Yes, I am convinced they did it in part because I'm black. So, did it make me racist to reason in my mind that my skin color might help me make progress with these guys where my colleague couldn't? I don't think so. I think I was using an available "resource." What do you think?

PS. Follow me at http://twitter.com/jamesburnett.


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2. people are stoopid. that's why we have those seemingly ridiculous warnings on items, because someone tried something once and injured themselves.
4. sounds like he dishonoured the current president at the same time. obama is a modern politician, and probably the right guy for these times. we have had a similar refreshing of our political face.
5. i don't think what you did was racist, but i think that it may also have had something to do with your sex and size. i'm 6'2", 105kg and rarely have any trouble.


5. Doesn't make you racist, of course. Racism is not the opposite of color blind.

But how about those guys? Were they being racist in your opinion?


5. I think gender might have had something to do with it... but no, nothing racist about using all available tools in any situation.

4. Newt is a tool. There, I said it. And I meant it. Bah.

3. My first email address was skitter88 (still works I think) and I picked it because skitter was my nickname nd because 88 was part of a reallllllly bad joke between 14 year old girls back when I was in high school and setting up my first email address. A few years later someone told me I was being hateful to jews with my email address and I told them to go suck an egg. Now I know what they meant. Numbers, words, these things only have the meanings we give them.

2. People are lame and will find ways to hurt themselves on anything.

1. So tired of this drama. Now she's writing a book. Oh goody. -yawn-

James B.

Insomniac, your #2 makes sense to me. #4 - I didn't think about that. I suppose he did dishonor the current president too. I just don't like deceptiveness on either side of the aisle. And for Gingrich to leave out the "I'm a proud citizen of the United States" part was pretty weasily to me. #5 - good point on my size. You and I are similar height and weight. I think I have an inch to an inch-and-a-half on you. Although, I'd argue that these guys were so tough/thuggish, I don't think I would have intimidated them even if I'd been 7-ft tall.

Alex, I agree there is a difference in being racist and colorblind. I just figured based on the way they were carrying on, those guys might respond better to me. Do I think they were racist? I think they were being a combination of racist, sexist, and dare I say "classist." To them my colleague, a well-dressed, young, pretty white woman with a stone-cold temperament, represented white authority and the impression I got from them was they felt she was condescending to them. Maybe she was. Maybe she wasn't. I wasn't privvy to their conversation - only the parts where they started yelling at her.

Kay, #5 I don't know. These were not the class of guys who get intimidated by other men who aren't carrying weapons. #4 you'll get no argument out of me. #3 I agree about the meanings we give. In college a buddy and I joked that we could start a trend if we took a random word and started using it as an adjective. On a bet, we did it for a few days. We started walking around describing cool things as being "icy." Sure enough, after a day or so of us talking about this song or that car and describing them as "icy," a classmate asked what we meant. And we said it was new hip slang from MC Dumbass. By day's end that classmate was saying it too. #2 agreed. #1 Also agree. Double yawn.


1) smells fishy.
2) world is full of clumsy oafs that make the rest of us have to read stupid warnings like "coffee is hot"
3) crazy doesn't heal itself
4) Newt is just another politician with a better opinion of his self then held by most of us normal people.
5)the racists were the young fellows that were harassing your colleague.


1. Trump never misses an opportunity for publicity.

2. We love to litigate.

3. The heroic guard was black who gave his life to save the thousands at the Holocaust Museum from the Nazi, who's hate seems to know no bounds. Seems it was also his hobby. I wish there were fewer of them.

4. I will not defend Newt Gingrich.

5. You don't need me for this one, and neither should your colleague. I admire her persistence, but geting the job done toether in the most expedient manner is what counts.

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