Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gates, Crowley hold new "Beer Summit" In Cambridge Bar - No Obama

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According to, Harvard Professor Skip Gates and Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley were seen at the "River Gods" bar at 125 River St in Cambridge, Wednesday night. (Now,you know the owner of River Gods was just jazzed over the appearance of Gates and Crowley.)

President Obama wasn't there this time

If you remember, Sgt. Crowley arrested Professor Gates at his own home in an encounter that launched a new conversation on racism and racial profiling, where I said that Gates was arrested for being an uppity black man:

...and led to the famous first "Beer Summit" with President Obama:

Both Gates and Crowley said they would meet again and create a joint program to work to eliminate racial profiling.

What drinks the two had is not reported as of this writing and they only stayed for a hour (probably left after the buzz of their meeting got hot), but I noticed by the bar's website that they met on River Gods "Primitive Sounds" night, featuring "Roots Rock and Roll, Gospel, and Blues" with "DJ Easy Ed" as the guest. So Gates and Crowley, black and white, meet on a night mixing Rock and Roll and Blues.

For some reason, I don't think that was an accident.

Tom Hayes: gets "Cash for Clunkers" wrong

You'd expect an author at to understand the relationship between cashflow and business success.  You'd expect an editor to send this article back to re-write either for more research or more objectivity.  Here was the basis of Peter Valdes-Dapena's misguided assessment:
"...majority of sales would have taken place anyway at some time in the last half of 2009, according to"
So? This isn't news, and it misses the point of the Cash for Clunkers initiative.

Valdes-Dapena and/or his editors may think selling cars sooner rather than later is a valid reason to criticize the program, but as any businessman can tell you: success in business is about cash flow. Any retail operation needs to keep their stock turning over. At a time when the inventory was sitting idle on the lots this program provided a much needed infusion, enabling dealers to pay staff, utilities, creditors, and suppliers.

Did the Cash for Clunkers program solve the economic crisis? Of course not.  Nor was it intended to. The goal was simple: turn over inventory in one segment of the industry - to keep dealerships from failing in huge numbers before the manufacturers could recover. Save some jobs and hopefully avert a catastrophic spread of deterioration in the auto industry that would further delay economic recovery.

The article may fool a person with no entrepreneurial experience, but it reflects either a shallow grasp of money and business or a thinly-veiled attack on the government's attempt to avert a breakdown in the delivery mechanism of an industry it was actively seeking to save - without proposing any alternative that might have been even marginally effective.

The public may think "Cash for Clunkers" was as simple as just selling cars, the author obviously wants to, but the reality is much subtler. Edmunds didn't surprise anybody (except maybe staff) with the news that one of the primary effects was to accelerate the decisions and purchases:

In business, my friends, timing is everything.

Thomas Hayes is an entrepreneur, journalist, and political analyst who contributes regularly to a host of web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community.

Jewish afro? "Orgasm-inducing Jewfro?" What?

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Have you ever heard of a "Jewfro?" This question is under the category of "change of pace", which is a good thing if only to keep the mind fresh, but I'm also curious to learn more about it.

My friend Sarah was talking about her new hairdo and made a passing reference to it being a "Jewfro" or "Jew-fro" as she spells it. I stopped her and said "what?" as I thought she made up the term since she and I regularly talk about Jewish culture and traditions. But when she broke out with that term I knew I'd been sheltered too long.

She says a Jewfro is an "an Afro, but particular to Jews." But as a person who has Jewish lines in his ancestry, and had a short Afro when I was young...


Lars checks out Zennie's Jewfro

I figured I'd had a right to use the term, but I'd never known of it before!

Moreover, I had a lot of fun talking about it with her and my other friends, and realized that we'd gone a little too far in punishing people who make offhand comments that identify an ethnic characteristic.

The Bob Griese Taco Issue was the last straw for me. I got the impression the ESPN analyst would have been skewered if he said the singing group DeBarge used too much Jerri-Curl!

I researched the term Jewfro over at's "Jewfro Section" and found some, shall we say, interesting and in some cases howlingly funny definitions, many that I could not have created if I tried:

1. The Jewish man's afro - by Mia Mar 9, 2005
2. An orgasm-inducing hairstyle worn by people of jewish descent. It consists of curly hair and is often large. Famous wearers of the jewfro: Matt Stone (creator of "South Park") Matt Stone's jewfro not only made me want to give him my virginity,but to also hump my chair. - by Amanda and Thais Oct 29, 2004
3. A curly mop of hair with lots of volume, sported by many a Jewish brother.
Matt Stone doesn't look as cool now he's cropped the jewfro. - by Pete Rakowski Jan 3, 2005
4. A large, round and often boulbus hairstyle found most often within the jewish comunity. It's not a fricken afro, I am not black, it's a "Jewfro" for christs sake. - by Sam Freund Feb 28, 2004 

Matt Stone's orgasm-inducing Jewfro

(A Jewfro's orgasm-inducing?  Ok.  I'm jealous.  I was told to go bald for the same reason!) 

So the video you see has led to an interesting set of comments on YouTube, where I regularly read my comments (I don't read them on other newsite blogs because frankly some of them are written by total stalker nutcases, one of which I'm filing a restraining order against), some of which I'll share:

jimisback - My wife has one. But she is not Jewish or African American. It is natural too.

kenrg - LMAO - You really never heard that before? Goes back at least to the mid-70s.

karakaraman01 - Zennie she right she didn't make it up, Seth Rogen uses that term in most of his movie.

Eurotrash4367 - I heard it said by Adam Sandler in one of his movies.

Ok, so it's real the term and the style. But for all of this, it's shockingly not a Wikipedia definition! At any rate, I'm happy to know we can at least laugh at our ethnic differences and learn they're really ethnic similarities, too. 

But with all of this, I'm remaining bald because a woman friend of mine came up with a song called "I like em Bald!" and sang it for me - to my surprise - at Foley's Pub in San Francisco.  So my look stays!