Blogs from Center MD - Center Maryland - Maryland’s leading source of aggregated and original news and opinion on government, politics, business and more. Tue, 07 Jul 2020 01:52:55 -0400 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Rev. Dr. Al Hathaway: Me Black Too
That’s what occurred after the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the powder keg of racial abuse and injustice exploded and cities throughout America were set on fire.

Time and time again, there have been precipitating incidents against African Americans that have ignited the fuse on a time bomb burning in communities right below the surface. Sparked by blatant police violence, or some atrocity against the personhood of an African American, or some racist action is all that is needed for people within communities to explode.

The names of people who because of police brutality caused the fuse of resistance to be lit due to abuse have in many cases resulted in people responding by burning and looting.

In the case mentioned above, by posting the “Me Black Too” sign that Korean American’s store was spared. Is this the secret to avoiding destruction by identifying with the plight of African Americans and posting some version of “Me Black Too” signage?

In many ways that’s what happening all over America, institutions and individuals you would never imagine are posting their version of “Me Black Too” and hoisting #BlackLivesMatter signs and writing statements expressing they are empathetic with the movement and how they now seek to display their “Me Black Too” sign.

Can you imagine no more Aunt Jemima, gone is Uncle Ben, so long to Mrs. Butterworth and good bye to the imagery on Cream of Wheat; every corporation and organization is doing a self analysis and quickly displaying their “Me Black Too” sign.

Why? Is it possible they understand what we don’t fully recognize, the power of the consumer dollar of the African American community?

According to a 2019 study by University of Georgia’s Multicultural Economy Report, “African American buying power has seen impressive gains since the end of the last economic downturn, jumping from $961 Billion in 2010 to an estimated $1.3 trillion in 2018. Since 2000, the African American market has seen a 114 percent increase in buying power.”

Is that the reason why companies and advertisers are displaying their “Me Black Too” signage? They don’t want their economic businesses destroyed or threatened.

One of the outcomes of COVID-19’s stay in place is businesses understand what, in that situation, an economic boycott means and doesn’t want to step across the line to have an economic boycott intentionally done?

Some economic researcher will do an analysis on lost revenue by racial breakdown and we will discover factually what we know intuitively, African American consumer spending greatly impacts the bottom line of most companies in America. Without African American consumer spending most businesses would not be profitable. Sucking the dollars out of the African American community creates wealth for other communities!

Check out NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s statement, though highly criticized as hypocritical, “We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter. I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much-needed change in this country. Without black players, there would be no National Football League. And the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of black players coaches, fans and staff.”

That’s the biggest “Me Black Too” sign I’ve ever seen! For all of the hades Colin Rand Kaepernick endured and the minimization of the Black Out by the African American Community of football games, now the NFL aligns itself with #BlackLivesMatter.

Maybe the NFL understands something we don’t fully understand, if the Black Players and the Black Community joined together and took a stand, there would be no NFL: television viewership gone, advertisers gone, and all the profits the owners have enjoyed would be gone too.

“The National Football League (NFL) achieved a B for racial hiring practices and a C+ for gender hiring practices in the 2019 NFL Racial and Gender Report Card, released by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida (UCF). This gave the NFL a combined B- grade. Their overall score of 79.3 percent is the lowest the League has recorded in the last 15 years. The B for racial hiring practices broke a streak of nine consecutive years of earning an A- or higher.”

For “Me Black Too” and #BlackLivesMatter to have a lasting impact, it has to be more than a symbol or a slogan to stem the destruction of a particular enterprise. It must mean we as a community, society and culture realize the structural impediments to equal access to capital and ownership must be dismantled. Incremental progress has had too many starts and stops; we are in the two-minute drill to get the ball across the line of economic equality.

info [AT] centermaryland [DOT] com (Center MD) Blog Tue, 23 Jun 2020 06:32:30 -0400
Venetoulis: Saving Private Biden search for the “truth,”  please realize that, unwittingly, you are doing Trump’s dirty work. No matter how it’s rationalized there is no conceivable journalistic concept of “impartially seeking truth” that can encourage taking down a decent man to allow the re-election of the most evil, cruel and corrupt president in our nation’s history.  Truth and Trump do not belong in the same sentence. Trump thrives on “journalistic fairness.”  He survives because of it.  He survived the last election.  He survived Mueller.  He survived impeachment.  He may yet survive accountability for the death of thousands of citizens.  Trump doesn’t care what you say about him, as long as you drag in his opponent.  Every day spent digging into his opponents twenty year allegation, is a day Trump triumphs.  While we exhume Biden’s past, Trump continues to lie, pay off donors, humiliate decent civic servants, fire competent officials, refuse to release his taxes, plunder the Treasury, stiff Congress,  violate the Constitution, anger allies, bungle the management of a national crisis, and blame or smear anyone who doesn’t kiss the ring of King Potus.  TRUMP BANKS ON THE COVERAGE OF THE ACCUSATION NOT THE RESULTS.  Was there a more vivid example than his instructions to the President of Crimea that it was not necessary to actually investigate Biden, just ANNOUNCE  an investigation! The same cult of provocateurs who ganged up on Hillary, are now ganging up on Biden (plus disgruntled Berneyites).  Are the Russians far behind? Do you want to be part of the Trump scheme to do to Joe what he did to Hillary?  Pause for a moment and think —Four More Years?  I plead with you. Stop!

info [AT] centermaryland [DOT] com (Center MD) Blog Fri, 08 May 2020 05:46:28 -0400
Desmarais: Make Face Coverings a National Mandate  

The Guidelines for Opening up America Again recommend individuals “strongly consider using face coverings while in public, and particularly when using mass transit.”  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain ... especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”  All logic dictates that the recommendation must now become a national mandate.  We know that there are significant numbers of asymptomatic coronavirus carriers that can transmit the virus to others when in close proximity.  Randomized controlled trials demonstrating the effectiveness of therapeutics will not be available likely until early summer.  Effective therapeutics is not a given; it took over ten years to turn HIV into a chronic illness. We will not likely see an effective vaccine until next year and that is not guaranteed.  Masks have been shown to decrease the number of viral particles in the ambient air of users but do not provide complete protection.  Maximum possible protection in a public place is attained only through universal mask usage.  Individual citizens and local governments have varied greatly in the establishment of and compliance with pandemic control measures.  We must plan for subsequent waves of COVID-19 which may be coincident with the influenza season.


As this is written, several states have reopened without mandates to use facial coverings.  More than any other concept, perhaps, freedom defines us and we loathe having it trampled.  But the right to freedom includes the freedom from the fear that grips the vulnerable and the danger they face when they must enter the public to obtain goods necessary for their survival.  Also, it includes the right to work safely.  To deprive others of these freedoms by not requiring facial coverings is itself a form of tyranny.


Rene Desmarais

MedChi Eastern Shore Trustee  

info [AT] centermaryland [DOT] com (Center MD) Blog Tue, 05 May 2020 05:59:42 -0400
Buckler: Dentistry in Unprecedented Times According to “common good” is defined as “the public good: the advantage of everyone.” Over the last many weeks, we’ve all been asked to perform a lot of “common good” for our friends, neighbors, communities, state, and country.

As confirmed cases of and deaths from COVID-19 continue to mount, it’s a task that many of us accept willingly in the midst of one of the greatest health crises of our time. 

We’ve seen the acts of many to benefit our communities. Facebook groups are being established to help bring necessities to those who may not be able to leave their residences, hearts are being placed in windows to support #healthcareheroes, doctors and nurses are putting themselves at risk helping the sickest patients, and hospital employees are working day and night to ensure that hospitals are able to care for Marylanders.   

Health care professionals across the spectrum are doing some amazing things like helping dialysis patients get their treatment, and dentists, endodontists and oral surgeons are helping keep emergency departments as clear as possible for those true health care emergencies and COVID-19 patients.

As the executive director of the Maryland State Dental Association (MSDA), I’ve witnessed the good work and sacrifice that dentists, many of whom are small business owners, have done to ensure the safety and well-being of their patients, staff, and communities.

As the crisis unfolded, in consultation with the American Dental Association and the Maryland Department of Oral Health, MSDA took the lead in recommending dental practices stop any procedures that were not deemed emergency or urgent care.

Dentistry is a unique health care profession because of the tools that are needed to treat oral health diseases. These tools can create vulnerable situations for staff and patients, and our dentists took very seriously the call to stop all non-emergency procedures.

Oral health providers also recognize that oral health emergencies need to be treated in a dental chair. So, they have made a concerted effort to treat dental emergencies in order to keep emergency departments free to deal with COVID-19 patients and other acute emergency care. General dentists, oral surgeons and endodontists are taking patients from emergency rooms at all hours of the day. While this occurs throughout the year, the urgency of the current situation has led to even more referrals.

In addition, Maryland dentists continue to donate masks, gloves, gowns and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals. Some dentists are attempting to use their 3-D printers to make N-95 equivalent masks for health care workers on the frontlines.

As small business owners, we’re navigating this new world along with everybody else.  We’re worried for the health of our staff and dentists who are screening patients and treating emergency situations, we’re worried about our staff and their families at home, and we worry about what happens after COVID-19 is under control. Do we have the financial resources to reopen our practices? Will staff want to return knowing the unique risks presented in a dental office? We’re grateful for the work of Governor Hogan, the Maryland General Assembly and our federal legislators to ensure that dentists are included as small businesses in the resources that have been made available.

There will come a time when our dentists’ offices are again taking patients for oral health care. As the entryway into the body, keeping good oral health is one of the most important things we can do.  Dentists are specially trained to detect oral cancers and other diseases that can lead to bigger problems if they go undetected. 

When we can return to a new normal we look forward to seeing everybody in a dentist’s chair soon!

Greg Buckler is Executive Director of the Maryland State Dental Association which represents the dental profession's efforts to provide high quality and ethical oral health care to the public. It is the professional association for dentists in the state of Maryland, and a constituent of the American Dental Association.

info [AT] centermaryland [DOT] com (Center MD) Blog Wed, 22 Apr 2020 17:57:57 -0400
Venetoulis: Trump - The War Time President.

Conversation between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Winston Churchill (circa Summer 1940).

W:    Sorry to interrupt you, Donald.
T:    No problem, Winnie, always great to hear from my favorite P.M.  How’s your golf game.
W:    Uh. Not well, Donald. As you know there’s a war going on…
T:    You’re kidding me.  A war.  Nobody told me.  That’s the problem around here. I’m always the last to know.
W:    Quite sorry about that.  It’s been in the papers.
T:    Fake news. Winnie.  We don’t read the papers.  Banned every damn one of them. Enemy of the people, everybody tells me.
W:    Uh… that may be Donald, but I’m calling to alert you that it’s inevitable that France will fall.
T:    France fall?  The stock? Should we sell?
W:    Not the stock.  The country.
T:        Lucky I didn’t make that Paris hotel deal.
W:    Now that the Nazi armies have swept through Europe, they will try to cross the channel.
T:    You’re not calling to blame me, are you Winnie.  It’s your channel, not mine. Hey, your buck stops with you, not with me. Anyhow, I don’t give a sh*t about your war.  You mind getting to the big stuff…you know -- something about me. Do they like me over there?
W:    Of course they like you and they would like you more if you gave us a little help fighting off Hitler.
T:    Hitler?  Who’s he?
W:    Uh…he’s a dictator. Wants to take over Europe.  A madman.  A malicious narcissist.
T.    Sounds like my kind of guy.
 W.     But we will never surrender -- we will fight them on the seas and oceans…we will fight  them on the    beaches…we will fight them on the landing grounds…in the fields…and streets…we will never surrender…  
T:    Hey that’s pretty good. Who writes your stuff. But Like I say, I’m not responsible, at all. Can’t get dragged into a war over there. Can’t piss off my base.  Hard-core isolationists.  America First you know -- Father Coughlin, Lindbergh, all these bible-thumping evangelists.  Want nothing to do with you foreigners.   
W:    But if you don’t help us fight them in Europe, you will have to fight them in America.  
T:    You got a point.  What can I do that I can say I never did it later?
W:    We’re told you have some old destroyers in dry-dock we could use.
T:    Who told you that?
W:    Speaker Pelosi.
T:    She what?  What’s she doing messing around? Presidents do war in this country not Pelosi.  Article 2.  Read it.  I do everything, anything I want.  Witch!  Too smart for her snappy pants suits.  Things are going to happen to her.
W:    Uh… if you say so, Donald…But we’d be happy to take those destroyers off your hands.  
T:    OK. But you can do me a little favor, though.
W:    What’s that sir?
T:    There’s this guy wants to run against me.  Could you investigate him for being a commy. Don’t have to really do anything, just hold press conference saying it. My Firsties hate commies.
W:    Uh, well, are you saying that if we accused your opponent of being a communist, we would get the destroyers? A quid pro quo?
T:    No. No quid pro quo.  I want nothing. But as you know I’m a businessman.
W:    But Donald. These are government destroyers, are they not?
T:    Come on Winnie.  Get real.  I’m the government.  They are my destroyers.
W:    But Donald, trading government property for our meddling in your election, doesn’t seem right.
T:    Of course it’s not right and that’s why I want nothing. Just call him a commie ratfink.
W:    But that’s a quid pro quo.
T:     Naw.  Nobody understands that Latin crap.
W:    Donald. Maybe we should meet at the White House to show Hitler that we are united.
T:    No problem.  First, one more thing.  
W:    Another favor.
T:    Of course not.  Winnie, the President of the United States never swaps the national security for some domestic political errand.
W:    Quite right, Donald, but what is it this time?
T:        Ivanka has this great jewelry stuff that would look good on the Queen if she’d like to order some.
W:    Jewelry for the Queen?
T:    Not just for the Queen but for the invitation to the White House, too.  Unless you don’t think her stuff is good enough.
W:    Oh, no sir I never said that.  It’s wonderful.  In fact I was thinking of getting something for Clementine this Christmas.
T:    So glad you guys still say Christmas over there. We’re into Happy Holiday bullshit over here.   I’ll have her call you; maybe she can work out a discount. And by the way, one more thing.
W:    Uh, what might that be?
T:        Stop talking to Nervous Nancy. Talk to Rudi. He’s my personal fixer. Or talk to Barr. He’s my inside fixer.               
Ted Venetoulis
Ted [DOT] Venetoulis [AT] gmail [DOT] com]]>
info [AT] centermaryland [DOT] com (Center MD) Blog Tue, 24 Mar 2020 18:27:19 -0400