Resolve to be a better Squawker in 2013

Opinion column

Carlton Fletcher

Carlton Fletcher

Don’t let the world bring you down. Not everyone here is sad, (expletive) up and cold. Remember why you came and while you’re alive, experience the warmth before you grow old.

— Incubus

Since we made it through doomsday — stupid Mayans! — it’s now officially time to start looking ahead to a new year.

With the coming of a fresh set of 365 days each trip around the sun, a lot of us vow to make changes in our lives that will make us better human beings. You know ... I resolve to be a better human being ... and to get to work on time ... and to do my part to stop world hunger ... and to clean out that garage/closet that’s become an untamable beast ... and to quit cheating on my taxes.

Oh, and to lose weight.

New Year’s resolutions being what they are, we usually end up disregarding them about halftime into the Sugar Bowl as we fix ourselves another large bowl of lard dip and pound a few more beers in support of our team.

Since I’ve got all my resolutions covered, I thought I’d kindly offer up a suggested resolution for some of my favorite people: the Squawkers who enliven this publication with their pithy remarks each day. I’ll admit, there are some really clever folks out there in the land of anonymity who never fail to elicit a few chuckles. But there are others who seem to latch onto a pet theme and ride it so far into the ground they need an escalator to make it back up to terra firma.

For those Squawkers, I offer some suggestions to help you escape the land of the boring and tedious and emerge as heroes to those who get their vicarious kicks dishing on others:

  1. There’s no need for the regular gas cost reports. We get it. Gas is cheaper wherever it is you visited recently. And we know you’re angered by the greed of the local suppliers. Short of getting a horse or moving to one of these nearby shangri-las, there’s not a whole lot you can do.
  2. We’re somewhat entertained by all the latest clever rumblings from the fringe element of the far right, but no matter how upset you are, no conspiracy theory you feel compelled to pass on is going to change the outcome of the recent presidential election. Suggestion: Move on.
  3. I think it’s clear now: You don’t want the city to spend one penny of your tax money to support a) the Flint RiverQuarium, b) the Thronateeska Heritage Center, c) the Civil Rights Institute, d) downtown, e) any new business venture considering locating here or f) anything that doesn’t benefit you personally. Check, check and double-check.
  4. Don’t worry, your touching concern for maligned gun owners’ rights has convinced us all: Guns really don’t kill people. How foolish of anyone — Damn those liberals! — to suggest otherwise.
  5. Surely the “negotiated separation” that has removed Joshua Murfree from the Dougherty School System’s superintendent’s office is a sad day for Squawkbox nation. Be of good cheer: There will be another elected/appointed official who’ll come along and erase “No. 34” from your hearts.
  6. You’ve made your point: You’ll die before you get treatment at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. Just in case: Rest in peace.
  7. We understand that you no doubt have God’s ear and a clear understanding of the mysterious ways in which He works. (An aside here: How about throwing in a good word for me? I don’t have many friends in high or low places.) But your suggestion that any bad thing that happens is the wrath of His judgement on this wicked world is a little too convenient to pass muster. No disrespect, but I think God probably is not a big fan of your trying to lay the acts of sick human beings at His feet. Can we agree that at least some of the bad stuff that happens happens because there are some really bad people in this world?
  8. I suggest some of you resolve to be a more honest Squawker and not use code words like “entitlement crowd” and “gimmmedats” and such. Just say what you really mean: “all black people.”

Now go and have a great Squawkalicious New Year.

Email Carlton Fletcher at carlton.fletcher@albanyherald.com.


agirl_25 2 years, 11 months ago

ROFLMAO and pointing my fingers.....hahahahahahahaha....thanks for a good laugh...


RedEric 2 years, 11 months ago

Wow Carlton, I can't believe you think all black people are Gimmedats!!!! OK, I get it so we can't use the term Gimmedat because it is racist. So what do I call all the white people sucking the government teat. What do we call the uber-rich who bribe government officials like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to get millions and billions of our money? Why is the Obama phone contract given to a Mexican national, AKA the richest man in the world? Why is it liberals always use race as a backup defense?


Sister_Ruby 2 years, 11 months ago

Welfare in all its forms goes to Blacks at a rate 4 times that of any other demographic in the United States. There's your fact.


hotdog 2 years, 11 months ago

Not a fact. just a lie by a slumlord.......you seriously have a deep seeded issue with people of color.....almost as if you have an undercover longing to be one....you are a profit of doom....lol

Welfare Statistics
Total number of Americans on welfare 4,300,000 Total number of Americans on food stamps 46,700,000 Total number of Americans on unemployment insurance 5,600,000 Percent of the US population on welfare 4.1 % Total government spending on welfare annually (not including food stamps or unemployment) $131.9 billion Welfare Demographics
Percent of recipients who are white 38.8 % Percent of recipients who are black 39.8 % Percent of recipients who are Hispanic 15.7 % Percent of recipients who are Asian 2.4 % Percent of recipients who are Other 3.3 % Welfare Statistics Total amount of money you can make monthly and still receive Welfare $1000 Total Number of U.S. States where Welfare pays more than an $8 per hour job 40 Number of U.S. States where Welfare pays more than a $12 per hour job 7 Number of U.S. States where Welfare pays more than the average salary of a U.S. Teacher 9 Average Time on AFCD (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) Time on AFDC Percent of Recipients Less than 7 months 19% 7 to 12 months 15.2% 1 to 2 years 19.3% 2 to 5 years 26.9% Over 5 years 19.6% Top 10 Hourly Wage Equivalent Welfare States in U.S. State Hourly Wage Equivalent Hawaii $17.50 Alaska $15.48 Massachusetts $14.66 Connecticut $14.23 Washington, D.C. $13.99 New York $13.13 New Jersey $12.55 Rhode Island $12.55 California $11.59 Virginia $11.11


Sister_Ruby 2 years, 11 months ago

There's your sign: Percent of recipients who are white 38.8 % Percent of recipients who are black 39.8 % Percent of recipients who are Hispanic 15.7 % Percent of recipients who are Asian 2.4 % Percent of recipients who are Other 3.3 %

Since there are 4 times the number of caucasians than blacks yet their portion of welfare is the same........well now I hope you understand.


whattheheck 2 years, 11 months ago

Squawks are made by readers and the selection of those presented is made by the Herald. And should I remind you, Carlton, that we also need to move on from the "it's Bushes fault" squawks. But let me inform you and others at the Herald that the one thing people seem to read and show interest in written in your newspaper is the Squawk Box. So my suggestion is continue to filter what you receive and be glad there is someone still reading what is left of the Herald and ranting on something they are frustrated by. If not, lights out, my friend.

If you don't like the "entitlement crowd" et al "code words" for those relentlessly scarfing up on the money used to pander for votes by the government, the entitlement programs if you will, let me just say "predominately blacks and Mexicans in our corner of the world" and move on.


Ihope4albany 2 years, 11 months ago

Why would we insult the Mayans for their culture. Europeans were the ones assuming that the Mayan calendar signaled the end of the world.

This type of cultural ignorance is another example of Albany's plight of demise.


dingleberry 2 years, 11 months ago

The Squawk Box is by nature the chance for those who are perhaps not interested or able, to write a letter to the editor to vent their frustrations, What government does to or for us at all levels is always going to be a hot button topic. We are so divided these days into those people things are done for and those people who pay for the things. Gas will always be a topic because those with little minds understand simple out of pocket costs also including increases in the cable bill.

But I agree with you that a better variety of quality topics would be nice. I have quit reading them for awhile now because they are too negative even for sarcastic me. Regardless, "it iz what it iz" so you should deal with it since this is what your readers think and say, like it or not.


Sister_Ruby 2 years, 11 months ago

Move Fletcher to the Entertainment page. Today's squawkbox could not be more timely.


FryarTuk 2 years, 11 months ago

I wish he had said something about city and county governments being more responsible such as working toward consolidation of law enforcement or city and county governments. It would have been encouraging for him to say that squawkers are against wasting tax revenues on consulting contracts or bogus land and residential developments. I would appreciate his mentioning the arrival of Paul Forgey one of the best development people going. Or he could have said something about how many of the squawkers want to see the city keep their hands off WG&L structure. Also how Phoebe Health System could develop an HMO for small businesses to purchase for their employees to attract and stabilize business development. There have been quite a few good things mentioned in squawks. I guess it's just easy to dwell on the negative.


Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 2 years, 11 months ago

Good stuff! Not sure how many people will truly understand his message, though.

I know a few tax auditors who could probably help you stop cheating on your taxes... :)


Abytaxpayer 2 years, 11 months ago

Carlton a couple of points.

1.You left out Dumbacrates

a. People who are too lazy do things for themselves and rely on the government to think for them and provide for them.

b. Or the folks who are too lazy to question gas prices or the quality of care at a hospital because they are content to follow as mindless sheep and not question authorities.

c. Or the folks who think the use of the terms “entitlement crowd” and “givemedats” is referring only to blacks much less ALL blacks: because the Dumbacrate cannot comprehend that a non-black would dare speak out about other non-blacks who believe they are owed something for nothing and they are not just voicing displeasure with someone based solely on skin color.

d. Some Dumbacrates paint others with a broad brush based on their own personal hatred and guilt because they are too lazy to think there could possibly be any other answer but Race.

2.And while we are condemning “code words” Editorial, Journalist Really? Just say what you really mean: “mindless regurgitation”.


Sister_Ruby 2 years, 11 months ago

I’ll admit, there are some really clever folks out there in the land of anonymity who never fail to elicit a few chuckles.

Thanks, I'll take that as a compliment. Merry Christmas!

PS - Long before the Herald went "electronic" there was just the regular email squawkbox. I was the one who wrote in, during the stray dog debates "If there are any stray Carlton Fletchers out there, would you please spay or neuter them." I know you liked that one, Carlton. circa 2006.


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