Friday, July 31, 2009

Why Girl Hookers are Better than Boy Hookers

[Pickens-financed Swift Boat Ad - 2004]
from the Washington Post -
Five years after he put his money behind the Swift Boat ads that helped tank John Kerry’s presidential campaign, Senate Democrats gave T. Boone Pickens a warm welcome at their weekly policy lunch Thursday.

Pickens' spokesperson said "Boone’s grateful for the impressive turnout of Democrats at the Democrat Policy Committee yesterday and for the interest they have shown in helping address this problem.”

[Minnesota Senator Al] Franken, who was seated talking to someone else, did not stand when Pickens said hello. Instead, Franken began to berate him about the billionaire’s financing

of the Swift Boat ads in 2004.

According to a source, the confrontation grew heated.

Said Franken spokeswoman Jess McIntosh: “It was a lively conversation.”

The Protest Marches in Dublin

[Dublin, a city of outraged conscience]
This weeks thousand of protestors from across the political spectrum of the Irish capital took to the streets in angry protests sparked by the massacres in Urumchi in East Turkestan, called Xinjiang by the Chinese government.

The Chinese government admits to 197 deaths, mostly of indigenous Uighurs. Uighur sources, though understandably unable to be exact, say that in fact thousands of Uighurs have been killed by the Chinese authorities and in inter-communal clashes. Though reports are sketchy, it appears that in response to Uighur attacks, Han Chinese residents retaliated by killing a number of Uighurs. Most Han residents of Urumchi are settlers who have immigrated to the Uighur province of Xinjiang since China took control of it in 1949.

The violent killing of hundreds or thousands of innocent Uighur Muslims by Chinese authorities and settlers, sparked angry demonstrations all over Europe. In Dublin, the Dail voted a motion condemning Chinese aggression and withdrawing the Irish embassy from Beijing. The Irish Academics Association main executive body voted to suspend all contacts with Chinese academics.

The Irish National Student Association voted to boycott all Chinese-made goods. When it was pointed out that that included all iPods, cellphones, Blackberries, PDA's, Gameboys, Wii's, laptops, running shoes, and clothes, the resolution was amended to add the language, "in principle". Questions from the floor of "What principle?" were ruled out of order and the amended resolution was passed.

At the same time the Irish Socialist Party voted to divest from China in protest. As with the resolution of the Student Association, questions from the floor of "Divest what?" were ruled out of order. Sources indicated that the objectors were apparently the same persons as had objected during the Student Association vote. Their leader, Yitzhaak ben Diogenes, was escorted out of the hall by ushers.

In a public response interview, a Dublin-ite who gave his name as "Christy" was disturbed from his slumbers on the floor of a local alehouse. We asked him his opinion of the Urumchi massacres. Lying amid the sawdust and vomit, he opined, "Fuckin' Japs!" and passed out again.

Across town in another public response interview we spoke to a Dublin man named Damien. Damien said he regarded the massacre as a bad thing because it distracted public attention from real atrocities like Jews making Arabs wait in line at checkpoints to have their identity cards checked.

Israeli Intransigence

NETANYAHU: ARAB INITIATIVE CAN BE BASIS FOR PEACE FPO image Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the Arab states to negotiate with Israel on the basis of the Arab League's peace initiative, hinting that certain alterations in it would help to advance peace in the region, the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported. "We appreciate the efforts by Arab states to advance the peace initiative," Netanyahu said. "If these proposals are not final, they can create an atmosphere in which a comprehensive peace can be reached." The prime minister added, "we hope in the months ahead to forge peace with the Palestinians and to expand that into a vision of a broader regional peace." Throughout its history, Israel has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to resolving the conflict with all of its neighbors by taking risks for peace.

The Two-State Solution

GAZA CHILDREN STAGE MOCK ABDUCTION OF ISRAELI SOLDIER FPO image In a further sign of radicalization in the Gaza Strip, children in Hamas-run summer camps recently reenacted the abduction of Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit in the presence of top Hamas officials, The Jerusalem Post reported. "This sends a message," one Israeli defense official said. "This is Hamas's way of showing Palestinian children that kidnapping soldiers is the correct way of life." Shalit was seized more than three years ago when Palestinian terrorists tunneled into Israel, abducted him and killed two other soldiers. In the past, Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups have used summer camps to train children to fire rockets, rally praise for Palestinian "martyrs" and preach an anti-Israel and anti-Jewish worldview.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Isn't a Blue Dog just a Blue Sonofabitch?

[Watchdog of the people's interests? Well, no.]
from an article about the health care reform bill, in today's LA Times -
The deal, worked out between a group of fiscally conservative [House] Democrats and Rep.Henry A. Waxman (D-BeverlyHills), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, changes the way a proposed government-run insurance plan would operate in order to allay concerns that it could crowd out private insurers.
This is excellent because it demonstrates what is meant by "fiscally conservative". It means "belonging to, or under the control of, business interests". These are Democrats mind you, the Party of Change. The Republicans, also fiscally conservative, are generally worse.

Apparently it is the considered opinion and honest, impartial judgment of this group of legislators that the problem with health care is that the insurance companies may not make enough money in the future.

At what point one wonders, does sacrificing the welfare of the nation to the interests of the few become treason? If not in law, then in fact?

Yikes! I am starting to sound like Ann Coulter. Forget I said anything.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Not As Important

as several thousand gay people being unable to marry is that tens of millions of Americans do not have medical coverage. Insignificant as that is compared to the unmarried state of the nation's gaiety, the President devoted a press conference to the issue anyway.

It is 54 minutes long, which is a long time to listen to even a good speaker like Mr. Obama talk about a subject notorious for its platitudes and boring technicalities. Nevertheless it is a huge subject and one that will loom large this year. It is good to hear the administration's side from the horse's mouth. Or if you don't care for the President, from the horse's ass. If 54 minutes is too long to endure, listen to the first eight minutes in which he summarizes the administration's position.

One thing the President comes close to saying but never does say, is that most of the problem is the insurance companies. Doctors and nurses are expensive but they contribute to people's medical care. The pharmaceuticals companies are demonstrably greedy heartless bastards making unjustifiable profits, but they contribute to people's medical care. Hospitals and their staffs, medical labs and their staffs, medical equipment providers, are all expensive but they contribute to people's medical care.

Insurance companies make huge profits while contributing nothing to anyone's medical care. Worse yet, they actively prevent large numbers of people from getting medical care in order to reduce their risk of paying out. Yet accepting risk of paying out is the sole reason why there should be insurance companies at all.

The President elected to bring about "Change" is unwilling to change anything fundamental in what he publicly claims is the area of American life most in need of change. In his press conference he said his plan would create a public payer in competition with the insurance companies to "at least keep the insurance companies honest".

So far from keeping the insurance companies honest, this proposal is sure to enable them to fob off bad risks with pre-existing conditions onto the government while keeping only healthy low-risk insureds themselves. So far from keeping the insurance companies honest this is sure to mean that the insurance companies are free to cancel the insurance of any of their insureds who has the temerity to get sick. So far from keeping the insurance companies honest it makes them immune from suit by the canceled insured. He or she has a viable federally funded alternative, so in theory (and only in theory) suffers no monetary damages he can sue to recover.

The analogy is the private schools and the public schools. Every problem child, every disrupter, every slow learner, every kid whom the private schools don't want, gets fobbed off on the public schools who are forbidden to turn anyone away. So the well-funded private schools, rid of the more expensive problem children, do just fine. The public schools, with over-taxed budgets and full of the private schools' rejects, provide an ever-worsening sham of an education. They are even further handicapped because hamstrung by racial politics and polarization.

Can one imagine the relationship between the insured of private insurers and those of the public entity will be any better? Indeed, because so much money is involved, it figures to be a great deal worse.

When the candidate, and now President, spoke of "Change", we just assumed that it would be for the better. We appear to have been mistaken.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Most Important Issue

[Connecticut newlyweds]
Real wages as a percent of GNP ( the workers' piece of the pie) have been falling for 30 years. Upward of 20 million American children have no health insurance. Most American schools have shown either static or declining educational results for the same 30 years. The nation is ever more dependent on imported oil. We are embroiled in two wars, one of which the "peace candidate" president last month in Cairo promised to extend to 2012, and the other indefinitely. The assets of most large American financial corporations seem to have mysteriously gone missing. Millions of people have lost their jobs as the economic contraction continues. The federal government is going ever deeper into an apparently unsustainable debt . We are ever more dependent on China and Japan for our economic survival. One is our global rival for world power and we have nuked the other. Iran is developing a nuclear weapon and long range missiles and has just re-elected Ahmadinejad.

Is gay marriage really the most important issue before the nation?

The Ballad of Rachel Corrie

[Corrie in Gaza burning paper replica of US flag ]

click on link :


Today's Quote

[President of France Nicholas Sarkozy with wife Carla]

"It's good to be President"


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Travel can be so narrowing

Jack writes:

I can't believe how many asians there are in this place. And everyone is eating and stinking of fish. You would think that I could at least find a decent fish taco, but noooo. Lots of rice but no refried beans.

At this point, even the Irish are looking good.

Jack is getting Oriented

Received this from Jack:

Because of the recent misunderstanding in Urumchi in which 197 or more people were misunderstanded to death, the Chinese government has closed access to Facebook and Google's Blogspot for now. The duration of "for now" has not been made public.

Could you post something on the Scenic Route blog and also on my wall in Facebook to the effect that I have not abandoned you all, but rather that I am momentarily indisposed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Public Service Announcement

Hello All,

While making a Great Leap Forward, something backward occurred. I have not forgotten you but am indisposed at the moment.

More latter,


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Machines versus Ladies

I was thinking of the way technology changes even our intimate social lives - curiously through the mediation of industrial corporations. In some ways it has been at the expense of women's competitive advantage over men.

When sex was dangerous because of the risks of pregnancy and death during childbirth, and of incurable venereal diseases, women did not consent lightly. Which gave them enormous leverage in negotiating consent. Pharmaceutical corporations now provide products which abate those risks to nil. And women's corresponding leverage of refusing repeatedly without the swain soon seeking greener pastures has vanished. Women have become free, but at the cost of their leverage over men.

Women used also to bribe with prepared food. Now frozen food sellers and microwave manufacturers offer the same. Women are free from having to cook, but again at the cost of their leverage over men.

At the beginning of feminism there was the issue of competing with men, and whether women could or should. Little did they realize that in some ways their real competitors would be corporations. To whom they are losing badly.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Alive and Well and Living in Gotham

The New York Times today -
Of course, Mr. Netanyahu has yet to endorse the two-state solution or even the road map agreed to by previous Israeli governments, which were not oral commitments, but actual signed and public agreements.

Curiously, Mr. Netanyahu says he has. I think what we have here is the Pravda of the Big Apple engaging in what is known in the reporting business as "a lie". On the front page.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Day So Far

I have rented out my house to an Iranian wedding party for the coming week. When the house is rented I live in the mother-in-law 1 bdrm apt on the side. The Iranians were great. They even invited me to the reception.

AND THEN the main kitchen sink backed up this morning after somebody took a shower upstairs. I did all the denial moves with Drano before calling RotoRooter. The RotoRooter guy is Kennard. He has been here before and I have seen him work. He has a stammer but is an artist with the giant snake machine.

What freaks me out a mile is that the groom's father was looking forward to showing off his cooking by preparing a huge Iranian family feast for everyone. Instead he wound up having to call a caterer. For his son's wedding....

I feel like complete schmuck though there is nothing really I could have done differently, and Kennard did everything that could be wished. It was just bad luck but I still feel responsible. I am obviously going to wind up picking up part of the tab for the caterer which may cost most or all of the rental. Sigh.

Upon reflection I suspect there was something I could have done differently. A day or two earlier at Costco I decided to buy the fancy triple thickness toilet paper to add a tone of small luxuries and considerateness for my tenants. It is entirely possible that that led to the drain clog. Yet another demonstration of the maxim, "No good deed goes unpunished."

Replaced with cheap-feeling thin TP. Package says, "Septic tank safe" which presumably means that it is especially water soluble. A $340 lesson in label-reading.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Euclid Alone Has Looked On Beauty Bare

This is the kind of photography I want to learn how to do - to see abstractions in real life -


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated on Sunday his refusal to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu without preconditions, despite the Israeli leader's repeated calls for an immediate resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, The Jerusalem Post reported.

"Israel must recognize the two-state solution and stop all settlement activities in order to resume peace talks over final status issues," Abbas said. Netanyahu, who has called for "two states for two peoples," noted last week that Israel has "removed many roadblocks; we decided to increase the operating hours of the Allenby Bridge for more goods; and I've decided to advance a series of projects with the Palestinians to promote peace. But all these efforts can only bring us to a certain point, and the results will be multiplied a dozen-fold if there is cooperation from the other side."

Nuestro Negrito

[Jimmy Hoffa is alive and well and living in Honduras under the name Enrique Ortez Colindres]

My fellow crackers,
The Honduran foreign minister, Enrique Ortez Colindres, recently criticized President Obama, referring to him as "Ese negrito que no sabe nada de nada," which has been translated as "that little black man who knows nothing" or "that little black man who doesn't know anything."

I am so glad that the first public figure to blurt out something racist about Obama turns out to be a foreigner, not an American.

But it is an opportunity to reflect on the current situation of American racism. Much is written about the current condition other American institutions like education, medicine, politics, literature, and so on. Why not about racism?

The emergence of Barack Obama has been a pivotal development. In his persona he has involuntarily provided wedge issues for both sides.

The traditional position of black people to biological racism is that the races are biologically equal (in spite of copious visual and anthropometric information to the contrary).

The more modern "cultural pride" position involved wearing dashikis and talking about African heritage as though modern Africa were not a dreary row of post-colonial impoverished AIDS-riddled corrupt dictatorships.

One effect of the cultural pride position was to add a new link to the chain of euphemisms running from the post-civil war "freedman" to "black" to turn of the century "colored" to "negro" to "minority", back to "black". Collectively "ghetto" was borrowed from the Jews and quickly morphed to "community". And now "African American", with the attendant quibble about whether the phrase should contain a hyphen or not.

The notion was that African Americans were just another immigrant group like the Italian-Americans or the Polish-Americans (but unlike Irish-American - it was not pejorative). The difficulty of the analogy was that there actually was little or no heritage actually handed down from Africa. Indeed unlike Italy or Poland, Africa is a continent, not a country. A geographic description, not a national one. The difficulty was illustated by the Arthur Haley in "Roots" and the almost magical coincidence of finding recollection of Kunta Kinte on both sides of the Atlantic.

In fact, the people it is meant to describe is one that come into existence here in the New World, not in Africa. Like the Brazilians, the Mexicans, the Cubans, and indeed the Americans. The metaphorical nature of the expression was brought home by the rise of Barack Obama, an American whose father was an African.

African Americans were uncomfortable with Obama during the primaries because he clearly wasn't one of them. Their historical experience was the poorer areas of big American cities, preceded by rural poverty in the American south, and before that, slavery. Obama shared none of that.

That discomfort with Obama is shared by white traditional racists as well. Their racism is an inarticulate hostility to a servile class in order to maintain their own minimal social status. This racism was all about the bottom of the overclass resisting the ambitions and pretensions of a servile underclass. Obama is not descended from anybody who was ever a member of a servile class.

The Republican Party has attempted to recycle the image of the Uppity Nigger to its modern incarnation, the "elitist". This image has failed to gain traction because Obama is not an upstart (of which "uppity" is an illiteralism) from a servile class. He really is elite.

The traditional formulation of this kind of social superiority was, "Would you want your sister to marry one?" This has lost its teeth because now your sister would definitely be marrying up if she married into the Obama family.

One curious kind of racial privilege is about the use of racism itself. The word "nigger" is forbidden to whites because it is seen as fiercely racist and pejorative when used by whites. By contrast, "nigger" is seen as ironic or affectionate when used by blacks.

As it stands now the rule is asymmetrical and unfair. Blacks may say something that whites may not. I propose to take that back. There should be one rule for all.

I propose that whites should call each other "cracker". It should be ironic and affectionate. And we should make a great show of pretending to become furious and offended at any black who uses that word in any way at all.

When they are talking about someone else using it, let them call it the "c-word". Any black of any note caught using it in public should be fired from his position and be forever tainted and unemployable as a racist.

So, my cracker brothahs, we have to give up rollin' over to the man. When any mo' fo' African American be dissin' us as crackers, we don't have to take it any more. Organize and kick his ass out.

Upon further reflection, erecting our own magical 'you may not say it' word does not address the issue. It merely makes two stupid prohibitions instead of one. Better to just pull the teeth of the nastiness.

The solution is to expropriate the word. Whites, and especially Chinese, must start calling each other 'nigger'. It should be a friendly and ironic expression of affection and solidarity. That will eventually make the black-to-black meaning of the word its only meaning.

Yo' Harvey, how ya doin', nigger? Yo' Dave and Xiao, how you niggers doin'? Well, I hope. It will take a little getting used to, but we can do it. Yes, we can.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I am disappointed by Damien and Christy's ingratitude in not thanking me for formulating a new definition of the Irish. I have called them "a heterogeneous rain-and-drink-addled congerie of passersby".

In all fairness I think that is a far finer and more truthful description of the Irish than Damien's false and bigoted description of the Jews, "not a people".

More than you wanted to know about what I learned in school today

Harvey's friend (whose name escapes me at the moment, but Harvey will surely supply it) is a professor of geology at CSU Chico. At my request he recommended a textbook for me to read, "New Views on an Old Planet" by Tjeerd van Andel.

Too much to tell but I will give an example or three.

As you know plate tectonics is caused by convection of semi-molten rock in the mantle of the earth. This causes earthquakes and volcanoes at the joints between the plates. Less well known is what keeps the earth's core still molten after 4.5 billion years and powers the convection - the radioactive isotopes in the core. As they decay they radiate heat.

He shows by simple arithmetic and the half-lives of the main radioactive isotopes involved that the amount of heat generated in the past has to have been significantly higher than it is today. Which means that there was more convection in the mantle and that it was shallower than it is today. Which means that there were far more and smaller continents in the past than there are today.

Which means that ocean currents flowed smoothly around the planet and global weather had relatively small gradients with latitude - no ice at the poles and relatively mild weather at the equator.

With the continuing decay of the radioactives in the core of the earth the amount of heat in the core diminished, continents continued to drift, albeit more slowly, and became bigger. Recent developments, particularly the emergence of the Isthmus of Panama and the Suez Peninsula, have broken up the around-the-world ocean currents that kept climates equable as late as the mesozoic (loosely speaking, the age of dinosaurs).

These east-to-west currents in our era have been replaced by south-to-north currents caused by the fact that the earth has a glaciated continent at the south pole but none at the north pole. Van Andel says that cold water sinks all around Antarctica and forms seabottom cold currents that flow north. Sea surface warm currents flow south to replace the cold water flowing north , which makes a constant circular convection. There are regional currents as well, such as the Gulf Stream.

According to van Andel the cold currents from Antarctica, together with the shutting down of the equatorial currents, are the main determinants of climate and explain why the earth has grown so much colder and drier during the cenezoic (the past 60 millions of year - again loosely, the age of mammals).

[As an aside I should mention that this has no relevance to the global warming debate because the time scales are so different. Five thousand years of global warming might be more than enough to wipe out us and many other species, but would be too brief a blip to even show on van Andel's graph of temperatures.]

However the sea floors are not uniform. There are two major bottlenecks to the seabottom cold currents; van Andel calls them "gateways". One is west of Samoa, the other east of the Falklands.

If these were disrupted, the current flow would cease. The climate of the earth would be radically and fairly quickly transformed. Permanently, in human terms. Did I say "if"? Given what we know of plate tectonics, I meant "when".

Another gem -
He explains that the early biological and pre-biological processes that were the earliest history of life cannot take place in the presence of oxygen. But that those very processes generate oxygen. So why didn't early life poison itself by oxygenating the atmosphere and oceans early on and become extinct before it could evolve metabolic pathways that could use oxygen? What are we all doing here?

It turns out according to the going theory that oceans contain lots of dissolved iron and that continental rock contains lots of iron as well. Iron readily oxidizes in the presence of oxygen. So for more than a billion years, life got away with surviving because there was enough iron in erosion products like sand and clay and in sea water to absorb all of the oxygen.

Oxygen accumulated only slowly from 2 billion years ago to half a billion ya as the surface of the earth and the oceans began to run out of unoxidized iron. Since then there has been a rapid accumulation to more than fifteen times as much as when the earth was 90% as old as it is now and over a hundred times as much as when it was 80% of its current age. Which is to say, in geological times scale the atmosphere is going through a radical transformation RIGHT NOW.

Another thing -
There is no explanation for the composition of the rest of the earth's atmosphere. No theory to explain it works. (As of 1985 when "New Views" was published.)

Similarly, no theory explains why the oceans are not far saltier than they are.

And in closing, did you know that the sun evolves as well? It is 30% brighter now than it was a billion years ago, and twice as bright as it was when the earth was half its present age. No one knows how this may have affected life and evolution.

One speculation is that a dimmer, cooler sun would have produced less ultraviolet,which is mutagenic. But before there was oxygen was also before there was an ozone (Ozone is O3) layer in the atmosphere. Which means that though there was less UV, more of it reached the surface of the earth.

So one guess (mine, not van Andel's) is that eukaryotic cells (like ours) with their large, easily-disrupted genomes could not arise until there was an ozone layer.

"New Views on an Old Planet" is chuckabluck (chocablock?) with startling new things to think about on every page. By the way all, all, of this took place right where you are now*, among other places. Not far away. Right here. It is all still going on, right now.

*Unless you are in Ireland. Ireland has always been a stupid, miserable shithole where nothing good or interesting has ever happened.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Stevie Wonder's Tribute to Michael Jackson

in his own words....
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Think Globally, Act Legally

[Jimmy Stewart, Frank Capra, the Richmond Superior Court, and me]

I am going off to do jury duty in a few minutes. The greatest likelihood is that I will sit around for a few hours and then be thanked and sent home.

In the movies, the juror who has gone to the trouble to take written notes is usually selected as foreman, so I am taking a notebook and pens. I would like to be on a jury, but it would be a huge pain in the ass if it conflicted with my going to China for the eclipse.

Curiously I find that I have no strong prejudices, as I would expect to have. I have no impulse to Hang 'em High, nor to sympathize with a youthful defendant facing a jail term. Which makes me a good venireman. (A venireman is a potential juror - only when the jury is selected and seated do 12 of the veniremen become jurors. The word has become obsolete apparently because 'venireperson' is thought ridiculous, in spite of being a perfectly good word.)

About civil cases, I do have a sense that insurance companies are moral sludge and it would be hard to find in favor of a corporate defendant against an injured plaintiff. But that is such a universal sentiment that it is grounds for instant mistrial to so much as mention insurance in a tort case. So there is not much prejudice that is out of the ordinary about that.

In any case, the greatest likelihood is that I will be sent home either this morning or this afternoon.

Friday, July 03, 2009

A Lesson in Values

[Roto-Rooter is my friend]
There is a line in the trailer for the movie, Project Valkyrie, in which a German officer opines, "There is no problem that cannot be solved with high explosives." The same could be said for money. Today the sink backup in the little kitchen became a sewer backup in the whole house. And this had to happen when there were paying tenants here, thankyouverymuch.

RotoRooter came out and the young man spent more than an hour excavating about a bushel of roots and attendant human products with a giant drain clearing machine. All the drains run freely now. I washed the hooey out of the toilet and shower stall. The sense of relief is as palpable as if the blockage had been personal. And it cost me nothing more than money.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Death and Disrememberment

On Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 10:38 PM, Burton J Abarbanell wrote:

Walter Cronkite

Patrick Swayze

Larry King

Barack Hussein Obama

Ted Kennedy

Elizabeth Taylor

Nancy Reagan

Andy Rooney

Mickey Rooney

Muhammed Rooney

Little-known detail from the life of Michael Jackson

[Art "Afro" Jackson]
It is not widely known that Art Garfunkel was a stage name. His real name before he changed it to his showbiz name was Arthur Jackson. He was the whitest of the Jackson 6 and the first one to make the crossover into mainstream. It is also not widely known that before the name change they were Simon & Jackson.

Though he was the brains and talent of the duo, because of rampant racism in the music industry, Jackson rather than Simon was forced to change his name. The rest is history. Sort of.