Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Original Caravan vs Today's Caravan

Reportedly there is a caravan of people headed towards the United States of America.  The people in the caravan have left their land of origin to seek a better life for themselves and/or their family. Hundreds of years ago, Europeans also left their homeland in caravans, venturing across the ocean that separated Europe from the new world.  The Europeans destination also was the land currently called, the United States of America. 

Today, awaiting the caravan is an organized United States government that has no plans to openly welcome those in the caravan or to give them shelter or asylum.  What kind of reception did the Europeans receive when they arrived in what is now the United States?  Awaiting them was a land inhabited by Native American people.  Although there may have been some resistance by the Native Americans to the incoming Europeans arriving on their shores, for the most part there was no concerted effort to keep the invading Europeans out.

So what is the difference between that era and today’s era?  The ancestors of those first arriving Europeans will not admit it, but some of the current European Americans may not want to share the resources of the United States with people coming into the country.  It is ironic that those people coming are seeking the same things as the first boat caravans of Europeans who arrived here those hundreds of years ago. 

Imagine if Native Americans had the weaponry and organized resources to keep the Europeans out?  Those Europeans would not have settled in this land and would not have needed to resort to importing slaves to perform the hard work the Europeans did not want to do themselves.  No European arrival, no slave trade. No destruction of families in the continent of Africa.

Some would try to say keeping “immigrants” out of the United States unless they “legally” enter is for the protection of the citizens of the United States of America.  Did anyone ever call the invading Europeans “illegals” when they settled into what is now the United States.  Let’s just say what this policy is.  It is purely selfishness.  European Americans understand how they have come to economic power in the United States.  Basically European Americans entered a country where other people were already present. To build up the new land in the image they desired, European Americans purposely devised a system of slavery to force others to do the hard work they were unwilling to do.

European Americans are not willing to share the resources of the United States with those who want to come here to better themselves.  It’s a “I’ve got mine”, “you get yours somewhere else” mentality.  European Americans know through the history they have written.  Because they came to this land to steal land from others, wipe out the existing civilization, and only focus on self preservation, European Americans fear they too will face the same fate as the Native American culture they obliterated.

Don’t be fooled by talk that immigration policies are intended to keep the citizens of the United States safe.  More people are being killed by domestic terrorism than any threat by immigrants.  Fear is a powerful force.  You are being misled into fearing immigrants.  Selfish motives are behind those who push the fear onto you.  Many of those who are pushing the fear are descendants of those original caravans of Europeans who have economically prospered over the years and who are now enjoying the resources of the United States.  They do not want competition from an influx of people who they see as a threat.   They know what happened to the Native Americans when caravans of European Americans came to this land.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Indoor Dog Park vs Other Needs

I saw a human interest story on the “news” about a week or so ago.  It was touting the future building of an indoor dog park.  A timely story with the approach of winter and severe cold temperatures about a month away. Then I thought about the many empty buildings all around this geographic area.  Then I thought about the numerous homeless people, some not wanting to be homeless, and how they would love to have an indoor homeless shelter in the cold of winter in any of the empty buildings that exist.

But, the indoor dog park will be in a neighborhood where incomes are above the norm.  In that neighborhood the priority is for an indoor dog park, not a homeless shelter for people. The need for a shelter for homeless people is not a concern of those who live in affluent neighborhoods.  Instead a support building for their pets is the immediate concern. 

That’s the nature of our human existence.  We are not our brother’s keeper.  We focus in general on ourselves first and what makes us comfortable and our lives easier.  That is our culture and how we generally have been taught on how we should be.  It’s understandable.  If we don’t take care of ourselves who will take care of us?  It’s like the choice of building an indoor dog park versus a homeless shelter to shield the homeless from the cold of the winter.  Depending on where you live, some would vote for the indoor dog park.  Others the homeless shelter.  It’s all from the perspective you are coming from.

I’m not going to rail against the decision to build the indoor dog park.  It’s what the people in that area want, because that is what they feel they need to support.  It fits their lifestyle.  Sometimes we need to sacrifice our desires and replace them with doing what is needed to help other people.

Monday, October 29, 2018

The Opioid Epidemic

The opioid epidemic.  Epidemic is defined as something that spreads rapidly among people in a community, most commonly related to a disease.  For the past year I’ve been confused as to how people making a decision to take a drug and then get addicted to the drug, can be labeled as an epidemic?  Even politicians believe conscious decisions by human beings can now be categorized as epidemic behavior.  We have entered a new era where an unwanted behavior can be blamed on an “epidemic”.  I thought an epidemic was when some disease is forced upon people?  I did not know that people could be forced to become addicted to drugs?

What separates the taking of opioids from other human addictions? So what is next?  The marijuana epidemic?  The pornographic epidemic?  I don’t recall anyone ever saying there was a poverty epidemic in the United States despite there being thousands of people who need food every day.  Even though I see homeless people downtown, on street corners and entrances/exits ramps of highways I don’t recall the news talking about the homeless epidemic.

The use of the term opioid epidemic appears to be related to people wanting us to care about those in the majority who unfortunately get addicted to opioid medications.  When social programs existed to feed and house people the response was, people should get jobs and make money to take care of themselves.  Why not the same response now?  People should be cautious and not get addicted to opioid medications.  What is the difference in saving someone from medications versus saving someone from a life of poverty?  Are not both caused by systemic issues?

I especially cringe when politicians talk and support legislation to assist those with opioid addictions.  It seems like selective choosing of whom to assist.  If the people impacted look more like you, there seems an inclination to want to support them.  Call it reverse welfare.  Yes, I have compassion for those who are suffering due to addictions.  But the key is not to help them after they get addicted.  The key is to provide information that tells people in advance to avoid specific human choices that may lead to their being addicted to either a substance or to some type of behavior.  The medical community should share the burden in resolving this “opioid crisis”.  Are they not the source of the problem?

So now we are in the epidemic era.  What’s next? With the events of the weekend maybe someone will  identify  a “hate epidemic”.  Come on people.  It’s about bad choices we make.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Thornton vs Brooks - Indiana 5th Congressional District

Leadership.  That is one trait that we look for in those running for public office.  The ability to work with others to identify options for easing the pain that life sometimes brings us, is another trait we should look for.  The desire to listen first to understand what people are concerned about.  People should not seek an office because they think they have solutions to the problems of the world.  We all know that human beings can not create solutions.  We only create a process by which some will gain and others will not.  How is that a solution?

If an elected public servant does not demonstrate the above traits, especially after having served several terms in their current position, they should not be reelected.  Such is the case with Susan Brooks.  Her fear of town hall meetings with her constituents does not warrant her being given another 2 year term.  Her views that citizens who decide to take drugs, not being forced to take drugs, should be treated as if they have a disease does not warrant another term in office.  Yes, people make mistakes, but why single out a specific class of people as needing help?  If that is Ms. Brooks views, will she next seek leniency for those who commit crime because they are caught up in a crime epidemic?

Yes, Susan Brooks seems comfortable meeting with groups who have a specific interest?  But what about those who are not part of an interest group?  A town hall where every day citizens can just express themselves is what she never gave us.  So we should choose not to give her another term in office.

Dee Thornton presents an influx of fresh air and untainted viewpoints.  She just wants to be of assistance to people in the 5th District.  Two years.  That is what we should give her to allow her to demonstrate that she can do better than Susan Brooks.

Look up one of Dee Thornton's donuts with Dee events.  Go hear her speak and ask her your questions unfiltered by a staff member.  Dee deserves a chance to represent the 5th district.  Give her the opportunity.  Vote early, tell your friends to vote.  Vote for Dee Thornton for our Congressional Representative in the 5th District in Indiana.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Scootermania in Urban Areas

In May of this year I encountered my first experience with scooters being used in downtown areas of a city.  I was in Nashville, Tennessee and was surprised to see many people riding scooters near the downtown area.  Well, the scooter movement has moved further north in the Midwest. Downtown Indianapolis, Indiana is now in the throws of "scootermania".  While downtown this weekend a common sight was seeing a scooter parked along a sidewalk.

I am surprised that their is not more concern about what safety issues come up with allowing people to just pick up and start "driving" a scooter along streets, paths, and sidewalks.  Their is no requirement to prove you can "drive" a scooter without crashing into people, buildings, cars or other scooters.  People are not required to take a driver's test or a written test on the rules of driving a scooter.  No, you just pay and go.

What that means is that pedestrians, buses, and cars are dealing with unproven scooter drivers.  We are at their mercy and can only hope they know how to drive the scooter properly.  I recently saw a video of a scooter rider being hit by a truck as the truck was pulling out of a parking garage.  The scooter rider made no attempt to slow down as he approached the parking garage exit.  He assumed he had the right of way.  Even I as a pedestrian know to look out for cars exiting a parking garage.

But of course when profit is a factor common sense is forgotten.  Now I as a driver have to be concerned about looking out for scooter traffic when I drive downtown.  Just what I needed!  I would urge the "law makers" to consider requiring scooter drivers to be certified that they are qualified to drive in urban downtown traffic.  If not we will hear about more accidents and yes unfortunately someone will die in a vehicle vs scooter collision.  Lastly with winter approaching I hope the use of scooters is banned during wintry weather!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

ABC Nightly News Presents 3 "different" stories featuring black people

The ABC evening news presented several stories one evening this week.  The stories all related to black people.  The first story was related to the discovery of a “compound” allegedly built by or with the help of a black couple.  Somehow the story line turned to a comment that children were being taught to conduct school shootings.  The inference was black people were somehow being taught to target European American schools.  As far as I recall none of the school shootings have involved a black person as a shooter.  So why is someone now trying to tie in black people to school shootings?  It was as if someone was purposely trying to move the discussion on the causes of school shootings into the “black” lane.

A second story was related to a video of a couple of teens harassing and kicking an older foreign man.  One of the teens was black.  Ironically the father of the teen was a black police chief.  The story closed with a comment that the black teen’s actions were being investigated as a hate crime.  Another reversal.  A black person being investigated for a hate crime.  Hate crimes were designed to protect minorities.

The last story was about a white man saving a black teenager from drowning.  A white male coming to the rescue of a black person.

The sequence of stories and the fact that there were three stories featuring black people seemed strange.  Producers of the news make decisions on which stories will be featured in the 25 minutes or so allotted.  Each story appeared to have a theme.  Blacks overseeing the training of kids to become school shooters.    Black people perform hate crimes.  White people are the saviors of black people. 

  We know that the truth normally is that school shooters have been white males and typically have attacked European American middle class and upper class schools.  Minorities are normally the victims of hate crimes.  White people typically do not worry about the lives of black people.

What the news shows viewers has great influence.  It influences thought, beliefs, and follow up actions.  The producer of the news apparently had a story that he wanted to be told.  Another viewpoint related to black people that he wanted to present.  So viewers just understand that people also have underlying reasons for showing certain stories with a different view.  It could be that people are trying to divert you from the truth.

Friday, July 27, 2018

The National Football League and the "flag" controversy

Jerry Jones and son, team vice president Steven Jones, have made themselves clear.  Players are expected to put aside their feelings regarding police brutality, social injustice and racial equality.  When they come to “work” to entertain football fans and television viewers, all players are expected to put their feelings in a box in the locker room and come out to the field as if “all is well” in the real world. The youngster Ezekiel Elliott and his views on standing in unity just underscore that many of the new generation of black people have no real understanding of the journey of black people in this country.  It's a fact and it's a shame.

The history of standing for the anthem dates back to traditions established for military personnel before the year 1900.  Over the years the tradition/ritual has cascaded down to the general public at sporting events.  The fact is there is no need to play the anthem at sporting events.  It was pushed upon us quietly and now has become a ritual that we blindly just follow.  Playing the anthem has now evolved through a careful campaign as being a way to show support for the nation and has been construed now as support for veterans, especially those who have given their lives.  Of course when someone ties in support for deceased veterans it becomes an emotional issue.  Who would dare disrespect a military veteran who died “for the country”?  It was a brilliant move to relate standing for the national anthem with support for those who died in military conflicts. 

So instead of playing the national anthem why isn’t there some type of common prayer done before sporting events?  Or a moment of silence where people can contemplate emotional issues?  Maybe someone wants to reflect on the impact of cancer on their loved ones.  The impact of the opioid crisis.  A time for reflection and quiet prayer by parents and students that they will not be impacted by school shootings.  Time for black people to reflect on how ancestors were killed in race riots and no one held accountable for the murders.  Time to ensure your Native American costume is in order so you can make ridicule of a culture annihilated by your ancestors.

We could reflect on and do so much in those minutes that are now used to continue a tradition we follow as if we are all Nazis in the Germany of Adolph Hitler.  Stand, put your hand over your heart, take off your hat, and sing dammit!  40,000 plus captive robots.

Me.  At basketball and baseball games I just stand silently and think of how in these United States of America Black people were; kept in slavery for hundreds of years; families not allowed to follow natural patterns of growth; men, women, and children lynched; people denied equal treatment based solely on the color of their skin and perpetuated stereotypes; and of how there is little concern when unarmed black people are killed by the armed police?

Jerry and Steven Jones say forget all about that!  Players, put your toe on the line and let’s play this game!  It’s all about control.  What I can make you do by constructing rules, traditions and rituals.
I’ve stopped watching NFL football and purchasing any items sponsored by the NFL.  I’ll try to ensure I find out what companies are sponsoring the NFL and stop feeding my money to those companies.

There are different types of slavery.  Mindless slavery to rituals and traditions is just one form.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Time for the Police to follow Nationwide consistent Policies

I read in a “news” item recently that a local metropolitan police department was reviewing its “use of force” policy.  The thought occurred to me, “you mean there is no general nationwide use of force policy that all departments agree with?”  Apparently that would make too much sense.  Who needs to have armed police forces across the country following consistent policies and practices state to state?  Instead we have hundreds of police departments establishing and following their own criteria for when the police can cross the line and shoot people or beat people senseless for minor offenses.

Since use of force policies impact the lives of people, it would be prudent to develop a basic nationwide policy that all police departments adhere to.  Develop a set of principles and implement them nationwide.  Why is it necessary for each police department to develop locality based use of force policies?

In addition there are no national requirements for body camera use and which technology is best to use.  The use of body camera technology also differs among police departments.  One technology turns on the body camera when the police officers gun is removed from the holster.  Finally only twenty six of the 50 states give de-escalation training to police officers.

 It is highly likely that when hiring police the criteria that weed out the bad candidates is different depending on the criteria of each department.  There is nothing to prevent a policeman or policewoman who resigns from one department from being hired by another department.

As you see there is a pattern of inconsistency.  Having inconsistencies in an occupation where the employees carry weapons that can kill someone is not a good situation.  Especially for those who are the victims.  Once more and more people are victims of deadly mistakes by the police is when a call for action and consistencies will occur.  It’s our human nature.  Unless someone dies from a situation we do nothing.  Let’s change course.  We know what the problems are, so now let’s develop the solutions.  It’s time for nationwide basic standards on use of force, hiring practices, and training of police.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kirkpatrick Management Company - Poor Customer Services

“I don’t care customer service.”  That is the type of service I have come to expect from Kirkpatrick Management Company of Indianapolis.  On May 2, 2018 I sent in a simple request to Kirkpatrick to have the shutters treated outside windows at my condo.  Kirkpatrick did so last year in response to my request to treat the shutters so birds would not build nests behind them.  In addition the birds had started to peck at my window screens for nesting materials.

After May 2nd I waited for notice that the shutters were treated.  We went out of town several times.  Each time we returned I noticed that the birds were still trying to build nests.  I would have to remove the materials from behind the shutters.  I finally contacted Kirkpatrick and asked them if they had treated the shutters.  The answer was no and they would follow up.  Yesterday, July 10th I sent Kirkpatrick photos of the nesting material I had removed yesterday along with photos of the window screens that had been damaged by the birds.  The response from Kirkpatrick was that they could not send anyone out this week, but that he would look for a contractor to deal with the issue.  That is 2 months and 2 reminders since my initial request.  No sense of urgency to respond to a request that was not honored months ago.

In addition I have not received any support from the HOA Board regarding Kirkpatrick’s lack of efficient services.  But, that is another story.  If you are looking for an efficient property management company, Kirkpatrick is not the one for your property.  I recall when we first hired Kirkpatrick.  They sent their best person to go over what they had to offer.  Then we were assigned a first year property person who had no experience at all.  He did not last long and his services were not very responsive.   It was a classic bait and switch.  Tease the hiring organization with a professional person during the presentation and then assign someone with no experience to provide day to day support.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Fishers, Indiana Library - Culturally Diverse Books Not wanted?

Diversity is not something that all communities value.  One way to determine how much your community embraces diversity is to see how culturally diverse are the items in the public library.  In the past year I have sought books by black authors or on “black topics” at the Fishers, Indiana public library.  Somewhat surprisingly the items I was seeking were not at the Fishers library. Fishers touts itself as being an upcoming and modern city.  Unfortunately that pat on the back does not extend to it being a culturally diverse city.

I sent a request for the items I wanted to be purchased as part of the Fishers library holdings.  Each time the response was met by the library borrowing the book I wanted from another library.  I was then given 30 days to read the materials.

I commend the effort to find the book for me, but cannot commend the library for not purchasing the books for their permanent collection.  Are topics about black people or issues related to black people not worthy of being in the Fishers’ permanent library collection?  Does the library suffer from funding issues?

No one ever responded from the library as to why the books I requested could not be purchased outright.  Maybe one day the library will actually have in their collection a full range of books by black authors or books on topics of interest to more than one culture.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

School Shooter vs Street Runner - Which One Lives?

 A black male running away from the police.  A white male teenager who has just shot and murdered several  fellow classmates in school.  Who has the better chance of living through an encounter with a police man?  If you read all the stories, the evidence seems to show the white male teenager will walk away alive from his  murder scene while the black man will be carried away dead to the coroners office.

Why is that?  Assuming the white teenage male doesn't kill himself after his carnage, why wouldn't the police fear for their lives and shoot the teenager upon sight, especially if the teen is running away from the scene?  What is it about a black male that compels the police to shoot first and ask no questions later?

In the case of "fear" why doesn't the police fear a white male who has just murdered people?  What is it about the back of a black male that compels the police to shoot at it as if a black man's back were a target in a gun range?

I once parked my car near the entrance of a mall store and proceeded to get out of my car.  A white female looked at me getting out of the car and started to trot to her car.  It was as if she thought I was going to approach her and rob her!  I wonder if that same woman would run from a white male teenager she saw approaching her?

Society seems to ignore the number of violent acts perpetuated by white males.  The notion of a dangerous black male appears to be the narrative that society wants to maintain and have us all react to.   Isn't it a fact that the school shootings have occurred in mostly European American neighborhoods?

Do the police not know about events happening around the United States where their counterparts have killed a black man under similar circumstances?  As I addressed in another blog posts, are not the Police Chief's across the country not addressing the "use of deadly force" policies with the rank and file policeman?  If they have maybe the continued use of deadly force has been reaffirmed by those in charge?  Shooting at the back of a fleeing black male must be in the "acceptable policies" portion of the policeman's handbook.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Beware of News Summaries

I saw an advertisement by a well know news site that offered to give readers a summary of the news each day.  I always cringe when I see information touted as being news pushed out towards someone.  The viewer/reader needs to be aware that someone has constructed these "news" items based on some one else's decision on what news should be important to you.  No one asked you what specific news items you want to receive.  What you receive are the information biases and priorities of someone else or a group of people.

There are thousands of events occurring all over the world each day.  From that vast number maybe you are given information on less than 100 events.  Why are those 100 events more important than the others?  They are not.  They may be important to someone else, but they likely are not the top 100 stories you would have picked if you were aware of all the happenings in the world.

In addition, there are some events that are hidden from the public view.  Those stories may appear later if they involve wrongdoing that someone exposes. But until the expose' occurs you are unaware it is news.  Confused?  Well don't be.  People try to hide bad news if it is something they do not want revealed.  The recent #metoo movement that exposed sexual abuse of women.  Those stories were around years ago, but the information wasn't always publicly shared or there were attempts to keep the story quiet so as not to expose the perpetrators.  Time has caught up with those "news makers".

How do we get the real news.  Unfortunately you have to search for it.  Use multiple sources to obtain information.  What you hear and see on television are carefully constructed news stories sometimes presented in an entertainment form.  Now we have "Fake news".  Another challenge to obtaining the truth.  In this video age, sometimes a video can tell a story without the need for an accompanying narrative.

My suggestion.  Watch less news on television.  Seek out multiple news outlets via the internet, to include how foreign countries view events occurring in the United States of America.  Ask questions regarding events you hear about.  Seek the truth behind what is being force fed to you.  Lastly, beware of news summaries.  There are different sides to the stories you are given.

North Korea and United States Governments Talk To Each Other

The drama over the missile launching escapades of the North Korean government seemed to have subsided.  The two neighborhood bullies met with the usual fanfare accorded such diplomatic events.  Many photographs were taken, and statements made with no real agreements coming out of the talks.  But, talking is better than a war of words, and continuing to launch missiles into the earth's atmosphere.  It even sounds like the joint South Korean/United States war "exercises" might be coming to an end.  No more pretend fun and games activities.  Reminds me of kids playing cowboys and Indians when no one understood it was politically incorrect to play such "games".

So for awhile our attentions will be distracted elsewhere until North Korea's ruler declares there has been no progress since the historic photo op meeting and starts launching missiles again.

I personally did not pay much attention to the event.  A meeting was bound to happen.  I do question why the United States seeking to talk to close neighbor Cuba was frowned upon.  I believe some of the decisions made to normalize relations with Cuba were frowned upon and maybe even overturned by the current Presidential administration.  Other than Cuba not actively launching missiles, what is the difference between talking to North Korea, rather than talking to Cuba?

Just more human nonsense at work.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Are You Seeking Your Ultimate Joy?

61 years.  Not really a long time.  But that is  the current length of time of my life.  I have already accepted that at the most, I have 30-35 more years left in this earthly existence.  I 'm okay with that notion.  From being involved with religion and the belief in a God, Creator, or whatever label you want to assign it, I believe there is something else after we depart from this human life.

While I am "living" I do want to make the most of the years I have.  I'd like to have as much positive impact and effect as many positive changes as possible.  I have come to learn that it is not up to me to determine what are those positive acts.  Our Creator did lay out some guidelines and rules for us to follow.  Unfortunately those rules have been ignored, forgotten, or just outright knowingly violated.  So what I now try to accomplish is to perform as many positive acts as I can that fall under those Godly guidelines.

I don't know the percentage, but many of us did not begin our lives under the tutelage of parents who taught us these Godly rules.  So during our formative years I know I violated many of the rules and guidelines and continued to do so into my adult years.   That is also the nature of our world and culture.  We are focused on our human activities and governing ourselves with our selfish laws that benefit us and our un Godly activities.  I think it would take a major cataclysmic event to bring most of us into thinking and attempting to follow the rules God created for us.

One thing I have come to understand is that a perfect world will never be achieved.  As the book of Revelations explains, the world is doomed to a violent destruction.  We do not even want to think of such an event.  We engage instead in pleasurable humanistic activities that bring enjoyment to our lives.  We cover up the reality of what is eventually our fate by establishing a lifestyle that we think brings us the enjoyment we were meant to have.

What we do not realize is that there is something so much better awaiting us. Something greater than any joy we can create on this earth.  It all involves following the guidelines, rules, and laws given us by our Creator.  If you have not already started on your journey to learn and abide by those rules, there is time to do so.

Monday, May 14, 2018

News Boycott - Give me News On Demand (NOD)

I finally had enough of being held captive by television news shows.  These "news" shows typically include "stories" where a collective of people  have decided for us what we need to hear and see during the news hours.  Then the same stories are repeated every hour on the hour.  The topics are the usual.  Someone shot; a body found; traffic problems; etc.  All you need to do is change the names in the stories and the specific location and you pretty much have a template that can be used every day.

I am tired of being downloaded on every day with stories of life events that are predictable and of course always negative.  Is that what news is about?  Sharing negative information?  So if there are 40 "news worthy" events happening, why do stories about death and violence always have first priority?  Is it so we're thankful that violence hasn't come into our household or impacted us?  On occasion you hear a "positive" story.  ABC network news typically has a story on the evening news that is inspirational and somewhat positive.  But, why save that item for the end?  Why not put the inspirational item first and save the depressing violence for last?

My response to the negativity of the news has been to stop watching the news.  If I want to know what is going on, I will peek into an online news website, or quickly turn to a news show of my choice for a few fleeting seconds.  I no longer see how people can sit stationary in front of a television and be bombarded with stories you did not ask to see or hear about.  It's time for News On Demand (NOD).  We need something where if you want information or news on a topic, you type in the category and then will be presented with those stories.

I have a problem with some producer or staff determining what 15 items I should hear about in the course of a 30 minute news show.  Especially as a black male.  Most of my concerns are not even addressed in a news show.  Showing me how another police officer stopped and shot a fellow unarmed black male is not something I want to keep hearing about and seeing.  I would rather see information on what solutions are being put forth to avoid such incidents.  Show me the positive stories of black people overcoming the odds and performing positive acts.

It is time the delivery of news was modified.  Talking heads are no longer the best option.  News on Demand.  Somebody deliver it please!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Dear Police Chief

Dear Police Chief:
Stephon Clark of Sacramento, California.  He is the most recent victim in the reality that police departments across these United States of America have not called time out, or ordered a “stand down” to rethink how the police are taught to deal with black men during a police stop or police chase.  As a black man myself that tells me that there is a chance that I too might become the victim of being shot and killed by a police officer.  In addition as the recent incident at a Starbucks shows, black men can be called out for just sitting in a public place awaiting a meeting.
Question.   Has your office reviewed your use of force policy with your police officers?  If not, why not?  Are you okay that under current policies the death of another unarmed black male may happen under your police force during a police stop or chase?
Let’s pause.  I understand that being a police officer is a difficult job and requires on the spot decisions.  We are all thankful for those situations where the police actually protect and serve the public.  But, that does not mean police officers are allowed to make mistakes and kill people based on biased fear.  No one wants to hear about the death of a police officer in the performance of their duty.

We also do not want to hear about another unarmed black male being killed due to the biased “fear” of an officer.  If an officer fears for their life when in the presence of a black man, they may be in the wrong occupation.  Being a police officer does not mean you have the right to shoot first does it?
Incidents continue where police use the excuse of being in fear of their lives to warrant killing black men during confrontations.  It is as if Police Chiefs and Mayors of cities throughout the United States are okay with these incidents of black men being murdered by police under the umbrella of “fearing for your life.”  Just as students in school are tired of being victims of shooters, we as black men are tired of being victims of police who perform their job in a fearful “shoot first” manner.

The talk about implicit bias existing within police departments has apparently not lead to a review of how police are hired and trained.  Use of force procedures throughout the United States have not been reviewed and how to engage black men not reviewed.  It’s still the same “shoot at any opportunity to end a situation” especially if the situation involves a black male.  It appears as if the death of the black man is irrelevant as long as the police survive the confrontation alive.  In the case of Stephon Clark, shooting at a black man 20 times (several times in the back) for having a cell phone in his hand is on what page of your police training guide?

You fear the wrong people.  Have you not noticed that it is white teenage males who are killing people in schools?  Your police officers probably drive by these same white teenage males everyday without a worry or fear.   Why?  Because they don’t fit the “fear” stereotype that has become institutionalized against black males.

As the person in charge of your police department I have several questions for you.  Have you gathered your fellow police officers together and reviewed the use of force procedures to specifically follow when engaging a black male?  You may say why do so for a specific group?  Because police are consistently and methodically murdering persons in this same group time and time again.  Do you screen future and current police officers for their ability to engage a black male without killing them?  If you have not done so you will, if you haven’t already, be in a situation where you will be responding to the death of an unarmed black male by one of your officers.

As students in schools have recently said, enough is enough.   Well that applies to black men also.  We as black men apparently are lower on the ladder of importance in these United States of America.  We want a change.  A change that allows us to have a better chance of staying alive after an ecounter with a police officer. 

We believe that there are many good policemen and women among your force.  We also believe that there are many police who should not be on the police force.  The time has come to retrain and weed out the worst of those on the force.  Doing so will save the lives of black men and keep families from being torn apart when a black man is killed.

Dialogue is better than conflict, do you not agree?  What are you doing to ensure the situation improves?

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Comedy rant!

No Hope

I am a firm believer in some type of God.  I’m not a big bang creation theory person.  At one point I started my own church.  You’ve heard of churches with the name “New Hope”.  Well my church name was “No Hope”.  Cause I didn’t know what I was doing.  Preaching stuff wrong. Saying stupid stuff.  It  was messed up.  I finally quit when on Communion Sunday I served Vanilla wafer cookies with pomegranate juice.  That didn’t go over very well.  That was a messy Sunday.

Black Cruise Ships
After years of paranoia and fear, I now love to go on cruises.  They feed you at an endless buffet, entertain you, clean your room every day.  Can’t beat that.  I was trying to imagine what would an all black cruise ship look like.  You know how we can be.  Instead of pool areas, there would be a deck full of  bbq grills.  BBQ grills lined up in rows, bags of charcoal  and cans of lighter fluid all over the deck.  There would be all day bbq cook off contests.  BBQ sauce flying everywhere.  Fish fry stations with boiling vats of vegetable oil.  Rows of dominoes and cards table.

2016 election
It’s been two years now since the election.  We’ve had time to think about the results.  The 2016 election was about white people saying, you Negroes had your way.  Now it’s our turn.  We’re going to elect the dumbest ass person we can. The worst of us.  So now we just have to endure 6 more years of bullshit.

Shopping time
I live in a neighborhood mostly surrounded by white people.  So that means I do my shopping in the hood for black people’s stuff.  The stores where I live might have an ethnic section.  But, if they do it only has one tube of shaving cream, one tube of bald head oil.  It’s like we have to share one tube of stuff among all the Negro men in the area.  So, if you buy the tube, you gotta let folks know on social media and give out your phone number so other brothers can call you to borrow that one tube.  So to buy my own stuff I gotta drive like 15 miles to the hood.  I have to change clothes, put my hard looking clothes on.  My sagging pants.  I stop talking proper and go back to my street language.  What’s up negros.  What’s up OG!  What’s up dog!

Gas Pump Questions in 5 below weather
I hate to pump gas in cold weather.  If I could find a full service gas station in the winter time, I would drive for half an hour to get my tank filled up. You know.  You pull up to the pump, call a number and tell someone to come the hell out and fill up your car with gas.  I’m serious.  I would tip for that. The way it is now, they have the gas pumps set up to ask you like 12 questions before you can even lift up the gas nozzle.  You out there freezing while being asked some stupid questions by a machine. You slide your card in the machine. Then it asks you is this a Credit card?  Debit Card?  Rewards Card?  What is your zip code?  Who’s your momma?  How much do you weigh? Are you Black?  Are you Latino? Then the dumbest question is, “Do you want a receipt?”  If I have to get my behind out in 2 below zero temperature to pump 10 gallons of gas and answer 12 questions for 5 minutes you damn right I want a receipt.  Who thinks up those questions?  A gas pump needs to say only 3 things.  Slide your payment card in. Pump your gas.  Take your receipt and go.  3 questions in less than 30 seconds.  Getting gas should be like a pit stop in a stock car race.  They should give rewards for the quickest gas pump stop.  If you break the record your gas is free!

Cold Christmas Donation to Bell Ringer
Yeah, when it’s cold I avoid making too many stops in my car.  I remember one day around Christmas I was driving past this Salvation Army bell ringer.  I was in the giving mode but it was like 6 degrees outside with a wind chill of 7 below.   So, I roll down my window and threw money out in the direction of the bucket.  It’s the thought that counts.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Television's Gay Depiction of Black Males

I was watching a Netflix original series last night.  The story line involved the investigation into the death of a teenage black male.  For some reason the writer chose to create a back story that the dead black male had been involved in a gay relationship with another black teenage male.  In the past 2 years it seems as if television has been pushing stories where characters are gay.  Especially if they are black.

Being gay is not a typical trait of being a black person.  If you were to use television's depiction of black characters, you would think that at least one third of black people are gay.  I am concerned that young black people are encouraged to experiment with gay behavior by these images thrust into their faces.

I don't think it is "normal" to be gay.  The media, television, and the movies would make you think that being gay is normal.

There is nothing wrong with being a "straight" heterosexual person.  Just as there is nothing absolutely "normal" about being gay.  The homosexual choice sometimes is just that.  A choice that someone decides to make in terms of their personal and sexual lifestyle.

So media.  Stop pushing gayness upon us, especially in the area of entertainment.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Immigration Policies made by Human Caretakers

Sometimes we need to pull back from the  notion of human superiority/invincibility.  When we believe that we as humans control our existence and are the sole reason for our existence, we lose focus and ignore the truth.  Human beings are not responsible for our own creation.  We need to reflect on that fact daily as we make decisions impacting other people.  In pausing for reflection we provide the means to make better decisions.

It's from that foundation that I discuss the notion of people labeling other people as being immigrants, or illegals.  Our Creator conceived us and provided us with the means to sustain ourselves.  Food, materials for housing, products to keep us warm and cool in various climates.  Methods to entertain ourselves.  Yes, our Creator even developed a set of original rules for us to follow, which we continue to ignore.  Yet that same Creator is giving us time to correct our behavior before ending the madness we have chosen to create.

On this planet made by our Creator, people have developed a system of geographic borders,  ownership (over land given to us as caretakers) and developed symbols (flags and anthems) to separate us from each other.  We have countries, states,  cities, etc.  We develop armies to protect ourselves from other countries.  We have created layers of systems and rules that take us further and further away from the original notion of a Creator owning everything and giving us the right to use what our Creator made.  Now we think it's "our world", "our country", "our food", "our resources" and "we" will make decisions on how other people can use what is not ours.

Within our human system we now label people not part of "our" country as being "immigrants" or as being "illegals".  As a creation of our Creator, there is nothing illegal about them.  In the scope of our Creator's plan, they have every right to travel and live in any part of the world. As long as people peacefully journey into another land and respect the customs of that land they should be allowed to live in harmony with others.

I heard a story about a government agency that has decided to start actively seeking out "illegals"  Once found the people would be deported out of the borders of the United States back to the geographic border from which they came.  Although they had established a life in the United States, because they did not follow the human rules for being able to live in the United States, these people are now being forced out.  Our Creator didn't say only let certain people inhabit specific parts of the world.  That decision seems to have been mostly dictated by those of European American descent.  Ironically the descendants of European Americans also earlier made a decision to forcefully take land formerly inhabited by Native Americans who did not have a keep out immigration policy.

Imagine yourself living day-to-day knowing that at any time representatives of a governmental agency were looking to catch you and send you away because in the country's eyes you are illegally here.  What gives us the right to label anyone as being illegal?  We have created governmental institutions designed to keep people away that we do not want around us.  We don't want to share the resources of this country with anyone else.

Immigration and labeling people as being "illegals"  is an erroneous concept.  It does not recognize that we really do not have the right to dictate how the Creator's resources will be shared.  Breaking down the immigration barriers and rules around the world will be a step in this world moving toward it's final destiny.  It's all part of our Creator's plan.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Christian Fellowship - Church Borders

I recently attempted to continue a friendship with a fellow "brother" whom I had met at a church I and my wife had joined in 2016.  The brother and I socialized at church Men's Ministry meetings once a month.  I was seeking Christian friends who I had something in common with.  The common theme was to interact with another brother trying to live a Christian lifestyle.

I left that church midway during 2017 due to my perception that the church was not attempting to grow as were the pastor's stated written goals.  Originally the "brother" offered to continue talking to me during weekly phone conversations.  I declined but still periodically stayed in touch with him via text messages.

I had asked him and his wife to meet with me and my wife for lunch one day.  I felt that fellowship could continue despite us not attending the same church. Prior to that happening he sent me a text stating that something was happening with the church that involved the health of the church.  Based on whatever was going on he cancelled the luncheon meeting with me and my wife. I never heard from him again, even after I sent him a follow up note expressing hope that all was well with his church.

Without talking to him, I am disappointed that this Christian man felt he could no longer interact with me because he felt interaction with me and my wife socially would not benefit his church.  Apparently he felt it was not in the best interest of his church to fellowship with me, someone who had left his church.  I mistakenly felt that it didn't matter that we were not members of the same church.  But, apparently he feels it does matter.  Church walls apparently are borders to Christians being friends?  That's a new concept I'm still trying to process.

I have moved on and am active in the new church I joined along with my wife.  Initially my wife remained behind as a member of the church I left.  She finally decided to also leave and we joined the church she had left when we married years ago.  I believe my wife and the 'brother's" wife remain friends and try to interact at lunch sometimes.  What I have learned is that Christians remain humans and cannot be counted on to put away human feelings and beliefs.  We all believe in the same God but staying friends with only members of your church is a priority?  Is that Christian Fellowship?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Why Can't More Asians Have Nuclear Weapons?

Why can't more Asian countries have nuclear weapons?  That's the question I want "45" to answer.  It's not like North Korea is  a new country inhabited by descendants of Native Americans who have a grudge against the United States! Who said only the nuclear weapon club is limited to European Americans only?  This isn't an exclusive private golf club that limits and screens who can be a member.  Plus, China and a few other non European American countries are already part of the club.  Those non European American members aren't trying to sponsor a new Asian member.  As a matter of fact they are trying to stay quiet even though they no what the deal is.  They are saying to themselves, those American's don't want any more people who look like us in this club.

So what do the other members of the club do?  They quietly help the wannabe member get their act together so they are fully qualified to join the club.  So don't be surprised that any past technical issues North Korea was having were "fixed" quicker than expected.  It's all part of the nuclear club game.  The other members of the club benefit by any new country joining the club.  It levels the field of play.  It spreads the power with a nuclear butter knife.

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Start of the Year 2018 - Random Thoughts - People do What People Want To Do

As this "new year" begins I have pretty much come to one conclusion.  No matter what we do, good deeds or bad deeds, the Christian conclusion is that this world is doomed.  A perfect humane world will never happen in it's totality.  We may encounter some periods where living in peace, love, and harmony may appear reachable.  But, apparently the plan of our Creator is that one day life as we perceive it will come to an end.

If such is the case, what motivates people to behave and perform acts of kindness?  Basically it comes down to having a choice to do right or to do wrong.  The motivating decision in which direction we turn depends on what we want?  People do what people want to do.  Yes, it's a simplistic statement but no matter what laws exist, or what religious directives and guidance exists, the final act of a person comes down to each person making a choice.  Some of us may consider religious laws and human laws in making our decisions.  Some of us just don't care what directives or laws exist. People do what people want to do and accept the consequences of their actions (especially if they can avoid getting caught when making "wrong" choices).

With that in mind is there any possibility that racism could be eliminated in the United States of America or in other countries.  No.  Some people will always maintain racist views.  They will be taught to believe in racism by their relatives or organized groups that are allowed to spread racist views under the broken umbrella of "freedom of speech".

I saw a news reference this morning that the leader of North Korea reached out to the leader of South Korea in an attempt to diffuse tensions between the two countries.    A united Korea would be a nightmare scenario for some elements within the government of these United States of America. Some elements of the political structure exist based on being able to point to enemies of the United States.  A strong military bureaucracy needs a poster boy country or group that can be pointed to as being a threat to the United States.  What would "45" do if he lost North Korea as a subject to Tweet about at 4 a.m. in the morning?  A United Korea with nuclear power?  A united Asian ally to China with nuclear power?  The industrial military complex in the United States would find a way to garner support for increased military spending for the "defense" of the country.  I really don't see why some believe everyone wants to attack the United States.  Such an attack would only be the beginning to the doom I mentioned in my first paragraph above.

Last year I heard much about the "opioid crisis" or "opioid epidemic".  Their has been some discussion that some pharmaceutical companies are purposely supporting the crisis. The more drugs are produced the more money some pharmaceutical companies make.

As I get older I find myself devoting more time to exercising and practicing good health habits.  I try to eat more nutritional and healthy foods.  It occurred to me that if the government can come to the rescue of people caught up in a crisis or epidemic, why can't that same government do more to support my healthy habits?  A healthy person means less need to cash in on health insurance that drives up the prices of health care.  If people stayed healthier, maybe that would drive down the cost of health care premiums?

Before the playing of the national anthem and patriotic flag displays at all the NBA, NFL, MLB, college, high school and grade school sporting events begins this year; I want to pause and reflect. I pause and reflect and before the anthems are played take a knee and a moment of silence for all those who were lynched in these United States of America just because they were black; those who were enslaved; those whose normal family life was disrupted by the American institution of slavery; those killed by police unlawfully; those police killed while just doing their job; and lastly I pause and reflect on the indigenous people of this country (Native Americans) who were annihilated by European American policies and actions.

A few closing thoughts.  The Grammy's and Oscar's are not called the "European American" awards.  So why is it necessary to create music recognition shows such as the Latin, Hip Hop, or R&B music awards??  Is it that the Grammy's and Oscar's generally don't recognize diversity of talent if it's not European American talent?

Why do people organize into hate groups?  Because we allow them to.  Somehow freedom is equated with allowing people to express and act on their hatred. 

People do what they want to do.