Welcome to our world

“Walkin’ down the street, smoggy-eyed
Looking at the sky, starry-eyed
Searchin’ for the place, weary-eyed
Crying in the night, teary-eyed”

“Don’t you know that it’s true
That for me and for you
The world is a ghetto”

“Don’t you know that it’s true
That for me and for you
The world is a ghetto”

“Wonder when I’ll find paradise
Somewhere there’s a home sweet and nice
Wonder if I’ll find happiness
Never give it up now I guess”

“Don’t you know that it’s true
That for me and for you
The world is a ghetto”

“Don’t you know that it’s true
That for me and for you
The world is a ghetto”–War circa 1972

Listening to the news today, I couldn’t help but notice the stark difference in the media sensationalism with gun violence.  For some reason, I still expect some semblance of balanced journalism from the corporate owned media outlets.  At the same time, I still get let down by the ratings and advertising revenue chasing aspect of the media as opposed to providing some semblance of balanced news reporting.

This afternoon, another school shooting took place in Marysville, Washington.  One student was killed, and there are 4 others in critical condition.  Unlike most other school shootings, this one was perpetrated by a popular student as opposed to the typical loner or outcast.  The gun used allegedly belonged to the father of the shooter which means that it was likely a legally purchased and owned gun.

My sympathies go out to the students and families affected by this tragedy.  I send out anger and scorn to the media and the talking heads over the selective reporting of violent incidents like this.

Since the shooting occurred, I’ve heard the actions, thoughts, and everything else about the shooter being analyzed on tv by people who don’t have a clue about this guy.  The media outlets have gone through social media accounts to piece together as much as they can about the shooter.  Some outlets have interviewed students live on-air to get an idea of what the victims were like in school.

When this happens in Chicago, or some other urban setting, why is there not equal reporting or analysis?  Why don’t we hear the stories about the victims of these violent incidents?  Why isn’t there wall-to-wall coverage analyzing every single aspect about the incident?  We don’t even see televised press conferences when shootings happen in urban environments unless there’s a baby or little kid killed.

Well, in case you haven’t figured it out already, there is no avoiding or escaping violence.  There’s violence all around us daily.  We just choose to ignore it until it comes knocking at our front door.  Then, when violence rings our doorbell, it’s an urgent matter that has to be dealt with swiftly.  As long as it’s happening on the other side of the tracks, it’s out of sight and out of mind.

You can’t escape violence by turning off the television or moving to the suburbs.  As we all know, violence knows no racial, social, or economic status.  The sooner we all realize that we’re rowing the same ship, the sooner we can all work together to limit the possibility of violence striking at your feet.  Don’t think for a second that you’re immune to violence.  The world is a ghetto, and we’re all residing there regardless of our station in life.

Grand Scam

I’ve followed the Mike Brown shooting closely since it happened for numerous reasons.  From the outset, I didn’t think the community of Ferguson, and the Black community as a whole, were going to be pleased with the eventual outcome.  Without the presence of actual audio and video to show the entire event, the whole incident becomes a matter of he said, he said when one of the he is dead and unable to say anything.

For me, it’s personal why I’m so interested in the outcome of this case.  He was killed on my oldest child’s 6th birthday for starters.  At the time, my wife was carrying our third child, and I was wondering how I would have reacted had that been my son.  I also wondered whether or not I really wanted to raise a son in a country where he’s going to be guilty over and over until he proves his innocence beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Now, I have a son to raise, and I want to know that he will be treated like an American first before anything else.

Also, professional interests want me to see a clean and thorough investigation done without the appearance of trying to sweep things under the rug.  Based on the no-longer secret Grand Jury proceedings, I feel that the investigation will be viewed as a Grand Sham.

Whether the investigation is completed without bias now, the media and all the leaks have tainted the investigation beyond repair.  From the time of the shooting, media leaks have done nothing but try to paint Brown in a negative light while making Officer Wilson appear to be the White Knight in shining armor.  When the Grand Jury returns it’s no bill, the reaction is going to be swift, and it’s going to be violent.  Make no mistake about it.

The most recent “leaks” have the appearance of trying to get everyone ready for a non-indictment of Officer Wilson, and I think these leaks will have the opposite effect.  Grand Jury proceedings are supposed to be done in secret.  When we know of testimony given and evidence presented, there is nothing secret at all about it.  For all intents and purposes, the Grand Jury should have been televised based on how it has been conducted thus far.

When people wonder why many Black Americans distrust the functioning of the American government, you can now add this case to the list of items sanctioned or condoned by the government that negatively affects Blacks.  From community red lining and segregation laws to the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, there are far more highly publicized miscarriages of justice than there are instances where the system has treated everyone on equal terms.

The Sanctity of the Ballot

Source: Slate.com

There have been much chattering going on about Democratic candidates who are reluctant to tell reporters or questioners who they voted for.  From Alison Grimes, Michelle Nunn, Natalie Tennant, and Mark Begich, reporters or campaign lackeys have been following them around asking them who they voted for in order to get that gold-plated sound bite saying they voted for Obama.  If they don’t want to answer the question, then they can hire me instead to answer the question for them.  I’ll give them the answer these questioners need to hear.

None of your damn business!!

My services are free, of course, but I can attempt to channel my inner Samuel L. Jackson when I deliver that answer for a small donation.

In the grand scheme of things, we can all pretty much guess how most politicians and candidates vote based on their campaigns and actions.  There’s no need for a “gotcha” moment that has to be captured on video.

I find it interesting that the candidates being asked this question are all Democratic candidates in close races.  Having them on video saying they voted for Obama does nothing but give their opposition an excellent and undeniable soundbite to run their next campaign attack ad.  That’s what this is all about.  Let’s be serious.

If this were not the case, then there would be people asking Republicans who they voted for.  Unfortunately, or fortunately if you’re Republican, being tied to Mitt “47%” Romney isn’t a ratings draw for the news media.  Otherwise, we’d have people asking that question to all politicians.

I find it funny that it really matters to some people who Grimes and the other Democrats voted for.  The same people who are whining about their voting were the same ones vigorously defending Mitt Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns for the years that may have shown him to be one of the people who received amnesty from the government for evading taxes.  So much for consistency in private matters, huh?

If any of you need an Angry Black Man to handle your press for you, then let me know.  As much as I loathe politicians, I’d have no problem at telling people where they could ream that question.  You are all Democrats, and I seriously doubt that any of you voted for Romney.  If you did, then that’s for you to know and not me.  If you wish to volunteer that information, then that’s on you.  I’m totally against using coercion to extract information from people though, even those whom I disagree with.

Why a travel ban is useless

There’s a growing sentiment towards enacting a travel ban to try to contain Ebola.  Based on my viewpoint and experience with travel, a travel ban would be as effective as trying to capture a hurricane in a mason jar.  There are numerous reasons why a ban wouldn’t work here in America, and most of them are because of things that we can’t control, even with a ban in place.

First, banning people traveling directly from the countries suffering with infection would not stop the eventual spread of the virus to America.  We’ve already seen the virus here on American soil, and there are no direct flights from any of the infected countries to any American airport.  The virus got to America by connection through Brussels, Belgium, and I don’t ever recall America having authority to ban people from traveling to Brussels from countries outside of American control.  Given the numerous airlines and connection points, we would have to shut down most international travel worldwide to effect a ban of people coming to America simply due to the numerous pathways to our sovereign soil.  Just as we wouldn’t allow any other country to govern us, we don’t have the authority, legally or otherwise, to dictate what other countries do as far as travel is concerned.

I’ve heard people discussing stopping travel based on passport countries, and that’s just as useless because of the number of people who qualify or hold dual or even multiple citizenship of different countries.  If a Liberian national also has Belgian citizenship, how does anyone know if and/or when he travels to Liberia if he’s using different passports that show him as citizens of two different countries?  You can’t simply go off of the stamps inside the person’s passports if they’re using two or more different passports to travel between countries.  TO further complicate things, you have areas like the European Union where you can travel between countries without having your passport stamped by the individual countries.

The only way that I can see an effective travel ban put in place is if every concerned country basically took over the role of the immigration officers of the affected countries.  There would have to be a 100% containment of the countries checking everyone out as they depart the country.  Even that wouldn’t be a 100% guarantee of Ebola getting outside the affected countries.  The incubation period gives enough time for a person to test negative one week and then travel abroad the next before becoming ill and contagious.

The best possible method to deal with Ebola would be to build effective quarantine and treatment centers within the borders of the affected countries.  If adequate treatment is available at home, there is less incentive for someone to travel abroad if they’re knowingly ill.  The less contact sick people make, the less the virus has a chance to spread.

I understand the sentiment and concerns of those who are adamant about banning travel.  I’m also a realist, and there is no sure-fire way to monitor travel without forcing people to all register with some governmental authority in order to travel.  I can’t answer for anyone else, but I’m not even interested in contemplating such a thing.

Although the horse had already bolted from the barn, the best course of action any country could take was to assist the affected countries in trying to contain and treat those sick with the virus to try to avoid any further spreading.  The conditions of the hospitals and clinics there were basically a failure waiting to happen.  The much delayed response by the rest of the world ensured the failure was complete and massive.

Now that’s power

Maybe the SEC Western Division should change its name to Mufasa.  Given the historic feat of putting four teams in the top 5 ranking at the same time, I don’t think there would be much of a difference with that name change.

With the latest AP Top 25 poll, the SEC has Mississippi State at #1 followed by #3 Ole Miss, #4 Alabama, and #5 Auburn.  I’m sure Florida State feels quite humble to be surrounded by greatness like that.  At the same time, they’ll have to deal with the SEC West if they want to try to repeat as national champs.

There have been 30 times that a conference has put three teams in the top 5 ranking.  Out of those 30 times, the SEC has done it 16 times alone.  Now, the SEC has one-upped things by putting 4 teams in the top 5.  If it’s not bad enough to have 4 in the top 5, they all come from within one division of the SEC.

Things will get undoubtedly get tossed around over the next few weeks as Mississippi State still has to play at Alabama and Ole Miss.  Auburn has to travel to both #9 Georgia and #4 Alabama.  Ole Miss has Auburn at home before playing Mississippi State at the end of the year.  Alabama has both Mississippi State and Auburn coming to Tuscaloosa.

Looking towards the last month and a half of college football, I have two quotes that come to mind.

The first one involves one of my favorite actors in what I though was one of his best roles ever.

The second one is probably one of the best sh*t talking men to ever walk the Earth.

So, by the time we reach the end of November, we’ll know the man because he would have beat the man while dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight.  WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!