The power of teamwork

I came across this YouTube video posted by Penny Miller, and I was quite impressed with not only the technical feat of building a barn in 10 hours, but how smoothly it was done.

The 3 minute and 30 second video shows what took place from 7am that morning until 5pm that evening.  Using my mathematical skills to plug numbers into a calculator, that means that 21 seconds of video equals one hour of real-time.  Around the 2 minute mark, there’s about a 10-12 second break with no visible work going on, so there was probably a 30 minute break for a meal somewhere during the build.  So, that work was actually accomplished in about 9.5 hours instead of 10.

Watching this got me to wondering how much better things would be if we all worked together like this towards common causes.  Instead of the petty whargarbl that has infested our everyday life, we could get together in the morning and solve our issues by the evening news.  I’d offer up a dream scenario about Congress working together like this, but I’m afraid that my imagination has its limits.

Anyway, I like seeing videos like this because it gives me hope for my fellow man.  Far too often, we’re inundated with negative news and never get to see or hear the good that takes place.  I enjoy seeing people work together to accomplish something great, even if it’s a barn like this particular case.

No surprise, Ferguson Grand Jury extended

CLAYTON • The grand jury considering whether Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson should be criminally charged in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown now has until Jan. 7 to decide…

A St. Louis County grand jury usually sits for four months, a period that for the current panel expired last week. State law provides for a term of up to six months, which moves the date to November. On Wednesday, Circuit Judge Carolyn Whittington issued an order adding 60 days more.

“She extended it to the full amount allowed by law,” Court Administrator Paul Fox said Monday. But he added that the grand jury will keep meeting until Jan. 7 only if it needs to.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

I’m not surprised at all.  Given the nature of the shooting, I would prefer that a thorough, honest, and complete investigation compliment a likewise presentation to the Grand Jury.  I think this would go a ways towards easing some of the mistrust that some in the Black community have with law enforcement and the media as well.

While I hold out hope for a fair investigation and Grand Jury presentation, the cynic in me doesn’t think such a thing exists.  There have been far too many “eyewitness” leaks and reports that appear to have been missed or ignored by the police investigating the shooting.  You also have the hearsay “eyewitness” testimony of the officer’s friends who are relaying what they say is the officer’s story.  Add the multiple false flag reports on Brown including the fake criminal record, the juvenile murder charge, the shattered orbital bone, and the fake officer photo, and I don’t see how a fair and impartial trial can happen anywhere.

I fault the media for this as some have gone out of their way to display the worst behaviors in Ferguson while completely ignoring the stories of those who are trying to bring the community back together.  That opinion is shared by the editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as well as he explained in an interview with Media Matters.

“I think the national media has done a good job of capturing the story,” Bailon said. But he later said of Fox News: “I do think sometimes … it looks like the whole community was in flames, and it was really a few block area. Significant, but it wasn’t like St. Louis was on fire or out of control and there was mass chaos everywhere … it wasn’t like an all-consuming entire metropolitan area was hit by that, yet it commanded a huge presence of what was there.”

He added, “I think Fox took a different angle, their view was more of the view of the chaos, was really focusing on the looting and less of what was going on in the community pre-dating the looting. The looting was very dramatic…but there was the deeper story there. Some stayed on in town longer, I think there was a different viewpoint on them and less on the undercurrent. [Fox] didn’t look at it as deeply and as long as others, CNN did make an investment, MSNBC was there a lot.”

He also cited a Washington Postreport that Brown had marijuana in his system and another from the New York Post that the officer who shot Brown suffered a fractured eye socket as facts his paper has yet to report because they cannot be verified.

Source: Media Matters For America

Recent polling has also shown that Blacks, along with Hispanics, have a healthy distrust of the media in reporting the events of their communities.  We will find out whether or not this mistrust is unfounded on or before January 7th.

West Africa Ebola news

It seems that the light has finally come on for epidemiologists and other medical responders.  Not too long ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent teams to West Africa to try to get control over the outbreak in progress.

News reports now say that the State Department has contracted an order for 5000 body bags to be delivered to Liberia and is seeking bids for 160,000 hazmat suits.  The body bags were reportedly ordered around August 19th as the death toll was climbing into the four digit range.

The U.S. Agency for International Development ordered 5,000 body bags from a Florida company last month as part of its planned response to an outbreak of the Ebola virus in western Africa.

And as President Obama prepares to enlarge America’s aid to affected countries, a company that makes protective clothing says the State Department, which oversees USAID, has invited bids for 160,000 hazmat suits.

The body-bag purchase came on August 19, just after the World Health Organization said the epidemic had killed 1,000 people. That death toll is now greater than 2,400.

The size of the contracts indicates how seriously governments are taking the threat, especially considering that all 5,000 body bags were destined only for Liberia – one of three countries whose citizens have been hammered with new disease cases and paralyzed with fear.

Source:  Daily Mail Online

The bid seeking for the hazmat suits has sparked all kinds of concern from people all over.  When writing this post, the application that I use to highlight related articles keyed on the hazmat suits, and the websites listed runs the table of prepper and survivalist postings.  I think it’s something to be concerned with to an extent, but I’m not ready to suggest people head to the bunkers and go into lockdown just yet.

Understanding the differences in conditions gives me reason to have concern without any feelings of panic.  For example, Nancy Writebol was transported to the airport in Liberia in a pickup truck with a tarp as a cover.  In the US, she was transported in a specially equipped ambulance wearing a completely enclosed hazmat suit.  Medical supplies that we take for granted here like gloves and masks are not commonplace in West Africa, and the medical staff has to be trained on how to properly use them to protect themselves.

The numbers of people infected and dying are still increasing and will likely do so for a while.  The CDC has also sent out warnings and preparation lists to medical providers to prepare them for the possibility of having to deal with Ebola here in America.  In addition, President Obama is traveling here to Atlanta in a visit to the CDC checking on preparations and actions being taken to combat the outbreak.

Lost in all the reporting about the West Africa outbreak is the climbing number of cases in the unrelated outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Stay tuned for updates as things continue to progress…

NFL: National Felons League

One of several potential new NFL logos found at

The hits just keep on coming (pun intended).  The latest NFLer to face charges is Adrian Peterson.

According to the news released today, Peterson has been indicted for child abuse in Texas.  The indictment is a result of Peterson allegedly disciplining a child using a switch.

From ESPN:

Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted by a Montgomery County, Texas, grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child and a warrant has been issued for his arrest. The team deactivated him for Sunday’s home game against the Patriots.

Adrian Peterson’s attorney said Friday that Peterson used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced growing up in east Texas.

Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, issued a statement Friday saying his client’s conduct “involves using a switch to spank his son.” According to a report by Sports Radio 610 in Houston, Peterson removed the leaves of a tree branch, which he referred to in a police report as “a switch,” to strike the child.

Peterson is no stranger to trouble as he had previously faced charges of resisting arrest in Houston after a nightclub incident before the charges were eventually dropped.  Peterson also had a son that died from child abuse at the hands of the mother’s boyfriend only weeks after Peterson found out about the existence of that child.

This is another in the ongoing black eyes being inflicted upon the NFL, hence the title I chose for this post.  This indictment comes after the Ray Rice fiasco.  There’s also been other players arrested recently on domestic abuse charges since the Rice arrest.

Going back a bit further, you have Aaron Hernandez, Plaxico Burress, Mike Vick, and many others who have been arrested for everything from alcohol related charges to murder.  USA Today maintains a database of NFL arrests, and there are currently 730 arrest records from January 2000 until Peterson’s arrest today.  Doing the math, that averages out to around 49 arrests per year (if there are no more this year), which may or may not be different from any other organization with that many employees.  The New York Times analyzed the data from USA Today, and ironically enough, the Minnesota Vikings leads the NFL with the number of arrests. posted a story this morning titled How Can the Patriots Shut Down Adrian Peterson, and I think that question has definitely been answered.  He pretty much stopped himself.  There’s no need to analyze game film or study formations anymore.  This also means that statistical analysis and compilation will change with the new reality.  I guess YAC, formerly known as Yards After Catch/Contact, can now stand for Years After Conviction.  Yardage will now be measured by how much time a person gets out in the yard.  Sacks will now be replaced by days in solitary.  Kick returns will now be the number of actual kicks the person returns during a fight.  And so on…

The continued arrests don’t help the image of the NFL or what’s left of that image.  I guess that Michael Sam playing was the least of their worries, but it did make for a great, but temporary, diversion from their real issues.  I’ll continue to watch football on Friday and Saturday, but now, I’ll focus on trying to spot the NFLers out of the groups instead of the potential superstars.

Little Known Black History Fact: 9/11 Hero Godwin Ajala


I was thinking of a tribute to the events 13 years ago when I came across this article. I’m certain that there could be hundreds more like this written for those who assisted others on that fateful day.

Mr. Ajala selflessly gave himself to help others survive, and for that act, I am grateful.  He is listed as the only Nigerian national who perished in the attacks that day.

Originally posted on Black America Web:

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The horrific events of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. will be forever etched into the memories of those who lived through that turbulent time. As America rightly honors the heroic efforts of the first-responders who saved countless lives, history should be equally kind to the efforts of Godwin Ajala.

Ajala, a Nigerian lawyer who came to America to make a better life for his wife and family, worked as a security guard at the World Trade Center. According to the accounts of his roommate, Ajala worked eight hours a day at WTC, and studied for the grueling New York State bar exam at night.

Ajala was determined to pass the bar, after failing the exam three times. He was not trained in U.S. law, but his knowledge of Commonwealth Law was said to be his strong suit. On the morning of…

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