Disappointing, yet predictable

C’mon Baltimore, I was hoping better for you.  You’re falling into that same trap that springs anytime the Black community seeks to highlight and protest perceived injustices to the community.  We’ve seen how this ends several times, and it’s not going to be any different from the previous cases.

Freddy Gray’s death is tragic, even more so because it came at the hands of those who are sworn to protect and serve.  While the family has questions they want answered, that doesn’t give others the right to tear down their own community.  What does that solve?  Ask the people in Los Angeles about that.  They’re still recovering from the 1992 riots in some areas.

Instead of tearing up your own community or threatening to kill cops (like that’s going to automatically make things soooo much better), why not do as the protesters did in the 1960s.  When marchers were beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, they didn’t burn down the town, they peacefully completed what they set out to do.  The Freedom Riders who were assaulted in Anniston and Montgomery had all the reason in the world to exit their buses with an open can of whoop ass in hand, but they did the complete opposite, even in the face of danger.

Quit tearing things down, because it makes it that much harder to build up.  Most of this stuff appears to be done by teenage kids, so that makes me wonder where are the parents in all this?  Do you know whereabouts of your child or children?  Are they out there acting stupid and setting themselves up to carry a criminal record for the rest of their lives like a dumbass.

That’s all that’s going to happen.  You act stupid.  You get arrested.  You get stigmatized for the rest of your life and then you blame others because you can’t get a job or do anything else.  As I tell my daughter every day, “Each and every thing you do causes something else to happen.”  You make a dumb or stupid decision, then you have to bear the consequences of your actions just as you would reap the benefits of a good or smart decision.

Don’t use the death of Mr. Gray as some reason to act like an idiot.  If you’re angry about how the police is treating you or the people in your community, don’t commit vandalism or threaten violence as a response.  You catch more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.  If there’s really injustice going on, then use non-violence just as our parents and grandparents did.  You can always provoke a bully into lashing out and making himself look bad without having to stoop to his level.

Three questions

If the Republicans thought Eric Holder was such an incompetent and complete failure as Attorney General, why did it take 5 months to replace him?

Loretta Lynch confirmed by Senate as attorney general

Washington Post

If a test administrator or teacher deserves harsh prison time for changing answers on tests in a racketeering case, what does a judge, court clerk, police chief, and others deserve for charging outrageous fees, suspending licenses, or even jailing people for simple traffic or other municipal infractions?

Jail Terms Handed To Most Atlanta Teachers Convicted In Cheating Scandal

NPR

Why in the hell is it headline news about what Bruce Jenner wants to do in his personal life, or the personal affairs of any other celebrity for that matter?  I would add “Who gives a f**k?” but then that would require me to change this to four questions…  ;)

Diane Sawyer reveals little about upcoming interview with Bruce Jenner

NY Daily News

 

Touching tribute to fallen soldiers

I came across this video yesterday, and I think it’s well worth reposting.  Members of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment 2nd and 1st Battalion performed a haka as a sendoff for three of their members who were killed in Afghanistan by an IED.  Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker, Private Richard Harris, and Corporal Luke Tamatea were killed when an IED hit their Humvee as they traveled in a convoy in Bamiyan, Afghanistan in April 2012.

From the YouTube description:

Haka is used throughout New Zealand by many, not only Māori, to demonstrate their collective thoughts. There is a haka for each of the Services, as well as the Defence Force. Units with the NZ Army have their own haka. This video shows the soldiers of 2/1 RNZIR Battalion performing their Unit haka, powerfully acknowledging the lives and feats of their fallen comrades as they come onto the Unit’s parade ground. It is also an emotive farewell for they will leave via the waharoa (the carved entrance way) for the very last time.

Haka –sometimes termed a posture dance could also be described as a chant with actions. There are various forms of haka; some with weapons some without, some have set actions others may be ‘free style.’ Haka is used by Māori (indigenous people of New Zealand) for a myriad of reasons; to challenge or express defiance or contempt, to demonstrate approval or appreciation, to encourage or to discourage, to acknowledge feats and achievements, to welcome, to farewell, as an expression of pride, happiness or sorrow. There is almost no inappropriate occasion for haka; it is an outward display of inner thoughts and emotions. Within the context of an occasion it is abundantly clear which emotion is being expressed.

After seeing the video, I don’t know of anything more emotional or touching they could have done to bid their friends a final farewell.  Godspeed soldiers.

via stuff.co.nz

Police brutality: Is it out of control?

Almost every day, the news reports bring forth another case of alleged police brutality.  Whether it’s cops beating a suspect, fighting a family, or even shooting an unarmed suspect, we are inundated with these reports to the point where it seems as though there is a current epidemic.  It leads me to wonder whether police are out of control nowadays.

I have a personal stake in such events because of what I do.  Law enforcement is just like any other job where 99% or better of the workers are hard-working and trustworthy people.  It only takes a few bad actors, however, to make an entire group of workers look bad.  With police work, things get magnified because the police are the ones who are supposed to be enforcing the laws, not breaking them.

With the exponential growth of social media and cameras everywhere, it seems as there is a non-stop stream of examples of police going overboard with citizens in their interactions.  You have to consider the sheer number of daily encounters between the police and citizens to understand that these incidents are not as frequently as the media portrays.  I don’t want to sound like I’m defending bad officers as that is not my intent.  I simply don’t want people to think that half the cops out there are looking to put a beat down on everyone they encounter.

There is a growing list of names of people who have suffered or even died at the hands of the police.  Some cases may be questionable because of the lack of video evidence while others are sickening to see because of the available video.  Some cases, such as the Scott shooting in South Carolina, are even hard for ardent police supporters to defend.  It’s hard to justify tactics and techniques when you see police fight for several minutes with a family while another officer shoots a fleeing suspect in the back.  It makes it more difficult for the good officers to do their jobs because they are painted with the same brush as the bad ones.

The recent rash of cases paraded by the media makes me wonder if the appearance of widespread police brutality is a product of technology or are police really out of control?  I think it’s a product of technology, but with the weekly parade of new cases or videos, it does make me reevaluate my stance.

Bah humbug!!

I’m really beginning to hate springtime.  I miss being able to be outside without being miserable or full of drugs.  Nowadays, I can’t go outside without looking like I’m crying over a lost pet or my nose running like a child with a serious cold.

I played baseball, ran track, was in the band, and did all other kinds of outdoor sports and events with no problems growing up.  Now, as soon as winter moves out, my eyes turn as red as a traffic light until the summer gets here.  Please hurry up and get here summer.