Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Religious Freedom Act?

Every now and then a law is passed that is so insanely rediculous that it's hard to believe that someone actually had the nerve to propose it. The latest bit of insanity is called the "Religious Freedom Act". Yes, it sounds simple and harmless at face value but it is nothing more than the legislative equivalent of a wolf in sheep's clothing. 

I know what you're thinking because you've probably heard that this is some kind of anti-gay law, and if that is not particularly your cup of tea why should you care. Well, I said it before, and I'll say it again. If it starts there, where does it end?! Discrimination is all inclusive. There is no such thing as selective bigotry,. Those who hate blacks, hate gays, hate Asians, and anybody else who doesn't fit their ideal.

Is Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act the same as the federal version that became law two decades ago? Not really!

Is the law necessary in order to protect pastors from being forced into performing same-sex weddings?

Could it provide a legal rationale for Christian businesses to refuse service to gay people?

The problem with these questions is that the answers depend on whom you ask, especially among those most emotionally invested, but even within the legal community. And, now, with Gov. Mike Pence's announcement Saturday that he will seek further legislation to "clarify" the act, it could and undoubtedly will become even more complicated.

The argument over what Pence has signed becomes not only intellectual, but visceral, vitriolic, and ugly. Both sides stand firm, because each thinks the other is flatly wrong, in their hearts, and on the facts. And the debate rages on, sometimes spiraling to a place far away from the law itself.

All of which raises a larger question. Which really matters most: What the religious freedom law will actually legally enable; what people think it means; or what the intent is behind the law? I am of the opinion that the intent is really what matters. Because the intention provides the rational, right or wrong.

Indiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act,  might actually do little as a law when it goes into effect July 1, legal experts say. It simply sets a standard by which cases involving religious objections will be judged. However the indication does not seem so simple.

The religious freedom law says the government cannot intrude on a person's religious liberty unless it can prove a compelling interest in imposing that burden and do so in the least restrictive way. 

And, yes, that leaves room for interpretation. So what the law could actually accomplish, experts agree, will have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, probably in court. But the fact that there is ample room left for interpretation is quite dangerous. 

Until then, the debate fueled by fiery rhetoric that has galvanized both sides will remain in the court of public opinion. 


Going Into Survival Mode!

The following is survival information, for EVERYBODY. Not just black people or white people, but all people. But if you happen to be African-American,- please pay close attention and commit this advice to memory. None of us wants to be the next headline.

If law enforcement officers stop you, do you know what you should do to make sure the encounter does not turn into a deadly confrontation? You should! But as I often say, common sense is not common.

Do you know what your legal rights are? Monique Pressley, principal of The Pressley Firm PLLC, explained in an interview with Roland Martin what you should and should not do during a police encounter, even if you feel your rights are being violated.

Pressley believes the information shared  will help you make it home safe, and in some instances, keep you alive.

Roland Martin asked Pressley, “If I get stopped by the cops, do I have to obey every single order that they give?”

She replied:

“There are two answers, the first one is the one that is going to keep you alive and that’s yes. The second answer is the one that reflects what your rights actually are, and that’s no, not if they’re giving you an order that is unlawful.”

Pressley expounded on her second answer, saying, “If they (police officers) are supposed to be just stopping you and they don’t have any probable cause to do anything, they don’t have a right to search your car, they’re just doing a stop. They don’t have a right to search your person and dig in your pockets, they don’t have probable cause to arrest you, they don’t have a reason to detain you — you’re supposed to be able to do quite a few things.”

“But frankly, there are certain people’s names right now that have become hashtags because a stop that could have gone one way ended up going tragically wrong,” she added. “That’s why Michael Brown’s name is a hashtag and his death is so tragic. That’s why Eric Garner’s name has become a hashtag, because those were times where there was a stop and then potential for an arrest and someone ended up dead.”

Pressley went on to detail what she tells individuals who she has counseled:

“If you get stopped by the police, if you are in your vehicle and you get stopped, if you are walking and you get stopped, the first thing you need to be thinking is ‘this is not my day to die.’”

During the segment, Pressley offered a series of statements that individuals should say repeatedly if they are stopped by law enforcement officers:

  • I am going to remain silent
  • I want to see a lawyer
  • I do not consent to this search

A. Scott Bolden, Partner at Reed Smith LLP said, “What practically happens on the street — The police don’t have to read you your Miranda rights at all, they’re not obligated to do that. They should if they want to interview you.”

If officers ask to see your ID and you don’t comply, you could be arrested. Bolden said, “In a lot of jurisdictions, you can get arrested for that alone.”

Panelist Chanelle Hardy, Senior Vice President for Policy and Executive Director of the National Urban League, explained that when you are stopped, “You’re not going to be able to make this go in a way that protects your dignity. You’re not going to be able to do anything that you feel you have a right to … You need to be thinking about how am I going to address this later — Am I going to be alive to get whatever justice I’m due.”

Pressley also suggested if you are stopped by cops, make a phone call, turn the speaker phone on, place the mobile device in open view of the officer so that he/she knows, “It is not just you and me out there.”

When it comes to video taping officers during a police stop, Pressley said, “You put the camera down when they tell you to put the camera down, leave the camera open, leave it going if you can.”

“When you’re given a command by law enforcement in your head, you’re saying ‘today is not my day to die.'” She offered the following rule, “A nervous police officer is a dangerous police officer, so when you understand who you are — African-American male, dark road black of the night, what you do when they say that is put it down.”

Each day we must utilize the tools that will make the next day possible. 


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Teacher Wants The Right To Use The N-Word

A federal judge on Thursday tossed out a civil suit filed by a White Chicago public school teacher who claims he should not have been disciplined for using the n-word in class during a “teachable moment” in front of mostly Black sixth grade students.

U.S. District Judge Manish Shah upheld the board’s discipline of Lincoln Brown, 48, rebuffing the argument that his constitutional rights were violated when he was suspended without pay from Murray Language Academy for five days in 2011 following the incident.

“Public employers can regulate the speech of their employees without regard to First Amendment limits when the speech at issue is uttered in the course of the employee’s duties,” Shah wrote in a 15-page opinion. “There is now no dispute that teachers may not use racial, cultural and ethnic epithets in the classroom; this policy was in place before Brown’s conduct in this case; and Brown knew it.”…

Brown sued his principal, the Board of Education and the city of Chicago, alleging that his First and Fifth Amendment rights were violated for attempting “to teach his class . . . an important lesson in vocabulary, civility and race relations.”

 Brown could not bereached for   comment, but his attorney, William Spielberger, says his client intends to appeal the decision.

If it starts here where does it end? The wrong decision in a case like this can become ground breaking, and open the door to indifference, insensitivity and injustice.

Judge Shah should be commended and applauded for his decision!


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Just When You Thought You Heard It All News (3-28-15)

And this week in "somebody needs their behind beat" news.........

A 4-year-old girl in Philadelphia  has grabbed her purple raincoat, slipped out of her house at 3 a.m. and hopped a Philadelphia bus in search of a snack.

Bus driver Harlan Jenifer says the girl swung her legs in a seat as she chanted, "All I want is a slushie."

Authorities say the girl's family didn't know she had awoken and unlocked the backdoor to start her trek during a downpour early Friday. They found nothing amiss at the house and have no plans to file charges.

The bus driver is a father of three. He says he was scared for the girl but found her adventure funny. He says he knew she was in good hands.

He stopped the bus and called police. They took the girl to a hospital, where she was reunited with her mother.

The next time you decide to turn on the lights at the house, think twice! Is anybody at home mad at you? Did you forget to say sorry to your spouse for acting like a fool the other night? Do you have any enemies who just happen to be explosives experts?

A home in Milton, Massachusetts was discovered on Tuesday to be rigged with an explosive device that would detonate when a certain light switch was flipped.

An electrician was examining the home at around 3:45 p.m. when he discoveredanimprovised explosive device crafted from a plastic jug filled with accelerant and wired to the lighting system, the Boston Globe reports.

“It was in the closet of a bedroom upstairs,” Lindell Williams who owns the property told CBS Boston.

The electrician was looking at the home on Tuesday in part because Williams who normally rents the house out, is planning to sell the property, according to WCVB.

The most recent occupants — a family who had lived there since June — moved out just days before the inspection. One day before they moved out, they filed a complaint that someone had filled the house’s drains with concrete.

Williams told The Boston Globe that in the past, the home has been a “target house” for vandalization.

Police are considering anyone who has access to the house as a suspect.

State police in Westbury, Pennsylvania say a trespassing suspect who is obviously a moron, used his own credit card to jimmy open a garage door, then left it behind when the homeowner suddenly appeared and startled him.................

The important clue helped police arrest 41-year-old Brent Henry, of East Butler,  in Clay Township.

Police say the homeowner heard a noise and caught Henry, who ran away but left the credit card, and his birth certificate behind.

NO! I added in that last part about the birth certificate!

Police say Henry told them he planned to take some gasoline for another friend's car.

Online court records don't list a defense attorney to comment on the charges.

Henry faces a preliminary hearing on criminal trespass and other charges April 7.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

She Didn't Know Who She Was!

Back in 1959 Lana Turner starred in a movie called "Imitation of Life". The movie is about a light skinned black woman who decided to "pass" for white. The story is a deep, complex journey into the life of a woman who chose to live a lie, and suffered the consequences. Choosing to live a lie is one thing. Being forced to live a lie is quite another.

Lacey Schwartz grew up as a white, Jewish girl in the predominantly white community of Woodstock, N.Y., raised by Peggy and Robert Schwartz. But what she didn’t know at the time was that her biological father was black.
The idea of “passing” for white has long been a part of African-American culture. But Schwartz’s story isn’t one about passing. She truly believed that she was white.
How she came to embrace her biracial identity and confront her parents about the family secret is the subject of her documentary, Little White Lie, which will air on PBS next week.
Judging someone’s racial identity by appearance alone can be tricky. But when Schwartz was a child, her light-brown skin and curly hair elicited comments from people outside her immediate family circle: At her bat mitzvah, a woman from the synagogue mistook Lacey for an Ethiopian Jew.
When Schwartz questioned her parents, her father showed her a portrait of her Sicilian great-grandfather, whose darker skin seemingly provided an explanation for her own. Schwartz, like everyone around her, bought this story.
“To me, one of the big themes of my story and the film is about the incredible power of denial,” said Schwartz, 38, speaking from her home in Montclair, N.J., where she lives with her husband and 18-month-old twin boys. “And one of the things I was very interested in looking at is what I consider to be the anatomy of denial.”
That denial allowed her parents to convince themselves that the great-grandfather story was true. Still, Schwartz couldn’t shake that feeling of otherness. When she began attending a more diverse high school, she would get stares from black girls and didn’t understand why. Her parent’s divorce, right before she turned 16, only led to more unanswered questions.
“When my parents split, it was very earth-shattering for me, but at the same time very eye-opening,” Schwartz said. “A few things happened that weren’t adding up anymore,” she said, noting that until then, “we could ignore them because we had this nice, happy, nuclear family. And when that broke up, it made me question a lot of things.”
It wasn’t until after she applied to Georgetown University that Schwartz began searching for answers. Although she had not checked a box next to a racial preference on the application, the university accepted her as an African American based on a photo that accompanied the application.  
At that moment, Schwartz said she felt she had been given permission to explore who she really was. She began attending meetings of the Black Student Alliance and was embraced immediately. She finally had found a place where her differences didn’t feel so out of the ordinary.
Her on-campus experiences compelled Schwartz to confront her mother, who finally admitted to having had an affair with an African-American friend named Rodney Parker. She finally found out who she is.
Years ago Eddie Murphy did a skit on Saturday Night Live in which he went out into the street disguised in "white face" as a white man. He walked into a bank and got an instant loan, and the police treated him like gold. It iwaa hilarious! But the fact is, those of us who are Black in America whether we admitt it or not, have wondered what it's like to be white. But how many of us would actually do so if we had the opportunity? If it meant no more racial profiling, and actually being judged by the content of your character as opposed to the color of your skin? If it meant increasing the opportunity for your family to thrive and survive? Who would you choose to be?
I would always choose to be who I am, BLACK!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

NYC Cop Raped Teen

The NYPD vetting process has a crack in it the size of the Grand Canyon. It has to because somehow criminals keep slipping through it. There seems to be no shortage of moraless criminals on the payroll,

A seven-year veteran of the NYPD, who just happens to be a part time pastor, has betrayed both God, and the public trust. His crime? Raping a -16 year old girl!.

Vladimir Sosa, 38, raped the teen after meeting her at a church where he volunteers as pastor. Sosa, who has no prior record, was arrested Tuesday morning at the 43rd Precinct in the Bronx. He was charged with rape, criminal sex acts, sexual misconduct, child endangerment, and sex abuse.

Sosa reportedly raped the teen three times in a year.

The incident was brought to police attention after the victim’s mother found evidence on the teen’s phone.

Sosa will return to court on April 17 and is expected to be suspended without pay. 


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Autism App!

There's an app for everything! Good things, bads things, and even stupid things. But how many of them are actually useful?

A Pennsylvania father whose son has autism is creating an app that will help people with the disorder and their families.

Topher Wurts is developing the "Autism Village" app which will allow people in the autism community to add, rate and review different restaurants, museums, parks, playgrounds and other locations based on "autism friendliness" the level of comfort or accommodation a place is able to give a person with autism.

The 48-year-old, who was inspired to take on the project because his 13-year-old son, Kirby, has the disorder, launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund Autism Village and says that he expects to launch it this summer.

People who have the disorder, along with their families, may run into various challenges when visiting unfamiliar places.

Some people with autism may have special diets, while others may be sensitive to different environmental factors like light or sound. Certain locations may not be safe for a child with autism who has little awareness of his surroundings. Wurts told HuffPost in his son's case, the pair has difficulty going to places with overwhelming sensory elements.

"Kirby is very sensitive to sensory input and so loud and bright places are a problem," the 48-year-old said. "We always look for places that aren’t going to create sensory overload."

Wurts explained that through the app, people will be able to indicate to others whether a restaurant menu is accommodating to someone on the autism spectrum, or if a location is overstimulating and therefore unsuitable for some people with the disorder.

Ultimately he hopes that his app will make the the lives of people in the autism community easier, and open up new possibilities for them.

"Families and autistic adults -- especially when away from home or when looking for new ideas -- will benefit from being able to discover places that are highly rated and reviewed by other autism families. There’s lots of misinformation out there and reading reviews by other families or people who are actually in the autism community will be really helpful," Wurts said in an email, adding, "What we’re doing will dramatically improve the day to day for autism families and, hopefully, give them more time and better tools to help their kids."

The 48-year-old says that the app is in its final stages, with a few more adjustments to make before it's released on iOS.

Wurts credits his son with being the driving force behind the project.

"[Kirby is] really just an inspiration," Wurts said. "He led us into the autism community and then we realized how helpful we could be to many people by applying ourselves to using our skills from other startups and industries to helping with practical problems that autism folks deal with day to day."


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Police Beat Mom!

A mom living in the Bronx borough of New York City was trying to teach her young son a valuable lesson about why stealing is wrong. She petitioned the help of people who should know best "New York’s finest" when she ended up being handcuffed herself, proving that calling the NYPD to teach your child a lesson is like Russian roulette, a risk that could bring you pain.

According to the report, 29-year-old Tyeesha Mobley called 911 to ask the police to come talk to her son, but instead she was arrested and one of the officers told her “you black bitches don’t know how to take care of your kids,” her lawsuit claims.

Mobley is filing a suit against New York City, the Police Department and the Administration for Children’s Services after, she alleges, she was handcuffed and roughed up and had her two young children taken away from her for four months because of her request.

“She was simply trying to make sure her son stayed on the right path,” Attorney Philip Sporn told DNAinfo New York. “This shouldn’t happen to anyone, let alone to a good mom with her kids.”

It all started last April when Mobley discovered that her 9-year-old son, Tyleke, had taken $10 out of her purse. She decided to enlist some help, and a police dispatcher sent over four cops, who met with the 9-year-old and his 4-year-old brother at a gas station near their apartment.

According to Mobley, things were going well at first. “They started asking Tyleke what did he take,” Mobley testified at an October hearing. “He told them. And about three officers was joking around with him, telling him, ‘You can’t be stealing; you’ll wind up going in the police car.’”

However, the fourth responding officer wasn’t happy about the assignment. Mobley claims in her lawsuit that the officer said, “‘You black bitches don’t know how to take care of your kids. ... You need to call the kids’ father, not us. ... We can’t raise your kids. ... Why are you wasting our time? We aren’t here to raise your kid. ... Why don’t you take your f--king kid and leave?’”

When the mother attempted to leave, the officer stopped her and said she was being arrested. When she asked on what grounds, the officer allegedly responded, “‘If you’re going to say another f--king word, I’m going to knock your teeth down your throat.’”

Mobley says she was then cuffed and thrown against a squad car and kicked in her legs.

“All I was saying is, ‘Please stop, you’re hurting me; my kids is there,’” she said. The boys were allegedly crying and begging the officer to stop.

According to the lawsuit, a female officer in the squad car told the officer that that was not how they were supposed to act, but the arresting officer reportedly said, “‘Black bitches like that ... this is how I treat them.’”

Mobley and her kids were taken to a police station in separate cars. The mother, who had to be taken to the hospital to treat bruising on her legs, ended up being charged with child endangerment. She fought the charges for months before a judge finally dismissed the case.

During all of this, her children were in foster care, where, the lawsuit claims, the foster mother spoke only Spanish. Her youngest son suffered a bad burn while in her care and Tyleke had multiple asthma attacks.

The NYPD has not commented on the lawsuit, according to DNAinfo New York.

Here's the thing, had this child's father been around this kind of disrespect and brutality far less likely because, 1. He could have acted as disciplinarian, and 2. There is a possibility that the officers at the seen would have respected their family unit. No, I don't know what the situation is in reference to the fathers whereabouts. But for Mobley to call the cops their is an indication of absence. Although there is no excuse for the way that these officers behaved, we must always be aware of who we're dealing with.........


Another Hanging!!

I've seen old black and white photographs of Black men hanging in trees and felt both anger and relief. The source of my anger is obvious, and my reason for feeling relieved had always been the fact that those days are long gone. But to my bitter dismay I find myself publishing yet another narrative about a Black man who was found hanging, and I am reminded yet again that the days I thought were long gone are today!

Law enforcement officials in Claiborne, Mississippi are investigating the death of a black man who was found hanging from a tree Thursday after having been missing for two weeks. Strange fruit indeed!

The body was discovered Thursday as the Claiborne County sheriff's department and the state Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks conducted a ground search for Byrd. The MBI (Mississippi Bureau of Investigations), received a missing persons report from the sheriffs on March 13.

Jim Walker, a spokesman for the MDWFP, said that about 25 minutes after the officers started the search, they found the body hanging in the woods about 200 yards from Byrd's house.

Walker said the body had "obvious signs" of decomposition, indicating it had been there for more than a day.

Claiborne County Sheriff Marvin Lucas Sr. said a positive identification will not be available until the completion of an autopsy, which he said should help determine the cause of death.

Lucas said the body, which was found hanging by a bedsheet, has been sent to the state Crime Lab in Jackson.

"We are calling on federal authorities to immediately investigate the hanging death of Mr. Otis Byrd to determine whether or not his death is the result of a hate crime," Derrick Johnson, the President of the NAACP Mississippi State Conference said in a statement.

Byrd has a criminal record and was incarcerated in 1980 for the killing of a woman during a robbery. He was paroled in 2006. But his past mistakes did not give anyone the right to hang him in a tree 9 years later. I am always disgusted by the fact that a victims criminal record is made public as if his past makes their lives somehow less valuable.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Just When You Thought You Heard It All News (3-20-2015)

A dumb defense lawyer who left a baggie containing two ounces of marijuana on a courtroom bench has agreed to pay a $150 fine to resolve the infraction.


Vincent J. Fazzone, 46, was in a courtroom in New London, Connecticut, Tuesday morning when the-pot allegedly fell out of his back pocket in front of the marshals, his paralegal Holly McGregor told the Hartford Courant.

"When he got up with his client it fell out of his back pocket," McGregor said. "After he was done with the judge, the marshal said when you're done speaking with your client we need to talk to you."

The baggie allegedly contained two ounces of a green, leafy plant like substance that was suspected to be marijuana, according to the Norwich Bulletin.

McGregor said her boss doesn't smoke pot and that he received the weed from a client, who allegedly took it from her child, and asked Fazzone to confront the kid later in the day about the dangers of drugs, TheDay.com reports.

He put it in his pocket and forgot about it and he dropped it out when he stood up,” McGregor said. “He didn’t know until he left and somebody in the courtroom said something to him.”

Fazzone was ticketed for possession and has agreed to pay a $150 fine.

 He wants to put the matter behind him, according to Associated Press.

Outside the court room he was heard telling a court officer, "I'm glad I left my crack pipe in my other pants today."

It takes a certain kind of idioticy and callousness to rob an ice cream shop of tips on free cone day. But blatantly bragging about it on the Internet is just plain ol' stupid.

Police in St. Clair Shores, Michigan say agroup of five teenage girls swiped the tip jar at a Dairy Queen on Monday, when the store was giving away free ice cream cones. The tip thieves fled, and other customers took photos of them, their getaway car and the car's plates.

They shared their photos with police, who are investigating the robbery. Those photos alone may have been enough to lead police to the girls, but Hope said what the accused teen thieves did next truly surprised her.

The five girls posted a video clip of themselves in the car waving what appears to be cash from the robbery to Snapchat. The caption says "Robbed Dairy Queen tip jar." They sent it to all their friends.

"I think they are stupid. I mean, really, who does that? They should be the dumbest criminals," Hope told Fox Detroit.

Snapchat is a photo messaging app that claims to delete images after they are sent. However, those who receive themcan take screen shots of the "snaps" and thereby preserve them. That's one way cops may have gotten ahold of the video.

So in addition to footage of the girls allegedly committing a robbery, cops may now have their hands on a confession. It's not clear if police have located the young women yet. Oh, but they will.

Hope says she doesn't want them to go to jail, but that she wants them to learn a lesson. 

But.....jail is a lesson!

"They shouldn't be doing things like that," Hope said. "It's not how they should be growing up."

..........................Next in naked moron news......Residents in Charlotte, North Carolina, are upset over a neighbor they say likes to hang out in his doorway naked.

However, police officials said that while the view may not be pleasant, the man isn't breaking any laws.

Neighbors told WBTV that the unidentified man has stood naked at his front door several times a week for the last 10 years. The last time was on Friday.

“I was out rolling the trash can on Friday and I just happened to look over there and he was standing there buck naked,” neighbor Pecolia Threatt told the station.

Adrienna Harris, who wants the man arrested, told WBTV said her daughter won't leave the house if her naked neighbor is dangling in the doorway.

Neighbors estimate they've called the police 30 times since 2005, but police officials tell Time Warner Cable News that there's nothing they can do since the man is naked inside his own home.

It's possible that the naked neighbor could be charged with indecent exposure, but North Carolina law says he'd have to, willfully expose the private parts of his or her person in any public place and in the presence of any other person or persons."

The annoyed neighbors took a picture of the man standing a this door in all his glory on Friday. They plan to use the pics to get the neighborhood's Homeowners Association to file some type of nuisance complaint against the naked neighbor, according to the Charlotte Observer.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

12 Inch Hitler.

We've been living here in North Carolina for a little more than 7 years, and it never fails. As soon as I "forget" that I'm in the south, I get a reiminder that I am way south of the Mason-Dixon Line. There are no burning crosses, or hooded clowns wearing sheets, and nobody's called me nigger. At least not to my face. But the tendency toward willfull stupidity still amazes me. 
Last night I went to a middle school in Wendell, North Carolina for an information session. Parents gathered in the library with 6 or 7 administrators disseminating what seemed to like endless information. About 30 minutes in, out of the corner of my eye I say a row of boxed action figures labeled with swastikas. Inside the box, there he was in all of its sadistic glory, a 12"  Hitler "doll" dressed as a baseball player! Beside that box, there was Mussolini dressed in army fatigues, and then another box of Hitler.

As I sat there half listening and half staring at 12 inch Hitler, I tried to figure out why he was there, and what his purpose was. What context was used to justify his very existance on a shelf in a middle school library? I could not come up with an answer, but there had to be a reason, right? Wrong!! When it was all said and done, I asked why there were likenesses of psychopathic dictators prominently displayed for all the world to see. I expected, at least a little shock, and a perhaps a shred of empathy to say the least.instead, with a smile on her face one of the administrators said, "It was a student project on dictator's. Aren't they precious?" I've heard Hitler called a lot of things but precious was definitely not one of them. I found it unquestionably offensive, and when I expressed my displeasure, disdain, and disenchantment, it was met with a dismissive smile and an approving nod. So approving on fact that I began to wonder if my reaction was because of my New York conditioning. New York has long been known as a  "Jewish town" because the Jewish community had so much political clout that it gave them the power to effect change. Each and every offense or action that was perceived as such was met with protests, outrage, and swift indignation. News of a Hitler "doll" in a NYC middle school would have set the city on fire. So maybe my reaction is a direct result of my "programming". Sounds like a convenient way to explain away my reaction, right? Maybe. But that doesn't make it less offensive. 
You might think I'm overreacting or making a big deal out of nothing. But the fact of the matter is that the holocaust in Nazi Germany did not start with 5 million Jewsish people being mass murdered. It started with propaganda in which charactitures, and character assisination in both the media and in newspapers at that time portrayed the Jews as rats. A sub-human species not worthy of humanity. It had a desensitizing affect. This propaganda laid the ground work for 5 million Jews being sent to gas chambers, and burned in ovens. We must ask ourselves the question, "If it starts here where does it end?" Allowing children to embark on such projects, and presents such imagery gives the impression that the most notorious figure in the history of the world is nothing more that a mythic creature from their text books. A historical figure to be toyed with, who's impact has been diminished by reducing him to a harmless action figure to be displayed and appreciated. This does nothing more than desensitize the you, and eventually change the historical context in their minds. It doesn't create dialogue. It creates apathy, and indifference while deminishing the impact of a demon.


Public Shame.


Maybe it's just me, but sometimes it seems as if we live in a progressive society that has not made much progress. But then again the word "progress" has become highly subjective and subject to interpretation. Part of this alleged evolution is the ever intrusive authoritarian stance that government is taking in reference to how we raise our children. Spanking which used to be a common practice has now been labeled abuse. We're told to use our words instead of our hands. Which is not as effective because, children, just by virtue of being children do not have the capacity to understand or comprehend each and every message or life lesson. But effectiveness aside, if we choose to spank our children we're subject to everything from incarceration to public ridicule. So, some parents have been forced to utilize more creative measures. Q

It’s a son forced to hold a stack of books over his head until he’s in pain aspunishment for stealing.

It’s a girl wearing a “shame shirt' to school for bringing home bad grades.

It’s an old-man, Sherman Hemsley haircut for a misbehaving boy.

It’s an underperforming students standing  in a busy city intersection with a sign detailing his academic crimes.

The “it” is public shaming. Agree with it or not, it’s an increasingly popular and most certainly innovative way to check unruly and disrespectful kids.

Social media is the new hip-hop—not in musicality, of course, but in the blame it shoulders for behavioral and cultural problems. Public shaming has caught fire across Facebook and Instagram as parents document pictures and videos of their innovative discipline. Much of that seems to be shared in search of verbal high-fives and affirmative yeah-that’s-rights from fellow parents and followers. Some say the irony is that parents are publicly punishing children’s unseemly behavior on social media with alleged unseemly behavior of their own.

Some parents have forced children to return to the scene of the original crime to rectify their wrongdoing. When author ReShonda Tate Billingsly found out that her then-12-year-old daughter had posted a photo of herself on her Instagram account holding an unopened bottle of vodka, Billingsley took a picture of her own, this one of a much-sadder-faced girl, alcoholic beverage replaced with a sign that read, “Since I want to post photos of me holding liquor, I am obviously not ready for social media and will be taking a hiatus until I learn what I should and should not post. Bye-bye.” 
As far as I'm concerned this sounds like a fitting punishment considering what she did.

In many cases, public shame is deployed as an alternative to spanking, which, as I mentioned earlier, carries with it potential repercussions from local child-protective agencies and doesn’t have the far-reaching reverberations that a shared photo of a kid behaving badly could and often does. No teenagers want to become Vine, Twitter or Facebook famous because their mom’s video of them wearing a sandwich board with graphic detail about how poorly they’re doing in school has gone viral.

Still, psychologists and parenting experts frown on public shaming, some even likening it to adult bullying. “Discipline is supposed to correct behavior and set boundaries so that the children can then learn how to regulate themselves and make good decisions when their parents aren’t around. You teach them what they’re supposed to do so they can make the right decisions on their own,” said Satira Streeter, executive director of Ascensions Psychological and Community Services, Inc., in Southeast Washington, D.C.

“If you start humiliating the child, you hurt the relationship with them,” she continued. “Now they’re angry and distrustful of you because you put them out there like that, and you’ve possibly done something immature in trying to teach them a lesson about how to be mature.”

But the fact is, children who do not face consequences become adults who are who have no concept of what it means to suffer consequences, and these adults either end in the the prison industrial complex or have no life skills.

The judicial system has always used public humiliation in varying degrees but is incorporating it into more sentences because, as a punishment, it costs nothing, it eliminates the need to put young people in contact with hardened criminals in prisons and detention centers, and it teaches a valuable lesson of personal accountability.

Billingsley said she met her daughter where she was—online. In this case, public shaming worked. “She saw the consequences. She said, ‘I wish I had never done that,’” Billingsley said, when the picture reached 10,000 shares in a matter of hours, the young lady saw firsthand how quickly any and everything can move around the Internet. That’s a lesson she wouldn’t have necessarily gotten had her mother not taught it on the Web.

Discipline of any kind should be less about the intent to shame and more about the desire to instruct, said Jasmyn Price, a licensed clinical professional counselor in Maryland. “If your goal is to humiliate, then public shaming is 100 percent effective. If your goal is behavioral change, if you want to teach children to reflect on their behavior and how it affects others, then it’s not. Shaming and humiliating children—or anyone, for that matter—never yields positive results.”

I disagree, just because positive results are not always imediate it does not me that they are not effective.

There’s a difference between humiliation and mild social disapproval, added Streeter, which is more “That’s not acceptable” and “That’s not what we do,” or “Mommy’s not proud of that behavior.” She said, “I’m a believer in children having to make right what they did wrong, so if you have a child that did graffiti, get them out there to clean it up.”

"Ultimately, talking with children about their choices after they’ve messed up just as much as before is the baseline for all corrective behavior. It’s not social media shareable, and it’s not laughable like an old-man haircut, but it works."

And so, inch by inch and bit by bit our parental rights are slowly being taken away.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Butt Lift Refund

Last year 11 million Americans had some sort of plastic surgery. Why? Because the  vast majority of us are not 100% satisfied  with our bodies. The fact is, to be human is to be insecure on some level. Some of us can deal with it, some of us can live with it, and some of us can't do either one. But the question is. What are we willing to do to change those things about ourselves that cause us to be uncomfortable and or insecure? 

A family is mourning the loss of 45-year-old Simone Jones, who died during a plastic surgery procedure in New York last month.

The family is seeking a full refund for the botched job that caused Jones to lose her life. But there is no word on whether the family is considering a malpractice suit. Just a refund for "bad" service. Jones went into cardiac arrest while getting liposuction at Lexington Plastic Surgeons in Manhattan on February 9. The Brooklyn native had elected to get liposuction on her legs, arms, and back, a buttocks lift, and a tummy tuck.

Her 26-year-old daughter Shantay was informed by Dr. Alan Bienstock that the surgery was “98 percent complete” when the patient’s heart rate dropped while he was working on the butt lift.

‘She was very attractive and looked young for her age and she wanted the whole package. She took pride in her appearance,’ she said.

Because she was a relatively healthy individual, the family’s lawyer Scott Rynecki says malpractice might be to blame.

Ms. Jones, an otherwise healthy woman went in for an ambulatory procedure and apparently her vital signs were not being properly monitored so as to allow this tragedy to occur,’ said Rynecki.

Jones paid a total of $11,000 for the surgery. On average, liposuctions, lifts, and a tummy tuck roughly add up to $17,000. Like the saying goes, you get what you pay for. 


Monday, March 16, 2015

No Respect & Disrespect!

Are they dead? Kindness, chivalry, and courtesy. If they are dead, when did they die? There are only a few of us "real" people left. The rest are psychos, morons, idiots, and loser's.

A pregnant woman said she was attacked earlier this month after she did not say “thank you” to a man who held a door open for her at a New York City public housing building, 

Lakeeya Walker, who works as a caretaker at the building in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, was using her key to enter the building on March 5 when a man offered to open the door for her.

“Once I entered the building, I didn’t say anything to him. He was mad that I didn’t say thank you, so he called me an ungrateful bitch,” Walker, who is seven weeks pregnant, said.

The 22-year-old told the man that she had not needed him to hold the door for her and told him not to speak to her that way. The man responded by throwing his coffee in her face.

“Then he takes his cup of coffee—he was drinking a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee—and he throws it at me in my face,” she told the news station. “He then choked me with one hand and then started hitting me repeatedly with the other.” 

Walker tried to escape, but the attacker tossed her to the ground.

“When he felt good and ready, he pulled me off the gate. He threw me on the floor like a WWE mat while laying on my back. My feet is in the air. I’m kicking, kicking, kicking, trying to, like, protect myself. He’s kicking me on the stomach, and while he’s doing this, he says to me, ‘I’m going to kick that baby out your womb,’” the woman added.

Walker was taken to the hospital, where, she said, the doctor told her there was a blood clot by the baby’s head that could go away.

Authorities have identified 32-year-old Darryl Guillyard as a suspect in the assault and are currently looking for him.

So you've just read this story, and you know all of the details. But do you? It's easy to take this narrative at face value and say that Guillyard is an animal, point blank, end of story. But let's go a little deeper. It has often been said that the best things in life are free. Respect, civility, and kindness are just a few of those things. There was a time in our society where these things were not only free but they were easy to do. Walker could have easily said thank you, and Guillyard could have easily just let it go when she didn't. There was a time in this country when we did the right thing simply because it was right, not because we expected a "thank you", and we appreciated when somebody did something that they didn't have to do whether we needed them to or not. Walker said she had not needed him to hold the door for her, but he did. So my question is, since you did doing holding a door open and responding with "thank you" become such chores?

It'll cost Guillard his freedom, and it may cost Walker her child's life.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Just When You Thought You Heard It All News (3-14-2015)

Unfortunately there is no shortage of stories about dumb teenagers, doing stupid things. It's almost expected. Right around the time that I was ready to give up on any teenager who didn't belong to me, I read this story.

When cheering for her squad, Desiree Andrews, an eighth grader with Downs Syndrome at Lincoln Middle School in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was berated with insults from a few "butt holes" in the stands.

In most instances, especially in middle school, students are worried about no one but themselves. Reputation and perception often trumps morality. Not in this case.
Ballers Chase Vazquiez, Miles Rodriguez and Scooter Terrein of the Lincoln basketball squad overheard the heckling and immediately called time out to confront the bully.

Coach Brandon Morris told Kenosha News:

One of the kids stepped up and said, “Don’t mess with her,”. Then all of the guys got together to show her support.

It’s not fair when other people get treated wrong. Because we’re all the same. We’re all created the same.

The school has since renamed the gym “D’s House”, and faith in humanity is restored.

Oh, it looks like the circus is in town!!

A woman arrested on an indecent exposure charge at a Florida Dunkin' Donuts told police that she got naked as a dare. 

Employees at the franchise said Shakara Martin, 32, walked up to the storefront in West Palm Beach on Sunday. They said she wasn't wearing a lick of clothing. Martin sat down at a table outside the store and began chatting up a man who was sitting there. It wasn't long before people began to complain.

Magdalena Rivera, who works at the Dunkin' Donuts, said that they had to call the cops because the woman was driving away business, and scaring the children, many of whom wondered why a naked clown was sitting outside of the store.

"She's completely naked, no bra... She was scaring our customers off," Rivera said.

Witnesses told police that Martin was offered clothes several times, but she refused to take them... She began apologizing when police arrived.

When police questioned Martin, she allegedly told them that she'd gotten naked as a sorority pledge stunt, according to WPBF. The name of the sorority was not disclosed. The Palm Beach Post reports that the woman told cops that the stunt was something she had to do to join a dance troupe.

Martin was released from jail Monday on her own recognizance.

There's no word if Martin is welcome back at the Dunkin' Donuts where she allegedly pulled her stunt. 

Have you ever wanted to kick yourself?
I mean, have you ever made a mistake that was so big that you would have given anything to step outside of your body and kick your own behind? Sure you have! But I can guarantee that it wasn't anywhere near as big a mistake as this dude made.

In Los Angeles A Southern California man came forward to claim a $1 million lottery prize but was sent home empty handed after saying that while he bought the winning ticket he later misplaced it, a lottery official said on Friday.

On Thursday, the six-month deadline passed for a ticket holder to claim the $1 million Powerball prize in the drawing that took place on Sept. 13, 2014, California Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso said.

The ticket was sold at a supermarket in Rosemead, less than 10 miles east of Los Angeles, and a video camera at the store captured the moment when it was sold to a young man with close-cropped hair.

Lottery officials in recent weeks released to the media video showing the purchase in an attempt to prompt the ticket holder to come forward before the deadline.

On Thursday, a young man visited a California Lottery district office in Santa Fe Springs and spoke to officials there in an attempt to claim the prize, Traverso said.

"They said he resembled the guy in the video, so there was a resemblance. It wasn't an uncanny resemblance," Traverso said.

Traverso said the young man reported having misplaced the winning ticket, which had five of six numbers in the Powerball drawing and won a secondary prize, not the jackpot.

Under the rules of the multi-state Powerball game, no winner can claim a prize without the ticket, he said.

"It's just an unfortunate situation because when we have people win prizes like this we want them to be able to claim them. We want to have them shout from the rooftops that they're a big lottery winner," he said.

This is the second time a California lottery ticket buyer has lost out on a prize since officials in 2012 began releasing video images of winning ticket purchasers in an attempt to find them, Traverso said.

The winning $1 million prize will instead go to California schools under the rules of the state lottery system. 

Given the fact that it's impossible to kick your own butt, I'm willing to step in and help this guy out!


Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Not So Happy Meal!!


Teenagers have always faught. When I was in high school, we fought on the subway, around the corner, and once in a while there were fights in the stairwell. Let me stop saying we because I was only in one fight with a kid named MC Chill Love. He wasn't really an MC, he didn't chill, and there was absolutely no love. If you ask me who won the right, I'll say that I really don't remember. But sense I'm the one writing this, I'll just say that it was me! Yes most of us have had a fight or two but most of us have never had one recorded, uploaded, and watched by people across the country including the police.

The NYPD is investigating after video surfaced online showing a group of girls viciously kicking and punching another girl inside a Brooklyn McDonald’s while dozens of fellow teens watch and jeer. 

The video, posted to Facebook, captures the Monday afternoon brawl at a McDonald’s on Flatbush Avenue. The footage shows four girls repeatedly punching and kicking another teen wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt while throngs of bystanders shout in the background.

The larger group continues to attack the teen in the blue sweatshirt, even pulling out her hair extensions, until the girl huddles underneath a table with her hands over her head. At one point, one of the girls in the group stomps on the victim's head. 

At several points during the fight, bystanders can be heard yelling, "She’s dead," and, "You murdered her."

The video ends with several students picking the girl up off the ground and putting her on a bench.

One boy who witnessed the attack told NBC 4 New York Wednesday he "felt bad for the girl," but was concerned about intervening and taking a portion of her beating.

"I didn't know what was going on and I was kind of scared, I'm not gonna lie," said the boy, who asked not to be identified.

Police said they do not recall getting a 911 about the brawl. Officers responding to an unrelated call in the area shortly after it broke up encountered another, separate fight outside the McDonald's and then learned about the brawl that had raged inside earlier.

Police, who had not seen the video of the brawl at that point, say the girl in the blue hooded sweatshirt did not want to make a report or go to the hospital. She ended up going to the hospital later and was treated for bumps and bruises, authorities said.

On Wednesday, after reviewing the cellphone brawl video, police say they took a report for gang assault and were able to identify the girl in the blue hooded sweatshirt and the girl seen stomping her head. Both are 16 years old, authorities said. Authorities say they believe all those involved in the brawl are students at Erasmus High School.

The investigation has been hampered by witnesses' unwillingness to come forward, police say; they have only the video to go on and neither the apparent victim nor the mother will cooperate with authorities.

Community activist Tony Herbert said the victim should file a police report, and asked all of the people involved to turn themselves in to authorities.

"The message has to be sent very clearly, that this kind of violence will not be tolerated whether in a mall or in restaurants and those involved should turn themselves in to authorities immediately so as to face the consequences of their violent actions,” Herbert said.

The Department of Education was notified of the fight shortly after the altercation; a staff member went to the McDonald's and accompanied the victim to the hospital, then waited until her parents arrived.

"The actions in this video are abhorrent and our primary concern right now is for the well-being of the student," the agency said in a statement. It said additional counselors would be available at the school.

Paul Goodman, the Flatbush Avenue McDonald's franchisee, said his employees contacted the police as soon as the brawl erupted, though it wasn't clear if they tried 911 or a non-emergency line.

"The safety of my employees and customers is my top priority," Goodman said in a statement. "As part of the Flatbush community, I will continue to work with the NYPD and community leaders to ensure the safety of customers."

McDonald's Corporation has not yet responded