Version 2.0

Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


Friday, August 21, 2009

It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday

We were friends
a long time ago...

laughin', rappin'...
chasin' girls...

obeyin' no laws,
except the one of caring.

Basketball days and high nights.

No tomorrows.

Unable to remember yesterday...
we live for today.

- Preach
(reading to Cochise)
Cooley High - 1975

I feel like Preach at the end of 'Cooley High'

I can't explain in writing why I feel this way, I know that I just do. My life has take this unexpected turn into the unknown and I'm having difficulty letting go of the current because it's the past. I'm not in great health but I'm getting back to optimum. That I can explain. I think.

Okay, I'll try here.

Back in my army days, if you lived in the barracks (which ain't nothing but a big-ass dorm for single soldiers and maybe a few folk that were a little too young to be out on their own - You could go off base and rent an apartment, but for some the trappings of having just enough space for yourself and free meals at the mess hall was too good to pass up) you not only had to maintain your own personal space but you had to clean the common areas and keep them spotless. At least once a month Sarge would call for a 'G.I. Party' which was a day in which you weren't at the library, out on a date or at the mall. The whole entire residency of the barracks was present and accounted in order to clean the place from top to bottom.

The barracks was always a place for presentation. One never knew when a command officer would show up for a surprise inspection. One would never know when they would show us just to say hello just to see how you were living, so when I stayed in the barracks I helped keep the place spotless (well, except for this one time in Korea... Another story). You could eat off the floors in that place and that's where the comparisons to how I feel right now begin.

The floors in the main areas and hallways were always clean and shiny. We would clean, strip, wax and buff the floors every week or so. After about two weeks, maybe three (if we had a field training exercise the floors would not get stripped, whoever stayed behind and cleaned the floors in our absence would put floor wax in a spray bottle and use the electric buffer to keep the shine going) if we were out there that long, there would be layers of floor wax there and we would have to use a cutting agent to strip the floors before re-cleaning them and laying down a new coat of wax. You could see in the edges where the floor met the wall and in the corners a darkening of the wax where dirt would accumulate. It took a long time to strip them floors, but in presentation and cleanliness it was well worth it.

I took pride in cleaning the floors in my section.
I just wish I would have remembered to do this internally.
Literally and figuratively.

I got out of the army at the end of 92/the beginning of 93 and I headed back home to Chicago. I had a girlfriend back there waiting and my family half-assed opened their arms to welcome me back. I had a friend from high school that was like a brother and other friends and acquaintances that were there for me to re-connect with and I did just that. I reconnected.

I met a handful of folks along the way and befriended some and kept others at arm's distance. I felt like I had support if I needed it and even though I lost a few folks along the way I worked and played within my support system and there were no complaints.

Being conscious about things was natural progression, and other than my friend from high school, my younger brother and a few folk I called friend there was no support in me growing, learning new things that would have taken me away from the hood and living on my own terms. My man from high school stuck with my fickle decisions to make music or not, and although we don't hang out as much these days him, his wife and family have my utmost respect for dealing with me. I think that most folk only know how to deal with folk that are just like them. Having an open mind (and I haven't had one all my life) and dealing with folk on their own terms weirds most folk out (see: Healthcare Reform in 2009 - any newspaper or news site), and they keep you at arms's distance only calling when they want something.

I dealt with that, but I also grew to like different things outside of what my geographic constraints would allow, so I started to travel and I liked it. I should say that I shedded a few pounds along the way in people that I couldn't actually explain why to myself they were still in my life. A lot of drama ensued from me ending a decade plus long relationship, to eliminating religion to changing my name and then moving to locales that gave me comfort and peaked my curiosity. It wasn't all successful and there was some damage left in some places. I burned bridges with a few and got burned by folk that either unintentionally or intentionally wanted to do so. These things left a lot of residue and built up like that wax on the floor in the barracks twenty years ago. I needed a powerful cutting agent to be able to cut thru the build up in order to emotionally start anew.

As that dirt in the corners and the floor's edge had built up exponentially, things began to weigh me down.

When I got out of the military back in the day I started to eat things that I did not consume while in service. I got big. I got slow. I got fat and in 1998 I damn near killed myself form the years of food residue pile up, high fructose corn syrup, alcohol and tobacco consumption. For a moment I heeded the call and got healthy, then I went back to hamburgers, chicken wings and beer and then I'd stop to get healthy again. I was channeling my inner Luther Vandross.

As a result of my actions regarding my lifestyle choices and health options, my heart is suffering.
As a result of my actions, intent and relationships from the past to current, my heart is suffering.

The ups and downs of my past lifestyle has introduced my body to atherosclerosis. The past couple of months I've been unable to sleep because when I lay down my legs from the knee down and my hands go numb. The hardening of my arteries and the difficulty of pumping the blood has made my heart weak. Now I can get things back to normal over time and I have been supplementing and changed my diet to accommodate this, but the agent I'm using to cut the wax build up off of my floors is powerful. I'm a little lethargic and am always chronically fatigued nowdays. Little by little it gives me less opportunity to get stuff done, but I'm okay, my body is catching up on all of that missed sleep. The herbicuticals give me pockets in which I can sleep without going in pain and or feeling numbness but those moments have given me time to think. (Like I have a choice in the matter).

The ups and downs of my life, my relationships and actions have introduced me to waking up from my 2 hour pockets of much needed rest to realize that life itself is fleeting. I realized that I put an emotional stake into friendships that were never actual. That I spent some of my time and effort in life unaware that life can leave my vessel at any moment. I lived for the day (which I'll still do in some aspects) but I never planned for tomorrow in other aspects. By my recent understanding that my life has value to me and knowing that I was just amusement and appeasement to others, I had a Cochise moment. A lot of the bullshit (and the people that brought said bullshit) died. A lot of meaningful things and relationships that meant something to me in the past died. Bad opportunities died. Good things with consequences that the old me would have appreciated also ceased.

So recently I wrote my poem, said it at the grave site and headed west leaving a lot of people, family and friends as well as posers, pretenders and bad opportunities behind. Making that drive was also a powerful cutting agent as well but...

Even though I'll miss certain aspects of Chicago...
My family and true friends...
Some great opportunities...

I gotta strengthen my heart.

Literally and figuratively.

I always cry when Cochise dies in that film but I know that Preach does move forward and will do well. I know that I will too. I also believe that you can come home again. I'm just hoping to have that opportunity to do just that after I get my act together. Whatever in my third act this turns out to be.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Road Trip Is Over

Today is just a regular day.

Today is a special day.

Today well, is today I guess.

It's been 74 days since we left Chicago, one month since we left Atlanta and a month in Las Vegas. I don't think the wife and I had a big blue clue that when we got here that we would stop.

And stay.

It's official folks (like most of the inner circle didn't already know), we currently live in Las Vegas, Nevada and this place is nothing like you thought it was. You have to be a local to figure that out though.

Now from what I already knew, Vegas has a booming tourism thingee but unlike Chicago they have found a way to keep damn near 99% of those guys either around or on the strip. I remember visiting Vegas in the past and in catching cabs to casinos and attractions far away from Las Vegas Blvd thinking how plain and boring the actual city was in comparison to the bright lights and 24 hour excitement the strip has to offer. Well, when you live here you are appreciative that the drunken, touristy, crazy and just plain curious don't want to come into the residential and commercial areas.

Thank the lord.
No, seriously. Take a knee.

This place is relatively quiet and 'normal' with its own amenities. Even though tourism fluctuates and the unemployment rate is right at the nation's highest (12.5%), if you are a skilled laborer, a degreed management professional, an artist (of any sort) with a proven sales/audience track record, a politician or civil service professional, in transportation (like myself), a personal trainer (or trainer of any type) or have design, culinary or construction expertise and the lambskin or certificate with experience to back it up, you will find yourself gainfully employed in this city without a doubt.

Foreclosure rates are the highest in the nation, so if you're in the market for a nice 4 bedroom, 3 bath home with a pool in a gated community or if you want good city living in a 3 bedroom ranch not far from the WalMart and the mall you can rent one for what I like to call 'crackhead rates'. Home rentals are dangerously below sane market value here and they even offer 3, 6 and 12 month short term leasing for most that can afford it.

There is even a 'hustler's market' here, offering short term apartment rentals with no credit check that can accommodate you daily, weekly and monthly. Most of these places are clean, quiet and protected by armed security. As far as groceries and soft commerce, the grocery stores offer the exact same items we lived off of in Chicago and Atlanta for at least 35% less than what we paid for, and the taxes are remarkably less.

Now there are casino/hotel/resorts located all around Vegas, Henderson and the surrounding cities. They are just as big as the strip hotels and have the same slots, tables and entertainment as them too. The food, breads and circuses are a step below the strip with some properties that jump high well above some of the premium strip hotels, and that lures the Vegas regular to a more quiet, service and luxury focused spot. One thing, the crazy strip mentality doesn't exist at these places, and some of them even have ice skating rinks, movie theaters and bowling alleys attached to them so there is a lot of local traffic that kind of blends in with the more laid back Vegas visitor. That was impressive to us as when we first encountered it because we live directly across the street from 2 huge properties in North Vegas and it stays quiet.

I thought things would be crazy here, but there are residential areas that surround these places and the police and (visible AND hidden) private have a security presence to protect the property tax payer as well as not letting any riff-raff spoil the relaxed environment for the business, pleasure and casual traveler. It kind of balances out.

But Vegas does have a ton of open, undeveloped space that's actually being claimed and bidded on by some of the fat cats that want to build more. There are also various housing community building booms here as well. Vegas also has a few 'hood' areas with bad element like all cities, but here is a different kind of crime element here that I observed from afar.

When we were in Atlanta there were crimes of opportunity committed by the have-nots against the haves. Nicer neighborhoods experienced robberies on a more grander scale than in Chicago. You don't have to worry much about your 60 inch flat screen being stolen than getting jacked for your car and jewelery. Easier to cash out and move it. In Chicago there is white collar crime, drug and gun trafficking and gang violence. Lots of kids die in the crossfire in the Chi. Atlanta has their share of gang related crime but it seems that this is more poverty driven.

In Vegas, there is prostitution, drug crime and a touch of gang violence, but the biggest thing going on here is fraud. Now folks are getting shot just like in other cities, and there is a gang element here as well as most folk just being tribal but... Fraud is where it's at here in the desert. Waaaay to many people to get over on whether they be a tourist with hopes of hitting the big jackpot, to the savvy business traveler that wants to live out that getaway fantasy in three days to of course, the Joe Schmoe that comes to Vegas looking to launch his dream. Even the young, married couple that just moved here to take the $10 an hour park ranger job can get scammed because everyone comes here for something. We're used to seeing that kind of stuff.

Which leads things back to us. So let's see...

Cheap living, cheapER cost of living, easy access to amenities and recreation, the ability to take advantage of a soft real estate market selling as permanent living but being masked as a temporary set up... Yeah. We agreed that we could camp out here for a year, even more and stack that paper to buy the house we really want back east. And oh yeah, the airport is right over there... And L.A is a 4 hour drive to the west, Phoenix 4 to the south and my old stomping grounds in Salt Lake City 6 hours to the north WITH support from friends that live less than a 15 minute drive away.

Yeah, we found support here from our couple/friends and their family so the shock of being isolated in the desert from folks we know and love never happened. One thing did happen that I have to mention: The outside influence that provided doubt, resistance and poison to our relationship died the moment we started our drive to Atlanta.

Imagine that? A bevy of family and friends in our sweet home Chicago offering advice, support and fellowship, and from some of them what they offered (a chosen few) was the sticks, matches and kindling sure to burn down our relationship. Oh, it wasn't just from folks in Chicago either. I just know that since we hit the road certain hurdles were immediately eliminated.

My other half reminded me that my original idea was to stay in Oregon for a year or two after we got hitched in 07 because I felt that isolation in order to deal with each other is what we needed to maintain a stable relationship. I hadn't forgotten that but it was put on the back burner somehow. I don't know, work and stuff. All I know is now we have stronger support from friends now than when we lived down the street and around the corner from folks.

I do miss my brother and sister in-law and their family
I miss our neighbors that lived across from us.
I miss Lake Shore Drive.
I miss just busting all up into my mother's house.
Hell, I miss a lot of things.

One thing I missed and didn't realize until we sat down to make the decision to stay in Vegas though was having my peace of mind. I forgot exactly what that was. Funny, I never knew I'd find it just laying out here in the damn desert. Vegas has its lack of culture, smarmy parts, sleaziness and just plain dry, hot and dull elements to it, but it's home now. I can't wait til' the DirecTv guys come out and deliver my football to my front door, then we're really cooking.

It doesn't feel weird saying those things.

Heh. Viva Las Vegas.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Stew Gets Darker

I've been trying to find the right way to explain it. You try not to offend or assume anything about someone, something or some people but when a situation hits its fever pitch, you're not supposed to just let it take you over and engulf you.

I'm talking about this whole healthcare thingamobob.

It would be foolish for folks to just idly sit there and let this issue pass them by. The suggestions and changes being brought forth is paramount to how we will live the rest of lives here in this country. It has to be discussed because the current, proposed and future system(s) of healthcare affects each and every one of us, so I'll get to it.

It has been incredibly silent in the black community as a whole. One one hand you have folks like myself that have a passing concern and hope for the best. On the other, you have a whole gang of folks that really don't care one way or the other. The folks that read the papers, gather info from the internet and watch the news in attempts to gather fair assessment of what's going on are purposely being desperately quiet as to not be engaged.

Ask my grandmother. Hell, ask my mother... Wait! Ask me.

We have been here before. Nothing is going to happen. Somebody might get hurt, but...

One of the main reasons a lot of minorities haven't really spoken up on healthcare reform is because we know that a certain silent part of the majority will be energized in knowing that change on the way of American life is imminent whenever 'sweeping reform' of anything takes place. We know that this country was founded on human trafficking and the trade of goods and commodities manufactured and handled by its human chattel. We also know that some of the corporations and financial institutions still exist from that era and some newer ones formed over time to present day were supported and partnered with monies from businesspeople, families, foreign and religious interests which as a result houses the majority of our upper class.

The rich in this nation continue to get richer and the poor get poorer. Thank you free market system! It works!

Some of those large companies that exist off of money from the past are being upheld by the government via asset relief and bailout money that has already been taken from the taxpayer. Other companies have downsized and reduced themselves into unemployable, unrecognizable shams of their former selves. Whereas Latin and other minority groups have integrated, entered the various markets and are growing in population, folks of African descent are actually growing in reverse. The perception and acceptance of these people has always been suspect to say the least by the majority for whatever reason.

Most minorities had to be legislated into the class system, then taking liberties of the laws of the land to freely participate in the free market system as well as the various markets and workplaces, thus thrusting themselves into the middle and upper class. For a lot of (mostly) black and (these days not a lot of) Latino folk over the years, attempting to integrate the market and workplace as well as the real estate market (obtaining prime housing) has been a complete and utter failure.

The majority has gone to great strides to preserve their version of American life, and that ain't a bad thing. The lack of understanding and the lack of acceptance has given most folk in the American majority a great advantage in achieving the American dream, and the misunderstanding of self, the lack of self respect and the curse of pride... both having too much and not having enough all in the same breath has held African American folk specifically back to the point where most of us still struggle to achieve middle class goals even in 2009.

There is hope but... It takes two to tango and neither the majority or minority wants to extend their hand to dance. Although we as a people have been taught and trained to forgive and forget, history tells us that the change the current president campaigned on to win the election last year wasn't really expected to happen because most folk don't forget. There is so much mistrust and disrespect being thrown not just his way, but in a wise Latina supreme court justice, an African-American attorney general, a liberal female secretary of state and a Jewish white house chief of staff's way because they lack the proper aesthetic in some people's minds causing them to think that the American way of life they knew as children and young adults will be snatched from them with no regard to the constitution and their unalienable rights.

Some folk are also mad that their candidate didn't win and the audacity of 'that one' to be so confident and arrogant... My word! Some folk no longer respect the process or the office as well as the law (and we are a nation of laws) because the sanctity of it all has been tarnished by a brown hand.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Reform Madness - White Minority
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorSpinal Tap Performance

Why the mistrust? Why the disrespect? Why the anger?

The reason a lot of black folk haven't responded is because this has happened before. Regardless of who was in charge, regardless of who was minding the store a bunch of promises were made and never kept. Most folk know that these are just proposals, ideas that are being thrown on the wall to see what sticks. Most of us know that special interest groups will line the pockets of some and make it rain for others in order to maintain the status quo. EVERYONE knows that our current health system must change to reflect the needs of the people.

The majority will one day become the minority, this we know, but it ain't happening tomorrow. We know who has the money, the advantages and who can influence rule making, so for a lot of black and Latino folk - poor, fairing midland and extremely well off we know that change will be fought with resistance so we bide our time and pray for the day the sweet chariot comes forth to carry us home.

Some of us do that.

The choices in thought and the belief in reparations of some sort based in a weird form of white fear and guilt makes healthcare reform in 2009a major race issue.

To reform the system, we begin to remove the system that was put in place that appeases the majority. Thing is, things will eventually start to balance themselves out. I cannot change how folks were raised. I cannot stop folks from teaching what they teach in the privacy of their own homes. I cannot dispel the rumors and can't stand alone attempting to preach the truth til' my face turns blue because I myself do not know exactly what that is anymore because my mama could be an agent (Sup' Langston and Alyson!). What I do know is...

Well to the small majority of folks out there that just woke up full of anger because inclusion of folk outside your circle and reform will supposedly break your system and eliminate your way of life, we're just like you. Faith based systems, flesh and bone, how we put on pants. We're remarkably like you in so many ways. No need to demonize a process being suggested to open something up to folks that never had real access. I mean, really! A little inclusion would be nice, and if you really want to know about us then... Just ask.

The anger and mistrust and lack of respect is real. Glen Beck said that this is all about reparations. Bill O'Rielly said that it's all about an extreme left agenda. Rush said that this is the precursor to socialism and then dictatorship. Lou Dobbs said that certain folks just want to break the system without seeming terrorist.Conservatives speak in cynical fashion ready to fight to save their way of life.

The same rhetoric was used in the late 1800s and during the Suffrage and Civil Rights movement. The same scare tactics were used against folk like Harvey Milk.

Us minorities know that whenever healthcare reform is passed, it won't look like anything being suggested right now and that this certain small part of the majority got their panties all up in a bunch because somebody suggested that our healthcare system readjust itself to look like all of America and to prepare itself for a different looking America somewhere down the line.

Eventually the hot button issue in America will be about our horribly inefficient and financially wasteful healthcare system. Whenever the shouting stops and dialogue can actually start that would be nice, but this conversation ain't nowhere near talking about health insurance...

It's just a small bunch of folks scared and feeling the pinch, ready to fight, beig egged on by corporate and political interests.

Pray that we get something done.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

In Your Hands...

Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world? In our present differences, is either party without faith of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of Nations, with His eternal truth and justice, be on your side of the North, or on yours of the South, that truth and that justice will surely prevail by the judgment of this great tribunal of the American people.
By the frame of the Government under which we live this same people have wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief, and have with equal wisdom provided for the return of that little to their own hands at very short intervals. While the people retain their virtue and vigilance no Administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can very seriously injure the Government in the short space of four years.
My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well upon this whole subject. Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time. If there be an object to hurry any of you in hot haste to a step which you would never take deliberately, that object will be frustrated by taking time; but no good object can be frustrated by it. Such of you as are now dissatisfied still have the old Constitution unimpaired, and, on the sensitive point, the laws of your own framing under it; while the new Administration will have no immediate power, if it would, to change either. If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied hold the right side in the dispute, there still is no single good reason for precipitate action. Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulty.
In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it."
I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

Final portion of his first Inaugural Address - Monday March 4, 1861

- Abraham Lincoln
16th President Of The United States

Friday, August 07, 2009

And It Comes To This...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Least Of These

Let me get this right...

A small percentage of so-called 'patriot citizens' have loosely banned together using motivational tactics from an over bearing, finger pointing radio personality and an over emotional TV buffoon (both with past drug problems) and political leadership from bible misinterpreting, philandering policy screw-ups with no viable solutions to some of the problems that they help to implement in years past to go out and spend time and money to disrupt town hall meetings on health care, flood the internet with disparaging remarks about politicians, scholars, journalists and tax paying citizens that do not look like them and put billboards and posters up around the country disrespecting and badmouthing anyone that oppose their scripted and arrogantly, painfully ignorantly believed, forced fed theories on what life in a Christian based, free-market democracy should be?

That's nice. People can say what they want. We do have freedom of speech in this country and the right to rebel. It is said that rebellion is the best form of patriotism, and it is. I just have one problem: Where in the hell is the opposition?

If you have a job and never read that thick-ass packet of medical stuff you're supposed to turn in-in order to get your benefits started, you know... Just filled it out and shot it back to HR and then years down the line get rejected for that oh so necessary surgical procedure or better yet get dropped from coverage or even better than that hit your coverage limit (this year it dropped down to 2 million for executive and management types), then you have to take responsibility in knowing that you never took the time to read the million pages of small print. You see, doctors get paid to treat the symptoms and not actually heal you. If they got paid (like in other countries) to heal you then you wouldn't need to pay a continuous premium for your limited coverage. You also wouldn't be force fed one or two insurance firms in bed with your employer to pay those monies to as well. But you do read the fine print, go to the town hall an shareholder meetings and actually use the internet to research pending version(s) of health care law and pending reform bills to actually know if your government is or isn't trying to force you out of that coverage, is willing to further subsidize your premiums or not and create competition (or not) so that costs would actually lower said premiums as well as set new rules regarding accepting and not dropping and actually treating folks like myself with a pre-existing condition, right?

You read the bill?
You know the current laws, right?
Called your congressman and or senator, right?

Okay then.

You also understand that as the most powerful nation on the planet that we have safeguards, oversight and an electoral college (as well as a few fraternal and societal orders secret or otherwise) set up to function within a set of laws laid out and interpreted by justices on multiple levels hundreds of years old (well, revamped after our first 11 or so presidents were NOT native of this country) written, displayed, set and taught in plain English at the elementary, middle, secondary and post secondary graduate and juris levels (because we are a nation of laws) to thoroughly vet all candidates running for and and then nominated for final election of any municipal, state and/or federal office, right? That a minimum set of rules has been established for qualification for these important seats, and if these criteria aren't met the candidate absolutely cannot run, nevertheless hold the seat in said office?

So what's the deal with the damn birth certificate again?

You do use the internet, right?
Read the newspaper?
Go to the public library?
Private libraries?
Library of Congress?
Private schools and public universities?
Personal archives?
Roam municipal, state and federal halls of record?
Private investigator?
Tribal storyteller?
Again, where in the hell is the opposition?

I think I get it. Most of us are scared to speak out of fear that they may lose their position.

I am the least of these.

What about knowing your legal rights as it pertains to you as a citizen both in public and private? Do you understand the Bill of Rights and how that affects municipal law and your rights to roam in public and how one can act in private? The right to bear arms? Freedom of enjoyment as it pertains to owning or leasing property? The right to exercise restraint or perform any act as well as refusing to allow unauthorized persons on private property, including the police? Miranda rights? What about filing false reports and unlawful arrest? I'm still at a loss as to why the press (or anyone else in the media for that matter) or even our presidential beermiester hasn't questioned the blatant false statement written on the Gates report! Have you studied them to the point where you actually know what procedure should be?

NOTE: I have been pulled over and taken out of my vehicle more than 20 times, laid out on the ground while cops performed illegal searches, finding NOTHING, stopped on the street, asked and had my ID ran more times I can count (because I resemble a suspect...) and had my home involved in unwarranted visits at least 10 times (as a resident of a Chicago suburb, being the only black guy on the block, they NEVER set foot in my spot!). As a kid and a teen I was harassed and assaulted, but after I learned the law and informed the officers what I knew the assaults stopped. As of my 33rd birthday there have been zero pullovers, but I still get tailed and get my plates ran in certain spots where neighborhoods have 'extra protection', so you can imagine what my police trust level is. But I am older, have veteran plates, etc...

Right now, the folk with the least are complacent in having just that, less than. The average Joe has been scammed, nickeled & dimed, shamed and scared into complete silence and numbed into not wanting anything more than what they have. Folks that are attacked and judged racially are now the racists. Leaders have been scrutinized in the negative so much by the haves that the have-nots are shamed into forcing them to relinquish said leadership. Community organizers have been ridiculed into obscurity because a one-time community organizer got elected president. Media personalities with blatant agendas use airwaves paid for by the auto, oil, health care and pharmaceutical industries to purposely misinform viewers and listeners via sensationalism, causing a wedge, thus creating angered, arrogant and ignorant partisanship when it comes to political issues and the understanding of detail is lost in translation.

Truth in journalism is dead. It got deregulated right around the time the financial institutions did. All that is left is corporate newspapers and television as well as a corporate web presence all designed to partner up with the manufacturers of consumer goods and services creating false genres with no real dedicated consumer identity because it's all about selling shit. Our must trusted news person is a cable TV comedian.

I know life is hard. I know you have responsibilities. I also know that you need hobbies and need to actually live life in order to balance things out, but the times call for us to stay informed, ARMED with information, and there are so many ways to get it. If financial freedom, fair taxing, racial equality and proper health care, as well as living in a secure and free society is what you crave then I urge you to speak on it.

Our current situation of xenophobia and castigation by a small bunch of angry folk mad that their candidate lost in last year's election is the equivalent to arguing with a law school grad that cannot pass the bar. We all can litigate, but if we never do the research and get the facts all we end up doing is just blowing a whole lot of hot air. As for the working poor, the black middle class, immigrant workers doing jobs we just don't want to touch, women of all races and the working elderly as well as the uninsured, you people need to speak the hell up.

But first, arm yourselves.

There is a small, unarmed militia with no solutions and skewed facts from both sides of the isle (and a few from the cornfields and back alleys) hellbent on spreading gossip, lies and fear just ready to interrupt so the point won't never get across. And because you choose to remain silent due to fear, they will end up influencing policy.

And the fight against Jim Crow, the sacrifice for the Suffrage Movement and the fight for immigrant acceptance and reform as well as voting, wage and health care rights will end up being fights that were executed in vain.

Monday, August 03, 2009

A Photo Op With Gul Dekat...

I plan on blogging sometime later today after I get a nap.

Can't sleep.

Working on flash templates for my other websites.

I am trying not to neglect this one.

Can't sleep.

Maybe I'm just geeking the hell out over the start of the Star Trek Convention this coming Thursday.

I mean, since I've become a resident here in Vegas nothing other than a business opportunity with Shaq and the corporate launch party that ensued this past weekend could convince me to come to the strip. There are so many other good meals, deals and steals not far off of Las Vegas Blvd that visitors NEVER know about that I now do and I'm glad for that.

But this one here... Star Trek Las Vegas 2009?

I am so there dude.

Until I clean up the drool from my workstation and can post something of substance:

Live long and prosper.