29 January 2007


I love animals. I think they're pretty nice.

I've had pets, and some of my pets have either died or had to be put to sleep. It's not an easy thing to lose a pet. I firmly believe that people can come to love animals just as they come to love people. But, let's be real here - they are still animals. Their value is still second to that of humans in the grand scheme of things.

I think.

Let me get to my point here. Today, the 2006 Kentucy Derby winner Barbaro was euthanized. I, like millions of other people saw his tragic [and eventually fatal] injury at the 2006 Preakness in Baltimore. Doctors did amazing things to keep him alive and get him moving back to good health. Unfornately, this was not meant to be. This post is NOT intended to make light of Barbaro's death - I just want to put that out there!

This post is to look at what is important to us in death. What is the human perspective.

These are just some of the 4657 comments I found on MSN.com:

  • Just know how much you were loved and how much you will be missed.
  • We will continue to pray for his peace.
  • Barbaro - Goodbye my hero.
  • Barbaro has been an inspiration to many.
  • a true american hero, who inspired people all over the world.
  • Deepest sympathy to everyone trying to save this beautiful angel.
  • your champions heart will live on in the memoriesof all of us who loved you
  • To the beautiful baby, God rest you now.
  • I will always remember him with admiration and love and deepest respect for his intelligence.
  • May God give you rest my friend...you have been such an inspiration to so many of us...
  • They could never have caught your spirit with which you ran, Nor the love you gave to your fans.
  • You were a fighter and a winner.
  • we are better for having experienced his tremendous courage and fight.
  • Thanks for inspiring us all.
  • Rest in peace my friend you are a true hero.

Like I said, I feel for the loss of an animal and I'm not knockin' the situation with Barbaro - I feel for his owners and his trainers and the doctors that tried to save him. But...


But... BARBARO WAS A HORSE! He was a race horse. Bred to run, period. He didn't cure anything, he didn't design anything, he didn't DO anything except RUN. Okay, he ran very fast! I'll give him that. But all this mushy, tearful, end-of-the-world non-sense about being an INSPIRATION, a TRUE HERO, an AMERICAN HERO, a FRIEND, a BABY, an ANGEL, a FIGHTER?

My God people, lets try and keep our perspective here. BARBARO was a horse. That's all. Just a horse. Where is all this love and passionate outcry when our fellow man dies? When people are murdered, when children are starving? Where is all this love and compassion? Let's keep our perspective here people!!!

If the people that took the time to write these wonderful and flowery tributes to a DEAD HORSE took that same amount of time to E-Mail their Congressmen about: trying to stop the killing of human beings in Darfur; trying to stop the misguided plan of President Bush's Iraq strategy; trying to work hard to establish affordable healthcare in our country; trying to fix our social security program; trying to fight global warming; trying to help fight AIDS... if these people used their love of a DEAD HORSE and focused their perspective and their energies on their fellow living humans... oh, what a wonderful world this would be.

It just a horse people, that's all. Take that same passion and go ask a stranger, "How are you doing today?" See how you can make the world a little better for your fellow MAN.

I'm sure Barbaro is looking down from Horsey Heaven saying the same thing. (sort of)


25 January 2007

Is it just me...

Okay... it may just be me

Sometimes I get real sensitive to racial portrayal in the media. I suppose if you read my last post about looters and scavengers you already know this. But now something else has pushed me hard onto my blog

I wonder if the media does racist stuff deliberately ALL THE TIME, or are there instances of sheer ignorance that bring racism slowly and subtley into the light

What I mean is - are there times when people that control the news and television and movies and advertisement bring across minorities in a bad light and in their hearts they are 100% oblivious to the fact that they have made Blacks [and others] look buffoonish. Are there times when some of these people actually think they are doing something good and they are just innocently missing the mark by leaps and bounds

Okay - here is what is bothering me now. I just saw a commercial for
CISCO Network Services.

In the commercial you see a young Black boy, maybe 10 or 11 years old walking into a kitchen. Then you see a Black man walk towards him with a sophisticated camera cell phone and the man says, "Show me something cool, man." Instantly the boy starts wiggling and dancing and twisting and gyrating. He's what many people would call "Poppin' " So basically he's dancing around his kitchen. Then you see people from all over the world - YES - ALL OVER THE WORLD, rushing to their cell phones, PDA's, computers and laptops to stare in wonderment at this Black kid dancing in his kitchen

Why is the Black kid DANCING? Haven't we moved beyond that yet?

-Why couldn't he have pulled out a blackboard and solved some incredible MATH PROBLEM?
-Why couldn't he have pulled out a canvas and oil paints and started painting a masterpiece?
-Why couldn't he have pulled out some electrical components and made some incredible electronic device?
-Why couldn't he have pulled out a large double helix DNA replica and switched a few things around and said, "I just cured the common cold"

Why did he have to be dancing?

I just think that some companies and the people behind these companies just don't have a clue as to how irresponsible and ignorant they truly are. I bet CISCO didn't set out to make Black people look bad. They probably figured that they were doing something big by building a commercial around a Black kid. They probably never gave ANY consideration to the fact that they made the kid look like a buffoon. Just a smiling, mindless dancing thing. Poor kid.

I bet that no one in CISCO's marketing department even thought of giving him some intelligent dialouge or something truly intelligent and amazing to do on his "telecast" They probably said, "Hey, Black people can dance. Let's just give him some hip music and he can dance! Yeah - THAT'S ORIGINAL

To anyone reading this - if you agree with me, then watch for the signs. Watch for the negative and shallow presentations of minorities around you. Mind you, not all minorities are presented badly in the media, but when you see wrong - send out E-Mails and write letters to these companies. It is the only way we can truly bring racial ignorance and misrepresentation to light!


23 January 2007

Perception is reality...

QUESTION - What is going on in this photo?

ANSWER - According to the Associated Press: "Scavengers Simone and Dougal roll home an empty barrel that they recovered from Branscombe beach near Sidmouth, England. Dozens of people swarmed over the pebble beach exploring the contents of containers from the stricken vessel Napoli, which is grounded about a mile out at sea. Officials said some of the containers were carrying the possessions of people immigrating to South Africa. Picture: AP"

While smiling Simone and Dougal are cheerfully wheeling home what is allegedly an empty barrel, hundreds of photos just like these are all over the global electronic and written press. In all of my reading I continuously see the words "scavengers" and "beachcomers" describing these people, as if they are a cheerful group of retirees looking for nick-nacks to share with the gang at the old folks home. Of course, the words used to describe the actions of these people are "liberating" and "salvaging."

Let me back up for a moment - a few days ago, a massive cargo ship ran aground in high winds during a storm off the coast of Sidmouth, in England. The ship was carrying a wide array of goods, many of which fell off and washed ashore and still more that remained on the deck of the grounded vessel.

Well, the citizens of the nearby towns have decided to descend on the beaches to steal all that they can find of value. Some of the more popular items are brand new $15,000 BMW motorcycles, expensive engine parts, clothes, shoes, dog food, oil paintings and other things. Hundreds of people are just all over the place STEALING things that DON'T BELONG TO THEM!!! But, the English police are on the job! According to the AP, the police are TELLING the SCAVENGERS to stop taking items from the beach. TELLING THEM!!! At last count I have seen at least three photos of police standing around looking bored and stupid with their hands in their pockets.

My issue here, if you haven't figured it out yet...

Why is this considered such a mild and happy-go-lucky crime? Is it because the people commiting these blatant acts of larceny are jovial caucasians? Is it because the people STEALING all of this property are so blindly drunk with their own arrogance that they feel it is okay to take what does not belong to them? Is the media looking on them as kind-hearted ruffians because of their skin color and stupid Alfred E. Newman - "What, me worry?" smiles on their thieving mugs?

All day, I kept saying to myself, "With great power comes great responsibility." Sure, that line is straight out of Spider-Man, but it is true! It is true for both the National and International Media. The mass media has to constantly be aware of its power and its impact on the world and on global racial relations.

My point is - PERCEPTION IS REALITY! The mass media controls much of the perceptions that people around the world make and live by. This controlled perception becomes the reality that many people live and die by. When the media gives hundreds of white people that are clearly breaking the law, a white-washed and sugar-coated presentation from one end of the planet to the other - it skews the global perception. It makes white people seem light-hearted, playful, whistful and high-spirited.

" The [WHITE] scavengers, joyfully found thousands of dollars worth of other people's belongings strewn across a sunny beach. Many of these fun-loving scavengers playfully ignored the chiding of local police as they loaded motorcycles and BMW transmissions on their family vehicles." This is basically how most headlines read.

Now had this ship run aground in say, Mogadishu, the headlines would have read-

"Thousands of angry Somalis violently looted a beach covered with Internationally owned property and belongings. Seven people were injured when private security, hired by the ship owner, arrived on the scene in heavily armed helicopter gunships." And, you know I'm NOT lying.

Need I bring back the images of countless Black folks in New Orleans after Katrina? Okay - sure, some folks WERE looting! When your home is flooded and sitting underwater and you are stealing stereos and DVD's - yes YOU ARE LOOTING, regardless of your race! But, on the other hand just because you are black and you have a bag in your hands YOU ARE NOT A LOOTER! The Mass Media ignored this fact! Every Black person on film in the Katrina aftermath that was holding a bag and standing near a business was captioned as A LOOTER! [Google it if you doubt me!] While White Katrina victims were described as "finding" things to survive the Blacks were all "looting"!

The Global Mass Media has to look hard in the mirror and learn to be fair and neutral when it presents events that happen across this planet!

By the way - the people in the photo - ARE LOOTING! THEY ARE STEALING ITEMS THAT DO NOT BELONG TO THEM! For God's sake, these arrogant fools gave their names - they need to be found and prosecuted!


21 January 2007

Lovie & Tony

What a day!
What a day for football fans!
What a day for Black people!

We have TWO Black HEAD COACHES, Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy, leading teams into the greatest sporting event of the year - The Super Bowl!

The deal was sealed when Indianapolis Colts cornerback Marlin Jackson intercepted a pass from the New England Patriots quartback Tom Brady with the Colts ahead by four points and less than 25 seconds remaining on the clock. Jackson caught the ball, ran about five yards and showed great intelligence and selflessness by falling onto his back and allowing th eplay to end. A lot of other 'hotdogs" would have tried to show off by running wildly towards the endzone, or would have stupidly started lateraling the ball around with hopes of scoring a touchdown to add insult to the Patriots injury - but not Jackson, he showed that he had his head together and did the right thing. Major Kudos to HIM!

The Monsters of the Midway, the Chicago Bears under the coaching of Lovie Smith had secured their spot in the Super Bowl earlier today with a big win over America's feel-good team, the New Orleans Saints.

This is such a spectacular milestone for Blacks in the higher-end of professional sports. Sure, many Blacks can throw and run and jump and tackle, that's just a plain old given at this point. But step by step, Blacks are proving their talent and abilities to the world of the NFL...

Okay, let me just point out that there are far more important issues, obstacles and goals for Blacks to get through, over and to in the real world, but since I'm a big football fan, I just wanted to blow my horn about the greatest sport in the world.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program...

For the longest time, uh the 80's, there was just Doug Williams and Warren Moon - the two lone Black men trusted to throw the ball in the NFL. Slowly but surely through the 90's and into the last 6 years, more and more Black men were trusted at the helm of the offenses. And then, they started popping up on the sidelines calling the shots as HEAD COACHES, and I was like, "YEAH!"


And here we are now, with two really good and really talented teams, lead by intelligent and skillful Black men, in what is going to be a serious blend of strategic, smash mouth, groudpounding, and airin' it out gridiron warfare! I just can't wait!!!


17 January 2007

Rantings of a sleepy dad...

At 3:18 AM this morning, I had just under 2 and a half hours of sleep. That's when I heard the coughing, followed by, "Mom-my!" then "Dad-dy!"

My youngest son was awake and I knew he wasn't feeling good. So, I went in his room and got him. He was warm, but not hot and he was coughing pretty good. It still wasn't time for his cough medicine, but I decided to give him something for the cold I could hear in his chest. If I put him in the bed with my wife and I, all three of us would have been awake, so I decided to go downstairs to my favorite spot for coughing kids in the middle of the night - the sofa. I propped him at a comfortable angle on a throw pillow in the corner of the sofa, covered him in a blanket and laid down alongside him. He stopped coughing but was still breathing kinda' funky. I could still hear a little rattle in his chest. I decided that I'd give the medicine 30 minutes to work, before I step my Doctor Daddy game up.

So, there I was at 3:30 in the morning, in the dark, wishing I was the one that was congested instead of my boy. As I watched the minutes tick away in the green glow of my VCR, I couldn't help but be amazed at the millions of sounds a house makes in the middle of the night. Floors creak and crackle as the temperature outside drops degree after degree. The refrigerator makes a loud click sound before the motor kicks on - I'm not sure I've ever even heard the refrigerator motor before. My wife has some wind chimes out back that were banging like Grambling's band versus FAMU at halftime.

Then at 4 o'clock on the nose, my resting eyes where shocked wide open by a loud bang behind me! I had an instant adrenaline rush that prepared me for the horde of monsters from my childhood that were about to leap from behind the sofa to devourer me. They weren't going to harm my son, because as everyone knows - monsters don't eat kids, DUH. But I was ready for Freddie Kruger, Jason Voorhees, Leatherface, JAWS, Micheal Myers and Jack Nicholson [whatever his name was in "The Shining"] I was amp'd and ready to stand down whatever caused the loud sound. Then, I used my Hyper Sensitive Daddy Record and Re-Play God-Gifted Sound System and I was able to quickly replay the sound I heard, filter out the light haze of sleep, triangulate the direction, duration and volume of the sound and determined that it was NOT a nightmarish horde of villains, but was instead my oldest son dropping his big plastic HUMMVEE out of his bed. He was obviously stirring about and knocked the toy out onto the floor.

Noticing that my son was breathing a little better, and I probably wouldn't be getting back to sleep, I allowed myself to imagine who I would have enlisted to help me fight off the Freddie Kruger lead assault. My immediate roster of Allies consisted of: The Incredible Hulk (The REAL Hulk - Lou Ferrigno], Bo & Luke Duke [w/The General Lee], K.I.T.T. [w/o Michael Knight], Mannix and Danno. While I don't expect many people under 35 to remember Mannix or Danno, suffice it to say that I have put together a mighty group of characters to do battle in my living room at 4:00AM.

I never did make it back to sleep.

Maybe that's why I just wrote this...

13 January 2007

$1.5 million worth of rubble...

I've always assumed that incompetence, much like ignorance - is universal.

However, when you live outside of DC, you tend to REALLY notice, the incompetence of DC.

It seems as though, someone in the DC Government approved a building permit for a house along side of popular Rock Creek Park. The only problem is - the house was allowed to be built in the BACK YARD of another house! Now, when the construction was about to begin in 2005, the neighbors complained to DC and like good ol'DC, their complaints fell on deaf ears. Nobody took the time to look into the problem. So, the house was built.

Now the neighborhood looks awful, original homeowners have an obstructed view and lawyers are pushing DC to make things right. "Right" meaning, pay the family that contracted the house to be built for their land and their home, pay the legal fees of the neighbors, and pay the cost of having the house DEMOLISHED. Total: >$1,500,000.00!!!!!

Proving that he was the Master of The Understatement, Patrick Canavan, the former Director of DC's Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)said that this "was a costly mistake." He said that when this problem originally started, the DCRA didn't have a computer system to "safeguard against this happening." A COMPUTER SYSTEM?!?!?! What about having the keys to a city car and having a surveyor and a DCRA rep drive out to the site with some blueprints a pen a compass and some common sense? This isn't a COMPUTER PROBLEM, it is an INCOMPETENCE problem. It is a lack of motivation and a lack of folks giving a damn about the city they work for. This could have been stopped early on if someone had just taken the time to step outside of their cubicle, step outside of the office and go to the site and use some God-Gifted common sense and initiative.

Now, the cash strapped District of Columbia Government has thrown away $1.5 million dollars. Almost like they did 6 or 7 seven years ago by allowing themselves to be conned by Cadillac into funding a Gran Prix style racetrack by RFK stadium - that was only used once and then totally abandoned!

Considering the poor state of DC schools, the low salaries for teachers, police and fire fighters, the homeless around DC, the crime rate - I think that $1.5 million could and should have been better spent. It certainly would not have eliminated ANY of the above issues, but I think each could have been positively impacted with just a small portion of that wasted money... all because of INCOMPETENCE.


07 January 2007

BUSHwacked... still

With Saddam Hussein slowly rotting away in a grave in Tikrit, I can't help but think that deep down George Bush suddenly doesn't care about too much else. He's gotten what he wanted.

I always have AND always will believe that the second gulf war was the most costly vendetta in world history. I think George Bush saw a man that he could beat and a country he could pillage of its oil wealth. I think George W. Bush had no real plan for making America better and could think of nothing creative to make his mark on history aside from being "A Wartime President."

This is why over three years after we went into Iraq, we are still there, still dying, and still pumping more fresh American blood into an Iraqi civil war, from which we STILL have no exit strategy. George Bush was so blindly and stupidly exicted to get our troops, the finest fighters in the world, into Baghdad to capture and/or kill Saddam Hussein - that he sent them in with nothing short of a one-way ticket.

When I first heard his pre-war quote about Saddam Hussein, when he said, "He tried to kill my Daddy..." I knew we as a nation were doomed in this war effort. And we are. We will be at 5000 killed by Summertime and so many more Americans will be grieving and trying to put their broken lives back together thanks to a President that is narrow-minded and short sighted.

This is all not to mention, or overlook, the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's that have died and will die in this ruthless and bloodthirsty civil war that we seem so hell bend on standing in the middle of. At some point, our strategy needs to be stand aside and let the Sunni's and the Shia' fight until the bloodlust, hatred and anger is out of their systems. That is awful and that is barbaric, but that is the way it must be. We must let Iraqi go the way it must go - be it good or be it bad. It's like pushing a car in neutral down a hill... once it gets rolling, you have to just let it go where it has to go.

Meanwhile, America's truest enemy - OSAMA BIN LADEN - is sitting up in a village in northern Pakistan surrounded by family and friends drinking goat's milk and eating like an Arabian Prince in exile. I haven't heard the name Osama uttered from President Bush's lips in well over a year. Bush said it himself, "I just don't think about him [Bin Laden] that much..." I think Bush was trying to sound flippant when he said that - like he wasn't pressed about him... but he needs to be. He needs to make sure that we don't forget about Osama, he needs to remind the world that you can't spill American blood in American streets and just walk away.

But what am I talking about... that would sound like a REAL president wouldn't it?