Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that individuals - and not just members of militias - have the right to bear arms, it's the least we can do.
I was going to buy a dining-room rug, but that won't boost the economy nearly as much as having more guns in circulation.
And I'm not just talking about the billions of dollars in profits made by gun manufacturers.
The health-care industry will continue to boom, thanks to the victims of gun violence.
One Philadelphia study estimated, for instance, that one person hospitalized with a serious gunshot wound requires $20,000 in medical care, which pays for everything from ambulance trips to nurses' salaries to IV tubes to heart monitors to those funky little booties they give you to wear.
One local hospital generated $1.1 million in medical care caring for gunshot victims during one year alone - and that study was done 10 years ago. You can imagine how much more is being spent now.
Of course, not everyone survives their gunshot wounds, so the funeral industry will remain robust.
As of yesterday, for instance, 130 of the city's 158 homicide victims were killed with guns.
What with a funeral costing an average of $6,500, according to a KYW report, that would be $1.7 million spent on funerals in our town this year, if fatalities remain steady for the next six months.
Then there are the fat payments to the shrinks who care for: the families of murder victims; the survivors of shootings who need help adapting to permanent disability; the guilt-wracked individuals who use guns for "protection" who accidentally kill or injure innocent victims; and the devastated families whose children accidentally kill themselves while playing with weapons. Would it be petty to mention all the beef and beer sold at fundraisers to help families survive financially - if not emotionally - when the breadwinner is murdered?
All of this money is spent in the aftermath of a shooting, of course.
But preventing gun violence also keeps lots of companies in business: the manufacturers of metal detectors, bullet-proof vests, and Plexiglas shields for banks and cash businesses, to name just a few.
Then there're the incidentals: flowers, sympathy cards and stamps to send them; the balloons, candles and stuffed animals we leave at impromptu memorials, especially when a child - or a police officer - is murdered.
And speaking of law enforcement, guns are a major factor in keeping the law-enforcement economy afloat. Philly cops are so busy, for instance, that they earned $69 million in overtime last year, according to a recent report by my colleague Bob Warner.
And guess who got the most OT?
Then, there's the money spent on keeping shooters in prison. Last year, local prison guards made $30 million in overtime, Warner reported.
Let's not overlook the moving companies, which make a bundle relocating people from our inner city to safer towns outside city limits. More commuters means more gas to get to work or more fares spent on public transportation.
I'm telling you, the financial benefits of flooding the country with guns are endless.
Why, gun violence generates $90 billion to $100 billion in expenditures a year, according to a book published in 2000 called Gun Violence: The Real Costs.
Finally - although I'm sure I've overlooked something - there's the airline industry, which might benefit from yesterday's ruling by selling one-way tickets to Americans fleeing a country being destroyed by the lunatic fringe of an ideologically driven U.S. Supreme Court.
Me, I'm too patriotic for that. I'm going to help my country's economy by buying a gun. I hear the AK-47 comes in pink. "
Come on Jill, the supremes are "ideologically driven"? Noooooo.
Honestly, as someone who has manged to make a pretty good living off of guns and gun violence myself, I sometimes wonder how I even ended up on this side of the debate ( Talk about fighting against your own best interest). Maybe it's ideological with me, and maybe it's because I look at the big picture where others only see their individual condition. But whatever it is, for better or for worse, I am going to keep fighting and hoping that common sense will win out in the end.
Someone asked me in a previous post what I would do to stop it, and I tried answering the person in my own sarcastic way. So let me try to tell that person again in a way that he/she will understand:
In order to stop gun violence we must stop electing politricksters who insist on sucking at the tit of the gun lobby, so that shit like this doesn't happen.
We must allow local governments to make laws that restrict and limit gun purchases, implement serious background checks, and ban the purchase of assault weapons.
The Federal government must get serious about the sham of an assault weapon's ban that's in place now.
We must get serious about this phony ass war on drugs and decriminalize certain drugs.
And we must make sure that we elect a president that will appoint justices to the Supreme Court who will fashion sensible laws and take a practical view of the Constitution -The next prez. might have as much as three appointments.
Those are just some of my plans for these Divided States of America. Now if you want to come to "Fieldville", it will be a whole different set of rules. And I guarantee you that you NRA types won't like them. But hey, we live in A-merry-ca, and your laws rule the day. At least for now.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Members of the state attorney general's Gun Violence Task Force announced Moore's abrupt career change yesterday morning by smashing a battering ram through the door of his West Philadelphia apartment.
The 44-year-old was arrested for calling for the murder of 18th District police officers in a video titled "Dissin' Philly Cops" that he posted on YouTube on June 6, law-enforcement officials said. Moore, who's now been suspended from his job as a security guard at Albert Einstein Medical Center, was less than subtle in his performance.
While waving a gun through the air, Moore said, "I rejoice whenever they shoot a cop in Philadelphia because I hate them," according to a court affidavit containing a transcript of the video.
Later on, he offered instructions on to how to murder cops: "All we need is a Colt .275 to do it. Look, it's easy. You got the chamber, let it go off . . . anywhere in the head or heart . . . continue killing the 18th District police."
The officials said that Moore's 12-year-old son, Andre Jr., filmed the volatile video, and another underage relative held a gun in a second video that Moore posted on YouTube using the screen name "lildre502."
The videos are no longer available on YouTube.
Moore's wife, Tamara, expressed outrage over the incident during a phone interview last night. "I knew nothing about any of this," she said. "Me, my son and our family are very much humiliated by the act Andre did.
"Whatever happens to him, happens. My job is being jeopardized because of this."
Investigators said that District Attorney Lynne Abraham and state Attorney General Tom Corbett became aware of the videos about two weeks ago.
They charged Moore with aggravated assault, corruption of minors, terroristic threats and harassment.
"Obviously, the charges could be challenged in court, but that's out of our hands," said police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore. "You have rights, but that doesn't mean you can say something like this."
According to court records, Moore was sentenced to five years' probation in 1994 after pleading guilty to charges of simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct stemming from an arrest the previous year.
An Einstein spokesman said last night that he had "no knowledge" of Moore's criminal history. The hospital has suspended Moore, pending further investigation, he said.
Police officials were further irked by the fact that Moore worked at the same hospital where Officer Chuck Cassidy died last November after he was shot interrupting a robbery.
"It's a shame he was able to work in a place where one of our officers was taken," said FOP president John McNesby. "He's scum of the earth, and there's not much more you can say about it than that."
See the article and You Tube Video here.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
"... He is dragging biblical understanding through the gutter."
Monday, June 23, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I was trying to do some work today and I kept getting interrupted by Mrs. Field's laughter. I got up to see what she found so funny on the television, and it turns out she was watching an old Cosby flick on TVOne. Which go me to thinking: does any black person over thirty even watch BET anymore?
And then there were the comments some of you folks left after my post about the Wares adopting what seems to be a little white baby. And that got me to thinking as well: What if there really was a "Negro Review Board" and I was heading it? Just what would be the do's and don'ts and the the ins and outs for you Negroes?
Well, let's start with the obvious, and what triggered me thinking this way in the first place: Black television. You Negroes would no longer be allowed to watch BET. If you are going to watch a black station on television, it would have to be TVOne.
You Negroes would have to vote for Barack Obama, and you would have to donate at least $25 to his campaign. I think that's happening anyway, but that shit would be required or you would lose your Negro card.
If I ran the NRB Negroes could not have house pets. That is for white folks. Besides, times are tough. We are having a hard enough time feeding the humans in our families.
You Negroes would have to stop driving big ass trucks. We would prefer if you get a nice compact. (Do you know how stupid you look rolling down the highway in your big ass Denali sitting on twenties with gas selling at $4.50 a gallon? Get your ass a nice Honda Civic or some shit like that. There is nothing corny about saving money.
And speaking of driving down the highway: Negroes would have to stop leaning to the side when they are driving their whips. That shit does not look cool. It's stupid. And if you are pushing a whip that costs less than your tires and your rims, the shit is really whack.
Negroes over 21 would no longer be allowed to buy PlayStation's or any similar video games. Think about it.
The NRB would not allow Negroes to drop another dime into the offering plate unless the pastor could show them where the money is going. (And it can't be a building fund for the church. The building the church is in now looks just fine.
Negroes would no longer be allowed to give their children fucked up names from expensive products that they think sounds cool. Names like Porche, Mercedes, Alize, Champagne, Diamond, Jazz....--you all know what I am talking about---just ain't gonna cut it in the real world. That shit is seriously fucked up...."Ahh come on field that's not cool to call out people who might not know better. I know, that's why we have the NRB.
And speaking of fucked up things to do to your kids; Negroes would no longer be allowed to use their children's social security numbers for shit. No child should owe over $30,000 for a new car before they are six....
All Negroes would be weighed before entering all you can eat buffet joints. For every pound that you go over 200 you would be charged an extra dollar for your meal. I am sorry to single you Negroes out for this form of food discrimination, but let's face it, we have some serious health issues that other folks don't have.
You Negroes would not be allowed to read Ebony or Jet anymore. Those mags are no longer required reading for Negroes. You would now be allowed to read damn near anything else you want to though. Not that it will make any difference, because some of you Negroes really hate to read. What's that old racist saying? "If you want to hide something from a nigger put it in a book"?
We would allow you to cheer for the Celtics now. They have a black coach and more brothers on the team than the Lakers, so it's cool.
We would prefer if you were out in the open and not on the DL. That DL stuff is having some consequences.
As head of the NRB, I would make sure that my black sisters know that it's cool to continue watching Oprah for now. But that could change. Just listen out for further announcements from the NRB.
Black folks would be told that it's no longer cool to listen to R-Kelly. I know I know, that one is hard. --I was just rocking "Hair braider" on my IPod myself-- But damn it, we must take a stand.
Speaking of music: all line dancing would be banned from future black events! NO EXCEPTIONS!!
Black folks would be told that we don't have a clear cut leader, so it's still cool to call Rev. Inc. if they get in trouble.
Black folks would be told that it's still alright if they run a little late for appointments. It's called CP time. That's a built in hook up that we have. The NRB does not believe in taking away hook ups.
Finally, dissenters like some of the smart alecky commenters here could be thrown out of the race. You would have to petition the NRB to be reinstated, and that could take awhile. Trust me, you don't want to spend years of your life looking like a Negro but not being a part of our race....although I suspect that many of you living in A-merry-ca already know that feeling.
**FYI, the picture used for this post is not meant to be a true representation or likeness of the NRB. It's just a stock photo of some brothers looking important. **
Last weekend, Barack Obama went home to the black church and called a family meeting - with the black side of his family.
"If we're honest with ourselves, we'll admit that too many fathers are missing," the presumptive presidential nominee said in a Father's Day sermon-esque speech delivered at the Apostolic Church of God on the South Side of Chicago. "They've abandoned their responsibilities. They're acting like boys instead of men. "We know that this is true everywhere, but nowhere is it more true than in the African American community." Well, now.
His own story
With wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha sitting in the pew, Obama told of how his own father abandoned him. Which made him determined to break the cycle and be there for his children. We know that positive images of black fathers are rarely displayed on television, in film, or even in newspapers - though they are raising their families as all fathers should, like my husband, without expecting a medal in return.
But it's a sad fact that despite the enormous progress into the middle class that African Americans have made in the last 40 years, more than half of all black children live in fatherless households - a devastating number by any measure.
So who could argue with Obama's call for examination, for rising above the struggle, for restoring the framework for family?
The hard heads in the family, that's who.
African American professor Boyce Watkins from Syracuse University and syndicated columnist Earl Afari Hutchinson are among those who have taken Obama to task for everything from, as they see it, painting all African American fathers with the same negative brush to not blasting whites for their high divorce rates.
Sorry, brothers. It's not about white folks this time.
At least there haven't been massive threats to vote for John McCain.
While very real economic and societal impediments have a seismic impact on a black family's foundation - which Obama acknowledged - this is about personal responsibility. About what government can't fix.
It's a simple notion: Just be there and be the best man you can be.
Sabir Alim, founder of Daddy's Right Here Inc., an organization that teaches men how to be better fathers, heard Obama's speech. He didn't hear it as an accusation or an attack - as he heard in Bill Cosby's belittling tirade a few years ago before the NAACP.
After many, many years of irresponsible parenting himself, Alim, 47, heard Obama's words as a reality check.
"In our communities, it is the reality," says Alim, a program director at Gaudenzia, a drug and alcohol rehab program. "That's why it continues to worsen."
Not a model father. If anybody should have received the Bad Dad award, it was Alim.
Crack cocaine - selling it and smoking it - contributed mightily to the South Philly native's trifling behavior. From the start, he was never committed to the idea of family, he says. Even while married, he impregnated another woman while his wife was pregnant with their second daughter. The half-sisters were born two months apart.
"I didn't know how to be a father," admits Alim, whose own father took off when he was 5. "I didn't see fathers in people's homes. There were no [role] models."
He was known for being a verbally abusive hothead whom you didn't want to mess with. And, yes, he carried a gun. Alim lived with his family in North Philly - until he and his wife finally separated in 1994 - but he was someplace else emotionally.
"I'd do my girls' hair, cook dinner, pick them up from day care - but I was on the street clocking drugs right outside the door," he recalls. "I remember hating to hear the Mr. Softee truck coming, because I had spent so much money on drugs, I couldn't afford to pay for ice cream."
Rock bottom hit 14 years ago. Alim had pawned his VCR for drug money and taken his oldest daughter with him at 5 in the morning to buy crack.
The drugs failed to get him high. He broke down in tears. Nicole looked up at him and said, "Dad, it's going to be OK."
"I was done. I couldn't live like that anymore," he said.
It was only while going through the 12 steps that he understood how his father's absence led to his own inadequacies as a father. And even though Alim is trying hard to make up for his absence - the high school dropout went on to earn a master's degree in human services from Lincoln University and recommitted himself to his girls - he knows it may be too little, too late.
He blames himself in part for all three of his daughters' becoming single mothers.
"Lack of parenting played a role in my life, so I know it played a role in theirs," he says. "Barack was right. It's time to break the cycle."
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - "The Texas Republican Party is distancing itself from a vendor who sold campaign buttons at last weekend's state convention that asked, "If Obama is president ... will we still call it The White House?"
The state GOP party said Wednesday that it will donate the $1,500 rent it collected from the vendor, Republicanmarket.com, to Midwestern flood victims.
State GOP spokesman Hans Klingler said the party does not vet the merchandise being sold, but officials plan to discuss doing so in the future. The button sales at the convention in Houston were first reported in the Dallas Morning News.
"This vendor need not apply to another Texas GOP state convention," Klingler said. 'We will neither tolerate nor profit from bigotry.'"
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
"The FOX Propaganda Network endangers my life -- and yours.
How else can you explain that a White House administration and Republican Party who have squandered hundreds of billions of dollars, countless lives, and a war longer than WW II -- and we haven't even caught Osama bin Laden?
The FOX Propaganda Network isn't set up to help save America from terrorists; it's the "Tokyo Rose" of television networks, set up to save the Republican plutocrats from the wrath of the voters who might otherwise realize the sheer and utter incompetence of Bush, Cheney and the GOP in dealing with terrorism.
Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Michelle Malkin and the entire multi-million dollar compensated on-air talents are traitors because their job is to protect the back and flank of the GOP, not to protect America.
And that is what puts my life at risk -- and yours.
Sean Hannity is no patriot. He is an oleaginous, slicked up car salesman chickenhawk who has sold America and us down the river for his paycheck.
One of the characteristics that we are most proud of about America is our ingenuity, our tenaciousness, our resilience.
Yet, the FOX Propaganda Network has spent the last years supporting moribund, stone headed, unwavering failure.
If you think being a chronic loser is patriotic, then FOX is the station for you, because that's what it backs. That's not patriotic; it's contrary to what made America great.
What made America great is competence and ingenuity, not slavish dedication to the architects of defeat.
FOX is a traitor in our midst. Yes, they have their First Amendment rights, and no one is going to deny Sean Hannity his $40,000 plus speaking fees and private jet transportation.
But they should be shunned for the risk they help to create to all our lives by endlessly championing dolts, proven liars, and leaders who turn gold into cow dung.
All FOX proves in its propaganda angle is that a few thousand hearty potential terrorists, at most, have held the world's strongest power at bay for years, while ruining our economy with onerous and ineffectual war expenses, helping to weaken the dollar, drive up the price of oil, and, in turn, helping to cause a world food crisis and more.
It used to be the American way that if you couldn't do the job, you got out of the way or got fired. But the fat paycheck propagandists at FOX now tell us that mediocrity and failure define the new American patriotism -- that and an American flag lapel pin made in China.
God have mercy on their souls -- and let's hope that we can survive the glorification that FOX gives to losers who imperil our lives.
We need an America that proves itself by getting the job done; not by relying on Roger Ailes GOP propaganda talking points to divert the masses from people who have utterly failed them. "
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
A few weeks ago, a young man approached me after a speech I had given at his college and handed me a small piece of paper with the name of a book he thought I should read. Given that the student and I had previously gotten into a bit of a row over the issue of racial profiling of Arabs, I didn't have high expectations about his recommendation.
I suppose it's a good thing I was prepared for what I got: the name of a book by black conservative Larry Elder, whose only real claim to fame is that he does a bad imitation of Judge Wapner on a pedantic little courtroom reality show called Moral Court.
Oh, and that white folks like the student in question really like him. Which, as it turns out, is all it takes to become a bestselling author in this country.
Elder – like Shelby Steele before him, and Walter Williams before that, and Ken Hamblin before that, and Thomas Sowell before him, and Clarence Thomas always – says the kinds of things that most white folks love to hear: essentially, that blacks are the source of their own problems in life. Black cultural pathology and bad behavior, according to these types, explain everything from black poverty rates to black incarceration rates.
What about racism?, you may ask. What racism? To the Larry Elders of the world – and to the whites who have made them media stars entirely out of proportion to their scholarly credentials (or decided lack thereof) – racism is just an excuse black people use to explain away their own internal shortcomings.
Lately, two of the more popular arguments made by black conservatives and the white people who love them are, first, that blacks spend too much money on luxury items they can't afford, refusing to save money the way responsible white folks do; and second, that blacks place too little value on education, preferring to critique learning as selling out or "acting white," and thereby sabotaging their own achievement..." more here