Saturday, November 30, 2013

"Brawlmart"

And now comes to the stories.

Shots fired at a parking lot at a Kohl's store in the Chicago area, a melee at the Franklin Mills Mall here in Philly, some dude shot to death in Las Vegas while trying to go home with his big screen television, and countless fights across the country to beat the next sucker shopper to save a few dollars on that toy that little Junior wanted for Christmas.

And it's not just us crass Americans. They are getting their brawl on over these commercial items across the pond as well.

The fights and mayhem that ensues have gotten better than the deals themselves. You can track these things on twitter now. People acting "like animals" while they try to scoop up a good deal. Actually, this is not fair to animals.

That company from Arkansas, of course, is where I lay a lot of the blame. The Walmartification (I know that's not a word) of America has taken this thing to a whole new level. And as they continue to rake in the dollars, we can expect other big box stores to follow their lead.

"Brawlmart", as one publication is calling them, is where most of the action
seems to go down these days. People will stop at nothing to beat the other shopper to the deal. 

"Brooke Buchanan, a spokeswoman for Walmart, said Friday morning that the Black Friday sales on Thursday were "bigger, better, and safer than ever from coast to coast.

"It's been the safest Black Friday with millions of shoppers at our 4,000 locations across the country. There were some isolated incidents that were resolved quickly through the help of our store associates, and in some cases with the help of local law enforcement. We're very happy with our safety plans and how they worked," Buchanan told ABC News.

The company said it had some 22 million shoppers come through its stores in a four-hour period on Thursday night."

22 million in a four hour period! Where is the recession? Anyway, this clown says that he is happy with their "safety plans". What else is he going to say? We have created this monster and we are not sure we can control it. But it's making us so much money that we will just ride out the bad publicity until there is a real serious tragedy associated with it.

Finally, I think this Rev. Manning dude might have been in one Black Friday brawl too many and he hit his head a time or two.

"Reverend James David Manning of the Atlah World Missionary Church claimed this week that Miriam Carey, who was shot and killed by authorities after crashing her car into the U.S. Capitol building last month, had been assassinated by President Barack Obama because she had given birth to his illegitimate daughter.

On his radio show The Manning Report, Manning called for a paternity test of Carey’s fifteen-month-old daughter, who was in the car with Carey when she led police on a chase that ended in gunfire on the Capitol steps.

The theory, which appears to have originated with a Russian website, alleges that before a May 2011 graduation address to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Obama stopped at the dentist office where Carey worked as an assistant, because a piece of pistachio shell had become lodged in his back moral.

While there, according to the theory, Obama struck up a friendship with Carey, who became pregnant shortly afterward. The website claimed that Carey refused Obama’s request to have an abortion, at which point Obama “lured” her to Washington and had her killed. (Even more bizarrely, the site goes to claim that Obama was out trolling for extramarital action because Michelle Obama was actually born a man.)

Manning accused the “entire world media” of refusing to investigate the incident, and chastised Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, women’s rights groups, academia, and the courts for “refusing to come to the aid of this slaughtered woman, which means that they are protecting something that they feel far more important, which is Barack Hussein Obama. Case closed.” [Source]

*I hear Twilight Zone music*

I am still not cool with the way this poor woman was killed, but.....let's just say that if you are a member of this guy's church you might need to start watching and praying.















Friday, November 29, 2013

Commercialism takes down another day.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Brown Thursday....hold up, BROWN THURSDAY?!

I know that we live in America and that commercialism rules the day, but this whole Brown Thursday thing seems a bit much. Now, sadly, Thanksgiving (a day I have some historical issues with to begin with) has gone the way of so many other holidays in this country.

It's hard to believe that folks can't take one day away from shopping to spend time with their families, or, to just chill out and watch a damn football game. I guess nothing beats spending your hard earned dollars on electrical gadgets and toys. "That apple pie looks good Aunt Jane, but I have to run. I have to get a good spot in line at Best Buy."

In America shopping has become a combat sport. (I know, I live with shopping hall of famer) buy my goodness, when is it enough? This culture of crass commercialism has taken over these divided states like nothing else. Christmas has gobbled up poor Thanksgiving and the turkey day never saw it coming.

Every holiday is now an opportunity to market a sale. "PRESIDENT'S DAY BLOWOUT", "COLUMBUS DAY REDUCTIONS", "MARTIN LUTHER KING MARKDOWNS"...enough already!

I guess there is irony in all of this is that this is what the country we are celebrating has truly become. America has no soul. No conscience. Materialism rules the day.

As I sit quietly in my office this Friday morning, and I reflect on the joys of family and what it means..."Honey, my sister and I are going to run to the store and do a little shopping, did you need anything?

Unbelievable! 






Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving thanks.

Today is turkey day in America.

I am thankful for the following:

A wife who loves me unconditionally.

A family that raised me to understand the importance of hard work and giving back.

My physical and mental health.

The Internet which allows me to share my thoughts and experiences with people I have never met.

And finally, for the people who show up to this blog on a regular basis who help to teach me about the human experience.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Let's make a deal, and praise for a Pope.

I am trying to stay away from the 9-5 plantation today.

Unfortunately Fortunately I have the in-laws coming to Chez Field and I have a loooong Honey Do list. The Mrs will be working me like a...well, Field Negro for the next few hours, so keep me in your thoughts.

Anywhoo,  to check out the rest of the world for a minute, I see that the other JFK and O are catching a lot of heat from Neocons, ("abject surrender"? WTF?) the right, the leader of Israel, and every Lamborghini driving Sunni in the Gulf Oil States for the nuke deal that was just forged with Iran.

OK, I guess I understand why they are pissed. They don't want that Shiite ideology creeping into their borders. The Israelis, well, they just don't want to be nuked off the face of the earth. Although I suspect that if this deal was cut under a conservative president Benji would have been cool with it.

Fortunately, though, Americans know a good thing when they see it, and by a 2-1 margin they approve of the other JFK's deal with the Iranians. It seems that everyone--- except the war hawks and Neocons--- want to give peace a chance.

Finally, I never thought I would be saying this, but I have to show some love to this Pope Francis dude. It seems that my man's political ideology is somewhat in sync with mine.

He ripped "trickle- down economics", the greed of capitalism, and their treatment of the poor. I hope that the right wing politicians in Washington were paying attention. This guy could never get elected in a red state.

It's simple; capitalism left unchecked will lead to income inequality, and if this trend continues Americans will not like the country they see in the next 25 years.

"Pope Francis has attacked unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny”, urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in the first major work he has authored alone as pontiff.

'Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills,'

'How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”'

Father, it's not exactly "new tyranny", it's been around a very long time.

As we get ready to knock each other out in Wal-Mart to save $50 on an xBox, it would pay to keep the Pope's words in mind.  












Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Silencing the Negro by any means necessary.

Tis the season for the hate mail. I have been getting a lot from my Aryan brothers of late.

Instead of giving thanks for living in the "greatest country on earth", they seem hell bent on sending me back to mine.

Of course I am quite used to it by now. Having a popular blog called The Field Negro will bring out the ugly in folks who have harder time picking up a book than a jug of moonshine or a crossbow.

I also blame Colin Flaherty, he is the man who has been using my quotes (taken out of context of course) to sell his pathetic book. A book, by the way, which seems to be doing quite well. (The white victim industry is booming these days.) To folks like Flaherty, the only good Negro in America is the passive Negro. The one who capitulates to, and acknowledges, white privilege. If this Negro is supposedly educated, all the better. (I see you Thomas Sowell and Clarence Thomas.)

Anyway wingnuts, please keep the hate mail coming; it motivates me.

And to think I almost quit blogging. 

Speaking of winguts, here is some more news you will never hear or see on any of Rupert Murdoch's stations.

"So now, Right-Wing "Christian" extremists are making death threats against President Obama, and on Facebook. The administrator, "Everest," for the Facebook group Christian American Patriots Militia begins his post on November 19th, with:
"We now have the authority to shoot Obama, i.e., to kill him."
Well, it's a federal crime, i.e., a felony to make threats against any president.
A large number of people on Facebook have claimed they reported the post and site. Some folks even say they contacted the FBI and Secret Service. Apparently, the authorities are fully aware, watching, and waiting. The penalty for someone making a threat is far less, than if someone attempts to make good on that threat. And the authorities will be right there waiting for them, ready to snap them up." [Source]

This is scary stuff, given that it's been 50 years since another young president was cut down by a sniper's bullet.

Eddie Murphy used to joke about it , but it sure isn't funny anymore.

Still, I know quite a few people who would be happy. I hear from them damn near every day.


  






Sunday, November 24, 2013

Whose remarks were more repulsive?

Sarah Palin is in the middle of her woe is me tour. She is getting all kinds of support and love from the main stream media and wingnut ---and some liberal--- pundits. Why? Because she has been perceived as the victim after Martin Bashir's comments about her mouth and what he would like to see go in it. (Hey, it's what was done to slaves by some slave owners, Bashir was simply wondering how it would feel to Palin if she suffered the same way that the slaves did.)

Of course this couldn't have gone better for Palin if she had planned it in advance with the aforementioned Bashir. No one plays the victim role like Sarah Palin. No one! She thrives on being a "super troll" who says outrageous things, and when there is a response she acts shocked that her intended troll target would have such a response.

"I don't have to accept his words, his vile, evil comments, so they don't have to affect me. I move on and I charge forth," the 2008 vice presidential candidate said during an interview that aired on "Fox News Sunday."

Give me a break!

 It is what she is doing to Bashir, now. He was rightfully outraged by her ignorant and misguided comments about slavery, and he just could not keep his anger in check. I understand. I wanted to say something much worse.

The irony is, of course, that Bashir is taking way more heat for his comments about Palin than she is about her shameful comments about slavery.

Bashir apologized to Palin, but she doubled down and did not apologize to the millions of African Americans in this country who are descendants of slaves.

But she gets a pass, because trivializing the suffering that came along with slavery is now accepted in "post-racial" America. The "federal debt" might be equal to slavery in her eyes, because her ancestors were not beaten and whipped and treated as chattel.

Of course conservatives have tried to spin her comments. They have actually read her mind and decided that she meant a different kind of slavery. Whatever.

 Palin herself tried to lecture us black folks about slavery and what it really means. I mean Sarah does know black folks. Just ask Glen Rice.

"And that’s not a racist thing to do, by the way, which I know somebody is going to claim it is.

TAPPER: Don’t you ever fear that by using hyperbole like that — obviously, you don’t literally mean it’s like slavery, which cost millions of people their lives and there was rape and torture. You’re using it as a metaphor.

But don’t you ever worry that by using that kind of language, you — you risk obscuring the point you’re trying to make?

PALIN: There is another definition of slavery and that is being beholden to some kind of master that is not of your choosing. And, yes, the national debt will be like slavery when the note comes due.

TAPPER: So you’re not — you’re not work — I mean I’m — I’m taking it as a no, but you’re not — you’re not concerned about the language —

PALIN: I’m not one to be politically correct, evidently." [Source]

We understand, Sarah. You have reputation to protect and a fan base to excite.



"My name is Earl". But you already knew that.

I know that when y'all first heard the story of the poor brotha down in Florida (Where else? )being arrested 62 times for trespassing WHERE HE WORKS, you all thought that it was a joke. ("Oh, here we go again. Those blacks making up stories about racism where racism doesn't exist.")

But, sadly, "in color aroused" America, where "stop- and- frisk" has become the norm, and where the rights of poor people and people of color pale in comparison to those who occupy the halls of power, (I see you Trey Radel)  occurrences like this have become the new normal.

I can't imagine what I would do if the po po stopped and harassed me over 258 times. (Once a week over a four year period). They harassed this poor brotha like it was a part of their job description. Service revolver?  Check. Roll Call? Check. Daily briefing? Check. Start routine patrol? Check. Go and harass Earl Sampson at the convenience store? Check. I mean I know that we all look alike, but dyaam!

I worry about people like Earl Sampson as well. I hope this is not typical of the Negro in places like Florida. Have the system beaten them down so much that they don't even realize when their rights are being trampled upon? Because honestly, if folks start viewing this kind of injustice as normal, then we have an even bigger problem on our hands.

I am just thankful that the man's boss (my FNOTD) recognizes injustice.

"They ask him, 'What are you doing here?'" recalled Saleh. "He said, 'I work here.' The clerk said he works here. I said, 'I'm the owner, let him go. I work here.' The officer said, 'Yeah right.'
"So he has more power than me!"

According to Saleh, it doesn't stop there.

In addition to video appearing to show Sampson being grabbed by an officer while taking out the trash and at another time searched against a wall, Saleh accuses them of searching throughout his store without a warrant.

They're just stopping anybody who walks in the city or who comes into my store," argued Saleh. "You can't violate people's rights just by standing in front of a business. You have no right to pull me against the wall and search me and question me for no reason."
Welcome to America Mr. Saleh.  Now if you want equal rights you better work harder, get a bigger store, and move it out of that neighborhood.

Here in the land of [only some] are free, rights are not exactly equal.

I am sorry you had to learn this way, but I am even more sorry for your employee.





Saturday, November 23, 2013

Time to work on your counterpunch.

So this "knock-out game" craze has white folks in a tizzy. The only people enjoying this are the little knuckle heads who show the videos of their Joe Frazier impression to their friends, and the honchos over at FOX News.

FOX loves it because there is an increase in viewership from the melanin challenged octogenarian set.

But on further review, this is nothing new here in America. Teens have been beating up on defenseless people and videotaping it for awhile now. But hey, they weren't always black, and the victims weren't always white, so this, in the eyes of those who suffer from "color aroused syndrome", is a bit different.

The knock-out game isn't always for sport, sometimes these hooligans just want your s**t.

Anyway, whether it's the "knock-out game" or "smack cam" (a lighter version), white conservatives and their wingnut friends have found the latest thing to b*t*h about in Obama's America. They didn't care when homeless people were getting the crap beaten out of them by out of control teens pre Barack Obama, but now, of course, it's different. *eyes rolling*

Here in Philly, whether you are black or white, you realize that whenever you are on these mean streets you just have to remain vigilant and work on your counterpunch.

Oh, and you can never forget to bob and weave.
 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

White lines for the white party.

How many other people in congress are getting high and snorting coke?

They sure as hell govern like they are high down there.

Anyway, they have each other's back. (It's amazing how selective outrage can be.)  Now comes word that speaker Boehner will not punish Trey Radal for turning his DC digs into a trap house.

Of course Mr. Boehner can't take the high road with this one, because he has some problems of his own. But hey, we won't go there. We all have our demons.

“I’m profoundly sorry to let down my family, particularly my wife and son, and the people of Southwest Florida,” he said. “I struggle with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice. As the father of a young son and a husband to a loving wife, I need to get help so I can be a better man for both of them.

Thank you Mr. Boehner Radel.

The first step towards recovery is recognizing that you have a problem.

Speaking of having a problem, his Oness certainly has one with his ACA roll out. No doubt there have been bumps along the way, but it could (and should) get better.

Still, what I want to know is this: What is the republican plan to fix health care in this country? And what, exactly, is their alternative to Obamacare? It's gotten so bad that FOX News now has to ask the very same question.

This is the party leader's answer to that question:

“I think you have to repeal the whole law and then you take whatever parts are most needed, like pre-existing conditions and things like that,” Priebus told Fox.
“Sure, but what is the Republican plan?” Camerota asked. “Yes, there are little things that you like — pre-existing conditions, obviously, buying insurance across state lines. So what is that plan called by the Republicans?”
“I’m going to answer the question,” Priebus briefly stymied before explaining:
I think it’s really important for people to understand that there is nothing wrong, whatsoever, for being totally opposed to Obamacare, which most people in this country don’t want. There’s nothing wrong with being opposed to something that is ruining people’s lives. So we are 100% opposed to it, and we will always be opposed to it so long as it’s as much as a disaster as it is.
After that, Reibus noted that “Democrats jammed [the GOP] with Obamacare” and wouldn’t listen to any of the “few, good solid ideas” they had for the healthcare law."

Mr. Reibus, we are all ears.............

 












Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Is this the big one?

They finally have him now. Benghazi, Fast & Furious, his birth certificate, the IRS....they all pale in comparison to the latest "No Drama Obama" piece of drama.

Let's see him try to get out of this one.

 Cooking the unemployment books to win an election is downright Nixonian.

But wait..... 

"Conservatives are working themselves into a froth about what they believe is the next HUGE OBAMA SCANDAL: allegations that the unemployment numbers were cooked just ahead of the 2012 election.

This scandal may turn out to be just as devastating to the Obama administration as the IRS, Benghazi and Fast & Furious scandals. Not devastating at all, in other words. In fact, this one seems even flimsier than those pseudo-scandals.
New York Post columnist John Crudele, citing one anonymous source, claims that Census Bureau employees have been ordered to make up responses when surveying households for the Labor Department's monthly unemployment report. Crudele claims to have evidence from 2010 that one Census survey-taker was caught making up numbers to meet a quota. Crudele's anonymous source claims there were other incidents of surveyors making up numbers, that Census officials encouraged such shenanigans, and that fake-number generation ramped up ahead of the 2012 election.

This, Crudele suggests in a daring leap of logic, probably explains unemployment's drop to 7.8 percent in September 2012 from 8.1 percent the month before. That drop was reported on Oct. 5, 2012, just a month ahead of Election Day, and immediately seemed suspicious to conservatives like former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, who tweeted:

'Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers..'
 
"Conservatives were aflutter again on Tuesday about Crudele's column, with CNBC forehead-vein-farmer Rick Santelli declaring himself and Welch vindicated, and failed GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain tweeting:

'They faked the pre-election unemployment report & the employee who did it says he was under orders from superiors..'

But sorry, Herman Cain, no. "The employee who did it" does not say that. In fact, there is no such employee in Crudele's report. Crudele cites only an anonymous source who generally claims that numbers were made up. The "employee" who allegedly "did it" is one guy who allegedly made up numbers in 2010, which careful readers will note was two years before the election. That employee was not accused of raising or lowering unemployment figures -- just of making up numbers to meet a quota of households.

Update: CNBC's Steve Liesman reports that the alleged "employee who did it," Julius Buckmon, has not worked at Census since August 2011. It's highly unlikely Buckmon threw the 2012 election from his couch.

Obviously, if the Census Bureau is telling employees to make up numbers one way or another, that's a problem. Neither the Census Bureau nor the Labor Department had anything interesting to say about Crudele's report when contacted by The Huffington Post, although a Labor Department spokesman said the Commerce Department was investigating the claims. The Census Bureau, which is a part of the Commerce Department, did not confirm or deny that statement.

Still, it's not possible for one employee alone, or even a few, to have altered the unemployment rate by submitting false data -- Census surveys 60,000 households in one week, a massive task involving about 2,200 workers. That makes a rate-moving conspiracy highly unlikely.

"This fraud would have to be so widespread, to affect enough of the survey takers to affect the top-line numbers, that it seems implausible on the face of it," said Heidi Shierholz, an economist who studies unemployment at the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank.

The 0.3-percent decline in unemployment in September 2012 was not an unusually large change, Shierholz pointed out -- the unemployment rate tends to be volatile. Unemployment also fell by 0.3 percent in November 2011, less than a year earlier. September's drop, though large, was not out of line with the overall trend in unemployment, which has continued to decline steadily, if slowly, in the year since the election.

And cooked or raw, these monthly jobs numbers aren't precise measures, anyway. The Labor Department says it has 90 percent confidence them. That means a reported 6 percent unemployment rate might really be 5.8 percent, or it might be 6.2 percent. For an 8 percent unemployment rate, the variation would be slightly wider.

In fact, if Obama really is cooking the unemployment numbers, he needs to send them back to the kitchen -- this has been the slowest job-market recovery since World War II. One month's unemployment report did not change that.
Update: The Census Bureau just put out a statement completely denying Crudele's report:" [Source]

Damn it! Another good scandal gone to waste. I hate when that happens.

But wait, I think I spoke too soon, I think there is another scandal brewing on the horizon. Wait for it....wait for it......OBAMA SNUBS 150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS.

Over at FOX they are outraged, and conservatives are beside themselves that the first African American president would not go to the place where the union army fought valiantly to make us a more perfect union.

Scandal? Not so much. Turns out quite a few presidents before "No Drama Obama" turned down the opportunity to speak at Gettysburg.

"Yeah, but Field, what about God? That Muslim left out the word God in his reading of the Gettysburg address."

Seems there is an explanation for that too. Sorry.

Oh well, keep searching. A good scandal is sure to come along.

Hey, I hear the First Lady was on BET. Surely there is a scandal in there somewhere.  





 




Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hide the women and children, George is free.

This was a rough day for Sean Hannity's friend, George Zimmerman.

"It was a Tuesday to forget for George Zimmerman after he was charged with assaulting his girlfriend, kicked out of her house, and served with divorce papers — all in the same day.

The only consolation for Zimmerman is that a Florida judge allowed the notorious former neighborhood watchman to be freed on $9,000 bail, although he was fitted with an electronic ankle bracelet.

How Zimmerman raised the money was not clear. His lawyer said he is $2.5 million in debt and declared him “indigent.”

And that was before Zimmerman was served by soon-to-be ex-wife Shellie with the divorce papers in the same Sanford, Fla., courthouse where he was found not guilty in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

“He's doing fine and right now we are just concentrating on the process of bonding him out,” Zimmerman’s court-appointed lawyer Jeff Dowdy said before his client was sprung. “He will be taken to an undisclosed location and will not be available to the media.”

Poor George. Even his friends over at FOX NEWS are bailing on him [pun intended]

Anyway George, look at the bright side; at least you are still alive.

I am glad that MSNBC suspended Alec Baldwin, he was wrong to use a homophobic slur to a photographer, and he should suffer the consequences for his ignorance.

But I have to rip Anderson Cooper and Andrew Sullivan a little bit.

Why is it that they have to call out the the n-word to voice their outrage and displeasure with the actions of Alec Baldwin? (Y'all just can't leave black folks out of your business.)

Do they seriously believe that just using the n-word is an automatic career killer?

Give me a break! The last time I checked Riley Cooper and Sly Stallone were doing just fine. And the reason it was a career killer for Michael Richards is because he just wasn't funny.

"Cooper and Sullivan found it striking how Baldwin could get away with saying “fag” and that’s that, but if he used the n-word or an anti-Semitic slur instead, his career would be over in an instant."

I don't know about the "anti-Semitic slur", but dropping the n-word would probably get him a job hosting a cable show on FOX NEWS.

Finally, I am glad to see that a campus conservative group in Texas decided to cancel their "Catch an Illegal Immigrant" event. But still, I have to wonder what possessed them to even come up with such an idea in the first place. Sorry GOP, this is just not how you reach out to minorities.

"The group Young Conservatives of Texas planned the event for Wednesday at the University of Texas, but nixed it after campus honchos slammed it as "demeaning" and said participants could face expulsion.

YCT chapter president Lorenzo Garcia said in a statement to local KVUE-TV that the group's members feared "the university will retaliate against them and that the protest against the event could create a safety issue for our volunteers."

According to details of the game posted to Facebook, the event was to feature "several people walking around the UT campus with the label 'illegal immigrant' on their clothing."

Oh lord, dudes name is Garcia and he is helping to perpetuate this jingoistic bull s**t.

I guess it all just goes to show you that every race has a big house.  







 




Monday, November 18, 2013

George is back where he belongs. And was a 14 year old tortured in Tullytown?

I see that George Killerman is behind bars once again. (Calling Mark O'Mara)This time for threatening his pregnant girlfriend (not his wife) with a shotgun.

Those of us who believed all along that he shot Trayvon Martin in cold blood feel somewhat vindicated tonight, but we are all sick to the stomach knowing that this sociopath was able to conceal his inner demons long enough to get away with murder.

Although we are now learning that he might have had some help along the way.

Anyway, clearly this dude doesn't like women and children, and if and when he gets back on the street law enforcement better keep an eye on him.

"She was concerned for her safety, certainly from having the weapon pointed at her," Lemma said.

According to an arrest report released late Monday, Schibe called police after she and Zimmerman got into a "verbal dispute," at her home on Topfield Court in western Seminole County. She asked Zimmerman to leave, and he "began packing his items, which included a Shotgun and a AR Assault Rifle," the report said.

When Scheibe told Zimmerman that she was calling the police, he pointed the shotgun at her "and asked her if she really wanted to do that," according to the report." [Source]

I sure hope that George isn't comfortable in his cell tonight. Hopefully they don't put him in isolation. In fact, I think he needs a celly, and not just any celly if you know what I mean.

Still, he will make bail soon, his wingnut friends and the folks over at FOX will make sure of that.

Finally, speaking of law enforcement, folks in the majority population still have a hard time understanding why black folks view those charged with serving and protecting us with such suspicion. But there is a reason for that.

I give you two recent examples of the type of behavior from some in the law enforcement community towards us black folks which makes it hard for us to view them in a positive light.

The first is from the affluent suburb of Grosse Point, Michigan.

"Cops in an affluent Detroit suburb allegedly humiliated black men, recorded the acts and passed the videos among friends and relatives, according to reports.
The footage, posted by the news blog Motor City Muckraker, was reportedly shot by officers who ordered men to sing or “dance like a chimp.”

“Go ahead, do your song,” a man identified as Grosse Pointe Park police Officer Mike Njam says in one video.

The police department is now investigating the videos and a photo obtained through a confidential source by the blog.

The department has begun an internal investigation of this matter,” police wrote in an email to the Huffington Post. “The Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Department does not tolerate unprofessional conduct by its officers when interacting with any citizen they may come in contact with.”

A photo, also attributed to Njam, shows a black man riding in the back of a trailer. A caption below reads, “Got to love the coloreds.” [Source]

The other one is from the very middle class suburban town of  Tullytown, Pennsylvania.

"TULLYTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A Bucks County woman was preparing to meet today with an attorney in Philadelphia amid allegations that her 14-year-old son was beaten by Tullytown, Pa. police officers after a shoplifting arrest last week.

Marissa Sargeant says her son’s swollen and bloody face was the result of a brutal beating at the hands of officers who arrested her son at a Walmart last Tuesday.
The picture of her son was posted to Facebook, and over the weekend had been shared more than 40,000 times by supporters demanding justice and calling it a case of police brutality.

But law enforcement tells a different story.  Bucks County DA David Heckler told KYW Newsradio today he has no reason to believe police acted inappropriately, saying that according to police, the teen broke free and was running away when he was Tasered.

Heckler says it appears the teen was struck in the face and then fell forward onto the pavement." [Source]

Riiiight.

Man that "pavement" sure packs a hell of a punch. Just look at those two black eyes.

I wonder if it's the same "pavement" that posed such a threat to George Zimmerman. 




 



Sunday, November 17, 2013

"Race- Themed"?

So wifey wanted to see Best  Man Holiday, she claims it's because she loved the first one, I know it's because of Maurice Chestnut.  Little does she know that I wanted to watch it as well, and not because I liked the first one. (I see you Nia Long)

Anywhoo, the movie surprised folks with its box office showing this weekend. They made it for 17 million and in one weekend it pulled in 30 million. I am guessing that a movie executive will take those numbers every time.

So anyway, as is to be expected, some clueless folks in the majority population chose to rain on the film's parade by how they approached writing about it.

"USA Today set off a social media storm Sunday with a headline on its box-office story that many found racially insensitive.

“’Holiday’ Nearly Beat ‘Thor’ as Race-Themed Films Soar” was the original headline that the publication put up online and sent out on Twitter. Universal’s romantic comedy sequel from writer-director Malcolm D. Lee did surprisingly well with $30.5 million this weekend, as it debuted against the Marvel superhero sequel, which took in $38.4 million.

When that headline drew a blast of complaints, it was soon changed,  to “’’Holiday’ Nearly Beats ‘Thor’ as Ethnically Diverse Films Soar.” The original tweet was deleted, too." [Source]

Too late, your ignorance has already been exposed. And I am not really seeing the difference between "race themed" and "diverse", but hey, whatever.

People get mad at black folks when we emphasize the racial or ethnic angle in anything that we do, but the truth of the matter is, as my twitter fam Nerdy Wonka said, "If a cast is all white, it's a movie. If it's all black, it's a "race-themed" movie". So it's not black folks who are separating themselves from the society at large, society has separated from us.

The fact that we like to see people on the big screen who look like us and who are saying things that we can relate to does not mean that we want to separate ourselves, and main stream newspapers shouldn't label us that way.

I suspect that quite a few white folks watched Best Man Holiday because they wanted to be entertained for a couple of hours. News flash: Black folks watch movies and television shows with a majority white cast for the same reason.

Finally, the state of New Mexico has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons.

You all might have seen this video by now, but every time I watch it I have more questions than answers.

Mother was wrong for not complying with the police, but then the po po....all those kids in the car who they clearly saw..... I don't know.

Anyway, what do you think?







Saturday, November 16, 2013

The N word, slavery, Chuck and Sarah.

I was watching Isiah Thomas and Grant Hill's eloquent take down of the "N" word, and while I was proud of these two former athletes having such a grasp of their history and the wonderful way they articulated it, I couldn't help but wonder about buffoons  like Charles Barkley and Shaq who openly defended the use of the N word as used by Matt Barnes (bad) and Richie [no more] Incognito (worse).

This latest episode of racial cluelessness involving Sir Charles got me wondering why he is so embraced and beloved by folks in the majority population.

Of course I suspect that I know why: Charles is that black guy who makes white folks laugh and feel comfortable about using words like the "N" word in his company. I wonder how often Sly Stallone would use the "N" word around Charles.

Charles supposedly likes to shock us and speak his mind on matters of race, but the truth is, there is nothing shocking about what Charles Barkley has to say about racial issues. In fact, when it comes to Charles, it's all pretty predictable.

"I just watched NBA (on TNT Thursday night) and was appalled to hear Charles Barkley and Shaquille Oneal say that it was okay to use the “N” word on national television.

It was so crazy. I just sat there looking at the television dumbfounded. I could not believe the words that were coming out of Charles mouth. He said it with purpose..."

Of course he did, white America was watching. Charles has to keep them smiling.

Speaking of the "N" word, I bet George Junius Stinney Jr. heard it a lot growing up in South Carolina. And I bet the members of the all white jury that sentenced him to death used the "N" word a lot as well.

Unfortunately Junius Stinney Jr. was only 14 years old when he was strapped to the death chair and fried. That all white jury made sure that he would never hear the "N" word-- or any words-- ever again. 

Now, thankfully, some historians are trying to clear his name. We are talking about South Carolina here, so I am not expecting much to come of these efforts, but I am glad that people like Ray Brown are at least trying.

Finally, I don't agree with Martin Bashir's harsh opinion of Sarah Palin, but I do believe that girlfriend has been on somewhat of a roll of late. Glen Rice's former liaison sans lendemain made less than flattering remarks about the Pope, and compared the national debt to slavery.

Of course, as is to be expected, she apologized to the Pope. She did not, however, apologize for her slavery remarks. Sarah wants Catholics to like her, they might buy her books. Unfortunately, though, Sarah could care less about Negroes not named Glen Rice.

Sadly, she doubled down on her ignorant slavery comments.

Something about apologizing to Negroes doesn't sit well with Sarah.





     












Friday, November 15, 2013

A sad comparison, and a republican that republicans can be proud of.

Some of us black folks are upset at the GOP and their lemmings for comparing the failed roll out of Obamacare to Hurricane Katrina.

It's appalling that they would do such a thing, but it's understandable.

Katrina was a poor and brown people tragedy; the suffering that those people went through was not viewed as real suffering by some folks in the majority. Rather, it was a political problem for George Bush.

It's easy to trivialize the suffering of those people down in New Orleans. It might as well have been a typhoon in the Philippines. Most Americans just didn't relate.

So now, here we are years later, comparing glitches in a computer software to one of the greatest natural disasters in our nation's history.

"Just like Katrina, when the big problem President Bush had was diminishing the significance of what was happening, saying ‘Hey, way to go, Brownie,’—you had the president yesterday talking about glitches and kinks. This is bigger than glitches and kinks,” Fournier said.

“The one difference was Katrina was a storm, the health care law was Obama’s creation,” Wallace demurred. “I’m not defending my White House’s handling of Katrina, but it was a natural disaster. This was a disaster of Obama’s creation and imagination.”

Here is a shocker, I agree with Ed Shultz.

“Comparing the law that will save millions of lives in this country to these two dark events is absolutely despicable,” Schultz continued. “George W. Bush’s negligence in the handling of Katrina cost American lives. The botched war of choice, may I remind all Americans, in Iraq resulted in over 4,000 Americans being killed, for what?”

“Comparing these two horrible chapters in American history to a law that will save lives is truly unbelievable,” he concluded. [Source]

Nope, it's truly believable if you understand how the the mind of a wingnut works.

So anyway, I am glad to see that there was an arrest in that case where the Detroit homeowner shot and killed that young lady after she was trying to get help.

Dude is being charged with second- degree murder and manslaughter. He claims it was all just a tragic accident and he thought that she was breaking into his home, but, sadly for him, some things just weren't adding up.

Sorry Mr. Wafer, back in the day you would have probably gotten away with this, but not now. Not after Trayvon Martin and the national attention that his tragic killing received. Prosecutors nationwide are going to have to do due diligence from here on out.

Finally, speaking of prosecutors, I was speaking to a friend of mine today who ran against our DA here in Philly and got crushed. His name is Danny Alvarez, and he is a Latino republican in a town where republicans are down three to one in voter registration.

I met Danny a few years back when he worked as an ADA in my particular division of the courts. We would see each other from time to time and every now and then he would try a case in front of me.

He always struck me as good guy who really cared about the job that he was doing, and he did a good job doing it.

Danny only got 18 percent of the vote, but he had no money and he was outgunned from all sides. He never had a shot, but he gave it the old college try.

I respect him for that.

With what little resources he had he campaigned for every vote and wasn't afraid to go into housing projects and look people in the eye and tell them that he wanted their vote.

Other republicans need to take a page out of his book. If you want to reach black and Latino people and change the perception of your party you have to recruit candidates like Danny Alvarez.

"Wayne, A lot of these people didn't vote for me because they didn't know that they could vote for a republican candidate. I just hope I made them realize that there are other options out there."

Danny, I think you did. 



 



 




Thursday, November 14, 2013

I trust Doxy more than Lara and Sharyl.

Folks in Philly are a bunch of hard asses (booing Santa Claus and all), I know, I live here. I see random examples of hard ass behavior every day.

I swear I saw a bum tell a lady to f*** off once because she didn't give him what he wanted. He asked her for some change and she gave him some fresh donuts in a bag.

So anyway, when I read the story of a blind man being kicked off a plane in Philly because his service dog was too restless, I just knew that it was going to be a case of a bunch of heartless Philadelphians acting like....well, Philadelphians.

But alas, that was not the case here.

"A blind man said he and his service dog were kicked off a plane at Philadelphia International Airport on Wednesday, after he couldn’t keep the pooch still.
But the flight was canceled after several other passengers argued the move was too severe.

The wild ordeal unfolded after Albert Rizzi and his dog, Doxy, boarded a U.S. Airways flight bound for MacArthur Airport in Long Island.

Passengers told WABC-TV that the flight attendant would not allow the plane to take off about 8 p.m. until the Golden Lab curled up under the seat.

But the guide dog grew more restless as the plane waited on the tarmac more than an hour — and a woman sitting next to Rizzi even offered her seat to allow the pooch more room.

“You’ve got about a minute to get this straightened out,” the flight attendant told Rizzi, according to a passenger on the plane.
“He tried to do whatever he could, and she went back to the front of the plane,” the passenger told the news station.

Suddenly, the pilot announced that the plane would be turning back to the gate, where the flight attendant escorted Rizzi off the aircraft." [Source]

Poor Doxy. Whatever happened to the "friendly skies"? I swear these folks in the airline industry don't roll like they used to.

Speaking of folks not rolling like they used to. Remember when CBS was a respected news organization? I mean they gave us Ed Bradley and 60 Minutes for crying out loud.

But now, sadly, all we have are frauds like Lara Logan and her form of yellow journalism destroying the 60 Minutes brand. And, as if that wasn't enough, CBS has a new issue to contend with. This one involves some shoddy reporting about Obamacare.

"CBS News, already in trouble for not bothering to fact-check sensational claims about the Benghazi attacks, has stepped in it again with an exclusive story on the Affordable Care Act that has quickly fallen apart. On November 11, CBS News reported that the "project manager in charge of building the federal health care website was apparently kept in the dark about serious failures in the website's security." CBS investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson's report was based on an exclusive "first look at a partial transcript" of closed-door testimony by project manager Henry Chao that was likely leaked to the network by Republicans on the House Oversight Committee. Other media outlets picked up CBS's scoop and ran with it.

According to Attkisson, Chao was presented with "a memo that outlined important security risks discovered in the insurance system," and said he was unaware of that memo. CBS News reported that this indicated that Chao had been "kept in the dark about serious failures in the website's security" that "could lead to identity theft among people buying insurance."

But as Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple demonstrated, Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA) questioned Chao at a November 13 Oversight Committee hearing and revealed how misleading CBS News' report was. The memo shown to Chao dealt with portions of the website that aren't yet in use -- not the website as it currently exists, as the partial transcript and CBS News' report wrongly suggested. And those portions won't include personally identifiable information, making it impossible for the security risks to lead to identity theft." [Source]

As someone commented after this story: "It's so much easier to get an exclusive when you just make up the facts."

 













Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Confessions of a self hating Negro.

I found a brother that some of you Negroes who like to spend most of your time in the house can relate to.

This poor brother is so full of self- hatred that he actually wrote an entire article about his tragic lot in life.

I will post the poor man's screed in its entirety, because, sadly, many of you Negroes who will come out to the fields to read it can relate.

"The Guardian columnist Orville Lloyd Douglas reveals in his latest piece that he hates being a Black man and that his skin color is his “personal prison.”
He writes: “I can honestly say I hate being a black male. Although black people like to wax poetic about loving their label I hate ‘being black.’ I just don’t fit into a neat category of the stereotypical views people have of black men. In popular culture black men are recognized in three areas: sports, crime, and entertainment. I hate rap music, I hate most sports, and I like listening to rock music such as PJ Harvey, Morrissey, and Tracy Chapman. I have nothing in common with the archetypes about the black male.”

He is, after all, the same writer who said that he was “exhausted” and “bored” with race films, and that maybe he should give up his “black card” because he just doesn’t care about slavery anymore:

“I might have to turn in my black card,” Douglas wrote, “because I don’t care much about slavery. I’ve already watched the television series Roots, which I feel covered the subject matter extremely well. Of course, I understand slavery is an important part of any black person’s history, but dwelling on slavery is pathetic. It ended in North America over 100 years ago, yet since Django Unchained made over $400m last year, more slavery movies emerge.”
He continues his search for White validation in his latest piece:

Read excerpts below:
'Honestly, who would want to be black? Who would want people to be terrified of you and not want to sit next to you on public transportation? 
Who would want to have this dark skin, broad nose, large thick lips, and wake up in the morning being despised by the rest of the world?
A lot of the time I feel like my skin color is like my personal prison, something that I have no control over, for I am judged just because of the way I look. 
Not discussing the issue doesn’t mean it is going to go away. In fact, by ignoring the issue, it simply lurks underneath the surface. I believe a dialogue about self hatred should be brought to the fore in the public sphere, so that some sort of healing and the development of true non-label based pride can occur. 
Of course, I do not want to have these feelings, to have these dark thoughts about being a black man. However, I cannot deny that this is the way I feel. I don’t want to be ashamed of being a black man; I just want to be treated as an individual based on the content of my character, and not just based on the colour of my skin.'" [Source]

I know that this brother is from across the pond because he writes for The Guardian, and he spells color, c-o-l-o-u-r.

Sadly, this just goes to show you that Tomming is universal.

Finally, I saw the following headline ["26,000 signed up on federal Obamacare website in first month: administration"] and I thought to myself that this Obamacare roll out fiasco is even worse than I thought.

But then, I did something that most Americans don't have time to do; I read past the headlines.

"Only 26,000 people managed to buy health insurance on HealthCare.gov in October, the first month the website was open, the Health and Human Services Department said Wednesday.

But more than 106,000 have made it through the process on both the state and federal websites, and most just have a few more steps to make the final purchase, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says. And as many as half a million look like they will have either private health insurance or new Medicaid coverage in 2014, HHS says in its first report on enrollment at HealthCare.gov.

Nearly 27 million people have visited the federal and state websites — a number that suggests there's tremendous interest in getting health insurance. More than 47 million U.S. adults now go without health insurance, more than 15 percent of the population.

The federal government has been playing down expectations for how many people will have signed up so far, but the long-awaited figures released Wednesday show that 26,794 people bought health insurance on the federal website, covering 36 states. Another 79,391 bought policies on state-run websites.
"Enrollment includes those who have selected a plan who either have or have not yet paid the first month’s premium," HHS said." [Source]

My friend @NerdyWonka broke it down even more on twitter for me.

: 106,185 signed up, 396,261 now have Medicaid, 846,184 applications ✔





 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Texas bullies.

So did you hear the one about the four women in Texas who got stared down by a bunch of gun toting wingnuts?

Besides having the nerve to be opinionated women,  they actually had the nerve to speak out against the all powerful NRA and their knuckle dragging devotees.

"Fresh from the success of cancelling the Million Armed Man March in Washington, DC, gun advocates in Texas found a more appropriate target than a large metropolitan police force: four moms having lunch. Forty armed members of Open Carry Texas (not affiliated with the month of October) staked out the parking lot outside the Dallas Blue Mesa Grill, where four Gyno-Americans were holed up plotting the downfall of the Second Amendment, which the Founding Fathers clearly intended as a bulwark against the Hounding Mothers. This may sound like overkill, but you never know when one of those chicks is going to drop a Porsche on you.

ThinkProgress was first to highlight the incident, which pitted the four members of Moms Demand Action against forty members of Open Carry Texas:
According to a spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action (MDA), the moms were inside the Blue Mesa Grill when members of Open Carry Texas (OCT) — an open carry advocacy group — “pull[ed] up in the parking lot and start[ed] getting guns out of their trunks.” The group then waited in the parking lot for the four MDA members to come out. The spokeswoman said that the restaurant manager did not want to call 911, for fear of “inciting a riot” and waited for the gun advocates to leave. The group moved to a nearby Hooters after approximately two hours.

MDA later released a statement calling OCT “gun bullies” who “disagree[d] with our goal of changing America’s gun laws and policies to protect our children and families.” The statement added that the members and restaurant customers were “terrified by what appeared to be an armed ambush.” A member of OCT responded by tweeting, “I guess I’m a #gunbullies #Comeandtakeit.”
According to USA Today, however, the restaurant manager did call the police:
“We are aware that a group did gather in a shopping area in Arlington Saturday,” Tiara Ellis Richard of the Arlington Police office of communication said in an e-mail to USA TODAY. “Officers were notified and arrived at the location. There were no issues that we are aware of, and no arrests occurred.” 
…Chris Barton, the CFO of Blue Mesa Grill, said that the manager called 911 at 11:35 a.m., shortly after the armed group arrived.
“When the manager called, he told them (the police dispatcher) what was going on,” Barton said. “They said that if they are having a peaceful demonstration, they are within their legal rights.”
He said the police did arrive as the group was leaving the restaurant area to walk to a nearby Hooters.
The open carry group insists that it wasn’t trying to intimidate the moms, but simply to peacefully assemble with assault weapons. They also pointed out that while the mainstream media will focus on photos like this one of the group posing for a photo, they want the world to know that they were posing for a photo. Besides repeatedly explaining that their mission is simply to ”condition Texans to feel safe around law-abiding citizens that choose to carry them,” [Source]

Of course they were just there to peacefully assemble. Just a bunch of guys going down to meet four women who have the nerve to speak out against them.
Forget the assault weapons strapped on their shoulders, those women needed some "conditioning". (Digression alert. Can you imagine if that was a bunch of law abiding brothers rolling up on a restaurant like that to make a political point? The SWAT team would have been there faster that Usain Bolt running for a medal.)

Of course, the wingnuts and their friends are saying that the photo you see with this post is deceiving. They have posted their own picture to show how the pose "really" looked, and they are calling this some kind of liberal left wing plot to make them look bad.

They don't need any help to look bad; they do a good job of that all by themselves.

And speaking of bad, check out the comments after the blog post in the wingnut blog that I linked. These people are, in a word, nuts!

But it's not just them; the polititricksters they elect and send to Washington are just as crazy.

I guess now we know why congress has an approval rating of 9%. NINE PERCENT!

I hope that my friends on the right remember that number the next time that they start having multiple orgasms over the president's approval rating which is in the high thirties.

He (Obama) has not exactly been setting the world on fire, either. But hey, you know that old saying: "In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king."


   

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hoodwinked.

When I first heard the story of a white republican politrickster fooling a predominantly black district into electing him by pretending to be black I was angry. But then I realized that my anger was directed at the wrong person people.

"Dave Wilson is white. But to win a seat on the Houston Community College Board of Trustees in a district that is predominantly composed of African-American voters, Wilson, a conservative Republican, led voters to believe he was black.

According to CBS affiliate KHOU-TV, Wilson's direct mail campaign included a flier with smiling black faces he says he found on the Internet. "Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson," the accompanying text read.' [Source]


I should have been angry at the uninformed voters who elected him. If we all did our due diligence as voters and actually looked into the backgrounds of some of these people we elect to public office, maybe there wouldn't be so much dysfunction in Washington.

Of course there is another angle to this story, and it is one that I am sure that trolls everywhere will try to point out: That it shouldn't matter what color the candidate is, and if black people did not vote in such a lockstep monolithic manner, the candidate, Dave Wilson, would not have to lie about his identity.

This, of course is a myth. Black people do not vote in lockstep because of a candidates color; they vote along ideological lines. Wilson did not only lie about his race, he misrepresented his ideological affiliation.

So anyway, ask people like Michael Steele, Herman Cain, and Artur Davis. Those Negroes would not beat the whitest man in America if he ran as a democrat in a black district.

I bet the Negro who ran as a republican in Gary, Indiana against a white Democrat though that he had a shot. He did not. In Memphis, Steve Cohen, who the last time I checked is white, represented a predominantly black district in congress. And he beat a black candidate to do it. We could go on and on. O'Malley in Baltimore, Ed Rendell here in Philly, and places like New Orleans, where Harry Connick, Sr., kept getting elected as DA in that very "chocolate city" for 30 years.

The meme that black people just vote for black candidates is just wrong, but clearly Dave Wilson didn't think so, and he didn't want to take a chance.

"He also included a line on the mailer that said he was endorsed by Ron Wilson, the name of a longtime African-American state representative from Houston. The Ron Wilson mentioned on the mailer, however, is Dave Wilson’s cousin, he wrote in fine print.

“Every time a politician talks, he’s out there deceiving voters,” David Wilson told KHOU, which described him as a “gleeful political troublemaker.”

Ok, I take it all back. Maybe most of my anger should be directed at David Wilson.











  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Snitchagram?

I was at a function last night (shout out to the Build A Bridge folks for putting together a wonderful fundraiser) and while there a colleague asked me to give my opinion about a story in our hometown paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The story is a serious and critical one, and it is one that I felt compelled to blog about tonight.

The story highlights, in a very scary way, the no snitch culture that permeates throughout urban America and cities like Philadelphia.

And, sadly, what has been allegedly happening here in Philly takes this sad phenomenon to a scary new level.
 
"Philadelphia police and prosecutors are investigating an anonymous Instagram account with thousands of followers that for months has been identifying witnesses in violent crimes across the city - aiming, in its creator's words, to "expose rats."

The account, called rats215, has outed more than 30 witnesses since February, posting photos, police statements, and testimony on the photo-sharing website.
Because many of the statements posted aren't public records, authorities are investigating the page as a potential act of mass witness intimidation - in a city where police and prosecutors struggle daily to find witnesses willing to testify.
Rats215 had nearly 7,900 followers. To find who's behind it, authorities this week obtained several search warrants on the account.
 
In one instance, rats215 posted photos and evidence from a shooting victim whose case was handled in a secret grand jury.

In another, the account posted a photo that appeared to have been taken while a witness was testifying in court.

The account has been updated almost daily, and each new post draws dozens of comments and "likes" from readers, with some of the commmenters advocating violence against those who help police. The page has more than 150 photos.
"Post some new rats," one commenter wrote in September. "I needa put a hit out on them."

Said another, earlier this week, "This page is [. . .] perfect."
In one post, the account-holder praises Kaboni Savage - the North Philadelphia drug kingpin sentenced to death in June for 12 murders, including a fireboming that killed four children and two women. The bombing was retaliation for a witness' cooperation with the FBI.

In the same post, rats215 warns witnesses "we will get at you in time." [More]

This is madness, and it undermines the criminal justice system that we all depend on to maintain law and order in a society that is becoming increasingly lawless.

I say this as someone who frequently finds himself defending individuals who are charged with all sorts of crimes within the criminal justice system. I would never want to win a case because a key witness is intimidated from testifying.

I also understand that this is not a black and white issue. (No pun intended.)

The people who live in the neighborhoods where this type of behavior takes place can't always go to the police because they live in real fear of their loved ones and families being hurt if they do. When your home might be firebombed or your child might be kidnapped on the way to school, you tend to think about your duties as a citizen to report crimes and cooperate with the District Attorney's office just a little harder.

Still, at some point, this madness has to stop. Most of us living in our bubbles created by stable families, jobs, and a solid support system can only stay insulated from the mayhem for so long. One day, one way or the other, it will get us.

"It might sound crazy. I think that neighborhood's possessed. I do. With all them dead bodies, souls, flinging around down there. Then that cemetery" down the street. The odds of surviving in this neighborhood, she says, are "zero to none."

No mam, it does not sound "crazy" to me. Sadly, it sounds quite normal.


Pics from Philly.com and CityPaper.net.