Saturday, November 28, 2015

Racism and Denial by Family, Community, Caused Tyshawn Lee's Murder

Chicago, November 2015:
Oh, so much blame to hand around, I feel quite dizzy...
when all is said and done, it all starts at home, with parents
who are charged, morally and legally, with protecting their
young--even animals in the wild do this! --Gangbanger dad
did not know he was endangering his boy? How did he
not escort  Tyshawn to the park during daylight hours?
How did he not explain to his children that they all live
in a dangerous neighborhood? It is not possible to  long
maintain a child's innocence in an area of bad blocks,
period. It really isn't happening in the less violent areas,
either, but adults can continue to sugar-coat explanations
there a bit longer--say, to about age 11 or so.

Dad didn't have to be a thug; of course, it is demeaning
to such a man's "pride" to take humble jobs if such a man
didn't do well in school, take college courses or even finish
high school. People strapping on a gun feel so powerful--
how is it that some of us without them feel confident just
the same? I am convinced many like the thug life--no rules,
just do as you please, see who's left standing--often, it isn't
an innocent, deserving child.

Relentless racism, always in the background, often out front,
plays a major role. Maybe more minority kids would be
inspired to truly tackle academics if they felt equally cared
about, respected, home, in public, and
of course, at school. But it is almost always a case of
"the tribe", "I feel more comfortable with my own", etc.
The Ivory Tower tells us that the formation of the tribe
has gotten us to where we are today, great architecture,
art, music, culture, language, etc. Yet...

The better survival strategy now is to go beyond the tribe;
that is, if we want a world without war, death, and
destruction of the above-mentioned art. We can still
honor our antecedents without worshipping them,
without being limited to circling the wagons around
our tribe's members. Isn't it about time to be more
inclusive? This "peace prescription" applies on the
smallest as well as the largest scale--as the block
goes, so goes the planet.

Happy Holidays! Here's to a more loving and
understanding Earth--while there's still time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hey, Hey, Ho Ho, Anita and Gary Got to Go: Chicago's Prosecutorial Indiscretions

Shame on Chicago: Finally, over a year later, the "authorities" are
now "handling" the murderous incident of a white cop killing a
young Black male in a completely unjustified  homicide. It is
appalling and galling to realize this thug took taxpayer-paid
salary for most of the past year, as this shocking crime was
suppressed by Mayor Emanuel, Cook County State's
Attorney Alvarez, and Police Chief McCarthy.

All the education and experiences these three have accumulated
are, finally, for naught: they have no humane responses to most
of us ordinary citizens; no, they couch their official behavior in
terms of "what's good for Chicago, our reputations, etc." Who
needs them? Are they in  fact "good for Chicago"? Hell no:

Hey, hey, ho ho, Anita and Gary got to go. (Chicago could
use a new mayor too; let's have no more lifetime sinecures
on the Fifth Floor of Chicago's City Hall.)  Where was the
discretion demanded in this case, the rigorous, seasoned
blend of  law and humanity? Last night's televised preamble
to the video release of  Laquan's murder fooled few of us
indeed. Awkwardness and disorganization were painfully
apparent, Anita more made up than I've seen her in months,
the video continuing to be held back until very late last
night (why, to outlast any demonstrators?)

Prosecutorial discretion: Chicago can sure use some.
Let's make that happen, shall we?

Laquan McDonald: Justice Delayed Was Almost Justice Denied

Last October 2014, while Ferguson's firestorm still raged there
after August's shooting of a young Black male by a young white
cop, a Chicago cop gunned down another young Black male
who was absolutely NO threat to the WONDER
the cop-cam video of this obscene murder was suppressed
for over a year! Authorities here feared a race riot, so "officer"
Van Dyke was allowed to remain on the Chicago P.D. payroll
for over eight months.

In Ferguson, when the white establishment finally had to own
up to their racist response publicly, the white mayor rambled
on and on before releasing the decision not to indict that Missouri
policeman...yesterday (11/24/2015), the same scenario: Chicago
Mayor Emanuel and Chicago Police Chief McCarthy droned on
and on, appealing for calm, promising to release the video which
clearly shows Laquan as a danger only to himself, as he walked
down the middle of the street, his back turned away from police,
shot down and bleeding out, none of the several other officers
trying to help him.

Official records revealed Van Dyke volleyed 14 more bullets
into Laquan after two shots put him on the ground. I had to
sneer when Van Dyke's attorney claimed his cop defendant
feared for his life--oh yeah, how, exactly?? The video filmed
Laquan McDonald as being alone in the middle of the street
at all times during this sad, outrageous incident, near no one;
Van Dyke kicks the three inch blade away from Laquan's
hand while Laquan bled to death...NO GUN.

Finally fired and indicted, Police officer Van Dyke will face
a  bench trial, not "a jury of his peers". (-?!) What peers, police
ill-equipped to do an admittedly difficult job, ill-screened,
ill-trained? Relatively few as these may be, too many have
taken troubled young Black lives, never paying the price
for murder. In Chicago, justice delayed was almost denied...

But stay tuned. Until this thug is sentenced and put permanently
behind bars,  the cynic in me makes me watch this case
oh so carefully....

Monday, November 23, 2015

Terrorists Tarring Those in Their Midst: Tribal Tribulations

Yesterday I watched controversial but brilliant Entomologist/
Sociobiologist Dr. E.O. Wilson, Harvard Emeritus, courtesy
of PBS.  The lengthy program, with fascinating footage and
narration by the sage posited the many advantages of
working within a group, one's tribe, clan, etc. Wilson writes
poetically about his thesis that not only does Darwin's
natural selection work on individual evolution, but on the
group as well. For his model he takes the ant, a highly
social animal, doing the old "contrast and compare" so
familiar to students of my generation (60 years ago) with
another also highly social species--us. This school of thought
has a term, eusocial, and only homo sapiens, ants, termites
and bees are accorded that honor. (I suspect the good
doctor has overlooked and omitted a few others,
like dolphins.)

The advantages of group cooperation are too obvious
and numerous to detail here, but Dr. Wilson reminds
us that everything now alive on the planet has "grown
up" together through time...which includes firm formation
of the tribe or group dynamic. It is striking and for me,
irrefutable, how homo sapiens resembles ants: the
way we both go to war, having scouts forge ahead to
inform the waiting group, divisions of labor, leaders
and self-sacrificing troops. Cooperation in all aspects
of life are common as well.

Lest we float into a self-satisfied, dream-like trance
re: all the positivity associated with tribal existence,
Wilson does give the nod to the eusocials' dark side,
where/when the balance tips too far over into the
wildly/widely destructive carnage emblematic of
WWI and WWII (--Not to mention whole colonies
of thousands of ants and termites).

Thinking about our latest strange, murderously
chaotic terror era, I realized that the tribe now
heavily harms its individual members with guilt
by  association. The furor over taking in refugees
from Syria is the current dramatic denouement.
All Arabs are looked at askance, here at home
and abroad; mention Syria as your background
at your peril. Texas, not known as a particularly
intellectually emancipated state, was shamed
last week by a Houston mosque set ablaze,
a library section, with the loss of priceless
antiquities. (Hello, cretins: all mosques are
not terror-training  madrasas! I don't know
how such stupid people can continue to exist.)

So, sadly, dear Doctor Wilson, here is food for further
study and programming: these terrorists are tarring
members in their midst, the innocents in the tribe,
who, like most rational humans around the world,
simply want to do little harm and just live. I've long
said spreading chaos is real: tribal tribulations
are merely one dangerous part of human society's
descent/disintegration before we have achieved
true civilization.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Today's Terrors: France, Limiting Large Gatherings; The U.S., Limiting Good Sense As Well

November 21, 2015: In the wake of the two terror tragedies,
Paris and Mali, inevitable, inaccurate proscriptions emerge:
France has banned many public gatherings, remaining on
high alert status for the next three months. Here at home,
many prominent politicos prescribe racism, religious tests
and tarring all refugees from Syria with the same invidious
brush...this time, all political stripes, Democrats and
Republicans, have thrown their fear-mongering, uber
security-promising hats into this hateful ring.

Hey, have some balance here! No indeed, we can't
fling open our borders to any and all, always, but
let's recall some relevant history: the U.S. has had
immigration quotas for over 100 years, different
groups being assigned different numbers; perhaps
the judgement for these quotas was not always
practical or humane, but the point is, we've always
done it. Interestingly, just as foolish forbiddings
have emanated from both Democrats and
Republicans, reasonable restrictions and positive
proposals are coming out of both camps now:
Republican Jeb Bush, Democrat Rahm Emanuel,
merely two examples...may the most effective
policies win!

ISIS/ISIL, now, pejoratively, Da'esh, really
can't win, we must know that. As has long
been quoted in the Civil Rights movement,
"there are more of us than there are of them".
The Caliphate dream won't work in the current,
modern world; its time has come and gone.
The bitterness and ego unmarried to a firm
grasp of history and reality fuels Da'esh and
all allied terrorists, including Boko Haram.

They can't win, believe it. Let's not limit
good sense by panicking, fielding fright
for political hay and gain. The Donald
will fall from being trumped by simple
reason--unless the USA harbors millions
more ignoramuses than we previously

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris, France: Inhumane Horror: Here We Go Again, November 13th, 2015

The sadness, chaos, fear, denial and death are all too real, all
too familiar. Once again, the ignorantly disaffected, dreaming of
resurrecting their Caliphate past, dealt death and destruction
on this Friday night, to people who were simply out to relax
after their work week. All this tragedy has done, however,
is unite the West in a reaffirmation of its historic bonds,
particularly those between the U.S. and France; without
France in our revolution, we would not be here now.
President Obama reminded us about our intimately
connected mutual past and present last night, followed
by the U.K.'s David Cameron's solidarity statement and
quick police work in Germany.

Commiserations and support have been pouring in from all
over the world. France 24 TV has remained on the air since
yesterday, detailing the murders of at least 128 confirmed,
including a threat to French President Hollande, present
at the stadium when attacks began there. He has stayed
strong, vowing to capture all involved. Some of the
terrorists killed themselves, ISIL taking responsibility
once again.

These outraged, offended Islam-hijacker attackers
have their grievances. The West has dominated the
globe in recent centuries, creating resentments and
resolve, twisted though some of them may be.
What distinguishes these faux Islamists from others
opposed to each other in wars is ISIL's inability to
forgive, attempt reconciliation and rapprochement.
The Allies from our two World Wars are now
fast friends with former foes. But when you want
to rule the Earth, inspiring, ennobling examples
will not resonate.

Be clear: this is a threat to the West and the
world, which will include Russia and China
if left unchecked. We are at an unending
war which we will lose without firm,
concentrated, concerted action at all times...

Here we go again.

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 2015: Ben Carson Takes a Page from Bush II's Political Playbook

But the page he's taken is an unfortunate one for himself and the
USA as well: Lie about your background due to an unholy
marriage of ego and inferiority complex, that page where "the
Shrub" bragged about his military service which was never out
of our country, and on the next page, pronounced "mission
complete", embarrassing everyone including him, in view of
subsequent, massive death toll events, mostly Iraqi, but also
plenty of our own. Similarly, Carson lied: West Point never
offers  any scholarships, read up on how one gets into West
Point, BEN.

Ben Carson indeed had talent and accomplishments in neuro-
surgery, which  accounts for his staff positions at major medical
institutions and various related awards. Around about this time,
his ego left the planet, which explains what I read regarding a
serious breach of medical ethics AND a failed tragic technique,
making a nine year old girl diagnosed and previously treated for
serious neurological difficulties even worse--operating on the
brain stem when B.C. (ah, Before Christ, is he??) promised this
child and her mother he would NOT do so. You can find the
particulars of this case as a pdf document, search "nine year old
girl suing Dr. Ben Carson for malpractice". Shit shortly hitting the
proverbial fan, Dr. B.C. conveniently "retires"...oh please!

Again, also resembling Bush II, Ben is inarticulate, or perhaps
off his meds: how to otherwise explain he'd be "honored" if  Puerto
Rico achieves statehood? Is he from Puerto Rico? He visited
there, but he is NOT Puertorriqueno. There are many other
malapropisms, misstatements of fact, and an arrant appeal
to the Religious Right, with his promotion of his religious views,
"Joseph built the pyramids." (Carson and Huckabee should
form a club.) The doc may well know how to engineer/execute
a life-saving brain surgery, but obviously knows zero about
Archaeology, the History of Egypt, Geology, Structural
Engineering, et al. This  past Sunday I searched the "Joseph,
son of Jacob" chapters in Genesis, finding no support for
Ben's thesis.

I will reprise more of  this current clone of Bush II in future
posts, bank on it. Meanwhile, I can't wait to read Bush I's
recent book, where he castigated both Rumsfeld and Cheney,
exposing  informed regard of his son's subordinates. I had the
exact same misgivings back in the early 1980s.

We usually don't do dynasties or aristocracies in the U.S. for
many reasons-- here's just one example: everyone in the same
family are not equally gifted; note Bush I, who was a pretty good
president. His sons' executive resumes, however, do not meet
their father's accomplishments.

It was ever thus; anyone wishing to emulate a Bush better
pick the right one.