Friday, October 30, 2009

The Game Is Rigged!

Harvard University is offering a class on "The Wire" a powerful series that was a masterpiece about some realities in America shown on television, which was written by David Simon an ex-newspaper investigative reporter turned school teacher who is brilliant and Ed Burns an ex-cop. It is a story that gets down to the nitty gritty and leaves no stone unstoned.

One day I happen to come across the series,"The Wire" by accident while trying to find something to watch on Comcast's On Demand program schedules. I had surgery and was bed ridden so to speak. At first, I thought to myself, okay this is just another one of those unrealistic cop and drug dealers stories. How wrong I was. I wind up watching every last series that was available that day, sixteen to be exact, until like most people I couldn't wait to see what, in the next espisode that hadn't been released yet, would happen next.

You would have to watch it for yourself to see what strange effect "The Wire" will have on you and how it even challenges you to see the humanity even in some of the bad guys in the story. You might even find yourself liking some characters such as Omar who in real life you wouldn't have anything to do with, which is another reason that made series so unique, challenging, and compelling. Of course, there are some characters that you'll love to hate as well like Naaman Brice's mother, Senator Clayton, Nerese, the top ranking police officials who are only interested in stats, and of course Marlo Stanfield.

All in all, "The Wire" was a powerful series that moved the emotions and challenged people to think beyond the surface of urban life and dug right into the root and shows why the war on drugs does not work. It was the first time that someone had written something where reality played out on the screen and delivered the cold hard facts about the drug war, poverty, capitalism, politics, economics, education,and the police department. David Simon left no stone unturned and he delivered what may be hard for some to swallow the truth.

David Simon appeared on Bill Moyers show and the two of them had an interesting exchange between the two of them regarding "The Wire" and these are some highlights from that conversation:

"If you don't need 'em, why extend yourself? Why seriously assess what you're doing to your poorest and most vulnerable citizens? There's no profit to be had in doing anything other than marginalizing them and discarding them." ~~David Simon~~

"Over the past 20 years, the elite one percent of Americans saw their share of the nation's income double, from 11.3 percent to 22.1 percent. But their tax burden shrank by about one-third." Now those facts tell us something very important. That the rich got richer as their tax rates shrunk. But it doesn't seem to start people's blood rushing, you know?" ~~Bill Moyers~~

"...Capitalism is the only engine credible enough to generate mass wealth. I think it's imperfect, but we're stuck with it. And thank God we have that in the toolbox. But if you don't manage it in some way that you incorporate all of society, maybe not to the same degree, but if everybody's not benefiting on some level and if you don't have a sense of shared purpose, national purpose, then all it is a pyramid scheme. All it is, is-- who's standing on top of whose throat? ~~ David Simon~~

"...That critical moment when American labor was pushed so much to the starving point that they were willing to fight. And I actually think that's the only time when change is possible. When people are actually threatened to the core, and enough people are threatened to the core that they just won't take it anymore. And that's-- those are the pivotal moments in American history, I think, when actually something does happen.~~ David Simon~~

"...It sounds radical at the time, but it's basically a dignity of life issue. And you look at things like that. You look at the anti-Vietnam War effort, in this country which, you know, you had to threaten middle class kids with a draft and with military service in an unpopular war for people to rise up and demand the end to an unpopular war. I mean, it didn't happen without that. So, on some level, as long as they placate enough people. As long as they throw enough scraps from the table that enough people get a little bit to eat, I just don't see a change coming." ~~David Simon~~

"...There was an institution that is supposed to serve you or that you are supposed to serve. And it's supposed to care for you, and, and be a societal positive-- it will find a way to betray you." ~~David Simon~~

"...The only reason that alcohol and cigarettes, which do far more damage than heroine and cocaine, are legal is that white people and affluent white people at that, make money off that stuff. You know? Phillip Morris was-- you know, had-- if those guys had black and brown skin and were-- you know, in the Mexican State of Chihuahua, they'd be hunted."~~David Simon~~

"David Simon says America's not working for everyday people who have no power. And that's the way the people with power have designed it to work." ~~Bill Moyers~~

"How can you not have lived through the last ten years in American culture? In everything from-- how can you not look at what happened on Wall Street and that's still happening? At this gamesmanship that was the mortgage bubble, you know? That was just selling-- again, selling crap and calling it gold. "~~David Simon~~

"How can you not look at that? Or watch a city school system suffer for 20, 25-- how can you-- isn't anger the appropriate response? What is the appropriate response? "~~David Simon~~

For those of you who haven't seen "The Wire"yet, I would recommend you buy the DVD collection set, it will be well worth the money paid for them.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

This Could Be Your Mother, Sister, Aunt, or Cousin

Out my way, a young girl 15 years old was brutally raped, robbed, and dehumanized while others watched, cheered it on, and took pictures. When I first read about this horrible story, I thought about my young granddaughters, my nieces, other young girls, and women. In fact, all of the females I am related to or know crossed my mind.

On a daily basis, females are disrespected, abused, degraded, and misused. What I have never figured out is why would males treat women in that way when it was a female who birthed them into this world. Their mothers carried them nine months in their womb, suffered morning sickness, sometimes fainting spells, and most of all severe, unbearable discomfort called labor pains. Yet, we have some men that think nothing of that and will treat females as if they are nothing or like garbage.

Many times you'll hear females being blamed for being the victim, which is just as insulting as taking advantage of them and doing those horrible things to them. Some people's fingers point toward cultural as being the culprit for this type of behavior coming from males. But is it really?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Snake In The Grass

In the bible, the story of Adam and Eve tells how death and sin came into the world by the way of a snake. Adam had left for a minute and Eve was alone by herself. Just goes to show if you leave your mate alone too long some snake will come along and entertain them. However, that is not what this topic is about. Well, it does have something to do with snakes though.

Some snakes, whoops, I meant people you just cannot trust. Like that old adage, "If a snake bites you once, you don't put them in your busom, because they'll turn around and bite you again. That is one thing the President's mother and grandparents forgot to teach him. Or maybe, they thought that he would be able to avoid them by just being a nice guy. I wish I could have tipped them off that snakes have a strong attraction for nice guys. In addition, one more thing, they should have taught him is that everyone that grins in your face is not a friend. Evidently, he wasn't paying attention to his black Obama mommas because that is something most black mothers teach their children at least mine did because that is a part of survival techniques in a world that sometimes can be cruel and cold.

Joe Lieberman is not a friend to the Democrats period. Nah, he is more like a Benedict Arnold or to put it plain and simple "a snake in the grass" and he cannot be trusted in any shape, form, or fashion. All one has to do is look back on some of his past moves. When Lieberman was running for re-election not too many Democrats came out cheerleading for him, but President Obama did. How did he re-pay President Obama? By campaigning for Senator John McCain against President Obama and he made some very disturbing remarks against President Obama. When some Democrats wanted him to be stripped of his chairmanship over Homeland Security, President Obama saved his behind and let him keep his position. How did he pay President Obama back? By going along with Fox We Make Up News own Glen Beck's insane, juvenile conspiracy theory suggesting an investigation of this administration's czars. Not only that, now he has come out to say that he will vote with the Republicans for a filibuster. Besides, he is a bigot in disguise and why no one has picked up on that is beyond me.

Enough is enough! Joe Lieberman has a history of backstabbing--"Voting against Democratic filibusters, trying to block the health care bill twice, voted for Gonzales, defended privatization of Social security, quit the Democratic party, cheerleading for the war in Iraq, campaigning for John McCain, implied President Obama was a Muslim, defended John Hagee's anti-semitic, was all for waterboarding, continues to support war in Iraq, called President Obama a Marxist, said 60 Democratic vote dangerous, and now he is against public option." ~~ Rachel Weiner, Huffingtonpost~~

Had I been on the advising team for the President, Lieberman would have been kicked to the curve when he campaigned against him. And he should have been stripped of his position as chairman a long time ago because he means the Democratic party no good and is liken to a spy for the GOP party. I believe in keeping my friends close and my enemies even closer but giving them a position to help do me a job. Nope! I don't think so! At this point he needs to be demoted and not awarded any type of position but plain ole Senator until the next elections come around.

Lieberman won't be coming back on Capitol Hill after the next election and he knows that. Therefore, he doesn't care what the people think, he is in cahoots with the Insurance Industry and corporations. The people are on to him and see him as a backstabbing snake that cannot be trusted. Maybe, some big corporation like Aetna has plans to hire him when his term is up since that is whose team he is on. However, whatever corporation hires him, they'd better keep a close eye on him. Yet and still, he would make a good Fox employee because they practice deception and he would fit right in with those folks.

Then there is Rush Limbaugh who called President Obama a boy on the sly, which is what whites used to call black grown men in the past. It is a derogatory insult towards black men. Apparently, Rush thinks that grown men smoke cigars or are addicted to drugs or his obesity or spouting out racist remarks, and B.S all day long is a qualifier for manhood. Evidently, reaching the age of 21 years old and older is not in his book. That is if you happen to be black. Why does Rush make racial derogatory remarks like that on a national radio? Because he knows he can get away with and that many whites will rush to his defense if someone calls him on it. If that wasn't so, he wouldn't do it, but then that's post-racial America for you.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Innocent Until Proven Guilty...Well That Depends

The justice scales are supposed to be balanced but that is not always true in some cases. Sometimes Lady Justice gets a little topsy-turvy and justice is not served and instead injustice is the main menu on the plate.

Yeah, I know they all say that they didn't do it. Nonetheless, what about those who really didn't do it? Those are the ones I'm speaking about. They are the ones who have suffered many missing years of freedom out of their lives. Years that cannot be replaced because no human being on this earth has ever been able to turn back the hands of times. Father times keeps on ticking and ticking away until years later when their youthful days are long gone, then it is discovered they were innocent all the time.

Although, some are paid large sums of money as restitution for the time they spent behind bars, money can never really repay them for all of the mental anguish, or years of their life taken away from them, or time missed spent away from their loved ones. You live today and could be gone tomorrow, life is not promised to you. How can you give someone back their life?

CNN did a special on a man who was wrongfully convicted. When the crime was committed, Dean Cage was at home in the bed with his fiance. Do we really all look alike? Cage and his fiance Jewel Mitchell had been planning a life together and the wedding was set for May 13, on her mother's birthday. Those plans were crushed and Cage wind up doing thirteen years in prison before he was exonerated.

There are many more cases in the past similar to what Cage went through trying to prove his innocence. Through it all Mitchell stood by Cage but there are others whose relationships ended and the other person in their life moved on. What about those whose children grew up without their support and presence?

Most of the men who have been exonerated have one common complaint. "After years in prison, they are given only an ID with 'offender' in bold letters."
~~ TheGrio~~
What I don't get is why are they issued IDs with OFFENDER in bold letters, if they are exonerated. Are they still being subtly labeled criminals even after they've been proven innocent? Innocent until proven guilty...well that depends, and even then they still label you guilty.