Yes, a Grissom-ism from CSI… Hell, THE Grissom-ism
What am I talking about? The battle with our “new”, should be condemned house.
The last few days have been rough, so I haven’t posted anything much beyond replies. First, we went to a lawyer that had a killer rep for litigation. All we got was excuses for why it was perfectly OK for everyone involved with the transaction to screw us over. Georgia is a “caveat emptor” (buyer beware) state, and the lawyer tried to tell us that excuses blatant fraud and breach of contract. He even looked me straight in the eye and told me that realtors have no fiduciary responsibility to their clients. BIG mistake there. I was a realtor. I know the state and national standards for realtors.
As best I can figure reading their body language, the two lawyers didn’t want a case that wasn’t an easy, no work win, and they actually enjoyed the idea that some out of state people got screwed by a local.
We’ve found lots of other stuff wrong with the house at this point. One of the most severe turned out to be a potential good though however. Half the house has MAJOR foundation issues:
that’s the beam from an auto adjusting laser level. You can judge how much the house is drooping via the width of that picture. 2 1/2 Cinder blocks. Roughly 2 1/2 feet or 3/4 of a meter. If you go the entire width of the house, there’s a 5 to 6 inch drop from back to front. 15 cm for those elsewhere. We had called a foundation repair company to look at the place when we saw cracks in the outer wall:
The company representative, who seemed very knowledgeable, was freaked out by what he saw and rescheduled for next week when he can bring the company’s head structural engineer with him to figure out the best fix.
So WHY on Earth is this GOOD news you ask?
Because, the seller bragged on putting a new door in that wall, as well as new windows all over the house. Here’s where following the evidence comes in. A door and window won’t mount, much less open and close in an opening that’s shifted sideways diagonally. The seller had to extend those openings to allow for the door and windows to fit. Ergo there’s no way he could NOT have known the house had foundation issues and bad walls. Of course, he said exactly the opposite on his Seller’s Disclosure paperwork.
First piece of proof:
Look at how wide and tall that trim work is around the door. I guarandamnedtee you that when I pull that off, there’s going to be a massive gap around the door with uneven measurements around it. THAT so he could make the door fit despite the sinking corner of the foundation.
The window has the same kind of trim:
It ALL explains why he demanded to redo the threshold for the door himself as part of our closing contract. Can you say fraud, misrepresentation and breach of contract, boys and girls? 😈
He also had to have gotten a look at the substandard foundation for the outer wall while putting that door in:
Now you see, that’s about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of concrete with mud underneath that’s been compacted to clay. Thing is, the building standard AND legal code for a concrete slab foundation is a minimum of 4 inches thick IF you’re going to put nothing heavier than a single story wood building on top of it. Thicker is better when you’re dealing with the weight of stone walls.
So all of this LOOKS LIKE gross negligence on the home inspector’s and appraiser’s parts as well.
Follow the evidence to the logical conclusion.
Well, we’ve got an appointment with another lawyer this afternoon. If he says we still have no case, I’ll have to say Georgia is more corrupt than a third world banana republic.
Today’s the first day I’ve felt good in two months.
Too bad (for him) that Bubba was too stupid to think us dumb city folk could understand what it takes to properly frame a door or window.
OK, trigger warning here: I’m going to be getting “political” here, and discussing racial and police issues. If that’s not your thing, I understand. It’s why I’m putting up the warning.
So what sparked this? We’ve been catching up on TV lately. We missed quite a bit of shows during our moving prep, the actual move, and the time our furniture was MIA. We got into the most recent Season of CBS’s S.W.A.T. reboot.
Overall, it’s a really good show; a rarity among reboots. They went off the deep end trying to show support for Black Lives Matters at the start of this last season though.
The episode involved trying to break up a chain of terrorist attacks that were designed to hit South Central and stir up racial tensions to the point of actual violent conflict. All this while the neighborhood is planning an annual remembrance event of the Rodney King beating.
LONG story short, the episode spins the riots following the King verdict as the fault of the police because they didn’t step in and restore order. They even have the Commander of the SWAT Division of LAPD get up in front of the community and apologize to them for not disobeying orders and trying to help (he was a patrol officer at the time).
The thing is, I was in San Diego at the time the riots broke out. I was staying with my dad the cop AND (his idea) I was also working as a private security guard in the Miramar area of North San Diego at the time. Believe me, I was paying CLOSE attention to everything that was happening.
Still can’t believe I went to work the nights of the riots completely unarmed, but otherwise looking for all the world like a cop. Pinkerton had dark blue uniforms.
ANYWAY… The truth is people in the neighborhoods where the rioting was taking place were actively shooting at any police that came into the area. Not only that, they were shooting at fire trucks and ambulances trying to help as well. The police pulled back and focused on containment because the alternative was to turn South Central into a full blown war zone, and be accused of a race massacre.
Back in those days, the police were also outgunned. The military weapons and transports that we see police using nowadays came about after the riots.
That’s a big part of why the national guard was mobilized to deal with the riots.
What’s My Point?
First, let me say that NONE of the above facts justify what happened to Rodney King, or others like George Floyd. The idea that Rodney King’s 1986 Hyundai could even do 120 MPH as police claimed is laughable. Even my dad called BS on that one. Early Hyundais were complete crap. You couldn’t get them going 120 if you dropped them out of the space shuttle.
Black Lives DO Matter.
If we’re ever going to get to a solution for all of this though, things have to be dealt with honestly. Both sides are going to have to see each other as human beings. Policing needs to change, no doubt about that. You can’t drive the police out of neighborhoods or try to eliminate them completely (as a few cities have tried) and then complain when they’re not where they were chased out of though.
It’s racist if they’re in black neighborhoods, and it’s racist if they don’t respond (fast enough) to calls in black neighborhoods. Is it any wonder cops are quitting in record numbers and cities can’t find replacements for them?
I’ve seen the impact firsthand there. We left Sacramento and California completely because it LITERALLY took 7 hours for police to respond to any call that didn’t involve gunfire. That’s IF they responded at all!
I won’t fault Shemar Moore (lead actor and producer) or CBS for trying to shine the spotlight on race issues as relates to police. They’ve done it before and up till this point had done a very balanced job of showing both sides of the issue.
I’m REALLY disappointed at the spin they put on the whole situation in this episode however. It was blatantly and unabashedly anti-police, dishonest, and only served to deepen mistrust of law enforcement, especially in minority communities. Nothing in that episode was going to promote communication or healing.
Maybe I’m expecting too much in hoping for Shemar Moore’s character to instead say “We have every right to be pissed about what happened that day and still happens too often. We can’t blame the police when some of us burn down and loot our own neighborhood, and shoot at the people who come to help us though.”
I’m only going to add one other point here: I am NOT saying that the entire neighborhood was involved in shooting at police, etc… I’ve said time and again that the vast majority of Black people, like ALL races, are good people. Like all races, there’s a small percentage of bad apples though. That small percentage did ALOT of damage though, and to their own neighborhoods.
Anybody comes in here with a racist reply about that’s how “all of those people are”, it’ll be an insta-ban from this blog. I don’t have the time or patience for ignorance and hate.
The short version here is that the court ruled that the prosecutor was legally bound by the agreement the former prosecutor had made not to prosecute Cosby. Per the MSN story:
The court said that overturning the conviction, and barring any further prosecution, “is the only remedy that comports with society’s reasonable expectations of its elected prosecutors and our criminal justice system.”
The court was apparently also bothered by the nature of the testimony by other victims:
The trial judge allowed five other accusers to testify at the trial about their experiences with Cosby in the 1980s to establish what prosecutors said was a pattern of behavior on his part.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices voiced concern not just about sex assault cases, but what they saw as the judiciary’s increasing tendency to allow testimony that crosses the line into character attacks. The law allows the testimony only in limited cases, including to show a crime pattern so specific it serves to identify the perpetrator.
MY View / Commentary:
Fair warning: I’m going to largely be playing devil’s advocate here. I don’t believe in Cosby anymore (he admitted he did it, plain and simple), BUT I also still see the problems with the way he was convicted, and the implications for the justice system as a whole.
When the accusations surrounding Cosby first surfaced, I admit that I didn’t believe them. I grew up with Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids on Saturday morning cartoons, and the morals that the show always taught, then “The Cosby Show” later. Cosby was “America’s Dad”, and presented an image of a wholesome ‘Middle America’ Black family and father on the show.
Long story short, doubt grew as time went on, and when he admitted during his trial that he did it all, but didn’t see it as rape, that was the final nail in the coffin for me. To top that, when offered parole, he refused it because a rehab program for sex offenders was a condition of that parole. So there’s no denying he’s not only guilty as hell, but unrepentant as well.
The court decision today raises alot of questions again that have been brought up by Black Lives Matters and other criminal justice reform movements though.
If a prosecutor makes an agreement, and the other party lives up to it, shouldn’t the prosecutor be obliged to also? Let’s take another, easier example here; somebody turns state’s evidence on their criminal organization, gives the District Attorney everything they need to get several convictions and shut the group down, but then turns around and says “Yes, we made an agreement and you lived up to your end, but your involvement was just too serious, I’m prosecuting anyway”.
The question of the other victims’ testimony is something that has to be considered here also. There was, to the best of my knowledge, no evidence or collaborating witnesses to support their accounts. Did their testimony serve to show a pattern so specific it served to identify Cosby? A little debatable as what he did was a sadly all too common date rape tactic. I’d have to say Yes in this specific case however. My concern here however, as it was with the court, is the potential and real abuse of this sort of testimony to gain convictions, particularly where evidence is otherwise flimsy.
Finally, for me, there’s the issue of Cosby’s trial being driven by media and social media outcry. The prosecutor that did finally charge Cosby wasn’t going to do so at first, citing the difficulty of getting a conviction due to lack of physical evidence, etc… as well as Cosby’s age (which should NOT be a mitigating factor in any prosecution). The social justice outcry forced the trial though.
BUT… He was guilty, so it was the right thing to do!!!
That’s pretty much saying the ends justify the means, and rationalizing witch hunts by saying if they’re accused, they’re guilty. The criminal justice system is supposed to operate on the exact opposite premise; innocent until PROVEN guilty. I can recall more than one famous media lynch mob in my time also. The McMartin Preschool pedophilia accusations, and the Richard Jewel Olympic Park Bombing (prevention) during the 1994 Atlanta Olympic Games for starters.
Both of those cases very clearly illustrate the need to avoid rushes to judgment and allow the system to do it’s job free of undue pressure or influence.
We could also get into the issue of prosecutors inflating charges and then pushing for plea bargains so they can pad their conviction record, or using a case to advance a political career, but that’s another story, even if somewhat related.
Is There A Real Answer Here?
Aside from the media (and by extension now, social media) learning self control, I don’t know if there is an easy answer.
Cosby is, by his own admission, guilty as hell, and unrepentant as hell also. He deserves punishment. In this specific case, the question is, “Is nearly three years of an 83 year old man’s life, the complete destruction of his reputation and career enough?”. Given the lives he damaged, I’d say no.
Perhaps without a rush to get a conviction at any cost, there could have been a later conviction of Cosby that actually stuck. How do we punish him and others though when the legal system is frequently guided by public opinion and political grandstanding vs facts, the law and what’s morally right?
This is kind of old news in the 24 hour news cycle world, but some of you outside of the US may not have heard about it. Heck my friend in Hawaii hadn’t heard about it due to the volcanic eruption on the Big Island taking up all the news space there.
Long story short, on Christmas morning, an RV loaded with explosives went off in downtown Nashville. This was around 6am local time.
After about a week, the case was all but declared wrapped up. The suspect was named as Anthony Warner; a 63 year old subcontractor for AT&T who allegedly was a 5G conspiracy theorist and detonated the bomb to take out the AT&T network control center in Nashville.
Warner supposedly died in the blast, and was the only person to die. Prior to the bombing, Warner had given his car away. He told the recipient that he had cancer. He also gave away his house in the Nashville suburbs to a woman from California.
The bombing did indeed succeed in damaging the AT&T network, knocking out phone service for a large part of the Southeast. It took us two days to get phone service back at all.
ANYWAY… All wrapped up with a pretty little bow on it, right? Guy is mentally ill, MAYBE physically ill as well, blames AT&T for all his problems and blows up their network center, taking himself with it in the process.
The Die Hard Theory:
You knew it was coming… LOL
Seriously though, there are a few things that don’t add up with the bombing.
First, the RV that blew up at 6:30 AM arrived at it’s final resting place at 1:22am or thereabouts, per a timeline in The Tennessean newspaper. So it sat there for a little over 5 hours before detonating and taking Warner with it.
Seriously, why wait 5hours if you’re determined to blow up AT&T and martyr yourself? The chance of being investigated by a random police patrol over that 5 hours and having the plan foiled seems risky at best.
There’s also the question of mysterious bursts of gunfire heard at 4:30am and then again at 5:30am. The police didn’t show up until the 5:30 incident and shortly thereafter the RV began broadcasting via loudspeakers that it was going to blow up.
The gunfire may not even be connected to the bombing. But if it was, why draw attention to yourself, especially two hours before you detonate?
The loudspeakers CAN just be written off as the guy had a bit of conscience and wanted to keep others from getting hurt while he lashed out at AT&T.
Why not just blow the thing up earlier though? I guarantee you there was NOBODY on those streets at 2am. Nashville isn’t like NYC. In my time around there, it was pretty dead by 10, and probably a ghost town by midnight. This was Christmas Eve / EARLY Christmas morning too. Not Friday night party time.
Another interesting note: The blast also knocked out first responder radio capability and all alarm / security systems in the area. AT&T’s network wasn’t fully shut down until noon however.
So yeah… WHAT IF this guy was pulling a Hans Gruber?
Han’s original plan was to make it look like he died in an explosion so nobody would come looking for him and all those bearer bonds. Warner giving away his house and car could have just been a move to sell his “death”.
What could he have been after? Who knows? Data from AT&T’s network maybe? Information is worth more than gold in today’s society after all. There are banks and jewelry stores in the area as well as other high end stores. There’s quite a few possibilities there.
Admittedly, that includes the possibility that it all really was as appeared. I do remember saying as soon as I heard about the blast and single body though that the police will quickly sweep it under the rug as the bomber died in his own blast.
Let’s face it also; it wouldn’t be the first time a real life crime was inspired by something in a movie either. A bombing in an upscale area of downtown that’s deserted on early Christmas… It’s almost too perfect to be a coincidence, LOL.
So did our bomber blow himself up, OR is he sitting somewhere having the last laugh as police and AT&T are too embarrassed to admit they were out-maneuvered?
I have NO clue.
This much I DO know however. AT&T has had JACK to say on the matter, AND should be ashamed of itself for an apparent total lack of a disaster recovery plan / capability for it’s network. 2 weeks later and my service is still sketchy and with no 5G available.
One of the blogs I *USED TO* follow made the following statement in a recent post, and REALLY REALLY REALLY pissed me the fuck off:
“With the last year highlighting the ruthless nature in which the United States’ police officers have been shooting civilians first and asking questions later, I find this an interesting direction to take the story in and wonder if it’s a direct reference to the real world’s goings on, or just an innocent coincidence”
Before I go too much further, it was comparing a situation in comic books to real life. There was no innocent coincidence about the inclusion of killer cops in the story. Comic Books have become insanely distorted lenses of FAR Left propaganda. Turning Steve Rogers into a Nazi sleeper agent was another perfect example. Can’t have somebody with blond hair and blue eyes who represents the best America and it’s value represent.
The ONLY reason they turned the story around is that fans were ready to march on Marvel and Disney with torches, tar and pitchforks.
ANYWAY… My posted reply to that anti-police IDIOCY went like this:
Maybe before you make such inflammatory, completely unsupportable statements, you should actually do in-depth research on a subject before injecting Far Leftist CRAP into what would have been a good review.
I’ve made multiple posts in my blog supporting good cops and decrying the occasional bad ones like those involved in the George Floyd incident. One of my posts was an account of what REALLY happened in the Stephon Clark shooting and how the media completely lied about the situation.
How many killings by police have you heard about in the last year? Have you heard that a police officer is killed every 56 hours(2 1/2 days) in the US, and that there have been 3 officers killed already in 2021?? How about that in 2018 (the last year stats are available this far) there were 58,886 assaults against police officers, resulting in 18,005 injuries.
My dad was a lifelong cop. Cops are put in life and death situations every day never knowing if somebody is going to attack them or suddenly pull a gun or knife on them. Most shootings are the result of belligerent suspects fighting police or looking like they’re pulling a weapon when they’re ordered to keep their hands where they can be seen. It’s a shitty life and death call that has to be made in a split second and it often determines if the officer(s) get to live to go home and see their family that night, or end up on a memorial wall somewhere.
Sometimes, the cop is just plain wrong (ie George Floyd – who was NOT “ruthlessly gunned down” BTW), and they deserve to be severely punished. I’ll continue to denounce bad cops just as loudly as my dad did. THIS kind of ignorant, hateful commentary COMPLETELY disgusts me however.
You lost a follower. I hope you lost more than one.
I could have ranted longer but I waited a few hours before replying to that post
I blame the media as much as the blogger. They’re a fountain of misinformation and deliberately try to inflame situations in hopes of creating even more news. Still, the blogger should know better. Even in England, which I keep hear is so superior to the U.S., a police officer is assaulted once every four minutes.
The reality is that more often than not, an increasingly ignorant, narcissistic public who thinks it only has to follow the law when it suits them is just as much responsible for these situations as poor police training and hiring screening.
Some day, hopefully SOON, we have to get back to the idea that there’s a right way and a wrong way to do things. Attacking police officers or screaming in their face like the twit at the top of this post is NOT the handle a situation. It happens all the time though, followed by incredulous, indignant news stories that the person was being charged after committing assault with a deadly weapon against a police officer.
Oh, and as for the ASININE idea to defund the police, especially in poor neighborhoods… If you want to see where THAT will lead, just watch the movie “The Purge”. When I left Sacramento, it was half a step above that due to the same mentality and philosophy.
The main difference being if you defended yourself YOU were going to jail, no matter how big the threat was.
Many of you may not have heard, given all the distraction from toxic political propaganda, BUT… Apple bought out the rights to “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and has moved it to their premium Apple TV service. Yep, a beloved holiday classic is now behind a pay wall:
That’s right, I’m going out on a MAJOR limb here and I’m going to talk about how to TRULY change the world, specifically with regards to race relations here in the U.S. as they currently stand. You’re either going to be offended or love this. It’s a long one, but worth it. 10 to 15 minutes of reading for the chance to understand other people and start to change the world.
First a “Why?”
Skip this if you just want the meat of the discussion. Those of you following my blog know I swore off social issues just under a week ago. I was tired of the venom, and how it all made me feel. I hate failing and quitting though. I’m also a firm believer that you’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem. Ergo, I had to take a hard look at the situation and ask myself how much of my failure was on my end. Looking back at my previous posts, I think the tone was too negative. You can be right as rain, but if you bludgeon people with it, you’re only going to alienate them.
Proverbs 15.1 – “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Notice there it does NOT make exceptions for how correct somebody THINKS they are. So, I want to try this again, at least one more time… See if I can reach people via speaking plainly but kindly, and no longer holding back some of my religious and spiritual beliefs for fear of alienating people. Being genuine and authentic matter. On with the show!
The Actual Post:
I’m going to primarily be tackling the subject of race in America, and what I think folks on both sides need to do to come together. The general theme of “Be the Change You Want to See” is true for how to fix all the world’s problems though.
I’m likely going to offend a few white folks, and a few black folks. My only goal though is to challenge you all to look at the problem through each other’s eyes and develop a greater understanding of things.
If you want to say I have no right to speak here, you’re wrong. This country was founded on the idea that EVERYONE should have a voice. That’s why the First Amendment exists, so that you and I both always have the ability to peacefully make our opinion known.
For what it’s worth, I’ve also lived all over. Everywhere from “The Hood” to nicer middle-class areas. I’ve had friends of all races and also seen firsthand the worst that all people have to offer.
I’m going to start with white folks. We’re the largest ethnic group in the country and have the most ability to effect change.
What White Folks Should Know:
First, I get it. If you’re like me, you’re probably a decent person who genuinely wants all people to be safe, happy and have the equal opportunity to work for success in this country. You’re probably also sick of being lumped in with Klan members, told you have no right to speak, told you’re automatically a racist by virtue of your skin color, etc… It’s frustrating and hurtful.
If you genuinely are a racist or Klan member, I’ll be unduly nice and simply say “repent”. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus say hate people of other races. Quite the contrary. We’re ALL God’s children. Enough said.
The rest of you, I’d simply ask that open your mind and try to understand the frustration on the other side. Up till 1964, Black folks were still dealing with segregation. That’s just 56 years ago, and almost 100 years after the end of slavery and The Civil War. Millennial black people and their children still have parents and grandparents old enough to tell them what it was like to go into a diner and see a bucket full of axe handles and bats near the door or counter in case they “Needed to be put in their place”. Things didn’t truly get better till the mid 1970s.
Yeah, I know… YOU didn’t do that. I understand that. I believe most black folks understand it also. What I am asking you to understand is that the wound runs deep. There is a small percentage of us that are determined to keep that wound open also. Black folks don’t know if you’re a good person when they first see you any more than you know if that young black man is really into hip hop culture and rap, or a thug.
The first part of bringing about change is realizing that we’re all human beings and just want to get by and be safe in our corner of the world.
When you hear somebody arguing that it’s “Black Lives Matter” instead of “All Lives Matter”, they still believe your life matters also, it’s just that they feel so incredibly threatened by what’s happening that they believe extra attention has to be put on the black lives being lost.
When you get upset over kneeling during the national anthem, understand that it has nothing to do with disrespecting the flag, etc… It’s about waiting 100 years even after freedom from slavery and still not feeling truly equal in society. How far would YOU go to draw attention to the issue of your rights if the situation were reversed?
It’s easy to sit back and say that everybody has the same opportunity in America. Yes, black folks do have more opportunity than some of them have been led to believe also. HOWEVER, equal opportunity depends on an equal education for starters. If schools have poor teachers and no equipment, how good an education is ANY child going to get? Financial education is also important if somebody is to stay out of poverty once they start to get ahead.
It’s also a different world when you live or work in a poor neighborhood. There is a higher percentage of desperate people there, so the police ARE more inclined to view everybody with suspicion. I’ve lived it. I’ve almost had a cop draw on me during a traffic stop, and I got politely (which is more than many get) questioned by a cop when stopping at a 7 Eleven store at 2am also. Some black folks live this every day of their life. When people are distrustful of you, it’s natural to start wondering about their intentions as well. YES, there ARE legitimately racist cops out there also. It’s a small percentage, but they’re still out there, as this video shows:
That poor guy’s only “crime” was Jaywalking on a completely dead RESIDENTIAL street. Something everybody does. Despite the police claim that he “threw down his jacket and challenged them to fight”, the video only shows him taking it off and putting it down. Note that when the cop grabs him by the collar, his hands are still at his side too.
I was in Sacramento when that happened. There was NO hidden stuff you didn’t see, no ‘he looked like a suspect’ even. That’s why he ended up with a huge settlement from the city. I’ve seen similar situations elsewhere a few times. THIS is exactly why black people say they’re afraid of “walking while black”. So, I ask you to understand, if you’ve only had good experiences with cops, that’s not everybody’s luck. We have to do all we can to support good cops, but also make sure cops like this are fired and never allowed to carry a badge again.
That applies to the cops in the George Floyd case also. Yes, he resisted arrest prior to ending up on the ground. He may have had some hidden health issues also. NONE of that should be an excuse for pinning him for roughly three minutes instead of cuffing him. If proper procedure was followed, George Floyd wouldn’t have had those secondary issues kick in and / or died of asphyxiation.
The whole situation is more complex than most of us think. What we as a people need to do is show genuine empathy and compassion. Be willing to listen and try to understand where what you’re hearing is coming from. Ask questions like “I truly want to understand where you’re coming from, so please tell me about what led to you believing that?”
You’ll learn a lot more than you would assuming that the other person is only motivated by hate and / or laziness.
You may not be able to change the world on your own, but just by doing your own little part to be more understanding and consider the other side… just treating everybody the way you’d want to be treated, the world will take one step closer to being a better place. Enough people do it and we’ve brought an incredible amount of light into the world. I’ve used Bayside Church’s Christmas service candle lighting as a perfect example here:
This IS all it takes too. Laws (new or old) can’t change a person’s heart, and a person with a good heart doesn’t need a law to tell them what’s moral and just.
A Note For Both Sides Regarding the Media & Politicians:
I’ve ranted time and again here about the media (left and right) twisting the truth. There are plenty of posts with examples here. No need to repeat it all. I imagine some of them even think they’re doing good and forcing society in a ‘better’ direction. I honestly believe most are just exploiting all of you for the sake of better ratings. You’re being fed a constant stream of half truths to promote conflict. Anger, suffering and violence are good for ratings.
Politicans… They will LIE to your face and say ANYTHING to keep or gain power, and do NOTHING to effect real change. They’re ALL the same. Enough said.
My point being is that too many of us depend on these two groups for facts and to guide us to proper conclusions. Question everything, and actively seek the whole truth. It will likely be something you do NOT want to hear, BUT acknowledging the whole truth is the ONLY way to begin to make real change. I come from a law enforcement family. I hate acknowledging dirty cops exist. Purging them from the system is the only way to protect and honor the good cops though.
What Black Folks Should Know:
Yep, I had my run at white folks, now I’d like to talk to you. PLEASE read the first part for white folks also. It will help you understand where the average, decent white person who wants to support you is coming from.
First and foremost… Realize that the vast majority of white folks absolutely DO care about you, think your lives do matter, and want you to have the same opportunities as everyone else.
You know how it makes you so mad your skin crawls when some gang banger kills his baby mama, or does a drive by on a kid’s birthday party, and you hear some idiot say “See, they’re all like that?”…
Well, that’s how we feel when we’re told that we are all like that (racists), or that we have no right to talk about our relationships with you or other races.
It simply comes down to two wrongs not making anything right, ever. If you justify bad behavior by pointing at other bad behavior, all you’re REALLY doing is lowering yourself to the same level as those bad people.
I really do get that you have decades of frustration over everything. It sucks having to be the one to take the high ground when you’re the victim also. It takes strength to lead by example, the same strength that you’ve displayed by making it as far as you already have.
Something else to consider; there’s an old martial arts proverb that “action beats reaction”. So, in any situation the person doing the acting is more in control than the one who is reacting to what the first person or group is doing.
Now, as far as this whole silencing others thing goes… two quick counterpoints beyond what I said at the beginning of this post:
Have you EVER listened to anyone that told you to shut up and do as your told? Outside of parents or a drill instructor, I bet not. 🙂 Nobody’s mind is changed by being lectured and brow beaten, no matter how much they deserve it.
No matter how ignorant a person’s beliefs may be, you can never change them if you don’t understand what’s behind those beliefs, and develop some sort of rapport with the other person. If you try to relate to them they’ll try to relate to you. This is the same thing I was telling white folks that we need to do with you.
History is full of stories of wars and great generals, but who are the people that are truly remembered and honored? It’s the people like Jesus, Ghandi, Mother Teresa, and Dr. King and similar leaders that have had some of the greatest impact on the world, and without ever resorting to violence. Remember that when you get out there and protest. Protest you should too, but do it peacefully.
On that note, I know it’s usually somebody else that’s starting the looting. It’s usually Antifa and occasionally even a really bad cop setting things up. Just realize despite what the media is telling you, that white supremacists have very little if anything to do with it, neither does Russia, China and Iran. This is what I meant earlier by they’re playing ALL of us for the sake of ratings.
Run the looters out of your protests, call the cops on them or just avoid them if they’re too dangerous. Do NOT let them drag your righteous cause down with them. Antifa ain’t your friend either. All they care about is causing destruction.
I’ve got to touch on a couple of sensitive areas now. Please hang with me and hear me out.
One of the areas where you lose support from people of other races is when you support cases where it wasn’t the cops’ fault. A good example is the Stephon Clark case in Sacramento. Part of the problem with cases like this is the media reporting only half the story. Stephon was a victim of a broken system though, not the cops. He was seriously depressed, had relationship problems, and was on drugs the night he was shot. He ran from cops into a VERY dark location and they couldn’t see what he’d suddenly pulled out of his pocket. I was in Sacramento, so I heard more of the story than most of the nation. The shooting was a tragedy. That Stephon ended up in that situation was a CLEAR failure of the system to have some sort of a safety net where he could get help or counseling. A case can be made that better lights for the police might have helped too, among other things. The media outright reported this tragedy as an execution though, and exploited you simply for the sake of ratings from protests and grief.
Those times when it IS a case like that, be willing to admit it and work peacefully to improve police procedure and social services, or whatever may be needed to prevent future occurrences. It will improve your relationship with the cops if they feel you’re trying to understand their end also. Most cops are legitimately good people too.
OK, last point and it’s a TOUGH one. I’ve lived in the hood and seen it though. I went to a high school that was nicknamed “Blood Bank” because it was overrun with members of the Bloods too. There is a SMALL percentage of the black community that trashes kids who want to learn and get ahead as “trying to be white”, label people like Ben Carson or Herman Cain who do get ahead as an Uncle Tom or Coon, and that consider gang banging as “black culture”.
I reject all of that, and you should also. Education is the key to a better life. Saying learning is “acting white” is really saying black people can’t learn. That’s complete crap. Dr Ben Carson is one of the best brain surgeons in the world (if not THE best), came up from the hood, and is proof positive some of you are smarter than any dang white person. Anybody that tells you not to learn is trying to keep you ignorant so they can play you. It’s that simple. I believe most of you accept all of this already. It’s a small. loud minority of folks pushing that. Don’t let them. Black folks are every bit as smart as any other race.
Same goes with crime. I’m not going to say much here. We both know the vast majority of black folks are NOT gang bangers and thugs. Do your best to minimize those voices, for the benefit of your entire community.
Ladies, YOU have the power here also. The person a black man is most likely to respect and listen to is a strong black woman. I’ve seen young black women take control of their fellow students and settle a class down. I’ve heard stories of mothers pulling their sons out of gangs, etc… Its up to you to stand up, lead the way and help heal your community and the country.
Wrapping It Up:
I try to look fairly at every side of any given situation. What I see today is two groups of good people that are having an increasingly hard time talking to each other. We’re all victims of a past we had little to do with.
We both need to change some.
We both need to be willing to talk more and actually try to understand each other.
We ALL need to come together as a united and equal people and prevent a corrupt media and leadership from trying to get us to destroy each other while they screw all of us.
With everything in the news, I think it behooves me to write about being a cop, what they typically think, and are motivated by, etc…
First, I want to make it clear that I am NOT going to defend bad cops. There is ZERO excuse for what happened to George Floyd, as one example. It’s not always about racism however. Bad cops can be bad for more than one reason. Likewise, good cops can sometimes seem bad just by the nature of the job.
As a note about my qualifications to speak on the subject, my dad was a career cop… Long enough to collect TWO pensions. If I recall the count correctly, four of my martial arts instructors were cops as well. So were a handful of my fellow students. I talked to all of them regularly about what the job is like. I also spent the first half of the 90s as a private security guard, which involved fairly regular interaction with cops, and even breaking up a smash and grab robbery once.
So, I understand a good bit more than the average person on the street about what law enforcement goes through.
Side Note: I know I’ll get asked so… The smash and grab was a lucky escape for me, as it were. I was an unarmed officer but always carried a maglite. The facility I was guarding had a shop across the street for maintenance of it’s trucks. I drove over there to check it during my rounds and scared off three huge guys in a rental truck who had rammed through the chain link fence’s gate, and were breaking into the facility to steal all the tools and equipment they could. Between it being dark, my uniform looking similar to local cops AND my driving a black Ford, they assumed I was a cop, hopped in the truck and hauled tail out of there. It could have gone VERY different very easily.
What Motivates the Average Cop?
Just about everyone who becomes a police officer is motivated by the desire to help people and keep their community safe. Yes, sometimes racists, victims of PTSD and just plain people with anger issues get in, but this is NOT the majority of people in law enforcement. The vast majority are like Officer Greg Anderson, who was suspended for this video:
Where Things Sometimes Go Sideways:
First, there’s the painfully obvious need for better screening during the hiring process. This is complicated though for two reasons. First, some people are just VERY good at faking normal. Second, there’s a shortage of people willing to be police nowadays. Given all the crap the profession takes, I can’t blame folks for not wanting to sign on either.
The Realities of the Job are the next factor, and an even bigger one. Think about this: what other job are you going to be expected to become a human target and be required to actively and constantly put yourself between the worst of humanity and the general populace? Soldiers do, but do it with better armor, weapons and far less limiting rules of engagement.
Do you know two of the absolutely most dangerous situations for cops? Routine traffic stops and domestic violence calls. You never know if you’re going to get shot by some nutcase that you stopped just for a broken tail light or expired license “tag”. Likewise, domestic violence calls have a high probability of ending up with one or both parties involved trying to assault the responding officer(s). Often it’s even the victim who suddenly doesn’t want the aggressor hauled off to jail.
My point being that the job itself has a way of turning good people into cynics who suspect the worst of everyone. It almost requires it of them in order to stay safe. Every call, officers are dealing with people at their absolute worst, be it self-entitled ‘victims’ demanding justice all the way to hardcore gang bangers.
35 or 40 years ago, THIS would have gotten a person the wood shampoo and a trip to jail. NOW cops are supposed to just stand there and take it. If anybody did that to a normal person, it would result in a throwdown. Cops are expected to have NO personal space though even though the person in their face could quickly pull a knife, gun or punch, and is far more likely to do so against a cop than another civilian.
Should people be able to protest the police? ABSOLUTELY! There’s a right way and a wrong way to do it however. Burning, looting and scenes like the above just convince some folks that the cops were right and need to be heavy handed though. What’s required is alot more of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s example and a hell of alot less of the “Karen” antics in the picture above.
Unrealistic Expectations of Officers is another big problem. I blame Hollywood for this. Years of martial arts movies and action movies along with pop psychology have convinced the average idiot that any police officer should be able to fight like Captain America or Bruce Lee, and yet never hurt anyone. It’s gotten so bad that police are even criticized for using non-lethal options like tasers in cases of self defense.
The pop psychology aspect comes in with the expectation that police should be able to talk EVERY suspect into a completely peaceful resolution and everybody walks away happy. That works fine for shows like “The Rookie“. I genuinely like that show and we all wish interactions with law enforcement could go the way they usually do on the show. Reality is, people drunk out of their mind, stoned, or just plain mentally ill do NOT always make the most rational decisions. Sometimes these people are spoiling for a fight and are NOT going to give a cop time to do an in-depth psycho-analysis.
The ones stoned or drunk beyond all reason can be remarkably resistant to pain as well. A fellow student in my original karate school was mugged delivering pizzas. He kicked his attacker 3 times square in the groin with steel toe boots and hit him several times in the temple also. The counter attack would have crippled a sober person, probably permanently. Because the attacker was stoned out of his mind, he shrugged off all of it though. It was a one time thing for that fellow student, but something cops encounter on a fairly regular basis.
Tying it All Together:
What I’m driving at is that there are reasons besides racism that cops get heavy handed or cop an attitude. Stress, anger over others being endangered, and anger and fear over themselves being put in danger are often major factors. “Respect my authority” is often more about the officer feeling safely in control of a situation (and thus more confident they won’t be hurt) than it is as seen on South Park:
It’s one thing to get stopped for jaywalking across a major road, and even then that just merits a “Hey, stay safe and don’t do that again, OK?” This guy was stopped on a residential street with NO traffic. Even the facts that he argued with the cops and threw down his jacket don’t excuse it because there was NO reason to stop him in the first place. Nobody could even say he looked like a suspect for anything.
Also, If it was ALL about black folks there wouldn’t be over 22 seasons of COPS filled with cheese whiz sucking white trailer trash getting manhandled, the dog released on them, and cuffed and stuffed also.
One of my previous blog articles also mentioned how *I* was ALMOST drawn on by a nervous cop during a traffic stop when I too hastily reached for my glove compartment to try to find my proof of insurance. I’m as white bread as a cracker can be too, LOL.
Does It Excuse Any Of It?
In a word, NO. It doesn’t matter if it was racism, PTSD, a god complex, fear and adrenaline, or a desire to “teach this perp a lesson” that got George Floyd killed.
While we DO have to realize that cops are human, there are professional standards that come with the job. Whatever MAY have happened that got George Floyd in that position on the ground (i.e. *IF* he had resisted arrest), once those officers had him under control, they had a moral and legal obligation to cuff him and put him in a vehicle.
When racism or other issues such as anger management or PTSD show up, they should be dealt with swiftly. Get the officer off the street. If they’re a bad cop, fire them. If they’re damaged and have PTSD or something similar going on, maybe they can serve at a desk job. When it results in something like the George Floyd incident, the cops should be buried under the jail. Period.
The Role of the Media
I’d be sorely remiss if I didn’t mention this factor. The media is FAMOUS here for stirring up drama to the point of riots. More than one case has blatantly had facts withheld by the media that would at least make a widely publicized incident look more grey, if not outright clear the cop involved.
Very few media outlets are questioning the narrative that Ahmaud Arbery was just out jogging and killed for no reason for example. They do NOT report that the man with the shotgun was a retired Deputy Sheriff who had arrested Arbery before, OR that there’s video of Arbery walking through a house he broke into. Likewise there’s no questioning why he would first keep running toward two armed men in the middle of the street, NOR why he attacked and tried to disarm the shotgun wielding former deputy. Or even that both shots went off as Arbery tried to wrestle the shotgun away.
Does that mean those men are innocent? NO. There’s still enough in the infamous video to merit an investigation. There’s an intangible feel to me also that they were looking for an excuse to punish Arbery. What I *am* saying is that there IS enough there though to establish some reasonable doubt.
The media wants race riots though. They equal ratings. People dying and losing their businesses in those riots? That’s just extra ratings.
Remember that ALL cops are human, and only a small percentage are bad. It’s a VERY dangerous job, and it’s only getting worse for them with people thinking it’s OK to verbally and physically abuse them on an ever growing basis.
A little courtesy and polite behavior can get anyone out of most encounters with the police completely safe and unharmed.
Let’s focus on getting the bad cops fired or prosecuted where appropriate, while still supporting the good ones.
I got an email earlier from one of our cyber-security service providers. It outlined a few scams that are already going around related to COVID-19. I’m going to list them here for the benefit of my readers:
Malicious links If you haven’t already, you will likely receive emails with links offering information about the virus. Many clients have already reported receiving emails supposedly from the World Health Organization, the Wall Street Journal, and other reputable sources, that are, in fact, fraudulent.
Tips: Be sure to look carefully at the sender’s email address, as well as the URL to which the link is trying to send you, before clicking anywhere within the message. Malicious links are often used to steal personal information, capture login credentials, or install malware on your device.
Fake charities Another frequently used tactic that re-surfaces during times of crisis: fake charities. Bad actors may attempt to exploit your kind nature by asking for donations to help distribute a COVID-19 vaccine (there isn’t one) or similar causes. Be wary of these emails and do your research before opening your wallet!
Checks from the Government Since there are reports that the United States government may begin sending money by check or direct deposit to American citizens due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Federal Trade Commission has made a list of three important tips to keep in mind:
The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get this money.
The government will not call to ask for your social security, bank account, or credit card numbers. Anyone who does is not legitimate.
Checks are not currently being sent out. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is using this as a tactic to get your money.
That last one primarily applies to the U.S. but may come into play elsewhere if other countries do something similar.
I’m In Jail! HELP ME!
I have NO idea how common this is elsewhere, but a sophisticated scam that’s making the rounds here in the US is a phone call asking to post bail for a loved one or friend, OR that they are down in Mexico and have been kidnapped by a drug cartel.
These scammers comb social media to gather enough personal information to sell the story and sometimes even can get voice recordings via YouTube and Facebook videos which they then run through a computer to create deep fakes of the person’s voice. When they can go this far and have enough personal information, they’ll outright call an intended victim (as opposed to this scam sometimes taking the form of email).
With COVID-19 out there, the latest variations on this scam are that the person is in jail after being arrested on the way to get tested for COVID-19, or they need money for treatment.
Call the person supposedly in trouble and verify! Scamming has gotten much more sophisticated since the days of the Nigerian Prince email scam (which is still out there, because it’s still working).