Posted on | August 13, 2014 | No Comments
UPDATED — Nov. 26
St. Louis County Police Scanner
The ongoing fight in Ferguson in protest of the police murder of Mike Brown. If these streams go down and you know of another please leave the link in the comments.
Also check the live stream of information from Reddit
Incident Google map of incidences in Ferguson: https://mapsengine.google.com/map/embed?mid=zQXCU9jTCWt8.k_AxWZwk4ODM
Posted on | July 31, 2014 | No Comments
Some topics can’t be discussed because emotions run too high. There are certain triggers that shut people’s faculties of reason down completely and doesn’t allow for further or clear listening. Even if you agree with their fundamental point, there is an absolute, all or nothing, position that gets clung to in those situations. Stephen A. Smith is learning that right now in the wake of his comments within a discussion about NFL player Ray Rice.
This didn’t go over well. Many people immediately went into “he’s blaming the victim” mode and completely tuned out the real point he was making. I heard no victim blaming. What you can hear when you step back and listen is the reality that some people won’t play by the same rules. Prevailing wisdom in our society says that men should never hit women. I don’t think there is much debate there. The problem is we can’t say there is zero debate there because not everyone agrees with the same rules as the rest of us. In those instances, a woman may find herself in a situation she didn’t expect to happen if she believes that 100% of men agree on not hitting women. There are police records and YouTube videos galore showing that this isn’t the case. This is a reality. To avoid this possibility people should not put themselves in a situation that may bring about this outcome. To say that isn’t blaming the victim, it’s advice.
But what I’ve tried to employ the female members of my family, some of who you all met and talked to and what have you, is that again, and this what, I’ve done this all my life, let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions, because if I come, or somebody else come, whether it’s law enforcement officials, your brother or the fellas that you know, if we come after somebody has put their hands on you, it doesn’t negate the fact that they already put their hands on you. So let’s try to make sure that we can do our part in making sure that that doesn’t happen. – Stephen A. Smith
Excellent point. Whether or not the man gets away with beating the woman, the beating already has taken place and the damage is done. Many blogs, news articles, and tweets quickly jumped on the story and pulled reactions from social media like this that I saw on another site.
So I was just forced to watch this morning’s First Take. A) I’ll never feel clean again B) I’m now aware that I can provoke my own beating. — Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) July 25, 2014
Yes of course you can provoke your own beating. Let’s not be naive. Anyone can. To think there is an invisible bubble of protection at all times around you that stops anyone from hitting you for any reason is a fantasy. There are long lists of police reports that destroy that imaginary realm. Of course they shouldn’t do it but people do things they shouldn’t do all the time. It doesn’t matter if they know it’s wrong, they are in an agitated state, have mental instabilities, or just simply don’t care or agree with those rules, they still do it. It happens. Would you poke a pissed off bear? No. No you wouldn’t because that would provoke a mauling and it would be the least surprising thing. Sometimes people are in a state that we know we should just let them be. We have all been at that moment and pushed too far. It happens. Yes people need to exercise control of their anger but if we walked away we wouldn’t fan those flames either.
If you hit somebody, you cannot be sure you are not going to get hit back! – Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi is correct and, even though she’s caught flack for her statements, the audience seems to agree. Yes there is a size and strength difference in most cases between men and women. Yes a stronger person should exercise more control due to their increased strength. At the same time, if you know a person is stronger and more powerful than you, don’t attack them. Aside from them being women, I know not going to swing on Laila Ali or Ronda Rousey because that wouldn’t end well for me. I especially wouldn’t do it if they are already agitated for whatever reason. As professional fighters, they have a greater responsibility to exercise control yet I’m not going to take that chance. In their agitated state they may lose control all over my fantasy bubble of protection.
See that look of surprise on her face? It was all fun and games to the inebriated woman because she thought she had a mutual understanding with that man she didn’t know that hitting her wasn’t possible. He had a different understanding. She had hit him once already and he wasn’t happy with it. Her retort was a mocking “Did it hurt that bad”. This was the second hit, that he indeed provoked, so that he could try to make a point. She was clearly out of control and thought it was ok to hit strangers. Let’s not pretend we’ve never seen this before. What he did wasn’t right and he should have walked away but the point remains that sometimes people don’t agree with how we think they should handle a situation. He clearly didn’t.
This guy didn’t get the memo that he shouldn’t hit her back either.
The fact that these guys are wrong does nothing to lessen the damage that has already been done by their retaliation. This idea to rely on men always maintaining composure and control will wind up with more situations like this. Please read that again. Relying on that idea will get some people into trouble. If a woman attacks a man with this idea that he definitely won’t hit her back she may be in for a very harsh “a-ha” moment. It may not be right but it’s a very real possibility. To mitigate that outcome, women should keep their hands to themselves. If you hit anyone, no matter who you are, you should always expect that they will hit you back. It’s the same advice I would give any woman in my family. You never know how a person will react. This is the point that Stephen A. Smith and Whoopi Goldberg were talking about. Due to the outrage and controversy, Steven A. Smith issued an apology that was no doubt forced by the network. He has also been suspended for a week from his job. Here is the problem, people hear or read Smith’s comments and equate it solely with domestic violence and abusive in relationships. Even the normally level-headed Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks seemed to shut down and pretend to not understand what Smith was saying. They even went so far as to title their response video as “Did ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith Justify Violence Against Women? Well, What IS He Saying?” The confusion comes in because Smith’s comments were during a discussion of a domestic violence incident. Smith commented on that incident and then switched gears. Smith clearly didn’t justify violence against women. Whoopi didn’t either, yet it is such an emotional charged issue that many will stop listening past a certain point.
For anyone not understanding, let me ask you this, do you lock your home? Do you secure your purse and other valuables when you go somewhere? Why? The majority of us can agree that stealing is wrong and shouldn’t be done. Even still, we don’t rely on the idea that everyone understands stealing to be wrong. We take steps to limit that possibility. Stephen A. Smith has said many questionable things in the past I’m sure but what he said here wasn’t wrong. He didn’t endorse or justify violence against women. He didn’t blame the victim. He clearly stated multiple times that he was against men hitting women. I will say, in the middle of a conversation about domestic violence, he may have chosen the wrong time to make these statements. It doesn’t make them any less true; just ill-timed.
Posted on | June 9, 2014 | No Comments
Far Rockaway rappers Sean Blaise, Stacks the MenACE, and TrisNev are no fans of the gentrification going on in Far Rockaway, Queens in New York and have no problem telling those imposing on their neighborhood to get the “Fuck Out the Rock”. This joint definitely reminds me of the 90′s with the uptempo break beat and the faster flows. It vibes nice while delivering a message that many who live in neighborhoods they are slowing being forced out of share.
Anyone who has ever been to Far Rockaway could easily see that it would be a target for gentrification. You’ve got housing projects full of poor people on beach front property. You know developers are itching to get rid of them so they can have a Hamptons closer to Manhattan. And with the hospital closings a blind man could peep the game. It’s good to see local rappers speaking out for their neighborhood, although I don’t think lines like “where the drugs are on point” help their argument. The high crime rate and weekly shootings is what drives down the prices that helps outsiders move residents out. Hurricane Sandy didn’t help at all. If anything it sped up the process. Stacks the MenACE sums up these community relocation efforts with:
“…bout they green like Rondo
say, get out pronto, we trying to build some condos
so grab your shit and walk off like you struck out
gentrification really means….get the fuck out
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a nice day
for rich kids to come through and move in where I stay?”
Stacks is not wrong. In neighborhood take overs, those that are transplanting residents don’t care where the former occupants go just as long as they leave. Of course on the surface gentrification can look like it’s making the neighborhood better. Sure, the safer streets, economic development, and the attention the communities have been calling for seem like a God send. That is until the neighborhood is no longer affordable for the people who lived there.
Crossposted from OneTwoOneTwo.com
Posted on | May 19, 2014 | 1 Comment
I posted the following tweets to Twitter conversation regarding the telcos wanting to prioritize access on the Internet and the FCC’s deliberation. I got a response from FCC Chief Information Officer David A. Bray. I thought the discourse made for an interesting read for those interested.
this isn’t an end all be all conversation on the issue and neither I nor David Bray have the power to decide. Ideally, together we all have that power by letting the FCC know what side of the issue we stand on. Senator Al Franken called this fight “the free-speech issue of our time“. He’s not the only one weighing in either, Netflix, Amazon.com, and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian among others.
It may even be a moot point because unless the ISP’s are classified as common carriers the FCC may not be able to do anything at all because the courts already ruled in favor of the telcos.
“Sure, the proposal may ask if so-called fast lanes should be banned outright, but Wheeler is already well aware of the answer: Unless ISPs start being classified as common carriers (i.e. services that are legally required to cater to all), the FCC doesn’t have the legal authority to do so even if they wanted to. It’s like asking if we should have world peace; the answer’s obvious, and there’s absolutely nothing he can do about it.” – gizmodo.com The FCC Thinks We’re All Idiots
It still doesn’t sit well with me that FCC chairman Tom Wheeler was a lobbyist for the cable companies previously. Even worse, he was appointed by President Obama to head the FCC even though Candidate Obama promised to protect Net Neutrality. Hopefully, letters, comments, and phone calls to the FCC directly and even creative protest methods will get the word to them that Net Neutrality needs to be protected.
Our conversation went like this.
Posted on | March 30, 2014 | 2 Comments
Businessman and investor, Kevin O’Leary, mostly known for starring in Shark Tank in America and Dragon’s Den in his home country of Canada, was interviewed on CNN by Erin Burnett’s Out Front. This appearance took place towards the end of February but this video clip of Kevin advocating for less government regulation and against the minimum wage increase has experienced a resurgence on the Internet lately.
Kevin, Kevin, Kevin. I was going to let this pass without a comment but it just kept popping up. There are many faults with Kevin’s logic here. I’m surprised Erin Burnett didn’t push back a bit harder, especially on misleading ideas like the 1% paying taxes at a 38% tax rate while the middle class only pay 12% on average. Most of us who were paying attention during all the presidential campaigning for the 2008 and 2012 elections are familiar with this misleading bit of lip service. More than likely those reading this pay a higher tax percentage than Mr. Wonderful does; ask Mr. Warren “There’s only three people on the planet richer than me” Buffet and Politifact. So there’s no need to go into that.
What’s come under barrages of scrutiny is now being defended in the soundest way we have ever seen. The argument against the “1%” has always been a major issue every since the exposure of activists years ago. Rarely has a person of the “1%” ever gone to great lengths to defend their side and what they believe. – conservativepost.com After His Response, CNN Immediately Regretted Asking Kevin O’Leary The ‘1%’ Question
Yup, it sure does sound good at times. Kevin speaks well and he’s confident in what he delivers, which is why some people believe these cons. It’s how politicians get us to vote for them even though they continue to show us that they will lie during the campaign just to get in office. “Confidence” is where “con” comes from in this sense; a “con man” is literally a “confidence man”. I’m not suggesting that the grinning Canadian is a pulling a con, I think he actually believes what he’s saying. It’s how you get a better deal.
A few things bug me though that people like O’Leary keep trying to push on people. He remarks early on about the “vilification of the 1%”; that misnomer really grinds my gears. People using this line of talk are trying to further this idea of a war on the rich for being rich. Kevin O’Leary is an entrepreneur investor who worked his way up to the about $300 million net worth he has today. I don’t demonize him for that achievement, nor do I think most American’s hate him or other monetarily successful people for their net worth specifically. It’s not necessarily the fact that the 1% have astronomical bank accounts that have people calling them out, it’s what they are doing with it, how they are taking advantage of others and the system, and how they are stepping on people to increase that wealth. This is America, we love people to be successful. Being successful is apart of our tagline. “Live the American Dream” is right up there with “I’m Lovin’ It”, “Built Ford Tough”, and “Just Do It” for most influential slogans. The 1% aren’t being vilified for being successful they are being criticized for being dicks. The wealth gap has always been here, sure, but it’s never been this wide. It’s not just a massive disparity by accident either, it’s taken a constant sustained effort of an impressive amount of greed and entitlement to get it to these levels. We’re talking about super human levels of douchebaggery here. It’s hard work.
The Job Creators. These guys love this. It’s like their preferred weapon. Again though, it’s misleading. And again, we heard a crap ton about this during the debates about extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. They needed those cuts to create jobs even though they had those cuts all along yet hadn’t created them. The problem with O’Leary’s attempt at putting the job creation ideology in a solitary box is that it tries to make people believe that a job alone is the cure-all. He doesn’t say “living wage job creators”. Just jobs. I can be a job creator right now if I offered 100 people $1 a month to do something for me. Boom, I just created one hundred jobs. But, those workers can’t live on that, they can’t even buy a candy bar these days from that wage in America. I just created jobs though, so you’re logic means nothing here peasant!
The response will be, “The market won’t allow it because someone will pay them higher for the same thing and take your workers.” That would always be true if there were more jobs than people and those jobs paid living wages. The number of people far exceed the number of available jobs the Kevin O’Leary’s of the world create. So in terms that O’Leary would understand, supply is less than demand. This will never change so the market correction idea is bogus and they know it. Supply is always going to be a premium commodity when the product is jobs. So in my extremely ludicrous $1 a month wage scenario the market won’t step in to force my price higher because even if every single job available was filled, there would still be people looking for work. If someone gets desperate enough they will take that price. And I could sit there knowing I could pay $2 a month and it wouldn’t affect me at all but never you mind, I need all the extra I can get; I don’t have enough cars yet.
People don’t get a job just for the sake of having a job. People get jobs to make an income, to provide for themselves and their families. I’m sure I can come up with any number of jobs to be done around the house but no one will want them if I’m not paying. This steadfast delivery of the talking point “we can create more jobs” also carries with it an unsaid “and you should be happy to get what we give you” with it. Listen again when people start saying it. The idea sounds great on the surface and the defenders pit the middle class, small business owners, liberals, conservatives, and everyone against one another while they laugh all the way to the bank.
Now I’m not saying a minimum wage increase will solve all the problems either; even though as Burnett pointed out it will raise many out of poverty. I’m also not diminishing the importance of business or the jobs they create. I am challenging the ideas that O’Leary and those that think like him put forth in regards to how they use “job creator” as a multi-pass as a reason to allow them to operate with impunity. I suspect that business will just pass along the minimum wage increase to the customers and eventually the spread will be the same as it is now prompting a need for another increase. It’s like how the cost of living keeps going up. Or they’ll see it as the customers now having more income so they can increase their prices to get that extra 1ooth percent of profit they missed, because business operates like it’s never seen a bell curve or taken a basic economics class. O’Leary said we have a “growth” problem. We aren’t growing as fast as we should. Should is a wishful term. Nothing grows forever except maybe stupidity. Limited resources, limited currency, limited customers does not equal unlimited growth. Sustainability is what lasts forever. Look “sustain” is right there in the word. You can fake continued growth by cutting costs, shipping jobs overseas, reducing benefits, streamlining production, or firing workers which will allow you to operate at the same high profit margin and pay out those inflated large salaries and bonuses but you can’t get infinity out of the finite.
It isn’t robbing the rich to give to the poor when you are correcting injustices that you’ve been committing just because you have been committing them so long it feels like it’s normal and how it’s supposed to be. But it is robbing the poor to use your power, money, and influence to make sure the poor stay poor. You’re company looks after a handful of people, while the government has to look after the welfare of hundreds of millions. You alone are not before them. Let’s not forget that the reason regulations came about in the first place is because the industries were taking advantage of the workers. The abuses of power, control, and influence is what put the yolk on the necks of business. Ironically, it’s the abuses committed by the 1% that brought about the regulations that make it more difficult for the small business that the 1% keep trying to stand behind as a reason to have regulatory rules loosened. And people are buying it lock, stock, and barrel. Of course, too much regulation can make it impossible for those wishing for a fair share to do anything but too little makes it possible for those wishing for everyone’s share to do everything.
Shhh, use your inside voice Kevin.