Friday, December 5, 2014

GEORGE CARLIN -- THE UNITED STATES IN 39 SECONDS


George Carlin, comic and social commentator (1937-2008)

With American racism in the news, here's the late, great comedian George Carlin condensing the history of the whole thing into 39 seconds. The legendary comics have a knack for belting the nail on the head when it comes to social issues.


CLICK HERE FOR GEORGE'S SHORT, AWESOME BIT

Take care, 
Adrian

Thursday, December 4, 2014

MOVE ON???



  
These people, rightfully, say "no" to moving on


  
If you or I do this, it's called murder

 Have you ever heard a politician say it's time to "move on" or "move forward" after some tragedy?

They usually throw the word "heal" in there somewhere as well. So you get something like this: "As a society, I think we recognize that this has been a tragic time; that there is a profound problem that we need to address. I can assure you, that's being done. But now, as a nation, we need to move on. To heal. Because this is the greatest country in the world and we are known for our resolve and our resilience. God bless you all and God bless America."

Kind of made me sick writing that. Anyway, my point is this: Whenever a politician or someone else in power talks about "moving on" and "healing," what they're really saying is: "It's time to forget about this shit and pretend it's not an issue because it's a pain in my ass and the natives are getting restless. I don't like it when the natives get restless. When they get together and protest, they start to see their own power. I simply cannot have that shit."

With the Trayvon Martin shooting, the Michael Brown shooting (by a cop), and now the clearing of a New York City cop who strangled a black man named Eric Garner in broad daylight -- and so many race-related and potentially race-related deaths caused by people with "authority" -- we are at one of those "move on" moments.

The people are stirred up, asking questions, debating each other, and challenging authority. They're looking right through the BS and seeing how control and prejudice really operate in our society. And the power players are starting to make noises about moving on.

I say fuck that! This is precisely the time to NOT move on. This is the time to stop and stare the problem of racism in America square in the face and not blink until it has been properly, transparently, and substantively addressed.

So don't move a fucking muscle. Talk to each other, badger your politicians, write letters to the editor, get out in the streets, organize organize organize. If we want a caring society, the caring is obviously going to have to start with us.

[This post is dedicated to every last person who has ever suffered the vicious bite of racism.]

Onward!
Adrian


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

PLEASE READ -- A MOTHER'S GRIEF




Jeralynn Blueford and her son Alan -- another victim of a police shooting




This moving article was sent to me by my friends at CODEPINK
Stop Police Officers from Killing Our Children
By Jeralynn Blueford


    After the Grand Jury decision in Ferguson, I couldn’t watch the news. I couldn’t bear to see Lesley McSpadden’s—Michael Brown’s mother’s—face. Her eyes were my eyes. I remember when I looked like that; when I felt like that.
    My son, Alan Blueford, was shot by an Oakland police officer on May 6, 2012. He had just turned 18. Officer Miguel Masso and his partner had stopped Alan and two friends as they were walking down 90th St. The boys were racially profiled; the officers never arrested them, but they tossed one of Alan’s friends against a fence, twisting his arm behind his back; they threw the other friend onto the curb. Alan saw this abuse and knew he was not under arrest, so he ran. Officer Masso had on a lapel camera, but he turned it off and chased my Alan for about five city blocks, then took out his gun. Accounts diverge here: either Alan was shot once, stumbled into a driveway, and was shot twice more while lying on his back, or he stumbled into a gate, fell into the driveway and was then shot three times. Either way, the officer stood over him and shot him, center mass. According to multiple witnesses, Alan screamed “I didn’t do anything!” One of the bullets went through his armpit, proving his hands were up at the time. His last words were “Why did you shoot me?”  
After Alan died, people said I was strong; they didn’t see how broken I really was. They didn’t see how I couldn’t eat, how I could barely stand. People had to hold me up because my knees would buckle. The only time I could even speak was when I spoke about my son. And I realized how important it was to speak, and to keep speaking.
    Members of the community formed the Justice 4 Alan Blueford Coalition to help us obtain the truth. We shut down the Oakland City Council to demand answers; we filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Oakland to seek justice for my boy. We later founded the Alan Blueford Center for Justice in Oakland, a place where people can come together to raise awareness about police brutality and heal as a community. It’s a lively, healthy environment where we share music, art, food and stories, and talk about how to take action. On December 20th, Alan’s birthday, we have a canned food and toy drive to serve our community. We have also started the Alan Blueford Foundation where we will eventually offer scholarships, healthcare outreach, and support groups. Oakland is suffering, and we want to make a difference. We want to give our children hope. Everyone deserves hope.
    That’s why we must use this moment, when the nation’s attention is focused on police violence, to make real changes. That’s why I’ll be traveling to Washington, DC December 9 and 10 with a group of mothers to share our stories—our sons’ stories—with legislators and the Department of Justice. Together, we will be loud and forceful. Together, we will tell our lawmakers that the system has to change, that we have to stop protecting these officers who are killing our children without cause.   
    I’ll never get my son back, but if I raise my voice along with the voices of other mothers who have experienced unbearable loss, perhaps we’ll be able to help save the lives of other mothers’ children, and bring our children’s murderers to justice.


JERALYNN BLUFORD from Oakland, California started the Justice4AlanBlueford Coalition on May 6,2012 after her 18 year-old son Alan Blueford was shot and killed by a police officer in East Oakland. From there The Alan Blueford Center 4 Justice was established in Oakland, California, as a place to help heal the community. They offer our resources to help restore the community as they struggle against police brutality. She also organized Helping Heart 2 Heal, a conference to inspire, empower, and restore healing for mothers that are suffering with the pain of losing their children and loved ones.


Monday, December 1, 2014

QUOTE OF THE DAY -- AC/DC





Take a chance, while you've still got the choice.
               -- AC/DC "Rock and Roll Damnation"


It seems to me, to live any other way is pure death.

**********

AC/DC aren't everybody's shot of rocket fuel, but they started out as a bunch of working-class Aussie boys from Sydney with a dream and no pretensions. And they're the same blokes today they were way back then. That's pretty impressive seeing they've become one of the biggest bands in the history of rock. And there's a lesson in that for the many "successful" people who get a bit too wrapped up in themselves.

Best wishes to the band's original rhythm guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young who is battling dementia, and drummer Phil Rudd who clearly has some drug issues he needs to deal with. 

Take care and rock on!
Adrian
PS: AC/DC's new album, "Rock or Bust" is out tomorrow (Dec. 2)!


Sunday, November 30, 2014

THIS IS WHERE WE NEED TO GET TO



Pretty Simple: This is how it's done

You've probably seen this photo by now.

It is emblematic of hope and bound to become iconic. It will also be used by the Establishment for propaganda purposes, but we shouldn't let that make us miss the real message.

This is a photo of humanity. It goes deeper than uniforms and skin. It makes you feel something positive and profound. It shows hope.

Ferguson has been another blight on our legal-governmental system. Handled poorly by "the authorities"; probably intentionally. 

Millions of people have discussed what has happened with friends and family, argued on message boards, and given their two cents' worth in all sorts of places: which are not a bad things. But it's disturbing how many hateful people there remain out there. Racism is still deeply ingrained in the collective psyche of this country. 

People have made all sorts of arguments as to why Michael Brown "had it coming." Many of them get caught up in the details of forensics and testimonies, and positively miss the larger issue of race in America. But what can you expect when, for so many, the commercial media are their sources of information?

But this picture says it all. How we should feel and what we should do. And deep down, didn't every one of us know it all along?

If you want more of my thoughts on Ferguson, I've pasted in some of my own message board comments as footnotes.

And yes: Continue to voice your opinion and to support groups and organizations fighting for this terrible tragedy -- and the many others like it -- to be handled sensibly, fairly, and transparently.

Take care and love one another,
Adrian

FOOTNOTES:
These are comments I wrote on a message board recently, with regard to the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson...



1.
It stuns me how many people automatically think this guy [Wilson] is a "cleanskin" when all the info is coming through commercial media. Since when have they ever given us the whole story? Look, this guy might be totally innocent, in which case, I wish him well. But there are just too many questions that haven't been answered. I'm not after his scalp, but I would like to know the truth. Put it this way: If my son had been shot in this kind of situation, I would be totally destroyed, and I wouldn't be satisfied with how this had been handled, even if he had just robbed a store.

2. 
Jeezuz Christ a lot of people on this thread talk as if they were there. Wilson might be innocent. But obviously most of you have never seen the dark side of law enforcement. It's naive just to give the guy a pass without a more thorough and PUBLIC investigation. Another thing: The law of averages says that a lot of people on any message board have committed some unsavory acts in their time, such as: bullying, shoplifting, road rage, public fight, domestic violence, drunk and disorderly, driving under the influence, used illicit drugs, not paid child support... Shoot em all?

3.

[This paragraph was someone else's response. My response follows it.]
The Evidence supports the officer's story...Can you explain the powder burns on Browns hands? They had to be inside the police car, one bullet was in the lower side door, unless Wilson likes shooting his own squad car! Brown was a bully, just look how he treated the store clerk. There are a lot of other police stories that should be prosecuted, but when an officer carries out his duties like Wilson, he has to suffer the mob mentality, because the mob is always right!


MY RESPONSE:
He probably was a bully. Maybe he was a thug. But by law you don't get killed for those things. This hasn't been a transparent investigation and we still don't know the full story. We are getting what we're allowed to know. I mean, if you go off the stuff that's been released, you could also ask how, in the struggle, Wilson was able to wrestle the aim of the gun away from himself when Brown was so much bigger and allegedly the aggressor.

4.
[This paragraph was someone else's response. My response follows it.]
As a black male in law enforcement I have looked at this from both sides. People need to understand that certain actions have consequences. I hate that a life was taken. But reading some of the comments like the one from Tomas, only add fuel to a situation like this and is a reason why some minorities feel how they feel. Imagine the fear you have when some of these "thugs" harass you. For some this is the same way they feel.


MY RESPONSE:

I'm 55 and grew up in a very tough place. I've never been arrested but I've "seen it all." There are a lot of good cops -- I know that for a fact. You sound like one of them. But let's cut the BS. You and I both know there are a ton of cops who are thugs. I've known crazies who became cops so they could push people around. In fact, some of them were terrible thugs before they became cops. They saw it as a license to be violent. It seems to me that it is those bad cops who need to learn there are consequences... as soon as we install some.



Friday, November 28, 2014

BLACK FRIDAY BULLSHIT & THINKING FOR YOURSELF





I just posted the following on LinkedIn.com...

RETHINK IT

This will be brief. I visit this page to see who might have something mentally invigorating to say. And occasionally there is a tidbit here, a morsel there. But generally it's the same old guff about how to climb the ladder, how not to piss off your boss, how to be an "influencer," a "power player," a "success." All of which are defined in the saddest ways by the authors.

Today is Black Friday. Stick your head out the window and hear the hordes screeching as they storm the retail barricades. That should tell you all you need to know about our society's economy, obsessions, distractions, problems, self-image, priorities, neuroses, etc etc.

Too many (intelligent and well-meaning) people come on here and write about how to better play "the game." I say, don't play the game. They want you to think outside the box. I say, if you believe there is a box, you already have a bigger problem.

No time to elaborate now. And not really a need to expound. Do your brain -- and your life -- a favor. And rethink it yourself. What is "it"? Start there.

[Go HERE to see the original on LinkedIn.]


Take care,
Adrian


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

FUCK THANKSGIVING!






Nothing like a bit of profanity to seize a person's attention.

But seriously, fuck Thanksgiving, on behalf of the original peoples of North America. And fuck Black Friday for adding to our consumerist obsessions, the consumerist trap that grabs us. And fuck Black Friday for sneaking into Thursday and worsening the problem and stealing Thanksgiving Day from the exploited workers at WalMart, Macy's, Best Buy, Toys R Us etc. etc.

I think it is great to have a day for families to get together. But let's call it Families Day. Or Native Peoples Day. 

And when you do go to your Thanksgiving get-together and eat up big, be thankful for all you have and enjoy. Also be thankful that you're not one of the homeless or starving or forgotten of this world. Be thankful that you have a life worth living and the opportunity to help those less fortunate than yourself should you choose to do so. Yes, it is a choice. And yes, just doing what you are able to, big or small, counts.

So there are good things about tomorrow. Opportunities to realign our thinking and reflect on those things that really matter: people, love, sharing, empathy, compassion.

So fuck Thanksgiving and think for yourself. Kill the myth, murder the commerce, and ignite true caring.



Take care,
Adrian