Category Archives: National News

The Actor Who May Have Cried Wolf: Thoughts On the Jussie Smollett Case

When we were children, many of us were told the tale of the boy who cried wolf.

For those who were not taught the story, it goes as follows: a boy is charged with watching the sheep that belong to the people in his village. He sees a wolf and alerts the villagers, they are up in arms as a result of the claim. But the wolf does not appear. The boy continues to state that he has seen a wolf. As the days pass and the villagers keep hearing this, they ignore the boy as the wolf has yet to appear. When the wolf actually appears, no one believes the boy.

Last month, Empire actor Jussie Smollett accused two men of verbally and physically attacking him for being African-American and gay. The most recent development in the case is that Mr. Smollett is charged with filing a false police report.

While he continues to state that he was attacked, the evidence that the police have found state the contrary. There are rumors abounding that the reason for claiming the attack was that his role on Empire will be reduced or his character will be written out completely.

If it is true that the attack was a hoax and he paid his attackers, it is akin to a woman claiming she was raped when it was nothing more than a date or a hookup that went wrong. Hate and prejudice are very real in this country, Americans are verbally and physically assaulted everyday just for being who they are. Not only is this a waste of time and resources for the Chicago PD, it may bring up the question if charges of assault based on factors such as race or sexual orientation are real or just a need for attention.

I hope that Mr. Smollett has not cried wolf. But if he has, it sets a dangerous precedent will not end well for Americans of color and members of minority groups.

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New Randy Rainbow Video-BORDER LIES – Randy Rainbow Song Parody

It goes without saying that need for secure borders is a non-negotiable issue for any country. The question is, can the country’s current leaders go too far when determining the best method to keep the borders secure and protect the citizens who call that country home?

When you know who running for President in 2016, he built his campaign around a border wall that Mexico would pay for. Cut to last week, when he announced that there was a “national emergency” that required a border wall to stop illegal immigration on the Southern border.

In response to the “national emergency”, Randy Rainbow released his new video today. It is entitled BORDER LIES – Randy Rainbow Song Parody.

Using Madonna‘s classic 1983 song Borderline, Randy Rainbow uses the art of satire to prove once again why you know is ill-equipped to lead this country.

 

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The Real National Emergency is the Epidemic Of Mass Shootings

A year and a day after 17 innocent lives were taken during the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, another 5 innocent lives were stolen.

Yesterday, a gunman killed 5 people in a warehouse in Aurora, Illinois. The shooter (who will not be named in this blog post), was on the verge of being fired. The authorities have not released all of the details to the public yet.

Just before this shooting happened, you know who proclaimed that there was a national emergency on our Southern border. The only way to solve the problem was to bypass Congress and waste tax dollars on an unnecessary border wall.

The real national emergency is not on our Southern border, it is the epidemic of gun violence in this country. When it comes to the point of being afraid to go to work, school or live our lives because of the fear of gun violence, something has to be done. We cannot completely abolish the 2nd amendment, but at the same time, we need to make sure that those who have guns are doing so legally and are of sound mind. While authorities have not yet confirmed or denied that the gunman had mental health issues, it is one of the key components that have been the cause many of the mass shooting in recent memory.

I’ve spoken in the past of my memories of the day of the Columbine shooting. At that time, it was an anomaly that should have shocked the nation and our lawmakers into action. But it didn’t and twenty years later, we are paying the price in the blood of innocent Americans.

 

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There Is No National Emergency

In spite of America being the land of immigrants, there are many in this country who would prefer to limit who can come through our borders.

You know who is one of them. When he did not get the funding for his border wall by shutting down the government, he threatened to declare a national emergency and bypass Congress.

As of earlier this evening, the threat of using the “national emergency” has become a promise and with the backing of Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the bill to release the funds will be signed.

This “national emergency should be a concern for a number of reasons:

  1. From my perspective, Mitch McConnell is not agreeing to the bill because it is the right thing to do for the country. He is agreeing to it to save his own skin.
  2. The border wall is not only a waste of money and resources, and will not solve the complicated issue that immigration.
  3. The use of  the “national emergency” measure creates a dangerous precedent. It allows future Presidents to declare “national emergencies” for pet issues or projects when Congress says no.

We need comprehensive immigration reform, that is clear. But we must do so in a way that does not waste precious money or resources. This wall is a waste of both.

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Thoughts On the First Anniversary Of the Parkland Shooting

One year ago today, the students and staff of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School started the school day like any other school day. By the time the sun had set, 17 people were dead and many more were injured.

I’ve spoken in previous posts about my memories of the day of the Columbine attack. If only we would have done something back then. If only the gun laws would have been strengthened. If only our treatment of mental illness would have been different. Parkland and the other mass shootings that have occurred might not have happened. But we can only say “if only” in hindsight.

My heart still breaks for the families of those killed, the community at large and for the survivors whose lives were forever changed.

We need common sense gun control laws. While we cannot step on the rights of gun owners who follow the law and are of sound mind, we cannot continue to allow our children to be massacred in their classrooms.

May the memories of those who died one year ago today be a blessing and may we never forget the toll that gun violence takes on all of us.

 

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Thoughts On the Abortion Comments During the State Of The Union

During the State Of The Union on Tuesday, you know who spoke of multiple topics. He appeared to sound presidential, mature and professional, but as usual, the ten-year old schoolyard bully still made his presence known.

One the topics he spoke of was abortion.

It’s not surprising that he chose to spew lies about abortion.

While I respect my fellow citizens right to religion and speech, I cannot stand idly by while they force their world view on others who believe differently.

I want you to image the following:

You or a woman you love who is of an age to bring a child into the world (your wife, your sister, your daughter, etc) receives a heartbreaking diagnosis from her doctor partway through her pregnancy. The pregnancy is not going as expected. There are two options and neither are ideal. The first option is to end the pregnancy and try to conceive again sometime in the future. The second option is to carry the pregnancy to term knowing full well that the child, if they survive the birth, will not have an easy life.

I’m not a mother, but I can only imagine the heartache that goes with making this type of decision. The only comfort in making this heartbreaking decision is legal abortion allows the mother, if she chooses to end the pregnancy, to do so in a way that is safe and will not potentially kill her.

It’s not up the politicians (especially the male politicians) to decide when and if a woman should have an abortion. It is up to the woman, her doctor and her significant other/family.

No one should be forcing their views on others and no one (especially a man), should be telling a woman what she should be doing with her body and her life.

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Filed under Feminism, National News, Politics

Jussie Smollett Was Attacked For No Reason

Imagine the following if you will: you are walking down the street, minding your own business. Then out of nowhere, you are attached, called horrible names and have an unknown liquid thrown at you.

This was the unfortunate experience of Empire actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago this morning. The persons accused of the attack verbally abused Mr. Smollett with racial and homophobic slurs, poured an unidentified chemical over him and tried to lynch him. Thankfully, he is in the hospital recovering, but his attackers have yet to be identified.

This makes me angry and sad at the same time. It makes me angry because the people who attacked Mr. Smollett did so simply because he is black and gay. If he was a straight white man, I guarantee you that it would have never happened. They assumed that because he is who he is, they have the right to do what they did. It makes me sad because this is the America in 2019. It is still OK to verbally or physically harass another person because they are different. When will we, as a nation and a culture, get over that someone is different and just accept that difference? Is diversity as a concept and an act, so difficult that it is easier to put someone in a box and use that box as an excuse to abuse and attack that person?

I pray that Mr. Smollett recovers quickly from his wounds and that the authorities catch those who are responsible for his heinous act. I also pray that we one day learn that a human being is a human being is a human being, regardless of any labels or who one identifies as.

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Thoughts On the Government Shutdown Ending…For Now

The longest government shutdown in America is over….for now that is. After 35 days and 800,000 government employees missing out on two paychecks, you know who conceded and agreed to open the government.

The problem is that this is only a temporary resolution. If Congress and you know who cannot come together, the government will shut down again in three weeks.

At least he did not get his border wall.

After weeks of a stalemate on both sides of the aisle, the halting of a number of flights by the FAA at a number of East Coast Airports (including LaGuardia Airport in New York City), due to staffing shortage finally got the attention of those in power.

From my perspective, the administration is completely tone-deaf to the needs of American people. They want to accomplish what they want to accomplish and if there are adverse consequences, so be it.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross asked why furloughed workers couldn’t just go to the bank and ask for a loan to cover their expenses.

His net worth, as of 2016, was estimated to be $2.9 billion.

And then, you know who suggested that the grocery stores would be willing to “work” with the Federal employees until they receive their next paycheck.

These comments are tone-deaf, insensitive and is proof in my eyes that this administration no idea what the average American goes through on a day-to-day basis.

Just another reason for you know who to be a one term President.

 

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Perhaps We Jumped A Little Too Fast To Judge

A viral video is defined as the following:

A video that becomes popular through a viral process of Internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites such as YouTube as well as social media and email.

The latest viral video to catch the nation’s attention was a group of high school boys who appeared to mock Vietnam veteran and Native American elder Nathan Phillips as he chanted a traditional Native American song last Friday in Washington D.C.. The young man who is standing inches from Mr. Phillips and appears to be wearing a smirk on his face has been identified as Nick Sandmann.

Over the last day or so, more details have emerged about what really happened last Friday. Five men who are part of the Black Hebrew Israelite community taunted the boys. Mr. Phillips said that he stepped into de-escalate the situation before words turned into regrettable actions.

The Today Show aired the full interview with Nick Sandmann earlier today.

Right now, I don’t know what to think or believe. Regardless of whose side one is on, we all jumped a little to fast to make a judgement call without knowing all of the facts.

The problem with this quick judgement is that it reveals how divided this country is. It is those divisions that scare me and makes we wonder what we will say to future generations when they ask us about this era in American history.

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Thoughts On The Continued Shutdown and the Ban On Transgender Soldiers

We are officially into the second month of the longest government shutdown in American history. The stalemate on both sides of the aisle remains as the approval rating for you know who continues to drop.

The financial reality in this country is that many workers, in spite of having jobs that come with a steady paycheck, are within one or two missing paychecks of financial disaster. If the government does not open by Friday and the Federal workers who have been furloughed or working without pay do not receive their paychecks, it could create a financial ripple that affects every American household.

The irony about this shutdown is that it comes down to a disagreement about how to keep the country safe. The people whose job it is to keep us safe cannot do their jobs because they lack financial support to complete their jobs. FBI agents are complaining that they are unable to do their jobs without a paycheck or funding. 10% of TSA agents are calling out sick. They are the front lines of national security at our airports. How are they supposed to do their jobs if they cannot afford to come to work? A number of TSA agents have resigned or considered resigning out of sheer desperation.

Mitch McConnell could have ended the shutdown already. But he refuses to, blocking four bills that would have re-opened the government and supply badly needed paychecks to government employees. He is already laying the groundwork for a 2020 re-election campaign. If I lived in Kentucky, I would be thinking long and hard if he deserved my vote.

On top of this shutdown, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of barring Transgender men and women from serving in the military. Upholding this ban is akin watching a magician doing street magic using playing cards. The audience is directed to look at their left hand while their right hand holds the card that will “magically” appear from thin air. We are in the middle of a national crisis, those in power should be working together to re-open the government. They should be not banning Americans who are willingly going into the military, knowing full well that they may have to sacrifice their lives to protect this country. President “bone spurs” is one to talk about who should and who should not be in the military.

I feel like the country at this moment is at a fork in the road. We can either go one way and move towards the ideals created by our Founding Fathers. Or, we can go another way and remain a divided country where identity politics and labels rule over us. I just hope (hope being the important word in this sentence), that we, as a nation make the right decision.

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