Saturday, August 29, 2020

Do The Police Need Retrained?

      Any sane individual knows that Jacob Blake and George Floyd were not angels. They had criminal records. They were breaking the law.  
      But could the police have subdued George Floyd without kneeling on his neck for eight minutes?  Could they have subdued and arrested Jacob Blake and put him into custody without shooting him in the back seven times?  
      Speaking for myself, I want the bad guys caught. I want them arrested and put in jail, especially if they commit heinous and evil crimes, especially against women and children.  But I would think that the police would remember that they are but the first step of the justice system. Not the first, middle and last step of the justice system.  
       As I’ve said, this is not Megacity One and the police are not Judge Dredd. Google it if you don’t know who Judge Dredd was. (And no, I'm not talking about the bad 1995 Sylvester Stallone movie.😜)
       Their job is to catch the bad guys and deliver them into custody. Preferably in a condition so they can have their day in court.  Most cops out here just want to do their jobs and go home to their families. But do they need to shoot a man seven times, in essence, empty their clip to subdue them? Do they need to kneel on a man’s neck for eight minutes?  Why does it take six cops to bring down a man for selling loose cigarettes?
        I mean if the cops had just arrested these two and figured out how to subdue them without crippling and killing them, most folks wouldn’t have paid it any mind.  But why did these cops go straight for their guns and chokeholds bypassing more humane methods?  
        Was it in their mentality? Did their sense of survival override their training?  Did the adrenaline rush shut down their instinct? Or was their training just deficient? 
         I’m not a cop, and I know the majority of cops can go their whole career without pulling their gun.  And speaking for myself, there are some bad people out here doing evil things, but the greater punishment is for them to sit in jail, rotting away and ruminating on their crimes. #JustSayin

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Finding a Way Thru Covid.

      Honestly, I'm starting to think that we'll never completely get rid of this Covid bug. Eventually a vaccine will be developed (And Big Pharma will charge up the butt for it, citing "research and testing" costs 😆). 
       It may take a year or two for it to come out. But until it does, I think we'll be masking and doing the 'six foot' shuffle for a while. Definitely for the remainder of 2020. 
        Businesses will continue to suffer, the economy will undergo more fits and starts and we're going to have to find new and exciting ways of living, playing, and working. But give us humans credit, we are supremely adaptable critters.  We'll grumble, complain and bitch, but we will eventually get the collective brain matter together and muddle through.  
        Things will change and have already changed. Some things we'll have to let go, others we'll have to pick up and move forward. But while the interim seems like a royal pain in the ass,  if we pull together in the same direction, more or less, we might find a way thru all this.  
         Or the whole mess might collapse in on itself and take us with it.  It's up to us to choose which option we want to take.  #JustSayin

Monday, August 03, 2020

Looking At My 20's Through 57 Year Old Eyes...

      Question to my FB peeps. Honest answer, kids. How many of you think I spend waaay too much time living in my past?  Especially the six years in the 80's that I was in the Navy.

     How many of you say to yourselves "Damn, I wish Pierre would stop his incessant obsession with stuff that happened 40 years ago. Those days are long over! Water under the bridge! Get with today's world! He's more than the Navy! He's grown beyond it! Leave it in the past. Bury and don't dig it up again!"  Or has he? Has he grown beyond it?

      Please, give me honest, frank opinion. 

      My justification. Those years, frankly, were (outside of years in college in the '90's), the best years of my life.  Since then, I've never gone so far, experienced so much, learned so much about myself as I did during those times. 
      And in retrospect, when I look at that 18-24 year old times with 57 year old eyes, I realize that I f****d up those opportunities I had. I could have gone much further. I made so many stupid decisions. I did good, I had fun. I worked my ass off. I'm proud of what I did.  And I saw things a lot of people would have never seen. 
       But I could have gone further, seen more, did more. Outside of my college years, my life this far has largely been routine. Work, eat, sleep, exist, repeat. 
        I've got friends on teh Facebook who've made something of their lives. And are still doing so. To them, their 20's were a mere chapter of their lives. My 20's were the whole  damn book. Seems like everything beyond the years of '80-86 and '92-00 was just a muddled mess. 14 years of excitement and accomplishments amidst 43 years of...blah!!!  Aaaanyway, tell me what you think and be honest.  
        Brutally, if you must.

Friday, July 24, 2020

More Anthem Kerfuffle!

       People think the Republic is going to fall because athletes kneel at the National Anthem? If that's the case, this country is in  worse shape than we thought. Why do we need to play the anthem at every damn sporting event anyway? I don't need to be constantly reminded of where I live. I know where the hell I live.
        Hello! Six year Navy vet and 30 year blue cap member of the American Legion here!!!  I don't need it drummed into my head over and over ad nauseum. Just play the thing first game of the season, at the championship game and be done with it.  Or don't play it at all. I don't care!!!  I don't need the patriotic theater anyways!  And the country will survive! 

       Okay, tired cranky old veteran/squid rant incoming. Cover your eyes if you're not Interested. In the Navy, on every ship inport or on base, they would play the National Anthem every morning at Morning Colors at 8am (or 0800 for all you squids. If you're a Marine, that's when Mickey's little hand is on the eight and his big hand is on the twelve! 😆) 
      Basically an honor guard would raise the flag while 'To The Colors" and the National Anthem were played and the American flag was raised. Anyone outside had to stop what they were doing, stand at attention, face the flag or the music if there were no flag present and if in uniform, salute, or if in civvies, stand at attention and uncover and honor the flag. 

      I remember seeing people in uniform, enlisted and officers alike literally running into the nearest building when the music starts so they wouldn't have to be caught outside at attention and saluting for the five minutes it took to raise the flag. Familiarity breeds contempt.
      I've gone to sporting events and have seen people fidgeting, getting a beer, looking around, scratching themselves, checking their phones, going to the bathroom, yakking to their buddy during the Anthem, and many of these same people would kvetch up a storm if they saw an athlete kneel. Can't have your cake and eat it too, people. ☹️☹️☹️😠😠😠

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The End of the Great Experiment??

      If there's one painful lesson this COVID-19 bug is teaching us, it's that no matter how much blathering and bluster we spout about America being the greatest, the  richest, the most powerful, God's favored, and just simply the most awesomest country with which the Good Lord has ever chosen to bless this planet, as far as dealing with this COVID-19 problem goes? 

 We suck!

      Hospitals are still dealing with shortages of masks and other PPE's. Trump wants the schools open PDQ, and we have no idea how to balance the safety of students with the faculty and staff who support them. 
      States feeling public pressure to reopen their economies, do so, only to have to lock them down again when people decide to disregard the rules regarding social distancing and wearing masks citing a loss of freedom. 
      Questions abound about whether sports will be back and in what form. And whether we should even care.
      America has always been divided in one form or another since its founding. I mean we had a bunch of slaveholders write a founding document that proclaimed all men are created equal, except for the women they married and the slaves they held. Yet the recent protests and other unpleasantness has served to widen the divide. 
      Both sides of the political, racial and social spectrums are talking AT and PAST each other instead of TO each other. Doom and Gloom are trafficked far and wide on social media and in the news.  Our institutions are being pummeled by fear and mistrust. People are scared, tired, mad, and confused by the mixed messages they see and hear.  

      Could we be seeing the beginning of the end of the Great Experiment? #JustSayin

Monday, July 13, 2020

How God Talks To Me.

      You know, the capacity for humans to complain no matter the circumstances astounds me. 
       Case in point. My work schedule has changed a lot since this Covid-19 bug hit. I'm working double shifts, I'm not really a morning person, despite spending a large portion of my life getting up at 4:30 to spend 16 hour days cooking for a bunch of squids.  I have to get up 1.5 hrs before work to make sure I get my coffee and breakfast. It's a bit of a pain in the ass.
       My body has aches and pains galore. I'm still recovering from my recent hospital stay.   And I grumble inwardly when trudging to work. But then God has to put me in check sometimes. 

       He says, "Hey dumbass! You know how many people lost their jobs when their business shut down?  You know how many people had to go on unemployment?  You know how many people have to put their lives back together after this thing hit?  Do you know why I put it into your head not to have kids? Not to have a significant other?  You have it sooo damn good right now!  
      You lost your Theater Square site. BFD!  But you're now working security at UPMC. You're getting OVERTIME! You're working more hours now than you were at the beginning of the year! Your paychecks are BOOMING right now!  I'm keeping your ungrateful ass out of the hospital!  You could have had a bigger stroke than you did and be totally useless to yourself! 

      That's the way God occasionally talks to me, like an 80's RTC Great Mistakes company commander (Back in those days, they could cuss.) In a way that I can understand.  And he's right. I have it pretty damn good compared to others. It's not the ideal situation, the ideal life, but it works, for me, that is. Take whatever moral you choose out of this.

Friday, July 03, 2020

Lift Every Voice and Sing

      The NFL proposing to have "Lift Every Voice and Sing" played before Week 1 games, the headlines the media is throwing out there for the story is clickbait.  Lift Every Voice and Sing(LEVAS) is commonly referred to as the Black National Anthem.
      It, of course, does not have the same standing as the Star Spangled Banner(SSB), which is the official national anthem of the USA. However, many black folks, myself included, feel strongly enough about the words in LEVAS to treat it as our National Anthem, even to the extent of standing while it's played.  And instead of singing only the first verse of the SSB, Black folks sing all the verses of LEVAS. Because all the verses carry significant meaning to black people.  
       It is a song that describes black folks struggle and fight to be considered relevant in this country. It offers us hope. It praises the God who sustained us, and kept us fighting whether being enslaved, hung by a noose or being told that we must use separate facilities, or when police continue to abuse their authority and kill those they arrest. It is a powerful song that never fails to inspire. More white folks ought to listen to it. 
       In actuality, this scheme by the NFL, while well intentioned, is the equivalent of putting a Band-Aid on an amputation.  It's a feel good effort to act "woke." And I'm sure the NFL will find a way to make money off the whole thing.  
       But this is one small step. Among many. But, as the saying goes, the journey of a thousand miles begins with ONE SMALL STEP. We have come a long way, but we still have far to go. 

      All sides to look deep into their hearts. That includes black folks as well. How can we demand respect from everyone when we won't demand respect from ourselves?  
      How can we demand that police stop killing us, when we are still shooting each other over drugs, turf, and women?  How can we get out of our ghettos when the only ways out we offer our children is either as an entertainer or an athlete?
      Why are there more black men in jail than in college?
      Why are there so many black folks using smartphones and so few helping to design them?   I don't know. I'm but one voice and I don't know the answers.