Tag Archives: ABC news

The Problem With “Female Bodies and Alcohol”: Stop Framing Campus Sexual Assault As A Drinking Issue—Agree To Disagree A Critique

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

We will do anything but teach alcohol education, consent education, legal definitions of rape… Also addressing changing public attitudes on key social issues like criminal responsibility while under the influence of substances, ‘I was high’ uttered by defendants or victims in court meant to explain why the gas station clerk was heinously shot during the commission of a robbery you admit to participating in, doesn’t cut it anymore. ‘I was high’ is no longer an excuse to why you can’t account for your whereabouts on the night in question for a crime to which you have pled not guilty, no longer explains away the vicious beating of your girlfriend. Bad trips, laymen’s terms for bad illegal drug reactions, have ceased to be an acceptable reason eliciting leniency from judges, jurors for extreme vandalism or otherwise seen as random attacks of persons on the streets, stopped being a blanket understood concept of ‘how can you expect me to be responsible for what I did,’ years ago. ‘I was drunk,’ long abandoned as a believable defense when causing death or injury to people with your car, motorcycle or boat, any kind of motor vehicle. And following historical lines in the modern era is fast becoming less of an excuse why it is ok to be judgmentally impaired enough to think raping someone is ok, then actually doing it. But equally for victims, it is unacceptable they can’t remember significant events surrounding the incident due to, not the drugs in their system, not the thing someone slipped into their drink, rather their alcohol consumption, again not liquor they were plied with by a predator, even coerced into drinking via peer pressure, ever popular drinking games everywhere you turn in college, instead willing alcohol ingestion, type of liquor (usually hard liquor) they indulged in. Nor is it wrong, seeing what’s clearly going on, to put out pamphlets talking about alcohol, even one titled ‘Female Bodies and Alcohol’ bullet pointing facts that weighing less, having less muscle mass than men and a different hormonal makeup, more hormonal fluctuations than men you metabolize alcohol differently may, and probably will, feel it’s effects sooner and more acutely, therefore need to drink accordingly. Neither is it overly condescending to begin a guide “We like to think men and women are equal in all things, right,” because they’ve been brought up all their lives to believe this, which socially is true and a message very much needed; however, that doesn’t apply to science, physiology, the basis for their information. Men and women are not equal when their bodies process alcohol…Gaging then campus response, appropriateness of that response is to likewise remember, even post Todd ‘legitimate rape’ Akin, how many high profile sex assault allegations, on campus rapes have been proven false, utterly made up. Going all the way back to the Duke lacrosse case to present day stories like Jackie’s, subject of the since retracted Rolling Stone article…And when it comes to athletes, high school, college and beyond they are natural targets due to their social status, wealth; Duke’s accused played lacrosse, Brock Turner was what, a swimming star, Steubenville assailants later convicted played what, football, the Massachusetts case receiving similar sentencing and attention involved a high school basketball star mirroring Derrick Rose, following in the dubious footsteps of Kobe Bryant off the court and found not liable in is on sex scandal case plays what, basketball. Now this could just as much be about athletes who think, because they are brilliant with a ball, gifted in a sport they are god and have narrowed their perception to seeing women as objects, or it could be some women are looking to be with an athlete, mad about rejection, seeking money. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle differentiated on a case by case basis. Prime example, convoluted story of Brian Banks, charged, tired and convicted as a promising 16 year old up and coming football star, sounds an awful lot like Steubenville doesn’t it; eventually cleared after 10 years, 5 in prison, 5 on parole, contact with the Innocence Project and an accuser recant, finally getting his dream football chance. Welcome to what victims, authorities and the, trying to discern it all, public are up against…. There are a thousand and one things wrong with how universities in general, Stanford specifically, handle sexual assault, handle under age, binge drinking, any issues cropping up involving mass student safety, learning and enrichment; this guide wasn’t one of them. Discouraging fellow members of the swim team, counterpart members of the women’s swim team from writing their own victim impact statements to the judge describing their own strange, creepy, uncomfortable encounters with Brock Turner, possibly speaking to sexually predatory behavior, evidence society may need to watch him long after this incident, proof he perhaps belongs on the sex offender registry rockets to the top of the list… UVA’s ‘don’t go to frat parities’ mandate stands out as the most condescending and offensive to women. Or officials blaming the campus newspaper for their decreased reporting in sexual assaults post their publishing stories of an associate professor’s sexual harassment and assault of students; University of Kentucky staff at The Kernel (the publications name) put forth it’s the exact opposite, more people are coming to Kernel staff because they distrust the university, awareness and reassurance it’s not their fault, they can speak up and receive support, justice helps too… But backing up a step, where are the fundamentals of personal safety, party safety, bar safety, concert safety we’ve tried to drill into our citizenry, focused on this age group, people who regularly frequent above venues? Let’s too dismiss the notion general party, personal safety rules, regardless of the guide’s wording, what it covered, is sexist; watching your drink, monitoring it being poured, not leaving it alone, applies to anyone looking at the increasing numbers of homosexual, bisexual, transgender, non-traditional encounters, situations showing that as the increasing norm… . To that end what were you doing, in the case of Brock Turner’s victim, unconscious behind a dumpster; not because you had been hit over the head, physically assaulted, robbed, not because you had something dropped into your drink, suddenly had a medical episode, heart attack, seizure, asthma attack, succumbed to meningitis you thought was the flu, are homeless and want a place un-harassed by the mean public to sleep, but because you had had too much to drink, have/had no awareness of alcohol’s effect on your unique body?… Massachusetts high school basketball player convicted of raping 2 girls and receiving only probation depicted 2 girls having gone to a bedroom to lie down, reading in between the lines, to sleep it off, and being penetrated with his finger as they slept. He denied touching one girl at all, apologized to the other as well as telling the court when she didn’t protest, he thought it was ok; victim precipitating his light sentence via her impact statement saying he didn’t want to ruin his life, didn’t think jail time was necessary, hints the light sentence everyone is blaming everything from bad judges, to ‘rape culture’ to ‘white privilege’ for. Except, rewind what were you doing sleeping in some strange house, post a house party, crawling off to a room surrounded by people you barely know, don’t know at all, drunk people you barely know, don’t know at all, likely without telling a soul where you were going to sleep thinking you would be safe?…Bringing us to St. Paul’s prep school and Owen Labrie, less about alcohol and more about non-existent safety instincts…You met a boy you were chatting online with, who went to your school true, on the roof of your school; online to real life meet up’s 101 meet in a public place, then later go on a date alone once you are around person X, sense if he is a threat or not, if he is who he says he is unlike the BYU student who met with and was then raped by a guy who lied about everything—age, marital status. Agreeing with the Salon link below, it has to be about women trusting their gut, young women developing that gut, those sets of protective instincts… lone felony related to using a computer to lure a minor, divulging the path to his lighter sentence. Vanderbilt’s headline making rape case, unquestioning these young men were despicable, especially confronted by accusations an ex-boyfriend orchestrated the whole thing, the 2 photo takers didn’t step up and ask what are you doing, hey stop this, sentence more fitting for the last one to be convicted, seeing the singular reason we know about this is surveillance footage. Yet we come around again to the redundant question of what were you doing so drunk you passed out to the point they could carry you around, drag you back to his room and not once did you wake up; remembering there are accusations the former boyfriend orchestrated and manipulated things, part of that manipulation however wasn’t drugging her drink…. common denominator alcohol, way past too much of it combined beside terrible instincts; underscoring the crystal clear, none of these excuse rape, should never excuse rape, but going back to dissecting the base article, certainly explains why there is such a guide, why Stanford is trying to limit alcohol and focusing on alcohol at all. It bolsters it was written exactly as it should have been, sexist, condescending or not, judging by behavior exhibited here…. It’s blatantly obvious we will do anything but talk to our kids about culturally relevant developments regarding drinking, particularly binge drinking, dangers of alcohol poisoning, party culture, sex, consent, even what constitutes a healthy relationship then we want to come down with the fury of god’s own thunder on young people, young boys/men repeatedly for things they didn’t do or say proliferated by social media in addition to legal charges they face…. First seeing widespread evidence of just that when the Steubenville saga began; Michael Nodianos’ sickening ranting video about an incident he wasn’t part of was attributed to both him as well as Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays, though they never said any such things. Likewise every mean tweet calling her a wh*re, death threats for daring to charge her attackers that came from others landed on their shoulders….amplified when Ma’lik Richmond got out and his lawyer said patently offensive things upon his release from juvenile detention talking about how hard things had been for him…Forgotten, that’s his lawyer and part of his lawyer’s job in a high profile case like his is to present his client in the best light while he Ma’lik Richmond kept his head down and his mouth closed, no hint of criminal activity ever again years later. Identically Bock Turner’s father makes a comment about his son’s sentence, sex offender status, lifetime ban from swimming exc. being a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action and all the sudden we see the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, exactly where he got his views on women and sex, but he’s held accountable for his father’s words, he doesn’t control, the judge’s sentence he didn’t have anything to do with other than writing a statement, something every defendant in his position has the opportunity to do; no he’s not. He is solely responsible for what he did and the impact it had on his victim, society, more than enough to contend with… Because it’s not as if we’ve ever misconstrued a situation, more information through greater investigation trumped admittedly preliminary speculations on crime X committed by teen Y featured on the nightly news; wait that’s every modern case for 2 plus decades if it involves the latest heinous, depraved thing done by children/teens, drunk/high college students… On the other side a court just found Rolling Stone liable for the defamation of UVA’s college dean in reference to their story later retracted story “A Rape on Campus” and what happened to Jackie…. We will do anything but teach whether that’s sex education that includes conversations about healthy relationships, consent, too many conservatives afraid what students will actually learn about their own bodies… In direct opposition to alcohol education and how what you drink, what type/kind of liquor you consume affects your impairment level, we would prefer to stick to don’t drink your underage, don’t drink and drive you’ll die, because it’s simpler for us, doesn’t cover nuance or conflicting messages; never thinking to teach responsible drinking in preparation for when they are legally able to drink. In light of legalization in an increasing number of states marijuana education a-la what Colorado is doing, broadening it to a comprehensive explanation of the differences between all illicit drugs, their addictiveness, their danger to your body, impact of prescription drug abuse, instead of treating all illicit drugs equally, as the same kind of off the charts horrible, when teens find out that’s not true discarding every other thing you said. Oh no, absolutely not, on the contrary one California mother and police officer didn’t want her state to legalize pot because it will be more prevalent and challenging for kids to say no, though the legal age for recreational use will be identical to alcohol 21, most states have decriminalized 1-2 joint amounts, “there will be more people driving DUI, losing their lives”… Stanford bans alcohol in X quantity for select younger students, no one ever putting together k-12 education stops at 18, college students will turn 21 before graduating, maybe we ought to educate them on the differences in types of alcohol, gender differences and alcohol. Floating so much as the idea people getting sick, falling down, slurring their words is not responsible drinking; responsible drinking… returning again to the base article critique the author talks angrily and incredulously about, “What is frustrating in these ongoing campaigns, however, is the tone is almost always focused on what women can do to not get raped instead of how men can conduct themselves to not rape people.” As if it’s the simplest thing in the world, as if no decent person should ever have to be told this and it’s a sad commentary on society we do, when it’s so much more nuanced than that; here being where feminists and women’s rights activists earn parts on their bad name… 99% of the time we aren’t dealing with future sexual predators, budding serial, habitual rapists as much as drastically uninformed, misinformed young people; even Brock Turner whose behavior points to that possibility, it’s hard to know if he would never have done those things with a father who said more than his measly sentence was a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action. Ma’lik Richmond told the ABC interviewer what he thought rape was, jumping out of an alley and attacking a girl, forcing yourself on her in that context, saying he didn’t do that, elaborating later he didn’t rape anyone, see a rape going on and if he had seen one he would have stopped it. David Becker the Massachusetts high school student found guilty of rape sincerely told the judge he thought his victim’s lack of protest meant it was ok; if we want men, young men specifically to stop raping people, not to be rapists we have to give them an accurate definition, picture of what that is in all it’s facets, something we have yet to do, never mind effectively… We don’t have a rape culture in America we have a consent ambiguous culture whereby rape remains a crime on the books that is dutifully enforced, cases prosecuted and rapists put in jail every day; our problem is narrow social definitions of rape that haven’t caught up to real life scenarios, federal definitions and recent court cases…We operate on the ignorance is no excuse understanding to ensure ‘I didn’t know that’ doesn’t become a legal defense for any number of obviously illegal actions, stealing, killing, physical assault, rape where the person is fighting you, screaming, no, begging you to stop. But is it time to reexamine that in the shadow of Zach Anderson, what really happened in Steubenville, details surrounding David Becker producing that impact statement and persecutors went ahead with the rape, not a lesser degree charge, anyway, when adults are as unaware as their teens and teaching them wrongly, when education systems don’t, won’t teach these issues from a legal perspective believing it’s a family thing, the province and purview of parents to teach these values according to their moral compass, religion?… Surely we can and should do better by both women and men.Read More

This Is The Future Of Our Elderly, Disabled And Hearing Impaired To Be Beat Up, Shot At And Killed By Police

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Public awareness of these frightening, horrific and uncalled for encounters with police by the differently abled, possible dementia cases, developmentally delayed and deaf persons really began on a national scale highlighting what happened to Marlene Pinnock, 51 at the time, allegedly stopped by California highway patrol for walking unsteadily and too close to busy freeway traffic; savage beating by patrol officer caught on passerby cellphone initiated when she purportedly would not comply with instruction to come with him, taken in for her own safety. Short while later released from mandatory psychiatric hospitalization, exhibiting no signs of cognitive impairment, dementia, mental instability, emotional distress, no evidence there had ever been such symptoms; making the officers claim seem bogusly made up, an excuse to beat her for non-compliance. Independent having broken no laws, not being found violating any city, county, municipality ordinances, sans having any outstanding warrants and no real danger to self or others, there was no legal obligation for that compliance. Next galvanized in an Indian grandfather visiting his son thrown to the ground and partially paralyzed owing to he fit descriptions reported to 9-1-1 of a suspicious person and didn’t speak English well…It both follows and is followed by cases like an older homeless man in Florida harassed and assaulted by law enforcement for simply trying to use bus terminal public toilets, including an open handed slap loudly heard on captured cellphone video and literally shoving him into brick pavement, officer getting more belligerent than his ‘loitering perp’ swearing when the latter asked not to be touched, then roughly hauling him away….Nothing seen as more despicable ordinarily than picking on the mentally ill, developmentally delayed; equally understood, challenges faced by officers dealing with mentally ill individuals in potentially dangerous situations. Yet that doesn’t explain how unarmed Ezell Ford, known throughout his neighborhood by everyone to be a bit slow, have mental health issues, ended up shot in the back, if he was such an overwhelming threat to police. Especially when they encountered Ford doing standard neighborhood patrol, deciding he was suspicious, for avoiding them and having his hands in his pockets, hiding behind cars present area wide when scrutinized; cops then chase and grab Ford, him grabbing back, wrestling match ensues, officer statements alleging Ford tried to pull one officer’s gun resulting in both officers firing their guns, one being a back-up weapon. Eye witnesses contradicting polices’ story saying he was shot while laying down, another claiming to have heard an officer shout “shoot him” before Ford was indeed shot 3 times; encompassing noted controversial single shot to his back, found to be at close range evidenced by its distinctive gun muzzle imprint on/in the wound….Unexpected dangers encountered being a cop certainly doesn’t nullify hearing about the unnecessarily lethal outcome of a man, suspected schizophrenic and bipolar, whose mother called police during pre-dawn hours of one morning because his behavior increasingly scared her; when they arrived he began wielding a broom, standard household variety, and confrontation ended with him shot dead. Surpassing what threat Lavall Hall represented waving around a described old red broom with straws against cops carrying guns and perhaps tasers, is police weren’t unfamiliar with Hall, the home or family address; why, Hall was documented mentally ill, had been out of a psychiatric facility barely a week. In fact they had been to her home and escorted him to that mental health facility the week before, him having been properly released from in-patient care which is how he came to be back in his mother’s home. Worse his mother calling them believing, not that her son would be shot, arrested, manhandled, merely taken back to the previous facility, perhaps kept longer this time… Family lawyer’s hope, to see changes regarding how the mentally ill are treated; equally hoping law enforcement there will adopt the FBI’s standard system approaches when confronting, handling emotionally disturbed, mentally ill individuals. Those high on drugs representing a persistent problem for law enforcement, carrying the same unpredictability, penchant for possible public and officer injury, such as the woman who frantically dialed 9-11 driving on a highway in her car because her son was hallucinating, violent, threatening to both self as well as others after taking synthetic marijuana. Strangely 1:48 seconds into physical efforts on the part of officers to control him, restrain him he says ok, I quit; as in I give up, still tased another 4 minutes…. Only after he stopped moving completely did they notice he wasn’t breathing; her son ending up dead at that very scene, simultaneously an officer heard on body cam footage saying dude, I’m fired man, at another point high fiving fellow officers once he’s loaded into an awaiting ambulance. Worrying about your job not the 30 something year old person, who was conscious and physically well when you arrived, if not coherent, who is now not breathing, soon to be pronounced dead; story breaking May 20, 2016. Officers facing no suspensions, hailed to have done the right thing since Chase Sherman, death ruled a homicide by virtue of the number of taser activations and crushing weight compressing his torso, remains an identified perpetrator, not the victim, police officials naming officers and his parents victims of him having taken illegal/unregulated drugs… Overshadowing core issue of drugs doesn’t unravel what police were thinking handling transpired events unfolding in final video here, also surfacing this year, showing Virginia man Linwood Lambert in route to a local hospital for evaluation after responding officers found him in a trashed hotel room hallucinating and acting paranoid… Things go wrong however at the hospital entrance area where he kicks out the police car’s window, begins running to escape police, making it to hospital doors, banging his shoulder into them before being tased repeatedly, falling to the ground, admitting to having done cocaine, asking why they were trying to kill him, complies with instructions to roll over, tells them as he moves he’s trying to roll over, remember he’s handcuffed. But instead of being escorted into the hospital for medical treatment, mental evaluation, given a room/bed in which to come down, sober up (medical version of the city/county drunk tank) they load him back into the car, tase him at least once more, upset he refuses to sit up, despite both hands and feet being bound, in route to the precinct; plan, book him for their car’s vandalism, Lambert having stopped breathing at some point during his ride. Prosecutor calling police actions incompetent and negligent still deciding against filing charges predominately because his cause of death is listed in autopsy documents as acute cocaine intoxication, not noted taser wounds implicating police conduct in his death. Nor did they show intent to commit felony level crimes, misconduct…Chronology of police inexplicable, jaw dropping behavior culminating in footage of a black man lying on pavement, on his back, hands exaggeratedly up in the air announcing he is a behavioral therapist for a group home and the autistic man he is attempting to help, bring back to his care facility is merely holding a toy truck, only to be shot anyway. Even more astounding is why, both why police were called to the scene and why an officer took a shot at the man trying to help his developmentally challenged charge, how doing so got him shot in the hip….Ultimately the officer firing his wounding shot doing so because he thought said autistic man represented a threat to the prostrated man on the ground… shot fired partially due to confusing, conflicting information regarding what was actually happening on the side of that road, in that parking lot; audio revealing one officer thought, the autistic male 23, was loading up his ‘weapon,’ scene chaos and consequences resulting in the scene commander’s expedient firing compounded by fabricating his police report… Mirrored in stories like our next one, police shoot deaf man who leads them on minutes’ long chase to his front door, then as he tries to use ASL (American Sign Language) to communicate is fired upon, killing him; that’s their story and they’re sticking to it in North Carolina where the young father’s family and community want answers. Daniel Harris’ alleged heinous crime, mandating he be shot dead in his own driveway feet from his home, failing to stop, be pulled over for a speeding ticket….Unknown is if officers tried to use a bull horn, turning their lights on and off to get his attention, as opposed to the familiar rotated flashing of those light-bars affixed to hoods on traditional police cars, important considering somewhat common knowledge flashing lights are adapted to phones, doorbells, smoke alarms to alert deaf persons to incoming calls, visitors, and fire providing another way to get his attention. Did the car that pulled over Daniel Harris have a routine bar of lights or was it newer configurations with flashing lights in a different place, similar to where they would be on police motor cycles, built into the headlights of an SUV type vehicle, making them less likely to be seen when you can’t hear. Did they pull up alongside his car, letting him see the lights, uniforms, motion for him to pull over, try to pass him, get in front of him, lights flashing, alerting him maybe cops need to talk to him, are trying to interact with him, before just following him?… By this time you were probably shouting orders for him to put his hands up, get down on the ground, answer your questions; did you not catch minor details e.g. he was dazed, confused, clearly not comprehending what you wanted from him, translating in your mind to he was either drunk or high, which would also explain the speeding. Indicating you should slow down, be patient, cautious yes, but defaulting to your gun, no? Did he at any time point to his ear trying to tell you he either couldn’t hear you, didn’t understand you, perhaps, though he appeared Caucasian, default assumption automatic US citizen, he doesn’t speak English? Educated guess no on every count because it never entered their mind the person driving could be deaf/hearing impaired, that hearing impaired people do drive…Beyond the pallor attached to ideas exposed in the previous paragraph, police now shoot drunk or high people, those they merely suspect of being drunk or high, as they did with Daniel Harris, because they don’t want to deal with them, they are at fault, guilty, underserving of being treated like a human being, let alone a citizen, due to being drunk/high, are worthless drains on society due to their intoxication/addition, forfeit their rights by abusing alcohol, being addicted to drugs. Understanding that’s not how policing should go, officers are not to be judge, jury and executioner, drugs aren’t new, difficulties in handling persons high on an ever changing array of substances isn’t new; what is new is police impatience, defaulting to their guns in handling people obviously impaired, the social narrative resurfacing past ‘the war on drugs’ making that impairment why misdemeanor criminal X is dead during routine interactions with police, graduating to upstanding members of our citizenry…. Nevertheless Chase Sherman and Linwood Lambert are dead because both had a bad drug trip in the presence of law enforcement, also not new occurrences for police to come across; one continued to move trying to escape pain and discomfort from a taser, being cramped in a back floorboard, at one point sobbing. And the other, already observed to be paranoid, got scared, broke a car window and tried to escape into the hospital he was being escorted to, taser deployment making him think you were trying to kill him and he still follows instructions, but gets tasered again because he won’t (can’t) sit up trussed up like Sunday chicken, mainly because you are annoyed, he represents an inconvenience, more paper work you have to file….Drug addicted, influenced and impaired people can be brought in alive, safely to either face trial for use, possession of illegal substances, criminal acts to support a habit, violence, vandalism, property damage committed in an altered state, or better still, receive help; we saw that when the DJ Avicii concert devolved into a bunch of molly hopped up kids too intoxicated to get into the venue who were then taken to Boston hospitals, none died unless it was from chosen drugs, despite one person it took 4 cops to subdue, as little as 2 years ago. Bath salts ‘excited delirium’ cases who were successfully apprehended alive and only suffering effect of the substances ingested do exist; as do K2 users rounded up by the cops, like the 30 odd zombie-like people wondering Brooklyn New York… Pepper spraying an 84 year old grandmother, we can all agree on how over the top that is can’t we; especially when she’s not even the target of police investigation, arrest, when officers kicked in her door, the door to her rightful residence. Try telling that to Oklahoma police, heightened absurdity looking for a man who ran a stop sign, then fled police running into her home. Even if they thought his running a stop sign meant he was a wanted criminal on a much greater crime as opposed to he just didn’t see it, being black knows the reputation of police nationally, locally and doesn’t want to die tonight, even if they though he ran into her home looking to barricade himself, take hostages, which sounds like something out of an action movie, not reality, saw it as a rescue mission for home owner X… Assuming police get it right in the first place which they always don’t; how many times have they gone to the wrong house for a drug raid, bounty hunters looking for a bail jumper accosted the Arizona police chief. In another case police got the wrong house answering a 9-1-1 call about a woman screaming; according to occupants police didn’t announce themselves, shone a light into the couples bedroom window, their dogs were ‘going crazy’, husband grabs gun, goes to open his garage to see what has his dogs upset, thinking potential intruder no doubt, is shot by cops. Or the man who calls 9-1-1 to report an attempted car-jacking, robbery against his wife, grabs his legal pistol to defend her, is shot by police mistaking him for the perp, despite giving a clear description…they didn’t (get it right) in Victoria Texas circa 2014 when an officer pulled over, then tased a 76 year old man for a non-existent expired sticker violation accusing citizen X of getting nasty with him even though citizen X was driving a dealer car exempt from current inspection sticker statutes, realities he tried to point out to the then 23 year old officer fired early 2015, planning appeal. Only to be hired approximately 2 months later by a different police department…Policing doesn’t have to be, shouldn’t be shoot first and ask questions later, nor does it have to be a constant nerve racking set of unknowns once you are on scene…Read More

Back To School Means Back To Shenanigans The Political Correctness Clint Eastwood Should Have Been Worried About

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Instead it’s the standard go to these days clothes, school dress codes and general polices on everything under the sun putting small area, key city schools on our national radar, garnering national attention for becoming more fascist and Nazi-like every year to some; to older, more traditional minds rolling their eyes bemoaning they had to add yet one more item to a banned clothing list, school administrators had to hammer out yet another policy on issue X because parents can’t employ common sense, if it’s not written down as a firm no, parents think anything goes. School in all facets fast becoming a topic tradition of mine, every graduation season inspires vivid commentary on anything but inspirational speeches to combat further coddling, cloistering of young people about to be smacked by the real world where you don’t get a trophy for everything, you don’t get points for just showing up. Alongside graduation nightmares spawned from clothing that shouldn’t be objectionable suddenly being put on a no, no list, parents showing up in the exact same attire as clever, justifiable revenge; dress code parameters for select, specific occasions that might as well have been written by their parent’s grandmothers mentioning sausage rolls to describe body fat, telling young women to keep the girls covered and you can’t put 10 pounds of mud in a 5 pound sack purportedly trying to speak their language to convey what is appropriate and what’s not. All because they feared stage placement would have people looking up girls’ short skirts, but the self-described ‘impressionable’ girl (18 and now an adult) speaking up is over sensitive and completely unprepared for real life; while her school, who should be leading by example, shows no class and gets away with it. Eagle feathers and other cultural, religious symbols banned from graduation tassels, gowns of individual students, one school barring their valedictorian from speaking due to his goatee facial hair; ironic we want boys to grow up to be men, men to act like men and emasculate them at the same time. Graduation ceremonies marred by racial slurs, overtones, one school outing their valedictorian to his father when he dared include that in the last seconds of his speech he was then banned from giving because it mentions him being gay. Speaking of parents, coveted parent involvement, a school superintendent who threated to have arrested excited parents cheering their child walking across that stage; desired charge: disturbing the peace. Others locked out of an overfilled auditorium due to ticket mix-ups; a 5th grader in a wheelchair forgotten at her elementary school graduation, no handicap accessibility provided, even leaving her name off the list of graduates. Likewise I have joined a chorus of fed up Americans, parents and non-parents equally, tired of schools shaming girls for simply buying their clothes off available racks at Target, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, JC Penny in appropriate size and age groupings, leaving it to parents to draft petitions about where is the fabric in girls’ clothing, clearly showing how much there is to boy’s clothes. Never adding their voices to said petitions just chastising parents for letting their child wear ‘booty’ shorts, more proper name daisy dukes, a bikini top to school (oh the horror in no air conditioning schools where you go outside to adjacent buildings for art, music confronted with hot, humid air)… news watchers remember the Utah school who edited yearbook photos without student/parent consent or notification based on moral compunctions of perv-y, white, religious minded men, blue haired old ladies and clique ridden year book staff despite a parent who took 2 students to orientation/registration and didn’t see any supposed sign announcing no sleeveless tops, visible bra straps, school reserved right to edit inappropriate pictures. Utterly stupid in summer where sun dresses, sleeveless shirts are worn for comfort in hot weather and bra straps, by the laws of physics, can be seen wearing a standard t-shirt, never mind U-neck popular women’s shirt styles (see screen shots) you can’t escape buying today. Reinforcing ideas, boys soon to be men, aren’t to control themselves, women are to cover up; girls, women are sex objects even in middle and high school, don’t want sex, propositions for sex, flirting, comment, cover up… So it’s no surprise dress codes made news again this year at the start of classes or that, as Yahoo’s article below states, dress codes right out of the 1950’s are popular with administrators and terms they use to define appropriate and inappropriate; latest round’s racial targeting found in banned hairstyles, items and ‘fashion trends’ lost on all of no one. Out, corn rolls (again you know persons writing this are out of touch when they don’t know it’s corn ROWS) twists, dreads, Mohawks, fro-hawks, ‘afros’ must be no longer than 2 inches, no jewelry to be worn in your hair, prompting one mother to call out their blatant racism, banning things unequivocally worn by mostly black students, eventually resulting in a slight change of policy eliminating statutes on aforementioned styles. Nor is it close to the first time said policies have come down on racial, ethnic minorities or become absolutely unenforceable….And then there’s the second Yahoo link complete with blow up screen shot below depicting posters informing Illinois middle school students of their dress code; Yahoo author commenting on their 1950’s language and attitudes. Lady-like and school appropriate on 2 headless women wearing nearly the same thing but the ‘revealing’ ‘distracting’ ‘dress code violation’ one was deemed so apparently because said girl chose to wear a see-through shirt over a thicker solid color one revealing nothing, or was it that her shirt wasn’t oversized enough to cover formfitting, ‘revealing’ parts of her leggings; you can’t tell truthfully. Beth Greenfield far from alone in her assessment decrying this throwback flyer and dress code, “Wow, Freeburg’s been invaded by Maoists,” noted one…while another posted the image of a flyer which read, in part, “I am a 15-year-old girl. If you are sexualizing me, YOU are the problem.” 15-year-old spot on, both Greenfield and cited psychologist questioning why; “all the women are drawn “with cleavage,” and “voluptuous,” when the flyer is meant to target middle-schoolers. “Even the way they depict women’s bodies is sexist.” Others penning sarcasm to make their point; “Who in their right mind would aspire to have schools as they were in the 1950’s? When the quality of education/teachers were better….students were held strictly accountable for their behavior……parents cared about how their children performed academically and behaviorally……….and reading, writing, and arithmetic took priority over social indoctrination, and political correctness…..classroom size didn’t matter, and teachers knew how to control their classes.” None of which has anything to do with the topic, over the top dress codes, and what is more 1950’s than parts left in the natural hair issue school’s dress code stipulating no 2 toned hair, males may not dye their hair and it must be no longer than their collar, bangs no lower than top of eyebrows. Butler school in Kentucky, check the calendar it’s 2016…. what we really want to know is where was Clint Eastwood talking about this, talking about educating a child’s mind is more important than what is or isn’t on their body?… where was he calling out old fuddy-duddies about dress codes in public schools; where was he calling out the ridiculousness of polo shirts and leggings on a sweet middle school girl getting them thrown out of class?… Dress codes should be: are they wearing clothes, then they can come to class; students looking to protest should merely come to school in their underwear, socks, shoes, bras for girls alerting these tightwads nationwide their attire will change when dress codes are amended to the above sentence period…. Pledge of allegiance back in the news this year too for variations on redundant, reoccurring ‘reasons’… Pulling us up to current fracas around our pledge, predictable Fox News showcasing a letter from one school sent home with students allowing them to opt out of the pledge and one corresponding parent’s asinine response, ‘this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read and I’m so ashamed of this;’ panel going on to detail proclaimed ridiculousness of an opt out form despite their own references to a 1943 ruling by the United States Supreme Court saying firstly, the fixed star in our constitutional constellation was you could not force people to confess their faith in orthodoxy, policy, nationalism exc. Translation they possess 1- constitutional, confirmed by Supreme Court, choice to not stand, not recite the pledge, no official, independent rank, high, low can compel them to; further, there must be written notification of the opt out option finally signed by parent or guardian. So represented Florida school, recognizing turmoil about the pledge, probably at stated request of a parent, whole groups of them, followed Supreme Court guidelines in offering an alternative…. No panel members understanding how serious an issue it has become for students, less centered on bullying by their peers manifesting in prolonged, lasting injury and more dangerous bullying by adult, school authority they have little recourse to fight back against. When a teacher can demand you stand during the pledge or be suspended for 2 days, receive 2 more days suspension for every day you don’t stand, chiefly because you defied what she believed to be her authority, weren’t falling in line with whole class, whole school group-think, oblivious to how her actions looked compared to dictator countries Saudi Arabia and North Korea quoting the Secular Talk radio host describing what happened to a high school young man in Texas. When a school nurse can say to an 8th grade student you refused to stand during the pledge of allegiance, I refuse to service you; girl in tears, denied first aide, medication access, whatever she came to school nursing staff for, proceedingly barred from calling her parents before receiving a stern lecture. Which is not only a violation of the conditions of her employment failing to do her job, it constitutes a violation of medical ethics stating you treat the patient in front of you, going against probable portions of the Hippocratic oath. Saga exacerbated and elongated when a guidance counselor stepped in, they no better informed about basic constitutionality saying she didn’t have to say the pledge but should stand in the hallway until its completion. David Packman show clarifying she certainly does not have to/need to stand outside; delving deeper into that 1943 case and its ruling, not only can students not be compelled to say and stand during the pledge, there cannot be repercussions visited upon students who don’t, putting both school officials in the extreme wrong… Identical principles hold true about how we discuss certain issues, how we frame certain conversations by the words we use, actively don’t use, enact change to positively alter society’s use of words counter to social order, function, equality; why we stopped using the N word, negro, adopted native American over Indian. Call someone gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender respectively as opposed to queer, fag, homo, transvestite, cross dresser, butch, carpet muncher, promote majoritively accurate sex education and proper names for body parts; encompassing reproductive organs, sexual activities. Why president Obama sought to remove the word retarded replaced with developmentally delayed from government documents; our evolving vernacular depicting what is socially acceptable to talk about, to say, how you say unpleasant, uncomfortable things, better address sensitive issues as much a part of the American fabric, American tradition as apple pie, baseball. Somewhat perplexing then why Fox News, surprise, surprise seems profoundly bewildered by that evolution reflected in a university’s notice to faculty advising them not to use words like crazy, psycho as it is offensive to people dealing with mental health issues, warnings not to out someone’s transgender identity, abstain from asking said persons about their ‘real name’ or surgical status and support students stated gender identities letting them know they should choose bathrooms corresponding with that identity…Largely gender identity related discussed parameters highlighted by both New Mexico university and Fox News streamed lined with the Supreme Court’s legalizing same sex marriage, countering exposed homophobia behind bathroom bills exploding this summer, that it was an end run around select North Carolina municipalities adding sexual orientation and gender identity to anti- discrimination statutes. Other states following their horrible bathroom bill example, Texas GOP members apoplectic calling it the end of public education when president Obama stepped in saying there will be federal guidelines allowing gender identity bathroom use to students in a place they are mandated to go 5 days a week to receive an education. Their lieutenant governor who can’t handle a tolerant, common sense set of “Transgender Student Guidelines,” fostering a “respectful and trusting” transgender student policy. Except to them, upholders of bathroom freak outs, Fox News, constant disparagers of this generation, our young people it’s representative of the extended coddling college culture of safe spaces, trigger warnings and political correctness gone wild; however, their mocking tone, laughing and segment title to mind your political P&Q’s indicates exactly why such parameters are needed. Forgotten, experts said the same things regarding mental illness in the final Sandy Hook report after Adam Lanza killed 26, most children, openly speaking about stigma surrounding these illnesses, opposed to cancer patients, diabetes sufferers, often preventing people from treatment, medication, causing people to fear both. Society’s use of words like psycho, crazy, cray, cray for persons who may be mentally ill; worse our too casual use of those same words not to indicate medical, mental health diagnoses merely describing those odd, unusual, unique or different, perception mental illness is as contagious as a cold, the flu, when it’s inherently not. Except, beyond safe space, trigger warning, free speech zones that are anything but, being transgender is about waking up one day and deciding your transgender, i.e. female instead of male, so you can use the woman’s bathroom and harass them, hit them up for sex, see partially naked women. Narrowly considered, were their theory correct, transgender males, biologically female could do the same harassing, making feel uncomfortable males hit on, propositioned for sex in Men’s rooms America wide; neither happening to date, if ever. Not about spending a lifetime feeling like you’re in the wrong body, enviously looking at girls wearing dresses, long hair, pretty outfits, feeling in your head, your heart that should be you too, feeling male, wanting to stand up using the bathroom confused as to why you have to sit, why your anatomy doesn’t match your mental image of yourself, terrified about gaining breasts, having a period. Instinctually knowing you don’t have a safe place to go to the bathroom because facilities matching your anatomy feel wrong, yet you’re nervous about those of your gender identity finding out you’re not like they are, harassment you’ve probably been subjected to trying to use either restroom….but telling New Mexico university students gender identity bathroom use is supported on campus is out of line, unnecessary, too much political correctness…. Just like an Arkansas Catholic school for boys, who teaches the importance of ‘soft failures’ posting a sign on their office door as follows: “If you are dropping off your son’s forgotten lunch, books, homework, equipment, etc., please TURN AROUND and exit the building,” the sign reads. “Your son will learn to problem-solve in your absence,” assumes student’s implied poor problem solving is directly resulting from helicopter parenting, helicopter parenting is the sole and singular reason parents bring items to their kids at school; during this day and age going viral. Ignoring, what, are you going to have school security escort out parents deciding it’s their child and they make the decisions not you, resort to calling police to gain compliance from parents with your new policy, how fast you won’t have a school if you go that route; you’ve forgotten parents who bring their child’s hockey, lacrosse, baseball gear to them after school for practice less because of their irresponsibility and more because you know if you do, it will remain in your child’s possession the entire time, less likely to be stolen, expensive equipment won’t be damaged, mandate replacement jostled repeatedly on the school bus (think hockey sticks). It’s what we say about driving all the time, it’s not you, you have to worry about but everyone else on the road; it’s not your kid you don’t trust, just everyone else maybe not raised with the same values you raised your son, especially if you’ve had problems with theft before, broken sports gear before. Their supposed to be cleverly worded sign assumes the child forgot, not you arranged to bring their science volcano, solar system model, history diorama to school so it wouldn’t be damaged on the school bus either; because after taking your hard earned money to buy the supplies, the multiple tries and several kitchen disasters to get the volcano to work properly, you’ll be damned if it gets destroyed before your child gets their hard earned grade… Obviously remarking on an era of ‘bad’ parenting, so called helicopter parents who want to swoop in and fix everything, never let their child fall or fail, protect them from everything brushes off other characteristic ‘bad’ parents, the flake who forgets everything themselves, assumes there’s that word again and what is it they say about making an ass of themselves, the parent showed up to correct, remedy their child’s mistake not their own…. Surely they have poorer students, families even attending probable tuition based catholic schools, parent working multiple jobs, where they told you they needed index cards for their research paper, would be given points for bringing, showing their teacher the index cards and you only had a chance to buy them, get them on your lunch break, just got paid and told your child you would drop them off before X hour class when required. And it’s not a soft failure for a child to flunk a class, the entire grade for the love of a paper left in their room I can bring them, left precisely because of it being such a huge portion of their grade, anxiety about how much is riding on that one thing, their little brother got ahold of their backpack not because it was left somewhere haphazardly but because they had to watch them while I worked late and do their homework at the same time, their sibling is 2 and doesn’t know any better; it too conveniently precludes identifying/helping students, families experiencing problems, needing help or needing you just to leave them alone, stop lumping them in with today’s cultural stereotypes. Backpack with important project left at grandmas because she’s ill, needs care, doesn’t qualify for a nursing home, we don’t want to put her in a nursing home, stumbling out of there at midnight when we got her to bed, us exhausted; Catholic school being an extension of the Catholic Church committed to representing god, helping others exc. that matters more. Precludes help reaching a child with noted memory issues, who may need to be seen by a neurologist, learning specialist even late diagnosed in high school, high school sometimes in smaller, parochial schools, select areas encompassing what would be middle school grades elsewhere; how well did that hard line work with famed Harry Potter character Neville Longbottom, hint it didn’t. Except similar to the discarded dunce caps, we know better than a fictional wizard school stuck in the 1960’s; at least we’re supposed to, capable of acting like it…. Stanford‘s ban on hard liquor follows typical collage policy mixed messages saying publicly they want more responsible adult students acting their ages as opposed to closer to their shoe sizes while simultaneously assuming the same fragility on both sides alleged discussing the New Mexico university parameters on offensive statements, smacking of mounting hypocrisy they want to change campus party culture, limit risky behavior, preludes to binge drinking by refusing to allow hard liquor, refusing to deal with something; knowing roughly 5 years ago college policies managing drunk students was to call their parents to deal with it… it’s better to ban hard alcohol. It’s better to ban hard liquors than it is to institute alcohol education realizing k-12 school ended at 18, drinking age is 21 and they’ll reach that on your campus, teach the difference between beer and Smirnoff Vodka…It’s better to ban hard alcohol than to teach student party goers of both genders, remembering rape isn’t limited to females, heterosexual encounters, party safety lest you be either victim or accused; beyond things like minding your drink for drugs persons might have slipped into it, not succumbing to pressures to drink more than your comfortable with, knowing your own personal alcohol limits, how alcohol affects you. Putting forth drinking till you pass out isn’t normal, acceptable, an ok part of party going, don’t drink until you pass out because it makes you more vulnerable to becoming a victim, makes you unable to remember the next morning what you did the night before, rendering you less able to recount what happened if you are a victim, participate in your own defense if you are the accused…Yet it’s better to ban hard liquor, wrongly presuming college kids don’t get drunk on beer, wine and wine coolers, mixed drinks made from wine or beer and soda, orange juice, playing drinking games, aforementioned beer pong, than it is to have and open honest conversations about what consent actually looks like, its legal definitions rather than the social gray areas these students, all of America have grown up with… Closely connected, having an open honest conversation about what rape really looks like that it’s more than jumping out of an alley and attacking a girl to quote later convicted Steubenville rapist Ma’lik Richmond, who followed up saying I didn’t do that…. 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“When I Grew Up, Those Things Weren’t Called Racist”: Clint Eastwood On Why He’s Voting For Donald Trump—A Critique

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Who could forget last election cycle Clint Eastwood’s, viewed strange, monologue recitation to a chair meant to represent president Obama? Where he, among general observations standing out, mumbled frequently and filled gaps repeating the word uh a lot; impersonated our sitting, then up for reelection (obviously), president interrupting him, telling candidate Romney, our intrepid speaker of the hour both to shut up at several points. Purported the suggestion Mr. Romney go f- himself; imaginings president Obama told Eastwood he too could go f- himself at another juncture, after saying something he wouldn’t like…People back then generating predictable mixed reactions, from viewers, analysts who thought it was republican swill to about time, a larger swath seeing the prolific actor, director, even composer as fragile, senile and out of his depth. Yet, considering Eastwood’s personal politics, shaking off reserved shadows once again sharing his views, it was little surprise he was back this year commenting on, even going so far as to assuage people’s curiosity telling readers he was voting for Donald Trump; however, it was his additional comments on society today that raised eyebrows. In an interview for Esquire he said of Trump and current culture in general, title lines spawning Salon’s piece and subsequently mine: “When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist.” Pontificating everyone was walking on eggshells and how Trump was onto something because people are secretly tried of political correctness, kissing up, calling such actions the kiss-ass generation, elaborating: “we’re really in a pussy generation.” Not included either by Eastwood himself, the Salon or Esquire authors so much as a singular example describing exactly what he alone has been called out for regarding racism, sexism, what he believes are over the top examples of political correctness calling something racist or sexist when it isn’t. We could be talking fan uproar swirling around black Hermione in stage adapted Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which was actually more about author JK Rowling’s character/casting inconsistencies, constant contradicting trickle down information pieces, characters’ background tidbits that don’t match series norms never mind shattering fan generated images accompanying their beloved Potter-verse. Or we could be talking substantive elements, without more information we’ll never know…or doesn’t recognize it, partly due to his age, times he did grow up in, where American once was. Renowned actor breaking down his thoughts on Trump comments voiced disparaging the judge overseeing Trump University lawsuit proceedings, calling attacking said judge’s Mexican heritage and suggesting that renders him unfit to decide outcomes pertaining to his case from a fair, legal-based standpoint merely a stupid thing to say. Directly afterwards highlighting both sides say a lot of them (stupid things); stating everybody, press were making a big hoodoo out of it when they should just f-ing get over it…We can’t just f-ing get over it because, he isn’t you, he isn’t just an actor, a however good one with untold credits to their name and a stellar reputation. He is vying for the highest office in the land, completing job application materials toward hopefully becoming commander in chief demanding a higher standard of conduct, conversation; and he speaks this way about our melting pot country, on countless fundamental topics not simply immigration…. . Unfortunately, we can’t just f-ing get over it; we must repudiate it because, Trump has already gotten as far as he has encountering few stumbling blocks. Because it sounds too much like Phil Robertson, who closed 2013 comparing homosexuality and bestiality, as if they were one in the same, and said he never saw an unhappy black person picking cotton circa the Jim Crow south. His failure to recognize, in his decrying entitlement, welfare, purposefully creating a population of second class citizens, second class human beings with whites only eateries, public restrooms, drinking fountains, public bus seats, schools was, is and always will be wrong. Reiterating, Donald Trump’s comments, satisfying though they may be to his avid listeners, were and always will be wrong as well, regardless who endorses them, supports them, and by extension him, encourages others to do so…. Confronting Eastwood’s asserted assessments, dismal stated descriptions of current American culture, it’s not rampant political correctness gone awry, social sensitivity run amuck hamstringing people so completely they can’t tell the needed, uncomfortable truth to expect people running for public office, particularly our nation’s highest office, reaching bona fide nominee status, certified by voters, to have their facts straight… Nor is it political correctness on steroids, gone horribly wrong, kissing up, walking on eggshells to dare require of political leaders, known names, influential persons understanding their words have increased power, significant weight. To that end, they should be careful with them comprehending; quoting Hillary Clinton, words matter. Following up another Salon piece challenging Republican surrogate Anne Coulter needs a dictionary along with her nominee, exclaiming words mean things. Added to their list ‘sarcasm,’ ‘rape’ and ‘legitimate,’ focusing less on whether Trump confused sarcasm and hyperbole, ‘just kidding,’ ‘obviously I was joking’ and ‘I was being sarcastic’ can’t be excuses for ideas, suggestions he’s put forth publicly talking, however quasi seriously, to America’s citizenry or foreign governments, leaders alike… We are not living in a kiss ass, never mind pussy generation to be taking stock of our wars Afghanistan, Iraq, Libyan intervention and the cost beyond dollars. Thinking maybe we should do something different, maybe if we stopped bombing their country they would stop trying to kill us. Or, on the other hand, seeing on nightly national news evidence supporting chemical weapons attacks on Syrian civilians and we do nothing because it’s too expensive to get involved, we’re weary of the fight? Syrian kids creating their own no-fly zone burning tires while apologizing to environmentalist for global impact saying we abandoned them. Here at home taking stock of our political discourse, social conversation and the divisiveness, unrest it leads to, social injustice it allows to continue festering… Eastwood eerily close to mirroring Trump, synchronized on how they view government function, how to get maximum function out of it; evidenced listening to his monologue 4 years ago Salon link below illustrating quite nicely both are utterly clueless…. Except they correctly explicate what flies over the heads of both Eastwood and Trump, America’s government is not a corporation, a president is not CEO and he can’t wave a magic wand, bombastically declare from a speech podium, floors of congress what he wants done and expect worker bees to scatter in all directions hastily making it happen. That description belongs to a dictatorship al-a Vladimir Putin, Kim Jung Un, government controls in China; although, who exactly did talk about shutting down ‘that internet thing?…. Now this time around Trump his, CEO of a company ideas, is the candidate; Scott Baio and Antonio Sabàto Jr. speaking to their generations, Willie Robertson to his all supporting a guy who doesn’t know how the government works. And, Salon hitting another nail on the head, since people listen to actors, television personalities more than they listen to high school civics, social studies, history, government teachers, we’re poised to elect someone, by choice, who doesn’t know how the government works; scarier than Clint Eastwood’s hair, voice, strange monologue, political persuasions or the reasons for them…
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Dallas was Wrong But Completely Unsurprising

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Echoing, Baltimore, Ferguson what did you expect; 2 people gunned down savagely by police with badges and you didn’t think there would be a reaction, a response, predictably a violent one, retaliation aimed at officers? commiserating with citizens over their justifiable anger toward police after a grand jury declined to indict the lead officer responsible for the chokehold ultimately killing Eric Garner. Where we had video showing exactly what the officer did: initiating the pile up atop a man trying to walk away, saying please don’t touch me, asking over and over why police were bothering, harassing him, later smiling and waving to present cameras after seeing the man he arrested carted off in an ambulance unresponsive, exactly what Garner did: passively pulling away, growing agitation not violence, his labored statements repeating 11 times I can’t breathe while officers continued to kneel on him, hold him down, press his head and body into the sidewalk. And again no charges; replacing charges, the unmitigated gall of a police union representative trying to insult everyone’s intelligence by calling what one of their own had done a seatbelt maneuver. Going back a short ways again to Ferguson, when bumbling Mayberry-esque law enforcement top brass couldn’t even get their stories straight on why they stopped Michael Brown, was it jaywalking or was it he fit the description of robbery suspects potentially guilty of stealing $4.88 in mini cigars, let alone why a lone officer pelted him with bullets, the last literally blowing off his forehead. Didn’t stop them from releasing an inflammatory video of a person committing a strong armed robbery speculated to be Brown; then seeming genuinely confused regarding why they had people looting everything that wasn’t nailed down… The only reason Michael Slager was charged in the savage, man with a badge, induced death of Walter Scott was because civilian video shows him running away and Slager lying through his teeth about administering CPR, rifling his pockets instead; the only reason the other South Carolina officer, who shot a man in the hip, was removed from his department and charged is because his own dash cam shows the man non-violent, actually following officer instructions to show license and registration. Both arrests the products of public pressure, intense scrutiny and protest to hold police accountable than an inherent understanding what they did was wrong, should never have happened. Video not always working to bring justice, glaringly obvious in the death of Tamir Rice, independent of a patrol car rolling up on him and within quite literally 3 seconds they open fire, despite 12 year old Tamir being alone in that gazebo, only after video came out did they say they told him to put his hands up, drop his ‘gun’ from the car; one guesses because there was no audio and other people in the public park it gave the grand jury reasonable doubt, translation the redundant no indictment… Speeding us toward right now Baton Rouge Louisiana, Alton Sterling suddenly tackled to the ground by police, held down to the ground by 2 officers, one pointing a gun at his chest yelling, using expletives, threating him not to move until the other officer yells gun, 2 distinct pops and Alton Sterling is now expediently dying on the parking lot pavement…A single day later Philando Castile’s deadly traffic stop live streamed on Facebook by his girlfriend as it happened, as Castile groaned in pain and bled out right there while the officer continues to point his gun at her awaiting backup. Why, because the officer mistook Castile for a possible robbery suspect and panicked when he reached for his ID as instructed all while trying to tell the officer he was licensed to carry and had his legal firearm on his person, in his vehicle; Minnesota, like Ohio, home of Tamir Rice, being an open carry state presence of a gun shouldn’t have ended like that. A day after two more black men succumbed to the looming danger of jittery patrol personnel former Army reserve Micah Johnson takes up multiple sniper positions killing 5 police officers present in solidarity with protesters, wounding 7 other police members and 2 civilians in Dallas Texas…. Compartmentalizing for a moment getting serious about the ongoing wars we fight, waged for years, seeing no end in sight and the toll it takes on good people sent to fight them, scars left on them not erased by returning to their home geography, reentering civilian life, lasting effects we don’t have a process for mitigating, treating or have outlandish expectations as to how well it works….are police always so unprepared; by the time we had gotten to the Eric Garner grand jury decision paralleling the death of New York officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu police retaliation wasn’t new or unheard of in the wake of video gone viral putting on display police brutality, excessive force adding up to needless civilian death? At the same time the named officers were ambushed in their patrol car L.A. had already seen a cop shot at, Ferguson had already erupted once, would again when Darrin Wilson faced zero incitement and a Florida officer was killed under similar circumstance; far from random, New York and Missouri explained, L.A. a direct response to the released autopsy report of one Ezell Ford developmentally delayed, shot by police, medical examination finding one shot was to his back, at close range leaving powder burns in the wound and inciting the public, nation too focused on Michael Brown to string together the pieces… Further Dallas is a huge metropolitan metropolis housing exponential numbers of tall buildings and it took it happening before you look up and think someone might do this, aptly named skyscrapers make ideal, prefect sniper perches; compounding what can only be called police shortsighted stupidity at our reading juncture, you have Dallas police chief David Brown scrutinizing positions of his dead officers calling the landscape adjacent to the shoot out a fatal funnel meaning their sniper took more time analyzing the area than they did when it came to where they should place officers, precautions they should take in the event of a protest disturbance, actual riot or active shooter situation—huh?.. Why are police always so flummoxed when confronted with criminal work arounds to achieve their goals, not necessarily in the heat of the moment believing there was more than one shooter, but in the immediate post analysis, the mistaken idea no one would ever take up a sniper perch at a protest, there aren’t civilians who possess requisite training to pull off such a plan and the persons who hold aforementioned training are not unstable enough to do so, earnest in their assessment nothing like that would happen during a protest scenario? Every assumption utterly false considering the sheer amount of returning soldiers, and all their problems, coming home in the last decade…. And in light of extensively listed facts and practical realties regarding scenarios various police divisions, law enforcement specialties should be fully aware of, the best thing they could do to disarm, neutralize the threat this guy presented to cops, protesters and citizens below was to, for the first time ever in U.S. policing history, send in a robot armed with a bomb to blow him apart?… Reading up to our current paragraph illustrating it goes beyond black lives matter, really incomparable to all lives, blue lives matter because it isn’t just coming to the understanding black, minority lives are also human lives, not the animals they have long been portrayed as, the understanding black, minority lives are important, more so now with them continually under siege…about correctly identifying, to a reasonable standard, what is a threat and what’s not, what is a deadly threat and what is a more moderate type of threat; it is coming full circle reaching the realization when shown a picture of a black person, seeing a black person walking down the street they are not a thug, they are not a gangbanger, drug dealer, shifty criminal about to commit petty theft, simple assault, because they sag their pants, wear oversized clothes, have necklaces around their necks and name brand sneakers. They are not, if female, a prostitute working the corner based solely on her clothing and location, they did not steal it, i.e. the car they’re getting into, because they have nice things, they aren’t necessarily out of place in that neighborhood because it is upscale and they are black, they are just people going about their business like you do when off duty, during a traffic stop, legitimate questioning by police, even situations as deadly as Dallas, they are not an exaggerated, elevated threat because they are black… Alton Sterling wasn’t a thug, a gangbanger, drug dealer, a hood rat, a hardened, habitual criminal; he was just a guy trying to earn money the only way he could, money intended to support his children not buy drugs, get high, spent on booze. Philando Castile had no criminal record absent a sizable collection of traffic stops and citations, half of those 52 amassed in the maximum 16 years he possibly had a driving license dismissed once reaching court…Philando Castile wasn’t violent, a thug, a gangbanger, miscreant, had a job, as a school cafeteria supervisor where students described him as Mr. Rogers with dreads…Prevailing attitude remains, there’s no need to change police culture regardless of we have a man, a civilian putting out video on how to survive a traffic stop, not departments nationwide who have seen this, unfortunate in their eyes, type of shooting happening with alarming frequency….When Senator Tim Scott, singular black republican, must resort to testifying on the Senate floor about times he has been pulled over throughout his life focusing on the 7 times in one year because police did not believe him to be the elected official he was to get his fellow republicans to comprehend then contemplate the clamors for mandatory and immediate criminal justice reform, reigns put back on our policing…Then over the weekend following one thwarted attempt to kill Baton Rouge police a man succeeded in ambushing, killing 3 cops and wounding at least 3 others; president Obama making clear it can’t be open season on police, there is no justification for targeting police and justice on their behalf will be done. Quick rebuttal being why not Mr. president, it’s been open season on us for years going all the way back to Rodney King…
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Brexit Buyer’s Remorse, Calls For A Do Over A Cautionary Tale To Americans Considering Their Own Elections?

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Impact felt immediately as world stock markets tumbled after the profound uncertainty of an outcome every educated person looking at it said wasn’t likely to happen; comment from one British analyst: they lost more in one night than in 15 years of payments to the EU, the pound cratering to a 31 year low against the dollar…Worries there, now former Prime Minister Cameron was onto something when he forewarned of a possible self-induced recession, the UK representing the largest to second largest, depending on source, European economy, thought being where they go others will follow or be caught in the undertow; thinking not limited to economic realities, who could be hurt in the interim 2 years it may take to engineer the UK’s lengthy, complicated, convoluted and, complex EU exit, who could find themselves in dire straits as the UK implements Brexit, shifts from EU guidelines, regulations and laws to exclusively UK ones. While worries in America center on their own coupled with global financial markets, stocks tumbling for 2-3 days straight, 401ks, retirement accounts losing up to $5,000; market uncertainties not going anywhere knowing as, stated, it could take up to 2 years for the UK to process its formal, official I’s dotted, T’s crossed exit. Down the road issues of trade, alliance on a global political scale, what the threat of a breakup of the UK, more likely the EU, means for global security, a constant American concern as definitive global leader in shaping worldwide events. Real trepidation is reverberating through Europe other countries will follow suit using Britain’s example, that it could reach so far as to divide the UK itself; Scotland for example, overwhelmingly voting to remain in the EU, already having held their own internal referendum seeking Scottish independence from the UK in the not so distant past. Defining catalyst behind forming the EU was to shape a post-soviet Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall, moving from vision to existence a unified Europe for the benefit of participating nations pillared on ‘four freedoms’ of: movement of goods, services, people and money; emphasizing these are small counties land mass a faction of the United States, populated landmasses in Canada, Asia causing a coalition, unification like the EU to make sound sense allowing people things, workers, service to flow freely in such close quarters, increase trade, lower costs, completely disconnected from the elitist power play, better to go it alone lines fed to the people. Processing the leave vote, worries there may be significant problems operating their national health service as it depends heavily on other EU members for doctors, nurses, support staff…foreshadowing for Americans if they continue to blithely listen to Donald Trump and like-minded persons, is hearing people’s explanations behind their vote, thought processes, lack thereof resulting in the shockwave magnitude world consequences; comments like they didn’t think their vote would count, thought their vote insignificant, they didn’t really want to leave they just wanted to make a statement, shrugging it off saying they could always vote differently next time. Right after the vote’s announcement the most googled thing from there, what is the European Union, what does it mean to leave the European Union; shouldn’t that have been a topic you were googling before you cast your ballot, whichever decision you made? It’s like watching a montage to the uninformed voter, would be funny if it wasn’t so serious…British born comedian John Oliver never letting up on Britain for their monumentally stupid decision, quashing calls for a revote with this succinct line: there are no f-ing do overs, sentiments needing to be prevailed upon the public prior to election day obviously, realization coming too late; the punch in the nose, mentioned during the first set of videos at the top of the piece, coming to the voters who thought this would solve your problems. Politicians lied to you, shocker—that’s what politicians do; they said the 300 million pounds going to the EU daily would go to the NHS, strongly implied it, and it didn’t? Except anyone having passed high school level government 101, knows the excess money not used by countries in paying bills, seeing to operations, funding various programs is usually funneled back into generic government coffers and there are no earmarks; someone please tell me if UK democracy, democratic republic structures are that different…What could this mean for Americans poised to make their own decisions, we can’t keep buying into the Trump mantra of making America great again by dragging back jobs from China, Japan, Mexico, everywhere when existing trade deals, trade memberships like with the WTO, stand in the way. Moves away from them could mean drastic ripple effects not singularly for us but other westernized and developing nations alike. We can’t buy that one liner realizing it doesn’t matter how many jobs he might bring back with different deals if it translates into making enemies out of people we must trade with, equal world players, superpowers holding their own weight to throw around who can make things infinitely worse in trading with the United States, if animosity is the ‘weapon’ of choice, and most importantly, when we don’t have the skilled workers waiting to fill those suddenly available jobs. Young people today seen as being pushed away from dirty jobs, working with your hands, Mike Rowe and Bill Maher fond of saying “we can’t all be the person drawing on the cave wall,” the former saying we need people to do something, forever sounding the alarm about the skills gap still failing to understand what’s truly behind it. Young people are going in different directions to follow job landscape shifts yes however, also possessing different talents and seeking out different places to ply them; regarding America, business, including the remaining facets of the manufacturing, skilled trades, construction, exc., failing to be candid and forthcoming about their need for workers, the academic subjects needed for success in field X paired with places to receive training…As the child of a blue collar, unskilled worker, a parent who did factory work, who grew up as part of the transitional generation between pencil and paper, the typewriter and the computer, smartphone, tablet, information age I’m struck by one fundamental question, why can’t we understand industry, working, job markets have changed…e last time industry kept pace with service was in the 1880’s…tasks, technology experts predicting a drastic shift in the face of what future work looks like. Leading my analytical mind to a single set of follow up questions, where is the revitalization of steal towns, coal towns, rust belt areas to match the changing job landscape whether from the government or neighborhood by neighborhood renovations instigated by the people? UK or America, if you don’t like your neighborhood can you mobilize people and supplies….imagine if some of those older citizens in the UK seeing the younger people on street corners offered to teach the knowledge, skill they worked in for years…Read More