Saturday, August 22, 2015

Violence Continues Against Gays, A Plea to Community

Another young gay man found dead in Indianapolis.

Please, wherever you go, be aware of your surroundings and who you are with. 

There are people out there that are looking to take advantage of you and do harm to you, and often because of who you love not what you have. 

Local and national news may never care about our young dead, but we do. Look out for each other. Speak up, with, and for each other. 

My thoughts and heart go out to his family, his friends, the community, and all those out there that feel afraid and frightened. 

Too often when our community calls the cops, we are not taken seriously. It can actually double down on the trauma and the harassment. Our missing aren't showcased on Nancy Grace, or much of anywhere because some think we have it coming. 

No one deserves this. If you think they do, you're sick and need help.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The NFL, Stadiums, Critics, and For Profit Status

As the first week of the NFL pre-season comes to a close, the rumblings of the critics regarding the celebrity and money can already be heard throughout social media. It's easy to hate on the million dollar salaries. I completely understand that, especially from those who have paid taxes to build stadiums that have supported the NFL and its 32 franchises. Stay informed, and, the information isn't positive across the board in every city and every area that is home to one of these 32 franchises.

The players and local teams are quite active, however, with local charities. If you happen to live in the vicinity of an NFL franchise, you know this as fact. Teams, players and coaches are out in the community donating not only money but time and energy to local causes. Also, the NFL, after 70 years running as a non-profit, finally will willingly begin paying taxes as a for profit institution this year. (Source:

That's not all that these teams and stadiums offer to the cities that are home to them. The local games do support local jobs, local tax revenue, local recreation and local relaxation. There are some stadiums that aren't as strategically located or as intelligently designed as to incorporate into a city's overall consumer and convention business plan. Those cities that have done the due diligence to directly link these stadiums into the life-force that is their downtowns have seen tremendous growth in convention business and in small business startups. 

Many of the players are actually well-intentioned. I've had the pleasure of meeting many of them over the years, as well as a few coaches, like Tony Dungy. I don't agree with Dungy on politics AT ALL, but him and his family have suffered greatly, as his son committed suicide, and personally, they were always very kind. I have seen firsthand how his family and all the players are hounded wherever they go, regardless of the personal tragedies that each might be enduring.

The players I knew over long periods of time were good people who contributed greatly to their community. People cherish these players, these teams, and those people support the charities those players and teams support. It's a pay it forward multiplied by all the fans of all the players.  

Does this all even out? I don't know. I do know the physical side effects of multiple concussions myself . . . without the benefit of the paycheck. The impact of multiple concussions is significant and long-lasting, maybe lifelong. 

So, I don't know if I'd take the admonishments of people that aren't well-informed over those that know the people involved and the medical issues that players are left with after the games are over. I certainly haven't benefitted from knowing the players or Dungy. Maybe others have, but I haven't witnessed that either. 

I do wonder if much of this is just jealousy of success and fame without understanding the costs of both. We live in an era that celebrates celebrity culture, but tears down individuals as quickly as they are built up.

I do know that these NFL players spent much of their childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood during college working their asses off in practice and in the gym consistently to become the embodiment of the perfection of physical human form in order to throw themselves into these stadiums for others to cheer them on when they succeed and tear them down when they fail.

For every single player on that field, there are countless coaches, teachers, principals, previous teammates, parents, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, churches neighbors . . . all of whom had a role in that player walking out onto that field. No one gets to where they are all on their own.

There's much more to this than the million dollar contracts and the multi-million dollar stadiums. I do think each city and each state has to balance the benefits and the costs to create the most effective symbiotic relationship that supports their community's overall needs. These partnerships should be exactly that . . . a partnership to build a better future for the entire community.
Sorry Bears fans

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Garbage Journalism: The New Era of Politics and Punditry

The manner in which the MSM is covering this race is truly despicable. 

They dismiss Bernie Sanders, they allow inane questions and comments to be made disparaging Hillary Clinton's character, they dismiss all other outlier candidates on the Republican side (Trump, Fiorina, Carson, Cruz) even though some of these candidates receive no serious questions or scrutiny when given reporter's are given the opportunity.

It's just a lot of garbage journalism. You can't even call it yellow journalism anymore.

I watched this morning as pundits and politicians would state lies or half truths about the Clinton email scandal, and then another guest would attempt to correct the record, and the host or moderator would stop them to try to clamp down or avoid the clarification. 

What the hell is wrong with the media today? 

The MSM has a want and a desire to let these questions to linger through the 24/7 news cycle for weeks and months and even years on end. This plays into the hands of political pundits and politicians alike. On Capitol Hill these politicians wish to play politics instead of actually to do the work of the American people to protect our military and veterans both at home and abroad as well as our foreign diplomats and embassy personnel.

Instead of the modern day version of journalism and the media asking questions and receiving answers, both politicians, public figures, and media all work together to obfuscate, obstruct and confuse the American public.

Without due diligence, patience and objectivity, it is difficult to sort through the slants and biases, the answers, non-answers, the non-question questions.

We have to ask more from those who represent us, but we must also ask more from ourselves and each other. There is no other way for this corrupt system to change. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Don't Blame All for One, Cops and Protestors

I've seen a number of unfortunate memes and comments in the last week after violence erupted in Ferguson, Missouri during the one year anniversary of Michael Brown's death. Whatever your opinions are of his death, these protestors are not just protesting his death but a legacy of harassment, intimidation, and a general lack of both accountability and responsibility by authorities against their community. 

The vast majority of these protestors have been and continue to be both peaceful and well-intentioned. They have a good relationship with the police that manage the ongoing situation. It's the influx of others that arrive to take advantage of situations and to instigate violence that are to blame. 

If you blame all protestors for the actions of a few, that would be like blaming all cops for a few cops killing unarmed citizens, wouldn't it?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Intentions Trump the Difficult Words of Others

It's a difficult world. It can be difficult to hear words come out of difficult to hear people's mouths. None of it really matters. In the end, it's how you think and feel about yourself and others that defines your life and your love.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Vets, Wages and the People in the Way

Some people in this country are just a bunch of angry, uninformed, uncaring pricks who would much rather have a few fight wars for them in the Middle East and not stay informed in what's going on in those wars. Then, when those who 'survive' do come home, the citizens do not hold their government accountable for taking care of their vets. 

When it comes to someone else, anyone else having a slightly better than horrible life where they work for a living, they'd much rather bitch and moan and stand in the way of that person's right to a living working wage, healthcare and a right to a good American life. It's far easier to attack those who are working 40, 50, 60 hours a week and who have no time to do anything else. It's far easier to attack someone than it is to understand another's life and perspective.  

Oh, and the striking difference in the parties on the latter issue is that one party will fight and fight hard to make a living working wage never happen and use vets as a rallying cry to make themselves look like they're strong on national defense when they're weak on veterans issues. 

Our vets languish in the worst bureaucratic nightmare of a healthcare system that is the VA while on the campaign trail the candidates all pat themselves on the back and protect each other and their pals from any undue criticism for their lack of results in fixing the VA and protecting vets. Meanwhile, our vets suffer. 

If a vet walks into the VA because he has trouble hearing, what do you think they tell him? They don't say, 'Let's get you a hearing aid' . . . They tell him, 'You can learn to read lips because there's nothing wrong with your hearing.'