Sunday, May 31, 2020

Flint Michigan Sheriff Puts Down Baton and Walks With Protesters

This one made me cry - but in a good way :)

THIS is how you handle crowd protests/avoid riots ...

That is Genesee County Sheriff, Chris Swanson, in Flint, Michigan. 

"The only reason we're here is to make sure you've got a voice.  That's it.  Don't think for a second that he represents who these cops are, from all over the county, and around the station.  We go out there to help people, not do that nonsense ...we want to be with y'all, for real.  So I took my helmet off, we laid the batons down.  I want to make this a parade, not a protest ... Listen, I'm just telling you, we cops love you. That cop over there, hugs people."

The crowd started chanting, "Walk with us! Walk with us!"  ... and so he did :)

THAT is  a good cop, Ladies and Gentlemen - doing exactly what other good cops should be doing, right now - and I firmly believe it's what Christ would do, too  :)

(Photos courtesy of the Detroit Free Press) ...

We actually know someone on the local police force in Flint, retired FBI, part-time officer, but I don't see him in the photos - perhaps because this was the Sheriff's office instead.

And though not many, there are more ... this is the Coral Gables Police Department in Coral Gables, Florida ...

PS - Note that if you look for the Sheriff Swanson video on YouTube, the second one down, at least from my view, is titled "Swanson is a traitor."

Let's pray for Swanson, now, I'm sure he's under fire - and for whomever published that next video (and others) who are Exhibit A examples of bad cops, ladies and gentleman. 

But let's focus on the good cops, at least for the moment - and we know quite a few :)

And I think, going forward, the first interview screening question for all cops should be:  

"Tell us a positive personal experience you've had with a personal of color, a time where you defended a person of color, helped a person of color, or you gave them a voice when they didn't have one - or vice versa, a personal experience where a person of color helped you." 

If they don't have one or stutter or stammer?

Thank you for playing - goodbye. 

Chris Swanson has many stories he could tell. 

Mark and I do, too.

In fact, in many ways, they have been kinder and more loving and caring to us than members of our own families - which is why they ARE family now, to us :)

Many of our friends could, too - to include cops, including Mark's former coworker and friend, Lexington Police Chief, Lawrence Weathers. 

...  who is allowing protests at full throttle blast - to include standing on his squad cars (as long as they weren't damaged) - without intervention or arrest ...

...  just standing close by in case violence/riots erupt - which it has NOT,  here in Lexington.

Tonight, they will lay down in the streets for 8 minutes, specifically on behalf of Breonna Taylor  (see below post) - 1 minute for each time Breonna Taylor was shot. 

Could you pass the above interview question? 

My Downstairs Neighbor Is First Cousin of Kenneth Walker (Boyfriend of Breonna Taylor, Louisville Police Shooting Victim, March 2020).

As most Kentuckians know (and the country, if you read the NYT and WaPo), the protest that began in Louisville on the same day as Minneapolis was not only for George Floyd, but also for the shooting or Breonna Taylor in March 2020. 

Today, one of my favorite neighbors (no picture or name for privacy) was out going to his car for a minute, as I watered flowers on my balcony, so I hollered at him and we chatted for a minute, talking about the state of affairs.  

Aside:  Well, I love all my neighbors in THIS building, they get as fired up about this sh*t as I do, including Ms. C, whom we have a dedicated parking space for that no one touches, because she's been here forever and is near 80 years old, a former business owner, drives better than I do, is more active and exercises more than both Mark and me put together, is a Catholic like Mark, and can't stand racism.  She also loves birds and flowers, like me :)

The neighbor I saw today is former marine, currently a basketball coach for a big private Christian school in Lexington in exchange for partial tuition for his 3 sons (that has shared custody) to attend, and is also a sports personal trainer and security/fence installer for actual income.  

He literally works nonstop to make sure his 3 young sons can attend that mostly white private Christian school and have what they need, as well as continues to hellp his ex-wife, if she needs it, on occasion (who is also a wonderful, loving, hard-working person).

He was unusually subdued, and seemed extremely sad and tired, on his way to work.   I asked how he was doing.

He informed me that his cousin was Kenneth Walker - the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor.  

For those who don't know, Louisville was the 2nd city behind Minneapolis to begin protests and rioting - because it wasn't just about George Floyd, it was about the killing of Breonna Taylor by Louisville Metro Police in March.

Breonna was a much beloved EMT in Louisville/Jefferson County, who was shot 8 times in her bed, by the Louisville Metro Police Department during COVID-19 quarantine, in March - after police in plainclothes burst in her home, with guns drawn, and without announcing they were police - during a "no-knock warrant" police entry warrant, looking for an ex-boyfriend of hers for suspicion of drug-trafficking. 

Her current boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, did not recognize them as cops - as they were in plainclothes and did not announce they were police.

Believing them robbing intruders, attacking in a rough neighborhood, he shot at them 6 times, hitting an officer in the leg, to which they responded by firing multiple rounds - sending 8 bullets into Breonna, while she simply lay in bed. 

Still not recognizing they were police, Kenneth called 911 for help and said:

"I don't know what is happening - somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend."

This call was recorded. 

However, Kenneth was arrested on charges of "attempted murder of a police officer," among other charges -  despite having a license to carry, as well as the fact that Kentucky is a "Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground Law" State - meaning that in the State of Kentucky, you can legally shoot a threatening intruder in your home, as long as you have a license to carry - which you can only get if you are NOT a felon (which Kenneth is NOT).

Nothing at all happened to the cops whatsoever - no charges, no firing, no disciplinary actions - nada. 

Kenneth was later released after both public outcry of him being well within his rights according to Kentucky's "Castle Law" - particularly since the police did not knock, were in plainclothes, and did not announce they were police - as well as COVID concerns, and the charges were dropped against him earlier this month; however, his attorney informed him that charges could be brought up again by the LMPD.

Taylor's family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the LMPD on May 15th, and on May 28th, the FBI announced they would be investigating the incident.

However, the NRA curiously remained silent - and STILL remain silent - despite the fact that they have invoked Castle Law/defended the gun rights of white others in similar situations.

My neighbor, who is a Christian (his sons attend private Christian school and he is the basketball coach) and a former marine, said the following:

My Neighbor: "I'm exhausted. With work and with all this, I'm exhausted - because it doesn't matter what we do, it won't make any difference."  

"Take a knee in prayer or before the flag, sit, stand, lie down, march, even riot - nothing changes. Those with wealth and power, who control it all, will flip everything we do back on us, make us the villains and their enemy, no matter what we try to do. Take it and shut up or you're an American enemy, the enemy within."

"You know is Kenneth Walker? He's my first cousin."

Me: "Oh my God, L - I am so SO sorry - I'm sorry about all of it. I don't know what to do from where I am to help. We'd be out there with them protesting peacefully, right along with them, if we could." 
 "Mark's been in the car with friends in Detroit, after Lions games, who were stopped for literally no reason and roughed up.  I've seen friends profiled and harassed when living poor myself."
"But we can't help protest, because of COVID-19 and Mark's health, his stroke/heart device. So I don't know what TO do but pray." 

My Neighbor: "I can't afford to, I'm lucky enough to have work, right now, when so many don't."

Me: "Right? Me too. All I know to do is pray, but I'm not sure how to pray anymore. And quote Genesis 50:20" What was done to me for evil, God, in turn, will use for good for the saving of many lives" and hope that's true someday."  

"I can't do anything, either, though I'm white, because I'm not wealthy and powerful. Anytime I ever have, all I have ever accomplished is just getting the crap kicked out of me. Apparently, you gotta be Taylor Swift to even make a dent and get shit done, nowadays :) "

The he stomped his foot, like an "Amen," and laughed - hard lol. 

It was good to see him smile and laugh for a minute :)

My Neighbor: "Right? That's what I'm saying!  Only wealthy people with power get a voice, the system's way wrong. I hope when all this clears, if there's no justice, it will at least expose that the wealthy and powerful on both sides of politics are enabling this broken system."

Me: (Lamely) "I don't know what I can even say, at this point, that would help.  Except I am SO sorry about what happened to your cousin and Breonna. And you know, you need sit down once in a while, you're always going here and there and everywhere."

My Neighbor (giving me a little smile, looking down): "Thank you. I can't, but thank you."


Things I thought to myself but didn't say/share: 

"I once pieced three jobs together during the recession trying to do the same, 90+ hours a week. The jobs were as physically demanding, but they were at minimum wage - and all I accomplished in doing so was never being home and exhausting myself and absolutely no credit, appreciation, raises, or promotions for doing so - it didn't save me financially." 

He's doing what he can.  

And unfortunately, that's all we can do. 

- AND - 

"Whenever I have tried to speak up about dysfunctional, broken systems - about injustice, power abuse, and bullying - I'm gaslighted and dismissed as a mouthy, crazy Karen - and tack on "anti-Christian" and "anti-American" now."

"So I know in some small way of what that feels like - that in and of itself is traumatizing. You can't even say "No, don't do that please," with sugar on top, or you're the enemy or "Please, help me," or the order of events gets flipped back on you, even if self-defense. And God help you, if you try to fight back, with no other recourse."

"I have a very keen eye and a very strong BS detector, and sometimes notice what others don't, which is both a blessing and a curse. Thus, I was labeled a long time ago, by some supposedly "good Christian Republicans," in this community, which unfortunately included some members of my own family."

"My fellow liberals won't really take a look at how dysfunctional it all is, because they still benefit from it, to a certain degree, plus they have their own lip-service with blind spots, lacking in mercy/compassion, too - they don't really get it, either. Thus, I literally feel like I'm now voting for the lesser or two evils. I mean, look at Minnesota's governor, or the Minneapolis mayor, or even Biden. They don't have a freaking clue."

"Who puts on an official medical report "potentially chemical substances may have led to his death"? They have no proof of that at all, that takes weeks - that's extremely irresponsible to make that assumption."

"So nobody gives a shit what I say or do, especially in THIS community - it's enable their broken, BS, dysfunctional family system or get the shit kicked out of you and your reputation, especially as a woman - and if you're not willing to get down in the gutter with them, best to just walk away and let people talk."

"Most of them know, now, that I was telling the truth and was right, but they'll never admit it - sometimes even to themselves."

"In fact, most of the time, it only makes those people more angry and hate me more, when I'm right."

"Because then they'd have to admit that what I said about them, personally, was the truth and right, too ;) "

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Julia Ward Howe ... and Taylor Swift :)

We went for a walk at our park today, not being sure what we would encounter, as protests are everywhere(and we would join them, if there was no  COVID-19 and my husband hadn't had a stroke 3 years ago) - as Lexington protests have been peaceful, thus far. 

People were unusually kind and respectful towards each other, actually - waving, smiling to everyone they met, black, white, Latino, Asian, Indian - everyone was unusually and deliberately kind :)

Then we came upon an old man fishing in a Vietnam vet hat, with a long scruffy beard like a woodsman Santa Claus ... and tensed a little bit. Though I'm grateful for their service, oftentimes, such old men like to corner you angrily about politics. 

However, as we walked up, he was whistling "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" - the song of the union/Northern army during the civil war.  

Let me just explain to you what an unusual occurrence this is. 

Though they sing/play that song in the military, nobody in the mostly Republican South whistles that song, these days - they whistle Dixie, the song of the Confederacy. 

Thus I smiled and said, "I like your whistling this morning ... pretty" 

He said, "Yeah, I do it all the time, these days" and smiled.  

I said, "Thank you for the reminder,  that's a great song" and he nodded and smiled :) 

Because let us not forget - Vietnam was the first war we had with truly mixed-raced regimens - who had to cover each others' arses in battle, like it or not. 

Thus, Vietnam vets who are NOT brainwashed by the Trump administration remember that and are grateful for what there brothers in arms did for them and vice versa, regardless of color of skin.

And I personally needed a reminder of this song today. 

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored

He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on!

Glory, glory, Hallelujah! Glory, glory, Hallelujah!
Glory, glory, Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps
His day is marching on
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free
While God is marching on!

Glory, glory, Hallelujah! Glory, glory, Hallelujah!
Glory, glory, Hallelujah! His truth is marching on!
His truth is marching on! And on and on and on and on and on

Not many know that the Union Army/Battle Hymn of the Republic was written by a socially-progressive Christian (Episcopal) white woman (Go Pisckies!) abolitionist just like me - Julia Ward Howe :) 

And don't forget, Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" also played a role in the changing the hearts of minds of America. 

I am not trying to underestimate the power of force by men or minimize the service of men who gave their lives in battle for causes - I DO revere and appreciate them (my husband was an Army Ranger).

However - never underestimate the power of well-written words by a brave, intelligent, passionate, socially-justice-minded, wealthy Christian white-woman author or lyricist, to interpret and give voice to the plight of the suffering - to change the hearts and minds of America ...

PS - For anyone interested in the back-story behind Julia Ward Howe, here is the story told by her great-great-great grandson, Charles Wiggins Putnam ....

In this excerpt from "The King's Ministry Series:  The Way of the Stars" Written in 1916 (which I'm now reading)  ...

Julia describes in her own words how and why she wrote the song: 

Gil Scott-Heron's "Whitey On the Moon" - (1970)

With the extremely expensive (and wildly inappropriate) public-private-money-coalition NASA/Space X Launch proceeding, despite our country literally being up in flames and a virus pandemic,  I was reminded of this 1970 poem, written by Gil Scott-Heron about white privilege despite racism, lack of healthcare for the poor, and poverty. 

Not much has changed, in 50 years, has it?  

In fact, it may be worse ...

A rat done bit my sister Nell...
...with Whitey on the moon.
Her face and arms began to swell ...
... and Whitey's on the moon. 
I can't pay no doctor bill.
... but Whitey's on the moon.
Ten years from now I'll be payin' still.
... while Whitey's on the moon. 

The man jus' upped my rent las' night.
... 'cause Whitey's on the moon.
No hot water, no toilets, no lights.
... but Whitey's on the moon. 

I wonder why he's uppi' me?
...'cause Whitey's on the moon?
I was already payin' ' fifty a week.
... with Whitey on the moon. 

Taxes takin' my whole damn check,
Junkies makin' me a nervous wreck,
The price of food is goin' up,
An' as if all that shit wasn't enough? 

A rat done bit my sister Nell.
...with Whitey on the moon.
Her face an' arm began to swell.
... but Whitey's on the moon.
Was all that money I made las' year
... for Whitey on the moon?
How come there ain't no money here?
Hm! Whitey's on the moon. 

Y'know I jus' 'bout had my fill
... of Whitey on the moon
I think I'll sen' these doctor bills,
Airmail special
... to Whitey on the moon.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum (Latin) and Genesis 50:19-20

(PS added - you're not going to believe this, but my totem, a broad-wing hawk literally landed on my balcony railing just as I finished this post)

... which is Latin for: "Let Justice Be Done, Though the Heavens May Fall" (Latin) - or in other words, "Let justice prevail, despite the consequences." 

Also, for some reason, I was reminded of Genesis 50:19-20, today - so I made this meme in honor of George Floyd - may he not have died in vain ...

Amen and Hayah (Hebrew for "Let it be so/happen"). 


PS - Interestingly - and you're not going to believe this, but it's 100% true and Mark can verify, because he saw him first ...

 So as I've mentioned before, the the broad-winged hawk is my totem - and one landed right on my deck railing just  I finished this post. 

Not my photo - it flew away just as we went to get the camera.

Erm - coincidence?  

Okay, so ... as I've said, I like to rule out everything with the most logical things first ... but some things are so timely and overly coincidental that you just have to wonder ... 

Go Twitter Team Tay Tay (Taylor Swift)!

YES! Get it, girl!

All Trump had to say about her (in interview) was, "I like her 25% less now."

Because he knows better than to go after Taylor Swift full force - especially on Twitter - he would likely lose that battle. 

This girl has a diverse, broad appeal and  fan base - much larger than Trump's.

Taylor Swift has  86 million followers VS. Trump's 80 million (and most of those people aren't fans, they just like to troll him).

She had 1.8 million likes for that single tweet. 

As far as I can recall, I don't think Trump has ever had 1.8 million likes for any single tweet, ever?

As we all know, she unfortunately took a wait-and-see approach to the 2016 election, so as not to alienate her fans and to give her fans the power without influence, trusting them to do the right thing.  However, she now regrets trusting people to do the right thing in an age of dysinformation - and now, she's on FIRE!

Love this girl, always have.  She's made her youthful flubs - but haven't we all?  

She's goofy fun sometimes, but don't ever mistake this girl for a dumb blonde. 



PSCompletely unrelated, but does anyone actually care about NASA/SpaceX space launch, right now?

No, we do not.

Our country is literally on fire, right now - we still don't have enough PPE, testing, and ventilators for a deadly virus that is still out there - but eff it -  let's spend billions of dollars and go to space?!?

I think it's wildly inappropriate to continue with this expensive and unnecessary space mission, right now. 

Friday, May 29, 2020

Perhaps In Timely Metaphor, The Demolition of UK's Blanding/Kirwan Tower Dorm Complex Has Begun

I remember hanging out at Blanding with friends, during my college days at UK, being thankful I didn't have to live in those more modern, but crappy, fire-trap dorms. 

The 3-floor dorms that were part the B-K complex (at the bottom, of the photo, surrounding the actual towers) were bigger -  but God help you, if you were housed in the Freshman Death Towers. 

They were the smallest dorm rooms I've ever seen, at any college, anywhere - and a total fire hazard.  

The elevators were sooo slow and broke down frequently - but the BK Complex was only 20 years old, at the time!

The dorm rooms themselves were smaller than a 1-patient hospital room, with just room enough for a single bed and desk. 

Though the floor plan brochures and online  looked like this ...

This was the actual reality of living space ...

Can you imagine two 18-year-old girls trying to live in that space? 

And if one of the roommates was messy?  

God help the catfights that ensued lol. 

We all had to sit on the beds and eat pizza, but even that became too claustrophobic.  

There was one small communal area per floor - but only a certain amount were allowed in, or to stand in the halls -  so it was off to the Student Center or cafeteria or outside.

There was a momentary twinge of nostalgia upon learning this, but it was time - actually, appropriate metaphor, for personal reasons this week (and perhaps community, country, and globally, this week, too).

As much of a fan as I am of history - sometimes, it's necessary to dismantle romanticized, unrealistic, unstable, unsafe, unhealthy, shoddy constructs from our past completely - so that we can make way for  stronger,  safer, solid, sound constructs in the future

And it is sad -  but also necessary.

Note:  Despite this video showing demolition by explosives/implosion, that is NOT Blanding/Kirwan being demolished by implosion -it's the old Capitol Building in Frankfort, imploded in 2018.

They included the clip of the Frankfort building to demonstrate how much dust gets kicked up via implosion, which would be unwise during the time of COVID - so they choose dismantling demolition instead.

They FINALLY Just Arrested (Former) Minneapolis Police Officer, Derek Chauvin - Hallelujah!

Though some press sites say for a murder charge, the charges have not been announced.

Those charges had better be AT LEAST second-degree murder/Murder 2 - and let's make these charges stick, this time?

Because we can all see, on all videos, Chauvin murdered Mr. Floyd without provocation, from all angles.

(However, we've seen the same with others before George Floyd, too -  and those officers still walked free.)

If we do?  

No more riots. 

If we don't?

God help us.

Update:  The charge is 3rd-degree Murder.  

Minnesota is one of only 5 states that have this extra charge, which is a between Murder 2 and Manslaughter. 

(Florida, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Wisconsin are the only other states that have this extra charge). 

The main difference between Murder 3 and the usual Murder and Manslaughter charges is that it allows for 'unclear' intent, but is still a felony (unlike manslaughter, which is a misdemeanor).

(Many states do not have this - if there is unclear intent, then it goes directly to manslaughter charge, and I agree with this.) 

In the state of Minnesota, if found guilty of Murder 3, it is punishable by 25 years in prison.  (Minnesota has the lowest sentence time for this charge among the 5 states.)

I'm sorry, but I disagree - and I don't think it's enough.

Though it's better than manslaughter, yes - I'm not sure it will be enough to stop riots.

George Floyd's murder was clearly second-degree murder/Murder 2, at the very least.

Chauvin knew he was crushing George's trachea/possibly breaking his neck - if we could all hear George cries that he couldn't breathe, then you know Chauvin could, too - but Chauvin chose instead to just kept going anyway, until he was dead :(

Brief overview of the level of homicide charges in the U.S.(sentences vary by state, and some states include extra charges, see below) ...

Murder 1 - premeditated murder with intent to kill. 

Murder 2 - non-premeditated murder, with intent to cause life-threatening physical harm, resulting in death.

Murder 3 (in 5 U.S. states only) - non-premeditated murder, intent unclear,  resulting in death.

Manslaughter - there are varying degrees of this charge as well, but all are regarding non-premeditated, non-intentional actions which cause death, often accidental death, death due to self-defense, or death due to negligence.

*Examples of manslaughter would be drunk drivers, doctor malpractice, parental negligence, some cases of domestic violence self-defense, and prior charges for police officers. 

PS - Keep in mind, as we await medical examiner reports, the medical examiner reports for police brutality incidents in Minneapolis have previously been called into question.

Truth, Trump, and Twitter - Using Twitter Despite Known Risk Is Still A Choice.

Trump clearly isn't putting out fires, he's fanning the flames.

Trump has been silent on Twitter about George Floyd's murder, lack of criminal charges against Chauvin, and police brutality - UNTIL people started rioting/looting.

Then, when he finally stops pushing petty distraction fluff, like Flynn and his petty fights with critics on Twitter (and Twitter itself), and starts paying attention to more important and urgent matters - what does he do? 

... instead of condemning BOTH Floyd's murder AND the riots ...

He politicizes it and name-calls the Democrat mayor and threatens to call in the national guard - 
condemning JUST the protesters/rioters.

Then he tweeted the following, which is the only tweet that Twitter actually hid (they placed a "fact-check" warning on others), for encouraging/glorifying violence, which is no longer visible: 

"These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!"

(You can no longer see this tweet).

And I'm not condoning riots or looting - but the riots and looting were a reaction to violence against George Floyd - these actions did not occur, nor exist, in a vacuum.

Once again, he fans the flames of white supremacy/racism, but condemns the dumpster fire that results (see earlier post for that Governor Beshear quote). 

The fact is, Trump's new battle with Twitter did NOT start because of the mail-in fraud tweet.

It started the day prior, after Trump tweeted an insinuation that Joe Scarborough murdered Lori Klausutis, and both Lori's widower and Joe Scarborough wrote and pleaded with Jack Dorsey/Twitter to do something (see below letter).

I've never written Trump, but if I did, I'd say this ...

Dumpster fires, threats, violence, and death everywhere, this week, Trump, - and all you've cared about is yourself - your petty fights on Twitter with critics and with Twitter itself, until now.

You weren't suspended or blocked from Twitter - Twitter just began adding warning labels to fact-check accusations you've made without providing any evidence whatsoever.

This occurred immediately after you insinuated your Republican press critic, Joe Scarborough, murdered Lori Klausutis on Twitter - which his widower and family condemned as false and pleaded with Twitter to remove.

Twitter refused to remove those tweets.

However, Twitter DID agree - from that moment forward - to begin adding warning labels to any posts they were alerted of (which means you have to report them first) that made accusations without providing proof, to alert people to fact check them - and hid one threatening tweet condoning shooting of looters. 

Lastly, and most importantly - not only is Twitter a private company, but nobody is forcing you to use Twitter, Trump.

And it is that FACT that will be the end legal argument to any all legal arguments you find yourself in with Twitter - The End.

PS - Here's what censorship really looks like, Trump ...

I'm no CNN superfan - and I already posted this clip 2 posts below, but again, here is CNN's Omar Jimenez being arrested on live TV, for literally no reason (released later with an apology from the governor) - but THIS is censorship.  And it was way wrong ...

Conversation with a (Non-Trump-Supporting) Christian Republican Friend: Both Things Can Be True

We don't agree on everything, but we DO agree on the unprovoked of George Floyd , and that there's too much power abuse and racism in this country.

(I have put in parentheses things I didn't actually say, at the time, which I added to clarify my meaning or expound upon.)

My friend: "I think there are good cops and bad cops and plenty in between. But there ARE cops who are racist and abuse their power and they need to be dealt with and not above the law themselves. But I don't know who to trust in the press anymore, they're all owned by corporations, etc."

Me: "Agreed about press and especially social media, I think that's true. I think we all struggle with that."

My Friend: "Someone at my church was saying they're all corporate owned, who are controlled by Deep State? "

Me: "Well, I think it depends on our definition of Deep State.

(Because both sides of politics can play that card, now, when it comes to federal government abuse and coverups.)

Me:  "IMO, if there is a Deep State, Trump's a part of it, deflecting off himself like he's not and combating it - and for some reason, people keep buying it. 
Because the fact is, Trump is a wealthy, powerful CEO himself, who is on public record as having donated to both sides of politics, when it benefited him.

(In fact, he was close friends with the Clintons himself, up until the last election. I mean, the Clintons were at his wedding to Melania, and there are pictures to prove it, dating back to articles from before he was President, dating back to the actual press announcements on the day of his wedding).

Me:  "Fox News is totally White House Controlled, they're his mouthpiece." 

"So I think both things can be true ...

Press is controlled by the political leanings of whatever wealthy and powerful individual or organization owns them.

- AND -

Trump is a wealthy, powerful CEO and government official himself - who vilifies the press if they so much as lightly criticize him. That's a communist tactic."

I mean, look at what Trump just did to Joe Scarborough - he accused Joe of murdering a political aid, via Twitter. 
THAT was the actual impetus for Twitter cracking down on dysinformation on Twitter versus what right-wing press is saying. They left that tweet alone, but from that day forward, began cracking down with warning labels.  
They didn't block him, just added warning labels.

The widower came out himself and said his wife dropped dead of a previously undetected congenital (from birth) heart abnormality, idiopathic cardiomyopathy.

Her widower also said the family has been retraumatized by this event and Trump dug up her death, twisted it and used it against Joe, simply because Joe criticized his presidential actions.

(What are we gonna have to do, dig up the poor woman 20 years after the fact to prove Trump a liar? He says things like this, without any proof whatsoever, knowing you'd have to literally dig up someone to prove them murdered, if you even could after this long.)  

(Crazy accusations he knows you can neither prove nor disprove - but lack of evidence does NOT mean either guilt or innocence. I could say Trump worships Satan, but we have no proof or disproof of that - just because I said it, and keep saying it, doesn't mean it's true). 

Me: "It's just like you said, there are good cops, bad cops, and plenty in between. The same is true with press. There are some good reporters and press, some not, and plenty in between or who just make mistakes or lack training (or didn't use their training).

Thus it's on us to put on our critical thinking caps and be more discerning, both intellectually and spiritually, when viewing information:

1) Has this source of information, either as individual or organization - proven to you personally that they possess honesty and integrity at least 95% of the time - who has nothing to personally gain by sharing this information?

2) If so, is it possible they're wrong, made a mistake,  misperceived something, whether honest mistake or intentional, or that they have, over time, become too biased  and were inappropriately influenced themselves, in this political climate?

3) Is this subjective opinion disguised as objective fact - are they providing any proof at all or just making accusations?

4) If they are even attempting to provide proof - what kind of proof?

5) Are they providing FULL video evidence or PDF documents to support their quotes and claims, or is this subjective opinion disguised as fact?
And then we have to be spiritually discerning - if something seems off or missing, doesn't sit right with our soul (after checking ourselves for intellectual/belief bias) - then it probably is.

(And if it's delivered in a nasty, hateful, name-calling Twitter tirade, making accusations without any proof at all? Well, it doesn't take a priest or prophet to discern that something is spiritually amiss, if nothing else ;)

Like I've Been Trying to Say All Week ...

Some people have said that I'm "spiritually sensitive," some have even said I'm psychic lol.  (I wish I was, I'd have a lot more money!)

Whether that's true or not - and I know this sounds weird - but I could literally feel negative energy building in people towards explosions, this week - actually beginning last Friday - that's what I've been trying to say all week.

It's like a pulsating mass of negative spiritual energy, almost as contagious as COVID - because we all know how contagious negative energy is.

Now we're at riots in Minneapolis, NYC and Louisville.

A Minneapolis police precinct is on fire.

The Minneapolis PD arrested a CNN reporter, Omar Jimenez, 'mistaking' him for a protester - despite the fact that you can see (because it was broadcast live), Jimenez wasn't standing anywhere near the protesters.

In fact, he is standing in front of police, politely asking them where he should stand to be out of their way, when they arrest him.

Jimenez very calmly and politely asks the officers - twice - why he's under arrest - and they refuse to answer him.

I have never, in my life, seen anything so crazy on live TV. 

(I chose non-CNN publication of the footage for those who don't like CNN)

The governor has since issued an apology and released him.
7 people were shot at the protest in Louisville for Breona Taylor (who was shot in her bed during a no-knock home raid in Louisville in March).

Trump's name-calling tweet of Minneapolis Mayor that included a threat to bring in the national guard gets a Twitter warning and hidden by Twitter. 

Like I said, things are worse than ever.

My heart breaks for George Floyd and I DO sympathize with anger behind these protests - but again, all violent/looting riots will result in  is further racism and criminal charges for more people of color, more blaming the victim  - the order of events will once again be reversed.

You know what it really would take for this to stop, America?

And it's not the national guard.

If you truly want all of this to stop, America, then we need to successfully prosecute any cop who murders person of color without just cause  - even just one - we are long overdue.

Derek Chauvin should be that guy, thanks to Darnella Frazier's video with indisputable evidence.

Otherwise, I'm social distancing/hibernating due to both COVID and people behaving hatefully, warranted or not ...

... and praying I don't catch either disease, COVID or hatred ;) 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

PS - Extending The Second Half of My Prayer from the Post Below to Darnella Frazier Especially ...

I understand that cell-phone videographer for George Floyd's final moments - 17-year-old, African-American Darnella Frazier - is now being cyberbullied from both political sides. 

Trumpers: "She did this for attention."


Behold the tell-tale, tired, typical and hypocritical gaslighting cry of bullies in their natural habitat of social media - curiously made only about women - when they try to speak up/are whistleblowers.

My Fellow Liberals: "She should've intervened."


Like this was HER fault?

May I remind you that Darnella is black, she's female, and most importantly, she's a 17-year-old child.

Look what they did to a full grown, large man - what do you think would happen to her if she tried to physically intervene to help him against 4 white male cops?

And it's not like she knew in advance he would die as a result - she started filming before he died ?!?

It's very easy to say what you would do, when you're not there - it happened so fast, I'm amazed that a 17-year-old had the quick-thinking skills and presence of mind to turn on her cell cam.

What is wrong with people?

Regardless, still in trauma mode, she's fighting back ...

Woooooooo!  LOL G'on, girl - get it!  

I love it!  Good for you, Darnella!

And you're right - we SHOULD be thanking you and nobody is forcing anyone to read your Twitter page - and if it wasn't for your quick thinking to video it, we never would've known what really happened to George and his killer would not be coming to justice.

From what I understand, she was already traumatized by witnessing the event herself, and suffered from social phobia - but she found the bravery within herself to nevertheless walk up and record the entire event on film.

Please join me in extending the second half of my prayer below for Darnella especially, right now. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

George Floyd: No Adequate Words, Just Tears

I know I said I was going to try to avoid so much increased nasty again to keep my own health, peace, and sanity - but I feel a bit selfish, when others are experiencing things like this - because it's not all about my peace.

Thus, , I had to share for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

I think I have seen all videos of this incident now - including the video just released by the store owner who called the police on George for using a counterfeit $20 bill - who himself confirms George was not combative and did not resist arrest, by his own eye witness and confirmed by video  :'(

There is absolutely no indication whatsoever, on any video that I've seen yet (various shop security cameras and cell phones filmed the incident, including just prior),  that George Floyd resisted arrest. He most certainly did not. 

What is clear ion the newly released video (not the one belows that after the Asian-American officer drove away -  and after the African-American officer handcuffs him and gently walks him over to the awaiting 4 white officers and squad car across the street, while initially getting into the squad car, George slipped on the curb and fell and went down - the 4 white police officers then jumped on him and I don't understand why - did they misperceive the fall as attempt to escape? 

It was clearly a straight slip and fall off the curb, his arms were in handcuffs so he couldn't brace his fall and just went down - and they jumped on him.

What I don't understand is how, in the final video, he went from the ground on the right side of the squad car to the left side - still on the ground - but the  3 officers were on top of him, held him down, and the officer is pressing his knee down on his neck.  Did they drag him to that side?  

He was already down, he was in handcuffs, he never once resisted from the initial arrest -  he simply fell on the curb - so why????

Then the rest and his death - which we can see on the following video, which is a compilation of security camera and cell phone videos of the event. 

I warn you, the end is graphic ... the panicked, helpless look on George's face as he pleads with the officer for help, that he can't breathe ... the emotionless look on that officer's face while he presses his knee into his neck and worse.  No emotion on his face as he drags George's lifeless body away by one arm.

Be forewarned, this will likely haunt you for days as it is haunting  me :(

His crime?

Using a counterfeit $20 bill at the store.

He was not armed, he did not resist arrest (video proven), and even the store owner that called the police says he didn't resist arrest, wasn't combative, and doesn't understand the excessive use of force. 

So ...after watching that ... still think Kaepernick taking a knee for the flag over incidents like this is worse? 

I can't watch anymore, I just cry.  That poor, poor man, my God :(

And I agree with Mayor Frey - the officer that pressed his knee until George died  - should be criminally tried for Murder 1 - there should be no question.

Like I said below, I'm not sure what's going the past week or so, but people have reached a level of nasty and nuts worse than ever - and I'm not sure why?

Heavenly Father,

I don't know what to pray for or how, anymore - but at the moment, this is what comes to mind ...

I pray that the people who are abusing privilege or power and/or harboring hatred will somehow be directly confronted by the Spirit of God and Christ's message of infinite mercy, in their path.

I know that we have free will and the power of choice regardless - and I know you promised not to intervene.

However, I pray that there will be, at some point, one of your famous overly-coincidental, direct spiritual-confrontation lessons - so square in their faces that they cannot easily shut the door, turn the channel, turn the page, or turn away.
A message of mercy so directly in their path that they will have to make a conscious choice - either choose to step over it and continue in self-righteous, falsely-justified, hatred and fear, or choose instead to allow the power of God's mercy and love into their hardened hearts and be transformed by it.

Mercy, God ...Mercy. We have gotten ourselves way out of balance again, the scales have once again been tipped too far, we've reached a tipping point - and we need your love now, more than ever.
More mercy for the poor, the oppressed, the powerless, the grieving, the falsely accused/the innocent, the addicted, the the opportunity-less, just trying to survive, and the sick and the suffering.
I pray for your comfort for them, Lord, comfort them. I pray for renewed hope for them. I pray that they may experience "the peace that passes all understanding," that Paul spoke about in Philippians 4:7, as they endure these trials in life.

In the name of the father, his son, Christ Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.