WTF… August 20, 2014

don't shoot

joe11) Unless you been living under a rock, or, been away in the wilderness without any communication devices or just don’t give a good damn, then ya’ll know about the situation in Ferguson, Missouri… a sad course of events to say the least.

Now, I don’t know if this is fair, or relevant, but, I gotta say… when I see the demonstrations and violence in the streets and the fact another unarmed person was shot and killed, I just be flashing back on stuff from back in the day… a very long day ago… like the demonstrations in DC, Frisco, Chicago, across college campuses, and, maybe what was the one that started the entire peace movement… and, if, not started it, then mobilized it to a large degree… Kent State… and… the song “Tin soldiers and Nixon coming…” is spinning around in the background and playground of my mind.

For me it was the protestation against war… for Ferguson it’s a struggle to toss away the frustration of not being heard and respected as a black community. For Ferguson it is Little Rock, Birmingham, Watts, the University of Mississippi… and so many others… revisited.

Ferguson, Missouri
Ferguson, Missouri

I’m not gonna go through the “whys” and “where-alls” of what is going on in Missouri except to say that right now a lot of peeps are doing a lot of wrongful stuff, and, are only exacerbating a bad situation into an entirely worse one. Violence begets violence and is never a solution… Dr. King be spinning in his grave right about now, in fact.

Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars… Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” … Martin Luther King, Jr.

What I will say is this… I have hard time believing that the officer who shot and killed the victim… Michael Brown… that is at the nexus of all the shit going down in Ferguson needed to fire 6 shots… 6 deadly shots… 2 head shots… one which hit him in the top of his head… which means the dude was bent forward… one which hit him in the eye… the other four were in his right arm.

I’ll let the independent autopsy doc… Dr. Michael Baden… speak… “In my capacity, I would say, ‘you’re not supposed to shoot so many times’”.

I concur…especially when he… the shooter…was, according to Baden, a distance away from immediate danger… there was no gun powder residue on the victim’s body… there was no signs of a struggle and the victim was known to be unarmed.

In other words, the victim was not an immediate threat to the shooter.

Other evidence is also beginning to indicate that Brown had been on the ground and was turning towards the officer in question… who was a distance from Brown… when the officer began to fire… the fateful six shots.

Ferguson police
Ferguson police

So… I understand the frustration of what is a large and predominantly black community and of the perception of being returned to pre-civil rights era times. Hell… of being uprooted and thrust into a long ago time that no one really wants to be revisiting.

I can sense the helplessness among these folks and the sense of the realness that this is not the first time that force…whether reasonable or unreasonable… has been used by the Ferguson police force. I see… or understand… the need for them to raise their collective voice… and… when no one seemed to listen to that voice that the frustration then boiled over. And, in a symbolic grasp of the throat and kick to the nuts of those whose deaf ears ignored the community’s cry for justice they struck with a force to say WTF… Listen to us! Damn it! 

“Riots are the voices of the unheard.”… Martin Luther King, Jr.

But unfortunately that grasp and kick did little to no good and the forceful, and at times violent, demonstrations resulted in the police arming themselves with military weaponry and body armor and returning the violence double and treble fold.

For some, this was essentially the permission they were seeking to justify lawlessness as the vandalism and then the looting, burning and fighting began.

But, the black community was the most affected by all this senseless criminality… they suffered the most from the violence and they were the ones who most needed the relief from the violence.

The more there are riots, the more repressive action will take place, and the more we face the danger of a right-wing takeover and eventually a fascist society.”Martin Luther King, Jr demonstrators-protest

The black community in their suffering of the most violence and destruction and bodily injuries is sort of like the personification and realization of the cartoonist Walt Kelly’s pronouncement … We have met the enemy and they is us.

It’s like the situation in the Watts riots all over again… where did they burn and loot? The black neighborhoods.

Now, who in the hell did that teach a lesson to… or… harm?

And, why would… or does … anyone believe the looting and burning and destroying is gonna do or accomplish anything? Anything constructive… that is…

And in response it just will bring more cops and more riots… then come the Molotov cocktails and the returning of a measure for measure, tit for tat response by an ill-formed and ill-armed mob and therefore  the onslaught of even more violence… more guns and more tear gas, and then, State Police… the National Guard…and… folks finally getting their ass shot and tore to hell worse than ever.

The only thing I didn’t notice was Bull Connors’ dogs chewing on some folk’s ass.

Bull Connors' dogs
Bull Connors’ dogs

“Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.” … Martin Luther King, Jr. 

I understand the need to voice their outrage… and I understand the fact that probably no one was listening to that voice of outrage so that maybe a few sticks and stones had to break a few figurative selective bones and bang some sense into some folk’s consciousnesses.

But, that was supposedly now done, so, what good does it do to keep being violent?

In my opinion… not one blessed thing. More good can be done at this point by peaceful and nonviolent demonstrations.

The reality is that the black community of Ferguson got the attention of the right folks and stuff is now being investigated.

It is never easy waiting for results… especially when heretofore peeps been denied effective and justified investigations that would give up unbiased results… but… right now keeping a lid on things and waiting is what needs to be done. Albeit, with a presence still in the streets lest some peeps forget again.

Because, to be honest, Missouri governor Jay Nixon is correct to ask the National Guard to go to Ferguson to restore “peace and order” … regardless of what some other peeps say…

After another tumultuous night in which police and demonstrators confronted one another in the streets and tear gas was fired off, Nixon said… “Tonight, a day of hope, prayers, and peaceful protests was marred by the violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state, whose actions are putting the residents and businesses of Ferguson at risk. These violent acts are a disservice to the family of Michael Brown and his memory, and to the people of this community who yearn for justice to be served, and to feel safe in their own homes.”

And, before the governor spoke… Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, who now leads policing in Ferguson, spoke at a rally in Greater Grace Church dedicated to Brown’s memory and said, “I am sorry. I wear this uniform and I should say that I am sorry. This is my neighborhood. (Johnson is from the neighborhood originally.)You are my family, you are my friends and I am you. And I will stand to protect you. I will protect your right to protest. I came in here today and saw people cheering and clapping. And this is what the media needs to put on TV.”

Johnson said the last 24 hours have been tough for him. A meeting with Brown’s family “brought tears to my eyes and shame to my heart. When this is over, I’m going to go in my son’s room. My black son, who wears his pants sagging, who wears his hat cocked to the side, got tattoos on his arms, but that’s my baby.”

But… when all is said and done what we have learned is that maybe for some folks there has been change in how black and white is perceived but for others some stuff still ain’t changed all that damn much… and a couple of things need to be said…

  • It’s been over 50 years since Civil Rights laws were passed and supposedly brought some equality to the various ethnic groups that are defined as mostly black and white folks. Seems some places didn’t get the message.
  • When the stuff done hit the fan there is a right way to deal with it and a wrong way. And, I be speaking primarily about the response from the police and the city government perspective.

injustice quoteLet me posit a thought… it’s not unheard of a situation happening in NYC where a minority person is beaten or sometimes killed by a police action yet when is the last time the NYPD has had such an unfortunate situation occur that there was a full scale riot? Looting and vandalism perpetrated in the city that never sleeps?

There just hasn’t been because of whatever else NYC government, and its police department, does wrong it has learned one thing… how to address and confront its own tragedies and situations of justice gone wrong. Sometimes delayed… the NYC bureaucracies do however confront and deal with the situation in mostly a public forum in one fashion or another.

Are they perfect in how they do it… not hardly…. but they do it and they mostly do it without any real violence.

NYC… and other cites… have learnt to at least address the perceived police improprieties and to do so as quickly and publicly as possible. They don’t always come up with a decent resolution immediately and sometimes need some outside prodding to get to one but they do seem to get the stuff resolved.

And then they and the community can move on and hopefully forward.

Do NYC peeps demonstrate and be rambunctious? Hell, yeahhhh. But, the violence is kept to a minimum, if, it occurs at all.

NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly very recently said about Ferguson… “…the toothpaste is out of the tube here.” And, he strongly suggested that the violence… the riots, vandalism, looting fires, all of that stuff… might have been… could have been… prevented if the authorities had just told the public/media “…what you know and tell them what you don’t know, rather than dribbling it out.”

Kelly added that he thought it mind boggling that on Ferguson’s police force that only 3 of the 53 cops were black in town that is predominantly black.

It’s a lesson that needs to be put forth as an example of the right way to deal with a bad situation where somebody in authority may be guilty of some impropriety… of doing something wrong… like a cop using unnecessary force resulting in a death… and… maybe his brothers in blue kinda, sorta covering some ass because they see one of their own going down.

And, maybe it doesn’t always work out this way, but… somebody did a crime and somebody gotta do the time to resolve the situation justifiably.

2) On Wednesday (8/13), a Brooklyn man was awarded $150,000 by a federal jury.

The reason?

He was falsely arrested in front of his 4-year-old son by an NYPD cop who apparently got all pissed off about being stuck in traffic. In simple words… Cop got road rage over something he could not control so he decided to exert control over something… somebody… else… or… so, he thought.

It took a while… 7 years… but justice seems to have… to a degree of sorts… been served.

Robert Graham was stuck in traffic in East Flatbush, on June 8, 2007, when NYPD Officers William Glenn and Andrew Ugbomah got a call to respond to a 911 call.

No sirens … no lights… but they start trying to drive through some gridlocked traffic. The fuzz-mobile…aka police car… winds up behind some behemoth bus and they look over towards where Graham is… which is in the middle of a bumper to bumper parking lot which is supposed to be a free moving boulevard.

Officer Glenn motions for Graham to move it on over… Graham, more or less, shrugs and says something to the effect of “Sure, but where to, and, how?”

Officer Glenn figures this maroon needs to be taught to “heave to” when a cop speaks…. more specifically…when he be the cop doing the speaking. Officer Glen gets out of the patrol car walks over to Graham’s car and ask for his license, registration and proof of insurance. Pockets the IDs; go backs to the patrol car, and, he and his partner drive off to investigate the 911.

Rightttt… they leave a citizen and his son… his 4-year-old… stuck there parked on a sweltering June day saying WTF!

Robert Graham & his son, Jamin
Robert Graham & his son, Jamin

About 20 minutes or so… not much of a 911 call if you ask me… the cops returned to where Graham and his son were and Graham wants to know… WTF?!

He says he simply asked… “What did I do?” And, then demanded his IDs to be returned.

Glenn grabs Graham by his neck and yanks him from his car… then handcuffs and busts him for disorderly conduct.

Funny thing though… the summons was never filed in court and eventually just went away… dismissed.

Meantime, a young boy had to witness his dad being handcuffed and humiliated for no apparent rationale. And, then both dad and son had to experience an unnecessary trip down to the pokey and further wasted time and money spent on everyone’s part. But, more, and most, importantly on the citizen’s part who did nothing wrong in the first place, he was arrested and made a spectacle of just because some cop got all pissed off about shit out of his control.

Now, 7 years in the doing, a jury has agreed with Graham’s version of what went down and awarded him his pittance for the time and aggravation.

FYI: Officers Glenn and Ugbomah have both since retired from the force.

Now… why in the hell did it take so long to have a decision rendered over this stupidity when it seems obvious the cop was at fault… and… compounding everything was that his partner was part and parcel to the illegality that Glen done did. Simply, because he shoud have said… Give the guy his ID back and let’s get a move on. It ain’t worth it.

But… nope… he let Glen do his badness and then get away with making it worse by returning to physically accost a righteous citizen and then placing that citizen in cuffs and under arrest… a false arrest according to a federal jury.

But, this does not end here. Why is that?

Because, the city’s lawyers will ask the presiding judge to set aside the verdict because they feel it was against the weight of the evidence.

Excuse me??!!! What evidence did these lawyers look at and weigh? It sure as hell is not the evidence I just read about.

I know justice is said to be blind but the city is decidedly being vacuous and absurd in this circumstance.

Just give it up and let it go. Already. Give up the $150,000 be happy that’s all it cost… of course that and the cost of the lawyers fighting this case for 7 years… and let it go.

And, save the city of NY further money… further money that will come out of the taxpayers’ pockets in the end.

3) Lately there has been a bipartisan call for a more forceful response to the situation in Iraq revolving around a very badass, violent and vicious insurgent Muslim sect trying to take control of the country.

So much so that on Sunday (8/17) two lawmakers called for President Obama to send U.S. soldiers back to the war-torn country. Yep the old boots on the ground mantra once again.

In fact, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) used those words… “Ultimately we may have some boots on the ground there. We need to do everything we can to repel ISIS. I don’t think we have the luxury of putting our heads in the Johnson - Engelsand and saying, well, it’s over there and we’re not going to do it.” He also said, that it’s not something he “wants” but “If we allow ISIS to get bigger and bigger, they’re going to plot homeland attacks on us.”

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), acknowledged that Americans are reluctant to get re-involved in Iraq, but said that there is no alternative at this point and that the White House… Obama… needs to act.

Johnson said, “These are evil people that need to be defeated. We may be war-weary. But I’ll tell you, ISIS, is not war-weary. They’re highly trained, they are highly organized. They have been very patient setting up this caliphate, and that they’re long term aim really is to use that base of operation against the West.”

Ok… wanna know what I think?

In a nutshell… these folks… ISIS… are evil… they are vicious and cruel and narrow minded peeps who decidedly adhere to the “it’s my way or the highway” method of doing things. Unfortunately their version of the highway usually ends up in either death or slavery for the opposition. In fact a lot of folks that they kill or enslave are not even opponents but just don’t belong to their sect or subscribe to their view on “religion” and how things ought to be run.

So, yes, I agree they really do need to be stopped.

But, here is where I disagree on how to do the stopping.

No boots back on the ground. Sorry. We have lost too many young men and women by being involved in Iraq when we never should have been there in the first place. If, anyone is gonna do the stopping then it has to be a coalition effort by the other Muslim sects that are in Iraq.

We can provide advisors… we can provide weaponry… we can provide air support.

In fact, Obama in recent weeks has done just that as he has approved airstrikes against the terrorist group, but has continually ruled out putting more U.S. boots on the ground.

And that is how it should stay.

Sorry. I am war weary. I am tired of being the cop on patrol and believe we have no business of being in the business of nation building or being the big brother who has to constantly come rushing to save some little bros ass all the time. It’s time them folks over there started fighting their own wars and building their own nation. They need some aid to do it… fine… provide it.

But, it stops there. No more of our people need to die to create a puppet government that will simply fail when we leave.

Update: Headline in today’s (8/20) NY DailyNews… “ISIS mosters behead U.S. Journalist…”

This is an atrocity and I know peeps gonna get in an uproar.. deserevdly so.. because I certainly am…

However… I stil believe in “no boots on the ground” in Iraq… the Iraqis need to deal with this shit and deal with it forcefully.

However, if, the President and Congress wants to authorize a CIA black ops… I can close my eyes for a while…

4) A while back the Germans got their panties in a bunch because they said… us dudes and dudettes… U. S. of A. … were spying on them.


I said back then… puhleasssseeeee… everybody does it… it’s all a part of the game.

Now guess what… the Germans are spies like us. German Spy On US

Seems Germany’s foreign intelligence agency reportedly eavesdropped on calls made by Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as his predecessor, Hillary Clinton.

The magazine Der Spiegel reported on Saturday (8/16) that the BND… aka German CIA… more or less…tapped a satellite phone conversation Kerry had in 2013 as part of a broader surveillance dragnet of telecommunications in the Middle East. And they… the spies…also recorded a call between Clinton and former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan in 2012.

Der Spiegel also said the “surveillance” was conducted accidentally and that the three diplomats were not intentionally targeted.

Yeah… whatever…

And, the magazine added that the tapes were destroyed once German officials realized whom they had spied on.

Uh-huh… I got this bridge… in Brooklyn… not too much… a few hundred thou and it’s all yours. Because, if you believe any of that drek then you surely will be dumbass… I mean… smart enough to know a good investment when you hear one.

No bridges in your future? Hmmm… kinda thought so.

So, next time the Germans go crying about us spying on its communications… whether they be of Chancellor Una Merkel or any other German official… all we need to do is say.. “Ohhh… so sorry. It was an accident. Besides we already destroyed those tapes. So no harm no foul.”

5) Now… I ain’t all that privy to exactly what the Tea Party stands for.

I mean, I understand the gist of what they are but not every little nuance and nook and cranny of their morality stance.

But somewhere within that stance I would tend to believe they hold holy the sanctity of marriage and family. I mean, probably with the thinking that what “God has made let no little man… or little woman… put asunder” and all that.

And, as far as a candidate they.. the Tea Party… are endorsing, it would seem that it would be of the upmost importance if they adhered to that stance… the marriage and family thing. I mean, you would not want… if you were saying that this was an important plank within your party’s platform and system of beliefs… for a candidate to sort of go against that stance. Right?

Bring in Gia Arnold, a 24-year-old Republican candidate for state Senate from the Niagara Falls (NY) area who is Tea Party endorsed. Suddenly, she said I ain’t a candidate no more.

Gia Arnold
Gia Arnold

Hmmm and why is that?

Seems she… she who is married with 3 rugrats between 2- and 5-years-old… announced on Wednesday (8/13) she decide to embark upon an extramarital affair. Specifically, she told the NYDN, “I had an affair on August 1st and four days later I left my husband.”

Then, she added the wonderful justification for her actions… “I wanted to go public with the information, just because it was heavy on my conscience and I am strong for honesty and integrity and always telling the truth and I felt it was important as a public figure that the public was aware of what was going on.”

Ok… what part of having an affair… cheating on your husband… running around behind folks backs… and, essentially doing the exact opposite of what your political party and an associated party says is a bellwether cause of their political mien fits in with that political agenda?

I mean… I just am asking shouldn’t a candidate who is “honest and full of integrity” kinda do what they say everyone else should be doing?

Or… is it just politics as normal… two sets of rules… rules we all… John Q. Public peeps… gotta live by and to which we need to conduct our lives in a righteous and a virtuous manner…and… then the rules certain politicos follow that… well… seemingly don’t follow with any logical pattern whatsoever.

Just wondering is all.

Are they full of honesty and integrity or, full of something else altogether?

dog-mayor-duke6) Cormorant is a town of 12 people… give or take depending on the mood of one or two of the citizens on any given day… in rural northwestern Minnesota.

What makes Cormorant newsworthy is the fact that they recently elected as their new mayor a 7-year-old dog named Duke.

Duke was sworn into his mayor-ship this past Saturday and reportedly won’t get paid… not in hard cash money any way but he will get a year’s worth of food being donated by a local pet supply store and probably a few steak bones worth of bribes now and again.

Hmm… too bad Duke ain’t Duchess because then the mayor would be a real bitch and anybody, and everybody, could say it whenever and there would be nary a thing anyone could say to the contrary.

7) On Saturday (8/16) scientists said there be an asteroid out there that has a one-in-300 shot at smashing into the planet. Our planet, Earth…

And, that’s some damn small odds and the “best” ever for a large asteroid impact happening with Earth in anyone’s recent memory.

And, there ain’t a damn thing Bruce Willis can do about it.

Don’t matter much right now anyway… a collision with the Asteroid 1950 DA might take place… ohhhh… sayyyy… around March 16, 2880.

Artist's concept of a catastrophic asteroid impact
Artist’s concept of a catastrophic asteroid impact

Asteroid 1950 DA has a diameter of one kilometer and is travelling at nine miles a second or in other words that most of us can easily understand… real freaking fast.

But even at that, it will be at least another 860 years plus before it comes close to earth. If, it does hit Earth it would do so at a speed of 38,000 miles per hour, exerting the same force as would 45,000 megatons of TNT.

Remember what some folks say happened to them dinosaurs? Yeppers… It would be bye-bye human race in all likelihood.

But ya know… there’s two things at play here… I am gonna be way past worm food… aka dead… one way or the other so I don’t give a fluck…

The other? I really gotta believe that if the human race has not already obliterated itself into a gazillion pieces, that in the time between now and then, they will hopefully have figured out a way to make the icy rock become something resembling an insignificant bit of nothingness.

Seems by then they should somehow have figured out how to do that… make the damn thing split apart into inconsequential fragments. No? I mean… 860 plus years? And, they come up with nothing?

Then fergeddaboudit…they deserve to be obliterated and turned into the next civilization’s future oil supply.

8) The other day I am watching the local Connecticut news and a story comes on about this dude Darryl McNair.

Seems Darryl had just turned 58 and after a day of some celebrating and dancing around in the streets he was relaxing in the early morning hours in a basement office, at his computer, playing some solitaire. Peaceful, contented… it had been a good day… a damn good day.

A bullet came through a window or wall… somewhere from outside… somehow… into his office and struck him down mortally wounded. He was able to call out to his wife for help; she called 911… but… Darryl died enroute to the hospital.

Darryl McNair
Darryl McNair

That was early Sunday morning … he was relaxing after a day filled with joking and partying on Saturday and looking forward to a really big party that folks were gonna throw later the next day… Sunday… of more birthday fun.

His stepdaughter said… “Not even three hours ago he was dancing in the street. He was enjoying himself. Now he’s gone. What do we do? Where do we go?”

You move on… it’s not easy and it’s a kick to the gut… or more like to the groin… you are breathless, in pain, hurt …aching from the loss but you pick up the pieces of your heart and soul and somehow have to move on or else it will just eat you alive and the bullet will have claimed more than just one innocent soul.

But, that don’t mean it’s all better or it doesn’t hurt or you don’t feel a gnawing agony and loss. It’s never easy.

I have said this before… will say it again… now… this shit done need to stop.

Guns are real dangerous freaking things. It ain’t like in the movies.

When you fire off rounds they don’t just go off into the air and if they don’t hit the intended target then just disappear into nothingness. They keep going until something stops them or they lose enough velocity then fall harmless… somehow. But usually they hit something. And. They do it hard.

Its just a fact that when you fire off weapons in places, especially places like inner cities, they tend to go into something… and sometimes that something is human flesh…

Flesh and bone folks… who be just doing what flesh and bone folks do when they go through living life… might be walking… or… pushing a child on a swing… or… cooking dinner… orrrr…. sitting at a computer playing solitaire on your birthday… when a bullet come from nowhere and ends it all with nary a warning.

Death is final and tragically forever… never welcomed or wanted.

And, too many good folks be dying because wannabes don’t have an ounce of sense within their heads. Or, just don’t give a damn about what the consequences of what they do might be.

Now, it appears a well loved and good man has been taken from this world much too early and another family has been torn asunder.

For what? Because some jackass wanted to prove a point to some supposed enemy? For that you pull the trigger without remorse or conscionable thought?

If, they catch the fool who done did this deed I hope someone has the sense to make sure he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of any existing laws that may be applied to this case. I mean anything and everything… manslaughter, breech of peace, firing off a weapon within city limits, littering, spitting on the sidewalk … ya’ll name it; charge them with it.

And, then whenever a similar piece of crap decides to commit a similar despicable act… do it all again…. and again and again and again.

Every time it happens… every time a punk does this evil… just bury his ass under with countless charges… petty and not so petty… bury his sorry little ass. Make the assholes face as much grief as possible…. it still won’t make up for the grief they caused… it won’t change they took a life… but just to cause their life to be ladened down with bullshit is something.

9) Vicky Beeching is a Christian rock star… I never heard of her but I just read an article that says that.

Vicky also spent years of her life believing that homosexuality was a sin.

Her religion taught her that it was so. An abomination before God or some such sort of thing.

Vicky believed she was a sinner. That she was not right with God. And, she spent her life trying to rid herself of being attracted towards other women… even to the point of participating in an exorcism.

Vicky Beeching
Vicky Beeching

But then, after she spent time dealing with a serious illness, she decided it was time to just face the music… so to speak… and to come out to her family and to her fans.

Now, she hopes to become a voice for other LGBT Christians who are struggling with who there are and reconciling that with their faith.

For 35 years, the British star hid her sexuality from her parents, her church, and the thousands of Christians who sang her songs. Tried to hide who she was… until she was sick… physically sick.

Now, Vicky Beeching says, “I’m gay. What Jesus taught was a radical message of welcome and inclusion and love. I feel certain God loves me just the way I am.”

Now, to say this has rocked the world she sings to is putting it mildly…

The news is sending shockwaves through many churches in America’s Bible Belt and she is being condemned for daring to lead others into sin and some are saying that she will face music of another kind eventually when she goes to meet, face to face, with her creator.

But… be that as it may… Vicky has also gotten messages of hope and love especially from LGBT people within the church who have spent years feeling excluded… like she did.

Vicky was taught early on as a child that homosexuality was wrong… a sin… while attending church with her conservative Christian parents in Kent (UK). She said she was told by those in the church as well as through children’s picture books about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah… “…that hailstones of fire raining down on these cities known for the ‘abomination’ of homosexuality.”

As she went into her teens her feelings for women became stronger and she cried to God to take the attractions away or take her life.

She confessed to a Catholic priest, who asked God to forgive her sins.

But… it didn’t change the way she felt about girls.

So, she felt “… there was something really wrong with me. That maybe I was so sinful and awful I couldn’t be healed.”

Then, at a Christian summer camp, 16-year-old Beeching submitted herself to an exorcism.

“I remember lots of people placing their hands on my shoulders and back and front. Praying in tongues really loudly and then shouting things: ‘We command Satan to let you go! Cast these devils out of you! We speak to you demon of homosexuality: let her go!’ People around me were wailing and screaming. It was really frightening. I was already feeling so vulnerable; it was horrible to think, ‘Am I controlled by demons?'”

And… it did not work.

Then, she started losing herself in school, her music, studying theology and religion at Oxford University. At 23, she went to Nashville, filling her time with music gigs so that she wouldn’t have time to think.

Then, one day, she noticed a scar growing on her forehead. A doctor told her she had linear scleroderma morphea, a degenerative disease that turns normal tissue into scar tissue. She would need chemotherapy and extensive treatment. A doctor told her that usually, there is one point of stress or trauma that triggers this condition.

Vicky had that “aha moment”… for her… “…there was no question: it was the stress of my sexuality.”

In a hospital, recovering from her illness, she made her decision to honestly come out to face her life… her self. She said, “Thirty-five is half a life. I can’t lose the other half. I’ve lost so much living as a shadow of a person.”

So, after 18 months of chemotherapy, Vicky told her parents and then her friends.

Mom and dad? They didn’t like her interpretation of faith but still accepted her with love. She was their child… their baby.

Vicky is still a Christian but is not one in a traditional sense any more… not at least what is commonly thought of as traditional Christianity. She says she isn’t even angry at the church but does say some stuff needs to be examined and change how it is looked upon. She says… “The Church’s teaching was the reason that I lived in so much shame and isolation and pain for all those years. But rather than abandon it and say it’s broken, I want to be part of the change.”

I say: Amen.

Funny how what living a lie can do to a person and it’s funnier yet what facing the truth and accepting it for what it is can do, too.

Maybe there is some truth to the words that Aunt Esther used to tell Fred Sanford after all… “The truth shall set ye free, Fred Sanford.”

And, maybe a whole entire host of other Vickys who have been led down a thorny path and told to lie about who and what they were… causing themselves to live in intolerable awful pain… can be what Vicky has become… free and one… in their own special way… with their personal God.

10) The Little league World Series going on right now in Williamsport (PA)… these kids take this stuff real serious like… like the pros… except sometimes they do a lot more shedding of the tears than their big league counterparts do. After all, they are still kids… children.


Just the other day the Cumberland (R.I.) Americans got beat and eliminated from the competition by Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West, 8-7.


Well, the kids, to almost each and every one of them, began shedding the waterworks… I mean… they were losers after all…


Except their coach, Dave Belisle, came over and said…. “Heads up high. Heads up high. I’ve gotta see your eyes, guys. There’s no llws-disappointment in your effort…in the whole tournament, the whole season. It’s been an incredible journey. We fought. Look at the score… 8-7, 12-10 in hits. We came to the last out. We didn’t quit. That’s us! Boys, that’s us! There’s only going to be one team that’s going to walk out of here as World Series champions. Only one. We got down to the nitty-gritty. We’re one of the best teams in the world. 

“Think about that for a second. In the world!”


Right… think about that… in the whole entire freaking world… the world is a pretty damn big place. One of the best.

Good job, coach.


Coach then told his kids to go out and have fun while they watched the rest of the LLWS and enjoy Williamsport… because before they know it… school’s back in session and the summers over.


Man… coachhhhh…



This weeks gratuitous pictures…


Eva Gaëlle Green  (34) is a French actress and model.































                                                                      …another thousand words…





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  1. Great as always. As far as Michael Brown goes, I have to agree with something you said in as far as the protests, and riots. I understand the anger and the rage. As a black man, I get that. However, I never understood the compulsion to riot and ultimately destroy your own community. A young man was shot in my neighborhood of East Flatbush last year, and the first thing that happened was people looted a pharmacy. Why? Made no sense. Why loot something that serves your own community? That’s beyond me.

    As far as Robert Graham? I’m more than familiar with traffic on Church Avenue. It’s my own neighborhood, and why I refuse to drive down it unless I have to get something from a store off of Church. However, cops who pass down the block are some cowboys. Can’t lie. They are. The 67th is full of them, but I’m glad he got something from the City. He deserved it. That was BS back in 2007, and it’s BS now.

  2. It can be a bit crazy out here. Why I say that although I’m not a street guy, I get the streets. Had no choice growing up and living out here. It’s not the worst looking neighborhood, or the most dangerous looking neighborhood on the surface, but I’ve seen so much craziness in my years, and continue to see it out here. East Flat ain’t no joke.

    So yeah if you find your way in my part of town, you should mind them P’s and Q’s.

  3. Robert Graham may never see one cent of that $150,000 but the judgment in his favor is in the books and I hope that will be enough for him. A moral victory is better than no victory.

    So Tea Party endorsed 24-year-old Gia Arnold running for NY State Senate decides to have an extramarital affair which takes place on August 1, then leaves her husband 4 days later and drops out of the race. Have I got that right? What I’d like to know is, knowing how damaging this affair would be to her hopes of a political career not to mention her marriage why did she go ahead with the affair and then confess it to potential voters? Bet she wins anyway as a write-in candidate with voters saying they appreciate her honesty.

  4. Re Gia Arnold… yep, you got it right, and, yep, sometimes peeps can be fooled by false hosenty.

    “Aw, shucks, I couldn’t help it… I done wrong but I really am sorry. I’ll pull out of the race cause its just the right thing to do… buttttt… but I won’t take my name off the ballot so just vote for me any way.”

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