Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Chapter One ~

It was 9:48 a.m. Tuesday morning on December 22nd,, the year 2009. Gregory Heartwell was particularly pleased that he’d experienced a restful sleep the previous night, but more importantly, he was pleased that God had tapped him on the forehead to awake and see another day.

As he stretched his arms out and yawned he began a conversation with himself with the tone of pause and reflection.

This day was no regular day. This marked his 50th birthday. My golden anniversary on this earth! Yes, this would be a great day!

Have I really lived my life to its fullest? Had I lived the life that I was supposed to live?

Fifty years had caught up with him. He’d been running from aging all life long while chasing the hopes and dreams that he’d always promised himself as a youngster.
By the time I’m twenty I’m going to be playing major league professional baseball, and by the time I’m 30 I’m going to be married with children and live in a big house rich beyond my wildest imagination and loving life.

When none of those things happened, he’d adjust his goals with new sights. I’m going to be a top executive in a major company by the time I’m 35. Then I’m going to be retired, by the time I’m 40.

When none of these things happened the way he hoped he stopped dreaming and started just living. He stopped putting pressure on himself to accomplish this by then and that by when. Just live!

In all honesty, the life he’d lived was one that he could say maximized his true talents, and was consistent with his outgoing personality. He’d taken many different paths, with wondrous experiences of things that the average person could only imagine, read or hear about. After all was said and done, he’d been blessed!
The weather was exceptionally beautiful, crisp and calm this morning. In the background the birds were chirping, leaves were rustling through the light, cool but comfortable breeze, which was coming off of the lake at the mouth of the property about a half mile away.

As the music played from the IPOD, Peter Franklin’s In the Center provided the right jazzy spiritual setting that he’d anticipated and hoped for on this Sunday. For he’d carefully planned out this day down to the time that he’d awake to his attire, to the reading he’d partake, the drink he’d swallow, to the music that would fill his ear lobes .

Just as he envisioned, he smiled and was satisfied with the tone being established. The vibe of meditation and the day had been carefully planned to let the thoughts flow in a natural, holistic manner. It was a time for deep reflection!
Feeling vibrant his internal conversation continued, I’m sporting my freshly laundered, white, French-cuffed shirt, with my ruby red, heart-shaped cuff links, Sean Jean baggy jeans, I’m reading the latest edition of Forbes Magazine, and my day is off to a great start.

Cutting his eyes away from the article about the impending president-elect Obama’s proposed economic stimulus plans.

As the sun showered down onto his Mikasa china cup the reflection of his face inside of the herbal tea drink, caught his attention. His face showed as clear as glass. “Damn, I look good for an old man!” he laughingly proclaimed.
God’s been good to me. He gave my family good genes, and blessed me with the good sense to take care of my health and body, and live a clean life.

Throughout his life his looks would usually get him in the door to certain opportunities. But his guile, character, and street-honed survival skills are what would help him to achieve the benefits. Proud of the fact that he never took those attributes for granted. His humble approach to life always served him well.
As he scanned his surroundings he took a moment to inhale the naturally clean air, green pastures and natural beauty that Mississippi possessed. After all, it was one the primary reason he was sold on this property.

“If God made something more beautiful I had yet to see it.”
Nestled in the outskirts of Jackson, Mississippi, about 15 miles from Philadelphia’s Choctaw Indian reservation, rested the 100 acre paradise of his forefathers; Heritage Hill.

The property and its surrounding land within five miles radius was owned and controlled by several families who’d resided there for centuries of generations back to slave days. Each family was related to the other.

A story was passed down by generation that Master Peeler during the days of share cropping would request his main trusted Negro Mr. George to take his horses and other cattle to town for the purpose of auction. Mr. George, who expected to make a percentage of the proceeds from the auction sales, would often get paid in deeds of trust for land instead of cash.

Quite naturally those deeds were considered worth less than the dirt that accumulated on that property of those deeds. But in Mr. George’s mind; what other choice did he have? He couldn’t rebel and callout Master Peeler, but he believed in his heart of hearts that one day those deeds would be worth 100 times the value than of those times. So he made the sacrifice for the greater reward for his family.
He held the deeds close to his person, coveting them like any other family jewel. Besides, the deeds represented ownership of the very property where previous generations of family members were housed as slaves and where he grew up as a little boy. He knew if he was smart his family would always have a home. Hopefully, he could teach his offspring to value the tenet of the deeds and continue the stewardship of the property for generations to come.

Mr. George was Heartwell’s grandma Nola’s, uncle! He was a great man who lived until he was 92. God used him well. One day Gregory got a chance to meet with him before he left the world.

Reminiscing with a glaze of remembrance Gregory gazed across the knoll of his sprawling property and focused on a spot just on the other side of the property line.
We sat on his porch drinking lemonade out of his Mason jar glass talking about life scanning over 80 years of historical events. His knowledge and wisdom will forever be with me.

Heritage Hill represented peace, tranquility and safety to George. “When I go into town amongst all that ciaos and return back up this here hill, as soon as I get to main road up to the house I feel safe and secure and protected. Everyone on the hill knows me and I know them; we’re all family.

Nodding with agreement to that statement by George, Gregory was puzzled about when he would come and visit Mississippi, “Coming from the big cities of California, I never did understand why my family especially my mom, who spent her childhood in this beautiful place, never came back to visit Heritage Hill. The natural beauty here is awesome!”

Admittedly, there was an instance when while driving he took a wrong turn off a main road and ended up onto a rural, dirt road lined on both sides of this narrow path containing weeping willow trees. Except these trees were weeping for other reasons, Gregory suddenly got an eerie, frightening vision of his ancestors’ lifeless expressionless bodies hung from the neck suspended from those trees in their slave garb. Visions of bodies swinging in the wind like the leaves on the tree, slowly from side to side were eminent in his mind.

Immediately he slammed on the brakes, and made a u-turn convinced that he was not meant to travel down that road. The remnants of slavery are still in the air in the South if one looked deep enough, and listened hard enough. But, with the guidance of the undying sprit of his ancestors who lived a real life daily existence of terror one could find the mind to enjoy the overwhelming beauty of the South’s topography.
Heartwell’s success in business afforded him the opportunity to live a comfortable life wherever he wished. He chose Mississippi to call home.

His family resisted leaving the big city for the country. Especially the country in the south, so far away from the West Coast! Heartwell understood their concerns; they really didn’t want to leave their friends.

However, when he’d journey to Heritage Hill from California and arrive onto the property, he’d often take a walk on the grounds between the weeping willow trees along the natural rustling running water from the creek, and suddenly would stop and just look in amazement at how innocent and virgin the land had been. Hearing the breeze through the branches with his eyes closed he’d listen to the whispering of the wind. He could hear the whispering voices of his ancestors who’d cultivated the land.

Those ancient spoken whispers were messages from God, telling him that his path will one day return back to where it all began. Back to the center of my soul!
The Heartwell’s committed to Mississippi living by building an exquisite custom built Mediterranean style home nestled in the middle of the 80 acre property, privacy would not be a problem.

Reflecting about the painstaking and intricate process he took in choosing each amenity. Everything that he’d ever dreamt about was featured in the estate. The finest appointments of mahogany wood, hand-cut pillowed limestone flooring in the foyer and throughout, ten foot high glass paneled French entry doors, cascading fountains and formal gardens of odoriferous flowers made the grounds look like an oasis.

Heartwell’s kids loved the grotto style pool and sports court. His wife spent most of her time in the granite clad gourmet kitchen. Baby I’ll have to admit some delicious grub comes out of that kitchen.

But, my favorite place on the property was right here on the Veranda in my favorite rocker chair overlooking the complete grounds and the valley which one can see as far as their imagination can take them. This was the place which brought me to the center of my soul. When the setting’s right like today, life really makes sense. Life is good!

Focusing back into his cup, he remembered that life hadn’t always been so kind. He’d come a long way to this place. It was less than a decade and a half ago when I was at a serious impasse in my life. I’d just been released from my contract in professional baseball. I was sent packing back to California in the most embarrassing way. In front of all of my teammates!

With shattered dreams and broken promises, not really knowing where my next step would take me. My spirit broken, I ended up on my brothers’ couch literally trying to sleep off the bad dream.

Of course being pitiful wasn’t productive! So one day his brother Hampton gave him that, “Brotha you’d better get your ass off of the couch and do something with yourself. Yes, I understand that baseball thing didn’t work but you’ll find something else. You always do. Besides you can’t stay here forever…; speech.”
Hampton was right of course. He couldn’t continue that existence, but he’d been hurt. He’d been rejected by his former professional baseball team. He’d been told that he was no longer the Chosen One, “Your services are immediately terminated. You will be okay, because you’re educated unlike many of our other players”. Ironically that’s why he was chosen versus one of his teammates whose fate wouldn’t be so successful if he was released. That teammate wouldn’t have as many options. “He’d be forced to carry a lunch pail for the rest of his life” Mr. Bean the General Manger would proclaim.

Don’t do me any favors, was his thought to that ridiculous ass statement. Nevertheless, he got fired from his dream and it hurt.

No! Life wasn’t always so great, but I’m a survivor! I’m from the streets. Underneath this sophisticated exterior is a boy from the urban inner-city of America who used his street savvy to develop a keen business intellect, took horrible life experiences to build a strong instinct about people, and the circumstances of the game.

Heartwell was a person who used his athletic accomplishment to fuel a competitive nature that always landed him atop of company’s lists of top producers. Most importantly, his most valuable resource was the wisdom of his whispering ancestors who guarded him from the pitfalls of the path of no return.

In a gaze into the morning sunlight shining just off the side of the balcony providing a comforting blanket of warmth and calm. Admittedly, life has been amazingly interesting.

I believe that I lived it rather than just survived it. One day I’ll enjoy telling my grandkids, just like George, about my 80 years of historical events and share lemonade in a Mason jar on my front porch downloading all of the knowledge and wisdom that had been bestowed upon me.

Caught up in a gaze Heartwell heard sounds of several footsteps coming in his direction, which would surely mark the end of peace and solitude. It would be time to be daddy and husband soon, but his day had started just perfectly, and his family would just add the icing to the cake. Yes this would be unlike any of his other birthdays in his life.

“Honey, are you ready for breakfast? What are you doing out there all by yourself anyway?”

“Nothin! Just, sittin up lookin”! Yeah, I’m ready for that good grub you’re serving in that kitchen. Baby, have I ever told you that I really love your cooking?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Little Meditation Never Hurt Anyone

“Unleash the Power of the Cerebrum”

According to Alan Watts http://deoxy.org/watts.htm “A Conversation with Myself” -- http://deoxy.org/video?v=8688992796818009166 and the Dalai Lama http://www.viewonbuddhism.org/Meditations/dalai_lama_meditation.html what is the instructive value of meditating or emptying the mind rather than the traditional studying in order to fill it?

The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain that makes sense of signals sent from the sensory nerves in the body to process thoughts ideas, linguistics, and ideals. The brain is a complex magnificent organ which the creator gave our species which can conceive almost anything that’s possible.

However in all of its natural complexities, humans insist on simplifying the concept of thought, by interjecting knowledge and concepts. We tend to try to simplify in order to control our environment (i.e. - geometrics, science, mathematical formulas, technology, and linguistics).

When we think naturally, we think in colors, pictures or images, words, sounds, emotions, and languages. This process is a constant and fluid processing of information by the brain. When we interject science, math and other formal disciplines of information that’s learned; even though the brain has the natural capacity to process, understand, and store that information in its data base that process is counter the natural process of creativity.

Alan Watts (A Conversation with Myself) used the term “wiggly” that nature uses to flow with the naturalness of it movements. Human beings counteract nature by trying to place thoughts and ideas into simplified contexts (boxes, straight-line, rigid forms of life). The openness of ones mind allows for the natural flows of thought and creativity that’s meant for the mind to comprehend.

He further describes the brain as a network of interconnected neurons. A message of yes or no, but nature is far more complicated than that. Everything is interconnected, like a flower is connected to a field, the stem, dirt and water.

Non-Western alternatives which is working out the mind as it-is taps into the more embodied philosophies which are considered more in line with nature. The basis of Western culture is a logical formula of simplifying concepts which is counter to how nature really works, artificially causes a homeostasis of our universe. Nature is more of complex moving elements of the world.

2. How have alternative [i.e. non-Western] approaches to problem solving or healing worked for you or anyone that you know?

The body believes what the mind conceives and vice versa. If ones mind tells the body its sick it the body can become sick. In extreme cases ones mind can be interconnected that it can convince the body to become extremely ill. Psychosomatic disorder is the medical or clinical term used for a person whose mental emotions cause them to affect their physical organs. Therefore it’s imperative for us to be able to control our minds and direct our thoughts.

When I utilize Eastern philosophies of meditation my main objective is to place myself mentally and physically in a state of relaxation where the naturalness of thoughts and ideas flow freely. I can control my mind and direct my thoughts more freely when I’m able to effectively place myself in a meditative state. I can accomplish this state of being on a long ride in the country, or a long jog on a nature trail with my Ipod playing my favorite relaxing tunes. The ladder is my preference; because it allows me to connect with receive nature’s elements of the sun, air, wind, water, grass, birds, and the flowers.

Additionally, the physical nature of the cardio vascular activity causes my endorphin’s to increase which stimulates my brain waves that and serves to relax my thoughts. These elements facilitate a natural process of open mindedness, of which allows ideas to flow freely and uninhibited.

The Dalai Lama’s teachings of meditation encompasses an emptying of the mind of all thoughts through formal processes, which helps facilitate an environment of physical and mental mind openness. These processes help break-down the inhibitors that interferes with the steadiness of the object of observation and causes it to fluctuate; excitement or, in a more general way, scattering.

They help to reach clarity through the inner most intimate thoughts, so that the intensity of the mode of apprehension begins to lower. To withdraw the mind, it helps to think about something that makes you more sober, a little sad.

Another type of meditation involves looking at the mind itself. Try to leave your mind vividly in a natural state, without thinking of what happened in the past or of what you are planning for the future, without generating any conceptuality.

In theory something that’s formal in process and structured in its nature in order to be effective counterbalances the natural evolution of a thought process. The reality is the mind conceives thoughts and ideas whenever and however. One mind can be blocked by the very tension that can be created by the brain which can get consumed with the thought that the mind and body must take a specific planned time to meditate.

How many times have we heard of writers block, where someone who purposely has placed themselves in what they’ve considered a creative place of existence (i.e. - a cabin in the woods, a private hotel room, etc.) just to accomplish that sustainable mind-opening environment, but nothing happens? They cannot seem to collect their thoughts.

Dalai Lama teaches that a callisthenic training of the mind with persistent practice, consciousness may eventually be perceived or felt as an entity of mere luminosity and knowing, to which anything is capable of appearing and which, when appropriate conditions arise, can be generated in the image of whatsoever object.

I think what really works is a consistently seeking to create a balance of nature and science, because our civilization is built around formulaic concepts that drive our practical lives. But, in addition to inhibiting ideas and concepts, I utilize meditation to de-stress my mind, in order to promote better mental and physical health. I do subscribe to the philosophy of letting the mind flow of its own accord without conceptual overlay. Letting the mind rest in its natural state, and observe it.

If you are able to do a little meditation daily, withdrawing this scattered mind on one object inside, it is very helpful.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


The theory of Darwin proclaimed that species survive because their ancestors before them had certain superior traits that were passed down to their offspring. He believed that the unexplained circumstances in life counter any divine creation, because God would have intentionally made transparent reasoning for all things left unexplainable.

From Darwin’s prospective what God was supposed to BE; was perfect in every way, including all that He created, and therefore the imperfections in life were proof against God being responsible for creation of the world.

Thomas Aquinas that human existence is part of a divine plan (of Creationism). The imperfections are in fact perfect in God’s mind. There’s a purpose for everything, even the unexplainable.

Biologically man and other species are born into this world the way that they are. The question still remains why man is at the top of the food chain? Why man was made to be superior to the animals, vegetation, fish and crops placed on earth for man’s primary source of survival?

We are more than just a species that was more equipped to survive than others. It’s ironic that humans, who have something that no other organism have; the ability to evaluate our existence for a historical, contemporary and futuristic perspective. Who we are, and where we are going? Don’t seem to be as debated as the question of where we came from? Why is this knowledge so important for us to define?

In knowing our history part of what’s considered fact vs. fiction is the element of science. Therefore if biologists can determine the history of earth through fossil records it’s important to note that these facts earmark things that occurred in a time and place, what things probably looked like. Fossils are like a photograph of captured moments of history.

Now with relative science either previously developed or recently developed can calculate with some reasonableness a story or hypothesis of what occurred 100’s of millions of years ago.

With the evidence of science as an accepted barometer by society as factual evidence, so to is the story of the Bible which contradicts some of the scientific facts that are recounted about how the earth began.

The main thing that is consistent between both the recount of the Bible and scientific methodologies is we humans are often viewed as a superior species. Maybe that is true. Darwin would have us believe it was the evolution that brought us to superior species. And, un-foretold and unforeseen circumstances directed us though the maze of our own evolution from our ancestors with strong traits that so happened to bring us to a point where one man learned to make tools and solve problems. Well that’s one man’s theory.

However, survival is always the main component of evolution. Basic survival is influenced by environmental factors which force us to adapt. This truism would lead us to believe logically that if evolution was strictly tied to the environment then we probably would resemble robots rather than humans.
The environment has evolved significantly over the centuries, but humans relatively haven’t changed much in appearance.

So the question remains do our recognized superior traits allow us to control our evolution? Or are we still evolving to adapt to the changes in environmental conditions which adversely affect us in order to survive?

When the phrase is used “they don’t make them like they used to”! Does this also apply to human beings?

We recognize the evolutionary process was designed only for the fittest and strongest, but does tomorrows evolution mean the people that are the healthiest, least stressed, live the most Green Life, are the most intellectually adept are the ones that will survive? Just like the example of the evolution of cars. Will humans have to adapt to be more energy efficient, and safe?

It was Cicero who once said (contemporary translation) “Man not knowing the events that took place before in time, is like going through life as an infant”. Regardless of ones theories or ideological perspectives that fact remains that it is now and always has been man who’s deciphered what’s happened in history. Man made up the standards of science. Man determined the benchmark process of what’s acceptable or not in our society. Even the Bible is the chronicles of 8 men who through their own witness interpreted what occurred in history.

These facts are and will always be the impetus for a debate that will never be solved in contemporary times because no one was there to witness what happened! In our society it’s always so important for us to have one single answer for everything that effects our lives, especially when it comes to our history. Maybe there isn’t just one explanation, and maybe our history was a series of complicated and convoluted occurrences. I think that the evidence that we have discovered points towards the more complicated explanation than the Big Bang or any other singular theory.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Racial Profiling Real or Percieved?


ABSTRACT: Racial Profiling still remains a problem in American society today, and seems to be a practice amongst our peace keepers/ law enforcement personnel throughout this country. The need for a higher level or training, legislation and leadership will be required in order to alleviate this ongoing practice going forward.

In spite of the appeals process, courts system, and the legislative laws of our society, as evidenced above the definition of Racial Profiling is incongruent amongst law enforcement channels in America. As a result, the interpretation of proper procedures relative to Racial Profiling is left up to the discretion of the officers on the streets. These “Street Level Bureaucrats” are given the power to interpret, enforce, and in most case become the absolute final judge relative to a person receiving the full benefits of the laws that were intended to protect society.

The term “Driving while black” (or brown) still exists today. The factual based data cited in the source (www.aclu.org/pdfs/humanrights), states that blacks are six times more likely to get stopped and have their vehicles searched than whites is evidence of the racial based subjectivity being levied by our nation’s officers.

There are still officers throughout law enforcement channels who feel the oath to “Protect and serve” doesn’t apply to blacks or other people of color. They feel the oath should be used to “control” the ethnic population in order to deter the inevitable; criminal intent (Reginald Lyles- Law Enforcement Consultant on sensitivity “Best Practices”, special sensitivity consultant for BART Police Department/post Mehserle incident, former Captain of Novato Police Department- 30 years).

Additionally, in contemporary environments many police officers operate with a certain level of fear and distrust regarding ethnic individuals’ especially black, Hispanic, and Middle Eastern males. Their lack of intimate understanding of the cultural and psychological attitudes and characteristics serves to limit their perspective to enable them to reach an alternative perspective from their own.

The real challenge with this attitude is, authorities don’t have a way to clear and concise mechanism to uncover those hidden feelings. Even some of the personality tests that are given in the pre-hiring screening process don’t necessarily uncover these survival instincts that evolve when that officer is placed in a compromising situation.

Administrators have to take additional measures to ensure that our officers have been trained, prepared and equipped with enough social morays to effectively administer fair and descent policing practices within our communities. The reality has demonstrated that there still exists a sensitivity gap that is either real or perceived by society that constantly finds our police officers on the wrong end of a civil law suit.

The key argument is that profiling enables law enforcement authorities to screen effectively and succinctly towards people or sectors that are more likely than others to have a proclivity for criminal activity. But there hasn’t been any empirical proof that Racial Profiling or Profiling has been an effective tool for deterring criminal behavior.

The reality is profiling isn’t just indigenous to just certain races. When an officer sees a person that appears out of place in the environment where their being detained for example a white man standing or resting in an deep inner-city neighborhood, or a tattooed biker tooling through a well known upscale neighborhood, aspects of racial profiling are considered justified by law officials because the person was looking suspicious and therefore provided probable cause to be questioned.

Officers are given the oath to protect & serve the citizens of community, provided a set of laws and empowered to enact those laws within the purview of their own individual discretion. Law enforcement official’s biggest challenge comes in the area of changing regarding discretionary techniques. Is that sufficient enough to best prepare our officers?

Training depth is left up to the discretion of the training officer who’s own particular paradigms dictate how much of the un-mandated subject matter gets interjected into the training session. Cognitive Orientation identifies that people’s ideologies frames is central to their approach to power. In the certain instances a person with a radical perspective will frame society in a class or race which focuses on Marist doctrine of unequal distribution of power in society (Morgan, 1986, p.186).

The paradigm requirement of the new Peacekeeper must better educated, possess a broader prospective about our ever increasing diverse society; unlike the myopic views historically displayed by many within the law enforcement community.

These officers must be better trained in social matters, with a heavy skew towards contextual critical thinking and best practices case study examples. The new Peacekeeper must possess leadership skills which are employed in helping create an environment of peer influences towards “best practices” police work. They must be empowered to uphold the self-policing mechanism through an un-retaliatory procedure that accomplishes rooting out the Rogue Cop, and helps to maintain the proper image and expectations of society’s police.

Police officers have to develop a renewed sense of pride for their work. The natural perception by most outsiders is that a police officer is special and proud for placing themselves in harms way on behalf of protecting the citizens of society.

Admittedly, not everyone has the intestinal fortitude to become a police officer, however, because of the Rogue Officer; the law enforcement profession has developed a bad reputation within society. Ironically, society has essentially enacted the same type of profiling about police officers, by essentially pre-judging police officers as being all the same relative to their propensity to behave in a prejudicial manner. Only law enforcement stakeholders can effectively change this dynamic.

The values of constructive conflict resolution reflects some basis values, to which people are profoundly divided by reasonable philosophical and moral values doctrines can adhere (Rawls, 1996,-P. xxxix). A reasonable doctrine in the case of racial profiling is the acceptance that police are there to provide protection all citizens of the land, and such protection requires a certain amount of scrutiny in order to ensure everyone’s safety including the officers.

The people need to cognizant of the difficulty that law enforcement personnel face in their daily work that involves extreme danger and a natural instinct of human beings is to protect themselves from harm. Therefore there are times when they are forced to make instinctual decisions that aren’t necessarily a personal indictment on ones character or status but merely an interjection of the full extent of the officer’s paradigm in handling conflict.


I just wanted to comment on your abstract. I have recently done quite a bit of research on the topic of "driving while black." I feel that it is unfair to say that it is a reality and occurring all over our nation. In my findings, I found that the majority of cities and rural areas had proportional stoppages in comparison to their population. I am not the only to find this to be the case either. All of my research came from other professional’s studies. I also interviewed numerous people in law enforcement from different agencies and positions. Everyone agreed that racial profiling is a horrific injustice and is hardly ever the case. I will not argue that it never happens because I too believe that there are a few bad apples out there that do this. What seemed to more prevalent was criminal profiling, in which certain characteristics of the vehicles or mannerisms of the driver and passengers are displaying. If you have not noticed, I feel very strongly about this topic. I think that is very unfair to suspect that racial profiling is running rampant among law enforcement agencies.



I guess the research and interviews we both conducted have varying points of view. First I never used the word "rampant". I stated that it's still an issue. I'll assume that you agree with this statement.

Furthermore, your opinion, the research that you said that you've conducted and the people that you've interviewed are perfect examples of why Racial Profiling still exists, because you ALL dismiss the actions of these officers as "isolated incidences", or to use your term "bad apples". No! The problem is systemic. If two out of the past three Presidents have had to get involved with the matter as a matter of public interest, I think that its a bit more than one isolated incident after another.

I take it that you're not a member of any of the ethnic races that are 6 times more likely to get pulled over than someone like yourself. So from a practical matter, you can conduct all the research you want with people whom you feel are subject matter experts, but unless they're victims then they don't have a legitimate say in what really is going on. I can probably deduce that if they are subject matter experts and make a statement that Racial Profiling only exists in certain rural areas, and in the same sentence of use the word "stoppage" then they probably are the perpetrators of the act.

I think that just like in the health care debate you'd better start talking to those people who are affected by the problem to gain real facts. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one. Case closed!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Truth and Nothing but the Truth So help Me God!

Why do you think it is often so difficult to correct outright lies and misinformation?

“Jim Jones Cool-aide” was once drunk by a group of religious fanatics that were led to believe that the contents of that drink would set their souls free. History will dictate that the drink which was mixed with an ounce of truth and a whole lot of lies, and was of coursed laced with poisonous cyanide; killed hundreds of believers as a result of their faithfulness. This is a severe example but relevant in my opinion.

People within my inner-circle use a well used phrase, “drinking the juice,” when describing someone who unquestionably follows a mistruth or misleading fact merely because they consider the source of the information as being credible.

The same as the Jim Jones disciples did back in the 70’s so do many American’s who blindly will believe misinformation or mistruths regarding certain subject matters as “Gospel”. Most of the mistruths that are disseminated in this society are related to very serious matters of government, political policy or personal information about our elected officials, or threats of war. This type of practice is very irresponsible and reckless.

In our society we thrive on controversy and fear. The more controversial the more fear can be created the more interesting! And, its not important if the subject matter is fact based or not, (remember our Military Intelligence Report which stated that Sadaam was harboring weapons of mass destruction), it’s the emotive response that gives legs to untruthful information.

In the Columbia Journal Review (August-2009) it used the term false claims relative to the counter information being spread by Republican supporters against President Obama’s health care reform proposal. The Rush Limbaugh’s, Bill O’Reilly’s, and Glen Beck’s of conservative talk show fame have a responsibility to their listener base. Their listener base obviously likes to drink the “anti-Liberal at all cost” juice. And to them all cost means to discredit the opposite principles even if it means to lie, twist or misrepresent the truth. Is that fighting fair? Well in our society, yes! Anything goes. And that’s unfortunate

We purport ourselves as a moral society, who stands up on the Constitution, human and civil rights, and the truth. But, in practice we’re anything but moral. We’re moral when it’s self-serving. But, the one thing about our Constitution is we are a nation of people, and for the people. As the people we have the ultimate power and influence over how we want to live our lives, however, we choose to minimize and trivialize our existence with constant and reckless spreading or rumors, mistruths and innuendos under the auspices of our greatest prized “freedom of speech”.

When we choose to use this gift as a weapon against each other we do nothing short of mock the Constitution. And, no matter what the media chooses to make newsworthy, we the people are what gives it life or death. We’re ultimately responsible for our information in its current form; untrustworthy.

I recall a recent debate with a colleague of mine when discussing the whole Steroid Scandal, which uncovered major league baseball players who reportedly used steroids. It’s important to note that at the time of the independent report that was famously known as the Mitchell Report, uncovered confirmed steroid use amongst certain players (the truth), but it’s universally believed that the report was supposed to be used as a tool to support evidence that the greatest player of the “Steroid Era”, Barry Bonds was also guilty of alleged use.

When the reports were released to the media, and an intense grand jury investigation, and formal indictments levied against Bonds, in the “court of public opinion” he’s completely guilty of (one would think murder). This is a classis example of a little truth mixed in with a bunch of twisted lies, opinions, and a personal vendetta of a grand jury prosecutor who’s vowed to take Barry down. My colleague stated his philosophy was that he always wanted to know the truth, regardless of how it’s obtained.

As a mature adult my andragogy has provided me with a keen practical knowledge and instinct especially as it relates to media driven scandals, to wait until the final truth comes out. The truth will always come out in the end, just like it did with the Iraq War, like it did with Watergate, like it did with President Clinton, and like it did in a twisted way with OJ Simpson. The real truth has a way to rising to the top and providing a balance in this chaotic society. Thank God!