Tragic, Senseless Losses…

I was planning to post my “Five for Friday” fun facts, but decided to put it off until next week. Two tragic, senseless events occurred this week, but there has been little reported about them. Most outlets, everywhere I look, are fawning over the Drumpf and how “presidential” he’s suddenly become because he knows how to launch missiles and drop bombs. That is supposed to be the last resort, when all other things have failed – but this jackass is determined to do anything to distract from the scandals and valid questions surrounding his administration, and it appears to be working.

The two events I’m referring to are, first, the shooting in San Bernardino. Karen Smith, a teacher, was shot and killed by her estranged husband on Monday, 10 April. One of her students, 8-year-old Jonathan Martinez, also died after being caught in the crossfire; another student, aged nine, was wounded. Karen hadn’t been married to her husband very long, and it was apparently troubled. She was staying at the homes of relatives in order to hide from him, yet he showed up at her place of employment – a school – and took her life, then his own. From NBC News:

Out of fear of her estranged husband, Karen Smith began staying at the homes of relatives in order to hide from him, family sources told NBC 4 Los Angeles. Adam Smith said her death came as a surprise, and that his mother and her husband had problems but he never imagined Anderson was capable of this.

The four adult children declined to discuss Karen Smith’s relationship with Anderson further, but they opened up about their mother’s love for her work. Karen Smith, a grandmother of three, home-schooled her children for eight years before she pursued her career as a special education teacher. As both mother and educator, she formed a tight-knit bond with her children.

“Personally, she was my rock, my best friend and my world,” Jennifer Smith, Karen Smith’s daughter, said. Jennifer Smith, who became a teacher like her mother, said Karen Smith’s impact last long after her students left her classroom. “Oftentimes former students would contact her and thank her for helping them graduate from high school,” Jennifer said. “Children were the light of her world and their success was hers.”

Adam Smith agreed, saying that during his mother’s 10-year career, she enjoyed seeing her students succeed and excel in their work. After their mother’s death on Monday, Karen Smith’s children were still reeling from the loss. “She didn’t deserve to die like this,” Adam Smith said, his voice catching.”

The sickness and evil of people like Cedric Anderson cannot be overstated enough. Psychos and sociopaths, for whatever reason, become obsessed with the person they feel has “wronged” them. Their desperate attention-seeking becomes more and more dangerous, to the point of stalking, baiting, bullying, and other types of harassment. They can’t accept it when another doesn’t want them in their lives, and take the rejection so personally that they blame the other person instead of looking at themselves to see where the issue lies. Everything is the fault of someone else, in their twisted, broken little minds.

The loss of a caring, loving teacher is such a shame, as is the death of a young boy who had his whole life ahead of him. Two lives tragically cut short, because some damaged-beyond-repair cretin couldn’t handle the fact that his marriage was over, and his actions were the cause of it. Domestic violence affects many, and the most dangerous time for a person escaping an abusive relationship is when they’ve physically left it; this shooting shows that fact in a glaring light.

Sheila Abdus-Salaam: 14 March 1952 – 12 April 2017

The second event is the mysterious death of Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first African-American woman, and the first Muslim, to serve on New York’s highest court. Her fully-clothed body was pulled out of the Hudson River on Wednesday, 12 April, a day after she was reported missing. No cause of death has been announced, and the results of an autopsy conducted yesterday were inconclusive, but her death is being treated as a suicide – and that irks me to no end. From Al-Jazeera:

Tributes were paid on Thursday to Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first African-American woman to serve on New York’s highest court. Police pulled Abdus-Salaam’s fully clothed body from the Hudson River on Wednesday, a day after she was reported missing. The 65-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. No cause of death has been announced.

There were no signs a crime had been committed in her death, a police spokesman said on Thursday. Law enforcement officials speaking on condition of anonymity told US media that investigators were treating the death as a suicide. One of the officials said both the judge’s mother and brother had died in recent years around Easter, the brother by suicide.

Results of an autopsy conducted on Thursday were inconclusive. “The cause and manner of death are pending further studies following today’s examination,” Julie Bolcer, a spokeswoman for the city’s medical examiner, said in a statement. Abdus-Salaam was widely reported to have been the country’s first female Muslim judge. Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo hailed Abdus-Salaam as “a trailblazing jurist whose life in public service was in pursuit of a more fair and more just New York for all”.

“As the first African-American woman to be appointed to the state’s Court of Appeals, she was a pioneer,” Cuomo said. “Through her writings, her wisdom and her unshakable moral compass, she was a force for good whose legacy will be felt for years to come.”

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore said her colleague will be “missed deeply”. “Her personal warmth, uncompromising sense of fairness and bright legal mind were an inspiration to all of us who had the good fortune to know her,” DiFiore said. Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said her example and work on civil rights issues were inspiring to women, Muslims, and African Americans. “Her story was a story of success, empowerment and inspiration,” he said.

The president of the New York State Bar Association, Claire P Gutekunst, noted Abdus-Salaam grew up poor in a family of seven children in Washington, DC, and “rose to become one of the seven judges in New York’s highest court, where her intellect, judicial temperament and wisdom earned her wide respect”.

Abdus-Salaam graduated from Barnard College and received her law degree from Columbia Law School. She became a public defender in Brooklyn after law school, the New York Times said, representing people who could not afford lawyers. She went on to serve as a lawyer for New York state government and city’s office of labour services. In one of her first cases, she won an anti-discrimination suit for more than 30 female New York City bus drivers who had been denied promotions.”

Is it possible that she committed suicide? Sure. Do I believe that it was a suicide? Not really. It’s difficult for me to believe that, especially in light of this recent assault on another Muslim woman, which happened on Monday in Milwaukee. From the Huffington Post:

Police are investigating the vicious assault Monday of a Muslim woman in Milwaukee in what the local community is calling a hate crime. The 58-year-old woman, who does not want to be identified, told Fox6Now a man armed with a knife attacked her while she was walking home from her mosque early Monday. She said a car pulled up alongside her and he hopped out, demanding that she remove her hijab. “I tried to fight him,” she told the local news channel. “‘Don’t take my hijab,’ you know? So he threw me on the floor then he beat me like an animal.”

“Before he hurt me, I said ‘today I gonna die,” she recounted to WISN. “I gonna die.’” The council of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, where the woman attends mosque, described the assault in a letter to its members this week: He then grabbed her head and removed her hijab and began to attack her. She is a petite woman in her late 50s. She tried to resist. Her nose began to bleed from the hits she suffered. Besides punching and kicking our sister in the head and back while she was on the ground, he also had a knife. The jacket she was wearing has a long vertical cut in the back and also a cut on the arm of the jacket. Our sister suffered a cut on her arm that, alhamdulillah [praise God], was not serious. As expected, she was terrified. The attacker did not ask for money nor did he take her phone. The attacker then returned to his car and sped off.

The woman managed to walk home, where she then suffered a seizure, her lawyer, Munjed Ahmad, told The Huffington Post. Ahmad said the woman is epileptic and the attack likely induced the seizure. A friend later arrived at the woman’s home and called 911. She was transported to a local hospital where she was sedated and released the following day. Ahmad told HuffPost the woman suffered a bloody nose, a laceration on her arm, a bloodied face, a black eye, and bruising on her face. Her hijab and a copy of the Quran she was carrying were both bloodied during the attack.”

This is just one of many hate-driven assaults perpetrated upon Muslim people. The ignorant, racist hate-mongers out there think that anyone wearing a head-covering, such as the turbans worn by Sikhs, are Muslim. A Sikh gentleman was shot in his own driveway here in Washington state, in the city of Kent, back at the beginning of March. Attacks such as these are just the tip of the iceberg, unfortunately. Denying the amount of vitriol and hate that has surfaced since the selection of the Drumpf is being blindly, willfully ignorant – and in some ways, being so is the worst crime of all. Unfortunately, Sheila Abdus-Salaam might not get the due justice deserved, even though she did much good for a lot of people. It’s entirely possible that her religion and her career made her a target for multiple reasons, and a crime of opportunity can look like a suicide if it isn’t investigated thoroughly. The fact that her death has barely made a ripple on the news or across the interwebs shows how little people care about the death of Black people in general, and Black women in particular…and that’s a shame.

Ah, Orlando…

Speechless, yet again…I’m so tired of hate, and those who spread it like disease.

Friday Feelings… ** UPDATED **

I’m still speechless…too sad and sickened to think or speak. Flags fly at half-mast across South Carolina – except for that last symbol of the CSA. How filthy and disgusting that nobody will lower it, or remove it for the weekend EN-FUCKING-TIRELY. Even more filthy and disgusting are the comments of white supremacists on their sites – I found one whilst looking for these images; some site named Vice has them. That’s all I’m going to say for now…it’s all that I can say.

Angelo Badalamenti: “Fire Walk With Me

John Stewart talks about the Charleston church shooting

The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore: Charleston Shooting

Credit: abcnews.go.com

Credit: time.com

Bombs In Boston…

As I type this, the “breaking news” is splashing across the television screen…two bombs have exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Footage shows athletes running and then you see smoke billowing from the left side of the screen and some of the runners collapse. From the camera’s perspective, you see the smoke from the second explosion a little ways down the street from the first, on the same side of the street. Two people were confirmed dead at that time, and bits and pieces of the reports of the blasts were beginning to scroll across the bottom of the screen. Some mentioned a fire at the JFK Library, which is located a few miles away from where the bombs were detonated. A witness said that he “saw a garbage can explode.” Also, some reports were stating that officials weren’t certain if these were “acts of domestic or foreign terrorism.” To me, it has all of the earmarks of a domestic attack – the supremacist fuck in Spokane, Washington, was going to set off a bomb at a parade honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. a couple of years ago – this attack is too similar to the other which, fortunately, was caught in time. The sick bastard had loaded a backpack with ball-bearings and other metallic objects in order to do a lot of damage to innocent people, just like what happened today. Crazy, crazy shit…so much seems to be going on when it comes to these mindless, violent acts which are occurring on a daily basis as of late.

Some dude shot himself at an NRA-sponsored NASCAR racing event – how fitting! I just SMDH at that…it’s fucking karma from my viewpoint.

A number of white children have killed – or been killed – by senseless, preventable incidents involving morons with guns, but nobody is screeching about “white-on-white” violence and holding all whites responsible for every mass shooting, meth-lab explosion, DUII incident, or act of paedophilia or bestiality…again, it all boils down to karma. Shit like this happens all the time, and it has been happening in this country (and many others) for centuries – blaming non-white people for those acts is ridiculous, especially in those countries which are exclusively white – yes, they exist, and they aren’t violence-free utopias! People seriously need to get over themselves. Man is a violent beast and we do vicious things to each other, then pathetically attempt to justify those sick, reprehensible acts. We aren’t civil, yet pretend to be so! Ye gawds…

Now it seems that “a man of Arabian descent,” who was seen “running from the scene of the bombing with burns,” is being questioned in hospital. Interesting, but not surprising, that he was targeted for questioning. It’s exactly what happens to Black people when we go to any store with white proprietors: we are stalked, harassed, and questioned as if we’re born criminals, while whites with sticky fingers walk free. Shades of Oklahoma City, no? Disgusting racial profiling…Timothy McVeigh wasn’t automatically questioned outright! It will be interesting to see who claims responsibility for this, if anyone. * SIGH *

I’m waiting for the reports to be shown on the international news-sites that I read – the local and national ‘rags’ are just too predictable, anymore…

One final interesting note; today is a state holiday in Massachusetts: it is Patriots Day, celebrating and commemorating the first battles of the AmeriKKKan Revolution in 1775. I smell Teabaggers and the stench of so-called ‘patriotism,’ combined with the thinly-veiled racism of those who foment sedition and secession via sub rosa rhetoric and propaganda.

Let’s see what develops…

1st Friday February Music

As I read about the shocking, senseless death of Hadiya Pendleton, I came across this story. Shirley Chambers of Chicago, Illinois, lost her fourth (and last) child to gun violence on Saturday, January 27th. I can’t imagine losing one child – that would be hard to handle – but all four? Ye gawds…horrendous. My thoughts are with her this morning, as they are with Hadiya’s mother. No parent should have to bury a child…that’s not the way the cycle is supposed to be. As expected, anyone who wants to have an intelligent debate or discussion about guns is met with fierce resistance – people pretty much stick their heads in the sand or fingers in their ears, screeching “Lalalalalalalalalalala!!!! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!”

As a scan the Interwebs, I see people angry with President Obama for not doing enough to stem the tide of violence. They urge him to attend the funerals of Hadiya and Ms. Chamber’s son Ronnie, which I can understand – Hadiya was in a group that performed at his inauguration, after all – so it seems that he should make a personal showing. The fact that he was the Illinois senator for a time pretty much demands that he address what is going on in Chicago. He attended a prayer vigil for the victims in Newtown, Connecticut; I feel that it obliges him to do so now. For that matter, the Newtown victims garnered a moment of silence at a football playoff game – why not a moment of silence at the Super Bowl? I think that’s a petition that should be started. I don’t have enough followers to get any quick support, unfortunately! I think that bloggers who have at least 25 followers and/or have gotten at least 25,000 views are the ones who should create petitions when petitions are needed…makes sense, no?

Well, it’s Friday…February 1st and it’s supposed to be a nice day, once the fog clears. I think it’s time to disconnect from the computer, shut off the news, and get our faces in the wind – cleanse the mind, body, and soul! Here are two songs which express how I’ve been feeling about all of these seemingly endless tragedies. Have a good weekend…

White Zombie: “Blood, Milk & Sky” (short version)

Pink Floyd: “On the Turning Away

On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won’t understand
“Don’t accept that what’s happening
Is just a case of others’ suffering
Or you’ll find that you’re joining in
The turning away”
It’s a sin that somehow
Light is changing to shadow
And casting it’s shroud
Over all we have known
Unaware how the ranks have grown
Driven on by a heart of stone
We could find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud
On the wings of the night
As the daytime is stirring
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord
Using words you will find are strange
And mesmerised as they light the flame
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night
No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
It’s not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there’ll be
No more turning away?

Sickened & Angered

Hadiya Pendleton: 1997 – 2013

I am speechless, sickened, angered and overwhelmed today. A beautiful young lady, an honor student who performed at President Obama’s inauguration, was senselessly gunned down in cold blood at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 29th. Hadiya Pendleton was amongst a group of teenagers who were taking shelter from the rain in a local park, when a gunman jumped over a nearby fence and, without warning, opened fire. She was struck by the bullets, as were two 17-year-old boys. Recent reports add that she had appeared in a PSA denouncing gang violence, approximately 4 years ago. This should dispel the lies and false reports that she was in a gang, which I’m certain have been propagated by whites who are determined to criminalize a Black victim of violence – it happened with Trayvon Martin, Rekia Boyd, and countless other murdered Black youths…it won’t stop anytime soon. At any rate, she wasn’t in a gang, but was gunned down by a gangbanger who mistook the huddled youths as members of a rival gang – a sad case of “wrong place, wrong time”.

Another thing that angers me is how the media is going overboard with their focus on the paranoid fucktard in Alabama who, not surprisingly, is unofficially being labeled “nuttier than squirrel shit” by his neighbours and the local law enforcement. He’s is holding an innocent, young autistic boy hostage, and that’s the irrational act of a psychotic freak – but he’s doing it in a bunker that everybody around him knew he had built the moment he moved into the area. He is a Vietnam War veteran with severe, well-known mental issues – but that didn’t prevent him from obtaining firearms, which are supposedly not allowed in the possession of the mentally ill. I’m still wondering why he demanded two young boys…I can’t imagine what the child is going through. Murdering another in front of 22 terrified children, all for some sick need? The Field Negro put it succinctly:

“If hearing about the Newtown tragedies was the saddest day of Mr. Obama’s presidency, hearing about this little girl should be the second saddest. Actually, given the fact that she was shot just a mile from his home in Chicago, and that she actually performed at his “coronation” ,you could argue that this little girl’s death should hit home even more. He has a beautiful daughter who is almost her age. From all appearances this poor child represented everything that was good about being a young teenager: Honor student, volley ball player, and a majorette in the King College Prep High School band. Sadly, though, she is no longer with us.
“Police say 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was shot in the back Tuesday and later died at University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital. An unidentified boy was shot in the leg and is being treated at the hospital. No arrests have been made.” [Source] “If I had a son he would look like Trayvon.” Mr. President, you have a daughter, and she looks just like Hadiya.

And the beat goes on. Not only in a hood near you, but in all of Americana. In Phoenix, Arizona today, some old dude shot up an office complex and is still on the loose. In Midland, Alabama, some nut case went on a school bus, took a six year old child, and shot the school bus driver to death. (The NRA now calling for armed school bus drivers in 5…4…3..2..) That genius is still hiding out in a Glenn Beck style survival bunker.”

Fuck-all…some people seriously need to be locked away for the safety and well-being of others. Speaking of “Glenn Beck-style survival bunker”, this link shows what that dystopia would be like!

I’ll close this post with some final thoughts from Brotha Wolf’s blog – there are links to a couple of petitions that I’m compelled to sign, even if doing so is considered as empty a gesture as voting. Still, keeping the topic open for discussion is crucial, no matter how many try to silence us by shouting us down or censoring our thoughts and statements.

’tis June…

Happy Friday, all…a new month has begun; it’s the 1st of June, and summertime is just around the corner!

As you may know, I recently returned from a 3-week trip which had me headed ‘eastbound and down’ – nearly made it to the east coast but broke down in Erie, Pennsylvania so had to stay until a decent replacement bike could be acquired.  It was, and we made it home…that saga is a post for another day!


(This is a similar make and model of our bike – ours is a different color, too!)

I was watching the local morning news and was thinking back on the trip – we camped out often, so were without television and radio for a fair amount of time.  Being outside of cell-phone-tower range made it impossible to even check our phones for something as simple as the weather, which was necessary when camping!  We were able to keep up on those things when we rolled through towns or truck stops; some of them are fairly large and contain all of the modern conveniences you expect pretty much anywhere these days: Wi-Fi, flushing toilets, hot water from the taps, and your requisite fast-food chain serving up their ‘healthy options’ grub.  Being able to get a 2-bar, 3G signal from AT & T was good, unless you got bumped to a no-G Cellular One signal – then, you’re shit out of luck if you want to try to look at a news headline, a weather report, or a Mariners baseball score!  Damn, they positively spanked the Texas Rangers two nights in a row – 10-3 on Tuesday, and 21-8 on Wednesday…what a game!  😎
Damn Angels, though…they swept the Ms – time for vengeance!

Seattle Mariners Games

Regular season record: 23-30AL West standing: 3 Win percentage: .434
05/25
Angels
6
4
Mariners
05/26
Angels
5
3
Mariners
05/27
Angels
4
2
Mariners
05/28
Mariners
2
4
Rangers
05/29
Mariners
10
3
Rangers
05/30
Mariners
21
8
Rangers
06/01
Mariners
vs
White Sox
06/02
Mariners
vs
White Sox
06/03
Mariners
vs
White Sox
06/04
Mariners
vs
Angels
06/05
Mariners
vs
Angels
06/06
Mariners
vs
Angels
06/08
Dodgers
vs
Mariners
Digressing…I do that a lot, LOL – anyway, today’s top local headline had to do with a guy in Seattle, Washington (my city of birth and on-off residence) who opened fire on workers and patrons in a café that he had been kicked out of because of his belligerent behavior and rude treatment of others.  One statement made by his family members stood out to me: “I Wasn’t Surprised…”

These seem to be the recurring words being uttered following a violent rampage and/or standoff, culminating in the death of the perpetrator.  Check this out:
http://www.kgw.com/news/national/6-dead-in-Seattle-cafe-shooting-carjack-suicide-155916755.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18274274

Here’s another incident, which ended when the suspect fell to his death from a crane that he’d barricaded himself in.  Here, this man’s mother is repeating the (by now) standard trope, “I’m not surprised…”  Psychosis apparently runs in his family, so this behavior is expected and not shocking to her:
http://www.kgw.com/news/national/155288725.html

I saw the first headlines of this case being broadcast the day I got back from my trip – the crime gets more horrifying as more details are released; I can’t imagine being one of the eyewitnesses to this unbelievable deed:
http://www.kgw.com/news/national/Naked-man-shot-by-Miami-police-was-eating-face-of-other-man-154807745.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18241494

Next, this absolutely gawd-awful story out of Canada…seriously, the moon isn’t full yet but it seems as if everybody has gone collectively apeshit!  A porn star is being hunted for murdering someone and dismembering them – turns out now that the victim was the lover of the suspect – then sending the body parts via post to various addresses, including a Canadian political party:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18284242

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18299896

On the first night of our trip, we stayed in a hotel so I was able to see a bit of the news that evening and the following morning.  The two main stories were crazy to me: in one, a 6-year-old boy was being called a ‘sex offender’ for singing a stupid song from an M&Ms commercial to a girl – the one going “I’m sexy and I know it…”
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/05/first-grader-suspended-for-singing-im-sexy-and-i-know-it/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbbLCvUtHGo

Seriously?!?  A freakin’ kid is being called a sex offender for singing a song that a cartoon piece of candy was singing and dancing to?!?  A freakin’ kid is being called a sex offender?!?!?  Um, I invite you people to view ONE full episode of Toddlers & Tiaras, okay?  You watch what those psycho-bitches do to their kids, and then tell me who the fucking sex offenders are!!!  Gawds…what’s even more sickening, saddening, and maddening is that the little boy in question is non-white, so he’s already being set up as a criminal before he even understands what the word really means.  If he were a child with pale skin, he would be lauded as ‘cute and funny’ with a ‘spontaneous personality’ and be trotted out on the Today Show to be interviewed by Matt and Ann, much like the twin boys mentioned next.  One twin had illegally taken the place of the other in a contest and made a winning hockey-goal shot.  Since the actual contest entrant hadn’t made the shot, the win was nullified and voided (rightfully so).  The tantrum the boys had was made into a viral video, and they were praised (why?) and interviewed by local and national stations (again, why?) and lauded as near-heroes for…what, exactly?  Cheating and getting caught?  Someone explain that to me, please…then again, don’t…if you’re the type of mental midget that truly believes behavior like that deserves positive attention, then please keep your mouth shut.  I hope to the gawds that you have no children!  Really, why was it even news?
http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/6866543/twin-brother-winning-charity-shot-creates-50000-dilemma

Finally, this story also came out at the beginning of the trip.  Some guy abducted his former sister-in-law and her three daughters, killed the mother and the oldest daughter (14) and buried their bodies in shallow graves, then ran with the younger two.  When the authorities caught up with him and the two girls, he took the coward’s way out and shot himself in the head.  Amazingly enough, the man’s own wife, as well as his mother, HELPED HIM COMMIT THE KIDNAPPING.  More in this link here:
http://www.kutv.com/news/features/national/stories/vid_452.shtml

Seriously, is there something in the water?  Something in the air?  What the fuck is going on with people?  What the hell is wrong with everybody?  If only something as simple as a hug could fix it…
Many seem to be having spontaneous cranial combustions.  Or, they are finally being sucked into the vacuums that exist where their hearts and souls should be…a supernova of evil, snuffing out the innocents who happen to be in their malignant gravitational pull.  My mind floats to this song when I think of their slimy, corrupt minds…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ovh4tsgoSE

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