Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rageaholics: Got Rage, Get Help - It's out there!

"Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past."
Lily Tomlin

SEAL BEACH, California (AP) — A gunman opened fire in a busy hair salon, killing eight people and critically wounding another while leaving bodies scattered throughout the business in a normally sedate Southern California beach community.

The gunman got into a truck and drove away from Salon Meritage after opening fire Wednesday. Scott Evans Dekraai, 42, was stopped by officers about a half-mile away and surrendered without incident while saying he had multiple weapons with him, police Sgt. Steve Bowles said.

Dekraai was arrested and booked on suspicion of murder, Bowles said.

In all, one man and five women died at the salon, one man and one woman died after being transported to a nearby hospital, and one woman remained in critical condition late Wednesday. Their names have not been released.

Friends of the salon owner said the gunman was the ex-husband of a stylist who worked there. Bowles would only say, "There may be something to the motive as to a relationship with somebody in the salon, that is our assumption." He declined to elaborate later.
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Not too many weeks go by without another story about some, I've been done wrong, now I want to go on a violent rampage, monster. These callous, narcissistic and irrational animals - lacking impulse control - wreck havoc in our society.

It appears the tougher the times, the more frequent the outbursts.

In particular, in the black urban America, killing is far too often the chosen option for conflict resolution - especially for young males. How many times have we heard an unashamed killer state?: He looked at me wrong or he stepped on my shoes.

Much of this behavior is rooted in unresolved baggage from the past. Individuals, with personal histories of hurt, neglect and pain, stalk our streets - literally and figuratively - as loaded weapons, just waiting for somebody, anybody to just make their day

Any minor incident can serve as an opportunity to lash out and release pent up hostility. Innocent victims become nothing more than collateral damage.

But most rageaholics don't manifest as serial killers; most are seemingly well adjusted friends, spouses, family and co-workers whose rage flies under-the-radar. Matter of fact, some throw silent temper tantrums that reflect passive aggressiveness.

Some rageaholics internalize the anger and become self-abusive, via drugs, alcohol, and over-eating.

And the rage simmers on. And the most ironic thing about rageaholics, no matter how much abuse, destruction and mayhem they cause, they almost always see themselves as the victim.

Their convoluted retort is: Look what you made me do

What's the answer?

Therapy, group therapy, counselling, church support groups, Rageaholic Meetings, AA meetings (rage and alcoholism are a very dangerous combination), physical training - and did I say, therapy.

The point is you do not have to walk around like a volcano ready to erupt. Get the help!

Far too often, we clutch the demons in our past as if they are valuable jewels. Learning how to forgive - even self-forgiveness - and release the pull of the past are major steps in emotional emancipation.

To reiterate Lily Tomlin:

"Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past."

Friday, October 14, 2011

LZ Granderson: Rick Perry's Rock ---- Not Our Problem

My must read for this week is CNN'S LZ Granderson. The brother has composed two articles in which he knocks it out the park. The first one:

CNN Contributor LZ Granderson commenting on the alleged slur on Rick Perry’s rock. He says that although it is disturbing, he believes there are other more important issues facing the black community, such as poverty, unemployment, education and songs like the demeaning-to-women "Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay," the most popular hip hop track on the charts this week. Granderson says that the word on the rock is a secondary issue, and that the black community should explore the internal harm they inflict upon themselves.

And here's an excerpt:

The number one song on Billboard's R&B/Hip Hop charts this week is a romantic little ditty called "Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay".

In it, Big Sean refers to the object of his affection as "my bitch" while Kanye West boasts that his girl is cool because she performs oral sex while wearing shades.

Again, this is the most popular song on black radio right now

How do we wave an angry finger at what Governor Rick Perry's rock may or may not have said 20 years ago while something like "Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay" is happening right in front of our faces, in real time?

Perry's "Niggerhead" revelation is disturbing but if the controversy forces him out of the race tomorrow, life for black America would not be changed. Our unemployment rate would still be twice the national average, we'll still be disproportionately living in poverty, we'll still be lagging behind in education.

The real story is if the black community doesn't find a way to heal ourselves from these self-inflicted wounds, there won't be much of a black community left for people like Perry to offend.

Read the full article - Rick Perry's Rock --- Not Our Problem

And not to leave Herman Cain alone for his unabashed tendency to exploit the African-American community's woes to win over right wing Tea Party types, he writes:

Cain Rises By Slamming Race

The more inflammatory his statements were, the more television time he received, and the more his numbers climbed. He's not campaigning for president; he's auditioning to be the next pop culture bad boy, and he's using the media to do it.

Now, some pundits say Cain catapulted from curious long shot to unlikely front-runner because of the growing popularity of his 9-9-9 tax plan, which calls for a 9% national sales tax, a 9% personal income tax rate and a 9% corporate tax rate. I say he's been touting that plan of his for months, but he didn't move the needle until he started tossing the poor and the black community under the bus two weeks ago.

Since the change in strategy, everyone from Cornel West to Harry Belafonte to yes, Jesse Jackson (told you we love him) has taken time to condemn Cain, which now enables him to frame himself as a victim of internalized racism. That tack will certainly keep this routine of his going for at least another week.
Read More

I file the Cain act under, even a broken clock is right two times a day.

Yes, some of the issues Cain raises about the black community are accurate. Yes, racism, while still alive and kicking, isn't the main hindrance to success for black America. And, I concur, too many African-Americans look to DC or big government to solve our problems.

But what Cain does is absolutely deplorable. He doesn't strategize with our community to help remedy the problems. He doesn't launch mentoring programs to help young black students find success through education and hard work. As a former CEO of a Fortune 500 company, he doesn't bring home his knowledge for the next generation to emulate.

No, he exploits these problems for personal gain and status among folks that do not have the black community's best interest at heart. In a blatant opportunist way he runs to bigots and tells them,
you are not a racist because all of those folks are lazy and jealousy of your position in society.

Once again, amen brother Granderson - preach on.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

NFL Update: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - by Greg Garrison

The NFL has completed the first quarter (64 games) of the season and we look back at what has transpired thus far:


The Green Bay Packers:

What can I say, Coach Mike McCarthy and the Pack have not skipped a beat from last year championship season. They had 10 key players return from injured reserve that did not play in their victorious Super Bowl.

Their defense is better than last year and Aaron Rogers has elevated his play to the Brady-Manning-Brees elite quarterback level. Rogers is using his whole offensive receiving corps which makes it virtually impossible for opposing teams to focus on shutting down one or two weapons. He connected on 12 different receivers last game. Folks, Rogers is a bad man and the Packers are good.

Finally! is what the Detroit Lions and their fans are saying...

Finally, our top draft choices are evolving into top players/performers in which you can build a successful program.

Former general manager Matt Millen's (back in the broadcast booth, where he belongs) poor draft picks were reflective of a fantasy league draft instead of organization trying to build an on- field winner.

The new Lion's talent:

Quarterback Matt Stafford's ability to hit wide out Calvin "Megatron" Johnson anywhere on the field, a good multi-purpose back in Javid Best and a nasty defense front(Steel Curtain? hey, I'm just saying), anchored by Ndamukong Suh has these young Lions and their fans (a city hit hard by the recession) looking at a good season and beyond.

Finally, the Buffalo Bills are not only good but maybe the feel good team of the year.

The Bills have an underdog quarterback(Ryan Fitzpatrick), nice guy head coach (Chan Gaily) and a no name blue collar defensive that is reflective of their city. The Bills have shown they can overcome huge deficits and play solid football on both sides of the ball for 60 minutes. Their victories over the perennial top tier teams validates their early season success and gives this team and city the hope of ending their 12 year playoff absence.


The 0-3 Miami Dolphins are bad. The 0-4 St. Louis Rams are bad. The 1-4 Philadelphia Eagles are bad:

Need I say more?

Ok, I will.

The Dolphins front office tries to get a new head coach and starting quarterback in the off season, essentially saying we don't want you--thus, this is a team that does not respond to a lame duck coach and a throw away quarterback.

The Rams head coach is a defensive coach with a lack luster defense and an offense with none of the skill positions (quarterback, running back, wide out) excelling.

Philadelphia has won a game but they are performing way below their potential. The Eagles, defensively, couldn't stop a college team and their offensive scheme (once dynamic, now predictable) lacks the players to execute what they want to do (West coast run and shoot).


NFL tackling:…is so bad this year that a public service announcement warning should be shown before every game: "Due to the lack of basic tackling fundamentals, young football players DO NOT attempt these tackling techniques on the field".
Defensive players, please stop trying to get the BIG hit and play fundamental football.

Additionally, the Eagles and Bears offensive lines are uggggly! Cutler and Vick are getting hit or someone is in their face on a majority of the passing plays. Each game seems like the first preseason for each offensive line.

And the ugliest:

The Indianapolis Colts quarterback situation is embarrassing. How can you arguably have the best quarterback in the game not have him nurture a competent back up all these years?

Consequently, Peyton Manning goes down and you have to go get an old, retired and shaky quarterback (Kerry Collins) instead of promoting your third year backup? IN-excusable for an NFL organization not to have a plan in place.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Listen to the Occupy Wall Street Movement

By Mohamed A El-Erian Reposted from Huffington Post

To those wondering whether to pay attention to the "Occupy Wall Street" (OWS) protests, the answer is yes. This is more than just a nascent movement that will grow in the weeks and months ahead. It is part of a worldwide drive for greater social justice.

Like recent examples of peaceful grass-root protests -- from those that delivered the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions to the massive street demonstrations in Israel -- OWS has taken many by surprise. In just a few weeks, a self-organized group of diverse individuals planted the seed for what is becoming a national movement that exponentially gains energy and visibility.

Yet some observers seem to be repeating a mistake that many made in Egypt, Israel and Tunisia -- that of falling hostage to an outmoded way of thinking about seemingly-leaderless grass movements.

Such observers are quick to dismiss OWS because it is fragmented and lacks a detailed list of demands. They argue that it is long on criticisms of the past and short on solutions for the future. They note that it is not structured to navigate the current political setup. Accordingly, they conclude that the impact will be transitory and inconsequential.
By Mohamed A El-Erian - Reposted from Huffington Post

While these reactions are understandable, this conclusion about OWS is likely to be proven wrong as it ignores a powerful reality: A peaceful drive for greater social justice can unify people from diverse cultural backgrounds, political affiliations, religions, and social classes.

If you doubt this, go ask the Arab governments overthrown by secular forces that they were slow in understanding and inept in reacting to. You could also ask an Israeli government recently forced to modify its policy stance in an attempt to pacify a national movement that, only a few months ago, did not even register on its radar screens.

OWS may pale in comparison to these country examples. Yet it would be both foolish and arrogant to dismiss three important similarities: read more

Sunday, October 9, 2011

GOP: "Occupied Wall Street movement is un-American"

Republican presidential contender Herman Cain, a Tea Party favorite known for his anti-Muslim rants, is attacking Occupy Wall Street protests as “Un-American.” Rush Limbaugh is condemning the demonstrators as “parasites.” source

Cain has also labeled the OWS protesters as jealous’ Americans who "play the victim card” and want to “take somebody else’s” Cadillac.

Eric Cantor accuses the movement of "pitting Americans against Americans.”

Others GOPer's - whom always seem to side with big business and the 1% elite rich over the middle-class - have called the peaceful protesters as “mobs,” and suggest they are mounting “assaults on many of our nation’s bedrock principles.”

On the contrast, Tea Party people, who were raucous, loud, held signs of the president in the likeness of Hitler, extended the ludicrous birther issue and spit at Democratic congress people, were called patriotic.

The GOP has truly jumped the shark; and like some old tired and unimaginative sitcom their plot lacks ideas and is relying on stunts to maintain the interest of their audience.

I can not say it enough, the Great Recession is a Wall Street creation. With American taxes, Wall Street and the too big to fail financial institutions were bailed out.

To be more precise, the American people picked up the tab for their expensive and reckless party and now Wall Street is sitting trillions of dollars (taxpayer dollars) on the sideline - and no one other than Bernie Madoff has been held accountable for the thousands of ponzi schemes that have brought down our economy.

Additionally, Wall Street, despite the lifeline extended to them by the American people, has not reciprocated by invested in Main Street.

The New York Times editorial yesterday (Oct. 9) best summed up the protesters' outrage:

The jobless rate for college graduates under age 25 has averaged 9.6 percent over the past year; for young high school graduates, the average is 21.6 percent. Those figures do not reflect graduates who are working but in low-paying jobs that do not even require diplomas. Such poor prospects in the early years of a career portend a lifetime of diminished prospects and lower earnings — the very definition of downward mobility.

The protests, though, are more than a youth uprising. The protesters’ own problems are only one illustration of the ways in which the economy is not working for most Americans. They are exactly right when they say that the financial sector, with regulators and elected officials in collusion, inflated and profited from a credit bubble that burst, costing millions of Americans their jobs, incomes, savings and home equity. As the bad times have endured, Americans have also lost their belief in redress and recovery.

The initial outrage has been compounded by bailouts and by elected officials’ hunger for campaign cash from Wall Street, a toxic combination that has reaffirmed the economic and political power of banks and bankers, while ordinary Americans suffer.

Extreme inequality is the hallmark of a dysfunctional economy, dominated by a financial sector that is driven as much by speculation, gouging and government backing as by productive investment.

When the protesters say they represent 99 percent of Americans, they are referring to the concentration of income in today’s deeply unequal society. Before the recession, the share of income held by those in the top 1 percent of households was 23.5 percent, the highest since 1928 and more than double the 10 percent level of the late 1970s.
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