Monthly Archives: October 2011

PETA really needs to go away….like now.

I really think the time has come for PETA to finally come to terms with reality and understand that humans and animals are not equal. I mean, seriously, as an animal lover who owns a dog and just brought home a fish tank today, I really think it’s time for every decent person in America to finally call them out for their bullsh!t. If you didn’t have the chance to read the news story, PETA is suing SeaWorld for violating whales “Constitutional Rights,” invoking the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution, calling the capture and forced performance of killer whales in SeaWorld‘s parks a form of slavery. Yes, PETA believes a whale is more than 3/5th a man….

Look, I’m not a fan of a circus which deals with animals, nor do I get great joy out of going to the Zoo. In fact, whenever I see an animal outside what would be its natural habitat. In fact I actually feel a little guilty seeing some animals in captivity, however, there is no way I could ever, EVER look at the Primate World attraction at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa and equate it to the slavery native Africans endured here in these United States of America. Doing so trivializes slavery and pretty much craps on just about every black person whose ancestors were held in bondage. This isn’t the first time the folks at PETA used horrorific examples of black history in America to spread their beliefs.

I wonder if PETA ever used images of the horrors seen in the Holocaust during World War II to spread their Pro-Animal, Anti-Human propaganda, if their ad campaign would have seen the light of day. Trust, if they ever did, the ACLU would have been all over them. However,  since the use of image like the one below shows black folks being lynched, it’s OK.

I understand, this attention whoring group of Animal Rights activists feel the need to spread their agenda, no matter how shocking or offensive it may be, however, it’s time for us all to call them out for their bullshit.  Seriously though, how can animals have rights when they are in no way of ever knowing or comprehending the “rights” they have?

I think my anti-PETA stance started with the way Michael Vick was treated during and after his dog fighting scandal. I’m no fan of Michael Vick and could never condone dog fighting, but the way the man was treated during his whole ordeal, one would have thought he was a serial killer.

Hell, there are players in the NFL right now that have committed worse crimes against humanity than Vick, however they never saw the same amount of protest or hate. Sadly, the reason behind this is PETA wants us all to believe that the killing of an animal is the same as the killing of a fellow human. Seriously PETA, STFU.

Having worked at a  TV news station in Buffalo NY, I was always annoyed at the amount of animal themed stories producers and reporters used to inject in our nightly newscasts. It really was disheartening, seeing dog and cat stories on a regular basis when there were so many stories concerning PEOPLE who went completely ignored. I’m willing to bet that a PETA activist would gladly step over a homeless man in order to save a rat from a trap, and that there is where the problem lies. People are more important than animals.

These PETA people need to understand, People come first. Like I mentioned above, I love animals, I just love people a whole lot more. My belief in the superiority of man over beast doesn’t necessarily fall on religious beliefs, I just feel it’s a natural one. Man is by far the most advance “animal” on this planet, thus our survival and lifestyle should be above all. Of course, I do believe animals should never be abused, and I’m even open to the closure of Zoos if in exchange we had open wildlife sanctuaries across the US. I just don’t think animals should have rights for the simple fact that they cannot comprehend and will never understand or practice them.

For PETA to simply equate the shame of Slavery to the unfortunate capture and captivity of killer whales in SeaWorld is just plain offensive and wrong. Any person with decency, regardless of “racial” background should be offended at this connection, however since PETA is using Black American history, the connection will be ignored and PETA will continue to crap all over the Black American Experience, because no one will even care.

The following is one of my favorite episodes of the Penn & Teller show Bullsh!t……and yes, PETA, you really are full of it.

Until next time,

R.


Our POTUS and the sanctioned murder of a Mad Dog…..

President Obama should be investigated and an impeachment proceeding should be started. Yes, I’m an Obama supporter who believes the question of his impeachment should be discussed. Before I get into who, what, when, where and why, I’d just like to point out that President Bush is a war criminal who should be brought up on charges along with Dick Cheney. Now that that’s out of the way, yes, I believe President Obama’s policies and recent actions should be looked at with a closer eye.

Whether it was naming himself as the Chair of the UN Security Council, the continued wire tapping of American citizens, the clear violation of the War Powers Act by sending US troops into Libya, the controversy and scandal over Fast and Furious (not the Vin Diesel flicks), and the military style murder, without a trial, of an American citizen, President Obama and his administration have continued to rip apart the US Constitution and govern as he sees fit. I’m in no way, shape or form a Republican, however, I call out BS when I see it, and the current administration is on some major BS, just like their predecessors. Who’s next, Iran? With the way things continue to go, it looks that way. The war drums are already starting, and our Nobel Peace Prize winning Commander in Chief is eager to make Iran pay for their recent “assassination attempt” which has drawn it’s own skeptics.

Moammar Gadhafi is dead. Another North African (or Middle East if you believe in that nonsense) despot has been murdered, and our very President has blood on his hands.  I know, I know, Gadhafi was killed by “rebels” who finally after 42 years of oppression stood up to their dictator and put an end to his madness…What is happening in Libya is another example of the so-called “Arab Spring” in full motion, thanks to the West, specifically American involvement.

Look, I’m no fan of Gadhafi, or Qaddafi, or Kadafi (seriously, what is the true spelling of his name?) and I’m sure he oppressed many people during his 42 year reign. However, the fact that the United States is supporting the removal and murder of world leaders, especially when these world leaders are in no way a threat to the people of the world, is criminal.

President Obama, the man who only 3 years ago I was so very proud of defending and supporting, Mr. Barack Obama, who had sold us a bill of goods covered with the “Hope and Change” label during the campaign trail back in 2008, Mr. Obama, who made people of color so very proud to finally see “one of us” make it to the White House, had us all saying My President is Black, and there was nothing racists could do about it…has let me down.

I have to ask the question though….Did they paint a black face on the presidency to sell us on the continued Military Industrial complex the United States has been under since President Eisenhower left office? I really am starting to believe the office of the presidency is nothing more than a figurehead position.

President Obama was supposed to be a different kind of President. He was supposed to end the wars, push the economy back towards a brighter future, and have us all covered with Universal health care. I knew many of these things were not going to happen over night, however, within the last 5 months or so, 3 countries in Africa had “revolutions” which can be tied to American involvement, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Freedom isn’t free, especially when it comes to American involvement. The poor people in Libya will soon understand this.

The American economy is still in the toilet, and with these so-called Occupy (Insert place here) Protests happening across the nation, the Democratic party is trying to co-opt the movement as a quasi anti-Tea Party/pro liberal counterpart to ensure a second term for our Commander-in-Chief. The Arab Spring is a farce, so is Occupy Wall Street. These protestors are being used and they don’t even know it.

It’s sad really. I wanted so hard to believe in President Obama. I want to believe that we can be great again, and the fact that the possibility of a Black man leading the nation back to greatness was a story even Hollywood could not have written. Well, Hollywood does like to write stories with Black Presidents, however those stories always have the Black POTUS in charge when the world has gone to crap….wait a sec…I see what you did there…Damn. Programming anyone?

There is still time, but slowly, it’s running out. We are just over a year from the 2012 election and although we don’t yet know who will challenge President Obama, there is a great possibility the GOP will just concede the 2012 election because similar to 2008 President Obama is playing chess while his opponents are playing checkers.

Make us believe again President Obama, Please. It was getting so difficult defending you and your policies that I completely gave up on doing it. Those of us who voted for you in 2008 chose you, so in a sense you are the Chosen One, however, I’m finding it very difficult to continue to cosign ad support the things you’ve done since you moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Until next time,

R.


Steve Jobs wasn’t just a Tech Guru…

He was also a dead beat dad whose company moved jobs (no pun intended) to overseas sweatshops, paying their employees pennies while overpricing and selling his products and laughing all the way to the bank.

Look, I know the cult of Apple has a lot of followers who will be crying in their black turtlenecks and faded blue jeans, but please, don’t make me have to like this guy. He was a globalist who didn’t give a dime to charity.

Before you get on me as being an Apple hater, I just want to mention that I am typing this on my MacBook. My wife also owns an iPod. I don’t hate Apple’s products, in fact, they make some of the best computing products ever. I just could never understand their cultish following, and now that their cult leader is dead I can’t help but wonder what the iCult will do now? The iSheep have lost their iShepherd.

Apple’s stocks may take a hit and I can’t help but wonder how the coming weeks or months will play out for the company, especially with yesterday’s “disappointing” announcement of the iPhone 5 iPhone 4s. Will Apple maintain their dominance? Is Steve Jobs death the opening Android and Windows needed to make up ground in their respective markets?

These are all questions which will be answered in the coming weeks and months. With the death of Jobs, I can’t help but shake my head (smh) at the way folks all over the interwebs are mourning his loss as if the man was a saint. It just wasn’t true. None of us are perfect, I understand this, but it was recently announced that Apple had more cash that the US government. The fact that Apple couldn’t be bothered to make a name for itself in the charitable world, feed the hungry, build schools, be a loving father, is inexcusable, especially when one as Mr. Jobs was in such a position to do so.

It would be irriesponsible for me to make an obituary post of Mr. Jobs and leave the blood both he and Apple have on their hands.

R.I.P. to all those in China who worked for Foxconn, building iPhones, iPads and other iDevices. A number of these poor (literally) folks committed suicide due to the production pressure of the job and the low wages (300 monthly). People need their iDevices, the demand is TOO DAMN HIGH. Someone has to make them, might as well use cheap labor.

The amount of suicides/attempts forced Foxconn to install “suicide nets.” They can’t have their workers dying on them, especially with the iPhone 4s on the way.

I wonder if this was approved by OSHA.

R.I.P. Mr Jobs, you were a Tech Genius, but you certainly were no hero to me.

By the way, an American Civil Rights Icon also died today, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth. If you’re an American, particularly a Black or brown American, whose life had a bigger impact on you, Steve or the Rev.?
image


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/06/remembering-rev-fred-shut_n_997847.html

Until next time.

R.


The death of Facebook…..as we know it.

I had to do it…I had to pull the plug.

OK, so the title of this post is a bit misleading. Facebook isn’t dead, in fact, by the time you get around to reading this, the folks at Facebook will be rolling out their new Facebook Timeline format which has already created angst and excitement, depending on which side of the privacy coin one likes to be on. There is no doubt Facebook has become a new media force in today’s connected world. What other privately run company gets as much free publicity as Facebook? Name one (other than Twitter). Whether it’s your local or national news, entertainment shows, sports programs, various websites you may enjoy frequenting,….if it’s online or TV, it more than likely has a Facebook page, and these outlets are more than happy to promote their Facebook pages. And this here is where my problem with Facebook began to take root. Now before I get into the whole “I hate the new Facebook” rant, let me take a quick trip down memory lane and visit our old white T-shirt wearing, grinning friend, Tom.

Myspace will forever be linked to the social networking juggernaut we once knew as Facebook. You see, there was once a time when this social networking thing was completely new, and all the rage. Although Myspace wasn’t the first social networking site, it more than likely was the introduction to the social networking world for many of us in the mid-2000 post college crowd.  Through Myspace, many of us got a chance to reconnect with “friends” we hadn’t seen in years, find (stalk) exes, promote your modeling/acting/rap career and so on….

Tom during Myspace's heyday.

The functionality of Myspace was excellent. It was customizable to the point where it was the defacto cheap website for those who didn’t want to spend the money on a real website and domain name. Alas, good things always come to an end and a mass exodus started once the college only Social Networking site Facebook opened it’s access to the public. Myspace, now owned by News Corp became the online equivalent to my Rust Belt hometown. People left for the greener, simpler pastures of Zuckerberg’s Facebook. Poor old Tom never stood a chance.

I won’t get into the whole history of Facebook because if you really wanted to learn about it, you can always read The Accidental Billionaires or you could watch the EXCELLENT David Fincher film adaptation, The Social Network.

I was first introduced to Facebook back in 2008, just as I entered college to get my second degree, a BA in History. At the time, my younger brother was studying in Spain, and he convinced me to take a trip to Italy and meet up, after the semester was over. My entire trip to the Boot was documented on Facebook through posts and pictures. Although my brother and I were there, our friends and family were able to share in our experiences thanks to Facebook.

My brother Joe and I outside of the Coliseum.

Ridiculously dumb games like Farmville, Mob Wars and Farkle aside, Facebook was a great way to pass the time, keep in touch and make new “old” connections. However, every 6 months or so, the bright minds at Facebook would change formats, adjust how profiles looked, basically pissing off people who just got used to the previous versions of their layout.

Changes be damned, I stuck with Facebook. When my wife and I welcomed the birth of our daughter, Facebook was the first and only place my relatives in Australia had a chance to see the new baby Anastasio.

We really were all connected, just a few clicks away, which is why it was a little difficult for me to delete my Facebook account. I primarily kept my account due to my growing family, and with baby Rocky making his own debut into the world only two months ago, I had in mind to share his growth with my Facebook friends and family, similar to how we documented our daughters first year. However, due to the new “Timeline” format, I just don’t feel comfortable with sharing that much information.

My son, Rocco.

Facebook really is everywhere, and the fact that the new Timeline feature is using algorithms to build an online profile of you is really something I wanted no part of whatsoever.

Part of me feels like Mel Gibson’s character in “Conspiracy Theory,” thinking that everything under the sun is connecting our likes, our dislikes, fears, etc…all under the Facebook banner. People are really divulging too much of their personal information out there for the masses to see, and sadly, many don’t see anything wrong with it. I myself am guilty of this as well, however I felt like I had to take a stand.

Facebooks Timeline is going to put on display a complete history of our Facebook lives, and although I have nothing incriminating in my Facebook past, I just don’t see a reason for everything I ever wrote to be in full display, especially if it was something I deleted in the past. There are going to be an entire flood of people who are going to have their past scrutinized and miss out on jobs due to prospective employers doing a quick Facebook “background” check on them. We have most definitely entered the digital age, to the point where our digital lives will now interfere with our real lives. Can we separate our online lives from our flesh and blood reality? I wanted no part of it and just had to pull the plug. Yeah I know, most of everything we ever put on Facebook is probably saved in their cache, but hey, at least from today on, I have control of what I want people to see.

Although I’m sure many of my past Facebook friends and family may think it was an overreaction to delete my Facebook profile, I just felt like I needed to unplug. How many hours a day have you spent checking your profile? Is it worth it?

Until next time.

R.


Internet anonymity has created a buffet of ignorance and bigotry.

Sometimes I wish the internet was never invented. As crazy as that sounds, there are times when I feel the internet will definitely lead to the downfall of man. I’m not sure if it will be a Skynet, terminatoresque type of fall but technology, the internet specifically, has definitely created a new man that isn’t much better than the previous model.

The internet has opened so many possibilities that otherwise would have been dreams never fulfilled. Thanks to the internet, the state of Hip Hop music is at an all time high. I mean, with a computer, Fruity Loops, and a standard microphone found at the local Guitar Center, you too can be your next local hood rap legend.

Not to sound like a complete Hip Hop purest and elitist, cause I actually like to listen to fast food rap every now and then. I have been a media professional, music video and TV show producer/editor, and have come in contact with a number of talented and talentless individuals who really believe they are rappers…my use of Hip Hop is just an example of how the internet has ruined things that used to be so pure and raw.

There is a buffet of ignorance available to the masses thanks to the internet. Yes, I understand that’s a bold claim, however the title of this blog is The Opinionated Truth…..so dammit, I’m making this claim and I’m sticking to it.

This ignorance on the internet is really amazing, especially when you consider how much information is available on the internet. Truth seekers have at their disposal, literally right at their fingertips, the capability to obtain knowledge on practically any subject. However, along with knowledgeable and valid information, comes ridiculously false and knowingly wrong info and here lies the dilemma. I really believe people enjoy, actually get off at being ignorant, and a part of this ignorance is tied to peoples anonymity.

The Internet has created a shroud, a black cloud of misinformation and ignorance which seriously at times makes me wish a solar flare would hit and all technology would be wiped out. Seriously, as my wife has told me time and time again, I really believe we need to unplug.

I challenge you, on any day of the week, regardless of the story or background, go to your favorite newspapers website and click on any story where the subject matter is non-white. In the comments section, read what the peanut gallery has to say, and ask yourself, “if the internet wasn’t anonymous, would people choose to be so ignorant?” Whether it’s a story on Mike Vick, President Obama or Jay-Z, e-bigots come out the woodwork and just love to chime in their opinions, just for the sake of chiming in. The story could even be something positive but somehow, someway, peoples prejudices just find a way to shine through. I mean, if by some miraculous way, President Obama were to find a cure for cancer, people will find something negative to say about it. The train is never late.

Sad thing is, most if not all these people who leave these comments under an online news story would never have the nerve to say what they say if they ever had the opportunity to say it to the person they’re expressing their views on. Is it only tied to race? No, not always, but I always try to steer clear of the comments section whenever there is a story on a black or Latino subject matter. Should I even mention the type of comments we can see if there is a story on illegal immigration?

The internet is a sanctuary for bigots, racists, ignorance and just plain idiotic people. I guess it’s a form of attention whoring, and who am I to judge, I mean, after all, having a blog of my own is in a sense an act of attention whoring right?…..Damn.

I remember reading how bad an experience online gaming on a Playstation 3 or XBOX360 can be, with the plethora of young WHITE boys throwing out the N-WORD left and right. Of course these kids are using language like this because there is no way the player on the other end of the connection will check him on it, that is until I read a story the other day that made me laugh and wonder if this could happen here in the States. Grown man hunts down and attacks child who kills him in Call of Duty game . The link title says it all, and although it doesn’t appear to be racially motivated and I don’t condone what the adult man did to the punk 13 year old, I won’t lie and say I didn’t crack a smile reading how angry the grownup was over being schooled and chided by a kid. To paraphrase a famous quote, “I’m not saying he should have choked him, but I understand.”

Too many people take things too serious, and at the same time too many people hide behind their online avatars and screen-names as a shield for their offensive and ignorant speak. Yes we have freedom of speech America, and sadly it looks like more and more that right is slowly going away, however, that freedom of speech also comes with a responsibility. If you irresponsibly offend someone, be responsible for facing the proper repercussions, whatever they may be.

There is no excuse for ignorance to survive in this high-tech modern world, and yet here we are. I’ve always heard the phrase “ignorance is bliss” and although I understand the meaning, I always thought ignorance, was something I would always try to avoid.

Sorry to be so long winded, I guess I just needed to get a few things off my chest.

R.


The Opinionated Truth is here

I’ve been kicking around the idea of creating a blog for a while now but for whatever reason laziness I never did. Well, finally, after a little soul searching, a little research and guidance from friends, here it is. The thoughts and opinions expressed and shared on the blog are what I’m feeling at the moment of their writing. I’m going to talk about whatever comes to my mind at the moment of their writing, whether it’s family, politics, entertainment, sports, media, religion, etc…..

Remember, these are my opinions, and I encourage those who may agree or disagree to please do so. I have always been one who looked forward to a good debate so don’t be afraid to disagree with me. In fact, I encourage it.

We all have our own opinions, and these opinions are our truth….the ones posted here are just a few of mine.

R.