Category Archives: Government Policy

Compassion And Outrage

Recently, a close friend posted the following:

There’s a cop that goes to the same comic shop I go to. Saw him there today. He tried to spark up our usual comic banter. I couldn’t bring myself to talk to him – I was polite – I know he had nothing to do with what’s been going on – but ill feelings towards him were nonetheless present. I’m so angry. It’s good that it’s Friday. With heat and everything else – I’m glad to get away from people for a couple of days. I’m tired – I’ve had bad run in with police since I was 13 & I’ve never so much as stolen a bag of chips. I hate the feeling I have of “finally” in Dallas. I’m ashamed of that feeling. I just want change – not more death. My condolences to the families of those officers

When I read his post, I was immediately overwhelmed with a multitude of emotions. At first I was saddened. My heart was heavy because he was feeling some kind of way about something that was leagues out of his control. As if it somehow it was happening to him directly. As if this officer who shares his love of comics and all things nerdy was the perpetrator of the crimes in question. Like a sub-system protocol was hard wired into the psyche of this public servant to hate black people and he was carrying his facade as well as any Oscar winning actor would.

As I read the post a second time, I felt empathy. I put myself in his situation and felt the unjust anger that he felt. I felt the inherent tension and the distrust of this man whom I don’t really know. We come in here and we exchange pleasantries regarding our love for comics however what is he really thinking? Is he sizing me up? Of course, I wasn’t there and I don’t know the extent of what they ever say to each other but that’s probably what I’d do.

Finally on my third read, I felt… outrage. Here is a man (my friend mind you) that has lived all of his life in a city where I myself grew up. A city in which I still consider the capital of the universe. Where we spent countless hours as youths talking about fictional characters and girls and food and whatever pre-teens and teenagers spoke about in the 80’s. We loved the same music, we loved the same TV shows, we loved the same movies and still do! When video games were finally affordable we played hours upon hours of games until our eyes were tearing from the stress of staring at the screen.

I don’t live in New York anymore and I miss it dearly but my point is we had the same things and the same friends and the same dreams. Why is a man which doesn’t have a hurtful or violent hair on his head (a loose analogy considering he’s bald) feel the way he does?

Because society has failed him. Society has failed us all truth be told. The problem of racism is systematic. We have been taught to conform. That stop and frisk and profiling are necessary. That the fact that more people of color are subject to these practices is just the way things are. Even if the words weren’t used we were taught that white is supreme and everyone else is lucky to be able to share this earth with them. We still see it every day.

What’s worse is that some white people (at least some of them that I know) just don’t have a clue. I experience this frustration daily. They believe that it’s all in our heads and that there’s nothing wrong. While we were being taught to fear the police, they were being taught to admire and respect them. While we were always told walk the straight and narrow because 5-Ohh would beat us down, they were being told to stay out of the black neighborhoods because “they” were nothing but trouble.

Back in The Bronx…

As a boy, I was taught by my parents that people are people and we are all equal. That was what was said to me however that is not what I saw. The block where we hung out were mostly black and hispanic. Walk up the street a few blocks and you saw the change. As the graffiti started to lessen, so did the color of peoples skin. While one culture, the culture of Hip Hop was rising, another was pointing fingers and calling us hoodlums. While we embraced change, another was clinging to the traditions of old where we were the products of a lesser race.

I never thought I’d ever have to have a talk with my teenager about the unwritten laws of how to interact with a police officer. If an officer approaches you, put your hands up and only put them down if he tells you to. Never reach for anything unless instructed and even then, let them know what is in which pocket and move slowly. No sudden movements. Don’t sass, don’t curse and for Gods sake, don’t run.

Back to my friend, I moved to Florida and I lost contact with him. Fast forward about 10 or 12 years and we got in touch with each other through a mutual friend. I moved on to be… whatever the hell I am and he’s still in New York doing… whatever the hell he does. We don’t speak as often as we did but when we do it’s like we picked up where we left off.

This has been my sad little rant. Thanks for reading.

Greek Officials: Pedophilia Is A Disability… WTF!!!

Whenever I’m in a situation where I’m forced to think of the word “pedophilia” and what it means, like many people I undoubtedly begin to feel… well… physically ill. I imagine a deranged, solitary adult hovering behind the back fence of a little league game or sitting on a bench near a playground with a bag of candy just waiting for an unsuspecting victim to wander by.

Now, lets take the word “disability”. When I hear this word, I think of a person with a physical or mental condition that cannot be remedied or controlled or otherwise dealt with without some kind of eternal intervention be it medication or some form of therapy. To me, it’s someone whose circumstances are beyond his or her control in the most sincere way.

When you hear that someone is “on disability”, you imagine that this person can’t provide for themselves like most people can. A person who has undergone some form of debilitating injury or illness or birth defect that prevents them from living a life of independence known to those of us that don’t have these issues.

How many times have you EVER heard both the word “pedophile” and “disability” in the same sentence? I don’t know about you but I don’t think I ever have… until now.

According to this article in Yahoo news (link), The Ministry of Labour and Social Security of Greece has recently expanded the list of compensable disabilities to include pedophilia. Adding this (and some other items including sadomasochism and pyromania) to their list as a gauge for allocating financial assistance… wait… what? You mean to tell me that a pedophile in Greece may be able to receive disability benefits? The straight answer… yes.

Under this new list, pedophiles will be eligible to receive disability benefits up to 35%. As a comparison, diabetics who have to take insulin shots four or five times a day only get 10%… As I live and breath every time I come across something that I think is incredibly asinine and think to myself, “there is no way in HELL that anybody can do something as stupid as this”, someone or something always manages to take it to a whole new level.

This world is going to shit and it’s idiots like the people in Greece responsible for this decision that are making sure that we take the bee line straight to crap central! What kind of bass ackwords world is this becoming where governments are willing to give taxpayer money to people who willingly sexually abuse children? So does this mean that the victims who suffer debilitating trauma from this form of abuse will get something as well? I don’t know the answer to that question but from the looks of it, they will certainly be receiving way less than they deserve.

In my sad little opinion, screw whatever rights these sickos THINK they have. These people need to have their genitalia removed and placed on display as a warning to others… Vlad the Impaler style!

Enforce the fragile peace…

I was listening to Michele Bachmann speak today (story covered here on and for the first time, I started to identify with what she was saying. For the first time, she was actually making a little sense. She was explaining why she feels the U.S. should maintain an indefinite presence in Iraq to “enforce the fragile peace” (whatever that means).

I can see her point. After all, we did go over there and overturn their government (although the original plan was to look for WMD’s which were never found so HEY, why not destroy their government without asking them first). Should we really leave them to fend for themselves before they’re strong enough to fight off the forces of Iran? She had me… she really did. But then she kept talking.

She started accusing President Obama (and it is “President Obama”, not “Mr. Obama”. I don’t understand why HE is the President known as “Mister” instead of “President” but I digress) of having political motives which may or may not be true. This is the time to start his campaign for re-election and getting the troops out of the Middle East has got to be worth some major points. We all know the repubs were going to play that card so we really can’t be mad at them for that.

She then goes on to say how we lost 4,400 of our soldiers’ lives along with $700 billion in U.S. tax dollars over the last eight years. She said, and I quote, “I believe that Iraq should reimburse the United States fully for the amount of money that we have spent to liberate these people. They’re not a poor country. They’re a wealthy country”.

I think to myself, “Okay… oil rich nation… they can afford it… okay, maybe I can get onboard with that IF they had asked us to intervene but they didn’t so… what the hell are you talking about?!? If I go into your house uninvited and wash your dishes and do your laundry then demand payment, isn’t that a form of extortion?”

Then she says this (and this is where my ears begin to bleed) “I think that they need to do that, because what we will be leaving behind is a nation that is very fragile and will be subject to dominance by Iran and their influence in the region. That’s not good.”

Let me break that down potato head style. She basically said THEY need to pay the U.S. back because WE’RE leaving THEM defenseless…WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!? I don’t understand what one has to do with the other. Are you insinuating that they should pay us protection money? What the hell is wrong with you!?!

OH… then she goes into a rant about how Iraq doesn’t want us there in the first place. How the U.S. spent $800 billion in resources (her words) and they are booting out by the very people who liberated them (who, didn’t ask for help in the first place).

Which one is it lady? Are you angry because the U.S. troops leaving or angry because the Iraqis don’t want them there? You can’t appear on national TV and go off into a rant on how you’re upset that President Obama is bringing the troops home AND how Iraq has expressed to us that they don’t want us there in the first place.

If the president was bringing the troops home against Iraq’s wishes then fine, be angry. If the president was keeping us there against Iraq’s wishes then FINE, be upset! BUT, if he’s taking us out of Iraq AND Iraq doesn’t want us there… THEN WHAT THE HELL IS THE FRACKIN PROBLEM?!?

We can’t Americanize them. We can’t Americanize anyone. I don’t understand why the repubs and their tea bagger cronies continuously believe that we need to make an American clone out of every fracking country we “help”.

In my sad little opinion, it’s very simple Michele; if they don’t want us there then we NEED to get the hell out, point blank! Christmas is about to get really happy for tens of thousands of U.S. citizens with family off fighting the war. We need to focus on how to make THAT happen!

P.S. good luck getting THOSE votes, nice job there sister.


I just don’t get it… Aren’t they fighting a war for us?

There are things in this world that I just don’t understand. Why do they still sell ten hotdogs in a pack and only eight buns, why do people put $10,000 spinner rims on $3000 cars and why does a certain famous billionaire real estate mogul and reality TV star’s hair still look like that?

Of all these types of questions that go through my mind, one sticks out like a sore thumb and is quite possibly one of the biggest thorns in the side of the United States. How is it that we can send our best and our brightest and our toughest people to war and not take proper care of their medical problems both physical and mental? I just don’t under-effing-stand it. If you go out and put your life on the line and fight for our country with all your blood and guts and glory, I believe that you should have all the health care benefits you need for the rest of your effing life!

If beloved ex-President buckethead get’s a pension of about $190,000 plus a year and Secret Service protection for the next ten years for doing the P.O.S. job that he did in the eight years he was in office then why do we throw our soldiers to the wayside when they need proper medical attention? President knucklebrain didn’t do anything near what our soldiers are doing!

Just recently, a Sergeant in our proud U.S. Army went ballistic and killed five fellow soldiers. As I understand it, the pressure that this soldier was under was enough that anyone in his shoes would find it hard pressed not to loose it in some form or another. He did three tours in Iraq, which we all know is freaking ridiculous (do you realize that since 9/11 over 150,000 Army soldiers have been deployed more than once to Afghanistan, Iraq and the surrounding regions? 46,000 of those have returned three or four times! THAT’S EFFING…Ttt… ARGHHH!!!) Not only that, he had personal issues back at home that included not having enough money to pay his mortgage. He was obviously suffering from P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) when he decided to wrestle an armed escort for his weapon and went on his shooting spree.

Recently, the highest ranking military officer, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the U.S. has to do a better job at taking care of a soldier’s mental health! THE MAN HIMSELF!!!! One of the problems that they are investigating is whether or not there are enough stress clinics and counseling services available for troops. Currently there is one counselor for roughly every six hundred twenty something troops. I don’t know too much about counselor to patient ratios here in civilian life but I doubt that it’s that high.

Let’s not forget the soldiers who are coming home from duty with missing arms and legs and other assorted medical issues. These people have so much trouble getting proper long term health care that they are winding up moving back in with their parents or going homeless altogether. Veterans shouldn’t be treated this way! I understand that we cannot support veterans financially for the rest of their lives. There are just too many of them and our budget will not allow it. They should however, be receiving medical benefits equivalent to at least our members of congress who, by the way, don’t pay for medical insurance even though they have regular lives with regular jobs outside of their congressional careers which only meet in session a few times a year (I’m talking the family plan here folks).

How’s that for a kick in the ass. We bust our humps working a job and paying up the whazoo for medical insurance and these bozos get six figure salaries and FREE medical coverage just because they are a member of congress.

In my sad little opinion, if I loose my legs because I stepped on a land mine in a country that I would have never gone to on my own accord, the person who took me there should pay my medical bills for the rest of my life. Even if it’s just an effing cold.