I have been pulled into this Vick madness……

Tony Taylor walks into the federal courthouse in Richmond, Virginia, to enter his guilty plea.

Michael Vick pleaded not guilty Thursday and faces a November 26 trial.

So after reading the latest on CNN.com, I felt that I should get some things off my chest that really bother me about this whole “situation”.

The “situation” of course, being the pending trial of Atlanta Falcons Quarterback, Michael Vick who has been charged with cruelty to animals among other things, for allegedly backing a dog-fighting operation.

Let me state two things first and foremost, before I get attacked:

1) I believe cruelty to animals in any way, shape, or form is not only wrong, but as a Muslim, Islamically we are taught that it is sinful to engage in such practices or support them.

2) I’m not a regular NFL watcher, ever since the Cowboys of the 90’s fell apart, I only catch the Super Bowls these days and mainly for the commercials. 🙂

With that said, GIVE ME A BREAK PEOPLE!!! There has to be more news out here than this!  And no I’m not talking about Hilary Clinton’s cleavage either!  My point is there are more important things going on in the world today, or maybe it’s just me.

But on this story in particular what get’s me the most is how people…PETA in particular are dumping on this guy before he has even gone to trial!  Not only are they calling for his suspension and end to his career, but also getting his sponsors to pull the plug on him.

On one level I do admire their efforts, because it does highlight the fact that in America if a group can come together on an agenda and remain vigilant they can force change, but on another level it is a tad bit excessive.

What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?  Or is it now guilty until proven innocent?  Or is it both and it only applies to certain individuals and/or causes?  Either way, it’s sickening.  What get’s me is what happens if this guy is let off and is innocent?  Now all that energy that went into smearing and destroying the man was for naught but the damage is now done.  What would the PETA crowd and the bandwagon say then?  I’m not taking a side one way or the other, but my point is that in America we have gone too far when we take our opinions about guilt or innocence and actively work for or against someone based on such before an actual verdict.

To me it’s more of the same, because throughout our history we have seen what can happen when our warped minds bloodlust when wrapped up in a “major” court case.  How many times has this very same bloodlust led to convictions, death, or destroyed lives just to find out in the end, maybe even decades later that the person was innocent?  I believe it would be prudent if we left things alone and let the legal process run it’s course, maybe it’s just me, but when we don’t, we just expose just how much time we have on our hands. (kinda like this blog:) )

Furthermore, this misadventure shows the world at large how misplaced the American zeal truly is for justice.   We would rather protest in the streets, go after sponsors, fill the airwaves and papers with this story about the injustice done to animals, yet would step over a homeless person in the street or look the other way at a dead Iraqi without a second thought.  Where’s the protest in front of the White House?  We can mobilize and have an agenda against the ill treatment of animals (which is right), but lack the same zeal to mobilize and have an agenda against the ill treatment of fellow men, women, and children, done by animals in power masquerading as leaders and dare I say fellow human beings.

Maybe it’s just me, but this is just another example of the lack of real moral clarity and priority in America.

I just don’t get it:  Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen are dying daily and getting wounded in a war that was founded on lies and treachery, they come home to broken families, divorce, adultery, etc. (if they come home), poor medical treatment, and benefits among other things, DAILY, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi’s, thousands of Iraqi’s without running water, electricity, or food, not to mention Darfur which is still going on by the way, Palestine, and many other places in the world, we have lying politicians on both sides of the isle knowing full well that America has no intention of leaving Iraq this decade (considering the Vatican sized Embassy and permanent Military bases), Katrina, our pourous boarders, uneducated children without healthcare, etc. etc. etc.

And excuse my rant but with all this going on and several other wars on the horizon, I just don’t get how a damn story about Michael Vick and his alleged mistreatment of Dogs, as well as crap like Hillary’s cleavage, Britney Spears divorce, Paris Hilton proving that money and fame in America means more than justice, and Lindsay Lohan’s sad addiction and idiocy on full display, is more important that any of the above and worthy of National news.

But like I said, maybe it’s just me….

Wake the Hell up AMERICA!!!!

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Articles of Interest, July 30, 2007

Articles of Interest July 27, 2007

Troops in Iraq…..

I thought it would be a good change of pace if I shared some actual goodness about what the troops are doing in Iraq.  It is after all, not all bad.  The troops are doing what they do, most of the time against their will.  But for many trying to make the best of it, many truly believe some good could come out of this whole thing.  Let us pray that it does.

A good friend of mine shared this in an email, so I thought I would share it with you. 🙂

How could the media miss this kind of abuse by our troops?

 

 
Armed American Troops Force Iraqis to Seesaw Until They Talk!

 

 


 
Iraqi Child Bites GI In Self Defense After Obvious Torture!

 

 


GI Falls Asleep On Duty While Using Iraqi Child As Body Armor!



GI Overheard to say “Talk or I’ll tickle you till you pee!”

More Evidence Of Failed US Intelligence Policy.

 

 


 
Soldier Attempts to Eat Iraqi Child!



Clear Evidence of Forced Labor by Troops!

 

 


 
Iraqis Grateful That American Forces Did Not Open Fire During Soccer Game!

 

 


 
Soldier Caught At ‘Tickle-Torture’ To Extract Intelligence!

 

 



GI Forces Iraqi Child To Hang By Fingertips!

 

 


 
No comment here. There’s nothing funny about this one.

Over a Half TRILLION DOLLARS: When are we going to wake up America?

Just for the record, I don’t agree with the Iraq war, I never have, and I doubt I ever will. I just can’t shake the memory of a young Sgt in the Marine Corps (me) standing on my desk arguing the point in November 2002 that we will go to war in Iraq for reasons that make no sense, that we would not actually wait on inspections, and we were going to go one way or another. Nor can I shake the memory of that same Sgt looking on in disgust watching TV in March of 2003 while on duty seeing the first round of “shock and awe”. I will tell you what, in retrospect, that night had nothing to do with the “shock and awe” that the United States Treasury is feeling and will feel for a long time to come, nor the very real feeling of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi’s, US troops, and the world is feeling and will feel over the next decade or so.

I’m reminded of two letters written to President Bush by the often controversial to some, Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam. His words seem prophetic when I reflect on them:

“….I am writing this to show a consistent pattern of behavior of America’s Presidents, administrations, and the press with respect to those Muslim leaders and other leaders that America has chosen to denounce as rogues, and to use as a justification for military action to cover their real purposes.

President Richard Nixon wrote that the enemy of democracy was not communism, but, fundamentalist Islam. Every President since the Nixon/Ford administration has taken some military action against a Muslim nation. President Jimmy Carter felt that the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, and his replacement with the Islamist regime of Ayatollah Khomeini was a threat to America’s vital interests. So, Saddam Hussein was given 80 billion dollars with America’s approval by the Saudi government and the rulers of the United Arab Emirates to make Saddam Hussein a strong military power to use him against the rise of the so-called fundamentalist regime in Iran. During President Carter’s administration, the American Embassy in Iran was taken and the hostage crisis began.

The effort of Jimmy Carter to free the hostages through military action after the fall of the Shah of Iran was a failure. In the negotiations between our government and the government of Imam Khomeini, it was agreed that the hostages would be released, but not during the administration of President Carter. The hostages were released in the early days of President Reagan’s administration. President Reagan also saw Imam Khomeini and his desire that the Iranian people return to the purity of the faith of Islam as a threat to America’s vital interests in that area of the world.

Your father fulfilled President Reagan’s desire concerning the Panama Canal. Your father also had a problem that involved Saddam Hussein and Iraq. At the same time that he was prosecuting the war against Saddam Hussein, a part of that conflict also involved young Black men, gangs and drugs in America. Although the Gulf War was won by the allied forces, Saddam Hussein remains in power and has become a fixation with every succeeding President.

Mr. President, you have now inherited that which Presidents Reagan, Carter, your father, and President Clinton were not able to complete. What I have been shown is that you have decided to fulfill their unrealized expectations.

Afghanistan is only a preliminary to a much wider war which is already planned, and this war also has a home front aspect as well. Should you persist in this, you will do what no Islamic Leader is able to do. No leader of any Muslim nation can call for Jihad or Holy War and cause the Muslim world to obey that call. The only one who can call for such is one who sits in the position of Khalifah or successor of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

Since the destruction of the Caliphate of Islam by corruption within the ranks of Islam, and European machinations; the rise of nationalism among Muslim nations has made it difficult and nearly impossible to unify the Arab and Muslim world on the question of Jihad. However, Mr. President, if you follow what you have in your mind, which many of those around you are encouraging you to do, then, you will do what Osama Bin Ladin and no Muslim extremist could ever do.

You will unite the Muslim world in hostility against America and Great Britain, and, you will use your great position of power inadvertently to call for a Holy War against the West.

You will force the more moderate Islamic regimes either not to side with you, or to side with you at the risk of being overthrown by growing Islamist forces within their countries.

The coalition that you are gathering will fall away from you and you will have to pursue this war alone. I am afraid that this extended war may take a turn that you and your advisors least expect, and involve America in the greatest of all wars, the War of Armageddon, in which no nation will be left out, including Russia and China….”

That statement is just an excerpt, but boy oh boy how true those words from December of 2001 are today…

My point is what will it take for us as Americans to realize that this has gone on long enough?  I truly believe that we are in a much worse condition since before we even started this “war” with Iraq.  When you look at the total cost from death, destruction, radicalization, and mayhem let alone the financial expense, we can easily see we will be dealing with Iraq for decades to come.

What’s even more troubling is this idea that we can spend and forecast to spend trillions of dollars on this “war” but America will not take care of her own whether it’s Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, or Airmen, or everyday citizens.  Think about what we could have spent just a fraction of this money on:

Instead of a half trillion dollars we could have:

we could have paid for

58,799,095

children to attend a year of Head Start.
we could have insured

265,829,059

children for one year.we could have hired

7,697,461

additional public school teachers for one year

we could have built

3,999,303

additional housing units

we could have provided

21,532,224

students four-year scholarships at public universities

*data courtesy of http://costofwar.com/*

My point in all this?  Well, it’s quite evident that American’s don’t have our priorities straight on many issues, especially Iraq.

I wonder for all of you Iraq “war” supporters, what have you done to actually support the “war” outside of lip service?  Have you enlisted in the Army or Marine Corps in order to decrease their urgent need for recruits?  Have you encouraged your children, family, and friends to enlist to help support the “war”?  I often wonder how many supporters would still in fact be that if it were their loved ones returning home with mental, physical, or permanent injuries?  Or worse yet, what if it were your loved ones returning home in the flag draped caskets that we aren’t allowed to see in the media?

I couldn’t even imagine how much support one would give if their neighborhood was strife with violence, roadside bombs and other IED’s, your children couldn’t play outside or go to school, you could barely go to the market for food, let alone work, medical attention, and other needs.  What if you had little or no electricity or sanitary water?  Would you still be a supporter?

The facts remain, that study after study from our own intelligence agencies show time and time again that nothing is working.  Not a half trillion dollars, not a “troop surge”, not staying the course, looking at the way forward, etc. etc. etc.

So how much are we willing to sacrifice?  How many generations of Americans and Iraqis are we willing to ruin?  When are we going to wake up?

Oh yeah, since some of you actually believe that the Democrats with withdraw the troops and think that we won’t be there much longer, how about this update on our Embassy in Iraq:

PHOTOS: The $592 Million U.S. Embassy In Iraq

Construction of the U.S. embassy in Iraq, set to open in September, is projected to cost $592 million, with a staff of 1,000 people and operating costs totaling $1.2 billion a year. It will be a 104-acre complex, which is the size of approximately 80 football fields. On May 10, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) criticized the ballooning size and cost of the embassy in a hearing with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:

Now, having said over and over again that we don’t want to be seen as an occupying force in Iraq, we’re building the largest embassy that we have — probably the largest in the world — in Baghdad. And it just seems to grow and grow and grow. … We agree that we should focus our aid locally not in Baghdad, but we have 1,000 Americans at the embassy in Baghdad. You add the contractors and the local staff it comes to 4,000.

The architectural firm designing the embassy, Berger Define Yaeger, has posted the designs for the colossus on its website. Some previews of the compound’s planned swimming pool and tennis courts:

bdyembassy2.gif

The complex “will include two office buildings, one of them designed for future use as a school, six apartment buildings, a gym, a pool, a food court and its own power generation and water-treatment plants.”

The U.S. embassy is likely to create even greater Iraqi resentment toward the U.S. occupation. While Americans will be living in posh quarters, the citizens of Baghdad are forced to survive with just 5.6 hours of electricity a day. Baghdad was also recently rated the world’s worst city in which to live.

bagpics3.gif

UPDATE: The residence of the U.S. ambassador to Iraq will be 16,000 square feet. The deputy chief of mission in Iraq will have a “cozy cottage” measuring 9,500 square feet.

What in the world is black enough?

OK, now that I have given a picture overload, what do you think these pictures have in common?

Well, they portray obvious and “honorary I guess” black people.  I’m going here for a reason.  Many, many, black people have this “well they are not black enough…” mentality.  I hear this often when black people criticize Sen. Obama often, but you better believe Condi Rice and Colin Powell also get the same remarks.  Ironically, some of the same people will call Bill Clinton “the first black president”.  So I’m wondering, what in the world is black enough?  Is it a political party, because you all know blacks are supposed to be democrats. Is it skin tone, because you know we still have the light-skinned versus dark-skinned foolishness in our minds.  Is it education, because apparently unless you go to a historically black college, your “acting white”.  What is it?

Out of those pictures who’s the standard of “blackness”?  Is it Condi Rice or Minister Farrakhan?  Al Sharpton or President Clinton?

I’m so tired of this foolishness.  This post is supposed to be multi-faceted.  On one hand I want to expose the lame criticism of Sen. Obama, on the other hand, I really want us to think about the craziness we allow in our heads trying to define something that we can’t control.

Malcolm X said it best:

“……They don’t hang you because you’re a Baptist; they hang you ’cause you’re black. They don’t attack me because I’m a Muslim; they attack me ’cause I’m black. They attack all of us for the same reason; all of us catch hell from the same enemy. We’re all in the same bag, in the same boat. We suffer political oppression, economic exploitation, and social degradation — all of them from the same enemy…..”

Ballot or the Bullet, delivered April 12, 1964

We would be wise as black people to heed those words.  Black people are probably the only group of people in the world worrying about one another’s “blackness”.  Yet, all of us from the homeless guy in Washington, DC to Oprah Winfrey have been discriminated against.  This is not a “woe is me” speech, but a wake-up call to the foolish among who continue to propagate this foolishness.  I hear it on black radio every morning.  Just when you get some intelligent conversation going, someone inevitably calls in with challenges to another’s blackness.

Let’s make a pledge to make more intelligent comments.  Questioning one’s blackness should be equal to using profane language.  It is said that one uses profanity when there is nothing intelligent left to say and I believe those who challenge blackness do exactly the same thing.

If you don’t like Sen Obama, Colin Powell, the Secretary of State, then question their statements, policies, votes, beliefs, etc.  but please, please, please, say something more meaningful and lasting.  If you don’t have anything to actually debate or nothing intelligent to say, just be quiet, that’s the wisest advice a fellow black person can give to you.

P.S. the same applies to OJ Simpson and Clarence Thomas (I know, I know,) but in the interest of neutrality, we have to be fair… 🙂