The video straight from C-Span. I like to get the bigger picture. So I thought I would share how I watch this kind of thing. A straight feed. No Pundits. No analysis. Just what is really said.
In case you haven’t heard about this, San Francisco 49er QB Colin Kaepernick sat down during the national anthem last night before their preseason game. Here is a video of the story ESPN ran.
NFL Network’s Steve Wyche talked to him after the game, and here the story (video from NFL Network attached to story) Steve filed with the explanation from Kaepernick. Essentially he says he did it because of how African Americans, and people of color are oppressed in America.
Let me start my comments by stating that while I completely disagree with Mr. Kaepernick’s opinion, I fully respect his right to peacefully protest in the manner he did. I think instead of this symbolic gesture before a preseason game, this young man could have made a much more impactful statement in a much more useful way. He did get attention from this, so I guess in that way he is at least gaining an audience for the cause. However, if you feel African Americans are being oppressed in America then I would think someone of Mr. Kaepernick’s wealth and status could use some of his money and influence to help start a true discussion about this instead of sitting down for less than 3 minutes during the start of a preseason to “protest” this.
Look, the fact is there is a problem, and we as a society need to come together and address it. I don’t believe that there is one party at fault. I don’t think there will be a one size fits all answer to solve this.
We need to weed out the bad actors in the police force. I believe that is already started. However, as has been proven repeatedly there are not as many bad law enforcement officers out there as some would have you believe. Most of the men and women that are sworn to protect our communities are hard working, god fearing, family loving people that just want to do their job, and get to go home at the end of their shift. We still need to make sure every effort is made to wash out the people that would abuse their powers as a law enforcement officer before they get their badge. We need to make sure that reports of abuse are properly investigated so that the people who are already in law enforcement and abuse the office are caught, prosecuted, and removed.
We also need to be honest about how people treat law enforcement these days. I know I have seen first hand people get hostile with law enforcement when an officer or deputy is just trying to do his or her job. Not every person that is stopped by law enforcement is a thug looking to do illegal things, but not every person that is approached by law enforcement behaves properly either. You have to be willing to allow law enforcement to do their job, which means be respectful when pulled over, listen and follow their commands, and above all else, do not become confrontational or hostile towards them.
Now that I have said that, I have no sympathy to those that break the law. I am no angel, don’t get me wrong, but if you are breaking the law and get caught, that is not the time to pretend you’re Butch Cassidy or The Sundance Kid, or any other famous outlaw who shot it out and got away from the law. Don’t try to outsmart the law, that’s what they have high priced lawyers and the court system for. If you’re innocent, that can be proven there. The important fact is, it is better to fight an arrest in court, than take your life in your own hands fighting on the street with law enforcement.
Kaepernick did this, he has gotten attention for it, and he will now have to face the consequences of his actions. I believe those will involve losing support from law enforcement, veterans, and he will most likely lose some if not all of his endorsement deals, if he still has any. Since he is underperforming in the preseason, this was a hollow stunt performed by a guy on his last leg on his way out the door in San Francisco.
I get the importance of the message, but the messenger used the wrong tactic, and his timing was off too.
In case you haven’t heard about this, the story is here, here, and here. From what I can gather, Louisiana State Senator Johnathan Perry went on KPEL-FM/Lafayette and talked about proposing legislation that would allow people that want to help in emergency situations (like the recent flooding) to get training and certification that would allow them to help in those situations without being constantly hassled by law enforcement or break state law by going beyond law enforcement perimeters in those situations.
First, from a facebook video Senator Perry has posted he is stating that people are saying hateful things about him, and making threats against him and his family. This is not right. I don’t care if you think his idea is flawed, stupid, cray cray, or wrong, that is not a reason to attack Senator Perry or threaten him. Again, debate the idea, not attack anyone you disagree with.
While I think the senator has great intentions, I believe this is in need of some work before any legislation is proposed. First, anyone wanting to help should be coordinating with local law enforcement, not attempting to side step them. If there are perimeters setup, they are in place for a reason, and if you’re going beyond it you should a) know what you are doing, b) be a part of the coordinated effort so that people are not either part of the problem, nor getting in the way, and c) be willing to take direction from the authorities in charge so resources (that would be you) can be used in the best way possible. I understand the desire to remove restrictions from people that are willing to help, but this method as it stands seems to be a recipe for people showing up with an attitude of “I’m certified, so I can do what I want.”
Look, Senator Perry, and anyone else that wants to help. Get together with the Louisiana Sheriffs Association and the Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police, State and Parish Emergency Preparedness Officials and figure out how to put a program together that would allow people to volunteer to assist in emergencies. If we want to train these people so they are a true asset in emergencies then let’s find a way to do that. However, the big thing here is that any rescue efforts, including by volunteers, needs to be coordinated through the proper authorities to assure that we are maximizing the coverage with the resources available.
As for the costs to cover this new undertaking, I am sure if we come up with a viable plan, explain the plan to the public, and put out an appeal to help fund it, us Cajuns will make it happen.
Well, I do this way more than I should. In tonight’s little adventure I started tweaking one or two little things on Louisiana Today‘s website, and next thing I know it’s 4am. Now, it is not always the case that I start a project and become so focused on my goal I spend the twilight hours toiling away instead of in a deep slumber. Usually I am awake at this point of the morning because I start pondering the “what-if’s” in my life and end up with a thought process that refuses to shut down. From the amount of social media friends posting this time of morning, I am not hardly alone in the endeavor.
I much prefer a night of highly focused work and getting a task completed instead of lying awake for hours on end contemplating how I can best provide the life I want to give to my wife and kids. This might seem silly at first, but remember we rebuilt what we have now after losing almost all we owned when I got sick and lost both my feet to diabetic complications in late 2011 and early 2012. Even though my outlook is bright on several levels, I am as human as everyone else. I have those dark moments when I feel like nothing will ever work out for me.
A few weeks ago I got to watch The Resurrection Of Jake The Snake Roberts. I was concerned at first when one by one, the kids and Brunella all had “things to do” and left me home. Alone. With my Netflix movie. But, as I realize more and more these days, God has a plan, and I was left alone to watch this event on my own for good reason.
Jake was my favorite wrestler growing up. I loved how he always kept his cool. He was a smart alec like me, and he outsmarted his opponent (most of the time). He was the original “cerebral assassin” or the “master of the mind (we’ll use job)” as my dad used to call him. In his day, he was one of the brightest stars of the profession.
The movie shows Jake at his lowest point. He’s an alcoholic and an addict. He could barely walk, and in some cases barely make a complete sentence he was so high. The movie documents how Jake faced his demons with the help of fellow wrestler Diamond Dallas Page, and then helped “Razor Ramon” who’s real name is Scott Hall walk back from the brink as well. There are many emotional moments in the movie, but there is one that hit home for me.
Jake was having a bad day in this scene and walks out the house completely frustrated. When they finally get to the root of his issue, it is that Jake never felt he was good enough. Even with the fame, the fortune, and the money, he never felt he deserved the accolades he received. He felt he was worthless. He felt sooner or later someone would figure that out and it would all go away. He hid in the booze and pill bottles and it eventually became his reality.
I relate because there are times where I have felt that same useless, worthless, and self defeating feeling creep up on me. It is one of the reasons I work hard to stay focused. It is also why I always have a plan “B”, plan “C”, and so forth. While I admit those doubts come to me, I also know that the only way to combat them is to prove to myself I have the skills, knowledge, and experience to make a difference. I have to prove to myself I am someone who matters. Again, God seems to always be there nudging me in the right direction when my life seems to be at its darkest.
I’ve told this story several times, but never have I written it out. On October 17, 2011 I stumbled into the Emergency Room of University Hospital in New Orleans dizzy, with red streaks running up my right leg from a small puncture wound on my big toe I received less than 48 hours earlier. The ER Doctor took one look at my leg and said “it’s either the leg or your life, your call.” I was in surgery less than 2 hours later, my right leg was amputated below my knee, and I was in a medically induced coma for a week after that. When I finally got past the groggy feeling from the drugs, the movie The Shawshank Redemption popped in my head. “You either get busy living, or get busy dying.” was the line in my brain. I figured since I didn’t die on the operating table, it meant I was still here to do something I haven’t finished yet.
Since that day, I walk when doctors swore that would never be possible. I completed a degree at The University of New Orleans. I am working two jobs in radio. I have multiple chances to get back to work full time doing work I love. I am lucky. I am blessed.
For some reason I felt compelled to write this, so I don’t know who you are, but I know God has me doing this so you know it will be OK. Take some deep breaths. Things will work out in God’s time. Do the footwork, plan what needs to be done, and it will all happen like it is supposed to.
I continue to be amazed as I watch people I know, people I trust, people I respect just continue to be twisted up in the division and political rhetoric that has become commonplace politics in America these days. I will give examples, but I never remember my parents, or grandparents becoming so divided and easily manipulated into spouting off talking points as I see numerous times everyday. Maybe it is because we have become a society that no longer values consensus, or one that has forgotten how to compromise. Maybe it is because social media, blogging, and viral videos has turned everyone into certified experts in everything. Maybe it’s true, society has gotten so dumbed down that the movie Idiocracy is playing out before our very eyes.
The latest flights of lunacy involve the current situation with the flooding and devastation in Louisiana over the past week or so. The American Red Cross says it is the worst disaster to befall the United States since Superstorm Sandy hit the east coast. Upwards of one hundred thousand homes were flooded, some went completely underwater. Some people still haven’t been able to get back into their homes to even assess the extent of the damage and loss they have suffered yet. Thousands of people are still in shelters, without a place to go, and with no material possessions left.
I am of the mind that any and all focus we can get to start the aid process for these families is where we need to be at this time. That goes for every politician, from every political affiliation, and whether they are running for office or not. Now is the time to rally the troops, so to speak, get the people, the resources, and the money needed for rebuilding and making these people’s lives whole again as soon as humanly possible flowing this way. Time to organize donation drives, fundraisers, and help get volunteers down into the areas where work can start.
Now, for the most part, the rest of my fellow Cajuns (I despise the word Louisianians) have done that. Many of us have worked in every way we can to make sure that people were retrieved, then taken to safety, many made sure that these victims of this natural disaster had a place to sleep, clean clothes to wear, and delicious food made with love to sustain them. I took to social media, and then the airwaves to get the information out that these victims needed to start rebuilding once the waters subsided. That has now become a mission to help organizers get the word out so that the people that can help others know where they can go to offer their love and support. This has come in the form of donations of food, water, items, money, and most importantly many people have volunteered their time to assist in whatever way they are needed.
The outpouring from our state has been tremendous. There are so many great stories of people working together to get the people and resources needed to the places and people that are so desperate for assistance right now. I have talked to people that essentially loaded up by the busload from unaffected areas to drive into the devastation to help people they’ve never met before, because they knew it needed to be done.
What upsets me is the political games being played by politicians up and down the scorecard, from both sides of the aisle with this tragedy. What has happened here should never become a political talking point. It’s not just the campaigns doing this, but it is getting down to people are are normally friends getting into a knock down, drag out fight (thankfully usually on social media) over defending their candidate of choice.
A politician coming to show support to the flood victims, or deciding to staying away for whatever reason should not become a social media argument where foul language is used, names are called, and people belittled. There are many ways to support the people affected here, and not everyone will make the same choices. No one wants to watch American citizens suffer. While a visit and a few minute conversation with an elected official or candidate may be a great distraction, most people now are more concerned with picking up the pieces and getting their lives back together.
While on this point, belittling someone because they took time to come down, bring toys for the kids, supplies for the victims, gave money to help, plus took time to visit with not only state and local officials coordinating the relief efforts, but also visited the affected area, as well as spent time talking to those people that have lost so much doesn’t help your cause. Pointing out that he only spent moments helping unload the TRUCK LOAD of toys and supplies he brought with him, or that he refused to eat the food prepared for the victims makes you look petty and vindictive, not the person you are trying to demean. Yes, in this case we’re talking about Trump, but I will most likely have to revisit this same train of thought after Obama visits on Tuesday, and his detractors attempt to dissect his time down here.
I’ll be blunt, which shouldn’t be a surprise. The complete focus, especially for anyone from Louisiana should be to help our fellow Cajuns recover, rebuild, and return to their normal lives as soon as possible. Help get the damage mitigated. Help those who need it find the assistance they need. We should welcome any who wish to come help. It doesn’t matter if they come with a truck full of tools, an 18 wheeler full of donations, or a gaggle of national media. It will all help get the word out, which only gets our friends and family more assistance.
November will be here before we know it. If you’ve made your choices great, if not, you have time before you cast your ballot. Please, stop all the political posturing. End all the bickering and bull. Find the friends and family that are in need right now. HELP THEM.
I watched the game, and I had to keep reminding myself that this is only a preseason game. That did not stop me from yelling at the players like they could hear me, nor did it stop my 3 or 4 attempts to throw something at my TV.
Saints D seems to be getting decent penetration.
Offense dropping way too many catchable balls.
Offense seems to be dealing with a bad case of fumbleitus.
Only a few guys seem fired up.
Talked to another armchair Saints expert, and his word was lethargic.
In case you haven’t noticed it on my facebook page, or my twitter feed, I am hosting a show called Louisiana Today. Brunella convinced (with help and encouragement from several friends) me several months ago to start the show as a podcast with the eventual goal to bring the show to radio. It is a concept I worked with my mentor several years ago to bring to radio, but at the time the business, and technology wasn’t quite where it is today.
My goal was always to start with KTIB 640-AM/Thibodaux, LA for several reasons. First, it is the closest station to my hometown of Raceland. Second, it is the station that I first got on the air as a kid. Third, it was the last station I programmed. Linda B. Bourgeois, the station’s longtime manager and I worked hard to make a decent local station back in the day. It seemed the second we got it on the right track, the owners took control of the station from the company running it under a Lease Management Agreement, and the short version is they ran it into the ground and eventually off the air. I had a family to provide for, so I couldn’t stay, and moved onto another gig. I always felt I owed it to Linda and myself to come back and right that situation.
We’ve remained friends through the years. I’ve always helped Linda when I could, and when we decided it was time for me to do Louisiana Today, she was the first person we called. It took time to get it on the air because we wanted to put it in a time slot that would help the station. Well, to be honest, I told Linda and Brunella I didn’t care where it was put, I’d make it successful (Yes, The Cajun Nightmare is still alive and well.) Brunella and Linda kept working on the when and where, while I kept fleshing out the show on the podcast.
When the extent of the flooding started to become apparent a little over a week back I started working on finding all the information I could. Since I am no longer an able bodied person I would only be a hindrance instead of a help on the ground. I decided I needed to find all the correct, verifiable information out there and spread the information as far as I could. While I was busy gathering information, Brunella and Linda decided it was time for the next step.
Last Monday at 8am I went live on 640-AM KTIB at 8AM for the first time in a dozen years. I spent the hour sharing the information I had found, interviewing people that were needing the public’s help to assist flood victims, and even got to share a segment with Dialogue’s Gene Richard. In the week since we have moved me to 6pm so that we’ve got two opportunities to share information with KTIB’s audience between Gene’s show and mine.
I am so grateful for the positive response. We continue to get messages from friends, and family as they learn I’m back on the air. We continue to be reminded how small the Bayou Region truly is. At least once a day since we started, someone we interview talks to someone we’ve known for years, and then we get the “they’re talking about you” messages.
Thanks to everyone. I hope you enjoy what we’re doing.
You can also look over the notes Joey took while watching by clicking here.
I’ve been watching the events of this past week unfold. I have tried to maintain some form of even keel when I pass along information about the deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Philandro Castile in Minnesota, and the act of domestic terrorism committed in Dallas as a peaceful demonstration was concluding just a few days ago. Each has its own unique circumstances, each has left people with horrific memories, devastating loss, and emotional damage that will take time to heal.
What I am about to say will upset many, but in my heart I know it is what must be stated for the record. First, now is not the time for the general public to attempt to become judge, jury, and executioner in any of these events. It doesn’t matter to me if you are an expert in criminology, a layman, or a civil rights legend. None of us have the proper, completed, and factual information needed to make a truly informed decision on what happened here. The only one that would be even slightly close to that point is the assassination of 5 law enforcement officers and the wounding of 7 more in Dallas. Even in that case, the initial crime scene will not be completely processed until the middle of next week at the earliest.
What is not needed here, and has not been needed in the other similar events like Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson and Freddie Gray in Baltimore are uninformed people jumping to conclusions. It is poor leadership and could be considered a form of defamation making inflammatory statements before all the facts are in. This has happened in this week’s events with local, regional, statewide, and nationally elected officials. I saw one New Orleans area state representative within minutes of the 2nd video being distributed on social media in the Alton Sterling case state unequivocally that the policemen involved should be “thrown in jail now”! So no evidence, no trial, just a cry to punish without due process.
Another thing that is not needed right now is the politicians involved in each incident all the way up to the president himself attempting to use the horrific events of this past week to advance ANY political agenda. Seeing this happen repeatedly with the devastating events in Orlando just made my blood boil. Watching politicians line up after each of these horrific events to tout gun control, or police reforms, or attempts to divide people along racial or economic lines made me literally sick to my stomach.
What the people of Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas need now are leaders on every level to step up and show that they are more concerned with comforting those affected, assurances that the main priority will be finding the truth behind why the events happened, and that anyone that broke the law will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. It is time for the people that have been honored by being trusted with public office to lead. Each one of you that decided to push a political parties agenda, or that displaying your anger instead of calling for calm until all the evidence has been process have severely degraded the office you were entrusted with.
And the politicians aren’t the only ones that have besmirched the position they were entrusted with. While most of the clergy I have seen active during the fallout from these events have been tending to their flock, and trying to comfort the people that have been emotionally affected by what has happened, there are many “civic leaders” that claim to be focused on improving the community, but instead are on the front lines using the pain, fear and grief felt to drive a wedge through the heart of the places they claim to love.
I by no means advocate attempting to stop people from expressing their anger at what has happened here. Being able to freely express our displeasure with current events, the system, or the political process is a right guaranteed to us. With that said, it is one thing to demonstrate and express yourself, it is completely another to disrupt someone else’s freedoms to do it. Blocking roads (or the interstate), disrupting other people’s events is not the way to get your point heard. When you try to cause disruption you put your safety and the well being of others at risk. Attempting to get law enforcement to attack you is even more destructive, and could make you a convicted felon in the process. Say what you have to say. Make your point, but do it peacefully.
One of my part time jobs (I have several) is a board operator for a local station here in Southeast Louisiana. I’ve been honored to have the opportunity to work behind the scenes this week to help my station lead part of the public discussions of these events on the air. While we do get our share of the extremist that blame racism, police brutality, and hatred as the main catalyst in these events, there seems to be a much more consistent consensus as to a real cause.
To be honest, it seems to be the general consensus when I talk to friends, colleagues, and social media contacts as well, so there must be some validity to it. The main point that seems to return is that there seems to be a lack of respect by certain people for anything or anyone. This may not always be the case, but hear me out. There are a healthy amount of people in the current generation, and maybe even another generation back that expect to have everything come easy to them. They don’t seem to have the same drive to succeed, the same discipline that my generation, and preceding generations have. Many people I have heard discuss this, and many I have have conversations about it seem to blame it on a lack of proper parental structure at home growing up, as well as a lack of ability for parents to discipline children the way we were raised.
My eldest son Logan has a tight knit group of friends he hangs around with. Most of them are seniors in high school like him, and they spend time together both in and out of the school environment. Out of the near dozen people in this group, our son is the only one that is not from a split family home. More than 75% of them live with a grandparent because their parents are divorced and decided they could not properly raise their own children. The rest of the group have one parent (with the exception of one, the biological father) they live with and hardly ever see the other.
Logan runs into issues trying to spend time with them because we raise our kids with rules and guidelines. We must meet their friend’s guardian before they can visit their home (mainly to make sure the parent is OK with it, and of course to know someone responsible is there). He can’t stay overnight on a school night. He has to let us know if he’s going somewhere other than where he told us (just a short text). His friends constantly pick on him because they do what they want, when they want. Some of his friends, who are still minors, are out walking around on their own past midnight on a school night.
I gave that background because in my opinion the lack of parental control and concern shown by the parents of Logan’s friends is the cornerstone of that lack of respect for anyone, or anything that I mentioned earlier. They don’t show respect because they have never been shown the importance of it growing up. It becomes a huge gap that causes problems in work, in relationships, and in life for those who don’t grasp why it is so important. This missing cornerstone makes it much easier to have no concept that life is precious.
Is this the only issue causing these confrontations? No, of course not. What this becomes is a definable problem that political, clergy, and civic leaders can work together to find tangible paths to correct and improve. This is a common ground that we can all agree must be addressed to help make the next generation of leaders we need for our communities and our country to survive.
I keep hearing the slogan “No Justice, No Peace!” chanted all over the country. Who gets to decide what that justice becomes? Shouldn’t that be determined by gathering all the evidence available? Is it vital we are making sure the truth of what happened is found? To find the truth, to assure we truly find justice for the people that have had their lives destroyed by these tragic events, shouldn’t every leader be calling for calm and patience so there is no rush to judgement. Everyone’s goal should be to find the truth instead of allowing knee jerk reactions stoke the flames of hatred, division, and fear? We have to know that we are truly dispensing justice so we can all know the peace we are looking for.
I woke up on that Sunday morning to hear that there was a shooting in Orlando. It didn’t take long for me to gather up what little information was available in the few hours after the the shooter had been killed. The first thing that really struck me as odd was that within the first few hours of this massacre Islamic State was claiming responsibility for it. As I was telling my family gathered around the TV that this was unusual, the terrorism expert on the news coverage expressed the same sentiment.
First, no matter the murderer’s intentions, the senseless loss of 49 lives, the horror that the survivors of this madman’s actions along with the pain and suffering caused to the victim’s friends and family will have long lasting circumstances that go far beyond the initial pain and suffering. The first responders who rushed towards the danger, the people that helped get victims treatment, and the people that had to process the carnage will all have long lasting effects for years to come as well.
My thoughts and prayers have been with all these people. Many have a long road to go before they will find their new normal and are able to move on with their lives. The best thing we can do is show love, be supportive, and honor the lives of the people lost during this horrific act of terrorism. This is a time to come together as a country.
One of the things that flashed in my mind as I watched the live coverage was “Please don’t let this become a political football!” My fears were confirmed just hours later as the political lines began to be drawn by politicians who had shown up to be”briefed” on the scene. It quickly became an US of “This is a Radical Islamic Terrorism Problem” and a THEM of “This is a Gun Control Problem”. The presidential candidates quickly choose a side. Then President Obama showed up in Orlando and showed that the most important rule in politics is “never let a crisis go to waste” by turning his moment to be presidential into a “let’s do some gun control” political rant.
Personally, I don’t think either side is right. I believe we are now in a world where there are people that hate America, the freedoms we enjoy, and anyone that doesn’t believe how they believe. Those people have proven over the past few decades that every time we shut down one way for them to attack us, they find another creative way to get to us.
Some people don’t want to look at the way this hatred is instilled in some radicals from birth. This is not just with radical Muslims, but also look at the history of radical groups like the Branch Davidian, the Klu Klux Klan, among other groups both here in America and abroad. Hatred is a common bond in many mass murders. So in mental illness, which is also something no one seems to want to address.
I believe some things can be tweaked that would keep certain people that shouldn’t have access to a gun from getting them. I don’t believe that the “No Fly, No Buy” talking point being touted by Democrats would be the right way to do that. The No Fly List has no due process to put people on it, the people on it aren’t notified when they are placed on it, nor is there a process in place to get removed from the list if you feel you are placed on it improperly. The list would have to be made public record. The appeal process to get off it would have to be created, which would mean putting someone on the list would have to be able to be legally defended by the party(s) that added them.
The other talking point the gun control crowd is trying to tout is “Universal Background Check” legislation. Again, this sounds easy and smart, but a ton of hurdles have to be overcome to make this a reality everyone can live with. Not all states report to the database used to perform gun sales background checks. Even the states that report do not report the same information. This means the informaiton in is inaccurate at best. Add to that the fact the department that does these checks is overwhelmed, and has a poor record of catching things that should raise flags on checks they are already required to perform.
Something needs to be done. While I agree that mass killings are never acceptable, now is the time to honor the dead. It is time to help the injured recover. It is time to thoroughly investigate the actions leading up to the event, and figure out sensible measures that can be taken to avoid a future attack.
Now is not the time to make rash decisions in hopes of gaining political momentum. Now is not the time to pass useless legislation that would have not stopped past events nor stop future attacks. It is appalling that anyone would try to use victims of a crime to further their cause or gain political momentum.