Lee Brown the Intellective

“The distinction between a simple living being and a spiritual being that is 'capax Dei', points to the existence of the intellective soul of a free transcendent subject".” My interests are varied and there is no limit to the things that are posted here – social issues, economics, politics, entertainment, etc! My approach is balanced and pragmatic, and I might not always present what is popular, but I will always try to present what is right. That is my definition of The Intellective!

America’s Mis-education

September 27th, 2012

O.J. Simpson was the first running back in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards. He accomplished this feat in 1973. Emmitt Smith gained 16,728 yards to become the NFL’s all time leading rusher in 2002 (he retired after gaining 18,355 yards), and Bob Hayes won the Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter dash at the 1964 Tokyo games. I trust you can verify these statistics are in fact true. Should you choose not to believe me, you can easily do your own research and verify my accuracy. That is the true purpose of research isn’t it? Facts are easily verified in this age of fingertip technology. Smartphones, tablets and computers make gathering data really easy. That being said, if technology really is just a mouse and keystroke away, then why would you believe anything comes into your purview without first verifying it?

America is a country of arrogance and of ignorance. She is arrogant in the sense that she does not truly realize her place in the global community, and too ignorant to care.   This isolationist stance stretches beyond politics into every aspect of our lives. America’s ignorance is its arrogance. For years we have thought that we were the dominant nation. We believed ourselves to have more influence on the global community than the Soviets and the Chinese. The Cold War was precipitated on this notion. We set out to out-spend China and Russia, hoping that this would bankrupt their governments into submission. We broke Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in the 1980s, yet China stood steadfast and began to invest in America, not because it believed that trade with the U.S. was a good thing, but because it wanted our debt. Yes, if you can’t beat them, own them. Case in point: The following companies who are hallmarks of American industry are owned by foreigners: Anheuser-Busch (Brazilian/Belgium giant InBev), 7-Eleven (Japan’s Seven & I Holdings), and Frigidaire (Swedish home appliance company Electrolux), just to name a few. America’s arrogance allowed these companies to be sold, and its ignorance has caused it to be asleep at the wheel.

Yet as Americans, we continue to digest information from unverified sources as if we were standing in line at a Jim Jones cookout. Our ignorance has spread at a pandemic rate. We repeat what we saw on the news, or what we have heard from “somebody.” We forward outlandish emails with reckless abandon, yet all the while we think that we have all the facts necessary to make intelligent decisions.  Imagine having to make the decision to commit troops to war based solely on the information you receive via the Internet? Or based on the rhetoric of a country led by a crazy dictator? (I’m still waiting to see the weapons of mass destruction). The side effects of stupidity are just as dangerous as the side effects of the hottest drug on the market. It can cause severe brain constipation, it can make you delirious, and it can cause you to repeat lies that would make the most severe Tourette syndrome patient pause. And I am not just speaking of politics. Consider this:

Medicine

Has every diagnosis/prognosis you have received from a medical professional been accurate? If you are one of the few to whom this has happened to, then good for you. If not, my suggestion would be to seek a second and even a third opinion. If they were as accurate as they would like to think they were, holistic therapy would be just a fad. Chiropractic care would be outlawed, and pharmaceutical reps would be in the unemployment line. Educate yourself.

Technology

How many times have you received an email making some outlandish claim? Lies so far fetched, you would have to have been a complete idiot to believe them? Elvis and Tupac are still alive and living in Europe. Whitney and Michael are not only alive; they are working on an album together. These are the same stories found in the supermarket tabloids. At least with these publications, they make no claims of accuracy. Question: when you received these bogus emails, what did you do? Did you delete it? If you did, then you receive a gold star. But if you forwarded it, did you verify its contents before you did, or did you just send it on to your friends and colleagues to further spread the lie? Now you become complicit, and just as culpable as the originator of the email. Fact-check and educate yourself.

Media

Network news for the most part has not changed since the days of John Chancellor (NBC), Harry Reasoner (ABC), and Walter Cronkite (CBS). Their broadcasts were balanced in their approached and not designed to steer your opinion one way or another. It was what it was. Then along came the cable networks and their alphabet soup of news channels: CNN, FOX, MSNBC, FOX Business, etc. The balance in their reporting disappeared and was replaced by partisan broadcasts. They hired hacks to bring you a daily dose of fear from everything from the direction the country is headed in to how one shipment of Tylenol was going to kill all Americans. At the end of these broadcasts, I am not sure of whether to take a shower or to grab my gun and defend my home. I implore you to watch all broadcasts, especially the ones with which you obviously disagree. You certainly need to see how those with differing views see this world. Again, educate yourself.

Lastly, don’t take anything you read at face value. Media outlets, politicians and advertisers all have one objective – and that is to get you to believe what it is that they are saying, vote the way they want you to and to buy whatever it is they are selling. To not do your due diligence is tantamount to being blind and trying to cross a busy intersection – you are relying on others to provide you with safe passage. Without educating yourself on the issues that affect both you and your community, how can you make effective decisions that best benefit you and your family? Education is the inoculation against ignorance.

The Intellective (C) 2012

High School Reunions Can Be Fun!!!

September 10th, 2012

 

Bloggers write for a myriad of reasons. Some write because they truly have something to say, or are experts on a particular subject. Others write because they see a wrong being perpetrated and want others to know about it. Still other bloggers write because it is therapeutic, and maybe even cathartic. Personally, I write for all of these reasons, but I also write because I want to remember. I want a recording of all of my experiences in preparation for the day when my organic memory fails me.

Having said this; have you ever been a part of something really special? Have you ever belonged to something that in any given time and place was truly extraordinary? Did you realize it right away, or did it take some time to sink in? I am sure that athletes who participate in team sports have experienced this feeling of euphoria that I am talking about. The 1972 Miami Dolphins have felt it, as have the 1927 New York Yankees, as have the Boston Celtic teams of the 1960’s. I, having never been a professional athlete, have never felt that feeling. Until now.

I was humbled to be able to attend my 30-year high school class reunion. Humbled not because I never thought I would be here, but humbled to be in the presence of so many great people! Humbled because try as I might, my accomplishments over the past 30 years pale in comparison to the giants I attended high school with. These men and women have accepted the challenges of today’s society with the same determination of the championship teams I mentioned. And many have done it with the same rate of success. And it is an honor to say that I knew them before they became world-beaters. I knew them before they became Kappas and Omegas. Before Deltas and AKAs. I knew them before they became CEOs and entrepreneurs. Before they became nurses and ministers. I even knew them before they took up arms in defense of this great nation. I knew these people when they were bright-eyed 15 year olds trying to figure out this world and how they were going to make their individual mark on it.

When we got together after 10 years, we were still making our way. We were still young and energetic, and moved about at a frenetic pace.  We were still eager to learn, but we were like caged thoroughbreds, ready to romp at our own unbridled pace. Look out world, here we come!

After 20 years we assembled again, having realized we had lost some of our classmates along the way. We still had the same energy, but we were more focused. Some of us had started to emerge professionally as we moved up the corporate ladder. Others had started to make an impact in our communities. Still others had struck out on their own in search of entrepreneurial freedom. But when we came together it was high school all over again. Titles and accomplishments got left at the door as it was and will always be, about the common love we have for each other.

Now here we are 30 years post-graduation, and looking better than ever! More accomplished, more confident, and more complete. We are now the leaders in our communities, the go-to people professionally, and even the patriarchs and matriarchs of our families. We volunteer in our churches, our communities and stand ready to help those in need. We have not only become parents, we have become OUR parents. Our conversations still remain zany, but now they have evolved from juvenile pursuits to more important things like deficits and wars, and unemployment. Conversations which at are not only thought-provoking, but intriguing. In the past week I have become reacquainted with some of the most special people in my lifetime, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with this fine group of people and I look forward to the next opportunity to do it again.

Purple Heart Day 2012

August 7th, 2012

George Washington instituted the original Purple Heart award on August 7, 1782 to reward troops for “unusual gallantry” and “extraordinary fidelity and essential service.” The award was a purple cloth heart edged in silver braid, and was to be worn over the left breast of the uniform.   Only three of these awards are known to have been issued, of which only two are known to exist today.

And in those 230 years, there have been 1.6 million Purple Hearts awarded. And woven into that number are 1.6 million stories. Stories of bravery, of gallantry, of extraordinary fidelity, and of fear. They are stories few have heard. Stories shared only between members of this most elite fraternity. Stories of how All Gave Some, and Some Gave All. Members of this fraternity, who know that the Purple Award is not won, but earned. No member of our military wakes each morning with the intent of earning a Purple Heart, for only fate can dictate that. But what these brave men and women have done each and every morning is to answer the call of a proud nation. They are our defenders of freedom!

And today, midway between Memorial Day and Veterans Day, we remember – we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice – those who Gave All – to protect the sacred freedoms we all enjoy. The Freedom of speech, the freedom of choice, and yes the freedom to assemble. And we remember those 1.6 million stories. Stories authored by the men and women on THIS wall.

Some Gave All.

We also remember the NEW stories – those stories authored by those who are being added to this wall today. Stories with places like Kabul, and Baghdad, and Kandahar as backdrops. These authors, who have so painstakingly penned their masterpieces in the name of freedom, will now have their names etched in this sacred granite.

We recognize the sacrifices made by the 1.6 million men and women who have been awarded the Purple Heart. This nation owes you a debt, which can never be repaid.

All Gave Some.

The Intellective (c) 2012

 

 

 

The Curious Case of Trayvon Martin

June 2nd, 2012

I wanted to wait before I weighed in on the subject of Trayvon Martin. Not because I wanted to wait until all the facts were in, and certainly not until I had heard the uproar. I was waiting for the distractions to come. The distractions from the true issue at hand – not the killing of an un-armed youth, but the failure of the Sanford police in conducting a proper investigation.

Distraction number one: Joe Oliver. This was the easiest distraction and we should have spotted it a mile away. Once the media reported that it was a while man shooting a black teen, you knew Zimmerman’s defense team was going to trot out the token black man to tell other black folks that Zimmerman was not racist and that he has black people in his family. That went on for a week, and the socio-political pundits jumped right on the story and we went right along for the ride, bad mouthing Joe Oliver and his motives. Why does that matter?

Distraction number two: The New Black Panther Party. Every media outlet has made interviewing the NBPP at every turn. They claim to speak for black people. Unfortunately, I don’t actually know these folk that they represent. I heard one leader say that they were going to hunt Zimmerman down themselves. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but they DO make you stupid.

Distractions three through whatever: “What kind of holster was Zimmerman wearing?” Why? “We should boycott Orlando!” Why? “We should march!” Why? These are all distractions designed to direct our focus away from the real problem, and it was\, and is the failure of the Sanford police department to do their jobs. If they had conducted a proper investigation, we would know what type of holster Zimmerman was wearing. I still have not made the connection between what happened in Sanford with a boycott of Orlando. And what are we boycotting? Who knows? Boycotts do work, but when they were successful, they wee designed to give one group equal rights under the law. The Montgomery bus boycott worked because blacks, a.) Lived in the same part of town and were able to car pool, b.) Were of the same socio-economic class, and c.) Generally got along with each other. That enclave community no longer exists as folk can live wherever they want to. Boycotts are on old school response to new school problems.

All I am saying is that folk – both black and white – should be outraged at this tragedy, but that’s what it is, is a tragedy. And because of the ineptness of the Sanford police, Zimmerman will get his day in court, but don’t expect jail. This case, more than likely will be settled in civil court.

Blogging While Lee Brown (C) 2012

 

Jacksonville City Council Needs to Step Up

June 2nd, 2012

Ok, so the Jacksonville City Council held its weekly meeting last week and on the agenda – a gay rights bill. This is an ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Personally, I didn’t think that there was a need for such an ordinance – I didn’t think that a city as diverse as Jacksonville, Florida needed to have a law on the books ensuring the rights of our gay population. But the human resources blood that flows within me realizes that if you don’t have it in writing, it doesn’t exist. The city council however, showed me that there is a need for a law protecting our gay community. Title Seven of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not cover sexual orientation, nor does it protect affinity groups, so the ordinance is necessary. There were hundreds of supporters who turned out for the council meeting, and in accordance with the rules of the council, each was allowed three minutes to pledge their support for the ordinance. At that moment, I was proud of this community and the obvious realization that ALL men are created equal. Unfortunately, some of our esteemed elected officials did not share those sentiments.

Now let me go on record by saying that I do not have faith in the city council and its ability to carry out the business of city government. Most of the members are inherently under-qualified, and it seems as though everyone knows this, except for them. If you belong to a group people and you don’t know who the incompetent one is, then its you. We elect these folks, knowing full well that they are not equipped to discharge the duties of the office that they have been elected. Case in point: Kimberly Daniels’ exchange with one of the speakers and her reference to bestiality. This line of questioning was totally inappropriate and embarrassing. And as a woman who used to sell sex for a living, I would think that her level of evolvement would have been higher. Sadly, I think she is too stupid to realize the magnitude of her gaff. Furthermore, the council does not understand the meaning of separation of church and state. Perhaps a Civics 101 course is in order. Case in point: Don Redman not supporting the ordinance because it is contrary to the Bible. Really? The Bible has nothing to do with an ordinance designed to prevent discrimination based on sexual preference. Period. Your personal beliefs don’t belong in the discussion, and you should not govern that way. Stick to the letter of the law and you should be fine. Stop leaning in the Bible and govern in the best interest of ALL citizens. If you truly believe that an individual should be discriminated upon based on their sexual preference, say so. But say it because YOU believe it, not because you THINK the Bible condones it. Come out and say that you believe that it is ok to deny rights to gays and lesbians. Say that you believe that not all men are created equal. Say that you believe that a segment of society should be ostracized. Say that is why you voted against this ordinance. With one simple vote, the strides of our society during the 1960s would be erased, simply because we think it is acceptable to deny rights to members of society. In America, as I understand it, we should not deny life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness because we don’t agree with how someone lives that life, enjoys that liberty, and pursues that happiness.

The Jacksonville City Council should be ashamed at their behavior during this process, and I for one, think that they should be sent back under the rocks from which they came.

Blogging While Lee Brown (C) 2012

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is a useful tool

June 2nd, 2012

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or CPR as most of us know it, is an emergency procedure which is performed in an effort to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person in cardiac arrest. It is used on those who are unresponsive with no breathing or abnormal breathing. Simply put, it is a method of keeping an individual alive until medical help can arrive.

Why do we need to know CPR? The reasons are many to know it, and few not to. Knowing CPR could be the difference in saving a life, or watching someone you care about die right in front of you, which I learned recently. CPR is one of those things that you might not ever use, but you rather know it and not need it, than to need it and not know it.

I have been through numerous, seemingly boring CPR classes. I think my boredom stems from the fact that they classes are often held during the most inopportune times – Saturdays during football season, for example. My mind tends to wander during the training, as I’m sure it does with most people. My cell phones usually come out as I text and check Facebook and emails. I have, after-all, been taking this course since the early 80’s, well before technology gave me something to do during the endless videos and demonstrations. Just give me my certification card so that I can get out of here and on to something important!

My latest class was held just a few short weeks ago. This particular one was sponsored by the Goldwing Road Riders Association, a group of people who share a love for the Cadillac of motorcycles, Honda’s flagship bike. This group believes in having fun, but safety is paramount. The group gives various trainings each year, and I try to stay current with each one. Taking a CPR course with a group of bikers is far different then the standard YMCA course, where the disinterested are usually in attendance to garner extra credit for work or school. Bikers take this course seriously – it is not a matter of whether or not they will ever use these skills – but more a matter of when.

The training I received in that class was put into action last Saturday when a group of bikers headed to Leesburg, Florida for their annual Bike Fest, came up on a horrific scene – a group of bikers heading toward up had a chance encounter with a deer crossing the highway. The first biker struck the deer and was thrown from his bike, landing almost fifty yards from where the bike came to rest. The second bike then struck the first bike throwing the rider and his co-rider off. There was mass hysteria and chaos when we pulled up, with folks standing around while three people lay on the ground with various injuries. When we were finally able to access the situation, we realized that these folks were in a dire situation with life threatening injuries. All of a sudden, our training kicked in. All of the boring videos and demonstrations were staring us right in our faces. Without missing a beat, we started CPR on the first victim while others worked on the other two. Someone called for emergency services, but due to our location in the forest, it took a while for them to arrive, and when they did, they were ill prepared for what they encountered. We continued CPR even after emergency services arrived and continued until the paramedics pronounced the first victim. It is surreal watching someone’s life end while you are trying to save them. You continue to work, knowing full well that they are not going home, they are never going to see their family and friends again, that this is it. It took awhile to realize that there was nothing else we could to to save him, but it still bothers you. We were able to stabilize the other victims until life-flight arrived from Orlando. Although we were not able to save the first victim, we were able to aid him for a long as possible until help arrived on the scene. Had we not taken that course, who knows what could have happened that afternoon?

I will no longer complain about taking another CPR course, nor will I text and check Facebook during those important videos. CPR is a much-needed skill to add to your toolbox, and if you don’t have it, I strongly suggest you take the next available course.

Blogging While Lee Brown (C) 2012

USAISC Berlin – Back Together Again!

June 2nd, 2012

Ok, it’s done with. Over with. And I am tired. Both mentally and physically exhausted. It is going to take the remainder of the week to recover. Surgery can be a bitch. But I didn’t have surgery. I reunited with my old Army buddies, and they haven’t changed! And I am so glad they didn’t!

The much-anticipated reunion of America’s Cold Warriors, or the United States Army Information Systems Command as they are known, was held this past weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. For five fun-filled days former members of ISC descended upon Sin City to take in the sights, reconnect with friends, and swap war stories.

The members of this storied unit served behind the iron curtain from the end of WWII until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. ISC began as the United States Army Security Agency, then transition to the United States Army Communication Command before becoming ISC. When the unite disbanded, its members went on to other assignments around the world including the White House, Pentagon, Arizona, and South Korea. Some were transferred to posts in West Germany and others left the military.

Twenty-three years have passed since the fall of the Soviet Union and subsequently the Berlin Wall. Twenty-three years since Erich Honecker’s German Democratic Republic shuttered its doors, and East Berliners were free to reunite with West Berliners to create the Germany we know today. In those twenty-three years we lost touch with those who meant so much to us during our time in Berlin. Lost touch with those who would play an important part in the development of our personalities, those who we have gone through so much and have shared so much with each other.

Blogging While Lee Brown (C) 2012

Why I Support the Jacksonville Community Council Inc.

June 2nd, 2012

In this day of government belt-tightening, more and more organizations are experiencing cuts in their budgets. Non-essential not for profits are shuttering their doors, city services are being rolled back, and there is an uptick in the rate of foreclosures in this country. People just don’t have the disposable income that they used to. Though personal finances are scarce, most of us find a way to support those causes which are near and dear to them.

Which is why I support the Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. (JCCI). There are precious few communities in this country that boast an organization like JCCI. When I returned to Jacksonville, I sought out an organization that had a stake in the community that it served. One that wanted to not only see change, but wanted to drive that change. JCCI was the only organization that met those criteria. Other organizations that I either joined or visited to get more fell way short of my expectations. Some were tired and had run their course. Others were internally corrupt, and morally bankrupt. Still others had no clear vision of their purpose. Not the case with JCCI.

One of the first studies I participated in back in 2002 centered on race relations. JCCI was able to make the bold move and bring stakeholders to the table with differing views of what race meant in Northeast Florida. It was halfway through that study that I realized I was hooked! It was like being back in college minus the pressure of producing a satisfactory grade. As I found out more about the organization, I found out that JCCI had done the following:

            JCCI Participated in a community indicators project in Londrina, Brazil.

            JCCI was the lead support agency in helping the City of San Antonio, Texas    complete its visioning project. www.sa2020.org is on its way thanks in no small part to JCCI.

            JCCI Forward, JCCI’s young and emerging leadership program, created the Super Bowl Speaker’s Bureau in advance of Super Bowl XXXIX.

Each study that JCCI has completed had an action plan component, which has led to a direct impact on our community. A lot of changes in the community over the past 30 years have been a direct result of a JCCI study.

This is why I support JCCI.

Lately, there has been a negative backlash regarding JCCI and its “studies”. The backlash is a result of folks not knowing what JCCI does. JCCI is not an arm of city government, and it remains independent of the decisions of city hall, yet city hall is a direct focus of past studies – that is why some folk think we don’t need any more studies.  JCCI used to enjoy generous funding from the city and from United Way. Those dollars have dried up, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. It is always a good thing when an organization can operate independently of socio-political agendas.

That is why I support JCCI.

Finally, we have a choice is who and what we support. In a perfect world, we would be able to support ALL of our interests. But in reality, we have to make tough choices on where to spend our philanthropic dollars. With an organization such as JCCI located here, the choice is an easy one.

That is why I support JCCI and you should too.

Blogging While Lee Brown (C) 2012

The Curious Case of Trayvon Martin, Part Two

June 2nd, 2012

Yesterday, the most famous neighborhood watch captain in the world made bail. Yes, you read this correctly; George Zimmerman was released on a $150,000 bond in the killing of Trayvon Martin.

Did you think that there would be another outcome? (In my Amy Poehler voice, Really)? Most people who are following this case closely saw this coming just as soon as Special Prosecutor Angela Corey decided she would make the decision on whether to charge Mr. Zimmerman, foregoing the need to convene a grand jury.  When Corey filed charges against Zimmerman, there was jubilation in the streets. Folks sang her praises to anyone who would listen! Ms. Corey was being touted as the second coming, or at the very least, the next occupant of Florida’s Governor’s Mansion. She could do no wrong because she was tough on crime. Yea, Angela!

Not so fast. Here we are a week later and now the tide has changed. Corey is being accused of not doing her job. Her supporters a week ago are saying that she should not have LET Zimmerman make bail. I think it is hilarious how people would want to change the judicial process to fit their needs.

Really?

First of all, Corey had no control over whether or not bail was set. That power belongs to the judge, who has the discretion to do what he sees fit. Though this has the makings of another summer murder trail, al la O.J. and Casey Anthony, this is no more than a wrongful death case. While I will say this again, what happened to Trayvon was a tragedy, but proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that Zimmerman acted with malice, will be next to impossible to prove. Under those circumstances, how could any judge deny bail to someone who was not charged for weeks, was not arrested on the night of Martin’s death, and who turned himself in when charges were finally filed?

Now I’m in my Seth Myers voice: Really??

Finally, don’t expect this case to be tried in the media, depending upon which new outlet you get your update from. This trial – if it even goes to trial, which I doubt will happen –will have more twists and turns than a mountain highway. We should know by this fall whether George Zimmerman will be convicted for the murder of Trayvon Martin. Until then, sit back and be prepared for WHEVER happens, up to and including a possible acquittal.

Blogging While Lee Brown (C) 2012

Lee Brown the Intellective

“The distinction between a simple living being and a spiritual being that is 'capax Dei', points to the existence of the intellective soul of a free transcendent subject".” My interests are varied and there is no limit to the things that are posted here – social issues, economics, politics, entertainment, etc! My approach is balanced and pragmatic, and I might not always present what is popular, but I will always try to present what is right. That is my definition of The Intellective!