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!

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!