Have you met Mrs. Sherlock Holmes

Mrs Sherlock Holmes Cover Ricca
via Amazon

Mrs. Sherlock Holmes, you say? As in the wife of?
Oh, no! As in the female American counterpart….
No, I have never heard of such.
Well, you are not alone. Let me give you a little introduction…

There was a lady in black that quietly but diligently made her presence a powerful force to reckon with in the streets and prisons and courtrooms of New York, not to mention the Halls of Power in D.C. She was a lady of some substance, whom preferred to be a judicial voice of the people. Those desperate, down-trodden, deprived masses whom mostly struggled to reach the base of Lady Liberty full of hope and dreams, thus finding the reality of the American Dream more elusive within her lands than had seemed from distant shores.

If you are interested in the gritty reality of NYC in the early part of the 20th Century, this might just meet your needs. Ricca’s research and writing combine to provide a compelling insight into the colliding worlds and cultures of turn of the century America. His writing style is encompassing narration of such a wholeness in presentation that when he reaches the end of the research queries you are left feeling somewhat let down. Thus, including the reader in the same dismay that must have burdened the lives of those souls in need of true justice from a system already bogged down with bias and corruption.

I must confess that while I personally, had no idea of the stories presented in the pages of Mrs. Sherlock Holmes, and being drawn into the lives of bygone injustices, I am not sure how I feel about the main character in the end. The story takes the reader on trips not just across time, but also from the belly of the city beast to the muddy bottoms of the southern swamp lands to the isolated confines of Missouri cotton plantations. The fingers of crime and injustice don’t just stop there, you are exposed to their reach to and from the Old World extending even to exotic locales of South America.

One detail that I did find soothing to that injury, was his inclusion of ‘end notes’ for most of the persons of interest presented in the body. So while, you are left asking yourself….wait, where’s the rest, is that all, but what about and so what happened then…..you at least know how the who(s) bowed out.

Looters And Rioters Hurt Not Help

I really didn’t want to cover the Ferguson issue anymore, cause I think that over coverage of the incident is causing the problems and not helping anyone or anything. This is a sad story, in so much as outsiders have incited violence for a community that needs peace.

ferguson-fire
Ferguson Burning via nbcnews

The MSM is as much to blame for the violence in Ferguson as the looters are. The media has done a piss poor job, as is their norm, of covering the WHOLE story. They also have covered only the emotions and ignored the totality of the facts. Thus, they have led the public into believing a version of the ‘truth’ that is not complete or accurate. Let’s face it, the facts would not have made for better ratings than the emotions and stirring up the emotions also provided the media with more ‘sustunance’ for their continued ratings battles. If you think the media is looking out for you, you are wrong. If you think the media only prints the truth, you are wrong. If you think the media is unbiased, you are wrong. Media is a business……a HUGE business! So huge in fact that only 6 companies control over 90% of all media in the US and most of those 6 corporations control media internationally, as well.

I have had international friends tell me how dangerous it is to be a journalist in certain countries around the world. They repeat stories of death threats and violent intimidation of reporters for certain stories that they try to publish. They get visits from ‘men in black’ telling them kill the story or it will kill you. Most of them think that it is different here in the States, but I tell them, there isn’t freedom of the press here either. We just censor it differently. Reporters get hired for their point of view. Reporters have their jobs and reputations threatened by their own bosses. Reporters have accidents. Reporters get slandered publicly. Reporters get black-balled in the business. Don’t believe….ask Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks, whom lost his job at MSNBC (which was one of their highest ratings show) cause he didn’t stick to their point of view, if the facts differed.

Michael_Brown_Darren_Wilson
Brown and Wilson via yahoo news

But back to the point, here is the bottom line for Ferguson……
The Grand Jury, which is not the District Attorney and his buddies, but a panel of regular people, just like the trail jury would be, refused to indite Officer Wilson. Think of the Grand Jury as a test run for a trail. What people seem to miss is that it is the burden of the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed; in all actuality in our system the defendant does not even have to defend themselves, the whole burden is on the State. When a Grand Jury is convened, it is presented with ALL the evidence that the State would present in the regular trail, witnesses are called to present their statements. Two things that the Grand Jury have that regular trials do not is that their proceedings are conducted in private and the panel are allowed to ask questions so that they can make the best decision.
The members of the Grand Jury along with being regular people were also local people, this means that they, unlike the media and probably the instigators of the looters, had a vested interest in doing what they thought was the right thing.
Looting and rioting did not and will not bring back Michael Brown. The violence will not heal the community. The damage done does not benefit the community. The businesses that were destroyed by the thuggish, immature behavior of the rioters will not improve community relations, it will not entice business owners to move into the community, it will not justify young people that ‘want a better life’ to stay in the community, it does not change the make up of the police force.

deandre27n-2-web
Deandre Joshua

Guardian article stated that the decision not to indite Officer Wilson made a public statement that black lives do not matter. I would counter that comment with this….. The looters and rioters made a public statement that black property and black lives do not matter! Everyone is screaming about ‘justice’ for Michael Brown, when what they really mean is revenge. Yet, where is the anger and outrage about Deandre Joshua who was murdered during the riots. Could it be that there is no outrage cause this is likely one black man killed by one or more other black men so the community sees no need for outrage about ALL violence in their community or about their ‘outrage’ over one young black man causing the death of another young black man? Which life mattered more? Michael Brown’s or Deandre Joshua’s? Why is there no outrage and protests about all the gang related shootings in Chicago this year? It is like offensive words….either you are offended or you are not, you can not be offended some of the time and expect people to believe or understand your upset. Only getting angry over some violence is not supporting a cause. Only getting angry over certain cases is not supporting change. Only getting angry does not help improve the situation.

CRYING JUSTICE

If words could tell,
I wouldn’t yell,
Fallen fell
To living Hell.

If money can talk,
Bullshit can walk,
Creeps can’t stalk,
Behind the lock.

If guilty innocence pleads,
Justice! A wrongful needs.
Heart only bleeds.
Gone with ill deeds.

Why, oh why.
Another lie.
Promise you’ll try.
No one will die.

Happy life.
Beautiful wife.
Gone with a knife.
Let him serve life.

Give me Hope.
No – not dope.
No – not rope.
I said Hope.

IF YOU COULD LISTEN…

If you could listen, you would hear
All I do is gasp for air,
Why do you hold me hostage?
I’m telling you – that’s not fair.

If you could see it, you would feel it,
I always try to do things right.
I can not leave, I can not run
I don’t have the strength to fight.

If you could read, your eyes would bleed,
Every day I plead for mercy,
I can’t tell how much I hate you,
You are trash and I am worthy.

If you could smell, then you could tell
The smell of rotting body parts
While you rest just 6” under,
I serve justice behind the bars.

It’s Broke, But We Won’t Fix It

The Justice System that is. Matter of fact to call it broken would mean that it has improved. There are more aspects of the system that are broke, corrupt, immoral, abused, or outdated than there are parts of the engine itself. Another example of just how broken this system is, is the recent plea-deal agreement with a member of the DuPont family of Delaware over the rape of his own 3 year old daughter.  As horrendous as this crime is, it is just another example that we would rather hide from truth and not face reality within our society and the superior belief held by the masses that since we are so affluently civilized and crime doesn’t effect us we do not have to worry about it or deal with it.
The reality is that having a proactive, well thought out, effective and forward looking justice system is to the benefit of not only the stability and security of the internal functions of society, but will also improve the health and strength of the society over time. These facts make the justice system second to the education system in importance for the survival and advancement of community. Some of you might argue that health care should be one of the top 2 systems for society, the fact is that the more successful your education and justice the better the standard of health is of individuals within society as a result of the improvement of the health of the whole society.
What does this mean? It means that we need to take the time to face the fact that both our education and justice systems are beyond broken. We need to recognize that both are vital to all members of society, not just those that are ‘handled’ by those systems. We need to not only say equal opportunities, we need to provide them. We need not only say equality for all, we need to insure it.
We have the tools to make the changes, what we need is the courage and determination. We need to remember that all children are different with different gifts and we do have the means, facilities and technology to meet the needs of ALL our children. Understanding and accepting and even appreciating the differences of each and every child is the basis for a successful education system and the first step in creating a fair justice system as well. We need to cease having just one measure for ‘smart’ and one measure for success. Not every child is an academic, not every child is an athlete, not every child is super-star and that is not only okay, it is what is needed. If every child was a doctor or lawyer, then they might be rich but they would not have houses or cars or food or clothes or offices or any of those ‘finer things’ that parents seem to think measure success of their parenting styles.
Our education and justice systems began to fall apart as we changed our values from character and honor and being the best that you can be to how big a house can you mortgage, how fancy a car can you lease, how many ‘toys’ can you charge. We no longer judge people by their actions but by the things they have. The result is that our selves and society are hollow and we are more unhappy, less mentally stable and less fulfilled.
We have become so morally bankrupt that we think privatizing prisons is an acceptable thing. That is the worst thing.

But we need to completely change our punishment and rehabilitation mentality. Prisoners should not be separated from their minor children, especially if they are single parents, unless their crime was committed against one of their children. Part of the ‘punishment and rehabilitation’ should include as mandatory the parent’s involvement and accountability to their child and the life of that child. While I think Amnesty International and other watch dog groups have their place, I think they need to re-think what is humane and what isn’t. Prisoners doing ‘hard labor’ in fair and safe conditions is not in and of itself inhumane. Having prisoners clean their own facilities and grow their own food and participate in daily living activities is not inhumane either. Prisoners do not need to spend their days being idle watching trash TV, that is inhumane and in no way improves their sense of self-worth or allows them the self-respect and sense of pride that comes from being a contributing member of a group. It is these changes in the internal self views of prisoners that will increase their chance of legitimate success after incarceration.
These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg of changes that need to be made. It would take at least a couple volumes of well thought out and effectively expressed detailed concepts rebuilding both the education and justice systems from the ground up to include all the needed changes and redefined measures of success. Hopefully, this tip of the iceberg will start the thinking and dialogue needed to initiate the change. Change that will benefit EVERYONE!

Random Thoughts About Random Things

So today I am going to point out some random things that display how far we have distanced ourselves from common sense. It just amazes me some days how much most people just go along with the crowd without a single thought. Why do people buy into the idea that EVERYONE has the same DREAM. We don’t! We are individuals, we all have different talents and gifts, different strengths and weaknesses. There is a very good reason for that, it is suppose to take ALL of us using our individual talents and gifts to make the world a better place and to make our quality of life better. It should disappoint us greatly that we no longer encourage individualism but instead blindly enforce conformity.

We think it is best for our children to wear uniforms to school, instead of expressing their individuality. And that is the foundation of uniforms. That is why uniforms are used by military, law enforcement, and prisoners. They are a symbol of being just a part of a whole. In those 3 examples the need for uniforms are for the completion of the mission successfully. However, in the instant of schools, the use of school uniforms has limited the individual growth of our children. It inhibits their natural curiosity and creativity. In most states, the whole purpose of the “education” system is not to educate but to teach conformity and blind obedience.

And with the prison system, while the use of uniforms is appropriate, the system itself is so broken that it in NO way accomplishes the mission of rehabilitation. Matter of fact the prison system works just like the welfare system; it is designed to keep the fallen down and to ensure that the broken remain in pieces. The Cook County Jail is the largest jail in the country and it is also the largest mental health facility in the country as well. As a nation we spend hundreds of millions on luxuries for the ‘public servants,’ which in no way benefits the nation as a whole, yet we release individuals back into society, with no betterment from the start of their incarceration and no path to achieve betterment on their own. And spending money on that would benefit the whole nation, even the greedy corporations that could have a broader labor force and stronger consumer base for their products and services. Which begs the question, why keep them down….

The current state of the US, shows just how much damage can be done when your primary focus is money. When your motivation is greed. When your desire is for instant gratification. When you measure success by the number of things you have. When your dreams come from without instead of within. When you blindly support the inept leaders of your government. When the real leaders of the country are owned by big business. When you allow laws that infringe on basic common sense and human rights. When you surrender unconditionally to terrorism, yet allow a half planned war against terrorists.

If you think the observances are extreme, think, on your own, about these examples. It is illegal in most states to collect rain water on your own property. It is illegal in most counties to grow a garden in your yard. Walking into the Social Security Administration office with picture ID does not prove you are living. You are required by law to purchase products, think of insurance. Everyday you allow the government to infringe on your rights and the rights of your fellow man under the guise of safety and national security. So when you have NO real rights left you have no one to blame but yourself…..cause knowing what the Kardashians were doing and buying the latest shoes was more important than attending the local school board meeting; cause you throw a party every year for the Super Bowl but cannot find the time to vote on election day, both of which fall basically on the same day every year.