The RA training program at BU (Binghamton University) called #StoppingWhitePeople2K16 has quite predictably garnered much attention, locally and nationally, both on and off the campus.  While being titled to be purposefully provocative, the course description is even more outrageous, stating it will teach RA’s how to respond to, ..” good arguments from uneducated people”, and “help others take the next step in understanding diversity, privilege, and the society we function within.”  The course description ends by stating, ” This open discussion will give attendees the tools to do so, and hopefully expand upon what they may already know.”


Let me preface my remarks with the following information.  I am an alumnus from the BU School of Management, own a successful business and have been experiencing life’s dramas for approximately three times as long and the average undergraduate has been on the planet, so if nothing else, I have it over most of you by way of breadth and depth of experience.  Furthermore, I have lived a full and successful life and most of you have yet to prove you can accomplish the same outside the comforts of mommy and daddy’s nest and their generosity in paying your tuition, so perhaps a little humility and respect on your part might be in order.


Let me breakdown this liberal crap that does not even rise to the level of pablum.  Over the years, I’ve developed my bi-lingual ability to interpret the slippery language of liberal-speak.


Hashtags do not make ideas good when they are bad.  There is no power in a hashtag, no imbued credibility, no elixir to a bad idea, undoubtedly spawned by someone under 25 who thinks hashtags have some intrinsic value.  The hastags your mom tried in vane to bleach from your adolescent underwear had approximately the same value.


Any phrase, title or slogan that you believe is offensive to one group but not another when you simply interchange those groups, is patently offensive to all groups and this title fails that test.  If you were to say #StoppingBlackPeople2K16, that too would be offensive, so hiding behind the false premise that white people are somehow not entitled to the same level of respect any other ethnic group would expect is not only hypocritical but simply wrong.


“Good arguments from uneducated people.”  Wow.  So, if the argument is “good”, it can be disqualified simply on the basis that the person making the argument is “uneducated?”  If that is the case and the author of this description is an example of the educated class he/she describes, I would prefer the company of those with the good arguments.  What the author of this description really means when he/she uses the term “educated”, is someone who thinks like him/her.  So much for diversity of thought and what a clear example of the air of superiority so common in the minds of newly minted college students.  An education my young friends, is in no way a guarantee of wisdom.


The sentence about..”helping others take the next step…”, again, dripping with that air of superiority, “others”, you know, those poor saps that don’t have the braintrust we do, we’re here to help you understand the secrets of higher knowledge.  Please, gag me with a spoon.  This sentence goes on to speaks of “privilege.”  What that means of course is WHITE privilege but the author apparently doesn’t quite have the stones to call it what it really is, again the premise that white is wrong, suspect and immune from any and all defenses.


Finally, we get to the last sentence about this being an “open discussion.”  Yea, right, open only if you agree and you’re in lock step with the other bigots who dreamt up this crap.


This level of intolerance mixed with academic superiority and condescension is abhorrent.  I’m ashamed to say I attended such a place and happy to tell you that when I did, I would have been equally outraged as I am now had some misguided student been on the same rant.  My parting words of encouragement, Shut-up, sit down and learn something before you have the temerity to tell anyone anything about which you know nothing.


Uncle Pete


There are six actors in the 30-second Time Warner Cable ad clip, all black and all apparently related.  The mother, father, their two juvenile kids, “Uncle Pete” and an older woman who appears as an image on a computer tablet.


Uncle Pete is babysitting what appear to be two adolescent brothers; both under ten years old.  The ad opens as the mother and father are leaving their home and as they close the front door, the last words from the mother are, “Behave for Uncle Pete.”  The boys sit in silence on the couch for 2 seconds and then all hell breaks loose as the boys start screaming, yelling and assaulting Uncle Pete with pillows and cushions to the point of feathers flying, running all over the furniture and climbing all over Uncle Pete.  One boy strikes Pete several times with what appears to be a cane or staff, hitting him in the face, head and torso as he straddles the mans neck.  The other boy throws a ball at Pete’s head and later is seen crawling over his shoulder and kicking at his head.


As Pete is scrambling to find something, anything to calm these two kids, the older woman appears on a computer tablet screen image and through a smiling face asks Pete, “Are you having fun?”  This is all happening as Pete is being struck on his head while one of the boys straddles his neck and the other pulls at him from the side.


Finally, Pete timidly approaches each boy with a computer tablet in each hand.  The boys go silent and quickly become absorbed in the tablets video content as they sit quietly on the couch and Uncle Pete bows his head and signs in relief as the onslaught is stopped.


Attached is a YouTube video link.  Take a quick look at this ad.




This bothers me and on so many levels I don’t know where to begin.


Are mom and dad really that clueless as to not know their out-of-control brat kids would beat up on Uncle Pete?  If they really didn’t know, they’re incompetent parents and if they did know, well, again, incompetent parents.  The older woman on the tablet seems to take delight in the situation, smiling with pride.  Really?  This is OK behavior?  “Are you having fun?”, seriously?  So unless you are armed with tablets and cool video content, it’s apparently alright for brat kids to assault adults in order to get their devices.  Does anyone else see a racial component here?   If all of the actors were white, would the message be relevant?  Would it resonate, be believable, or is it OK in the black community to tolerate assault, chaos and meyhem?


Maybe Time Warner has stumbled onto the solution for the race wars that are coming to our country.  The next time there is a riot with arson and looting in places like Milwaukee, Ferguson and Baltimore, handout tablet computers and then everyone can just get along.



Finding Grace, Faith & Salvation With God

Listening recently to friends talk about religion prompted me to reaffirm my own understanding of the subject, so I’ve done a little research and I hope this helps everyone understand the subject matter better.  What triggered my desire to define this clearly for them, was the statement one of them made that in effect said their good deeds, righteous living and Golden Rule ethics would be enough to insure salvation.  I don’t think so and here is why.


Grace is defined as the unmerited granting of mercy.  In other words “undeserving.”  The following Bible passage explains grace and faith perfectly.  Faith, in Christianity, is the belief that Jesus is the only Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary and was killed for the salvation of mankind’s sins, rising from the dead and ascended to Heaven.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:8-10).


The first sentence tells us that we have been saved, even though we do not deserve it, simply through our faith.  This salvation cannot be earned through our deeds, the passage says, “this is not from ourselves, it is a gift from God-not by works, so that no one can boast.”  In other words, our salvation has nothing to do with our ability to earn it, deserve it or create it by our actions, even going so far as to negate our ability to boast about it because we didn’t earn it to begin with.


So much for the old standard-bearer argument that says, “I just do good things and try to be a good person and don’t hurt anyone else and that is good enough to get me into heaven.”  That is NOT what I read in the Bible.


The second sentence is even more insightful and tantalizing, stating we are God’s handiwork, created to do good things which God prepared in advance for us to do.  So again, we can’t “earn it”, but God makes it clear that we are put upon this earth to do good things, which he has already prepared in advance for us to do.  I read this as an admonition to not sit back and rest on our laurels, simply because we believe God’s grace has saved us.  God is making it clear that He has a plan for us and it is not that plan that gets us to grace, but it is a plan of God’s design, nevertheless to be understood, obeyed, and pursued.


John 3, New International Version (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

I read this passage as a clear warning:  If you know about Jesus and reject Him, you are condemned; this is plain language within the biblical text.  It seems clear that in this passage “light” is interchangeable with truth, Godliness and righteousness.

All in all the message in this case and for this subject is clear as crystal; we get to heaven only by God’s grace.  We can do nothing to earn or deserve God’s grace, we simply profess our faith in Him, worship Him and obey Him and our salvation is guaranteed.  If we come to know Him and reject Him, we are condemned to death without salvation.

I hope this helps.



A common question I hear that ultimately leads to debates is the issue of working on a criminal case where I either know or suspect that the client is guilty.  The argument goes like this; How can you sleep at night if you get someone off who is guilty of some terrible crime?  How is that just under a system of justice?


Because we don’t teach civics anymore, I think most people outside of that system misinterpret the job lawyers and investigators do.  We don’t “get them off” when cases go well for our clients.  When that happens, the prosecution has either done something wrong, failed to do their job, or someone involved with the arrest made a mistake sufficiently egregious to fail in proving guilt or otherwise violated constitutional rights, rules and regulations that are a necessary component to our legal systems integrity.  Just because a person is arrested for a crime they definitely committed does not in any way mean that the rules of justice and fairness in adjudicating the matter are somehow less important, relaxed, or to be dispensed with.


We begin with the premise that innocence is a given in the absence of PROOF to the contrary.  In other words, all people accused of crimes are innocent, that is the assumption from the start.  It is the duty of the state to PROVE guilt.  There is no obligation for the defendant to assist the state in making their case.  The defendant can remain silent during the entire process if he or she so chooses.  The burden is entirely on the state to prove guilt.


In doing so, the state has an obligation to act within the parameters of the law and the requirements of our constitution.  Serious deviations from those rules, laws or constitutional guarantees can result in otherwise guilty people being set free.  The reason this is so is to set such a high standard on the state in order to insure strict compliance with the letter of the law and the bounds of the constitution.  If serious breeches of the law were allowed, the system would have no incentives to preserve these rights.  The penalty for violating these provisions needs to be extraordinarily high in order to act as sufficient incentive for the state to use the utmost care in making criminal prosecutions.


When viewed through the lens of distortion that outlines a defendant that the public deems to be obviously guilty, these safeguards seem barriers to justice, simply slowing down an inevitable process.  When applied to others who may well be innocent of wrongdoing, or to you personally, those same safeguards and guarantees may well be your last resort to continued freedom.


Remember the last sentence of the Declaration of Independence which ushered in our Constitution.  “And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”


That doesn’t sound like a “technicality” to me.