Monday, February 18, 2008

Why would anyone care what you think?

Magic Johnson calls for Clinton/Obama dream ticket
Why should anyone give a darn what you think?

He is one of the greatest college and professional basketball players to ever play the game. He led Michigan State to a national championship and the Los Angeles Lakers to the Promised land numerous times. Today he is a shinning example that people with the AIDS virus can live long productive lives. These are the reasons to appreciate the accomplishments of Magic Johnson. So why is CNN interviewing him about the presidential race?

Last week on the Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, the Democratic pawn sat down with Magic Johnson to discuss Presidential politics. My question is, what part of who gives a sh*t about Johnson's political opinion doesn't Blitzer and CNN understand?

Seriously...who is going into a voting booth thinking to themselves, since the magic-man supports Hillary so will I? Any person who does think that way should have their face shoved into a photo of Johnson and hit with a newspaper while telling him "no!"

What also challenges the minds ability to comprehend stupidity is the fact that a billion-dollar media conglomerate had a production media and some schmuck said, "hey, I wonder what Magic Johnson thinks." The other Einstein's in the room had to agree and a veteran journalist such as Blitzer also had to agree with his crack production staff. Wow my brain hurts.

CNN isn't the only media outlet who finds the NBA All-Star opinion worthy of press attention. The Chicago Tribune and numerous newspapers nationwide are reporting Johnson's comments during the CNN interview. Again, WTF!

Newspapers appear to be interested in Johnson's statement to Blitzer regarding both Clinton and Obama, "I hope really that both of them end up on the same ticket. '' At this point in the conversation Blitzer turned the conversation into both candidates being the "Dream Ticket," leading Johnson to agree with the comment and make sports comparisons. This supposedly deserves front-page coverage on the Chicago Tribune website.

By no means am I saying that athletes should never be interviewed about politics, but at least let there be a reason besides their celebrity status for the discussion. Many athletes from football greats Jack Kemp and Steve Largent were elected to office and former basketball star (overrated) Charles Barkley has announced his candidacy for governor of Arkansas. However Magic Johnson

who's political claim is being an African American endorsing Clinton over Obama has been interviewed more times on CNN than former football star Lynn Swan who ran for Pennsylvania governor in 2006. Do you think Swan running as a Republican had anything to do with that? You decide.

The harsh reality is that a great fear is setting in amongst the leftist media groups who are afraid that if the Clintons can win the nomination at the convention it will anger the black community. They are right. Showing famous blacks supporting Clinton is an attempt to ease the growing disdain for the former first lady and her husband.

They aren't called the Clinton News Network for nothing.


NIU Murders and other harsh realities
The mentally ill have civil rights and families that ignore the signs

You may be curious why your brilliant blogger hasn't commented on the tragedy at Northern Illinois University last week when a mentally ill man shot up a classroom, leaving five dead before the killer took his own life. The truth is that this incident is very tough for me to write about.

NIU is located sixty miles east of where I grew up. In high school my best friend's brother was President of a fraternity permitting us to attend many great parties during our high school years. After graduation two of my closet friends attended the school and I was a frequent weekend visitor. When I transferred from a Junior college to a university, I seriously considered NIU before deciding on Indiana university. Let's just say that I have a fondness for Northern.

When I learned of the shooting I was immediately transferred back to my days on the campus as a visitor and potential student. Presidential towers, Grant Hall and the Sigma Chi frat house and my time there engulfed my memory. I recalled names and faces of people I met there over the years, people I haven't thought about in over 15 years. Then I pictured them running from a madman during a classroom-shooting spree.

I began thinking of other similar situations where the mentally ill stopped taken their medication and went on a killing spree. Then there are the warning signs ignored by families and the limitations placed on law enforcement because the legal system tied their hands.

Nearly twenty years ago Laurie Dann went on a shooting spree in one of the wealthiest communities in America, entering an elementary school with a three guns she would eventually shoot up a second grade classroom injuring several children, killing an eight year old boy. Dann grew up in Glencoe, Illinois and her mental illness was well-known and documented. After she had bought a 357, the local police tried persuading her and the family to have her give up the weapon, but their concerns fell on deaf ears.

Six months before her shooting spree, Dann stopped taking her meds, visiting her psychiatrist and purchased another firearm. Her parents were later deemed well aware of her condition and did nothing. For years after her rampage they still lived in the same area where the tragedy occurred. Never once did they show any remorse or regret for the carnage their daughter caused and they new she was a capable of. One involuntary committal by her parents may have prevented the whole incident.

As a 9-1-1 dispatcher I see on near daily basis how the severely mentally ill live amongst us. Their families ttoo often ignore the problems; they don't take their medication and live their lives as ticking time bombs. Many Psychiatrists believe they can cure the incurable or refuse to recognize signs that a person may be suicidal or homicidal. That was one of the sad truths regarding Laurie Dann.

An ignorant public often blames law enforcement when a person becomes homicidal. The sad reality is law enforcement has limited authority in these matters. Unless family is willing to sign a member in for an involuntary commital or a psychiatrist contacts authorities that a person is a danger to themselves or others all the police can do is respond to 9-1-1 calls, which too often means it's to late.

The mentally ill have rights and they should. However their families and doctors have an obligation to society to report signs of dangerous behavior. That is too often where the fault lies.

Today the media is focussed on a CNN interview with the girlfriend of the NIU shooter. Her comments in the interview have boggled my mind. Unless she is a complete moron she had to know hours before the attack he was at least suicidal. She did nothing. Five people are now dead. Yes, I am placing some blood on her hands.

Paulie

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