03 May 2012

Am I successful as a Motivational Speaker? OH HELL YEAH!

About a week or so ago, a mother who was at a speech I made a couple years ago tracked me down and e-mailed me. She informed me that when her son was going through some rough times away at college, he had her overnight my book to him to help get him back on track. If that wasn't enough, he has a friend who wants to become a speaker. So ... that mother, her husband, son and friend took me out to dinner & I had a great conversation with them.

You know how people always say, "If I could just help ONE person ... If I could change the life of just ONE person for the better ...?" Well, two years ago I affected a young man so deeply that when the chips were down, he looked for ME & MY words to set him straight.

It's not about the money.
The money will come.
THAT is why I am successful!

16 April 2012

THE FIX IS IN ... And It's Hunting Season on the Brothers!!

Okay ... for those who don't watch "The VOICE," the producers threw a curve ball in the game saying that Christina Aguillera & Blake Shelton had to eliminate one person from their teams at the end of the show. It just so happens (ironically) that they BOTH have this season's TWO strongest singers, and BOTH of those singers are brothers

Jesse Campbell
Jermaine Paul
Jesse Campbell (on Aguilera's team) had a HOT album out back in the 90's, but he fell on hard times & fell off.

Jermaine Paul (on Shelton's team) was one of Alicia Key's background singers.

There are some good singers on the other teams as well, but Campbell and Paul were the threats to the game! Here's the thing ... Last season's inaugural winner, Javier Colon, is also a brother.

Initially, I predicted Campbell as winning the second season - but that was before I saw Paul audition later on. So I just knew that it was going to come down to a showdown between those two ... Unless "the fix" got put in.

So week after week, Campbell and Paul were killing the competition. They blew out the teammates they were paired with in the battle rounds and were racking up votes along the way.

So apparently somebody up in the big office pulled out his or her crystal ball and saw that no one was going to take these two out and their votes would keep them in the game. And there wasn't any way they were going to have brothers win the contest two years in a row. SO ... here enters the bullshit they threw in tonight.

At the end of the night Aguilera axed Campbell, and Shelton axed the singer he "saved" a week or so ago who had originally received the least amount of votes. Honestly, Blake's choice was fair and safe. But NOW the fix is in ... Are Jermaine Paul's days numbered?

We shall see. In the interim ... I CALL BULLSHIT!

11 April 2012

Evaluating my "Prediction" on the Trayvon Martin Tragedy

A couple of weeks ago, on March 24, I made a prediction about how things would unfold in the process of bringing George Zimmerman to justice. Now that things are beginning to happen, let's take a look at my prediction and see where things are going ...

Here was my prediction ... 

"A grand jury will find the necessary grounds to indict Zimmerman and will eventually be charged with some form of homicide."

Angela Corey
Well ... as things have turned out, a Special Prosecutor was assigned to the case. Angela Corey dismissed the Grand Jury, and in the process of doing so, the burden or duty of determining if Zimmerman will be charged fell upon her alone. 

"I suspect the charge will be Title XLVI (46); Chapter 782.07: 'Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child' That statute is defined as follows: 'A person who causes the death of any person under the age of 18 by culpable negligence under s. 827.03(3) (Child Abuse statutes) commits aggravated manslaughter of a child, a felony of the first degree.' The punishments for this can lead up to the death penalty" (He can also face as few as 10 years or up to 25 years to life if the death penalty is not put on the table - and it's likely that it won't be an option)

In little more than an hour from now at 6pm (est), Prosecutor Corey will be giving a press conference, at which time she is expected to announce that Zimmerman will be charged and what it is he will be charged with. We'll just have to wait and see.

"A warrant for his arrest will be issued, but there will be no SWAT raid hunting him down or banging down his door. Zimmerman's attorney will be notified of the warrant and Zimmerman will be allowed to turn himself in."

Craig Sonner (left) Hal Urig (right)
Yesterday, Zimmerman's legal advisors held a press conference stating that they had lost contact with him and that since Zimmerman was in talks with the Prosecutor's Office and not them, they could not in good conscience represent him. However, they also stated should Zimmerman come to them and seek to retain their services, they will represent him. Personally, I believe that he "dismissed" his advisors, so that he could speak with the Prosecutors of his own volition without putting his counsel in any kind of jackpot or conflict of interest. Remember ... Zimmerman's father is a retired judge. Best believe there are some serious chess-like moves being made here. After his charges are announced he will be allowed to turn himself in. This is not some grand scale terrorist, so no one is going to authorize spending the money and manpower in deploying a SWAT tea to get him. He will retain counsel and turn himself in.

"There will be a ridiculously high bail - probably $1M or $2M. Zimmerman will either be offered a plea deal to avoid the death penalty or plead Not Guilty and take his chances with a jury. My guess is that he will take a plea deal to avoid the death penalty. He will be placed in 23 hour protective custody for the entirety of his sentence ... And he STILL might get got."

Yesterday, during the press conference given by Zimmerman's former legal advisor, one of the attorneys stated that if anyone wanted to engage in an "Easter egg hunt" in searching for Zimmerman had better look "beyond Florida." This goes to show that Zimmerman can be considered a flight risk, and will likely face a high bail.

Less than an hour remains before Zimmerman's charge (it's suspected to be only ONE charge) is announced. Let's sit back & see what happens.

09 April 2012

If Zimmerman Walks, Don't Blame the White Man ... BLAME IT ON THE HYPE!

We've all donned our hoodies. 

From the webcams in our homes to Rep. Bobby Rush getting booted off the House floor during his address. Just about everyone has found a way to somehow show their awareness and support for the Trayvon Martin tragedy.

Sadly, I believe that it's because of all of this awareness; which is more self-serving on the parts of many involved than for Martin and his family, will prove to be detrimental to George Zimmerman actually being brought to justice for taking Martin's life.

All of the hype has made it totally easier for Zimmerman NOT to be convicted. This is the fatal flaw of the effects of social media. This case has been broadcasted all over the place, video and audio evidence has been altered and people who should NOT be speaking to anyone but those sitting in a jury box are blabbing to anyone who will put a microphone in their face. 

So ... How is a prosecutor going to convict Zimmerman when his defense can EASILY show that he can't get a fair trial because this case has been blasted all around the world. How can an impartial jury be selected when blacks and whites are looking only to protect their own?

If Zimmerman walks you can blame ALL media outlets. Broadcasting the news used to be about sharing or presenting facts. Today, they're posting whatever public opinion would want to hear. Everyone is in such a rush to be the first one with the scoop that they'll put out whatever info they get & if it is proven to be bullsh@t, they'll issue a bullsh@t apology and broadcast some NEW bullsh@t.

06 April 2012

Today's Thoughts on Economic Power in the African-American Community

In a discussion about who had things worse between Blacks and Jews, I attempted to divert the issue from discussing old suffering to present economic power. I just saw no value or purpose in focusing on the negative. In doing so, I simply stated, "The best any of us could ever do is be conscious and respectful of the other's pain and suffering and tend to our own gardens." In the midst of the conversation, a gentleman asked me by "tending to our own gardens," was I "speaking on an individual basis or as a race?"

My answer to his question was BOTH. We must tend to our own individual gardens and then as a community help one another. It's really a simple principle that you've known and encountered for years ... "What good are you to anyone else if you're of no good use to yourself?" When you get on a plane what are the instructions the flight attendant gives you? ... "If you are traveling with a child or elderly person in your care, place your oxygen mask on yourself AND THEN on the person you're with."

Jews (and just about every other successful ethnic group besides ours) have gotten themselves to the point where they support one another as a community, but the individuals tend to their own gardens by creating valuable products & services for their communities. This creates a virtually never-ending REvenue Cycle.  I capitalized the "RE" & the word "Cycle" because the dollars in those communities tend to "RECYCLE" within those communities several times over before leaving those communities. This is why you have your "Little Italy's, China Towns, Korea Towns," and my (middle to upper middle class suburban) town has a section called "Little India" which on any given evening and ESPECIALLY on Friday through Sunday evenings look like New York's 42nd Street. All the while on those same evenings the predominantly white downtown "Main Street" is all but dead.

If the economic power of the African-American dollar were that of a country, as a people we'd be the 16th wealthiest country in the world. The number of African American incomes reaching over $75K has grown over 64%. Finally, the economic power of the African American dollar is slated to be worth over $1.1 TRILLION dollars by 2015.*

However, that money does jack piss FOR the African American community because The African American dollar is too busy funding OTHER communities. So ... While we might be getting better at tending to our own gardens on the one hand, the reason why we - African Americans as a people are not where we should be is because we tremendously fail on the other.

(*Source: "The State of the African American Consumer" Reoprt (2010) NEILSEN)

04 April 2012

The Pussification of America: Bullying

In December of 2007 I wrote an article for my blog entitled, "The Pussification of America." It basically dealt with how American culture concedes many of its own cultural traditions to capitulate to the traditions of other cultures. Today I'm going to revisit this title, but on a whole new level. One of the largest social problems Americans are facing today is bullying. Bullying is defined as "To treat abusively. To affect by means of force or coercion." Bottom line ... it's one or more people bothering another person or group of people with the intent to make them feel less than who or what they are ... and it's unacceptable.

Before I go any further ... I am prepared to accept that the following may not be popularly received, but you know what? I don't really give a damn. I have never claimed to be politically correct, and quite frankly, it is this overwhelming touchy-feely/everyone must make nice-nice crap that has allowed this scourge of political correctness to overrun and overrule common sense and thus be the most major contributing factor to "The Pussification of America."

Every year there are news articles about tragic incidents that occur as a result of bullying. Either a young person harms him or herself, or they go buck wild and shoot up a damn school! This is what happens when bullying goes too far and the kid being bullied refuses to take it anymore. So who's to blame? Every damn adult in the child's sphere of influence ... YEAH DAMMIT I SAID IT! Parents, teachers, relatives ... anyone in a child's life who is not teaching that child to be proud of who he or she is and not need to seek the validation of others who are ultimately no better than they are is at fault for these tragedies. Anyone who does not sit a child down and teach him or her that there's always someone "bigger and badder" out there, and that no matter how cool or how popular they may be, they can easily find themselves in a new circle in which no one knows or cares how cool they were wherever came from is at fault for these tragedies.

People who have met and known me within the past 15-20 years - my wife included - refuse to believe that I was once a very shy and quiet person. People see me as I am today and cannot conceive it possible that I know what it's like to have been bullied. Today, I am confident to the point where it actually intimidates some, but when I was a kid, I didn't wear all of the brand name clothes. I wasn't invited to all the parties; in fact, I wasn't invited to any of them. I was cracked on & ragged on (made fun of & ridiculed if you don't know what those terms mean). But I recall two significant events that turned my life around. Both incidents occurred in grade school; both times I was being bullied, and both times I stood up for myself. And that is the cure for bullying - standing up for oneself.

Children need to be taught how to defend themselves. Children need to be taught the benefits of putting forth hard work. In my former career as a police officer; at a Homeland Security seminar, I once met a former Israeli Special Forces soldier who told me that in Israel; because of the combative climate, children are taught hand to hand and close quarter combat techniques in school. Fortunately, things are not that bad here in the U.S. that we have to necessarily do this, but how about a self defense class added to the physical education curriculum. That would be far more productive to a student's "physical education" as well as more conducive to improving self-esteem than just walking around a track or playing dodge-ball.

This is why in addition to teaching my boys to be nice and respectful, I will also teach my boys that if anyone lays a hand on them, beat that sum'bitch within an inch of knock-knock-knocking on heaven's door so that he will not only think twice about bullying them, he'll think twice about bullying anyone else. The only way to beat a bully is to beat a bully. If a bully understood logic and reason, he or she would not engage in the act to begin with. Bullying is about control, dominance and making one feel superior about him- or herself by way of making someone else feel less about him- or herself. But if we were to begin teaching our children to feel super about themselves and not superior to anyone, then they would not need to make anyone else feel less about themselves or seek the approval of others by doing so.

03 April 2012


One thing that really amazes me is how people function on what they think they know more so than on what they actually know. A lot of times; dare I say more than 90% of the time we learn new words by hearing them around us. We'll hear a new word on television, on the radio, overhearing someone else's conversation; or in direct conversation, and we may not know the literal definition of the word, but we get a feel for the word based on the context of the conversation. If the word resonates with us, we will add it into our vocabulary and we will go on using it, and often without ever looking up the word. Now, a good portion of the time people get away with this, but then there are those occasional times when a person throws a word out there that they have absolutely no business using. This is a prime example of ignorance.

As a matter of fact, the word "ignorance" in and of itself is an even better example of what I am saying. One sure fire way to insult someone is to call him or her "ignorant." However, if the context in which the word is being used is factual; it's not an insult, it's a simple fact. Contrary to popular belief, "ignorance" does not mean an absence of intelligence. It means an absence of knowledge. The difference may be subtle, but then to better solidify the difference we'll have to examine the difference between intelligence and knowledge. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, intelligence means, "the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations; also, the skilled use of reason." The word knowledge means "the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association." Therefore to be ignorant simply means not knowing about something ... NOT not knowing anything.

The fact of the matter is that there are a great many things of which people are ignorant, but because they misunderstand the true meaning of the word, you will not likely come across someone who's readily willing to acknowledge their ignorance. However, this is yet another reason why so many people fail to reach new levels of success. If you do not admit or acknowledge that a problem exists, how can you go about solving or correcting it? 

Something I always say is that when people make mistakes and suffer self-caused setbacks, it's basically because either they made a mistake of ignorance or they made a mistake of arrogance. When you make a mistake of ignorance, you simply didn't know any better. However, a mistake of arrogance occurs when you actually do know better than to follow a particular course of action, but act anyway. This is the cause of most people's failures in life. Just ask any convict who has accepted accountability for his or her present condition behind bars.

There is a Chinese proverb that says, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." The value of ignorance is in seeing it for what it is ... a lack of knowledge. Once you find yourself lacking in knowledge, you can go about filling that void and improving your life.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with acknowledging your ignorance. In fact, the acknowledgement of one's ignorance is the dawn of one's intelligence.