The Value of Violence, The Price of Poverty

Cover Credit: Edmund Guy

Which violence is most valuable? Defined as injurious force against another, violence is heinous, traumatizing, and entertaining. Its gripping nature strangles our focus as fear floods the media tides. A universal taboo, the nature of violence and its victims can determine the level of coverage casted. At 2,455 murders (234 here in Baltimore), 2013 marked a significant low for homicide in America’s largest and most historically violent cities. This is 2,455 too many. America has a higher homicide rate than nearly every “developed” country. The majority of murders occur in low-income areas.

Poverty fuels daily …read more

Anger, Violence and Mental Health

Is there a relationship between the way we treat each other and the continued violence in our schools and communities? I am shocked by the shooting at Ft Hood and the recent stabbing at a school in Pennsylvania. We hear that the soldier at Ft Hood was receiving mental health treatment, but no one anticipated his dramatic actions.

Photo by Reuiters

Spc. Ivan Lopez is pictured in the Sinai Peninsula during his service with the 295th Infantry of the Puerto Rico National Guard. Lopez is suspected of fatally shooting three people before killing himself at the Fort …read more

After Soldiers Protect Us, Who Protects Them?

I recently read a disturbing article in the Baltimore Sun that quoted a Veterans Administration report that there is an average of 22 suicides a day by veterans. 22 a day. Where are we as a nation if we cannot help and support those who risk their lives to protect us?

The website, Veterans and PTSD shares these statistics from a major study done by the RAND Corporation (full pdf of study), the Congressional Research Service, the Veterans Administration, and the US Surgeon General.[i]

at least 20% of the over 2.3 million American veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD …read more

Rebranding Racism

Dan Snyder, Owner and Chairman of the Washington Redskins, recently released a statement reaffirming use of his team’s racist icon. Snyder’s subtext rebrands racism. Through sly advertising, it sprinkles shiny empathy on soiled ignorance. Instead of addressing the logo as the epitome of structural exclusions faced by Natives, he portrays his organization as a means for their salvation. When describing his creation of the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation, Snyder writes:

“The mission of the Original Americans Foundation is to provide meaningful and measurable resources that provide genuine opportunities for Tribal communities. With open arms and determined minds, we will …read more

HAPPY SPRING EQINOX

The first day of spring this year is March 20…today! As the climate changes and traditions change, what does it mean for you? Is it something in nature, is it the thought of baseball opening day, or just the hope of putting the winter coat away? The traditional signs of the beginning of spring are changing with the warming climate. Many of the birds no longer migrate from the northern parts of the United States due to the warming climate and the crocuses appear earlier in many parts of the country.

Others consider the beginning of spring training as …read more

March On Towards Equality

I love St. Patrick’s Day. I’m always a fan of holidays that bring people together with very little prep (I’m looking at you Christmas and Thanksgiving). Yet I was surprised to find out that in 2014, the only acceptable rainbows at the St. Patrick’s Day parades have a pot of gold at the end of them.

In New York City (the great melting pot), and Boston, parade officials have banned LGBT organizations who want to march. Past parades have been cancelled rather than allowing LGBT groups to participate. Since both parade participants are by invitation only, …read more

Calling for an End to Smartphone Theft

(Photo credit: West Midlands Police)

If you’ve ever been a victim of phone theft you know how scary, frustrating and expensive it can be. Not only have you lost what can be a costly device, but a lot of personal information and account access is now in the hands of strangers to do with what they like. In 2012, 1.6 million people in the US were victims of smartphone theft. Wouldn’t it be great if you could disable your phone when it was lost or stolen so that your phone became basically useless?

Well you are in luck. Enter …read more

Calculation or Simulation, Equality or the Matrix?

A friend recently brought a mind-boggling article to my attention. The article, “Is the Universe a Simulation?” makes the case that we’re likely living in a world created by a “highly advanced computer programmer of the future”. This is based on the invariability of mathematical truths – the codes by which our world is said to have been programmed. The article references Nick Bostrom, an Oxford Philosopher who believes that if simulations exist in theory, “then eventually humans will create them”.

Perhaps the only possible simulation is the organic world, for the built environment shows our ability to simulate worlds …read more

Violence around Us – We Can Make a Difference

As my new hometown, Baltimore, searches for a solution to the continued murders that have plagued our community in 2014, I am overwhelmed with the violence in other parts of our world and our country. A young man in Florida was killed because he was playing loud music in front of a convenience store and a United Nations report is released about the systematic torture of the citizens of North Korea by their government.

At Campaign Consultation, Inc. we have been blogging about opportunities to take action in Baltimore to address the issues that can stop many of the social …read more

Is Ceasefire Baltimore’s Answer?

Baltimore has seen 33 murders this year. We are 44 days into 2014. After a more hopeful 2012 where Baltimore had its 2nd lowest murder rate* since the late 1980’s this is particularly striking. Communities are reeling and wanting answers. I was at a community meeting last night that had over 500 participants. Mayor Rawlings Blake has recently announced new crime fighting strategies in her State of the City address like implementing Operation Ceasefire and opening 24 hour Youth Connection Centers.

Operation Ceasefire had three components. Recognized gang members would be brought in under probation or parole …read more