story


Lightening struck the airplane at 350 mph and 10,000 feet. After the right and left wings separated the airplane, carrying 92 passengers, quickly came apart over the Peruvian rain forest.
Chaos was all around her and she was still strapped to her seat. Within 60 horrifying seconds she fell thousands of feet. The airplane crashed in flames into a mountainous jungle terrain and Juliane Koepckeshe became the sole survivor of flight 508.
SMXLL

Bruised, traumatized, a broken collarbone, cold and alone in the wilderness with only a few pieces of candy as food. One day of walking and she found a small stream and was able to keep hydrated. For eight days she followed the stream battling insects and an arm infection. On the ninth day she wandered upon an encampment and a few hours later she was rescued by loggers and airlifted to a hospital.
Could this one in a billion lightening strike be more than just a random happening by nature? Was her free fall from thousands of feet to land largely unharmed in the middle of nowhere the work of an unseen hand?  Or was it something else entirely… THEM

For decades Oprah Winfrey has done many things to help people whether that help came from the Oprah show’s subject matter, giving her audience members cars or opening up a school. It can even be said her 2007 endorsement of Barack Obama is what put him over the top in his bid to become president of the United States of America. First let me be clear, I know that because of the amount of hair on my face that there is zero chance that I will be on Oprah’s show. That being the case, I have no problem with Oprah at all. Oprah Winfrey is an amazing woman who has overcome unbelievable odds to become one of the most powerful and influential people in the world.

The Oprah show is largely positive, but at times it is a show of sexual anxiety, victim hood, exploitation, and dark vision of sexual relationships. Strong positive Black Men are almost non-existent on Oprah’s show. On Friday, Oprah has a live show of weekly recaps and talks about current events in a round table type of atmosphere. On Friday Jul 9, 2010 a riot broke out in Oakland California, over the police shooting of unarmed Oscar Grant, a black man, that same day Oprah was on her show eerily saying “Huuugh Jaaackmannn… I love his butt.”

What is the Message?

On Friday, March 6 of 2009 Oprah had an intervention show for Rihanna, where she famously said “If a man hits you once, he will hit you again“, in a reference to the recent altercation between singers Rihanna and Chris Brown. Many of the singers acquaintances and friends spoke out on the issue. However, Oprah, at the time, did not know Rihanna and this show was done more than a month later. Chris Brown said that since he knew Oprah and had done shows for her, that he thought that she would at least lend a helping hand and not parade him through the mud. When Bebe Winans was accused to domestic abuse Oprah didn’t cancel his appearance on her show until public protect demanded it. No one is trying to defending Chris “Fake Tears” Brown, but Oprah’s message wasn’t really directed to Rihanna, was it?

The people she supports usually sit next to her, while the opposite opinion often sit in the front row of the audience waiting to be called upon When Oprah was in Africa she said “I will not rest until every black boy and black girl has a chance to prove their worth.”, then she opened up a school for girls only.

On Friday , July 16 2010 on the Gayle King show, in referring to Mel Gibson’s tapped conversations with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, Oprah stated “Most men in America speak to their women like Mel Gibson.” She can only know this if she has her own Talk Show Patriot Act and she might.

On an episode with Lance Armstrong, Oprah said “I never got married because I just wanted to always be myself.” Every relationship is a risk and marriage is supposed to be an partnership between individuals.

One episode stated that 70% black women are single. Seriously, is this a fact or a feeling?

Another Oprah show said that 1 out of 3 men are cheaters. This may be a correct statement, but Oprah’s shows somehow make it seem that these “Cheaters” are cheating alone, or as if the person they cheat with never knew that they were married. Raise your hand if you really think that the women Tiger Wood’s cheated with didn’t know that he was married. Tiger was dragged through the mud and rightly so, but the “Home Wreckers” are still being celebrated.


Shows like: “Men who have beaten Women”, “7 ways to end violence” and “Red Flags” are only offered to make viewers believe that Men are the beginning and end any violent act. Many claim that her shows are about empowerment, but do shows like “Wish Away Cancer”,  “A Lunchtime Face-Lift”, “Turn Back The Clock”, “Thin Your Thighs”, “Cure Menopause!”, “Erase Wrinkles”, “Banish Obesity”, really empower anything other than ratings?

You are probably saying “He’s hatin’”, or more likely “what’s the big deal. It’s just a talk show.” Oprah is the most powerful woman in media. Her show is seen in countries all over the world. So if she is constantly presenting misinformation, and one-sided opinions of males, black men in particular, then the question has to be asked; is she aiding in the racism and abuse that black men face on a daily basis? It is her show, she doesn’t have to be fair, nor does she have to be balanced, but if this is considered normal then America is not a mentally healthy nation. Men and Women are to be valued. Men are as much a part of the equation as women are. What kind of answer to do you get when you only solve half of an equation?


For decades Americans have accepted marginalization of individuals and groups, and here is where Oprah is no different. Oprah Winfrey as well as others have, perhaps unwittingly, taught the youth of America that in some respects that it is okay to mistreat someone if you can claim victim hood. These types of cycles persist in America because many of the root causes are not exposed and addressed; they are ignored, distorted, or deflected. Perhaps we all should be taking the lyrics of Travis McCoy’s “Billionaire” song to heart. In order for our nation society, in order for nation to grow everyone needs to have value. Now more than ever Americans need equality not superiority and you can put that in your Fat Wagon and pull it.

By the way Oprah telling Barbara Walters that you wished you were white is nothing to be proud about.

Part 1

Part 3


 

It has been said that prayer changes things, well here is my story. My four year old son has always been a free spirited soul. He runs and jumps with reckless abandon. Whenever we go shopping he always gets to get underneath our shopping cart, who knows why.

Going to school and playing in the sand are major parts of his daily activities as they should be. However, things have changed he is no longer allowed to run, throw, or hide underneath shopping carts. He is no longer allowed to play unsupervised. As parent, little did we know that something was looming undetected, something that changed everything for my son and everything for us.

A few months ago my four year old son was diagnosed with a rare eye condition. Diagnosis: Extreme Amblyopia, refractive myopia… basically he is blind in his right eye. Although this news was shocking, his mother and I developed a plan as an effort to reverse this condition. This plan includes “patching” his left eye (the 20-20 eye) for up to six hours a day, contacts, glasses, poly-carbonate lens, a lot of heart-ache and even more prayer. Needless to say the remedy and therapy were tough for the little fella, as well as us. After a few months, my son could only see about four feet in front of him and what he could see was blurry. Why was it necessary to take these extreme measures with his therapy? Because eye input controls brain function, no eye input equals no brain function. By patching the left eye it forces his brain to sort of rewire itself to make use of his right eye.

Every time I  “patched” my son, I would ask him what can you see? With a smile he would say “Dad I can see everything”, something I knew wasn’t true. If he were left unattended for any period of time he would peel off the patch so that he could peek out of the corner, or he would take out his contact because he couldn’t really see.

After two months of fighting, crying, spending and praying my son’s response changed to “Dad I can’t see” usually followed by tears.

My son’s condition is said to be so rare that he is 1 out o 125,000 children. Mind you that all of this is happening as my new book is making the round, I have been invited to do radio show, I have a regular job and other children, so what is a father to do. My son is no idiot, we often have to restrain him to put the contact in his eye. Dealing with a four year old and fear can be tricky, the first facility we went to said that they were not equipped to handle him. As parents to say that we were helpless in this situation is an understatement. I became hardcore, because I knew what was at stake for my son. So I decided to toss away my sorrow, and I remembered how I cured asthma a decade earlier and the difficulty and negativity I experienced during that process, but more on that later.

The contact goes in… no compromise and a song is born… “Don’t touch the glasses, don’t move the glasses, these are my glasses”, a melody that is sure to be a household hit.

My question to the experts was what is his prognosis? There answer: Basketball-out, Soccer-out, Football-out even Water Polo was out as well as a lot of other activities. Okay, no problem, that just means more reading and writing… Did I mention the dyslexia? Because on his eye condition my son  interprets  letters and number incorrectly.

Side note this condition also causes my son to behave what what I deem somewhat “Neanderthalish”, which is equally frustrating for everyone. He falls a lot. He gets injured every day. I don’t even know how he plays like the other kids, but my best guess is that he is using the force.

“Patching”  his good eye basically renders him sightless and forces the brain to use the unpatched eye.

1-Month: No noticeable improvement in vision, still fighting us. More singing. His 15-years old sister decides to call her older sister to apologize for all the pain she caused her when she was younger.

3 Months: Less fighting, still singing. Family members begin to realize the depth of the situation. His mother deserves a whole lot of credit.

6 Months: Hugs are given. Hope is found, routine established. The song is family wide now. Slight improvement in vision is noticeable. Attitude is up and down.

We return to the doctor. My son, with his eye patched, sits down in the chair. The doctor displays a large image on the projector and before the doctor could asked what do you see, my son excitedly exclaims “An Airplane!” His mother smiled. The doctor said “Remarkable”, I shed a single tear. six months a ago he saw four feet in front of him. The doctor said that his improvement was exponential and he was amazed at how fast this approach seemed to be working.

I held my son’s hand as we left the doctor’s office. As we walked back towards the car he asked me for some gum. I said “No gum”. He said, “But dad I listened to the doctor, I didn’t cry and now we are leaving the doctors. I need some gum.” His response stopped me in my tracks because I realized that he recalled the conversation we had when we initially tried to put the contact in six months ago. He actually remembered the conversation verbatim. He would later performed the same memory trick on his mother, in regard to when his patching for the day would be over. Perhaps,the side-effect of the therapy is an improved memory. I picked up my son, hugged and kissed him and said “You know what son… you can have some gum”.

Prayer really does change everything.

*Make sure you get your child’s eyes checked early as possible*

Update: a year into the patching and eye improvement has stunted. Decide to patch 20 hours a day. Kindergartner is extremely trying.

Update: A year in a half into patching Experts agree to abandon patching is no longer working. We decide on whether to hold him back or push him forward in school.

Update: We decide to push him forward. He is slowly catching up.

 

We liked Michael Jordan, although he gambled, fought other players, cheated on his wife, and was at times classless. We liked Shaq, although at times the big fella was just too sensitive. And despite all of Magic’s faults we still like him. We like Lebron, even though he jilted Cleveland.  We Like Dwayne Wade and we like a whole lot of other players, but why don’t people like Kobe? Even though he takes the team on his back and saves the game, still a majority of  league players  say that they don’t want to play with him. The guy has six rings for goodness sake, but when your own teammates say that you should opt-out at the end of the season,  it’s time that we examine why people don’t like Kobe. This list is in no particular order.

1. He was very selfish when he came in the league and he still is.- go to the tape
2. When Magic suggested that he spend some time with his teammates his response was “For What?” – go to the tape
3. He slapped Samaki Walker in the back of the head on the team bus. Samaki got up and started to choke Kobe. When Kobe asked for assistance… His teammates kept looking out the window.- I just threw this in because it is mildly humorous.
4. He originally said that growing up he never paid Michael Jordan much attention.-That is the biggest lie I’ve ever heard!
5. He cussed out Tex Winter. -Tex is like 7,000 years old, I mean really.

6. He called Karl Malone old, and then told him “I don’t need yo pick”.
7. He also ruined the last year of The Mailman’s playing career. -This you can debate.
8. If there is a Man Code he became the top violator when he ratted out Shaq.- Some things you just don’t do.
9. In game seven of the crucial 2006 playoffs Vs. Phoenix, Kobe let it be known that he quit on the team, by standing 6 feet above the three point line watching and waving to his teammates for much of the second half. You saw him do it, you just didn’t know what he was doing, so Charles Barkley called him out on air by saying “Kobe quit that night, plain and simple”.- go to the tape.
10. He’s a whiner- go to the tape(s).


11. He forced L.A.’s mayor to get off the parade bus. That day Kobe could be heard saying “I’m being infringed upon”. – Personally I might have done the same thing, but the mayor was crucial in helping the Lakers have a Parade in the first place.
12. He is Defensively Overrated. Back in the day Shaq was frowning on everybody that got past Kobe… and they did get past him. Now he has three seven footer behind him.

13. He made Filmmaker Spike Lee stand at his private gated community for an hour and still didn’t buzz him in, or come out to talk with him. -I would say watch “Kobe Doing Work”, but do so at your own risk not because I suggested it.
14. His feud with Phil Jackson.- The Zen Master
15. His Trade *explicative* Bynum, or I’ll be in Chicago Talk.
16. One minute before Lebron James was the Cleveland Cavaliers Number One Overall draft pick. Kobe chose to announced that we was opting out of his Lakers’ contract, effectively stealing Lebron’s spotlight.

17. In 1999 he was the only NBA player that voted to continue The Strike!
18. Lebron is fast approaching, but Kobe is the most Ref-Aided NBA Player in the game. Traveling and charging are supposed to be illegal.
19. Kobe didn’t change his jersey from eight to twenty-four for money, as Adrian Wojnaroswki has suggested, he did so that everybody would forget that he was charged with bending a young girl over a chair in Denver.

20. Kobe has a noted penchant for being sensitive, rhat’s when he won’t pass to his teammates even when they are open. See trust issues.

21. In game 5 of 2010 Western Conference Final, Kobe ruined his, Jordan to Paxon, Jordan to Kerr, Jordan to Wennington moment. Against the Phoenix  Suns in the 4th quarter with the game tied and 8 seconds left on the game clock Kobe dribbled into the right corner, double teamed.  Kobe elevated and shot an air-ball, which Ron Artest quickly grabbed  and banked in for the win.  For those that don’t know if you are double teamed that means that one of your teammates is wide open.

22. He has to be reminded every single season that he has Teammates. He usually has to be called out by team players and media.

23. An hour after Kobe and Shaq agreed with Lakers management to stop all the media bad blood between each other. Kobe called sportscaster Jim Gray to hold a private interview where he proceeded to call Shaq fat, out of shape and milking his toe injury for extra time off. Bad form Kobe, bad form.

24.  Kobe (Mr. Clutch) makes a little less than one of every three shots when The Lakers are down two points, one point, tied, or on the final ball possession, this stats actually which makes him one of the worst performers among players with at least 30 attempts in those situations.

25. After making 300 Million dollars during his career, with the NBA lock out in full swing, Kobe feels neglected. He saw how the media fawned over Lebron and his “Decision”. He chaffed at the way the media followed Carmelo’ Drama so he floated the idea of playing in the Italian league with Virtus Bologna for $300,000 to $1,000,000 per game. Great way to show solidarity and maintain the players leverage. He knew the NBA owners not only profit from not paying the players during the lockout, but they also want the players to play overseas to help grow the brand for future European expansion. Just enjoy the time off, try going back to school.

26. While in church Kobe thought that a man was taking photos of he and his wife. Kobe grabbed the man’s wrist and took his cellphone. Kobe returned the man’s cellphone after going through it to make sure that no photos of his family were on it.

27. In 2011 and 2012, The saga with center Dwight Howard played out longer than it should have for the Orlando Magic and the rest of the League, why? Because when Howard called Kobe to see what his thoughts would be on the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe said “It would be great to have you in L.A. now I don’t have to worry about defense…” Dwight Howard didn’t being told he’d be forgotten on offense, or not passed to and he began waffling back and forth on whether to stay with the Magic. To facilitate this stalemate, the L.A. Lakers when out and signed soon to be NBA Hall of famer Steve Nash to take the ball and decision making out of Kobe’s hands. After the Steve Nash signing Howard was more agreeable and was traded to the Lakers in a deal that included often-maligned, often unreliable center Andrew Bynum. (This may, or should turn out to be a great thing for the

28. While in training camp for the 2012-2013 season Kobe made a disturbing media comment. When asked whose team it was by a reportes Kobes said, “I don’t want to get into the…well we share… No, it’s my team.”

29. “In 2005, I almost won an MVP with Smush Parker and Kwame Brown on my team! Smush Parker was is the worst. He shouldn’t have been in the NBA but we were too cheap to pay for a point guard. So we let him walk on.”-  Kobe Bryant 10-11-2012 “You can’t knock the man’s legacy…What I don’t like about him is the man that he is. His personality. How he treats people. I don’t like that side of Kobe. Half way through the season I tried to talk to Kobe…He tells me I can’t talk to him. He tells me I need more accolades under my belt before I come talk to him. He was dead serious.”- Smush Parker

30. “In 2006, I was shooting 45 times a game. What am I supposed to do? Pass it to Chris Mihm or Kwame Brown?”-Kobe Bryant 10-11-2012 So much for trying around the Kobster.

31. New York Yankees benched Alex Rodriguez and were, down 3-0 to the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS. Kobe had this to say about A-Rod, “I think that sometimes he forgets about how great he is, I don’t.” (mildly humorous)

32. In the famous 2011 Pau Gasol shooting slump, it was discovered that Gasol’s fiance broke up with him. This left Gasol an emotional wreck and rather useless in the playoff.  What does this have to do with Kobe? Apparently Kobe told his wife, Vanessa, about Gasol’s philandering.

Vanessa then became friends with Gasol’s finance, just so she could spill the beans to her. When Pau confronted Kobe about this an argument ensued and the two stopped speaking to each other. Gasol became the scapegoat for the team’s early playoff exit. –Kobe violates the man code again.

32.  His song K.O.B.E.

33. He gained the nickname Black Mamba not because he is deadly as a player. He gained his moniker because he refused to speak to his teammates on the court, instead he would make a hissing sound when he wanted the ball given to him. Naturally his teammates started called him the Black Mamba.

34. “I almost won an MVP with Smush Parker and Kwame Brown on my team,”

35. During his Kobe and the Kids time with the Lakers, Kobe on the court the Lakers were -13.2, and +7.1 with him on the bench.

36. His refusal to say when he will actually retire, which held up the already lengthy Laker rebuilding process. Kobe and the kids lingered on for years.

37. After a story int he newspaper reported that he had tanked a game to spite Shaq. Kobe went up to each teammate with newspaper in-hand and asked, “Did you say this Motherf&^%er?… Did you say this Motherf&^%er?”

38. He once tried to beat up Tyronne Lue for blocking his shot during practice.

I could continue to list things,  but after that K.O.B.E. song I really need to stop.

Reasons Why People Like Kobe
I made this list for those that don’t care, now remember that these are in no particular order:

1. He’s Got One Hell of a Game, and he’s had One Hell of a Career and for most that is all that matters.

The Black Mamba

MG Hardie