Refusal of Understanding

One of the biggest stories in the news currently is the anthem protest being conducted by professional black athletes, specifically those employed by the National Football League.

Many have proclaimed that these protests are an insult to veterans, a disrespect to the flag, and the United States in general.

I would like to address the matter of the protests insulting veterans. I am a veteran, and I do not feel insulted. I have spoken with many veterans of all races and creeds, and not one has stated that they were insulted. In fact, many have expressed support for the protests. We served because we believe in fighting for what we believed what was right. We believe in every American having the right to say and do as they please. I have as of yet to hear any veteran organization to come out against the protests. The main problem with this argument is when people who are not veterans begin speaking for veterans. We can speak for ourselves.

Now to the matter of the protests being disrespectful. What is disrespectful are the claims themselves. The reason is that no one is willing to address why the protests are taking place in the first place. If all one cares about is respecting the American flag, and not why someone is protesting, then that person obviously does not care about the issues that brought about protests to begin with.

Most of the protesters are black males. This very fact may make one construe that the owners of the “disrespect” claim are racist. Racism is the heart of the matter for the protests, and the resulting claims.

As long as this country, the National Football League along with its owners, and the media lives in complete denial, this issue will never go away.

People forget one thing, professional athletes are people too. They have feelings and opinions like the rest of us. They also have the means to address the major issues of the world. This is something that many of us do not have. When athletes stand up for what they believe is right, then should be celebrated, and not vilified.

People Are Way Too Sensitive These Days

Courtesy of jokideo.com
Courtesy of jokideo.com

Let’s face the facts, people are way too sensitive these days.

The latest episode involves Cam Newton, who is the quarterback of the NFL team, the Carolina Panthers. Cam said to a female reporter that it was “strange to hear a woman talk about football”.

Apparently, this comment went too far for this reporter, and everyone else in the media. Cam was vilified as being sexist, which resulted in him loosing his endorsement deal with Dannon. The same Dannon who made a large donation to President Trump’s campaign – after he made sexist remarks.

Now, I do not see where Cam’s comments could be construed as being sexist, and nor do most of the people I know consider them sexist. Why do people who work in media, entertainment, or sports always seem quick to be offended or over-sensitive?

Even worse, this happened in the NFL, one of the last places a man can be a real man. Commissioner Goodell has done nothing but totally wussified the game of football since he took office. I knew we were in trouble when Jonathan Martin, a 300 pound offensive lineman complained of bullying. Let me say that again – a 300 pound man(?) complained of bullying.

Courtesy of i0.kym-cdn.com
Courtesy of i0.kym-cdn.com

Let us not forget the time the A&E Network pulled the show Duck Dynasty because one of the cast stated that they believed marriage should be between a man and a women. Their reasoning was that those comments “may” offend someone. Thankfully, viewers had the last say, after many complained and the show was returned to the air.

Political correctness has gotten out of hand. Now, everything you say can be misconstrued,which in turn, dampers free speech. Many, especially Liberals, demand freedom of speech, as long as it is not offensive to anyone, or is agreeable to everyone. Anything else is considered hate, or divisive.

Colleges use to be the bastions of free speech. Students were encouraged to speak their minds and to become leaders of their generation. Speaking your mind on many campuses these days could get you expelled. Young kids are so sensitive these days, that many campuses have “Safe Zones”. Give me a break!

This great nation of ours has become a haven for a bunch of spineless, weak-minded individuals. As a veteran, I served so that others may have freedom. Freedom to live as they please, to believe as they please, and most importantly, to speak as they please. Personally, I could care less what others think. If what I say “may” offend anyone, that’s too bad.

Courtesy of imgflip.com
Courtesy of imgflip.com

Would You Like To Donate?

Donation Sign
Donation Sign

It seems you can’t go anywhere these days without being bombarded by a donation request.

Now don’t get me wrong, I believe strongly in giving. I have run funding campaigns for various organizations that have provide assistance to combat homelessness, hunger, poverty, and especially veterans. During the holiday season, I always donate to the Salvation Army.

But, I want to know where my money is going and how it will be used. I like to know some things about you before I give you my money. To be put on the spot is not agreeable at most times, especially in a public setting. It makes people feel bad if they choose to not give.

When I lived in Las Vegas, there were days in which walking down the street could invite a constant attack of open hands waiting for spare change. Stopping at a corner to wait to cross the intersection was asking for trouble.

There was one episode during my time in Vegas in which I was asked for some “spare” change. I told the person that I didn’t have any cash on me. They then had the nerve to ask me to go to the nearby ATM to withdraw money so I could give. One could get worn down.

It is not that most people do not want to give, but I would gather that most do not not like being confronted out of the blue, even for a good cause.

I find myself going to the self-checkout to avoid being asked by a cashier to give. In the beginning, I would get depressed, but later I became content with it. I can live with myself as I do actively help whenever possible. I am willing to donate to any cause. I just want to know for who, and for what.

I’m A Racist, and Didn’t Even Know It

The Dukes of Hazzard Album, courtesy of Amazon Images
The Dukes of Hazzard Album, courtesy of Amazon Images

I’m a product of the 70’s and 80’s. Like many of my generation, I watched the television show “The Dukes of Hazzard.” This is the same show that the television network TV Land pulled for fear of offending viewers.

The issue that TV Land had with show was the car, yes, the car. The car was called “The General Lee”, and featured a Rebel flag on the top. In the minds of many, the flag is a symbol of racism. So, does that mean anyone who watched the show was racist? I watched it, and so did many of my friends, black and white. Every young boy during my time had a crush on Daisy Duke, who was played by Catherine Bach. We would all go around doing impressions of Sheriff Rosco P. Colthrane, and saying Boss Hog’s famous words, “handle it.” I guess we were all racist.

Speaking of Daisy Duke, she spawned a fashion style of shorts called “Daisy Dukes”, which usually describe shorts worn by women that were short and tight. Black women especially, began wearing those shorts. Heck, even a very famous rap was made about those shorts. That means blacks, black women who wear really tight shorts, and rappers are racist toward minorities, for example, blacks. For the record, I’m black.

Now people want to remove anything that may symbolize racism, and that is understandable. So, let’s look at that premise in detail. Currently, everyone wants to remove all the statues that were put up to honor the Civil War. Well, they shouldn’t stop there.

As I already stated, blacks who watched the Dukes should be gotten rid of. Then there are the statues of Buffalo Soldiers, some who helped in the fights to kill, or displace the American Indian. Those statues have to go too. Speaking of the military, it was them who conquered the American Indian, plus, lets not forget the many years up until World War II that the U.S. military was very segregated. After Pearl Harbor, it was the military that ran the internment camps of Japanese citizens. So, the military must be disbanded.

As far as the Civil War is concerned, most slave owners were white, so all whites must go too. Plus, when the West was being settled by white settlers, who were protected by the military which was controlled by a federal government. So, the Federal government has a history of racism, and therefore, should go. We can throw in Federal Housing Subsidies, and along with support of discriminatory lending practices from banks directed toward minorities as further proof.

It is because of discriminatory lending practices, that the banks should all be shut down. Not that they are exactly lending money anyway.

So far we have blacks, whites, the military, federal government, and banks should all go. But, wait, there’s more.

Hollywood is guilty of racism. Many years in the early days, blacks were always portrayed as uneducated servants in cinema and on television. Compared to white characters, minorities are still under served in movies and on television. So, Hollywood, gone.

Any newspaper or magazine that has been in existence at least 50-plus years probably was not kind to minorities in their coverage. Gone.

Back to the American Indian. Say everyone and everything was gone to eliminate racism. Will that solve all the problems? Nope. Indians participated in slavery pre-European so they need to go too. But, most historians would tell it was not the same as the slavery experienced by blacks, as many slaves were assimilated into tribes. Yet some tribes were known to have kept black slaves, for example, the Chickasaw and Choctaw, so, they would at least have to go.

This is all stupid conjecture. The thing is this: Removing symbols do not remove ideas. It is the minds that must be changed. Running from history will not solve anything. What are all these people who want to destroy artifacts doing beyond that? Are they having discussions? Are they reaching out to others? Are they finding ways that we can all come together for the good of the whole?

Well, I’m in search of the season DVDs of The Dukes of Hazzards. If you call me racist, then I’m a racist.

Learning Raspberry Pi: Changing Over a Micro Center Pi

Micro Center Raspberry Pi shown with access slots for power, HDMI, audio, Ethernet, and USB
Micro Center Raspberry Pi shown with access slots for power, HDMI, audio, Ethernet, and USB

The computer and hobbyist retail chain, Micro Center is offering a Raspberry Pi 3 deal that includes a Raspberry Pi 3, microSD with OS already installed, and a power adapter with conversion plugs.

The price was $79.95 at the local store, and at first it seemed a very good deal at the time. But, for the normal use that the average user of a Pi would desire, it is totally inadequate.

The Case

The major issue with the case is that it is sealed. The various Raspberry Pis have General-Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) pins, that allow for other boards or interfaces to be connected to the Pi. If one desired to use the included case, a slot would have to be cut in the top, a terrible proposition.

The Power Supply

The power supply is also inadequate for normal use. A Raspberry Pi 3 requires a 5V, 2.5A source to ensure proper operation. The one included is on 2.0A.

The Operating System

A 8GB  microSD card is included, that is a good thing. The pre-installed OS is just Citrix client software, and not a full-blown OS, that is bad. So, in order to transform the Raspberry Pi into what an average user would need for intended use, a complete overhaul is required. In this article, I will concentrate on the case and the power supply. The next article will deal with the operating system.

Replacing the Case
Micro Center Raspberry Pi with back removed to show microSD slot, and Torx screw
Micro Center Raspberry Pi with back removed to show microSD slot, and Torx screw

The first thing required is to snap out the back is the end opposite the USB and Ethernet ports. This exposes the Torx screw. A Torx screwdriver is required, a flat head or Phillips-type will not work.

Torx Screwdriver
Torx Screwdriver

Unscrew and remove the back, then pull out the side away from the micro-USB power slot and audio port.

 

 

 

 

Micro Center Raspberry with cover removed
Micro Center Raspberry with cover removed

This is how things look with the cover removed:

 

 

 

Getting Official
Official Raspberry Pi Case - Black
Official Raspberry Pi Case – Black

The Raspberry Pi Foundation provides a official case for each Pi. It can assembled and disassembled based on need of the user. Plus, it allows for access to the GPIO pins, and easy access to the microSD card when needed.

Raspberry Pi 3 and Case
Raspberry Pi 3 and Case

Remove the Raspberry Pi from the Micro Center case and place it in the official case. It does not have to be snapped in. The port openings match the USB, Ethernet, micro-USB, etc.

Before placing the Raspberry Pi in the case, remove the microSD card. You will need it later to install a proper operating system.

Official Raspberry Pi Power Cord
Official Raspberry Pi Power Cord

Lastly, an adequate power supply certified to be used with the Pi is needed. When using a Pi, always consider a supply that can power the Pi, and the Pi only. A Raspberry Pi should never be used to power any peripherals that may be attached to it, a powered USB hub should be used instead.

A Completed Pi
Raspberry Pi 3 inside Official Case
Raspberry Pi 3 inside Official Case

This completes the hardware conversion of the Pi. Next time, we will concentrate on choosing an operating system, installation, and then set-up of the system.

 

 

 

Random Musing Cogitation #5

You know what really irritates me? It’s those instructional videos on YouTube that feature hand-drawn cartoons. I’m not talking about the cartoons themselves, rather, when there is an actual hand being shown drawing the cartoons. The creators want to make it seem like some artist is drawing while speaking at the same time.

What the heck is the purpose of doing that anyway? Why can’t they just show a completed panel? Why must I see it being drawn? It is nothing but total distraction. With a completed panel, I would have more time to process the information they hope to impress on me. Yet, some big, crusty hand is taking up most of my screen. Even worse, most of the drawing sucks. Have any of these people ever heard of Power Point?

Random Musing Cogitation #4

I am back, finally. After so long a time of being away. I am finally moving into the next chapter of my life. It is time for that period that hopefully, we all dream about. I’m talking about a life of independence. For now on, I will do what I want to do. I will be who I want to be and not be beholden to anyone.

That means I can finally get this blog to be what I want it to be. So, stay tuned!