Sunday, September 24, 2017

Protesting protests

 You know I’ve given this one thought over the last few years; of course I’m talking about protests that are in the NFL and other professional leagues and minor leagues as well. I mean I guess if you want to start, it would be with Colin Kaepernick when he was with the 49ers last year. This year it’s taken on a different theme, last year we saw a few members of the NFL to start to emulate Mr. Kaepernick but we didn’t see the mass protests that there are today.

 Last year it was about police brutality, an unfair justice system, general mistreatment and racism. I still think some of those issues are prevalent in belief this year. It appears that there is a whole other thing going on here now when we talk about this latest protest. Now I’m not gonna get into the politics of this action because it is some of it, politics. I choose to focus on the human side of it.

Your neighbors, some of your family and your coworkers they all have different opinions on the subject. It’s my belief that our founding fathers were wise people. The Bill of Rights is an amazing document and when I was sworn to a uphold the U.S. Constitution it was a very solemn  and serious act for me. It was something that I took very seriously and still do to this day.

 The First Amendment is one of the most powerful laws that exist in our world today. Yes I said the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is one the most powerful laws that there is in the world. It is one of the cornerstones of our republic and the reason why so many countries and their people envy us here in the United States. You see, in other  countries they don’t have the freedom to say what’s on their mind, they don’t have the freedom to write in their newspapers how they feel about a particular subject, law or government official. In some countries voicing an opinion that is contrary to those in the mainstream is punishable by death.

 Here in the United States we can say what we want about anybody, any subject, any law and be free to say those things. Some would argue that standing or kneeling for the national anthem is a disrespect to those that have fought, bled and died for our country. I felt this way at one time. But then I looked deeper and realized that those brave and mighty American heroes fought, bled and died for our freedom’s.  It was actually a veteran who fought in Vietnam who spoke with me on the subject that brought me to this way of thinking. Now that’s not to say that I agree with kneeling during our national anthem because I don’t. But I agree with and individuals right to protest and do the thing that he or she needs to do to get their point across just as long as it does not hurt anybody.

 Does racism and mistreatment exist in our justice system and in our country? Yes of course it does. Just as was quoted in Star Treks Undiscovered Country, “if we are to live in a brave new world our generation will have the hardest time living in it”. Changing minds takes work. It takes caring. But mostly it takes responsible people both sharing their thoughts and listening to each other for this change to occur.

I am a Caucasian male in law-enforcement. I have not experienced racism. But I’m not so arrogant and blind to realize that there are not racist people. There are people in power that have these thoughts I’m sure. I have never seen any of these folks in action myself personally but I do know that they exist in our world. I would be the first one to say something and then do something if I saw something out of line. We have a long ways to go still I think, but in my line of work I believe we are on the leading edge of true equality in this country.

 The First Amendment is about freedom.  It’s about respecting the sacrifices the brave men and women of our military both past and present have made for us.  It’s about our strength as a nation. It’s about that melting pot that comes together for these United States.  Sometimes it’s about saying something or doing something when you don’t agree with a particular thing. It’s about celebrating our differences but all having one goal.  It is what makes our country great. It is also about disagreeing as well. We can have different beliefs systems, come from different backgrounds, have different educational standards, we can be wealthy or poor, we can be doctors or farmers, we can be police officers or a member of the clergy, all of these things together but primarily we are all Americans and all human beings.

Some people say: but Dave you like watching football and I know you watch football on Sundays. Well it’s true I do enjoy football. Football should be for entertainment in my opinion.  Football is a game it’s not real life, it’s not life or death and it’s a place where professional athletes go to work. I won’t be watching football this week, not because I’m protesting another’s protest, it is because I want to actually have a Sunday where I get something accomplished during the football season. My wife, my kids and my animals deserve my time and I’m going to give it to them.

I love this country I love it’s people, I love the way that we come together in times of crisis, but mostly I love and enjoy serving all of you.

Anyway today let’s work on ourselves, let’s lift each other up, let’s try to do something for our fellow man that’s unexpected, and let’s try to be good in our hearts and by example.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Am I Still Cool?

It's a question I ask myself often. I realized that at my age, almost 50 years old, most likely there are more days behind me then there are ahead of me statistically speaking of course.

If you grew up and graduated high school in the 80s, most likely you have kids and maybe even have grandkids by now. Heck you might even be contemplating retirement in a few years.

Our generation we grew up in an era identified by great advancements in science and technology. Most of us grew up in the time before cell phones. We have probably gone through 30 or 40 different iterations of cell phones and now we have what we have today which is basically miniature computers in our pockets.

Our generation saw the advent of hip-hop, we saw the birth of rap, we lived during hair metal's hey day. Truly our generation is the defined somewhat by outrageous music and clothing. Parachute pants really? Who thought this was a good idea? Flock of Seagulls hair guy what was your deal bro? How many people didn't go to the Car’s concert or the Bon Jovi concert? I believe it was required back then. If you're wondering I actually went to both.

We saw the Challenger explosion. We saw President Reagan do all of his amazing speeches. We
saw him get shot on live TV on the news. We saw desert shield in Kuwait and Iraq. Many of us deployed while in the military to these conflicts and wars.

Many of us 80’s kids are now taking care of their parents. You should be taking care of your parents if you're not, by the way. Remember the example you set now, taking care of your parents is the exact same example your kids are looking at when they are faced with the question of being a caretaker for their parents. Do a good job, be nice.
But as the title of this blog is I'm contemplating "am I still cool?" Well are we still cool?

Well I guess we need to define what cool is. Cool to me is having a great wife, having great kids, but still being able to go to the concert or do stuff outside. Cool to my standards is frankly being alive. Cool to me is knowing that thank goodness you didn't have social media when you were teenager because well I couldn't imagine the trouble I'd be in still.

I mean what is cool to all of you? A lot of coolness is being a responsible parent been able to provide for your family knowing and knowing that you have a roof over your head.

Can I have a question please just a small question? How many of you have gone to see like one of the bands from our childhood like say for example Def Leppard or foreigner or cheap trick or whatever? It was totally cool to go see these guys go play those songs but what I noticed is they look really old and well son can still sing it sound really sort of played to me. Rock stars I think have a rough life.
Rolling Stones - Keith Richards

You know the other day when I was posting about this, I said something about millennial's. if you graduated in the 80s and you have kids, your kid’s are millennial’s; straight up. If you complain about millennials then go look in the mirror and blame yourself.

I'll say this about millennials there are a lot of them they're actually really good, smart, caring ultra giving people. A small minority though of these people or what I like to call 60%’ers, they don't like hard stuff, scary stuff or stuff that requires them to exert themselves where possibly sweat droplets come from there brow. Most of these kids are good kids I have hired them. I work with them. I have no issue with him. I know there's people out there that have issues with millennial's, I am not one of those guys.

All righty so I digressed a little bit about millennial's. But the topic is "Am I still cool?" I think for the most part if you're an engaged adult / parent, care about the world around, work hard each day and want the best for your family kids / friends. I think you're super cool.

Editorial note: does anybody still have any 80s clothing? Who has actually worn their own clothing to an 80s party? I know I don't have any except for maybe a few concert T-shirts. I actually fit into my letterman's jacket the other day. That's from the 80s and I thought that was pretty cool. Maybe we should throw a big 80’s party and listen to Men Without Hats, Loverboy, Billy Idol and Depeche Mode all while wearing penny loafers, parachute pants and two Izod polo shirts with the collars flipped up.

That's all I have for now…….be good to each other


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Free speech vs. Hate speech

Freedom of speech - is the right to articulate one's opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship, or societal sanction.

Hate speech - is speech which attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, or gender.

I post these two definitions as examples to refer back too.

Free speech is guaranteed by and contained in the Bill of Rights. We don't get to choose what we like or get offended by before someone speaks. There is a line though. Threats, obscenities or words likely to produce a negative reaction as defined by section 415 of the Penal Code are not allowed (well at least without possible consequences).

I think most all people get this.

I understand that current politics permeates this issue. I don't ignore that at all. Political choice is one of the great freedoms we enjoy in this country. 

The issue of free speech vs. hate speech, supersedes politics.

Every time.....

It is impossible for some people / groups to differentiate from the concept of individual thought and groupthink. Notice I don't mention any specific groups or people. The reason? Because it doesn't matter what side or the political spectrum you sit on, religion, orientation, race or the size of your paycheck, we are all susceptible to the phenomenon of groupthink. 

But I don't blame all of society's wrongs on groupthink. There are folks out there that definitely have some strong feelings and voice them. Sometimes these folks cross the line into hate speech vs free speech. 

Here is the thing and my simple prayer. 

In the USA we have the guaranteed right of free speech. 

Use it to:
  • Speak out against tyranny
  • Speak out against the ills of the world
  • Express yourself, your loves, your concerns
  • Criticize government or related issue
  • Sing your favorite song
Please do not use it to:
  • Threaten people / groups 
  • Spread hate to any group or individuals 
My advice -

Be a good person,
live by the golden rule,
listen more than speak,
be patient and tolerant,
be an example to others,
Loving is less work than hating,
If you see something, say something,
Always look both ways before crossing the street,
Please no man buns.

That's all I have for now,


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Tedx - Ideas for Tomorrow

If you have been paying attention to my social media feeds, you know I recently did a TEDx talk.

What is TEDx you ask?

The TEDx Program is designed to help communities, organizations and individuals to spark conversation and connection through local TED-like experiences.

Oh wait Chief what is TED?

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

I did my TEDx talk at TEDxSalinas. My particular talk was about - Loving Your Fellow Man - A Police Officers Perspective. I theorized that when an officer dons his/her uniform before their shift, it is a act of love for humanity. But you can watch it for yourself, right here and draw your own conclusions.

My friend Michelle Serna was the curator of TEDxSalinas. She has a lot of experience with TEDx talks. She was a fantastic curator for TEDxSalinas.

I would do it again in 2 seconds. I've already thought about what I would talk about (I've narrowed it down to "Cowgirls are dangerous" and "The New Paradigm in Law Enforcement Communication with the Public").

We are but five weeks about from the San Benito Saddle Horse Show & Rodeo. I am excited for this years show. New clown, improved vendor area but also all of the traditional stuff is still intact. The only thing this year is no parade on Thursday of the week of the show. That will come back next year bigger, better and really way more fun ( I know because I am on the committee and we met yesterday afternoon).

Ticket and other info on the San Benito Saddle Horse Show & Rodeo can be found right here

I'll talk to you all soon,

Be good to each other,