"Dude, Im not Trying to get Outraged!"

A painter and poet expresses that he has no interest in getting outraged by the overall unstable planetary situation . 

"I'd rather write poetry and talk to that woman that just looked at my art!" "Im not interested in any of that nonsense. My visit here is too brief." 

His perspective is one that resonates with most.

Mexico City Citizen Sounds Off on Militarized Police

In this audio cut you will hear a woman expressing her discontentment toward the situational chaos that Mexico find itself embedded in. Standing in the middle of a busy street in the federal district, holding back tears,  she tells the military outfitted police force that she pays their salary, for them to put themselves in the shoes of the family of the students that have been missing for over one year. 

Her passion is not to be confused with anger. Half way through this audio cut it is clear that her words resonate with onlookers.

Having traveled to many scenes of mayhem throughout the planet I must note that never before has a happening such as the story of the 43 missing students caused so much societal catastrophe. 

LAX Terminal - Interview Questions Translated

Mexico City - I traveled here to photograph and cover the protest about the 43 missing students. Normally when it comes to language I'm no perfectionist. When it comes to Spanish I know loads of vocabulary and phrases but i didn't want to be in the middle of an interview for something so important and be hindered by the  nuance of language.

I had about 5 hours before landing in Mexico City where I would immediately get to work. To ensure that my crippled Spanish didn’t get in the way of my interviewing I asked a  woman at the airport bar if she spoke Spanish, that i needed help  translating  a page of questions. She was more than happy to help.  "Ive got 2 hours before my flight. Lets do it."  She was flying into Guadalajara to visit family. 

Pope Frances at The United Nations

NYC UNITED NATIONS- In a speech addressed to the watching world Pope Frances spoke about capitalism.  Arguably, he rendered one of the most insightful and objective observations of the contentious power structure. 

“The real danger comes from man.” He stressed that we as humans have a moral duty to be involved in protecting the vulnerable and the forgotten about, saying that this is Gods creation and that it is damaging when humans walk around with blinders.

In so many words the Pope has articulated a perspective that many resonate with. What makes this pope notable is that he’s the first pope in history to take such unfavorable stances with unwavering compassion and empathy. 

One does not need to be religious to see and appreciate the shift that he has undeniably visited upon the planetary population.

During his speech  he was often interrupted by applause for his words and wisdom. Two of which included an endorsement of education for impoverished girls and the paramount need to end poverty and human suffering. 

The ending of his speech was highlighted by a thunderous ovation.  Attendees rising to their feet, some with their heads bowed and arms jubilantly reaching to the sky.


US Banks and Drug Cartels - A bloody Affair

As the sun was settingon April 10, 2006, a DC-9 jet landed at the international airport in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, 500 miles east of Mexico City. It is common practice for soldiers on the ground to approach arriving aircraft.  Once doing so, the crew of the DC-9 tried to shoo them away, saying there was a dangerous oil leak. The troops grew suspicious, muscled their way in and later searched the jet.

They found 128 black suitcases packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, a $100 million value. The stash was supposed to have been delivered from Caracas to drug traffickers in Toluca, near Mexico City, Mexican prosecutors later found. Law enforcement officials later discovered that the smugglers had purchased the DC-9 with laundered funds they transferred through two of the largest banks in the U.S.: Wachovia Corp. and Bank of America Corp., Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its August 2010 issue.

This was not a new happening. Wachovia, it turns out, had made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers -- including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine.

The admission came in an agreement that Wachovia struck with federal prosecutors in March, and it sheds light on the largely undocumented role of U.S. banks in contributing to the violent drug trade that has convulsed Mexico for decades. 

‘Brazen Disregard’

“Wachovia’s disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations,” says Jeffrey Sloman, the federal prosecutor who handled the case.

Since 2006, more than 40,000 people have been killed in drug-related battles that have raged mostly along the 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) border that Mexico shares with the U.S. In the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, just across the border from El Paso, Texas, 700 people had been murdered this year as of mid- June.

Behind the carnage in Mexico is an industry that supplies hundreds of tons of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamines to Americans. The cartels have built a network of dealers in 231 U.S. cities from coast to coast, taking in about $39 billion in sales annually, according to the Justice Department.

Rumination: Sports Conversation and Cider

A day or three ago I had a brief conversation with a group of men. It began with an exclamation in the form of a question. “Who do you think the number one athlete is in the world?”, a well dressed man wearing a ball cap asked. I took a generous sip from my cider and said “ Ronda Rousey.” My answer sparked a roar of accord. Several of the guys expressed animated gestures indicating agreement. One guy even playfully pounded his palm to his forehead. The man that initially asked me the question was disappointed because no one had said, Serina Williams. “All you crazies and no one said Serina Williams!” "That woman has done it all. Do some research."  "Shame on Y’all”

I will admit that my mentioning of Ronda Rousey stems from my adoration for The Martial Arts. MMA is pretty much the  only sport I will go out of my way to follow. I remember when I was 12 and a white belt in TKD. In the years to follow I wouldn’t watch a movie that wasn’t at least a little VanDammy. It was an obsession, a place of comfort and retreat.  Having had a lackadaisical relationship with school Martial Arts filled a void that was in need of  positive occupation.

Ive been dabbling in Rondas book and she defiantly touches upon the positive impact that training has had in her day to day.  In hindsight thats probably why I tossed out her name. 

I would have asked the man where his disappointment stemmed from and why I should research Serina. But by that time my cider buzz was starting in and the last thing I wanted was to seem conversationally inviting. I ordered a third cider, popped open my info machine and began learning about Serina Williams.





Assisted Suicide No Longer A Crime in California

California legislature approved a bill to legalize physician assisted suicide. Despite opposition from religious and risibility rights groups, Democratic Governor Jerry Brown is slated sign the bill.

The bill allows physicians to prescribe medication to end a person's life if two doctors agree the person has only six months to live. The person must also be deemed mentally competent by a mental health professional.

McDonalds and Millennials : A Love Story?

McDonald’s is in the midst of a major of a rebranding. The burger behemoth is losing monetary ground to other restaurants such as chipotle, whose fresher ingredients and healthier options entice and resonate with 20-30 somethings. McDonald’s wants to tap into the buying power of that demographic. Adding Kale and Turkey burgers and such are an attempt to regain trust of a generation that not to long ago decided to pull back from the chain, especially after the 'pink slime revelations.


NSA Expanding Domestic Survallence via XKeyscore

Using a program named XKeyscore, an NSA analyst can simply type in an email address or IP address of a “target” and access their emails, search history, visited websites, and even Facebook chats. The program’s leaked slides boast that XKeyscore’s ability to analyze HTTP data allows it to see “nearly everything a typical user does on the Internet.”

“The NSA has trillions of telephone calls and emails in their databases that they’ve collected over the last several years. And what these programs are, are very simple screens, like the ones that supermarket clerks or shipping and receiving clerks use, where all an analyst has to do is enter an email address or an IP address, and it does two things. It searches that database and lets them listen to the calls or read the emails of everything that the NSA has stored, or look at the browsing histories or Google search terms that you’ve entered, and it also alerts them to any further activity that people connected to that email address or that IP address do in the future.”

Glenn Greenwald to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, July 27, 2013


The map above shows that in March 2013 alone, the NSA collected over 73 billion metadata records worldwide. Despite the NSA’s assurance that it does not intentionally collect data on Americans, nearly 3 billion pieces of metadata were collected from the United States alone.

If you want to see what your own metadata looks like, engineers at the MIT media lab developed a program called Immersion that analyzes your email metadata to create a cluster chart of your social connections.