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The Man in Black

 

 

He was six feet tall, but he seemed taller. He was an imposing figure. As he swaggered through the garage area, Dale Earnhardt commanded respect. It seemed like you either loved him or you hated him; you either dreaded the sight of him or welcomed it.

He was born in a small town in North C’lina (that’s the way he pronounced it). His father, Ralph, worked in the textile mill and in his spare time scraped, scratched, patched and wired together race cars. He loved to race on the local dirt tracks and soon became well known for his style of racing.  He raced for position most of the race, but according to Humpy Wheeler; “…Then, as it got to the end, there he was.  He was like some apparition out of the clouds.  You’d wonder where he came from.” (1) Dale went to the races with his daddy, watching, learning, absorbing.

Soon he was racing too. Just like his father, he scratched out an existence any way he could, just as long as he could race. Racing was all he ever wanted to do. He didn’t just race, he was a racer. As he terrorized the local dirt tracks, people began noticing the brash kid who wrecked more cars than he won with. He moved through their ranks like a bulldozer, charging to the front in almost every race.

Inevitably, the powers that be on the big racing circuits took notice of him. He was hired by a NASCAR Winston Cup car owner. He raced. He wrecked. He won. Soon everyone on the NASCAR circuits knew his name.

He got married and got divorced twice. Racing was his love, his life, his all. He had three children, but was unable to support them.

One historical day, he was hired to drive a Richard Childress car. Dale was now in a good car and he showed his talent. In his first full season on the Winston Cup Circuit, known as the rookie year, he won a race. Only a few other drivers had done that. Very few. The very next season he won the NASCAR Winston Cup Championship. No one else had ever done that. No one. The brash kid from North Carolina had come a long way. A high school dropout who didn’t like to talk to the media because he thought people would make fun of the way he talked, was now a champion.

Goodwrench sponsored a car for the team. They painted it black. The Goodwrench logo was in white and a big white number “3” outlined in red dominated the sides and top of the car. History had been written.

Dale always had women around. They were attracted to his dashing style, his good looks, his aura.  A young lady named Teresa figured out a way to get close to him. Rod Osterlund said, “She was always around, but she was part of a group.  Dale had at lot of women…..at every track during that 1980 season.  Tereasa did a smart thing.  She became involved with his kids.  Whever they were around, she was taking care of them…..She got her man.”(1a)  By this time he was earning enough money that he was able to get custody of his kids. His ex-wife’s house burned down and the two older kids came to live with Dale. Soon his third son joined them. Teresa took care of the kids while Dale was racing. And history was written again.

Teresa and Dale got married. They had a daughter named Taylor Nicole. The little girl was the light of Dale’s life. Teresa taught him that there was more to life than running over people on the racetrack. He eased up a little, his driving was not as rough. He still drove through spaces that weren’t there, but somehow he managed to get through. Teresa had a lot of business savvy, and she became the manager of the fast growing empire of this young man who lived to race. That took a big load off his shoulders and let him spend more time with his racing.

That black car with the white number 3 on it roared and rampaged through the field of cars. It became a driver’s worst nightmare to look into his rearview mirror and see that black number 3 behind him. People joked that the school kids in his hometown were taught how to count, “1, 2, Dale Earnhardt, 4….”

Dale went on to win seven Winston Cup Championships, tying an all time record set by Richard Petty, who was known as the King of stock car racing. The stands at every race were sold out. Even if people had another favorite driver, they always looked to see where that black number 3 was. He was the one they came to watch. He stirred up controversy. He won too much. He wrecked too many people. He was their favorite driver. More stands were added at all the race tracks. NASCAR was the fastest growing sport in the country. It wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that Dale Earnhardt was probably the biggest reason that happened. His souvenir sales earned more than all other drivers’ combined. The internet had more websites on Dale Earnhardt than on any other driver.

I have two sleep disorders and fibromyalgia. Also, unknown to me, a kidney stone was embedded in my ureter. One of the medications I was on caused me to gain 60 pounds. The doctor said, “Lose the weight.”

So I exercised. I walked on trails out in the forest with my black lab, named Earnhardt, by my side.. The pain was awful. Using a ski pole I literally dragged myself, step by step. Every time I wanted to quit, I’d think to myself, “What would Dale do?” And I kept going. The pounds began to come off, ever so slowly. The agonizing pain remained. “What would Dale do?” I kept exercising. He was my inspiration and my “driving” force. I knew he would never quit in a hundred years, so I didn’t either.

On the track he was rough, tough and terrible. Off the track he was a loving father, husband and son. He anonymously created the Earnhardt Fund.  The Foundation for the Carolinas would collect the gifts and distribute them to the charities selected by the Earnhardts. (2) He didn’t want anyone to know about all the charity work he did. He called a 15-year-old kid who was dying of cancer at the hospital and talked to him for about 14 minutes.  Chip Williams, who was in NASCAR public relations at that time thought it was a pretty cool thing for Earnhardt to do.  He told some reporters about it, and they wanted to interview Dale.  It made him mad.  He told Chip “I don’t want to talk about it. I didn’t do it for the publicity.  And I don’t want that kid to think that was the reason I called.”  (3)

His son, Dale Earnhardt Jr., had also joined the Winston Cup circuit full time by now. Dale was so proud of him. They were as different as day and night. Dale was country, he lived on a farm, tended to livestock, listened to country music,   Jr. was rock and roll, baggy pants and baseball caps on backwards. Dale had few close friends, Jr. had a ton of ‘em. Dale went to bed early, Jr. went to bed late. But they shared one thing. Those racing genes! Jr. had won races too. He was good. Very good.

Dale had a quiet wisdom, what they call horse sense in the country. My favorite quote is; “In life sometimes there are hurdles you get over and some you don’t. On the ones you don’t, well, you just keep trying until you do.” (4)He was a happy man, he felt he had it all. All but one thing.

He roared through the racing community, winning at everything. Except one. The crown jewel of racing, the season opener, the Daytona 500, had eluded him. Several times he fell out of the race completely with engine trouble. Several times, too many times, he came in second. In 1995 he came in second again. “I don’t reckon I’m supposed to win the damn thing,” (5)he said, with his trademark wry grin.

Then, in 1998, excitement was high. Dale had a new crew chief. They had high hopes for the season. The race went well. Towards the end, Dale was leading again. The laps wound down, and he was still leading. He refused to get excited, and so did his fans. We’d seen this movie before. Ten to go. Six to go. Three to go. The fans began to come to their feet. Even fans that didn’t like him were cheering him on. Two to go. The roar of the crowd drowned out the roar of the engines and overcame the soundproofing of the announcers’ booth. He approached the one to go signal. Still, we’d seen this movie before. Then, behind him, cars spinning, a big cloud of smoke. The caution flag came out along with the white flag. DALE EARNHARDT HAD FINALLY WON THE DAYTONA 500!!!!!! The announcers were almost hysterical. “On his 20 try Dale Earnhardt wins the Daytona 500! Finally!”

A quiet voice came over the radio. “Way to go, guys,”(6) he said to his crew. They were almost hysterical too. The fans were definitely hysterical! Another quiet voice, “Way to go, Dad!”(7) He took his victory lap to the sound of 100,000 people roaring approval. Then he started down pit lane towards the approach to Victory Lane, and an unprecedented thing happened. Virtually every man of every crew lined pit road, high-fiving him as he drove by. Nothing like that had ever been seen before in the history of stock car racing. Later he said, “Man, I had to slow way down! They damn near broke my arm off!”(8)

Finally he could stand it no longer. The jubilation broke through. He turned that car down into the grass of the infield and began spinning it around and around. When he was done, amazingly, a number 3 was inscribed in the sod. It didn’t last long, fans were there in droves grabbing a piece of it. “I’m pretty good at writin’, huh?” (9) he bragged. The celebration wore on and on and on. Nobody wanted to leave.

Finally, the media packed up their lights and cameras and left. The fans trickled out, the broadcaster’s booth shut down. It got dark and the track was deserted. Almost. One lone person was driving around the track in a golf cart, of all things! Dale was still there, quietly savoring his greatest victory.

The racing community expected great things from him now. But, the man in black didn’t win another race that year. The year after that, he didn’t win any at all. People began to say, “Ol’ Dale, he’s done. He’s getting old.” Others expected an announcement that he would be retiring at the end of the season. He’d lost his edge, they said. He wasn’t winning, he wasn’t really that competitive. Uh huh.

During the brief off season between 1999 and 2000 he underwent surgery on his back, neck and head. He healed quickly. Intensive therapy and the care of the best doctors he could find helped speed the process.

When the 2000 season opened, Dale was there. He swaggered through the garage area with a spring in his step and a twinkle in his eye that had been missing for a long time. He said he felt great! The Man in Black was back! And he began winning races. He finished in the top ten consistently. It looked like that eighth championship was within his grasp. Lost his edge? Hah! Too old? I don’t think so!

He stirred up his share of controversy, as usual. At the Bristol night race he bumped Terry Labonte out of his way, sending Terry spinning into the wall. He won, but when he climbed out of his car there was no joy in his eyes and his trademark grin was absent. He looked worried, and asked if Terry was okay. “I didn’t mean to turn him around, I just wanted to rattle his cage a little.”(10)

Then came Talladega. Four laps to go, and Dale was seventeenth. Ahead of him was a snarling, snapping pack of cars, all seeking that checkered flag. “Well, he ain’t gonna get this one,” said the fans. But wait!! What’s that? Somehow, he scratched, clawed, banged, bumped, scraped and scrabbled his way to the front. The fans were on their feet. Ol’ Dale took the checkered flag. Once again the roar from the stands drowned out the roar of the engines. This time the announcers were almost speechless. “How’d he DO that?”

He raced his way to the end of the season, but finished second in the points. His eighth championship had eluded him by just a few points.

The 2001 season began. We knew the Man in Black was back, this was gonna be a great season. This was the Daytona 500. Would he win again? Dale was lounging around on pit road when a reporter stopped for an interview. He grinned, and told the reporter that he was gonna see something today that had never been seen before.

It was time for the drivers to get into their cars. With one arm around his son and the other around his wife, Dale approached his car. He turned and whispered something into Jr.’s ear. With a big grin, Jr. nodded and went off towards his car. Dale climbed into his car, and then stuck his head out to get a kiss from Teresa. That kiss was one of the most loving, tender kisses I have ever seen. It was a totally uncharacteristic display of emotion from the Man in Black when he had his race face on. Then Dale went about the business of buckling himself in, and as Teresa turned away she appeared to be crying. Maybe she had a presentiment. Maybe she was just proud of him.

Forty-two engines roared into life and the Daytona 500 was on! And guess who was leading when there were only a few laps to go? Nope. Not Dale. Michael Waltrip, a very close friend of Dale’s, and also an employee, driving a car owned by Dale, was in the lead. Right behind him was Dale Jr. In third, driving like a madman, weaving back and forth across the track at almost 200 miles an hour, that black number 3 car held back the pack of cars behind him long enough for his friend and his son to get far ahead.

In the broadcast booth, Michael’s brother Darrell cheered him on to victory. Michael had never won a Winston Cup race, and now, with Dale’s help, he’d won the Daytona 500!

As Michael and Jr. crossed the finish line the 40 car of Sterling Marlin tapped the back end of Dale’s car, ever so lightly. The black number 3 bounced down into the grass and then headed straight up the track for the outside wall. Milliseconds before he hit, the 36 car of Ken Shrader t-boned his car. The double impact caused Dale’s seat belts to fail. His car hit the wall. Hard. And Dale Earnhardt was gone. Dale Earnhardt was gone.

Dale Earnhardt was gone.

In the broadcast booth Darrell was talking to his brother, excited and happy. Then Darrell turned and looked at the monitor. The joy drained from his face, and his expression chilled my blood. He managed to say a few more words to Michael, then he took the headphones off and just stared at the monitor with that terrible expression on his face.

But, Dale would be okay. Wouldn’t he? He’d been in much worse wrecks than that. He always pulled through. He might be a little stiff and sore, but he’d be okay. He was tough. He was invincible. He was Dale Earnhardt!!

As word spread, the fans gathered outside the race track. They gathered outside Dale Earnhardt, Inc. in Mooresville, North Carolina. They grieved. They stood in silence, a deafening silence, filled with the roar of the black number 3. The internet sprang to life. Our little site got more than 100,000 hits in the first 24 hours after his death. People from seven different countries, not counting the United States, left messages of condolence. Poems, songs, anecdotes and words of sympathy poured in. A country mourned the passing of a great man, arguably, the greatest race car driver that ever lived. NASCAR would never be the same again. The thrill was gone. The man whom thousands gathered to watch was no longer there. The heart went out of the sport.

I wrote a song too. It was to the tune of “Go Rest High On That Mountain”, performed by Vince Gill. Three weeks after his death I summoned up the courage to sing it at a karaoke bar. I dedicated the song to Dale, and as I began to sing, another unprecedented thing happened. The bar went totally silent. The pool players stopped playing and stood silently watching. No one talked, no ice rattled, no glasses clinked. Silence reigned as I sang:

You gave your fans a living legend,

We thrilled to hear that engine roar.

You weren’t afraid to face a challenge,

And now you knock on heaven’s door.

 

Go rest high on that mountain.

Son, your work on earth is done.

Go to heaven shouting

Love for the Father and the Son.

Oh, how we cried the day you left us.

We lost a hero and a friend.

You’ll always be my inspiration.

Your legacy will never end.

Go rest high on that mountain.

Son, your work on earth is done.

Go to heaven shouting

Love for the Father and the Son.

 

(1)  Quoted from At The Altar Of Speed by Leigh Montville, p.26

(1a) At The Altar Of Speed, p. 89

(2)  From At The Altar Of Speed, beginning of Chapter 10, p 169

(3)  Anchorage Daily News, Wednesday February 21, 2001, article by Chip   Williams.

(4)  interview on tv..don’t remember with who, but he was wearing a blue shirt, it’s on one of the memorial tapes too.    I believe it is accurate within a word or two.

(5) The Pass In The Grass, book by the Charlotte Observer, article by Tom Higgins, p. 85

(6) CD burned by Top Gun aka Bobby Heal (I don’t know where he got the recording)

(7) same as above

(8) same as above

(9) At The Altar Of Speed, p. 144

(10) Article in Bristol Herald Courier, Allen Gregory, reprinted in Bristol tribute pamphlet March 2001

Other sources are numerous articles in Winston Cup Scene

 

In life there are some hurdles you get over and some you don’t.  For the ones you don’t get over….well you keep trying until you do. —-Dale Earnhardt

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Uncategorized

Hey PeTA…Leave Our Dog Out of Your Propaganda

I love this article! This is indeed a time for profanity. It’s also a time for Canadians to take action but I worry about that. They are, after all, a country that allowed their guns to be taken away. They are very polite and obedient. That is the death of freedom.

Ray the Vicktory Dog

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“Good for Montreal”.  Those are the first words of an article PeTA posted on their website congratulating Montreal on a job well done.  They talk about spay/neuter, microchipping, and vaccinations and how much they appreciate the measures Montreal has taken to be responsible.  They however fail to address the sheer cruelty of the muzzle requirement. They don’t acknowledge that this law is designed to punish dogs for natural behaviors. They don’t say a word about the portion that penalizes outdoor cats.

But worst of all…the thing that makes my blood boil and makes me see red…they invoke the Vicktory Dogs.  They had the audacity to mention the Vicktory Dogs in their hideous, abhorrent article.

These are dogs that PeTA went to court to try and have euthanized.  They actually petitioned the court, and when the court wouldn’t listen, tried to sue to have the dogs killed.  They called them “ticking…

View original post 177 more words

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COPS KILL DOG AND PERSECUTE OWNER

On August 9, 2016, Tiffany Matteson was at her neighbor’s house when she heard a commotion at her place and several shots.   She rushed back to her home just in time to see her dog trying to crawl to safety after having been shot by a cop.  Police Officer Ronald Hall, who also doubled as a Code Enforcement Officer in the small town of Macedon, New York, had shot Sniper, her nine year old dog.

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Sniper was a pit/lab mix who had never shown aggression to anyone, much less bitten anyone.  Ronald Hall was trespassing on Matteson’s property without a warrant and without permission.  His purpose was to conduct a code enforcement inspection of the trailer she was remodeling.  Code enforcement officers must get permission before entering property according to New York lawyer Matt Albert.

Matteson asked Hall “What happened?  What’s going on?   Why did you just shoot my dog?”

Hall couldn’t give her a legal reason he was on her property.  Hall has a checkered past as a police officer.  In 2005, according to the Daily Messenger  [link here] he was acquitted of rape charge he incurred in 2002 and re-hired.  He was accused of having sex with an 18 year old girl who was too drunk to give consent.   Hall also serves as the firearms training enforcer for his department.

The Daily Messenger also reported that this department has history of re-hiring cops who have engaged in less than desirable behavior.  “The chief has something of a reputation for giving beleaguered cops a second chance in his department. In 2002, for instance, the Village Board hired Brian Sexstone, who made headlines on the Rochester force for his role in penning the so-called “ghetto lingo” memo that listed dozens of street slang terms. Sexstone left Palmyra after a few years and returned to Rochester, where late last year he was accused by a woman he arrested of making racial remarks. No formal charges have been filed in that case against him.”

According to Matteson, Hall had fired the killing shot in full view of a 15 year old child who was going to take care of Sniper, who was simply standing in a doorway.  Apparently his fear of a geriatric dog outweighed the chances of a child getting hurt by a ricochet or wayward shot.  When Matteson told him the dog was dying he responded, “Yeah.  Good.”

Matteson took her story to the media and opened a Facebook page, Justice for Sniper [link here] in an attempt to hold Hall accountable for his crimes.  She has also enlisted the services of Matt Albert, a New York lawyer known for his courage in going up against corrupt good ol’ boy police departments when they kill dogs.  Since then the upstanding law enforcement department of that town has persecuted her; they have given several tickets citing her for “harboring” an unlicensed dog.  In an interview with a Bloodhound News reporter, Matteson said “Yesterday evening, I had to sign my trailer back over to the park because the park is getting fined for us living in the camper and working on the trailer. The lot rent and security deposit of $880 is not being returned due to the fines the park is receiving. Not to mention the money I’ve put into the trailer already. The dog warden came yesterday and issued 3 tickets. Two for Sniper and one for my other dog. And code enforcement will be coming by sometime next week to see what violations there are that he can issue tickets for.”

Rather than apologizing and holding Hall accountable for breaking his oath and trampling upon the Fourth Amendment, this fine upstanding department has decided to get vindictive and petty and add insult to injury by even going after the trailer park owner.

The killing of family pets has become more than an epidemic, it is far worse than that.  The Department of Justice estimates that cops kill 20 to 24 dogs a day.   Other researchers such as the Puppycide Database [link here] estimate that the number is closer to 100 dogs a day nationwide, perhaps even higher.  Many killings go unreported for various reasons. According to The Free Thought Project, a police accountability group:  [link here]

“In 2014, the Free Thought Project reported on a Freedom of Information Act request for use of force incidents within the Buffalo police department. The information was shocking.  According to use of force reports, Buffalo Police shot 92 dogs from Jan. 1, 2011 through Sept. 2014. Seventy-three of those dogs died. Nineteen survived.  To provide a comparison, Buffalo’s numbers more than triple the amount of dog shooting incidents involving police in Cincinnati, a municipality of similar size. “The numbers are what the numbers are,” Buffalo Police Chief of Detectives Dennis Richards said in an interview with WGRZ in 2014. “Certainly, no officer takes any satisfaction in having to dispatch a dog.”  Apparently, however, they do. It is not like Buffalo residents have more dogs than other parts of the country. This department seemingly takes satisfaction in killing people’s dogs.”

Run a Google or Facebook search and literally hundreds of stories and justice pages pop up.  Hundreds of families have had their lives shattered.  Hundreds of families have experienced the utter horror of having to watch and listen while their dogs die screaming in agony and writing in a pool of blood while they are sometimes handcuffed and beaten for protesting.  Those who are supposed to “serve and protect” have become a dog owner’s worst nightmare.  Dogs have been shot and killed while restrained in numerous ways, on leashes, behind closed doors and in crates.   Multiple dogs have been killed when their owners acted as good samaritans and called cops to help others.  It is almost impossible to protect our dogs when cops hunt them down and kill them no matter how wrong, how immoral and how unconstitutional it is.

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Uncategorized

I Smoke Because Cops Kill Dogs

Why do I smoke?  I smoke because it helps me cope.  I smoke because cops kill dogs.   I smoke because I help the families of those dogs.  I smoke because I feel their grief and their rage.  I witness the horror and misery as they are often  handcuffed and beaten and forced to watch and listen as their dogs die shrieking in agony and thrashing around in a pool of blood. I watch as  neighbors and friends are prevented at gun point from helping the dog.  I watch as the families fall apart.  I watch them get divorces, I watch them turn to alcohol and drugs, I watch as they pull up stakes and move away from the horror that follows them.  I watch as they struggle to pay vet bills for the ones that do survive.

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I smoke because I feel their frustration and anger when nobody will help them.  I smoke because lawyers won’t take their cases; because city officials ignore them; because the cops are almost never held accountable.  I smoke because those we elected to speak for us refuse to help; because I feel the helplessness and despair of the victims.  I smoke because it helps me control my rage as I watch cops lie in the face of incontrovertible video proof; as I watch their supervisors support them in their lies.  I watch as they collapse in grief, cradling the body of their slaughtered pet.

I smoke because I feel their pain when  they have to watch their little girl’s leg get shattered by a bullet from a cop trying to shoot a dog; because they are struck in the head by an errant bullet and get permanent brain damage.  I smoke because I feel the pain of the man and child who watched their wife and mother die from being shot by a hysterical terrified cop trying to shoot their dog.

I watch.  I feel.  I grieve.  I rage.  I smoke.

 

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Opinion, Uncategorized

Draconian Facebook Community Standards

Have you ever been banned by Facebook for something you posted or someone else posted on a page you help manage?  Have you ever wondered what exactly was wrong with what you posted?  Have you been baffled, annoyed or downright angry?

A fellow admin on a conservative political page was banned for 30 days for this meme:

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The meme says “He vowed to unite the country, loved unconditionally by his base and promised them entitlements, censored media, supported strict gun control, took over healthcare, had his own symbol, wanted large centralized government.”  The words are superimposed over a black and white picture of Hitler with his back to the camera looking out over his troops which are performing for him.

Which community standard, exactly, does this violate?  Facebook says this:

“People use Facebook to share their experiences and to raise awareness about issues that are important to them. This means that you may encounter opinions that are different from yours, which we believe can lead to important conversations about difficult topics. To help balance the needs, safety, and interests of a diverse community, however, we may remove certain kinds of sensitive content or limit the audience that sees it. Learn more about how we do that here.

Hate Speech

Facebook removes hate speech, which includes content that directly attacks people based on their:

  • Race,
  • Ethnicity,
  • National origin,
  • Religious affiliation,
  • Sexual orientation,
  • Sex, gender, or gender identity, or
  • Serious disabilities or diseases.

Organizations and people dedicated to promoting hatred against these protected groups are not allowed a presence on Facebook. As with all of our standards, we rely on our community to report this content to us.

People can use Facebook to challenge ideas, institutions, and practices. Such discussion can promote debate and greater understanding. Sometimes people share content containing someone else’s hate speech for the purpose of raising awareness or educating others about that hate speech. When this is the case, we expect people to clearly indicate their purpose, which helps us better understand why they shared that content.

We allow humor, satire, or social commentary related to these topics, and we believe that when people use their authentic identity, they are more responsible when they share this kind of commentary. For that reason, we ask that Page owners associate their name and Facebook Profile with any content that is insensitive, even if that content does not violate our policies. As always, we urge people to be conscious of their audience when sharing this type of content.

While we work hard to remove hate speech, we also give you tools to avoid distasteful or offensive content. Learn more about the tools we offer to control what you see. You can also use Facebook to speak up and educate the community around you. Counter-speech in the form of accurate information and alternative viewpoints can help create a safer and more respectful environment.”

So, let’s run down the list.  Nudity – nope, no naked people here.  Hate speech – nope, just a statement of facts.  Violence and graphic content – nope, not a drop of blood or severed limb to be seen.  Take special note of this sentence in their standards:
“We allow humor, satire, or social commentary related to these topics…”
This is vague at best.  How does Facebook determine that something violates their community standards?  If someone reports something as offensive, the Facebook admins review it and take action; they either remove the offending content and notify the person who posted it, often threatening to delete the page on which it was posted or they notify the complainer that it does not violate standards.  If the same person gets reported multiple times, Facebook then levies a ban on them which can range from 24 hours to 30 days.
I have seen posts showing pictures of babies and children ripped into several pieces lying on blood-soaked sheets on pro-Islam pages.  I have reported these posts to Facebook as graphic violence.  I was told that those pictures did NOT violate their standards.  Yet a meme recounting historical fact without any kind of commentary, not even an opinion, is considered in violation.
Before we bring up the “free speech” argument, let’s see what the First Amendment actually says.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Free speech guidelines simply do not apply to a private individual running his own website.  Therefore Mark Zuckerberg and his minions are within their rights to censor whatever they want to censor.  We are subject to the whim of whichever admin happens to review the post being reported.  Is it wrong?  That completely depends on whether you like to be controlled or not.  Is it legal?  Yes, it’s legal.  Is it unfair?  Absolutely.  When two groups of people post the same type of content and one is punished and the other is not, it is unfair.
If you run a conservative or libertarian political page, Facebook will censor you.  Their interpretation of what is offensive or against their community standards is impossible to predict.  To be fair, they almost never remove content unless someone complains to them about it.  Guess who really runs Facebook.   Trolls.  Trolls run Facebook.  They are a group of people who do nothing but roam around Facebook looking for things to report.  They are nasty, pathetic little control freak bitches with no life, no human decency and a heart full of vindictiveness and hate.

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News

Philadelphia Cop Runs Over Dog And Kills It In Front Of Owner

On Sunday, August 9th, Sidara D. Son watched in horror as Sgt. Chad Culbreath, 35th Precinct, Badge #3207 of the Philadelphia Police Department ran down and killed her dog Phoebe.

Phoebe snuggles with her favorite toy

Phoebe snuggles with her favorite toy

Culbreath was on a routine patrol through the area.  Son and her friends were socializing outside her home.  One of her friends was holding Phoebe by the collar.  Sensing danger, Son and her friends tried to flag down the police car and asked him to slow down.  At that moment Phoebe escaped from the person holding her and tried to run to her owner.  According to witnesses, Sgt. Culbreath sped up his car and deliberately ran Phoebe down and almost hit the person who was trying to recapture her.

Son ran to her dog and gathered her broken, bleeding body into her arms.  Culbreath stopped his cruiser and got out.  “It’s just a dog!” he said scornfully, as Son screamed at him, wanting to know why he did that.  He threatened to arrest her for touching her dog!  He refused to let her leave to get Phoebe to the veterinarian and called for backup.  Five more cars arrived and blocked off the street so nobody could get in or out.  Culbreath’s supervisor, Sgt. Morrow, was one of the back up units.  He also stood by and refused to let Son take her dog to the veterinarian.  Sgt. Butler of animal control was on the scene too, and she informed Son that she would take the dog to Animal Control and euthanize it.  Son kept trying to make them let her take her dog to an emergency animal clinic.  Eventually they let her go, but it was too late, Phoebe died in her arms on the way.

Memorial erected to Phoebe by her friends and neighbors

Memorial erected to Phoebe by her friends and neighbors

Neither Culbreath’s supervisor Morrow, nor their superior, Derek Woods, have been able to be reached for comment.  Son has demanded an investigation and has been assured that one will be carried out.  Unfortunately those of us who follow these events know all too well what outcome that will have.

We spoke with Sidara D. Son in an exclusive interview.  She struggled for composure as she described the horrific scene.   “I have videos of the incident and I would like it to go viral,” she said. ” I want the truth to be seen by the world of how cruel and heartless Officer Culbreath was and how the Philadelphia police handled the situation.  Phoebe was not ‘just a dog’!  She was my child, my precious angel, she brought so much joy to my life.  I miss her so badly.”

Phoebe has a Facebook page here .  There is also a petition on the page asking for Culbreath to be terminated.   Son has handled this incredibly difficult situation very well and is determined to make positive things happen from this.  She has donated dozens of stuffed toys to her local animal charity in Phoebe’s memory and would like to see a law made that would hold cops accountable for killing dogs.  Ms. Son has embodied grace and dignity, in direct contrast to the callous way Sgt. Culbreath and his department handled the situation.

The animal advocacy group Freeze Don’t Shoot has determined that a family dog is killed by police every 56 to 98 minutes.  That does not account for the many that go unreported and unrecognized.  It is a horrific epidemic filled with brutality, cruelty, cowardice and hysteria.  It is unacceptable behavior from those who are supposed to be protecting us.

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