Where there’s smoke…

The United States exists in a special place among all nations every created. We are the only nation specifically  created with the ideal that a person is more than what they look like OR who they worship OR what they believe OR who they love OR how much they have OR who they are related to. We insist that each person is the same at the moment of birth. That there is no built-in advantage or disadvantage within each person.

All of our words say that. Even if our actions don’t. But it is those words that have made America that Shining City On A Hill that Reagan dreamt dewy-eyed about. It is those words and the moral weight that goes with them which left us as the only remaining superpower. Coupled with our wealth, we wield that moral authority to tell others what is expected of them AND to keep our enemies in check.

Once lost, so are we.

If 117 countries see us as human rights violators, we are on our way to the dustbin of history that is reserved for all empires. If those countries include some that are our allies or that are not actively our opponents, we look even worse.

“Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching.”

We have joined some of the worst actors in the world as a country of concern to the United Nations Human Rights Council. China, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Cuba and, now, the United States. For something that is easily remedied by requiring the government at all levels to act as if Black Lives Matter. To stop treating Black Americans like an afterthought as a matter of official (albeit de facto) policy.

We must recognize that the closer the level of government is to the citizen, the worse it is at discriminating against the disenfranchised. Local rule was fine when this country was first created but it is useless in today’s world. In fact, it is counterproductive and just adds to our problem.

This is a job for the Federal government. Now.


Danger, Will Robinson

“Them thug niggas up there need to find that bitch! And thats all it is to it!!!

– Facebook User in response to the killing of unarmed Terrence Crutcher by Officer Betty Shelby in Tulsa, OK

Those are the words we should have all been dreading.  The wish by Blacks that the element that preys on them will turn their wrath onto the other element that preys on them. Doing what all marginalized people do. Turn to the strong within their tribe to protect them from the enemy outside. The enemy, which is slowly moving from the police to the government in general.

Just leave us alone and fight it out with each other

The police should be thrilled to hear this. They’ve used as justification for all of the unjustified killing of Black men that they were confused/worried/concerned about the threat that Black men pose. They are bigger than they are. They are older than they are. They are more impervious to pain than they are. They are so much more than they are.

And that’s why the need for assault rifles, armored personnel carriers, sound cannons, body armor, all of the baubles of war that today’s police force in America deploys to keep their charges subdued safe. That’s why the continual need to turn the other way, to wink at a bit of the old ultra-violence when dealing with the jigs.Gotta let them know who’s boss or nice White folks will be in danger. They are already coming after our women. Next, will be our money. Our jobs. Our neighborhoods.

Our power.

Secret interrogation facilities in Chicago? No problem. Rough riding in Baltimore? Sure. Stop-and-frisk? Absolutely. All part of keeping the animals in the jungle. And keeping the jungle from coming to the suburbs.

But even animals get tired. You kick a dog enough and, eventually, it will bite. Blacks are tired of getting kicked.

Seems like time for some biting has come.




Acadia National Park III

RiverHouse Photography of Caughdenoy, NY: Shots By Ness &emdash; “Age has no reality except in the physical world. The essence of a human being is resistant to the passage of time. Our inner lives are eternal, which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we were in full bloom. Think of love as a state of grace, not the means to anything, but the alpha and omega. An end in itself.”
Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

Click on image for Art Print or Royalty Free Commercial License.

© RiverHouse Photography of Caughdenoy, new York



RiverHouse Photography of Caughdenoy, NY: Shots By Ness &emdash;

“There is, I believe, no person, however insignificant in the world, but, if an account of his life and adventures were committed to paper, would be entertaining in some degree: the follies of our own life, and those we are liable to be drawn into by others, will constantly afford matter for serious reflection.”

Henry Spencer Ashbee

Click on image for Art Print or Download.

Images © RiverHouse Photography of Caughdenoy, new York


South Beach

RiverHouse Photography of Caughdenoy, NY: Shots By Ness &emdash;

“If pinpointing God’s presence were really that simple, then he supposed the beaches would be more crowded in the mornings. They would be filled with people on their own quests, instead of people jogging or walking their dogs or fishing in the surf.”

Nicholas Sparks, The Last Song

Click on image for Art Print or Download.

Images © RiverHouse Photography of Caughdenoy, new York