Brian S. Brooks, Oopsies

Yesterday I posted an email I received from University of Missouri Chancellor Brady J. Deaton.  The email elaborated on a previous email received by University students regarding vandalism on the University’s Black Culture Center.

This email was followed up by the one I posted yesterday.

These emails were met with general appreciation on the decision made by the University to suspend the studies, while simultaneously surprised with the Chancellor’s posting of the students’ full names.  Access to the full names of the alleged perpetrators hate crime through a newspaper or  the actual police report would not be surprising.  Nevertheless, for the chancellor of a university to openly post the full names in a system-wide email, that’s interesting.

Locally, Twitter was full of students’ commentary on various facts connected to the events from their involvement in the Navy ROTC program at the University to Zachary Tucker’s home address being on Cotton Tree Drive. (click here for screenshot)

However, if you were one of the  “best students” on Mizzou’s campus, you got another email… (thanks to @ColbyWG @tdankmyer @Temrey89, who are apparently in the category of Mizzou’s “best”, for sharing this information) (click here for screenshot)

Students,

As you may be aware, two MU students were arrested today in connection with a racist incident that involved dropping cotton balls on the lawn of the Black Culture Center. I am thankful that neither appears to be a student in the School of Journalism.

In general, the best students at MU are Journalism students, as evidenced by the selection of twelve Journalism majors among 39 graduating seniors honored as The Mizzou 39. Through this program, the MU Alumni Association honors MU’s most exceptional graduating seniors. Our graduates have the highest GPAs among graduating seniors on campus, and about a third graduate with Latin honors, which is the highest percentage of any school on campus.

You are, simply, the best.

When you have a great School like ours, it is imperative that it be a welcoming and open place for students of all races and religions. It also should be a place where political, sexual and other preferences are respected.

I’m sure I don’t need to say this, but I will in light of the recent events: The School of Journalism stands for diversity and tolerance. Please make sure your actions reflect those qualities, and please report any violations to me or the appropriate authorities.

Brian

I have put the most interesting sections in bold for emphasis.

I’m not someone that is particular sensitive to the word choice of “tolerance” or “preference”.  Normally it’s just one of those difficult things to dance around.  Is President Obama our first Black President of our first African-American President?

We of course know that saying you have an “Oriental” friend is not the same as saying you have an “Asian” or “Chinese” friend.  There is a right way and a wrong way and there is also the context in which this diction is included.  That seems to be what has Journalism students and students from several other Schools at the University upset.

Brian S. Brooks is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Administration at the School of Journalism here at Mizzou.  He called his students, “the best”, gloating at their achievements and their history.  He segregated his students from the others at the University.  He pointed out the differences between J-School students and every other major, touted their superiority, in an email about diversity “tolerance” and a hate crime on a minority!

However, when “tolerance” and “sexual…preference” are used in the context of an email promoting segregation and a superior population I do take offense, as do many others, including those marked as superior.

I did not choose my sexuality, just as I didn’t choose to be white.

I chose my degree, I choose this school, I chose my religion, I chose my political views.

To call my sexuality a preference, to suggest that diversity should be tolerated, rubs me the wrong way.  It’s a sort of “separate but equal” situation.  In a time where a crime against a minority group has occurred, in an email where that is being issued, segregating your students as “simple the best” is in poor taste and entirely inappropriate.

It falls along the lines of politicians using terrorist attacks to raise money for their re-election campaign, ie Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI).

I was in the dark about this entire scandal until last night and into this morning when I finally asked for info through Twitter, where the tweets were flying.   Apparently, Brooks sent out another email today.

Seriously?

So, Brian, since we’re on a first name basis, let’s discuss your latest email.  Was the first actually a message “in support of MU’s African American students?”  I sure didn’t see anything in there giving support towards them, words of inspiration, inclusion etc.  It was an email about the accomplishments of your students, how they are better than the other students.

Saying you have a “35-year track record of embracing diversity” is like when straight guys call someone a “faggot” or that something stupid/wrong is “gay” and then follow up with “I have a gay friend” as if that makes it ok for them to say something like that.  It doesn’t.

It doesn’t make it ok for former Vice President Dick Cheney to support anti-marriage equality (aka anti Gay Marriage Rights) because his daughter is gay.  Challenging those who disagreed with the first email to check your “track record” is nearly as insulting as the original email.

You can’t tout a track record of not discriminating.  What if I said…

I have a 25-year track record of not drowning puppies and I have dozens of pet owners who would attest to that.

I have a 25-year track record of not murdering Jews and I have dozens of Rabbis who would attest to that.

I have a 25-year track record of not disrespecting minorities and I have dozens of black/latino/gay/transgender/Muslim friends who would attest to that.

It doesn’t work that way.

Furthermore, it would appear you have violated the MU Mass Email Policy.

…Mass e-mail is considered an appropriate form for communication of an informational item under the following circumstances: Emergency or crisis situations (including closings and delays due to hazardous weather conditions or power outages, the need to provide special assistance to students, etc.); occurrence of crimes that threaten public safety; sudden changes in traffic, campus vehicular access, and parking due to emergencies; planned or sudden disruption of significant computer network features; other critical and time-sensitive situations affecting the campus as a whole.

This wasn’t an emergency or crisis situation, the crimes were not active (the email wasn’t really even about the crimes) and it had nothing to do with traffic, roads, vehicles, network outages etc.  According to the Policy, there is a fee for violations like this.

I’ve spent entirely too much time on this, plus I’m not one of the Journalism Elite.  I’m sure whatever I’ve written is far below Brian S Brooks standards (insert sarc mark).

What are your thoughts?

Why I Hate Amazon.com (right now)

This is why I hate Amazon.com (right now)

So last night, I finally made the jump and bought the Nikon D700 I’ve been wanting.  I didn’t technically have all the money saved up the way I wanted but I made the decision to jump in and get the new camera.

I went to Amazon.com and bought the Nikon D700 with a Tamrac Adventure 9 laptop/camera case, Sandisk UDMA Compact Flash memory card reader and a Nikon 24mm f2.8D lens.

The first two items I purchased on my company credit card.  I only used it because it extends the 1 year warranty into a 4 year warranty.  The rest of the items I purchased on my usual card.

But then I remembered that I could get next day air for only $3.99 per item for the camera and the bag.  So I did it.

I called Amazon.com and they said there would be an additional charge for $6.98 on my account to cover the new shipping costs.  Sounds great, no problem, awesome, thanks! I even went as far as to compliment Amazon.com on my twitter account.

Then, while out with Micheal at an admittedly, mostly crappy comedy show, I got an email from Amazon.com that my order could not be processed, that there was a problem with my credit card.

Not a good thing.  Probably made the rest of the comedy that much worse.

When I get home I check my account and see what happened.  Instead of Amazon.com charging me $2,459.90 for the original order of the camera and the bag with an additional charge of $7.98… they charged me $139.95 (for the bag) and then $2,319.95 (for the Nikon D700) adding up to a credit approval of $2,459.95…. but then they added the $6.99 (should hav ebeen $6.98) by running a charge of $2,459.90+7.99 separately.

Washington Mutual, my business credit card holder, was then hit with a second request of funds, which exceeded my limit on the card.  That was the problem.

This is why I hate Washington Mutual (right now)

Washington Mutual told me that in order to have that authorization lifted, so that the new charge could go through, I’d have to have Amazon.com call in and make the change.

I call Amazon.  The guy, who’s English I could barely understand, spends about 20 minutes trying to figure out what happened.  Once he does he says he has fixed it, that the order has gone through and that my camera and camera bag will arrive Thursday.

He says that he will send me an email with all that in it, that he has actually already sent it.  I also got his name just to be safe.

The email comes. It says the same thing the earlier email said. WTF.  This guy lied to me.

I call back.  This time I get a woman who is equally as impossible to understand.  She understands the situation more quickly and we make the call to Washington Mutual.

We sit on hold for… 30 minutes.

Washington Mutual says all they need from Amazon.com is their Merchant ID Number and they can immediately clear the old charge and approve the pending charge.

Amazon.com’s customer service woman has no idea what the number is and after two or three “trips” to her supervisor comes back and states that there is no such number.  WaMu will not release the charge without the number, which basically just proves that it truly is Amazon.com that they are talking to.

So now, instead of getting the camera in one day, it will be more like ten days.  And all because Amazon.com didn’t do as they originally stated.  They said they would charge me $7.98 for the  shipping.  If I had known this would happen, I would have said no to getting the camera one day sooner and have waited an extra 24 hours.  Now I’ll be waiting at least ten days for the authorization from Washington Mutual to expire so I can put in a request for another one.

I feel like Amazon should do something to fix the situation, but what?!  Big discount? Sure. But that doesn’t change the fact that I spent two hours on the phone trying to fix this and mostly that I am now $2,500 poorer with zero to show for it.  I don’t have access to that money and can’t send my business elsewhere.

So that is why I hate Amazon.com and Washington Mutual (right now).  If they fix this, then that hate will subside but until then, they are on my shit list and my short list of total fuckupery.

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Jeeps are Gay?

So I’m going through the Taco Bell drive through… yeah yeah… and what sits before me but two forms of hate.

First it’s a Jeep Cherokee, sure the Native Americans love a having an environment killing machine named after then.  Then on the back… Something all together different.

IMG_0252 

Do you see it?

No?  

Let’s look closer.

Wow.  I guess I don’t have to write what the second offense was.  How disappointing. Reminds me of my freshmen year at MIzzou in Wolpers.  Hmph.

P.S., sorry it isn’t better quality, struggling  with the iPhone, amazing I got it at all!

Sally Kern – Hate-monger

I’m sure by now you have all read about Sally Kern’s hate speech against homosexuals and followers of Islam.  Here is a recording of the speech, a transcript c/o the BBC follows.

I cannot believe that she is getting away with this. It’s just incredible. Listen and then go to the Human Rights Campaign site to see what you can do.

[flv:Sally-Kern.flv 425 325]

Full transcript of a speech by Sally Kern on the “gay agenda” with a backhanded slap at Islam

The homosexual agenda [Loud snap] is destroying this nation. OK? It’s just a fact. [Volume increases] Not everybody’s lifestyle is equal, just like not all religions are equal.

You know, the very fact that I’m talking to you like this here today, puts me in jeopardy. OK? Uh and I’m not anti, I’m not gay-bashing, but according to God’s word that is not the right kind of lifestyle, it has deadly consequences for those people involved in it, they have more suicides, uh and they’re more discouraged, there’s more illness, their uh lifespans are shorter, you know?

It’s, it’s, it’s not a lifestyle that is good for this nation.

‘Matter of fact, studies show, that no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than, you know, a few decades.

So it’s the death knell of this country.

I honestly think it’s the biggest threat even, that our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam, which I think is a big threat. OK?

Because what’s happening now, they’re going after er uh in schools – two year-olds!

You know why they’re trying to get early childhood education? They want to get our young children into the government schools so they can indoctrinate them! I taught school for close to twenty years and we’re not teaching facts and knowledge anymore folks, we’re teaching indoctrination. OK?

And they’re going after our young children, as young as two years of age, to try to teach them that the homosexual lifestyle is the acceptable lifestyle.

You know, gays are infiltrating city councils.

Do you know? Eureka Springs [Arkansas], anybody been there, for the [Great] Passion Play? [A “Creation Truth” production] OK, have you heard that the city council of Eureka Springs is now controlled by gays? OK?

There are some others. Uh, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Tacoma, Md.; Kensington, Md.; in Vermont, Oregon, West Palm Beach, Fla. and a lot of other places in Florida.

What’s happening? And they are winning elections. One of the things I deal with in our legislature, I tried to introduce a bill last year, that would notify parents, uh schools had to let parents know what clubs their students were involved in.

And the reason I did that bill, primarily, was this, we had the Gay-Straight Alliance coming into our schools.

Kids are getting involved in these groups, their lives are being ruined, their parents don’t know about it. So I introduced a bill that said you have to notify all clubs, and things. And one of my colleagues said, “Well, you know we don’t have a gay problem in my community, so that’s why I voted against that bill.”

Well you know what? To me that is so dumb. If you’ve got cancer or something in your little toe, do you say, Well you know I’m just gonna forget about it, ’cause the rest of you’s fine?

It spreads! OK?

And this, this stuff is deadly, and it’s spreading and it will destroy uh our young people, it will destroy this nation.

What To Do…?

Let’s get a solid back story here before I continue with the current situation.

I moved back to Columbia and brainstormed with Jim this great idea that we could move in together in this three bedroom apartment off campus with his boyfriend David. I didn’t really know David but he seemed like a nice enough guy, plus he was from Texas so I liked him that much more

Things worked out just fine for a good while. I mean, I had to do most if not all of the cleaning and every once in a while David would drink too much and be a little annoying. Nothing really bothered me too much except that I never got to hang out with Jim.

When I first moved in, I was super busy with work, I had about 40 hours a week over at Starbucks on top of class work. When my eyes got fucked up, again, I had to cut my hours to around 12-20 per week and then further when I got sick from the other stuff.

At one point I was pretty damn sick, I even had to take a cab to the emergency room. This was followed by three surgeries and some annoying preparatory and recovery procedures. Throughout all of this I never asked for a ride or anything special, except one time I did ask Jim if he could bring me to the hospital for my surgery, unfortunately he had class and couldn’t, that’s fine, I understood completely and never asked again.

Right before David moved out to finish his graduate requirements in Houston, he had this big drunken fit. He called me an asshole and many other mean and untrue things. It seemed then that he thought I didn’t want him to be with Jim and that I wanted to be with Jim.

Oh yeah, Jim and I dated years ago, for a few months. It never progressed to anything as serious as Jim’s last two relationships and we had both moved on completely, absolutely completely.

Jim and David moved out completely last… Saturday. Jim had asked if I could get the cable box to Mediacom that Friday or Thursday if he didn’t make it in time. I let him know that I would try but my last two days, Monday and Tuesday, in Columbia were already packed with work during Mediacom’s hours of operation and errands I had to run to get my shit together with my new apartment, work and planning for the rest of the summer. On Tuesday I literally had every hours planned out with appointments, ask Kevin, Geoff, Curtis, Chadd, my family…

Furthermore, I had told Jim that he could take it back whenever he wanted as all of my television watching was now done with my AppleTV. I only watched regular television in my bedroom or otherwise basic cable broadcast, I didn’t use the cable box function, at all.

Tuesday night I got out of work at 12:30am (which is actually Wednesday morning of course) and Geoff was kind enough to pick me up at Columbia Autobody about 10 miles north of town around 1:00am and bring me home. I finished laundry, packed my stuff up and at 4:30 a bus picked me up to bring me to the Saint Louis Airport.

On Monday or perhaps early Tuesday, I told Jim that I might not be able to make it to Mediacom until I got back into town, which would be a Sunday, the 17th, Mediacom opens the next day, Monday. I won’t have my car until the afternoon on Monday and I work in the afternoon Monday so who knows when I will actually be able to pick up my car, probably Tuesday.

David sent me a text message tonight because he was mad that I didn’t make it to Mediacom.

DSC_5552.JPG

I was immediately floored.  No one likes to get messages like that, especially when you feel that you are totally innocent of any wrongdoing.  Jim understood that I would try, but just as he had run out of time, I did not have the time.  I was stressed out about getting just my stuff done.  With a co-worker’s baby on the way, I had been given extra shifts, working as much as 14 hours a day on top of moving to my new place, planning and organizing trips to Austin, Houston, Indianapolis, Chicago, San Francisco and Santa Rosa, New York, Washington DC, Nashville and South Carolina.  Plus trying to figure out how I would pay for these trips and still afford to finish off my apartment.

Despite what some people think, I’m not rich and I don’t get everything I want from my parents.  If I can’t afford something right away, I save up my paychecks and wait until I can.  I’m very good at saving the money before products come out so I can get them as they arrive, such as the AppleTV and Airport Extreme and my iPods and such.

I called Jim to apologize if I had upset him and let him know that I would get it returned as soon as I could.  I also told him that David had sent me that really mean, unwarranted text message.  The phone service out here in the hill country isn’t so great and we got cut off twice, through kind words.  He apologized for David which isn’t something he should have done or had to do.  Jim had written me earlier saying if I could just get it done when I get back, OK.

Then I got another message from David.

David's 2nd Evil message

It just never ends.  I’m not sure what to do.  Micheal told me to just ignore David and not respond to him, save the friendship I have with Jim and forget that David and I had ever had this one sided conversation.

I have never responded to David’s accusations, his quips and whips.  I have never voiced my opinions of David to Jim and have never actively done anything to David.  He has used my computer to log into his email on Gmail.  He has printed from my printer or at least taken ALL of the paper out of my printer four times, the last time being their last day in Columbia.  Nothing like pulling an all-nighter to find your printer out of paper right before you have to run to class and turn in your report.

This summer I have been really enjoying work.  I have been hanging out with great old friends and making new ones.  I have made more new friends this semester than I ever expected; Ryan, Beau, Scott, Chadd, Justin, Nick, Carrie, John, Justin, Justin, Michelle, Jessica2, Scott…

I’m going to be in Washington DC for some eleven days visiting Landon and experiencing the Fourth of July at our Capital.  I really hope to hang out with Jim while I’m there and to spend some time exploring the city with Geoff when he arrives later in the week.  I am going to have a blast hanging out with Landon and his friends and expect to share those experiences with Jim.  We have been great friends through so much for so long.  We have helped each other through heartbreak, through depression and through some soul searching.  We have shared so many wonderful experiences and have grown up together into completely different people than the ones we were when we first met in 2003.

I love you Jim.I don’t think I’m a loser.  I think I’m a really nice guy with a winner personality and lots of wonderful friends like many of you reading my blog right now.  I don’t think I would have you as friends if I were a “fucking prick” a “loser” an “asshole”.

Now that that is out of the way, I’m going to get some sleep.  I have a busy day ahead of myself.