What Were They Thinking Wednesdays: Michael Babatunde Ayodele

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For the second time in less than two weeks, an arrest was made by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Dulles International Airport in Virginia.  Michael Babatunde Ayodele….WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??  Mr. Ayodele 19, of Queens, New York  was detained and subsequently arrested on attempting to smuggle 86 pellets of a substance that was later proved to be heroin.  How did Mr. Ayodele smuggle said substance on a plane from Nigeria to Virginia you ask??  In his stomach (YES, inside his stomach).  A CBP Supervisor stated that Mr. Ayodele sparked suspicion when his story on the nature of his visit to the country of Nigeria changed several times and was littered with inconsistencies.  While in custody Mr. Ayodele asked to use the restroom and when doing so tried to get rid of the substance that he carried inside him.  He passed 55 thumb-sized pellets, then tried to flush them…not knowing that the water to the bathroom had already been shut off…leaving him in a state of panic.  “So what did Mr. Ayodele do” you ask??  He tried to hide them in the wall of the facility (genius…i know).  Mr. Ayodele was then taken to a local hospital were he passed an additional 31 pellets totaling 86 pellets…1,089 grams of pure heroin (with a street value of $500,000).  Now he sits in a jail awaiting his next court appearance (which he is lucky to have).  Mr. Ayodele do you know if one…just one…of those pellets would have ruptured…your family and friends wouldn’t have to worry about a next court date…or accepting collect calls from you.  Their worries could have been much more severe…like planning a funeral for you.  Because with the purity of the substance and the amount you were carrying, the results could have been FATAL!!  So Mr. Ayodele upon reading this…just know that you will have years to think about the consequences of your actions… and also know that you’re lucky to still have the opportunity to do so!  Mr. Michael Babatunde Ayodele…WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??

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What Were They Thinking Wednesdays: Francesco Schettino

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The Costa Concordia Cruise ship capsized off the coast of Tuscany, Italy last week and with 11 people confirmed dead and an unconfirmed amount still missing my question for ship’s Captain Francesco Schettino is…WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??  Mr. Schettino (who doesn’t deserve the title Captain) was detained and later released from jail after being questioned by Italian Coast Guard Officials and is currently under home arrest for suspicion of manslaughter and abandoning ship.  Mr. Schettino has been accused of piloting the ship too fast to allow him to react to dangers causing the ship to wreck.  And even if his lack of judgment was a mistake on his behalf, the actions that he has displayed since the horrific accident can be called nothing short of “DESPICABLE”.  Mr. Schettino’s story has changed numerous times since being initially questioned by officials.  First he told investigators that he had abandoned the vessel (which is the first rule of what NOT to do as a captain), then he claimed that he had not abandoned ship but was “catapulted into the water” and the ship ran into a rock and began taking on water.  Mr. Schettino can you make up your mind….which “STORY” is it??  Since his initial statements, the Italian Coast Guard has released a transcript of the dialog between them and Mr. Schettino and it reveals that not only is he being un-truthful with his statements, but it shows that he was only interested in self-preservation and nothing else!  An official of the Coast Guard states that he demanded Mr. Schettino to re-board the ship and quotes him saying…”You get on Board…This is an order” and the transcript also states that Mr.Schettino was told..”You have ‘Abandoned Ship’!  Now I’m in charge.  You get back on board…is that clear?”  But Mr. Schettino, you didn’t.  You decided to abandon the 3200 passengers on board, as well as the 1,000 crew members who served underneath you – all of whom put their safety and lives in your hands.  And you failed them Sir!!  So when you’re reflecting on your actions I hope you understand that “CAPTAIN” isn’t just a title…it’s what you do as a leader…and I don’t believe you have any leadership qualities within you!!  Mr. Francesco Schettino…WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!!!???

Thoughts on Thursdays: End of War in Iraq

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Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta visited Iraq on Thursday, December 15, 2011 and officially declared an end to the war there – and after almost 9 years of fighting, 4,487 US troops lives being lost, 30,000 or more being wounded, and over 800 billion dollars of tax payer’s money being spent, I have only one question…WAS IT REALLY WORTH IT??  What did we as Americans gain from this war?  I know many of you have asked yourself that question as well, and I still haven’t come up with a suitable answer.  What I do know is the strain this war has inflicted on our military and their families.  I know most of our Armed Services men and women would never complain about a mission and the effects of it, but what about their families??  The kids whom parents’ missed their first steps.  The parents who missed their kids’ little league games.  The son who wanted his dad there when he drove his first car, or the daughter who just wanted her mom present when she had her first heartbreak.  Those and a number of other memories are now lost.  Not to mention the kids whose parents never returned from battle.  I know some of you will say that’s the sacrifice of war and we have to make those sacrifices so this country can be more safe.  But how much more safe are we??  The Iraq war didn’t stop other countries’ hatred of America…and I know this because of the numerous accounts of various groups still trying to plan attacks on this country.  So how safe are we really?  I guess that’s just a matter of your own interpretation.  But I’m not naive, I know war is a part of the world we live in.  But a war that has cost us so many casualties, a war that’s going to cost so much more in health care for our wounded, a war that has already cost this country 800 billion dollars in tax payer dollars…and all of these expenditures are occurring when we ourselves are going through a recession.  American citizens are homeless and don’t have a clue where their next meal is coming from.  We have Americans occupying our streets.  So again, my question would be…WAS IT REALLY WORTH IT??  JUST MY THOUGHTS PEOPLE!!!!

It’s Monday: John Hinckley, Jr. Free?

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A federal Judge is weighing a request by doctors and therapists to expand the liberties and freedoms of a patient that has been hospitalized for over 30 years.  And you would think if the doctors are recommending this, the patient has exhibited signs that his illness has become increasingly better and they may be ready to rejoin us in society (in some form or fashion).  And all of that may be true for any other patient, but this patient’s name is John Hinckley Jr (yes…that John Hinckley Jr).  And for those of you whom that name doesn’t resonate with, John Hinckley Jr. is the man who in 1981 tried to assassinate then president, Ronald Reagan.  So now you see why this is such a dilemma!  President Reagan, along with 3 others, was wounded in the attack perpetrated by Mr. Hinckley and Federal Prosecutors in NO WAY want to extend more freedom to a man who once tried to murder a sitting President.  And I have to say that I agree with them!!  Now I know that at the time Mr. Hinckley wasn’t a person of sound mind and suffered from mental illness and delusions, and through therapy and mental health care Mr. Hinckley is doing better.  And normally if the doctors who have worked with him for decades share their diagnosis, then I would say…extend Mr. Hinckley’s visits.  Allow him to move to his mother’s hometown.  Allow this man to continue on his path to finding some type of normalcy in his life.  But are we forgetting what happened here??  Mr. Hinckley shot a President!!!  And even though he wasn’t at the time mentally able to distinguish right from wrong, the outcome remains the same.  What type of precedent will we be setting??  Are we allowing people who try and murder the leader of our country to do 30 years and then release him back into the world?  I know its not that cut and dry and Mr. Hinckley will continue to live under restrictions and monitoring but still…he tried to murder the President!!  And for all of you who are disagreeing with what I’m saying…I’m not saying Mr. Hinckley shouldn’t continue receiving the treatments and therapy that he is receiving, I just think expanding his freedoms and giving him some of the liberties that many of us law abiding citizens enjoy on a daily basis is a bit much for me!!!!

Thoughts on Thursdays: Moammar Gadhafi dead. Why Celebrate?

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Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has reportedly either been captured or killed by rebel forces and my thoughts are…why all the celebration?  I know what most of you will say: he was a ruthless dictator who has killed his own people!  He also has attained riches through the oil trade while many of his fellow countrymen starved to death and have been left destitute and homeless on the streets.  He has unrighteously enjoyed an opulent lifestyle for the past 40 years.

But my question to you is: what makes him any different than the rest of the other heads of a country, and the leaders of governments all around the world,  including the one we live in?  Before you start ranting and raving that I’m comparing Mr. Gadhafi to the current President of the United States, Barack Obama, or the leaders of congress that are currently serving that is NOT WHAT I AM SAYING!!  What I’m saying is this: as Americans, we live in a country where if you poll a certain demographic they may express to you similar injustices that the Libyan people have been witness too. For example, some may say that The United States of America has entered into and fought wars over the past decade that have been sparked by rhetoric of another country having weapons of mass destruction and were a threat to our national security.  This has, at times, turned out to be misinformation at best, or can be argued as a blatant misrepresentation of the facts.  These instances have lead to numerous deaths of our soldiers and the men, women, and children of those countries that we engaged in these wars.  So I’m sure if you ask a portion of the families that have lost loved ones, some would blame THIS country for their loved one’s death. 

Also if you haven’t been living under a rock lately, you may have noticed on your nightly news, newspaper or your favorite internet search engine, that there is a group of Americans that are currently occupying city streets, parks and roads in many states, including the Nations Capitol, because they feel their Government is unjust and our economic system is currently broken and needs to be fixed immediately.  These Americans have been fired from jobs, they can’t gain employment, and with their unemployment benefits running out soon they don’t know which way to turn.  Some are starving and hungry, they’re being evicted and foreclosed out of their homes, and the desperation is at a fever’s pitch.  But there are some who don’t have these issues, “The Privileged”, the Wall Street movers and shakers that our government protects with their laws and tax codes for their own selfish needs, wants and desires. There are some who are raking in massive amounts of profits during this time, there are some who are planning when and where they will be taking their next extended vacation or re-decorating their summer home while their fellow countrymen are sleeping in the streets to protest the current system and the flaws that it operates under.  If this sounds similar to what you have read earlier in the post about Mr. Gadhafi and why he was a tyrant and should have been captured/killed… I say this say to you: you might want to lay off the confetti and streamers on your “HE’S DEAD!!!!” celebrations.  And instead take a long look in the mirror at your own country.  You may not like what you see!!  Just My Thoughts People…