Thursday, July 24, 2014

Marrisa's Continued Struggle

Marissa Alexander...This woman continues to struggle...What is wrong with the state of Florida and why is it slowly becoming the new Mississippi?

In case you are not familliar with the case-33 year old, Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville, Fla., received a 20-year prison sentence, Friday, May 11, 2012, for firing warning shots against her allegedly abusive husband.

A judge has denied her request to use Florida's "stand your ground" law as a defense for attempted murder charges that arose after she fired a gun at her husband.

In an order dated earlier this month, Duval County Circuit Court Judge James Daniel rejected 33-year-old Marissa Alexander's request to use the defense at her retrial.
Alexander was previously denied immunity under the state's self-defense law and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
However, that conviction was thrown out by an appeals court, which ruled the trial court mistakenly put the burden on Alexander to prove her husband abused her and that she acted in self-defense.

Marissa Alexander's new trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 1.

I don’t understand why she was even indicted for Attempted Murder….Since no one was injured….She fired into the ceiling….The state’s only argument is that she had technically left the house and was reasonably safe and she re-entered the house and fired a weapon…

The most she scould be charged with is firing a weapon in a public residence and even THAT is stretching it a whole lot…..She shouldn’t be in custody at all!!! How is she in custody and George Zimmerman , who killed an unarmed teenager is a free man?

What is wrong with this picture??

A Perplexing Situation


I am a product of the Philadelphia Public School System...I'd like to think that I got a pretty good education when I was a part of it too...

I don't know if the children in the system today can say the same..

My grandchildren are part of it today...My grandson is headed to the third day and one of my grand-daughters is headed to kintergarden....What awaits them?

I'm scared.....If you have children in the Philadelphia Public Schools you should be afraid..

The leadership is clueless and State Government could care less.....Our children...Are headed to unemployment,illiteracy and ultimately prison...

What kind of ass quote my grandmother, Rebecca...leadership throws more money into locking people up than educating them??

You tell me...In India, Sweden, China,Japan and Germany it's the exact opposite...They toss millions into education...Their children are ahead of American children in Math and Science and their quality of life is steadily rising above ours..

Today the leadership of the Philadelphia School System all but raised the red flag..

If you have an idea for overhauling a city public school, the Philadelphia School District is listening.

Officials on Tuesday announced the "School Redesign Initiative," inviting teachers, principals, universities, and community organizations to propose turnarounds of their own design.

That's a shift for a system that has relied heavily on charter conversions to reform struggling schools. Schools slated for redesign would remain part of the district and would continue to employ union-represented teachers.

As many as 10 schools could be transformed beginning in September 2015.

That means closed and converted to a charter school or just closed...

Successful teams would receive grants of up to $30,000 - to be raised through donations - to plan the overhauls, although teachers on redesign teams would have to do the work on their own time, and schools are not guaranteed bigger budgets to make the changes.

For a district where the ongoing budget crisis has cast a shadow over everything - including whether schools might open on time - it's a big step. But it's a necessary one, said Paul Kihn, deputy superintendent.

"It's really important that there be an outlet for all of the energy that we feel and hear about, even amid the financial turmoil of the district," Kihn said. "If we want to attract and keep all of the really terrific teachers and principals that we have here, they have to have an outlet for their energy and passion."

For a decade or more, the district has attempted school turnarounds with varying degrees of success. Some in-house turnaround schools - "Promise Academies" - still exist, but those overhauls were directed by the central office and have lost resources over the years, as the district's money woes have grown.

Officials said School Redesign Initiative schools would be different.

"We have a moral obligation to ensure that all schools are providing a high-quality educational experience for our students," according to a district document. "

For too long, and despite many well-intentioned efforts by hardworking individuals, we have not met our obligations. Increasing the availability of high-quality learning experiences for children is our fundamental priority."

Ryan Stewart, the district's executive director of the Office of School Improvement and Innovation, said the effort is a response to employees' wishes, and is guided both by other districts' work in this area and by lessons learned from current and failed district turnarounds.

"There have been calls for more opportunities for teachers to step up and take leadership roles," Stewart said. "We want to create that platform to ignite and excite local educators to do this work."

Teachers have been invited to submit turnaround plans in the past, but all have been rejected. Kihn and Stewart said the new process is designed to help teachers succeed.
Teams must submit letters of intent by Aug. 19, but will have until Oct. 10 to formulate proposals, and will have district support to do so. Final selections will be made in November.

In addition to the grant funding, successful teams will receive work space, connections to experts, and networking opportunities, officials said.

Those eligible to apply include current school leadership teams, teacher-led teams, collaborations among school families, community organizations, or universities in partnership with educators, and other groups.

All teams must have at least one member who is a principal or holds valid Pennsylvania principal certification.

Applications may be submitted for any district school except current Promise Academies, but funding will only be granted for the district's lowest-performing schools.

The new initiative does not mean the end for charter conversions and Promise Academies, officials said. Those options will still be open to the School Reform Commission.

As so many things in the district do, the program hinges on Harrisburg legislators' signing off on a $2-per-pack cigarette tax that would yield the district millions. Lawmakers return Aug. 4 to decide the tax's fate.

Without that money, Kihn said, "everything comes into question."
Reaction to the announcement was mixed.

Teacher voices need to be heard and incorporated into school design more, said Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. But he remains skeptical.
"I find the timing of this very strange," Jordan said. "It comes at a time when the district doesn't have sufficient resources to provide all the children in all of our schools the programs and services they need to get a high-quality education."

Timothy Boyle, a teacher at Chester Arthur Elementary, said his early reaction was that the program appeared to be a "home run. This is what people in my position have been asking for."

An eight-year veteran of the district, Boyle has seen reform efforts come and go, and he knows there are possible pitfalls to the program: How do you give your all to your teaching position and plan an ambitious school turnaround? How do you make a transformation work without a guarantee of additional money?

Arthur doesn't fall into the category of target schools for the program, but he's still intrigued.

"This is a really attractive option for me personally," Boyle said. "This is work that I'm interested in."

I never thought I'd see a day when schools would be up for auction....Legislators seem to find money to do things they want to do...Like go to war,like send aid to some foreign country,like give themselves a raise...But they never do the right thing with the money...They never invest in the people right here...

Why is it other countries do?   I'm just asking!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

If You Think This President Had A Rocky Ride....

Allow me to speculate for a minute!  We know how racism went off the meter during both elections in 2008 and 2012 in which this country elected it's first African-American President....So assuming...just assuming that it elects it's first female President in 2016....Though it's way too early to even speculate on that...Would sexism also rise off of the meters???????...

Someone in the loop seems to feel as though it would...
Former House Democrat Pat Schroeder predicts that Hillary Clinton would face "a lot of sexism" if she decides to run for president in 2016.

Schroeder served in the House from 1973 to 1997 as the first woman elected to Congress from Colorado. Now 73, she appears in "Makers: Women in Politics," a film airing this fall on PBS.

She was asked about Hillary Clinton on Tuesday at a summer TV critics' meeting.
"She's still going to have a lot of sexism," Schroeder said. "I can't believe there's people saying can she still be a grandmother and be a president. There are people making snide comments about her age. It's a little more subdued sexism, but it's very much there."

Hillary Clinton, 66, has yet to announce whether she even intends to run in 2016. The former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state will become a grandmother this year when her daughter Chelsea gives birth.

Pat Schroeder said she believes Hillary Clinton would bring a different approach to working with critics than President Obama.

"She understands how mean they are and she understands she's got to come back at them with more force," Schroeder said. "President Obama thought he could bring everyone together. That just isn't working in Washington right now." Don't we know that?

Pat Schroeder ran for president but withdrew from contention in September 1987. While in Congress, she was the first woman to serve on the House Armed Services Committee.

She balanced congressional work with motherhood early in her tenure and was known for her focus on work-family issues.

Understanding how mean they are and coming back with more force is not the answer..Voting them out of office and voting in more sensible candidates is the answer. 

The way things are now in the beltway...Nothing will be able to get done regardless of who is in the white house...The system needs an overhaul....Dare I say it?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Vivid Dream

I haven't written a personal post like this since the early days of my blog...but I had to write about this.....

Last Night I had what began as one of the nicest dreams I've had in awhile and then everything went sideways....I dreamed that me, along with my wife, my daughter,my son in law and my three grandchildren and an assortment of cousins(some that don't even live in Philly..) got on the El at 69th Street...Okay,that should have clued me in that this was in fact a dream...we got on and there was a D.J. (Another clue,but it got by me) The music was hot...everybody was swaying to the beat and clapping their hands...They were serving drinks and hot platters of food..People were smiling,laughing...having a good time...My grandson was sitting in the conductor's car with the engineer...Happy as a lark...

I had on an Italian tailored suit with an ascot and sunglasses and was going up and down the aisles laughing and talking with all the guests as the train roared on down the tracks..It was a tight groove....Then somewhere in the Northeast...The train stopped at some strange station called "Rest Stop"...I got off just to stretch my legs a bit and the door closed!!!! I was running trying to catch the train...Yelling-"HEYYYY, WAIT..WAIT A MINUTE...WAIT!!!!" and the train pulled off without me....

To make matters worse....My nice suit was gone...I was standing there in boxer shorts and a wife beater with a stocking cap on......I was pissed!! That's when I woke up...I was so mad I punched the bed....My wife was laying there just as peaceful as ever...Sleeping soundly like she always does...I envy her that.....I've been up a few hours and I'm still mad! It's bad when you can't win in your own dreams!

 Reminds me of that Stevie Wonder song -"Rocket Love" You took me riding on a rocket, gave me a star,but at a half a mile from heaven...You dropped me back into this cold....cold"

A Therapist would have a field day with this...They might say that I won't allow myself to be happy or something of that nature...A religious person might have another spin on it...Who can say? Hopefully some of you got a good laugh out of this...

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Death In New York

You know...I always hope I won't have to write another one of these posts....I always hope that in America, we will get over our racial nightmare...We'll get past the ignorance, the hate and most of all the fear....But that's a long time coming...

Another Black man is dead...Another Black man is needlessly murdered and just like in the cases of Trayvon Martin, Jordin Davis and Emmett Till....I have little hope that anything will come of it...That anything will be done about it...

Most of  white Americans will already say that Eric Garner deserves to be dead because hell..He was a Black male and he must have broken the law...Two white policemen wouldn't just kill him in cold blood?

Well would they?

Despite media reports to the contrary, no determination has been made on the cause and manner of Eric Garner's death, a spokeswoman for the city medical examiner's office said Sunday.

"The cause and manner of death are pending further studies, and no findings will be released until the investigation is complete," a statement released by the medical examiner's office reads. "Any other information or suggestion to the contrary is simply not true."

Media reports that have cited "preliminary" autopsy results are "not accurate," OCME spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said.

"The medical examiner's office has not released any preliminary findings," she said. "We certainly don't discuss preliminary findings."

An autopsy of Eric Garner, who died shortly after an altercation with police in front of a beauty supply store in Tompkinsville on Thursday, had been scheduled for Friday afternoon.

Police have said Eric Garner went into cardiac arrest after officers attempted to arrest him on charges of selling untaxed cigarettes, and that he was pronounced dead on arrival at Richmond University Medical Center, West Brighton.

However, cell phone video taken as the scene unfolded on Bay Street Thursday show an officer, since identified as Daniel Pantaleo, putting Garner in a banned choke hold and dragging him to the pavement with the help of other officers.

Eric Garner can be heard in the video repeatedly gasping, "I can't breathe! I can't breathe!"

Demanding justice for Garner and his family, hundreds of New Yorkers, led by Rev. Al Sharpton, converged on Staten Island Saturday for a peaceful rally and march to the 120th Precinct stationhouse in St. George.

"We've been to the tape. And the tape speaks for itself," Reverend Sharpton said Saturday before a crowd gathered at Mount Sinai Center for Community Enrichment in New Brighton. "From what I saw in the video, [the police] disrespected [Garner's] humanity."

Daniel Pantaleo, an 8-year NYPD veteran, has been stripped of his gun and shield, and will work in a non-enforcement capacity until further notice, an NYPD spokesman confirmed Saturday.

Some White people will say that the fact that he was selling untaxed cigarettes is justification for him being put in a choke hold and choked to death.....But let me tell them this...There have been White Mass Murderers who have been treated with more dignity,more humanity....Since when does a man have to die for selling loosies? And if this man was Blonde and blue eyed and from the suburbs, would you feel the same way?

Nobody should die like this...I don't care what race or nationality....Nobody should have died like Trayvonn Martin or Jordan Davis....or Emmett Till...I'm tired...I'm sick and tired of Black men being demonized in this country and their deaths being justified by some White Americans too filled with hatred to be logical...

I'm sick of some Black males devaluing their own lives and shooting and killing each other in Chicago, Philly,Los Angelas, East St. Louis,Detroit, Baltimore and Washington D.C.   I'm tired of us dying period...
My question is...Are enough people sick and tired enough to do something?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

More Weekend Humor

A woman is making pancakes for her kids, and the kids start arguing over who is going to get the first pancake. 

Deciding it's a good time for a morality lesson, she says to them,

 "You know, if Jesus were sitting here, He would say 'let my brother have the first pancake'." 

One of the brothers looks at the other and says,

 "Okay, you be Jesus!"

Continue to have a super groovy weekend everybody!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Weekend Humor

You know...Can you believe what people do in the church these days?

I was in the church listening to the preacher's sermon when I saw a guy smoking cigarettes inside the church.
Yeah? Smoking a cigarette in church like it was nothing....

I was so amazed and appalled that I didn't know when the bottle of beer I was sipping fell on the floor.

Have a Super Groovy Weekend everyone...!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

You Really Can't Go Home Again-Reprint

(Since I have obviously been suffering from writers block lately....(All of my Escapades posts were written and scheduled a month ago ,so that blog doesn't count) I've decided to repost some of my favorite pieces from the early days of this this piece originally posted on August 19,2009)

The night before last, I was listening to some really good music from out of my pre-adolescent past... Issac Hayes, David Porter, Curtis Mayfield, Temptations, Chairman of the Board, Freda Payne, and an assortment of others who are long forgotten now, except by people of a certain age bracket. The music brought back some fond memories.

The next day, I loaded up my CD player in the car with Stevie Wonder's 1972 breakout album "Music Of My mind", The Main Ingredient's "Afrodisiac", Black Ivory's "Don't Turn Around", and then, I took off for work. The difference is, I didn't go my usual route. I drove through a neighborhood... an old neighborhood that I used to live in, used to hang out in, and used to feel pretty good in.

I know that I am dating myself by saying this but, the music sounded so much better in my car than it ever did when I had a record player (not a turntable but a record player) because the record ticked, popped, and pinged as it played. This music was from a certain summer, which I'm not going to talk about on this post, that was particularly nice. I had my first real girlfriend, I learned how to swim, and I started growing that summer, if you know what I mean (and I figure if you're over 13 years old, you do).

I rolled my car window down and I could almost smell the faint odors of pizza, hot dogs, and marijuana that was just beginning to be experimented with by some of my more "advanced" friends. We were becoming teenagers and the whole world seemed new. The music was good and the times were good.

The wonder of selective amnesia... I peered around at this neighborhood and a lot of the homes which had been so well kept were now boarded up. This was a tree-lined block and even the trees were gone. A lot of the "characters" I knew are now dead or, at least, not living around there anymore. The girls are now women with children and some are like me, grandparents by now.

 I liked taking the trip back down memory lane but, at the same time, I wouldn't trade all that I have learned and all that I have become to go back to that point in time again. It was just nice to remember it. You really can't go home again. You should only just drive by, look, smile, and keep going, as I did. So, I started my car, smiled, and pulled off towards the road that would lead me to my job.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

20 Things You May Not Have known About Me (or Cared) -Reprint

(Since I have obviously been suffering from writers block lately....(All of my escapades posts were written and scheduled a month ago ,so that blog doesn't count) I've decided to repost some of my favorite pieces from the early days of this this piece originally posted on July 31, 2008)

This was me... a future blogger!
(And yes, they had color pictures when I was a baby-lol.)

Okay, I know this is purely a fluff piece and every blogger and his mama has done one like this... but hey, it's a slow news night so, here goes.

1. I was born on the Monday after Easter of the year I was born.

2. At age 14, I was already 6ft tall and towered over both of my parents.

3. I love libraries and book stores.

4. Because of my early love of reading and because I read everything, I'm a walking encyclopedia of facts that nobody else cares about. I was dubbed the "King of Trivia" by one of my college roommates.

5. I once sold women's shoes... the pay wasn't great but, it was a nice way to make small talk and meet girls. (I met several during this time.)

6. I once worked as a pool cleaner (for the Department of Recreation, City of Philadelphia-lol). This was another nice way to meet women. Me and a friend would close the pool to clean it and fill it back up... and then, let the neighborhood girls back in late at night to swim. We weren't supposed to do that but, we never got caught. We probably ruined it for some teenager with the same summer job.

7. The first president that I was old enough to vote for was Jimmy Carter in 1976 (I didn't vote though, I was away in college).

8. The first time I actually voted was in 1980. (Jimmy Carter was running for president again but this time, he lost to Ronald Reagan).

9. I came very close to pledging Omega Psi Phi and then one night, I saw the Kappas stepping with canes. I was mesmerized so, I changed my mind and changed my life forever.

10. I practically lived with a Delta yet, had my heart broken by two AKA's (at different times... not the same semester).

11. After college, I considered joining the Navy, then enlisted in the Air Force instead.

12. I actually met the future "Mrs. Keith" in a video store.

13. I got married on the lawn of my parents home in New Jersey in 1989.

14. I am allergic to seafood but, would really love to try it. People look like they really enjoy it so much.

15. I love to cook (I'm actually pretty good at it, if I do say so myself).

16. (This should have been number one.) I got baptized and gave my life to the Lord in 1991.

17. I have been in only one fist fight since the 8th grade. (Some unfortunate guy called me the "N" word in 1984 and I hit him with a piece of plywood! I was 26 and hot tempered... what did I know?)

18. I didn't particularly like jocks yet, I lettered in two sports... track (in high school and college) and Soccer (in college). Yeah, I was the odd black guy on the team!

19. I can sing.

20. I'm a (closet) hopeless romantic.

Monday, July 14, 2014

And Now..A Word From Our Sponser

Truth hurts doesn't it?  I've been saying this all along....But everytime this President has proposed doing this..Something that would create jobs and put a lot of people to work...These same republicans have pooh poohed it...They won't be happy until the USA is a third world country with only the very wealthy and the extremely poor..

From the looks of things...It's almost there! Just something to think about!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Friday, July 11, 2014

Swingggg And A Missss....

Boehner and the Republicans have been threatening to sue President Obama for the past few weeks now...In fact...I wrote about this a few weeks ago....They say he's an out of control tyrant....

This is laughable....but anyway...They have threatened this for weeks... So yesterday when Speaker John Boehner faced a put-up-or-shut-up challenge, he blew it....

Once again...Much ado about nothing...and I mean, really Nothing...

We and by we...I mean the American public, first learned about House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) plan to file yet another anti-Obama lawsuit on June 24, more than two full weeks ago.
Asked for an explanation, the Republican leader struggled, Cat had his tongue – John Boehner knew he wanted to sue the president, though he didn’t know why – which is no surprise...This was just political theater ,but the in the process, he gave his team all kinds of time to think of something....ANYTHING!!!
As the put-up-or-shut-up moment approached, the pressure was on the Speaker to follow through in a big way. Yesterday, Speaker, John Boehner blew it.
Speaker John Boehner has released a bill that would authorize him to sue the White House over its implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
“The current president believes he has the power to make his own laws – at times even boasting about it,” Boehner said in a statement Thursday. “He has said that if Congress won’t make the laws he wants, he’ll go ahead and make them himself, and in the case of the employer mandate in his health care law, that’s exactly what he did.”
In reality, delaying implementation of a minor provision of a law and making law unilaterally are not the same thing. Indeed, the Speaker’s office went on to say the White House “literally waived” the law, which simply isn’t true – delaying part of a law isn’t the same as literally waiving it. Those who can’t understand the difference probably shouldn’t pursue a career in legislating.
Regardless, even many of President Obama’s most vituperative critics would be forgiven for asking,That’s it? This is all you got? at this point. For weeks, John Boehner characterized the president as an out-of-control tyrant, but when push came to shove, the Speaker ignored his party’s concerns about immigration, the environment, and economic measures, and instead moved forward on one thing: a year-old delay in an obscure policy most people have never heard of.
For all the overheated rhetoric about the president’s lengthy list of abuses, this was the best Boehner could come up with. As Brian Beutler put it, “Today’s story is that the GOP has spent weeks and weeks accusing Obama of unbridled lawlessness, when they didn’t really have the goods.” Why is anyone sujrprised at this?  Haven't I been saying this all along??
Looking ahead, what’s the likely result of the lawsuit? It’s probably easier to consider this in Q&A form.
* What’s first? The House majority will have to agree to move forward with Boehner’s litigation plan, at which point it’ll go to federal court, where Republicans will have to demonstrate they have standing.
* Won’t that be difficult for the GOP? Almost certainly, yes. When filing a lawsuit, a plaintiff needs to be able to demonstrate that he or she has been harmed – or faces the threat of harm – in some demonstrable way. House Republicans upset about an implementation delay can’t simply go to court and argue to the judge, “We don’t like the president.” They’ll need to show how they’ve been adversely affected by the delay itself.
* Has a lawsuit like this ever worked before?  Uhhhhh NO!
* Remind me, what’s the “employer mandate”? In practical terms, the policy name is a bit of misnomer – there is no actual “mandate,” per se. Under the ACA, businesses with 50 or more full-time employees are told they need to offer health care coverage to their employees, but those who choose not to offer coverage have to pay a fairly modest tax penalty. Under the status quo, following the executive action, that penalty won’t kick in, at the earliest, before 2016.
* What’s the basis for the Republicans’ case? The law says the policy was supposed to be implemented by now, and Obama didn’t implement it. Ergo, the argument goes, the administration unilaterally decided to ignore this part of the law.
* If it was going to cause so much trouble, why did Obama delay it? Because it wasn’t ready to be implemented. Small businesses urged the White House for more time, so Obama gave them more time.
* Was that legal within executive authority? We’ll find out soon enough, but the administration has a fairly detailed defense.
* Given how upset Republicans are, President Obama’s move must have been unprecedented. Actually, it’s not. When the Bush/Cheney administration was implementing Medicare Part D, officials used executive power to move implementation deadlines around in order to make the law work more effectively. No one cared – and certainly no one sued.
* Do Republicans support the employer mandate? No, they vehemently oppose it.
* Then I’m confused. If Republicans didn’t want the policy to be implemented, why are they filing a lawsuit complaining that the policy wasn’t implemented? Remember, for GOP lawmakers, effective public policy wasn’t part of the equation. The GOP’s priority was failure – they wanted the system not to work. If the employer mandate would have made life difficult for the private sector, then Republicans desperately wanted it to happen so that it would hurt the economy, anger the public, and make the ACA more unpopular, causing a political nightmare for the president.
* So Boehner is suing because Obama isn’t implementing Obamacare fast enough? Pretty much.
* Politics aside, is this policy a good idea or a bad idea? Opinions vary, even among those who generally like the ACA. The fear is the mandate might discourage hiring, but the ACA extends all kinds of breaks to these employers to help subsidize the insurance and soften the blow of increased costs.
* Did the delay deny coverage to a lot of people? Actually no. The vast majority of employers in this category (about 96%) already offer health insurance to their workers, and the delay didn’t affect them at all. What’s more, the delay didn’t affect the creation of the exchanges, which ultimately bridged the gap.
* If these affected workers are going to get subsidized coverage through the exchanges anyway, why have the policy at all? Primarily because the employer mandate helps pay for the law. In fact, with the policy delayed, Obamacare will still reduce the deficit, but by about $4 billion less than previously estimated. Also note, the mandate was created to discourage employers that already provide coverage from dropping their employees and throwing workers into exchanges.
* What happens if the Republicans’ lawsuit somehow prevails? It’ll depend on the details, of course, but the result might very well be the implementation of a policy Republicans don’t like.
Have you,like me had enough of this idiocy?  The next few elections should make the difference...or let me say..Could make the difference....I'm out!


"Mommy, can I go to Timmy's blog and play?"

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