Sunday, March 31, 2013

HAPPY RESURRECTION SUNDAY!


Nobody, or I should say, few people say Easter anymore!   Happy Resurrection Day! 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Philadelphia's Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler)

> Funny how, homes that were purchased for 50K just years ago are suddenly now worth 80K and in some places  100K.....Funny how this is occurring in some of the poorest neighborhoods....Neighborhoods like West Philadelphia, Germantown, Juniana Park, West Kensington, Southwest Philadelphia...Areas populated by African-Americans, Latinos and poor white immigrants...

If you want to laugh some more...think about this....The majority of the 24 schools closed or scheduled to be closed in June are also in these same areas.....Co-incidence?? My grandmother used to say that there is no such thing as co-incidence....She meant that things and often the most sinister things follow a definite pattern.

In the 70's, there used to be a saying...''Urban Renewal means Negro Removal"...I see that happening more and more on a grand scale right now... As Universities like my employer, The University of Pennsylvania, Temple, Drexel and St. Joes buys up more property and expand their campuses in these areas, whic ironically they settled in because the property value was low and thus cheap....More and more of the neighborhood people will be priced out of their homes and forced to move....and the complexion of these neighborhoods will once again shift and change...

I'm not a big conspiracy theory nut....But this is so obvious ,it's not funny....I even see a day when closed schools are suddenly re-opened and refurbished.....because it's funny....The city, the state and the federal government can magically come up with money....to do whatever they want...WHEN THEY WANT TO!

Makes me wanna holler!

This is a joke...shame I don't smoke!

Philadelphia like most cities, relies on property taxes for school funding; in fact, in the United States, nearly half of all property tax revenue is used for public elementary and secondary education. It’s complicated and often unpopular from a tax policy standpoint because property tax dollars are closely tied to the economy with affluent areas clearly bringing in more revenue than impoverished ones. However, funding formulas tend to stress equality among schools within the same district (and in some cases, the same state) even when the sources of funding are not equal.


Property taxes are also unpopular because they are sensitive to trends in the market, making them often unreliable. What’s hot in real estate today might be old news the next – and vice versa. Fluctuations in the market also make property values somewhat subjective which means that taxpayers don’t often agree with the taxing authorities about a fair price.


That’s exactly what’s happening here in Philadelphia. The old system of assessing properties wasn’t working. Values were, in most cases, depressed which were keeping property taxes relatively low. As the City has enjoyed a renaissance of sorts, as many other urban areas in the United States like Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco and Chicago have done, real estate values have vacillated with peaks in hipster neighborhoods and dips in less favorable areas. The result is a mishmosh of assessed values, making any efforts to collect sufficient revenues virtually impossible.

The Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, said about the problem, “For decades this broken, mysterious system has meant that many people have been paying more than they should, while others have paid less than they should.” Really? Who is paying less than they should? Somebody on 60th Street or someone in Northern Liberties?

In 2010, the City created a new agency, the Office of Property Assessment (OPA), to assess all real property (nearly 600,000 parcels) in the City. However, a few months later, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the City did not have the authority to replace the existing Bureau of Revision of Taxes (BRT) for appeals. The compromise was to keep BRT in place as the property assessment appeals board while OPA reassessed the properties.

 Those assessments were finally completed and in February of 2013, new assessments – and thus, new property tax bills – were mailed out..

As you can imagine, the new property tax bills weren’t a hit. Almost immediately, taxpayers were complaining about adjustments. The new tax bills made news and raised tempers Justifiably so. City council members reported above average calls to complain about the bills and, anticipating an increase in visitors, the City staffed OPA with armed guards.
The increase in visits to OPA could be attributed to the sheer number of property owners affected. Between 60% and 75% of all property owners were expected to see an increase in their tax bills, though Marisa Waxman, Deputy Administrator for Assessment of Programs and Policy at OPA, says that the Administration is seeking to collect the same amount of Real Estate Tax revenue in 2014 under AVI as in 2013 under the old system. That’s because some property owners – including the Mayor – are expecting a drop intheir tax bills.

Waxman says that the ultimate goal of AVI is to produce values that are “fair, accurate” but many property owners say that the assessments are simply wrong. How wrong? Philadelphia Controller Butkovitz suggests the error rate
of the assessments is as high as 30% but the Mayor’s office claims that the number of inaccurate assessments is closer to 14%
.
Taxpayers who believe that their assessment isn’t accurate can ask for a First Level Review by the OPA. According to Waxman, forms for a review were included with the assessment notice and are due on March 31, 2013. If the review doesn’t produce a satisfactory result, homeowners can formally appeal to the Board of Revision of Taxes. There are three categories for appeal: Market Value (the assessment doesn’t reflect market value); Non-uniformity (the assessment is out of line generally with similar properties); or Incorrect Exemption/Abatement.


An appeal isn’t the next step for homeowners who can’t afford to pay their new tax bills. Those homeowners should consider any of a number of programs already in place to help low-income homeowners and seniors. State programs are also available (brochure downloads as a pdf). And, beginning this year, the City is offering a Homestead Exemption which reduces the taxable value by $30,000 for approved homeowners.
Once the dust settles on appeals and assessments, is this the end of the line for awhile? Waxman says no. OPA intends to conduct annual assessments going forward to determine if changes in the market or other factors would warrant additional changes. The plan, Waxman says, is to ensure that the City “is never again in the situation it has been with inaccurate values.”

Ultimately, a set of reliable assessments might make it easier for the School District of Philadelphia to meet its budget (other spending and population issues notwithstanding). But this is bigger than Philadelphia. This whole process raises valid questions about the suitability of relying on property taxes to keep our schools open. With so much fluctuation, subjectivity and potential for inequity, is there perhaps a better way?

All I know is that the next person running for Mayor and City Controller are going to have  some serious questions to answer...I won't forget this...and you shouldn't forget it either!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Putting His Money where his Ideal is



I spent my birthday weekend in New York City....I have to tell you...You really have to experience New York City to truly understand why they call it the "Big Apple"...People everywhere, twenty four seven....Constant activity....Electricity!!!

To say my head was snapping from one direction to another is an under statement...I'm from Philadelphia...Which I consider a big city and yet one day in Manhattan made me feel like I was from a small town in the country!

This is New York, where everything is bigger and badder than everyone and everything else...So in keeping in that spirit...The City's Mayor...Bloomberg, and independent and a multi millionaire has come up with a big proposal that he is funding!

II-

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced a new $12 million television ad campaign that will push senators in key states to back gun control efforts, including comprehensive background checks.

Mayor Bloomberg, who is one of the most prominent gun control proponents in the country, announced the ad campaign by Mayors Against Illegal Guns on Saturday, while I was in fact in New York — just days after Senate Democrats touted stronger background checks while acknowledging insufficient support to a ban assault-style weapons.

"These ads bring the voices of Americans — who overwhelmingly support comprehensive and enforceable background checks — into the discussion to move senators to immediately take action to prevent gun violence," said Mayor Bloomberg in a statement issued by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group he co-founded in 2006 and that now has more than 800 mayors from around the U.S.


President Barack Obama vowed to push for tighter gun controls laws in the wake of the December massacre of 20 young children at a Connecticut elementary school, by a shooter using a military-style assault rifle.

Most congressional Republicans, surprisingly some Democrats and a deep-pocketed pro-gun lobby remain opposed stricter gun laws.
Many Americans see gun ownership as a legitimate option for self-defense and a basic right enshrined in by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Some of those promoting stricter laws have taken care to show that they are not challenging the right of citizens to own guns.

In two ads posted on website of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a gun owner holds a rifle while sitting on the back of a pickup truck.

In one of the ads, the man says he'll defend the Second Amendment but adds "with rights come responsibilities." The ad then urges viewers to tell Congress to support background checks.

In the other ad, the man, a hunter, says "background checks have nothing to do with taking guns away from anyone." The man then says closing loopholes will stop criminals and the mentally ill from obtaining weapons.

The Senate is scheduled to debate federal gun control legislation next month after returning from the Easter Recess. On March 28, the group plans for more than 100 events nationwide in support of passing gun control legislation that includes background checks.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns and other gun-control advocates frequently cite a mid-1990s study that suggested about 40 percent of U.S. gun transfers were conducted by private sellers not subject to federal background checks. Based on 2011 FBI data, the group estimates 6.6 million firearms transfers are made without a background check for the receiver.

A spokesman for the New York City mayor could not immediately say if the $12 million was coming from Bloomberg himself or the mayor's political action Committee, Independence USA. The New York Times, which first reported the ad campaign Saturday night, said Bloomberg was bankrolling the ad buy.

A spokesman for the National Rifle Association, the country's most powerful pro-gun group, blasted Mayor Bloomberg and the new ads, saying NRA members and supporters would be calling senators directly and urging them to vote against proposed gun control legislation.

"What Michael Bloomberg is trying to do is ... intimidate senators into not listening to constituents and instead pledge their allegiance to him and his money," said spokesman Andrew Arulanandam.

Bloomberg, a billionaire, (I said he was a multi millionaire...No..He's a billionaire.) has long supported efforts to curb gun violence. Last month, Independence USA poured more than $2 million into ads supporting an Illinois state lawmaker who won a special primary and ran partly on a platform of supporting tougher gun restrictions.

The new ads will air in 13 states the group believes are divided on gun control.

I give credit where credit is due...Here is a guy putting up his own money for a worthy cause , a sensible cause...I have to give him his props and hope that there are many more decent and fair minded Americans of all races, nationalities and economic positions out there ready to do the same....

We have to have sensible gun control laws....We have to ban assault weapons if we want to stem some of this violence.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weeee Meee, HAPPY BIRTHDAY 2 ME!






It's My Birthday...

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

Weekend Humor


5 surgeons from big cities are discussing who makes the best patients to operate on. The 1st surgeon, from New York , says, "I like to see accountants on my operating table because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered."

  The 2nd surgeon, from Chicago , responds, "Yeah, but you should try electricians! Everything inside them is color coded."

The 3rd surgeon, from Dallas , says, "No, I really think librarians are the best, everything inside them is in alphabetical order."

The 4th surgeon, from Los Angeles chimes in, "You know, I like construction workers... Those guys always understand when you have a few parts left over."

But the 5th surgeon, from Washington , DC shut them all up when he observed, "You're ALL wrong. Politicians are the easiest to operate on. There's no guts, no heart, no balls, no brains, and no spine.. Plus, the head and the ass are interchangeable."

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Prez's Pics

Yes ..it's been a slow news week and I'm writing this because I know it'll totally piss off one of my commentors....The one who never makes their identity known...

It's March Madness Time...Probably the only time I pay any real attention to College
Basketball outside of the Big 5 or the Big Ten...and regional hoops....

President Barack Obama is picking Indiana to go all the way in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
ESPN revealed Wednesday that President Obama picked the Indiana Hoosiers to win it all in his 2013 bracket. He predicted Louisville, Ohio State and Florida would round out the Final Four...Not bad picks from where I stand. 

The President has made an annual tradition of giving his bracket predictions to ESPN but only correctly picked the winner once - North Carolina in 2009. He says he thinks he can do better in his second term.

This time, President Obama repeatedly advanced teams from the Big Ten. But he said ''I think this is Indiana's year.''

 The President filled out the bracket Tuesday at the White House, before departing on a trip to Israel and other parts of the Middle East.


On the women's side, President Obama selected Baylor, California, UConn and Notre Dame to advance to New Orleans. Baylor, UConn and Notre Dame are all No. 1 seeds and California is a No. 2 seed. I know absolutely nothing about women's hoops, so I'll have to take his word for it.
 
 

 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Devil & Mr. Obama

Can the news get any sillier? I don't know....Believe me, the only reason I am writing about this non-controversy at all is because it's a slow news day...Has been a slow couple of days...

If you are watching the History Channel's "The Bible" mini-series...You might notice (if you're simple minded) how much the guy playing the devil resembles President Obama.  I said you might....

Co-incidence?  Some people on both the left and the right seem to think so...(The simple minded...)
The producers don't.


The Bible" executive producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey say the notion that the devil in the miniseries is supposed to resemble President Obama is "utter nonsense."
The miniseries set Twitter aflame Sunday night because the actor playing the devil looks like the president might in several years.President  Obama's critics jested about the resemblance, while his supporters wondered if the casting was intended as propaganda. Ohhh puh leaseeee!

"This is utter nonsense,"Producers , Mark Burnett and  Roma Downey said in a statement Monday. "The actor who played Satan, Mehdi Ouzaani, is a highly acclaimed Moroccan actor. He has previously played parts in several Biblical epics -- including Satanic characters long before Barack Obama was elected as our President."

I have to wonder about that some...Why him in the Satanic parts?? What are they trying to say???
History also said the resemblance was not intentional. Wel, that's good to know.

"History channel has the highest respect for President Obama. The series was produced with an international and diverse cast of respected actors," the network said. "It's unfortunate that anyone made this false connection. History's 'The Bible' is meant to enlighten people on its rich stories and deep history."

Two years ago, This same History channel  found itself in the midst of another political dispute when it decided not to air the miniseries "The Kennedys" because of allegations from the left that it had a right-wing slant.

And last year, HBO's "Game of Thrones" came under criticism when its executive producers said in a DVD commentary that a fake head of President George W. Bush was impaled on a spike in one scene. People are a bit too sensitive on both sides of the political spectrum!


"The Bible" has been a huge hit for History, drawing 13.1 million for its first episode and 10.8 million for its second.

Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are married, and Roma Downey, a Catholic known for her role on "Touched by an Angel," portrays Jesus' mother, the Virgin Mary, in the miniseries.

Last week, one of the executive producers of "The Bible," Scott Sassa, resigned as Hearst's entertainment and syndication president after what the New York Post described as a sexting scandal involving a stripper.

And the silliness continues~!

Monday, March 18, 2013

What Philadelphia does Philadelphia Magazine Represent?



Forget for a minute the photo above.....I'm going to talk about that article in a minute....For the record...let me say that I did not purchase this edition of what I call "So Called Philadelphia"Magazine..I'm not going to make them one damn dime richer for printing the drunken ramblings of some guy who went to a bar, got loaded and then went home to his mother's basement and got on the computer and wrote this rant which is so very close to being racist that I was close to writing a verbal complaint to the editor.

I read the article or parts of it on line...It appears that it's writer is the type who watches FOX news and doesn't talk to anybody except other people who watch FOX News and believes that every black person in Philadelphia has what he calls 'Moral Poverty", none of us hold down a job or pay taxes and all of us begin stealing from the time we can crawl.....

Enough on him and his stupid article...I have a problem with so called Philadelphia Magazine...I've had a problem with it for years now....It's called Philadelphia Magazine...It's a beautiful magazine with nice glossy photos and sometimes great articles about the movers and shakers in the region..and here is the problem..

Leaf through it....Very rarely do you actually see an actual Philadelphia neighborhood....You see Wynnewood, Villanova, Springfield, West Chester....All suburbs of our city....With the exception of our mayor and a few public officials who happen to be Black , you hardly ever see a black face.

Oh, you might see an Athlete, Mike Vick, Allen Iverson, or Music star, John Legend...He went to Penn...He's not actually a Philadelphian....but that's it....

This city is 49 percent African-American, it also boasts a huge Latino population, Asian population and other nationalities such as Dominicans, West Indians, Africans, what have you and yet none of these demographics are represented.....

When they show houses for sale....It's never a house that I or anybody I know could afford....Never any neighborhoods I have been in....In fact....If I was from say, Europe and I picked up this magazine...I would think that very few Blacks ,Latins and Asians actually live in Philadelphia and that it was made up of tony cul de sacs...

Which brings me to my question.....What Philadelphia does Philadelphia magazine represent???

II-


Now as for that funky racist article....

The writer, a Robert Huber wrote this article based on conversations he claims to have had with of course anonymous and un named white citizens who confided to him (of course) the asertations he made that white Philadelphians don’t merely avoid the poor, predominantly African-American neighborhoods, but ''do their best to erase them' from their thoughts due to the feelings of unease over questions of race.

 Much of the story consists of vignettes gathered by the author from his interviews with white residents about misunderstandings and confrontations with their black neighbors, like the 26-year-old high school teacher who was accused of being racist for calling an unruly African-American student 'boy' in the heat of an argument.

A Caucasian student from Villanova University told Huber she had faced a similar situation when she sent a Facebook message to her entire class asking if anyone had picked up her lost BlackBerry, only to be scolded by the sole black girl in her lab class who perceived her message to be directed at her.

In one interview with a Russian ''beauty'' whom Hubert met in the Fairmount section of town, the woman he dubbed ''Anna'' told him that 'blacks use skin color as an excuse,' and rather than work and pay taxes, 'they are sitting on porches smoking pot' and ''just make babies.''

 An 87-year-old man named 'John' recalled an encounter with a young boy who came into his house saying: 'It was a nigger boy, a big tall kid. He wanted money.''

The tone of the piece, which explores the idea that white people are afraid to speak out about their concerns over race relations for fear of being labelled intolerant, has set off a firestorm in the media, with many in the African-American community accusing the author of the piece and the magazine of race-baiting. ''My first instinct upon reading “White in Philly” was to slam my head against my desk. My second was to fire off a takedown explaining why it was racist and terrible,' journalist Jamilah Lemieux wrote in a reaction piece published by Ebony.

You know I wanted to do the same thing....but I refuse to make this guy any more famous or infamous than he already is...Has he not rode a bus or the El or the Subway?? Doe he not see thousands of Black people, Men and women going to work everyday?  Has not his anonymous "russian beauty"?

This smacks of so much "reverse racism whining" that I hear  so many of that FOX NEWS crowd whining about...I'm not going to deny that too many of my people are in fact, sitting around getting high and making babies when they could be out at least looking for a job....but in fact...I can ride in any neighborhood in this city and see people of all races  doing the same thing...I suggest Mr. Huber travel to Kensington, Fishtown, Little Norway, Pigtown and parts of Mayfair and he'll see some of his own people doing the same thing....

There are good ,decent ,law abiding ,tax paying people in every race.....and unfortunately there are slackers, who wouldn't work in a pie factory type of people in every race too....Watch the ID Channel, Watch A&E...You'll see....

Most people with a smidgen of common sense realize this...

So, Mr. Huber and all of the people he allegedly interviewed can whine and holler to the top of their lungs...I'm not going to patronize them and I'm going to sit that issue of Philadelphia magazine out...I still read it from time to time ,I confess...Hoping I'll see someone in there that looks like me...

Who knows...maybe they'll let me write a guest editorial one day........(Not after reading this blog post!)

but.....Hope Springs Eternal!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Weekend Humor

Woman: Is there a problem, Officer?
Officer: Ma’am, you were speeding.
Woman: Oh, I see.
Officer: Can I see your license please?
Woman: I’d give it to you but I don’t have
one.
 
Officer: Don’t have one?
Woman: Lost it 4 times for drunk driving.
Officer: I see…Can I see your vehicle
registration papers please.

... Woman: I can’t do that.
Officer: Why not?

Woman: I stole this car.
Officer: Stole it?
Woman: Yes, and I killed and hacked up
the owner.
 
Officer: You what?
Woman: His body parts are in plastic bags
in the trunk if you want to see.
 
The Officer looks at the woman and slowly
backs away to his car and calls for back up.
Within minutes 5 police cars circle the car.
A senior officer slowly approaches the car,
clasping his half drawn gun.
Officer2: Ma’am, could you step out of
your vehicle please!
The woman steps out of her vehicle.
Woman: Is there a problem sir?

Officer2: One of my officers told me that
you have stolen this car and murdered the
owner.
Woman: Murdered the owner?
Officer2: Yes, could you please open the
trunk of your car, please.
The woman opens the trunk, revealing
nothing but an empty trunk.
Officer2: Is this your car, ma’am?
Woman: Yes, here are the registration
papers. 
 The officer is quite stunned.

Officer2: One of my officers claims that
you do not have a driving license.
The woman digs into her handbag and pulls
out a clutch purse and hands it to the
officer. The officer snaps opens the clutch
purse and examines the license. He looks
quite puzzled.

Officer2: Thank you ma’am, one of my
officers told me you didn’t have a license,
that you stole this car, and that you
murdered and hacked up the owner.

Woman: "Bet you the lying bastard told you I was speeding too, didn't he?" she said.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Shut Em Down

I met Philadelphia Mayor ,Michael Nutter years ago....I was 24, He was 25....We were both young men headed towards uncertain futures...It was a different time...Philadelphia was different, America was different...The America that we both were thrown into was a very strange place....It was the Yuppie 80's....

Michael Nutter was an idealist...a man of the people, He had great ideas about how to reform city government.... I watched him win a seat on city council with pride....Someone my age was on city council, I thought!!!!

I watched him be a thorn in the side of Mayors Rendell and Mayor Street....I watched him as he became an activist for the common man......Then a funny and strange thing happened..

Mikey as I called him back then became the Mayor of Philadelphia....Mikey found out that he didn't have the money or the support from Harrisburg to do all of the things he talked about doing back in the day...and worse...somewhere along the way...Mikey got Compromised....

Today...those same citizens who supported him in his rise to the top shut down city government....They feel betrayed by this one time "Man of the people"... I haven't talked to Mikey in about ten years...I don't know where his head is at.


The unions promised to give Mayor Nutter a hard way to go today during his budget address to City Council and they did just that.

As soon as Mayor Nutter  as I'll here to for refer to him as stood behind the podium, union members began booing and heckling him. Nutter attempted to read his speech, but was drowned out.

Council president Darrell Clarke also tried to calm the crowd, but to no avail. After 10 to 15 minutes Darrell Clarke, Council leadership and Mayor Nutter left Council chambers before the completion of the address.
Mayor Nutter is expected to resume his budget address on the second floor of City Hall.

Update: Mayor Nutter presented his budget before his administration and reporters after union groups drowned out his address.Council voted to recess the hearing.Mayor Nutter said he would have otherwise continued his speech...

My, how things change...a few years ago...that would have been him ,leading some protesters against the current administration...Somewhere, former mayor ,John Street is smiling.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

You Really Can't Go Home Again

Last night ,Los Angelas Lakers Center Dwight Howard got a little taste of what it must have been like to be Lebron James a few years ago...He and his new team, The Los Angelas Lakers played the Orlando Magic...His old team last night in Orlando....and well....If you closed your eyes and listened to the hue and cry...You would have thought you were in Cleveland and the Miami Heat were in town!A few years back...

I wonder if they still boo when Lebron comes back there to play?  Surely they must have gotten over that by now...I don't know....With some fans, when a player leaves...it runs deep...Others not so deep... I don't think we boo Kobe Bryant here in his native Philadelphia anymore...

Last night in his return to Orlando, Dwight Howard scored a season-high 39 points, with 25 of them coming as he tied his own NBA record with 39 free-throw attempts. He also pulled down 16 rebounds, blocked three shots and looked as fluid on defense as he has all year, limiting budding Magic big man Nikola Vucevic(who incidentally used to be a Sixer and will probably not get booed upon his return here....Nobody cares !) to just six points after conceding 17 and 12 rebounds in Orlando's December upset of the Lakers in Los Angeles.

In fact, it wouldn't be a stretch at all to say that Tuesday's game was Howard's best all-around performance during his brief tenure with the Lakers -- a promising sign of things to come for a Los Angeles team that has won 17 of its last 23 games as it makes a long-awaited playoff push. However, it was also an equally somber reminder for Magic fans of how good they used to have it as Orlando dropped to 18-47 on the season.

"This is fun," Howard said after the game with his trademark kilowat smile, addressing a packed visitors locker room that most certainly did not feel like home. "I was looking forward to being back here, but thank God it's over with."

The game started as typically as you might expect in a situation like Dwight Howard's, with fans eager to remind him just how much he is despised in a place where he was once beloved and untouchable. Somewhere Lebron James is saying..."Yeah man, I know how you feel."

A few particularly frustrated Magic fans launched their attack on Orlando's former No. 1 draft pick before lineups were even announced, shouting out insults during the national anthem. Then the rest of the crowd joined in and booed Howard relentlessly when PA announcer Paul Porter nonchalantly called his name, tossing it aside like that of an absolute stranger during pregame introductions.

Once the game tipped off, fans gave Dwight Howard the LeBron James treatment, inexorably booing him every time he touched the ball. But Superman seemed unaffected, and as he settled into his groove, making three of his first four shots, he started giving it right back to his former supporters.

He gloated after a soaring dunk early in the first quarter, and after a monstrous block of a Tobias Harris shot that was reminiscent of his gravy days in Orlando,Dwight  Howard playfully ribbed some fans sitting courtside near the Magic bench. Then as he headed to the LA bench following the game's first timeout, Howard stopped to jaw with injured Magic forward Glen Davis.

I have no ill will toward anybody on that team," Howard clarified later. "I was just having fun and getting myself going."

His self-motivation strategy worked to perfection, and once it became clear late in the second quarter that Howard was going to have no trouble outclassing his former team -- a group that, on Tuesday, featured just one player who played with Howard in Orlando -- Magic coach Jacque Vaughn changed his approach and employed the hack-a-Howard strategy, intentionally sending Howard to the line after a 2-of-9 start from the stripe.

But like most of Orlando's attempts to stop Superman, the fouls backfired, as Dwight made 23 of his final 30 attempts, including 16 of 20 on intentional fouls away from the ball. And, if anything, the time spent at the line seemed to calm the sub-50-percent shooter Howard has been on a night when he could have had every reason to be flustered and frustrated.

He said this after the game- ""I didn't have to be aggressive," Howard said of his offensive showing. "All I had to do was run up the court.... I needed that to learn how to block a lot of things out while I was at the line, and I was able to do that. Despite the boos and all that stuff, I found a rhythm and found a way to block all that negativity out."

He like Lebron has been very good at doing that, especially since the Lakers haven't exactly had one of their better seasons this year.

With 7:15 left in the third quarter, Orlando, which trailed by four at the half, actually took a brief lead at 57-56, but from that point on, Howard hit 16 of 20 free throws as the lead ballooned to as many as 16 points down the stretch. Fans began trickling out of the arena early in the fourth quarter as LA began to grow its lead, but an official timeout with 2:25 left to play saw a mass exodus, and when Howard walked off the court he did so to cheers -- a surreal scene on a surreal night for the league's best center.

"I think psychologically it was big for him to come into this environment and play as well as he did," said Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who had 11 points, seven rebounds and eight assists as he took a backseat to Howard for the night. "I think it is a big boost for his confidence.... He played with a lot of energy and the right amount of energy. He wasn't distracted or down about coming back, and his energy propelled us."


Unfortunately for Magic fans, Dwight Howard's breakthrough happened at their expense on a night they had hoped would be celebratory -- or at the very least soothing -- another reminder of how good they once had it when Howard was wearing blue and white and how bleak the future without their one-time star has the potential to be.

Like I said...Somewhere Lebron James is nodding his head and saying..."Yeah man, I know how you feel."

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Farce!




My wife and I live streamed the Philadelphia School reform hearings last Thursday night.

This was the dog and pony show designed to make you and I, the tax paying citizens, The Black tax paying citizens and concerned parents....(Yes right wing nut jobs, we do exist!) Think that we actually had a say in keeping schools that are mostly in African-American and Latino neighborhoods scheduled to be closed, open...

There were many impassioned speeches by Ministers, Teachers, Students and Community leaders....but it was all for naught....The game was rigged from the door....In the end..They spared four schools and closed 23.

This decision was made already and everything else was like I said...A dog and pony show!

Though supporters of public education staged a massive rally Thursday at school system headquarters in the city and more than a dozen people were arrested on disorderly conduct charges, hours later officials voted to close 23 schools.
   
The School Reform Commission spared only four schools after hearing emotional pleas from among the hundreds of people who packed the commission meeting room and an overflow space immediately after the rally.
   
"This was a difficult vote, but it focused on our goal to provide safe, high-quality seats while being fiscally responsible," commission Chairman Pedro Ramos said in a statement afterward.
   
Officials contended the cash-strapped system couldn't afford to keep open the 27 buildings, more than 10 percent of the district's schools. Many of them are under-enrolled and in poor condition. But opponents said the move would irreparably damage dozens of neighborhoods and further fuel a student exodus from the district.
    
At the rally, the main street in front of the building had to be closed amid chants of "Children first!" and "Fix schools, don't close them." American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten was among those arrested, according to Philadelphia teachers union chief Jerry Jordan.
   
During the meeting afterward, City Councilwoman Cindy Bass, who had four schools in her district on the closure list, implored school officials to call for a moratorium while local and state leaders work out alternatives.
   
"What's about to happen will have a catastrophic effect on public education in Philadelphia," Bass said before the vote. "This doesn't have to happen. ... There are so many other options."
   
Two of the schools were later spared.

   
School officials have insisted their financial situation is dire. The commission had to borrow $300 million to make ends meet this year, and projections show the district will accumulate a nearly $1.4 billion deficit over five years without a radical overhaul that includes major closures.
The district would save about $24.5 million annually through the downsizing, officials said.
   
But community members are concerned by the potential for blight, longer walks for younger students - sometimes through dangerous neighborhoods - and combining students from rival areas in the same school.
Totiana Myers, a sophomore at Paul Robeson High School, which was on the closure list, said the building she'll be sent to instead is academically inferior and unsafe.
"Would you send your children to be positive examples in a dangerous school?" she asked the commissioners.
   
Parent Antione Little noted that Superintendent William Hite and Commissioner Sylvia Simms had a police escort when they, on another occasion, joined community members to walk the proposed route from his daughter's current school, Peirce Elementary, to her new school. The much longer path travels past drug corners and abandoned buildings, Little said.
   
"Imagine doing this every day with no police escort," Little told commissioners.
Both Peirce and Robeson ended up being saved.
   
Philadelphia's 23 percent enrollment decline over the past decade is partly due to the explosive growth of publicly financed charter schools, which critics say drain resources from their district-operated counterparts without offering a markedly better education. Charters serve about 55,000 students in the city, up from 20,000 a decade ago.
   
Officials maintain that the consolidations, which would affect about 14,000 students, have been carefully studied for months. They also contend they've responded to community feedback by revising the closure list from 37 buildings to 29. Two of the 29 schools were new additions to the list; commissioners will vote on those closings later.
   
The closures are to take effect after classes end in June. An unspecified number of layoffs is expected, including principals, building engineers and maintenance workers, said district spokesman Fernando Gallard.
   
No teacher layoffs are anticipated because the overall student population of 149,000 should remain the same, he said. Jordan, the teachers' union president, remained skeptical of that claim.
  
Critics also have questioned whether closures simply create a new set of problems. A recent study indicates that urban districts often have trouble unloading shuttered schools because of poor real estate markets, undesirable locations and bad building conditions, among other reasons.


So when are you going to get fed up?  When are you going to get sick and tired of being sick and tired?  The Problem with the Black community here in Philly and elsewhere is that we are re-active and not pro-active.....We get involved after something has been put into motion...not before...We let politicians and Elected officials off the hook too easily...especially if they look like us!

The next person that comes in my neighborhood wanting my vote is going to be reminded about our school system, going to be reminded that most city workers don't have a decent contract and be reminded that I do not like my property taxes going up annually, especially after being promised by the last three mayors that they wouldn't.

Oh I'm not going to forget....I'm like an elephant...I've got a longggggggggg memory!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Manchild In The Promised Land

Once upon a time I was a young man.....Let's take it back even further....Once upon a time I was a child...When I was 13 and 14...I used to like to ride the Elevated Trains and at times the Suburban Trains and just wander around this huge city of Philadelphia... It mortified my mom...She was always being told by one of her friends or "ladies from the church" that her son was seen in "some part of town that he didn't look
like he belonged in." I got that a lot.

From an early age, I learned that there was a difference in where I lived and went to school and where other people who looked differently from me lived and went to school.

I was one of the lucky ones....After 5th grade, I attended school with mostly white kids and a few hispanic kids... I went to what they called a "Magnet School" where so called "talented and excelling " students from all over the city were pulled to attend ...

I had to ride the elevated train from my native West Philadelphia to what was then 90 percent white Kensington...The middle magnet school I attended was probably as old as the school I attended in West Philadelphia...but it was markedly different...My old elementary school in West Philadelphia had drab gray painted hallways that looked like they were painted when my mother and aunts attended the school some 20 years before I was born.

We had textbooks that were written in the 50's.....All fine and good...but I was in elementary school in 1967.
 My new school had brand new text books....They had a small television station at this school...(kid you not)
We did a small school news program every morning that was seen in all of the classrooms...This is where I first discovered I had a talent for communicating...The teacher allowed me to do the weather and ham that I was...I had the most interesting and funny part of the news every morning...I doubt if I could have conceived of this in my elementary school in West Philly....Like I said...I was one of the lucky ones...or Blessed...However you want to look at it..

For the good education I got....Outside  I got another education.....It was the first time I was ever called a nigger also....Not just the white kids....but their parents made it known that they didn't want us little niggers and them dirty spicaricans (That's what they called the Puerto Rican kids then) in their neighborhoods...

I enjoyed hobby shops...They had a nice one on Allegheny Avenue ..with model airplanes, trains, action figures...A friend and I hung around too late one afternoon...We both got a fierce beat down from the local white street gang that afternoon.

I learned that there was safety in numbers.....I learned about co-alations then too....The Black Kids and The Puerto Rican Kids had to band together, because we both were facing a common enemy...We rolled together and fought back....When the cops came of course....We were more than likely to be the ones to get
arrested or chided....I learned that too...I was barely 14 years old and already I had an attitude...

Mind you...This was before I had ever read The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Soledad Brother by George Jackson, Marx, Lenin, Frantz Fanon...any of that stuff...No ..My life radicalized me, My life taught me everything....By the time I did read all of that stuff.....I had already had my share of experiences...

But I don't want to go off course...I'm talking about school here...

After middle school...I was back in the hood for a year...I went to a Junior High School that was all Black....It had windows that were broke out.....and left unfixed for months...The hall had the smell of fresh morning urine...and it was right in the middle of two gang territories...The Moon Gang and the Summer Street Gang....

If you didn't get down with one, you had better get down with the other or be "cool" with enough people who were down as to allow you safe passage into one of their neighborhoods...

My Junior High school was a training ground for future psychopaths....No lie...My 9th grade year ,I was in so many fights that I can honestly say that I didn't learn a damn thing that year....

Again...I was lucky or blessed...My mom had had it with the Philadelphia Public School system by then...She shipped me out to the suburbs...Where I used my aunts address and I attended a mixed intergrated high school...

My high school was brand new at the time I entered it in the fall of 1973.... It had been built in 1972...It was about 50 percent Black, 50 percent White....We all got along quite well....None of the racial street fighting of my middle school years....We had nice up to date text books, and a modern classroom setting...A lot of my teachers were only about five to six years older than me...I didn't know that then of course...but it was true...
I got a pretty good education there...Excelled in Sports and went to a nice upstate college...

College was a whole nother story..Again, Predominately white....Brand new dorms , some being built as I arrived on campus...Two gyms...beautiful campus....600 Blacks out of 6000 students... Incrediblely beautiful
campus...

Prior to going to college ,I had never been upstate ......If I wanted to see Black folks...I had to go to nearby Harrisburg...the state capital....It was the closest thing to Philly I was going to know...I saw Amish people for the first time...They'd be in their horse and buggies and standing on the road....Getting free bus rides....I was stunned.... I was an 18 year old kid , away from home by myself for the first time....This was fascinating..

Fast Forward a few years...I pledged Kappa Alpha Psi in my junior year....and like every other person in any other fraternity,it was customary to visit other campuses...Our favorite campus was Cheyney State College...Cheyney State was a historically Black college which was closer to Philadelphia than my college...and yet ,completely different from where I attended school...

Visiting Cheyney was something akin to being in the 56th Street projects at times...I mean don't get me wrong...I loved it...They had the best parties...finest women.....but their campus was in no way as well kept as my predominately white upstate college.....

All of these things stuck with me....I kept asking myself....Why were there so many differences?? Was it because of the race of one group of people in one place compared to another?? And basically...What would have become of me had I been stuck in my neighborhood, in my schools...??? What would have happened to me if I had transitioned from my old elementary school to my house of horrors Junior high and then to a high school equally bad???

What happened to a lot of my friends who didn't get the kinds of breaks I got???

See I have to ask these questions.....I'm nobody special....I don't think I'm particularly smarter than most...but I was asking questions like this at every point in my life......These kids are asking these questions too...As they look at their schools, their neighborhoods and see other people's neighborhood...And no radical leftist literature is going to create the next wave of Black militants.....No...it's going to be their lives that create them...Just like it was mine....I'll stop now...but I've got more to say on this!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Keith's Music Spotlight



Grown folks Music.....Enjoy this Old School Classic by Issac Hayes....


Friday, March 8, 2013

Weekend Humor


A man who had been in a mental home for some years finally seemed to have improved to the point where it was thought he might be released.

The head of the institution, in a fit of commendable caution, decided, however, to interview him first.

"Tell me," said he, "if we release you, as we are considering doing, what do you intend to do with your life?''

The inmate said, "It would be wonderful to get back to real life and if I do, I will certainly refrain from making my former mistake. I was a nuclear physicist, you know, and it was the stress of my work in weapons research that helped put me here. If I am released, I shall confine myself to work in pure theory, where I trust the situation will be less difficult and stressful." he replied.

  "Marvelous," said the head of the institution.

  "Or else," ruminated the inmate. "I might teach. There is something to be said for spending one's life in bringing up a new generation of scientists."

"Absolutely," said the head.

"Then again, I might write. There is considerable need for books on science for the general public. Or I might even write a novel based on my experiences in this fine institution."

  "An interesting possibility," said the head.

  "And finally, if none of these things appeals to me, I can always continue to be a teakettle."


Have a super weekend everybody! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Goodbye Hugo

    

                                                                1954-2013
I know I'm probably going to be called a communist and anti-American and all kinds of things if I say that I liked this man...So to those of you who think that, have at it!   Nothing could be further from the truth...But it is true that I liked this man....I loved his swagger, I loved the way he stood up to the Republican regime of George W. Bush and the like at a time when most Americans were either afraid or too apathetic to oppose Bush and the Republicans...

I remember a few years back when he called President Bush,"The Devil" ...I got a kick out of that.
Does it make me a socialist, because I liked that he nationalized his country's oil industry and used his influence and money to actually do something for the poor and disenfranchized folks of Venezuela???
In some people's minds....probably so...Go Ahead...I've been called worse in my lifetime...

The  shocking and sudden death two days ago of democratically elected President Hugo Chavez Frias (1954-2013) has evoked serious thoughts and reflections on the meaning of his life and the process he led from peoples and communities throughout the Americas and the world. Despite much criticism by many right wing governments and people in the West, Hugo Chavez led a process in Venezuela that symbolised the new assertiveness and self-consciousness of nations in Latin America that saw a future for themselves, liberated from the heavy-handed, oppressive and economically draining policies of their powerful neighbour from the North.


 Under his near 14-year leadership, Hugo Chavez was able to guide unprecedented government initiatives that led to programs and policies that resulted in significant progress toward combating the historical legacy of racism and discrimination that historically plagued the country.

Hugo Chavez also provided similar parallel support to other nations with predominantly African descendant populations, where their governments were not willing to make it a priority. President Chavez was able to institute many reforms to ensure African descendants in Venezuela could have full and equal access to social, economic and cultural rights.

In 1999, he wrote in the preamble  of the new constitution that his country of Venezeula was to be " a multiethnic and multicultural society" that "guarantees the right to life, to work, to culture, to education, to social justice and equality without discrimination or subordination".

Among the several reforms to support this new recognition of race and culture was the creation in 2005 of the Presidential Commission for the Prevention and Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination in the Venezuelan Educational System. This commission was tasked with examining, advising and proposing reforms on racially and culturally appropriate education, including but not limited to literacy programs access to higher education by all, and a series of programs intended for Afro descendants and indigenous peoples to leverage their education in the context of their cultural idiosyncrasies (including learning in their traditional languages).

Hugo Chavez also took the bold step of requiring that all schools include the contributions of Afro-Venezuelans in their curriculum. Also included in his work against racial discrimination is the creation of the "law against racial discrimination", the incorporation of the category of Afro Descendant in the census, and the creation of Afro Venezuelan Day, as well as the expansion of embassies and consulates in Africa to name a few.

Imagine if any leader, Black or White attempted to do that in this country, right now...That leader would be tarred and feathered literally.


While the United States has a historical pretense of humanitarian support of devastated countries, its record in actually providing expedited support to countries that do not fit into their strategic economic relationships, says something else altogether.

Venezuela under President Chavez rose to the support and plight of several issues related to African descendants in other countries, including the United States.

After the ravishing of Hurricane Katrina through the Gulf coast in 2005, despite a strained political relationship with the United States government, Venezuela offered aid to the region through its Venezuelan Embassy in the form of mobile hospitals, medical workers, power plants, and food, among others. Venezuela's offers were overtly denied by the US government (under then President George W Bush).

The island of Haiti is another example of how Hugo Chavez has prioritized and ensured that the historical plight of African descendants for economic, social and cultural rights be respected. In light of the multiple natural disasters that have plagued the first free African country in the region since 2010, Venezuela forgave Haiti's over $395 million dollars in foreign debt, and pledged more financial support to relief the devastation than either the United States or the European Union.

And if that was not enough, since 2005, Venezuela has been leading initiatives in Afro descendant communities such as New Orleans and the South Bronx, providing them with discounted heating oil, and free energy saving light bulbs to poor and low income families during the winter months, and providing grants to community-based organisations to build self-sustaining institutions such as worker-owned cooperatives, and holistic healthcare for women.

So Yes...I loved the man...I admired his courage and his commitment to ending racial discrimination in his country and his championing of the poor and downtrodden..

In the words of Chuck D. of Public Enemy..."Most of my heroes don't appear on no stamps."

Good Bye Hugo...Rest in peace!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Just So Ya Know!

The next time you hear some right wing/conservative retard talking about how bad the economy is under President Obama...tell em this..Yesterday,The federal government reported a rare surplus for January and is on track to run the lowest annual deficit since President Barack Obama took office. Yeah...read this..


The Treasury Department said Tuesday that the government took in a surplus of $2.9 billion in January, helped by nearly $9 billion more in Social Security taxes. Last month Congress and the White House allowed a temporary cut in Social Security taxes to expire.
The monthly surplus was the first since September.

Through the first four months of the 2013 budget year, the deficit has grown $290.4 billion. That's nearly $60 billion lower than the same period a year ago. Revenue through those four months is 12.4 percent higher compared with the same period last year, while spending has grown only 3.5 percent. The budget year began on Oct. 1.

The Congressional Budget Office forecasts that the deficit will total $845 billion when the budget year ends on Sept. 30. If correct, that would be first time the government has run annual deficit below $1 trillion since 2008.The deficit is the amount the government must borrow when its expenses exceed its revenue. Each month's deficit is volatile and can be affected by calendar quirks that shift government spending or revenue from one month to another.

The annual deficit is projected to be smaller this year because the government is collecting more revenue this year, mainly because of faster job growth and higher taxes. Hear that Republicans?

I know this is a wordy and probably boring post, but humor my inner geek, my inner nerd for just a day...
At the same time, the government is spending less on some programs. That's in part because of spending cuts that were enacted under a 2011 agreement to raise the federal borrowing limit.

Also, the improved economy has reduced demand for unemployment benefits and some other government programs.

Last year, the economy grew at a modest 2.2 percent and generated an average of about 180,000 jobs a month. Stronger job growth is forecast for this year – an average of more than 200,000 a month, some economists say. More jobs mean more income, which generates more tax revenue for the government.
Another factor in a smaller expected deficit is higher taxes for some Americans this year. When Congress and the White House reached a deal in January to avert the fiscal cliff, they allowed taxes to rise on individuals earning at least $400,000 a year and couples earning $450,000. That is expected to raise $620 billion in revenue over the next decade.

And the agreement allowed a 2 percentage point cut in the Social Security tax to expire, thereby raising taxes on nearly everyone who earns a paycheck. This year's higher Social Security tax is projected to raise about $10 billion more a month in revenue.

The additional revenue is likely to slow the deficit's growth for the rest of the budget year. The deficit will also likely shrink in April, when the government collects much of its income-tax revenue. Last year, the government reported a surplus of $59 billion for April. A stronger economy could make this year's April surplus even larger.

Economists are also optimistic that this year's deficit could be smaller than $1 trillion. But much depends on negotiations in Washington over the next few weeks. On March 1, $85 billion in spending cuts are scheduled to take effect unless Congress and the White House reach a deal to avert them.

Cooper Howes, an economist at Barclays, said that if the full amount of reductions take place, that could trim overall economic growth by about one-half percentage point.
The CBO is projecting even smaller annual deficits of $616 billion in 2014 and $459 billion in 2015. But as more baby boomers retire and claim Medicare and Social Security, deficits would likely rise again. The implementation of the 2010 health care law would also widen deficits. The CBO forecasts that deficits could near $1 trillion again by 2023.

Republicans and President Barack Obama agree on the need for a plan to contain the deficits. But they are at odds over the details. Republicans want to trim growth in Social Security and Medicare spending but oppose any further tax increases.

President Obama has said he is willing to consider cuts in the growth of entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security. But he argues that a balanced approach will require further tax increases on the highest earners.

President Obama's presidency has coincided with four straight $1 trillion-plus deficits.
The gaps reached a record $1.41 trillion in budget year 2009, which began four months before President Obama took office.

That deficit was due largely to the worst recession since the Great Depression. Tax revenue plummeted. And the government spent more on stimulus programs.

The budget gaps in 2010 and 2011 were slightly lower than the 2009 deficit as a gradually strengthening economy generated more tax revenue.

President George W. Bush also ran annual deficits through most of his two terms in office after he won approval for broad tax cuts and launched wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The last time the government ran an annual surplus was in 2001.


Bottom Line, just in case all that above left your head spinning....Things got a little better for our economy yesterdady...our debt went down a little and we managed to actually save a little money...That's the long story short....Just So Ya Know!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What I've Learned

1.I suppose being a vegetarian is good and healthy for some....But I've eaten meat much too long!

2.The Wall is great as long as the roof doesn't fall.

3.Respect is when you're having an argument with someone and you get to the point where you're about to call them a name you might regret....Then you pause and wonder how this person got to that point of ignorance and stupidity and you smile and say-''Okay, you got it" and just walk away.

4.The Older I get the more I feel the rush of time moving on!

5. Getting Everything You want doesn't help you!

6. Having People tell you everything you want to hear doesn't help you or the person lying to you.

7.Children teach you to lighten up, not take things so seriously!

8.I trust everyone until they give me a reason not to!

9.I've learned to live in the moment...what's done is done and what's coming down the pike hasn't gotten here yet!

10.God has the best sense of humor




Peace!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Racial Entitlement??

I can't believe the words that came out of this man's mouth....He said that the Voting Rights Act was "Racial Entitlement"...Racial Entitlement....Racial Entitlement!!! Can you believe that??? This simple bastard believes that my RIGHT as an American citizen is an entitlement because of the color of my skin??? So is his right to vote an ethnic entitlement???

Civil rights leaders are up in arms over Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's skeptical questions about a key portion of the Voting Rights Act, a cornerstone of the civil rights movement that brought an end to Jim Crow-era racial discrimination at the polls in the South.

In oral arguments over the law on Wednesday, Antonin Scalia, a stalwart of the court's conservative wing, suggested that the Voting Rights Act was overwhelmingly reauthorized in 2006 by Congress because the nation's politicians were afraid to oppose a "racial entitlement."

Antonin Scalia said that each time the Voting Rights Act has been reauthorized in the past 50 years, more and more senators supported it, even though the problem of racial discrimination at the polls has decreased over that time.  

"Now, I don't think that's attributable to the fact that it is so much clearer now that we need this," he said. "I think it is attributable, very likely attributable, to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement. It's been written about. Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes."

What planet does this cat live on?  What country is he living in??

The Supreme Court was hearing arguments from Shelby County, Ala., that the nine states and assorted counties covered under the 1965 law no longer need special federal oversight to prevent them from discriminating against black voters.


Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a major figure in the civil rights movement who was a former chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, said on MSNBC the other night that he was appalled by the comment.

It is an affront to all of what the civil rights movement stood for, what people died for, what people bled for, and those of us who marched across that bridge 48 years ago, we didn’t march for some racial entitlement,” he said. “We wanted to open up the political process and let all of the people come in, and it didn’t matter whether they were black or white, Latino, Asian-American or Native American.”


NAACP President Ben Jealous (and my frat brother) told ABC News, "The protection of the right to vote is an American entitlement. It is a democratic entitlement. And those who would seek to use incendiary rhetoric from the bench of the Supreme Court should think twice about their place in history."  I agree.

The Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson also criticized his remark.
Later on Wednesday, Justice Sonia Sotomayor appeared to indirectly reprimand Scalia for the comment, asking Shelby County's attorney Bert Rein whether he believes the right to vote protected under the act is a racial entitlement. Rein answered, "No."  He knew what was up!


Spencer Overton, a law professor at George Washington University and a fellow at the liberal think tank Demos, told Yahoo News that Scalia's comment represented a "political assumption that has no place in a court of law. His assumption raises questions about his ability to approach this case in an impartial manner, and it also suggests that the question of the persistence of voting discrimination is best left to Congress," Overton wrote in an email.

Justices often make controversial comments or ask provocative questions during oral arguments, and it's very difficult to predict a case's outcome simply by listening to the justices question the attorneys. But most court-watchers emerged from the oral arguments believing the portion of the Voting Rights Act that singles out states and counties with a history of racial discrimination at the polls—most of them in the South—will be struck down. Discriminating against minority voters would still be illegal under the act, but people who hope to challenge discriminatory actions would have to do so through the regular court process, which takes longer than the special pathway set up under the law.


 II-
With the Supreme Court having heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act last week, the Obama administration weighed in again yesterday with another impassioned defense of the 1965 law.
"For our nation's Department of Justice, the fair and vigorous enforcement of this and other vital protections -- and their defense against all Constitutional challenges -- constitutes a top priority," read Attorney General Eric Holder's prepared remarks for a speech he was set to give at the Edmund Pettus Bridge Crossing Jubilee.

 "Let me be clear: although our nation has indeed changed, although the South is far different now, and although progress has indeed been made, we are not yet at the point where the most vital part of the Voting Rights Act can be deemed unnecessary. The struggle for voting rights for all Americans must continue -- and it will."

The crossing jubilee was an appropriate setting for Holder to make a vocal defense of the Voting Rights Act, as he has done before. Politicians and civil rights leaders have descended on Selma, Ala., for the annual commemoration of "Bloody Sunday," the March 7, 1965, attack by armed officers on civil rights protesters that helped spur the groundbreaking legislation.


Vice President Joseph Biden made the pilgrimage as well.
"We saw in stark relief the rank hatred, discrimination and violence that still existed in large parts of the nation," the vice president said Sunday, recalling news coverage of the beatings.


Despite the reminiscence and public support, the administration faces a difficult challenge in protecting the full Voting Rights Act. The Supreme Court is hearing a challenge from Shelby County, Ala., to Section 5 of the act, which requires that certain states and other jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination obtain clearance from the federal government for changes to their voting laws.

Most legal observers have predicted that the court will end up ruling against that provision of the law. During oral argument, Chief Justice John Roberts was sharp in his questioning of its efficacy today, though the numbers he used to make his case have been called into question.

That photo above is why the act was passed in the first place.... But that was by a different supreme court in a different age...While many would argue that America has changed...We've elected an African American President twice?? Did anybody not notice the calls for secession and the racist tweets and the bellyaching that is still going on some four months after the election??? Still think that it is not needed?? Is America that much different from 1965 today??....Yes...Of course it is...but only because of laws like this one that doesn't allow racists to get away with the malarky that they used to get away with.

Racism is not dead in America....It's alive and well....and the people who are trying to limit the vote of certain people by voter suppression are lying in wait for any bit of hope, any loosening of the ropes that hold them at bay...

Feels like reconstruction all over again!!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Keith's Music Spotlight

They say that Maxwell never records anything but his own music and never does duets or collabos...well I'm here to tell you that he finally did.. It took Alicia Keys to get him to do it....Can't say that I blame him...Alicia Keys could bring me out of my shell too.!






Friday, March 1, 2013

Weekend Humor



A couple was invited to a swanky masked Halloween Party. She got a terrible headache and told her husband to go to the party alone.

He, being a devoted husband, protested, but she argued and said she was going to take some aspirin and go to bed, and there was no need of his good time being spoiled by not going.

So he took his costume and away he went.

The wife, after sleeping soundly for one... hour, awakened without pain, and as it was still early, she decided to go to the party. In as much as her husband did not know what her costume was, she thought she would have some fun by watching her husband to see how he acted when she was not with him.

She joined the party and soon spotted her husband cavorting around on the dance floor, dancing with every nice chick he could and copping a little feel here and a little kiss there. His wife came up to him and being a rather seductive babe herself, he left his partner high and dry and devoted his time to the new stuff that had just arrived.

She let him go as far as he wished; naturally, since he was her husband.

Finally he whispered a little proposition in her ear and she agreed,
so off they went to one of the cars and groped and kissed each other and finally went all the way in the back seat .


Just before unmasking at midnight, she slipped away and went home and put the costume away and got into bed, wondering what kind of explanation he would make for his behavior.

She was sitting up reading when he came in and asked what kind of a time he had. He said, "Oh the same old thing. You know I never have a good time when you're not there."

Then she asked, "Did you dance much?"

He replied, "I'll tell you, I never even danced one dance. When I got there, I met Jake, Billy Brown and some of the other guys, so we went into the den and played poker all evening.

"But I'll tell you... the guy I loaned my costume to, sure had a real good time!"




KEEPING THE FAITH: RANDOM PRAYERS "ON THE DOWNLOAD"
























































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



































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Click on image to enlarge for reading



Click on image to enlarge for reading