Monday, November 30, 2009

What Does Wanda Know?

I’m not going to give into gossip so I will wait to see what happens with Tiger Woods. But maybe Wanda Sykes knows something that we don’t.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Black Man’s He-cession.

Sometimes when I look out on the black blogosphere I see some distressing conversations. I see black women downing black men and black men having to defend themselves. There is a lot of black on black hate on the web. I do understand some of the animosity on behalf of the women bloggers. As black men, some of us have been falling down on our jobs. But on the flip side, all black women haven’t been easy to deal with. In the end, we’ve all got our hang-ups. Unfortunately the recession has the potential to make our relationships worse.

Due to the high numbers of men affected by the Recession, our current financial difficulty is being called a He-cession. And black men have seen the worst of our economic problems. The national unemployment rate for black men is currently 15.7%. The national unemployment rate for black men (20 years and older) is currently 17.1%. So if you are a black male and hate your job, suck it up and ride it out!!! This bombshell dropped by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sent shockwaves from the city to the suburbs. Once again black men are the low man on the totem pole. And this is where the problem begins. Black women don’t want to hear any more excuses!! Black women have their own complaints concerning racism and sexism. They are tired of hearing about how “The Man” is holding black men back. I especially know this because my wife hates to hear it at our house. So here we are with something else that black men have to gripe about. Columnist David Zincenko, wrote an article about the he-cession in USA Today. One of the phrases mentioned in his article was “the decline of the endangered male.” Uh Oh! Needless to say some Feminists didn’t like the tone of the article. I guess women of all races don’t want to hear men complaining either.

So what do black men do now? Do we pull a Michael Baisden and “cry in the dark?” They have a saying when it comes to race and economics in this country. When white folks catch cold black folks catch pneumonia. Well black men are past the pneumonia stage. It appears black men are at the emergency room hooked on an intravenous drip. Regardless of whatever Keisha thinks about Leroy, the numbers are real. And the men that were raised to go to work every day are hurting. All they want to do is provide for their families. They would work if they could and take any job they could get. I just hope that this subject doesn’t divide black men and women. We have too much working against us already. We don’t need to muddy the waters with who has the biggest grievances. Because even if black men win the argument, with a 17% unemployment rate they still lose.

Do you agree?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How going Rouge is actually Un-Rogue.

Former Governor Sarah Palin owned the media last week. That was until Oprah dropped her bombshell about the world ending in 2011. But Palin did own most of the week. Everyone talked about her book and subsequent book tour. My wife scoffed when she saw a photo of a man reading her book in our local paper. She doesn’t understand what the Palin appeal is. People who aren’t fans even purchased the book out of curiosity. Personally my curiosity doesn’t need to be satisfied. I can find a better way to spend $28.99 than purchasing a book. It’s not that I hate Palin and have some visceral reaction toward her. I just think that she is overrated. I don’t believe she is a smart as her handlers would like for us to believe. Katie Couric tripped her up with a question my 3 year-old Goddaughter could answer. And because of the interview, she blames Couric for part of the media bias against her. Booo Freaking Hooo!!! One minute Palin is playing the shy fragile white flower and the next she is a modern day Annie Oakley. All while she is feeding us the “Rogue” dinner special every time she is on TV. So what does it mean to be a Rouge?

A Rogue is an individual that is unpredictable and operates outside of their normal confines. Palin’s book tour is skipping major metropolitan cities in lieu of smaller ones. Apparently she or her handlers has decided this is the best way to keep pushing home that Rogue theme. Her whole persona has been crafted around being the everyday “Beck Sue Jane.” She is synonymous with Apple Pies, God and an occasional moose carcass lying around the house. During the 2008 campaign, she poo poo’d every person that lived in walking distance of a downtown metropolitan area. If you lived in the city, you were thought of as not being a “real” American. This provided the suggestion that only Southerners, Midwesterners and Alaskans were real and authentic citizens of America. Is there really a debate as to if the residents of South Bronx are real or not? I’m sure they would have something to say about that.

If Palin wants to do something unorthodox, she should do something that will take her off the grid. Instead of taking her message to Mayberry, she should park her tour bus in the heart of Times Square. She should go to Detroit, Oakland, Houston, and Atlanta. She should go where people would not expect her to go. She should address the people that she belittled on the campaign trail. The same people that she alluded to as “Un-American” are the same ones she should talk to. Why? Because then she would be someone that “operates out of their normal confines.” It’s easy to go where you are going to get love but what about when you go into the Lions’ Den? Palin was the Republican nominee to possibly be the second person in charge of the Free World. She was going to be the vice president of a country that has all types of citizens. And many of those citizens don’t share her views of the world. What better way to strike out on your own than to deal with people that are put off by you. I would love to see Palin answer her critics while peddling her book. It would really show me what she is truly made of. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Now those are words that were spoken by a true rogue.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The downfall of Notre Dame. Saturdays can’t get any better!!!

Notre Dame should just cut their losses and buy out the rest of Charlie Weis’s contract. Sure it might cost $18 million but it’s not like they don’t have the money. With a 33 – 30 loss to Connecticut, the nails started being hammered in the coffin that held Weis’s career. And this is with 6 years left on his present contract.

Tyrone Willingham, Notre Dames first black head football coach, was given 3 years before they decided to get rid of him. But after 4 years, Weis’s winning percentage is no better than Willinghams. Why wasn’t Tyrone Willingham given 4 years to turn Notre Dame around? Sure it smells fishy to me but it’s probably because I’m biased. For full disclosure I am related to Willingham on my mother’s side of the family.

Also for full disclosure – I root for every team that Notre Dame plays against. My two favorite college teams are Oklahoma and any team that plays Notre Dame. So yes, I am what you would call a hater. But family loyalty gives me a legitimate reason for not showing the Irish love. The reality of the situation is that Notre Dame thinks they are the Notre Dame of old. The Alumni and Boosters have this unrealistic fantasy of 10 – 2 seasons and BCS Bowls. The parity in college football now has made those goals extremely difficult. And other schools with loose academic expectations for their players don’t help either. The Notre Dame allure is not what it used to be. Footballers aren’t beating the road up to get to South Bend. Don’t get me wrong because they still are getting athletes. Just not the type that they use to or the type they need. But on the plus side their players are graduating and they have minimal on/off campus drama.

Notre Dame doesn’t have the speed of a Florida Team. They don’t have the toughness of a Nebraska Team. They don’t even have the heart of a Texas Christian Team. Their schedule this year was supposed to help kick start their resurgence. But instead their schedule exposed their delusional thinking. If the University of Alabama had the same schedule, the coach, athletic director and mascot would have been fired. The Notre Dame schedule this year was weak as wet toilet paper.

Before Notre Dame is competitive again they are going to have to make some tough choices. The times have changed and Lou Holtz isn’t waiting around the corner. They need to decide on who they want to be and then learn to live with their decision. But first they need to do some house cleaning. Giving a 10 year contract to a first time college coach was extremely foolish. Weis has been their entirely too long by Notre Dame’s standards. How long is too long? 4 years too long.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

You go girl!!! I think?

The City welcomes Carolyn Flowers, the new CEO of the Charlotte Area Transit System.
You took a pay cut when you came here from Los Angeles. And you are making less money than the man you replaced. Welcome to North Carolina and enjoy your stay.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Snake Oil Salesman Watch – Millennium Travel & Promotions

Millennium Travel & Promotions Inc
4647 S. Clyde Morris Blvd Suite #501
Port Orange, Florida 32129

Be on the lookout for this Company!!!!

Grand Discovery, an entity of Millennium Travel and Promotions, invited me to attend a presentation they had regarding timeshares this past spring. I took my wife with me (who is allergic to sales pitches) to attend the presentation. She was already pissed off about going because (she is allergic to sales pitches) it was Friday after work and she was hungry. I thought the presentation was good but my wife was even more pissed off (her sales pitch allergies were acting up). The salesman brought his boss over to help him seal the deal. If he knew who my wife was, he would have realized that was a waste of time. The salesman’s boss made a joke that my wife thought was sexist. I guess it didn’t help that I laughed at the joke too. I guess marriage jokes aren’t for hungry wives with salesmen allergies. After the presentation, we decided that financially this would not be wise for us. We told the salesman that we would have to decline and he looked piss. He didn’t even say goodbye or shake our hands. It’s like being in a strip club without having any bills in your pocket. Eventually the strippers are going to stop asking you if you want a lap dance. I guess you are wondering why I attended a timeshare presentation when I knew I wasn’t going to buy a timeshare. Because they provided an incentive for me to go!!! Just for sitting through the presentation I was suppose to receive –

*2 roundtrip airfares anywhere in the Continental U.S.

*3 days and 2 night’s hotel accommodations for 2 adults.

*$150.00 in Gasoline rebate coupons.

*$30.00 in Dinner certificate good at any Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Smokey Bones or Bahama Breeze.

I thought I was going to leave with what I like to call the “Freeness” (aka Free Stuff). When people go to these presentations they usually end up with a gift. My Frat Brother received a Knife Set from one of these presentations. My parents have a grandfather clock because they attended a presentation. I know knives and a clock don’t sound sexy but roundtrip airline tickets do. But I should have known things were going to go downhill when I didn’t receive some of the “Freeness.” The first thing that was denied to me -

*No Gas coupon or Dinner certificate… : (

I was still holding out hope for the roundtrip airfare because I had it in writing (so I thought). All these cousins I have that are lawyers and I never called them. I should have because things got real shady when I wanted my airline tickets. To make a long story short –

They started making us jump through all these hoops in order to get the tickets. They kept returning our paperwork requesting that we change information. They would wait for months to request alternative documentation from us. And they would turn down all of our selected days. It finally got to where we were on our last possible date. Our last date selected was in April 2010. I didn’t want to wait that long to be turned down with some bogus excuse. So I called the company (one of many numerous phone calls) to talk to their customer service. She gave me some line that they were going to honor the last date. They only gave me 3 dates to choose from and I was down to one.

But I wasn’t the only one that was suspicious about Millennium Travel. The Better Business Bureau of Central Florida gave the company an F on their rating scale. Also the Attorney General’s office of Connecticut has a lawsuit against the company. Apparently they had found a way to weasel out of their own promises. Some folks were losing loot in the scam and the authorities in Connecticut didn’t like that. Others were disappointed in the timeshares they actually paid for. Everybody was getting suckered or screwed.

I swallowed my pride and told Millennium to forgo the last date and to give me my deposit back. After months of dealing with that company, it took them less than a week to give me my money back. I guess they were glad they didn’t have to come up with an excuse for why I couldn’t get my last date. I was glad our deposit was chump change and we didn’t lose major money like other folks. So I’m telling you this story because I want to spread the word. I’m not doing this because I’m disgruntled or attempting to get revenge. Businesses pretending to be legit while harboring ulterior motives need to be put on notice. I have a wife that is smart enough to not let me get to far gone. Other people might not have the same buffers in their lives. Some people actual went on the trips and ended up paying hidden fees. We were fortunate that it never got that far.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lou Dobbs calls it a day.

The 64 year old anchor has decided that it’s time to break camp. Apparently he is leaving CNN to possibly go into advocacy on a full time basis. I can only imagine him creating an independent group that focuses on illegal aliens. Dobbs had to talk to the head honcho at CNN to get released from his contract. Usually when someone wants out of their contract that means they are unhappy. I believe that Dobbs finally started reading the tea leaves. Also throw in the fact that Latino progressives were demanding his head on a platter. Dobbs finally realized that his brand of journalism can only be practiced in certain circles. He never fit into the whole CNN dynamic. They are in that weird spot between MSNbc and Fox News. Their anchors don’t want to look liberal and they don’t want to look conservative. Dobbs was the only guy to take a legitimate stand against something. Rick Sanchez and Campbell Brown bark every now and again but they aren’t pissing people off. Don Lemon and the rest of the blacks are only weekenders. Wolf Blitzer has a cool first name but other than that he doesn’t kick up dust. Dobbs was the one that was beefing with Keith Olbermann. Dobbs was the one that angered Latinos from the South Bronx to East LA. Dobbs consistently questioned why President Obama would not show us his birth certificate. He decried war against Washington D.C. as if they had personally assaulted him. Dobbs was too hard for this network and he knew it. Even with a wife of Mexican heritage, he endorsed closing borders and running illegal aliens out of the country. I always wondered what she thought about his stance on illegal aliens. Maybe she felt the same way? Either way he was still talking about her peoples. We can only wonder where Lou Dobbs will end up next. He is not getting any younger so he doesn’t have time on his side. I keep wondering why at 64 he has decided to make a career change. My suggestion to him is to get the same agent that Glenn Beck has. Glenn Beck left Headline News (CNN owned) and he landed on his feet just fine.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Former Black Politicians - Where are they now?? The handshake & chicken dinner edition.

Then –
In 2008, Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford was arrested on a 101-count federal indictment on charges of conspiracy, bribery, fraud, money laundering, and filing false tax returns. U.S. District Attorney Alice Martin claims Langford used the bribery money to buy audio equipment and luxury clothing items. These alleged acts took place when Langford was a Jefferson County commissioner. Langford said a day after his indictment “It's not business as usual. It's business more intensified than usual, now that I know what I'm dealing with, I can now turn all of my attention to carrying out my duties as mayor."

Now –
In 2009, Langford was found guilty of taking cash and accepting gifts. He was automatically removed from office and is currently awaiting sentencing. He could possibly face 805 years in prison.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tusks vs. Horns – A Family Conflict.

The function of conservatives is not to meet every liberal program or scheme with a denunciation or a destructive counter-scheme, but rather to weigh its advantages and defects, supporting the first and challenging the second. A declaration of ideological warfare against liberalism is by it nature profoundly un-conservative. It meets perceived radicalism with a counter-radicalism of its own.

~ Sam Tanenhaus, author of The Death of Conservatism

The Elephant Party is not only destroying the Democrats but they are killing their own as well. Republicans have always been in different camps within the party but now one camp wants the top spot. The Far Right has decided to drive certain Republicans from the party. I thought the Log Cabin Republicans would be on the hit list but they weren’t. I guess as long as the Lob Cabin’s stay gay and quiet they will fly under the radar. The group in the cross hairs goes by the name RINO (Republican in Name Only). The funny thing is that RINOS didn’t start their own group. Some of them just ended up in the group because they weren’t liked. It’s like picking teams for kick ball and no one picks the kid that eats boogers. He is probably a good athlete but his only sin is that he eats his own mucus. The Rinos’ only sin is that they do not hold to a traditional conservative Republican value system (per Rino haters). I would suggest that Michael Steele take control of this situation but he is only a prop. The only other person in charge is Rush Limbaugh and he’s not going to step in. And if you are a Democrat, don’t be too smug about this Republican infighting. You have your own group that should be called DINO. Instead you call them Blue Dog Democrats.

A day of Regime Change - The Overthrowing of a County School Board.

Burke County School Board Chairwoman Tracy Norman must be legally blind. I take that back because that is offensive to blind folks. Even Stevie Wonder would have seen the writing was on the wall. Norman was the main conspirator in getting rid of popular School Superintendent David Burleson. Did I mention that Superintendent Burleson was “POPULAR?” People that understand the power of voting are dangerous people. They put fear into the hearts of elected officials. These voters can’t be fooled with a lot of razzle dazzle. Handshakes and empty promises don’t work with this group. You either do what they want or end up without a job. So in last Tuesdays North Carolina State election, Chairwoman Norman took an “L” with a major league drubbing. She lost to the winning candidate by a 14 – 1 margin. Susan Stroup, the winning candidate pledged to change current school board policy. So guess what happened to the incumbent school board members that were against Norman’s decision to oust Burleson? They all were re-elected. And guess what happened to the 1st time candidates that were running (here is a hint – they support Burleson). The voters spoke last week and politicians heard them. I wonder did other North Carolina voters hear them as well.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Where are the Swing Voters on the Climate Bill?

Article by Scott Bittle & Jean Johnson,
Authors of Who Turned Out the Lights: Your Guided Tour to the Energy Crisis

As the Senate environment committee starts to hold hearings on the climate change bill, we think there's one critical question for the senators: Who are you talking to?
That's not an obvious question, or an (entirely) sardonic one. Legislation is almost always shaped more by leaders and lobbyists rather than the public at large, and given the complexity of the climate bill that's even more true here.
But you can't solve the climate change problem if the public isn't ready to accept some level of change. In the end, this is an argument about how we get the energy to fuel the life Americans want to live. You can't change the energy picture without getting the public to reconsider where our energy comes from and what practical alternatives there are for developing a more climate-friendly mix. If too many Americans believe there's an easy, cost-free answer out there, or conversely, if too many believe that we can't tackle our climate problems without destroying the American way of life, we're not going to get very far.

Right now, too many Americans are heading into this fight unarmed. Four in 10 Americans can't name a fossil fuel, according to Public Agenda's Energy Learning Curve survey. Even more can't name a renewable energy source. It's a fair assumption that most people aren't going to understand the ins and outs of the climate bill.
What's worse is that most don't understand the fundamental challenge here: that the world needs to change the kind of energy we use, even as we need more and more of it. World energy demand is projected to rise 50 percent over the next 20 years, mostly because hundreds of millions of people in China, India and the developing world will be buying cars and living better lives. Production of fossil fuels, particularly oil, is going to have trouble keeping up with that demand anyway. And even if we could meet that demand with fossil fuels, we'd end up with irreversible climate change.

But there is a coalition to be built here, if you talk to the right people in the right way. When our organization, Public Agenda, conducted its Energy Learning Curve survey of Americans, we found they fell naturally into four broad categories: the Anxious (40 percent), the Greens (24 percent), the Disengaged (19 percent) and the Climate Change Doubters (17 percent).

The Greens, as you can imagine, are probably at a rally right now, the Doubters are still chanting "drill baby drill," and the Disengaged are watching the playoffs instead. The most interesting group -- and the most significant -- are the Anxious. They don't know much about energy issues, but they know enough to be worried. Almost all of this group worries "a lot" about the cost of energy (91 percent); They report higher levels of worry than the other groups on scarcity and on increased worldwide demand for oil. Global warming is a lesser concern, but even here 69 percent say it's real and 54 percent say they worry "a lot" about it.
Most importantly, the Anxious are the largest single group, at 40 percent. They're the "swing voters" of this issue, and you can't build a majority without them.
A lot of environmentalists seem convinced that the key to success is making everyone else as concerned about climate change as they are. That's no help in persuading the Anxious; they're already worried about it and convinced it's real. Making sure there's enough energy to go around, and at a price that people can afford, are even more important to this group.

So what's the takeaway here? There are two key points:
Back to basics: We've been doing a lot of work to educate the public on energy (in fact, we've just written a book on the subject). And one thing we've learned is you can't assume people know the fundamentals. And we're not talking about the science of global warming here. We're talking about the fact that there's a relatively short list of options that can provide the energy we need in the volume we need. Right now, 80 percent of our energy comes from fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas and only 2 percent from wind and solar combined. Given that, we have some practical choices to make here, and in our experience, people are pretty good at making them, if you lay them out and are honest about the pros and cons. Plus, a little information up front can head off a lot of misinformation later on, as the health care reform advocates found out to their dismay.

Speak to people's real concerns. People can approach a problem from entirely different perspectives and still end up at the same place. The Anxious are actually strongly supportive of alternative energy, ranging from ethanol to solar, and they strongly favor conservation over exploration. So do the Greens. But the rationales are different -- Greens favor alternative energy because it's clean; the Anxious favor it because they want to stretch the supply.

The groups who will play a major role at the Senate hearings -- cabinet officers, environmentalists, businesses -- are all critical. But the public matters, too. If we let the concerns of lobbyists and policy experts drive this debate, we'll never build the coalition needed to move forward.

Then, if the lights go out, we'll have no one to blame but ourselves.

Author Bios

Scott Bittle, co-author of Who Turned Out the Lights: Your Guided Tour to the Energy Crisis, is executive editor of, where he has prepared citizen guides on more than twenty major issues including the federal budget deficit, Social Security, and the economy. He is also the website director for Planet Forward, an innovative PBS program designed to bring citizen voices to the energy debate.

Jean Johnson, co-author of Who Turned Out the Lights: Your Guided Tour to the Energy Crisis, is co-founder of, and has written articles and op-eds for USA Today, Education Week, School Board News, Educational Leadership, and the Huffington Post Website.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The colossal failure of black radio in Charlotte N.C.

"Chatty Hattie" of WGIV radio - broadcasting in the 1950s and 1960s.

WQNC – FM (Q 92.7) was once called “The Peoples Station.” That was until last month when they scrapped their talk show format for “up-tempo music.” So with a turn of a dial, they dumped Rev. Al Sharpton and Warren Ballentine from the format. It is no surprise that they kept The Tom Joyner morning show (i.e. he is still competitive in the ratings). Apparently the switch was one that has been a long time in the making. It seems that Q 92.7, or as it is called now My92, wants to appeal to the new radio rating system. Having more of a musical format apparently tracks better on this new system. Since these are “Urban Stations” we are talking about, then the listeners must be minorities. Particularly, these minorities must be overwhelmingly African American (or whatever they are calling us this week) in percentage. Does anyone else see what I’m saying here?? Okay maybe it’s just me? Are black radio stations telling us that blacks don’t want to listen to talk radio? If that’s the case, why did they raise hell in Atlanta when Rev. Al Sharpton was taken off the air? They eventually had to put him back on because of the complaining. I just assumed blacks threatened to burn down Atlanta like General Sherman did back in the day.

Sure you have the Joyners, Harveys and Baisdens but what about the local talk shows? Why are they relegated to early (O’ Dark O’ Clock) and Sundays before and during church. And what ever happened to radio that deals with political issues? I know these shows mostly lean “Left” but I did get valuable information from them. Does black radio only think black folks can be entertained through song and dance? This whole thing smells so “Minstrel Showish”. I wonder how many radio stations have dropped Rush Limbaugh because their listeners want more music and less talk. Limbaugh has a show on in damn near every state in the union (even the ones that want succession). Apparently his stations advertisers don’t have a problem with ratings. So what’s up with black folk?

I wonder what the “non-technology” black folks are going to do now. You know who I’m talking about. It’s your family member that doesn’t know the difference between a Mac and a PC. These folks have been listening to radio forever and have never heard of Blog Talk radio or on-line streaming. I don’t agree with everything that is discussed on black talk radio but I believe we need a voice. Everyone doesn’t want to listen to “Tardy for the Party.” The right to express opinions is one of our basic rights as Americans. Now we are beholding to corporations that run radio stations. I guess that is why people are on Blog Talk radio. They don’t want to be beholding to advertisers and ratings. Back in the day, black radio provided people with information on local & state Government issues. I know that most of the urban stations aren’t owned by us anyway. So I’m not that surprised with the events of last month. I guess in some ways this radio stuff was always a business. And when a business is failing they change up their business plan. I guess it’s like my frat brother told me one time. “If it doesn’t make dollars it don’t make sense.” I guess he might be right. It’s still a failure to me.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

It’s probably a good thing that I don’t get sick that often.

Last week my co-workers sat around trying to figure out our new medical and dental benefits. Fortunately the Vision benefits weren’t that hard to figure out. I guess when it comes to vision insurance you either need glasses or you don’t. Unless you have been under a rock, you shouldn’t be surprised why medical and dental benefits needed to be scrutinized. I have to be honest and say that the experience was horrendous. I wish I could find a better word to describe it but I can’t. It was as if we were answering questions to a calculus test. Why is understanding health insurance the equivalent to understanding Wall Street derivatives? My head hurt as co-pay, coinsurance, and deductibles danced around in my head. I know we have deductibles in auto and home insurance but why medical? My company told us that they want us to be cognizant of the cost of our health insurance. WTH?? I wonder do businesses in Switzerland say that to their employees?

My wife pays $10 - $15 dollars when she wants to see the doctor (i.e. co-pay). When I want to see the doctor I have to pay $300 - $500 dollars (i.e. deductible) before my coinsurance kicks in (about 20% of the amount). This doesn’t include the drugs that will be prescribed to us after the visit. Because what is a doctor’s visit without drugs?? My wife will again use co-Pay while I will pay coinsurance. Sounds like my wife is getting the better end of the deal right? It’s probably a good thing that I don’t get sick that often. While I watched my co-workers wrestle over life changing decisions that could have long lasting ramifications. I thought about all those members of Congress that are arguing over “our” health insurance. People were literally sweating bullets on their healthcare selections. Meanwhile the public option keeps going in and out like a bad television set. I bet Congress doesn’t worry about health care like a single mother or a family of a child with chronic illness does?

When I was in the military we had Government Healthcare provide by the…….Government!!! Yes!! That is correct America. The same medical system that the Republicans rail about is being practiced by our Armed Forces. I guess they don’t see it from all of the camouflage that we wear? I miss being able to go to the doctor without having to worry about getting a huge bill afterwards. And so did my fellow servicemen and women. Parents with children didn’t have to worry about losing their homes because of medical bills. Single mothers didn’t have to make judgment calls on whether to pay for the light bill or their child’s prescriptions. Hospital stays weren’t like trying to get a room at the Bellagio. Everyone was taking care of the best way possible. Now I don’t want to paint a pretty picture because we had our medical mishaps. But for every person that has had an issue you will find one that didn’t. Ah the memories!!!! It’s probably a good thing that I don’t get sick that often.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Paging Davida L. Haywood Ph.D., Come get these BAD “A” kids!!!!

The conversation on the deficiency in public education is flawed. The politicians and media always talk around the issue and leave out one important element in the equation. The parents!! Everyone talks about these monsters……children but no one talks about the parents. The politicians are scared to talk about them because parents vote. The media doesn’t talk about them because……well the media doesn’t know what to talk about. But it’s obvious what the problem is. I talk to people that teach these chaps and they tell me the same thing. They are teaching future strippers, criminals and baby mama’s. The glaring point of the conversation is when they mention their dealings with the parents. They have to deal with the extremely low PTA attendance to the parent teacher conferences from hell. These kids aren’t just hatching out of alien eggs. They are coming from homes with parents or a parent. These kids belong to some of the worst parents on earth. They don’t discipline or educate their kids. My friend, who is a teacher, told me a parent told her that she should pick her battles with her child. WTH!!! These parents are bartering with their children. What I want to know is who runs the household???

The problem is that these parents are inept and lack the skills it takes to raise children. A parent has the unique responsibility to raise their children to be productive members of society. That means that parents need to teach their children social skills. They need to keep up with their homework and what is going on at their school. Parents can’t help their children with science projects if they are at the club. I don’t know where the downfall of our society started. We have turned into a society where children raise children. Lately it appears that parents are scared of their own children. I listen to talk radio and what I’m hearing doesn’t make any sense. This talk about reparations keeps rearing its ugly head. How does a check help discipline children? You can have brand new educational facilities with all the latest and greatest, but what good does that do if you don’t have students that are focused. Thugs don’t have a need for new computers? You have got to change the mentality of these kids. It seems that it might be too late though. Dysfunctional parents have abdicated their responsibilities to the public at large. It is now society’s responsibility to raise other people’s children. The teacher has supplemented the mother and father. Because not all kids are bad but some are unfocused. They come from situations that are unbelievable at best. Jail bird fathers, mothers bringing home different men, and don’t forget the neighborhood itself. These are ingredients for a troubled childhood.

Sometimes though these kids make it out of high school and find their way to college. This is why I am paging Dr. Haywood. With her Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Higher Education, she is the last line of defense. She has her work cut out because she has two sets of problems:. Kids that are in college but aren’t college material (kids that weren’t disciplined students in high school..i.e. poor grades) and kids that are college material but have a screwed up mentality (i.e. narcissistic, lazy, etc.). I don’t wish this responsibility on anyone but I know Dr. Haywood is up to the challenge. Who else is going to get them ready for the real world? Should it be the stripper mother, absentee dad, or club hopping grandmother? Nope!! We tried that already and it just ain’t working. Someone is going to have to have to take charge and get these kids straight. It’s the new American Way – when someone doesn’t want to do their job they simply pass it on. And since we are passing the buck, why not give it to someone in the educational field. Besides, my suggestion to lock them in the basement was rejected.

Charlotte N.C. Democrats scratch their 22 year itch.

The Queen City has witnessed the end of two decades of Republican Mayoral leadership with the election of Democrat Anthony Foxx last night. Foxx beat out Republican John Lassiter 51% to 49% in a squeaker of a race. This was a weird race for Mayor because it really didn’t get interesting until the end (accusations of dirty politics and someone dressed in a chicken costume yada yada yada..). There were some similarities in this race to the 2008 Presidential Election. You had an older white man with experience running against a younger black man without experience. I have to admit that I was skeptical of Foxx’s chances of winning. I knew he would need a large black vote along with a good percentage of Independents (“enough” registered democrats and independents helped him). I suspected that voter turn out would be low (and it was) and that would play against Foxx (but it didn’t). In all of the debates that I have watched, Lassiter always looked sharper than Foxx. In the last televised debate, Foxx showed more of his personality. Before the last debate he always seemed subdued and came off very wonkish. Actually both candidates came across as the guy you would most want to live next door to. So if you take away experience, you end up with the same guy. But all of that is in the past and Foxx is the new mayor. As citizens of the city of Charlotte, we should now come together and rally behind Foxx.
My personal notes from Tuesday’s election –

*In my District, there were originally 2 people running for the Board of Education. Kimberly Mitchell-Walker dropped out before Tuesday so that left Richard McElrath as the only person on the ballot besides the “write in option.” McElrath beat Mitchell Walker 51% to 47%. You are probably thinking that means McElrath is an unpopular guy. What clown runs a close race with someone that’s not even running? This might not necessarily be the case. Many people in my district were solely focused on Mayor and City Council seats that they didn’t do their due diligence on School Board Election research. Some people didn’t know anything about the people running or their platforms. Also they didn’t even know that Mitchell-Walker had dropped out of the race.

*Compared to the Presidential Election in 2008 the voter turnout was low. I know I’m na├»ve but the way people voted in 2008 should be the way they vote every time. Even with over 24,000 people voting early we still had low numbers.
Precinct 141 had a voter turnout of 2% (FYI – 50% of the people in that district are non-white).

Precinct 121 had a voter turnout of 30% (FYI – 10% of the people in that district are non-white).

Precinct 48 had one of the highest turnouts of the day with 51%. Keep in mind that is only one precinct out of over 200 precincts.
*The demographics in Charlotte are changing. We are getting more minorities and whites from other states in the country. This is changing the voting landscape of the south. It’s not as conservative as it once was and Independents (or unaffiliated as it’s called in N.C.) are becoming a larger group (FYI - which I am a part of).

Monday, November 02, 2009

Falling out with Church Folk…..wait! You mean they aren’t Baptists???

Filmmaker and writer Paul Haggis is leaving the church of Scientology after 35 years.

FYI - this is the same church that told his wife to stop speaking to her parents.

So what would make a man leave the church after 35 years???

He disagrees with the church being a sponsor of Proposition 8. Proposition 8 or “Prop 8” states that only a marriage between a man and a woman will be recognized in the state of California. Haggis has been attempting to get the church to denounce Prop 8 but to no avail. So now he is going to leave the church and go to…………….ew…….well I don’t know where he can go. After 35 years of Scientology, you can’t just leave to join Catholicism or Islam. How do you start believing in God now??? I think it is odd what Haggis will and won’t put up with. He wasn’t disgusted when the church told his wife to disown her parents but he has disgusted with them not approving homosexual marriage? Before you go into the “all men and women” are equal rant, stay with me. The issue is that it took Haggis 35 years to learn that his church doesn’t support homosexual marriages. Now that just doesn’t make any sense at all. That seems like a long time to be in the dark about your church’s beliefs. Maybe I’m just skeptical in nature but I think there might be more to this story. What do you think?