This blog will be about whatever suits my fancy. Chances are, it will concentrate on media misrepresentations of the American "Black community", Black politics, politics in general, and whatever else I want to mentally masturbate about.
You distrust the government, are fiercely independent, and don't belong in either party.
Religion and politics should never mix, in your opinion... and you feel opressed by both.
You don't want the government to cramp your self made style. Or anyone else's for that matter.
You're proud to say that you're pro-choice on absolutely everything!
The Supreme Court ruling concerning the Seattle "integration" plan was the right decision. If people move to get away from "certain people," to be around "certain people," to be in a better school district, to be in an area that matches their economic background, or whatever, they move for a reason which is good for them. If their moving creates or re-creates segregated living, so be it. It's voluntary, not forced.
Those who are complaining about the decision, seem to be complaining about "integration". Brown v Board of Education was not about integration, it was about desegregation. There may be some validity to concerns about school funding based upon property taxes, but that is a separate issue. Black kids don't need to be around white kids to learn. They need to be in an atmosphere that fosters learning. They need to be supported by parents. Then they need to have a school system that provides the opportunity to learn.
Legal segregation is not affected by this ruling. It is still illegal.
Again, Brown v Board of Education was about desegregation, not integration.
Main Entry: de·seg·re·gate
Function: verb transitive verb: to eliminate segregation in; specifically: to free of any law, provision, or practice requiring isolation of the members of a particular race in separate units intransitive verb: to become desegregated
Main Entry: in·te·grate
Inflected Form(s): -grat·ed; -grat·ing
Etymology: Latin integratus, past participle of integrare, from integr-, integer transitive verb 1: to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole : UNITE 2: to find the integral of (as a function or equation) 3 a: to unite with something else b: to incorporate into a larger unit
Some points on education and race. Right now I don't feel like crafting a way to put these points together, so bullet form it is:
The reason Board v Brown was argued the way it was, is for one simple reason: white school boards weren't funding the Black and white schools equally. In order to get the equal funding, they argued integration had to be done.
People are correct when they say school funding doesn't guarantee similar educational results. For example, Baltimore spends the most money in Maryland, per pupil in the aggregate, but they have the highest administration rate of the school systems in Maryland. Note my use of the word aggregate. People are being intellectually dishonest when they use Washington, D.C. public school funding as an example.
When D.C. gained home rule -- if you don't know what that means, you shouldn't even discuss D.C. politics -- many people were given the opportunity to lead the school system and many turned it down. Even then, in 1973, some of the school buildings were around 100 years old and the schools were in a state of needing repair. When people now state how much is spent, per pupil, for D.C. students, they never disaggregate the amount to tell you how much of that is maintenance vs. how much for administration vs. how much gets to the classroom.
For the people who are going to state Black people, as a group, don't value education, please explain the fact that Black parents overwhelm the private vouchers plans when they are advertised and that Black parents support charters when they are made available.
Last week I read an article which stated Google had learned a lesson from Microsoft when Microsoft failed to hire lobbyists to protect their interests.
I was going to mention that Microsoft doesn't appear to be a quick study and then I was going to compare it to I.B.M.
I.B.M. got hammered by the U.S. government under the guise of I.B.M., at the time, being a dominating force in the computer industry. I think I.B.M. learned their lesson when they had the chance to dominate the operating system on the desk top and did not execute well enough to do it.
I.B.M. had Microsoft develop the first Windows version as a stop gap until it could develop its own version. When Windows took off, Microsoft was smart to break the agreement with I.B.M. Microsoft lost in court but no one can deny that Windows 3.0 and 3.1 is what launched Microsoft into the company it is today.
Here is my "conspiracy theory" point for I.B.M.
I.B.M. developed OS/2, which I think was a great operating system. And it was an operating system unlike Windows which was an application over DOS. OS/2 had a flat memory model which made it easier to develop applications for vs. Windows 3.1. It was definitely better at multi-tasking but Windows 3.1 didn't multi-task. OS/2 was just BETTER but I.B.M. "lost," I say gave away, the desktop race. Why?
Because I.B.M. didn't want to get into the position of being dominate in the computing field again. If they did, they would face the heavy hand of the government, again, and no company in their right mind wants to face that possibility.
I.B.M. learned a lesson and let OS/2 die by not pushing it. Google learned the lesson Microsoft didn't learn and Google has lobbyists protecting their interests.
First thing first. Charter schools are public schools. They have the freedom to be more innovative but they are also burdened by such things as finding a building for the school. So, when someone says charters should not be supported and the money used for charters school be in the public schools, that person automatically should be considered suspect because they don't know what they are saying. It's very simple, if opening a single charter school takes away money from the public school system, then opening a new traditional public school also takes away money from the public school system. That logic cannot be refuted.
Next thing, I find it hypocritical for people to monitor the progress of charter schools, year after year. If the charter school, which is more likely to take in under performing students, has to go under such scrutiny, and may be closed after under performing for one or two years, then shouldn't traditional schools face the same scrutiny and fate if they under perform?
More later, but check out P6 concerning vouchers. (I'll correct the link later).
Meanwhile, the KIPP school in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, will close because it couldn't find space. Meanwhile in Baltimore, the KIPP school performed the BEST of all Baltimore middle schools!
At the core of the belief IN the ideals of the United
States, has to be the concept of innocent until proven guilty. I think
this concept is one of the top 3 reasons why our society is better than
other societies in this world. If we lose this ideal, how much better
are we than, say, Cuba?
(OK, that's hyperbole).
Innocent until proven guilty? See the Duke lacrosse players and Richard Jewel for details.
But let's consider what happens when a person has been arrested and charged with a crime.
So, we continue.
Reducing Time By Copping A Plea and Parole
I have a real problem with prosecutors, in order to reduce their caseload and avoid the time and money it takes to go to trial, making a deal with the defendants to reduce the charges, and possible time served, by those who plead guilty. I also have a problem with judges who accept these deals, since they are not bound to accept them.
Frankly, I WANT criminals to serve their time in jail, especially those who are violent and/or use violence or threat of violence to suit their needs.
I've witnessed people charged with second degree murder, making a deal with prosecutors to reduce the charges to manslaughter. Instead of getting 20 to 25 years, they get a deal for 10 years. Not only is it half of the possible time if they serve the full sentence, but since they are most likely to get parole, it's far less. From what I know, people tend to serve a third of their sentence. So, for a 22 year stretch, only 7 is served. For a 10 year stretch, 3 or 4 is served.
Here is the truth. I've seen it reported that people who have done their civil duty by testifying against criminals, get discouraged because the criminals plead down or do not get substantial time for the crime they committed. I've seen that situation. You know that they are only going to serve a third of their sentence, and then what? When I state that for some people this is a factor in not helping out, I am not exaggerating one bit.
Judges Not Giving Deserved Time
There are times when a person is convicted of some heinous offense and then you find out the judge gave them a very lenient sentence because of "family background" or some other extenuating circumstance that was considered which, to me, has no bearing on the outcome of the sentencing in the case.
ATLANTA, Nov. 27 — The police chief placed all eight members of a narcotics investigation team on leave Monday after a confidential informant said they had asked him to lie during the investigation of the death of an 88-year-old woman, shot and killed by police officers during a drug raid last Tuesday.
Chief Richard J. Pennington said the Federal Bureau of Investigation would investigate the death of the woman, Kathryn Johnston, who was killed after she fired at three officers who breached the door of her small house, with its green shutters and a wheelchair ramp. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is also examining the case.
The informant’s claim fueled more outrage over Ms. Johnston’s death, which had already prompted Chief Pennington to announce a review of the Atlanta Police Department’s policies on the use of no-knock warrants and confidential informants. Since the shooting, civil rights activists and community groups have demanded a federal investigation, saying excessive force was used.
In a news conference Monday afternoon, Chief Pennington said the officers involved and the informant had given contradictory accounts.
“There are many unanswered questions,” he said. “But we must all exercise patience as we examine and re-examine every aspect of these tragic events.”
The following comment is made by a senator with a set of LARGE ones.
"To think that you're going to intimidate a senator or any senator into voting one way or the other by gorging your phones with phone calls -- most of whom don't even know where Gulport Mississippi is -- is not an effective tactic. But it's their right to do that."
I guess when you are entrenched and feeding well off of the government and the powers that comes with the office, you can say such things. Although I don't think saying them in public is a good idea.
I wonder if there will be consequences for Senator Lott for making the statement?
At the core of the belief IN the ideals of the United States, has to be the concept of innocent until proven guilty. I think this concept is one of the top 3 reasons why our society is better than other societies in this world. If we lose this ideal, how much better are we than, say, Cuba?
(OK, that's hyperbole).
Innocent until proven guilty? See the Duke lacrosse players and Richard Jewel for details.
But let's consider what happens when a person has been arrested and charged with a crime.
In a court trial, should a "jail house informant" be taken seriously? Should a jail house informant even be allowed to testify in a trial?
If I were a member of a jury and a "jail house snitch" took the stand and "swore to tell the truth, whole truth, and nothing but the truth," I would probably laugh out loud on the spot. Personally, I don't think they should be used because I doubt their honesty. But I think this is something that a juror should be, and must be, allowed to determine for himself. I don't think I can believe a person who is getting time taken off of his sentence when he agrees to tell something "his cell mate told" him.
To me, the problem is prosecutors, reaching out to make a case, using informants to build the case. They know the people they are putting on trial are probably not truthful. I just don't understand why prosecutors don't get in trouble for using them if it can be determined that the jail house snitches lied when giving their testimony. Surely, the prosecutors know they are lying.
Tulia gained notoriety following a drug sting in July 1999 that rounded up 46 people, forty of whom were African Americans. The remaining detainees were white people known to have ties within the black community, and in fact lived in the black part of town.  Nearly one in two of Tulia's black males were arrested, about 15% of the town's black population. All charges were based on the word of undercover officer Tom Coleman, a so called "gypsy cop" who made his living travelling through impoverished rural Texas offering to work undercover cheaply for short periods of time for underfunded police departments. Coleman claimed to have made over one hundred drug buys in the small town, essentially an impossible feat for an undercover officer working alone. He never recorded any of the sales, but claimed to have written painstaking notes on his leg under his shorts and upper arm under his shirt sleeve when nobody was looking.
During the roundup, no large sums of money, illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, or illegal weapons were found. The accused drug dealers showed no signs of having any income associated with selling drugs. The drugs Coleman claimed to have bought from the accused did not have the fingerprints of the accused on them or their baggies. No independent witnesses could corrobarate Coleman's claims. In his testimony, Coleman gave inaccurate descriptions of the "dealers" he had allegedly bought cocaine from. One suspect had his charges dropped when he was able to prove he had been at work during the times he had supposedly sold Coleman cocaine. Another produced bank and phone records indicating she was in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at the time of her alleged crime. Many of the accused, however, seeing the long sentences dealt out by all-white juries in the earliest cases, pled guilty in return for lesser sentences, despite their proclaimed innocence. The remaining defendants were convicted solely on the basis of Coleman's testimony. The state attorney general, John Cornyn, awarded Coleman a prize for being "Lawman of the Year."
Eventually the case became a cause célèbre, and money was raised to legally challenge the cases. Many had already served several years in prison when this process got down to business. By 2004, most of the "Tulia 46" had been freed, and a $6,000,000 collective settlement was reached to avoid further litigation in civil court. Local authorities remain defiant, promising their town will not become a "slot machine" in the face of a new lawsuit stemming from an incident of police brutality during the sweep by a man who was not charged.
What I don't understand is how the authorities, after having two "drug dealers" prove they were not where the "informant" said they were, still felt strong about bringing charges against the other "drug dealers." How does that happen?
Court Appointed vs. Competent
I will never be able to get over the State of Texas defending its right to execute a person convicted of a crime, even though the court appointed lawyer had fallen asleep during the trial. Texas argued that they only had to provide a court appointed attorney, they didn't have to provide a competent attorney. After the shock of the statement set in, I realized I was shocked not because it was the truth, only because Texas was stating it as a defense of their actions.
When the press asked candidate George W. Bush about Texas losing an appellate ruling, Bush said it proves the court system works. Meanwhile, the State of Texas, with Bush still its governor, appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.
But, we all know that if you are of no means, you get what you get. If you are of moderate means, you go into debt to do the best you can do, and if you are well off, you get the best and most likely, get a favorable outcome.
I fully understand that our court system is not infallible because our court system is based on people, who are not infallible. I understand that errors will happen, and I accept that as fact. However, I cannot "just accept" the cases of prosecutors acting against the ideal of a fair judicial process nor can I "just accept" a system that seems to work against the ideal of "innocent until proven guilty."
If faith in our court system is lost, where does this leave our society?
It is with immense sadness that we announce that KIPP Harbor Academy must permanently close its doors this summer," Jallon Brown, KIPP Harbor's founder and school leader, wrote in a letter to parents.
Harbor Academy is the first of 52 KIPP schools in 16 states to close because it had no room to grow.
The KIPP network of college-preparatory schools is designed to serve students in inner-city and low-income areas with a rigorous blend of high expectations, strict codes of conduct and an 11-month academic year.
The 6,000 square feet of space it was renting at Sojourner-Douglass College was half what it needed to teach its 120 fifth- and sixth-graders - and was not enough to hold about 80 additional students it expected next year with a new seventh-grade class. The KIPP national model calls for adding a grade a year until each school has fifth- through eighth grades.
Harbor Academy offered this year to rent space in the half-empty Annapolis Middle School, but was rebuffed by the Anne Arundel County school board, which told the academy to look elsewhere.
"We did everything we could to find them adequate space," said county schools spokeswoman Maneka Wade. "We're definitely sorry to hear the school has decided to close. And we would welcome teachers and students back to public schools."
Because I am a "gadfly" or "contrarian" as some have put it, I have
raised the question concerning the lack of outrage from some of the
same people who have expressed rightful outrage at the antics of
Nifong. As a result of some of the "feedback" to my comments, I think
there is a need to write more on my blog about my thoughts, not feelings but thoughts, of the need for inspection and possible correction of our law enforcement and justice systems.
Now is the time.
Abuse On The Front Line
What do these have in common?
A man is arrested for drinking a beer in his fenced back yard.
A meter maid is arrested for writing tickets while on duty.
A teenager is arrested while talking to his cousin in a car, after his cousin gave him a ride home.
A street vendor is arrested after showing the police officer his valid vending license.
A couple, who were lost, is arrested after asking a police officer for directions to I-95.
The answer: They are foolish arrests made because of Baltimore's "broken" broken windows policing implementation.
Each of the mentioned instances, which are really just a few of the hundreds of such foolish arrests in Baltimore, incited the anger of many people who were arrested, as well as community activists. I won't go into the community activists because they are not driving the displeasure in the policy, although some believe otherwise.
This policy has seriously hampered the relationship between the police department and the law abiding citizens in Baltimore city. This is being publicly stated by politicians, who really don't count because they will say anything, as well as many of the patrol police who have to implement this policy, and now the police chief himself. But the police chief can be said to be a politician. It's interesting, and telling, that some patrol police have come out and said they do not think the policing policy is effective and it has harmed their ability to do their job because people may no longer want to cooperate.
No Harm, No Foul?
In all of these cases, the people were released. "Well, they were released and not charged. End of discussion!"
Not really. First, many of these people spent time in the Central Booking facility. By "time," I don't mean a few minutes or a few hours. I mean DAYS.
To add to this, the people arrested, now have an arrest record. To clear this record, they have to sign a waiver stating they will not file a complaint against the department, and they have to wait at least 6 months. If they don't sign this, they have to wait six months anyway to file to get the arrest removed. In one case, a person went through this process of having the record removed. It was not removed and he was denied a job because of the arrest on his record. This was the only thing on his record. The man settled with the city for a few thousand dollars. A year later, when going for another job, the arrest showed up again. He took it to court to get the arrest "permanently" removed and won a few million dollars. The city may have to pay more money because the man's lawyer recently stated the arrest is still there.
There are other people who have claimed the arrest is now a part of their history, even though it should not be there, and there are concerns about the record affecting future employment. They have stated they are listing "no arrest" in the section of an employment application that asks about arrests. If it shows up, they are deemed to be lying. The man who won against the city, now carries a laminated document stating his arrest has been cleared.
This state assembly session, the state assembly passed a law which mandates a timely removal of an arrest if no charges are filed.
What is little mentioned when people talk about New York's effectiveness in using "broken windows" policing is, 55% of the "quality of life" cases brought were dismissed. The cost of settling civil rights cases drastically increased. What does this do for civil order in the long term?
In the long term, imagine some of the people who were arrested, and cleared, now serving on a jury. Imagine it comes down to the word of a police officer in the case. Do you think the person would give the police officer the benefit of the doubt? Would a criminal beat the charge?
In the long term, imagine some of the people who were arrested, now not wanting to cooperate with the police. What would that do to rate of crime solving and the corresponding rate of crimes occurring? Will a criminal not even be arrested?
Is this good for society in the long term?
The city state's attorney's office doesn't think so and they have complained about it for some time. They think it's making their jobs harder!
Indeed, that is precisely what has been discovered. In a series of groundbreaking scientific papers starting in 2002, Veizer, Shaviv, Carslaw, and most recently Svensmark et al., have collectively demonstrated that as the output of the sun varies, and with it, our star's protective solar wind, varying amounts of galactic cosmic rays from deep space are able to enter our solar system and penetrate the Earth's atmosphere. These cosmic rays enhance cloud formation which, overall, has a cooling effect on the planet. When the sun's energy output is greater, not only does the Earth warm slightly due to direct solar heating, but the stronger solar wind generated during these "high sun" periods blocks many of the cosmic rays from entering our atmosphere. Cloud cover decreases and the Earth warms still more.
The opposite occurs when the sun is less bright. More cosmic rays are able to get through to Earth's atmosphere, more clouds form, and the planet cools more than would otherwise be the case due to direct solar effects alone. This is precisely what happened from the middle of the 17th century into the early 18th century, when the solar energy input to our atmosphere, as indicated by the number of sunspots, was at a minimum and the planet was stuck in the Little Ice Age. These new findings suggest that changes in the output of the sun caused the most recent climate change. By comparison, CO2 variations show little correlation with our planet's climate on long, medium and even short time scales.
In some fields the science is indeed "settled." For example, plate tectonics, once highly controversial, is now so well-established that we rarely see papers on the subject at all. But the science of global climate change is still in its infancy, with many thousands of papers published every year. In a 2003 poll conducted by German environmental researchers Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch, two-thirds of more than 530 climate scientists from 27 countries surveyed did not believe that "the current state of scientific knowledge is developed well enough to allow for a reasonable assessment of the effects of greenhouse gases." About half of those polled stated that the science of climate change was not sufficiently settled to pass the issue over to policymakers at all.
Solar scientists predict that, by 2020, the sun will be starting into its weakest Schwabe solar cycle of the past two centuries, likely leading to unusually cool conditions on Earth. Beginning to plan for adaptation to such a cool period, one which may continue well beyond one 11-year cycle, as did the Little Ice Age, should be a priority for governments. It is global cooling, not warming, that is the major climate threat to the world, especially Canada. As a country at the northern limit to agriculture in the world, it would take very little cooling to destroy much of our food crops, while a warming would only require that we adopt farming techniques practiced to the south of us.
Meantime, we need to continue research into this, the most complex field of science ever tackled, and immediately halt wasted expenditures on the King Canute-like task of "stopping climate change."
One of the fundamental basis of our U.S. society is a just and equal application of our laws, which should be in place to foster a civil and just society. There are components of our law enforcement and court system that, when placed under scrutiny, demands our attention, otherwise the good people of the U.S. are going to lose faith in our system, and I think that means, in the short, medium, and long terms, our society will suffer.
Because I am a "gadfly" or "contrarian" as some have put it, I have raised the question concerning the lack of outrage from some of the same people who have expressed rightful outrage at the antics of Nifong. As a result of some of the "feedback" to my comments, I think there is a need to write more on my blog about my thoughts, not feelings but thoughts, of the need for inspection and possible correction of our law enforcement and justice systems.
When one examines the facts and logistics of Islamofascist aggression – both in history and modern times – it is hard to argue that the basis for this aggression is Western influence on the Islamic culture. If this were the sole reason for Islamofascist aggression there would be no excuse for attacks in the
name of Islam on the Hindus or Buddhists or in any nation that doesn’t embrace Western values such as Thailand, Somalia or most of Indonesia. Yet, the slaughter of innocents in the name of Islam does take place
against these people and in these non-Westernized regions.
By acknowledging these facts – and they are indisputable – we can dismiss the argument that the US and the
West have brought the wrath of Islamofascism upon ourselves, which is the basis for the argument used by the anti-war movement, the American Fifth Column and disingenuous and opportunistic politicians.
“. . .O you horses (soldiers) of Allah ride and march on. This is the time of hardship so be tough. And know that your gathering and co-operation in order to liberate the sanctities of Islam is the right step toward unifying the word of the Ummah under the banner of ‘No God but Allah’. . .Our Lord, shatter their gathering, divide them among themselves, shaken the earth under their feet and give us control over them. . .”
It should be noted that to bin Laden, the Ummah is considered a figurative nation comprised of all Muslims and all Islamic nations.
>“. . .Afghanistan is the only country in the world that has the Shari'ah. Therefore, it is compulsory
upon Muslims all over the world to help Afghanistan. And to make hijra to this land, because it is from this land that we will dispatch our armies to smash all kuffar all over the world.”
“Our revolution’s main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi.”
It should be noted here that Ahmadinejad believes – as do most Shi’ites – that
the 12th Imam (or Muhammad al-Mahdi), according to their interpretation of the Quran, will bring “peace and justice on earth” by establishing Islam throughout the world. This equivalent of the “second coming” would take place when the world has fallen into chaos and civil
war emerges between the human race for no reason.
Like I wrote, I just wanted to provide this type of information.