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Showing posts from July, 2011

In Support of African American Farmers

Today I was fortunate enough to purchase fresh produce from a group of African American farmers from North Carolina.  My brother Julius and I bought collard greens, cantaloupes, watermelon, okra, squash and tomatoes.  The sale was coordinated by the concerned neighbors of 50th & Kingsessing in Southwest Philadelphia.  Neighbors in Action is going to coordinate a sale in the South Philadelphia area in August.  The principle of Cooperative Economics is one that we need to practice in our community.  Every other race can sell products in our community.  We need to make more of a concerted effort to support our own.  African Americans are losing farm land at a rapid rate.  We can create a winning team with the purchase of fresh produce from people that share our heritage and struggles.  The cantaloupe was sweet.  We will make gumbo with the okra.  Can't wait to cook the rest!!

The Tragedy in Norway

At least 76 people lost their lives in a rampage over the weekend in Norway.  The suspect is claiming an anti-Muslim, anti-immigration stance as part of the reason for this heinous act.  I will have to do research, but I think Norway is a very homogeneous society.  He seemed to be a well adjusted, non-descript individual based on people who knew him.  He set off a bomb and purposefully targeted people for death.  What a horrific scene it must have been.  In the U.S., Muslims suffered retribution and distruct after the 9-11 attacks.  All Muslims should not have been blamed for the terrible acts of a few who proclaimed themselves believers.  We can all be subjects to someone's ire because of our race or religious views.  We need tolerance as we become a more diverse world.  God Bless the Families affected by this gunman and his dubious intentions.

The Dilemma of White Flight

The Dilemma of White Flight
The census is a very important tool for the federal government and for society as a whole.Funding for schools and infrastructure are dependent on the outcome.Also, representation by elected representatives and the drawing up of congressional districts are affected by these numbers.Philadelphia sued after the 2000 Census because of underreporting and a subsequent loss of funding.There was a big push to get adequate reporting this year. The 2010 census has a number of major factors that reflect changes in our society.African Americans are moving back to Southern states in larger numbers.We once had to flee these states because of oppression and Jim Crow Laws.There are more mixed race Americans than ever before.Also, in Philadelphia, those identifying themselves as white Americans have fled the city at an alarming rate. Minorities have begun to move to the Northeast in record numbers.Maybe this trend made the residents of the Northeast uncomfortable.I feel that t…

Birthdays as a Time to Reflect

I am approaching my 48th Birthday on Saturday.  Besides New Years Resolutions, birthdays provide a time for reflection in one's life.  I appreciate life to the fullest.  This year, I witnessed some of the greates natural disasters recorded.  Tornadoes in Alabama and Missouri, flooding in Tennessee and Mississippi, and tsunamis in Japan.  I can imagine having built the dream home, only to have Mother Nature take it all away.  My son just turned 22 and finished a job training program.  My daughter will attending Howard University in the fall.  My wife and I have been married for 23 years.  It has been tough financially.  I share this same condition with millions of Americans.  Perseverance is the name of the game.  I wish a Happy Birthday to anyone sharing my day on July 23rd.  Let's make the next 365 days the best ever.

Concussions and the NFL

I read this morning that there are a group of former NFL players that are suing the league for downplaying the dangers of concussions.  One of them is Otis Anderson.  One of my favorite players, Andre Waters, killed himself as a result of concussions.  The autopsy results showed that he had the mind of a 76 yeard old man.  Dirty Waters, as he was affectionately known, was a hard nosed defensive back who bought the pain to offensive players.  I am feeling guilty as a fan because, at 47 years old, I have watched years of exciting games.  I did not realize that these players are literally putting their lives at risk for my enjoyment.  The retired players, led by Carl Eller, are also looking for an increased share of medical benefits because of their continuing ailments.  The NFL is trying to make the game less violent.  Can the NFL be enjoyed with a sanitized version of its former self?  I wish the players luck in their pursuit of more awareness about concussions and potential cash payme…

Point/Grays Promise Neighborhood Plan

I attended a working group meeting of the Point/Grays Promise Neighborhood Plan last night.  I was invited by Claudia Sherrod of South Philadelphia H.O.M.E.S.  The meeting was conducted by Rahim Islam of Universal Institute.  I was appointed as a member of the Advisory Council last night.  The group is focused on improving educational attainment levels of students from the Point Breeze and Grays Ferry neighborhoods.  At this point, many students are attending public schools that were the last resort for many parents.  The newly built school, Audenrid H.S., has been racked by violence and lowtest scores.  I am a product of this neighborhood but I went to Catholic schools during my formative years.  I will be focused on Community and Economic Development as this is my area of expertise.  As a teacher, I will also be reviewing benchmarks that measure progress in the educational attainment spectrum.  I will report back.

Women's World Cup Final

I thoroughly enjoyed the Women's World Cup Final game between the United States and Japan yesterday.  I have learned to appreciate the nuances of Soccer.  As an American, I am used to scoring and constant action.  The Japanese team, though smaller in stature than the Americans, played a patient passing game and never got flustered.  We had a number of chances to score in the firtst 45 minutes of play and missed a many of those opportunities.  As the announcer indicated at the time, those missed chances, came back to haunt us at the endo of the game.  The Americans were also unusually hesitant during the penalty kick phase.  We seemed all too confident against Brazil.  I feel good for the Japanese women.  Their country is going through a tough time recovering from the Tsunami earlier this year.  The government  is also trying to protect its damaged nuclear reactors from an approaching typhoon.  Hats off to the better team.   We hope to be back in four years.

The Budget Deficit

I have been following the deficit reduction discussions between the Democrats and the Republicans.  Philadelphia will be feeling the results of curtailed State spending in a big way in the upcoming months.  Almost 3000 workers have been laid off from the School District.  All of us will have to deal with the reality that federal spending will have to be curtailed.  We cannot support two wars and neglect infrastructure needs at home.  Housing dollars coming into Philadelphia are down and has resulted in layoffs.  The stimulus seems like a distant memory.  John Boehner is shying away from some of the drastic cuts that the Republicans have proposed.  I wonder why?

Future Prospects

You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note.  Doug Floyd

In order to differentiate yourself from the crowd, you sometimes have to make bold, innovative decisions.  The consequences could be as you intended or you can work to repair some failures.  You will never know your limits until you take risks though.  I wonder how people are coping with the numerous natural disasters that have affected the world this year.  Tsunamis, devastating tornadoes, floods of epic proportions and earthquakes.  Sometimes, we have no choice but to go in a different direction and rebuild.

Political Interests

I am interested in pursuing a State Represenatative position for the 186th District.  I have contacted my City Councilperson and my State Representative.  Neither one of them have called me back.  I noticed from my run for City Commissioner that deals are made and certain people are not allowed in the process.  I want to change this.  I will keep you posted.

I will get involved in the 36th Ward and then work within the realm of insider politics.  Political People involved will be a decent organization to get acquainted with.  One run does not a political career make.

The Golf Season

I just received my Tee Time book today.  Many of the deals which were in the previous Tee Time book are no longer there.  I will be playing and practicing at least twice a week.  I also will be buying a used car.  Let's get to it.