Showing posts from October, 2012

Catholic versus Muslim Trouble in Nigeria is Worrisome

I was reading in the New York Times today about a sucide bomb attack at a Catholic Church in Nigeria.  The attack occurred as morning service was ending.  At least six people were killed as a result of the attack.  In a revenge attack, Catholic youth killed at least two Muslim bystanders.  What in the name of a loving God/Allah is going on in Nigeria?

Nigeria is one of the largest countries in Africa.  It's economy is fueled by enormous oil wealth.  It is poised to be the leading economy on the continent.  Why are its residents involved in a bloody religious conflict.  Some people point to the Boko Haram Islamic sect.  The country has a religious dividing line.  Muslims dominate the northern part of the country.  Catholics dominate the southern part.  There has to be room for some mixing of the faithful.  News sources have reported that there have been over 2,800 deaths attributed to the continuing conflict since 2009.

One of our issues here in the United States is the color line…

The Detroit Tigers are Hitting Like Lambs

I wanted to take a rooting interest in the World Series.  My homeys on my e-mail list predicted a match up of the Cardinals versus the Tigers.  The Giants messed that outcome up with a total domination of the Cards in the 7th game of the NLCS.  In the American League, the Tigers put the pain on the Yankees with a 4 - 0 sweep that saw them lose Derek Jeter with a broken ankle.  I think the Yankees will have to look in the mirror during the off season and become much younger.  Mariano Rivera, at age 43, is contemplating retirement.  I don't think they can continue to buy championships.

I am pulling for the Tigers because of the travails that the city of Detroit faces.  They have faced the loss of the African American middle class.  They have had continuing scandals with their Mayors and police officials.   Whole blocks of their city are being reclaimed by farmland and tree growth.  Sports can be a major release from all of these problems.  When they paid $219 million to bring in Ce…

Meeting of the 36th Ward was Informative

I recently was appointed a Committee person on the 36th Ward, 35th Division.  I represent six square blocks of voters.  My first job was to check on voters who might have no ID to comply with the Voter ID requirement in the Commonwealth of PA.  As reported earlier, the requirement to show State issued ID has been waived for this election.  I knocked on doors, passe out registration application and was amazed at the increased diversity in my neighborhood.  It will be a journey worth taking.

I missed my first meeting because I was not notified.  The mailing list is a little behind the times.  I found out about this meeting because the Chairwoman of the 36th Ward, Anna Verna, was concerned that someone else might be leasing the meeting space for the 36th Ward on a part-time basis.  Whatever the reason, I am glad I found out about the meeting.  My attendance was worth the wait.  For many years I wondered what exactly the 36th Ward was doing.  As I campaigned for City Commissioner I as im…

Howard University Homecoming Sizzled

I have been blessed to be able to attend Howard Homecomings for 27 years in a row.  This year it was on a wing and a prayer but Shawn was determined that we would make it.  I was not disappointed.  Our Friday's start off with meeting up with Howard Hamilton, Jay Durrah, Chris Catchcart, Eddie Reese, Manotti Jenkins, Jeanne Hoover, Jennifer Long, DeAngelo Starnes and Edward Hamilton.  We have started a tradition of bringing hoagies down for our folks.  We also had drinks and snacks.

We then get dressed and attend the best free party in America.  The lobby of the Grand Hyatt hotel transforms into Howard Homecoming central.  It is mainly for alumni like Shawn and I who came to Howard in the late 70's and early 80's.  We meet and greet, hug and reminisce.  It is awesome.  I saw a lot of folks but missed Shana Ervin, Deneen Lyles and other close friends.  I heard that people were in the lobby until 4:45 AM.

Saturday is the day for basking on the yard.  We went to the game two …

Ronda Johnson: Rest In Peace

I lost a very dear friend on Saturday.  Ronda Johnson went home to be with the Lord.  She fought a brave fight against cancer.  I know people say that God doesn't make mistakes.  I know that in the Lord's house there are many rooms.  All of us will make the transition to the other side one day.  I am so sorry for my friend.  I know she didn't want to leave just yet.  She would have loved to celebrate her 50th birthday next year.

Some of my best times with Ronda were spent at the Redevelopment Authority.  She sat right outside my office along with Stephanie Cunningham and Carolyn Williams.  We would order lunch sometimes.  Other times we would crack up at current events.  She made the workplace a fun place to be.  She was also a good cook. I remember when I got a prostate exam and she tormented me the whole afternoon with a rubber glove.  She was my fellow 1963 baby!!

Ronda was a true Aunt to her nephews and grandnieces.  They all used to come and visit her at work.  She a…

Juan Castillo Falls on the Knife for the Eagles

The Eagles suffered another disappointing loss on Sunday.  The defense has made a habit of losing fourth quarter leads in the last two seasons.  We were leading the Detroit Lions 23 - 13 on Sunday with 5:18 left.  The Lions proceeded to score 13 unanswered points and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.  It is the second week in a row that we had a lead before the other teams final drive.  I was so up set as an Eagles fan that I didn't watch any football the rest of the day.  I missed some good games but I felt better.

Many people questioned Andy Reid's decision to hire Juan Castillo as the Defensive Coordinator.  He had never held position before and it was a stretch on Andy's part to make the move.  We wound up 8 - 8 last year.  he Giants were 9 -7 and won the Super Bowl.  We lost leads in the 4th Quarter in five games last year.  Jeremiah Trotter, Seth Joyner, Reggie White: Where are You?  We had guys who could close the deal on defense.  Brian Dawkins just retired …

Confederates in Alabama want to Honor the Instigator of the Fort Pillow Massacre

I came across a headline on Yahoo this morning as I was checking out my e-mail.  The first article that caught my attention was in reference to David O. Dodd.  Mr. Dodd was 17 years old when he was captured by Union troops with secret codes lining his boots.  He refused to turn over the person responsible for giving him the coded and he was hung in 1864.  It was unfortunate due to his age but this was an unfortunate war.  I mighthave given him a break if I was a Union officer butthis was the mid point of the war and stakes were high.

The article next to this one also referenced a supposed hero of the Civil War.  Protesters had marched to delay the erection of a memorial to General Nathan Bedford Forrest in October 2012.  He was one of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan.  The protest was successful because the monument was delayed.  What the article didn't reference as the role that General Forrest played in the Massacre at Fort Pillow.  An excerpt from follows:

The Battle…

The Washington Nationals Must Stand Strong in Wake of this Defeat

I felt pretty good about the Washington Nationals winning their series against the St. Louis Cardinals when the score was 6 - 0 after three innings.  In fact, I began to watch a new episode of CSI New York and thought no more about turning back to check on the score.  The Yankees had already finished off the Orioles and I figured that the Nationals would hold it down for the Beltway area.

I was totally shocked when I scanned my headlines on the Internet and discovered that the Cardinals scored four runs in the 9th inning on a pair of two run singles to win the game.  They were down o the final strike on both at bats that delivered the win.  Talk about a series filled with drama.  Jason Werth hits the walk off homer in the 9th inning previously to force a game 5.  The Washington faithful waited almost 80 years to witness playoff baseball and it ended badly.

Philadelphia fans know the pain of defeat.  We were the first and only franchise to reach 10,000 losses in MLB history.  We were …

The Taliban's Decision to Execute a 14 Year Old is Perplexing

I am going to put on the turban of a Taliban member for this post.  I am with my comrades and we are planning on how we are going to curtail the Western influences that have become pervasive in Pakistan.  We have already made our views on the role of women well known.  They are to be seen and not heard.  No driving in any circumstances.  Veiled from head to toe and respectful of the male species at all costs.  Last but not least, we will accept no back talk from anyone.  Least of all, a teenage girl.

The community is beginning to chatter about a fearless young girl who has the audacity to want to have an education and pursue a career.  This chatter can lead other people to think we are weak and want equal right for all women.  What are we to do!  As recorded in a Google search, this is our solution after tracking he for two weeks.  We find her school bus and armed to the teeth, we ask: "Which one of you is Malala? Speak up, otherwise I will shoot you all," a hooded, bearded…

Raul Ibanez Made History Against the Orioles

Raul Ibanez added to New York Yankee lore last night.  The most successful franchise in Major League baseball needed his heroics last night also.  Alex Rodriquez, he of 647 home runs and the mega contract, was struggling mightily at the plate.  Joe Girardi decided to pinch hit for him in the 9th inning of  a 2-1 game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Raul Ibanez, a former Phillie, hit a home run in the 9th inning.  In addition, he hit a walk off home run in the 12th inning.  He became the oldest player to hit two home runs as a pinch hitter.  He also became the only player not to start a game and hit two home runs.  He also stopped the Orioles incredible streak of winning extra inning games.  Score one for AARP and congratulations to Mr. Ibanez!!

P.S. Last night, Jayson Werth, another former Phillie, hit a walk off home run in the 9th inning to help extend the Washington Nationals series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Suicide Rate Among Native American Youth Cause for Alarm

I was reading an article this morning about the suicide rate among Native American youth.  In some communities the rate is 9 to 19 times above the national average.  It is so shocking that numerous federal grants have been awarded to try to find the root causes.  Stephanie Woodard, on the website 100, indicated that almost all of the 566 tribes in the United States have been affected.  It is an epidemic that should cause all Americans to pause and take note.

The discovery of America is wrongly attributed to Christopher Columbus in our history books.  There have been records of the Olmec civilization being here well before Mr. Columbus.  Also, there is evidence of the Vikings and maybe an Asian influence here on the North American continent.  What is indisputable is that there were indigenous people living here well in advance of the seafaring people mentioned above.  Before we became the United States a large amount of tribes lived and prospered here.  It seems like we …

Tyler Perry as Alex Cross Doesn't Cut It

I am a fan of James Patterson novels.  I can usually finish one in a matter of hours.  Some of the Alex Cross mysteries I have read include: Ales Cross' Trial, Cross Country, Cross Fire, Kill Alex Cross and London Bridges.  I saw Along Came a Spider on the big screen and loved it.  The African American character that Alex portrays in the novels is a former Washington D.C. police officer who is now with the FBI.  He is called in on some of the most high profile cases in the country.  He is often pursued by villains who would not hesitate to do harm to his family.  In fact, his wife was killed by a criminal.  The mother of his child, who sues him for custody because of his dangerous lifestyle.  was kidnapped for over a year by another nemesis.

Tyler Perry is best known for his Madea character.  This matronly, cursing hold no punches woman has made him millions.  I have enjoyed The Family that Preys, I Can Do Bad All By Myself, Daddy's Little Girls,Why Did I Get Married I and II…

Jerry Sandusky's Innocence Statement is Bizarre

I guess Jerry Sandusky has had a link about his statement from jail protesting his innocence.  He indicates that the 45 counts of child abuse that include molestation and sodomy are a conspiracy by the press, Penn State, the police and all of the victims.  He attributes this all to one victim. "A young man who is dramatic and a veteran accuser and always sought attention started everything," says Sandusky.
It is ironic that Mr. Sandusky refused to take the stand in his own defense at his trial.  He had to realize his life was on the line at that point. 

One of the factors affecting his decision was that his own adopted son was willing to testify for the defense.  Matt Sandusky had begun cooperating with investigators and Jerry did not want to have to go through the humiliation of his own son testifying for the prosecution.  In his recent statement he never mentioned his son's potential allegations.  He doesn't mention the mother who bought charges against him in 19…

The Ongoing Crisis in Syria is Stunning

People have been predicting the fall of the Assad regime for months now.  Recently, there has been some cross border shelling between Turkey and Syria.  People expected the United States to take a role in this conflict.  I am glad that our support for the rebels has not been overt.  We cannot solve the tribulations that affect other countries when we have issues here.  The stories that trickle out of the country are horrible.  In a highly controlled media, I can imagine that the reality of life in Syria is much worse.

The conflict has dragged on for 19 months now.  It is estimated that almost 20,000 Syrians have died as a result.  Many Syrians have been able to seek asylum in Turkey.  There have been many more who never made it out of the country as they were killed at border crossings.  It will not be a perfect society if and when the fighting ceases.  As reflected in the recent trouble in Lybia, memories of past transgressions, real or perceived, affect how citizens look at leaders…

The Gospel of Judas is Intriguing

I am a Christian.  I was raised Catholic at St. Rita's Church in South Philadelphia.  I am now a Baptist.  I converted at Bethany Baptist Church in Chester, PA which was pastored by Reverend Norman Gant.  I am now a member of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church under the direction of Rev. Alyn Waller.  It is one of the largest churches in Philadelphia.  I am a member of the Usher Ministry and and wavering a little in my faith.

I am open to new ideas when it comes to exploring my faith.  The Muslim world was beset by many protest recently when a supposed Coptic Christian posted an online movie of the Prophet Muhammad.  The U.S. Ambassador to Libya was murdered during a protest of this film.  Muslims do not like any depiction of the Prophet Muhammad other than through the Koran.  It was a lame attempt to belittle Islam.  I am glad that Muslims here in the United States do not take the protests to a deadly level.  A Pakistani elected official placed a $100k bounty on the death of the fil…

Philadelphia Police Officer Suspended wth Intent to Dismiss in Punching Case

I wrote earlier about how shocking it was for a Philadelphia Police Officer to be recorded punching a woman in the face at the annual Puerto Rican parade.  It was announced recently that this officer will be suspended with intent to dismiss.  The video was indisputable proof that will make it very difficult for this officer to get his job back.  The union for the police indicated that it was a knee jerk reaction by Commissioner Ramsey.  I feel that the decision was justified.

I am going to put myself in the shoes of the police officer for a minute.  I am a Supervisor with 19 years of experience.  Either my actions in this case were an aberration or I have been punching people on a regular basis.  Also, I create arrests to cover my actions that are not legal.  It's Saturday morning and I can't think of one person who can justify my actions.  My whole persona that I built up crumble with that recorded punch.  I need to make a public statement and start to line up my next career…

Police Officer Punching a Woman at Cultural Parade is Shocking

One of the benefits for citizens today is video on demand.  It was usually a situation where one had no defense except a lawyer if someone had an interaction with a police officer.   In this situation, a woman was attending a Puerto Rican day parade in Philadelphia this past weekend.  Some individuals were throwing water or silly spray in the vicinity of police officers.  Rather than issuing a warning or arresting someone legally, the police officer in question punched a woman in the face hard enough to draw blood.  The woman was actually knocked to the ground by the force of the punch.  I have a hard time believing that this is standard police procedure before arresting someone.

Police Commissioner Ramsey has indicated that he was disturbed by the video.  Another high ranking officer, Richard Ross, indicated that it was shocking.  The officer in question had some brutality complaints lodged against him.  None were substantiated and the city settled on one case.  He was a Daily News …

Voter ID Requirement Eased for 2012 Presidential Election

A Republican judge relaxed the requirement for all registered voters to have State issued ID in the upcoming election.  There had been a number of outreach efforts arranged by State Representatives like Harold James of the 18th District.  I attended a Rally sponsored by State Senator Anthony Williams and was interviewed by Channel 10's Monique Braxton.  I did not think that the Republicans were going to relent on this requirement.

The basis for implementing the law is unclear.  Instances of voter fraud were few and far between in national and local elections.  Republicans here utilized a quick legislative ploy that was signed into law by Governor Tom Corbett.  In fact the poster child for legislative abuse was John Perzel.  He utilized state workers and software to track voting patterns and get out the vote efforts.  He denied wrongdoing until he was indicted.  Jane Orie was a Republican judge from Allegheny county who was also indicted for using state staffers to do political wo…