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Showing posts from March, 2014

The Eagles Release DeSean Jackson: A Question of Dollars or Sense?

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I am in the middle of a few home improvement projects today.  Painting walls and trim called for some jazz and concentration. Andy Snitzer, Michael Lington, Kenny G and Chante Moore fit the bill today.  Chante is not  so much in the jazz genre but she remains one of my favorite artists.  I took my lunch break and was shocked by the news of DeSean Jackson's release from the Philadelphia Eagles.  There had been rumors and innuendo in the paper all week about the Eagles shopping him around.  We could not even get a solid third round draft pick in exchange for this super talented receiver.  Did other teams know some of the news that came out today?  The league is not for choir boys and angels.

DeSean was coming off of one of the best seasons of his career.  He made the Pro Bowl and had a spectacular season last year.  I can understand DeSean's frustration a couple of years ago about his contract situation.  The Eagles had just signed a former Giants wide receiver Steve Smith to …

Pope Francis: Why Did You Leave Us Hanging?

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There was a lot of fanfare before a delegation of Pennsylvania politicians left recently to go to Italy for a purported meeting with Pope Francis.  In an unlikely pairing, Governor Tom Corbett and Mayor Michael Nutter put any differences aside and formed a unified front for this trip.  The object of their desire was an audience with the Pope to pitch a potential visit for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015.  A planned visit by the Pope would be an economic windfall for the city and a boost for the Catholic religion.

I remember when Pope John Paul cam to Philadelphia back in the 1980's.  He rode down Broad Street in a bullet proof car.  It was a sight to behold.  I wasn't aware of the economic impact at the time but it must have been substantial.  Pope Francis has been setting a busy pace since he has been in office.  He has been a trail blazer with regards to reaching out to the poor.  He might be a little more lenient towards our gay or lesbian c…

The NCAA Games were Pretty Good Yesterday

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I got a chance to hang out with a few friends watching the NCAA March Madness games yesterday.  Ed Hamilton, aka Rab, invited a few of us over to watch games and enjoy.  My 76ers have been horrible and my interest in basketball has waned because of it.  The games presented a chance to enjoy an afternoon of fun, food and drinks.  First the food.  We had chili, spaghetti, hot sausages with raw onions and fried chicken.  Gerri showed up with some Grey Goose to add to an assortment of beer and snacks.  We could have watched Sesame Street and I would have still had fun.

Our first game featured Stanford versus Kansas.  Kansas has traditionally been a basketball powerhouse.  One of my favorite players to come from this university is Danny Manning.  Danny won a national championship as a player with the Jayhawks back in 1988.  He is currently a coach for the University of Tulsa.  He team suffered an early exit at the hands of UCLA.  I wanted to see what the hype was about the Canadian import…

Angel Rojas: Rest in Peace!

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I wake up and scan my four favorite newspapers for news updates.  The Philadelphia Daily News, The New York Daily News, The Washington Post and The Chicago Tribune give me a update on the pulse of the country.  I read less about sports than I used too.  I am fixated by the whereabouts of Flight 370 but I have to keep abreast of what is going on.

One of the lead stories in the New York Daily News was the death of Angel Rojas.  Mr. Rojas was 39 years old when he met his tragic demise.  He was riding the bus when a fourteen year old boy decided to shoot it out with a rival who had just walked on to the bus.  He was shot in the back of the head as he was making his way though the busy streets of New York.  He could have been on his way home to meet his wife and two kids.  He will not be able to celebrate his 40th birthday with his family.

Someone commented on the article that minorities are the cause of most gun violence.  Put the blame on the shooter and that will make most of the membe…

Politics Doesn't Have to Be a Dirty Business

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I was pretty amazed about an article posted by a Deputy City Commissioner that indicated a large amount of challenges to petitions that were filed for City Committee positions in the upcoming election.  I was appointed a Committee Person in the 36th Ward midway through the term that I am serving now.  I am interested in being elected to the position and I took the process of obtaining ten signatures seriously.  Even with this process being completed, I was about to turn in my petition without the required notary process.

A notary has to verify the identity of the person who circulated the petitions.  The identity of the candidate also has to be verified by the notary.  Since I circulated the petition and was also the candidate, I needed two.  Thank goodness I took the extra step of utilizing the notary provided by the 36th Ward and getting that extra notary to certify my petition.  It was reported that there were almost four hundred challenges to petitions that were filed recently. …

Malaysia Flight 370: Where Are You?

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Many of us are concerned about the recent disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370.  How does an airplane with state of the art technology and 239 people on board disappear into thin air?  What type of planning does it take to have a plane elude satellite and some efficient militaries like those in India and Pakistan to veer off course and fly under all radar?  I am so sorry for the families of the missing crew and passengers as the wait for a solution to this mystery becomes agonizingly long.

The authorities in Malaysia are now searching the homes of the pilots involved in the flight.  One of the pilots had worn a shirt entitled 'Democracy is Dead' recently.  Some are attributing terrorist motives to him because an opposition leader was arrested on the same day of his flight.  He lives in a gated community in Kuala Lumpur and seems to have real family ties.  The second pilot was younger and less experienced and they did not seem to have a connection before this flight.

There was…

Check out UE Radio for a Different Perspective on Issues

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Those of us that are working hard to establish a presence on the world wide web compete with a number of media sources.  Years ago only the prescient perceived of the Kindle, the Nook and Google Glass.  An individual can now make phone calls from his or her watch.  What in the name of The Jetsons is going on here?  My computer is now over six years old.  I know I will be getting a prompt soon to upgrade or get rid of it.  When I read recently that over two-thirds of the citizens of Africa still do not have Internet access, then I realize that I am not doing so bad.

The Digital Divide in our country is real also.  As it becomes increasingly more difficult to keep food on the table, the ability to access information on the Internet is a dream.  I was in the Library yesterday waiting for a meeting and I wonder how many of the patrons there have no other means of access.  Philadelphia is a city with a 25% poverty rate.  Many of my fellow neighbors appreciate the beauty of the Free Librar…

The Last Alibi: A Surprising Legal Thriller

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I need to occupy my time with something other than television these days.  The NFL Season is over.  My 76ers are just now worth the time of day.  I haven't got the same passion for college basketball as I did when I was younger.  What better way to spend a few hours than with a good book.  I had not read anything by David Ellis before.  I just finished a book by Jeffrey Deaver called The Cold Moon.  That was an awesome read involving murder and deception.  Little did I know the twists and turns in this book.

Jason Kolarich, the main character, is a defense attorney who is a former football player.  He is part of a two person law firm called Tasker & Kolarich.  Shauna Tasker is his partner and the two share some history in other ways.  Jason is affected by an addiction that clouds his judgement in more ways than one.  He also is visited by someone who he has meted out some legal injustice to in the past.  Murders take place and a noose is tightening around the perpetrator as h…

The Enigma of Darren Sharper and Other Sexual Predators

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I am watching with interest the case of Darren Sharper.  Darren Sharper is a retired National football League player who had an illustrious career with a number of teams.  He was selected to the Pro Bowl five times.  He was named to the 2000's All-Decade team of the NFL.  He also won a Super Bowl ring with the New Orleans Saints in 2010.  In college at the College of William and Mary he earned All American honors twice.  He actually had a job commentating on NFL games for the NFL Network before it was revealed that he had a number of women who felt that he had taken advantage of them sexually.

Mr. Sharper has been in jail in Los Angeles since last week.  He has been accused of being a serial rapist.  As of today, police suspect him of raping nine women in five different states.  Most of the cases have followed a similar pattern.  A woman would have a drink at a bar with Mr. Sharper.  Most of them ended up in a hotel room with him with little or no knowledge of the sexual encounte…

Carnaval Celebrations Are a Phenomenon Around the World

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I read an article in the Sunday Inquirer about a group in Binche, Belgium that was similar to the Mummer's in Philadelphia.  This group was dressed in similar costumes and featured a diverse age group among the participants.  I thought that the impact of the Mummers was felt around the world.  I was shocked as I was researching the Carnaval phenomenon when I found out that this group was celebrating the Carnaval in Belgium.  We had a mini-Carnaval celebration on Fat Tuesday that ended in arrests and debauchery on South Street a few years ago.  It shows that Pennsylvania is not a fertile ground for this type of celebration.
A similar theme world wide is that Carnaval, celebrated on Fat Tuesday, is a time for feasting before the 40 days of Lent.  It seems like this is a celebration for Christian cultures because Jesus Christ rose from the dead on Easter Sunday.  The intensity of some of the celebrations would indicate that this celebration also provides a cultural release for many of…

Allen Iverson: Congratulations and Good Luck

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The Philadelphia 76ers retired the jersey of Allen Iverson last night.  The #3 will no longer be worn by anyone else that plays for the team.  Only a select few players receive this honor.  In our team history the players are Hal Greer, Wilt Chamberlain, Billy Cunningham, Bobby Jones, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley and Maurice Cheeks.  I watched all of these players except Hal Greer.  I only saw Wilt Chamberlain when he played for the L.A. Lakers but as an Overbrook H.S. graduate his Philly roots are true.

A.I. was the #1 pick in the 1996 draft.  He played two seasons at Georgetown University in which his quickness and ability to score were evident.  He was the Big East Rookie of the year during his freshman year.  While in Bethel High School in Hampton, Virginia he led his football and basketball teams to state championships during his junior year.  He was the Associated Press Player of the year in both sports during his senior year.  I can imagine some of the guys who were trying t…