Showing posts from May, 2014

Memorial Day is Different for the Victims of Gun Violence

I had a very peaceful Memorial Day Weekend.  On Friday, I met with a member of the 36th Ward who will be working with me to try to win the Leadership position.  I was actually off that day.  I took care of an important meeting and then went to get Fire Insurance on my primary residence,  After my meeting picked up Murray Spencer and made my way up to McMenamin''s for my Men's Club meeting.  Tony Mac, Dave T., David S., Caswell and I had a ball.  This would not have been possible if someone would have taken me out because of ill placed blame.

Seven people died at the University of California Santa Barbara this past week.  Elliott Rodger, the perpetrator of these heinous murders, left behind chilling You Tube videos and a hatred for blond women that belies belief.  He was invited to a premier of Hunger Games in 2012 but was secretly fuming that he didn't have a date.  Even though he was driving a BMW when he committed the murders, he hated the rich kids who lived a life…

The 36th Ward will have a New Look in the Next Four Years

The recent primary to choose a Gubernatorial candidate to challenge the incumbent Tom Corbett was interesting.  Most of the polls had Tom Wolf winning the Democratic nomination in a major way.  At the end of the day, he did win convincingly.  Governor Tom Corbett was unopposed and he seemed very energized during his victory speech.  I did not see Tom Wolf's speech but Democrats need to galvanize behind his campaign if we hope to change the direction of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the next four years.
I feel that Allyson Schwartz ran a tough race but she couldn't match the television coverage that Tom Wolf generated.

In the City of Philadelphia not much changed with the State Representatives that defend our causes in Harrisburg.  Jordan Harris ran unopposed in the 186th District.  In spite of some cash accepting scandals involving other State Representatives, all of them held on to their positions.  Ronald Waters, Vanessa Lowery Brown, Louise Williams Bishop and Michel…

The Mining Disaster in Turkey: What's behind this Loss of Lives?

It was reported on CNN that almost 300 miners died when a transformer exploded in Soma, Turkey.  To compound the tragedy,almost 200 miners are still trapped below the surface.  The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inflamed already high tensions by indicating that the deaths are par for the course in a dangerous industry.  It sounds really insensitive at the time of a tragedy that is still unfolding.  On a smaller scale, two miners in West Virginia died in a recent accident.

The mining industry is an economic engine for many people around the world.  Almost 3.7 million people are directly employed in the actual excavation of underground and surface materials.  About 20 million people work in artisinal and small scale mines.  There are also a number of manufacturing jobs associate with this industry.  The makers of heavy equipment and other energy providers rely on those individuals that risk their lives everyday descending into the bowels of the earth.

The mining industry is…

Mental Health First AID: Why It Is Needed in Pennsylvania!

On Thursday and Friday of last week, I attended training at the American Red Cross to become certified in Mental Health First AID.  I received a certificate for my eight hours of class.  I can now spot some warning signs of individuals who are experiencing some obvious signs of mental distress.  Our job is to try to alleviate some of the symptoms that are causing stress and to call 911 if an extended level of anxiety or stress affects a person.  I am more aware of the warning signs now and I will continue to register for similar courses.

Tipper Gore is quoted as saying that the 'Last great stigma of the twentieth century is the stigma of mental illness.'  Many people in distress avoid seeking help or are reluctant to ask family members or friends for assistance.  Some of the causes of these stressors can be a job loss, a death of an immediate family member or friend and the loss of a relationship.  Even apparently healthy, well adjusted people are affected by events that occu…

Redemption, Forgiveness and Peace: The Movement

I attended a meeting today of a group of African American men.  Many of these Brothers told similar tales of making mistakes, serving time and attempting to atone for past transgressions.  Some were as young as twenty-five.  The reason for the meeting today is the attempt to reach make and save some of our younger generation from making the same mistakes.  These gentlemen are willing to give time and energy to ward off the call of the streets.  Spring is the perfect time to organize and try to avoid a long, bloody summer.  The members of Redemption, Forgiveness and Peace are committed to this process.

One of the leaders of the group is Will Little.  Will had served time in prison for a homicide he committed when he was a young man.  The Forgiveness aspect of the organization is based on the Brother of his victim forgiving him for the crime that he committed.  Revenge is a big part of the code of the streets.  Many young men and women are now incarcerated because someones honor had to…