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Showing posts from August, 2014

Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews: A Predictor of Current Ukraine Conflict

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I have had an enjoyable summer of reading.  Minus a major vacation, it is the most effective use of time for me.  In anticipation of a successful Eagles season, I have made it a point to read at least a book a week.  First of State by Robert Greer was an excellent read.  Stone Cold by David Baldacci took me into the world of espionage and contract killings.  Spartacus: the Gladiator and Hadrian's Wall, which I am currently reading, immerse me in the world of ancient Rome. The Man in 3B by Carl Webber was my turn into the world of intrigue and double cross.

Red Sparrow started off like a James Bond novel.  An American CIA agent setting up a clandestine meeting with a Soviet official.  He had spent time trying to become 'black'.  Not in the racial way.  Becoming black was an attempt to evade detection and surveillance.  In spite of Nate's ten hour exercise, the meeting was interrupted by a random sweep of street agents.  They had to do a quick exchange of information a…

Racial Unrest in Ferguson, Missouri: Solutions Coming?

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The killing of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer set off a chain of events that will have us pondering the causes for a few months.  He was an eighteen year old young man who was about to start college in the fall semester.  What led to the confrontation with the police officer will be the subject of an ongoing debate.  The recent death of Eric Garner at the hands of NYC police officers leave some people feeling like it is open season on African Americans.  The continued civil unrest points out the work that has to be done on a number of social fronts.

It was reported that the police force has fifty-three officers.  Only three are people of color.  The Ferguson area recorded a population of 67% African American in the most recent census.  The police force needs to reflect the population in some way shape or form.  About 10% of the population lives below the poverty line.  It was stated that the school system is overwhelmingly African American.  Most of the people that can af…

The Taney Dragons are making Pennsylvanians Proud

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I must admit that I have not watched a lot of baseball this year.  My Philadelphia Phillies have been in last place most of the season.  Ryan Howard took the money and ran.  Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins do not produce the excitement for me that they once did.  I am happy that they finished closed the deal and won a Championship in 2008.  It has been downhill since then.  On the other hand, the success of the Taney Dragons has me glued to the television for the last two games.

One of the major story lines is the emergence of Mo'Ne Davis as a role model for young girls.  Mo'Ne became the first girl to pitch a shut out in a Little League World Series game.  She also hit an RBI single last night to help Taney win against the Pearland, TX team which is representing the Southwest.  They beat a tough Tennessee team to open the series and have been playing excellent baseball.  It was exciting to watch.
I know the discipline that it takes to excel at baseball.  These kids are well co…

Religious Intolerance Is A World Wide Problem

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Many of us who believe in a higher power are shocked by some of the atrocities committed in the name of religion.  The Catholic Church is continuing to feel the effects of its child abuse scandals.  I think that some of these problems are directly attributable to some priests entering the priesthood to avoid the sting of being gay.  There was a Jewish Rabbi recently gunned down in Miami while on a much needed vacation.  Can this death be linked to the ongoing crisis in the Gaza Strip?  There was a period of unease here in the U.S. after the 9-11 bombings of the World Trade Center.  I am happy about the level of tolerance that we all exhibit during these tense religious conflicts worldwide.

I wrote an article about the conflicts in the Central African Republic between Christians and Muslims.  Although this crisis is not making daily headlines, I would be confident in saying that the acts of reprisal will go on for some time.  The current situation in Iraq involving ISIS and its attempt …

Tynirah Borum and McKenzie Elliott: Rest In Peace

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It is a terrible Saturday for two grieving mothers today.  Tynirah Borum and McKenzie were both three years old when a summer Friday began yesterday.  They will not live to see four years old.  Tynirah was hit by a stray bullet in South Philadelphia.  McKenzie was killed by a stray bullet in Baltimore.  It is a sad indictment on our society that these precious young ladies have been called to be ancestors at such young ages.  What goes on in the mind of the shooters who could make a choice to not pull the trigger when innocent bystanders are in the vicinity.



In Philadelphia, we are in the middle of Peace Week.  Anton Moore, a community activist, organized a week of activities designed to reduce gun violence in South Philadelphia.  I know that there are similar activists in Baltimore trying to stem the tide of senseless violence.  When will young guys stop and think about the consequences of indiscriminately firing guns to end disputes.  These young ladies could have been preparing fo…

The Injury to Paul George: Devastating

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Paul George is one of my favorite players in the NBA.  He was drafted in the same class as Evan Turner.  I am certainly glad that the Sixers did not sign Evan Turner to a maximum salary contract in the NBA.  He is currently signed to the Boston Celtics for a mid-level exception.  I especially liked Paul George because he worked really hard to transform his game and help the Indiana Pacers become a threat in the Eastern Conference.  A certain player by the name of LeBron James would not let him ascend to the Championship level that I know he coveted.  Now that LeBron has left Miami to return to Cleveland, I think the Pacers could have contended again for the Eastern Conference championship.

I awoke to the crushing news of his gruesome injury this morning.  He was hurt while trying to make a defensive play against James Harden.  Paul was a lock to make the international team that was going to represent the United States in World Cup play this summer.  Some owners are against the use of…