October 31, 2007

Fill 'er Up!

No, this is not some lavish desert hotel, but a private home owned by the family of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the former President of the United Arab Emirates, and ruler of Abu-Dhabi.

The Audi A8 in Silver was made for a sheik. It is not only silver in color, but is actually made of silver.

I'm going to remember these pictures the next time I fill up my gas tank, at nearly three dollars per gallon...how about you?

October 30, 2007

Grapes Of Wrath And Some Quotes

"A fellow ain't got a soul of his own, just a little piece of a big soul, the one big soul that belongs to everybody . . . Then it don't matter. I'll be all around in the dark - I'll be everywhere. Wherever you can look - wherever there's a fight, so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad. I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready, and when the people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they build - I'll be there, too."
~Tom Joad, "Grapes of Wrath"

"Our aim in founding the State was not the disproportionate happiness of any one class, but the greatest happiness of the whole; we thought that in a State which is ordered with a view to the good of the whole we should be most likely to find Justice."
~Plato, Commonwealth III

"Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all."
~Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (1723-1790).

"Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance."
~Henry Louis Mencken (1880 - 1956)

"If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still." ~Ecclesiastes 5:8 NIV
* I borrowed the Grapes of Wrath picture from one of my favorite bloggers--thanks, Hermit!

October 29, 2007

The Big Split

According to this recent report, the human race will one day split into two separate species, an attractive, intelligent ruling elite and an underclass of dim-witted, ugly goblin-like creatures, according to a top scientist.
100,000 years into the future, sexual selection could mean that two distinct breeds of human will have developed.

The alarming prediction comes from evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry from the London School of Economics, who says that the human race will have reached its physical peak by the year 3000.

The report claims that after they reach their peak around the year 3000 humans will begin to regress

These humans will be between 6ft and 7ft tall and they will live up to 120 years.
"Physical features will be driven by indicators of health, youth and fertility that men and women have evolved to look for in potential mates," says the report, which suggests that advances in cosmetic surgery and other body modifying techniques will effectively homogenise our appearance.

Men will have symmetrical facial features, deeper voices and bigger penises, according to Curry in a report commissioned for men's satellite TV channel Bravo. Women will all have glossy hair, smooth hairless skin, large eyes and pert breasts, according to Curry.
Racial differences will be a thing of the past as interbreeding produces a single coffee-coloured skin tone.

The future for our descendants isn't all long life, perfect bodies and chiselled features, however.
While humans will reach their peak in 1000 years' time, 10,000 years later our reliance on technology will have begun to dramatically change our appearance.

Medicine will weaken our immune system and we will begin to appear more child-like.
Dr Curry said: "The report suggests that the future of man will be a story of the good, the bad and the ugly.

H G Wells' Science Fiction novel The Time Machine, the human race has evolved into two species, the highly intelligent and wealthy Eloi, and the frightening, animalistic Morlock.

"While science and technology have the potential to create an ideal habitat for humanity over the next millennium, there is the possibility of a monumental genetic hangover over the subsequent millennia due to an over-reliance on technology reducing our natural capacity to resist disease, or our evolved ability to get along with each other.
"After that, things could get ugly, with the possible emergence of genetic 'haves' and 'have-nots'."

Dr Curry's theory may strike a chord with readers who have read H G Wells' classic novel The Time Machine, in particular his descriptions of the Eloi and the Morlock races.
In the 1895 book, the human race has evolved into two distinct species, the highly intelligent and wealthy Eloi and the frightening, animalistic Morlock who are destined to work underground to keep the Eloi happy.

This is interesting to read about, but I would be willing to bet that not a single one of us now reading it, will have to worry about which species we'll have evolved into by then...unless you know something that I don't!

October 28, 2007

King Arthur's Dilemma

Young King Arthur was ambushed and imprisoned by the monarch of a neighboring kingdom. The monarch could have killed him but was moved by Arthur's youth and ideals. So, the monarch offered him his freedom, as long as he could answer a very difficult question. Arthur would have a year to figure out the answer and, if after a year, he still had no answer, he would be put to death.
The question?....What do women really want? Such a question would perplex even the most knowledgeable man, and to young Arthur, it seemed an impossible query. But, since it was better than death, he accepted the monarch's proposition to have an answer by year's end.
He returned to his kingdom and began to poll everyone: the princes, the priests, the wise men and even the court jester. He spoke with everyone, but no one could give him a satisfactory answer.
Many people advised him to consult the old witch, for only she would have the answer.
But the price would be high; as the witch was famous throughout the kingdom for the exorbitant prices she charged.

The last day of the year arrived and Arthur had no choice but to talk to the witch. She agreed to answer the question, but he would have to agree to her price first.

The old witch wanted to marry Sir Lancelot, the most noble of the Knights of the Round Table and Arthur's closest friend!

Young Arthur was horrified. She was hunchbacked and hideous, had only one tooth, smelled like sewage, made obscene noises, etc. He had never encountered such a repugnant creature in all his life.

He refused to force his friend to marry her and endure such a terrible burden; but Lancelot, learning of the proposal, spoke with Arthur.
He said nothing was too big of a sacrifice compared to Arthur's life and the preservation of the Round Table.

Hence, a wedding was proclaimed and the witch answered Arthur's question thus: What a woman really wants, she answered, is to be in charge of her own life.

Everyone in the kingdom instantly knew that the witch had uttered a great truth and that Arthur's life would be spared.

And so it was, the neighboring monarch granted Arthur his freedom and Lancelot and the witch had a wonderful wedding.

The honeymoon hour approached and Lancelot, steeling himself for a horrific experience, entered the bedroom. But, what a sight awaited him. The most beautiful woman he had ever seen lay before him on the bed. The astounded Lancelot asked what had happened.

The beauty replied that since he had been so kind to her when she appeared as a witch, she would henceforth, be her horrible deformed self only half the time and the beautiful maiden the other half.

Which would he prefer? Beautiful during the day; or night? Lancelot pondered the predicament. During the day, a beautiful woman to show off to his friends, but at night, in the privacy of his castle, an old witch? Or, would he prefer having a hideous witch during the day, but by night, a beautiful woman for him to enjoy wondrous intimate moments?

Noble Lancelot said that he would allow Her to make the choice herself. Upon hearing this, she announced that she would be beautiful all the time, because he had respected her enough to let her be in charge of her own life. Now....what is the moral to this story?

The moral is:
"If you don't let a woman have her own way....things are going to get ugly!"

October 27, 2007

Something To Think About

"Although there are frequent suggestions that Africans in America are too afraid to make a militant demand for liberation, Kwame Ture often reminded us that our people have repeatedly demonstrated amazing courage. Little African children faced fire hoses and police dogs in Birmingham. African freedom riders were beaten and tortured by racist mobs.* Young gun-toting sisters and brothers in the Black Panther Party confronted racist police. The record of the raw courage of Africans goes on and on.

Even if we don't acknowledge our own courage, our oppressors have always been well aware of it. Our enemies (capitalists, the intelligence agencies, the police and Clarence Thomas- like lackeys) have always believed their task to be to ensure that our courageous young people misdirect their anger. Thus, the oppressor is always pleased when young Africans in gangs direct their anger at rival gangs. The enemy becomes concerned when, as in the wake of the acquittal of police who beat Rodney King, there is an interval of clarity. Gangsters united on that occasion and directed their anger at Los Angeles city hall and the police.

Our enslavement continues in spite of our militancy and courage only because we are disorganized. Our rebellions are usually spontaneous, and temporary rather than planned and sustained. There are many in our community who have recognized this deficiency and they are working around the clock on a remedy. In the meantime however, the enemy watches us carefully and develops a number of contingency plans.

Although we lack faith in the willingness and ability of our people to unite and fight, the enemy is absolutely certain that this will happen sooner or later. The only question for the enemy is whether the masses of Africans, once organized, will attempt to reform the existing system; or to instead engage in a revolutionary process that is calculated to dismantle the existing system and build a new one. Obviously, from the perspective of the enemy, reform is certainly the preferred option. Capitalists do not want to lose their ability to reap large profits from the exploitation of the labor and resources of Africans and others in America. If they can keep all of this by appeasing Africans in some way, that is certainly their preference. It is for that reason that it is almost inevitable that we will receive reparations.

On countless occasions, skeptics in our community have voiced the now familiar refrain: "Those white folks ain't never gonna give us reparations." But if one pauses to analyze our circumstances for only a moment, it becomes crystal clear that the enemy will do just that. Used skillfully, reparations can ensure the maintenance of the capitalist status quo for many years into the future.

Most of the activists who work diligently for reparations are among the most sincere Africans our community has produced. Many of them see reparations as an opportunity for true self-determination. Some want the money to be used to ensure that African people have their own land, economy, educational system, and maybe even an independent government. Others see reparations as a source of funds they can use to return to Africa for permanent residence. Still others would suggest that reparations be used to finance insurgent movements both here and in Africa for a serious challenge to corporate power. None of these options are acceptable to the enemy. They prefer an entirely different scenario.

The enemy's plan probably looks something like this: First, the government will resist all demands for reparations for as long as possible. As poverty, mass incarceration, police violence and other problems escalate, the anger in African communities will rise as well. It is only when Africans are on the verge of organized mass rebellion that the first hint of a willingness to grant reparations will be given. Government officials will refuse to negotiate with the "radicals" but they will speak with "responsible" Black leadership (i.e., mainstream civil rights leaders). Although a great show will be made about negotiations, corporate and government accountants will have, in advance, worked out an acceptable monetary figure that is calculated to impress the impoverished African masses, and at the same time not pose a threat to corporate profits and the government's treasury.

When the "negotiations" are completed, the President will host a grand White House ceremony where he will shed crocodile tears about White America's sins. Those in attendance will include all members of the Black leadership elite. With smiles and champagne glasses galore, they will announce great plans for use of the reparations money to develop corporate executive training programs for African young people that include guaranteed employment with Fortune 500 companies. Black-owned companies will be given new contracts with large corporations. Corporations will provide all Africans thousands of dollars in gift certificates. As they seek to preserve the status quo, they will give us lots of bangles, beads and opportunities for our children to be co-opted into their system. They will not give us power and independence."

~Mark P. Fancher is a writer, lawyer and activist. Books he has authored include: Misplaced Loyalty - Why U.S.-Born Africans Don't Believe They Are Africans Anymore; and Genocide With A Smile - The Campaign To Destroy Africans Born In America.

* An organization for which another of our presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton, was the legal counsel.

Who were these heroes? The bulk of critics, whether they be on the right, left or survivors of the Panther group itself, agree that this militant organization was made up of — as one writer close to the action put it — an “amalgam of street hustlers, ex-convicts and disenchanted student radicals.” At their peak, the Panthers had around 5,000 committed members in 20 chapters around the country, plus legions of supporters, sympathizers and wanna-bes. They could mobilize mobs of 25,000 and more. Panther ideology, according to former member Salim Muwakkil writing in the Chicago Tribune, was a combination of black separatism, Marxism and other ideological “odds and ends.” A keynote of Panther speeches was a call for killing white leaders, beginning with President Nixon on down the ranks to San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto. They were allied with communist movements around the world and were particularly close to Fidel Castro. The militants were not joking in their advocacy of armed struggle, as they often proved. In one raid on a Panther arsenal, police seized more than 1,000 weapons ranging from machine guns to grenade launchers. No less violent toward their own than toward the “oppressors,” the Panthers disciplined those within the party using bullwhips and chains, if the targets were lucky, and executing others. Such an execution brought Hillary Rodham and Bill Lann Lee to Panther defense. Alex Rackley, a member of the New Haven chapter who was thought to be an informer, was clubbed, burned with cigarettes, doused with boiling water and stabbed with an ice pick before being taken out and shot twice in the head by his comrades. The ensuing campus protests were not about guilt or innocence but to express concern that the Panthers, as prisoners of war, “should not even be tried in the courts of the United States at this time,” as Hayden put it. The leader of the Panthers was Huey Newton, described by his close friend of that era, Ramparts magazine coeditor David Horowitz, as a “convicted felon with a history of violent crimes [who] had built a paramilitary organization dedicated to opposing police.” Newton was a master of the game who charmed wealthy and influential liberal and leftist whites. He was a centerpiece guest at Hollywood parties attended by Candice Bergen, Jack Nicholson, Jane Fonda and others, a favorite of famous conductor Leonard Bernstein and depicted by academic allies as comparable in stature to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. At the same time, according to Horowitz, Newton was snorting prodigious amounts of cocaine, abusing women in the manner of medieval nobility and organizing the takeover of drug and prostitution rackets from his penthouse command post. Horowitz split with the Panthers as a result of the killing of Betty Van Patter, a Ramparts bookkeeper whom he had recommended as an auditor for various Panther enterprises. “In pursuit of answers to the mystery of Betty’s death, I subsequently discovered that the Panthers had killed more than a dozen people in the course of conducting extortion, prostitution and drug rackets in the Oakland [Calif.] ghetto,” Horowitz wrote. “While these criminal activities were taking place, they enjoyed the support of the American left, the Democratic Party, the Bay Area Trades Union Council, even the Oakland business establishment.” Horowitz, haunted by a belief that his own ideological blindness had led to Betty’s death, bought a 9mm Glock pistol and a sophisticated alarm system for his car and has only looked back in anger. Newton, accused of another killing and the target of a death contract by Oakland-area pimps, fled to Cuba. Other Panther leaders also fled the country or were killed in confrontations with the police; some did jail time and returned to society as political, spiritual and academic leaders, writers or entertainers.

Maybe you are thinking that all of this about black separatism, reparations, Obama, and Hillary, have nothing to do, one with the other. I'm not so sure. For one thing, our country has been, and is, in big, big trouble when it comes to social issues. My nightmare is that Hillary will become President, and Barak will become Vice President...then what?

There is unrest, feelings of inequality fueled by not only Black leaders, but the politically correct, far leftists.
There is violence, and crime, commited by those who think that something is owed to them, therefore, they feel they have a right to take it. It has gotten so out of hand, that the politicians are trying to convince everyone that the only solution is to take the guns out of the hands of the citizenry, or at least, they are pushing to pass laws that will make it impossible to obtain them, and if already in possession, to take them away.

Think about it.

October 26, 2007


Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now. Dad in trousers, tee shirt, and a hat, and Mom in a housedress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep.

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing. I wanted, just once, to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more.

But then my mother died, and on that clear summer's night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more.

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away, never to return. So, while we have it, it's best we love it And care for it. And fix it when it's broken. And heal it when it's sick.

This is true for marriage, and old cars, and children with bad report cards. Dogs and cats with bad hips. And aging parents, and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it --because we are worth it. Some things we keep -- like a best friend that moved away, or a classmate we grew up with
There are just some things that make life important -- like people we know who are special --and so, we keep them close!

*This was sent to me today --I thought it was worth keeping --and sharing.

October 24, 2007

Barack Obama's Church

Trinity United Church of Christ
About Us
We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian… Our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and remain “true to our native land,” the mother continent, the cradle of civilization. God has superintended our pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism. It is God who gives us the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people, and as a congregation. We constantly affirm our trust in God through cultural expression of a Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community.

Trinity United Church of Christ adopted the Black Value System written by the Manford Byrd Recognition Committee chaired by Vallmer Jordan in 1981. We believe in the following 12 precepts and covenantal statements. These Black Ethics must be taught and exemplified in homes, churches, nurseries and schools, wherever Blacks are gathered. They must reflect on the following concepts:
1. Commitment to God
2. Commitment to the Black Community
3. Commitment to the Black Family
4. Dedication to the Pursuit of Education
5. Dedication to the Pursuit of Excellence
6. Adherence to the Black Work Ethic
7. Commitment to Self-Discipline and Self-Respect
8. Disavowal of the Pursuit of “Middleclassness”
9. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the Black Community
10. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions
11. Pledge allegiance to all Black leadership who espouse and embrace the Black Value System
12. Personal commitment to embracement of the Black Value System.
The Pastor as well as the membership of Trinity United Church of Christ is committed to a 10-point Vision:
1. A congregation committed to ADORATION.
2. A congregation preaching SALVATION.
3. A congregation actively seeking RECONCILIATION.
4. A congregation with a non-negotiable COMMITMENT TO AFRICA.
5. A congregation committed to BIBLICAL EDUCATION.
6. A congregation committed to CULTURAL EDUCATION.
8. A congregation committed to LIBERATION.
9. A congregation committed to RESTORATION.
10. A congregation working towards ECONOMIC PARITY.

Some excerpts from the “Black Value System” via the Trinity Church’s website (pdf):

Statement of Purpose
We honor Dr. Manford Byrd, our brother in Christ, because of the exemplary manner in which he has thrice withstood the ravage of being denied his earned ascension to the number one position in the Chicago School System…

The Black Value System
These Black Ethics must be taught and exampled in homes, churches, nurseries and schools,
wherever Blacks are gathered. They must reflect the following concepts:

Commitment of God
“The God of our weary years” will give us the strength to give up prayerful passivism and become Black Christian Activist, soldiers for Black freedom and the dignity of all humankind…

Commitment to Self-Discipline and Self-Respect
To accomplish anything worthwhile requires self-discipline. We must be a community of self-disciplined persons, if we are to actualize and utilize our own human resources instead of perpetually submitting to exploitation by others. Self discipline coupled with a respect for self, will enable each of us to be an instrument of Black Progress, and a model for Black Youth.

Disavowal of the Pursuit of “Middleclassness”
Classic methodology on control of captives teaches that captors must keep the captive ignorant educationally, but trained sufficiently well to serve the system. Also, the captors must be able to identify the “talented tenth” of those subjugated, especially those who show promise of providing the kind of leadership that might threaten the captor’s control.
Those so identified as separated from the rest of the people by:
Killing them off directly, and/or fostering a social system that encourages them to kill off one another.
Placing them in concentration camps, and/or structuring an economic environment that induces captive youth to fill the jails and prisons.
Seducing them into a socioeconomic class system which while training them to earn more dollars, hypnotizes them into believing they are better than others and teaches them to think in terms of “we” and “they” instead of “us”…

*Obama met Dr. Jeremiah Wright 20 years ago in the process of trying to get Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ involved in some community organizing he was doing. Ever since, Obama has been a devoted member of Wright's church.

Obama says that Wright is not only his pastor, but he also is his friend and mentor. And Wright is one of the people to whom he turns to help him explain how his liberal positions jibe with his faith. The fact that Obama chose Trinity is no accident. In a sea of conservative black churches, Trinity stands out in that it has welcomed in gay members, done outreach to people living with AIDS and advocated progressive positions on many social issues.

In 1977, the church had a "Free South Africa" banner across its front and, in the 1990s, it responded to Louis Farrakhan's Million Man March by creating a committee to work on local social issues.

Today, Wright is quick to call those who voted for President Bush "stupid" and chastise the public for letting issues like housing for the poor "fall off the radar screen." Trinity also is unique in that it is seen as a church of the well-to-do black community in Chicago. Besides Obama, Oprah Winfrey has gone there, as have many of the city's television news personalities. But Wright says this image of his church is misleading.

"It comes from people looking at the cars in the parking lot and seeing all these Mercedes and the way people are dressed," he says. "But it doesn't count the people taking the bus and what you wear really doesn't mean anything about your income."

Hmm..now I think I see why Obama doesn't want to wear an American Flag pin, and why he doesn't place his hand over his heart while The Star Spangled Banner is being sung. It looks like his allegiance lies in other directions..and I don't think I even have to go into that. However, I do have just this one question: Isn't the President of the United States supposed to have the interests of ALL the people at heart, including those who don't happen to be black?

October 23, 2007

Hello, Tree

Shirley MacLaine claims Kucinich had UFO encounter.

In Cleveland's Plain Dealer today, Mark Naymik, Politics Writer, reports:

"Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has claimed to have seen a UFO, according to Shirley MacLaine in her new book, "Sage-Ing While Age-Ing."
Kucinich "had a close sighting over my home in Graham, Washington, when I lived there," the actress, a close Kucinich friend, wrote. "Dennis found his encounter extremely moving. The smell of roses drew him out to my balcony where, when he looked up, he saw a gigantic triangular craft, silent, and observing him.
"It hovered, soundless, for 10 minutes or so, and sped away with a speed he couldn't comprehend. He said he felt a connection in his heart and heard directions in his mind."

Kucinich's campaign and congressional representatives did not return calls and e-mail asking whether the Cleveland Democrat, now in his sixth congressional term, in fact saw a UFO or if there was some other explanation for MacLaine's recollection.
MacLaine is a well-known believer of UFOs and reincarnation. And she has been close to Kucinich for decades. MacLaine is the godmother of Kucinich's daughter and attended Kucinich's 2005 Cleveland wedding to third wife, Elizabeth, who's often campaigning by his side.
MacLaine also recommended in the 1980s that Kucinich visit New Mexico spiritual adviser Chris Griscom, whom MacLaine featured in her then-best-selling book, "Dancing in the Light," describing how Griscom helped her communicate with trees. Kucinich has insisted that Griscom was not his spiritual adviser but a "teacher and a very good friend."
MacLaine, who shares Kucinich's opposition to using weapons in space, doesn't shed any more light in her book on Kucinich's close encounter, including when it happened. Her book goes on sale next month."

It Was All About Bullying

The sixty year old grandmother.The nineteen year old cousin. The thirty-two year old mother.
There are no available photos for the fifteen year old murder victim, and her seventeen year old killer.

Police: Bullying was factor
CLEVELAND — A 15-year-old girl who had been bullied was stabbed to death during an attack by another teenager, police said.

Demesha Sharp was attacked Friday night while walking to a bus stop with siblings and friends. A sport utility vehicle appeared and tried to run them down, witnesses said.
The group inside the vehicle got out and approached Sharp’s group, assistant Prosecutor Carmen Naso said.

Lesleye Holliman, 17, attacked Sharp while her mother, Yulonda Holliman, 32, grandmother, Annetta Holliman, 60, and cousin, Anthony Holliman, 19, held Sharp’s party at bay using a variety of weapons, including stun guns, bats, bricks and knives, Naso said.
Lesleye Holliman, 17, appeared Monday in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court.

Prosecutors are seeking to have her tried as an adult on a charge of aggravated murder, Naso said. The girl’s family members were arrested for investigation of felonious assault in an attack on one of Sharp’s companions. None has been charged, said police spokesman Lt. Thomas Stacho.

The companion, Christian Hardick, 16, was struck by the vehicle and was listed in stable condition Monday at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital with stab wounds to his back.
Sharp’s mother, Shalinda Wagner, told The Plain Dealer that her daughter was a high school freshman who wanted to be a cheerleader and had been bullied by the suspect.

An after hours call to the juvenile court to determine if Lesleye Holliman had an attorney was not returned.

City Councilman Roosevelt Coats said the crime prompted outrage in the neighborhood and led to numerous tips to police — a change in an inner-city area where people often are hesitant to cooperate with law enforcement for fear of reprisals.

“That’s a change,” he said Monday. “Normally people are concerned and they don’t want to talk. That’s a major change.”

He said tipsters contacting police about the Sharp slaying provided the names, addresses and phone numbers of the suspects.

Neighbors “are ready to say, ‘This has got to end at all costs’,” the councilman said.
In another high-profile crime involving a child in Cleveland, two men were charged in last month’s shooting death of a 12-year-old girl caught in street crossfire.

There have been 13 children killed in Cleveland this year, according to homicide investigators, and arrests have been made in eight of the slayings.

Overall, the city has had 110 homicides this year.

The grandmother's house, where the Holliman family lived, mysteriously caught on fire last night. Arson is expected. Sources say that the Holliman family were known troublemakers. This story is far from over, but I don't want to talk about it anymore.

October 22, 2007

Just Another Day In The Neighborhood

There was another horrendous crime in Cleveland over the weekend. Not that it's anything unusual-- there is always a crime being commited somewhere around town, but this one was especially mind-boggling.

It seems that a fifteen year old went back to visit her old neighborhood. She was spotted by a seventeen year old rival, who then went and got her 32 year old mother, her 19 year old male cousin, and sixty year old grandmother. They returned to the scene, armed with knives and a stun gun, and held back the crowd, while the seventeen year old stabbed the fifteen year old to death. A friend of the victim was also stabbed.

Violence--fighting, stabbings, shootings, (drive-by and otherwise) robberies, rape, and murder-- is an ongoing occurrence around here. Only a few weeks ago, a little girl was shot to death, an innocent bystander who just happened to be in the line of fire between two men who were shooting at each other. And this goes on in the neighborhoods, day after day. Not to mention the swarm of thieves who descended on some foreign tourists in one of the nicer parts of the city a few months ago. No doubt they have some great vacation memories to share--along with a warning never to visit Cleveland if you value your life and belongings.

I don't know why I am writing about this--I'm not even from this area, so it is not like I am grieving over my own hometown. I live here because of my husband's employment. It just saddens me to think that it has to be like this--that people have to behave this way--here, or anywhere else. Besides, it serves no purpose. It does no good. It does not change a single thing. It will not bring back the lives of the innocent, nor those of the guilty. It will not heal one broken heart. It will not restore one bit of lost faith that was once placed in the future of what was once a great city.

Maybe, I do just need to stick my head in the sand, and pretend that bad things don't happen. Maybe, I wouldn't hurt so badly over things that I can't change.

October 21, 2007

Just To Be In The Game

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning-disabled children, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: "When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?"

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. "I believe, that when a child like Shay, physically and mentally handicapped comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child."

Then he told the following story:

Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, "Do you think they'll let me play?" Shay's father knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but the father also understood that if his son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

Shay's father approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, "We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning."

Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. His Father watched with a small tear in his eye and warmth in his heart. The boys saw the father's joy at his son being accepted. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.

Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, "Shay, run to first! Run to first!" Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second!" Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball ... the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head. Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

All were screaming, "Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay"

Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to third! Shay, run to third!"

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, "Shay, run home! Run home!" Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team.

"That day", said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, "the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world."

Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making his father so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!


We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the "natural order of things." So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice: Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?

A wise man once said: "Every society is judged by how it treats its least fortunate amongst them."

I often wonder how this society is being judged. I suppose it all comes down to perspective, and the particular place you hold in said society. It takes a really wise man to figure that one out.

At times, some of us are happy to be allowed "just to be in the game, and on the field," too.

October 19, 2007

This Will Not Help

In replying to a comment on my last post, I said that sticking our heads in the sand, and pretending that problems do not exist, will not help. I was talking about the illegal immigration problem, but that is not the only problem going on in this country, and in our political system.

When I watched, and heard Democratic Congressman Pete Stark saying during a debate on children's healthcare: "But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President's amusement," I was sickened, not only at the mean-spirited words, but at the total lack of respect for our President, our country, and the families of our troops. Worst of all, it seems that it was perfectly acceptable to the rest of the Democrats. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi issued a statement saying that the remarks were inappropriate, but I am not aware of any others.

It seems to me that the only thing on everyone's mind, is their own self-interest, and that of their cronies, and others who can benefit them.

Health, and education are not the only problems we are faced with, on a daily basis. Our cities are going down the tube, crime is rampant, illegal drugs are destroying a whole generation, and racial issues abound.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Democratic presidential candidate wants a Justice Department voting rights official fired for a comment the official made about elderly minorities. Barack Obama sent a letter to the Justice Department today, calling the remarks by John Tanner "offensive and dangerous." Tanner is head of the Justice Department's voting rights division. Tanner's remarks came during a panel discussion on voter ID laws earlier this month. He said certain laws hurt the elderly but aren't a problem for minorities, because minorities don't grow old -- quote -- "the way white people do. They die first." A Justice Department spokesman says the October 5th remarks by John Tanner had been "grossly misconstrued."

I agree that the above statement by the Justice Department official was less than sensitive, but is it reason enough to be fired? Was it more insensitive than the statement made by Congressman Stark? So far, I haven't heard Barak Obama make any objections to that particular statement. Somehow, I get the impression that Obama is more interested in racial issues, and the times when I have read his statements, and he mentioned, "my people," he was always talking about African-Americans, which makes me wonder about certain of his motives. I always thought that a presidential candidate should have the concerns of all the people at heart.

I mentioned, also, in my reply to a commenter, that I must be coming across as a really heartless individual because I keep talking about illegal immigration. I think that I probably have as much sympathy, and empathy, as anyone, but I am concerned about the direction in which this country is headed. I am concerned about the plight of the everyday, ordinary, citizen. My heart aches when I see a homeless person. It aches when I see those who struggle to survive, having to decide between this month's prescriptions, and enough food to last between SSI, and Social Security checks. It hurts when I see young families, struggling, with both parents having to work to pay for the bare essentials needed for their children, existing on minimum wage, in most cases. I am saddened when I see discrimination in any form, against anyone, regardless of color, or religion, or nationality.

I am not heartless, and without compassion, but I am a realist, and I can see what is happening all around me. Some of it is obvious, and some of it is not so apparent to many, but it is happening. Pretending otherwise is not going to help, and until we realize, as a nation, where our priorities lie, it is going to get worse, rather than better.

October 18, 2007

Cheap Labor?

An article which appeared in a North Alabama newspaper:

Hispanic majority at Crossville Elementary

The Reporter

Published September 22, 2007

Wanting a better life for their children has led numerous Hispanic families to Marshall and DeKalb counties, many working for poultry plants. Their children have become recognizable fixtures within many schools on Sand Mountain, in Marshall, DeKalb and Etowah counties.

While the true, most accurate number of Hispanic families living within the area may never be known, Crossville Elementary can prove it has a majority-Hispanic enrollment – the first such majority in the state.

During his tenure, Crossville Elementary School Assistant Principal Ed Burke said he has seen the enrollment rise to just over 900 students in the school, which houses students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Hispanics make up just less than 53 percent of the student population.

He has also seen numerous changes in the way students are taught.

“We have definitely had to get more creative,” Burke said. “We have done several different things and we are still trying new things all the time.”

Many Hispanic students need additional help with English. Burke said the state board of education has realized Crossville’s needs and has given the school additional funding.

Accurate and specific numbers were not available from the state board of education Friday morning.

Burke said the school has hired additional English Language Learner teachers, educators who work with children who speak little or no English.

These teachers are able to pull students into smaller groups, giving them additional reading and writing instruction.

Student transportation is another area where Burke has seen large growth. Currently, Crossville Elementary utilizes a fleet of 19 buses, up eight from when Burke started his position.

The number of Hispanic students has increased in the state’s public schools. The state’s enrollment in kindergarten through high school was 739,760, with Hispanics making up just 3 percent, or 23,219 students. Hispanics also made up 3 percent of the state’s population in 2006.

DeKalb County’s demographics for 2006 show an estimated 68,000 population, with Hispanics accounting for 9 percent of the total.

The Associated Press reported there are 1,559 Hispanic students in the DeKalb County Schools, which makes up 18 percent of the 8,810 students enrolled.

*When we lived in that area about ten years ago, I personally knew of people who tried to get employment through the temp force there, and more often than not, were turned down because of the huge numbers of immigrants being granted the jobs. Most of those jobs were for the different positions in the poulty plants there. There were, at the time, many citizens of the area needing employment, and were willing to take anything that was available.

What I never understood, is how they were able to grant those jobs to the immigrants, because at the temp forces, a social security card was required. It is no secret, now, that they were illegal because the poulty plants were raided, and the employment roll of illegal immigrants was so great, that it caused certain of the poultry plants to close.

Business doesn't want to pay a decent wage. Consumers don't want expensive produce. Government will tell you Americans don't want the jobs. But the bottom line is cheap labor.

The phrase "cheap labor" is a myth, a farce, and a lie ~ there is no such thing as "cheap labor."

Take, for example, an illegal alien with a wife and five children. He takes a job for $5.00 or $6.00 per hour. At that wage, with six dependents, he pays no income tax, yet at the end of the year, if he files an Income Tax Return, he gets an "earned income credit" of up to $3,200 free. He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent. He qualifies for food stamps. He qualifies for free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care. His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school. He requires bilingual teachers and books. He qualifies for relief from high energy bills.

If they are, or become, aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for SSI. Once qualified for SSI they can qualify for Medicare. All of this is at the taxpayer's expense. He doesn't worry about car insurance, life insurance, or homeowners insurance.

Taxpayers provide Spanish language signs, bulletins and printed material. He and his family receive the equivalent of $20.00 to $30.00 per hour in benefits. Working Americans are lucky to have $5.00 or $6.00 per hour left after paying their bills.. and his. The American taxpayers also pay for increased crime, and other things generated by the issues of illegal immigrants.

Cheap labor? YEAH RIGHT!

There are many issues at stake, and come election time, I think illegal immigration is a pretty important one to keep in mind when deciding the candidate to whom you will give your vote.



* I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.

* Gardening Rule: When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.

* The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

* Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

* There are two kinds of pedestrians: the quick and the dead.

* Life is sexually transmitted.

* Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

* The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

* Some people are like Slinkies. Not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.

* Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.

* Have you noticed since everyone has a camcorder these days no one talks about seeing UFOs like they used to?

* Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again

* All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

* In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

* How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

* Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?

* If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him?

*If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

* Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup?

* Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

* Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?

*Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

* Do you ever wonder why you gave me your email address?

I live in my own little world. But it's OK... They know me here!

October 16, 2007

Drought In The Land

Water is a powerful medicine for our people.
Water can cut through the thickest rock yet it is soft enough to run through our fingers.
Our entire world depends on water for survival.
Our bodies are mostly water, as are the bodies of the animals.
Water purifies, cleanses, and washes our bodies, our clothing, and our homes.
Where there is little water there is little life. Where there is much water there is abundant life.
Water speaks to us in streams, creeks, and the ocean, yet water, itself, is silent.
Water is magical and can take many forms, like ice, snow, and steam.
Water binds people together yet always remains separate itself.
Water has deep color when gathered but is without color in the hand.
Water carves out the beauty of the land for us to use and enjoy.
Water feeds our crops, flowers, and herbs, keeping us healthy and wise.
Water is a powerful medicine, one of the greatest of Grandfather’s gifts.

~Words of an American Native~

* There is much in the news, lately, about droughts, and water shortages around the country. According to the newspapers from down-home, they are already enforcing water restrictions in several towns and communities, and from what I read, it is that way in other places around the country, too. I don't know about you, but I know that I tend to take the priviliege of abundant water usage for granted. I, also, know that in all probability, that priviliege is going to come to a screeching halt at some point in the future.

Drought is the consequence of a natural reduction in the amount of precipitation expected over an extended period of time, usually a season or more in length. It is a period of abnormally dry weather, which persists long enough to produce a serious hydrologic imbalance. The severity of the drought depends upon the degree of moisture deficiency, the duration and the size of the affected area.

During severe droughts, agricultural crops do not mature, wildlife and livestock are undernourished, land values decline, and unemployment increases, causing serious impacts on the safety and economic wealth of the communities.

Some of the measures being taken in certain cities to assure adequate drinking water are rather extreme, already. Who knows what it will eventually come to?

Watch Out For The Garbage Trucks

Recently, something occurred which caused me a lot of dismay, but mostly, a lot of disappointment in someone who seemed so very nice, and gave every indication of wanting to be friends. As it turned out, that was not the case at all, and it bothered me, a lot. But then, the same thing happened to one of my friends on here, and it really seemed to hurt her.

I, more or less, knew why it happened to me, but my friend was totally in the dark as to why it happened to her. I think we both let it bother us too much.

A couple of days ago I came across this article, and saw some pretty good advice offered for dealing with unpleasant situations, instigated by insensitive people. I think we can all benefit from it. There will always be insensitive people, treating others shabbily, to further their own self interests, so the sooner we learn to just consider the source, and get on with other things, the better off we'll be.

"How often do you let other people's nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? Unless you're the Terminator, for an instant you're probably set back on your heels. However, the mark of a successful person is how quickly she can get back her focus on what's important.

Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it. And if you let them, they'll dump it on you. When someone wants to dump on you, don't take it personally. You just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You'll be happy you did.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their day. What about you? What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more garbage trucks pass you by?

Here's my bet. You'll be happier. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so…Love the people who treat you right.Forget about the ones who don't.Believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, TAKE IT! If it changes your life, LET IT!Nobody said it would be easy...They just promised it would be worth it! "

*Excerpts from "Beware of Garbage Trucks," by David J. Pollay

October 15, 2007

Le Parlement Européen

Having chosen English as the preferred language in the EEC, the European Parliament has commissioned a feasability study in ways of improving efficiency in communications between Government departments.
European officials have often pointed out that English spelling is unnecessarily difficult; for example: cough, plough, rough, through and thorough. What is clearly needed is a phased programme of changes to iron out these anomalies. The programme would, of course, be administered by a committee staff at top level by participating nations.
In the first year, for example, the committee would suggest using 's' instead of the soft 'c'. Sertainly, sivil servants in all sities would resieve this news with joy. Then the hard 'c' could be replaced by 'k' sinse both letters are pronounsed alike. Not only would this klear up konfusion in the minds of klerikal workers, but typewriters kould be made with one less letter.
There would be growing enthousiasm when in the sekond year, it was anounsed that the troublesome 'ph' would henseforth be written 'f'. This would make words like 'fotograf' twenty per sent shorter in print.
In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reash the stage where more komplikated shanges are possible. Governments would enkourage the removal of double letters which have always been a deterent to akurate speling.
We would al agre that the horible mes of silent 'e's in the languag is disgrasful. Therefor we kould drop thes and kontinu to read and writ as though nothing had hapend. By this tim it would be four years sins the skem began and peopl would be reseptive to steps sutsh as replasing 'th' by 'z'.
Perhaps zen ze funktion of 'w' kould be taken on by 'v', vitsh is, after al, half a 'w'. Shortly after zis, ze unesesary 'o' kould be dropd from words kontaining 'ou'. Similar arguments vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.
Kontinuing zis proses yer after yer, ve vud eventuli hav a reli sensibl riten styl. After tventi yers zer vud be no mor trubls, difikultis and evrivun vud fin it ezi tu understand ech ozer. Ze drems of the Guvermnt vud finali hav kum tru.

~From a doctoral student in France~

October 14, 2007


Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York:Born 1903--Died 1942.
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if the car was on the way down.
It was.

In a Thurmont, Maryland , cemetery:
Here lies an Atheist, all dressed up and no place to go.

On the grave of Ezekial Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery , Nova Scotia :
Here lies Ezekial Aikle, Age 102.
Only The Good Die Young.

In a London , England cemetery:
Here lies Ann Mann,
Who lived an old maid but died an old Mann.
Dec. 8, 1767

In a Ribbesford, England , cemetery:
Anna Wallace
The children of Israel wanted bread,
And the Lord sent them manna.
Clark Wallace wanted a wife,
And the Devil sent him Anna.

In a Ruidoso, New Mexico , cemetery:
Here lies Johnny Yeast... Pardon me for not rising.

In a Uniontown, Pennsylvania , cemetery:
Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake.
Stepped on the gas instead of the brake.

In a Silver City, Nevada, cemetery:
Here lays The Kid.
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger
But slow on the draw.

A lawyer's epitap h in England :
Sir John Strange.
Here lies an honest lawyer,and that is Strange.

John Penny's epitaph in the Wimborne, England , cemetery:
Reader, if cash thou art in want of any,
Dig 6 feet deep and thou wilt find a Penny.

In a cemetery in Hartscombe , England :
On the 22nd of June, Jonathan Fiddle went out of tune.

Anna Hopewell's grave in Enosburg Falls , Vermont :
Here lies the body of our Anna,
Done to death by a banana.
It wasn't the fruit that laid her low,
But the skin of the thing that made her go.

On a grave from the 1880s in Nantucket , Massachusetts :
Under the sod and under the trees,
Lies the body of Jonathan Pease.
He is not here, there's only the pod.
Pease shelled out and went to God.

In a cemetery in England :
Remember man, as you walk by,
As you are now, so once was I
As I am now, so shall you be.
Remember this and follow me.

To which someone replied by writing on the tombstone:
To follow you I'll not consent ... Until I know which way you went.

October 13, 2007

This Just Stinks

Editorial from my down-home newspaper this past week.

Another reason our Constitution stinks: The smell from up north.

Of the many complaints lodged against our current constitutional arrangement, one of the most frequent is the difficulty that local governments face when they want to regulate things in their own back yards.
(Another criticism is the way special interests use that constitutional arrangement to keep local governments, or state government for that matter, from regulating what the special interests don't want regulated.)
Among the many things local governments struggle with is regulating nuisances such as junk yards, dumps, mean dogs that are on the loose, and treated human waste that's being used as fertilizer.
That's right.
While no one was looking — at least no one who would or could do anything about it — a Texas company worked out a deal with New York to take sludge from waste treatment plants up there, ship it to Alabama, treat it again, and then give it to farmers to use as fertilizer. They are doing this up in Limestone County.
Let's not blame the farmers. It is good fertilizer and it's free. Plus, the Environmental Protection Agency says it is not a health hazard.
But it stinks.
Not just that good, old-fashioned farm stink that is more nostalgic than nasty, but a stench that, according to someone living in the neighborhood, "smells 10 times worse than a pig barn."
The farmer is in a bind. For years, farms didn't have neighbors. Farms were way out in the country. But in recent years neighborhoods have encroached on farmland, so now the farmer must be concerned about what the folks next door think about farm smells. On the other hand, the folks next door need to be aware that farming has certain scents associated with it.
Human waste, however, should not be one of them. But what can be done?
Not much, unless the Legislature passes strict environmental standards covering this sort of thing or the Constitution is changed to give local government the power to deal with what is clearly a local matter.
Neither is likely to happen unless a lot of folks raise a big stink — bigger than what is already being smelled.

*I don't know about you, but this kind of makes me feel a little queasy. It's not the smell aspect of it that bothers me, but the thought of eating food grown with the use of human waste from New York. How can they be one-hundred-per-cent sure that it is safe? A million thoughts go bounding around in my head at the thought of that. What are your thoughts on the subject?

October 12, 2007

I Am Weary

I am weary. Weary of watching all the news on television, affirming in all of their words, what a terrible state our country is in. I am tired of hearing about kids killing, and harming other kids, and then taking their own lives. How did those lives get to be so awful, that the only alternative is to end it all, taking out as many others as possible before they do? What can be going on in the mind of a fourteen year old to make him want to kill and hurt someone? That's what's going on around the country, and that is what happened here, in my own backyard, yesterday. They say the kid had a troubled home life. They say that he had mental issues, and was on medication. They say that he was beaten up at school, and made fun of, and that he had been suspended from school the day before he went back and did his dirty deed. After all the shooting, he went to another floor, and there, looking out of the window, he had a clear view of the police vehicles arriving, and that's when he took his own life. Fourteen years old. What has happened to our children? What have we done to them? I know that there are some who will think that my sympathy is misplaced, that I should be feeling sorry for the victims. I do. But my heart breaks for this young man, who seemingly, felt that he had nothing to live for, and was so full of anger that he could no longer contain it. Why? That is what I want to know. Why have people become so self-absorbed that they can't give their children a good foundation, some kind of direction in life? I realize that it is sometimes neccessary for both parents to work, and that sometimes, there is only one parent, and most of the time that parent is the mother, but I have known families like that, and they still made time for their children, and by example, taught them values, and self-worth. I know how hard it is when you are a single parent, and trying to keep food on the table, and a roof overhead. I've been there, and I know that it is not an easy task. There was a time when we all cared about our neighbors, about each other. Now, it seems that we feel it is just easier to look the other way. Surely, there must have been someone, somewhere, who could have seen this coming. According to the news reports, the police had gone to the home just the night before because of an incident involving an older brother who had just gotten out of prison. Today, they arrested him. They had been called to the home at least one other time, when the fourteen year old was fighting with the mother. It is hard to place blame here. Who knows what hardship she was going through--the obstacles she was trying to overcome? I don't know the answers. I only know that my heart goes out to all involved. I wish we could all get back to the time when we cared for ourselves, and each other. When, if we saw someone in need, or hurting, we tried to help. A time when our own homes were our havens, our streets were safe, and life had value. The hue and cry now is, "Take back our streets, take back our town," but I'm afraid it's a little too late now--and it's falling on deaf ears.

October 11, 2007

The Middle Wife

(By An Anonymous Second Grade Teacher)

I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second-gradeclass room a few years back.

When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes,pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place anyboundaries or limitations on them.

If they want to lug it to school and talk about it, they're welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid,takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater. She holds up a snapshot of an infant.

"This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday. First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord."

She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

"Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going, 'Oh, oh, oh!'"

Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. "She walked around the house for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!'" Now the kid's doing this hysterical duck walk, holding her back and groaning. "My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's man.

" "They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this." Then Erica lies down withher back against the wall. "And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of watershe kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!" This kid has her legs spread and with her little hands are miming water flowing away. It was too much!

"Then the middle wife starts saying 'push, push, and breathe, breathe.'"

"They started counting, but never even got past ten.

" "Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff, they all said was from Mom's play-center, so there must be a lot of stuff inside there.

" Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I'm sure I applauded the loudest.

Ever since then, if it's show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another Erica comes along

October 10, 2007

Another Day In Her World

She hears the door open, and footsteps. Harry. Harry is home, and her heart skips a little beat just the way it always does when the love of her life returns from anywhere. She had never gotten over the excitement she still felt for her husband, even after all these years, and the births of the children.

"Mary," he calls, his footsteps coming closer. She stands at the counter, putting the last touches to the salad, not forgetting his favorite, the cucumbers.

"You're home, Harry," she says, just as she always did, feeling his hands on her shoulders, turning her, and pulling her into his arms. She loves the way he brushes his lips across hers, and the smell of his skin, as she pushes her face into the warmth of his neck.

"Dinner's ready," she smiles. "You sit down, and I'll call the children." She walks toward the door, ready to call the children, but then she feels his hands on her shoulders, shaking her roughly. "Mary! Mary! Come on, it's time to eat! Don't be difficult, Mary, it's time to eat!"


"What is wrong with Harry? she thinks. "Why is Harry hurting me? Why is he yelling at me?'

She feels rough hands pulling at her, shaking her harder. "Come on, Mary! Got to take these meds before the trays get here!"

"What? What is Harry talking about? Medicine? Trays?"

She turns to look at Harry. She is filled with horror!

"You're not Harry!" she screams. "Who are you? Who are you?" She beats at this stranger who is yelling at her, and pulling at her.

"Harry, Harry, help me," she screams. Her head is spinning. Where is Harry? Why won't he help me? "Get these people out of my house, Harry!" She tries to rise, but realizes that she is tied up, and held with some strange kind of contraption around her waist. Her heart beats wildly. With her fists, she beats her chest, and sobs, "Harry, Harry, Harry, Harry!"

"Crazy old lady," says one attendant to the other. "I ain't got time for this...she just gets crazier all the time."

"Harry? Harry? Mama, where is Harry?"


"Mm-mm-mm," says the attendant. "Just like I said...crazier by the day!"

October 09, 2007

The Rest Of The Story


The opening ceremony of this year’s Global Witches Conference, slated for tomorrow 9th October, 2007 is in apparent disarray following the resolve of residents and elders of Juaso-Nkwanta to make the town inhospitable for both organizers and participants.

Inside sources at Juaso have hinted DAILY GUIDE that the conference is heading for a jerky take-off, even after half of the 4,000 expected participants were said to have already flown in.

Several residents of the town, many of whom were mourning the death of one of six victims of accidents recently recorded in the area, were clad in red when the paper’s reconnaissance team got there on Saturday.

All six victims were allegedly involved in separate motor accidents in the area, sending fear down the spine of many that the reported conference might not be an imaginary one after all.

An uneasy calm and glaring panic were also noticed in other parts of the town, but birds have whispered to the paper that traditional leaders have performed rites in three rivers - Nomma, Dabiar and Afransu - to make the place inhospitable for the witches.

In an interview with DAILY GUIDE, a traditionalist, Hans Oduro-Barnor, a.k.a. ‘Otafragya’, said the meeting was supposed to be a spiritual one but stressed that a large chunk of the over 2,000 early arrivals were already on their way out.

According to him, only 500 participants were left, and attributed the development to what he referred to as the lack of cooperation by residents.‘Otafragya’, who said he was at Juaso-Nkwanta on a two-day fact-finding mission, described the venue as getting more desolate every passing hour.

The Juasohene and paramount chief of the area, Nana Owusu Akyeaw Prempeh could not be reached for comment but sources claim rites were performed on a sacred stone in the community, locally called ‘oman buor’.

In a related development, a Ghanaian professor (name withheld), in an email to DAILY GUIDE, said the conference is likely to backfire.

“This is a classical case of a dog barking at its own mirror image because it thinks it is seeing another dog. Witches are that unintelligent. The truth of the matter is that they are going to bomb themselves to death at their meeting but because they are so selfish and unintelligent, they do not recognize that the images they see involve themselves and not others,” he wrote.

It would be recalled that the organizer of the confab, in a document, promised to make the Ghana Conference a memorable one and had therefore requested blood through heavy loss of lives on the host nation’s roads.

The witches promised also to infect hundreds of thousands of people spiritually with incurable diseases including HIV/AIDS and TB and as well cause barrenness.But in a swift reaction, heads of various churches across the country condemned the conference and promised to counter it by any means necessary.

Special guests from USA, Spain, Nigeria, South Africa, Russia, India and Iran are expected to grace the conference.The Nigerian city of Ibadan will host the next meeting slated for April 1, 2008.

October 08, 2007

Witches Hold Conference In Ghana

I came across this interesting news article from Ghana, West Africa. I knew that witchcraft was rather prevalent over there, but I had no idea that it was so blatantly publicized. The really weird thing about this article is that they don't make any bones about the carnage they intend to inflict -- disease, disaster, murder, and mayhem --around the globe.

Monday, 1 October 2007
Witches Hold Conference In Ghana
"The numerous road accidents, boat disasters, floods in the north, gas explosions in Kumasi and collapse of buildings that the country has witnessed in recent months may not be for nothing. A global meeting of witches, currently underway in Ghana, is targeting thousands of lives through fatal road and other accidents

The assembly is also looking to infect millions of lives with incurable diseases, according to documents available to Daily Guide. In keeping with the witches’ agenda, 1,000,154 people would be killed worldwide through road accidents, rape, murder and armed robbery.

For Ghana, the organizers of the annual global congress insist they want to make the meeting a memorable one and are therefore requesting heavy loss of lives on the nation’s roads.According to the document, Ashanti Region has to ‘donate’ 722 lives, Eastern Region, 119; Brong Ahafo, 103; Central, 134; and Greater Accra, 76; through an operation code-named ‘XXC-XVI-Starlight 666’.

Delegates from countries in all five continents including USA, India, Iran, South Africa, Spain and Nigeria are attending the historic meeting.The two-month long meeting, slated for Juaso Nkwanta in the Ashanti Region, will be chaired by the Regional Commander, one Seth Kofi Manu, and has been described as a follow-up to a maiden one held (venue not stated) on 9th October, 2006 to strategize for the programme in Ghana.“In the first quarter of our calendar year we are to infect 110,000 people (both married and unmarried) with HIV/AIDS through sex, 4,000 with tuberculosis, 6,000 with high blood pressure, and 2,600 with blindness, while 11,000 pastors and preachers will be destroyed, 220 marriages broken, and 100,000 wombs destroyed.”

Apart from the blood of accident victims and the spread of diseases, the association is demanding that 400,000 Ghanaians be initiated into witchcraft and other Satanist organisations before next year’s meeting in Ibadan, Nigeria.Out of the 400,000, the agenda stresses that a minimum of 280,000 of the new entrants must be students and pupils of various schools and universities.Detailed Requirements In This Regard Are As Follows:Universities - 35,000 people Other tertiary schools- 45,000 people JSS & SSS-130,000 people Children below 8 years – 80,000 Some of the special guests expected in the country for the meeting include Comrades Gopanatta (India), Kris Mc Anderson (USA), Uki Steward (Nigeria), Daniel Mokoena (South Africa), Mirza Ali Mohammed (Iran), Professor Kingsley Boison (Ghana), and Hooo Mamfred (Spain).“Every means must be applied through dressing, planting of hair-making items, exchange of clothes and shoes, sex, abortion, music and their so-called Christian songs. Remember we have agents among them,” the document stressed.

The next meeting, which is code-named, ‘Sanbra- 333- 000-4, according to the document, would take place on April 1, 2008 in the Nigerian city of Ibadan.Featuring prominently on the Nigerian agenda is the plot “to create instability and confusion, and as much as we can, bring civil war in Ghana, Nigeria as we did in Liberia and Sierra Leone, Congo and Sudan”. That event would be climaxed with the conferment of an award on Comrade Mirza Ali Mohammed, for the ‘good work’ he is doing in Iraq.

It was agreed that all efforts must be made to make the meeting in Ghana one of the most memorable ones in the history of the association. The Juaso-Nkwanta meeting is part of a three-year grand project (2007-2010) for Satanists all over the world. The project is named, ‘ASTRO-PETAPHYSICAL OPERATION 999’.A number of those who saw the document have opined that the inexplicable accidents, murders, shootings, and other disasters that are reported daily could be linked to the demands of the association."

Have any of you reading this ever heard anything about this going on over there on such a grand scale? With this kind of mindset, no wonder things are in such a mess over there. I'm sure that the people there take this seriously, and live in fear of what could happen to them. Superstition is a powerful, paralyzing force, and an effective weapon when used in this way.

So much for the theory of white magic and good witches. It looks like this is all black, and bad.


The image used here is the actual one used in the article, which seems inappropriate for such a serious subject.