Sunday, May 22, 2011

Beating and Bleeding

I guess you know the "racially charged" stories of 2 women*, Tanya McDowell of Connecticut and Kelley Williams-Bolar of Ohio, who were arrested for theft of services - lying to send their children to a better school district.

This district jumping for schools goes on everywhere, by all races. Usually the kids are pulled out of school and enrolled in the correct district, sometimes the parent/parents have to agree on a restitution amount, which these women were unable to agree to. Makes me wonder if they're being used as pseudo-martyrs for political gain.

I know folks who have used the wrong addresses for a different school, not always for better education, sometimes simply more convenient for one reason or another. Sometimes for sports programs. Sometimes for behavior problems which the parent blames on the school and a different school will show Little Johnny is perfectly normal elsewhere. He never is, but there are plenty more excuses to choose from.

After reading dozens of different articles on the two cases above, the prevalent meme is: these women just want a better education for their children, these women are targeted simply because they are Black, these women are being attacked by local racist republican officials, yada yada yada and on and on into idiocy such as education is "free" and the government cannot do this. I did see one comment that mentioned had the women been illegal immigrants they would be okay. There might be a point there.

Another common theme in the grousing commentors on the stories is that the "rich" districts get more Federal money while the "poor" get very little, "unequal funding." These folks don't seem to understand that a large part of funding comes from local and state property taxes.

Schools were more equitable until the early 1980s when all 50 states increased their education budgets to fund more than 50 percent of nonfederal school costs. This was to end inequalities in "property rich" and "property poor" districts, so the states upped their education budgets. We know now how mismanaged, corrupt, and bankrupt states have become. Too much of the money earmarked for equalizing ended up in other pockets and silly useless "enhancement" programs and to accommodate those who whine and wheedle about little wild Johnny Medicated's special needs. All the special programs for special kids who are the result, not of congenital ailments, not of poverty, not of inequality, but simply indiscriminate indifferent parenting (all races). A nationwide epidemic of folks who expect the world to bend over backwards to make them comfortable. For 2 or 3 generations now.

Lest we forget, gambling/numbers rackets were legalized with the promises of billions going to education and/or wildlife/conservation, environmental programs, etc. Yet, we're dumber and dirtier than ever.

Something I noticed years ago locally. Podunk has 1 high school, rated as one of the best in the state, 1 middle school, 1 kindergarten center, 1 "alternative" school (read screw-ups and future inmates), and 3 elementary schools. Lets call them Best Elementary, Second Best Elementary, and SlugFest Elementary. I noticed this because of my 4 grandchildren (all attending Best). I noticed because all the white folks want their kids to go to Best and are quite angry when Johnny is assigned to Second Best or SlugFest. I noticed that usually only the attentive, intelligent, well-behaved, unmedicated kids are assigned to Best. Second and Slug, as the names imply, get the potential problem and definite problem kids. Rich or poor is not relevant.

From kindergarten a child's school career is more or less sealed here in Podunk. The last chance equalizer in Podunk is high school, since there is only one. By then the Second Besters and SlugFesters who still have serious behavior problems will drop out, or just move through the motions and graduate functionally illiterate, or be the kid most likely to bring a gun or baby to school.

I truly think most people here have not noticed this is how it's done, although they all want their kid to go to the "good" elementary school, they haven't figured out it's the "good" kids assigned to the "good" school, because that would mean it's their fault Little Johnny is a muckup already, in kindergarten. They claim it's based on "rich" and "poor" too. The "two Americas" at the local level.

The average spent per child nationwide can range from $10,000 to $15000. Many good private schools spend as little as $5000. As with all things, it's not the money - it's the parental commitment, love, respect, hope that's taught at home those first few years and sets the child on the road he will travel.

But back to Tanya and Kelley. It's not a race issue, although god knows the NAACP and Black and white soapboxers say it is. For political reasons of course. One more shilling headline to keep folks angry, bitter, to sit on their ass doing the bare minimum while demanding someone else hand them the life they want. You could give some folks everything and a year later they would have nothing but their original grievance.

No, I don't think Tanya and Kelley's legal problems are racism. It may be unease, of the impending encroachment of folks who do everything assbackwards. Have kids first, have fun, live on the dole and then expect the "rich" suburbanites to fund you the same perks they waited, sacrificed, and delayed gratification for, so they could make money, live in the 'burbs and raise their kids.

If you want life's perks - earn 'em. Frankly, if the "poor" put as much energy into cleaning up the 'hood as they do in trying to beat and bleed the system, their schools and kids would fare fine.

* Ms. Williams-B­olar and several other families enrolled their children at the school although they did not live within the district. The school confronted all the families, around 48. The other families agreed to some sort of restitution but Ms Williams-B­olar chose not to pay and go to trial, she lost, even with the NAACP provided lawyer and 4 blacks on the jury. She was sentenced to 10 days in jail (she served 9), probation and community service. After her probation and community services the charges will be dropped to a misdemeanor so her future job chances will not be mired with a felony.

Her father has other legal problems because he filed documents for Ms Williams-B­olar and children. His problems are worse, as he is being indicted for knowingly falsely filing documents to receive monetary, medical and food assistance from the Dept. of Job and Family Services, connected to the children.

The other lady, Ms. McDowell, supposedly homeless, sleeping in her van, but sometimes overnight at a male friend's house. Her babysitter, Ms. Ana Rebecca Marques, was evicted from her public housing by helping Ms. McDowell falsify documents.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Front Runners

If this is the best the republicans have to offer ... run Forrest run ...

Mitt Romney. Apparently a sharp and successful businessman. Although a "conservative" some folks say Obamacare looks a lot like the Romneycare enacted in Massachusetts which some also claim is a dismal failure. I can't put my finger on it, but there's something about Mitt that my instincts say no no no. Sort of like the way the hair stands up on the back of your neck in the subway when you're uncomfortably close to the man in a dirty raincoat fiddling with something in his pocket.

Newt Gingrich. Personal and political life too messy, 4 marriages, adulterous affairs, sleazy, 84 ethics violations as house speaker which he managed to squirm out of all but one and for that was "reprimanded". To hear Newt tell it he was the victim of a "coup" attempt to remove him as speaker. But claims he has asked forgiveness from god for his personal sins and is a changed man (winky wink). (Why is it most men who claim religion do so after they have spent most of their life as marauding barbarians and "get closer" to god only when age and Viagra no longer work for them?)

Sarah Palin. LOL. A perennial debutante. Couldn't finish her last year as Alaska governor because of lusting for the camera, the book deal, the documentary, putting foxiness in Foxnews contributor, etc. Had to strike while the greed iron was hot, understandable, but certainly not what a sane person would want in the first woman president. Besides, her voice makes the ear canal cringe.

Huckabee not running. Thank god.

Ron Paul. At 75 Ron should be enjoying retirement not humping a campaign trail to the White House.

Donald Trump. Hmmm. Nothing would be accomplished as the world would be focused on his puzzling 'do don't and anal sphincter mouth.

Tim Pawlenty. ....Who? Just another former businessman turned political addict with 5 terms in Minnesota house and 8 years as governor. An "evangelical Christian" meaning he believes the Bible is authoritative, has had a born-again experience, and shares the message of faith. (Not much in the news regarding Pawlenty's ethics and accountability problem with appointment of Vicki Tigwell as chairwoman of MAC, a $1 billion airport expansion project, back in 2003. She stepped down in 2006 citing - you guessed it - family and personal reasons.)

Arnold. Can't run because of citizenship issue but would if he could. And it would have saved his marriage, at least until after his presidency. Like so many Hollywoodies, his marriage was near perfect until it wasn't.

So, unless some other termite crawls out of the woodwork - in 2012, to borrow from Charlie, Obama will be a "winner," a warlock with tiger blood and all that... until 2016 when he leaves office and writes a bestseller, Audacity of bin Laden Down.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Momma 1903-1966


Mammy Blue

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Anything Is Possible

I guess most all bloggers felt compelled or obligated to blog on the death of bin Laden. I didn't feel one way or the other, but it's a slow day here in the Heartland and the water is rising.

Bin Laden. All the conspiracy is up and running strong. Is he dead or did he die years ago? Was he ever really on dialysis? Does Obama deserve credit for taking out Osama? Do we now officially know his name is spelled Usama rather than Osama? If so, why is that? How's your ratings now.

Osama/Obama - 1 letter folks, 1 letter, has to mean something ... surely some experts of one sort or another have decoded the nostrodamology or Mayan calendar meaning of that 1 letter.

Does it matter if the death pic is released or not? Will it inflame a world already on fire?

Or as our leader said of releasing photos "It would be of no benefit to gloat." Never mind the college-age herd cheering outside the White House moments after Obama announced OBL was dead. That's not gloating - that's celebration. Ding dong the wicked witch is dead my little winkies and munchkins. Ding dong' the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low ... let them know.

How about the 1.5 billion a year paid to Pakistan who couldn't find their own butt with both hands and a flash light? Our BFFs.

Will the ACLU or progressives sue because bin Laden was not read his rights or given the opportunity to surrender? Will they sue on behalf of the men who were water-boarded for information that led to finding OBL? Or do we just continue to argue the "torture" issue... and deny one thing one day, then deny the opposite tomorrow? Dementia - every day a pseudo-new version of the same old issues that shouldn't even be issues.

What was the objective going into Afghanistan? To smoke out bin Laden? Can the troops come home now? Let's get to the real news: The man who refused to shave until OBL was caught - finally shaved. The school boy who had to wash a painted flag off his face. The man in the gated community who was told to take down his flag. Letterman said ... Jay Leno said ...

Why is Hillary claiming her situation room photo of hand on mouth was stifling a yawn or cough rather than fear/anxiety? Afraid she doesn't look butch enough in a room of steely-eyed steely-jaw men watching the live action take down of OBL? Does her gasping photo remind anyone of Bush Junior's instantly released photo-ops? The flight suit, the deck, the plane window.

Political pap to look manly, strong, yet concerned, pensive. Do they wear Old Spice? Look at your man, now back to me, now back at your man, now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me... Anything is possible when your man smells like Old Spice and not a lady.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Marlo Expectations

From Huff Po, Marlo Thomas laments the integration of Take Our Daughters to Work Day - because they now must take sons too. I hope this woman isn't paid for her silliness. (If you wish to make a tax deductible donation in order for the Foundation to continue its work, or buy a t-shirt, please make checks payable to: Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Foundation, 209 East Fearing Street, Suite 1, Elizabeth City, NC 27909.)

Marlo says "Like a lot of women my age, it reminded me of the low expectations that were thrust on us when we were growing up. I'll never forget struggling with a math problem when I was in the 7th grade at Marymount, and complaining to the math nun about it. "Don't worry, dear," she said to me. "You won't need it."

As the daughter of a millionaire, and preppy in a private Catholic prep school rubbing elbows with other Los Angeles bratpackers, perhaps the math nun knew Marlo would never have to work like other women folk. How much math do you need being That Girl! or a "social activist."

We should be so lucky to have a math nun and the struggle of a math problem as a memory we'll never forget.

Michelle Obama hosted 200 children of White House employees. Michelle doing her part so low expectations are not thrust upon today's boys and girls. And can you say p-h-o-t-o op.

Marlo hasn't a clue that millions of women cannot take their daughters (or sons) to work. Or that the majority of kids who are taken to work are not minimum wage worker kids but are kids who come from homes where self-confidence, education, knowledge, and skills for success are a given.

And to think I used to listen to Marlo and Phil. Eeek.

I had a chuckle as one respondent to Marlo commented: "This program should be called "Take our [privileged] daughters to the white-collar business office to teach them how to kiss ass and exploit the poor." Even the majority of the huffpo posters seemed irritated with her pettiness. Has the "women's movement" finally petered out (pun intended).

As for St. Jude's, the hospital founded by Danny Thomas, I supported that for many years, crying in every commercial, but stopped after finding much of the clinical staff is low paid while the topcats make almost a million a year, that St. Jude insinuates credit for medical discoveries not theirs, that they have 2 billion in assets for a 56 bed hospital, and a good deal of money goes to research and programs that I question the efficacy of (research often funded by pharmaceutical giants and government grants), and that they take in almost a billion annually from corporate and individual donations and grants - yet have received low ratings at Charity Navigator; I heard they amended a few practices to raise their rating again. And though St. Jude's has done a lot of good for some children, fact is their giant fundraising footprint has drained away donations from other hospitals that treat childhood cancer but don't have the high profile of St. Jude. St. Jude's will not take kids who have been treated with chemo or radiation at other institutes, and turns away kids who fail to meet other St. Jude criteria. (Thirty years ago we had a daughter diagnosed with brain cancer at Denver Children's, her treatment could not have been better anywhere else.) A pediatric oncologist told me once that although we've improved the methodology, the equipment, and the survival rates - we still basically use the same old cancer treatments of "cut, burn, and poison."

Not that any of that is Marlo's fault. The nuns didn't teach her math and she never had a kid of her own to take anywhere.

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