Faith in God. Faith in the community. Faith in the system. That is why Tulsa, Oklahoma, didn’t devolve into race riots after the shooting of a black man by a white police officer.
Many residents took to the pews, while other cities, facing similar issues, took to the streets with looting and riots. Tulsa, often called “the buckle of the Bible belt,” is different because of its faith. Southern Baptists and evangelical Christians play a significant role in the community of 400,000 people. Oral Roberts University has its campus there.
The ethnic makeup of the city parallels that of the nation. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, slightly more than 60 percent of the population is white; 15 percent is African-American, and 14 percent is Hispanic.
The city has had its racial troubles, including a major riot many years ago. The police have faced both positive and negative reviews over the years.
“This is tragic–and something all of us should spend time reflecting on so we can make a better nation,” the Rev. Teron Gaddis, representing the Oklahoma Baptist State Convention, said. “This is not a race issue, a Caucasian or black issue.”
The reverend is black. Had a white leader said the shooting of a black man was not a racial issue he would have been chastised for taking up the “All Lives Matter” banner.
Even The New York Times and CNN had to admit that religion played a role in keeping the peace. Still, the media provided wall-to-wall coverage of the upheaval in Charlotte, with only a passing reference to the peaceful scenes from Oklahoma, including a Black Lives Matter protester holding hands with a white and a black police officer.
Everyone needs to look at Tulsa as an example of how to stop racial division. Riots don’t work; prayer does.
Christopher Harper, a recovering journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law.
Paramedics rushed to Skid Row after 18 people appeared to have overdosed on a drug presumed to be spice, or synthetic marijuana, fire officials said.
The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the area of 5th and San Pedro streets at about 10:30 a.m.
Officials said 18 people were evaluated and 14 of those were taken to the hospital.
The victims were all suffering from similar symptoms, according to officials, which included altered mental status, combative behavior, and in some cases, seizures.
“We don’t have toxicological confirmation, but it’s presumably spice, which is a synthetic type of cannabis or marijuana. And of course, because it’s synthetic, nobody for sure knows what active ingredients are in there, the strength is variable,” Dr. Marc Eckstein, the Los Angeles Fire Department medical director and EMS bureau commander explained.
Before my homeless stint, I’d never heard of stuff like ‘spice’ and ‘tweaking.’ But 2015 was an education for me. I saw the effects of both—turning relatively normal people into the zombies of recent fiction, except that they weren’t cannibals…that I know of. And regular weed was everywhere. Since the latter is legal here in CA, there are “clinics” all around, and one of the hot topics of the homeless housing was where a customer could get the best high for the most reasonable price. Usually, I’d walk away from such conversations—not for any high-minded reasons, but because they bored me to tears.
Mere nicotine-addicts—like me–and those who would manage to sneak alcohol in were considered relatively straight-laced.
And that brings me to one of the reasons I wanted to stop smoking. It seems to me that all drug addictions bring illusory benefits but, in reality, have only drawbacks. Hard-core illegal drug addicts see these quickly, but we who partake in the legal substances are more likely to fool ourselves for many years, at least until that first stroke, heart attack, car accident, etc.
I’ve mused on my blessings from God many times; one of these is excellent physical health, in spite of battling nicotine addiction for many years. It’s a sin to take a blessing from God and throw it in the trash can, is it not?
Another thing: we are coming into some very perilous times, maybe the End Times. But even if things are not that apocalyptic, it seems that it’s best for each one of us to leave the extraneous habits behind. There is enough useless baggage on our backs already.
Fifteen days. I’m sort of addicted to CornNuts now.
“400 million dollars, that’s how much charter schools will drain from Massachusetts public schools this year”
Under normal circumstances this would be more background political noise that I would ignore but I had just come back from the Amplify choice conference put on by the Franklin Center where we spent a day and a half listening to speakers talk about Charter Schools both in Denver and across the nation.
And having attended said conference I knew that best the “Save our schools” crowd was being deceptive and at worst they were lying through their teeth because that statement ignores a cogent fact about charter schools…
Charter schools are public schools.
That would seem to be a rather important fact for that argument but an ad saying: “400 million dollars, that’s how much money will be spent on some public schools instead of others this year” is unlikely to scare voters.
From that point the ad argument doesn’t get better.
400 million syphoned from local districts that desperately need it.
Except for the fact the Charter Schools are still part of the school districts that they are located in.
400 million that won’t fund more science and technology…
Actually the 400 million will just fund science and technology at a different school as anyone who joined me in visiting the Denver School of Science and Technology last week would know and met Sheila…
…and some of her classmates
…would see that science would not suffer, it will prosper.
arts or preschool, counseling or smaller class sizes
In fact charter that money would not only fund smaller class sizes which are the norm at charter schools but would fund them for groups that traditionally don’t get them as this enrollment chart shows:
In fact the STRIVE charter schools in Denver enrollment is 97% of color reflecting the neighborhoods they operate in.
$400 million unavailable to the 96% of students who don’t attend charter schools
“$1.013 Billion dollars unavailable to students who don’t attend Boston public schools”
…which again isn’t going to scare anyone.
The “save our schools” ads when they finish with
“Let’s improve public schools for all students, not just a select few.”
Forgetting for a second that by this argument your public school should not get a new lab because said lab is not for all public school students, just for the select few that go to it. It ignores that fact that the rising tide of Charter schools tends to lift all boats as evidenced by the results in Denver before expansion of charter schoolsand after
What is this ad actually arguing? It’s arguing to keep schools that are failing from having to compete with schools that are not, and it’s counting on the fact that most of the people seeing this ad, did not attend the Franklin Center #amplifychoice event this year.
Or to put it another way this “save our schools” ad is completely dependent on its audience being uneducated and uninformed about the results charter schools bring to protect failing public schools
Rather ironic isn’t it?
If you want to find out more about charter schools check out the #amplifychoice hashtag here or check out these posts at DaTechGuyblog:
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Following the money can be an intriguing political exercise. Take one Planned Parenthood affiliate’s political expenditures, for example. When a candidate benefits from PP expenditures and later has to vote on a PP contract, when does business-as-usual becomes a matter of ethical concern?
Darlene Pawlik wants to find out. She’s checking things out close to her New Hampshire home, and she has filed a complaint with the Executive Branch Ethics Committee against Governor Maggie Hassan and Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern. The complaint might be heard formally at the committee’s next meeting, scheduled for August 3.
Pawlik was prompted to act by a June 2016 “do-over” vote by the state’s Executive Council that sent “family planning” money to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England only months after the same Council turned down a similar PPNNE contract proposal. It’s unusual for a contract denied in a fiscal year to be re-introduced and approved in substantially the same terms later in the same fiscal year, but that’s what the Executive Council did with its 3-2 vote on June 29.
A bit of background: PPNNE is the region’s largest abortion provider, although the New Hampshire contracts are for “family planning” services and are not meant to be used for abortions. (Thereby hangs a tale for another day.) The denial of the original contract hardly de-funded PPNNE, however much the denial gave PP supporters the vapors. PPNNE’s budget is $20 million a year. The original contract was for $638,000; the do-over contract was for a little less than that. By comparison, PPNNE spent $1.5 million on “public policy” in 2014. That doesn’t count campaign donations and independent campaign expenditures by PPNNE’s political arm.
Back to the do-over vote. The more recent contract passed because executive councilor and GOP candidate for governor Chris Sununu switched his vote from 2015. PPNNE’s Action Fund stayed out of Sununu’s race in the 2014 election. On the other hand, the campaigns of Governor Hassan and Councilor Van Ostern were the beneficiaries of PP donations. Hassan, a Democrat who is running for U.S. Senate, named a pro-PP commissioner of health and human services earlier this year who promised during his confirmation process that he would “bring back” the PP contract. Van Ostern was the chief cheerleader for PP on the Council during the recent reconsideration vote. He is a Democratic candidate for governor.
In her ethics complaint, Pawlik alleges that as recipients of PP donations, Hassan and Van Ostern should have recused themselves from any action on contracts with PPNNE. The governor has no vote on the Executive Council, but she presides at Council meetings and was more than happy in that capacity to speak in PP’s favor at the June meeting before the contract vote was taken.
It’s hardly news that political committees get involved in elections, and it’s hardly news that governments do business with entities associated with those committees.What’s news is that a concerned citizen is taking action to clarify how much back-scratching is too much. The same-fiscal-year reconsideration of a rejected contract begs for further scrutiny.
The New Hampshire Union Leader quoted PPNNE’s vice-president for public policy as saying “PPNNE and its Political Action Fund are ‘separate and distinct organizations with different funding, different activities and different tax status.’” Presto: no conflict of interest, says PP.
Look again, says Darlene Pawlik.
She is appealing to an Ethics Committee that is under most New Hampshire residents’ radar. The Committee itself has been moribund for several months, with its three most recent scheduled meetings cancelled. There’s a meeting scheduled for August 3, though, and we know now that at least one complaint should be getting a hearing.
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Saturday Governor Charlie Baker spent the Day in Fitchburg Massachusetts stumping with longtime City Councilor Dean Tran who is running against even longer time city Councillor Steven Hay for the State Rep seat vacated by newly elected mayor Steve DiNatale.
The final stop on the governor’s trip where he would speak for Dean and meet voters was Destare a small nightclub/bar at the corner of main and Cushing street where believe it or not 30 years ago at the ripe old age of 23 I opened a comic book/hobby shop which is now their downstairs storeroom.
Fitchburg didn’t have the reputation it does now but it seemed like every other month till I moved it my shop was broken into and robbed, so I asked the Owner if he had any trouble since opening up several years ago. He said quite the opposite he had seen no trouble at all which, along with good food, good drink and excellent wi-fi speed explains his success.
I arrived around 1 PM and set up laptop and mike where I would record the first two segments of DaTechGuy off DaRadio podcast (available by clicking the fedora in the corner or emailed directly if you subscribe). Within a few minutes sign holder for Dean Tran led by the indomitable Mary Lotze formerly of the Twin city Tea party and now head of the Fitchburg Republican Committee.
As time passed the number of sign holders grew outside while the club started to fill up. About 20 minutes before the governor arrived I noticed a group of well dressed men sitting by the window. It tuned out they were from a protestant church in the Cleghorn part of town which once housed the large French Canadian population who came down from Canada to work the now shuttered factories that once dominated Fitchburg when it was a hub of manufacturing from shoes to Machine Guns, but is now one of two sections of down where the Spanish population is concentrated. Minister George Rodriguez consented to an interview:
Alas the lith ion battery in my primary camera choose at the end of that interview to die o I switched to my broken (no stills, no zoom) but still functioning emergency backup camera for the rest of the day. I used that to record this interview with Ed Vargus who was in attendance promoting his program to get kids off the street using skateboarding which I recorded later in the day
but include here because it fits with the Minister’s talk about getting involved with the community.
Fifteen minutes after the interview with the Minister the Governor arrived.
The governor was accompanied by his wife and Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis one of the most popular elected republicans in the area and one of the few actually taller than Charlie Baker. Despite the recent squabbles concerning the state committee (more on that here) he warmly greeted, and was warmly greeted by, those standing out.
When the Governor and the Sheriff came in they worked the crowd greeting and talking to people who attended. It’s worth nothing that they gave time to the attendees rather than simply making perfunctorily statements.and shaking hands which is one of the reasons for his popularity.
After about 15 minutes of that the guests of honor took the stage, first the Sheriff, then the Governor and then Counselor Tran who was the object of today’s exercise.
The Sheriff emphasized in his speech public safety without which none of the other things that make a city great can be achieved and his work with Counselor Tran on that subject. The Governor stressed his own beginnings as a selectman where everybody knows where you live an knows when you’ve voted a way they dislike and let you know about it and talked of how Dean’s background would be of great use as a representative. When Counselor Tran took the stage he talked about bread and butter issues but two things stood out to me.
When talking about jobs he stressed how jobs in Fitchburg meant families could stay in Fitchburg echoing the Chris Christie “Grandparents” speech which in my opinion should be a staple of any GOP speech on fiscal responsibility.
But what really stood out to me was his American Dream story by which he could come from a 3rd world country, come to America, succeed at business, be the first minority counselor in Fitchburg and then run for state office with the endorsement of the most popular governor in the Entire United States.
There was some jocularity as well. Dean is of short stature and both the Governor and the Sheriff tower over him and there was some good natured ribbing along those lines but in terms of public service they all stand tall together.
I had hoped to ask the governor a few questions about his popularity (Is it a function of the no drama, get things done work ethic, the possibility of him being considered for a national ticket, an his efforts to slowly increase the number of elected republicans to at least get enough to sustain a veto in one house but Gov Baker took no questions and frankly didn’t give me a first look. Sheriff Lew was friendly but noting another commitment that he had to attend apologized leaving right after the speech. I had better luck with Counselor Tran himself.
I have a long memory , when we were fighting Planned Parenthood in Fitchburg Counselor Tran was sympathetic to use while his opponent was whole hog for Planned Parenthood so there is no question where my vote is going on Tuesday.
One oddity. This special election is the day of the Massachusetts primary (Supertuesday) so one might think the increased turnout and the Trump phenom would help Counselor Tran but it’s also worth noting that there are separate ballots for the presidential primary and the local election so it’s unclear how if at all, that will affect the outcome. This came out in my conversation with Mary Lotze in a segment which I recorded as part of my Podcast and include here
As I said before It’s a good sign that the governor is stumping for a social conservative despite the State committee kerfuffle it remains to be seen if he, the sheriff, the LT Gov (who attended an earlier event that I was unavailable to cover) and the increased turnout will be enough to give us our first GOP state rep out of Fitchburg in a while.
For the first times since I lost my job an Stacy McCain lost his Twitter right we’ve had a setback in our quest for $61 to make a living back here at the blog. Yesterday DaTipJar was completely and utterly silent. So as we find ourselves seeking a new $61 today our deficit for the year climbs back to 21 days and $1335 dollars.
In fairness my email blast went out late do to covering the Governor (post later today) an helping my son move so I didn’t spend the day promoting the blog, furthermore it was saturday and I suspect that our traffic consisted of our core readers who take a peek before going an enjoying the weekend.
yet if less than 1% of yesterday’s readers kicked in $15 each we would have made out goal for the day with ease.
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In my hometown paper there is a story about a crooked former democrat speaker of the house.
Sal DiMasi (remember him?) — a former speaker of the Massachusetts House, who is serving time in a North Carolina federal prison after being convicted of accepting some $65,000 in payoffs to facilitate approval of a state computer contract.
I really should have specified DeMasi, after all “crooked former Democrat speaker of the house in Massachusetts” is a description that a whole lot of people fill.
The writer Peter Lukas notes that Mr. DiMasi is in rough physical shape is very old and full of cancer. He’d really like to move to a jail closer to home, Governor Baker has no problem with it however as a federal prisoner it’s not his say, so he needs friends close to the White House perhaps the Gay community
While the gay community once honored DiMasi, it has since abandoned him.
For instance, the gay community spent an enormous amount of time, money and energy seeking a taxpayer-funded sex change for Massachusetts prison inmate Michelle Kosilek. All Kosilek ever did was savagely murder his wife when he was a man named Robert.
DiMasi paved the way for the legalizing same-sex marriage, which was a step toward the transgender movement, but the gay community has done nothing for DiMasi in return.
or maybe an ex governor close to the president:
Patrick was asked one time if he would intervene with his friend, President Barack Obama, to show compassion to DiMasi. Patrick bristled at the question and said, “I’m not going to get involved in that at all.”
“Because it is not my jurisdiction, and I have plenty of other things to do.”
Given that this corrupt pol bears responsibility for bringing Romneycare and Gay Marriage to Massachusetts and all the evil that has come from both nationwide even as a Christian I have a hard time feeling sorry for him, however it’s not folks like me that Peter Lucas is outraged over. He’s wondering why all those people who celebrated all of these things are not willing to lift a finder to make it a little easier for his family to visit and allow him to die a little closer to home.
The answer is really easy.
Historically our friends on the left have always used useful idiots providing financial and political aid to them in order to advance a common cause. Historically as soon as their usefulness ends so does their financial and political support. The same thing has happened here. Sal DiMasi has suffered the same fate that useful idiots have for over a century.
Yesterday at the upper common of Fitchburg Ma a group of over 70 people turned out for an event highlighting Opiate Awareness and the people and families who are affected by them.
I arrived near the time things were about to start and talked to Lauren who seemed to be in charge.
There were several speakers, one of them was our state rep Steve DiNatale who is running for Mayor
And the Police Chief
The stress of the event was addiction as a disease and coping with it. Nobody talked better on the struggle between being firm and being kind than Tami Arguelles founder of the local group: Help for our Community.
The need to find the balance between loving and caring for a person, while not enabling or approving is for the families and friends of the addicted the hardest thing.
They had some ceremonial events the lighting of candles
The Releasing of Balloons
and a moment of silence
Some spoke about their loss like Ed.
Other were there simply to stand for their lost loved ones. I spoke to the police chief after the event:
and I spoke to two former addicts one before things started:
and the second after, this was Reverend Hollaway who had spoken before
What really truck me about both of them was their words about the Just Say No campaign from the 80’s. This type of thing was routinely laughed at by our friends of the left but both of these ex addicts noted that a direct statement, a solid “NO” makes a difference.
But the real story to me was that every police car in Fitchburg is equipped with Narcan which can be the difference between life and death for a person.
The other half of the coin of course is the prevention, the chief talked about getting old prescription drugs out of the house but the other part of the game is something quite simple and direct. If you see someone dealing drugs on your street corner in your neighborhood don’t just ignore it and figure it’s not your business: Say Something. Call the police, tweet the police, help them protect you.
If you don’t want the cost of the Drugs and Gangs, stand up and fight, even if it’s just a phone call. The harder you make it for the dealer, the more likely he’s going to at worst move on, or at best find themselves caught.
The event made the front page of the Sentinel, you can read it here.
Lorenzo:The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.
A Bronx Tale 1993
One year ago at this time the one and only story in New England was the Market Basket Strike.
For those of you from outside the area basically there was a power struggle between two cousins both named Arthur Demoulas. One Arthur T who was deeply involved in the day to day operations of the highly profitable company and treated his workers and managers so well that when the majority of 9 person Board of Directors, despite high profits in bad times headed by supporters of his cousin Arthur S finally succeeded in forcing out his cousin, the workers went on “strike” in support of Arthur T.
Within a short time the shelves started to go empty and the workers started protesting (off the clock).
It was the most unusual protest in US history to wit:
I’ve heard this sentiment from every Market Basket person I’ve talked to from managers to baggers they don’t want a union and it was made plain during the protest
When word got out at a Friday rally at Market Basket headquarters that representatives of an unidentified union were passing out cards to protesting employees, it was Trainor who responded: “Really, do you think we need a union?” The crowd responded with a resounding “no.”
“There is no union in this country that’s stronger than this crowd right here,” Trainor said. “So take your cards and go home.”
So basically you have a workforce not complaining about wages, not complaining about working conditions, not calling for a union but instead protesting against business decisions that they believe will hurt long term profitability.
There is one way to describe a protest like that: Pro Capitalist.
It was like covering a tea party rally. It’s why I suspect they were getting flak from some left wing sites and the overwhelmingly Democrat state legislature was slow to fall behind them.
If I was Rick Santorum I’d be in Massachusetts at the next rally. If I was Reince Priebus I’d be asking why Elizabeth Warren & the left are AWOL and suggest it is due to being owned by the unions.
And if I was Kirsten Hughes I’d run through that gap in the line the left has left unguarded and I’d go all in for the Market Basket Workers and vividly illustrate the GOP’s support for the working man.
Suddenly the prospect of 20,000 to 40,000 voters in two states controlled by Democrats going to the polls angry with an election less than 90 days away was a reality.
And so Governor Patrick and Gov Hassan of New Hampshire decided to get involved.
In the end, a year ago this month Arthur S sold out to his cousin Arthur T. Within a few days the stores were re-stocked and Arthur T was back in the stores greeting customers who waited in lines to shake his hand.
The company is on track to record total revenues of about $4.8 billion in 2015, top executives say, the most in its nearly 100-year history. It is also in expansion mode, opening five new stores in the last year, some with upscale accents such as massive gourmet cheese islands, expanded organic food offerings, and outdoor cafe seating. Two new stores are under construction in Plymouth, Mass., and Rochester, N.H.
Now imagine for a second if the GOP had taken my advice, There are twelve GOP candidates polling at under 10% in NH. What if Lindsey Graham had given kudos to the Market Basket Workers on the senate floor. Picture if Rick Perry saying Arthur T would be a hit in Texas. Imagine Carly Fiorina noting him as an example of a CEO who gets it. Think of Scott Walker using Market Basket to compare Union vs Non-Union shops. Ponder Rand Paul praising the Market Basket low-no debt model.
What if in 2014 Chris Christie came to NH and used Arthur T as an example of hands on management or Ben Carson showed up describing it as the difference between doing and saying or Ted Cruz giving a speech talking about Market Basket as a non-government success story.
And I didn’t even mention Rick Santorum. Could you see Rick Santorum at a Market Basket rally in 2014 saying they are the model of how to create success in America. It was a story absolutely tailor-made for his campaign.
What would any of these guys give to have the chance to go back a year and knowing what they know now, give that speech? Where might they be in the polls today? A non-union, pro capitalist, anti debt, tea party like labor action and we just let it go. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing an opportunity like that a wasted.
Sigh if only.
Postscript, I was searching on the net and I did find one presidential candidate that noted the end of the Market Basket strike on his web site an tweeted about it at the time.
The Biggest winner from this blizzard is Charlie Baker
One of the things that happen if you are a GOP member in Massachusetts is you come equipped with a pair of horns by the media. It takes great timing, an extraordinary event, or a bad Democrat candidate for them to disappear.
Baker won election thanks to good timing and a bad Democrat and this blizzard, right at the start of his term, constitutes both good timing and an extraordinary event for him.
This blizzard plays to all of his strengths, a problem to be solved, a steady hand in a crisis and a fellow who is normal.
That’s Charlie Baker all over.
Even more importantly people who would normally never see these qualities in action couldn’t help but see them as his press conferences where regular and necessary TV.
This images and the narrative of his strengths are now firmly in the mind of the voters, even the low info ones and it will take an awful lot to get it out.
The question is, once we’re all dug out will those in the political game realize it and act accordingly?
One might consider the title of this post a tad provocative, after all the events in Ferguson Missouri involve a shooting death followed by rioting, while in Westminster MA all that being debated is banning cigarette sales in the city.
However there is one aspect of these two events that is identical, the objection to how a representative government is acting, and that objection requires the same solution for those upset.
In Ferguson the community that has been the loudest in opposing the local police & mayor etc have been rather apathetic at the ballot box and have been so for years. These aren’t the days of Jim Crow, if they don’t like their local representation in the city they could be voting them out or at least making sure there is a political cost for making what they consider bad decisions.
They have not.
While the circumstances aren’t as dire in Westminster and the odds of riots and blood taking place in the city are lower than the chances of Bill Clinton taking and keeping a vow of chastity it’s very much the same situation.
Where were all of these people who were so angry now when the members of local government who are pushing this ban were being elected and appointed? Were they attending town meetings? Were they pushing other candidates? Were they filing petitions? Were they running candidates or standing as candidates themselves?
They were not.
So while I have sympathy for the store owner at the center of this fuss, if you are a person in Westminster who possess this move by the town remember it was made possible by your apathy.
There is however one huge difference between Ferguson & Westminster.
No matter what your position is on the Officer’s actions or young Mr. Brown’s nothing that comes out of Ferguson will bring Michael Brown back from the dead.
While in Westminster if the people don’t like the decision to force smokers to go to a neighboring town or city to buy their tobacco products (made possible by those amazing new inventions called the Automobile and the Bicycle they can vote out the people in charge in the town and vote in new people to replace them, presumably the store owners in Westminster will still be there by that time.
If you live in a free society and you don’t take advantage of those freedom and allow people who wish to restrict your freedom, it’s on you.