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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Youth Service
It is not surprising that the major findings of the “Assessing the Long-Term Effects of Youth Service: The Puzzling Case of Teach for America” study (NY Times, Jan. 4, 2010) were “burnout,” “exhaustion” and “disillusionment” among those choosing to serve, and that only 31% of the program’s 17,000 alumni continued in the teaching profession. This five-year study should serve as a wake-up call to policymakers and those who have no idea of the extreme stress involved in a career plagued with up to 15-hour work days, persistent classroom disciplinary issues, little, if any, parental/community assistance and obtrusive administrative meddling; not to mention insulting wages.   Unless our education system is radically changed, particularly at the middle and high school levels, our society will continue to lose the type of expertise, creativity and dedication required for successful teaching and learning. 1/4/10
12:37 am est 

Friday, January 15, 2010

US Dept. of Justice Action Required to Prosecute "BayBeesgate"
I continue to believe that an investigation by the US Dept. of Justice is required to prosecute and put to rest any cover-up of wrong-doing by Delaware officials in the outrageous Bradley BayBeesgate case (1/10/10 letter herein).  The appointment of Law School Dean Linda Ammons by Governor Jack Markell to review and make recommendations regarding systemic failures is a step in the right direction as we seek impartial and responsible adjudication. 1/15/10
8:46 am est 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Toussaint L’Ouverture started the recovery in Haiti in 1791; let us continue that effort by creating a safe haven for earthquake surviving Haitians in a specific geographical area in the United States or in South America.  History has shown that Haiti has, regrettably, not progressed much in the last 200+ years hence; a relocated Haiti, not unlike Liberia or Jonestown (for different reasons), may be in order at this desperate time since the cost of rebuilding and saving lives is prohibitive.  In the end, the U.S. may have to take possession of Haiti, if we so choose, like we did with Puerto Rico. 1/14/10
7:27 pm est 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Will the Real Harold Ford Stand Up!
Harold E. Ford Jr. seems to be a real chameleon, a Republican wannabe, with uncommitted, changeable positions to suit his environment.  He had Tennesseans fooled.  Will his hat trick work in New York? Your article (NY Times Jan. 13) reads like a fairy tale.  Does he even believe he is Black or will he change his position on that as well!  This man cannot be trusted to lead anyone!  New Yorkers would be better off without him. 1/13/10
11:05 am est 

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder RE: "Baybeesgate"
Thank you for your comprehensive article on what I would call the “BayBeesgate” pediatric rape case (DE News Journal, Jan. 10).  I hereby call on the U.S. Department of Justice and others to provide for a more objective investigation rather than a continuation of our own cover-up activities.
An Open Letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder/US Department of Justice, et al.: While Delaware’s Governor Jack Markell and Attorney General Beau Biden have pledged to investigate the Dr. Earl B. Bradley “BayBeesgate” pediatric rape case, I would strongly urge the U.S. Department of Justice to get involved with this tragedy since Delaware officials have dropped the ball for the past 10 or more years.  Indeed, many seemed to have excused Dr. Bradley for his heinous acts. This smells like a cover up!  The share number of alleged victims (over 100) coupled with the fact that several individuals in the medical and legal/law enforcement professions knew of Dr. Bradley’s crimes and did nothing; cry out for an investigation from an outside unbiased source.  Moreover, since Latino children may have also been victims of Dr. Bradley’s, special bilingual personnel including The National Council of La Raza should be a part of this prosecution to protect their civil rights as well.  Signed: Horacio Lewis, Former Chair, Governor's Council on Child Protective Services 1/10/10
3:33 pm est 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

RE: The (DE) Christina School District $350,000 Waste
Not long ago I wrote a letter to the Delaware News Journal Editor regarding the reckless spending of the Christina School District to the tune of $350,000 for duplicative school programs--programs which are clearly within the bailiwick of their District Office and the Delaware Department of Education.  I had an opportunity to talk with Governor Jack Markell briefly about this expense which I suggested should be disallowed executively, by the Governor himself.  He said he had his own questions about this issue, but learned it was really up to the Christina School Board to decide.  Well, I now ask the Christina School Board to reevaluate its decision and reverse this outrageous expense, for there are certainly more meaning-full things to do with this money in a failing economy.  I also take this opportunity to call attention to the upcoming potential “Race to the Top” U.S. Department of Education funding to our State and the need for more transparency regarding proposed educational expenditures and questionable alternate State DSTP (high stakes testing) initiatives. 12/24/09
2:05 pm est 

Tiger Woods
I think Tiger has to be himself; if that means divorcing is wife and taking care of his family while continuing his life, then that he should do.  In the end, what counts is that he be comfortable with the choices made.  He obviously made a mistake getting married.  Hey, many of us have made that mistake!  I will continue to watch his amazing golf games and care less about what else he does.  Let’s not get carried away, he is not a role model, just a great athlete! 12/31/09
1:39 pm est 

Hard Work is the Best Policy
We often tell our children/students:  “You can be anything you want to be.” “You can do anything you put your mind to…”  These statements are disingenuous.  What we are grossly omitting is the first part of these mantras: “If you study, inform yourself, practice, work hard and do your very best—prepare yourself,” then you are in a better position to “be what you want to be,” etc.  As a high school teacher and university professor, I come across a great many students who expect passing grades for doing little work, fluff work (extra credit, homework, attendance…) or no work.  They exhibit a Palinlike mediocrity or entitlement attitude. Too often students seem to have lost the work ethic of yesteryear when we were praised after doing a good job, not before!  There is no victory lap without first winning the race, without first training for the race...  Indeed, I try to avoid wishing students “good luck” before an exam.  Instead I wish them good application of research and study; for their test results will be directly proportional to the amount of time invested in prior study.  We need to remind students that though a minute few may make it with luck or little effort, there is hardly anything more rewarding than an honest job well done!  Let us rededicate ourselves to fundamental ideals based on successful hard work. 12/23/09
1:18 pm est 

Yemeni Trained Terrorist

The recent intelligence failure allowing for a Yemeni trained terrorist to infiltrate US airspace raises several questions including two.  Why are we not sharing information with intelligence communities when there are suspicious individuals buying airplane tickets?  And why are we not hiring attention-to-detail professionals to take care of our national security?  A Homeland Security Secretary should be hired on the basis of aspects of their behavior in the previous 20 years of their life.  Has this person been a stickler for locking their doors at night?  Are they careful about turning off the gas stove and the like?  How meticulous is this person and how reliable would they be in looking after our security?  This can’t be a political appointment when our lives are at stake.  Let’s get real, get off the merry-go-round and fire our existing security administrators.  And for crying out loud, let us listen to and take seriously any parent who tells us their son or daughter is radicalized and may kill Americans!! 12/29/09

1:15 pm est 

White House Crashing Incident
The recent White House party crashing incident troubles me.  While there is enough blame to go around, I question the role White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers played in jeopardizing the safety of the President and the White House.  Quite frankly, I do not understand why she has not been disciplined for this grave infraction.  If she was found to be slacking-off because of personal friendship with President Obama, then she needs to be subpoenaed to answer questions.  The American people deserve the facts of this event.  Speaking of party crashers, I want to be on record as voting for the dismantling of reality shows which seem to drive people to the extreme of nonsense to make a buck. 12/4/09
1:13 pm est 

Response to "A Nation of Do-It-Yourself Lawyers,” (New York Times 1/2/20)

I have often wondered what a single well directed letter from an attorney on behalf of a disenfranchised citizen may have done to ward off unnecessary and prolonged legal debacles, lawsuits and render justice.  The article by judges John T. Broderick Jr. and Ronald M. George (NY Times, 1/2/10) brings to our urgent attention the out of control legal system not at our disposal--at least not available to the ordinary citizen who may just need brief and limited advice or a simple well worded letter to an oppressive/unfair landlord or employer.  Under duress, I have, largely pro se, successfully fought several cases in court; all of which took a great number of years.  While I am proud to have won as a non-lawyer, they took a considerable length of time not to mention the lack of expertise expended.  In the absent of scarce pro-bono assistance, well positioned legal advice would cut the time, expense and frustration for the many who don’t even attempt cases because of limited resources.  Indeed, for much of my life I was under the illusion that attorneys were only for large corporations and the wealthy.  It should also be noted that most taxpayer-supported State Attorneys General are not available to the ordinary citizen (only to State Agencies).  Unbundling the legal system, regular law clinics and online help for the layperson would make the law more accessible and provide for a more equal playing field.  1/2/20
1:07 pm est 

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