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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Only in America

Eric Garner:  Tall, Dark, and Threatening
Eric Garner may not have been a saint. Pro-law enforcement media, under the guise of fair and balanced reporting, has made a point to note that Garner had a fairly extensive arrest record (not all convictions; there is an important difference). Still, even as he was no stranger to the criminal justice system, Garner had been in custody over 25 times…and somehow managed to live to tell about it before being choked to death. I say this because for those who would want to push the “he was a known perp who resisted arrest” angle, it is much harder to understand why someone familiar with the system would “resist” to that degree unless there was indeed a life-threatening level of discomfort. Generally, telling someone “I can’t breathe” counts as life threatening.
Watch The Difference Between a White Guy and a Black Guy Committing the Same Crime

Monday, July 28, 2014

Update~ The High Tech Lynching of Eleanor Burks


Eleanor Burks was handed a 15-day suspension without pay Thursday. (Source: WAFF)
Huntsville teacher suspended for violating testing policy


Here we go again.
Eleanor Burks is a 4th-grade teacher at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary. She has been with the school for 27 years.
You know the drill.
School board leaders allege Burks assisted a student in changing test responses on the May 5 examination. Evidence came from the student himself, who said in a statement read aloud Thursday that Burks told him to erase an incorrect answer and to re-read the question, "because I may want to change it."
Another long time educator is tried and convicted in the court of public opinion.
The board upheld Burks' suspension. Board vice president Laurie McCaulley addressed school district employees afterward, asking that they all review the policies and procedures they must follow to do their jobs properly. 
"We don't want to see nothing like this come before us again," she said.

Those who make and enforce the rules, get to break the rules. (Links inserted for emphasis)
Prior to the board vote, the hearing turned ugly as Stan McDonald, Burks' lawyer, accused the board of violating its own hearing policy under the Students First Act, the law that in 2011 replaced the state's previous tenure laws for teachers. McDonald objected to McNeal's testimony because she was not a sworn witness and because he was not allowed to cross-examine her.
And who wins in the end?

Not the students and taxpayers that's for sure.

Sigh

Friday, July 25, 2014

Faking the Funk when the narrative doesn't fit the facts Huntsville City Schools style part 2

Hundreds of children enjoyed Huntsville City School's Summer Feeding Program Thursday morning, June 5, 2014, at the J.O. Johnson High School cafeteria. The program, which started in 2013, works to provide city school children with three free meals daily during the summer months. (Sarah Cole/scole@al.com)
So,  what if you clicked on Al.com one day and you see your beautiful, smart, articulate, happy, daughter, who is neither hungry or low income,  pictured as a  poster child for hunger and poverty?

I just looked at all the pics of the kids.
When will the black community of Huntsville be shamed enough to take care of their own? 

First the Funk:
In a media enabled public relations offensive, I mean campaign, to paint themselves as human beings, I mean, compassionate, Huntsville City Schools has been patting themselves on the back because they accepted funds from the same federal government they are currently fighting in court, to fund a summer feeding program to feed lazy blah folks who need the government to take care of them.

"We will have the highest number of hot meals served to kids in the State of Alabama for the second year in a row," Vaughn said.
The program, funded mostly through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was implemented last summer as a way to supplement the meals that children from low-income neighborhoods receive when they're not in school. It offers three free, hot meals to children 18 and under from anywhere in the city, whether or not they are enrolled in the school district.
Now the Facts:
Unfortunately Huntsville City Schools walked all over the truth in order to spin a positive image of themselves. Reading this article, and clicking through pictures, gives the false impression Huntsville  is the the Black Belt region of Alabama, teaming with poor black children,  being bussed to schools day in and day out, to get a hot meal.

 Cue in: Give me your tired your poor your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

Not.  Most of the pictures were taken at Girls Inc., and  the majority of the girls are not low income, they  just happened to be participants in a summer program, which happened to serve breakfast provided by the summer feeding program.  Parents were asked for permission to use their daughters image  to promote Girls Inc. Imagine their surprise when they saw them being used to promote the summer feeding program.
 The "feeding program" is just another way our socialist government is training this generation that dependency rather than self sufficiency is the accepted norm.
So in addition to most of the girls in the pictures not being low income, or hungry, the summer feeding program occurred in places other than Huntsville City Schools .  In other words, they took the meals to where the children were, and not necessarily to low income children.

Parents need to take care of their kids. It is not the governments place to do it. 
A few less beers a few less manicures. And these kids will continue the pattern.
So sad.
As you can see from the comments, the false narrative gives the  impression all African American's are lazy, shiftless, baby making, drug dealing, thugs, who want the government to take of them, when nothing could be farther from the truth.
Oh what a tangled web we weave.....when we practice to deceive

Thursday, July 24, 2014

KKK Photobombed



This isn't very recent, since it's actually a couple of years old, but I think the idea really is timeless. Meet their hatred with child-like enthusiasm, laugh it up together and have a great time in the face of supremacy separatists. They like to march around all uniformed and jackbooted, but a fun-filled greeting to them harkens back to the days when pretty young girls stuck flowers down soldiers' gun barrels as a call to peace, not war.

Credit: Americans Against the Tea Party

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Know Justice, Know Peace...

 Ocie Maddox Jr.'s photo.

I hate to sound cynical, but I have no confidence in the justice system when it comes to African Americans. When it comes to us, justice is either a 50/50 crap shoot, or down right elusive.  The case may not turn on facts or truth, but on relationships.  And therein lies the problem with the court ordered mediation,  and the current legal matters pending before the court regarding the desegregation of the Huntsville City School system.
"The Court strongly suspects that the district has chosen not to share many of the reasons for the choices that it made as it shaped its student assignment plan. The Court got a glimpse into the superintendent's thinking when the United States's cross-examined him about his objections to the government's rezoning proposals. When asked whether Hereford (Elementary) students would not benefit from attending Huntsville High, the superintendent, in an unguarded moment, replied '[t]hey [would] be going into schools that are not accustomed to dealing with students who are below grade level.'
Damn the courts,  HCS superintendent Casey Wardynski is going full speed ahead with his plans with a military, take no prisoners attitude,  just like The New Captain Bligh on the New Ship of Fools.  
Casey you have to break the mold and prove you're not afraid of minorities, democrats, liberals, aclu (sic) types and the entire entitlement crowd! Do that, and you'll be doing the job you were hired to do! Oh yeah, not to mention striking down all racial transfers. And that includes allowing not allowing whites to racially transfer either. If you don't like where your child goes to school, move to where they can be zoned into a school of your preference, that's what I had to do!
This superintendent and this board can dish it out but they can't take it.  They like to throw rocks and hide their handsThat was why they instigated a new policy of requiring all questions from the public during the work session part of the meeting to be submitted in writing (that they then refused to read out loud).

It has come to my attention that in addition to the new north middle/high school being located less than half a mile from an active rock quarry, it backs up to a huge drainage ditch that students will have to cross to access the school.
 
The only reason a new school is being built in north Huntsville is because is because south Huntsville wanted a new school.  What south Huntsville wants, south Huntsville gets. Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge south Huntsville  for getting a new school, or for getting to keep their name, I just don't believe it should be at the expense of the lives of north Huntsville students and staff. 

No justice, no peace.

Monday, July 21, 2014

What if the City of Huntsville looked like the Huntsville City Schools system Monday through Friday?

univplace.JPG University Place students sit for 2012 kickoff of Mayor Tommy Battle's Book Club. (Huntsville Times file)


This is a follow up to What if Huntsville City Schools looked like downtown Huntsville on a Thursday night.
Yep, young, old, rich, poor, men,women, black/white/brown/red/yellow people of all religions, sexual orientation, and class, had equal access to spend their money at one of the most exciting Thursdays ever in downtown Huntsville.
It looked like One City, One Vision.   

Then I attended the school board work session, which was originally touted as an opportunity for citizens to comment on the desegregation case, and I thought, what if Huntsville City Schools looked like downtown Huntsville on a Thursday evening?  What if all children, regardless of their race, sex, or address, had equal access to the best public education their parents tax dollars could buy?

montesano.JPG


Today I ask: What if the City of Huntsville looked like the Huntsville City School system Monday through Friday?

What if we had separate exciting Thursdays in downtown Huntsville

What if we had separate shopping centers, movie theaters, swimming pools, clubs, hotels, bars and restaurants?

What if had separate public libraries, museums, swimming pools, and parks?

What if we had separate hospitals, police departments, fire departments, and emergency responders?

Oh wait,  been there, done that.

What if all children, regardless of their race, sex, or address, had equal access to the best public education their parents tax dollars could buy?

What a wonderful school district it would be......

Saturday, July 19, 2014

"Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice.....can't fool me again"

Bored By Citizens' Comments
Caption this in the comment section.  Don't hold back

I must give credit where credit is due,  I was outfoxed (pun intended) by the Huntsville School Board of mis-education last ThursdayExpecting a large crowd, I arrived at the meeting early in order to get a seat with the intention of signing up to speak.  I falsely assumed since the sign up sheet was not in its usual place it was not part of the required protocol.  Regular readers are familiar with the boards new policy requiring citizens comments be written on 3x5 index cards (which were available) and censored/read by the Director of Community Engagement.  Little did I know, there was a sign up sheet before there wasn't a sign up sheet, which I'm sure was just a coincidence. :)  In the future I will call the board clerk and request my name be added to the list prior to the meeting.

Let's recap:
 For some reason, the Huntsville City School Board of Education wants the school district released from a court order to desegregate, even though the school district is segregated. The Department of Justice told them not to even think about being released from the federal court order.
The District’s 2007-2008 overall student enrollment was 43.1% black and 48.7% white. However, the majority of the District’s 47 schools were racially identifiable black or white due to the composition of their respective student bodies.
May 22, 2014:   Desegregation hearing begin,  Huntsville City Schools vs The United States Department of Justice  (links inserted for clarity and emphasis).
After four months of private teleconferences and motions, after 16 weeks of back-and-forth legal arguments, the Huntsville City Schools will finally face the U.S. Department of Justice in court. In public. In Huntsville. 
At issue: The racial implications of the rezoning of Huntsville City Schools.
May 22, 2014:  Huntsville v United States Day 2
Two days. Seven witness. Numerous citizen comments. The hearing is over. Now it's in the judge's hands.
June 30, 2014:  U.S. District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala cannot find conclusively the board doesn't operate a dual school system (imagine that?), and orders mediation. (Links inserted for emphasis and clarity)
U.S. District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala didn't approve the city's plan to redraw school zones.
And she didn't approve the Justice Department's plan.
Instead, she appointed Chief Magistrate Judge John Ott to oversee months of mediation between the two as they examine all aspects of racial disparities across Huntsville City Schools.
She also called for appointment of a Special Master to oversee the court's ongoing fact-finding in the case.
The judge's 107-page ruling, complete with dozens of attachments, questioned whether Huntsville school officials have acted in good faith in recent months and whether the city has done enough over the years to blame inequities on housing patterns.
July 2, 2014  Huntsville school board holds a press conference, I mean, special call meeting to discuss pending litigation in the desegregation case.
 Though the board room was filled with spectators, no one was allowed to speak since the meeting was a special called one. Citizens will be able to offer their input at the board's July 17 meeting.
 July 8, 2014:  The judge continues to push for transparency.
The federal judge overseeing Huntsville's desegregation dispute continues to favor transparency, and has called a hearing Thursday to let Huntsville argue why test scores and transfer records should not be made public.
Lawyers involved will gather before the federal judge at 1 p.m. on Friday for a procedural hearing in Birmingham.
The hearing marks the first step by the court since U.S. District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala issued a scathing opinion questioning past and current desegregation efforts in Huntsville City Schools. She ordered the board into six months of mediation with the U.S. Department of Justice.
July 8, 2014:  School board vice president Laurie McCaulley announces she will hold a community conversation, I mean workshop, entitled "Using the Green Factors: Visioning Huntsville City Schools in Unitary Status,"on July 12, 2014. (Links inserted for emphasis and clarity)
McCaulley said she is hosting the event to help establish a "template" of the community's wishes for Superintendent Casey Wardynski to refer to during negotiations with the Justice Department.
"Not everything suggested will be implemented, but it's an opportunity for the community to be heard," McCaulley said. "This is a Huntsville City dilemma. I want the citizens of Huntsville to solve it, because they have to live with it."
July 9, 2014:  A petition is initiated on Change.org asking the Huntsville school board to demand Superintendent Casey Wardynski's resignation.
In light of the blatant disregard Dr. Wardynski has for parents, students and citizens concerning transparency as evident in the comments made by Federal Judge Haikala: "The Court strongly suspects that the district has chosen not to share many of the reasons for the choices that it made as it shaped its student assignment plan."
In light of the hostile working environment that Dr. Wardynski has created which has resulted in at least 735 people choosing to leave employment with the district since August 2011;
In light of the declining standards of education that we are seeing in our finest schools as the district transitions to teaching nearly exclusively mathematics and English Language Arts;  We the undersigned respectfully request that the Huntsville City Schools Board of Education request the resignation of Dr. Casey Wardynski as superintendent effective immediately.
July 11, 2014:  Judge orders Huntsville student test scores, transfer data unsealed, accuses board member of hampering with mediation process.
"The suggestion that a board member would establish a template for mediation is problematic," Haikala said.
The judge went on to say that, in her June 30 opinion, she "took no pleasure" in pointing out inconsistencies between statements that district officials made, either in public or in court, and the official record of events.
"I don't want to have to keep engaging in those exercises," Haikala said. "The board has got to stop engaging in conversations that will hamper the court's efforts in this case."
July 13, 2104:  Laurie McCaulley pulls the plug on her workshop in good faith.
Let's get one thing straight right off the bat,  HCS BOE vice president Laurie McCaulley's decision to cancel her community conversations masquerading as "a community workshop on desegregation", was not done in "good faith", but rather,  a firm judge who  saw through the ruse and  slammed the sham.

July 16, 2014:  The Judge sets the ground rules for mediation:
"The parties and the mediator may not disclose information regarding the process, except the terms of settlement, to the court or to third persons unless all parties agree," writes U.S. District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala. 
That means it could be a while until Huntsville hears anything about what will happen next. In her June 30 order sending Huntsville into mediation, Haikala suggested both sides might reach agreement by the end of the year. 
She explains: "Confidentiality is an important part of mediation because it allows parties to work efficiently and to share information with the mediator that may not be admissible in evidence in proceedings before the Court."

July 17, 2014:   After promising citizens could comments on the desegregation case at the July 17 work session, citizens weren't allowed to comment on the desegregation case because the judge.  RedEye roll
 The sale of two empty Huntsville school buildings, an update on the district's Summer Feeding Program and possible citizen input on the ongoing federal desegregation case were anticipated at tonight's school board meeting.
It is not clear how much, if any, discussion can take place on the desegregation issue, however, after the federal judge overseeing the case earlier this week ordered confidentiality in the mediation process.
Sigh....Here we go again.  Mediation hasn't even started and the usual suspects are up to their old tricks.   People need to be heard, but this can't be done without the usual critics,  and it's not like citizens can go to any school board meeting and expect to be heard, I mean, listened to.

Why the judge expects this superintendent, and this board, to behave any differently is a mystery to me. Giving them the cloak of confidentiality plays right into the hands of the retired military colonel, turned instructional leader, whose mission it is to maintain the status quo by what ever means necessary. (Links inserted for emphasis).
 Casey you have to break the mold and prove you're not afraid of minorities, democrats, liberals, aclu (sic) types and the entire entitlement crowd! Do that, and you'll be doing the job you were hired to do! Oh yeah, not to mention striking down all racial transfers. And that includes allowing not allowing whites to racially transfer either. If you don't like where your child goes to school, move to where they can be zoned into a school of your preference, that's what I had to do!

Even If We Win, We Lose
So after months and possibly years of litigation over the rezoning plan, what have we won?
The district will still be under the control of the DoJ except now the plan that the DoJ believed would best bring us unification has been rejected.
The DoJ still controls our destiny. Does fighting their plan (even assuming we’ve seen their plan) bring us closer to unification?
Nope. It doesn’t.
The Wardynski Plan is a fool’s errand. We did not have to file it. And the public has had zero input into the plan.
So, after potentially years of litigation and expense, we will have accomplished absolutely nothing, even if we win.
Nothing except the following:
  1. Wardynski has shored up support for himself in this town because he’s willing to fight the “evil” federal government.
  2. Wardynski has improved his name recognition on a national level.
  3. Wardynski has spent a ton of the district’s money that he should be spending on improving education at all of our schools. And of course,
  4. We’re still a segregated system.
This is, in the Bard’s wise words, much ado about nothing.
 Good luck with that mediation thingy.