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I’m Blessed, I’m Beautiful, and I’m Back….With a letter to a young black child

    I’m back on the corner after too long an absence. I’ll admit it, I was in a funk for awhile.

    Frustrated by life. Frustrated by words that seemed to be unread. For some time I had forgotten the one thing I always told myself.

    “Keep writing, keep speaking out, keep on…Even if it seems nobody’s receiving it.”

    So here I am again, inspired to continue…In the middle of my favorite month. Another birthday coming. Another year granted by the Creator to be better than I was the year before, and the day before.

    I’m inspired today by pushing myself in another race over the weekend. I have goals this year. I want to do my first triathlon and my first marathon, and I’m on the way to doing it.

    I’m also inspired by a story told from a dear friend of mine from my college days at Northwestern. She’s mother and a professor and she has an 11-year old boy, who recently met America’s spiritual carcinogen face-to-face.

    His mom says the young lad was playing football with some neighborhood kids. He his friends, all black, playing with another group of kid who were all white. I guess the teams were divided along racial lines, and the white kids were calling blacks the “n-word”.  (Personally, I think we all need to quit dancing around that word. ALL OF US. We need to hear  the harshness, the hateful behind it. There’s no reclamation or redemption in it. In my view the euphemism of that term “n-word” is an example of our national cowardice when it comes to actually dealing with the ugly past of violent, institutional systems of racism in this country — But that’s another post for another day.)

    Hearing that children spat this venom, showed this cancer make my heart cry in anger. I like young people. Children a gift from God in my mind. Yeah, they can bratty, moody, work your last nerve, etc.. But, the joy they bring outlast the chore they can be. And when I hear or see children being infected with this cancer, to me its child abuse. It is taking pure, innocent, gentle hearts and destroying them. It devalues the things that makes us human, and humane.

     Seeing the words of this mom, the disgust and some despair that a next generation feels the abrasive sting of racism, brought back things from my childhood that still anger me some.

     Dear EJ,

          When I turned 8 year old, my mother gave my the best birthday present I ever received.         

       Now at the time all I could think about the serious set of wheels I was gonna get. I was getting my first bicycle for my birthday. But the bike was back-ordered, it wouldn’t be ready in time for my birthday. So I was disappointed. I want that cool bike.

          But she said, “Cheer up, son. I’m going to get you an even better gift than a bike.”

          My response? “Yeah, right.”

         We got in the car and drove to the public library. I got my first library card.

          The bike gave me wheels, but that library card gave me wings.

           Signed up for the contest the same day. And I spent a summer immersed in books. I took them on road trips. Read before breakfast in the morning. Read at night. Every chance to read, and learn.

             I found my love of science-fiction and myself that summer! I picked up books about science and art and music, and….I read about people who look like us. I met our kinfolk that summer, EJ. I met OUR heroes, named and unnamed. All the bedtime stories about relatives I’d never meet, yet put me in the place I am…and…and…all those stories came to life.

             And when I looked back, I read 34 books that summer. I finished third in that contest…In the entire city!

             My mom got a phone call one day a few weeks before school started and the contest was over. Someone at our neighborhood branch of the library said, “Ma’am we need to talk to you and you son.”

              So we went to the library along with my aunt. And when we got there, the librarian of our branch was there, along with another lady. She was from the city’s library department downtown. Now she’s explaining to my mom..”Well we are checking things out because, we’ve never had someone from this branch read as many books and finish this high in contest before. So we are investigating to see if this child can actually read and that he actually read the books.”

                I saw the librarian, she looks like us. She is silent, polite but seething. My mom is puzzled. My aunt is furious.

                Me, I don’t know how to feel?  Inside I SCREAMED!!!!!

        I read those books. I read them. I read them on long car rides to summer track meets. I feel asleep with them in my hand. I was in the line with Madeline all in a row, and went to Where The Wild Things Are,  and I was sleuthing with Encyclopaedia Brown. I read about how Thurgood Marshall fought the fight that put me a in classroom with all kinds of kids, and read about a group of brave people marching across a bridge and were hurt just so they could vote!
 

                  I READ THOSE BOOKS! I HAVE WINGS! I FLEW THROUGH THOSE PAGES AND PROSE!

                  And that woman…That WHITE woman said. “Young man…read to me.

                  And she pulled out a book…It wasn an Encylopaedia Brown mystery.

                  I read that story. I read it with passion. I acted out the characters with voices from my imagination. I was Encylopaedia…and I was Bugs Meany, and I was person he caught red-handed. 

                  I READ EVEN WHEN THE LIBRARIAN SAID, “YOU CAN STOP NOW!”

                  I didn’t listen I read and read…and read!

                  And when I was done, my mom smiled. My aunt said.. “SEE?!”

                  The woman seemed unimpressed. I looked up at her and I said politely, but with a small hint of hunt, anger and bitterness.

                  Ma’am, are you going to make sure the white kids can read , too?”                           

                  That day was the first day that I was introduced to being a black child. It hurt.

                  As we drove home. My mom and aunt angry and me bitter. I thought about it the whole day,

                  That night my mom tucked me in and read to me, and I asked her “Mom? Why do they hate us?”

                  And my mom said, “Not all of them do, son. But some do, but you don’t let their hate change you.”

                  I remember saying, “Why even read. They don’t even think that can read.”

                  And she said, “DON’T EVER SAY THAT, SON.”

                 And she told me about long ago, when our kinfolk lived in chains..and how they were killed for teaching and learning how to read. I heard  every word she said..and she left me with one sentence.

                 “My son, we have come too far to go back to those days.”

                  Since then, my hunger to read grew..and it never gone away since.

                  That feeling of hurt, turned into a strength, and strength to rise above and shine the same way that those people on the bridge did. The same way Thurgood Marshall did.

                   I send you this story young man to let you know that the shock and anger you may feel is normal…but it shouldn’t be!

                   Do not let that feeling become normal. Fight against it with pride, knowledge, love and forgiveness.

                   Yes, EJ, forgiveness.

                  The young boys who left that field were taught the things that they said to you. The knew no better. It is sad and hurtful, and there were always be those people as you go through this life a young black boy, who will become a black man.

                  But I also tell you to take this moment and this lesson and be determined to be a part of the change, and that change will come, EJ. Our history as a people have shown time and time again that change for the better comes as long as we continue rise above the cancer those young boys have. The cancer that people older than them passed to them. The cancer that you will find some of those who like you have as well, many out of despair and bitterness.

                  Stay strong, blessed, black and beautiful, EJ!

                   Your friend,

                       Northside Chip.

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Back To The Corner…With Things To Say.

I haven’t posted in a month, partially due to work…partially due to a project I’m working on at AlternateHistory.com, a piece of the epic “Protect and Survive” Timelines.

Also, I really haven’t had that much to say to add to what many of the blogs I link to have already. You can only bash Herman Cain so much.

Also, I’ve been working on some hip-hop music. I’m no rapper, but I figure if you have the tools to make a record why not?

But I’m back to blogging because I have something to say, and I want to keep saying things, so here I am.

For starters, I am reading a very good book right now, written by an old college classmate of mine. It’s the survivor’s story called The Way Through and the author, Amber Lisa, will be a guest in the corner after the New Year. If you want to know more, check her blog out.

A lot folks have been talking about this guy above. Some of you like him. Some of you don’t. Some of you think that he’s an overhyped kid who lacks the materiel to be an NFL Quarterback. Others say “he just wins games”. Some of you maybe turned off by the fact that he is a bonafide Bible-Thumper of the first magnitude. Other’s believe Tim Tebow is a splendid representative of The Truth, The Way and The Light.

I personally like this Tim Tebow guy. Yeah, he only completes maybe 48% of his passes. Right, right, he does say “I wanna thank my Lord and Saviour” before he speaks to the press, and “God Bless” when he’s done.

I liked his Super Bowl Ad, and even though I’m on the other side of that issue, I respected what the advertisement was about.

What I really have a problem with is so many detractors of Tim Tebow who are detractors truly out of their own cynicism, not because of reasons due to the way he plays the game.

1. “THIS GUY GETS TOO MUCH ATTENTION GIVEN HIS LEVEL OF SKILL.”

I find the misplaced ire of this amusing. Tebow is a football player, like any football player. He didn’t ask for the notoriety. He didn’t seek it out. If you want to crack back on anybody, crack back on the media hype machine. Don’t put that on his kid.

Tim Tebow is not sending memos to the varied sports media saying “Ignore the 13-0 Green Bay Packers” or “Campaign For Me For The Pro Bowl”. To quote the ESPN Monday Night Countdown boys “C’MON MAN!”

2. “I WISH HE’D SHUT UP ABOUT HIS RELIGION”

In analyzing over 5 years of interview of Tim Tebow, I find one constant. He never mentions his beliefs unless he is asked a direct question about them.  This has been a rock-solid constant in any interaction between the secular press and this person.

If anything, I wish people would talk about faith MORE. I wish more people would open up more about their belief and their faith, or even their non-faith in respectful way.

I am a firm believer in the concept that there is something bigger than me in the universe. Christianity is the way that I express that belief, same as Tim Tebow. Him and I may have differences on issues based on where our faith comes from. His faith is of a more conservative bent, mine is more toward leftist liberation theology. Nonetheless, I respect him and I’d share a pew with him.

The same way I’d respect a devout Muslim or a devout Jew..or a devout Buddist…or a devout Wiccan…or a devout Atheist giving respectful reference and then going out on the football field and kicking some hard-core butt.

3. ““emboldened faithful can do insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants.”  

The person who said this, A rabbi in New York, later recanted this statement, pulled his column and apologized. But nonetheless this feel could be out there. And in things like this that bother me as a person of faith and this is why we need more talk, education and understanding about our beliefs and our faith…NOT LESS.

We are in a time where people of faith bash people who don’t. We in a time when people who feel there is no God ridicule people who believe strongly and passionate that there is one.

We are people who are throwing rocks at Nativity Scenes, and in response who have people willing to act in a manner counter to what Jesus taught.

And you have a lot of people once again getting all scared and hostile when they hear the word “MOSQUE”  (Memo to the CEO at Lowe’s — I’ll get my 2x4s at Home Depot from now on.)

Even the devil believes in God, and this type of foolishness, and putting this foolishness on one guy who worships with a quiet reverence and a serious example is just Satan doing his shady business in my view. The Dark Side can and will cloud everything.

All this griping about Tim Tebow is as silly to me as the “War On Christmas” and so much pining about the insistence on “Merry Christmas”..And you wonder why people make fun of Christians. I find that rather whiny, just the same as I find every Atheist with an ax to grind beefing about nativity scenes whining. There’s room enough for all of you. Find a space, and to each his own.

4. The hope that Tim Tebow pulls a massive Tiger Woods Moment in a strip club with 10 women of ill repute.

I’ve heard this more than a few times. I just wanna know…Why? Why do we as a public want the clean-cut hero and then…we want him to denigrate into a cad? Don’t flame me for asking. I’m just asking.

I understand this is the staple diet of todays Tabloid-Run-And-Gun-Kick-Em-When-They’re-Up-Kick-Em-When-They’re-Down-News Networks, powered by Kardashian Inc., but why do you as a Public KEEP BUYING IT?

This wish isn’t about Tim Tebow, its really about Mr. and Mrs. Look-In-A-Mirror. Don’t put any shortcoming you may see on this kid because he may have a discipline, a faith, and a determination to lives those things to a level greater than your own.

Why Northside Chip is a fan of  Tim Tebow? 

I mainly root for him because he’s a Heretic….He’s a playing heretic against a number of rigid dogmas of professional football “quarterbacking”. He isn’t the classic drop-back guy, but then again who  is anymore?. He doesn’t play  the part that the Mel Kipers, Peter Kings and all the high priests of the Holy Church Of The Scouting Computer says is a “pro quarterback”. He’s “unorthodox” and thumb his nose at the High Holy Church of Professional Football Punditry.

Tim Tebow runs like Bobby Douglass, has the ugliest wobble since Billy Kilmer. He was as doubted as the last #15 to play quarterback for Denver, the great Magician Marlin Briscoe……And he’s winning games anyway…..And he’s getting better.

The fact that he’s unashamed to give his reference when so many want to keep it under wraps is a special bonus. But overall, the game is the thing and results don’t lie. He’s doing his part on the pitch, and he seems to be living up to what he portrays off of it.

And now some SOME QUICK TAKES ON THE CURRENT SCENE.

1. ADVICE TO PRESIDENT OBAMA — GET BOLD!

Mr. President, I have a blog post coming up that’ll bring this in greater detail, but I’m gonna tell ya…Go-along-to-get-along is just good enough to get you beat. If you want to get elected, you have be bold with a whole new agenda.

2. The GOP: Get Real

The Republican have had 20+ televised debates this year. There’s a lot of good TV shows that don’t get that kind of run for an hour of decent entertainment, and my conclusion is…“Gee, I thought the Walking Dead was on AMC”

There isn’t a serious candidate in that bunch. Why do I see maybe 33% turnout next November. Maybe because there ain’t much to vote for, honestly.

3. The Chris Paul Controversy

Further proof that the National Basketball Association is at its worst crisis since 1979. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I think David Stern is looking to cut some jobs and whack some teams…New Orleans may be the beginning. I wouldn’t mind it, if he’d give me my Kansas City Kings back. 🙂

4. I went to Iraq, and all I got was _____________

They are all coming home (Praise God!), after 9 years, trillions of dollars and no WMDs found. Was it all worth it? Somebody answer that one.

5. Memo to Jerry Sandusky and Bernie Fine

Pray that you are not put in the G-Pop. The fellas in the joint don’t take kindly to “diddlers”.

And of course — It wouldn’t be the Corner without the Northside Chip “You Ignant” Award!!!!!!!!!

There’s so many candidates. The entire GOP Presidential Field, especially Rick Perry (even ignance is bigger in Texas), All the Tebow haters., the Los Angeles Lakers (trading Lamar Kardashian to the Mavericks???), Kurt Busch, Bashir al-Assad (Son, you ain’t your daddy), Barack Obama qualifies for the spending compromise and this idea of bringing Gitmo tactics to America (Mr. President, WTF!), Jerry Sandusky could retire the award right now.

But I’m giving the “You Ignant” to Robert Niblock, CEO of Lowe’s Improvement Centers. 

Now you’ve heard a few things thing about this one. Its really nothing new. Lowe’s was a sponsor of a solid typical reality show called “All-American Muslim”. The idea of this show, centered in Dearborn, Michigan’s sizable Muslim community (one of the largest in our country), is just looking at a family who has a different belief from a majority of Americans but live really no different than a majority of Americans. Its hackneyed, but pretty harmless.

Well, the mostly-white mostly-right Dead-Wrong All-Star among us think every family in the world that happens to be Muslim has the surname bin Laden. Some group called the Florida Family Association , small conservative Christian group, has their issues with the show. If you click the link, you’ll find that they have an issue with a lot of things. It is the typical ultra-conservative, mainly white, menu of “enemies” (Pornagraphy, women who show a little extra thigh, women who believe in equal pay for equal work and that “Godless” feminism stuff, gay folks, non-white people,  Barack Obama, etc.) This is nothing new, remember some of people this people probably still think that Bert and Ernie or Tinky Winky are gay.

Now, I don’t give Niblock this award because Lowe’s pulled the ads due to the pressure of the FFA. A corporate business has the right to do what they do. They are a private corporation who can spend money as they see fit. The idea that a pressure group of this type that is small in number, localized and conservative that force this corporation to bend when larger and more people-centered are ignored is striking to me.

I give Mr. Niblock the “You Ignant” because, he is giving “aid and comfort to the enemy”, as our conservative friends would say.

When you listen to the Right-Wing Dead-Wrong All-Stars going off on “Islamofacism”, the biggest winners….wait for it ……. ARE THE TERRORISTS!

All these rantings ever do is give Hamas and Hizbollah and Al Queda and every Islamic Ayatollah Jerry al-Falwell a license to whip up more Two-Minute Hate. They line up with their bootleg VHS tapes and say “SEE! SEE! GREAT SATAN AMERICA HATES YOU!!!!! LOOKIE! LOOKIE!!!! THE AMERICANS AND THEIR ISRAELI PUPPETS AT LOWE’S HOME IMPROVEMENT HATE YOU!”

My question to the FFA is Why Do You Hate America? Why are you working with Al-Queda? 

You see, you play into their hands with the stuff.

Most muslims I know came to this country in part because, even as Muslims they couldn’t worship as they pleased back home or they were persecuted for whatever reason..OR even they came for an opportunity they couldn’t get back home, and that isn’t to count out those who’ve been here for multiple generations, and have celebrated being American and being of their faith. Last I heard, the freedom to worship…or not worship was the what America was all about since we started this ride back around 1776.

Those who call the “Terrorists” don’t want this freedom, even for their own. They want it THEIR WAY, ALL THE WAY. ISLAMIC THEOCRACY WITHOUT QUESTION! The people like the FFA are no different, except they seek a Christian Theocracy without question.

   Theocracy and Democracy don’t mix and I never want to live under one, no matter whose holy book it is from.

You see, I like questioning the people in charge. I believe its a healthy for a society. I like having the right to do so without a threat on my life,  a fatwa, a shunning, an excommunication or whatever.

The theocrat wants you to accept whatever they say without question, as if they are God. That’s fine in a church, but it doesn’t work for a democratic, free society to function effectively. For if you want to have that power over my day-to-day affairs as a human leader you have to realize that you will be questioned. If can’t open yourself to questioning, you are not fit to govern.

It is for this reason that I find caving in to a cabal of Americans who are in league with the concepts of an Al-Queda not just ignant, but repugnantly anti-American.

Also a memo to the FFA: You seem to dislike so much on TV…Here’s a thought… 1. Read a book. 2. Change the channel 3. Start your own network…. #just sayin’

I Am An American Worker, AND I AM DAMN PROUD OF IT!

It is Labor Day. My name is Northside Chip.

  I Am An American Worker, AND I AM DAMN PROUD OF IT!

I work 40-50-60 sometimes 70 or 80 hours a week. I am proud of my labor for it allows me to take care of myself. I am proud of having the opportunity to build a career, not just to feed and clothe myself, but to also accomplish the things that are in my imagination. My labor depends on whats in my mind, and it takes sweat, persistence and faith to see a finished product.

I am proud and respectful of organized labor. Where I work is unfortunately not a union shop, but thanks to unions, I do have legal protections within my workplace. Thanks to organized labor, we all have protections within our workplaces and wider protections as self-employed people, unemployed people and consumers as well.

It angers me that the common coda of the day is that “work is for suckers”. It angers me that labor is seen as cheap on one hand and a symbol of indifference and failure on another. I am very upset that the failure of management in many industries and blamed on those who man the drafting tables, edit suites,  shop floors, assembly lines and checkout counters everyday.

It angers me that we have cabal of politicians and business leaders who deign to say that American workers are “lazy”. Never mind that we American workers are working more, earning less, getting our benefits cut, and taking fewer vacations, hell working through vacations and even working through lunch to do what we do. Never mind that is us Americans are starting our own business and a greater rate than the rest of the world. I give much respect to those who are striking out on their own and making it happen, often with the corporate and political power making it difficult behind the scenes while publicly praising the “opportunity society”

The thing that angers and saddens me the most is how much we, the American Worker, have bought the con game.

We buy the con game every time we nod in agreement when unions get bashed or busted. We buy the con game every time we are willing to bash our child’s school teacher instead of looking at indifference in our homes and our legislatures. We buy the con game when we see our benefits at work getting cut, yet we turn around and support those who support those policies. We buy the con game every time we fall in line with the “let’s bash the immigrants” crowd, but we aren’t willing to ask the question, “who is bringing them in?”

We buy the con but not building links and organizing with our fellow American Worker, and the self-employed small businessperson, and the extend that link to the working poor, the underemployed and the unemployed. We buy the con when we separate as workers because the person in the next cubicle is female, the man who works the fabrication robot is a different skin tone from mine, and clerk in beddings is gay, or the or the coder at the next terminal is a different faith from mine or no faith at all.

In so many ways we buy the con, and in turn we cheapen our labor. We allow those who don’t want working people, who earn their piece of the pie, to get that piece of that pie that they baked. How dare some well-heeled poli-trickster (much love to The Field Negro for that term) to call me or any working American “lazy”? Abraham Lincoln was right when he said, “If any man tells you he loves America, yet hates labor, he is a liar. If any man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool.”

How dare the bastions of today’s capital class charge the American Worker with making the nation “uncompetitive”? The very people that have put our nation at great risk, because they want to privatise their profits and they want to crackback on the working folks? Notice how more and more of American business is making that profit today. More often and not, its because they decided to “rightsize” or “downsize” or whatever nice way they put to the concept that we have to whack a few thousand workers to add some pennies to the share price.

And again, we as workers buy the con.

We even buy it today, on this day. Labor day. The day where we celebrate the very things that millions of us bring to the table every day, and what it means for us as a whole. On this Labor Day, officially  over 14 million American workers are out of work. That’s 9% of our country.  For our fellow workers who are of color, the rate is more than double.

On this Labor Day, over 50 million Americans do not have health insurance.

On this Labor Day, we again look at the specter of how those who denigrate American labor got a big break when they got into trouble. What about a break for the working people of our country? What about a break for our unemployed and underemployed brothers and sisters. Where’s their “bailout”? Where is a square deal for their children, going to back to school underprepared and perhaps even underfed? Where’s the break for our brothers and sisters in uniform still in harms way in two wars that do not need to be? Wars being fought not for greater protection, but for the profit of a few.

On this Labor Day  We still buy the con because again, we are waiting, when we need to be acting. We need to be off the barbecue grill and on the march.

We need to be flooding the White House switchboard with one message. “President Obama, WE WANT TO WORK! HELP US GET BACK TO WORK!”

If we as workers want our issues at the front of the grid, we have to fight for them and the time is now to do so. On this Labor Day, let’s begin to march again. Let’s reorganize with our fellow American Worker, even if he or she is struggling to find work. Let’s reorganize with the people who work for themselves. They thave been left naked by policies that claim to love America but loathe labor, too.

It is time for us who put the time in every day to step forward.. Those of us who punch that clock every day and put on our suits, ties, Dickies, tools belts who whatever we need to get the job done. Those of us who open that store or garage or whatever the job is every day. It’s time that we stop seeing our work as “expendable”. We must stop seeing work as being for “suckers”.

We need to shout out in a clear voice…  I Am An American Worker, AND I AM DAMN PROUD OF IT! 

And as we shout, we need to be acting on that premise.

 Workers of America, UNITE! WE HAVE TOO MUCH TO LOSE IF WE DON’T!

Happy Labor Day, my fellow American Workers!

Some videos I am feeling today…

Firstly, something to consider on this Labor Day, especially with the Cheap Labor Conservatives and Obama’s Too Big To Failers  holding sway..

And, a message from one of my favorite people, Tony Benn, about the true value of labor.

Meeting Greatness

The sun came up this morning and the shock has worn off. Pat Summitt stood in front of her family, fans and all of women’s basketball world and gave us the 4-1-1.

It touches a nerve with me for a personal reason.

My father, Big Northside Chip, is dealing with the same situation.

He and Pat Summitt are the same age.

He and the Tennessee head coach have the same will to fight.

I’ve had a few opportunity to talk to Coach Summitt. My first was a long time ago. 1993 NCAA second round at Knoxville. I was doing radio commentary for my campus radio station who was covering the ballgame (special shoutout to all the WNUR Radio peeps for Northwestern!!) Northwestern had beaten Georgia Tech in a first-round game a few day before. Yeah, we were dreaming the dream. Survive And Advance.

Coach struck me as very regal, yet very humble. By 1993, Summitt already had three national championships. She was the face the game then as she is now. Yet, she didn’t big time anybody…even a collegiate radio crew from the opposing school. She gave us 5 good minutes and we got quite an interview. There was one thing she said, “It good to have an opportunity to play a team we’ve never seen. It’s great for the game to see more schools see the value competitive opportunities for women. We congratulate you all for being here.”

The game itself was a tough one for my team. Tennessee stomp on the pedal early and before you know it, we were down 49-8 at one point. By the time we got over the shell shock, we played well but it was too late. We lost 89-66. But, I left impressed by the grace of a great coach.

Views I’m Feeling Today: ESPN.com’s Mechelle Voepel on how Pat Summitt’s influence continues to affect her players long after they’ve left Tennessee. Kara Lawson: Coach Will Remain Focused

Pat Summitt with Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post: Dealing with the diagnosis.

We Are With You, Coach Summitt!

Over 1,000 wins, 8 National Championships, and a high place among those who represent true grace and excellence in competition.

Coach Pat Summit, women’s basketball nation is praying for you and we are all with you!

School Days, Rainy Days, Strange Days Indeed.

Its the first day of the school on The Northside Corner. To our future Northsiders, stretch your mind and your butt will follow.

To all the parents: Please resolve to be an active participant in your child’s education if you haven’t already. Know your child’s teacher. Know the resources. Make sure they know who you are, and if can..volunteer, mentor, be in your school’s PTA. Too many people complain about the state of education in our country. Very few actually get active enough to turn complaint into solution.

And it doesn’t take a lot of time to do that, and it worth making the time.

I dedicate following to my mom who was a dedicated schoolteacher.

Let’s  resolve to END TEACHER BASHING. Over the next few weeks, hundreds of thousands of dedicated people will be standing in front school classrooms from Bangor to Honolulu. Some will be hardened veterans. Some will be fresh out of grad school or college. Some will be moving into new schools or new towns. Some maybe returning to the classroom after a time in another field. Others may be transitioning from another field to develop the next generation of what they’ve been. All deserve our support for a job that is underappreciated, insulted and belittled all too often.

As you drop off your child to the schoolhouse, take one minute to meet, greet and thank that teacher. Each day, they have the future of our nation in their hands. They can always use a hand from the rest of us.

In the fun department. I’m ready from the Monday Nitro. NASCAR’s romp on the road at Watkins Glen. Football preseason is in full swing, and this week your truly unveils Northside Chip’s Omaha Stories. During my romp home from Native Omaha Days, and went through the hoods and talked to some interesting people. I plan on sharing what I saw and heard on the Corner.

In the not-so-fun-part of the fun department. Hullabaloo, WHAT THE HECK? Texas A&M to the SEC? And then not to the SEC? Ego, thy nickname is “Aggie”.

I’m not one to get all irate over the continuing perestroika in college athletics. To me it isn’t about students or fans. This is about suits in the suites flashing cash and flaunting clout. However, Texas A&M action seems to be driven more from the continuing inferiority complex Texas A&M has when it comes to Texas. Now that Texas has their Longhorn Network, its only worse.

At the same time, I just have to shake my head and grin at the fellows in Austin. The University of Texas is playing their hand well. They know that whichever way the well turns, they have every out. If they have a Big XII, they will have the money advantage. If they don’t get their way, they go it alone. If they decide to go it alone, they have the wherewithal to do it.

Don’t hate Texas, because you ain’t Texas. If any school had the advantage, they’d play it.

Now strange days? That was what I saw in Iowa over the weekend. First there was the debate where every GOP hopeful except for Ron Paul had the same platform, “We just wanna get rid of Barack Obama!” Nevermind how they’ll govern once they get him out.

But remember, the Republicans aren’t really  into that governing thing.

But that isn’t the freakiest thing. It was the straw poll. Michelle Bachmann came through with a meaningless victory on paper at first…But then Tim Pawlenty decided finishing third means “fuhgettaboutit” and dropped out and a first other may as well. This may be a sign of how the primary season of 2012 could go.

For me? Its a sign of a continuing complaint of mine: The whole campaign season is too dang long!

    If I were king. No events before January 2nd of the election year. No primaries before Feburary 14 th. During the primary season, any campaign ads can only be ran within 5 days of a primary or caucus and only in the states holding a primary or caucus.

Once the primaries end. NO POLITICAL ADVERTISING OF ANY KIND outside of news coverage of the conventions until one week after the last major party convention.

During the general election campaign, advertising is allowed until 7 days prior to election day. At that point. It’s a blackout. NO ADVERTISING. NO TELEVISION. NO SIGNS. NO 527s. NOT EVEN A BUS BENCH.

What will this proposal do?

1. It will shorten the campaign season.

2. Hopefully, it will tighten the focus and get voters looking at the campaign while lowering the risk of campaign fatigue for the voters.

3. Hopefully it will lower the ridiculous amounts of money it takes to get elected.

Nah. The politicos will never buy it. 🙂

   

Reflections On Monday Morning

On the Monday Morning, a whole lot of North Omaha folks who were living it up this weekend are going through the hangover blues. Yeah, we all maybe got it in a little bit much during Native Omaha Days. But that is what its for. Safe travels to those folks who are heading back home after what was a fun, w ild weekend.

It was my first Native Omaha Days in its truest sense. My first “homecoming” of this type. It was good to reconnect with faces I haven’t seen. It was good to reflect back on some good times of days gone by.

I am blessed to say that for the most part, many dear faces in my life are doing well. I’ve seen friends marry friends and those unions have lasted a decade or more. I see people I grew up with being fathers and mothers. I see young kids look like their mommas and daddies growing up and getting their dreams together. Such things make me smile long and wide.

That’s my hangover. The “come-down” from the natural, simple joy of reconnection and reflection.

Over the next week or so, I will sharing some of those reconnections, reflections and looks ahead.

Away from the Northside. It seems that we have a deal in Washington, and the debt ceiling crisis was even the talk of the Northside. Memo to shelf, DON’T CRITICIZE OBAMA AT A BAR IN NORTH OMAHA. You’ll get a serious Bronx cheer of people who will disagree. But there’s still much love.

I find myself bothered by both sides. Once again, the Democratic Party is paying for not taking care of business, when they controlled the business. The Republicans are living up to ideas of their field marshal Grover Norquist. Ideas some among conservative circles such as David From question.  Hopefully by the end of business Monday, we’ll have a new deal. But this new deal is still a further example of a same you can believe in.