Posts Tagged ‘United States’


TIGER TIGER TIGER

For those of us in America always complaining about our roads and bridges being not done or broken up with potholes, or having a project of transportation concerns that might interfere with the roads, stop the badgering. The reason I say this because it was just a thought that every city and state needs their own separate account in concerning roads and bridges only. With that being said, I unleash another blog letter.

Dear U.S. Citizens and those who always complain about roads. Even if you’re a Milwaukee citizen:

It’s me Stephen.  You should know I’m this black blogger from the Midwest in Milwaukee.

STOP COMPLAINING!

Yeah, hear this. For about 5+ years I have heard about the ongoing ramble of the deterioration roads and bridges. And even Potholes. I get it. I’m sick and tired of the whiny complaining folks about roads and bridges. Look here, yes I drive on the same roads and bridges as you do. And no I don’t complain. Why? Morely the roads and or bridges will find a path to get fixed. Yes, I read about the stories about the deterioration of the streets especially from recent snow storms. Even here in Wisconsin it’s like religion. We get snow and it get plowed off the streets. But yes, we get those godawful potholes that we drive over with our vehicles and scream expletives for not getting it fixed up. Well folks of America and Wisconsin, expect that to happen and expect that to get fixed up as usual.

For the money side of things, just yesterday, President Obama had launched a new TIGER of things to help repair, fix and maintain our Infrastructure. This is for all the right wingers like Scott Walker always butting heads about roads and bridges. This is for anyone opposes who feels streetcars are just a waste. Even if your name is Milwaukee County Supervisor Deanna Alexander, (I’ll go on her in minute) and anyone who feels this strongly.  Read the remarks of the President while talking Roads and Bridges in his stay in Minnesota.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/02/26/remarks-president-jobs-american-infrastructure

For the outline of this, here is the rundown via The White House:

  • Supporting High-Value Transportation Projects Across the Country. The highly competitive TIGER program supports a range of projects, including roads, bridges, transit, rail, and ports, and offers one of the few Federal funding sources for game-changing projects that integrate different modes of transportation. The TIGER program invests in projects that will have a significant impact on the nation or a region, and Federal funds are used to make such projects possible and leverage additional funding from private sector partners, States, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations, and transit agencies.
  • Encouraging Improved Job Access and Increased Economic Opportunity. In an effort to expand economic opportunities for all Americans, the 2014 TIGER program will place an emphasis on projects that support reliable, safe, and affordable transportation options that improve connections for urban, suburban, and rural communities. While continuing to support projects of all types, a priority will be placed in this 6th round of applications on projects that make it easier for Americans to get to jobs, school, and other opportunities, promote neighborhood revitalization and business expansion, and reconnect neighborhoods that are unnaturally divided by physical barriers such as highways and railroads.
  • Prioritizing Transformative Projects. Successful projects in the highly competitive process will be those with the potential to improve economic competitiveness and create jobs, improve the condition of existing transportation systems, improve quality of life by increasing transportation options, improve energy efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and encourage resiliency, and/or improve the safety of our transportation systems.
  • $35 Million to Help Communities Design Economic Development Plans. In addition to supporting capital grants, Congress provided the U.S. Department of Transportation with the flexibility to use up to $35 million of the 2014 TIGER funds for planning grants for the first time since 2010. These funds can be used to support the planning of innovative transportation solutions, as well as regional transportation planning, freight and port planning, housing and land use development, and resiliency efforts that improve efficiency and sustainable community development.

Also The White House has additional info in regarding this option, and a proposal idea from the President:

  • Proposing a $302 billion, Four Year Transportation Reauthorization Bill, Providing States, Local Governments, and Construction Workers with Certainty. The President’s proposal for a $302 billion, four year transportation reauthorization will not only allow States and local units of government to effectively plan their project pipelines, supporting millions of good paying jobs over the next several years, but also will enable more transformative transportation projects that improve our global competitiveness.
    • $63 billion to fill the funding gap in the Highway Trust Fund. The proposal will meet our nation’s essential highway, bridge, and transit needs in the near term by providing $63 billion to address the insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund for four years. 
    • Prioritizing “Fix-it-First” investments. The proposal will include policies and reforms to prioritize investments for much needed repairs and to improve the safety of highways and bridges, subways and bus services, with particular attention to improving roads and bridges in rural and tribal areas.
  • Matching Transportation Infrastructure Investments to the Current and Future Needs of American Communities. Bringing a one-time infusion of investment into our transportation infrastructure programs would enable projects that address the diverse needs of American communities today.  
    • $206 billion to invest in our nation’s highway system and road safety. The proposal will increase the amount of highway funds by 22 percent annually, for a total of about $199 billion over the four years. The proposal would also provide more than $7 billion to improve safety for all users of our highways and roads.
    • $72 billion to invest in transit systems and expand transportation options. The proposal increases average transit spending by nearly 70 percent annually, for a total program of $72 billion over four years, which will enable the expansion of new projects (e.g., light rail, street cars, bus rapid transit, etc.) in suburbs, fast-growing cities, small towns, and aging rural communities, while still maintaining existing transit systems. 
    • $19 billion in dedicated funding for rail programs. The proposal also includes nearly $5 of billion annually for high performance and passenger rail programs with a focus on improving the connections between key regional city pairs and high traffic corridors throughout the country. 
    • $9 billion in competitive funding to spur innovation. The proposal will make permanent and provide $5 billion over four years, an increase of more than 100 percent, for the highly successfully TIGER competitive grant program and propose $4 billion of competitively awarded funding over four years to incentivize innovation and local policy reforms to encourage better performance, productivity, and cost-effectiveness in our transportation systems.
    • Encouraging coordination and local decision making. The proposal includes policy reforms to incentivize improved regional coordination and strengthen local decision making in allocating Federal funding so that local communities can better realize their vision for improved mobility.
  • Expanding Economic Growth, Jobs, and Opportunity. The President is dedicated to enhancing opportunity for all Americans and our businesses by investing in transportation projects that better connect communities to centers of employment, education, and services.
    • More than $2.6 billion and policy reforms to support the creation of ladders of opportunity. The proposal will include policy reforms to enhance existing highway and transit programs that help to create ladders of opportunity. Within the overall transit spending, the proposal provides $2.2 billion for a new bus rapid transit program for rapidly growing regions. It also includes $400 million to enhance the size, diversity, and skills of our nation’s construction workforce, while providing support for local hiring efforts and encouraging States to use their On-the-Job training funds more effectively.
    • $10 billion for a new freight program to strengthening America’s exports and trade. Recognizing the importance of efficient and reliable freight networks to support trade and economic growth, the President’s proposal will also create a new $10 billion multimodal freight grant program – in partnership with State and local officials and private sector and labor representatives – for rail, highway, and port projects that address the greatest needs for the efficient movement of goods across the country and abroad.
  • More Bang-for-the-Buck by Boosting Efficiency and Taxpayers Return on Our Transportation Investments. In a time of tight fiscal and budgetary constraints, the President’s proposal includes a number of measures to ensure that the American public is getting most out of Federal transportation infrastructure investments that lead to better outcomes for all Americans.
    • Improving project delivery and the Federal permitting and regulatory review process. The proposal will further advance and introduce new reforms to the project delivery system through a range of activities that institutionalize best practices and insights from the President’s previous Executive Orders and Presidential Memorandums to cut project timelines in half for major infrastructure projects by modernizing the Federal government’s infrastructure permitting and regulatory review process.
    • Building more resilient communities. Building on the Sandy Task Force recommendations, the proposal will also encourage more resilient designs for highway, transit, and rail infrastructure, and smarter transportation planning to reduce fuel use and conserve energy.
    • Encouraging and incentivizing cost effective investments. The proposal will strengthen the performance incentives to maintain safety and conditions of good repair, and expand research and technology activities in order to improve the productivity of our transportation systems, thereby increasing taxpayer return on investment.
    • $4 billion to attract private investment in transportation infrastructure. The proposal calls for continued funding of $1 billion in annual credit subsidy for the successful TIFIA loan program that, similar to other Administration proposals such as capitalizing a National Infrastructure Bank, creating American Fast Forward bonds, or enacting Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) reforms, will facilitate increased private investment in transportation infrastructure while protecting taxpayer interests.

    So in regarding this, I believe that this will help with the current affairs of the roads and bridges in which it would generate new jobs, keep the taxpayers money safe, provide new and upgrade means of transportation, and most of all getting a chance to upbeat our projected endeavors. Yes I know that there are those who might complain and whine, but hey, if you are on the Right Wing Squad, is this what you wanted? I’m just asking.  So the country could get a 302 Billion dollar deal which means each state would get about at least 6 million per say for this project each. Think 302 billion divided by 50 States. Roughly around in that price range.

Speaking of this, I had to get back to the local side of things: here in Milwaukee as usual we face alot of the potholes and crumbling roads. But one Supervisor had to cross the line of ideas in which its illegal: According the Urban Milwaukee Website, they interviewed Deanna Alexander a Milwaukee County Supervisor about the roads and not enough support of the ongoing idea of having a Milwaukee Streetcar.

Ald. Donovan is absolutely on the right track with his request to reallocate streetcar funding and use it for street repairs and transit,” said Alexander, a member of the County Board’s Intergovernmental Relations Committee and the Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee.

“The streetcar is lacking public support,” Alexander said.  “We would be much more pragmatic to forego a shiny new streetcar plan and instead support what would have a more meaningful impact for our residents: expanding bus transit taking workers to suburban jobs and repairing the roads that are already deteriorating.”

“With limited resources, we’d all be better off with buses that go jobs rather than a streetcar that goes nowhere,” Alexander continued.  “I’ll be happy to talk about a streetcar plan when Milwaukee isn’t busy carrying the burden of being the 3rd highest taxed city in the county and when its residents aren’t calling elected officials begging for access to just-out-of-reach suburban jobs.”

“We have far more urgent needs than a streetcar,” she said. “If it is possible under the law, I urge the Governor, the Mayor, County Executive, and anyone else who can stir this pot for some practical change to take action to give our residents what they want: jobs and  transportation to them, not toys.”

Note to Supervisor Alexander: If you’re reading this, you do realize this is illegal. According to the law of the money that the city currently has for the upcoming Streetcar Project, if you have not done your homework. The money is ONLY for the StreetCar Project. It cannot be allocated. If the city of Milwaukee per say gives away that money to another city or another state, that’s our loss. I’ve heard this many many times, and I have to agree with the Mayor and any other federal financial individual that it is ILLEGAL for this to happen! We have to remember about the proposed idea about having a High Speed Rail that would have linked Milwaukee and Madison. But the person you written to, Governor Scott Walker refused the money to build the line! We lost out on a great opportunity due to him and his fans who feel that no one would ride a rail system. And in increase of his 250,000 jobs.  This includes Ald. Bob Donovan. You say about Jobs, Transportation to them, and not toys. Sometimes you have watch what you say. Those “toys” can be viable solutions to getting those jobs and transportation things. I’ve seen them upclose. Don’t believe me, take a look around on how other cities are doing this and SUPPORTING THEM with ideas with jobs in hand.

Personally, I would like to express that yes I do support the idea of having a Streetcar. And I hope that it comes with one word: JOBS! Now here is something that no one is talking about. If the folks like Scott Walker, Deanna Alexander, Bob Donovan and many other feel that roads and bridges are factor of concern. And those in the city circle can keep the Streetcar Project flowing without any concern, use this for idea and I’m glad it’s on time: Set up an separate account for the financial portion of the City’s Infrastructure that can be used for roads and bridges only. What that means, make a separate account for roads/bridges and leave the streetcar money alone! You can still have infrastructure funding. But make it two. One for Streetcars, the other for bridgework and roadwork.  Can that be done? Plus that idea from Obama might come in at a good time.

Sincerely,

Stephen

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Oh, America. Really?

The highlight from the Dunn Trial really reinforced the mentality of fearing black kids, huh Even if it concerns Jordan Davis, perhaps? Last week. Michael Dunn was found guilty of 4 out of 5 counts in the shooting death of the Florida Teen. Oh yeah, it’s off to the big house for Michael Dunn, but that first degree act of criminality of shooting an unarmed teenager in a SUV all because of the music was too loud. Seriously?! And the “well observed” population of American feels that getting a gun would solve a problem.

And there are other “problems” why many have died under the so-called “stand your ground” law. Look at this cartoon pic courtesy of the Miami Herald,  and it’ll make you think:

Now pay attention to the markings. Everything from oh let me see:

  • Wore a hoodie
  • Reached into their pocket
  • Looked like he possibly had a gun
  • Said the Wrong Thing
  • Looked Like a Thug
  • Threw Popcorn
  • Hurt Somebody’s Feelings
  • Played Music Too Loud
  • Texted in a movie theater
  • Road Rage
  • Wore wrong type of clothing

All of these thus far, are the now majority reasons why many now are dying behind the barrel of the gun. Shameful.

And most recently, in Arkansas, a black teenage girl was shot to death, in a response of her egging someone’s house. Another example of this so-called law that has one, wage war on young black teens, and two why want someone want to kill someone over some egging prank? Usually you get the police to do this in investigations, but for this, really?! And the dude was black.

But getting back to Michael Dunn. Dude was saying that (what really got me) when he shot Jordan Davis, he felt he was the victim. What!!!! He was the victim? Where does he go off and say that he felt victimized over the so-called viewpoint of him fearing loud music in a SUV. That was his excuse?!! Oh hold up, in a statement, he also said this about shooting blacks, which was beyond shameful: From his letter or note from jail, he writes:

This may sound a bit radical but if more people would arm themselves and kill these **** idiots when they’re threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior………

I hate to say this, but that what’s others like him might sound like when someone or something looks or acts suspicious. I’ve heard that many times. And still hearing it. I think the fear lies in inferiority. That also feeling kind of what, “standing your ground” in a sense of taking back something? This example is not taking back the night nor standing your ground, more like taking it out on someone else and making the family of the deceased feel worse. Michael Dunn was found guilty. 4 of 5 counts of Murder. The first count should have been counted as guilty REGARDLESS of the decision.

And so, the ongoing saga of going after black teens continues. And I dare say, what’s next? Many are saying to get out and March. Look here, I don’t have a issue with Marching. I don’t have an issue (unlike the “Negropean folks” on Roland Martin’s Facebook page being Antagonists like whatever) making a statement. Many are saying “oh, Marching is so tired. We need to get the Guns out!” For those who want the guns out, I’m pretty aware that the second amendment has the right to bear arms on speed dial. But I must warn this: If you retaliate like that, chances are the possibilities of that are just as deadly. What that means: you need to think before doing!

Just a final thought: Not all black kids are dangerous, possess fear, don’t have criminal mindsets and setting the world ablaze.

Speaking of #DangerousBlackKids that America should be afraid of: those who are enrolled in school in which has a 100% rating of sending black students to College. I read about that and hmmm……are they dangerous? Those who have been honored by their peers of scholastic achievement, or recognizable work in the community: are they dangerous?

Time to learn today!

And that, is my #trending commentary.

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Many of us have reading blogs about  moving out or relocation. But however in the last remaining days, a blogger out of Brooklyn had to express her discontent and also her joy about her memories and decision factors of leaving Milwaukee.

Tenicka Boyd, (aka Sincerely Brooklyn), is the name. And expressing her Milwaukee Concerns of poverty and segregation is the game.

In the last couple of days and almost a week, her blog story, “Coming where I’m from” she expressed that her memories of Milwaukee began when she was younger. She grew up in the city, but didn’t consider the city her home. In her story, she comments deeply:

It is in Milwaukee though that my fondest memories were not great. Tuetonia and Locust is where I remember playing on the playground before bullets rang out. When I think of Milwaukee, I think of it as the physical place where my brothers failed to escape its destructible trajectory. It is in Milwaukee where I’ve experienced some of my scariest moments.  I remember waking up in the middle of the night to a burning house. It was in Milwaukee where several men beat me as a young woman with bats and the hardiness of the concrete. It was right there in that city, where I slugged on public transportation to get minimum wage just to buy basic necessities. When I think of Milwaukee I think of the food stamps, the hours of waiting for healthcare, the roaches on the wall, the desperate competition for school clothes, the long lines at Aldi, the boys who got shot, the men that went to prison, the girls who became mothers, the babies who were left alone.  It is there, in Milwaukee, where I learned the instant gratification of sex, drugs, and money. It is there where I learned the disillusion of basketball dreams and rapping careers.

It didn’t build my character, as people say poverty does, it built angst, dejection, and posttraumatic stress. It harbored in me, for years after going down south for college, a deep sense of inadequacy and eventually survivor’s guilt. I began to feel guilty that all of my greatest memories-falling in love, meeting lifelong friends, traveling the world, finding amazing mentors, becoming engulfed in life altering projects, getting married, graduating, starting a family-were not in Milwaukee. Even driving, learning to pay bills, becoming independent, discovering how to control my emotions, turning away from a culture of violence, and other basic life changes happened to me away from my family and surely outside of the small city I grew up in. I grew further and further away from the people whom I considered my family and visiting became much more of a chore and far less of a comfort.

Every time I returned to Milwaukee, I was forced to be 15 again. I was forced to remember people I had long forgotten about. I was forced to remember restaurants I could never afford to eat in.  I was forced to remember neighbors who had long gone to prison. I was forced to remember the playground I was beat up at, the goodwill store my mother shopped at, and the welfare line so many of us used to stand in. I was forced to have unnatural conversations with old friends I was disappointed in, who gained so much weight I barely recognized, who lived lives I was unacquainted with.  I was forced to hear old stories that were glossed up as if they were amazing ones. I was forced to remember all the people we never got to see become whole again.

I don’t necessarily agree with whole remembering all the people. Part of that in my view is all apart of your upbringing. It’s apart of recognizing the fact that the people who in later years of their dilemmas, were still part of your life when you met them. And yes it concerns places. However, in the past incidents or examples you learn from can help you to realize that your life doesn’t have be their way.

Yes I have read the blog back and forth. And yes it was her story. It was even shared on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s website this past Sunday, and yes there were about 29 comments that came in. Majority of the comments, put the blame on the environment that she grew up in, not the whole city. That environment is possibility her old neighborhood or her surroundings. However on the flip side, as a teen, she chose to leave for greener pastures. She also mentioned about the ongoing problems that Milwaukee continues to endure:

I am fully aware that what plagues my family and so many people in Milwaukee is a combination of poor public policy, mass segregation, over incarceration and an even poorer education system. I chose to move away from Milwaukee not the work. I choose to focus my energy and adult working life on public policies where zip code doesn’t dictate destiny, where parental income doesn’t so easily transfer, where schoolhouses can be an oasis of hope.

She has point on this. BUT here’s something that is left out: There is decay everywhere. There is segregation everywhere. Just last year, didn’t Chicago had like over 400 murders? And last year, Milwaukee had little over 100 homicides. Mostly under the age 30 per say. Mostly coming from those who didn’t have that upbringing of two parent households, not enough role models per say that stayed on them EVERY DAY.

Let me tell you and those who feel this way. If you had to move out of Milwaukee, or any other Mid-Sized City in which you had to do what is best for you in terms of careers or travel, all the power to you. Yeah, I had the talk about Moving out of Milwaukee years ago after I got my bachelor’s degree, and I’m still having the talk. But unlike the blogger, I feel currently that I’m not strong enough to leave the city yet. I’m 37 years old. Just like Bill Clinton once said about America. He said that “America can’t strong abroad, unless we’re strong at home.”  In other words, if you’re ready for the world, stay where you at until you become strong enough to move out. Yeah others like my age before had done it. And some in my family had left for better ways. That’s them! But I’m referencing myself because I have to think about the possibilities of family, activities, and special assistance. For example, I have an older sibling that has Multiple Sclerosis. She was diagnosed since 1995 and has to move around in a wheelchair. Plus the care for her is extremely needed  and mainly that includes ME! For activities, yes, I can do my Election Duties, but not my High School Alumni volunteer time. Plus also, yes I’m single with no kids, and not married. Now many of you are saying, “Oh, Stephen you got something here to work with to get out”. BUT ALAS! It also requires a judgment factor. This is something that most don’t realize. Now if I were to move out, it would be God’s will. Not the environment. Not the family. Not the friends. Not the Alumni. Not the concerns of crime, drugs, segregation or reliving the horrors I read in the newspaper or local media. It would be the will of God. No matter where or when to relocate, the struggle continues. And that’s the factor that doesn’t matter what it is in regarding Milwaukee or anywhere else.

Unlike the blogger: I’m Milwaukee born and raised before 2 years old. I went through the MPS schools and graduated. I got two college degrees from Milwaukee Area Technical College and UW-Stout. And yes I had and have my share of “here and there jobs”, attend church as a 4th Generation member of the United Methodist Church, active in my Alumni Groups, registering new voters and actively updating current voters,  and yes in 2010 I was discriminated in Wisconsin in trying to look for work because of me being African-American! But I didn’t leave. Like those before me, I stay in fight. Sometimes you have to stay and fight for those who can’t speak. For those who had been in battle for years and don’t have the fight no more. And for those have gone home to heaven. But for those of us who are CURRENTLY here in Milwaukee, and doing the work, we need to set NEW EXAMPLES for this city. We need to set new standards, new terms, new goals, new objectives and new opportunities to get this city going. We know the drill. Get out and vote, or make noise to get the attention of the officials, etc.  And for those who still have a heart for Milwaukee, but live in other cities, be like Eric Benet and donate a week of your time out of the calendar year and revisit. When Eric Benet comes to Milwaukee to perform, he’s not ashamed. He grew up here. Went to Tech High School, and still donates his time to give back. I’m just saying. Even if you had to move to Brooklyn.

Speaking of that: to read the rest of the Sincerely Brooklyn blog, click here.

 

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Really, Milwaukee……

Check this out from the Journal Sentinel:

Two sanitation workers with the City of Milwaukee were robbed at gunpoint about 8 a.m. Saturday in an alley in the 3300 block of N. 37th St., according to police.The employees were in the alley when they were approached by the suspect demanding money. The city workers were unharmed, and the suspect fled on foot with cash, police said.

This has to be the most stupidest of all crimes. Excuse my french, but WHAT IN THE HELL MILWAUKEE?!!! Why are those who are just sanitation workers in getting robbed? Many are saying oh this happens everyday. Really though? I’ll bet that those looking at this story are probably thinking about not applying to be a sanitation worker. After seeing this unfold out of my home city. Also, if an incident like that can happen in Milwaukee, it can happen ANYWHERE! As far as a this on the job, same thing. No job is safe. I repeat: NO JOB is safe! Some of you reading this blog have been in a similar situation liked this. And for others who think that “that will not happen to me. ” Guess again. It could happen to you. I’m just saying! I mentioned about safety nets one time or another on this blog, and I’m asking again, where are the safety nets? So this means that the Sanitation Workers should be starting to pack weapons just for protection? Or having the Milwaukee Police Department to go to the routes where the Garbage Collectors go and keep watch?

Personally this story will probably not pass as of yet. And plus I hope that this incident should not reflect the image of Milwaukee.

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,900 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

Ok Spotters: thanks for looking at my blog this year. I know many of the things I write may not be for some, but I write these things to tell a story. And also to vote on my reaction. Technically, it’s really giving my voice an extension of what I really want to say away from Facebook, and many other social media sites. Not that I don’t care, it’s just stating my own opinion of certain topics and examples in an more open fourm. 

Thanks for reading. But like last time, you will see more of my hard hitting blog topics in 2014. Including my annual blog of “What I Don’t Want to see” story. Plus since 2014 is an Midterm Election Year, I will be getting my commentary on about why many in America SHOULD VOTE UP in 2014!  No Excuses, America! 

Other than that: Happy New Year!


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Oh the humanity in black folks. I have to dive in this debauchery of the mishap embarrassment of the recent Real Housewives of Atlanta which featured Porsha Stewart. And for you fans of hers, you’re on the list!  So this blogger letter will not be pretty so here goes:

Dear fans of RHOA member Porsha Stewart:

Its me Stephen. A black Sagittarius blogger out of Milwaukee that is prepared for Christmas.

Stop the embarrassment. Please stop.

What has transpired this notion of knowing your history will get you in trouble. Oh yeah, this past week, on your favorite show, one of your favorite cast mates really made a fool of herself. Porsha Stewart,  its time to go back to school. And you got a whole lot of folks will be telling you otherwise. So she thought that the Underground Railroad had trains?!!!!! REALLY?!!!!! AND SHE BELIEVED THAT?!!!! Either you got to be dumb and stupid to believe that. And uneducated. This is why we need to be more engaged in our black history. Without that, we wouldn’t have a third base to call that second home. As a African-American male, not some n*gga from the hood, this lack of understanding hinders me. Oh yeah, nobody don’t want to comment or touch. Having those shrugs like its no big deal. I call BS ON THAT!!!

No big deal? Explain to me the goal of the Underground Railroad.

Explain to me in detail on how the Underground Railroad guided those of our ancestors away from being tortued and enslaved.

Explain to me, the momentum that it was used for!

And you the fans of Porsha Stewart explain that many or as some of you wouldn’t give a you know what about our black past ancestry!

Don’t worry, I’ll wait!

For the record from History.com:

The Underground Railroad was neither underground nor a railroad. It got its name because its activities had to be carried out in secret, using darkness or disguise, and because railway terms were used by those involved with system to describe how it worked. Various routes were lines, stopping places were called stations, those who aided along the way were conductors and their charges were known as packages or freight. The network of routes extended through 14 Northern states and “the promised land” of Canada–beyond the reach of fugitive-slave hunters. Those who most actively assisted slaves to escape by way of the “railroad” were members of the free black community (including former slaves like Harriet Tubman), Northern abolitionists, philanthropists and church leaders like Quaker Thomas Garrett. Harriet Beecher Stowe, famous for her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, gained firsthand knowledge of the plight of fugitive slaves through contacts with the Underground Railroad in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Also from History.com:

The Underground Railroad was the term used to describe a network of persons who helped escaped slaves on their way to freedom in the northern states or Canada. Although George Washington had commented upon such practices by the Quakers as early as the 1780s, the term gained currency in the 1830s, as northern abolitionists became more vocal and southern suspicions of threats to their peculiar institution grew.

The popular perception of a well-coordinated system of Quaker, Covenanter, and Methodist “conductors” secretly helping fugitives from “station” to “station” is an exaggeration. The practice involved more spontaneity than the railroad analogy suggests. By the time escapees reached areas where sympathetic persons might assist them, they had already completed the most difficult part of their journey. A successful escape was usually less the product of coordinated assistance and more a matter of the runaways’ resourcefulness–and a great deal of luck.

The most active of the Railroad workers were northern free blacks, who had little or no support from white abolitionists. The most famous “conductor,” an escaped slave named Harriet Tubman, reportedly made nineteen return trips to the South; she helped some three hundred slaves escape. A number of individual whites also aided runaways, as did “vigilance committees,” often biracial in character, in northern cities.

Estimates of the number of slaves assisted vary widely, but only a minuscule fraction of those held in bondage ever escaped. Few, particularly from the Lower South, even attempted the arduous journey north. But the idea of organized “outsiders” undermining the institution of slavery angered white southerners, leading to their demands in the 1840s that the Fugitive Slave Laws be strengthened.

That glamour I see is just a smoke screen. And that glamour will not save you. Now for those who feel I’m being well picky and mean on this topic, I’m not mean on this. I’m mean on the subject of this matter because when I hear about our black people, especially our young brothers and sisters who walk around with this “I don’t care attitude” that was picked up from their parents, you have to ask why. Why are they behaving this way? It’s us. I’ll bet when we their ages, we did the same thing, in getting away from the lessons and the constant squabbling from our parents and grandparents. Don’t want nothing to do with that.  I see that. And they say, “Oh we need to teach our children more…..” Well, HELLO! We got classrooms. HAVE SOME SEATS!!!!

Just wait, people. When February comes for Black History Month, and trust me it will come, many of us will not care about the ancestry of our past. Many of us will think that it’s all propaganda and full of B.S. just trying to get us back in those books that was full of dust. Or that new app that is so cool that won’t care about the engagement.  Porsha Stewart’s example of this, is a prime example of not being thoroughly educated. And I’ll bet the fans who ride along with her probably believed her. You all better ask Santa for a new format of understanding of black history through your parents or family memorabilia.  Get that under the tree! She comes from a lineage of the Civil Rights Movement. One of her late relatives, Hosea Williams was an active member of the movement. He marched along with Martin Luther King, Jr, Andrew Young, Rev. James Lowery, James Bevel, and was a lighting rod of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This was Porsha’s Great Grandfather that played a key role in the era of Civil Rights!

Some say, yeah we know…Do you really?

I hear the white folks all the time, talk about their ancestors alot. They do. No matter if its Irish, German or British. Not hating. I hear the Hispanic folks talk proudly of their ancestors as well as the Hmong and others. When we black folks hear about US of what we did, we either embrace it, or just “saggin’ don’t care”. This year, marked the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington in which yes, Dr. King gave the speech, I Have A Dream. And even though that happen before I was born, we still have to dream to be better.

Yeah, fans of Porsha Stewart. Dream to be better! If we don’t, then those we are leading now, will fail. That includes me. We better get our minds right. And I don’t care if you ride along with the Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, belated Happy Hanukkah, and yes when 2014 gets here, do better!

Sincerly,

Stephen


 

Sags in the building

Yeah, I’m still on the Sagittarius tip. Centaurs Baby!  Even when the season ends this weekend before the Capricorns take over the Zodiac Baton. However, I’m still reppin’ the 9th house to the fullest, no matter what season it is.

So this year on Facebook, I’ve expanded my Zodiac side sort of speak, to interact with the folks who share the same sign as I do. Yes, I have to admit, there are others who share the same sign of Sagittarius, have real deep perspectives about the zodiac. Yes, I know the qualities of a Sag Centaur in a sense, no question. But also the levels, and the turn up mentality when it comes to hold your breath……high sex drive.

I have to question, is this is what we Sags are? Really?

Now not to knock the hustle, but after doing some research on other sites, its mostly truth. Hey, I haven’t tried it. But it’s knowing to be true. Plus also during the inter activeness, there were folks from all over the place, no matter if it’s Chicago, Louisiana, my homestate, or way far in the Middle East. No matter where we are in the world, it was like going to a pilgrimage, in a virtual sense. So yes we have interacted. Like many other groups on Facebook, there’s always a hater or haters who had to open their big mouths and cry out attention like a whining baby! Twice on one Sagittarius group page, there were incidents of folks who had to comment about too many black folks who log on and not enough whites. REALLY?! Oh, here another in a comment about “trunk full of n*ggers” from a white dude on a Facebook Group Sagittarius page. Wow! Really?

To those who are non-black and have this hate about seeing too many blacks on a Sagittarius page and I’m saying this as a Sagittarius, congrats. You have demonstrated that racism still exists. You have demonstrated that your bitterness, and hatred among blacks is still a hot button topic that consumes this nation, and also this WORLD! And you lay claim that you’re not a racist per say. If you didn’t like what is, or who was or is on the group page, then WHY have you logged on and view it? DUH!!!!! Were you hurt? Did someone call you out and say Blacks Only on a Sagittarius Page? NO!!! Did I call you out and say no white punks on a Sagittarius Page on Facebook? NO!!!!  I begin to suspect that part of that hate, probably consumes in your families, or your upbringings! And I dare to say that I’m assuming that one of them is American and white is just felt that he got his ball stolen from him back in the third grade. Simmer down.  I’m not in charge of the Sagittarius Page on Facebook, but I will say this, just get in line! I hear the white folks all the time, just but in line. I’m just saying! This story is nothing new. Sort of like some of the White folks complain about Black Girls Rock and where’s the #WhiteGirlsRock show? Don’t get me started on that. I already said that a month ago.  Just to think also that the first Astrologers per say, were black. From navigating the stars, to become one of the best Astrologers. So we know.

On the flip side of Group Pages, there is another Facebook Page called “All About Sagittarius.” And I must say that it’s a fairly young page but still growing with 2,000 plus members. It’s a little more open but steadly growing in sense of what the topic, or a feeling per say. The Group page has also been hit with certain postings of in dealing with explicit graphic nature in which most was not that offensive for some. Many feared that the group page would get shut down in despite of the page’s status. Personally they didn’t effect me at all. Yes, I will say that it’s Freedom of Speech or Expression. Yes, Freedom of Speech is a right, and (I hope I don’t offended my Sagittarius folks on this page) a RESPONSIBILITY!!!!!! I guess someone had saw the explicit photos per say felt it was offensive and had them investigated. My question was or is, where was the Administrator of the page? Matter of fact, an enforcement of the page rules should have been intact. On the strange side of this, those who posted the pics, backed up the intelligence side of it that when a male and female do the intercourse thing, 9 months later yes human life is born. I get it. And it reminded me of this:

image

On the other Sagittarius Page, there were Admins and Owners who declared no NSFW’s. or Not Safe or Not Suitable for Work. That was the law. If breaking that law, like any other page, you will be banished. Period. Not coming back.  Also, there is another Sag page went up called “Upscale Sagittarius” which is for the Grown and Sexy side folks of the 9th house. This came up after the All About Sagittarius FB as a backup. And for the record, I’m not on that page.

And I should point out, that the group pages are closed, and the only ones who see the pages are the members themselves.

But overall, I may not like some of the postings, I just scroll. Or I just put up a pic of Naomi from the WWE, or maybe Stone Cold Steve Austin, whom by the way are Sagittarians. There are positives and well as the negatives. I keep my distance and character in check. Just like mama used to tell us “Don’t start nothing, so won’t be nothing!” And that doesn’t matter what sign or person you are! I see you Capricorns, Leos, Cancers, Geminis, Aquarius in all. Trying to peek at my blog. Uh-huh….Just kidding.  

There is nothing wrong chatting with a Sagittarian from California, or Afghanistan. Nothing wrong coming together and sharing up ideas or to network. Even to celebrate your birthday. I had over 30 likes and about 20 comments coming from folks who I never met, but have that Sagittarius connection virtually. But just anything else, there are those who want to mess things up.  But as a Sagittarius as I am, the bows and arrows are ALWAYS on lock and the network is still open!

We still got Swag.
Human Intelligence.
Thoroughbred Strength. Sagittarius soul, baby!

Network, fellow Archers! Even those that live in Wisconsin.

 

 


Really Americans?!!!! Really?!

I had to interrupt my Sagittarius Season thing for this?!!!

The greatest holiday of all time (of all time)  is coming up next Wednesday. Yes, Christmas. And many around the world is or might be getting the goodies in which might be best. Can’t say the greatest, but best for now.

What is up with the right wingers stuff about Santa is white? Yes, when I was growing up I’ve seen White Santas. No question. But however, as a I got older, I’ve seen black Santas. Yes, you right wing folks in all shapes, I’ve seen Santa Claus with white skin and black skin. I see where this is going. Another divisional useless political stuff out of of all people Megyn Kelly of Fox News thinking 100% that Santa is a white dude. Heck, Santa could be black and sneak in the back door on Christmas Eve and deliver presents. Should I believe Megan Kelly’s rhetoric on Fox News? Oh, wait I don’t.

This whole story, has started from a 29 year old black woman, named Aisha Harris. She wrote the story on the Slate website, “Santa Claus should not be a white man anymore.” That is the blog! She states in her commentary and very well written that Santa should be a penguin! She writes:

And so I propose that America abandon Santa-as-fat-old-white-man and create a new symbol of Christmas cheer. From here on out, Santa Claus should be a penguin.

That’s right: a penguin.

Why, you ask? For one thing, making Santa Claus an animal rather than an old white male could spare millions of nonwhite kids the insecurity and shame that I remember from childhood. Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, Santa is one of the first iconic figures foisted upon you: He exists as an incredibly powerful image in the imaginations of children across the country (and beyond, of course). That this genial, jolly man can only be seen as white—and consequently, that a Santa of any other hue is merely a  “joke” or a chance to trudge out racist stereotypes—helps perpetuate the whole “white-as-default” notion endemic to American culture (and, of course, not just American culture).

And more she states:

Plus, people love penguins. There are blogs dedicated entirely to their cuteness. They’re boxofficegold. Most importantly, they’re never scary (in contrast to, say, polar bears and reindeer). Most kids love Santa—because he brings them presents. But human Santa can be terrifying—or at least unsettling.

Later this commentary:

Of course, since we created Santa, we can certainly change him however we’d like—and we have, many times over. Like the holiday itself, Santa has long since been extracted from his religious roots, even if the name St. Nicholas still gets thrown around. Our current design takes inspiration from multiple sources, including Washington Irving’s 1809 description of St. Nick “riding jollily among the tree tops, or over the roofs of the houses, now and then drawing forth magnificent presents from his breeches pockets, and dropping them down the chimnies of his favourites.” When Clement Clarke Moore published “A Visit from St. Nicholas” in 1823, the old man was described and illustrated as a “plump” but elfin figure. Since then, Santa has been redesigned and re-appropriated to push everything from soda to war.

That’s sounds a bit jolly? Doesn’t it?

Oh, and by some of the commentary, she’s been labeled as a racist.

I ask again: REALLY AMERICANS?!!!!

Many of you so-called AMERICANS who commented on this story, don’t even know what a racist is until you become one. Oh, I’m going there today!

Many of us who grew up knows this too well. We know. Aisha Harris in her commentary is not speaking this on racial issues. Many like her, including myself have seen more white Santas than black Santas. Many of us can relate to seeing accustom with being around or dressing up as black Santas. Hey, here’s a shocker: I was a black Santa! Really, I was in a High School Concert many years ago. And this was in the 90’s and no there weren’t no declarations of keeping Santa white. This accusations of Fox News thinking it’s a target of things like this, they are a target! Matter of fact they’ve been a target since George W. Bush declared war on Iraq. And still the bullseye has not changed. They are the same folks who probably jumped for joy when trapping Martin Bashir with his Sarah Palin comment, and announced his resignation from MSNBC. Part of what Martin said about Sarah is the TRUTH!

But hey, isn’t that what the Right Wingers do per say?

This Christmas season, and I’m saying this to everyone who will be celebrating Christmas: We know Santa. But we better know Jesus! And I’m saying this because it’s a constant reminder of what this holiday should be about. Oh, and note to those who get offended by saying “Merry Christmas” don’t be. I’ve been saying Merry Christmas since I came out the womb 37 years ago. And decorate my residence with “CHRISTMAS” stuff all over it. And to those who have a problem saying “Happy Holidays”. Guess what, Holiday is actually (and I learned it in church) Holy-Day.  So yes, Christmas is a Holy Day. And that Merry Xmas thing, there was a time I got hammered on Social Media about this. But unlike that person (whom I’ll remain nameless) I did some sleuthing, that according to the greeks, they displayed Xmas. And the letter X represents the unknown. Now many might call this disrespectful, but no, it’s not. It’s not stamping out, or  X’ing out Jesus! Once again, X represents the unknown! Not everyone, not even me know when Jesus was “actually” BORN! Many say December 25th. Even though it’s Christmas Day. But still, the real birth of Jesus on that actual day remains a mystery. Get it? Got it? Good.

So Happy “HOLY DAYS” peoples, and make sure that even though Santa might come and go, Santa no matter black or white of appearance or accustomed to maybe asking your kids about what they want for Christmas, and of course Santa might be checking out the naughty and nice folks.

But remember this, I’ve seen this in 1985 in church, and I’m saying this in 2013: Jesus is the reason, for the Season.


I hope that all are taking part of the holiday season. But I have to bring up this issue:

What is up with these organizations or well known companies that don’t hire or retain an employee who is African Decent, or African American per say who have this “concern” and folks on the other side having this so called big concern! Really, 2013? – Going into 2014?

Check this. In Wisconsin, back a couple of years ago, and I’m going in on this, there was a black resident bishop who served about 8 years of her tenure. But during her tenure, she wore African Attire most of the time. Oh, there were “critics” in the Annual Conference from UMC in the state, per say who had to comment about her attire being too African related mostly and not drawn to American in a sense. My former Resident Bishop, despite of that still rocked the African attire and braids. True story, I should point out.

What I’m reading, and hearing about organizations or companies not accepting the braids, dreads, or African Attire, is really mind boggling. Yes, in the military, females can wear the braids, but men, nope!  Which is a non concern. But I was watching NewsOne Now, and the issue was brought up. Even with a concern about a black woman who was highly qualified for a job, but was turned away all because of an Afro. REALLY?!!! It was just ridiculous to hear that there are certain workplaces, christian schools (of all of them) that don’t want their black daughters to have puffy hair. Only way to remain in the school is to cut it or have it straighten. Plus also a black woman was relieved from her job working at BP, all because once again: African Attire. And the issue of “white supremacy” has raised more times this year in regarding African American related issues or news. Oh, we know its the truth. I know the truth. Lots of folks like to say, oh 2013……..B.S.! It maybe 2013 or soon to be 2014, but I think the issues of concern will still be a hot button topic. With issues of this, years don’t matter. They don’t. We were reading this in the 1980’s, the 1990’s, the 2000’s and now the 2010’s. So where’s the secret passage way? Hello!!!!

I mean if the workplaces have Ethnic heritage days, where workers can wear their ethnic clothes from their respective cultures, then that’s one thing. But for stuff like this, it’s just another day dealing with appropriate attire. I can say this, the African Attire is far more better than sagging your pants. And it has nothing to do being dressed better like an American. And it’s not nothing against dressing up in a suit with a tie. Now tell me, is that best for business or image?

 


For the last six weeks prior to Thanksgiving, PBS had devoted one hour per Tuesday night of 500 years of African American history. And yes, the term, “African American” still lingers for those who “know everything.”

Professor Henry Louis Gates presented the six week special in which highlighted the most points in the history, and also here is something everyone should know: there were points in the history that weren’t mentioned! Think back in school or college when you were taught African-American History, how many of the topics were picked up that weren’t in your syllabus? Or in this case, your Midterms, Final Exams, the quizzes, or in discussion! I think Henry Louis Gates not on revealed the things we know, but also had uncovered the “hidden truths” that should have been part of our memory banks in the on going 500 years of African American History! Whether it was the firsts to elect, or the firsts to invent, or the firsts to gain while making sacrificial risks with them being black.

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross | “Black is Beautiful”

One of the best highlights that I drew from, was the from final part of the series when it was focused on after the Assassination of Martin Luther King. Plus also the initiation of Black Power, Soul Train, Advertising of black products of Afro Sheen, and yes the 2008 Election of Barack Obama. At the end of the series, there was a question that was lingered after the Election, is America in a Post-Racial Society? With all the hoopla about the racism being dead, I say it’s far from dead. If the country is supposed to be in a post-racial society, why is so many companies, organizations, those who run credit checks, those who refuse to hire WELL QUALIFIED blacks in terms of Careers? No matter if you are in a Segregated city (i.e. Milwaukee) or any other city or state that has this cycle. Remember in earlier part of the series, it was noted that racism is in America’s DNA. It’s been there in the beginning and hasn’t stopped since. Even in my almost soon to be 37 years of life, have I been profiled? Yes. Have I been looked like I want to hurt folks or to have this notion of putting fear in other ethnics? Yes. Have I been discriminated in trying to look for work? You bet your Christmas Bonus. And I have not gotten over the feeling nor the story. And folks say we should get over it? Yeah, when the last legs comes. In regarding the President, every thing he tried to proposed, those in REPUBLICAN and some Democrats, blocked. Why is this? Many of us already know. And his shade of color is proof of those who oppose him. Even the fans of the opposition of Obama embraced this. And get this, many hate groups were rising up!

I said it again, and again: Post Racial? Really?!!!!

Another Highlight: Rise. This the part in which the Original March on Washington was mentioned. And of course, the spark in which Rosa Parks made her presence known NOT to give up her seat in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama. Now while we were in church this past Sunday, the GOP unveiled a Twitter message, per say that Rosa Parks stopped or put an end to Racism when she refused to give up her seat at the time. Personally, the part of Rosa Parks putting racism to sleep is as false as calling Obama a socialist. If they believe that racism is dead, they need to look in the mirror. Without question! Maybe the GOP needs that come to Jesus meeting. No literally, a real “Come to Jesus Meeting.”

The African Americans Many Rivers to Cross S01E01

Additional Highlights from The Black Atlantic in which the slaves were captured, ripped from their homes, having to be branded, and many other dehumanizing effects that were harming at that time. Even those who died on the ships, were thrown off along the way. Majority of the slaves as we know were in Charleston, South Carolina and Jamestown, Virginia.  For the black slaves that were here in America, factories, buildings were built in which many have said that America was built on the backs of black folks. Even it concerns Washington D.C.  Remember when back in January when Obama was re-elected when the U.S. Capitol was mentioned was built by blacks? Even the Statue of Freedom on top of the dome was made by a black slave? Go back and read it.  Even the Haitians had to overthrow their slavemasters at that time to gain freedom. What about America? It took 100 years for the freedoms to commence. 100 years. And we often hear about the 4th of July and hearing the slaves talk about Liberty and Freedom. But…….during that time, that was not given to blacks. But we know that it also took those 100 years also to get more ideas and more fight for freedom to engage. Even in 2013.

I really have to say, that this series of The African Americans that Professor Gates presented was VERY WELL presented. I hope also that every single African-American in the house holds had the chance to view it. And Americans alike. Partially, many say that Black History is American History. BUT…..in a global aspect in terms of Africa, the Americas, Caribbean, Haiti and the ships that transported the slaves, this is more of a World History than American History. And the lessons are on going. In the 500 years that blacks have made strides thus far, we still have a long way to go. So the utopia, ain’t built yet!