Thursday, June 24, 2010

White Kids Are Much More Likely To Be Using (And Selling) Drugs!

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, he's 4 times more likely than his African- American classmate to be a regular cocaine user.

 According to the Justice Department, if he's arrested on drug charges, he's 1-½ times more likely than his white classmate to be sent to prison.

White high-school students who are current users of cocaine: 4.1%1

Chance of a white person ever trying an illicit drug in their lifetime: 42%2

Percent of felony drug defendants in state courts who are white: 37%3

Percent of white drug felons given probation or nonincarceration sentence by state courts: 32%4

Percent of white drug felons sentenced to prison by state courts each year: 27%5

African-American high school students who are current users of cocaine: 1.1%1

Chance of an African-American person ever trying an illicit drug in their lifetime: 37.7%2

Percent of felony drug defendants in state courts who are black: 37.7%3>

Percent of black drug felons given probation or nonincarceration sentence by state courts: 25%4

Percent of black drug felons sentenced to prison by state courts each year: 43%5

Black Kids Are More Likely To Go To Prison!

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Kevin B. Zeese, President

3220 N Street NW #141, Washington, DC 20007

703-354-9050 -- 703-354-5695 (fax)

Video: Screaming Girl on Florida Gulf Coast Beach Screaming to Mom to Get Oil Off Her Foot

The report on Destin Beach, Florida from CNN notes it as "open to the public."

Kilpatrick Indicted Again- While Still In Jail

Kwame Kilpatrick, democrat of the year.

From Yahoo

DETROIT – Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, already in prison for probation violations, was indicted Wednesday on federal fraud and tax charges, accused of a turning a charity into a personal slush fund for cash, travel, yoga, summer camp and even anti-bugging equipment.

The indictment was the latest blow for Kilpatrick, who in May was sent to state prison for at least 14 months for violating probation in a 2008 criminal case tied to sexually explicit text messages and an affair with a top aide.

The indictment said Kilpatrick, 40, created the Civic Fund in 1999 and gained tax-exempt status after declaring that it would be a social-welfare organization to enhance neighborhoods, help youth and improve Detroit’s image.

The government, however, said the goal seemed to be to enrich Kilpatrick. He is charged with failing to report at least $640,000 in taxable income between 2003 and 2008, the value of the cash, private jet flights and personal expenses paid by the fund.

Kilpatrick used the fund to pay for yoga and golf, camp for his kids, travel, moving expenses to Texas, a crisis manager, cars, polling, political consulting and much more, including “counter-surveillance and anti-bugging equipment,” according to the indictment.


He should run for Mayor Of DC – he’d win in a landslide.

by BigFurHat

Obama Endorsed!: Obama Treats Medvedev to All-American Burgers

Nothing like a burger and fries to grease those pre-G20 meetings: President Obama took Russian president Dmitry Medvedev to the Arlington, Virginia restaurant Ray's Hell Burgers yesterday and treated him to a cheeseburger. Mevedev added onion, mushrooms and jalapeƱos to his, while Obama had a boring, regular cheeseburger. They also split an order of fries. Ray's Hell Burgers is a known Obama-endorsement; he took VP Joe Biden there last year.

Judge Slaps Down White House Attempt To Appeal Drilling Moratorium

A judge has rejected the White House attempt to delay a removal of the deep-water drilling moratorium, reports the AP.

The White House has already said it would comply with the decision of the Louisiana court:

The Justice Department says in court papers that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has instructed all employees to not take any action to enforce the moratorium. It also says the department is sending letters to operators who received notices of suspension that those notices have no legal effect at this time.

The government is seeking a delay in the ruling overturning the moratorium while it appeals the decision. The moratorium had halted approval of any new permits for deep water projects and suspended drilling on 33 exploratory wells.

We wouldn't be surprised to see a new and lesser moratorium, as Ken Salazar intimated yesterday. Regardless, this means drilling is back on!

By Gus Lubin

Are We Beginning To See The Light?

Public And Parents Buy Into The Need To Ramp Up Math And Science Education But Most Still Think Their Local Schools Are Doing Fine

By Jean Johnson, Jon Rochkind and Amber Ott
NEW YORK, June 2, 2010 – Americans are convinced that math and science skills are crucial for the future, with strong majorities who say there will be more jobs and college opportunities for students with those skills, according to a new Public Agenda survey. But while there's broad support from parents and the general public for K-12 national standards, more than half of parents (52%) say the math and science their child is getting in school is "fine as it is."

These are just some of many surprising realities facing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in public schools, according to "Are We Beginning to See the Light?", a new Public Agenda survey exploring the views of more than 1,400 individuals nationwide, including 646 parents of children grades K-12. The national survey was underwritten by the GE Foundation.

Preparing For Tomorrow's Jobs

While only 3 in 10 Americans see a demand for science and math-focused jobs in the current economy, 84% agree that there will be a lot more jobs in the future that require math and science skills. And 9 in 10 Americans say studying advanced math and science is useful even for students who don’t pursue a STEM career. Additionally, 88% of the public agrees that students with advanced math and science skills will have an advantage when it comes to college opportunities.

Overall, the general public favors a “national curriculum” as one way of improving STEM education: 8 in 10 Americans say establishing a national curriculum in math would improve STEM education, with more than half (53%) saying it would improve it “a lot.” And 78% say the same about a national curriculum in science, with 48% saying it would improve it “a lot.”

"Giving today's students a world class science and math education is the key to maintaining our country's economic prowess,” said Alan Leshner, Chief Executive Officer of The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). “Parents are beginning to envision the opportunities for their children in the STEM fields, and I am especially heartened by their receptivity to having high national standards in these critical subjects.”

Strategies For Improvement

At the same time, parents agree with the general public on the value of STEM education. Most parents surveyed want their own children to take advanced math and science courses in high school (60% and 54% respectively). Parents would also like to see their local schools spend more money on up-to-date and well-equipped science labs (70%), more equipment for hands-on learning (69%) and more equipment to help students learn computer and technology skills (68%). A plurality of parents with children in grades 6-12 say they want to see more emphasis in their child’s school on STEM topics such as computer programming (65%), basic engineering principles (52%), and statistics and probability (49%).

“The public is open to many different strategies for improving STEM education, and they’re enthusiastic about the overall goal, but much more has to be done to help them understand what’s needed for kids in their local schools to have a world-class science and math education,” said Jean Johnson, director of Education Insights at Public Agenda. “The problem is particularly acute in science. Many parents don’t realize the importance of starting children in science early on. Many think it can easily wait until high school.”

National Competitiveness

There is a growing body of research suggesting Americans are falling behind in math and science education. U.S. students rank 25th in math and 21st in science skills internationally, according to a recent OECD report, and the 2007 ACT College Readiness Report points out that only 43% of graduating seniors are ready for college math and 27% are ready for college science.

Last November, President Obama launched an “Educate to Innovate” campaign to improve the participation and performance of America’s students in STEM fields. "Are We Beginning to See the Light" provides insight into how Americans perceive the problem and how they identify solutions that could help solve the nation’s STEM education problem.

For example, 71% of those surveyed believe in having local businesses provide internships and other business partnership programs, so high school students can gain practical job skills.

While parents and the public understand the value of STEM skills, there’s still a gap between the way the leaders and public see the problem. Few Americans think it is absolutely essential for students to understand advanced sciences like physics (28%) and advanced math like calculus (26%). When it comes to their own child, few parents want more emphasis on advanced math and science like physics (42%) and calculus (42%). Additionally, nearly 7 in 10 Americans say science can wait until middle and high school.

Education Problems in Public Schools

Public schools have certain educational problems in comparison with private schools. Let's look into some of the facts regarding education problems in public schools.

Public schools are different from private schools, in terms of their funding and administration. Public schools receive most of their funds from the state or federal government; whereas private schools rely on private sources, such as donations and organizations for their funding. Though, most public schools are administered by local governments; the overall funding is contributed by the local, state and federal governments. Private schools are under the control of a private body or a charitable trust.

In the United States, public school education is more common than private education, and about 90 percent of children attend public schools. Basically, there are three stages in a public school, namely, primary or elementary school (kindergarten to 5th grade), middle school or junior high school (6th to 8th grade) and high school or secondary school (9th to 12th grade). The policies for each stage are set by the board members, elected under local jurisdiction.

Education Problems in Public Schools

The first and foremost educational problem of public schools is the larger school size and student population. On an average, most public schools are twice the size of private schools. According to a study, public schools have an average of 16 students per teacher, whereas private schools have an average of 13 students per teacher. This may be due to free education offered in public schools. Whatever may be the reason, students of public schools receive less individual attention, as compared to private school students.

Since public school education is free, the academic curricula and programs may not be as refined as those of private schools. Usually, they offer the same programs and standardized tests for all the students. In short, what the students learn in public schools is decided by the state. On the other hand, private schools offer alternative curricula and have their own assessment system.

In public schools, all the students get admission, irrespective of the student's talent. They cannot deny any student who has applied for admission. Sometimes, this may result in a slow learning pace for the talented students. On the other hand, private schools have full authority to reject a student who is not up to the mark. Hence, many a times, private schools perform better in standardized achievement tests.

Another educational problem of public schools is higher rate of violence and student dropout. It is due to the fact that public schools accept all students, irrespective of their behavior and talent. Whereas in case of private schools, they select students on the basis of their assessment, thus resulting in a safer environment. However, in order to clear your doubt, you can always check for previous records and school rankings before sending your child to any of the public schools. You can also meet the principal for a better perspective, regarding the safety, and the rules and regulations of the school.

Though public schools have some educational problems, there are certain advantages of public school education. Since the student populace is more in public schools, exposure to various kinds of people from different socio-economic backgrounds, teaches students to get along with people, irrespective of their social status.

In spite of these general educational problems in public schools, a study has revealed that students of public schools get better grades in college than those in private schools. Hence, before enrolling your child to any of the schools, it is always better to analyze the pros and cons of both private and public schools. You can opt for a school, which will best meet your child's interests and suit his/her abilities.

By Ningthoujam Sandhyarani

How Can We Fix Our Public Schools? By Making Them Private

by Milton Friedman

The widening gap between the cognitive elite and unskilled workers is threatening to transform America, in effect dividing the Republic into two nations, one in the first world, the other in the third. How can we prevent such a division? Only by providing good schools for all our children—which in turn means making our public schools private. Nobel laureate and Hoover fellow Milton Friedman explains.

Our elementary and secondary educational system needs to be radically reconstructed. That need arises in the first instance from the defects of our current system. But it has been greatly reinforced by some of the consequences of the technological and political revolutions of the past few decades. Those revolutions promise a major increase in world output, but they also threaten advanced countries with serious social conflict arising from a widening gap between the incomes of the highly skilled, who make up what is sometimes called the cognitive elite, and the unskilled.

A radical reconstruction of the educational system has the potential of staving off social conflict while at the same time strengthening the growth in living standards made possible by the new technology and the increasingly global market. In my view, such a radical reconstruction can be achieved only by privatizing a major segment of the educational system—that is, by enabling a private, for-profit industry to develop that will provide a wide variety of learning opportunities and offer effective competition to public schools. Such a reconstruction cannot come about overnight. It inevitably must be gradual.

Illustration by Taylor Jones for the Hoover Digest.

The most feasible way to bring about a gradual yet substantial transfer from government to private enterprise is to enact in each state a voucher system that enables parents to choose freely the schools their children attend. I first proposed such a voucher system 45 years ago.

Many attempts have been made in the years since to adopt educational vouchers. With notable exceptions in Florida, Cleveland, and Milwaukee, voucher systems have not been adopted, thanks primarily to the political power of the school establishment, reinforced by the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, together the strongest political lobbying body in the United States.

Read More..

Wimbledon Snubs Serena For Queen Appearance

Queen Elizabeth will be at Centre Court Wimbledon today for the first time in 33 years to, apparently, watch three matches. The featured players the All England Club is rolling out for the monarch’s amusement are Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Caroline Wozniacki.

(AOL’s Greg Couch is incensed by the snub)

Roger Federer and Venus Williams are off today, but attractive blonde Wozniacki got the nod over Serena Williams for the coveted Centre Court spot. Serena, who did end up meeting the queen with her sister Venus today, will play her match on Court 2.

So who made the call to snub Serena, who is the defending tournament champion and current World #1? And is there an evidence to suggest that the decision was racially motivated?

A Wimbledon spokesman flat out admitted to the LONDON DAILY MAIL during the 2009 tournament that looks do play a role in who is privileged Centre Court.

The All England Club’s Johnny Perkins:

“(Court selection) is a great big mixture of where the players are in the draw, who they’re playing, what their ranking is. It’s not a coincidence that those (on Centre Court) are attractive.”

The 2009 Daily Mail piece also reported that Serena getting bumped off Centre Court for a low-seeded dainty is a fairly common occurence. And she’s not the only one.

In the men’s tournament, five-times winner Roger Federer and British hope Andy Murray invariably play on Centre.

But on Friday, after Federer left the court, the next match was Victoria Azarenka of Belarus against Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.

While both 19-year-olds have top form in the glamour department, Miss Cirstea was seeded 28 while Miss Azarenka, who won, is ranked and seeded eighth.

That same day, second seed Serena Williams was relegated to the new No 2 Court for her win over Italian Roberta Vinci.
The fact that many seats remained empty for the Cirstea-Azarenka clash implies that the knowledgeable SW19 crowd were underwhelmed by the tennis on offer.
Which would suggest that attractive players are placed on Centre to titillate the BBC television audience, some of whom care more for a pretty face than a powerful forehand.

A BBC source said: ‘It’s the Wimbledon play committee, not us who decides on the order of play.
‘But obviously it’s advantageous to us if there are good-looking women players on Centre Court.

No one has heard of many of the women now, so if they are pretty it definitely gives them an edge. ‘Our preference would always be a Brit or a babe as this always delivers high viewing figures.’

The BBC source almost certainly is basing that opinion on ratings research. The Brit broadcaster knows what, apparently, most casual fans want to see and urges Wimbledon accordingly.

So in the early rounds we now know that Wimbledon is basing its court assignments purely on box office. If you want to imply that racism is part of why Serena was bumped today, then go right ahead.

Though I’m as cynical as any of you out there, if Serena was white, I think the same rules would apply. The Brits can get away with pandering to only what the majority of casual TV viewers want to see in the early rounds.

Later, thankfully, they have no choice.

But the situation with the Queen is different. Today is no typical early-round match. For that reason, I have a real problem with Wimbledon’s decision. It’s shameful.

Could Buckingham Palace have also been a factor in the court assignment? Not likely, but also not impossible. Though I highly doubt the Queen had anything to do with it. She’s more concerned these days about remaining upright.

Lastly, I want to recognize all of you out there who think Serena is hotter than some bone-thin waif from Eastern Kurdistan. I’m in your camp.

Video: Education Secretary: Black male teachers needed

Album Charts: Drake Debuts At No. 1 With 447K Albums Sold

Since dropping his So Far Gone mixtape last year, the buzz surrounding Drake and his music has been crazy. Last week, it finally translated into sales when his debut album Thank Me Later finally impacted the Billboard charts.

The Young Money rapper hit the charts at no. 1, as expected, selling an impressive 447,000 copies to top the Billboard 200 over new releases from Tom Petty and Sarach McLachlan.

According to, Drake's album performance records the third-best sales week of the year for a single album. The top two sales weeks of 2010 are owned by Sade's Soldier of Love (502,000 off its debut week in February) and Lady Antebellum's Need You Now (481,000 in its first frame in January).

While Drake's debut is at no. 1, the official release of So Far Gone sold another 6,100 copies this week to land at no. 76.

After Drake, there isn't much going on as far as new hip-hop releases. But, some previously released albums are still faring well.

In at no. 13 is Usher's Raymond v. Raymond selling 29,000; B.o.B's The Adventures of Bobby Ray lands at no. 17 with 20,000 sold; Plies comes in at 18 with Goon Affiliated selling just under 20,000; and the Black Eyed Peas' The E.N.D. closes out the top 20 at 19 with 19,000 sold.

That wraps things up this week. To cop any of these new releases, head over to

According to, overall album sales in this past chart week (ending June 20) totaled 6.14 million units, up 9% compared to the sum last week (5.61 million) and down 9% compared to the comparable sales week of 2009 (6.76 million).

New stamp honors pioneering black filmmaker

WASHINGTON — Pioneer filmmaker Oscar Micheaux was honored Tuesday on a new U.S. postage stamp.

The 44-cent stamp is the latest in the agency's Black Heritage stamp series. It was released at ceremonies in New York and is on sale nationwide.

Michaeux was a director, screenwriter, producer and distributor who was involved in more than 40 films chronicling the experience of African Americans.

"His films not only entertained, they left audiences with a sense of encouragement, hope and inspiration," postal vice president Delores Killette said in a statement.

According to a biography prepared by the NAACP, Micheaux was born near Metropolis, Ill., in 1884 and began writing stories while homesteading a farm in South Dakota.

He formed his own publishing company to sell his books and later formed a film company after begcoming intrigued with movies.

He was the first African-American to produce a movie and later introduced the actor Paul Robeson in 1924.

Michaeux died in 1951.


Hampton U gets $5.3M from federal program

Associated Press
HAMPTON, VA. — The federal government has awarded $5.3 million to Hampton University to buy equipment and make other improvements.
Hampton University President William R. Harvey announced the U.S. Department of Education grant on Wednesday. The money is being provided through a program for historically black colleges and universities.

Harvey says the university will use the money to renovate instructional facilities, support faculty, develop classes in disciplines in which African-Americans are underrepresented and other improvements.

Video: BP Manager Makes First Gulf Visit As 'Oil Czar'

Snap! Al Gore Accused Of Criminal Sexual Misconduct

In a bombshell new development in the AL GORE sex scandal – broken EXCLUSIVELY earlier today by The ENQUIRER — the Oregon District Attorney says there’s “the possibility of a criminal prosecution.”

In a statement just released by Multnomah County (OR.) D.A. Michael D. Schrunk, the official reveals that “our office was notified by the Portland Police Bureau that further investigation of this matter had been conducted by it in 2009 and we were provided with the reports from that further investigation.”

Schrunk goes on to add: “If the complainant and the Portland Police Bureau wish to pursue the possibility of a criminal prosecution, additional investigation by the Bureau will be necessary and will be discussed with the Portland Police Bureau.”

Lest one think “oh, it’s just the National Enquirer,” remember, they were 100% correct about John Edwards, and, oh, look, there is an actual police report, via the Washington Post, below the fold The big question is, was the masseuse using “green” products?

President Removes Gen. McChrystal; Gen. Petraeus Takes Afghan Command

WASHINGTON - JUNE 23: U.S. President Barack Obama walks with Gen. David Petraeus, who will succeed Gen. Stanley McChrystal as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan; and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, to make a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House June 23, 2010 in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal was relieved as top commander of the U.S. Forces in Afghanistan by Obama due to disparaging comments he made of members of the Obama administration which were published in Rolling Stone magazine. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON - JUNE 23: Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander of the U.S. Force in Afghanistan, arrives at the White House for a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama June 23, 2010 in Washington, DC. McChrystal was summoned to the White House by the President after a controversial article quoting the general disparaging the Obama Administration was published in Rolling Stone magazine. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Posted by Alan Lessig