MoveMississippi
 
Have you ever played a game of cards that designated a card or suit of cards as a trump card? I would think that most people have. The “Free Dictionary” defines a trump card as:

“1. A card in the trump suit, held in reserve for a winning trick.

2. A key resource to be used at an opportune time.”

The political players are preparing for the game of 2012 and the trump card has been designated. Actually, this card has possibly been pre-selected, so to speak. Enter the trump card for the 2012 presidential run: None other than the one, the only, Donald Trump.

Donald Trump, whether he actually throws his hat into the 2012 presidential arena or not, has become a highly discussed and debated voice in politics. It is that voice that should have some people wondering, “why now”. And why should he be thought of as a trump card. Who is playing that card?

Donald Trump, while posturing for a 2012 GOP bid for President of the United States has been donating a considerable amount of funds to the political players of the Democratic Party. As reported on CBS news from an article in the Washington Post,

“ The real estate mogul and "Celebrity Apprentice" host has made more than $1.3 million in donations over the years to candidates nationwide, with 54 percent of the money going to Democrats, according to a Washington Post analysis of state and federal disclosure records.”

Who were some of the recipients of these contributions? According to the same article, the list includes the likes of: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, Sen. John Kerry, Rep, Charles Rangel, Sen. Charles Schumer, and the late Edward Kennedy. Let’s don’t forget Rahm Emanuel.

Donald Trump’s history of contributions directed toward the Democratic Party candidates can only raise questions as to why he is making a bid to run a GOP candidacy?

There lies the trump card and who holds it. President Barack Obama and his playing partner, the Democratic National Committee, hold the “Trump” card in the game of 2012. The Democratic Party has but only one to stand behind during the race and that is the president. The GOP does not have a playable hand as of yet and throwing Donald Trump in the mix does not make for a competitive score.

President Obama finally released his birth certificate after a long, long press for him to do so. Why was it released now, seemingly due to the pressure from Donald Trump?

I don’t know how many of you have played card games where a trump card was used but I remember playing some of those games. You hold the trump card and at the last minute you stand and slam the card on the table. “Pow”

“A key resource to be used at an opportune time.”





 

 

 
 
  According to a Kenny Roger’s song from years ago, “you got to know when to ‘fold-em’ and know when to ‘hold-em’.” The U.S. Department of Justice, as reported in multiple news sources last week, has chosen to ‘fold-em’ for 3 of the most popular on-line poker sites.
Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker were seized, along with 11 indicted individuals. A bill was passed in 2006 called the Safe Port Act to which a last minute measure was added. The attachment, known as the “Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006”, prohibited gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the internet and that it is unlawful under federal and state law. Online poker sites have been up and running for years, and yet all of a sudden the federal government decides to step in and enforce a law that was adopted in 2006.
WHY NOW? To answer that, let’s step forward to 2011. During the same period of reporting the closure of the three poker sites, another report surfaced. According to news sources, D.C. will be stepping into the online poker game in an attempt to find some much needed cash for their strapped budget. As most people do not know, this deal for D.C. was part of the 2011 budget in Congress. A 30-day period for Congress to object has expired. If one thinks they closed the 3 poker sites because of off-shore influence, you need to know that the D.C. project is tied in with a company from Greece.
Government intervention has been witnessed before in the sports-betting industry. As I posted two years ago:
 
$380 Billion Dollar Industry Goes Untaxed  “In 2008, $2.8 billion dollars was wagered in Nevada on sports-betting. The gross revenue for Nevada was $136.4 million. Reportedly, this represents less than 1 percent of sports betting nationwide. According to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, it is estimated that illegal wagers are as much as $380 billion annually.
Taxes are placed on cigarettes, alcohol, and gasoline at an increasing rate and yet a $380 billion dollar industry falls under the radar. Well, not under all radars.
The major sports leagues and NCAA are currently at battle with Delaware over the legality of Delaware’s move to introduce sports betting into the state. New Jersey picked up this revenue possibility on its radar and is currently filing a suit to overturn a Federal Sports Gaming Ban which only allows 4 states the ability to conduct sports betting.
In 1992 the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was enacted by Congress for the Federal regulation of sports betting. The hearings for this action began in 1991 with the Senate Judiciary Committee which was chaired by then Senator Joe Biden (D-De). The committee insured that a “grandfather clause” was passed which exempted Nevada, Oregon, Montana, and Delaware.
The United States Department of Justice opposed the legislation at the time with strong emphasis Congress had historically left decisions on how to raise revenue to the states and that this would be an infringement on states’ rights.
While it is true that some states do not have or will not pass legislation to allow any form of gambling there are others who are looking for additional revenue in these economic times. Perhaps, it is time for PASPA to be revisited and a 2009 decision be made on its constitutionality.”
What remains to be seen is where the government will go with the internet poker regulations and will it only include certain states as it did with sports-betting.
My money is on limited access and some states will be the ones allowed to go “all-in”.

 
 
 
The Signs of Class Warfare

 

The unionized public employees, the unions, and those on the left have broadcast that the state governors who are trying to reign in budget deficits are promoting class warfare. There are signs of class warfare but it is not being promoted by the governor’s. Instead, the class warfare is coming from the public employees and the unions. The other class? The citizens who are non-union taxpayers, which is the majority of AMERICANS.

All one has to do is to look at some of the actual signs that have appeared at the protest in the state of Wisconsin. Take at look at Buzzfeed to see a number of these signs and ,perhaps, you can see the “Real” class warfare.

The wording on some of the signs indicates what the public employees and unions think of themselves in comparison to the non-union citizenry. They have seemingly labeled themselves as the working class, the true Americans. as though if you are not a public union employee you don't work or not American.

One such sign read “Stop the attack on worker’s rights.” Union employees are not the only workers in the U.S. The sign would have been ok had it properly stated, “Stop the attack on Public Workers’ rights.”

Another sign stated, “ Don’t penalize our working class.” Again, the protesters are classifying themselves as the only people that work. This sign would have been more truthful if it had stated, “ Don’t penalize the public union workers.”

How about the one that states, “Unions, the voice of working families”, as though if you are not a union family, you are not a working family.

Perhaps some of the best signs that show the true class warfare are the ones that refer to the union employees as true Americans.

There is a class warfare going on and it is not between the governors and the union employees. It is between the union backed public employee and the regular, non-union worker and taxpayer. The signs never reflect that a non-union employee is a worker, a taxpayer, a family, an American. What is more appalling is the fact the signs fail to show “a thank you” to the millions of taxpayers that have been funding public employee salaries and benefits for years.

 
 
Since I have no experience in being older but have to learn as I go, I have to ask someone with more history than myself one question. Do you frequently explore the memories of your past? I hope so or I’m in trouble.

Anyway, today I was thinking about an old friend of mine who, years ago, told me about an incident he read in the newspaper. According to my friend, there was a truck driver who found himself in a dilemma while driving his eighteen-wheeler down the roadway. The driver had attempted to go under an overpass and due to the clearance the trailer became wedged. Unable to move forward or back, the driver contacted the company owner who in turn made the necessary calls for assistance. Soon there were police, company personnel, highway engineers trying to decide the best way to move the trailer. Some time went by and still no agreement as to removal.

My friend told me that a young boy, on his bicycle, was passing by and asked one of the police officers there what had happened. The officer told the boy about the trailer being wedged. The boy then asked why all the people were there to which the officer told the boy that the people were trying to decide the best way to remove the trailer. After a little while, the boy told the officer he knew how to solve the problem. The officer told the boy that the professionals were there and they could take care of it. The boy informed the officer that the best way to move the trailer was to:

Let some air out of the tires.

I try to stay abreast of what is happening in our country and the world today. There are many problems. Unemployment, healthcare, immigration, deficit, division, partisanship, and much more. As I see it, the professionals are standing around and not getting much accomplished and possibly making things worse.

Where are ya kid?

 
 
This Is ‘Gonna’ Hurt

 

As I peruse the internet, usually on a daily basis, I have learned the internet has become like a fuse on a bomb. This is especially true of forum posts and both the left and the right serve as part of that fuse.

When I cranked up my pc today and reflected on some of the posts I have read over the past few days, I was reminded of an experience I encountered years ago. A friend of mine and I were riding motorcycles on a winding roadway through some hilly country outside of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. As we topped a hill, we noticed the road took a 90 degree turn to the left and only trees stood straight ahead. I hit the brakes on my bike and found, due to a little sand on the roadway, there was no traction. My bike began to slide out of control and I was headed for the trees. I thought to myself, “This is ‘gonna’hurt.” I kinda feel that way now when I search the net.

The amount of condescending, hate-filled remarks between some posters is astonishing. Very seldom is there any compromise in tone or text. Finger-pointing abounds.

How long will it be before the vitriol leads to actual physical violence on the streets of this nation 

Oh well, I survived the bike ride and the slide through the trees. I remember when I stopped the sliding, I stood up and checked my watch to see if it still worked. Perhaps a slide through the world of forums is not harmful either.

 
 
While browsing the net today, I came across an article of interest regarding National School Choice Week. Perhaps, you will find it interesting and I am sure there are those who will have pro and con views.
National School Choice Week, January 23-29, 2011, is for advocates of School Choice in hopes of bringing attention to effective educational opportunities for students nationwide.
Advocates of school choice are sending out the message that for so long the education system in the United States has been failing to focus on what should be important: the student.
According to advocates, money on top of money has been poured into education and yet our schools still seem to miss the mark.
One blogger offered:" Three Reasons You Should Join 'National School Week"
First: "Most education Reform throws good money after bad"
Second: "School Choice Can Help States From Going Bankrupt"
Third: Every Child Deserves a Quality Education To Prepare Them For Life"

A message straight from the National School Choice Website states the following:
"Our message is simple: we need a K-12 education system that provides a wide array of options. We need an effective education system that has the flexibility to personalize and motivate students and allow parents to choose the school that is best for their child.
 
National School Choice Week was created to provide a concentrated focus on this mission – a time for the media and the public to hear our resounding message and a time to bring new voices into the chorus. There is no one organization behind this effort; those working on setting it up come from a variety of school reform organizations. We may each have a specialty: charter school growth and success, universal vouchers and tuition tax credits, corralling out-of-control spending, or union accountability, but each is equally important and all should plan to be a part of this special week."
 
Post Title. 01/11/2011
 
Students First

The former Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools, Michelle Rhee, has moved on in her movement for better education opportunities. She has expanded from the D.C. school district to a national audience. Ms. Rhee has created StudentsFirst.Org
StudentsFirst.Org , according to their website, is a 501 (c) 4 organization which is based in D.C. and is attempting to mobilize participants in creating a better education system in the United States.
According to their website, " Our grassroots movement is designed to mobilize parents, teachers, students, administrators, and citizens throughout the country, and to channel their energy to produce meaningful results on both the local and national level."
I urge everyone to go to the link provided and see what this organization is all about.

 
 
 
The 2011 Mississippi legislature is in session in Jackson and a mountain of bills have begun their journey to the relevant commitees. MoveMississippi will post some of the bills offered by your legislators and welcome your comments. Some of the bills being offered are controversial and highly debatable. 

Today's Bill For Discussion
HB 60
Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act or
Schoolchildren's Religious Liberties Act
Author: Rep. Mark Formby (R) 
District 108

Title: AN ACT TO BE KNOWN AS THE "RELIGIOUS VIEWPOINTS ANTIDISCRIMINATION ACT" OR "SCHOOLCHILDREN'S RELIGIOUS LIBERTIES ACT"; TO PROHIBIT LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS FROM DISCRIMINATING AGAINST STUDENTS BASED ON THEIR EXPRESSION OF RELIGIOUS VIEWPOINTS ON OTHERWISE PERMISSIBLE SUBJECTS; TO REQUIRE SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO ADOPT A POLICY THAT ESTABLISHES A LIMITED PUBLIC FORUM FOR STUDENT SPEAKERS AT SCHOOL EVENTS AND TO REQUIRE SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO PUBLISH A DISCLAIMER STATING THAT THE STUDENTS' VIEWS DO NOT REFLECT THOSE OF THE DISTRICT; TO CLARIFY THAT STUDENTS MAY EXPRESS THEIR BELIEFS ABOUT RELIGION IN HOMEWORK, ARTWORK AND OTHER ASSIGNMENTS; TO AUTHORIZE STUDENTS TO ORGANIZE PRAYER GROUPS, RELIGIOUS CLUBS AND OTHER RELIGIOUS GATHERINGS TO THE SAME EXTENT THAT STUDENTS ARE PERMITTED TO ORGANIZE OTHER NONCURRICULAR STUDENT ACTIVITIES AND GROUPS; TO REQUIRE SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO ADOPT A POLICY REGARDING LIMITED PUBLIC FORUMS AND VOLUNTARY EXPRESSION OF RELIGIOUS VIEWPOINTS; TO PROVIDE A MODEL POLICY ON STUDENT EXPRESSION OF RELIGIOUS VIEWPOINTS AND STUDENT SPEAKERS WHICH SCHOOL DISTRICTS MAY ADOPT; TO AMEND SECTION 37-13-4.1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; TO BRING FORWARD SECTION 37-13-4, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDES THAT TEACHERS AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS MAY PERMIT THE VOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION BY STUDENTS IN PRAYER, FOR PURPOSES OF POSSIBLE AMENDMENT; TO BRING FORWARD SECTION 37-13-161, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDES THAT LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS MAY ALLOW REFERENCES TO RELIGION IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS WHEN THE REFERENCES DO NOT CONSTITUTE AID TO ANY RELIGIOUS SECT OR A SECTARIAN PURPOSE, FOR PURPOSES OF POSSIBLE AMENDMENT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.




 
 
 
But For One School


If it wasn’t for one school Mississippi would be looking at another claim to fame at the bottom of another list or at least tied for the bottom. The school is Hayes Cooper Center which is located in Merigold, Mississippi. The list: Number of charter schools in each state.

The first charter school opened in 1992 in St Paul, Minnesota. The charter school idea is touted as being innovative, responsive to student needs, and accountable in providing successful student results. Today in the U.S., there are approximately 5000 charter schools serving approximately 1.5 million students.

There are pros and cons regarding charter schools, as any issue. Proponents say that charter schools are innovative, responsive to student needs, and accountable for the success of their students. Opponents say there is a high turnover rate with teachers in charter schools and that public schools are academically better than charter schools. Charter schools are funded by the government in part and opponents say that this takes away from funds for public schools. And yes, opponents to charter schools say that the use of charter schools will take us back to a time of segregation.

The subject of charter schools is one of many sub-topics and needs to be explored.

What is the future of charter schools in Mississippi and its quest to move from the bottom?