Thursday, June 26, 2008

Clayton County Schools deserve to lose accreditation

Like many of you, I have read the recent comments by new Clayton County Schools Superintendent Dr. John Thompson. He believes the school system will keep its accreditation.

While it is nice for Thompson to be so positive, it is indicative of why the county will become only the second school system to ever lose accreditation.

Let's suppose Thompson actually believes what he is saying. That means he is ignoring some startling facts in front of him. First of all, the school board members who have destroyed the system are still serving on the board. Many have stepped down, but the main culprits still remain. Then there is an entire list of things SACS expects to be completed by Sept. 1. So far, the school board has been very stubborn. It has refused to work with two aides sent by Gov. Sonny Perdue. The aides found the board impossible to work with and basically left town.

And the board is actually finding ways to dig itself into a deeper hole. Graduating seniors didn't get their diplomas due to a printing error. Shortly before that, teachers didn't get paid due to a banking error. There is nothing to make anyone think there has been any improvement.

Now let's suppose Thompson doesn't believe what he is saying. Instead, he is telling the public what they want to hear--which is even worse.

When he told an audience last week he believed the county would keep its accreditation, they erupted in applause. He is sugar-coating something. Trying to hold off the lions for a short time. But the SACS report will come out soon causing Thompson to look ridiculous. And the families of Clayton will be in panic mode. Instead of accepting the grim state of the school system and moving, families will have to scramble. Can they move their kids to another area with less than a month before classes begin? Or will they be forced to put their children in a school system that offers nothing?

Thompson is misleading the public. He needs to own up to the horrific status of his school system and let families prepare for the next school year. I would rather see these students move to an area and receive some sort of education than spend another moment under the misguided leadership that is Clayton County.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What is Impeached?

I have been trying to define Impeached Magazine for some time. Is it a comedy site, a news site or even a sports site? The focus of Impeached has been cloudy since day one. That is mostly due to financial and time restraints, but it is also just a maturing process all publications must go through.

When this first launched, Impeached was going to report on breaking news and throw in a heavy dose of satire to make readers come back. Sounds great, but rather lofty. I quickly discovered there was just no way we could provide breaking news in a timely and funny manner.

So, I decided we would just be a general interest publication--a place for metro Atlantans to turn to for a quick, fun article. That's fine, but rather boring. Nothing made Impeached stand out from the crowd and our intent has always been to focus heavily on politics. During this time, Impeached grew to cover sports and local scene stories. We know readers want more than just politics shoved down there throat, so here was a little flare. These sections will remain a part of Impeached, but will be altered as we move into another phase.
So, here is the new look of Impeached. We will focus on biting commentary which focus heavily on local politics. We will branch out to cover all things the people are talking about. We will not cover breaking news. There are plenty of local news outlets that do this already. We will talk about these events, and occasionally our articles will open new conversations in the community, but we will not strive to be there first.
I have been studying the Great Speckled Bird (the revolutionary Atlanta paper from the 70s) and Impeached will strive to me like the Bird in many ways. I recently saw this quote which originally ran in the Bird on August 20, 1973:

"In this world of corporate bigness, greed, private interest, exploitation, and cynicism, the BIRD stands in opposition, trying to tell the truth that doesn't fit into the established interests' world and trying to help build a consciousness and a movement to change this country and the world. We think that is something important to do."
This is exactly what Impeached will aim to be.
But how will we do it? The Bird had things like Vietnam and civil rights to confront. What does Impeached have to fight? On the national level, there is a war going on in Iraq and on terrorism. Gas prices are climbing. The president's approval rating is tumbling. There is a historic battle to see who will be the next president. Locally, there are more issues. Why is Brian Nichols' trial taking so long? Has Shirley Franklin really done anything to better Atlanta? Is Bob Barr for real?
Indeed, the world of corporate bigness, greed, private interest, exploitation and cynicism is pressing on us more than it ever has before. In the spirit of the Bird, we will tackle these issues and build a consciousness among our readers.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Just funny

Later today I will post a serious blog about the direction of Impeached and how it will achieve some lofty goals I have. But while I am letting my thoughts completely marinate, check this out. It is just plain funny!

Who Shot Ya?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kayne West Flashing Lights video with Eric Hudson

I am finally getting some props for the work I did with Kayne. Check it out here

They actually named me instead of just giving Kayne all the credit. I mean the guy has won 10 Grammys and hasn't mentioned my name once!

Do you really think he came up with Jesus Walks by himself? Nope, he didn't. We were hanging out at a construction site when our buddy Jesus (pronounced with a H) stood up after a nasty bout with an ingrown toenail. I shouted "Jesus walks!" and the rest is history.

Kayne got all Hollywood on me after that, until finally he asked for some help on this Flashing Lights song. Again, this one was my idea. We were spelunking and the flashlight kept going out. I said something about it and next thing you know, we have another hit.

Kobe vs. MJ

Now, I am not a fan of the Kobe and MJ comparisons. In fact, I think the Lakers loss the the Celtics clearly shows that Kobe never will be MJ.  He simply doesn't have the mindset that MJ had.

You can say, Kobe doesn't have the surrounding cast that Jordan had, but he has a pretty good one. He just lost with Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Derrick Fisher. They seem pretty solid to me. Let's not forget he also lost a finals series with Shaq.

Who did MJ have other than Scottie Pippen? There was Dennis Rodman for a short time. But Rodman never did anything offensively. Other than those two guys, MJ won with a slew of nobodys.

There was Jon Paxton, BJ Armstrong, Luke Longley, and even Ron Harper for a little bit. Point is, none of these players were world beaters. They were good, but MJ lifted them all up and took over. He willed his team to championships and that is something Kobe just can't do.

Now with all that said, here is an interesting video I found. The maker of it claims each of the shots were gathered on the exact same day just 10 years apart. Enjoy....

See more funny videos at CollegeHumor

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Atlanta Hawks Mike Woodson gets an extension?

There are very early reports that Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Woodson will be signing a new three year extension.

Now, Woodson seems like a nice enough guy, buy WHY would you want him back?

In the four years he has already been in Atlanta he has garnered a record of 106-222. While he has managed to improve slightly each year, he has constantly failed to get his very talented team to play under pressure. 

Before the Celtics series, Woody was a complete disaster. All the talk was how this team shouldn't be struggling to get in the playoffs, there was simply too much talent for them to play so bad. But they managed to back into the playoffs. They finally played inspired basketball (at home anyway). Until the biggest game. In game 7 they laid an egg. The coach again showed he cannot inspire his team.

Also, he has trouble developing players. Woodson and Josh Smith haven't seen eye to eye for some time. Woodson can't seem to explain to Smith that his strength is in the inside. Smith continues to throw up 3-pointers and ugly jump shots. Woodson has done nothing to improve Smith's game.

So given the fact that Woodson is back, it makes one wonder if the team is also giving up on Smith. He is too talented to let get away and with proper coaching (say anyone other than Woody) Smith could be one of the game's elite.

Woodson, your a good guy, but a sub-par coach. The Hawks need someone to come in here to kick some ass and teach these young players. They need someone with some fire to come in here and set this thing straight. Woody, you're just not that man.

Will there be rioting if Obama loses?

You probably remember 1991, when Rodney King was pulled over for speeding and beaten by four white LAPD officers. The beating was captured on video camera and caused many to wonder why such force was used.

The matter was taken to court and a jury consisting of 10 white guys, one Latino and one Asian acquitted the police officers and were set free.

The decision ignited one of the largest riots in American history. The black population saw an injustice (rightfully so) and decided to take to the streets.

So now, with Barack Obama making a serious push to be our next president, how will the African American population react if he doesn't win? Will they simply say that is the system and he should have gotten more votes? Or will they feel Obama would have lost simply because he is a black man? Will the hope they now have of seeing a black man in the Oval Office completely turn around on them and make them upset?

If they became angry and disillusioned with American politics, it could send shock waves across the nation. Imagine all these people that were given such hope getting angry. Instead of a three day riot in L.A., there could be a huge nationwide riot.

Now I realize the chances of that are extremely slim, but I do have to wonder what it would do for the psyche of many minorities. They are currently being built with hope. But what happens if that hope gets crushed? Will it discourage them and cause them to think a black man could never become president?

I personally think little will happen. Actually, I think Obama will win, but if he doesn't there will be those who are naturally upset. But instead of taking to the streets, I would hope there would be an amount of pride in the accomplishments Obama made. I would hope minorities would see this not as a set back, but a major step in the right direction.

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The iPhone 3G isn't as expensive as you think

Like many of you, I am salivating over the new iPhone 3G. I mean what isn't to like? It just costs $199 and comes with GPS navigation and numerous other new applications. 

So, I marked my calendar and prepared to buy a new iPhone on July 11 when Apple will begin selling it. I should at least consider the monthly cost of this puppy so I did some research and was initially set back. 

According to the AT&T release, the cheapest plan for the iPhone includes a $30 data plan (up from the original $20 plan for the first iPhone) which must be paired with a calling plan. Since the cheapest calling plan is $40, it seems the iPhone would cost me roughly $70 a month.

This isn't an outrageous price, but when I am currently paying less than $60 a month for two cell phones seemed a little steep. In order for me to keep two lines I would either have to have 2 separate  lines from 2 carriers, or buy two iPhones and purchase a family plan. 

The two separate lines wouldn't make much sense for me. I would have to pay the monthly $70 bill and my wife would have to pay about $40 for her phone. 

If we got the family plan, we would have to spend $400 on iPhones and then pay a monthly fee of at least $100.

Either option seemed too pricey for me. But I started to wonder, do I really need that $30 data package? I mean, I am almost always around a wireless internet connection. I have wireless available to me at work and at my house. Would the iPhone work without that data thing?

So, I called AT&T to ask. According to them, I do not need the data package and would not be required to buy one when I purchased the new phone. The data package is simply there so you can connect when you are not in a hot spot. 

That means I could simply buy a voice plan for the iPhone. Instead of paying $70 a month, I am looking at a fee of $40 a month which is much more acceptable.

I certainly hope the voice plan will drop in price, but for all the extras you get with this phone, I don't mind paying a little more. I don't want to double my cell phone bill as I thought I would have too, but I can handle paying a small amount more. 

I do hope that Apple and iPod make it well known that the phone will work with out the data package. But I doubt they will, considering all the money they can rake in from it.