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The members of the Grahare fan club would like to hang his picture in the halls of the White House. That is why we have lauched this blog to draft him for the presidency! We are posting his countless letters as a way to reach voters across the country. Soon Americans in every polling box will be enlightened to Marcus' pragmatic beliefs!

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18 December 2009

Hairstyles, names also become issues

I understand the frustration of the teacher (a female) who was so tired of a 7-year-old girl playing with a beaded braid that she cut it off.

One year, a 6-year-old in my class had her hair braided the same way, as if she had a veil. I asked the child to tell her mother how distracting it was for the girl trying to do "seat work" while the beads bounced across her eyes.

The mother's reply, as I recall, was essentially "Don't worry about it." I wrote her a note, with the same results.

My estimation of the situation was that the mother was more concerned with "cuteness" than with being told what was good for her child's academic progress. The principal eventually reasoned with the woman.

That reminds me of parents not wanting their children called by their names, but only by nicknames. It took some of the children awhile to adjust to answering to their real name, as it did for "Big Mama." And you thought AYP and global warming were all teachers have to worry about.

West Marcus

15 December 2009

Anthem, dance routine in conflict

I did not attend the Christmas parade, but I have observed the majorette routine which one writer compared to a bump-and-grind routine. May I respectfully suggest this routine, the attitudes, and the administrative responsibilities controlling school extracurricular activities, did not present the day before the parade.

I suspect that the administration knew about the routine, which exposes an underlying philosophy. I believe, from the office of superintendent on down, the African-American culture has decided that the school system belongs to the majority. I believe the majority wishes to disavow a connection with past cultures and use the schools to infuse personal racial agendas, all done with a certain assurance of impunity.

We read about inappropriate dancing at school functions, the early morning shooting at an off-school dance; we observe the "sagging" thug look and are forced at times to listen to what many of us think is filthy music, booming from "hoopdies" with $2,000 rims.

Granted, there is freedom of expression and speech we all enjoy as American, but there remains a civic responsibility, which seems to be overlooked. As a retired teacher I can attest to hearing about rude, racially motivated attacks upon teachers of both cultures.

Lanier's anthem says "... and before thy shrine of knowledge, we will kneel to thee ..." Somehow, bumping and grinding a booty does not seem to fit the music.

West Marcus

Caring at center of some decisions

Dear Mr. Schneider:

Your letter concerning the tragic death of Jim DeBortoli are well stated, your points worth consideration. My thoughts regarding the establishment of a water rescue group extend beyond the kayakers.

Jim, a close personal friend, an experienced outdoorsman, in great shape, died in what can only be called a fluke. I will not elaborate upon the details, but suffice it to say, the same set of facts will probably not repeat for a hundred years.

The establishment of an effective water rescue group seems clearly necessary in an area where river recreation is being expanded and tourists/visitors courted. Trained personnel available in emergency situations seems the civic, as well as responsible, course of action.

Your comment regarding paying for a service aiding only 1 percent of the population (the kayakers), begs the question of why we have the fire department rescue cats, why the police stop to help motorists, why helicopters are used to hunt lost hikers.
A simplistic answer might be that we care.

West Marcus

04 December 2009

Extend 'change' to Afghanistan

I, as do most Americans, believe that we should be supporting the troops, while at the same time believing it is the president's responsibility to provide for the police action and get us out of Afghanistan.

We know that President Obama did not start this military action. We do know he sought and won the office that can control the life-and-death events of American warriors on foreign soil. His own military adviser wants 40,000 additional troops. It is reported he is going to approve 30,000.

He will speak at West Point Tuesday. We will learn the fate of many of those officers, troops and their families. We will learn the strategy, the "guesstimated" cost, the proposed tax base to continue support of the action, and the new definition of "exit strategy."

Mr. Obama ran a platform of "change." I hope.

God bless the troops, their families and America. We need it.

West Marcus

01 October 2009

More time may seem like good idea

Dear President Obama:

Your alleged educational idea, as presented on one Web site, stresses more time in the classroom.

Upon being hired in my county, we developed and integrated lesson plans to enhance problem solving skills. Lest I bore you, I suggest we used art to teach color, shape, size; we used various products to teach smell, texture, size, volume; animals to teach responsibility and music to teach speech , fun, holidays and rhythm. Some of us would take nature walks to begin to tie the lessons together.

There was a wonderful seed store to which we could walk, see seeds, beg some, return to class and plant them. There was a grocery store that allowed us to tour to correlate foods and their various ways to be processed. Reading skills were reinforced. We did the same concepts with other teachings, including animal species, math, and visits to the public service organizations.

Somebody did a study, deciding we needed to have 360 minutes of class time. (You do the math) We needed an expensive reading program and testing daily. Maybe you were 10 years old.

More time in class. More time sitting. Higher test scores? Less recess, quick lunch, minimal PE, give up rest period. Fast restroom breaks.

Children on the bus at 5? Home at dark? Teachers in at 7a.m., out at 6 p.m., unless there is "in-service"? Go for it, Prez!

I retired. Probably a good idea.
West Marcus

15 September 2009

Responsibility seldom mentioned

I read Mr. Adam C. Powell's declarations that "There is a moral deficiency surging ... people who oppose health care reform is proof of how callous we've become as a nation" ... " People are so concerned ... why they have to pay for their neighbors insurance that they forget our social responsibility to one another" ... "We owe it to one another..." Finally there was his closing statement -- "To the wealthy( no definition ), don't hoard your treasures at the cost of the working man."
I maintain there is a social strata which believes they are entitled to do nothing for society, but society should support their lives. In all of the discussions regarding what the nation should provide, I have read nothing about the responsibility of the recipients.

I suggest Mr. Powell pay the insurance for one family. Pick a woman with maybe seven children and no husband (just a boyfriend) or pick an illegal alien who is sending money home. Powell might also pay their auto insurance while he is at it.

Emergency rooms are inundated. I have been once in the past two decades. I waited five hours, at midnight, in great pain, while the indigent were served. No, I'm not special, but my insurance will certainly help to keep the ER open.

I'm just a poor retired teacher. I'm trying hard not to be a drain on Mr. Powell, the affluent, or the nation. No thanks necessary, Mr. Powell.
West Marcus

31 August 2009

Statements raise real concerns

Dear Barbara Evans,

We all would probably agree that the "average citizen" has not read the full 1,000-plus pages of the proposed health plan. Your assertion that many are motivated by certain TV news programs and speakers disregards the point that information from the government can be propagandized just as easily as that from opponents to the Obama bill.

I have had civil discussions with many, from Texas to Wisconsin, Georgia to Kentucky. I have discussed it with grandmothers, PhDs, millionaires, a retired high ranking military officer. Some would suggest that if one disagrees, one is a racist. I know people of color who do not agree with the plan, and I have a decades-old friend, Caucasian, retired, who is fully behind the president and the plan.

Two statements have continued to trouble me. The president has publicly stated that it may take 10 or more years to make the enacted plan a one-provider system; meaning the government. The other is when I heard Nancy Pelosi say there would be "caps on payments, and no caps on benefits." To me it means: The government will set costs to be paid out for a particular benefit, and the government will stipulate the definition of a benefit.

One might surmise that the two statements taken together mean total governmental takeover. I don't consider myself "hysterically ignorant," but I do agree we will "all lose if we don't begin checking our facts and checking our attitudes."

West Marcus

07 August 2009

Blue only color that mattered

Last year, while walking my dog, I noted an intruder in my back yard at 11:30 p.m. With help from my neighbor, we contained him until the police arrived. We did not shoot him, hit him or otherwise abuse the African-American man, because my neighbor and I are reasonable, law-abiding Caucasian-Americans.

He and I were only interested in protecting my property, and possibly my person.

The Montgomery police arrived promptly. They were very professional toward us as they disarmed us for safety. They took the intruder to the street, and began to question the young man.

They were very respectful toward him, and I believe went well above what could have transpired. They even called several cell numbers for him to try to establish his identity. My neighbor and I were privy to the whole situation. Only when it became evident the intruder might have a mental problem did they place him in a vehicle and transport him downtown for safety and identification.

I did not sign a trespass warrant, and as far as I know, the police had more reason to protect him than arrest him.

The arriving officer was Caucasian-American, dressed in blue. The supervisor and other officers were African-American, dressed in blue.

If I have another problem late at night, I sure hope all those same blue uniforms show up.

West Marcus

28 July 2009

Take another look at term's definition

Regarding the discussions and/or controversy with "uniforms," one should re-read the word.
West Marcus

16 July 2009

'Vultures' abounded after star's death

I confess I did not watch the spectacle of the memorial for Michael Jackson. I saw a few snippets, but they are now intertwined in my mind, after the insufferable reruns and loops of various statements.

The sound bites I seem to see the most were the ones declaring MJ the greatest entertainer in the past 2009 years; he was not weird, we are; and he is the reason for the civil rights advancements by all people of color, including the president of the United States.

A personal observation is the obvious exploitation of the young girl alleged to be his daughter, who knew he was dead for 12 days, had never been seen in public, never spoken to the press or public, never lived a normal life, being paraded to the stage to make a eulogy statement and immediately hugged and removed. I felt for her, so much.

I do not speak ill of the dead. MJ was a consummate singer, an entertainer and a very good impromptu dancer.

I will speak ill of the living. Boy! What a bunch of vultures.

OK, so what do I know, an old semi-Caucasian who can barely slow-dance and is even less talented at singing?

West Marcus