Five Current Players Who Could Soon Join Trammell And Chipper As One Team Hall Of Famers

Because six new players were enshrined in Cooperstown over the weekend, many baseball broadcasts have included discussions about the current inductees as well as possible future inductees. During one particular game, an analyst praised the fact that two of the new Hall of Famers spent their entire careers with just one team.

He was referring of course to Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones and Detroit Tigers shortstop Alan Trammell. Jones received 410 of 422 votes during his first year of Hall eligibility, while Trammell was elected by the Veterans Committee.

The point was made that baseball fans may not for at least another decade see even a single one-year player reach Cooperstown, much less two of them. The announcer identified two certain future inductees, Albert Pujols and Adrian Beltre, who each have played for several different teams.

A cursory look at other stars nearing retirement, however, seems to indicate that we will indeed soon see another one-year player. Indeed, there could be two or more.

Here is a list of likely or highly possible one-team players who could be enshrined in Cooperstown after they leave the field.

Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals

This guy is a no-brainer for Hall of Fame induction in his first year of eligibility, no matter what his offensive statistics are. He has been the premier catcher for almost two decades, has led the Redbirds to multiple World Series appearances, been selected as a perennial All-Star,and remains one of the best clutch hitters in all of baseball.

Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners

Closing in on his fourteenth season King Felix is likely to amass two hundred wins by the time he hangs it up, which is far short of the coveted three hundred mark that guarantees enshrinement. His era, however, makes it nearly impossible to get more than fifteen victories per year, so that fact in addition to a Cy Young Award and six All-Star games might land him a plaque.

Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds

His lengthy contract almost ensures that the Canadian will finish his playing days at Great American Ball Park, and his numbers are approaching HOF statistics.

Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins

The native Minnesotan has declined since winning the Most Valuable Player Award as Twins catcher, which could hurt his chances to get into the Hall. Plus, because he is at the end of his current contract with his home town team, Mauer could be dismissed from this list if he signs elsewhere next year.

Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants

Ten years into his career the catcher is a six time All-Star with both a Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Award, but it might be his three World Series Championships that eventually get him to Cooperstown.

First Base Is The Hardest To Reach On The American League All Star Ballot

Who are these guys? Never before in my forty years of voting for the starters in the All-Star game have I asked that question, especially for first base in the American League. We have always had a vast array of candidates from which to select, stars such as Boog Powell or Norm Cash and Eddie Murray or Mark McGuire.

Even as recently as ten years ago, the A.L. ballot posted numerous stars at first base. Most Valuable Players like Miguel Cabrera of Detroit and Justin Morneau of the Twins were listed with the likes of Paul Konerko of the White Sox and Mark Teixiera of the Yankees as options to start in the 2008 Midsummer Classic.

First basemen used to almost universally serve as the most feared hitters, usually at clean up or somewhere in the heart of the batting order. Now they have lower collective batting averages than any other infield position, and their home run totals are next to worst.

This decline is exemplified by the 2018 All Star ballot, which lists half the candidates with sub .230 batting averages. Even more surprising, given the tradition of power associated with first base, nearly a third of them have not yet reached double figures in home runs.

Granted, three former MVPs are listed there, but that trio of guys are well past the primes. Cabrera still represents the Tigers, but he is out for the season. Minnesota’s Joe Mauer is hitting thirty points under his career average, and Albert Pujols of the Angels is exactly at the league average in home runs and hitting percentage.

Since none of those three are deserving, fans have justifiably placed their votes elsewhere. It has not been easy, however, since there are no stand out players currently manning first base in the A.L.

Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox is the leading vote getter, even though he is having a sub par season. Aiding his cause is the fact that he is a former Rookie of the Year, and he has been around for five years in a large market city.

Most of the other options are relatively unknown, including the player who ranks first among his peers in WAR. Matt Olson leads all first basemen in that category, but because he plays in Oakland and is relatively young he trails in the voting.

The most successful teams have won for the most part in spite of, rather than because of, their first basemen. Houston’s Yuiri Gurriel is hitting .300, but his numbers pale next to other stars of the Astros like Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa.

Greg Bird of the Yankees is arguably the seventh best hitter in a New York lineup featuring Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Didi Gregorius. Mitch Moreland is having a good season, but his numbers still cannot match those of Red Sox teammates like Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogarts.

A look at the Senior Circuit provides more hope for the fate of first basemen, the home of stars like Joey Votto, Anthony Rizzo, Freddie Freeman and Paul Goldschmdit. My ballot would be much easier to fill out if, for some unfathomable reason, one of those guys would be traded to an American League team before All Star voting ends.

The American Solar Car Story

The purpose of this article is to address the technological innovation brought by the Michigan Solar Car team to the auto industry. This project was successfully tackled by a small group of one hundred Michigan’s brightest students and their 300 sponsors.

Recently, I went to the 2010 Detroit Auto Show. It was awesome! So much glamour and so many vehicles to choose from. But, in this article I am not going to talk about the automakers and their vehicles… I will be discussing about one vehicle that was pioneered twenty years ago and had a tremendous response in support from its sponsors and its students from University of Michigan. Yes, it’s about the UM school’s tenth generation of its solar car named “Infinium”. What a remarkable solar vehicle! Its team mission succeeded. The UM Solar Car team won several racing awards in two competitions, national and international.

One of the young team members, a sophomore student told me how proud he was about the entire team accomplishments, a wide array of leading edge technologies and many team innovations.

Solar car racing at Michigan celebrated its 20th year of existence. What an accomplishment!

The solar car team won most of the North American Championship, five out of nine times. At the World Championship contest finished 3rd, three times. That’s a great performance.

It all started twenty years ago when a group of Michigan passionate students won the GM Sunrayce. The Sunrunner 1990 solar car took the first place GM Sunrayce and 3rd place World Solar challenge.

The advances in battery technologies used in the solar vehicle had helped the breakthrough in the hybrids. Its carbon fiber composite body shared similar usage on Grand Prix race cars and commercial aircraft.

Regenerative braking systems had been used since 1989 and implemented in hybrid vehicles since.
Advances in solar cells and collector systems were commonly used in large solar power plants.

The main components of the Michigan solar car were:
carbon fiber composite body and chassis
electric motor
custom build suspension
solar cells
low friction wheels
solar collector (concentrator) system

For car enthusiasts the Continuum 2007 solar car specifications are listed below:

weight (w/o driver) – 475 lbs (215 kg)
size – 16.4 ft x 5.9 ft (5 m x 1.8 m
top speed – 87 mph (140 kmh)
max torque – 37 lb-ft (50.2 N-m)
nominal power output – 2.5 hp
max. power output – 12.3 hp
max. array output – 1900 watt
fuel type – sun
batteries – 30 kg (lithium polymer)
fuel economy – infinite

A few words about the solar vehicle races.

The World Solar Challenge was founded by Hans Tholstrup in 1987. It takes place in Australia and starts in the North of Australia at Darwin and ends up in the South in Adelaide, about 1800 miles race. Race results: 3 third place finishes. The North American Solar Challenge race was founded by GM in 1989. Its length from start to finish is 2500 miles. The race itinerary starts in Dallas, Texas and ends in Calgary, Alberta. Race results: 5 National Championships.

Michigan Solar Car Team organization is comprised of 4 units: engineering, business, operations and strategy. UM Solar Car team budget expenses of $2,600,000 included the cost of: vehicle, strategy, business, operational and logistics.

Among the most known UM Solar Car sponsors are: GM, Ford, Dana, Denso, Shell, Roush, Alcoa, SKF Group, Detroit Auto Dealers Association, Molex, Tel-X Corporation, Vector Group, A123 systems, Delta, AT&T, Motorola, Bowne, Cytec, Michelin, 3M, Kaiser Aluminum, Visteon, ArvinMeritor, and many more.

Media companies that covered the solar car team are: ABC, Boston Globe, CBS, CNN, Discovery Channel, ESPN, New York Times, MSNBC, Popular Mechanics, USA Today.

UM Solar Car team is continuously seeking sponsors and donations. As part of the non-profit University of Michigan, the Solar Car Team is a 501(c)3 organization. All donations are eligible for tax exemptions, whether cash and in-kind donations of materials and select services.
UM Solar Car Donors and Sponsorship Levels are listed below:
1. Platinum ($100,000 or more, at least $25,000 cash)
2. Gold ($25,000 to $99,999, at least $5,000 cash)
3. Silver ($10,000 to $24,999)
4. Bronze ($2,500 to $9,999)
5. Crew (under $2,500)

UM Solar Car team is a legacy of excellence. List of past Michigan Solar Cars Names, Model Year and Awards won:
Sunrunner 1990, 1st place GM Sunrayce, 3rd place World Solar Challenge,
Maize & Blue 1993, 1st place GM Sunrayce,
Solar Vision 1995,
Wolverine 1997,
Maize Blaze 1999,
M-Pulse 2001, 1st place American Solar Challenge, 3rd place World Solar Challenge,
Spectrum 2003,
Momentum 2005, 1st place American Solar Challenge, 3rd place World Solar Challenge,
Continuum 2007, 1st place American Solar Challenge,
Infinium 2009,

UM Solar Car team is a perfect example of green technology put to work. The solar car is a shining proof in promoting alternative energy sources and developing advanced technologies. It enables the solar team to expand our public outreach.

The North American International Auto Show in Detroit unveiled the potential and capabilities of solar, electric and hybrid vehicles to a diverse audience. The future looks bright! For more info visit: http://www.umsolar.com.

NFL Power Rating Totals 2006

Just about everyone is familiar with team “Power Ratings”

Allow me to introduce you to my NFL “Power Rating Totals”. I’ve designed a set of home/away numbers for each NFL team. I’m able to combine and adjust them based on performance each week throughout the season, so I may find value in playing totals.

These numbers are based on a calculation I designed, going back a certain number of years for each club. Taking coaches, and players into consideration. And I give a “weighted percentage” grade for total scores both home and away. The process is repeated with a different “weighted percentage” over a certain number of times. Once finished, the “PRT’s” are ready for the season.

Keep in mind that these are hard numbers. We must take injuries, and weather into consideration ourselves.

For example: If a starting quarterback is out for a game. You must decide how many points is he actually worth?

Week 1 for 2006 is a perfect example. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is out as the Steelers host Miami. Veteran Charlie Batch takes his place.

The “Power Rating Total” for this match-up is 41 (we can expect a total of 41 point to be scored).

The game opened at 37 before Big Ben had emergency surgery. Now at most places the total is 34.5. Not a dramatic drop-off is it?

We now have a 6.5 point difference in the “PRTs'” and the actual total. Do you still take a look at playing the over?

Here’s Week Ones NFL “Power Rating Totals”

Miami/Pittsburgh 41

Denver/St. Louis 44

N.Y .Jets/Tennessee 40.5

Buffalo/New England 41.5

Baltimore/Tampa Bay 36.5

Cincinnati/Kansas City 49

Seattle/Detroit 44

Atlanta/Carolina 41

Philadelphia/Houston 43.5

New Orleans/Cleveland 41

Dallas/Jacksonville 38

Chicago/Green Bay 39.5

San Francisco/Arizona 40

Indianapolis/N.Y. Giants 45.5

Minnesota/Washington 43.5

San Diego/Oakland 43

We’re looking for a minimum difference of at least 3 points between the “PRT’s” and the betting total to consider a play.

Thank you and Good Luck!

The Shame of the Nation: A Summary, and Analysis

Jonathan Kosol’s interest for teaching profession and activism was triggered after the killing of three young civil rights activists in Mississippi in June of 1964 while he was working as a grade four public school intern teacher in Boston, Massachusetts. His experience as a teacher in one of Boston’s urban segregated schools gave him an insight to the plight of children of minorities, which motivated him to address the issue of segregation, and inequities that exist in public schools that has continued to plague the nation till the present day.

School Segregation

According to him, he visited approximately 60 schools in 30 districts in 11 different states. Most of his visits were in the South Bronx of New York City, Los Angeles – California, Chicago, Detroit – Michigan, Ohio, Seattle – Washington, Boston – Massachusetts and Milwaukee. In the schools he visited, he observes that the conditions have grown worse for inner-city children in the 15 years since federal courts began dismantling the landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. He notes that the number of white students in urban public schools have increasingly declined with the shifting pattern of white middle class families from urban to suburban communities since the 1960’s (white flight). He talks of the irony of school population in relation to the leaders of integration, which the schools bear their names, like Thurgood Marshal Elementary School in Seattle Washington with 95% minority students. According to him, the overwhelming majority of students in urban public schools in the United States are students of color. In Detroit for example, 95% of students in public school are either black or Hispanic. In Chicago, the figure is 87%, Washington is 94% while New York is 75%. He pointed out the cynicism in the “The small school initiative” like the Center School in Seattle that was perceived as a “tie-breaker” of school segregation that “attracted 83% white and 6% black enrollment when it opened in 2001, in a city where whites are only 40% of high school students district-wide”. (p 277). In comparing the Center School with African/American Academy in another section of the city where black students make up 93% and whites make up 3% of the enrolment, the location of the center school and its curriculum offers many opportunities to students. “The Center school which is sited in a cultural complex known as the Seattle Center, offers an impressive academic program to prepare its graduates for college while also provides a wide array of opportunities for students to participate in science projects, theatrical productions, music, ballet, and other cultural activities”, (p.278) while such opportunities are lacking in the African-American Academy. “The school in a sense represents a local version of ‘your own Liberia ‘… the African American Academy is using a highly directive method of instruction that, in some respects resembles the approach used in Success for All” (p. 279). He argues that after decades of persistent struggle against school segregation by educators and civil right activists, social and economic policies have continued to aid the growing trend of school segregation.

Inequities

Kozol laments the lack of basic resources and amenities in the urban public schools – restrooms, clean classroom, hallways; appropriate laboratory supplies, up-to-date books in good condition and classroom supplies and material. According to him, this lack of resources moves some teachers to spend between $500 -$1000 of their own money every academic year to purchase the supplies and materials in the case of Winton Place elementary school in Ohio. He argues the overcrowding of students in a classroom. For instance in Chicago, it’s not uncommon to see classrooms with as many as 54 students coupled with the fact that most of the teachers are unqualified.

Kozol also points out the issue of lack of pre-school opportunities for a large number of students because the federally funded head start programs were denied them. He also shows the disparity for money spent on a student, and its effect on state testing. In the case of New York State, the average spending on a student in the city is $8,000 while that of the suburb is $18,000. Also in New York, the inequities in expenditure between 2002 and 2003 are: NYC $11,627, Nassau County $22,311, Great Neck $19,705. The salaries of teachers in poor and wealthy school districts follow the same pattern. While the average salary of school teachers in poor communities is $43,00, the salary of teachers in the suburb like Rye, Manhurst and Scarsdale in New York ranges from $74,00 to $81,000. Even the issue of fundraising is a factor in the disparities among schools in poor and wealthy communities. Whereas schools in wealthy neighborhoods could raise up to $200,000, schools in poor districts could only raise $4,000.

Adaptive Strategy Curriculum

Kozol questions the rationale behind the scripted programs that has been adapted into the minority school system. “Authentic Writing”, Active Listening”, “Rubric for Filing”, “Accountable Talk”, “Zero Noise” etc., according to teachers account, they are meant to follow the scripted lesson to bring formality and structure to the learning environment which raises the anxiety levels of both students and teachers. The high standard language and higher expectations with little support, has taken over the moral and ethical values that use to be the integral part of the curriculum. According to Kozol, the “auto -hypnotic slogans” used by most schools has become part of the daily rituals and practices that are fashioned to boost students moral. Students from the under-performing schools are encouraged to memorize phrases like “I am smart”, “I am confident” to raise their self-confidence and academic performance. This according to him has formed the framework used to identifying the causes of the under-achievement of students of color. He argues that teachers are treated as “efficiency technicians” who are encouraged to use “strict Skinnerian controls” to manage and teach students in their classrooms, and whose job it is to pump some “added-value” into undervalued children. (p. 285)

In close semblance to the above is the business-like outlook “work related themes” that is being created in these schools, “market driven classrooms”, “sign contract”, “take ownership of their learning”, “pencil manager”, “classroom manager”, “building managers”, “learning managers” etc. This kind of corporate outlook portrays students as “assets,” “investments,” ‘productive units,” or “team player” according to Kozol. The knowledge and skills, which the students acquire, are seen as “commodities” and “products” to be consumed in the “educational market place.” Kozol argues that educational administration should in no way be equated with factory production line, and advices that “teachers and principals should not permit the beautiful profession they have chosen to be redefined by those who know far less than them about the hearts of children.” (p. 299)

High stake testing

The issue of teaching for testing has replaced the essence of teaching for learning in public schools. According to Kozol, “In some schools, standardized testing begins in the kindergarten. Courses that are not included in the high stake testing are often not taught any more or they are completely removed from their school curriculum, like arts and music. In some schools, naptime and/ or recess has been reduced or taken out completely to allow more time for the preparation of state standardized test. Even teachers meetings are geared towards the discussion of effective strategies to prepare students for quarterly assessment tests or reviewing state and district standards. Teachers are encouraged to attend workshops and conferences in regards to the testing to acquire more knowledge on how to integrate their teachings to the state testing standards.

In the bid of all the educational superficiality imposed on the students, they are also tracked and labeled. Labeling the children from level one (lowest) to level five (highest) places them into categories supposedly for further instructions. Instead of being given adequate attention regarding their labels, it is used as a description of their academic stance. “She’s gone down to level two,” “She’s a level one.” The issue of academic tracking and labeling in these schools poses a huge obstacle in creating equity and democracy in a learning environment. According to Kozol, learning is taught as “a possession” not something one “engages” in. Students are encouraged to select “a career path” during their freshman year, so as to tailor their course work. Nevertheless, there is little encouragement on the career path of college education. For example, the case of Mireya who attends Fremont High in Los Angeles, while she aspires for a college education, she is rather placed into vocational classes – sewing and hairdressing. She tells Kozol “I hoped for something else.” “Why is it that students who do not need what we need get so much more? And we who need it so much more get so much less?” She questioned.

In view of all these structured teaching strategies imposed on the urban public schools by the administrative body, both teachers and students exhibit robotic behaviors in order to achieve the set goals of the planners. Teachers who tend to veer out on these stipulations face disciplinary actions and could possibly lose their jobs. Students who do not adhere to the rules and follow the stipulated pattern face the risk of not passing their tests. Overall, there is loss of creativity and ingenuity in the classroom. Kozol points out that it would rather take a reformation than a miracle to set the schools on the right track again. He argues that desperate schools cannot be turned around by the arrival of a charismatic, tough talking principal. “There are hundreds of principals in our urban schools who are authentic heroes… But there is a difference between recognizing the accomplishments of able school officials and marketing of individuals as saviors of persistently unequal system”.

Ray of Hope

After questioning and critiquing the re-segregation of urban public schools in America, Kozol pointed out a few schools, teachers, principals, administrators and human rights activists he had met in the course of his study that gives hope to the possibility of school integration. According to him, “Virtually all the truly human elements of teacher motivation have been locked out of the market misperceptions that control so much of education policy today. But when we go to the schools in which these market ideologies have been valiantly resisted, we are reminded of a set of satisfactions and devotions that are very different from the ones that dominate the present discourse about urban education.” (p. 297)… “These are the schools I call “the treasured places.” They remind us always of the possible.” (p. 300).

He acknowledges the modifications made in most school districts since after his visits over three years. At PS 65, a new curriculum that focuses on the need of the children had been introduced. The hand-held timers and scripted lesson plans have been taken out, and actual writings of children are displayed in the walls. He also recalls the efforts of some school districts in Milwaukee and Louisville where school leaders have promoted desegregation across district lines.

Kozol sees every hope in teachers and administrators like Louis Bedrock (whom he dedicates this book to), Miss Rosa the retired principal of P.S. 30, Fern Cruz the new principal of P.S 65 and others for their dedication and persistence in fighting for the right course of education for the minority. He also acknowledges the contribution of black activists like Congressman Lewis who have voiced out publicly and written books that expose the persistence of segregation in America.

In his epilogue, he wrote “A segregated education in America is unacceptable”. “Integration is, it still remains, the goal worth fighting for” (p. 316).

The Shame of the Nation: An Analysis

I find this book very revealing, intriguing, insightful, and at the same time one sided and opinionated, but in summation, it is very educative. This book is an outcome of a good ethnographic researcher who not only puts energy in his work but also has passion in the subjects of his work – the students. The empirical analysis of this book rests in the inequality that is salient in the American society. Race, class, culture, gender and economic status which have formed the measuring tape of individuals’ worth in the American society have become the bedrock of the administrative bodies in the formulation of policies. Policies like education, housing, income and property taxes, transportation etc. have been so carefully formulated to include and exclude some members of the society. These policies of course favor the dominant group, which are whites and disfavor the targeted group which is mostly blacks and Hispanic.

It takes a critical mind to understand the game in the policies. Taking for instance the funding of community urban schools from property taxes from the community, one has to first, think of the nature of the properties in such a community, who owns them, what shape, and of what value they are. If the majorities of those properties are individually owned and are of good shape and value, the expectation is that they will yield good tax for the community. On the other hand, when the government owns such properties, little can be realized in property tax in such a community, and that in turn affects the sourcing of the school. This is the game of politics in perpetuating inequality as we have seen in this book.

Who would expect that the administration that tends to speak in favor of equal education has a hand in making it unequal? That the promulgations of “No Child Left Behind” and “Equal Opportunity for All” are only frivolities? Who would imagine that some teachers and education administrators could be so robotic that they question their ingenuity and creativeness in the face of manipulation, except for a revealing book like this? In addition, how can anyone comprehend the damage that has been done by these administrative inconsistencies over the years?

There is an insight into the social, economic, and cultural capital powers of the society in this book. Parents who are more informed, educated, with good jobs and better means have more say in the education of their children than those with little or no education and means. They surf for good schools for their children, organize themselves as the parent bodies of the school, and intervene in matters that are not favorable to their children, for instance, they raise money to employ more teachers and advocate for lesser number of children in a class. They come up with one voice to exclude others from integrating into their children’s schools and sometimes take out their children from a school that are getting more minority enrolment as the case may be. They are less dependent and more challenging to the school administration and government than the parents with fewer capitals. The parents of the minority who have fewer capitals, complain and rely mostly on the school administration and government to make the necessary adjustments in their children’s schools. The system fosters posterity of family status.

In this atmosphere of stratification, while the dominant group acts up to maintain its status, and the targeted, subordinate poor group agitates its position, the children suffer the struggle. A wider gap is created between the rich and the poor. While the children of the dominant group perceive themselves as fortunate, they are less ‘educated’ than the poor children who see it all. They face lesser chances of integrating and facing realities of multiracial society and as such are less likely to accommodate differences in future. On the other hand, the minority poor children get more skeptical and cynical when matters of equity arise. In the case of the little Bronx boy who wrote Kozol, “You have all the things and we don’t have all the things,” and the high school student from California who told his classmate “You’re ghetto, so you sew.” The disparities in their educational experiences raise innumerable questions in their heads, which only the government can comprehend in that while their parents may be ‘guilty’ of not possessing the where-withal, the students are innocent. Kozol’s study goes to predict that going by the present pace in educational strategy in America, inequality will persist; integration will be minimized, and desegregation will not only be a nightmare in schools but would be nipped in the bud in the society in future if they are not addressed now. He goes to say, “This nation needs to be a family, and a family sits down for its dinner at a table, and we all deserve a place together at that table.”

Having enumerated the classical work of Kozol in diagnosing the blatant, ugly passionate inequities in our public urban schools that plagues America today, I need to point out the one-sided, opinionated view of the issue. In a situation as this, no one person can be all right and the other all wrong, there needs to be a balance of ‘a little to right and a little to the left’. In the entire book, Kozol addresses the structural approach to educational inequality that sees the school and government administration as the factor that has perpetuated the problem, little suspicion if any, of the cultural approach to the discourse with parents and students contribution. Though there were a few mentions of all white public schools, there was little emphasis on their interactions, though one might argue that they have all the necessary amenities available for them in comparison to the minority schools that have little amenities.

I call this one sided and opinionated in the sense that the subjects of the matter visa vie poor minority parents and their children, are not addressed as potential input to the problem and as such potential contributory factors to the solution. If in a capitalist society like America where opportunity is laid down for everyone for grabs, the ‘majority’ of the minority group keeps complaining of marginalization of resources, there is a problem somewhere despite imposed limitations. The problem could be in derivation of comfort in dependency or reliability on false sense of security. The core word is value. As regards to the parents, many of them depend on the system and cannot walk their ways out to independence and instill that value of independence in their children. A culture of poverty has evolved among this minority group and they seem very comfortable in such a zone. So who makes the extra money for their children’s comfort?

The children as well due to lack of role models from their parents, do not deem it fit to strive and conquer the inevitable, they embrace violence and they keep on finger pointing like their parents instead of realizing that education not agitation is their only access to high status in the society. I believe that a focus on re-orienting the children of the minority group in exploring educational opportunities no matter the limitations they face would help in getting them back on the right track. On the other hand, if they should be contented, respectful, curtail violence, and love themselves, that would attract more empathy to them from whatever administration that is in place and they can be in their own schools without any white and feel good just the same. Understandably, the structural approach often times shape the cultural, which is unstable based on economic resources that yields self-support and autonomy.

There’s No Substitute for Cubic Inches – Bore and Stroke Your Small Block With Penis Exercising

Before “hybrids” and “e-cars” were vogue, and when testosterone still flowed heavily through the veins of All American Men, there was a saying… “There’s no substitute for cubic inches.” Meaning, that the bigger the engine, the badder it was. Not only in terms of sheer horsepower, but more importantly in terms of raw, spinal-fracturing torque.

Bigger was better, in the days of old Detroit… Before the bailouts, before the bankruptcies, before the Unions and the “government” became co-owners, and before the “green” brigade began to dictate to the American People what they should or should not be driving.

Have you noticed that today, any old “pony” car is called a Muscle Car? Apparently, any old Mustang is a muscle car, so is any old Challenger, ‘Cuda, or anything else with decals and scoops from the late ’60s and early ’70s. It’s sort of like the “Woodstock” or the “Hendrix” enigma, where every person you meet, from that era, was actually at Woodstock and was actually purchasing and listening to Jimi Hendrix records. But the fact of it is, most people never made it to Woodstock and by some magical time-traveling event, The Osmonds and The Jackson Five became “Hendrix.”

For a car to be a “Muscle” car, it had to have gobs of torque and gobs of horsepower. An in-line six cylinder Mustang coupe from 1966 is about as far removed from a muscle car as you can get. To be a true muscle car, you need cubic inches. Your 426 Hemis, 428 and 429 Cobra Jets, 455s, 440s, Boss 429s, and your 427s. A 327 Chevy stuffed in a Chevelle is not a muscle car.

The baddest production engine of all time would be the Ford 427 S.O.H.C Hemi. Oh yes! Built by Ford to do battle with Chrysler’s 426 Hemi on the NASCAR tracks, the old “Cammer” as she is known, was so brutally-bad that the 426 Hemi couldn’t even come close. For that reason, and because Chrysler cried so much, ol’ Bill France and the NASCAR boys wouldn’t allow her to run on the NASCAR circuits, in the days when you could still, “Race on Sunday and Sell on Monday.” For, as I’m sure you are aware, those days in NASCAR are long gone… The “Car of Tomorrow” is a cookie cutter “car,” where the only differences between a Chevy and a Toyota, on the tracks of NASCAR, are the decals adorning the cars…

Anyway, the “Cammer,” holds the record for the “King of Horsepower from the Land of Gob.” In stock form, she’s got 800 horsepower, all from a naturally-aspirated engine, designed and built nearly fifty years ago. But if you still aren’t satisfied with her performance, stick on a blower and run some nitro through her and you’ll have 1,400 horsepower at your command… Jeepers, that’s a lot from a fifty-year old vintage piece of Detroit Iron.

Why was the Cammer such am incredible engine? Because it was huge with 427 cubic inches. Again, there is no substitute for cubic inches… And she was made even more lethal by adding single overhead camshafts to each cylinder bank. You had horsepower and torque that was endless and almost impossible to transfer it all to the tarmac.

Penis enlargement is a lot like those Muscle Cars with the Big Blocks under the hood. Cars with huge engines, with ferocious amounts of torque and horsepower, that couldn’t handle worth a damn, but could surely go like hell in a straight line. What better parallel to a penis can you find? Heck, all you need is lots of cubic inches (size volume) and straight line performance is all you truly need.

Turning your small-block penis from one of those in-line six cylinders into a fire-breathing seven-liter big block is easier than what most men think. You need to increase its stroke (penis length) and enlarge your bore (penis girth). This will give you all the extra cubes you need to get that Big Block Penis.

With penis exercising, increasing your stroke (length) is simply done using your hands to stretch out the ligaments which anchor the penis to the body. These exercises, when done properly, will increase your stroke for more gut-wrenching penis torque.

Boring out your small-block penis is done in the same method. The hands, again, are used to squeeze extra cubes into your penis by beefing up your block. By squeezing more blood into the penile caverns, we increase our penile bore (girth) and this give us more top-end penile horsepower.

What could be easier?

Georg von Neumann

"Gran Torino" – A Film Reflection

I had no idea how deeply I would be affected by this film until the night I saw it, and then I couldn’t get to sleep until around 4 in the morning. And I have never suffered from insomnia before!

I’ve long admired Clint Eastwood, going back to his days as Rowdy Yates on the television show, “Rawhide.” From “Hang ‘Em High” to “Unforgiven,” and his days as Dirty Harry on the streets of San Francisco and New Orleans, Clint has always been both a “man’s man” and a “woman’s man,” something that is not easy for an actor (or a director) to pull off. In his role as “Walt Kowalski,” a bigoted and recently widowed Korean War veteran who is particular to Pabst beers and an endless supply of cigarettes, Clint embraces this hard-edged Polack in such a way that the viewer is always pulling for him. Even when you are gasping at the racial slurs he tosses at his Hmong neighbors, you know he is doing it out of emotional pain. The man just lost his wife; in addition to that, he is a combat veteran, who has probably been suffering with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) since 1952 when he earned a Medal of Valor.

The film was shot in Detroit, and from the minute “Gran Torino” began, I was thrust back into my childhood on family visits to my grandparents’ home. They lived in a neighborhood like Walt Kowalski’s, and in a house very similar. Their garage was tucked deep into the backyard, like Walt’s. My grandfather and father both spent 50 years collectively in the auto industry, and like Walt, my father always shunned the idea of any car that was not “American-made.” The church where Walt and his family attend the funeral of his wife looks exactly like the one in downtown Detroit where my family used to go to midnight Mass every Christmas Eve.

Walt has two sons with whom he shares nothing in common. His granddaughter (Dreama Walker) is a royal brat who texts her friends during the funeral of Walt’s wife,and then later that day when he catches her smoking a cigarette in the garage, she asks him who’s going to get the Gran Torino when he dies.

The “redemption” of Walt has its inauspicious beginning when the young priest who eulogizes at Walt’s wife’s funeral (played by Christopher Carley), pays a visit to the grieving widower and chats with him about life and death. Father Jablonsky says that he promised Walt’s wife he would ask to hear Walt’s confession. Their relationship is a real tug of war because Walt says he only went to church because of his wife and now that she’s gone he has no interest in it, nor in a 27-year-old boy-priest who knows nothing of life or death. Still, over the next few weeks, Father Jablonsky persists, and their verbal jousts propel the film forward.

One day Walt is on his porch to witness a local Hmong gang try and force the neighbor’s son, Thao (Bee Vang) to join them. There is a tussle on the lawn, and when the group cross over onto Walt’s front yard, that’s it. Walt intervenes and the trajectory of his life takes a subtle shift. He forms a bond with his precocious neighbor, “Sue” (Ahney Her) who knows how to stand up to him and charm him. (A few Pabsts under his belt help in this.) Sue is the one who mediates between Walt and her brother, Thao, who had tried to steal Walt’s beloved Gran Torino as an initiation gang rite. Thao is not cut out for gang membership, and he soon gets under Walt’s skin the way Sue has. At one point, after Sue has forced him to come over to her family’s home for a Hmong feast on Walt’s birthday, Walt observes that he has had more fun with these “gook neighbors” than with his own family.

What happens in the end is not entirely unexpected, and I will not ruin it for those of you who have not seen the film. But what a treat to observe how the neighbors he once loathed become his truest and most unexpected “comrades at arms.”

I broke up at the very last scene as the credits rolled. It was a view of Lakeshore Drive by the yacht club – a destination to which I used to ride my bicycle as a girl, and where I would sit down on the lawn gazing at the lake and contemplating my future. It was my fervent desire to become a writer and live in California, where I would meet my soulmate. My dream came true. Wow. I suppose the magic of Clint is that he brought that realization to the forefront of my mind. Thank you, Clint Eastwood. Thank you, Walt Kowalski. Thank you, Detroit. Thank you, California.

The Electronic Dance Music Force That is Black Gold

Brooklyn’s Black Gold is made up of multi-instrumentalist Than Luu and vocalist and keyboardist Eric Ronick, a pair of cool cats who have already earned their “quality” credentials by touring with the backing bands of Ambulance Ltd, M.Ward, Panic At The Disco, Rachael Yamagata, The Hold Steady, Polysics, Scissor Sisters, and Jaguar Love. As their own band, the pair known as Black Gold are known for turning out slickly produced, driving electronica-tinged modern dance pop music.

The band has a wide array of musical inspirations from all eras of rock n roll music. “No style or genre is off limits. We get a real kick out of taking from different artists, different periods, and putting our spin on it. Somehow we ended up with something cohesive and that sounds, undeniably, like us,” says Ronick.

“[Black Gold’s sound is] breathlessly experimental…nearly every song is a potential single begging for an extended dance edit,” raves “Spin” magazine.

Black Gold’s debut album is 2009’s Rush. Meanwhile, they’ve already had a big-selling electronic dance single with “Detroit (Shark Attack Remix),” which has also been released on a limited edition 7″ vinyl record (with a B-side of “The Picture Show”). On Rush, you’ll hear cuts that invoke T-Rex, Satie, Chic, Michael Jackson (when he was R&B), David Bowie, the Brothers Gibb, and The Band. As Ronick said, no style or genre is off limits to him and Luu.

“Detroit” in fact kicks off the Rush album. Listeners will find electronica dance beats that flow in the spaces in between some soulful singing and keyboard work. Then comes “Plans & Reveries” which is a showcase of Ronick’s twin talents of singing and keyboard (here, piano) playing. It seems that Ronick is the pop-mind who knows how to write hooks and sing at an emotionally evocative level that’s a cut above the rest of today’s mediocre vocalists, while Luu knows how to give you the beat and highlight the hooks with musical textures that give the music depth and staying power.

Eventually the album gets to “What You Did” and here it kicks into high gear. The beat is fast and the tasty guitars churn along with the David Rosenthal-like keyboards even as some Stevie Wonder funk-era synths swirl like angry ocean waves in the background. This is a song of the bitterness of a man finding his lover in bed with another, and Ronick’s vocals are at their very best telling you like it is. Black Gold’s Rush is so unique in its modern UK pop mixed with super-eclecticism that Ronick is even given a six-and-a-half minute place to shine on the piano instrumental called “Canyon.”

Look for Black Gold to be a force for some time to come.

What About Whole Life Insurance And Bankruptcy?

Your Detroit Bankruptcy Lawyer always gets asked if a whole life insurance policy can be protected in bankruptcy. A whole life insurance policy is a life insurance policy that has a cash value to it. It is usually more expensive than a normal term life insurance policy, but many people use a whole life insurance policy as a retirement tool.

As with any item of personal property and bankruptcy, whether the whole life insurance policy can be protected depends on each individual’s situation and how much personal property you own and their value.

If you file a Chapter 13, more than likely you will be able to protect the full value of the whole life insurance value. This is because in a Chapter 13, you are paying your creditors back so you will be able to keep all your assets, even those that fall above the exemption amount.

However, if you are in a Chapter 7, the question whether you can keep them or not depends on a lot of things. First off, are you using the Federal Exemptions, or the Michigan Exemptions? You must choose one set and cannot mix and match. Also, how much are your assets worth? House, car, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, personal items, etc. all come into play here in deciding which set to use. Make sure you speak with an attorney to find out which set would be beneficial to you before you file. If not, you risk losing your assets.

The federal exemption, under 11 U.S.C 522 (d) (8) (which is adjusted every three years) allows an exemption of $11,525.00 of the cash value. So if your cash value is only $10,000.00, then you can exempt your whole life insurance policy. Then your creditors or the Trustee cannot take them. You can also deduct the amount of the loan you have against the cash value when determining the exemption amount. So if you have a $25,000.00 cash value, but have a loan of $15,000.oo against it, then you need only exempt $10,000.00. You are safe.

The Michigan exemption is much more generous. Under Michigan’s exemptions, you can exempt the entire amount of the cash value. Sounds great? Well, remember that you must choose either the Federal Exemptions or the State Exemptions, you can’t pick and choose. While the Michigan Exemptions has some greater allowances than the Federal, the Federal does have some greater allowances than the State.

It is important to speak with your Detroit bankruptcy Lawyer and discuss all your assets and their values. Only then can I provide an analysis on which set would be beneficial to you and to protect what you own. You do not want to attempt this on your own, because only an experienced bankruptcy attorney can protect what you worked so hard to get.

If you have a whole life insurance policy and need to get out of debt, call us today at (586) 439-4297, Extension 0, and set up your free consultation. We will discuss your situation and decide whether the Federal or State exemptions would be best for you.

The Effects of Text Messaging

According to Nielsen, American teenagers send and receive, on average, 2,272 messages per month. This equates to nearly 80 messages a day. In fact, text messaging is so popular that in North America (as of 2006), 40% of cell phone users actively use SMS. In Europe the average is 85%. Throughout the world, the use of text messaging has developed very rapidly. In 2000, 17 billion text messages were sent. By 2004, that number reached nearly 500 billion, that’s almost 85 text messages per person in the world.

The popularity of text messaging has placed people in positive and negative situations. For example, former Detroit Mayer Kwame Kilpatrick had his whole life turn upside down through a text messaging sex scandal. He went from being the youngest to the only mayor to be charged with a felony in Detroit. On the positive side, text messaging is utilized as a source of information and reminders. Many credit card companies provide SMS reminders on upcoming due dates. With the increased popularity of cell phones with internet capabilities, people would be able to pay their bills upon receiving the alert. In addition, one can send a text message to Google to find out directions, weather, flight status, sports scores, etc. Services like ChaCha allow us to answer any of our questions. All you do is send a question to ChaCha and a live person will send you a message back, within a few minutes, with the answer to your question. However, these convenient services, as well as general text messaging, have its outcomes.

Many experts agree that text messaging has served more bad than good, especially to the teenage population. There are obvious safety concerns, especially with recent proposals to ban text messaging while driving. This obviously creates a distraction to drivers, putting other drivers and pedestrians at risk. Even while walking, people have most of their attention to typing their messages, instead of what’s ahead of them. Especially in busy places, I’ve noticed people still don’t pay attention. The other day I was walking by Times Square and got very annoyed at people who suddenly stop in the middle of the sidewalk to finish a message. That, and a combination of tourists, makes Times Square a trap.

Teenagers are easily distracted at school. Instead of paying attention in classes, students are texting away. I’ve seen this happen a lot in college. Especially in high schools, this leads to falling grades, and poor report cards. Some kids are up late messaging their friends, which experts believe could have a significant impact on sleep. I’ve seen a lot of people struggle in college because they use their phones so much. I think this is because when you send a text message, it is likely that you are in the middle of a thought. Thus, a response means the inclination to respond right away, distracting you from other things (studying). I saw this happen at my school library all the time. Especially during finals, it would take forever to find a table. It’s really frustrating when people take up study space but just sit there typing on their phones. During group projects, there is always one kid who keeps pulling his or her phone out to send a message. This creates a huge distraction from work and has significant impacts. I’ve also read articles that provide cases of students using text messages to cheat. Even though teachers and professors state not to bring phones to exams, they never enforce the rule.

I would think that increased cellular phone use, especially for text messaging, could have negative effects for your hands. The concept of texting is similar to typing, which has proven to cause problems for many. Although text messaging is not as comprehensive as using a computer keyboard, the increased usage may still be enough to cause musculoskeletal disorder. However, data is very limited on this subject.

What about the use of the English language? One would think the use of abbreviations, short messages, and incomplete sentences could lead to sloppy language skills. Although text messages are brief, they are sent so many times that in aggregate, it could have an impact in linguistics. Many experts feel this way; however, others present an interesting counter-argument. Text messaging may not be all that bad. Some experts add that the use of abbreviations is a novel way of communication that demonstrates dexterity and creativity. This method of communication expands our language capabilities and demonstrates ingenuity. There are cases in which people catch themselves using “text message lingo” in academic papers, while causing no harm for others.

I’ve noted a few ways in which text messaging benefits individuals. One other way is that this method of communication connects people. Many people are in constant contact with each other. They develop a strong interest to know what’s going on in people’s lives and share information that they wouldn’t otherwise. Some conversations, or at least topics of discussion, would never arise in direct dialogues. Sometimes it’s because we’re too scared or forget later on. There are other situations where sending a text message may be more appropriate then conversing on the phone (in a quiet public place). Thus, it adds a lot of convenience and doesn’t distract others.

I have mentioned many ways in which text messaging harms human beings. I’m fully aware that these interpretations are only valid with credible data and statistical analysis. However, the rise in text messaging is a recent phenomenon, and not enough data is available to construct definitive conclusions. Many experts have developed a number of hypotheses that they hope to test in the near future. I’ve come across a few studies, but found a lot of flaws that lead to inaccurate justifications. Some studies sample just a few students from one specific high school, which leads to invalid results. I chose not to share this data or conclusions for these reasons. For a future study, it would be interesting to stratify data by type of cell phone (compare regular phone vs smart phone and see if there is a significant difference in effects – whether positive or negative).