Sunday, February 24, 2008

Good Night Nurse

Kevin Lee, who identifies himself as an RN and Democratic Candidate for the
Pennsylvania State House of Representatives for the 163rd District wrote a Letter to the Editor mentioning me and a recent column. Find it below with my comments.

"To the Times:

"I am writing in reference to Gil Spencer’s column from Feb. 12 regarding the treatment of Jahmir Ricks in the Delaware County prison. Mr. Spencer’s comments suggest that young Mr. Ricks is actually better off somehow in jail."

(Guilty. I think Jahmir is better off for now in jail than he would be at home, in his community. He did, after all, allegedly stab his brother to death. Does Nurse Lee think he would be better off back in a public school classroom? Hmmm. Let's see.)

"In an apparent swipe at Charlotte Hummel, a Democratic school director from Lansdowne for the William Penn School District, Mr. Spencer states Jahmir seems to be learning better in prison then in the WPSD."

(Well, if Jahmir's lawyer Mike Malloy can be believed, Jahmir is getting straight As under the guidance of the Intermediate Unit teachers who tutor him at the prison. Malloy told me Jahmir is a smart kid but had become something of a discipline problem in the WPSD with his grades falling off the last couple of years. Does Nurse Lee know this to be untrue?)

"He also suggests 'some children' need a more structured environment."

(That is one of the more obvious truths I have written in my 25 years as a newspaper columnist.)

"He also suggests it is a shame that Antwan Ricks had to die and Jahmir had to go to prison to have that better instruction and a more structured environment than the William Penn School District has to offer."

(It IS a shame.)

"As a resident of Lansdowne, I am disturbed by the comments that suggest our children would have a better education in jail than in our communities."

(Whoa there, Nurse Lee. I said "some children," Jahmir, obviously being one of them.)

"I am sure the hundreds of teachers and employees, thousands of students and parents and the residents of the school district would respectfully disagree with Mr. Spencer’s assessment."

(Really? I haven't heard from any of them. Are hundreds of WPSD teachers clamoring to have Jahmir sprung from jail and put back in their classrooms? If they are, could the good nurse provide some of their names?)

"These comments, which I hope were just off the cuff and not intentionally offensive, are reminiscent of Barbara Bush’s comments made in Houston after the Katrina disaster. She said people in the shelters, after losing everything, were somehow better off because they were 'underprivileged' before Katrina."

(Sorry, I don't get it.)

The facts do show that the William Penn School District and many districts like it are struggling. They are struggling with unfunded mandates from Harrisburg and the federal government. They are struggling with a historic lack of funding and support from the government officials that are supposed to be representing our needs in the General Assembly. And they are struggling due to social issues exacerbated by poor economic policies, the antiquated tax code and a lack of real involvement from our representatives in Harrisburg.

(So that's why Jahmir stabbed his brother? Allegedly.)

Every child in Pennsylvania deserves a quality education. The current practice of using the value of local property, in addition to one’s zip code, to determine the amount of funding for a child’s education is ineffective, outdated and dangerous.

(Not as dangerous as playing a video game with the Ricks boys.)

Columnists like Mr. Spencer and our state representatives and senators should be making this issue priority one.

(I get it. Nurse Lee wants more money for the William Penn School District. Fair enough. He's free to ask. But lack of money isn't William Penn's biggest problem. What the district is really struggling with is an anti-learning street culture that is brought into schools and makes it difficult for teachers to teach and children to learn.

(None other than philanthropist Oprah Winfrey has practically given up trying to help urban schools in the U.S. because, as she said, "I became so frustrated with visiting inner-city schools that I just stopped going. The sense that you need to learn just isn't there." And so she spent $40 million starting a girls' academy in South Africa. That problem of instilling the "need to learn" seems to have eluded Nurse Lee but he goes with his speechifying.)

The time has come to change this state. A well-funded, cost-efficient, quality public school system benefits the entire commonwealth.
It allows for all children, not just those from privileged backgrounds, to receive an education.

(Well, it's not very cost efficient having to educate Jahmir in prison, but I'm all for it.)

Until we have the will to change what happens in Harrisburg, we will continue to see a decline in our education system and our communities.

(I wonder, just how many more millions of dollars William Penn School District will need to stop the decline? Nurse Lee doesn't say.)

Our community will continue to pay escalating property taxes to fund a state system that is broken while some members of the General Assembly vote to raise its own pay and pension.

(Nurse, I'm with you here. They shouldn't have done that.)

Mark Twain was quoted that for every public school that closed, we would have to open a jail.

(Mark Twain also said, "In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made School Boards."

The Ricks family might be in a very different place today if we stopped playing politics and put more emphasis on fixing the problems in our schools instead of ignoring them.

(The Ricks family might be in a very different place today if the boys had stopped playing video games and had more adult supervision at home. Let's not be ridiculous here. Nurse Lee is running for the state legislature allegedly to help solve the problem of inequitable school funding. He doesn't offer an opinion on whether 14-year-old Jahmir should be tried as a juvenile or an adult. Based on what I know, I think he should be tried as a juvenile. But reasonable people can disagree on that. I don't think reasonable people can disagree that Jahmir needs to be in a structured and corrective setting. So should Nurse Lee. And I don't think the state house is it.)

34 Comments:

Anonymous randal said...

What the district is really struggling with is an anti-learning street culture that is brought into schools and makes it difficult for teachers to teach and children to learn.

This is the problem of every urban school district with a large black student body. And no amount of money throwing will solve this attitude problem.
But ya can't tell Libs this as they wring their hands and look for somewhere else to place blame all the while demanding everyone pay more to overcome this urban mentality and... Bah!
Many urban students would indeed do better in prison. And that is just where many of them will end up anyway. They seem suited for it.

February 24, 2008 at 10:52 AM 
Blogger David Diano said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 25, 2008 at 10:41 AM 
Blogger Pro Christ Pro Gun said...

Diano: You are disgusting! Kevin Lee is the Lansdowne Councilperson who advocated for the prosecution of Michael Marcavage for reading the Bible at a Borough Meeting. In fact, what happened was that while the Lansdowne Council was slapping each others backs for having the first "gay" council person in Delaware County, it was Marcavage who stood up and read Romans 1, and asked, respectfully, if council as a whole thought that it was a good idea to promote homosexuality. The Council President told Marcavage that the Bible was hate speech and that it would not be tolerated.

The long and short of it was that Marcavage had an opinion and so did council, yet Marcavage got arrested and was dragged out of the council meeting. Since the Borough was so tolerant of Marcavage's opinion concerning an openly homosexual council person, Marcavage sued the Borough and got a consent Order to keep the Borough from suppressing speech.

Oops, I probably said Lansdowne was tolerant. I was kidding. They are intolerant just like you!

Randal, Gil, and everyone else should be free to express their opinions as we all have a God given right to conscience. However, you and people like you engage in intolerance and name call to make people keep their opinions to themselves. In fact, we have public schools that have made the suppression of conscience an art form.

Be nice Diano and engage in diologue without the name calling and the use of disgusting innuendo. It really is a neat experience!

C. Scott Shields, Esquire
www.shieldsandhoppe.com

February 25, 2008 at 11:14 AM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

Diano -- or should I refer to you as Wind Talker, you're so good with "codes" and all --

I guess Oprah was speaking in racist-code as well, when she said that she got so "frustrated" going to "inner-city schools" that she "just stopped going. The sense that you need to learn just isn't there."

But if Oprah is such a racist why would she spend $40 million to start a private academy for African girls?

As for decency there is nothing particularly decent about falsely accusing someone of using racist code when they haven't.

If you don't think there is a problem with "street culture" invading inner city schools in this country, making it difficult for both teachers to teach and students to learn you are absolutely clueless.

Talk to just about any inner city school teacher, maybe they can clue you in.

February 25, 2008 at 3:21 PM 
Anonymous Broken Record said...

"Many urban students would indeed do better in prison. And that is just where many of them will end up anyway. They seem suited for it."

Diano never defended nor did he even mention anything about Kevin Lee in his reply to obviously bigoted comment made by Randal.

And Spencer, if you defend the end statement made by Randal, why don't you give it a shot?

February 25, 2008 at 7:29 PM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

Huh?
Try that again, Brokeback.

February 25, 2008 at 8:43 PM 
Anonymous Broken Record said...

Spencer,

R's comment "Many urban students would indeed do better in prison. And that is just where many of them will end up anyway. They seem suited for it."

Do you agree with it?

Sorry, rush job on the typing last time.

February 25, 2008 at 10:58 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brokeback:

I agree in spirit with what Randal states. It is so obvious to me. The inner city has been taken over by people that live off of the government. There is little pride in ownership of their own destiny as they get what they need by a government that is too willing to give them whateve they want for a vote. Look at crime alone. Greater than half of all black males through the age of 25 will end up in prison or under some type of community control. That should scare any liberal, but it doesn't. To the liberals is is far easier to blame it on a republican, as liberals have convinced our youngest generations that America is broken, that it is the fault of republicans, and that the path to happiness for them is more government handouts.

Don't fret though, Obama will change all of this to make it much easier for the innner city folks to get more from government, including universal health coverage, free college, free housing, and free transportation.

How wonderful! I say we teach them proper marksmanship so that when they do shoot at each other they hit their targets and render them dead.

February 25, 2008 at 11:12 PM 
Anonymous r said...

I got Liberals’ panties in a bunch by speaking the truth! Teehehehe…
That never gets old!

And Dave, you forgot to call me a KKK or a Hitler.

February 25, 2008 at 11:26 PM 
Anonymous r said...

Gil’s more Liberal cohorts on the DT Editorial Board keep weeping for this murderer as if he were some innocent victim himself, just because he is young looking and his older brother reportedly picked on him some. Talk about Liberal misplaced sympathies. All the while they neglect to mention that according to witnesses this little scrub himself was a bully in school –funny how they left out this little character-defining fact in that most recent editorial.
And guess what else, plenty of us have been picked on by our older brothers and even lost video games and we didn’t kill anyone. Throw the book at this little creep. He’s in a better place and his peers are safer for him being there. He was gonna end up there anyway. And charge his parents too for not teaching him basic things like respect, civility and self control.

February 25, 2008 at 11:57 PM 
Anonymous r said...

If you don't think there is a problem with "street culture" invading inner city schools in this country, making it difficult for both teachers to teach and students to learn you are absolutely clueless.

Dave is clueless. Just the other day in the paper the new CUSD super was quoted stating this very fact.
Apologist Libs just make themselves look like fools...
Blacks don't want to learn.

February 26, 2008 at 12:06 AM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

Brokeback,
Thanks for asking.

The answer to whether I agree with Randal's statement - "Many urban students would indeed do better in prison. And that is just where many of them will end up anyway. They seem suited for it." - is NO!

I have chastised Randal before for making statements that can easily and probably accurately be construed as racist or racialist in nature.

He often paints with too broad a brush, as he does here. And pointing out (even correctly) that black people can be racist or racialist (as Randal has in the past) doesn't absolve him of succumbing to using racial generalizations and stereotypes himself.

I'm all for locking up criminals, especially violent ones. And while it is certainly true that young black inner city males commit a disproportionate amount of violent crimes,
the victims of those crimes are mostly young black males.

This is the tragedy of street and gang culture. It's not liberals who should be so scared of the crime statistics, it's African Americans who should be so disturbed. Many are. But too few black leaders speak out honestly about the problem.

Whatever the causes of inner city crime, family break-down, lack of positive male role models, lousy public schools, a nihilistic street culture, or all of the above, it's a serious problem for urban black communities.

People like Bill Cosby are speaking out about it and nobody writes more intelligently or better about race in this country than Shelby Steele, but the problem persists. And it will for a good long time.

Randal says "throw the book at this little creep," Jahmir Ricks, meaning, I guess, lock him up for the rest of his life.

Again, I disagree. I don't think Ricks should be charged as an adult. He is a kid with serious problems who has done an awful thing, but he is still a kid.

I would feel differently, if he were two years older and had a record of committing violent crimes. But he isn't and he doesn't.

I am on the board of a school for juvenile delinquents. I know that kids who are given second chances in a strong, protective culture can learn a lot and change their lives. But the pull of the streets is strong. Once out of school, these young men have to make their own choices.

To say, as Randal does "Black don't want to learn," is about as wrong as it gets.

Not only is it racist, it obviously untrue.
The vast majority of blacks kids, of course, want to learn. But too many are stuck in public schools, where teachers don't have full control of their classrooms and ineffective administrators hide in their offices. These are the same public schools that Oprah visited. But it's not the children's fault that a few young gangsters have been allowed to infect the learning culture with the pernicious attitude that learning is a "white thing." It's the grown-ups fault.

When a good strong principal or superintendent does come along to change things, he or she often gets knee-capped by a teachers union more interested in protecting teachers perks, benefits and job security, than in making the lives of their students better.

(See my post linking to Reason TV and Drew Carey's visit to a public school Watts.)

For now, enough said.

February 26, 2008 at 6:29 AM 
Anonymous r said...

the pernicious attitude that learning is a "white thing." = "Black don't want to learn,"

Same thing said differently.

February 26, 2008 at 9:50 AM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

No, it's not.

The first recognizes a prevelant cultural attitude in some inner city schools that infects the chances of black kids learning, even the majority who want to learn or would in the right environment.

The second, blanketly says "black (people) don't want to learn."

Don't be surprised when somebody calls you a racist for saying that.

February 26, 2008 at 10:22 AM 
Anonymous randal said...

That mentality is overwhelmingly prevalent in virtually every urban/black school across the nation. Black communities struggle under it. It’s a fair assessment. It is a racial thing. While maybe not PC to say so. But you know me… This here cracka don’t play that game. The Daves will call me a racist anyway for things such as daring to speak simple truths or opposing racial set asides or anything such apologists deem off limits for a white to say. Water off an un-politically corrected duck’s back.

February 26, 2008 at 10:32 AM 
Anonymous r said...

Aw, I coulda made a pun had I worked the white duck angle and called myself a quacka, saying how Lib tears roll off… Man, I hate when I miss an opportunity like that. See what haste will do.

Is it too late to try again?…

The Daves will call me a racist anyway for things such as daring to speak simple truths or opposing racial set asides or anything such apologists deem off limits for a white to say. This here quacka don’t play that. Lib tears off an un-politically corrected white duck’s back.

There, that's better.

February 26, 2008 at 10:47 AM 
Blogger David Diano said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 26, 2008 at 11:28 AM 
Anonymous r said...

Hey, Dave, have you found any of them "straights only" water fountains yet? Hehehe...

February 26, 2008 at 11:49 AM 
Blogger David Diano said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 26, 2008 at 12:40 PM 
Anonymous r said...

I often wonder what you have been drinking that could so emasculate a hetero white male as you have been.
Umm, you are a hetero white male, right Dave? What happened to you? Have some self respect, man!

February 26, 2008 at 1:02 PM 
Blogger Pro Christ Pro Gun said...

Diano:

I believe that I challenged you to a public debate on the law in the past but you never took me up on it. In fact, I previously proclaimed to the world how freakin smart you are and that you should have an easy time with a "bigot" like me. You never responded to my offer. Are you afraid of me? Do you not have the intellect to have an intellectual/legal discussion about these issues? Or is it that you have no - well you know what I mean.

Diano, you are a thug and you and libs like you "try" to intimidate any person who doesn't agree with your liberalism.

As for Marcavage, there is a video of exactly what happened, and since I filed the lawsuit and WON, I stand behind everything I said.

Keep it up and see what happens when people finally wake up and start to get it, as the policies and name calling you advocate will certainly come back to bite you as even your worldview will not last forever, and when you get persecuted for your beliefs, you will then see the error of your way and call me to defend you and your right to free speech.

Come on Diano, I am waiting.

C. Scott Shields, Esquire
www.shieldsandhoppe.com

February 26, 2008 at 1:19 PM 
Anonymous r said...

Diano, you are a thug and you and libs like you "try" to intimidate any person who doesn't agree with your liberalism.

Yes. Dave is rather intolerant and bigoted like that. Maybe he needs some sensitivity reprogramming? Hehe...


Come on, Dave, accept his challenge! Put your idiocy where your mouth is!
Afterwards I'll take you out for a beer ...or whatever girlie drink you drink.

February 26, 2008 at 2:20 PM 
Anonymous law prof said...

Mr. Spencer,

I must commend you for appropriately chastising Randal for his blatantly racist statement that "blacks don't want to learn." Honestly, I really did not think you had it in you. Perhaps you have learned from your past mistakes, which would be most admirable.

Any time one makes such broad-sweeping statements such as "all journalists are slimy" or "all lawyers are crooked" or "all blacks don't want to learn", one sadly proves his or her own ignorance.

Don't you agree?

___________________________________

Randal,

You are not helping the conservative cause, and you are, in fact, hurting it. Mr. Diano appears to be the voice of reason here, I must say.

Perhaps you may wish to reconsider your approach, sir.

February 26, 2008 at 3:51 PM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

Law Prof,

I couldn't agree more... except about the lawyers.

February 26, 2008 at 5:59 PM 
Anonymous r said...

Gee, his fellow Lib finding Dave to be a voice of reason. Imagine that. Lol…

There was nothing blatantly racist about anything I have posted, other than you wishing desperately to call it that because I have exposed you to be a Lib fool on a number of occasions here.

And nowhere did I say that all blacks don’t want to learn, Lying Lib Law Prof. But certainly the evidence says that a great many of them seem to have the anti-schooling attitude.

Such intellectual grifting, and from a professor… tsk-tsk. I can just imagine what you are instilling in your students. Once again I will say that you are unfit to teach kids anything.

February 26, 2008 at 11:15 PM 
Blogger David Diano said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 27, 2008 at 1:17 AM 
Anonymous r said...

Wow, Dave. That sure is some ugly hate you spew.
Is there really any more question as to just who here is the most intolerant and offensive?

I loved this wiggle!: Just because you won in court does not mean that you were right on either the law or the merits (just that you convinced a particular a judge or jury).


And quit stealing my stuff, Uncreative Dave. I used the yapping dog line on you last week and the leg humping before that (and it was more fitting for you, btw). Leave it to a thieving Lib to swipe others’ material. Even in play they are intellectually dishonest.

February 27, 2008 at 10:14 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diano:

You missed what I said about winning. We got a "consent" Order. Consent, as in Lansdowne agreed that they unlawfully suppressed a viewpoint, so Lansdowne "consented" to the Order, hence we won a CONSENT ORDER!

Do you understand that? You can't apologize for everything liberal. Use some common sense, stop your name calling, and get informed!

C. Scott Shields, Esquire
www.shieldsandhoppe.com

February 27, 2008 at 11:54 AM 
Anonymous r said...

That's gonna leave a mark, Dave.

February 27, 2008 at 7:19 PM 
Blogger David Diano said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 28, 2008 at 3:26 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another chance to have a discussion on a very important subject down the tubes

February 28, 2008 at 6:36 AM 
Blogger Pro Christ Pro Gun said...

Wow Diano, like last Anon stated, you missed a good opportunity to have a decent intellectual discussion about this issue. Liberalism has redefined disagreements as hate and intolerance and you are the local standard bearer for that proposition.

As for Mr. Marcavage, there is a tape of what happened that fateful night, so your negative characterizations of that incident are far off the mark. I can share the tape with you and you can see first hand what REALLY happened. By the way, the tape is from Comcast, not Marcavage.

Lastly, what Marcavage asked was about the appointment of an openly gay councilperson. That constitutes Borough business. He used the Bible to illustrate his concern with the appointment, and he was not asking the borough Council to endorse a Christian viewpoint.

Send me an email and I will send you a copy.

C. Scott Shields, Esquire
www.shieldsandhoppe.com

February 28, 2008 at 7:34 AM 
Anonymous r said...

Why is it Dave is so angry and intolerant? I mean, other than that he is a stinking Lib...

Why did the Angry Lib Dave cross that road?

Chicken or Egg: Is he angry and intolerant because he is a Lib? Or is he a Lib because he is angry and intolerant?

February 28, 2008 at 9:57 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My oh my! People just can't seem to get along, can they?

I love all the compassionate conservatives who post here. And everybody's favorite, Scott Shields, who preaches that the US has always gone side by side with Christian values. I'd love to hear Scott's definition of Christian values.

And I love all the stuff about Michael Marcavage. Now there's a true Christian for you. It's about time, too, that patriots and Christians like Marcavage have stood up to the secular libs who scream through megaphones to disrupt church services on Sundays. And who better to be on the receiving end of a megaphone than a bunch of fags, right?

Scott speaks the truth, as he perceives it. He hates all that political correctness - you know, how we can't call a spade a spade and a retard a retard and a filthy homo a fruit or queer. What's this country coming to? Of course, political correctness is in the mind of the beholder, so to speak. I don't think Scott is anti-PC to the extent that people can feel free to call Christians superstitious idiots in the political forum. Sure, people like Scott will point to books by folks like Richard Dawkins as "proof" of the "assault" on Christianity. But in a country in which a person cannot get elected to any significant public office without publicly declaring their worship of Jesus or some other deity, the cries of victimhood from such as Shields are so much verbal flatulence.

I can't put into words my admiration for such... people... as Shields and Marcavage. I just can't put it into words.

April 6, 2008 at 8:40 PM 

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