Our 5th and 6th grade girls basketball season.

          I signed up to help coach my daughters basketball team this season. It was my second time coaching basjetball, my first was coaching a 7th and the grade school team. For that school team we had 5 practices before the season started and 2 a week. Definitely  not enough to compete against teams practicing all week. Our team is a group of girls who were put together on a team. They recieve 1 hour of practice a week. Yet the we’re bumped into the school 5th and 6th grade league, against several schools who have practiced daily, as well as being together since 2nd grade. They were also cherry picked teams of the best kids they had. We were up against it.

         We begged and pleaded to get more practice time. We got 1 extra hour. Out of our 2 practice hours, one was on a half court. The only other team that practiced there had full court. Our head coach preferred to scrimmage and I prefer drills with rules in a scrimmage. During practice I would run drills to improve fundamentals ; dribbling, passing , shooting, boxing out, rebounding and off ball movement. I would try to combine them into one drill in order to make the most of our time. The only place we did not see dramatic improvement was our shooting. They jumped from 8 foot to 10 foot rims. The adjustment period has been tough on them. We worked on adjusting their shots  one girl double clutched every shot. Very difficult  to work with in 2 hours, but we made progress.

       Our 2-3 improved dramatically  over the season. First game all of our points were given up in transition. Our second group of girls had difficulty  learning the close out, then returning to their spot. Our guards played well, although they left the middle open quite a bit. Our center was very good but we were a team of 5th graders playing the majority of 6th graders. I know it seems like lame excuses, but their guards were taller then our center. We played well despite the odds. The kids never quit. We had 3 games where we got trounced and we were just over matched in those games. St season the 2 guards ran everywhere while the 3 down below stood there. It was a difficult learning curve for them. They shpwed a ton of improvement as the season went on. Very proud of them.

        Offensively we did not have much to build on. Last season the guards did the work while the big stood and watched. We taught themscreens, give and goes, V-cuts, pass and move and just general smart off ball movement . Because of the lack of time and their difficulty  understanding how to use a 1-3-1 to break the 2-3, we had to run some very generic movements. We referred to it as the curl and screen. The wings curl down under the basket to the other side. We would set a high screen and a low screen to cause the close out to fight through a screen. The only issue is we could not make our shots, otherwise it worked. We got a lot of open shots that were either air balled or bricked. One girl scored about half of our points, she took smart shots and worked into the middle. The big thing was the growth, they were setting screens, passing improved in games, shot selection for the most part was good and the dribbling improved. They also started doing things on their own. One quick example; they came down court, set the screens inside the top 2 in the zone, point guard dribbled in, drew in the defense and lob passed to our center. Who missed, but it was what we were looking for.

         We did win 1 game, suprisingly, even the guy in charge of the league was suprised  we won at all. All season we told them not to look at the score board, wins in 5th grade basketball are not important. This is where you set the foundation  for everything you do going forward in basketball , work ethic, attitude, skill and sportsmanship is built here. Throughout a 10 game season we went to the free throw line for 10 shots, yes 5 times total. Referees there were not good. It was a learning experience  for me, how to bend and mend in order to get 11 year olds to practice hard, to cement in their heads that you play like you practice. It clicked for some, others not so much. It was a season of growth, despite the fact I seem bitter, I am not. I am trying to be honest and I would be remiss if I didn’t admit to being disappointed  in myself. I let them down at times, as all coaches do, my practices were not planned out properly, wasting precious time and I didn’t put my input in on out lineups, despite disagreeing with how we started the game. We will be playing in a few tournaments  against some of these good teams, yes it will be a learning experience  on how to grow and play for them. But as it is said, iron sharpens iron. The better we play against the more they improve.

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Peaceful protesting met with police violence. Is the police state real?

          To try to ascertain the exact number of people killed by the police is not possible . Police departments do not have to report to anyone these statistics. Out of 1700 police organizations only 750 actually reported their numbers. Yes, the numbers state that African Americans are killed almost 2 to 1 to white people despite making up only 12 percent of the population. So I do believe it is time for Fox News and the crony conservatives to admit that race is an issue. A great example of the hypocrisy is Sean Hannity. He supported what Cliven Bundy was fighting for his rights and was an American hero. This despite Bundy dodging a tax instituted by conservative  hero President Reagan, he owed millions of dollars in back taxes. He was part of an armed resistance against federal agents and was an American hero. The people of Ferguson or any of these others cities protesting were referred to as thugs and hooligans who were breaking the law. Yes both were said by Sean Hannity.

        If you ever took the time to listen to conservative radio, there are no progressive stations in my area, you will here the perpetuation of this ugly race rhetoric. Rush Limbaugh, who is one of the most disgusting human beings on the face of this earth, said Eric Garner deserved to get choked because he broke the law. Although he refuses to acknowledge that the cop broke the law by using an illegal choke hold, illegal means breaking the law. Fox News is horrible. For a white mass murderer the headline is about how he was bright and brilliant, despite the disturbing fact he killed several people. For Trayvon Martin, who was killed by a wanna be cop, the headline was, he was suspended 3 times in school. Those are just a couple quick examples that show how minorities are viewed by the conservative media, which then trickles down to the dregs of society, the radical conservatives.

Growing up I remember cops carrying a gun, cuffs, baton and their radio. Possibly pepper spray. Cops are better armed now and in Pennsylvania are required to wear their bullet proof vests whenever on duty. There is more crime now then I recall, the local news papers seem to think so as well. But even so, why the militarization of the police force? Aren’t they here to protect and serve? It now seems like the police are an invading force, authorized to use whatever force they want. I understand that if you fight with cops they are going to kick your ass. But killing unarmed people, shooting at them as they run away, beating a woman on the ground who is cuffed, choking people, firing tear gas at peaceful protesters, all while Wall Street is robbing us blind and walking away Scott free. I have had experiences with cops, I have never been beat or shot, but I am white. I have had cops give me a ride to my home when I was intoxicated. They do seem to abuse their power, but as I said my personal experiences were not bad. I truly do not know how it feels to walk in a minorities shoes.

The way our police resemble the military reminds me of videos of Nazi Germany. They robbed people of their rights, arrested who they wanted and abused their power. They also went after a certain group of people, the Jewish people. They systematically decimated them, in the end almost wiping them out. I realize it gas not reached that level, yet. But what is the next step? Can’t indict a cop who shot at a guy 12 times, hitting him 7 times. Can’t idict a cop caught on camera using an illegal choke hold to kill someone. What is next? A group of African Americans or possibly a whole area of town they live in? The whites there are collateral damage in the conservative war on people of color. I feel as if I went off the tracks. But did I? If our justice system doesn’t stop this, who does? How many have to die to change this?

I keep saying conservatives because they believe the victims are wrong. Democrats are spineless, sending out weak statements in order to avoid upsetting the corporate apple cart. We will get nothing from those in our government because they are owned, they recieve their marching orders from the rich and powerful. The 1960s were when the Civil Rights Movement, a mere 50 years ago. Our Conservative Supreme Court Judges ripped apart the Voting Rights Act. I have a very difficult time understanding why these people are so obtuse. Why do they hate so much? Why does this hate pervade our society? Can the media be blamed for all of it? Of course not, ignorance seems to be embraced in our country. People speak of the Constitution, but know nothing about it. The loudest speaker gets the most attention. Sadly that is typically a Ted Cruz or a Sarah Palin.

I believe the militarization of our police has a purpose. Conservatives keep talking about President Obama taking away our rights. I say bull shit to that. That is conservatives mirroring their intentions to keep the focus off of them. Many say that we have become an oligarchy. I believe we are headed to a method of feudalism. Our debt will make us indentured servants,to work their factories and fields. The cops will become their military as our states separate. Conservatives want a group of states with a “defanged” federal government, essentially creating 50 autonomous countries. They will eradicate as many of the poor and minorities that they can. Then live as kings. They will eventually fight amongst each other or be destroyed by Russia or China. The police state is the wealthy jump starting their vision.

I reread this and thought, I sound a little deranged. But, what if………

2014 midterm election, voter apathy or a GOP strategy?

                So the 2014 midterm election ended with a Republican runaway.  They gained the majority in the Senate and gained more seats in the stagnate House.  Congress had an 11% approval rating yet 96% of incumbents retained their seats.  I find it very odd that people were so unhappy yet kept the same people in office.  If anyone thought the Republican strategy would change,  that they might work with President Obama, joke is on you.  Senator Lindsey Graham called him a child in an interview.  Seems the citizens of American did what the GOP wanted,  stayed home on election day.

Is this a master plan by Republicans? No, it is being perpetuated by the party but their marching orders come from the Koch brothers and groups like ALEC or the NRA. The plan seems very complicated but it is not. Very simple, how can a party with a very large deficit in membership beat a party with the larger membership? First they had to win at the state level. When they did that, the began to redistricting or gerrymander. Gerrymandering is the process of breaking up voting districts into more favorable districts for the party in charge. The Supreme Court ruled that Gerrymandering was illegal, but why would laws stop these crooks.

Step 2 was a little tougher. Once they took over the states and gerrymandered the districts they needed to keep moving up the ladder. The gerrymandered districts allowed Republicans to win seats in predominantly Democrat areas. Once they gained seats in the House, the majority, they started pushing voter ID laws in their States. These laws are intended to limit the votes of minorities. Many minorities do not have the proper ID, in some states people that voted for years were no longer allowed to vote. They shortened early voting, voting hours, absentee ballots went missing in several states, voter registrations went missing, people were turned away and Democrat votes turned into Republican votes. All of these laws for a .0002% rate of fraud over the last 10 years. Republicans have said from different states that they needed to limit voting in order to have a chance to win. These are the so called protectors of democracy.

At the same time all this was happening in 2010, still happening today, the billionaires went to court in the Citizens United case. They won the right to contribute as much as they want without anyone being able to track their political spending. The last estimate I saw, the Koch brothers spent over $300 million on the 2014 election cycle alone. Many of this us dark money, which is extremely hard to teach, but is traceable. It is said that Republicans and Democrats get the same amount of money. The upfront money we see, Republicans had about a 20% advantage on. Where as dark money it is estimated anywhere between a 60% to 150% advantage. Most of this money comes from single donors. If you believe money has nothing to do with elections, you couldn’t be further from the truth. The candidate with most money wins 94% of the time.

The last part, which probably should have been the first part, is the main stream media. For instance, 2 of the most popular conservative news sources Rush Limbaugh and FOX NEWS are the 2 most unreliable news sources. Limbaugh is estimated to lie approximately 75% of the time and FOX News tops them at about 85% of the time. Approximately 250 newspapers are owned by 7 conservatives. News channels are complicit as well. Instead of covering anything going right, they went with Ebola and Is is. They played the Republican scare tactic game. So the plan was later out.

Through all these things they routed a Democrat party whose President lowered the deficit, GDP, unemployment, the unemployment rate is at 5.8%, gas prices and health insurance. There would be more jobs of not for Republicans led by Mitch McConnell voting against the Veterans Jobs Bill and the Jobs Bill. This Republican party is not here for the people, they are there for those with the paper. Democracy is not dying a slow death, it is being murdered right before our eyes by enemies dressed as Patriots.

Demonic possession is scary stuff.

          I am a big fan of Ghost Adventures,  I am sure some of their stuff is faked or whatever you may say.  But those guys helped more explore the field myself.  I have only done several investigations,  including my house.  The man who lived here before us shot himself in the head in our front room.  I have gotten several evps,  curtains in the front room are always pushed like someone was looking out the window and a lot of very odd K2 hits.  I think we also have the spirit of a cat.  But anyway,  what the GAC guys did in the beginning was crazy.  Now the ZOZO demon.  This is the first show that got me in a long time.  But seriously,  the idea of demonic haunting scares the hell out of me.

First off anyone using an Ouija board is inviting serious trouble. The chances of actually communicating with a family member or a “good ghost” seem very slim to me. If it really is a key to another spiritual dimension, what do you think is waiting by the door? I think positive spiritual energy communicates in very helpful ways. For example, your gut tells you not to go to a store and it gets shot up (bad example) do you think something is not communicating with you? The same can be said with evil spiritual energy, you doing very self destructive things despite not wanting to. I think we were effected by the spiritual realm regularly, we just are not open to the fact.

To tempt a demon willingly is not smart. Demons can cause chaos in our personal life, professional life, mentally and physically. For a person who has been possessed to tempt it again is absolutely absurd. I am terrified that I am going to come across a demon. The Christian faith says if you are true in your faith you cannot be possessed. Then why do so many Christians become possessed? It is a matter of circumstance. Wrong place, wrong time or asking for it. Even devout Christians who were possessed need multiple exorcism to be cleared and sometimes that doesn’t work.

There are people dealing with paranormal situations daily. The stigma that comes with this causes them not to seek help. This allows the demon to go through its steps. Once it reaches possession in many cases it is to late. Through the research I have done, there is not one demon I can find more common than others. The ZOZO no one is sure if it is a demon, an animal spirit or whatever it may be. It is said that certain Demons are stronger in certain months, they use certain sins to tempt you and that there are offices for each demon. Now each demon is supposed to have and adversary Angel. In this sense wouldn’t you need to call on said Angel to combat the demon? I am not an expert by any means on this.

I have never to my knowledge dealt with a demon, nor do I want to. This stuff is seriously scary. Whoever is dealing with this I feel horribly for. What you have to through in order to get help is ridiculous. I hope if anyone reads this they stay away from the Ouija board or any other circumstances that bring Demons to you. If you are experiencing anything start a journal and mark everything. This can help you when someone comes to investigate. The one or 2 nights they spend there nothing may happen. I don’t think blessing the home yourself is a good idea either. Bring in someone that does it professionally. Good luck and stay safe. 0

ISIS beheads journalist. How does the United States need to respond?

         ISIS, also known as ISIL or Al Quadea in Iraq has struck a nerve with United States population. James Foley was kidnapped, held hostage and then beheaded by the terrorist organization.  This is just weeks after they attacked a rare religious sect in Iraq. Just weeks after President Obama authorized strategic airstrikes. It seems as if ISIS is tempting the United States back into Iraq. The war mongers are pounding their drums louder now.

ISIS had convinced the Iraqi people that they were unbeatable. ISIS owes much of its success to the fact that Iraqi military officers who were ousted by the U.S. have joined there cause. ISIS has not suffered many, if any losses until faced by the Peshewars and the United States military. When faced by these two ISIS backed off. ISIS claims that they are the leaders of the Muslim world. Where in truth, most Muslims want nothing to do with them. They are a radical element that Republican Marco Rubio says needs to be exterminated.

People were upset that the U.S. would not pay 100 million euros or $132 million dollars for the release of Foley. The U.S. does not pay ransoms to terrorist organization or any organization. If a group or family decides to do so, the government typically will let them do so, despite that money assisting a terrorist organization. It is a horrible tragedy and no one deserves to be harmed like that. But I am sure Foley knew what the dangers of this assignment were. Again that does not make them right, but he had to be aware of the risk he was taking. Anyone going over there, soldier, reporter or medical workers should have these risks presented to them.

When I heard President Obama authorized air strikes I was appalled. I knew it wouldnt be long until we had soldiers over there fighting again. Today I have heard that it may be happening much sooner then I thought. We do not need to fight another war. Our country is tired, devastated and broke because of the last 2. Our soldiers need to recover and be with family. This is not the answer. We have many special operations units and drones to do this work. Yell about drones all you want. I DO NOT WANT ANOTHER AMERICAN TO DIE IN IRAQ!!!!!! I cannot stress that enough. It will not end well. I agree that action needs to be taken. But noy another war.

I am an adamant President Obama supporter. I love many of his policies and agree with even more. His whole presidency has been one tough decision after another. This is no different. Congressman John McCain has been beating his war drum for years. The Republicans and there puppeteers have been trying to get us in every country that has a case of marital discord. President Obama and Democrats have held strong until now. The region has always had issues, religious zealots tend to hate a lot of people. We are not the country to fix it. I do not know if Iraqis are better off now or before the war but our country is not better off. We have recovered quite a bit but not enough to go to war again. Please President Obama, I implore you, do not go to war.

What happened to our Democracy?

         What happened to the great country of America? Why do we not prosper like we did in the 1950s-1970s? What caused the greatest nation in earth to come back to the pack? If you listen to Republicans it is all liberals fault, their policies and entitlements. If you listen to Democrats it is all conservatives fault, horrible policies, war mongering and the trickle down economy. But what caused our current predicament. This is an average high school educated Americans opinion on our decline.

America was very successful in the decades following WWII. There are several reasons for this. I believe first and foremost was the conditions other countries were in. Germany, England, Italy, France, Japan and most of Europe was decimated by the war. This essentially left the world at Americas mercy. We were the only developed country that wasnt decimated and we took full advantage of that. Second was the rise of labor unions. They leveled the playing field with corporations causing better pay and benefits. Workers were happy and American made meant something. Third was the gap in income. It put us in a position where employees believed in their employers. Corporations werent cutting corners for a profit.

When CEO pay began to grow quicker then employee pay we saw the beginning of the decline. Companies off shoring work to make a higher profit despite products that were not made very well. Union membership particularly in the early 2000s declined sharply. NAFTA wad created to help Americans but it worked against us. This was the beginning of the end. Then banks began to work against us. I to this day do not completely understand what they did, but they destroyed pensions, credit, peoples lives and the American economy. Too big too fail and too rich too prosecute.

You may ask “Why all this about the economy and jobs?” It all contributed to the political climate we live in today. The decimation of unions took away one of the major checks on corporations power. Easieast example is Walmart. They make billions in profits, get all of their product from overseas and essentially pay minimum wage. They typically cap employees hours so they dont have to offer benefits. All the while their employees are in every government program that is offered because of the low pay. Walmart is one of the largest employers in the country. Any attempt at unionizing is dealt with harshly. People getting fired, hours cut amongst other things. Workers no longer recieve living wages, all the while corporations and the super wealthy gain more and more of the pie.

Why does any of that matter? Well that is quite easy. 94%. 94% of the time the politician with the most money wins. 94%, a ridiculous number. That means that the people with money get their politician of choice. That means that said politician then works for the cause of the wealthy. That causes an ever growing gap in income inequality. When corporate backed politicians are in charge, corporations essentially are in charge. Take the Stand Your Ground Law, a mess of a law. ALEC writes papers called model legislation, which is a bill that is given to their bought congressmen, who then work to get it passed. Congress no longer works for the people, it works for its puppet master.

Money has bought our government, big money, corporations and super wealthy. These people have destroyed our democracy. We are now at the mercy of our corporate overlords. It is funny to think that not only do you buy their product in a store, but we all bow at the altar of the wealthy. This is what these wannabe oligarchs, feudalists or monarchs want from us. For a while the people were silent, but many are waking up. But it is too late? Can we retake our democracy? Is America the new Rome? I certainly hope not. But in my opinion we are balanced on a precipice.

I realize that this is not the most concise description of our fall. But just open your eyes and look around. People stand up for a tax evader like Cliven Bundy but demonize Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown. When was racism so prevelant, the 1950s. How about the constant attack on women? It seems like a calculated attack to keep rich men in charge of things. The election of President Obama, a black man, seems to upset the apple cart. Why else would certain people say their first and most important priority was to make him a one term president. Democracy is not conservatism or liberalism, it is a combination of all of them. We need to overturn Citizens United, put term limits on Senators, Representatives and Supreme Court Justices. We need to be able to assess their jobs and have the right to immeadiatly fire them. Our democracy is on the line. Lets save it.

Is Ferguson, Missouri a case of the poor and mistreated fighting back or the beginning of a military state?

         Mike Brown was recently shot by Ferguson police. Unarmed, yet shot. Witnesses say his hands were in the air, yet he was shot. Is this the police attacking victims of our economic plight? The greed of the ruling class creating areas of poverty that police believe they need to crack down on in order to prevent crime. The Broken Window policy i have heard it called. Stop and frisk in New York. I think it is racism being disguised as police work.

I read one article after another about this young black man being shot while unarmed. The black guy who was shot in Walmart while holding a BB gun. Cops told him to put hands in air, he complied saying it wasnt real and gets shot. Yet an 18 year old white guy was walking down the road in his neighborhood with a shotgun. When police stopped him, asking for his ID, ge refused. He walked away with a fine. Open carry nutbags who walk around with loaded assault rifles, yet nothing happens. Cliven Bundy, the tax evading trespasser and his nutbag hooligan want to be militia point guns at authorities, yet nothing happens. Armed lunatics waiting for a busload of immigrant children force bus to go different location, again nothing happens. This seem a bit fishy to you?

What started off as peaceful protests about the Mike Brown shooting became a fiasco. Who was at fault? People being arrested, shot and beat by police. What looked like a military strike force in an American city. The citizens rioting in response. None of this is right. These people have the right to protest. We do not live in a police state where protest is not allowed. When a public servant does something wrong, we the people have the right to call them out. Any violence in answer of violence is wrong. But that is easy for me to say sitting hundreds of miles away in my Pennsylvania home. Anyone who says race has nothing to do with this is utterly ignorant or blatantly racist.

President Obama has spoke about this. Attorney General Eric Holder has spoken extensively on this. The Ferguson police chief and Governer of Missouri have spoken about this. The governer has pulled the St. Louis Police out replacing them with the Highway Patrol. Events like this have always happened but it seems like it is more common place. To say that the economic and political climate has nothing to do with this is short sighted.

Republicans and Democrats are not to blame per say. The fact that they allow nut bag extremists to hijack the party and message is their fault. These people have inflamed hate and justify racism. They justify hating one another based on our differences. The NRA has created a mess with their idiotic way of thinking and model legislation they give to their bought Congressmen and women to push through. Hate and indifference has become common place, as well as radical out looks on civil rights. The social climate has changed with the political climate.

I live in Pennsylvania and have not personally seen much of this. But i do know quite a few police officers and the way they think is alarming. You would like to think they would look at each situation differently but I dont think they do. It is a generalization of all cops based on a few so it is not a scientific breakdown. When you send a human being out with orders to target a certain group of people, it will have unintended effects on both groups. It is 2014, you would think we would be beyond this. Sadly this is everyday life for certain groups of Americans. When will this change? Only then can we avoid travesties like Ferguson, Missouri.