Sunday, March 04, 2007


The Capital reports on this ongoing cause for concern and suggests through a caption beneath a photo of Mids that the makeup of its midshipmen should look “like the enlisted ranks they will lead and the nation they will defend.”

CP wonders if enlisted ranks look like the national population or if they reflect those who are generally underserved, unable to get better educations or see the military as an option because other options look closed. Well, if the military overall is open, and seemingly very much open to minorities, certainly the service academies need to figure out what they are doing wrong--if that is what they want to figure out.

Well, look what just happened to Lamar Owens, whose case has been taken up locally. Would this have happened if his father or grandfather or great grandfather were Admirals? The military serves many purposes and both can lead or follow when it comes to social change. Eisenhower integrated the Army and two generations later, Colin Powell became the top officer in the US Army and then Secretary of State. The service academies have long been elitist bastions run by old boy networks, some of whom no doubt, were unhappy with and hesitant to follow commands from civilian leaders and Congress to admit women.


New reports say students continue to feel unsafe in middle schools. Bullies become bullies for many reasons, including bad parenting, poor self-esteem, being beaten or bullied at home or elsewhere or in some cases, they may be mentally challenged. Whatever the cause, schools and their communities need to take this very seriously and provide assistance such as counseling to both victims and perpetrators, and to punish bullies when appropriate--which is to say anytime they threaten, intimidate or physically abuse anyone.

As a former middle-schooler and the parent of middle schoolers, CP has a special hatred for bullies, whether in schools or in the political arena.

Parents need to teach their children not to be bullies and how to stand up to them when appropriate, or how to defend others who are threatened. Schools need resources. Why is our President talking about a troop surge in Iraq when what we really need is a surge in teachers and counselors in our schools? Well, maybe middle schools are seen as good training ground for bullies who can then go on to the military? Okay-CP is admittedly somewhat facetious and merely speculating, and CP recognizes many fine people and leaders in our military and our service academies.


We are glad to see law enforcement action taken recently. More needs to be done, perhaps with state and even federal assistance. Send a strong message and clear out the apparent source of our violent crime. This recent bust apparently came following on the heels of a closed-door meeting with the mayor, county exec, school superintendent and city police chief, CP has one question: Why did you leave out the public housing authority director?


This is what The Capital reported recently about local home prices. There is a flipside. While the housing affordability has gone down and down in our area, the “dream” side of the equation in that many homeowners have become wealthy through equity growth and appreciation. This is of course good news if you are in a home you bought a few years ago or before, but if you are looking to move here now? And what will happen when throngs of baby boomers go to unload the homes they have been in for a generation? Will there be a huge “correction” whose signs have only just begun? Reporting on this local angle on this increasingly national phenomena almost always begins and ends with questions about financing and affordability.

In a country where Republican leaders and businesses fight even a modest increase in the minimum wage while corporate CEO’s reap millions, what do we expect? Many studies have shown that the rich are getting richer while the rest of us…… so of course it’s harder to buy a home!

CP asks if we need to build more, what about the quality of life and degradation of our air, land and water? More people want to live here but can’t afford it, so, where will the give and take occur? Will they move to once “outlying” areas and build them up and clog our roads more? Will we continue to sprawl forever? CP asks if these huge homes being built and built and overbuilt will eventually be turned into multi family homes, or is that already happening? CP wonders if we are seeing the beginnings of a housing and land use revolution, the likes of which are as far reaching as post World War 2 sub urbanization brought about by soldiers returning home, economic expansion and the interstate highways. The factors in place today to “drive” a housing revolution include soaring home and land costs, rising commuting costs, changes in employment pattern and options, smaller family size and the rebirth of our older and inner cities. And then there is immigration. We live in interesting times and here in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, CP predicts more people, more building, more traffic….and yes, higher home values.


Blogger James Love said...

The housing transfer has already started. According to one boomer dies every 54 seconds.

3/05/2007 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger PAUL said... Hey-that's you! What! Do you surf the web all day looking for new mentions of "baby boomer"?
Okay, I see that from my year, Florence Jackie Joyner has left us and that Timothy Treadwell, from my wife's birth year, has left us too--and I just saw Herzog's "Grizzly Man" based on Treadwell. So, go on enjoying your addmittedly Schadenfreude cyber work. Bizarre. But interesting. And thanks for the comment. By the way, what about "replacements" being born faster than the boomers are dying?

3/05/2007 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger OnBackground said...

come with us to

3/07/2007 05:52:00 PM  

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