Message from Montie

Crime Archives

Google Alerts and plagiarism, protect your content and reprint rights

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

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Do you have a Google Alert set up for your content?

Every Monday I get two Google alerts sent to me to monitor certain content. One of the reasons I started doing this was because of my regular contact with the Library of Congress as the Assistant Copyeditor of Kaplan Financial (before it moved to Wisconsin). I would regularly register books and content to prevent plagiarism, and reading through those contracts taught me quite a bit about fair use versus publishing violations.

There was also the matter of being employed with two other companies as the Web Editor, where I regularly went to other Web sites to notify them when they were taking content from my employers' Web sites. These other sites would put my employers' articles on their sites without contacting me or the reporters and finance managers. What bothered me was not that I had to constantly look for these legal issues but how often it would happen. Even worse was when it was constantly happening to me.

 

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Seven-year-old Lamya Cammon gets hair cut off by Milwaukee teacher

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.



My older brother warned me about Ms. Ricks, my new third grade teacher, who loved to cuff people behind the ear when she was upset with them. But I was a studious kid and didn't look for trouble, so imagine my embarrassment when Ms. Ricks slapped me upside the head for not knowing the answer to a math problem. The class erupted in laughter, and I cried for the rest of class. Twenty-one years later, I still remember that. But when I read WISN's report about what happened to Lamya Cammon by her first grade teacher at Congress Elementary School, my incident seemed lightweight.

 

A Milwaukee teacher was charged with disorderly conduct and a $175 fine for cutting off one of the braids of Lamya Cammon. Why? Because the teacher got tired of her playing with her hair. I guess Chris Rock's "Good Hair" movie wasn't enough proof of how black women and girls regard their hair. You do not cut anybody's hair because you're tired of them playing with it. I don't care who you are. I've never even heard of a black mother cutting her daughter's hair off. Do you know how long it takes for black females' hair to grow back? We don't wake up a month later and the hair is just back to its previous length.

 

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Zazzle.com pulls 'Pray for Obama Psalm 109:8' items from online inventory

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

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It doesn't mean prayer like you think.

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I've never voted for a Republican president. Oftentimes I do not agree with their views, but if somebody gave me a bumper sticker or a T-shirt praying for a Republican government official to die, I'd look at that person like he was insane. But on Zazzle.com and CafePress.com, bumper stickers and T-shirts were being sold stating, "Pray for Obama Psalm 109:8." The King James' version of this psalm is as follows:

 

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8 May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership.

9 May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.

 

10 May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes.

 

11 May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.

 

12 May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children.

 

13 May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation.

 

14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord; may the sin of his mother never be blotted out.

 

15 May their sins always remain before the Lord, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.

 

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I don't care how much you don't like President Barack Obama's policies. Wishing he'd not only be kicked out of office but dead, making First Lady Michelle Obama a widow and his children Sasha and Malia beg for food, is worse than "certainly not very nice." I read that "it's certainly not very nice" comment on USA Today's Web site from Cathleen Falsani and just shook my head. Something "not very nice" is shouting "You lie!" or throwing tomatoes. These folks supporting the "Pray for Obama Psalm 109.8" is flat out threatening. And with the history that Obama has created, it's not even realistic or logical to pray for.

~

 

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Tomatoes meant for Sarah Palin land in police officer's face

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

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Jeremy Olson

I've daydreamed about hitting Sarah Palin with tomatoes, but Jeremy Olson actually followed through. Only problem was his aim apparently is only good for the boys in blue.

 

According to MyFox9.com, 33-year-old Jeremy Olson was at the Mall of America today and allegedly had four tomatoes ready to aim and plow. He allegedly threw two in the direction of Sarah Palin during her "Going Rogue" book signing, missed completely, but he managed to hit Bloomington Commander Mark Stehlik right in the face.

 

Jeremy, what are you doing? As big as her mouth is and as much as she just loves to be in the spotlight, how could you miss? He threw two of the four tomatoes from the second floor balcony and was then arrested for suspicion of assault and disorderly conduct.

 

 

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Are debt settlement companies that claim to eliminate credit card debt a scam?

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

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Are you a victim of the debt settlement program?

Lately I've been hearing a lot of recordings for debt settlement offers that will give credit card holders the opportunity to settle their credit card debt. I wondered if these companies were anything like consolidation loan companies so I called. While talking to this company, I also looked up other debt settlement companies that claim to lower your credit card debt by 60 percent. Some have the Better Business Bureau stamp at the bottom, but when I looked up the company directly on the BBB Web site, the company name could not be found. That sent up a red alert.

 

Debt settlement companies ask for the following when they speak to you:

  • Social Security number
  • Copy of your driver's license and driver's license number
  • Full credit card numbers (the credit bureaus will only give partial numbers to protect our privacy)
  • Verify the balance due on each card (they will look it up by your Social Security number)
  • Annual salary or unemployment monthly rates
  • Contact information (name, address, home and/or cell number)
  • Monthly medical, grocery, auto, housing, utility and insurance expenses to calculate your income to expense variance
  • A voided check to deduct the agreed-upon amount directly from your checking account

 

Now that's quite a bit of personal information that this company is asking you for. However, some of this information is no different than a consolidation company. However, here are quite a few differences between a consolidation company and a debt relief company, and all of them are red alerts.

 

Red Alert 1: The debt settlement company states that the credit card owner may receive threatening or continuous calls about late payments. The debt settlement company says to ignore those calls and to have the credit card collections agencies call them. But if the debt settlement company has already negotiated a settlement amount, why would a credit card collection agency call you in the first place? The contract should be clearly stated.

 

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Should Fenger High School parents step up instead of suing CPS for Derrion Albert violence?

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

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Rhaea Albert, at a neighborhood gathering on violence, weeps for her 16-year-old brother, Derrion Albert, who was beaten to death Thursday, Sept. 24. (Tribune photo by Terrence Antonio James / September 28, 2009)

Part 1: The Emotion

 

There's a photo of Rhaea Albert in the December 2009/January 2010 issue of Ebony magazine taken by The Chicago Tribune's photographer Terrence Antonio James. It's a photo of Derrion Albert's little sister with tears streaming down her face (similar to the photo in this blog) but closer up, and it reminds me of the reaction one of my cousins had when one of her twin brothers was killed in their neighborhood. Just like parents say they should never die before their children, the bond that siblings have make them feel the same way.

 

Looking at that picture of Rhaea Albert with tears streaming down her face broke my heart. No child should have to die at the hands of another child and definitely not for something as simple-minded as neighborhood beef. Although I wish that the photo never had to be taken or the Derrion Albert incident never occurred, as I stated in my Christmas wish list, the photo is so raw. But what's more important is that she doesn't have the stone-faced look of a child who feels like murder is just another day.

 

A child who has given up on life is the scariest person you ever want to meet because they sincerely believe they're not going to be around. And even children who are numb to those around them being hurt is scary too. They become desensitized to violence. And as much violence as I saw around me and that stone-faced look from a few of my peers, my parents refused to let me lose hope.

 

Part 2: The Experience

 

I never could comprehend having animosity over a neighborhood, but I do completely understand why families at Fenger High School are so frustrated with the issues between CPS, other students, the police and Chicago youth violence.

 

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Illinois nonviolent prisoners released early this fall, will recidivism occur?

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

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Governor Pat Quinn will be releasing 62 of 1,000 nonviolent prison inmates this fall to save Illinois $5 million, according to Chicago Breaking News. The nonviolent inmates are drug offenders and those convicted of nonviolent property crimes, but homicide or sex offenders will not be released, according to CBS2. The freed inmates will have to report to their parole officers each month, and these 400 parole officers are also in charge of monitoring 30,000 adult and juvenile parolees total.

 

 

The Illinois Department of Corrections 2003 study revealed that property offenders represent 30 percent of the prison population and drug offenders represent a little under one-fourth of the population even though they have the highest percentages of sentences imposed (38.5 percent imposed, 41.5 admissions and 43.1 released). If majority of the prison population are violent criminals and none of these criminals are being released, I can see why this decision was being made. I don't have a problem with it.

 

What I am concerned about is the current unemployment rate in Illinois. According to the Chicago Tribune, Illinois unemployment skyrocketed to 10.2 percent leaving 15.7 million people unemployed.  If these unemployed people are fighting to find new jobs, I wonder whether newly released prisoners will hurt their chances. Probably not considering the hoops that ex-cons have to go through in order to find a job.

 

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