Return to Jena

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So, now that I am off my hiatus, I noticed there has been quite a bit going on out there. This story naturally caught my eye.

Being from Louisiana, the Jena 6 story really hit me hard in all of its different aspects. Given the nature of what occurred there, it's no surprise that the entire incident caught national attention. Thousands marched, blogged, and protested to give the teens justice and it was awarded.

However, it seems that some of the boys are still getting into trouble. Apparently one of them was caught stealing last week and later shot himself. So, obviously all those efforts to free the young men was a complete waste of time.



I fail to see how the continuing struggles of these young men takes away from those protests. Sorry, but any place that has students hanging nooses and a "white tree" needs to be exposed and rallied against. Period.

The DA in the case was on a power trip and wanted to send a message of fear to not just the Jena 6, but the entire black community of that town. The message was that we can have "white trees" and nooses all we want, but if you people step out of line I'm gonna throw your asses in jail for as long as I can.

It was wrong. The protests accomplished what they were supposed to accomplish and that was shining a light on an injustice. No one should feel like they did the wrong thing here. The subsequent mistakes of some of the young men is unfortunate but doesn't take away from the need to protest those issues.

What the mistakes do show is our community is still struggling to nurture our young men. We marched in and helped give these kids a second chance and then we.... Well, I don't know what happened next, but apparently it wasn't enough. Time and time again we march in to help kids when they are in trouble with the "system." However, we don't do enough once we get them out or to keep them from getting in trouble to begin with. Until we do, we'll keep seeing our young men blow their second chances.

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My Favorite Rap Groups

My workout was pretty long this morning as I'm shaking off the last of Christmas dinner. I work out to pretty much all hip hop with a couple of R&B songs mixed in to change the pace. As I huffed and puffed on the treadmill, I started thinking about who my favorite rap groups were. At the end of the day, these groups stood out. Naturally, everyone won't agree with this list as there are some pretty surprising admissions. My criteria isn't based on record sales or popularity, but I don't think that can be entirely ruled out either. I tried to focus mainly on the strength of the individual MC's. Meaning that pretty much any group that consisted of one great rapper and his homies was instantly weeded out. You had to come out with more than one album and at least two guys had to rap. No Eric B & Rakim because only Rakim rapped. Without further rambling, here's my list.

1. Wu-Tang Clan - I simply can't think of a better collection of MC's top to bottom. The Wu's roster was pretty ridiculous when you think about it. Everyone brought something a lil bit different to the table, but somehow it still all worked.
2. NWA - I went back and forth on whether to put NWA at Number 1. Ice Cube and Ren were both incredible lyricists and this group spawned a whole generation of rappers. At the end of the day, the Wu did the same thing and I just feel like their music has held up a bit better over. But there's no question NWA had a strong influence on rap.
3. De La Soul - See below.
4. Tribe Called Quest - This was another close call and I could easily flip these two groups out. At the end of the day, I just think Posdunous carries De La over Tribe with strength of his lyrics. Again, a close one.
5. Outkast - The first southern entrants into the list, but there's no denying the strength of Andre 3000 on the mic and Big Boi always did his thing as well.
6. EPMD - Part of me feels like they are too low on this list, but I can't say that they were better lyricists than the other groups on this list.
7. UGK - This pick may seem strange to people who aren't from the South, but UGK has been putting out good music for years. Don't let the southern slang fool you, both Bun B and the late Pimp C were great rappers.
8. The Fugees - Lauryn gets most of the props, but Clef and Pras weren't bad on the mic at all.
9. The Roots - Black Thought carries the day on this one. I debated putting them on the list mainly because so many MC's joined and left the group. But, their music and influence is pretty undeniable.
10. Tie - The Hot Boys, & Bone Thugs - I just couldn't decide between these groups. Most purists will immediately dismiss them because they are commercial, but I honestly have to disagree. I think the individual rappers in these groups were pretty damn good, commercial rap or not, especially The Hot Boys with Wayne, BG and Juvenile. Also, they came with different styles and represented new parts of the rap scene.

Didn't Quite Make It
Black Star - just not enough music as a group, but I love both of these guys.
The Lox - This group just didn't achieve as much as it should have. Strong individual MCs, but not enough memorable music.
G-Unit - I think 50 was actually on to something, but couldn't keep the group together. Young Buck and Game were definitely capable MCs and 50 is 50. Banks was better on the mixtapes than on the albums (at least to me), but could still hold his own and for whatever reason, I just liked Yayo.

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Song that represents how I felt about 2008 - Wu Tang Clan - CREAM

2008 was historic in so many ways it's not even funny.  I've been trying to write down all my emotions about this last year, but it's been pretty difficult.  But today while continuing my quest to get back to my college weight, thing song came up on random.  

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Bailout Spending is a Secret

Monday, December 22, 2008

With the holidays here, my posting will probably be light this week. But, I couldn't help but notice this AP report.

Where'd bailout money go? Shhhh, it's a secret
By MATT APUZZO – 12 hours ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's largest banks are refusing to say how they're spending billions of dollars in taxpayer money.
The Treasury Department has been dolling out cash to banks as part of the unprecedented financial bailout. But there's no system in place for monitoring what the banks are doing with the money.
The Associated Press contacted 21 banks that have received at least $1 billion in taxpayer money and asked four questions: How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings, and what's the plan for the rest?
None of the banks provided specific answers.
Congress rushed the bailout into law so quickly, no public disclosure was required. Now, lawmakers say, they're going to try to go back and get some answers retroactively.
This is just unacceptable folks.  We have no idea what these people are doing with the tax money they have received.  On the other hand, the autoworkers were raked over the coals for weeks about how they would spend funds.  The hypocrisy here is just unreal.

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The Untold Story of Hurricane Katrina

Friday, December 19, 2008

Just watch.

Hat Tip - Raving Black Lunatic

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And Now Complete Silence on Jesse Jackson Jr

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Couldn't help but notice how little we have heard about this since its been revealed that Jackson Jr has been cooperating with the FBI and helping expose corrupt politicians for years. The only thing we are getting are articles calling him a snitch and a rat.

And we wonder why more people don't do the right thing and expose corruption. First your name is dragged through the mud. Then you're labeled a snitch and a rat for bringing the truth to light.

Jesse Jackson Jr should be commended for standing up to the corruption in IL politics.

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The End of HBCU's?

In a move to "trim the budget" and "save money," a Georgia Senator wants to merge some HBCU's in GA with white colleges. Naturally, this has caused some uproar.

Personally, I call bullshit on his whole premise. The budget shortfall in Ga is a reported 2 billion. The money allocated to the HBCU's is likely just a fraction of that.

No, this is something that has been tossed out there on a number of occasions to just put an end to black schools. Literally, thousands of black people are able to get an education through an HBCU and there are forces who would like to prevent that.

We just can't let that happen.

Full disclosure - I went to an HBCU by choice.

I got into several predominately white schools but chose to keep my family tradition and went to an HBCU. The experience for me was invaluable. Never had I been surrounded by so many positive black people. Also, I personally know quite a few people who would not have been able to attend college if it had not been for HBCU's. The number reflect this as black students at HBCU's have lower drop out rates and most black students perform better in those settings.

But even larger is the significant part of our culture and heritage that HBCU's represent. Getting rid of any of them would completely erase that and I can't get behind that.

Also, when people roll out some lame reverse racism bit, remember that HBCU's DO NOT exclude ANYONE from applying or attending their schools. Anyone can attend an HBCU.

Hat Tip - The State of...

For more information, see here - Black Planet

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Interracial Marriage - Part 2

I remember when I first told my family I was bringing my fiance with me to our family reunion in Mississippi. I had been out of law school for a year and had just passed the 3 day long torture session known to the general public as the "bar exam." I was thrilled to finally be done with school and just get to sit back, eat some BBQ, and hang out with relatives I hadn't seen in years. My fiance was nervous, but looking forward to meeting my family.

We got there and everything went smoothly. My family quickly accepted my fiance, but one of my aunts did express some dismay over my selection. As I stood in line waiting for another burger, she said (loudly and in front of everyone):

"Well, I'm glad she is black. I figured since you had went to law school you was gone bring home one of them white girls."

Everyone laughed. I was a bit stunned shook my head a bit, not only because of what she had just said. But also because a few weeks earlier the same thing had happened to another of my law school classmates. And a year earlier, the same thing had happened to another friend of mine who went to med school. A part of me thought the question was wrong. What did it matter what color she was? At the same time, I understood what my choice of spouse represented to my family. It sent them a signal that I hadn't turned my back on the little town that I had come from and the community I grew up in.

That was not the last time I heard that sentiment.

So as I sit here typing, I honestly am at a bit of a loss for words on this whole issue. Over the last few days, much has been made (including on this site) of the problems facing some black coaching candidates because of their decision to marry white women. Even Charles Barkley had to take the time to weigh in on the issue of Turner Gill not getting the Auburn coaching job with his wife being a factor. While some of us immediately find that to be reprehensible. Others give it the Kobe Bryant treatment - that's what you get for messing with them white girls.

Right off the top, I believe we have to acknowledge and admit that we don't understand the feelings that obviously go through the mind of a black woman when she sees that brother cuddled up with a woman of another race. It's personal. Also, we often forget the historical perspective of this issue. From white slave owners raping black women to it being illegal not so long ago, there is very painful history of interracial relationships in our country.

Yet as I close in my one year anniversary, I just have to say that if you find someone who is willing to be around you 24/7, forever, you should grab that person and hold on for dear life no matter what they look like. Cliche, but true. Marriage is tough at times, period.

Yet, the problem I think most people have, at least from a black point of view, is that black men get good jobs and then immediately search for a woman of another race to validate their success and turn their backs on the community. I can't lie. I have met brothers who fit that mold.

BUT, I have met far more who just simply fell in love with someone. And that's what marriage is all about.

At the end of the day, Grandma Esquire pretty much nailed my feelings on the matter. "Focus on keeping your own house in order and don't worry about what going on next door unless its a criminal or child molester or something."

Regardless of personal feelings on this subject, there is simple fairness. A person should not be denied a job because of who they married. Period. The fact that people are being told they would NEVER get a head coaching job because they married white women is just ridiculous and sad. It's also not a validation of the thought that people shouldn't marry outside of their race.

It's racism. End rant.

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What's So funny About Being Blind?

Monday, December 15, 2008

I thought I was just being overly sensitive when I saw the Saturday Night Live skit, but it looks like America agrees with me.  The Gov. Patterson skit was in poor taste and just wasn't funny.  

Also, why do they keep getting Armisen to portray black people?  So do the Saturday Night Live producers really expect us to believe that there are no black comedians they can add to their staff in NEW YORK CITY?  Insane.

I have been a fan of this show for years and still am.  Their election coverage this year was great...except for Obama.  It's pretty shameful that they can't bring in a black guy to play a black guy.  

Also, picking on blind people?  Not cool guys.

Come on.  We're not asking much here.


Interracial Marriage Preventing Coaches From Getting Jobs?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's been whispered about and hinted at behind closed doors and on blogs, but ESPN's Mark Schlabach let the cat out of the bag today on ESPN's Outside the Lines.

When coaching spots opened up in the SEC, it wasn't long before the names of top black coaching prospects Turner Gill and Charlie Strong popped up.  If you believe the positive buzz, these guys are among the best and brightest coaching prospects in the country.  Yet, there were some who doubted whether these guys really had a shot at getting these coaching jobs.  Why? Because they are black men married to white women.   

The very thought that someone is being denied employment because of their choice of spouse is something that no one wants to believe or hear.  Most of us pretty much try and put that kind of internet rumor to the side.

Given the low number of black coaches in college football, it wasn't much of a shock to watch these guys get passed up for others, including two gentlemen who have failed miserably at previous coaching destinations.

It was a shock for me to hear Mark Schlabach reveal that a couple of coaches informed him that Gill would NEVER get the job at Auburn because he is married to a white woman.  It was also refreshing.

The problem for black people is that no matter how racist something may be, you know you will face an immediate backlash if you speak on it. Your statements and concerned are dismissed as playing the race card. The entire conversation focuses in so hard on whether the act was racist that you never even get to discuss the act itself. Even worse, the person walks off looking worse than they had before.

So having a white journalist at ESPN speak on blatant discrimination was nice. The thought that these guys are being passed on because of who they married is beyond upsetting. Turner Gill took an absolutely horrible Buffalo program and has completely turned them around. Gene Chizik has taken a team that went to bowl games 5 of the last 6 seasons and won 5 games in two years with them. Chizik is not even as good a coach as the guy Auburn let go.

Yet, Chizik will be the new coach at Auburn and Turner Gill and all the other qualified black coaches wait for the next opportunity.

Welcome to post-racial America.


Jessie Jackson Jr's New Fight

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Jessie Jackson Jr recently announced that he wanted his name back once this whole thing is all over.  This will be the second time he has had to fight for his own reputation because of issues with another person.

Jackson has done a remarkable job separating himself from the failings of his father.  It's a shame that he will now how to try to do that again with the Blagojevich scandal.

I've been trying to hold back comment until more facts came out, but one glaring factor leads to me to chime in now.

Why haven't we heard the names of the other candidates?

When the bombshell about Jackson was dropped, I sat back and waited patiently for more facts and more names to drop before commenting.  Yet, the trail has pretty much turned completely cold.  Why is Jackson being singled out here?  I think we know the answer, but I throw it out there anyway.

Jackson is being unfairly singled out right now.  Thus far, he has not been accused of any wrong doing but he is still having to fight for his name.

Some have suggested that he should have waited before commenting.  I'm not sure about that.  I really think it was a lose lose situation for him.   I think the negative press would have just been worse had he waited to comment.  The instant his name was "leaked," he was pretty much screwed.

Hopefully, Jackson Jr will not be found guilty of anything and will be able to restore his reputation.  At this point, its unfortunate that his reputation has been hurt at all.

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Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

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Will Blagojevich "Stand Tall?"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

All my fellow Wire fans should recognize the concept.

As soon as the Breaking News blotter popped up about corruption in IL, you knew it was going to somehow end up on Obama's doorstep whether he was connected or not.  Thankfully, Blagojevich pretty much told Obama to fuck off.   Obama will still have to answer questions, but should come out clean in this.

But, you also know that Blagojevich wasn't alone.    This guy was even trying to get his wife a gig.  Who knows how many other people he has gotten bogus jobs?  Just how many people were connected in all this and how high up does the corruption go?  Will Rod stand tall and go down alone or pull down everyone else involved?

This is really just the tip of the iceberg.  Pay for play is not a new concept, but Rod was pretty bold with his.  He really seemed to think he could do whatever he wanted.  That basically he means he's been doing this for so long that he really felt like he couldn't be stopped.  

Again, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

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Is Money Really Worth It? Blagojevich Goes Down

I've been following the news about IL Gov. Rod Blagojevich today and amongst all the pundits weighing in, that has been the biggest question on my mind.

Is money really worth it?

I have no access to Blagojevich's finances, but its hard for me to believe that the Governor was in any way struggling to make ends meet. So why do this? Greed? Power? All of the above?

Even a cynic like me was taken aback by the sheer gall of this man. The governor did not want to give this “motherfucker Obama his senator. Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him.” I guess that comments clears up his mindset. He was a power hungry fool. I mean, who did this guy really think he was?

So now it is all going to be taken away from him and you have to wonder if it was in any way worth it. This isn't just a fall from grace. Blagojevich will live on in infamy forever.

And for how much cash? I can't imagine it was nearly enough.

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The Supreme Court Makes The Right Call

Monday, December 8, 2008

MSNBC reports that the Supreme Court will not review Obama's eligibility to serve. Needless to say, I am in full agreement with this.

If there were any valid issues about his citizenship, are there any doubts they would have come out by now?

Time for these folks to go away.

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Princeton Seminary Professor Target of Racism by Students

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Really, really late to the game on this one, but I'll post about it anyway.

It appears that Princeton Professor Yolanda Pierce was the victim of racist flyer posted on that campus. To say that this saddens me is a gross understatement. I'd write more but a lot of people have expressed emotions on this better than I probably could. Unfortunately, I think we should all brace ourselves as more craziness is likely to follow the inauguration.

Melissa Harris-Lacewell
"I am also beside myself that you, Yolanda, were personally attacked in a racially hateful flier distributed on your campus. I know that you are not yet ready to talk about the event because you are considering a whole set of legal and personal responses. But sister, I need to tell our guests here at The Kitchen Table about this disgusting act. These hateful creeps, also cowering beneath anonymity, distributed a newsletter called "The Foreskin" all over Princeton Theological Seminary's campus on Thursday.

In their vile, racist, publication they mock the newly elected president of the student body who is a terrific young black man. They also went after you, Yolanda, belittling you as an African American woman and making fun your scholarly contributions and your service work on campus. When I saw this thing it took absolutely everything I had not to come over to your campus with a torch and start setting things on fire until we get some answers. (Notice how I am signing my name to this as I write it.) "

HAGAR'S DAUGHTERS: Princeton Seminary Professor Target of Racism by Students

Black Women Blow The Trumpet

Black on Campus

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Down Goes OJ

Friday, December 5, 2008

So, they finally got their man. OJ Simpson was sentenced today and will do at least 9 years in prison for killing his....oops.

No, OJ Simpson is going to jail for at least 15 years for...what exactly? OJ thought some people took his property. OJ got strapped and went after them. Those guys just happened to have video cameras, tape recorders, a live blog, a court stenographer, etc to record all the events that occurred. OJ is taken to court and found guilty. OJ is sent packing for a LONG time.

Before I go any further, let me clearly state I don't have any sympathy for the Juice. OJ turned his back on the community a long time ago. A friend mentioned how it surprised him that everyone in the black community has basically shrugged its shoulders about OJ's legal problems given the reaction to his first acquital. I explained to them that the reaction to the first acquital was more about beating the system than any true concern for OJ. Also, I think the majority of OJ's street cred was coming from Cochran and not him. So no, no one really cares that the brother is going down now.

So why I am writing about it? I can't get past the stench of all this. This verdict is pretty blatant revenge for OJ walking the first time around. While I can even understand him getting some jail time, he could do up to 33 years for his "crimes." That's just insane.

I just can't imagine that anyone other than OJ with no prior convictions would be sentenced to that kind of hard time.

Getting back at someone for being found innocent of previous crime isn't something new, but it's not something I can go along with. Cochran mopped the floor with the LA District Attorney's office and OJ was found innocent. Period. End of story.

Or at least it should have been. Not excusing OJ because he shouldn't have handled the situation like that, but come on. At least 15 years over some football cards?

This verdict and sentencing was all about revenge on this guy for being found innocent of a crime. Decisions like this should be frowned upon no matter who is at the receiving end of it.

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OK, Fine - DON'T Reach Out to the Black Community

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Enough of the attacks on the black community by the gay community.

Hey! Andrew Sullivan and Dan Savage! You are not helping matters!

All you are doing is making those of us in the black community who are sympathetic to your cause angry.

And yes! I am religious! Sorry about that!

Here's a tip. Trying to bring people over to your cause by attacking them and their religious beliefs is probably not a sound strategy.

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Big 3 = Big Change of Heart

At least for me.

When I first heard about the automakers wanting more cash, my reaction was like most people - no way.

Now, I must admit that I have softened considerably on my position.

Why? Because as usual it's all the lil' people who will get screwed on this.

The leadership of the Big 3 is a mess. They have completely mismanaged their businesses and that plays a huge part in their current situation.

But are they really any worse than their Wall Street counterparts?

I gotta give a pretty loud no to that one.

Much was made of them showing up in corporate jets. Well, do we really doubt that the CEO's of the banks would have done the same if they had been flying in from Detroit? Is there any doubt that the Wall Street folks showed up in limos and have been eating at the finest restaurants in town for the last few weeks?

So why are the Big 3 getting so much more venom than the Wall Street folks? I gotta go with the White Collar vs. Blue Collar line of thinking and that's the main reason I'm softening my stance on this.

At the end of the day, no matter how stupid these guys were we all know they are not the people who will pay the ultimate price if they are not bailed out. It's all the workers they have across the nation that will. The last thing we need is more out of work people.

I agree that their should be tough stances on how the money is given. Specifically, there should be assurances that the Big 3 won't lay off any workers if they are given the bailout. Sorry, but if you're gonna take taxpayer cash you gotta make sure those people still have their jobs. If that condition is met, I won't have a problem with giving these guys loans.

The hearings have just begun, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Still, if the people standing to lose were a bunch of investment bankers instead of blue collar workers, I'm pretty sure the check would have already been written.

And that's just a shame.

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Bloomberg & Plaxico Pt. 2

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dwil of Sports on My Mind made a comment this morning that sparked my memory. I also think it explains Bloomberg's interest in this. One Word.


We all famously remember Puff walking on a gun charge several years ago. Bloomberg pushed this law through partially because of that case. Now Bloomberg has another target now and wants to nail him to the wall.

It's still wrong.

Bloomberg has essentially declared Plaxico's guilt with no trial. He has all but told the judges and attorneys of NYC that they better put this guy behind bars. You also have to wonder how this will affect a jury. I've got to think he's completely poisoned one.

Sorry, but I just don't think this was a good thing. Again, let the court system do its job. His speech was just over the top and out of line.

Also, I have searched the internet for a while now and I can't find any similar speeches aimed at all of his buddies on Wall Street. Surely he is just as upset at the folks who destroyed the American economy?

Again, just because he's a celebrity doesn't mean he deserves any more or any less attention than any other person.

Also, don't just jump on your soapbox when there is an easy target. America is always ready to destroy an a black athlete, guilty or not.

I would be FAR more impressed if the mayor had given this kind of speech condemning his wall street chums.

Side Note - Still waiting for the NRA to come out and defend Plaxico's right to carry a gun.

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Mayor Bloomberg Obviously Has Everything in NYC Under Control

What else can explain his grandstanding on the Plaxico Burress issue? Mayor Bloomberg has stepped up and wants the District Attorney's office to throw the book at the Giants wide receiver.

Before getting to the mayor, let's get a couple of things out of the way.

I don't think Burress was dumb for having a weapon. Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, athletes are a target. And no, I don't think they should just lock themselves in a room somewhere and never go out. I don't own a gun, but the thought has crossed my mind. I hope I never feel like I need to go out and get one, but won't condemn those that do.

I do think he was dumb for not getting it properly registered. There is simply no way that his team of handlers could not have gotten this accomplished for him.

The cover up at the hospital was a bad move, but I'm not too angry with him for that either. Given everything he stands to lose, I can't blame the guy for trying to keep things on the hush.

I do think it was dumb that he shot himself (if that's what happened).

What Burress did was a series of stupid moves. Should he be punished. Yes. Probation and community service sounds just right.

3 or so YEARS in jail? Ummm. No.

And that's why I don't like Bloomberg's stance on this. Right off the top, there are just too many issues going on right now for the mayor of NYC to be flexing his muscles over something like this.

However, the bigger issue is that the only reason this is being pushed is because it's Burress. If I am wrong and someone can whip out stats proving that EVERY person who has violated this law was given at least the minimum sentence and no plea deals, then I will quickly write a retraction. But I'm pretty sure that is not the case.

And among those people who have gotten off with plea deals, you can bet that a number were dealers, rapists, murderers, robbers, etc...

You know, real criminals who hurt people (well, hurt people other than themselves).

If you aren't going to force this law down the throats of the real criminals who actually do hurt and steal from people then don't jump on your soapbox to take down a guy just because he is high profile. There are some very appropriate punishments for Plaxico. Even if you want to throw him in jail, 3 years is excessive. At the end of the day, the guy only hurt himself literally and in his own wallet.

Leave this issue to the lawyers and courts and stick to making things right in the city. Don't throw the book at the famous guy and let the actually crooks plea out of these offenses.

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Yeah, No S$%t - The US economy is in a recession...

I mean, seriously, did these guys get paid to make this announcement?

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Worker Dies During Black Friday Stampede

Friday, November 28, 2008

Last night I wondered aloud to my wife about whether people would really be out for Black Friday given the state of the economy. We both felt like there would still be the typical crowds as many would ignore the doom and uncertainty for a new TV. Unfortunately, one person lost their life over it. Apparently, the shoppers in Long Island just could not wait to get into Wal-Mart and scoop up $2 DVDS or $400 dollar TV, that they had to break the door open and trample the poor worker to death to get to all those low prices and great deal.

And that is just too sad for words.

I know there will be those who say that this is just one unfortunate incident, but given the madness at some of these events, it really is amazing this doesn't happen more often. I haven't gone early to a Black Friday deal in years because of all the chaos.

I mean, come on.

Is it really that important for you to get your 30 buck MP3 player that you have to trample someone for it?

I mean, didn't most of us just spend yesterday talking about what we were thankful for?

Meanwhile, someone else probably just died in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

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Lighten Up Folks...

So I'm watching the game and out of nowhere this R&B dude comes on and is singing. The first thought in my head is pretty much "what the hell?" Then I heard the words - "Got that McNugget lovin" and I almost fell out of my seat laughing. Yeah, I'm talking about the totally lame and completely hilarious for all the wrong reasons McNugget commercial. It's come on several times and I have laughed pretty much all of them and put it out of my head.

But as I was checking out some sites today, I couldn't help but notice some people are upset by the commercial going as far as to write to McDonalds. I don't want to trample on people's feelings, but this seems like a bit too much to me. There are a LOT of things going on right now to be upset about and write letters on, but I just don't feel like this commercial is one of them.

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Song of the Week - Illa J - Timeless

I was supposed to blog about the continuing economic crisis, but to be quite honest, I'm sick of thinking about it. So on to something else, starting with this track.

Background info - Illa J is the younger brother of J Dilla, producer extraordinaire who passed away a few years ago. Illa J dropped a CD featuring himself rapping and singing over his brother's beats and I have been listening to it constantly for the last couple of weeks. The beats were crafted by Dilla during the late 90s, so they have a Tribe Called Quest / Pharcyde feel to them.

Some feel like the CD may just be a guy trying to cash in on his brother's celebrity. I think that's a bit out of bounds. How someone chooses to honor a deceased family member is truly on them. If the family has no problem with this album, then neither do I. Also, the more you listen to the CD the more you really feel like Illa J was channeling the vibe and spirit of his older brothers sound and the style of the late 90s.

While Illa J won't necessarily excite anyone with unbelievable lyrics, he more than holds his own performing over his brothers beats. The nostalgia of the the entire disc quickly grew on me and was a nice break from today's hip hop. The CD is definitely worth taking a minute to listen to at Last FM or through videos on YouTube.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So no help to the automakers (which I was actually kind of for), but we bail out Citibank? The same Citibank that had money a week or so ago to try and buy other banks, but now is mysteriously broke and needs government help? What happened to all the tough talk put on the Big Three automakers? Didn't we already bail our Citi with the original bailout plan?

Look, I buy the premise that we can't just let these huge banks fall apart. But, like with the Big Three Automakers, we shouldn't just be throwing out cash awarding the irresponsible management of these banks.

Plus, it sounds like this could result in higher interest rates for consumers. Where are the consumer protections in this?

Word is coming in that Obama is set to announce a 500 billion economic plan. More ranting afterwards, but I'm still wondering why they don't just give money directly to the consumers to get the economy back going. It would definitely be cheaper....


Thoughts on the Health of the Black Community...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

...and I mean that literally. While overall awareness of the need to eat healthy and exercise has spread to our community, I don't think we are acting on it. The numbers certainly back that up. A recent press release I read on Marketwatch was very disturbing.

"The top serious health concerns for African Americans are:

Cardiovascular Disease--The #1 killer of African Americans.
Diabetes--3.2 million African Americans have diabetes, yet more than 33% do not know it.
Vitamin D Deficiency--Low Vitamin D has been associated with several types of cancer as well as certain autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus.
HIV/AIDS--Nearly half of the people who get HIV/AIDS are African American, suffering more deaths than any other race.
Cancer--Lung, Breast, Colon, Prostate--African American men are 35% more likely to die from prostate or colon cancer than Caucasian men and African American women are 18% more likely to die from breast cancer because of a genetic predisposition to aggressive forms of cancer"

I don't know what's worse here - the actual rate of diseases, so many not knowing that have an illness, or the disproportionate rates of death. Immunization rates among Blacks and Latinos is not any better. And while the numbers here are high, are they really surprising at this point? We have been getting clear messages for years to clean up our acts regarding our health and get ourselves into better shape but people are not listening.

I recognize that there are deep deficiencies in insurance coverage and health information in minority communities, but the consequences here are too great for us to wait for someone else to come in and clean up this problem. The community has to get pro-active about this and do our part to address this issue.

That starts tonight at the dinner table. I am no stranger to fried chicken, greens, or any of the other stereotypical soul food that people roll out there and I'm not ashamed of that at all. Soul food is indeed a part of our culture. However, there are ways to prepare these foods without all the calories and fat and some things are just going to have be pretty much not eaten all together. It sucks, but our lives are worth it.

I've dropped 13 pounds this month and need to shed about 20 more to get back to my college weight. Like a lot of our people, I carry weight well. Sports and a good work out regimen in the past has allowed me to coast a bit these last few years. That's part of the problem as I think if I looked a bit more obese it would be easier to motivate myself to get back into the gym. The wake-up call has come in the form of a bunch of clothes I can't wear and "baggy" jeans that now look like something Lil' Wayne would wear.

So the dieting and exercise is back in full effect and yes it does suck. I'd much rather eat some fried chicken than baked chicken and I really sick of these stupid protein shakes. But, my blood pressure has dropped and I am fitting back into my clothes so it's all good. I'm definitely no angel on this as I have slipped and headed over to Taco Bell a couple of times, but my eating is so much better than it was.

And I think that's the first step for everyone. Just try to cut back, eat a bit better, and work out a couple of times a week. I honestly feel better and have more energy already. Even if that's not your bag, at least do yourself a favor and get to a doctor for check-ups and immunizations as often as possible. Most areas have free clinics that will provide these services to people who live in the area. Take advantage of these services and do whatever you can to stay healthy.

This is, after all, the only life you will get. Make the most of it.


People Watch as Teen Commits Suicide on Internet

Friday, November 21, 2008

As a sci-fi nut, I have watched tons of movies about futures where people watch other folks get killed for entertainment value. As a kid, I never thought we would get to that point as a society. Until today. I can't believe this story from MSNBC. What's worse is that it details other similar incidents that have happened around the world. So while this is certainly not a widespread thing, it is still troubling.

How could anyone sit there typing "LOL" and "hahaha" while a guy attempts suicide? Some of the people interviewed said they didn't think it was real because the guy had made similar threats before. I'm sorry, but whether I thought it was real or fake, there is no way I could sit there and watch that. Seriously, are people THAT deprived for entertainment?


Song of the Week - Obama - I Can Do Whatever I Like

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hat Tip - Jack and Jill Politics


Oh Ye Of Little Faith

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

To say the reaction to Obama's staff picks have been mixed would be to say that Bush made some questionable decisions as president. I will admit, my eyebrows were raised on some of his picks initially but I have come around.

As a matter of fact, I now like what he's doing. I definitely believe in keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. Therefore, putting Hillary in as Secretary of State makes a whole lot of sense to me. Its a big role. It gives the Clintons a vested interest in the success of the Obama administration. And, most importantly, I think Hillary can do just as good a job as anyone else one else thrown out there. I certainly wouldn't mind if Richardson ends up in the roll, but Hillary makes sense to me on a number of levels.

The obvious downside is Bill and the whole Clinton legacy. I get that and understand those reservations. Yet, let's not forget that Obama has already clearly shown that he knows how to handle the Clintons. In fact, Obama has shown that he pretty much knows how to handle damn near everything that has been thrown at him. Which brings me to my point.

Why the sudden lack of faith in Obama's judgment?

Yes. We all want change and change is what Obama promised. Obama's staff is looking anything but that as it has a ton of Clinton folks, but I get what he's doing. The thought of bringing in a fresh new staff is very appealing at first glance. But then I step back and think about just how deep in shit the country actually is right now. This is not a time to take gambles. We need people who can step in and get things done.

Or look at it this way, when you need someone to hit a game winning shot, you don't grab a rookie. You go get Kobe Bryant. When you need someone to lead a touchdown drive, you don't grab Matt Ryan, you get Tom Brady. When you need a hit record, you go get Kanye West...etc etc etc.

No doubt about it, this country needs a game winning bucket, multiple touchdown drives, and a couple of platinum albums. Obama may not be grabbing a bunch of new names, but he is grabbing people who should know what the hell they are doing.

That's a good thing in my eyes. Obama doesn't have time to feel things out. He needs to step in and immediately get things done. He can only do that if he is surrounded by a strong team of people who know the ins and outs of Washington.

So I really think everyone should just dial back the doubts for a second. If you believed in him up to this point, there is no reason to turn back and start throwing rocks now. Give the man time to get his complete team in place and start making some actual policy decisions before we break out the knives.


Prop 8 Debate Continues...But Where's the Education Component?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

As I expressed in another post the failing of Prop 8 and the role of minorities in it did disappoint me. I'm probably in the Keith Olbermann frame of mind on this one. I'm not gay, but I don't think anyone should be denied their rights. I also firmly believe in separation of church and state. If some crazy religion ever came to power (although I am sure the average non-Christian would argue this has already occurred), I would not want policy being dictated by their beliefs.

That is no doubt what is happening now. The religious beliefs of some are influencing the rights of others. It's wrong and it needs to stop immediately. The rights of all people should be respected.

However, all the protests and the laying of blame at the doorsteps of minority groups and Mormons have got me thinking.

Is this really the right approach to getting this issue resolved?

Maybe its time to serve this issue up with a bit of honey rather than vinegar?

That may sound naive, but I'm not sure it doesn't have some merit. At the end of the day, there is a segment of the population who will just never ever vote for this just like there are people who wouldn't vote for Obama because he's black. Those people are a lost cause.

But there are a lot of other people who I think could be swayed to the other side of this issue by explaining what's really going on, why this type of regulation is bad, and just showing them the other side of the debate.

A thorough discussion of how Prop 8 and any similar legislation is just plain wrong regardless of ones religious affiliation is the way to go in my mind. If I were them I would base my whole speech on the concept - If they can do this to us, what will they try to do to you? What right do you want the government to take away by popular vote?

I'm in no way against the mass demonstrations today. I think raising awareness is good and definitely respect everyone's right to protest. But let's get some true education going on here as well.


Bail Out For the People

Friday, November 14, 2008

This idea has been rolled out in jest a number of times, but now I'm starting to think it should be given some thought.

Why not just bail out the people?

This rant is courtesy of me finally stepping back into the real world today and picking up a newspaper and watching CNN. I guess we all knew it was just a matter of time, but now the Big Three automakers have come out with their hats in hand looking for a piece of the bailout pie. I think the automakers may actually be less deserving of a bailout than the wall street guys.

At least with Wall Street, there were some regular citizens who were able to ride the wave of the last few years and make some cash. No such luck with the automakers. Their greed has no winners, just victims. Their management has been absolutely dreadful. There is really no better way to get these corporations to straighten up and fly right than to let them fail and get back on their feet they way all the rest of us do - through hard work. Their failures is less about the economy and more about their failure to keep up with their foreign competition.

I won't even start on their failure to produce more fuel efficient vehicles. Let's just say the automakers have dug their own graves and should be forced to regroup, restructure and pull themselves out of their own mess.

Right behind the automakers are the mayors of Atlanta, Philly, and Phoenix. All want aid to help their cities through this difficult time. I have not read too many specifics of what they are asking for, but my knee jerk reaction is that the cities probably have a better case than the automakers.

Yet, I just keep coming back to the thought of just pumping some more cash into the wallets of the citizens. And not just a couple of hundred bucks. I'm talking at least a few grand.

Obama is pushing hard for another stimulus package and I think he's on the right track. I just think it should be a substantial amount. Enough to really make a dent in some bills and get people back into stores.

The bailouts are aimed at helping financial institutions and that in turn helping out everyone else. I think freeing up credit is good, but the last thing most Americans need right now is more debt. I also think a more direct approach could help out everyone a heck of a lot sooner. People get money. People catch up on their credit cards, mortgages, etc. People start back buying cars, clothes, and food. The circle of financial life breathes again.

Silly? Maybe.

But seriously, if the government can give these horrible businesses who have no one to blame but themselves for their current predicament around $30,000,000,000.00 then why can't they give you and me $5000 or $10000?

I mean, its not like any of the bullshit ideas by the so called experts are working anyway.


Song of the Week - Wu Tang Clan - For Heaven's Sake

Sometimes when you have the Ipod on random a song pops up that you haven't listened to in a while and it just takes you back. That happened to me this morning on the treadmill. The Wu catalog is filled with classics, but this song really highlights why I think Jason Hunter aka Inspectah Deck was the most underrated of the crew. The Wu was filled with lyricists but when he brought it, he really brought it.

Yo, aiyyo my rap style swing like Willie Mays
My eyes Purple Haze, my solar razor burn through shades
My grenades raid the airwaves, catch this rap page
I glide like, hovercrafts on the Everglades
Boom master, with the faster blade, track slasher
Manufacture poems to microphones, bones fracture
Limited edition composition spark friction
non-fiction, the calm bomb keep your arm distant
Zero tolerance, dominant intelligence
Wu original, true colors step from the melanin
The most high, most try, to get close by
and overthrow I, but choke, with they hopes up high
I circulate the tri-state and vibrate beyond the Richter
Flies sense to flock when they spot this live nigga
The crowd seducer black your third eye before I lose ya
Verbal high I leave stars in the eyes of Medusa
Top ten, parley like Cochran, it's often
narrow margin, of your odds to dodge the marksman
Murder rap, kill you soft like Roberta Flack
Words attack like a british bulldog, observe the stacks


Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Hey Obama! Just kidding when we called you a terrorist....

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The backpedaling is in full swing as some politicians pucker up and try to get back in Obama's good graces. The New York Times breaks it all down. Yet, I have a feeling no one is surprised by this behavior.

Obama is doing everything he can to hit the ground running and that makes me very happy. The Washington Post fills us in on plans to use Executive Orders to reverse some of Bush's actions.

Finally, the Republicans are still managing to completely miss the boat on just how bad they screwed themselves and the country. Talk Left highlight a Bill Clinton speech that really nails how the Republicans messed everything up.


Song of the Week - Ray Charles - America the Beautiful

Saturday, November 8, 2008

In light of the Obama win, I think this song sounds a bit better this week....


The Many Sides of the Sarah Palin Fiasco

I can't lie.   I have had my fair share of laughs on the expense of Ms.  Palin.  Yet, the recent revelations about her, while still amusing, ring about hollow in my ears.   How disingenuous is it for the Republicans to now trash her by leaking out all these details about the campaign?  I think Campbell Brown hit the nail on the head in the video below - YOU PICKED HER!  This is why you have a vetting process you morons.  

The fact that they kept pushing this person as a viable VP after she didn't know that Africa was a continent is worse than her lack of knowledge.   Also, the attacks calling her a hillbilly, etc should (but won't) be ringing in the ears of all the people in "Pro-America" towns.   Now that they couldn't use her to steal the presidency, they have pretty much thrown her to wayside - the exact same thing they do with the needs of the people in "Pro-Americaville" after they get in office.  

These are just pathetic attempts to cast the blame on Palin for McCain's horrible campaign.  Palin should remind them that the only reason why this thing was even as close as it was is because she was on the ticket.  With an astonishing 91% of Republicans having a favorable view of Palin, the loss can not be solely put on her doorstep.   Obama's campaign was certainly one of the best I have ever seen.  McCain's was one of the worst.  His staff members should definitely be looking in the mirror before zeroing in on Palin.

But before anyone thinks I have succumbed to the charms of the winking hockey mom, she is at fault here.  I think of a time when my sister wanted me to babysit my niece.  Her last question to me before she walked out of the door was "Are you sure you can do this?"  It was a signal that she was leaving her only child in my care and if there were any doubts I could keep her, now was the time to speak up.  I said yes, and my niece and I proceeded to have a fun filled night of Disney videos and PB & J.  

Yet, that was just a teenage me in an apartment with my 2 year old niece for a few hours.  

Palin was agreeing to a position that would have made her partially responsible for children and adults of an entire country for four years.  She had to have known she wasn't ready to take on such a responsibility.  A simple "not a this time" would have been a more than appropriate answer.  Instead, she jumped into the role with all the smugness and viciousness that she could muter.  She was all too willing to take shots at Obama, the media, and the Un-American, even though she was woefully unqualified to speak on much of anything.  

Rather than study and research to make up for her lack of knowledge, she pushed forward attacking the media for their hard-hitting questions like "what newspapers do you read?"  She fanned the flames of racism by accusing Obama of palling around with terrorists.  She...well, I could go on for days.  This woman was just not ready to assume the position of VP and she knew it.   In the end, she is even scarier to me than Bush because she's not even as smart as he is (chew on that one for a few minutes).

Beyond that, how scary is her favorable rating?  Another plus in the election ending was that we would no longer have to deal with her.   With her favorable rating being so high, she will no doubt be a player for years to come in the Republican party.  That is good, because i find it hard to believe America would ever vote her in to office.  But it is also bad because it shows just how many Americans agree with this woman and her views (or lack thereof).


Black People & Prop 8

Friday, November 7, 2008

Count me among those letdown by the number of my people that voted for Prop 8 in California. As I keep saying on message boards and the like, deciding civil rights by majority vote always equals bad for minorities.  This was a terrible precedent to set regardless of where you stand on the issue.  It really wasn't that long ago that it was against the law for black people to own homes, get loans, marry outside of the race, etc.  Is it really that big of a stretch to think that people in, I don't know, Alabama, might be able to successfully pass laws to remove those rights from our people?   I think that is something for everyone to go back to the electoral map for Obama and then stop and think about.

That said, was this really all our fault?  I found it hard to believe from the get go that the number of black people in California would really be large enough to completely swing the issue in one direction or another.   A closer look at the numbers appears to support my position.  In a fantastic breakdown over at the Daily Kos, Shannika lays out the facts.  It is a bit long, but well worth the read.  There a number of telling stats in there.

First, black people only represent about 6.2% of the population of California. As she states, "There are 7 times as many white people in California as Blacks. There are nearly 6 times as many Latino people in California as Blacks. And there are double the number of Asian people as Blacks."  We also have to keep in mind that quite a few of the black people in California can not or did not vote and all of them did not vote for this Proposition.

Even bigger was this: "However, we do know that there are, so far, 10,325,615 total votes on Proposition 8, nearly 80,000 less than the total votes for the main event. For Black people to have been 10% of that vote, they would have had to cast 1,032,561 votes on the measure, whether for or against. In other words, Black Californians would have had to both had an electoral turnout at the polls of almost 90% AND have all voted on Proposition 8 (i.e, NONE could have been amongst the 80,000 who just skipped the Proposition on the ballot) to reach that number of votes." I, like others, find it very hard to believe that 90% of all black people voted in California. As the author noted, it just doesn't happen.

There are more stats and analysis in her post.  The bottom line is that while the disproportionate number of black people voting against the Prop 8 is troubling, it is pretty safe to say that is not the reason it passed.

CNN's role in scapegoating black people here can not go unnoticed.

Beyond that, there is the whole view of black people and gays.  I think I'll leave that discussion to Raving Black Lunatic and Ta-Nehesi Coates.  My view is that general problems that all black people have with homosexuality is tied in with our religious beliefs.

I believe in separation of church and state, so religion does not have much impact on how I vote. Obviously, a lot of other people don't see things that way, but does that really make them homophobic?  I've been wrestling with that for a couple of days, but don't want to go down that road until I can speak somewhat intelligently on the matter.


The Obama Aftermath

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What WILL we talk about now?

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are


Obama Gets To Work ....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So much going on today and I'm too busy soaking it all in to write about it. Luckily, some people went to work today...

The New York Times weighs in
The New York Times editorial sums up the key to Obama's win and surprise, it wasn't just race.
"His triumph was decisive and sweeping, because he saw what is wrong with this country: the utter failure of government to protect its citizens. He offered a government that does not try to solve every problem but will do those things beyond the power of individual citizens: to regulate the economy fairly, keep the air clean and the food safe, ensure that the sick have access to health care, and educate children to compete in a globalized world."

Obama's Transition Team
Obama isn't wasting any time. This is a good sign. He definitely will need to hit the ground running as there is a lot of work that has to be done. His first year will be vital.

According to ABC News, he has put together a transition team.
"Former White House chief of staff John Podesta, Obama family friend/businesswoman Valier Jarrett, and Obama campaign chief of staff Pete Rouse, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, former Clinton Transportation and Energy Secretary Federico Peña, and former Clinton Commerce Secretary William Daley."

Other interesting reads
As Below the Beltway notes, the Republicans must learn from this defeat. I'm definitely not a conservative, but the country needs as many viable political parties as possible.

A Thin Man ponders if we are no longer racist.

The Reaction still revels in it all, but realizes there is tough work ahead.


Ralph Nader...Officially on the S*%t List

You know, it's a shame what a joke Nader now is. He really did a lot as a consumer advocate. But asking if Obama will be an Uncle Tom on the night he was elected President is just ridiculous. And then getting called out about it by Fox News of all networks. And then having the nerve to try to act like Shepperd Smith was out of bounds for pulling his card. Despicable. It is far past time to stop putting this guy on TV.


Jessie Jackson Sums It All Up Last Night

Credit - Mark Lamont Hill, Getty Images...

Naturally, some question his sincerity. But given my own surprising reaction, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Regardless of his many missteps, this is a brother who has been through a lot. I have to imagine that seeing that brother on the stage took him to another life and what might have been had he taken a different path.


McCain Concedes

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Great speech by McCain, but his crowd was still foul.

Hopefully none of these sour losers decides to do something crazy.


President Barack Obama

I vastly underestimated how hard this would hit me. But seeing and hearing the crowd cheer. People of all colors and ages. All cheering for a black man who wasn't holding, catching, shooting or throwing a ball.


We've got plenty of time to think about the ramifications of this, good and bad.

For now, everyone should just allow themselves to soak in the moment.


A Word From Min. Farrakhan

Definitely don't always agree with him, but I thought this was worth passing along.

"Here's my counsel to you. If brother (Barack Obama) wins, there will be more joy in the hearts of so many. More than we have ever experienced probably in our lives. People my age and older who have lived 75, 80, 85, 90 years will not mind dying because they will say in death, I saw what I never thought I would see in my lifetime.

But then others are going to go out in the street and celebrate with wild joy and revelry as though it was the Philadelphia Phillies winning the World Series, but that's not wise. That's not wise because your joy is somebody else's sadness and in your moment of revelry, there are those who will be so angry they can't get to him (Barack Obama) but they can get to you. And if you're out late at night just walking the street happy and drunk, you smoked a few of those funny cigarettes, you're just so happy and overjoyed.

Then someone rolls up on you, they don't tell you who they are but they're undercover and you're in a spot where they can just take your life. Don't think that some are not willing to do that with what we've heard coming from talk radio about people really hateful and would kill him (Barack Obama), but if they can't get to him and you are out drunk and partying 2, 3 o'clock in the morning when you should have been home.

How many Black people may die on that night across this nation. And just suppose the election is stolen. In your frustration, are you going to go out now and set fires and loot and act crazy. Not only is the S.W.A.T. Team ready and the National Guard but the Federal troops are already "posse comitatus" which forbids the Federal troops fr interfering in domestic affairs that's already put to the side now. If you act the fool you will be slaughtered.

So my counsel to you would be if he wins, rejoice intelligently. Don't overdo it. The Quran says it like this, 'when Allah's help and victory comes and you see men entering the religion of Allah in companies celebrate the praise of Thy Lord and ask His protection.' Well I'm not now talking about a victory in terms of men and women coming to the ranks of Islam in companies. I'm talking about a victory that we never expected but now we're full of expectancy of because we've heard the polls. If you win, celebrate the praise of God who brought us fr a mighty long way and made us in a time like this to ascend to the highest post in one of the greatest countries in the history of the world.

Don't act foolishly because Obama's rise is the rise of all of us who would be risen by his rise. Who would be inspired by his rise. These young children that are here who probably want an NBA contract or an NFL contract and want to be singers & comedians. Now they say well the sky is the limit. I can be what I want to be. Well, that's a key that can't ever go back in the box again."


Song of the Week - Sam Cooke - A Change Gonna Come

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gone come

Just a few more days folks....


Really Seattle? 5 Electonic Voting Machines?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

That's it? For all of King County's million or so people you could only scrap up one room in the middle of Renton with 5 electronic voting machines for early voting? Yes, I am aware that paper ballots are available and there are drop boxes all around the Seattle metro area.

But consider this. Maybe some of us didn't want to do a paper ballot.

Maybe some of us just wanted to bring our disabled relative in early to vote to avoid crowds and get in & out in less than an hour and a half.

I understand that there are other things that are going on right now, but it just seems like the city could have had....I don't know...maybe two rooms with ten total electronic machines?

Or maybe separate rooms for the people doing paper ballots and the people voting electronically?

Or, if you really wanted to just shoot for the moon, how about multiple sites across the area with voting machines in all of them? There seems to be a considerable amount of people in the actual city of Seattle. I think they might have appreciated not having to drive all the way down to Renton. I also seem to recall that there are a handful of people in Bellevue, Redmond, etc that also might have appreciated a room in one of the many federal buildings around the Seattle metro.

But I understand. I am sure there are more important things going on right now that require the resources of the city.

I mean, come on. Mass transit stinks. You gave away the Sonics. Must this city half-ass everything?


Greatest Campaign of All Time?

It certainly has to be one of the best of my relatively short life.

I really think history will show that Obama ran one of the greatest campaigns ever. Every challenge. Every threat. Pretty much every opportunity to make headway in this election, Obama has snatched it and ran with it. And then last night, with victory pretty much a lock, he once again stepped back in the pocket and delivered another touchdown pass. Ta-Nehisi Coates (one of my favorite bloggers) sees visions of Tom Brady. I'm thinking more Joe Montana, but still. The fact remains that Obama has been cool under pressure and keeps marching his team down the field.

If you are one of the 3 people in America who has not watched this, check the video below.


Vote...It's The Only Way To Cancel Out Your Neighbor


The NBA Returns....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The new NBA season tipped off last night and we got treated to three teams that should make serious noise and one that might still be spinning its wheels. My initial thoughts...

The Kids Called Him "Mr. Glass"

If you don't get that reference, go out and rent Unbreakable tonight. You have to feel sorry for Greg Oden. The guy just can't seem to catch a break. But, if we're all honest with each other we know that neither him or Lebron are really as young as they claim to be. Just kidding. Kind of. While Lebron has always been a flat out freak of nature, Oden has always just looked old. Last night was no different. If I was a Blazer fan, I would be more concerned with how bad he looked out there than his ankle. The injury looked pretty minor when it happened and x-rays were inconclusive. I think he'll be fine as far as that goes.

His actual skills on the court looked terrible. His movements were slow. He had no offensive game whatsoever. He looked average on the defensive end and that is saved only by his skills as a shot blocker. He looked like he was laboring up and down the court BEFORE he hurt his ankle. I'm hoping he is just still out of shape from sitting out a year and was suffering opening night jitters, but he looked like a bigger project than I expected out there.

Can Mr. Glass bounce back and lead the Blazers back to greatness? Stay tuned....


Let me just get this out of the way. I am a Laker die hard and my posts concerning them will either be filled with praise or completely out of proportion bashing of a poor performance.

Last night's game gave me mixed feelings. I saw a lot of things I liked. Gasol and Bynum looked good together. I think they played off of each other pretty well out there and the duo showed a lot of promise. The team as a whole has been working on defense and it showed. They held Brandon Roy in check and never allowed the Blazers to get anything going all game. Odom looked good coming off the bench. Also, if Ariza can get his jumper steady I don't think it will be long before he takes Vlad out of the starting line-up.

Oh yeah, that Kobe guy looked alright out there too.

On the downside, the team still showed some of the sloppiness that has been plaguing them for a while now. While Kobe is definitely a good facilitator, he also has high turnover games. It is touch for me to figure out who is at fault on some of those, but a turnover is a turnover and better teams will capitalize on it. The entire team needs to play crisp if they are going to get back to the Finals.

The other problem is our guards are selfish. No, I'm not talking about Kobe. Fisher, Sasha, and Farmar jack up a lot of shots. It's good to have guys who are willing to shoot, but I'm definitely old school in this regard. I think the best player on the team should always at least touch the ball on pretty much every possession excluding fast breaks. So with the Lakers, either Kobe or Gasol should touch the ball pretty much every trip. But our guards like to pull up and take shots. Even worse, they like to pull up and take shots when guys aren't in position to grab rebounds. Now if we were talking about consistent shooters, I wouldn't be as upset. But Farmar, Sasha and Fisher are the definition of streaky. I want them to be confident to take open looks, but Phil should probably reign them in a bit if they continue being jump shot happy.

And yes, it is ridiculous to be so critical of a team after a 20 point win.

Lebron Still Can't Shoot or Defend

To me, Lebron and Dwight Howard are the most physically dominating players in the NBA. Lebron definitely knows how to use his size and power to deliver damage on the court. The problems for Lebron remain his suspect jumper and defense. Don't get me wrong, Lebron has definitely gone off on people and knocked down jumpers. He just doesn't do it consistently enough and it was apparent last night. He also is still lacking on the defensive end. Someone with Lebron's size, strength and athleticism could simply dominate an opponent on the defensive end any time he wants. If he truly commits himself on the defensive side of the ball and works out his jump shot, then the best player in the NBA tag is his and his alone.

Celtics Will Be Back in the Finals

The Celtics were the Celtics. I think the losses of Posey and PJ Brown will be bigger than people think, but they are still a force on the defensive end and ultimately I think that gets them through the East again.


Better to Be Silent

Sunday, October 26, 2008

There is one message that comes through loud and clear in this campaign, be careful what you say.

Case #1
The Candidate - Jack Murtha
The Quotes - “There’s no question Western Pennsylvania is a racist area” “...this whole area, years ago, was really redneck.”
My take - There is really no doubt that there is truth in Murtha's statements. This was exposed pretty clearly in Democratic primaries. However, I was a little perplexed at why everyone seems so up in arms about it. In and of itself, while the comments were definitely blunt they didn't seem to be enough to justify Murtha's fall in polling numbers. And they weren't. There had long been an effort to paint Murtha as out of touch with his district. His comments have added fuel to that fire. With him still leading by 5 points, I think he will pull it out as long as he can keep his muzzle on.

Case #2
The Candidate - Michelle Bachman
The Quotes - "I would say, what I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look -- I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think the people would love to see an expose like that."
On Senator Obama - "Absolutely. I'm very concerned that he may have anti-American views. That's what the American people are concerned about. That's why they want to know what his answers are. That's why Joe the plumber has figured so highly in the last few days"
My take - Wow. That's all I can say every time I watch her Hardball appearance. It was downright scary. Fortunately, it also might get her out of office. An estimated 1.4 million in contributions have flooded into the campaign of her rival, Elwyn Tinklenberg and their race is now virtual deadlock. Had she just turned down Chris Matthews' invitation to Hardball, she likely would have cruised to victory.

Case #3
The Candidate - Sarah Palin
The Quotes - Good Lord, what hasn't this twit said? The latest, an attack on fruit flies. "For many parents of children with disabilities, the most valuable thing of all is information. Early identification of a cognitive or other disorder, especially autism, can make a life-changing difference. Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? […] You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not. "
My take - Does anyone do even the most basic research on what she is saying? Fruit fly research has lead to a ton of breakthroughs that benefit man. Including, as it turns out, autism...

"[S]cientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have shown that a protein called neurexin is required for..nerve cell connections to form and function correctly.
The discovery, made in Drosophila fruit flies may lead to advances in understanding autism spectrum disorders, as recently, human neurexins have been identified as a genetic risk factor for autism. " See Think Progress for more...

Palin's mistakes really just boggle my mind. Even the most basic google search could have prevented her from making that kind of gaffe. Actually, gaffe is the wrong word. That is just pure ignorance. No way should this woman be in any office, anywhere.

Final Verdict - There's certainly some poetic justice in all these people being directly responsible for their own downfalls. However, it does make you a bit more fearful. If these are the things that actually come out of these and other politicians mouths, what other terrible things are swirling around in their heads? On second thought, I really don't want to know.


Saints 37, Chargers 32

Missed the game, but a win is a win. Geaux Saints!


The Cypher

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Definitely some stand outs in here as a ton of rappers freestyled during the BET Hip Hop Awards. No, I'm not a BET fan. But, I love Hip Hop and several of these rappers brought their A game. It definitely gets better as it goes on and it was nice to see cats like Q-Tip on the mike again.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


McCain Hoaxster Upset With Media

File this one under "You gotta be kidding me." Ashley Todd, the now infamous liar who made up a story about being attacked by a large black man, is upset with the media for "blowing this into a political firestorm." Someone needs to get that girl to a psych ward ASAP.

This also ends up being another black eye for McCain. Instead of waiting for all the facts to come in, the McCain camp pushed the story. They are, naturally, back peddling now. Again, the McCain camp should just save themselves some time and put out an ad stating "Don't Vote for that N-word" and be done with it.


Song of the Week...MF DOOM aka Viktor Vaughn aka King Geedorah

I have been digging in the crates this week and I keep coming back to Doom or one of his many aliases. MF DOOM is rumored to releasing a new cd soon titled "Born Into This." I personally can't wait as MF has come strong on pretty much every cd no matter which one of his personalities is rocking the mike. Thus, the song of the week is actually songs of the week as these tracks have been wearing out on my IPOD all week.

Viktor Vaughn - Saliva

MF Doom - Dead Bent

King Geedorah - Fazers


Not Racist At All...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sometimes, no matter how you try not to be, you just can't help but be amazed at the gall of some people. A picture of Obama on a food stamp surrounded by chicken, watermelon, etc...not racist at all say the people on this CNN video. Give me a break. Just go ahead and call him the N' word and be done with it people. Seriously


Tekenya Wooten - 12 year old child - Missing

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Although you won't hear much about it, a 12 year old child has gone missing.  Unfortunately, young black girls don't move the ratings pins or drive up internet clicks so this young girl's only hope is the blogger world.  Oh yeah, did I mention she was pregnant?  So, the lives of two children are in jeopardy.  

Naturally, What About Our Daughters is all over the story.