Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Week In Review

Let’s go for the rundown on things I didn’t get to cover this week:

U.S. Congress Apologizes For Slavery – I’m not big on apologies without any sense of responsibility. Such is the case with this one. I’m not asking for reparations but something like our Native American counterparts achieved from stealing (I mean taking) their land would not hurt.

U.S Senator Ted Stevens Got Indicted – So the longest Republican Senator, Alaska U.S. Senator Ted Stevens got indicted on seven counts of corruption. Is something wrong with me when I didn’t bat an eye when the latest news of this charge happened? I’m hardly shocked about the state of our government or our officials.

Speaking of our officials, some of them are avoiding the indicted Senator like a plague. Honorable mention: a guy running for President (John McCain) who announced he's donating the $5K Stevens contributed to his campaign to charity.

$482 Billion Deficit – Yep that’s the figure the next President will inherit come January. Say what you want about “Slick Willie” chasing skirts, but the guy left the office with a budget surplus.

Exxon-Mobil Post Almost $12 Billion Profit In A Quarter – OMG!

Packers Offer $20 Million to Brett Favre To Stay Retired – It seems every week comes with a new thing with Favre. Can you imagine someone offering you money just to stay away? The Packers are willing to pay Favre $2 million each year for the next 10 years if he stays retired. They must be really desperate or just want a peace of mind. In any case, such action doesn’t make a case for good business sense.

Ron Artest Becomes A Rocket – If there’s a guy who gives me a pause in the NBA, it would be Ron Artest. And I'm a proponent of not putting all my attention on a guy's off-court or off-field's questionable activities as long as he has served the consequences and wants to play. Afterall, we have Ricky Williams who's coming back to the Dolphins for the upteenth time after drug use suspensions.

But when it comes to Artest, I'm tempted to renege on my theory. Why? Oh there are so many instances to count but let me oblige you a little. He was the main culprit in the worst brawl in sports history. Only to come back from the suspension to ask for time off to promote a rap album, a few domestic situations with a significant other and then a spouse, smashed a $35K video equipment after a loss in Madison Square Garden, got in the great Pat Riley's face during a Miami Heat game with his then Indiana Pacers in Miami then giving us fans a nice salutation with the middle finger.

I'm already tired of listing his colorful history and there is still a LOT more I didn't list. Let's just say NBA Commissioner, David Stern owes a few nights sleep and gray hairs to Ron Artest. Artest says he's changed, well good for him and all the best to you Rocket fans.

Tags: U.S. Congress, Apology for Slavery, Brett Favre, Ron Artest, Sen. Ted Stevens, Pat Riley

Mamma Mia McCain

The Abba-loving Senator from Arizona has stooped to a new low with his campaign ads against another Senator from Illinois. Yes I’m talking of John McCain with his incessant (about four) negative attacks against Barack Obama the past two weeks. But as always before the latest Britney Spears and Paris Hilton Ad, Obama brushed it off.

Perhaps it was due to the fact he was on his overseas trip, which really tripped his opponent and his party for such adoration bestowed on him when he’s not even President yet. Even Reagan (50,000) didn’t get such numbers when he declared before the Germans to “tear down this wall.”

Seriously McCain, of all people, Spears and Hilton – two dumb blondes in comparison to Obama. You couldn’t think of Will Smith, George Clooney, or Brad Pitt (who some lineage roots found out he is a distant cousin of Obama) to compare to the Illinois Senator? At least those three actors show how they balance their celebrity with humanity.

No, that wasn’t your intention. You wanted to reduce him as all style and no substance. Forget he became the first black President of the Harvard Law Review; forget his many years as a community organizer, a state senator, a fellow U.S. Senator with you and now running for the highest office of the land against you. Seriously!

Then your excuse for making the ad was to show a satire. Mamma Mia McCain! Here you go again (just can’t resist your Abba group). Haven’t you learned anything about the satire fiasco from the New Yorker Obamas’ cover? And they were supposed to be professionals. Newsflash: You don’t have to explain satire.

When you saw your sorry excuse for satire didn’t stick, your campaign spokesperson, Rick Davis had the gall to charge Obama as playing the race card this morning. Nobody said so until you brought it up. But your innuendos sure sound like a “race” trip up. Why is it that the Spears and Hilton ad look so familiar to one your party used to scare folks in a hotly contested race in Tennessee between Harold Ford (who’s black) and his republican opponent less than two years ago?

Another dumb blonde in the video against a black candidate that led to Ford losing the U.S senate seat with one of the closest margins ever seen. Why reinvent the “race” wheel when it gained a much-needed seat for your party? But you’re not playing the race card. You sure are not playing the card when you say Obama should know his place. And if that card is not enough, how about play the “patriotism” card?

You forgot about that? Let me refresh your memory. When you keep saying that Obama will rather lose the war to win a political campaign while you will do the exact opposite. Come on! If you really wanted to lose the political campaign, why don’t you just drop out of the race because you care about the war so much and stay in the Senate to pass decisive bills for the winning of the said war?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mark Whitaker Takes Over Meet The Press

Wow! Two Kudos in a day. A brother took over Meet The Press y'all! Talk about Progress.

I knew of Mark Whitaker in college when he was head of Newsweek. It's great seeing him taking on an iconic seat!

Tags: Mark Whitaker

Michelle Obama - International Best Dressed

Kudos to Michelle Obama, hopefully, our next First Lady for making one of Vanity Fair's International Best-Dressed List.

Way to represent the sisters Michelle! What can I say about her style (not fashion, there's a difference)? In French, Tres Chic! She has a definitive style with using the pearls as her signature; kind of reminded me of another First Lady, Jackie O.

She's made the classic sheath dress the cool thing again. Check her out: This just goes to show you, sticking with the classics (white shirt, little black dress, sheath dresses, trench coat, pencil skirts, to name a few) will always make you look impeccable and timeless.

Tags: Vanity Fair, International Best-Dressed List

Stephen Colbert Is Sick

I meant the title in a humorous and loving manner. As I've said before, I'm a fan of great satirical shows and The Colbert Report (a spinoff from The Daily Show) is one of the best.

For those of you who are not part of the "Colbert Nation," let me give you a summary for the premise of the show, The Colbert Report. Stephen Colbert plays a Republican character but not just any Republican Character but the most conservative kind who loves his God, his guns and don't want to discuss gays.

But the catch of this Republican is that as he's supporting his causes, he reveals the flaws of his party and the viewers are in on the joke. For example, Colbert has a segment called "The Word" where he takes on hot button issues. Last night's episode was about "torture," I mean "enhanced interrogation techniques" as the Bush administration will have us believe. So during "The Word," he defends the cause of his party's decision but what he's really thinking is displayed on the screen. Check it out here:

But that wasn't what motivated me to write this post (for loyal readers, you know where I stand on the aforementioned subject - don't care for it). I decided to write after laughing so hard about another segment Colbert also does called "Better Know A District."

Here I was in a reflective state with some tears shed after Diane Sawyer's remembrance of Randy Pausch only forty minutes later holding my stomach laughing on the "Better Know A District" where Colbert traps politicians on their policies. One of my local congressman, Robert Wexler made the segment with his infamous remarks. Even Colbert told Larry King last year he didn't expect the Congressman to go along with the statements (Note to Colbert: We dance to a different beat in Florida).

Anyway, after Wexler's remarks, many politicians on Capitol Hill didn't know (at the time) the premise of the show since it was still in its infancy over a couple of years ago that Nancy Pelosi (before she was Speaker of the House) advised Democrats not to go on The Colbert Report. So last night, Colbert had another segment of "Better Know A District" with 14th District of New York Congresswoman, Carolyn Maloney. See for yourself:

Sometimes, Colbert's "real" persona shines through. Examples include him talking to civil rights Icon Andrew Young during the TV writers strike to help him with how to deal with his writers since Young is so great with strikes from busing to poverty. Also, giving a great tribute to Tim Russert. And I'm glad, he showed me you can still keep your humor even in sad times.

Tags: Stephen Colbert, Carolyn Maloney, Robert Wexler, Andrew Young

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What I Learned from the Last Lecture

Diane Sawyer will dedicate a full hour to a great man tonight - ABC @ 10:00pm. Like I said last Friday, Randy Pausch made an impact in my life with his "last lecture" (Video embedded).

When I started this blog, I mentioned in my profile that I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up - numbers or words? Don't know yet. But recently, I've been taken risks in my transition phase and I've wondered if I'm moving in the right direction for my life.

Well, what I'm learning and learned from the last lecture is that the fact I'm taking a risk is worth it. I would love to have a laid out plan to see the immediate results as my fast-paced environment has conditioned me. But I'm also learning some unique words called "patience," which supposed to have a perfect work in me and "consistency" - very unsexy, when a newness to style is more exciting.

But newness is not debunked in my life's theory - that's where the risk comes in; taking new courses for my career when I thought I was done with any studying after grad school. But in the process of all this really liked the dormant muscles that are being stretched in my brain - you never know how much information it could absorb.

Has it been easy? That's an understatement of the year! NOPE! But that's another thing with Pausch's last lecture, he encouraged his students both live and beyond to take the road less traveled; if given a choice, take the harder task. And while you're at it, have fun!

Tags: Randy Pausch, Last Lecture, Diane Sawyer

Dumb It Down

Noticed two similar titles in two days? It's intentional since that's where my head is these days. Dumb it down - obviously that's NOT the essence of this blog. But it doesn't mean I haven't heard that phrase time and time again when it comes to my life and others.

It was confirmed by a thought provoking I read last year in a major women's magazine how smart girls have to "dumb it down" to get in a relationship; meaning guys (not all of them) are intimidated by educated and smart girls. The article went further with profiling successful women from a Project Runway contestant in her 30s with a graduate degree to a corporate lawyer on Wall Street especially the latter who had an insecure boyfriend for the kind of success she was able to achieve in comparison to his (you know what was going through my head: kick him to the curb).

Then early this year, I saw the book titled "Just How Stupid Are We?" it makes American voters face the truth of the dumbing down Politics being fed to us. Last week I heard Lupe Fiasco's rap song "Dumb it Down" which made me cringe because of its truth but proud that somebody could make it that cool to spit the truth in rap (especially when I'm sick and tired of the sexist and materialism lyrics in rap). Check out the video here:

Since I like to respect all my "readers" and maybe rap isn't your thing, let me just write out some of Lupe's "Dumb it Down" lyrics:

Chorus 1:

You goin' over niggas' heads Lu (Dumb it down)
They tellin' me that they don't feel you (Dumb it down)
We ain't graduate from school nigga (Dumb it down)
Them big words ain't cool nigga (Dumb it down)
Yeah I heard Mean And Vicious nigga (Dumb it down)
Make a song for the bitches nigga (Dumb it down)
We don't care about the weather nigga (Dumb it down)
You'll sell more records if you (Dumb it down)

Chorus 2:

You've been shedding too much light Lu (Dumb it down)
You make'em wanna do right Lu (Dumb it down)
They're getting self-esteem it down)
These girls are trying to be queens Lu (Dumb it down)
They're trying to graduate from school Lu (Dumb it down)
They're starting to think that smart is cool Lu (Dumb it down)
They're trying to get up out the hood Lu (Dumb it down)
I'll tell you what you should do (Dumb it down)

Chorus 3

You putting me to sleep nigga (Dumb it down)
That's why you ain't popping in the streets nigga (Dumb it down)
You ain't winning no awards nigga (Dumb it down)
Robots and skateboards nigga? (Dumb it down)
GQ Man Of The Year G? (Dumb it down)
Shit ain't rocking over here B (Dumb it down)
Won't you talk about your cars nigga? (Dumb it down)
And what the fuck is goyard nigga (Dumb it down)
Make it rain for the chicks (Dumb it down)
Pour champagne on a bitch (Dumb it down)
What the fuck is wrong with you? (Dumb it down)
How can I get on a song with you? (Dumb it down

Then I read a great post by Frank Scheaffer on Huffington Post titled: Real Americans Are Stupid. Those were all the proof I needed that I had to write this post. Scheaffer talked about Jesse Jackson's comments on Barack Obama "talking down to black people" and other crazy (and stupid) stuff some surrogates have been saying this election season.

So this is a notice: I won't insult the intelligence of my readers and in my life and on this blog, I won't DUMB IT DOWN!!!

P.S. This is one of the few times you'll see the use of "profanity" on this blog but it's in perspective of the art :-)

Tags: Lupe Fiasco, Dumb It Down , Jesse Jackson, Huffington Post, Frank Scheaffer

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dumb Mistakes Women Make

Ladies: Let’s talk! Notice I didn’t say anything in the title on “mistakes women make.” The way I see it, if you live long enough, you’re bound to make mistakes. They shape us; give us some life lessons along this journey we call life.

However, there are dumb mistakes (and the terms are not redundant) women need not make. The adage says, “Experience is the best teacher.” But I beg to differ: Experience is a teacher – not necessarily the best teacher. And why should it be your own experience to teach you a life lesson? You can observe some folks and make sure their experiences do not happen to you. More like not letting history repeat itself.

So what brought about today’s post? Well, I’ve been observing some things over the past week. It started with the CNN’s series “Black in America,” then a situation a neighbor told me about that I missed in my quiet neighborhood.

Dumb Mistake #1: Having Babies They Cannot Afford – Before I start getting comments of rants. I NEVER said anything about babies being mistakes; they are gifts. And I believe they should be treated as such with all the care and love in the world. But the woman makes a dumb mistake by not preparing herself to be emotionally, financially, and physically ready for what babies entail.

Like I mentioned, I was watching the CNN special last week focusing on blacks. There were two women who stuck out in the series. One I’ll call her “Dee” since I forgot to write her name down. She was complaining about one of her Baby Daddy who was not present in the life of their daughter who was turning one – he came very late to his daughter’s birthday party. But as Soledad was interviewing her, the viewer finds out she’s pregnant with twins for ANOTHER guy who she’s not married to also. Read that again, her daughter is just turning one and she’s pregnant (looks like four months along) with twins.

It was so mind-boggling to this writer and how a woman (she was well into her 20s) could be that stupid. Seriously! Here’s Dee who is emotionally disturbed because her first Baby Daddy is not there for her or her child but she could go get pregnant again with the same bout of depression all apparent on her demeanor and keep the vicious cycle going. And don’t get me started on the other woman with four children for an emotionally and physically unavailable man. Then she had one for another man who also wasn’t there bringing the total to five children.

Dumb Mistake #2: Not Protecting Themselves For The Future – We’ve made great strides in this country. We have a Woman Speaker of the House, A Woman Secretary of State and a Woman who almost became President of the Unites States. That is just to name a few but why is it that women keep making dumb mistakes that most times involve men to alter their future.

The fact that women still gets paid 75 cents to men’s dollar for the same work is atrocious but yet they will live seven years longer than them. But women are also more likely to fall in or below the poverty line after a separation or divorce. Why? I’m still trying to figure that out.

I previously mentioned a situation in my otherwise quiet and safe neighborhood this past week. It was a lover’s quarrel that caused the security to get involved. A woman was kicked out of her boyfriend’s place around eight o’ clock at night; evidently they were shacking up. My neighbor told me she didn’t have anywhere to go so she was yelling at her boyfriend. Think about that for a minute. In this unique economy we’re facing, not to have a place to stay is a mess to say the least.

I’m not going to preach to anyone about “shacking up.” But I will say you need to know your rights. If you are going to shack, sign an agreement to protect your investment in the property. I can’t tell you how many women almost lose their minds or dignity for just shacking up for money’s sake.

And for those who do the “honorable” thing by getting married; you’re not excluded for not knowing your rights. I don’t care if you’re homemaker or working woman, get educated! We all wish for “living happily ever after,” but that doesn’t mean you won’t get some rude awakenings along the way. I watched a little bit of the movie “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” over the weekend and it's sad to see that art imitates life because I’ve seen that experience in real life. How in the world would a wife not have her name on the house’s deed?

Dumb Mistake #3: Not Trusting Their God-Given Instincts – For me, this is the most important of all, the gut check. I don’t care if you hold a PhD or GED, each one of us have that “woman’s intuition” to know when something doesn’t feel right. In my life, the mistakes; albeit few (wink) that I have regretted were the ones I knew in my gut something wasn’t right even when I had no concrete evidence but I made the decision or took an action anyway that wasn’t for my good.

So it is with many women. If that guy gives you a pause with some of his actions while you’re dating; what makes you think he will change when you get married? If he belittles you in different scenarios, what makes you think by loving him, he will treat you like the Queen you already are? If you and your guy don’t have intelligent conversations now, why would you think you could trust him with your colleagues at a function?

Well, those are my top three. I would love to read from you on dumb mistakes you think women make.

Tags: Black In America, Soledad O'Brien, Women's Issues

Friday, July 25, 2008

In Case I Missed It

If you've being reading this blog for a while, you know what I do at the end of the week sometimes. So let's go for the rundown:

Lebron James "Guarantees" Gold: Here's the deal with me about guarantees; unless you're Joe Namath who made a guarantee as the underdog going into the Super Bowl about 30 years ago and came through, I don't believe everybody else who make guarantees. Since Namath's iconic guarantee, many sports stars and a few who aren't have made predictions and most times, the guarantee just makes the other team "mad" to prove such will not be the case.

So as great as Lebron is on the basketball court, I think it's premature to guarantee a gold for the upcoming olympics when the U.S.A team has not delivered the past four years. The rest of the world especially places like Argentina and Spain have shown they've got our number even though we introduced the world to the game of basketball. Besides, most of these guys around the world have being playing as a team longer than the U.S.A team. Even when they throw in a few NBA stars into their mix such as Manu Ginobli and Pau Gasol, to win for their respective countries it doesn't affect them; well it does but only for the better.

Barack Obama's Oversees Trip: Wow! So Obama went to various countries this week from Afghanistan to today's France and can you say Rockstar? Even the Daily Show has been having fun with the trips.

John McCain is really regretting taunting Obama for not taken a trip a few months ago. Let's talk about John McCain for a second. Why is he complaining now that he is focusing on Americans' issues while Obama is abroad? He took trips to South America a few months ago and was saying Obama didn't have foreign policy skills. The guy (Obama) finally stood up to your offer and you're whining because you didn't get a shadow of the crowds. Make up your mind McCain!

The Media (really McCain's Campaign) Says They Might Be Favoring Obama: The way I see it, the media follows the new thing just like McCain was "it" in 2000. And isn't McCain who said the Media is his "base." Seriously! Jon - put it in perspective please:

Brett Favre Says He Will Report For Camp: Oh the drama with this guy! All the best to you Packers figuring out this mess and stay strong Aaron Rogers (the guy who's supposed to take Favre's job).

A Jilted Bride Gets $150K: Give it up for justice! So in my lovely state of Florida, a bride, Rosemary Shell got left at the alter and she got even by suing her ex-fiance and was awarded $150,000. Now guys, think wisely when you propose because it can be seen as a "binding contract." At least in Florida.

Tags: Lebron James, USA Team, Brett Favre, Packers, Rosemary Shell

Last Lecture Professor Dies

How do you give somebody a proper sendoff you only knew in less than a year ago but made an indellible mark on your life? How do you give the sendoff when you knew it was only a matter of months that this person will pass? Well you try . . . This person is none other than Randy Pausch, who passed this morning from his battle with pancreatic cancer.

Randy Pausch touched the life of millions through his "last lecture" that became a hit on YouTube and brought him to the forefront of their TV screens via Oprah and Diane Sawyer. I was one of those millions. This was a man on the surface who looked like a fit and healthy man but was giving a death sentence of a diagnosis. But what struck me was how he chose to live his life afterwards - be the best husband and dad to his wife and kids and in the process gave a "last lecture" to his Carnegie Mellon class that became life lessons to many beyond that classroom.

So thanks Randy and I say RIP.

Tags: Randy Pausch, Last Lecture, Oprah, Diane Sawyer

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Oh Dubya

I feel justified on my last week's post on Dubya. I couldn't believe my ears from the President's economy speech last week. I guess he couldn't believe the words that came out of his mouth either since he later admitted to supporters behind "closed doors" what he really thought of the economy and the drunks on Wall Street in the embedded video.

This administration never fails to surprise me when I think there's nothing left. But seriously, how in this age of camera phones and YouTube could Dubya think he wasn't being recorded even when he said all cameras should be turned off.

How many gaffes have we caught politicians in from Nixon to now, this? And yet they never learn. As I watched this video last night, I was reminded of a Presidential Historian on Meet the Press about all his findings about our past leaders. The one that struck me most was about Bill Clinton, who I affectionately call "Bubba."

This historian had a meeting with Bubba while he was still in office and as he kept interviewing the former President in the oval office, he stopped and asked Bubba: "are we being recorded?" And Bubba laughed and said "are you kidding me." In other words, I cover my butt. You gotta love "Slick Willie." This is the guy who said when grilled on his relation with Monica: It depends what is (sex), is?

Tags: Economy, Wall Street Drunks, Bill Clinton

Black In America: HIV

Here's the thing infecting and/or killing blacks in record numbers and nobody wants to talk about it. Oh we're quick to talk of the "sugar" problem (diabetes) and the "salt" problem (high blood pressure). But what is about these letters: "HIV" or "AIDS" that put the muzzle over our mouths?

Even the black church's silence on this subject is deafening while members of their church are dealing with this time bomb. Let's talk numbers: One in 20 Washington DC residents is infected with HIV - nine times more than the national average. That is five percent of DC's population (with 80 percent of the infected being black), which is equivalent to the AIDS cases in Uganda - an African country.

Among new cases of HIV with women, two thirds of them are black. And guess what? The number one killer among black women ages 25-34 is AIDS. Not heart disease or cancer; AIDS - a disease, for the most part based on choice to acquire.

Wake up people! I live in a region that accounts for the top five of new HIV cases in the country but nobody wants to talk about it. People think an HIV-infected person has a "look" and that becomes the dumbest thing you could think of! HIV could be the fine guy you admire who looks like a great picture of health. It's the stylish girl you may want to get her digits. And the most public face of HIV: Magic Johnson. He is bigger (figuratively and literally) than he ever was when he played basketball and when he made public that devastating news over 15 years ago.

But most Americans don't have Johnson's money or access to exceptional healthcare and medical research. So please exercise the freaking choice you were born with and either abstain from sex when not married (a forbidden thought to some folks but it doesn't kill anybody) or use some CONDOM SENSE. Not just birth control, CONDOMS.

And Ladies! Let me talk to you right quick: If the guy LOVES you, he will get strapped (in condoms). It's downright foolishness for the guy to tell you he trusts you and wants to take your relationship to the "next level," so he doesn't need to wear a condom. Tell that Brother: NEGRO PLEASE!!! We're talking about your LIFE here.

And to the Preachers: You need to walk worthy of your vocation and sound the alarm. You can't be like an ostrich with its head in the sand wishing the problem will go away. Let me ask you Preachers: What Would Jesus Do? Those four words have become a pop-culture term but it still rings true. Jesus never shied away from any subject in the land. He had compassion on the prostitute, the tax collector and the leper - a variation of AIDS in our day. Why aren't you guys doing the same?

Tags: CNN, Black in America, Preachers, AIDS, HIV

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

WNBA Brawl

Way to get my attention WNBA! Have a brawl! I've said it before, as much as I love basketball and support women's rights, I don't like women's basketball. But I was left dumbfounded when I saw another brawl across my TV screen when I still remember the "Palace" NBA brawl oh so well a few seasons ago.

David Stern, the NBA Commissioner, is really working for his money these days. From the worse brawl in history (see Palace), dress code fiasco, Referee gamblings and now this from the ladies and one former Piston BAD BOY (Rick Mahorn) who's a coach with the Detroit Shock.

I'm confounded by the latest women's brawl because I know it perpetuates the stereotype of women "catfighting." It's a double standard but it is true. In just a few days, I've seen the best of women in sports (ESPY Award for the "best moment" in sports) and the worst of women (Danica Patrick with another lady driver and this WNBA Brawl).

On the Danica Patrick fighting, I'm glad somebody put her in her place - I am because she's been picking up fights with different race car drivers for some months. The men chose not to do anything (it wouldn't have looked good) but a woman (Milka Duno) is another story. And to think Patrick made history just less than two months ago by being the first woman to win a race - that is one COMPLICATED woman.

Anyhoo, I'm talking about the WNBA. This doesn't look good. It doesn't look good on Candice Parker, a rookie who's supposed to be the savior of the WNBA to make it relevant for people like me who don't watch the game. Not for Rick Mahorn who has four daughters and have released a statement he doesn't lay a hand on any woman (hmmm). But there's one good thing that came out of this brawl; the WNBA FINALLY got some publicity. And as they say in show business: any publicity is good publicity.

Tags: WNBA Brawl, David Stern, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, ESPY "Best Moment" Award, Rick Mahorn, Candice Parker

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Angry Black Man

There are a number of things wrong with this clip. Number 1: You don't have to be a Senator to shop at "Whole Foods." I shop there and I don't have the money of the McCains or the Obamas; I just prefer eating fresh food. Hel-lo, I see normal black people (as well as other races) at Whole Foods.

Number 2: Have these pundits lost their ever-loving minds flipping the "angry black man" phrase around. So what Barack Obama is elegant and cool? What do you want to him to look like? He's running for President for Goodness sake. If Colin Powell was running for President eight years ago, would they say he needed to be like an "angry black man?"

Note to all these pundits: There are tons of black families who relate to the Obamas; you just don't put them enough on your TV screens since the "Cosby Show" went off the air. Now you think he needs to act like an "angry black man" to relate to the plight of the American people - you gotta be kidding me!

Tags: Angry Black Man, Colin Powell, Cosby Show, Whole Foods

Black In America: Teenage Pregnancy

Let's continue with the series: Black in America. This time with the influx of unwed mothers. Another hot button topic. Since for the first time in 15 years, teenage pregnancies have increased according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention. And we know when there is a cold in America, black people get pneumonia. Such is the case with this situation, unwed black mothers are more prevalent.

So I got to watch each of the panel's task such Bishop T.D. Jakes, Marrianne Malveaux, Ed Gordon (who launched Daddy's Promise website), Cornel West and Hill Harper (wrote the NY Times Bestseller, letter to a young sister). I've got to say this particular panel brought it. So big ups to them.

The underlying theme about why the trend of single parenthood is a lack of self worth. Some girls just feel a baby will bring them love they never had or trap the guy they've being lusting for to love them. Most of them know there is a sacrifice philosophically to pay for making such decisions but I seriously doubt they think about it practically. Such as a quick way to get in the poverty status with a newborn and little education and support system.

Then the vicious cycle begins and what Ed Gordon said that I loved was putting the responsibility back to the fathers to be there for their daughters, tell them you love them regardless of what happened to between their relationship with the girls' mothers. It is an epidemic of silent or disappearing fathers in the black communities. So yes, the fathers should take the responsibility but I feel the daughters should also get to the point of a self-worth for their lives even if their fathers were not present.

Tags: Teenage pregnancy

Black In America: Marriage

Let me be clear: I normally don't care for black townhall meetings. Most of the times, I feel these townhall meetings are a base for shouting matches - see my post on BET's Hip-hop vs America and you'll see my point. If it's not about shouting matches, it's about how to prove each panel's status by their expansive vocabulary (how's that going to change folks situation?). But my interest was picqued with the incessant commercials on CNN's Black In America and I thought I should check it out.

Well, there's a lot to be said about this series which started in April commemorating 40 years of Dr. King's assassination. The second installment was this past weekend which featured issues on marriage, teenage pregnancy, education, and HIV and more to come on Wednesday and Thursday. To organize my thoughts, let me give a post to each segment. Let's talk about marriage.

According to 2006 U.S. Census report, 45 percent of African-American women are unmarried compared to 23 percent of their white counterparts. But single parenthood has increased. The panel's duty was to figure out what's wrong with the so called trend. How could marriage get in "vogue?" Well, there was a controversial method from a New York woman, Maryann Reid to "marry your Baby Daddy." Her idea is to stop the trend of just single parenthood and get married.

But what was going through this writer's head was what about those who don't have a "baby daddy?" - I really can't believe we've reduced "fathers" to such term. But I digress. I found out today that subject will be addressed on tomorrow's show, check out the video on this link.

Yep, I'm going to say it to black women: It's time to try something new! Yes the movie with the aforementioned sentence gave some black men angst but brought about a real conversation (even Oprah dedicated a whole show to it) that black women don't need to sit around justifying a need not to betray their race (yes I've heard some folks say that) instead of having their best life regardless of race.

I figured this out a couple of years ago at a basketball game. I must say I was sitting at a great seat and during a timeout, I took some time to scope out my environment. Each black guy around me was with a Caucasian or Hispanic date. Personally, I've never really cared about who dates whom; could be due to the prism of my environment. In South Florida, whoa, inter-relationships is prevalent. But what I wondered was in such diverse culture, how come none of these "brothers" who appeared to be doing well in life found one black woman to date.

I shared my observations with some black guy friends a few days later to get their point of view. What I was told (a sorry excuse) was those black guys I saw at a Miami Heat game moved in certain circles black women don't frequent. The visual of the look I gave them was priceless. Then one said in a bit graphic terms that black women would not put out the way their other race counterparts will. To which I replied, "you mean not dealing with your sorry mess." That got some silence.

Then I asked: "so how do you feel about black women dating outside of their races?" There were grimaces on their faces and the feeling of being uncomfortable settled in. One person I'll call "D" said: NO! I just don't like it. Me: But you'll date a white woman. D: Yeah, but it's not the same. Me: Why isn't it the same, D: Look "M" it's not the same aiight, call me prejudiced all you want but that's like a kick in the gut when I see that. Hmmm, you judge for yourselves.

Tags: CNN, Black In America, Interracial relationships

Monday, July 21, 2008

Overaccessorizing - Please STOP IT

This is not a fashion blog. But strangers and friends can note I pay attention to fashion by how I dress. As for me, I don't see myself as a fashion fanatic (I have better things to do - nothing against those who are) but I do believe in being stylish. And there is a huge difference between being stylish and being trendy. The former defines you and the latter, well shows you have more money at your disposal - for lack of a better word.

To really note the difference, just look at folks who have been referred to as style icons: Audrey Hepburn for the little black dress, Katherine Hepburn for wearing pants and white shirts when the ladylike dresses were the norm, Richard Roundtree in the iconic “Shaft” who made turtlenecks and the leather jackets to be sexy as a bad mother (shut your mouth), and Diana Ross in the movie "Mahogany."

There’s nothing wrong with being trendy. If you are a fashion editor or designer, it's a job requirement. But paying attention to trends should just enhance the style you already have. For example, when you look at Ralph Lauren, the epitome of the American style, you may note he threw in a few elements of surprise in a new season line but you can tell it is STILL Ralph Lauren. He ain't gonna be Sean John - a little more edgy. Get my drift.

So what brought about my gripe today? This overaccessorizing trend I’ve been seeing on my TV screens and on the streets. On BET awards, I saw the rappers in their blinding bling. Seriously, how in the world can so many guys wear glittery t-shirts, with blinged out jewelry on their necks, eyes (with shades) and wrists? OMG! I could feed a war-thorn African country with half of the jewelry on those guys.

Then I was watching CNN this weekend and I couldn’t concentrate on the news this anchor (who I love since her days in South Florida so she will remain nameless) was reading. She had on this chunky necklace and equally chunky earrings. I felt like going through my TV screen and taking one piece of jewelry off that was detracting from her already beautiful face. It was no different when I saw another CNN piece on Black in America (later on that).

What is it about our American super-size culture? It’s a land of excess but in some things, like make-up or trends, less can definitely be more. When you go to other countries, for example France, you find some of the chicest women. Most of them have little to no jewelry with their dresses or outfits. Same thing goes with African countries, most of the times, the clothes (often embroidered) speak for themselves. And when they wear chunky jewelry, most of the times, the outfits are plain.

Not so with my American counterparts, they will rather show how much they could afford by piling the jewelry on. To those folks, I would like to remind them of what another style icon, Coco Chanel said: When you’re fully dressed, before you leave your door, take one thing OFF.

Thanks For The Memories Taylor

He's gone! Jason Taylor was traded from the Miami Dolphins to the Washington Redskins late last night after 11 seasons.

Let me say I wasn't surprised by this trade since there have been mumblings for the past few months. But it was still a tough news for South Floridians to hear. But I would say this to Redskins fans: You are getting a CLASS ACT! A class act off the field and a ferocious beast on the field - you can't ask for anything more.

Tags: Jason Taylor, Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins

Friday, July 18, 2008

Musings For The Week

Here we go again, another week's wrap-up - here are somethings I might have missed:

Starbucks announces 600 stores are closing: And Phil Gramm says this was a "mental recession." But it wasn't all the economy's fault. I remember four years ago in my graduate program taken Starbucks as a case. I made the case that its growth was tending towards the marketplace's oversaturation. Just in the famed Biscayne Boulevard in Miami, Starbucks had some stores in the downtown area, then on 69th street, 135th street, 186th street (inside the Barnes & Noble), 190th street, two stores inside the Aventura Mall on 196th, then you could find another in the Borders Bookstore (on 201st street). I think I got all of the stores on ONE Boulevard. And New York is even worse.

Katherine Heigl is Staying Put on Grey's Anatomy: Why? This is where I wonder if there is a hidden racism. How in the world would you let Dr. Burke (I mean Isaiah Washington) go after he apologized for his insensitive remarks. But Heigl could stay after biting the hands that feeds her? In case, you guys are unfamiliar with this little show called "Grey's Anatomy," let me explain. A few weeks ago, Heigl (who's had success in two movies) said publicly she removed her name from the Emmy considerations because she didn't feel her character (Dr. Izzie) was given the right materials by the writers. The same Heigl who complained two seasons ago about salary as it relates to the star(s) of the show (let's just say the woman named Meredith Grey should get top billing and one McDreamy). I ask the writers: Why don't you WRITE this crybaby off the show already?

Elisabeth Hasselbeck Breaks Down On the View Over the "N-Word:" Oh Please! Personally, I don't use the n-word, whether with the "a" sound or the "er" sound. It's off my vocabulary. But I'll say this as a black woman, Whoopi and Sherri were right. They can use the word anyway they see fit. You Elisabeth CANNOT! End of story!

In case, any of the readers don't know what the fuss is all about and haven't seen the TV news, here's whole fuss:

Jesse Jackson Used the N-word: The reason for "The View" fiasco above and Elisabeth's breakdown. Right now, after Jesse's "nutty" remarks, him using the n-word in the same conversation is absolutely not suprising and the least of my concerns.

Tony Snow passed and was buried: I may criticize the Bush administration (a lot) but I recognize there were a few good men who held critical positions; and Tony Snow was one of them. I liked him. I was stunned when I heard the former Press Secretary's passing and my condolences to his family.

Tags: Starbucks, Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy, The View, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Jesse Jackson, N-word, Tony Snow

My Dark Knight

My favorite superhero is back! Yes Batman returns and I can't wait to see him - if my residential area's theatres are not sold out already.

I love Batman because he is technically not a superhero. He wasn't chemically engineered with experiments gone wrong like the Incredible Hulk or Spiderman. He is no Man of Steel like Superman, who moves faster than the speed of bullet but yet, the kryptonite is his archilles heel. And as much as I loved the Iron Man Movie, he still doesn't top Batman because he needs a mechanical heart to control all his superpowers.

Batman is all human. Dark, complex, yet relatable even if his alter ego, Bruce Wayne is so loaded beyond most people's imagination. But that isn't what makes his story to be one this writer finds intriguing. Wayne was defined by tragedy; that of his parents from their senseless murder when he was a child. And though he had the opportunity to revenge their deaths by killing the murderer; he chose not to but for the law of the land to make the judgment.

That power of choice became his moral compass regardless of how tough those decisions might be to the greatest villians he might one day face when he became Batman. But being Batman was a transition - a vast difference from other superheroes who just came into their powers and just knew they could scale walls (i.e. Spiderman), or fly (like Superman).

He came in to his strength through this unsexy word called HARDWORK and another one called SELF-DISCIPLINE. He worked his butt off in isolation thinking one day he will avenge (not revenge) his parents death by fighting crime.

And through his adventures, many find life lessons such as "it's not about what who you are, but what you do . . ." among others. Also for this writer, though the fairytales always hail the "white knight," as a choice for a princess, give her the sexy "dark knight" and that would be to her heart's contentment.

Tags: Batman, The Dark Knight, Superheroes

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's The Economy Stupid

I can't wait for this guy to get out of office. I'm like millions of Americans waiting for a new era (hopefully, my Candidate of choice gets in after eight years). Did anyone catch Dubya's sorry speech on the state of the economy yesterday? OMG!

According to Dubya, the economy is growing and we all just need to adjust - says old oil money baby! What kind of Jedi mind trick was Dubya trying to play on us especially when the Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke was giving an opposite (gloomy) view of the economy at the same time? But Dubya intercepted the major networks while the chairman gave his speech on C-Span (how many Americans watch that channel?) Check out one of my favorite guys, Jon Stewart making it plain with video:

Seriously! Who do you think I believe? Just forget I ever went to business school but as an everyday citizen, who do you think I'm leaning towards? Clue: It ain't Dubya! How insensitive for Dubya to think if I could balance my checkbook (note to Dubya, not everyone could accomplish such feat), I could adjust my lifestyle with the "working" economy.

Ok, Dubya, I know the English language is not your forte but "adjustment" have to do with making a few tactital moves like if the gas price goes up 20 cents, I make an adjustment. When it goes up 200 percent since you've being in office, that is not an adjustment but making an overhaul of my lifestyle.

Perhaps Math and English is not your thing. You used to own a sports team as Governor of Texas. Let me break it down for you in sports terminology. See, in playoff games, the coach makes an adjustment when the team loses one game to counteract what the other team might bring in the next game. If the team gets swept in all games, that means the team was no match for the other team in the first place.

So how does this relate to the American people? I'm glad you asked! The American people are being swept in gas prices, which is affecting all kinds of transportations (heard the crazy stuff U.S. Airways is accused of?), which is affecting the price of groceries. Not only that, their shelters is giving way because of subprime mess, increase in rental properties and their banks are closing down (IndyMac should ring a bell).

Now Dubya, how's that an adjustment?

Tags: Economy, Ben S. Bernanke, The Daily Show, Jon Stewart

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

McLaughlin Says Obama Is Oreo

There is something that makes me cringe when a white person is discussing a black man as an "Oreo." I'm speechless; this five-minute video will explain . . .

Tags: John McLaughlin, Oreo

Why I Blog

This post has been on my mind for some time now but our political and pop-culture scene has kept me quite busy. But the past few days have brought the post to my mind's forefront especially this morning when Joe Scaborough of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" was trying to explain why bloggers have taken Sen. Joe Lieberman - former running mate of Al Gore in the 2000 election now McCain's puppet (the last word mine - but hey, that's how I see it). Scaborough used this phrase: "these bloggers . . ." It's like saying "these people . . ." and you know what comes after that; a beat down or some stern talking to.

Anyway, I know the Mainstream Media (MSM) consider bloggers a pest who take them to task or are taking their jobs but also an asset - this election season has been filled with bloggers on TV or the radio. If blogging wasn't a great thing (from the nose turning device it was with the MSM just a couple of years ago), why is it that I hear CNN's Anderson Cooper, saying for the upteenth time "I'm live blogging throughout the program." We get it Anderson! You're hip! (love Anderson though :-)

I do have empathy for the MSM (I do). There are budget cuts everywhere in their industry (as everybody else's industry). Just locally, a few weeks ago, 250 positions were eliminated from the Miami Herald. It was a sad sight to see on the local news. The same goes for TV and radio. Everything is being taking over by the Internet.

But I also blame the MSM. Many chose not to take advantage of this new media years ago; they never thought it would take off the way it did. Can you believe some media outlets I've been a fan of over the years just opened a "blog" as a companion to their news sites just a couple of months ago. YES! But they want to get the pulse of the audience - the people the show was supposed to be communicating with in the first place. It's what I've called LAZINESS on the part of the MSM.

Think about that for a moment! Have you seen a lot of "color" on TV lately? Good (nay, great) thing huh! When the Jena Six situation happened last year, where did you think the MSM got the information? The bloggers! That story has been floating on the blogosphere for months and it was just before the march in Jena that the MSM picked it up. And who did it need to give them some analysis? Black people especially black bloggers.

What about this election season when there is a certain black candidate making history? The MSM is always referring to the "blogosphere" on how each candidate is being taken to task on a certain issue - how does it know that if blogs aren't being read? But I digress.

The title of the post is why I blog. I have the gift to write. Even my father told me a few weeks ago that I've always found something to do in the area of writing. He reminded me how I was part of the Press Club in Junior High and very involved with the school's magazine. Afterwards, I wondered how he remembered since that has been years ago. Also, I thought to myself he never said anything about me having a head for business - my numbers gift but he referred to my words gift. Interesting!

But there are things that move me to write: injustice, stupidity, but also, grace and valor to name a few. I believe I have a voice to give a voice to those who don't have any. And that voice can't be imitated. I like authencity even in a sea of blogs. I don't want to be like anyone or everyone else. I'm black but I don't have to lace my blog with Ebonics and slangs because that's NOT who I am. Can I flip the script every now and then? Definitely! But it will still be my voice.

I don't have an axe to grind. This blog would not be an angry black woman rant but yes, there are times you can feel my anger - read my whine to Gramm? Yes, I know the plight of the black man and of course, black folks in general. But I also believe in not seeing ourselves as victims but as victors - so you will notice I don't blog "all things black" all the time.

I'm more concerned in being logical in an illogical world and being authentic in a flaky environment. I believe in making our leaders and the MSM accountable. Also, you will see my serious side when it comes to faith and my silly side when it comes to sports and trends. That's who I am and that's why I blog.

My Blogging Personality

So I visited one of my faves on my bloglist: Sojourner's Place and she posted a "blogger's quiz." I was curious so I clicked the link. I took the test and I couldn't agree more - nailed me to a "t."

Your Blogging Type is Confident and Insightful

You've got a ton of brain power, and you leverage it into brilliant blog.

Both creative and logical, you come up with amazing ideas and insights.

A total perfectionist, you find yourself revising and rewriting posts a lot of the time.

You blog for yourself - and you don't care how popular (or unpopular) your blog is!

Thanks SJP!

Thou Shall Know Thy Subject

A light fare here but still about our unique political atmosphere. I couldn't let this one go when I saw this clip on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer. It featured Sen. Mark Sanford, a supporter and surrogate of Sen. John McCain. Since Sen. Barack Obama referred to McCain as "McSame" meaning he's the same as President George W. Bush, Blitzer wanted Sanford to differentiate his Candidate from W. Well, it wasn't about what was said but what was left unsaid; check out this video:

Seriously, Senator! The question was how different was McCain from Bush NOT how alike they are - help your guy out. The aforementioned video reminded me of Ms. Teen South Carolina geographical mess seen here:

Tags: Mark Sanford, Wolf Blitzer

Monday, July 14, 2008

When A Woman's Fed Up

Okay Readers! You get three for one today. That's what getting a breather from the books and having a good (no, great) night sleep I haven't got in many days will do.

Let's talk about my favorite subjects these days, Florida, we even got a TIME magazine cover (not a good one)this week and to borrow a phrase from the Tom Joyner Morning Show, "this is INN (Ignorant Negro News)." Too bad both are linked. This is a story that has South Florida buzzing for the past few days but because of the news on the National scene, I took a pass.

It's about Fort Lauderdale's Chief of Police, Frank Adderly and his wife, Eleanor Adderly involved in a domestic dispute. But this is not just the regular domestic dispute with the man attacking the woman, nope. It's about the woman shooting at her husband several times, in her words, "to scare him."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't shoot at someone (much less your husband) THREE times in his direction to "scare" him. I would say "kill" him is more in order here. Thank God he escaped without any wounds. But what's on everyone's minds around South Florida is what did the chief really do to warrant such actions from his wife. And though the Judge has ordered both to stay away from each other (seriously, does the judge have to say that) for at least a mile, the Chief through his attorney has said he will post his wife's $25,000 bond. HUH! Check out the video here:

Now that must be love or something I don't understand to post your would be killer's bonds. The chief released this statement: ``Despite these trying times, I support and stand by my wife. I love her very much and will do everything possible to get her whatever assistance she needs during this difficult time.'' I've heard of the "stand by your man" mantra but this one is reversed.

This is INN because Adderly happened to be the first black Chief of Police in the city of Fort Lauderdale's 97-year history. Think about that, you get the highest office in law enforcement in a major metropolis, only for your private matters to spill into streets. Also what was his wife thinking? She's not only shooting at a private citizen but a cop! A chief cop! I don't care what he's done, you may think murder but don't act on it - your life is too precious to go to prison.

Tags: Frank Adderly, Eleanor Adderly, Domestic Disputes, Fort Lauderdale Police Chief, South Florida, Time Magazine

Brett Favre's Double Talk?

This is why I NEVER believe any athlete who announces retirement. I don't care if he or she (but let's stick with male athletes since they are the main culprits) says this is DEFINITELY a speech of calling it a career. The last person with the most public retirement speech after flirting with the idea for two seasons was Brett Favre. Check out his tearful speech here:

But four months later, here we go again with an athlete changing back his mind on not really retiring with Favre demanding the Green Bay Parkers give him a release. Picture me rolling my eyes as I heard many sports commentators expressing their surprise.

My cynism started as a teenager with the greatest person to ever played basketball, Michael Jordan announced his "retirement" to play baseball. Then he came back, won three more championships, then he "retired" in 1998 after his sixth and last championship. But Jordan wasn't done, he came back again in 2001 to play for the Wizards stayed through 2003. Now he is officially "retired."

Not only that, Jordan's sidekick, Scottie Pippen was no different. He tried getting back to the NBA over a year ago with trying to join the Miami Heat for the 2006-2007 season. Just because you're in better shape than most guys your age after years of "retirement" doesn't mean you can play on the professional level as you did. Seriously!

There is something about walking away from the spotlight after many years of reveling in it every week. Many athletes have spoken publicly about their private pain of retiring, whether they thought it was too early or too late wasn't the point. It was not being used to the sound of silence. If they haven't planned (and some who have - think Jordan)for such deafening silence, they could go crazy. Now they are not seen as mini gods when they played, they are now regular everyday citizens like everyone else. Think about how that state could be when you've been told since you were a kid as the greatest thing since slice bread.

Then folks who go against the narrative by retiring at the height of their career a la Detroit Lions famed running back, Barry Sanders get so much flak for retiring too early or not caring about the fans. Wow, a person who actually thinks his life is his and nobody else's. Imagine that!

So for all the people who calling Favre to task for his decision to come back to the NFL, put the mirror to your face and see if you will joyously walk away from a gift you were born to have and you've being using it well for over half your life. I don't care if he's pushing 40, he still (currently) a top five quarterback. And even this cynical writer will change her tune, and welcome him with open arms if the rumors are true and Favre decides to be a Miami Dolphin! It will be like the second coming of an older Dan Marino - think about it Favre, playing in the below 0 degree Winter in Wisconsin or the sunshine of Miami?

Tags: Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, Athletes Retirement

New Yorker's Bad Satire

I get satire. Anyone who knows me knows I love my daily dose of the Daily Show or Stephen Colbert, I loved "In Living Color" for its brilliance and I've been a fan of SNL for years. So why don't I get this particular brand of satire by The New Yorker?

I got this story like many Americans on the various morning shows today and I kept mulling it over to see whose side I could take. After thinking about the story for the past few hours (with emergencies with my laptop), I'll say this, it is not the New Yorker's. This is simply a misstep on the word "satire."

Satire is NOT something you need to explain to people to get it as the New Yorker's editor was doing today on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" or MSNBC live. People normally get it as I posted here on "Baracknophobia." The problem with this cover is that many Americans are not familiar with this publication called "the New Yorker." This is normally not a magazine you find on their coffee tables. I'm not one of those Americans but I feel this image (with no words of what the picture was all about) will perpetuate the fears the editor was saying on the morning shows he was trying to bring to light.

Seriously Mr. Editor! A picture of Michelle Obama resembling the 60s to 70s black icon militant Angela Davis only with the AK 47 strapped to her back (which made it worse). Then you have Sen. Barack Obama in the turban that caused so much fuss early this year though he was only wearing his heritage of Kenya's outfit (which all dignitaries do by the way).

And the items go on with the American Flag (which Obama has caught unnecessary flak for not wearing a lapel pin) burning up in the fireplace and America's most notorious terrorist, Osama Bin Ladin (how many people have been caught with the intentional or unintentional slip-up by replacing the "b" in Obama for the "s" in Osama?) Way to go Editor! What a great job you have done to really scare straight middle and southern Americans who see this cover all over the screens and in their bookstores to NOT vote for Obama.

Isn't this ironic that the left leaning magazine is really the one sabotaging the Presidential Democratic Nominee's chances? The right has publicly condemned the magazine's cover as tasteless. Read that last sentence one more time because it is true. But in my mind I can't help but wonder if the "right" isn't secretly rejoicing for manna from heaven for folks rushing to their base even if they don't agree with its Nominee's views.

Tags: The New Yorker

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hear Me Whine Gramm

I said yesterday the gaffes and apologies keep coming this election season. Only in today’s case, there is no apology – the culprit chooses not to “retract any of it.” Yes I’m talking of Sen. John McCain’s top economic advisor, Phil Gramm saying and I quote “we’ve sort of become a nation of whiners . . . just like you have mental depression, this is a mental recession.” Wow! I’m learning twisted words in this administration and election season than ever before. If it is not enhanced interrogation (torture), it is now a mental recession on the part of Americans experiencing tough times. Gramm says it’s all in our heads.

Seriously! This is what we get when a politician has lived in a bubble of his posh lifestyle in Washington for so long, he gets out of touch with the state of the people – the people the Politician is supposed to serve.

As I watched this story unfold yesterday, I couldn’t help but remember the severe misstep by the former President George H. Bush in 1992’s election season when he had no clue electronic scanners existed in the grocery store. But his opponent, trying to get to the office for the first time, former President Bill Clinton knew the price of milk (at the time) on a whim making him seem connected to the plight of the American people while his rival who was the sitting President was clueless. After all, it was during that time we got that iconic phrase from Bubba’s campaign: It’s the economy, stupid!

But not to Gramm, a person called an “economic guru” who was supposed to help McCain. who admitted some months ago not knowing much about the economy appear credible. Not anymore! In less than 24 hours, McCain has kicked his longtime friend off the “straight talk express” to the curb saying, “he doesn’t speak for me, I speak for me.” Gramm chose not to back down on his videotaped comments but only to say he didn’t make his comments about the people but the leaders. Ok, when did a “nation” as he mentioned consists of only the leaders? These folks must really think we are stupid.

Anyway, allow me to give Gramm a proper send-off and live up to the “whiners” we are: It’s not in our heads we are paying almost $5 at the gas pump, more than 100 percent a few years ago when our incomes are not making the corresponding jump. It’s not in our heads when the price of groceries also is making the same over 100 percent hike. It’s not in our heads that our homes are losing their value and our neighbors are foreclosing theirs left and right. And it’s not in heads that your administration miniscule stimulus checks didn’t stimulate us to treat ourselves but to pay everyday bills and past days debts. It’s on our over-extended credit and debit cards and our decreasing bank balances.

Tags: Phil Gramm, Mental recession

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jesse's Nutty Remarks

Why now? Not only I can't believe I have to make a quick post in the midst of studying for a few major exams and opportunities but just less than five months into a major election, the gaffes and apologies keep coming! Unless you're living under a rock the past 24 hours, you know I'm talking about Rev. Jesse Jackson's, how should I put this nicely, "nutty" remarks.

I can't believe a camera-loving, microphone-ready for his unique rhyming skills person in Jackson, would make such a blunder in assuming the mic was off by whispering his crude remarks about a Presidential candidate. And of all places, Fox News? Those of you who have been reading this blog since its inception in May can tell I don't hold that "fair and balanced" network with much regard.

And this is not the first time Jackson got in hot water in just this election season (no need to rehash the past). Just last September, he accused Sen. Barack Obama of "acting white." Then he had to apologize and of course, he already apologized yesterday for his desire to emasculate (literally) a candidate he supposed to be a supporter of. I feel like singing the One Republic megahit song "it's too late to apologize."

You know I told a family relative last night who was wondering what the major news was about since she hasn't been in front of a TV or computer (I seem to be the go-to person on anything political and pop-culture in the family) that this whole situation made me realize that a Saturday Night Live skit I watched some months ago got something right.

It was a cartoon-like skit featuring Obama, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and how Obama tried various moves to distance himself from those two by sending them to no-name places around the world where a mic and camera cannot be seen. Also, in the cartoon, if Obama couldn't think of a place to send them and the media is approaching for an interview, he gives his Secret Service a look to cause a distraction to get Jackson and Shapton out of there.

Life has literally imitated art this past 24 hours and it was as if the SNL skit was a self-fulfilling prophecy, only without Sharpton. I don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water. I acknowledge and grateful for the contributions Jackson has made to society, I may not always care for his methods.

But I'm confounded when a person wants to just stay on the tracks and reminisce of years gone by when the train has left for a new destination. Hel-lo Reverend: Let me hip you to your Bible right quick, your God acknowledged the wisdom of the children of Issachar because they understood the times.

We are not in the thick of the civil rights movement of 40 years ago and say what you want, Obama is NOT going to be the President of the black race but the United States. It's time to recognize there is a shift and you may still be disappointed you could not win the election (twice) for the highest office in the Land but why don't you encourage yourself that because you ran before and after some black candidates, Obama might have a shot at winning this election. So please, do what your own son said yesterday and keep hope alive and any insults to yourself. Boom Shaka Laka!!!

Tags: Jesse Jackson, Crude Remarks, SNL, Al Sharpton

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Meet The Family

I got into my home last night around 9:30, and I did like what most people do after turning on the lights, hit the remote. I checked out CNN and I had to roll my eyes when I saw on Larry King Live the story of A-Rod and his estranged wife. So I changed the channel a few seconds later to MSNBC and the show, "Verdict with Dan Abrams" and what did I see? The cutest black family I've seen in a while on TV; The Obamas.

That's a pause moment. I thought to myself what a great thing not seeing people who look like me constantly in a negative light in the media but a family like I know represents many black families enjoying the 4th of July festivities. Only, in this case, they are being interviewed by Access Hollywood since the father is a Presidential Democratic Nominee.

I thought the kids, Malia and Sasha were too cute and they definitely have their father wrapped around their fingers (like most daughters). They teased him from wardrobe choices, to leaving his heavy suitcase in the middle of the room that gets them tripped.

Many have wondered if it was expedient of Sen. Obama to show his children in such limelight rather than wave and be quiet. But I think it is great to see a Presidential candidate in another light, a personal and relatable side.

But as of this morning, Sen. Obama didn't think so; he felt the interview was a mistake. He thought they got carried away. Hmmm Senator, that's what you do on the 4th of July, which also happened to be one of your daughter's birthday - you get "carried away." Don't get so buttoned up and make the John Kerry's mistake of 2004 with the word your opponents are throwing around these days; being seen as an "elitist."

Tags: Obama's Family, Access Hollywood, Dan Abrams, Verdict

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Goofy Get Your Gun

It had to be Florida! Sometimes when I'm watching the National News, just like black folks pray it shouldn't be somebody who looks like us, I'm now tempted to wish it's not Florida. Seriously, how in the world does one state find a way to get in the national spotlight like this? If it's not voting debacles, it's female teacher and student unseemly relationships, or college football brawls (and the list goes on).

So last night, my resident state was back in that spotlight it craves and now with the NRA! The NRA won a major battle a couple of weeks ago when the Supreme Court upheld the 2nd amendment which challenged the hand-guns ban in Washington DC for almost three decades. But NRA's battle was not done, it's on to DisneyWorld.

Yes, read that one more time, DisneyWorld. NRA is challenging "the happiest place in the world's" position about its employees not bringing guns to work. This is another attempt for 2nd Amendment justification. Look, NRA, nobody is going against the 2nd Amendment but you also have to follow the laws of your school or workplace.

I was on a campus that states clearly not to bring a gun to campus grounds. Is that banning a right to bear arms? No but if you want an education, you better follow the bylaws of the school. Same for a workplace especially after many stories of going "postal," why would the people at Disney where families go to escape not follow a safe environment law not for just its employees but for the families who enjoy its services?

I guess you see where I'm going with this, I believe in the constitution but I don't just follow the letter of the law, which I think NRA loves to do but consider the spirit of the said law.

Tags: NRA, DisneyWorld, Gun Laws, Florida, Supreme Court

Back From the 4th

Hi Everybody:

It's been a while and like many in our great country I took some time off during the the 4th of July weekend. I was stuffed from all the barbeque and trust me, I'm thinking putting some more time at the gym and going off meat for a week.

But a lot of things have happened while I unplugged and I'm ready share my musings . . .

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Things I Don't Get - Men's Trends

Another installment of "things I don't get" as I head into our national holiday and this time I turn my attention to the men and what they think is hip or stylish that leave me confused:

I don't get sagging pants on grown men: See I don't have a problem with teenagers with this trend. Ok, I teased a teenage family relative once last year he could meet his impatient friend outside quicker if he pulled up his pants. For the most past, I feel teenagers will grow out of it or the workplace will dictate their fashion choices but when grown men from 25, ok, give them 28 hold on to this trend, I'm left wondering with questions like "what are they thinking?"

I understand the hip-hop world sometimes dictates this trend but come on! Jay-Z is even pulling up his pants and rightfully so when you're pushing 40. This is a national outrage as seen in this video:

I don't get dreadlocks/braids on guys over 35: Listen up guys! The dreads or braids need to go after this critical age. This is one of Cedric the Entertainer's stand up routine of being "a grown ass man." After 35 and still keeping the dreads just looks like you're TRYING to be cool when you might already be.

As a member of a former church, there was a certain Brother that was well past 40 with pronounced receding hairlines, some of my friends called him a slim version of R-Kelly and he was still doing the cornrows. The cornrows started from like two inches from his forehead. Seriously, as nice as the guy seemed to be, that absurd look always got to me. I was thinking anytime he walked by could somebody just tell him to go bald.

Since many brothers take after celebrities especially singers to woo the ladies, I want to show you proof of singers who got rid of the dreads after 35: Eric Benet - check out his clean look for the past four years:
Maxwell (where has he been?) who came out of Exile on the BET Awards (He looked completely different - still handsome grown up):

I don't get the crayola colors trends started by Kanye West: Guys you're NOT Kanye! The funny thing about this rainbow colors is that it makes the guys look like caricatures. And you can tell they are imitating somebody. Let me tell you something guys, Kanye became Kanye by being an individual - a corky individual but one no less. He debunked the tracksuits - the hip-hop uniform at the time for a streamlined preppy look. That's why he is rightfully a "style icon" as he wants to be seen among other things.

You guys copying Kanye's style doesn't make you stylish, it makes you a copycat. How's that for a label when an original would be more complimentary. Get back to the classics of neutrals, with a dash of color and stop making us girls dizzy with the technicolor of crayolas.

Tags: Men's Trends, Dreadlocks, Eric Benet, Kanye West, Maxwell, Sagging Pants, Style

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Thurgood Marshall Would Have Been 100

Today, would have been the first black Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall's 100th birthday. Just needed to take some time to acknowledge his would be centennial birthday and remember the great contribution Marshall made when it came to desegregating schools.

Tags: Thurgood Marshall, Brown Vs. Board