Friday, August 29, 2008

Mile-High Week

It's been an eventful week and instead doing my usual recap for all things not covered on my blog for a particular week, I'd like to give a rundown of highlights and lowlights of my observation on a great Democratic National Convention. Here we go:

Highlight: Roaring speeches from Hillary's passionate plea, Bill's final endorsement, Biden's emotional connection and attack on John McCain, to even Dennis Kucinich shouting "Wake up America!"

Lowlight: The snoozefest from the Keynote Speaker, former Governor of Virginia Mark Warner. Hel-lo Warner! Have you ever paid attention to keynote speeches? It could launch you to a national stratosphere! Check out the person who's heading your party right now, Barack Obama, he gave a keynote address in 2004 when most people didn't know he was. I wonder what happened to him. Oh I know, he's one election away from being President. When someone like me (a polital junkie) remembered she had to take out the trash during your speech, it goes to show you, you were a bore.

Highlight: The moving speech from Michelle Obama, which serves as a reintroduction of the person she really is to many Americans.

Lowlight: A few people would not like you no matter how nice you are or your speech was. Case in point: Fox's Megan Kelly dissecting Michelle Obama's speech.

Highlight: Hillary Clinton's magnificent grace through out the convention from her speech to calling off the counting of the votes.

Lowlight: Still some of Hillary voters would not vote for Barack. A poignant moment for me seeing this video after after Hillary gave what could go down as the greatest speech of her life, only for this interview with one of her supporters that brought me straight to earth.

Highlight: Great music from fantastic musicians and just seeing people having a good time.

Lowlight: Bad fashion choices from some participants. Example: Donkey on the head. Seriously!

Highlight: Great coverage of the convention from the media. Last night's acceptance speech, apart from the superbowl became the most watched show of the year so far.

Lowlight: Sign of exhaustion on the part of the Pundits that led to some bickering among them.

Highlight: Great weather in Denver all week, so the show went without a hitch.

Lowlight: Prayers of James Dobson and co. apparently went unanswered since they prayed for rain at the DNC especially during Obama's speech. Gosh! Some Christians really give others of like faith a bad name.

Highlight: Great comedy from satirical shows especially this one from the Daily Show that had me rolling about Obama.

Lowlight: On comedy? None! As long as it wasn't derogatory.

Highlight: Commemorative week of 88th anniversary of Suffarage leading women to gain the right to vote. And 45th anniversary of MLK's "I have a dream" speech for the March in Washington.

Lowlight: Today marks the 3rd anniversary of when the government turned its back on some of her people - The Katrina anniversary and praying the Gustav takes a different route from the people of the Gulf.

Tags: Democratic National Convention, Mark Warner

Obama Officially Makes History

Wow! Can I say that again? Wow! That was unbelievable. I have family spread over three continents watching that acceptance speech hoping for a change.

Everything from the music, to the sea of faces of different ethnicities make it appropo for what Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed about 45 years ago. Oh and the speech - thank you Barack for showing you are a wonk even though you could charm the socks off most folks with your winning smile.

Also, to think you could show your pragmatic side of knowing the issues affecting Americans lives with your passion for highest office and keep everybody spellbound on the speech for a good 42 minutes makes me give you the tip of the hat.

One more thing: I called you "Obambi" last week for acting soft and not taking an offensive approach to your opponent. Well what do you know? You turned into Obama yesterday and hit the target on McCain to tell him "ENOUGH" and challenging him to a debate on his temparament (which is legendary) and judgment. I was like "oh no he didn't." Oh yes you finally did and I wished you could see me clapping my hands.

Tags: Obama Acceptance Speech, Democratic National Convention

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Too Good To Play

How low is the expectation we set for our kids? Especially for black kids. This story has been buzzing in my mind and on the headlines for a few days. This is a story about Jericho Scott. A nine-year old little-leaguer kicked out of his baseball team for being too good.

Jericho (isn't he cute by the way) could throw a 40MPH fastball - a feat too high for his age. So for that reason, fearing he might hurt somebody, they threw him out of his little league baseball team. Wow! How long did Jackie Robinson break the color barrier in baseball? And haven't there been an outcry for a few years with black kids not playing baseball (because there are no fields in their neighborhoods)and thus, less blacks in the professional league?

Let me understand this correctly: You get a boy who is outstanding in this sport and with the proper nurture and training (he doesn't need much) could be a great pitcher as an adult in the sport, but just because he's that good, you'll rather punish him and let his potential lie dormant? Is it only me (and many others out online and on sports stations) find this mind-boggling story OUTRAGEOUS?

Tag: Jericho Scott, Little League Baseball

Billary At The DNC

So the Mainstream Media (MSM) has been trying to create conflict and drama about Billary - Bill and Hillary Clinton. What would they do? How would Sen. Clinton throw in her "full-throated" (I have no idea how this phrase became the buzz word of this election season) support. Well, too bad, she came in gracious and according to Barack's words last night, "rocked the house."

Hillary used humor to great effect. I liked the "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits," and the twin cities description with John McCain and President George W. Bush - it's kinda hard to tell them apart.

She thanked her supporters for the historic run of her campaign and in the same way asked the so-called supporters if they were in it for her or for the issues with examples of folks deprived of those issues - health care, economy, etc. I thought that was the turning point of the speech. That was her plea for unity.

And did you see how she channelled Harriett Tubman? Who knew Hillary had that kind of soul in her? She told her supporters and fellow Democrats to "keep going" regardless of the challenges they may (and will) face.

But all the aforementioned wasn't enough for the MSM. They started asking questions: Why didn't she define Barack Obama? Why didn't she say he was qualified? Oh for crying out loud! This is all part of the MSM insatiable appetite for drama. The lady did what she was supposed to do and then some. She's been campaigning for Obama over the past month. Let it go! Besides, there have been many Democrats before her who were not as gracious. Oh, I forgot - those were men!

Now to Bubba, I mean President Bill Clinton. That was the dark cloud the MSM were predicting because of his impassioned support for his wife and a little (a euphenism) sulking for her loss. Again, what did the pundits think Bill, the smartest politician of his generation will do? Come on stage and tell them screw you for all you put me through?

Anyway, I thought he was good; almost great (I've heard better speeches from him). Bubba came on stage with his favorite song from Fleetwood Mac which he used during his 1992 acceptance speech "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow." I can't count how many times I've heard that song anytime Bill had to come on stage for various events.

And the crowd obliged him for almost five minutes. Gosh that was 16 years ago he first won the election. Boy was I young (or younger then since I wasn't old enough to vote). I'm glad the first sentence was for his support for Barack Obama. He talked about how qualified Obama was and for his first brilliant decision to choose Joe Biden. He showed the disparity of the choices Americans face and how it will be in their best interest to choose Barack and Biden. As always, he "still believed in a place called hope."

Tags: Democratic National Convention

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Moved By Michelle

All I have to say about Michelle Obama's speech last is SHE ROCKED!!! Thank you for showing that there is more that unites us as Americans (regardless of race) than what divides us. Oh, about those girls of yours - ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE!!!

Teared Up By Teddy

Can I just tell you that two weeks of Olympics, endless political DNC coverage along with studying for more training in my profession, not to talk of blogging is affecting my sleep patterns. But nothing would have prevented me from seeing the "Liberal Lion" last night just like a brain cancer treatment could not stop the great Teddy from appearing at the DNC.

Wow! The video montage about the Kennedys with focus on Ted produced by the America's premier history filmmaker, Ken Burns was riveting. Of course, I know some history about the Kennedys and I know Sen. Ted Kennedy, even after a close loss for Presidency to President Jimmy Carter will go down in history, as arguably the most effective Senator (at the ire of a few Republican colleagues) in U.S. history.

Just think about it. For the 46 years he's been in Senate, he's passed laws that affect our lives from marching with MLK to passing the civil rights bill, affirmative action, Medicare bill, Education aids. Even recently, a few weeks after his surgery, he came into the Senate to cast the deciding vote on a Medicare Bill.

As I watched the TV screen, there were many misty eyes in the audience and from a viewer in her living room. I'll just like to say thanks Teddy!

Tags: Ted Kennedy, Democratic National Convention

Monday, August 25, 2008

Statue Of Limitations On POW Status

A quick musing on what's been on my mind lately. I want to know one thing: How long can a Presidential candidate use his POW status on every issue related to the American people? I'm talking about Sen. John McCain of course. I wholeheartedly respect his sacrifice for our country but I'm getting tired of all things POW as an answer for any counter-attack on an issue.

The latest was an interview he had with CBS Katie Couric about the "how many houses he owns" where he needed to check with his staff gaffe. Obviously, he heard Joe Biden's Saturday afternoon comment about Americans at their respective kitchen table but McCain would be at a loss for what kitchen table out of the seven he needs to sit at.

McCain's answer: POW! To be exact, he talked about a time for years he didn't have a kitchen table to sit at. Imagine me feeling like throwing something on my TV screen but the economy is too bad to be worrying about buying another TV. I felt like "Oh for the love of God and all things decent, can we hear something else; it's been 40 years now."

A week ago at the Saddleback Church, he must have brought the POW situation on three different questions - picture me rolling my eyes. At what point does a defining moment in one's life becomes a crutch instead of a catalyst of change? He reminded me of another Republican Presidential candidate (Rudy Giuliani) who used 9-11 as an anwswer to everything.

Reporter: Mayor Giuliani, how're you going to handle our crumbling economy?

RG: Well, with the terrorists attacking our commercial center on 9-11, we have to first secure our defense fund . . .

Reporter: But what about education?

RG: On 9-11, America became a different world. We need to educate folks on the evil doers of the world.

Reporter: But Mayor, that wasn't what I meant . . .

RG: 9-11 defined everything for the American people. We need a leader who could face a crisis (BLAH BLAH BLAH).

See what I mean? The above scenario is a synopsis of Giuliani's failed Presidential attempt. Joe Biden said it best: "How can Giuliani run for President. Giuliani only knows a noun, a verb and 9-11." And Biden knows what he's talking about after facing a tragedy of his own of losing a young wife, his infant daughter and two sons in critical conditions at the hospital from a car crash only for his near-death experience years later with a brain aneurism. You don't hear him broadcasting that tragedy every time. You've got to read some articles or his book to find out he went through such ordeal. He's known more as a "happy warrior."

I'm seeing the same technique of Giuliani from John McCain. When it was insinuated that he might have peeped the Saddleback questions at his motorcade (instead of him being in the green room at the right time). His campaign's answered: How dare you suggest such thing from somebody who has sacrificed his life . . . yada yada yada.

Obama saying to John McCain not to question his patriotism for his country. John McCain's Answer: Not your patriotism but your judgment and in my days in Vietnam . . . (POW). Now I ask the senator: OK. Senator McCain, how can we fix our broken healthcare? McCain: In my days as a POW for five years, I had no healthcare. I had to walk around that Prison ground to get some exercise with my broken are . . .

AAW: But Sen. I would like to know why the funding for education has been drastically cut for support an already baloon sized defense fund?

McCain: My POW status shows we need to defeat the evildoers of the world. I would follow Osama Bin Laden to the gates of hell if I have to . . .

See where this is going? Of course some of these scenarios are satirical but one can see the truth no less. Tragedies strike many Americans and they make them stronger and a POW is one that is unfathomable. But when does a public servant choose to see the plight of the people he is supposed to serve with a different lens than those of his POW days especially when it was almost four decades ago. Can we get a statue of limitations on POW excuses PLEASE?

Tags: POW, Saddleback, Joe Biden, Rudy Giuliani

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Congrats USA Redeem Team

Ok I admit, I had a problem with Lebron James guaranteeing gold over a month ago. I thought it was arrogant on his part especially when the rest of the world are gaining grounds in this game we introduced to them called basketball. And making such statement after a disappointing Bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics and a sub-par showing at the world games was uncalled for.

But the USA team lived up to its name and redeemed itself. It's refreshing to see a bunch of NBA multi-millionaires star players come together for the glory of their country and the exuberance displayed after winning the final game on the picture cannot be faked. They earned that gold. Spain basketball players gave them a run for all the NBA players' money and notoriety.

The Redeem Team sealed the game with about two minutes left with a three-pointer (one of his four) from D-Wade leading the team with 27 points and a 20-point assistance from Kobe Bryant. Read that last statement again . . . Kobe "assisted," talk about growth from his ball-hugging ways. Final score: 118-107.

Now let me be a homer for a minute: Dwyane Wade - where have you been? OMG! I almost forgot you were an NBA Finals MVP two years ago with the debacle that became of the Miami Heat last season. Four three-pointers? You hardly shoot "threes." Can I expect that skill in your repertoire next season? Are you really BACK?

You looked very healthy from the knee and shoulder surgeries. Can I expect the "Flash" back at the AAA in a few months and hope this Olympics was not a flash in the pan? But once again, congrats on your gold and hope you bring your revamped balling skills home.

Tags: Redeem Team, USA Basketball, Dwyane Wade

Biden-ed Out

The right man won the VP spot. I made my case for Biden last Monday. At first, I was very giddy for making the right analysis when I saw the job went to him. But I must say, the past 24 hours has given me a case of Biden exhaustion from the news Media paralysis by analysis (a term in my profession for analyzing something to death).

Anyway, happy for Biden. He's a good man and he's Memoir of over a year is now a bestseller. And now for the pundits to find another news . . .

Tag: Joe Biden

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rundown For The Week

This was one unique week with "Fay" visiting us in Florida then staying past due her time. But apart from that, there were some unique things in our world that I've been itching to voice my opinion on. So here's the rundown:

John Mayer's Street Rant:
What a Jerk!!! Those were the words that ran across my mind when I saw this masterpiece from John Mayer on TV. This guy is over 30 years old and he still doesn't know how to react with class when he breaks up with someone. Yes he said that Jennifer Aniston is the smartest person he's even met. Thanks for the back-handed compliment while you're telling the whole world you broke up with her and your pseudo-analysis why you ended a relationship.

Hey John! How about you just zip it or better yet, use your creative license and put the experience in a song. You always sing about how you're waiting for the world to change; well, we're waiting for you to grow up.

What's wrong with "Show-Bolt-ing?" People should REALLY lighten up! In case you haven't heard the latest Olympics controversy, let me give a quick review. It's about the Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt who broke the world record (twice). But his first world record setting in the 100 meters was met with some outrage because Bolt had the nerve to celebrate or trash talk after he won.

Time-out people! Especially to my fellow Americans. If it was an American who won the Olympic Gold, would you have had the outrage. The funny thing to this writer was when a former Olympian, now an NBC Olympic commentator Ato Bolden had the nerve to say Bolt should respect the game. Oh Bolden! How short-term your memory is! I remember watching you in my college apartment while you were running with Michael Johnson and strutting your stuff like a peacock.

Besides, look at all the hoopla surrounding Michael Phelps and I was one of them. My TV was set late Saturday night watching his iconic eight-gold medal win - did you see Phelps celebrations even before the eight. Let Bolt celebrate how he wants to. You will too if you put your body through such intense pressure for four years and get the highest honor.

John McCain Doesn't Know How Many Houses He Owns: I don't know if this guy is just so out-of-touch or just balling like that. But I do know, it is one stupid statement to make when many Americans are struggling.

Miami Named Worst City To Be A Sports Fan: All of South Floridians are laughing this morning because we made a "Forbes" List! Can you tell us what is real news? Even I have blogged about my beloved region how we can boo our athletes in a minute when they start losing. See how great you love your Sports teams when they were Legends (Miami Dolphins in the 70s and 80s) or recent champions (Miami Heat in 2006) to becoming a laughing stock in the sports world. Anyhoo, we're just glad we made No. 1 on your list. Thank you Forbes!!!

Obama Keeping Mum on Veepstakes: Let the cat out of the bag already Barack! I'm getting tired of the stake out at three different persons houses by the Media or if it is a lady (I will be shocked if you choose Hillary).

In Remembrance:

The pictures on your left are those we lost this week in the African-American community and got contributions to our American society. Rep. Stephanie Hubbs Jones, NFL Legend and executive Gene Upshaw, and Dave Matthews Band saxophonist LeRoi Moore. My condolences to their respective families.

Tags: Usain Bolt, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Gene Upshaw, LeRoi Moore, Forbes, Miami Fans, John Mayer, Jennifer Aniston

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Letter to Obambi

Readers of this blog may have peeped something about me: When I start referring to a political figure by a nickname instead of his/her real name (a la Bubba, Billary (Bill and Hillary Clinton),Dubya, Slick Willie), take note. So I start this post to my beloved Obambi.

Yes, I've got to go there because Barack Obama is testing my patience. I've resisted using this nickname for the past month because it represents being soft but when I read that McCain has gained a five-point lead over Obambi, it's time to say can we talk.

A couple of days ago I made my case on why Obambi needed to choose Biden - he needed an attack dog. The cool-headed guy who rises above all kinds mud-slinging is not going to work with this Republican attack machine. And yesterday while watching Obambi on the campaign trail with the Veterans defending his patriotism, I felt like screaming with his demeanor; it seemed he was still defering to McCain hoping the former POW will campaign with some class.

Look, an intelligent person can see most of McCain's ads against you are lies but the thing about lies as the movie "Pretty Woman" told us: When they tell you the lies long enough, you start believing them. So there is a power to repetition regardless if it is the truth or not.

So McCain (I'm thinking of the nickname to crown him on this blog - maybe "McBush") can say over and over again that you will take your ambition to be President over what is good for the country which is totally wrong but guess what? Even though the logical mind knows he's wrong because McBush would not be running for President if he doesn't have the same ambition(he said so in his book). But because he says so with such confidence and repeats it about three times in one day and the news media replays that piece over and over, the viewer (and potential voter) believes him.

And because most Americans are too lazy to read; why is it 12 percent of them still believe you're a muslim? They just consume all that's being fed to them with no critical thinking. But your campaign during the past month has been so timid (even while you were on vacation) to go on the offense (and not just play a weak defense) on attack ads.

How in the world can McBush gain a five-point lead over you when we have an unpopular President, an unpopular war and a bad economic downtown? Something is wrong with how your message is coming across. You have less than eighty days before the election and this is not the time to coast. It's time to get ruthless.

That is why many (both Republicans and Democrats) referred to Slick Willie as the smartest politician of his generation because he knew how to be ruthless when he needed to for the sake of winning. I know theorectically you've got the fire in your belly to run for President but practically, I'm waiting to see the effects of that fire with its take no prisoners approach.

I'm no politian, just a keen observer of the political scene. But I know in my regular life, there is a time to keep quiet and let my integrity speak for itself and there is a time someone will hear me roar when my character is placed under questioning.

You just finished a forum about your faith over the past weekend. Take a cue from the leader of your faith, Jesus Christ. There was a time for Him to be meek as a dove and there is a time to take out the whip on money changers in the temple. We've seen you act like the former and it is commendable. It's time to do more of the latter; take out the whip or risk this writer continuously refer to you as Obambi.

Tags: Bill Clinton, Lies, Pretty Woman, Faith

Celebrating My Centennial

No not my birthday - my 100th post on this blog. So I decided to take a little time to reflect on my writing that have drew ires sometimes from some commenters and some laughs from others. I appreciate both sides and those who just read (yeah I see the stats) and don't comment.

So I'd like to this time to thank those commenters from the top of my head:

Joelle, Blackstarr, Freedom (all one person I found out and thanks for the e-mail)


Shaun In The City

Jarrett Carter



Ebony Intuition

Faith in Action

Villager - thanks for the love on Black Bloggers roll and you were great on NPR today

Anonymous - all of you guys

My Brother

And all those I can't remember in one sitting (and friends who send me encouraging e-mails), thank you and here's to 100s more.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Folks Who Drive Me Nuts During A Storm

I've been living in South Florida for a while and I know the drill when it comes to the hurricane season - be prepared. And though the hurricane season is a period of five months, it doesn't mean we see storms or hurricanes during those months. I think for that reason, some folks get lax regardless of the warnings.

I don't know if these folks are tourists but how in the world do you go to the beach for surfing when that's the major place to STAY AWAY FROM. Seriously! Many of these surfers say it is the best time to catch the waves.

Then one this evening, a kite-boarder (new one on me but it is definitely white folks sports) on one of our beaches. Most government places were closing at 1pm and the news on preparation have been incessant the past 12 hours. This stupid kite-boarder with all the winds crashed from the sky. He looked to be a teenager or in his early twenties, he's going to be okay (I think), maybe with a few broken bones.

Also, you've got those who drive like crazy people. While I was doing my last-minute errands before the storm, I was already hearing the number of accidents on major highways. Some folks might say South Floridians drive like crazy people any time of the year and they have a point. I drive with a finger on the horn most times for any weirdo who encroaches my lane among other things. But when there is a storm, PLEASE slow down, you will get to where ever you're going.

The News Media Drive Me Nuts!!! I get that after Wilma (late 2005), you cannot be too prepared. These days people don't ask you where you were during "Andrew," that was too far back in the 90s but where were you during "Wilma?" And I get it the Media earned their money since many residents had to rely on their radio (no power for weeks) for ATMs, Restaurants among other available necessities .

But why should all the National programs from 7am be intercepted till 7pm. Sometimes, I feel the reporters want to show their "defining moment." Do I really need to see the effects of the wind and rain pounding on a reporter to get the severity of a storm? Once, a lady reporter was hurt by a flying object. I wondered if she got an Emmy for defying the eye of the storm that got the best of her.

Democratic VP: My Case For Biden

Since I’m cooped up storm watching, I have some time to write. Let’s talk Veepstakes! The Democratic Veepstakes to be exact. The pundits have been driving me nuts for the past couple of months with the debate of who will be Barack Obama’s running mate. I’m of the notion that folks don’t vote for the Vice President but the VP could influence votes. Sounds oxymoronic? Not really but hear me out.

The Veepstakes talks have gone from Sen. Hillary Clinton (not gonna happen) to John Edwards (fat chance). But these days the search has narrowed to three individuals: Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana and Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia.

Let me play armchair pundit for a minute: I like Joe Biden. Not just for political reasons but as a person. For me, Biden for Politics is like the Charles Barkley for Basketball; they say what others think. They don’t mince words and that is just refreshing for a girl like me. Biden has gone after the President for his policies and for speaking against Obama while he was in a foreign land (Israel). And that was way before Obama was the presumptive Democratic nominee, so he wasn’t doing so to be on Obama’s good side.

Among other Democrats, Biden’s voice was the loudest when the President made such gaffe and no Republican could come against Biden because he knew what he was talking about. He has the longest experience on foreign policy. Oh, and Obama really needs someone who will fortify him in the foreign policy experience because even though he took that two-week trip, he still needs help because John McCain edges him on that front.

Also, Obama will need someone like Biden to go after the attacks that come against him as a nominee for President. And come on, he needs it right about now because he hasn’t seen anything yet what the Republican machine will throw at him. If he doesn’t want to do the mudslinging, he needs someone who will do it for him and that will be Biden. Some pundits have said that Biden comes with baggage; his mouth but PUH-LEAZE!!!

You need a “mouth,” a hype man so to speak on the campaign trail especially during this 24/7 media world. Just like the social rap group needed flava-flav as the hype man for Public Enemy, TLC needed Left Eye as the hype woman (and what happened to the group since she died?)

So what’s wrong with the other two: Bayh and Kaine? Nothing! Bayh is a “good-on-paper” kind of guy. And in the great words of Samantha from the TV series Sex and the City: Good-on-paper guy means bad in bed. Well, I don’t agree with Samantha on that front but I see where she’s coming from. A guy can be so nice but have no sizzle. When you need him to defend you, he cowers or remains silent – sooner or later, you will get frustrated and make a decision whether to keep him or kick him to the curb.

That’s how I see Bayh. Good pedigree from a political family but even though he supported Hillary Clinton initially, Obama was able to almost win Indiana (lost by only two points) during the Primaries when he was down ten points previously. And that was Bayh’s home state!

What about Kaine? Hmmm, let me put the word “inexperience” on him. Yes he’s a Governor but I mean inexperience on the national scene. He’s just come to some Americans consciousness during the past month and yes Virginia is a battleground state for both parties, he’ll be better off campaigning for Obama there to give the electoral votes for Obama – even though Virginia hasn’t voted Democratic for President since 1964.

So to you Barack and your advisors: Heed the words of this writer and a few sensible Pundits. You could use Biden. He’s a good guy; he’s one of the few in the Senate who has a great civil rights record, and that of foreign policy. Oh, and yes he’s got the mouth (he’s been very quiet lately, maybe that’s a hint he’s being pursued) but let’s be honest, your problems at the tightening polls when you should be leading by a landslide from an unpopular president might be because you’re not using a mouth.

Tags: Joe Biden, Evan Bayh, Tom Kaine, Veepstakes

Faith and Politics

Feeling some effects of “Fay” and like many in South Florida, praying she will go away. But I wanted to post what has been on my mind since I watched the Civil Forum with the Presidential Candidates, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama and moderated by the “purpose-driven” Pastor Rick Warren.

Before Saturday night I wondered why such forum was needed especially since we’ve seen enough fiasco on the political scene with Preachers a la Rev. Hagee, Parsley, Wright and Father Pfleger. But I like Warren (I’m one of the 25 million who bought his book) so I thought it couldn’t be that bad.

It wasn’t, it was an intimate look about the values that drive the Candidates. According to Warren, with a toss of the coin, the first person to start the forum was Obama. I thought Obama gave thoughtful answers to the questions about his faith, his moral failure, marriage (different or same), and abortion (a big wedge issue) among others.

I thought his disposition was that of humility in comparison to his haughty opponent, McCain. Let me talk about McCain for a minute. I really have an inkling (as some others) that McCain got some tips about the questions even though Warren assured the audience he was in a “cone of silence.” Whatever! As of last night, former South Florida anchor and now CNN’s Rick Sanchez asked Warren if McCain was really kept in a soundproof room. Warren said he has to trust McCain and his supporters acted in integrity. Hmmm.

Anyway. The cringe-worthy moment for me (and I believe a lot of his supporters) was when McCain defined rich as someone making $5 million a year. Democrats: Cue the attack ads on that gaffe! He just gave you manna from Heaven. Seriously, who can blame him? He’s been married to a beer heiress worth over $100 million for over two decades. And this is the person with his cohorts who have the nerve to call Obama an elitist.

Speaking of McCain’s marriage (second one) to the heiress, he said his biggest moral failure was the failure of his first marriage. But quickly (in nano seconds) he switched his answer to America’s greatest failure; I was like “wait, wait, wait, let’s explore that!” Tell us how you really failed in your first marriage like cheating with your now wife when your first wife was suffering from being partially disabled from a car accident.

But I wouldn’t get my wish because McCain just wanted to tell me his Vietnam stories for the umpteenth time and how he would “follow Osama Bin Laden to the gates of hell” if he has to. The surprising thing to me with the last statement (which he has said a few times) was the audience, who were mostly “Christians” clapped after he made that comment. I was thinking why would you want to follow anyone to the gates of hell. If anything, you should want to avoid the damning place and allow the evildoer to follow the lonely path himself. It just goes to show that most people don’t listen.

Tags: Rick Warren, Civil Forum, Saddleback Church, Faith and Politics

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Week That Was

Great to be back after an exam and as much as I'm suffering from some effects of sleep deprivation, I'm itching to post some thoughts. So let's go for the rundown for this week.

Georgia On My Mind: No not that Georgia of the United States but that of a Republic with her conflict with Russia. I'm glad as of today, they've agreed to a cease-fire but it still stings that many lives were lost in the process.

Phelps, Phelps and More Phelps: Are you catching the Olympics and watching this phenomenon called Michael Phelps? I can't believe I'm paying attention to swimming instead of basketball.

And I'm not alone, the whole country is under the spell of Phelps to the point of knowing what he eats for breakfast (4,000 calories) and all day. Seriously, how does that guy eat roughly 12K a day and stay in such great shape? Even the Tom Joyner Morning Show crew was having some fun a couple of days ago about Phelps so-called diet.

The Minority Will Be Majority (by 2042): So the U.S. Census Bureau declares America will be the faces of all kinds of ethnicities - cool! Maybe then the question of "where are you from?" will start becoming obsolete.

Clinton Supporters Won't Shut Up: Gee, maybe I'm just a bit young but I haven't seen anything like this with folks still whining about their candidate losing the Primaries. GET OVER IT!!! Long before Hillary Clinton conceded, the Math just didn't add up she was going to be the Democratic Nominee. And Tim Russert (RIP) called it in April (which got on a lot of supporters nerves).

Only for her Chairman, Howard Wolfson, saying this week that if John Edwards had admitted to his affair at the beginning of the Primaries, Clinton could have won Iowa, blah, blah, blah! Shoulda Coulda Woulda . . .Forget that most Edwards supporters (according to Pollsters) had Barack Obama as their second choice. This is all the fuzzy Math her campaign seem to concort.

Then the issue of putting her name in the ballot at the Democratic Convention. Seriously, this is why the Democrats get on my last nerves sometimes. They always seem to find a way to screw something up when the road is paved for them. I hope history doesn't repeat itself because when in-fighting happens at the convention instead of showing a united front, they normally lose the election.

That's just a snapshot . . . hope to get back to my blogging ways next week.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Made In China

Sticking with the Olympics today, I want to know what's up with China with all her faking. Amidst all kinds of controversy before the Olympics started last Friday especially when it came to China's actions on human rights. The dragon nation wanted to show how "perfect" it was but as we all know about China's products, you may get them cheap and they might look like the real deal but give it time, you get to know they are not the "real McCoy."

So it is with the opening night ceremony, China committed two blunders. First blunder: See the above picture? Aren't they cute? Well, China's Olympics organizers don't seem to think so; at least for one of the girls - Yang Peyei (the bottom picture). Yang was the one who has the amazing voice by winning a singing competition and was slated to sing at the opening ceremony but at the last minute, she was switched for not being "cute enough."

I'll give China this: they didn't lie or made silly excuses - a shock for this American. This was part of the organizers explanation: "The reason was for the national interest. The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feelings, and expression." So Yang sang but was not seen while Lin Maoke (the above picture) lip-synched. But Yang took it with grace (and she's only seven, what do they teach these kids?), she said "I am satisfied that my voice appeared in the opening ceremony,'' Huh! Can you say culture shock for this writer .

Moving right along, second blunder: fireworks forgery! I know three people in my family who asked me if I watched the opening ceremony and how BEAUTIFUL it was. No I didn't, I caught the highlights. But I'm glad I didn't because what did I hear yesterday? The dazzling lights and out-of -this-world special effects was just that, it was computerized for the TV viewers. Guess what the head of Visual Arts reasoning was? "Since everyone thought it was filmed live, he couldn’t see a problem with it." Wow! It's all semantics y'all. As long I'm doing it live and I only filmed the last footprints in the stadium . . . what difference does it make? Give it up for China!

Final blunder: Waking up this morning, I heard the news that confirmed some family friends and my suspicions Sunday night watching the Gymnastics - Are these Chinese girls really sixteen? I know many American girls develop faster than their counterparts around the world. But we were looking at athletes here and we felt watching those girls, something just wasn't right. Even when the Chinese officials tried to disprove viewers apprehensions by showing a video of how they start training the gymnasts as early as three to four years old.

I was making a mental picture of myself at sixteen (and I looked younger than my counterparts then), and was left confounded. It turns out many countries participating in the Olympics are voicing their complains about these girls who can bend in mind-boggling contortions maybe doing so because they are too young. It just goes to show object(s) on screen might not be what it seems.

Tags: Lip-synching Olympics, Beijing Olympics, Opening Ceremony, Gymnastics

Cullen Jones Wins Gold

I know millions of Americans and billions of folks around the world are watching this guy named Michael Phelps, as I am. But I want to take the time to acknowledge a brother who was part of Phelps historic win to give the Gold, Cullen Jones.

Yes, a brother won for swimming and not any medal, but the highest price. Jones becomes only the second African-American in the Olympics history to win for swimming (Anthony Ervin was the first in 2000). So he defied the stereotype of blacks not knowing how to swim . . . well, I won't exactly call it a stereotype :-) But it's great to see someone changing the face of the sports and giving something back in return. Jones is doing so with his "Make a Splash" Organization.

Tags: Cullen Jones, 2008 Olympics, Make A Splash

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

RIP Isaac Hayes

I feel I should set up a “RIP” category on this blog because in just three months of its inception, I’ve had to post a few notable condolences on some remarkable individuals. So here I was Sunday evening, about 36 hours after the tragic news of Bernie Mac, I learned while driving, the Black Moses, Isaac Hayes had passed.

A little history here: As a little girl, my parents owned the “Shaft” videotape as part of their expansive movie collection and as an adult, I owned a copy of my own. The iconic theme from the movie is recognizable around the world and in my humble opinion, was part of the reason that movie became a part of pop-culture.

But Shaft’s theme with all its deserving accolades of a top spot on the Billboards, Oscar and a Grammy wasn’t my favorite song from the movie’s soundtrack. It was “Soulsville.” For me, Soulsville gave the listener the essence of Hayes one-of-a-kind rich smooth buttery voice. It mixed the blues and soul to describe the conditions of the land at the times, which ironically are still present today. But at the end of the song, Hayes still gave the listener a sense of hope with the remarkable words “trust in the Lord, He’ll make a way.” Listen to the complete song here:

Soulsville provided a balance of substance to the sexy side of Shaft’s theme. You get to see the great ones know how to juxtapose both sides (i.e. sexy and substance) with such ease. Whether it’s Marvin Gaye’s crooning “Let’s Get It On” to asking “What’s Going On?” Hayes showed he was in the company of the greats with his remarkable contribution to the arts and he will surely be missed.

Now for a proper send-off, let me share what I think is the best Oscar performance since it was groundbreaking at the time . . . The Black Moses himself performing the theme from Shaft, which later won the Oscar that night.

Update: I couldn't find the original Oscar's performance (I guess the Oscars own the complete rights), but the above video is a close second.

Tags: Isaac Hayes, Shaft, Black Moses, Isaac Hayes Death

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Do I Have A Right To Criticize?

As you guys know, once in a while on this blog, I get things off my chest. As I've done with gym etiquette, today is about a church I just started visiting last week.

Well today I chose to check out the Bible Study for the first time but I didn't care for the personal question they started off with. Well, the Bible Study teacher did say if you don't feel comfortable you could say "pass." But one guy had the gall to say "that would be lame."

Anybody who knows me know I could give a you know what of what anyone thinks of me. But I thought being the new girl in class is definitely going to raise eyebrows if I said (what I was thinking) "My name is . . ., I choose to be lame and say pass." So I went for a humorous take on the question but I felt I wasn't being authentic because I'm still thinking about the class three hours later.

Anyway, I spoke to the teacher afterwards about being uncomfortable with such line of question because if I was outside the four walls of the church (even in the church in past times) a look on my face before the words come out of my mouth will be "none of your damn (ok not damn but a cool equivalent) business!"

The teacher was very nice and apologetic and said they normally keep the question on the surface but today was different (gee, why me God!). But I've thought during the past few hours if I should have made any comment (as a visitor) or go for the gusto and draw a line in the sand with my original thought . . .

Tags: Church Issues

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Questions Surrounding Edwards Affair

I don't know why this always happens when I deserve some break, a scandal literally breaks. Such is the case with the latest John Edwards admission to an affair.

Unless you're living under a rock, you sure have heard what happened to Pretty Boy Edwards during the past twelve hours. This has been one weird week that makes me think the apocalypse is near when Paris Hilton makes sense with her campaign spoof and the National Enquirer spoke the truth. Seriously!

Where was the Mainstream Media (MSM)? Check that out for a minute. The National Enquirer has to be the one to break a major story on a former Presidential Candidate. And after a couple of them in the MSM asked Edwards on the campaign trail on the said tabloid story, they just let it go. It was when Edwards was backed up in a corner by the tabloid stories, he decided to give an interview to ABC's Nightline.

And let me talk to Edwards one minute: What were you thinking? How many times have you seen a person's political career rocked by a sex scandal? Then you took a rule from Bubba's playbook when caught which was deny, deny, deny. And what did you mean by being "99 percent honest" - huh? You either lie or you don't. It's like saying you have a clean glass of water but a drop of poison. Guess what? The whole water gets contaminated!

One more thing: How in the world would you give a half-baked apology? Yes it was! You talked about being "egotistical, narcissistic" - your words not mine but then you showed you still are by trying to play victim. How? In your statement for people to "have at it, because they cannot be hard to you as you've been to yourself." WTH! You are a public official! Yes you asked for your family's forgiveness, as you should. What about the public's forgiveness who passionately supported you? In no where in your sorry excuse of a statement was that mentioned.

I'm not finished yet: No one thinks you're unique in this latest scandal. This writer has told friends and families she will buy a stock (if there was one) on a politician cheating because she could at least see a 25 percent (on a conservative front) return on her investment. So you're not UNIQUE. But it is unique to say you didn't want the affair to be public - are you kidding me! In what world? It is unique that running on a "moral" front you will commit this faux pas. And it is unique when your wife has become a courageous figure in the face of cancer, you chose to make a "serious error in judgment."

Tags: John Edwards Affair, National Enquirer, Rielle Hunter, Elizabeth Edwards

Bernie Mac Dies at 50

I'm getting sick and tired of people dying in their prime. The death of a comedic genius in Bernie Mac confirms another quality person gone too soon.

Tags: Bernie Mac, Bernie Mac's Death

Friday, August 8, 2008

Busy With Studying

Hey Guys:

You may have noticed I posted very little this week. That's because I'm studying for a major exam next week. So I'm putting blinders on and yes, I've got a lot to say about the state of our country and different issues. I may do that when I have a headache or need a break from the books. But till the tail end of next week . . .tootles :-)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

How To Look Good Naked

Got your attention huh? But actually I'm talking about a TV show, which created a lot of buzz last season. I've been thinking about the premise of the show, which is getting women to get comfortable in their own skin and literally, get naked.

I was intrigued before the show started and I was also apprehensive at the same time. The latter state was thinking the show was going to change a regular woman to a far-fetched concept. But I found out my doubts to be further from the truth.

The show’s host, Carson Kressley of the “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” fame is out to debunk the theory. He isn’t trying to change the American woman to some supermodel type but to appreciate the body she has now, period. I busted out laughing on last night’s episode when he told a volunteer who was a wife and mother of four that she had better things in life to do than walk a runway looking angry and hungry.

At first, when the show started I wondered why it always have to be the women with the body issues, self-image screws, etc. that need to be fixed. But over the past year, I’ve seen women really need help. We are bombarded with images on every side of having the best body, best accessories and who made the definition for the best body anyway?

As I stood at a store’s checkout lines a few days ago, I had to put back a magazine which was rating each female “star’s” body as “winner” or “loser.” Oh the pressure! It reminded me why in my late teens into my mid-twenties, I made a critical decision not to subscribe to any of such magazines. In fact, I chose not to read any of them for some years. I subscribed to Fitness and Self, and later "O" -The Oprah Magazine the past few years.

Though I had issue with Fitness in the 90s with having little to no black models on its cover, I appreciated its focus on health and less on a “perfect” body type. People (especially women) are shocked when I tell them I’ve never dieted a day in my life. I’ve always thought of the first three letters that precede the word “diet” as a way to stay away from such action.

Now I believe in eating healthy and I struggle with my sweet tooth. But that’s okay; I do it in moderation. For example, a couple of days ago, I succumbed to the temptation of the “hot now” sign from Krispy Kreme. But guess what? I only went through the drive-thru to buy two individual hot glazed doughnuts not a dozen. And yesterday, I spent some time in the gym.

That’s why the show “how to look good naked” is resonating with many viewers. Even Oprah dedicated a whole show to the new show. It doesn’t make sense for women to cheat themselves out of having a life just because of the shape of their stomach, butt, hips and thighs. Newsflash: That’s what makes you a WOMAN.

The volunteer of yesterday’s show couldn’t go into her family’s swimming pool to play with her kids because she didn’t like how she looked. You know what was going on in my mind? If she was spending time in that pool, not only will she feel and look better, she would have spent some quality time with her kids. Duh!

I’m glad the show is trying to start a revolution like Dove has been doing for a few years. But my gripe is what if there is NO team of experts in make-up, wardrobe and photography to tell you your best features? Why do we have to wait for someone on the outside to affirm us before we feel we are enough and make the best of what we’ve got?

Tags: How To Look Good Naked, Lifetime TV, Oprah, Carson Kressley, Body Image

Monday, August 4, 2008

Africa Rising

I've said it before, I'm not all "America" or black issues all the time, I'm diverse as is my background. Africa holds a special place in my heart and is my roots (literally). As one family member told me a few months ago, "you are an african-american; embrace both sides." I never thought I didn't embrace both sides; gee my name and/or look always has someone questioning where I'm from.

Anyhoo, I digressed. The image of Africa in the Mainstream Media (MSM) is normally that of abject poverty or chaos but there is a vibrant market of 900 million consumers that isn't being tapped. Also, it is a great place for fashion, music, and all things arts. Not to talk of a growing business world.

This has led to the creation of Africa Rising! It was founded by Nigerian Journalist Nduka Obaigbena, who stopped by one of my favorite shows on NPR last Thursday. He along with Nigerian fashion designer Fati Mohammed Asibelua aka "Momo" spoke about bringing the show which started last month in Abuja, Nigeria (featuring Rihanna) to the Kennedy Center in DC last Friday.

Well it was a picture of who's who of Black America, Africans, etc. For more info, check out Africa Rising's website!

Tags: Africa Rising, NPR, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Momo, Nigeria

Too Fit To Be President?

Here we go again with the "dumb it down" era for Americans. This time it's coming from a respectable (at least up till now) journal, which has confirmed my worst fears about the former family-owned Wall Street Journal sold to conservative mogul, Rupert Mudoch. Imagine my surprise when I read this missive "too fit for President" on Friday's WSJ.

The WSJ report is to highlight why some Americans might not vote for Sen. Barack Obama; he's too skinny and worse, athletic. Seriously! Do these folks know much about history? Arguably, one of our greatest Presidents, Abraham Lincoln was skinny to the point of being gaunt. According to WSJ, that is too far back since in comparison to Dubya (who's also known to be fit), Obama is taller and weighs less. And don't get me started on our nicknamed "fast food President" Bubba who's an inch taller than Obama but 50 pounds heavier.

Note to WSJ: Bubba had a triple heart by-pass surgery due to his penchant for Sylvia's and all things fried. And just because two-thirds of Americans are overweight doesn't mean they have to stay in such plight. But not so according to WSJ: Americans would rather have company in their overweight misery. So why not elect somebody who is fat or struggling with his weight?

My skin is crawling as I type these words because I can't believe a journal I was mandated to subscribe to in college as a business student has resort stooped this low in lazy reporting. It never mentioned anything about Gerald Ford - that wasn't far back as Lincoln who lived into his 90s and was considered our most athletic since he was a star athlete and captain of his then high school football team and led his college team to two national titles.

Gosh! What is this election season coming to? So now folks want Obama to pander to the people and eat corndogs on the campaign trails - just makes me wanna holla!

Tags: Wall Street Journal, Too Fit To be President, Amy Chozick, Overweight, Skinny