Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Closed for the rest of the Year

I'm taking a short break from blogging to rest up for the upcoming year. Don't forget that you can always follow me on Twitter. Have a safe rest of the week and see you back here next year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

End of the Year Music Showcase

Mayer Hawthorne

Speech Debelle

Shayna Steele

Esperanza Spalding

Raydar Ellis

Paris Nicole

Sound of the City DC

Nia Andrews

Question: Why put a music link on your blog? Answer: Because radio sucks. Listen to individuals/groups that should be on radio.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

How do you grade a Cultural Icon?

This ain't politically correct. This might offend my political connects. – Jay Z

No one said it was easy being the Head of the American Empire. Every two months someone is grading President Barack Obama on his performance. I can’t remember previous presidents being graded in this manner. But since he is the “First Black” President, it is of no surprise. That means he is graded on a different presidential scale. Such is life!!! But it’s well within the rights of American Citizens to critique their leaders. If you listen to the Mainstream Media, they would have you believe that “every race and gender has a bone to pick with Obama.”

If you listen to Black Talk Radio, some black folks are heated with the 1st Brother in Chief. They are upset because they feel he does not care about black folks. High unemployment rates for black men and problems with metropolitan school districts are serious points of contention. I understand the pain in their voices but I believe they forgot something important. Obama didn’t run on a black issues platform. His run for the White House was based on America being color-blind. So there is no need for black folks to be upset about something Obama didn’t promise. What we can be upset about is his philosophy of “a rising tide lifts all ships.” Uneven unemployment numbers based on race and ongoing discrimination in hiring can’t be overlooked. It’s apparent that some people are riding in motorboats and others canoes.

What bothers me is not the criticism of Obama but the complaints from black folks when he is criticized. It’s as if he can’t do wrong and if you have a problem with him you are a traitor to your race. Why do Black Folks place such blind faith in their elected leaders? These people make a living off of telling you what you want to hear. They are most effective when you hold their feet to the fire. I don’t think that Obama doesn’t care about black folks. I believe he has different people in his ear (asking for STUFF) and he has to please them all. If you look at most modern day presidents, different ethnic groups had to stay on top of them in order to push their agendas. Why do we act like because Obama is black things will be different? If you look at who is surrounding him, you can see that not much has changed since Bill Clinton was in office. He practically has the Clinton Administration working for him. And although Clinton was the originally 1st black president (Per Toni Morrison), ethnic groups had to stay on him too.

Why isn’t it possible to separate Obama the man from Obama the President? How are we supposed to keep our politicians honest when we hold allegiances to them based on race? I’m personally not pleased with some of Obama’s decisions but I don’t think he is a total failure. There is a difference between wanting someone to fail and giving them constructive feedback. As black folks we need to know the difference. We can’t have serious debates regarding the issues if we can’t accept different viewpoints. The year 2010 is around the corner and “WE” have got to do better. We have people that don’t even know what the public option is and why we need it. It’s obvious that black folks don’t understand how the political game is played. We have to hold these politicians accountable regardless of race or gender. They work for us!!! They are not celebrities!!! If we treat them as such, they gain a false sense of security. Then they become lazy and stop doing what we elected them to do. In the end, that’s when it comes back to bite us in the behind (City of Detroit anyone???).

Friday, December 25, 2009

I don't believe in Santa but if I did, I would tell him to please send the troops flak jackets for Christmas.

30,000 more American troops are going to Afghanistan. We are sending our most prized resources and national treasures into harm’s way and we still don’t have an answer to the #1 question regarding this endeavor. The question – What is the definition of a win in Afghanistan? Also Known As – how do we know when we won? A Merry Xmas to all my former and current members of the Armed Services and have a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bah! Humbug

Fools are going broke trying to keep their loved ones happy this Christmas. If you don’t have any money, you just don’t have any money. Nothing from Nothing leaves Nothing. If the people that you love don’t understand that, then they don’t really love you. YES!!! This includes your nasty sugar addicted kids too. Some parents are running around trying to please their bad “A” kids. Why?? They were bad for 11 months out of the year and for one month they act like angels. You should have been kicking them in their behinds since January 1st but you didn’t and now they run you. Suckers!! I’ve watched plenty of kids play with their toys on the first day of Christmas. Two weeks later you can’t even recognize the toy because it’s so beat up. Or sometimes they don’t even know where the toy is. Let me give you a hint – it’s probably under the pile of Christmas toys from previous years.

American consumers are foolish for thinking that department stores care about them. They will entice you to get a credit card and tell you to shop until you drop. But be late on one payment. The cards interest rate will rise faster than Tiger Woods at an all White Party. You’re children’s children’s children will still be paying off on your 2009 Christmas purchases. Do these people even like the people they are buying gift for? If you are living with a man for 30 years and he hasn’t married you yet, why are you getting him a gift? He should come home and see his stocking missing. If you don’t get a diamond that joker should get s lump of coal and the boot. If you are dating a woman that you can’t afford why are you going broke trying to impress her? She most likely doesn’t even love you. She is really waiting on something better to come along. You should know this by the hints she keeps giving you. When you ask her about the future don’t you see her looking out the window? Merry Christmas Suckers!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

If Shane Sparks gets booted from MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, who will sit beside Lil Mama?

December is starting to be a bad month for black men and the women they love..er…like….er…..kick it with? Sparks has been accused of R Kelly-esque dealings with minors. Unfortunately for Sparks, what he was accused of doing makes R Kelly look like Father Flanagan from “Boys Town.” Usually when a celebrity gets in trouble we always act shocked. Just because we watch someone on television we think we know them. The reality is that we don’t know these people from a Dish Towel. Sparks is a talented choreography but that’s all we really know. For his sake and the victims I hope that all this is a misunderstanding. But the sad reality is it probably isn’t.

In the meanwhile, inquiring minds want to know what will happen to his seat on America’s Best Dance Crew (ABDC). Sparks provided credibility to the program because of his work experience. JC Chasez danced back in the day with the White Temptations…oops…Backstreet Boys....oops….’N Sync. But Lil Mama, what in the blue blazes does she do? That chick has one possibly two songs and she gets a hosting gig on a dance show?? Her record catalogue looks like a bad spades hand – 1 and a possible. Her best performance was when she jumped on stage with Jay – Z and Alicia Keys. Because of Lil Mama other shows have followed suit with obtaining unqualified talent. America Idol anyone!!! If they did have to get a replacement, I wonder who would it be? Any suggestions???

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Charlotte Police Department might have questions for Loleini Tonga. But the Grammar Police have questions for her too.

Loleini Tonga, the fiancé of Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry, had the following statement on her Myspace page.

“Mrs. C. Henry Jus put deposIt down 4 weDDing piCs... Paid 4 ouR riNgs... Bout 2 eaT wiT my maN n bay bayz.... Startin 2 geT a headache thinKing bouT dis weddin.. I need A cuP.”

I’m not going to even try to decipher what any of that means. But I have a question for anyone that is reading this. Apparently Tonga is a graduate of North Carolina A&T University with a degree in Communications (per her Myspace page). I was talking to another person that majored in Communications and they were appalled by the above wording. I know with Twitter sometimes we abbreviate because we only have 140 Characters. I’ve seen people write on Myspace before and they used complete sentences. So my question is. Keeping in mind that this is supposed to be a college educated woman. Is there anything wrong with this or is it much ado about nothing?

Friday, December 18, 2009

In Remembrance Of

Rose Died!!!!! Alaina Reed Hall has passed away. The stage and screen actress has been performing since the mid 70’s. She played the character Olivia on the children’s show Sesame Street. But her best known character was Rose Holloway from the television show 227. Hall was 63 years old.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'm Guest Blogging over @ BlacknBougie this week.

My cyber cousin OneChele is giving a shout out to the Brotha's on her blog with "I Love Black Men Week." Check me out while I drop knowledge this week for the ladies.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rihanna using nudity as therapy or is she covering up the pain?

I was looking at the latest issue of GQ Magazine and was having a hard time figuring out who was on the cover. At first I thought it was another white woman attempting to hitch a ride on the Tiger Woods train. But then I realized that it was a pale-ish looking Rihanna. I didn’t know she was that light (keeping the black under wraps maybe)? Better yet, I didn’t know she was that naked?

I have been trying to understand Rihanna since the day Chris Brown used her as a punching bag. I didn’t understand when after the beating she was seen with Brown at the beach. I didn’t understand when naked photos (that she took of herself) of her came out a few weeks later. And now she’s on the cover of GQ Half Naked? Is this publicity for her album or is this how she really is? Is she supposed to be a role model for young girls? I don’t want to give her that title if it’s not something that she advocated for. But it seems that I see a lot of young girls listening to her music. Maybe the parents of those kids don’t mind her song content. Songs that talk about “getting her hair pulled” while having sex.

It’s not my place to determine how a person should act after they suffered abuse. But I personally find Rihanna’s behavior odd. Her recent actions are negating the seriousness of what happened between her and Chris Brown. You just can’t tell whether or not she understands what truly took place. Is she even bothered by what happened? I’m against abuse against women so it bothers me to ask the questions. But something isn’t right!!

I believe Rihanna’s handlers have done her a disservice. Instead of getting her counseling, they have decided to continue with “BUSINESS” as usual. Her handlers have her selling records, performing concerts, and doing interviews. Interviews that have her looking and sounding like a child. Her handlers may think that everything is back to normal but her actions tell a different story. Rihanna is in the public eye and she still suffers in private. Just like so many other young women her age that suffer from physical abuse.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Three Flawed Ideas that Could Mean a Cold Homecoming from Copenhagen.

The following review is sponsored by FSBMedia

International conferences have one thing in common with vacations: they're great while you're there, but coming home to workaday reality can be painful.

The Copenhagen conference on climate change could turn out like that. The session will be full of world leaders, bold speeches, and promises to shift the world away from fossil fuels. When he's at the conference, President Obama will pledge a 17 percent cut in greenhouse gases for the United States, even though legislation is barely moving in Congress. Eventually he'll have to come home and sell the American public on all the hard work needed to make that happen.

The problem is that many Americans have latched onto three flawed ideas that sound good, but that in reality are improbable or just plain wrong. Left unaddressed, they could derail debate and make it extremely difficult to make progress. The scary thing is that most experts know these ideas are far-fetched, but politicians often embrace them anyway.

Here's a look:

Flawed Idea #1: We Should Be Energy IndependentFor a country that got its start with the Declaration of Independence, it's easy to see why this phrase has an attractive ring to it, especially when it implies that we can show OPEC and Hugo Chavez the door. Unfortunately, policy organizations across the political spectrum, ranging from the Council on Foreign Relations to the Brookings Institution and the Cato Institute, all say actual independence is a pipe dream.

A little history is useful here. The last time the United States could supply all its oil needs was the year Elvis Presley got his draft notice: 1957. Almost all our cars, trucks, and planes run on petroleum-based fuels, and we import nearly 60 percent of the oil we use. This isn't going to change quickly.

In fact, the federal government is projecting we'll still be importing about 40 percent of our oil in 2040. And don't expect having more domestic oil to protect us from price swings. There's a global market in oil, and that will continue whatever we do. U.S. energy companies buy and sell their products and services worldwide, as do oil companies elsewhere.

Experts point out that Great Britain, which exports oil thanks to its North Sea offshore rigs, gets hit just as hard by world oil prices as we do. The far better strategy, most experts say, to make sure we have lots of different sources of energy -- not just oil -- supplied by lots of different companies in lots of different places. It's that old "don't put all your eggs in one basket" thing, because even a U.S. basket full of U.S. eggs might have problems -- such as hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico knocking out a chunk of U.S. oil production and refining. Then we might be happy to import a little oil from somewhere else.

Flawed Idea #2: Cheaper Is BetterIn tough economic times, nobody wants to pay more for anything, especially gas. It hurts millions of people who are just trying to stay afloat, and makes everything from toasters to pop tarts more expensive, because nearly everything we buy gets shipped in something running on some form of oil. But really cheap energy has some worrisome downsides.

For a start, cheap energy means there's no incentive to change. Cheap gas leads normally reasonable people to buy cars that practically inhale the stuff. Not to mention the fact that when conventional energy prices are low, alternatives can't get off the ground because they can't compete. Really cheap oil prices even reduce investment in oil itself, especially oil in out-of-the-way places and "unconventional" forms.

Flawed Idea #3: We Can Fix This Fast If We Want To Almost every day you hear about another fantastic new energy breakthrough -- new technologies, new sources of energy, new products that use energy much more efficiently. Some of them might very well work out nicely eventually, but just because something's on TV doesn't mean it's ready for prime time.

Take hydrogen fuel cells, for example. The technology dates back to the Apollo space program in the 1960s, and it could be a great source of electricity with little pollution. But experts say it will take years of research before you can make fuel cells light enough and practical enough for cars. Plus, just having the technology isn't enough. It's got to make sense economically. Yes, there are people out there who'll pay more because a product is "greener," but realistically most customers won't buy an electric car if it's significantly more expensive than a regular one -- and for the foreseeable future, they will be. Even things we know how to do take time. There may be wind turbines sprouting up all over Texas, but experts say a reasonable goal is for the U.S. to get 20 percent of its energy from wind by 2030 -- 20 years from now. Countries like France rely on nuclear power to reduce emissions, but Watts Bar, one of the last nuclear plants built here, took 23 years to go from initial construction to actual operation. Clean coal is an option, but the best estimates are that we could have 40 percent of coal plants using technology that removes carbon dioxide by 2050.

Quick, cheap and made in the USA is a good slogan, but it's wishful thinking at best, and a dangerous distraction at worst. Solving energy problems means thinking realistically about what we can do -- and how quickly we can do it. If we don't, the President's pledge in Copenhagen may be a promise with no pay-off.

By Scott Bittle & Jean Johnson, Authors of Who Turned Out the Lights: Your Guided Tour to the Energy Crisis

For additional material, please visit www.whoturnedoutthelights.org

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

R Kelly “Getting It In” on World Aids Awareness Day.

Last Tuesdays’ Aids Awareness Day was met with much fanfare. Well at least for those that knew about it and cared. It seemed that the Black Blogosphere and Black Twitterers spent the day spreading the word. One person that apparently missed the message was Robert Sylvester Kelly (aka R Kelly). On Aids Awareness Day, I heard a song from his new album “Untitled”. If you thought it was a Christian Inspirational Song, please turn away from the blog post now. R Kelly’s new song is entitled “Pregnant.” If I had a daughter, age preschool – college senior, I would be terrified about R Kelly singing about impregnating girls. The last girl (underage that is) he was with ended up getting super soaked by a “Chi-Town Golden Shower.” I know some naïve person thought that he would give up his wayward ways and live a more Holy lifestyle. Nope!!! This time R Kelly is back doing what he does best. Not since the creation of the Cincinnati Bowtie, has one man made sexual liberties such a part of our daily lives. R Kelly has a niche and has decided that he is not going to deviate from the script. It doesn’t matter how many courtrooms he ends up in or how many girls tell him they just received their learners permit. Sure he keeps a song or two in his pocket regarding God and his Mama. But he knows what the public likes and it’s not the wholesome stuff. They want to step in the name of love while sexing in their jeep. So he is back and he has brought along some friends.

Robin Thicke, you should know better!!! Most white folks stopped hanging out with O.J. Simpson after her got off (the 1st time). You better follow your peoples!!!!

Monday, December 07, 2009

To the Coward that shot the college student at my Alma Mater.

You are the reason why black folks can’t get ahead. You hold us back with your ignorance and evil tendencies. You had an altercation with someone at a club and you plotted to get your revenge. But in your haste to get some “payback”, you shot the wrong person. You shot someone’s daughter, future wife, and future mother. You shot a future Lawyer, Doctor, Teacher, or Entrepreneur. It is a blessing that she was not killed. What a loser you must be. You couldn’t even shoot straight!!! If no one has told you, I want you to know that you are a waste. The fact that you are breathing air should be a crime. You are taking up space that should go to someone else. Like most urban criminals in Charlotte, you probably have a rap sheet longer than an elephant’s trunk. You probably have been arrested before and it’s a guarantee you will be arrested again. If local repeat offender history is correct, you will spend your days going through the prison system only to be released back into society too early. I am sick of you. The rest of the community is sick of you. The only people that support you are the same people that you pray upon. And that’s because they are too ignorant to know when they are being used and abused. If I had faith in the system, I would hope for your capture and imprisonment. But I doubt you will ever come to justice. At this point I hope that the college student heals (physically, emotionally and mentally) and is able to continue her education.

The Failure of Media: The 20/20 Chris Brown Interview.

Once again the Mainstream Media has displayed why they are failing the masses. It’s a good thing that Edward R. Murrow is dead so he can’t see what has happened to the modern day interview. Robin Roberts needs her tail kicked for that interview last Friday. Why is Jon Stewart’s interview with Jim Cramer, still the standard for how to interview someone? What makes it so bad is that Jon Stewart is a comedian!!! Roberts, a so-called journalist, threw out softball questions that didn’t tell us anything new. She didn’t challenge Chris Brown regarding the events that took place on the night of the incident. She didn’t question Brown about his “Enablers” and his “perceived” lack of remorse for what he did. The only thing we learned was Rihanna lied (I was not surprised) about not listening to his “I’m sorry song” (excuse me for not knowing the name of the song but I really don’t give a damn). Robin didn’t even question the ignorance of making up with your battered ex-girlfriend through song. But tough questions for the mainstream media would have been too easy. What we received was a tour of Brown’s closet with his collection of numerous shoes. We even saw an Incredible Hulk design on the wall in his closet. Maybe he pulled a David Banner the last time Rihanna was with him? But we will never know because she didn’t ask. The Citizen Family popped popcorn and sat down for what we thought would be a hard hitting interview. Instead 20/20 showed Brown’s latest video. I can’t even remember the name of it. I remember him dancing in the desert and breathing cold mist?!?! This interview is what we call on Twitter a #FAIL. I guess we will never understand the Chris Brown – Rihanna saga. I don’t believe for a second that all of a sudden he started beating her. What type of abuse did she receive before that night of terror? And why does Chris Brown think he can sing his way out of this? The mainstream media’s short comings were exposed after we found out that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction. And their demise has started ever since.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Whose role is it to tell you when to play your position?

The fallout from the White House State Dinner continues. We don’t know much about the party crashers Michaele and Tareq Salahi. The only thing we know is that they crashed a Congressional Black Caucus event 3 months ago. They say America wants to know why they are crashing these functions. But I want to know why they are crashing Black Folk functions? You can’t go to every party that a black person is throwing. Some events you need an invitation, a hookup….something. You can’t just stroll up on the scene skinning and grinning. The Salahi’s must don’t know what it means to be Bum Rushed.

The Head of the Secret Service did the noble thing and fell on his sword. In his testimony at the congressional hearing for the incident, he fessed up and took the heat. He admitted that his people slipped up and assumed that someone else was going to do their jobs. If you are unsure about someone, then you need to speak out and not pass the buck. President Obama has had more death threats than any president in the last 20 years. And now all of a sudden the Secret Service is stretched thin? Obama better take a hint and carry his own weapon. The secret about the Secret Service is that they aren’t on their “A” Game.

But if you think the mainstream media is satisfied with the Secret Service mea culpa, don’t be. They have set their sights on the White House Social Secretary – Desiree Rogers. Apparently in the media’s eyes, Desiree Rogers forgot her place. And they are none too glad to put her back in it. The issue regarding her was what she should be doing vs. what she actually was doing. In the past, Social Secretaries (per the Pundits) were behind the scene players. They made sure the train ran on time. They didn’t take pictures and sit with the guests. There job was to make sure the party goes off without a hitch. They were hired help!!!! Rogers did a no no. She took some pictures and actually sat down with the guests (GASP!!). The media hated that with all their hearts. They only like it when people know their place. Opps……when “certain people” know their place. Some people already feel the Obama’s are uppity and Rogers didn’t help change that perception.

I personally believe that Rogers should have been working behind the scenes. Not because they said so on MSNBC “Morning Joe” but because making sure of the details behind the scenes (no matter how small) is an important job. I hate that I am in agreement with some of the pundits. I believe the pundits’ problem with Rogers is more than her job performance. I feel they think that Rogers is too big for her britches. But I can’t fault her for all of the mess. She was a Socialite before she took the gig at the White House. So she is use to being the center of attention and not a side character. The Obama’s knew that or at least they should of. The city of Chicago can’t be that big. Besides Rogers friend is White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. And Jarrett is friends with the Obama’s. This is why Rogers is not going to testify before a congressional hearing to discover what went wrong at the State Dinner. Is it Rogers’ fault that the White House didn’t vet their employees (again!!!)? Nope!! Mama always said you get what you pay for. It has been proven that Rogers can throw an amazing function that is worthy of great praise. But if you expect Rogers to sit back in the kitchen counting cups and checking off lists….don’t.

Rogers is not a 1960's Social Secretary. We are going to have to let her define the position as she sees it. Regardless of how we feel of the duties she is or isn’t doing. It’s not our job to Monday morning quarterback her on the State House dinner. Her job doesn’t make policy decisions or promote any legislation. The extent of what she does is very limited. The position is actually a glorified event planner. I don’t think she deserves to be fired but she does need to testify. President Obama campaigned on transparency. That should apply to him and those that work for him.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Black Middle Class is on Life Support in Post-Obama America.

When Barack H. Obama was elected president in 2008, he won on a platform of hope and change. Political Pundits called America “Post Racial” and declared that all was right with the world. That starry night in November was filled with tears of joy. Black women and men wept like children. Their tears were for all the people that made that night a reality. This election was also a validation of the black middle class. These were black folks that did everything the “right way” and didn’t feel the need to apologize for it. They received an education and used their degrees to obtain jobs. They started in their companies at the bottom and worked their way up. They used the money from their jobs to buy homes and put their children through college. Meanwhile they built wealth for their families and went on annual family vacations. Many obtained job titles to place in front of their names. They became the model of what you could do if given the opportunity. Don’t think for one moment that it was easy for them. They still dealt with racism (even in Post-Obama America things haven’t changed) but they always bounced back to fight another day. Booker T. Washington would have been proud.

Almost a year later the black middle class is fighting for survival. Blacks working in the financial, health care, retail and manufacturing sectors have lost jobs due to the financial crisis. These losses have reversed many of the financial gains that have been made by the black middle class. Money that was planned for retirement is now being used to keep the lights on. Money put aside for college is now being used to pay for groceries. Jobs these days are few and far between. It’s hard going from a project management position to bagging groceries as a full time job. But with an unemployment rate for black men of 15.7% what can one expect. The “Blue Collar” black middle class has a situation that looks even worse than their “White Collar” brethren. Their manufacturing jobs are going away without any realistic expectation of returning. What does a person do when they have been working in textiles and automobiles for 40 years? You are looking at people that will have to learn to cross train into another field. That means workers as old as 60 are attempting their 2nd act in life.

This is not Obama’s fault that we are in this recession/depression. I merely mentioned his name because of the irony in our current situation. American blacks have the highest unemployment rates and a black man is the president of the United States. Many blacks had this fairy tale notion that Obama would cure all ills. They thought he would stop gang violence, teen pregnancy, and have an all black cabinet (if you don’t believe me listen to black talk radio sometime). Some are even complaining that Obama doesn’t have a black agenda (when you find out what a black agenda looks like let me know). This is a case where expectations do not match the realities of the day. My concern about this is what happens when America finally “rights the ship.” Blacks will be behind in how much money they have via stocks, and savings. How many kids will have to forgo college because their parents couldn’t afford for them to go? How many workers will have to work past retirement in order to keep their house lights on? I must reiterate that this is not about who has the biggest grievance. But with one race having the highest unemployment rate, this one-sidedness must be discussed. Unemployment has been hard for many Americans but for others it has been the kiss of death. Is there a possibility that we looking at a smaller black middle class in the future? If that is the case, then the working poor will definitely increase in ranks.

For some blacks these events will be seen as a wakeup call. Expect to see more minority businesses being formed. Some will be very small (i.e. no more than 5 employees) but they will be formed by folks who want to take destiny into their own hands. It is always nice to call your own shots but most people will still need to work in the private/public sector. They say that there is always a silver lining in every cloud. Well the current economy is mostly cloudy with a 100% chance of rain. And Until the economy changes, the black middle class will have to weather the storm the best they can. Or there might not be much left after the crisis is over.

What do you think?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

How people waste money in Charlotte N.C.

Exhibit A.

Charlotte Bobcats Center Alexis Ajinca is being sent back to the NBA's development league again. The key word is “Again”. This will be his second time playing in the development league. There is something wrong with this whole scenario. How do you have a player that received $1.47 million in guaranteed money and they still need development? This is the same guy that the Bobcats selected for their 20th pick in the 2008 NBA draft. Because of this selection they still owe the Minnesota Timberwolves a future first-round pick. Are the Bobcats still letting Michael Jordan make personnel decisions? I hope not because he wasn’t successful in that role for the Washington Wizards.

Exhibit B.

The Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services misplaced $162,000 in donation money. The money was intended to go to needy children. Instead the money went to purchase $340 earrings, and a $300 DVD player. To make matters worse it was reported that a donor called DSS to make a donation. The employee allegedly informed the donor to make the check out to her sister (yes, you heard me, the employees sister). These events did not stop the Mecklenburg County Manager from receiving a $38,400 bonus last month. Or as my wife says repeatedly “$38,400 is a person’s yearly salary!!”

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Blame it on the Twinkies, Blame it on the Ho Ho’s, Blame it on the Obeeeeeeesity!!!

I witnessed a double standard with black folks this week. Apparently we are up in arms when Morehouse College implements a dress code for their students. But when Lincoln University told students they couldn’t graduate if they were overweight, all I heard was crickets. It seems when men are asked not to wear purses and high heels it’s an issue. But when they are told they’re too fat, it’s not even worthy of a debate. Is this because we live in a society where fat people are treated as second class citizens? Gay men might not be able to marry but they have supporters for their right to wear Stuart Weitzman handbags. But it’s too bad if you look like one of the “Klumps.” The cheering section you’re expecting is going to be empty.

Lincoln implemented a mandatory program called “Fitness for Life.” Lincoln decided to be pro active in helping a demographic (i.e. black folks) that tips the scale. Overweight students will have to take a physical education class (3 times a week) before they can graduate. It’s no surprise that black folks are struggling in the weight department. Whether it’s the lie told around the world “oh they’re just big boned”, or the lack of healthy food options in low economic neighborhoods. Blacks suffer from hypertension and diabetes in higher numbers compared to other races. But it’s not up to a college or university to correct these problems. This is where individual responsibility comes into play. If you eat bacon and sausage everyday for breakfast, then you’re asking for trouble. You have to learn to eat certain foods in moderation. Or you might have to give them up.

I know you are probably saying “What about the drugs in our livestock??” I know they are putting antibiotics in our chickens and cows. With chicken breasts the size of medium pizzas, I know something is up. It’s also the reason middle school girls look like college freshmen. Or why a 5th grade kid looks like he could be an offensive lineman for the Carolina Panthers. But that can’t be used as an excuse for looking like mini Jabba the Hut. You shouldn’t have to catch your breath walking up two flights of steps. And your car shouldn’t lean to one side. These are signs that it’s time to shed some pounds. Let’s hope that Lincoln can work this out so the kids can graduate. I think they can implement this program in a way that’s fair. Just extend your regular PE program for 1 semester every year. This will make “Fitness for Life” part of their regular curriculum. That’s a win-win situation that everyone can live with.

Monday, November 30, 2009

What Does Wanda Know?

I’m not going to give into gossip so I will wait to see what happens with Tiger Woods. But maybe Wanda Sykes knows something that we don’t.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Black Man’s He-cession.

Sometimes when I look out on the black blogosphere I see some distressing conversations. I see black women downing black men and black men having to defend themselves. There is a lot of black on black hate on the web. I do understand some of the animosity on behalf of the women bloggers. As black men, some of us have been falling down on our jobs. But on the flip side, all black women haven’t been easy to deal with. In the end, we’ve all got our hang-ups. Unfortunately the recession has the potential to make our relationships worse.

Due to the high numbers of men affected by the Recession, our current financial difficulty is being called a He-cession. And black men have seen the worst of our economic problems. The national unemployment rate for black men is currently 15.7%. The national unemployment rate for black men (20 years and older) is currently 17.1%. So if you are a black male and hate your job, suck it up and ride it out!!! This bombshell dropped by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sent shockwaves from the city to the suburbs. Once again black men are the low man on the totem pole. And this is where the problem begins. Black women don’t want to hear any more excuses!! Black women have their own complaints concerning racism and sexism. They are tired of hearing about how “The Man” is holding black men back. I especially know this because my wife hates to hear it at our house. So here we are with something else that black men have to gripe about. Columnist David Zincenko, wrote an article about the he-cession in USA Today. One of the phrases mentioned in his article was “the decline of the endangered male.” Uh Oh! Needless to say some Feminists didn’t like the tone of the article. I guess women of all races don’t want to hear men complaining either.

So what do black men do now? Do we pull a Michael Baisden and “cry in the dark?” They have a saying when it comes to race and economics in this country. When white folks catch cold black folks catch pneumonia. Well black men are past the pneumonia stage. It appears black men are at the emergency room hooked on an intravenous drip. Regardless of whatever Keisha thinks about Leroy, the numbers are real. And the men that were raised to go to work every day are hurting. All they want to do is provide for their families. They would work if they could and take any job they could get. I just hope that this subject doesn’t divide black men and women. We have too much working against us already. We don’t need to muddy the waters with who has the biggest grievances. Because even if black men win the argument, with a 17% unemployment rate they still lose.

Do you agree?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How going Rouge is actually Un-Rogue.

Former Governor Sarah Palin owned the media last week. That was until Oprah dropped her bombshell about the world ending in 2011. But Palin did own most of the week. Everyone talked about her book and subsequent book tour. My wife scoffed when she saw a photo of a man reading her book in our local paper. She doesn’t understand what the Palin appeal is. People who aren’t fans even purchased the book out of curiosity. Personally my curiosity doesn’t need to be satisfied. I can find a better way to spend $28.99 than purchasing a book. It’s not that I hate Palin and have some visceral reaction toward her. I just think that she is overrated. I don’t believe she is a smart as her handlers would like for us to believe. Katie Couric tripped her up with a question my 3 year-old Goddaughter could answer. And because of the interview, she blames Couric for part of the media bias against her. Booo Freaking Hooo!!! One minute Palin is playing the shy fragile white flower and the next she is a modern day Annie Oakley. All while she is feeding us the “Rogue” dinner special every time she is on TV. So what does it mean to be a Rouge?

A Rogue is an individual that is unpredictable and operates outside of their normal confines. Palin’s book tour is skipping major metropolitan cities in lieu of smaller ones. Apparently she or her handlers has decided this is the best way to keep pushing home that Rogue theme. Her whole persona has been crafted around being the everyday “Beck Sue Jane.” She is synonymous with Apple Pies, God and an occasional moose carcass lying around the house. During the 2008 campaign, she poo poo’d every person that lived in walking distance of a downtown metropolitan area. If you lived in the city, you were thought of as not being a “real” American. This provided the suggestion that only Southerners, Midwesterners and Alaskans were real and authentic citizens of America. Is there really a debate as to if the residents of South Bronx are real or not? I’m sure they would have something to say about that.

If Palin wants to do something unorthodox, she should do something that will take her off the grid. Instead of taking her message to Mayberry, she should park her tour bus in the heart of Times Square. She should go to Detroit, Oakland, Houston, and Atlanta. She should go where people would not expect her to go. She should address the people that she belittled on the campaign trail. The same people that she alluded to as “Un-American” are the same ones she should talk to. Why? Because then she would be someone that “operates out of their normal confines.” It’s easy to go where you are going to get love but what about when you go into the Lions’ Den? Palin was the Republican nominee to possibly be the second person in charge of the Free World. She was going to be the vice president of a country that has all types of citizens. And many of those citizens don’t share her views of the world. What better way to strike out on your own than to deal with people that are put off by you. I would love to see Palin answer her critics while peddling her book. It would really show me what she is truly made of. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Now those are words that were spoken by a true rogue.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The downfall of Notre Dame. Saturdays can’t get any better!!!

Notre Dame should just cut their losses and buy out the rest of Charlie Weis’s contract. Sure it might cost $18 million but it’s not like they don’t have the money. With a 33 – 30 loss to Connecticut, the nails started being hammered in the coffin that held Weis’s career. And this is with 6 years left on his present contract.

Tyrone Willingham, Notre Dames first black head football coach, was given 3 years before they decided to get rid of him. But after 4 years, Weis’s winning percentage is no better than Willinghams. Why wasn’t Tyrone Willingham given 4 years to turn Notre Dame around? Sure it smells fishy to me but it’s probably because I’m biased. For full disclosure I am related to Willingham on my mother’s side of the family.

Also for full disclosure – I root for every team that Notre Dame plays against. My two favorite college teams are Oklahoma and any team that plays Notre Dame. So yes, I am what you would call a hater. But family loyalty gives me a legitimate reason for not showing the Irish love. The reality of the situation is that Notre Dame thinks they are the Notre Dame of old. The Alumni and Boosters have this unrealistic fantasy of 10 – 2 seasons and BCS Bowls. The parity in college football now has made those goals extremely difficult. And other schools with loose academic expectations for their players don’t help either. The Notre Dame allure is not what it used to be. Footballers aren’t beating the road up to get to South Bend. Don’t get me wrong because they still are getting athletes. Just not the type that they use to or the type they need. But on the plus side their players are graduating and they have minimal on/off campus drama.

Notre Dame doesn’t have the speed of a Florida Team. They don’t have the toughness of a Nebraska Team. They don’t even have the heart of a Texas Christian Team. Their schedule this year was supposed to help kick start their resurgence. But instead their schedule exposed their delusional thinking. If the University of Alabama had the same schedule, the coach, athletic director and mascot would have been fired. The Notre Dame schedule this year was weak as wet toilet paper.

Before Notre Dame is competitive again they are going to have to make some tough choices. The times have changed and Lou Holtz isn’t waiting around the corner. They need to decide on who they want to be and then learn to live with their decision. But first they need to do some house cleaning. Giving a 10 year contract to a first time college coach was extremely foolish. Weis has been their entirely too long by Notre Dame’s standards. How long is too long? 4 years too long.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

You go girl!!! I think?

The City welcomes Carolyn Flowers, the new CEO of the Charlotte Area Transit System.
You took a pay cut when you came here from Los Angeles. And you are making less money than the man you replaced. Welcome to North Carolina and enjoy your stay.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Snake Oil Salesman Watch – Millennium Travel & Promotions

Millennium Travel & Promotions Inc
4647 S. Clyde Morris Blvd Suite #501
Port Orange, Florida 32129

Be on the lookout for this Company!!!!

Grand Discovery, an entity of Millennium Travel and Promotions, invited me to attend a presentation they had regarding timeshares this past spring. I took my wife with me (who is allergic to sales pitches) to attend the presentation. She was already pissed off about going because (she is allergic to sales pitches) it was Friday after work and she was hungry. I thought the presentation was good but my wife was even more pissed off (her sales pitch allergies were acting up). The salesman brought his boss over to help him seal the deal. If he knew who my wife was, he would have realized that was a waste of time. The salesman’s boss made a joke that my wife thought was sexist. I guess it didn’t help that I laughed at the joke too. I guess marriage jokes aren’t for hungry wives with salesmen allergies. After the presentation, we decided that financially this would not be wise for us. We told the salesman that we would have to decline and he looked piss. He didn’t even say goodbye or shake our hands. It’s like being in a strip club without having any bills in your pocket. Eventually the strippers are going to stop asking you if you want a lap dance. I guess you are wondering why I attended a timeshare presentation when I knew I wasn’t going to buy a timeshare. Because they provided an incentive for me to go!!! Just for sitting through the presentation I was suppose to receive –

*2 roundtrip airfares anywhere in the Continental U.S.

*3 days and 2 night’s hotel accommodations for 2 adults.

*$150.00 in Gasoline rebate coupons.

*$30.00 in Dinner certificate good at any Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Smokey Bones or Bahama Breeze.

I thought I was going to leave with what I like to call the “Freeness” (aka Free Stuff). When people go to these presentations they usually end up with a gift. My Frat Brother received a Knife Set from one of these presentations. My parents have a grandfather clock because they attended a presentation. I know knives and a clock don’t sound sexy but roundtrip airline tickets do. But I should have known things were going to go downhill when I didn’t receive some of the “Freeness.” The first thing that was denied to me -

*No Gas coupon or Dinner certificate… : (

I was still holding out hope for the roundtrip airfare because I had it in writing (so I thought). All these cousins I have that are lawyers and I never called them. I should have because things got real shady when I wanted my airline tickets. To make a long story short –

They started making us jump through all these hoops in order to get the tickets. They kept returning our paperwork requesting that we change information. They would wait for months to request alternative documentation from us. And they would turn down all of our selected days. It finally got to where we were on our last possible date. Our last date selected was in April 2010. I didn’t want to wait that long to be turned down with some bogus excuse. So I called the company (one of many numerous phone calls) to talk to their customer service. She gave me some line that they were going to honor the last date. They only gave me 3 dates to choose from and I was down to one.

But I wasn’t the only one that was suspicious about Millennium Travel. The Better Business Bureau of Central Florida gave the company an F on their rating scale. Also the Attorney General’s office of Connecticut has a lawsuit against the company. Apparently they had found a way to weasel out of their own promises. Some folks were losing loot in the scam and the authorities in Connecticut didn’t like that. Others were disappointed in the timeshares they actually paid for. Everybody was getting suckered or screwed.

I swallowed my pride and told Millennium to forgo the last date and to give me my deposit back. After months of dealing with that company, it took them less than a week to give me my money back. I guess they were glad they didn’t have to come up with an excuse for why I couldn’t get my last date. I was glad our deposit was chump change and we didn’t lose major money like other folks. So I’m telling you this story because I want to spread the word. I’m not doing this because I’m disgruntled or attempting to get revenge. Businesses pretending to be legit while harboring ulterior motives need to be put on notice. I have a wife that is smart enough to not let me get to far gone. Other people might not have the same buffers in their lives. Some people actual went on the trips and ended up paying hidden fees. We were fortunate that it never got that far.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lou Dobbs calls it a day.

The 64 year old anchor has decided that it’s time to break camp. Apparently he is leaving CNN to possibly go into advocacy on a full time basis. I can only imagine him creating an independent group that focuses on illegal aliens. Dobbs had to talk to the head honcho at CNN to get released from his contract. Usually when someone wants out of their contract that means they are unhappy. I believe that Dobbs finally started reading the tea leaves. Also throw in the fact that Latino progressives were demanding his head on a platter. Dobbs finally realized that his brand of journalism can only be practiced in certain circles. He never fit into the whole CNN dynamic. They are in that weird spot between MSNbc and Fox News. Their anchors don’t want to look liberal and they don’t want to look conservative. Dobbs was the only guy to take a legitimate stand against something. Rick Sanchez and Campbell Brown bark every now and again but they aren’t pissing people off. Don Lemon and the rest of the blacks are only weekenders. Wolf Blitzer has a cool first name but other than that he doesn’t kick up dust. Dobbs was the one that was beefing with Keith Olbermann. Dobbs was the one that angered Latinos from the South Bronx to East LA. Dobbs consistently questioned why President Obama would not show us his birth certificate. He decried war against Washington D.C. as if they had personally assaulted him. Dobbs was too hard for this network and he knew it. Even with a wife of Mexican heritage, he endorsed closing borders and running illegal aliens out of the country. I always wondered what she thought about his stance on illegal aliens. Maybe she felt the same way? Either way he was still talking about her peoples. We can only wonder where Lou Dobbs will end up next. He is not getting any younger so he doesn’t have time on his side. I keep wondering why at 64 he has decided to make a career change. My suggestion to him is to get the same agent that Glenn Beck has. Glenn Beck left Headline News (CNN owned) and he landed on his feet just fine.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Former Black Politicians - Where are they now?? The handshake & chicken dinner edition.

Then –
In 2008, Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford was arrested on a 101-count federal indictment on charges of conspiracy, bribery, fraud, money laundering, and filing false tax returns. U.S. District Attorney Alice Martin claims Langford used the bribery money to buy audio equipment and luxury clothing items. These alleged acts took place when Langford was a Jefferson County commissioner. Langford said a day after his indictment “It's not business as usual. It's business more intensified than usual, now that I know what I'm dealing with, I can now turn all of my attention to carrying out my duties as mayor."

Now –
In 2009, Langford was found guilty of taking cash and accepting gifts. He was automatically removed from office and is currently awaiting sentencing. He could possibly face 805 years in prison.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tusks vs. Horns – A Family Conflict.

The function of conservatives is not to meet every liberal program or scheme with a denunciation or a destructive counter-scheme, but rather to weigh its advantages and defects, supporting the first and challenging the second. A declaration of ideological warfare against liberalism is by it nature profoundly un-conservative. It meets perceived radicalism with a counter-radicalism of its own.

~ Sam Tanenhaus, author of The Death of Conservatism

The Elephant Party is not only destroying the Democrats but they are killing their own as well. Republicans have always been in different camps within the party but now one camp wants the top spot. The Far Right has decided to drive certain Republicans from the party. I thought the Log Cabin Republicans would be on the hit list but they weren’t. I guess as long as the Lob Cabin’s stay gay and quiet they will fly under the radar. The group in the cross hairs goes by the name RINO (Republican in Name Only). The funny thing is that RINOS didn’t start their own group. Some of them just ended up in the group because they weren’t liked. It’s like picking teams for kick ball and no one picks the kid that eats boogers. He is probably a good athlete but his only sin is that he eats his own mucus. The Rinos’ only sin is that they do not hold to a traditional conservative Republican value system (per Rino haters). I would suggest that Michael Steele take control of this situation but he is only a prop. The only other person in charge is Rush Limbaugh and he’s not going to step in. And if you are a Democrat, don’t be too smug about this Republican infighting. You have your own group that should be called DINO. Instead you call them Blue Dog Democrats.

A day of Regime Change - The Overthrowing of a County School Board.

Burke County School Board Chairwoman Tracy Norman must be legally blind. I take that back because that is offensive to blind folks. Even Stevie Wonder would have seen the writing was on the wall. Norman was the main conspirator in getting rid of popular School Superintendent David Burleson. Did I mention that Superintendent Burleson was “POPULAR?” People that understand the power of voting are dangerous people. They put fear into the hearts of elected officials. These voters can’t be fooled with a lot of razzle dazzle. Handshakes and empty promises don’t work with this group. You either do what they want or end up without a job. So in last Tuesdays North Carolina State election, Chairwoman Norman took an “L” with a major league drubbing. She lost to the winning candidate by a 14 – 1 margin. Susan Stroup, the winning candidate pledged to change current school board policy. So guess what happened to the incumbent school board members that were against Norman’s decision to oust Burleson? They all were re-elected. And guess what happened to the 1st time candidates that were running (here is a hint – they support Burleson). The voters spoke last week and politicians heard them. I wonder did other North Carolina voters hear them as well.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Where are the Swing Voters on the Climate Bill?

Article by Scott Bittle & Jean Johnson,
Authors of Who Turned Out the Lights: Your Guided Tour to the Energy Crisis

As the Senate environment committee starts to hold hearings on the climate change bill, we think there's one critical question for the senators: Who are you talking to?
That's not an obvious question, or an (entirely) sardonic one. Legislation is almost always shaped more by leaders and lobbyists rather than the public at large, and given the complexity of the climate bill that's even more true here.
But you can't solve the climate change problem if the public isn't ready to accept some level of change. In the end, this is an argument about how we get the energy to fuel the life Americans want to live. You can't change the energy picture without getting the public to reconsider where our energy comes from and what practical alternatives there are for developing a more climate-friendly mix. If too many Americans believe there's an easy, cost-free answer out there, or conversely, if too many believe that we can't tackle our climate problems without destroying the American way of life, we're not going to get very far.

Right now, too many Americans are heading into this fight unarmed. Four in 10 Americans can't name a fossil fuel, according to Public Agenda's Energy Learning Curve survey. Even more can't name a renewable energy source. It's a fair assumption that most people aren't going to understand the ins and outs of the climate bill.
What's worse is that most don't understand the fundamental challenge here: that the world needs to change the kind of energy we use, even as we need more and more of it. World energy demand is projected to rise 50 percent over the next 20 years, mostly because hundreds of millions of people in China, India and the developing world will be buying cars and living better lives. Production of fossil fuels, particularly oil, is going to have trouble keeping up with that demand anyway. And even if we could meet that demand with fossil fuels, we'd end up with irreversible climate change.

But there is a coalition to be built here, if you talk to the right people in the right way. When our organization, Public Agenda, conducted its Energy Learning Curve survey of Americans, we found they fell naturally into four broad categories: the Anxious (40 percent), the Greens (24 percent), the Disengaged (19 percent) and the Climate Change Doubters (17 percent).

The Greens, as you can imagine, are probably at a 350.org rally right now, the Doubters are still chanting "drill baby drill," and the Disengaged are watching the playoffs instead. The most interesting group -- and the most significant -- are the Anxious. They don't know much about energy issues, but they know enough to be worried. Almost all of this group worries "a lot" about the cost of energy (91 percent); They report higher levels of worry than the other groups on scarcity and on increased worldwide demand for oil. Global warming is a lesser concern, but even here 69 percent say it's real and 54 percent say they worry "a lot" about it.
Most importantly, the Anxious are the largest single group, at 40 percent. They're the "swing voters" of this issue, and you can't build a majority without them.
A lot of environmentalists seem convinced that the key to success is making everyone else as concerned about climate change as they are. That's no help in persuading the Anxious; they're already worried about it and convinced it's real. Making sure there's enough energy to go around, and at a price that people can afford, are even more important to this group.

So what's the takeaway here? There are two key points:
Back to basics: We've been doing a lot of work to educate the public on energy (in fact, we've just written a book on the subject). And one thing we've learned is you can't assume people know the fundamentals. And we're not talking about the science of global warming here. We're talking about the fact that there's a relatively short list of options that can provide the energy we need in the volume we need. Right now, 80 percent of our energy comes from fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas and only 2 percent from wind and solar combined. Given that, we have some practical choices to make here, and in our experience, people are pretty good at making them, if you lay them out and are honest about the pros and cons. Plus, a little information up front can head off a lot of misinformation later on, as the health care reform advocates found out to their dismay.

Speak to people's real concerns. People can approach a problem from entirely different perspectives and still end up at the same place. The Anxious are actually strongly supportive of alternative energy, ranging from ethanol to solar, and they strongly favor conservation over exploration. So do the Greens. But the rationales are different -- Greens favor alternative energy because it's clean; the Anxious favor it because they want to stretch the supply.

The groups who will play a major role at the Senate hearings -- cabinet officers, environmentalists, businesses -- are all critical. But the public matters, too. If we let the concerns of lobbyists and policy experts drive this debate, we'll never build the coalition needed to move forward.

Then, if the lights go out, we'll have no one to blame but ourselves.

Author Bios

Scott Bittle, co-author of Who Turned Out the Lights: Your Guided Tour to the Energy Crisis, is executive editor of PublicAgenda.org, where he has prepared citizen guides on more than twenty major issues including the federal budget deficit, Social Security, and the economy. He is also the website director for Planet Forward, an innovative PBS program designed to bring citizen voices to the energy debate.

Jean Johnson, co-author of Who Turned Out the Lights: Your Guided Tour to the Energy Crisis, is co-founder of PublicAgenda.org, and has written articles and op-eds for USA Today, Education Week, School Board News, Educational Leadership, and the Huffington Post Website.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The colossal failure of black radio in Charlotte N.C.

"Chatty Hattie" of WGIV radio - broadcasting in the 1950s and 1960s.

WQNC – FM (Q 92.7) was once called “The Peoples Station.” That was until last month when they scrapped their talk show format for “up-tempo music.” So with a turn of a dial, they dumped Rev. Al Sharpton and Warren Ballentine from the format. It is no surprise that they kept The Tom Joyner morning show (i.e. he is still competitive in the ratings). Apparently the switch was one that has been a long time in the making. It seems that Q 92.7, or as it is called now My92, wants to appeal to the new radio rating system. Having more of a musical format apparently tracks better on this new system. Since these are “Urban Stations” we are talking about, then the listeners must be minorities. Particularly, these minorities must be overwhelmingly African American (or whatever they are calling us this week) in percentage. Does anyone else see what I’m saying here?? Okay maybe it’s just me? Are black radio stations telling us that blacks don’t want to listen to talk radio? If that’s the case, why did they raise hell in Atlanta when Rev. Al Sharpton was taken off the air? They eventually had to put him back on because of the complaining. I just assumed blacks threatened to burn down Atlanta like General Sherman did back in the day.

Sure you have the Joyners, Harveys and Baisdens but what about the local talk shows? Why are they relegated to early (O’ Dark O’ Clock) and Sundays before and during church. And what ever happened to radio that deals with political issues? I know these shows mostly lean “Left” but I did get valuable information from them. Does black radio only think black folks can be entertained through song and dance? This whole thing smells so “Minstrel Showish”. I wonder how many radio stations have dropped Rush Limbaugh because their listeners want more music and less talk. Limbaugh has a show on in damn near every state in the union (even the ones that want succession). Apparently his stations advertisers don’t have a problem with ratings. So what’s up with black folk?

I wonder what the “non-technology” black folks are going to do now. You know who I’m talking about. It’s your family member that doesn’t know the difference between a Mac and a PC. These folks have been listening to radio forever and have never heard of Blog Talk radio or on-line streaming. I don’t agree with everything that is discussed on black talk radio but I believe we need a voice. Everyone doesn’t want to listen to “Tardy for the Party.” The right to express opinions is one of our basic rights as Americans. Now we are beholding to corporations that run radio stations. I guess that is why people are on Blog Talk radio. They don’t want to be beholding to advertisers and ratings. Back in the day, black radio provided people with information on local & state Government issues. I know that most of the urban stations aren’t owned by us anyway. So I’m not that surprised with the events of last month. I guess in some ways this radio stuff was always a business. And when a business is failing they change up their business plan. I guess it’s like my frat brother told me one time. “If it doesn’t make dollars it don’t make sense.” I guess he might be right. It’s still a failure to me.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

It’s probably a good thing that I don’t get sick that often.

Last week my co-workers sat around trying to figure out our new medical and dental benefits. Fortunately the Vision benefits weren’t that hard to figure out. I guess when it comes to vision insurance you either need glasses or you don’t. Unless you have been under a rock, you shouldn’t be surprised why medical and dental benefits needed to be scrutinized. I have to be honest and say that the experience was horrendous. I wish I could find a better word to describe it but I can’t. It was as if we were answering questions to a calculus test. Why is understanding health insurance the equivalent to understanding Wall Street derivatives? My head hurt as co-pay, coinsurance, and deductibles danced around in my head. I know we have deductibles in auto and home insurance but why medical? My company told us that they want us to be cognizant of the cost of our health insurance. WTH?? I wonder do businesses in Switzerland say that to their employees?

My wife pays $10 - $15 dollars when she wants to see the doctor (i.e. co-pay). When I want to see the doctor I have to pay $300 - $500 dollars (i.e. deductible) before my coinsurance kicks in (about 20% of the amount). This doesn’t include the drugs that will be prescribed to us after the visit. Because what is a doctor’s visit without drugs?? My wife will again use co-Pay while I will pay coinsurance. Sounds like my wife is getting the better end of the deal right? It’s probably a good thing that I don’t get sick that often. While I watched my co-workers wrestle over life changing decisions that could have long lasting ramifications. I thought about all those members of Congress that are arguing over “our” health insurance. People were literally sweating bullets on their healthcare selections. Meanwhile the public option keeps going in and out like a bad television set. I bet Congress doesn’t worry about health care like a single mother or a family of a child with chronic illness does?

When I was in the military we had Government Healthcare provide by the…….Government!!! Yes!! That is correct America. The same medical system that the Republicans rail about is being practiced by our Armed Forces. I guess they don’t see it from all of the camouflage that we wear? I miss being able to go to the doctor without having to worry about getting a huge bill afterwards. And so did my fellow servicemen and women. Parents with children didn’t have to worry about losing their homes because of medical bills. Single mothers didn’t have to make judgment calls on whether to pay for the light bill or their child’s prescriptions. Hospital stays weren’t like trying to get a room at the Bellagio. Everyone was taking care of the best way possible. Now I don’t want to paint a pretty picture because we had our medical mishaps. But for every person that has had an issue you will find one that didn’t. Ah the memories!!!! It’s probably a good thing that I don’t get sick that often.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Paging Davida L. Haywood Ph.D., Come get these BAD “A” kids!!!!

The conversation on the deficiency in public education is flawed. The politicians and media always talk around the issue and leave out one important element in the equation. The parents!! Everyone talks about these monsters…..er…children but no one talks about the parents. The politicians are scared to talk about them because parents vote. The media doesn’t talk about them because……well the media doesn’t know what to talk about. But it’s obvious what the problem is. I talk to people that teach these chaps and they tell me the same thing. They are teaching future strippers, criminals and baby mama’s. The glaring point of the conversation is when they mention their dealings with the parents. They have to deal with the extremely low PTA attendance to the parent teacher conferences from hell. These kids aren’t just hatching out of alien eggs. They are coming from homes with parents or a parent. These kids belong to some of the worst parents on earth. They don’t discipline or educate their kids. My friend, who is a teacher, told me a parent told her that she should pick her battles with her child. WTH!!! These parents are bartering with their children. What I want to know is who runs the household???

The problem is that these parents are inept and lack the skills it takes to raise children. A parent has the unique responsibility to raise their children to be productive members of society. That means that parents need to teach their children social skills. They need to keep up with their homework and what is going on at their school. Parents can’t help their children with science projects if they are at the club. I don’t know where the downfall of our society started. We have turned into a society where children raise children. Lately it appears that parents are scared of their own children. I listen to talk radio and what I’m hearing doesn’t make any sense. This talk about reparations keeps rearing its ugly head. How does a check help discipline children? You can have brand new educational facilities with all the latest and greatest, but what good does that do if you don’t have students that are focused. Thugs don’t have a need for new computers? You have got to change the mentality of these kids. It seems that it might be too late though. Dysfunctional parents have abdicated their responsibilities to the public at large. It is now society’s responsibility to raise other people’s children. The teacher has supplemented the mother and father. Because not all kids are bad but some are unfocused. They come from situations that are unbelievable at best. Jail bird fathers, mothers bringing home different men, and don’t forget the neighborhood itself. These are ingredients for a troubled childhood.

Sometimes though these kids make it out of high school and find their way to college. This is why I am paging Dr. Haywood. With her Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Higher Education, she is the last line of defense. She has her work cut out because she has two sets of problems:. Kids that are in college but aren’t college material (kids that weren’t disciplined students in high school..i.e. poor grades) and kids that are college material but have a screwed up mentality (i.e. narcissistic, lazy, etc.). I don’t wish this responsibility on anyone but I know Dr. Haywood is up to the challenge. Who else is going to get them ready for the real world? Should it be the stripper mother, absentee dad, or club hopping grandmother? Nope!! We tried that already and it just ain’t working. Someone is going to have to have to take charge and get these kids straight. It’s the new American Way – when someone doesn’t want to do their job they simply pass it on. And since we are passing the buck, why not give it to someone in the educational field. Besides, my suggestion to lock them in the basement was rejected.

Charlotte N.C. Democrats scratch their 22 year itch.

The Queen City has witnessed the end of two decades of Republican Mayoral leadership with the election of Democrat Anthony Foxx last night. Foxx beat out Republican John Lassiter 51% to 49% in a squeaker of a race. This was a weird race for Mayor because it really didn’t get interesting until the end (accusations of dirty politics and someone dressed in a chicken costume yada yada yada..). There were some similarities in this race to the 2008 Presidential Election. You had an older white man with experience running against a younger black man without experience. I have to admit that I was skeptical of Foxx’s chances of winning. I knew he would need a large black vote along with a good percentage of Independents (“enough” registered democrats and independents helped him). I suspected that voter turn out would be low (and it was) and that would play against Foxx (but it didn’t). In all of the debates that I have watched, Lassiter always looked sharper than Foxx. In the last televised debate, Foxx showed more of his personality. Before the last debate he always seemed subdued and came off very wonkish. Actually both candidates came across as the guy you would most want to live next door to. So if you take away experience, you end up with the same guy. But all of that is in the past and Foxx is the new mayor. As citizens of the city of Charlotte, we should now come together and rally behind Foxx.
My personal notes from Tuesday’s election –

*In my District, there were originally 2 people running for the Board of Education. Kimberly Mitchell-Walker dropped out before Tuesday so that left Richard McElrath as the only person on the ballot besides the “write in option.” McElrath beat Mitchell Walker 51% to 47%. You are probably thinking that means McElrath is an unpopular guy. What clown runs a close race with someone that’s not even running? This might not necessarily be the case. Many people in my district were solely focused on Mayor and City Council seats that they didn’t do their due diligence on School Board Election research. Some people didn’t know anything about the people running or their platforms. Also they didn’t even know that Mitchell-Walker had dropped out of the race.

*Compared to the Presidential Election in 2008 the voter turnout was low. I know I’m naïve but the way people voted in 2008 should be the way they vote every time. Even with over 24,000 people voting early we still had low numbers.
Precinct 141 had a voter turnout of 2% (FYI – 50% of the people in that district are non-white).

Precinct 121 had a voter turnout of 30% (FYI – 10% of the people in that district are non-white).

Precinct 48 had one of the highest turnouts of the day with 51%. Keep in mind that is only one precinct out of over 200 precincts.
*The demographics in Charlotte are changing. We are getting more minorities and whites from other states in the country. This is changing the voting landscape of the south. It’s not as conservative as it once was and Independents (or unaffiliated as it’s called in N.C.) are becoming a larger group (FYI - which I am a part of).