Friday, July 31, 2009
Then to top off the evening, Sgt James Crawley gave a press conference!! Like this dude is important or something!!! Another American “Sarah Palin Moment” on the horizon I see. Why does America keep making these Average Joes into stars??? Mayor E. Denise Simmons, looks like someone might want your job.
The embarrassment of the night was The White House scrimping on the food. You can get salty peanuts anywhere….it’s the White House for crying out loud!!! At least throw a steak on the grill!!!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I wanted more minorities on TV but not like this. Who would have thought that black women + one white woman running around Atlanta aimlessly with credit cards and weaves would be entertaining? Apparently Citizen Wifey and a whole host of women find it must see TV. Citizen Wifey called me while I’m watching “Burn Notice” to see some guy on the Housewives Reunion Show. I thought it was an emergency!!! I missed “Burn Notice” for this???? Florida Evans, you said it right….Damn!! Damn!! Damn!!!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Last week a North Korean Foreign Military spokesperson said this about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
“by no means intelligent” and “sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping.”
So basically he called her a stupid old person that dresses like a child. That’s a knock on the elderly, children and dumb people. But really I hear a note of sexism.
I’m waiting for the outrage but all I hear from Clinton supporters are crickets. Where is the picketing and protesting against North Korea? Where is the demand for an apology? This is the opportunity for Clinton supporters to stand up and strike a blow against sexism. Or maybe your problem in the 2008 campaign wasn’t sexism but a little thing I like to call “racism”.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I knew it!! I knew they would be demanding an apology from President Obama regarding his opinion about Dr. Henry Gates unlawful arrest. It was only a matter of time. That’s how it works in America. Most black men that speak their minds end up dead or painted as “out of the mainstream”. That’s why most black men go to their office jobs and don’t say anything. Who wants to go from $50,000 a year to being homeless? Look at all those black folks that worked with a large percentage of white folks during the 2008 Presidential Campaign. They went to work with Obama T-Shirts, Pins, Hats, Bumper Stickers and Bobble Heads. They even tried to debate their white co-workers. Fast forward to now: you hear them calling Rev. Al Sharpton’s show talking about how they were illegally fired. You knew you worked along side the cast of Deliverance so don’t come crying now. Al can’t march for you right now because he is busy. The Rev. Jesse Jackson is looking well rested these days. Maybe they should give him a call. But I digress…
So now President Obama is coming close to Backpedaling like Carmelo Anthony fighting the Knicks. I said he is coming close black folks!!! That means he’s on the cusp!! I know a lot of Obama supporters are out there and they would love to rip me to shreds. But Obama shouldn’t have called that raggedy officer. Screw the officer and the police horse he rode in on. Screw the officer and the Cambridge Police Department. Screw the officer and any black officers that are quick to stand up for him. Let’s be real about something. Did Dr. Gates probably break bad with the officer….YES!! He is a college professor. Of course he didn’t like being arrested in his own home. You know how arrogant some of those PH.d folks can be (Davida, Shana, Brian, Vida and Dennis, just in case you are reading this, I’m talking about other black PH.d’s). Gotta clear that up before homecoming in October. Anyway…the white cop was getting pissed that this black man was showing out. The cop didn’t realize that black men don’t have anywhere else to holler and hoot. If we do it in the streets, we catch a case. If we do it at work, we get fired. If we do it at church, we get holy water thrown on us. I always say if you want to know what a black man is really thinking, come to his house around 6pm at night. That’s when he is off work and in the privacy of his own home.
So on Wednesday night, President Obama was trying to school us on Healthcare. He was trying but doing a real poor job. He needs to shut down the Republican rhetoric. That’s what’s killing him in the streets. Because people haven’t seen anything yet, it’s easy to scare them into believing the worst. It’s like getting ready for a blind date and your friend is telling you how ugly your date will be. Sure you tell your friend to shut up but you can’t stop those ugly thoughts in the back of your mind (“what if my date is ugly?”). He needs to hire the PR people that helped Bush dupe America about the war in Iraq..oops…Iran…oops.. Afghanistan…opps…Pakistan…oops.. Saudi Arabia??? Anyway…..so he is wrapping up his spiel and he gives Lynn Sweet the last question. Lynn Sweet, one of my favorite journalists, is the Washington, D.C. bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times. The reason I like Lynn is because she is always asking questions about race at inappropriate times. Maybe she should have hosted CNN’s Black in America. Maybe because she is from Chicago and she is use to asking tough questions. Who knows why she does what she does but I like it!!! The black reporters were probably sitting around going “if he calls on me I need to ask something that will show that (fill in this space with whatever black magazine or television station you know of) is concerned with questions of substance.” So no questions about the Real Housewives of Atlanta or if he bought Maxwell’s new album (we know you did 1st Lady Michelle Obama….don’t front). While the black reporters are sweating, Lynn Sweet is getting it in!!! Too bad for the prez because he was almost out the door and on his way to watch “Burn Notice.” To his credit he did say that Prof Gates was his friend. And I do believe he gave an honest assessment with what facts he had.
Fast Forward to now: The President is calling that raggedy officer and talking shop. Screw that!!! The boys at Cambridge are circling the wagons Mr. President. All this cooler heads need to prevail talk is for the birds!!! Wild haired Bev Smith was right doggone it!! She was talking on CNN, at Times Square, on Wednesday and she said it right. (Disclosure: not the exact words but close to it) “Some black folks don’t know they are still slaves”. Why are we always apologizing when we are done wrong? After the Dr. showed the officer who he was he still was arrested. Hours later the charges were dropped!!! So why was he arrested in the first place? I’m not trying to make Gates out to be the next Stokely Carmichael because this brotha is not as pro-black as he would like you to believe. But wrong is wrong – even if the officer was black and the homeowner was white.
And President Obama needs to stop smoothing things over and circle his wagons. When you have G. Gordon Liddy, a common burglar, asking to see your birth certificate you got problems. I saw some white woman on t.v. almost in tears crying over this foolishness. She was swearing up and down that Obama was an illegal alien but didn’t have a stitch of proof. The State of Hawaii (which is still in the union) provided a certified document and it’s still not good enough. E.T. came on this planet for 2 hours and folks were crying when he was trying to leave. Obama has been president for 6 months and folks are crying because they want him to leave. What in the world is going on??? Why won’t these sick twisted individuals leave this alone? Let’s ask the Native American Indians who the real illegal aliens are??? There are people in America that don’t want people to live together in peace. They want Black Folks picking cotton; Latino’s picking oranges, Asians laying railroad tracks and Muslims dead… just like the good ole days when Grand pappy was living!!! And don’t let any decent white folks stand up to defend racism. They get treated like traitors to their race.
So just like they are circling their wagons, black folks need to start circling too. You circle your wagons when you are being attacked. That’s what the settlers use to do in Western Movies when they were being attacked by the Indians. The settlers were probably trespassing anyway but you get the point. Circling the wagons helped them to know where everyone was and gave them a fortress of sorts. Black folks are being attacked on radio, internet and t.v. and we need to get ready to get our hands dirty. I believe in holding the president accountable when he does something I don’t like. And I’m never going to give him a blank check because he’s black. But there is some real contempt going on against black folks in America. There is a war going on and listening to T Pain isn’t going to make things go away. It’s time to Circle Our Wagons!!!
Meanwhile: As we argue over President Obama’s place of origin. Four boys sexually assaulted an 8-year old girl this week. The kicker: She was placed in the custody of Child Protective Services because her parents acted like it was her fault and gave her the silent treatment.
I guess we might have to circle the wagons on our own as well?
Friday, July 24, 2009
Uh Oh!!! Looks like this is a PSA not have kids.
Citizen Daddy isn’t that emotional. He never cries but he used to make me cry all the time!!!
The reason that they don’t talk is because they are working all the time.
If they do split up, I got dibs on that paper route!!!
That Minister has a “MONEY” cut. She must be paid.
My wife says our future children can’t date until they are 16 (don’t know how that’s going to work).
This dude is sensitive….
That’s why their marriage is strong because they live in two different states!!! Let me talk to Citizen Wifey about that. : )
Shout out to Freddie Jackson!!!!
Wow!!! “Knocking the Boots”??? Now that is “College” Romantic.
He must not have been getting any!!! Withholding the goods?? Throw a flag on the play for disorderly conduct.
They had sex before they graduated!!! Reminds me of college…..
That is a sensitive dude….
Citizen Wifey keeps telling me that the Light Skinned McDonalds kid is not one of Will Smiths… but I’m not buying it.
I will personally check my wife for any lumps tonight!!
Cancer is a monster!!!!
Back to Africa Again!!!!
White women go to Africa to get babies. Black women go to Africa to find a cure for cancer and feed babies.
Oh, I thought that was a Mary Kay convention….my bad.
That was a wig?? They always fool me…..
Dr, Shame on you for not keeping it real. If you know the women might not make it you should say so.
Now we are getting back to what I came for…..
San Quentin Shout Out!!!
I always get nervous when they show prison segments. I’m scared I might see a relative.
Getting out of prison in style…in the 300!!!
He cut his hair for a corporate look (smart move).
He didn’t save any of his dope money (dummy move)???? He could have used the loot to get his life back on track.
Soledad, what did you just ask him about a gun? Oh, was he carrying one. I guess that’s a legitimate question? I usually ask that before I get into a car with someone.
The Birth Control segment was on the last Black in America.
He quit his job?? Citizen Wifey don’t like to hear that!!
A Baby, a Bluetooth and no job!!! That should be a sermon for this Sunday.
It was too good to be true. Damn Chris!!! He robbed a weed spot and got busted. In broad daylight!!! You know weed heads don’t’ work. They were home watching “Judge Joe Brown”. How are you going to make your get away in the victim’s car? You always come in your own whip. I’m from the suburbs and I know that!!!!
Brotha, you have got to lose that weight!!!
5 month hospital wait? Where is this hospital…Honduras??
12 prescriptions?? We don’t have a healthcare system; we have a “keep it moving until the next time we get sick” system.
Better Wrap Up!!! Using the barbershop/free clinic to get an STD test…..ridiculous!!!
Black Belt Jones!!!!
8th grade reading at a 5th grade level………….Lord my father in Heaven.
That Fried Chicken is a Monster!!! That must be why Citizen Wifey won’t let me eat any. Oven Baked Fried Chicken!! That’s the new reality people.
If the Fat doesn’t kill you the NYPD will!!!!
They are showing the unhealthy restaurants in the hood but let’s talk about why there aren’t any health conscious grocery stores in the hood.
Oprah has influenced everyone’s life…..except mine.
We just got off the Weight Loss Segment.
The Famous “Chitlin Circuit”….I’ve never been on it because I have only had my momma’s chitlins.
Soledad, don’t be ignant!!! Does that look like Atlanta????
Soledad, you know those were white men that said that mess!!!
How come Cicely Tyson never played a sex symbol?......Oh that’s why…Racism!!!
House of Payne is the most popular show among blacks!!! What?!! Black folks don’t watch Cold Case???
Well Black in America is finally in the books. That was it folks!! That was not a good ending at all but it’s not Tyler Perry’s fault. I know that Soledad has been catching a lot of flak since the first BIA, but she’s not the problem. Soledad’s momma might have some black in her but that’s where it ends. To be able to pull something off like this, you have to have a real black person doing it. I know that’s not going to sit well with some folks. But it’s true!!! Someone who knows the black experience firsthand would know how to craft this series. Soledad looked and sounded like someone that was learning all this for the first time. Does that mean that Flavor Flav should have been the host? No!! But Ed Gordon is a name that does come to mind. I will say that her intent was worthy but the execution was flawed.
So people won’t say that I’m complaining without giving solutions. Black in America should have been rolled out in this format:
The History of the Slave Trade
The 60’s (Civil Rights)
The 70’s (Black Power Movement)
To understand where we are, we need to know where we came from. This will set the tone for the rest of the series. Let’s face it. They don’t teach black history in school these days anyway. That’s why you have black folks running around thinking RACISM is a myth. And white folks thinking that RACISM is dead. I also would have showed every invention and creation that black folks have made in America.
The 80’s (including the Reagan Administration and the Crack Epidemic)
The 90’s (What was really going on with Blacks under the Clinton Administration)
Don’t get me wrong because I still would have kept it real. I just would have had more of a balance. I would have given the numbers and statistics for black men in jail. On the flip side I would have had a black man that came out of prison and made it. I would have talked about unwed mothers, people shacking up, and low marriage rates. On the flip side I would have had single female college students, people engaged and stable marriages. It’s all about balance. You would see a kid that couldn’t read but you never knew why? No one ever asked their parents any questions. Is it that momma and daddy can’t read as well? Everything just seemed so hopeless!!! And when you did see someone or a family doing well, it always looked like a fluke. It seemed as though it was an exception and not the rule. I went to a Historical Black University so I’ve seen black men graduate with degrees. It’s not abnormal but a non-black person looking at Black in America would think it was. Because that’s who this really was for.
This was for everyone else in America to get a better understanding of black folks. Unfortunately the images that they saw were skewed. Even black folks watching don’t know what they were looking at. I heard a guy call Al Sharpton’s radio show today complaining about the Bougie black folks on the segment last night. So after watching the piece, he came away with a class issue!!! Really??? I made my bougie jokes but they were just jokes. I don’t have a problem with them doing a segment on Tyler Perry. I would have done a piece on successful black entrepreneurs as well (We Made It!!!! “yelling in my P Diddy voice). But I would never close out on Tyler Perry. It made it look like he was the zenith for all of black America. He’s doing big things but call me when he doesn’t have to go through Lions Gate to show his movies.
This should have been a series that united black folks (check out my fellow bloggers opinions Aunt Jemima’s Revenge & Ripp Dem Up). It should have given us the resolve to keep pushing on. This should have given us pride in our country (even though we have a shaky relationship with it) and our fellow blacks. What we got was a disjointed series that didn’t live up to the hype.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
These young black kids have got to open their mouths when they talk.
Chris Rock has a good looking wife. I hope they aren’t still having problems because I’m here to help if they need it.
Another kid that thinks he’s going to play Professional Basketball.
These young black kids have got to open their mouths!!!!
Underdeveloped writing skills in 2009? Damn!!!
I see you Desmond Tutu with the Benz!!!
So this guy can’t talk, can’t write and can’t read but can shoot the rock and play drums?
Who is that putting on a step show????
There are hoods all over the world…better ask someone!!!
Why is my wife flipping between “Black in America” and “So You Think You Can Dance” during commercial breaks? I’m missing Latino in America!!!
Chris Rock better not see his wife holding that baby!!!
That kid doesn’t need shoes!! He needs a burger!!
I usually eat hot sauce with my worms.
Citizen Wifey, leave Malaak’s Gucci Shades alone…
That boy is taking pictures like a Black Peter Parker.
How are you going to walk into the man’s house and not introduce yourself??
That girl’s momma used her Gov’t money to get her nails done.
Citizen Wifey hating on Howard….don’t be mad because your Momma didn’t let you go there.
Is his daddy happy that he got a D?? I wish that was my dad!!!
That boy is failing easy classes.
How does Malaak get these prison letters???
That’s right!!! Keep it real with them. That’s how you gotta talk to them these days Principal Steve.
Community College and a High School Partnership……mmmmmm??? Interesting.
How do you get kicked out of Pre-School???
From the project to a Benz!!! My motivation of the week!!
Not pulling up the bridge behind you huh? You need to talk to Clarence Thomas!!!
Malaak did this show to get Chris a commercial!!! She’s still fine though!!!!
Finally kids that can talk!!!
I see he doesn’t drive the Benz to pick the kids up. Smart move!!
Science Projects with no Science Labs?? Amazing!!!
How are you in 6th grade reading on a 2nd grade level?? We were fighting the war overseas when we really should have been fighting a war on education.
Finally an educator that’s not afraid to call out the Parents!!!
What kind of parent doesn’t even come to watch their children play football??? Must be an “Up North” thing.
A former crack head momma and an alcoholic father!! He’s trying to clean up his story but he is still a drunk!
What is Post University??? If they are giving scholarships to minorities let me know!!
Her daddy didn’t say he was beating them!! He said he was verbal abuser. That liar….
Here we go with the Cosby Kids!!!
Direct TV just went out!! Must be a plot by the man to keep me from watching black folks on TV. Where were they when Citizen Wifey was watching The BET Awards!!!
I’m missing this segment because Direct TV is out! I know they are talking about Jack and Jill. I wanted to clown them so badly. Citizen Wifey was in Jack and Jill and I clown her all the time. Am I jealous…maybe???
My TV just came on and the TV is acting crazy!!! It has rained harder than this before oops…spoke too soon. We went from Black in America to Black on my TV set.
Now my TV is back on. It’s too late because I missed all the bougie kids. I had jokes people!!!!
Mia, are you in high school? College? Oh College… I was wondering why people were asking for her number on Face book.
What is MLT??? Why was my cable out to miss all this?
John Stephens is John Legend??? Who knew??
Oh this part of the show dealt with overachievers. I don’t know anything about that.
I have mixed reviews on everything that I was able to watch tonight. I really don’t get the Africa segment. I believe it took the focus off of what’s going on in America. Black folks know that we got it bad all over. Maybe that was new to other people watching tonight. I am glad that they showed a balance tonight with our black youth. I missed the last 30 minutes due to Thunder, Lightning and Such. Or was it the MAN??? Tonight’s grade is a C+. It was a lot better than the first Black in America.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
In the movie Ghostbusters I and II, there were ghosts running all over New York. First it was one ghost and then all hell broke lose. The MSM would like us to believe that RACISM is dead like a ghost. But just like the movie RACISM is popping up like those ghosts in the move. The 2009 racists have lost their minds and they are coming out the woodwork. When black folks were singing and Latinos were dancing there were no problems. A black man wants to be President of the United States……problems!! But we can’t blame this resurgence of hate on Obama. He’s got too many other issues that he will take the rap for.
Racists, Race Baiters, Angry White Men, and Angry Black Men that wish they were white are all up in arms. They believe the world is going to end. They fear Affirmative Action or any progress for minorities. Patrick J. Buchanan was actually asking to see Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s LSAT scores. Apparently he doesn’t believe she is as smart as everyone says (including Yale University). I guess every minority in college snuck in while the registrar wasn’t looking? I went to college with someone that was enrolled during 3 Consecutive Presidential Administrations. Maybe that’s who Pat was talking about? You would think that most white folks would be okay with us by now. Nope!! Racists don’t even want us swimming in their pools in 2009! I thought, it was because of the loud music and sexy dancing. But no….they were afraid that the pool would turn into Tea!!!
All our favorite hate groups are on the rise. So the racists have gone back to multi-tasking. Judges, Lawyers, Cops by day and Klansmen by night. The racists were already upset with black athletes marrying white woman and now Obama. But don’t think because Obama is in charge that he is excluded from the attacks. If there was a dog named Obama, walking down the street, the racists would kick it just because. The racists also say nasty things about his children and wife. They have Blogs and Websites that rip his family on a daily basis.
SIDE NOTE: The funny thing about the internet is that everyone is a tough guy behind a mouse pad.
But is all this really new??? We can’t lay all of this at the feet of Obama.
What makes this foolishness distressing is that black folks have been duped. If I hear another black person say, “I can’t believe this would happen in 2009” I’m going to throw a brick at my television. Black folks are running around like no white person has ever called them the “N” word. Black parents are doing their children an injustice by shielding them from RACISM. Just because you live across town doesn’t mean you can raise your children like your neighbors. Don’t be fooled by this pseudo resurgence of RACISM. These “old ghosts” weren’t really dead but were here all along. RACISM can’t die. It is part of our American Fabric. RACISM has learned to adapt and change over the years. Its main goal is to make minorities complacent by them thinking it doesn’t exist. And from the looks of things it seems to be working.
Monday, July 20, 2009
President Obama talks about black folks being accountable and he gets a standing ovation. Dr. Bill Cosby does the same thing and he is labeled “out of touch with black life”? Why is one person a hero to the race and the other a traitor? Time for a reality check Black America!!!!
Obama is preaching to the choir. You don’t need to tell people that go to work everyday about responsibility. Rooms full of middle and upper middle class black folks are your wrong target audience. Your true audience was outside of last weeks NAACP Centennial Convention. They were in the streets……let’s be real people!!! They are our neighbors (depending on where you live), relatives (don’t act like you have a cousin, auntie or uncle that the accountability speech wasn’t tailor made for) and co-workers (yes, some of them have jobs at white collar businesses too). These are the people that are part of this cycle of generational misconduct.
Cosby had good intentions, sometimes sounding corny, but he didn’t have any support. The same audience that cheered for Obama left Cosby hanging. He ended up looking like a crazy black man without his pudding pops. We (yes us black folk!!!!) have turned our heads and kept silent far too long. Some of us don’t want to turn over the apple cart. We are afraid that we might alienate our families and friends by holding their feet to the fire. If someone mentions they know a 30 year old grandmother these days, all you hear is crickets!!!! It doesn’t even have shock value anymore.
I know Cosby is not as exciting as Obama but weren’t they saying the same thing? Black folks quit the Double Standard and let’s have a real conversation about Black Accountability.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
It must be cool to have parents that take care of your mistakes. Senator Ensign’s folks paid his mistress $96,000. That’s not to be confused with the Sanford Case. Sanford didn’t pay her because he was whipped. Ensign’s mommy and daddy were paying his mistress to keep her mouth shut. Is that real family love or what? But in the end it just didn’t work out for the Senator. 96 bucks and all he has to show is some rug burns and a sex scandal. The media reports say that it was $96,000 in gifts. Who did his parents work for Publishers Clearing House? But that’s not what this post is about.
Steve McNair’s relationship with his mistress (may she rest in peace) was so casual that the media called her his girlfriend. What?!? Isn’t he still married? Citizen Wifey wanted to know where his wife was. I told her that she must not have lived in Nashville. She must not have any friends in Nashville either. I can’t believe they were rolling around town and someone didn’t peep them out. No phone call to the wife? Not even an anonymous “I know you don’t know who this is but I got some information for you” phone call? McNair must of had Nashville on lock!!! The sad thing about this situation is the mistress. She was struggling financially and her lover was Rich??? I always thought women that messed with ballers had something to show for it. A brand new car, a paid bill or at least a fake chinchilla. You defiantly can’t confuse this with the Sanford Case. McNair wasn’t whipped in this situation. But again that's not what this post is about.
So you have three situations: a man that believes he is in love with his mistress and two just for sex mistresses. You are probably asking by now, “Citizen, what does this have to do with marriage?” Well I kind of lost track but let me get to the point. Marriage isn’t perfect. Some days are good and some days are bad. You work to try to make it the best and after that you pray on it. Don’t let the events of last week deter you from fully exploring your relationships. These were people that were taken over by lust and could not keep their commitments. Gov. Sanford will tell you he is in love but don’t believe it because he is whipped. In the end if you love your partner enough, you can make it through the tough times. You just have to remember the reason you fell in love in the first place.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The casket is a representation of some of our brothers and sisters in society. Some black folks don’t know their history. They don’t know about their ancestors that paved the way for them. The people involved in this despicable act didn’t understand the significance of what Till represented. So you can understand why they didn’t care about the rest of the Burr Oak residents. The casket tells the story about a race of people that have forgotten where they came from. The casket tells the story about a race of people that show each other disrespect.
If the people can’t work together, there is no unity. If the people can’t love their own, they will disrespect their women and exploit their children. If the people can’t trust their own, they will speak ill of their own in public and envy them in private. The casket shows us where we are as a people. Yes it hurts to look at the casket but it’s the truth.
There is one thing of beauty that we can take away from this. Emmett Till is still teaching us a lesson even in death
Monday, July 13, 2009
How Green Building Can Save the Housing Industry
Homebuilding needs to join the 21st century and apply the best, efficient technologies to lower costs and reduce energy and resource consumption. But the vast majority of homes have been built using the very best 19th-century, stick-built/balloon frame methods. That's got to change if we want to revive the bedrock of the American Dream.
As it stands now, while you may have the most up-to-date flat-panel TVs, computers, cellphones and audio equipment inside your home, the basic way that most homes are built hasn't changed much in more than 170 years.
That's right. As microprocessors double in speed every 18 months, cellphones are becoming just as powerful as laptop computers and you can connect to nearly anyone on the planet through the internet, the box you live in is antiquated beyond belief and costs you more every year to heat, cool and maintain.
To change this deplorable situation -- and revive real estate, building and banking -- it will require a change in attitude. Think of your personal living space as ecodynamic. It could adjust to the exterior environment cybernetically, tell you when the cheapest electricity is available and program the entire house to use less energy.
Is this something out of the new Star Trek movie? Hardly. Ecodynamic homes are not only being built, they are being assembled. That's an important distinction.
Rather than building everything on site with framing and two-by-fours, modular units are pre-made to exacting specifications in factories, then loaded on flat-bed trucks and assembled on site. This not only cuts the construction time and cost from one-third to one-half, it eliminates tons of waste that end up in landfills. The end-result is energy-efficient, low-maintenance and will produce energy and conserve water.
An ecodynamic home is always working for you to reduce costs. It saves water in cisterns, prevents heat from leaking out in the winter and keeps a breeze flowing in summer. You use less energy because the house's computer is constantly monitoring conditions and directing resources to where they are needed. Don't need to heat or cool a spare bedroom? The system will know and cut your bills.
Sounds good so far, but aren't these homes really ugly trailers? Throw that image out of your mind. They are loaded and secured onto permanent foundations and can be stunning.
Take a look at architect Michelle Kaufmann's "Smart + Wired Home," a house so innovative it's now on display at Chicago's Museum and Science and Industry. It's an elegant example of a modular, green home that was factory built and constantly monitoring itself with its own eco-computer system. A flat-panel display in the living room can display a graphic that shows the cost of energy that moment, how much of it the house is consuming and the amount of electrons being produced on rooftop solar panels. If it makes more energy than you consume, you sell it back to the power company.
The Smart + Wired Home costs nine times less to heat and three times less to cool than a standard home of the same size. The gorgeous, spacious interior is full of low-voltage lighting, fixtures made of recycled materials and lets in generous amounts of light.
But this is not just a home for museums as Kaufmann hopes to mass produce these homes. If she succeeds (I'm rooting for her), she could become the Henry Ford of homebuilders. Make houses on assembly lines and their costs will come down as economies of scale will be realized. And because they are modular designs, you can easily change the layout or add on extra modules if you need to expand at a cost much lower than stick-built contracting.
What will it take to make green modular homebuilding a major industry? Policymakers will need to implement tax incentives over the next two decades, reward new home-energy technologies with grants and shift tax dollars away from wasteful road building projects into places like the inner city where decent, affordable housing is in short supply.
Some of this is already being seeded through the Obama stimulus plan and budget, although a comprehensive, long-range plan is needed. The upcoming energy/climate change bill would be an ideal place for these ideas. If we get really good at ecodynamic design and manufacturing, we'll be able to export these products to places where durable, inexpensive and green housing is desperately needed: China, India, Africa.
Back in the U.S., homes needn't be so capital intensive and push people into foreclosure and bankruptcy. They can be clean, green and affordable. They can pay us back when they produce energy. To accomplish that, we will need to re-envision the American Dream. Home is where the heart is. Now the political will needs to follow if we're to make homeownership widespread and sustainable.
John F. Wasik, author of Cul-de-Sac Syndrome: Turning Around the Unsustainable American Dream, is a personal finance columnist for Bloomberg News and the author of several books. His most recent book, The Merchant of Power, was praised by Studs Terkel and well reviewed by the New York Times. Wasik has won more than fifteen awards for consumer journalism including the 2008 Lisagor and several from the National Press Club. He has appeared on such national media as NBC, NPR, and PBS. He lives in Chicago.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
The largest and oldest African American-owned publication in New England is suspending publication after 44 years.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Watching the Michael Jackson saga last week made me think about our society. Last week was an indictment on how we view celebrities. It seems as if we build them up and tear them down. We all have watched the transformation of MJ throughout the years. We watched him go from Big Nose and Afro MJ to Smaller Nose and S Curl MJ to Unrecognizable Nose to Straight Hair MJ. We will never know why he made the changes. Maybe he was self conscious about his looks? This debate will continue on as the MSM dissects MJ the man. I saw Bill O’Reilly debating Al Sharpton on MJ’s blackness. Really??? When did Bill O’Reilly become concerned with black issues? The Media liked MJ when he was a Global Star. But then something changed.
The change was his behavior. MJ’s behavior by normal standards was well….um…ah….not normal. A black man that owned a Zoo; a black man that had a monkey for a pet; a black man that slept with little boys; a black man that dressed his children up in costumes. Need I go on? Sure we laughed at all the MJ jokes. And we did think he was slightly off but we didn’t stop listening to his music. So how did he go from World Star to Pariah? My girlfriend Nancy Pelosi won’t even let them debate the Michael Jackson Resolution in Congress.
Last week on t.v. everyone was MJ’s right hand man. Everyone knew him and they couldn’t wait to tell us. Even Joe Jackson was getting love on black radio. This is the same man that beat his children if they didn’t get their dance moves right. Now he is Father of the Year? When I heard black men calling into Rev. Al Sharpton’s show to support him, it made me nervous. I wonder how their children turned out? What will the people that made money off him do now? The gravy train is going into a Trust. You can’t just pull money out of that like an ATM. I wondered did anyone ever tell him no? Did anyone have his back? Did the Doctors really care or did they just keep the prescriptions coming? Did the bodyguards care or did they just look the other way? Did the lawyers, producers, and managers care?
Sure we have more pressing news going on right now. Yes we should move on and get back to Healthcare and the Economy. But that should not make us forget about what we learned last week. What should be forever burned into our memories. “They only love you when you’re on top.”
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Grave Robbers have hit a Chicago cemetery harder than the winds of Lake Michigan. The Burr Oak Cemetery, also known as the first African American Cemetery in Chicago, was rocked by a scandal. Over 300 graves were dug up and discarded in order to be resold. Imagine going to a hotel and your room is already taken. The hotel tried to double their money and booked the room twice. Only in this situation the guests aren’t leaving. The scheme came to an end at 8:30am when the police raided the cemetery. I didn’t see any pictures when I first heard about this. And I was hoping that it wouldn’t be “Tyrone and them” (my one time being optimistic). But then the pictures finally came out and black folk didn’t let me down. Now we are adding Tomb Raiders to our resumes?
The Rev. Jesse “ballcracker” Jackson was at the cemetery putting in his two cents. I’m not a Rev. Jackson fan but I do agree with what he said about the Grave Robbers. He said “there’s a special place in hell” for those accused of this crime. I second that!!! The families that lost their loved ones can’t be made whole again. It’s a sick sad situation.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Terrill Tops grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with his aunt, Rita Booker, who was a single mom, and her daughter. "My family always said that I could be whatever I wanted to be in life," he says. Booker made sure Tops was well-informed about careers in the medical field and knew what to expect. His options seemed unlimited until Booker, a member of ROTC, graduated from college and moved the family to Fort Belvoir in Alexandria, Virginia, where Tops entered a large, predominantly white high school. With few other African-American students in the honors classes he was attending, Tops found it hard to fit in. Lacking mentors and role models, he drifted away from science, he says. "The teachers at the time really didn't pay much attention to me because of my racial type."
When it came time to apply for college, his aunt, aware of his struggles, persuaded him to try Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU), a small, historically black university in Charlotte, North Carolina. He resisted at first, knowing nothing about all-black colleges. "But it was the best thing that ever happened to me," he says, "because I didn't have to focus on race."
Dorkina Myrick began taking college classes in her junior year of high school, attending evening classes at a local community college, and juggling a grueling school-sleep-school study schedule. "I know [the schedule] sounds sort of strange, but I really did like it. It was a challenge," she says. "And I met some pretty neat people in community college who were good life mentors." She graduated from high school with 2 years of college credits.
Prairie View A&M University, a predominantly black university, recruited her out of high school, offering a full academic scholarship. She was selected for the Brown University Summer Research Early Identification Program, which identifies minority students with an interest and commitment to a career in research. After graduating magna cum laude from Prairie View in 1992, she enrolled in Brown's M.D./Ph.D. program.
Please read complete article (A Tale of Two Pathologists)
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
After a lot of media coverage and past celebrity funerals, you go in expecting one thing and getting another. Citizen Diva, thought we would unfortunately see a circus. Thank God, it was anything but.
“We sold everything we had in our house to get here.” From a woman who traveled with her family for three days on a bus to Los Angeles from Greensboro, N.C. She did not have tickets to the memorial.
From Wifey and Diva: Sistah girl, are you for real? It’s not that deep and please give Janet back her Poetic Justice hairstyle – braids and the baby hair. In honor of Michael, you should have rocked the Jheri curl.
• Citizen Diva: CNN has been covering all angles of Michael Jackson, which is what BET should have been doing. BET is probably going to be showing “Baby Boy” while the service is going on.
• Note to Jessie Jackson and family – we are not at the club, stop posing for pictures.
• Why did they use that photo of Michael on the screen in the Staples Center prior to the service? He looks like a clown.
• Casket comes in with the Andrae Crouch singers performing, “Soon and very soon we’re going to see the King.” We known now the King of Pop is gone!
• Citizen Diva: Smokey Robinson clearly sings better than he speaks.
• Citizen Wifey: Cynthia McFadden said that she has never seen 16K people who are so quiet and respectful.
• Citizen Wifey: Citizen Diva, they need you in the production booth utilizing your Emmy-winning skills. We are waiting too long to get started!
• 1:36pm – we are getting started. Michael’s casket is entering the building.
• Citizen Diva: Jermaine got his hair fried, dyed and laid to the side.
• Citizen Diva: Mariah Carey is dressed inappropriately as always and where is Whitney Houston? She is probably sitting up in the house saying, they betta do the same for me or Bobby, the King of R&B.
• Citizen Wifey: Mariah does not sound good and Citizen Diva said, we did not ask for the remix.
• Citizen Wifey: Queen Latifah read an excellent poem by Maya Angelou titled, “We Had Him.”
• Lionel Richie did a good job singing “Jesus is Love.”
• From both: Berry Gordy did a good job. We did not know that the Jackson’s are the only group in history to have the first four songs to go #1. Gordy said that Michael Jackson is “The greatest entertainer that ever lived.”
• Citizen Diva: Video montage is excellent. Represents the man, his art and humanitarian work.
• Citizen Wifey: I think I am going to cry. Stevie did an excellent opening and is singing my song, “Never thought you’d leave in Summer” and “They won’t go when I’d go.”
• From both: Kobe and Magic, good job.
• From both: Jennifer Hudson did good and yes, you are clearly preggers. Congrats.
• Citizen Wifey: Your daddy was not strange, he dealt with some strange things. Amen Rev. Al! Keep it real!
• Citizen Diva: Where are the folks in Gary, Indiana? At a BBQ? They look like they are grubbin’! Note: Citizen Diva is watching CNN with shots across the US, as Citizen Wifey is watching ABC.
• Citizen Wifey: John Mayer, my boy, is doing “Human Nature” on the guitar! Love him!
• Citizen Wifey: Brooke Shields, good job. I almost made me cry in the end.
• From both: Good job Jermaine, Rev. Bernice and Martin Luther III and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (basically sending a message to NY Congressman Peter King); Usher and Sheehan, you betta sing it!
• Citizen Wifey: Heal the world – I’m crying. It’s just now hitting me that MJ is gone.
• Leave him alone! That’s right Marlon. I forgot there was a twin brother that passed away.
• Paris, very moving.
In closing, this was a very respectful and dignified memorial. No foolery, coonery, album promotion, etc. May Michael Jackson rest in peace. As L.A. Reid said, "Turn down the chatter and turn up the music!"
While on Vacation for our Wedding Anniversary. The lady cleaning the hotel room threw away my wife's shower cap. If you’re not married to a black woman, you might not understand the significance of that. I thought my wife was going to call up the National Guard for this “National Emergency”. We needed to shower up to eat and we didn’t have time on our side. Tick Tock Tick Tock… Well I saw my wife do something that was ingenious. She took a plastic shopping bad and used it for the shower cap. Don’t get me wrong, because it made her look like a Broke Butterfly McQueen from “Gone With The Wind”. These are just jokes people!!!!! But she did look like her though.....
But it got me too thinking: did Patricia Bath, Sarah Boone, and Sarah Goode start out that way? They were Black female inventors’ and patent owners that had created out of necessity. For a minute I was looking at something special! My wife invented a shower cap that you could carry groceries with.
Since we've returned from vacation, you would think she would be finished wearing the plastic bag. When we went to Target, she said she couldn’t find a shower cap. Hey it sounds odd to me but I’m not going to argue with her about it. You know how black women get about their hair.
Monday, July 06, 2009
Mrs. Conyers, wife of Rep. John Conyers 14th District of Michigan, had been under investigation for allegedly accepting bribes in connection with a City Council vote to approve a $1.2 billion sludge hauling contract. Recently Mrs. Conyers has acknowledged taking money regarding the sludge hauling contract. Mrs. Conyers former aide also said that jewelry, cash and meals were part of the deal as well. This could possibly end the political career of the 44-year-old mother of two sons. 44 years old???? But her husband is 80 years old!!! That means she is 4 decades younger than Rep. Conyers? I’ve heard of younger women liking older men but that is ridiculous. If Usher has a mother complex then she must have daddy issues. Let’s look at the numbers for a minute. They were both married in 1990 at age 61 and 25 respectively. She gave birth to their first son a month before their wedding. Ask yourself, what a 25 year old woman would want with a 61 year old man. Don’t be shy, you know the answer. Of course at age 61 he thought he was doing big things with a 25 year old on his arm. So I guess the marriage worked out for everybody. Too bad the investigation didn’t. Monica Conyers is possibly looking at 5 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
In 2005, a Hurricane hit New Orleans, Louisiana killing over 1000 people with bodies still unaccounted for. The cities protection system against floods failed due to an archaic design. Therefore over 80 percent of the city was flooded (hence the bodies still unaccounted for). Since the event The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are rebuilding the flood protection system. Keep in mind these are the same people that built it the first time. There are empty lots where houses used to be and some properties are still unusable. Insurance companies screwed homeowners and re-housing allowances still haven’t been provided to homeowners.
So let me get this straight. New Orleans is good enough to host The Essence Festival but it’s not good enough for a Television Show about the rebuilding of the city?
This is what I think: It’s easy to mask problems and not deal with real issues. Just keep black folks dancing and having a good time. New Orleans needs real change and I don’t believe the city is getting it. Or maybe I’m making too much out of this? What do you think?
Saturday, July 04, 2009
I know everyone knows of Steve L. McNair aka Air McNair as an NFL Quarterback. But before the pro game, he was a legendary college Quarterback at Alcorn State. His stats were off the charts (hence the sports illustrated cover above). Yes he will be remembered for his 2003 NFL Most Valuable Player Award (co honors with Peyton Manning) and his three-time Pro Bowl appearances (2000, 2003, 2005). But I will remember him for following his heart and attending an HBCU because they would let him play Quarterback. I will remember him graduating (yes actually getting a college degree) with 14,496 career passing yards, 119 touchdowns and 16,823 career yards of total offense. I will remember him finishing 3rd in votes for the Heisman Trophy. And I will remember him winning the Walter Payton Award. He was before his time even back then.
Friday, July 03, 2009
I knew BET was going to screw the pooch! They can’t help themselves. Just like the Democrats that are prone to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. BET couldn’t help themselves and had to put on a production that was worthy of ridicule and shame.
BET reminds me of a prostitute that is taken off the street in order to get their life back together. But eventually ends up going back on the stroll. Why? Because people revert back to what they know when they don’t know anything else. BET CEO Debra Lee has a law degree from Harvard University so she knows better. Why she continues her disdain for black folks by playing to the lowest common denominator is beyond me.
I didn’t watch the event but what was reported back to me was disheartening. I will talk on the following points and then get off my soapbox.
#1~Why was Jamie Foxx telling jokes about having unprotected sex? In 2005, blacks accounted for 49% of the new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the United States. Of the 126,964 women living with HIV/AIDS 64% were black women (64% people!!!!). HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of death for black women between the ages of 25 – 34. And HETEROSEXUAL contact provided 80% of the newly diagnosed infections (and this was in 2005 people!!!). All figures and facts are listed on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website. This is no laughing matter. Black folks, we are at a critical point in our existence. Young black men are dying early due to violence, such as my frat brother in Texas (Please Read Memorial for Michael Motte). And our young women are dying because men are transmitting a deadly disease to them. Jamie Foxx wants to be a Hollywood Star and Hood Famous at the same time. He must not be following the careers of Denzel Washington and Will Smith. Mr. Foxx you can’t do both!! Please decide which one you want to do and then get back with us.
#2~A Tribute to the movie Baby Boy, was this movie a classic or something? Outside of Higher Learning and Four Brothers, John Singleton hasn’t had anything worth looking at since Boyz N the Hood. I know you will argue me down about Poetic Justice but did you watch it for Janet Jackson or Tupac or the actual plot? Taraji P. Henson is an Oscar Nominee now. She can’t slip backwards into the abyss of coonery. And the Ving Rhames guns and butter skit??? Comparing Michael Jackson to a macroeconomics model involving the relationship between a nation’s investment in defense and civilian goods is downright foolish. Is this what we as black folks call a classic movie? I guess next year you will see the cast of “Who’s Your Caddy?”
#3~Eddie Levert I heard you cursed…Please smoke your dope after the show and not before. You are an old school performer you know how it goes.
#4~Drake, Lil Wayne, the Young Money crew performing “******* Every Girl In The World” with middle school girls dancing gleefully to the beat. Well it’s just par for the course I guess. Our Children (yes us black folks!!) can learn the latest songs and dances but we complain the loudest saying they can’t learn in a “white mans” school. You were probably asking where were the parents? If they had any, they were bought and paid for. They were probably sitting in the audience counting money while their children danced on stage. After all these years we (yes us black folks!!!) are still dancing a jig when Nubia is on Fire all around us.
So I ask you was this a true tribute to Michael Jackson or window dressing? One of the greatest (possibly the greatest) entertainer of our generation and this is what we give him? What really bothers me is the lack of class and dignity that we (yes us black folks!!) seem to display. Why do we have to make things “hip and urban” in order for it to be deemed a “real black affair”. Being black should not be confused with what was on display last Sunday. Being black is about honor and dignity. It is about knowing our history and living in a way that our ancestors would be proud of. As long as we have lived in this country we are still the least respected last place race. Other races and nationalities have come to this country and flourished (i.e. People from Africa, People from the Middle East). And we are still spinning our wheels.
I talked to one of my friends (a black male) about the awards show. He said that if he was in mixed company (i.e. white folks) he would have walked out of the room. The images that we give the world are powerful. People all over the world make judgments about black Americans from what they see on TV. (whether right or wrong). So it’s important that we show the world our greatness. But as it is right now, I wonder if we even know what “our” greatness looks like.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
I grew up believing in the “American Dream”. I believed in having a yard with a picket fence, 2.5 kids and a home in a nice community. But the recent economic collapse has made me reconsider the “American Dream”. I was holding on to my one last strand of hope and then I read this book. John F. Wasik, you have officially ruined the DREAM.
In the books preface Mr. Wasik makes this very stinging statement:
The American dream – and what it has cost us – is what underlies the crisis and what this book explores. How did we come to believe that a home should be an investment worth enough to propel millions to leverage beyond their ability to pay? In an age of burgeoning info-technology, why are we still building homes with the latest nineteenth-century techniques? What was the market behavior that drove homeowners into subprime loans and moving ever farther away from jobs and cities? How did we come up with the idea that we should buy as much house as we can afford, with no regard for the cost of heating and cooling it and the time and expense of getting to it?
Before I read the book I assumed it was going to be a bash the suburbs type deal. This book was not exactly what I thought it would be. Mr. Wasik talks about the dying concept of the suburbs from the way houses are built to the location of the communities. This is a real policy wonk book that gives figures along with timelines. It’s a book that should be used for classes on Real Estate and Urban Planning.
This book also breaks down what it means to own a “Green” house. And I emphasize an actual “Green” house. I bet you didn’t know we were getting suckered when people say the phrase “this is a green house”. He also explains why our commute to work everyday is making us ill. If you want to know more, you are going to have to read the book.
In the end, Mr. Wasik wraps everything up by giving solutions to the problems. The solutions, in my opinion, have some merit. This is one of those books that you hope your elected official is reading but they probably aren’t. This book is not for the faint of heart. If you are in love with the concept of the “American Dream”, it’s actually a tough pill to swallow. But it’s what we need right now. We need to start thinking about the way we live. Based on the information in this book, this is the start of that conversation.