Monday, May 31, 2010

Da Volleyball Game!

Since 2004, several of my friends, co-workers, their families, etc. have met at one of my friend's house in the East Oak Lane section of Philadelphia on the Sunday before Memorial Day for a cookout. My friend has a huge yard with a swimming pool and a volleyball court. This volleyball court has sparked a "friendly" but very serious volleyball game between the males and females over the years.

The game is played once a year and the winner has bragging and humiliating rights up until the next year. This game is played by serious contendors only... no kids and no drunks (okay, well maybe a few drunks). At any rate, I'm sad to say that my team (the men) have lost to the women for the past three years and, as I write this, I'm sitting here with a hurt ankle, a knee that needs to be iced, and a pain in my hip. If my team had won, I wouldn't feel so bad.

We lost the game 15-8, which is better than the year-before-last when we lost 15-2. What can I say? I suppose women (between the ages of 48-52) are in better shape than men in the same age bracket! I think next year, I'm going to just coach and bring in some slightly younger men. What do you think?

Enjoy your Memorial Day folks!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Weekend Humor

Little Melissa comes home from 1st grade and tells her father that they learned about the history of Valentine's Day. She asks, ''Since Valentine's Day is for a Christian saint and we're Jewish, will God get mad at me for giving someone a valentine?"

Melissa's father thinks a bit, then says: "No, I don't think God would get mad. Whom do you want to give a Valentine to?" he asks. ''Osama Bin Laden,'' she says. ''WHAT? Why Osama Bin Laden?'' her father asks in shock.

She says, ''Well, I thought that if a little American Jewish girl could have enough love to give Osama a Valentine, he might start to think that maybe we're not all bad and maybe start loving people a little bit. And, if other kids saw what I did and sent Valentines to Osama, he'd love everyone a lot. And then, he'd start going all over the place to tell everyone how much he loved them and how he didn't hate anyone anymore or want to commit terrorist acts."

Her father's heart swells and he looks at his daughter with new found pride. ''Melissa, that's the most wonderful thing I have ever heard.'' She says, ''I know, and once that gets him out in the open, the Marines could shoot the bastard!''

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Random Thoughts

1. Would they just plug the damn hole, clean the oil spill, stop pointing fingers, and playing politics?

2. What were Delonte West and Lebron's Mother, Gloria James, thinking when they got romantically involved?

3. Maybe you should only try to get even with people who have helped you along the way.

4. I'm not going to give anymore advice to people who don't appreciate it. Instead I'm going to give it to people who really need it!

5. Mary Mary seems more hip-hop than gospel, but I aint mad at 'em. I likes!

6. The Flyers might just win the Stanley Cup. Will I lose my ghetto pass if I rock an Orange & Black Jersey?

7. Will Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao ever meet in the ring?

8. HBO's Treme is cool, but I still don't know any of the charactors names.

9. Why in 2010, are there still people who can't deal with the fact that the President of the United States is Young, Gifted, and Black?

10. Why was everything that always got me in trouble so much fun?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Is It Real? Compared To What?

I admit that I don't watch any reality TV shows... not since the "Real World" premiered and how long ago was that? No, I don't watch "The Biggest Loser", "American Idol", "Dancing With The Stars", nada... none of that stuff. It doesn't interest me in the least bit. I view it as the cheapest and most unimaginable form of entertainment.

I don't begrudge people their guilty pleasures, though... to each his/her own. If you choose to watch that stuff, be my guest. Needless to say, most of the people I work with do not share my quasi -elitist beliefs and they do partake of these shows.

Every morning when I come to work, I hear spirited conversations about the "Real Housewives of Atlanta", "Singer", "Monica", "Chilli (of TLC)", and "Frankie & Neffe", as if my co-workers actually know them. I was going to say as if they were real people. Sorry to say, they are real people.

Across the reality-television spectrum, there have always been women like Sheree and her ''friends'' on Bravo TV's "The Real Housewives of Atlanta"... catty, materialistic, and self-absorbed. But are television executives really only interested in Black women when they are acting a fool? And more importantly, are sisters really only interested in seeing themselves portrayed in this light? I sure hope not.

But if you look at the popularity of these shows, apparently this is so: Last month, cable network VH1 dominated the list of top 25 cable shows in Black households for reality original programming, returning with the all new "Basketball Wives" ranked at No. 5. (Like Housewives and Tiny & Toya, the show features ex-girlfriends and wives trying to make names for themselves on the heels of relationships with famous men). "What Chilli Wants" followed in popularity at No. 7 and "Brandy & Ray J" came in at No. 11. Executives say that their channel had a 9% increase in Black women prime-time viewers ages 18-49 in this past year alone with the success of their reality shows.

For someone who has never watched a minute of any of these shows, I sure seem to know a lot about them, huh? That's because I hear women who work with me, both Black and White, constantly talking about these people and their adventures... in the office, on the subway, on the trolley, on the bus, and with such fervor and devotion, it's incredible! I almost feel like these women visited one of my co-worker's home the night before. LOL!

People are quick to talk about Black male rappers and the bad image they give the White world of Black males and Black people in general. So, I ask the question... Do the women on these shows not do the same for Black women and Black people in general? And especially, the ones who have a little money?

Some people say that these depictions aren't necessarily always ''negative''. I want to be careful about labeling,'' says Terrion Williamson, a doctoral candidate in American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California, who is writing her dissertation about reality-television programming.

''Because that attitude that comes from a kind of middle-class, bourgeoisie ideology that says there's a certain way that we, as Black women, should conduct ourselves. Would we be happier if all we saw was Michelle Obama? Would that then improve our lot in life?''

Maybe not, but as Benjamin Todd Jealous, president of the NAACP has pointed out, seeing actor Dennis Haysbert as President of the United States on the successful Fox TV series "24", may have helped to set the psychological stage for Obama's victory.

''I wouldn't want to say that what you're seeing on the "Real Housewives of Atlanta" is emblematic of everything that Black women are going through,'' said Andy Cohen, Senior Vice President for Original Programming & Development at Bravo. ''But, when you put four women under the microscope, then you're somehow portraying issues that a whole lot of Black women can relate to. It's fun,'' he added, emphasizing that the show isn't meant to be taken seriously. ''It puts a smile on my face.''

That's the excuse the apologists always use when it comes to Black denigration. "It's fun." I have this to say about that... White people could produce a show like "The Three Stooges", watch it, laugh, and not cringe because for every Three Stooges show, there was a show with a doctor, a lawyer, a swashbuckling and heroic pirate, a cowboy, a gangster, a detective, and whatever. Do you feel me? They had balance.

However, with Black people, you get non-stop "laughter" or what one of my co-workers so eloquently calls "coonery and buffoonery" and very little balance. It is getting better... much better. But then, in the world of so-called "reality TV", it seems to be getting worse. Take one step forward, then take two steps backwards.

What do you think? Am I just being, well, a little extra? Comments please!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It Really Is "Cheaper To Keep Her"...

Elin Nordegren Woods, the soon-to-be ex-wife of golfing great, Tiger Woods, is demanding $750 million from Tiger Woods in divorce negotiations. That is some pricey, pricey misery, isn't it?

Plus, Elin isn't agreeing to Tiger's demands for a confidentiality clause that would prevent her from writing a book or developing an HBO mini-series or line of collectible plates based on the scandal. (Couldn't you see the late Billy Mays selling these collectible plates on late night television?)

This proves that not only is it cheaper to keep her, as Johnny Taylor once sang many years ago (One of my uncles really used to get a kick out of that song - LOL!)... but rather, it's cheaper not to cheat on her! A sobering lesson indeed!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

ESDS "Walk With Me" Is Coming to Philly!

Walk for Autism...
Walk for Cerebral Palsy...
Walk for Down Syndrome...
Walk for all disabilities...

Saturday, June 12, 2010
Philadelphia Art Museum
Check-in/Registration 8:00am
5K USATF Sanctioned Run 9:00am
1 or 2 mile Family Fun Walk 9:35am

National Sponsors:
CVS Caremark, Century 21, Amway Global

Local Sponsors:
Century 21, First Financial Group, Metro Philadelphia,
PhRMA, Kreischer Miller, Hatfield, Ride-Away

For more information and online registration:
Visit WALKWITH ME.ORG or call 610-565-2353

Philadelphia Event Manager:
Contact Liz Graham by phone or email at
484-234-8007 or

I'm registered for this event:
Click here to see my personal "Walk With Me" page

Spread the word!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Weekend Humor

A man and his wife were at the mall and his wife decided to buy something for their daughter-in-law at Victoria's Secret. Inside, the husband was feeling kind of out of place when a beautiful clerk walked over to him and said... "Sir, Can I help you?"

In a cocky manner, he asked... "Yeah,where are all the men’s clothes?" She smiled, and in a demure voice she replied... "All of these clothes are for men, sir".

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Say Goodbye To Arlen

Arlen Spector, that political chameleon and survivor, lost the election. Yup! The man who I once said was one of the "few Republicans that I actually liked" lost the election. I heard a lot of pundits saying that this was a "message to Obama from the American people" or, at least a message to incumbents from angry voters. Oh, poppycock! That's right, I said it... Poppycock! It wasn't a message to either. If anything, it was a message to Arlen and the message is, people don't like turncoats or people that seemingly go whatever way the tide is popular at the moment.

Do you want to know what hurt Arlen Specter the most? Arlen Specter. Congressman Joe Sestak's people ran ads ad nauseum with Arlen Specter saying... "If I change parties now, it will help me get elected." Arlen Specter was shown in an old ad from 2004, being praised and backed by George W. Bush. Now, in 2010, he's being backed by Barack Obama. To the man on the street, that looks like he just jumped on the band wagon of the winning team. Of course, I know that things maybe a lot more complex than that, but you know what they say... "If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, chances are it's a duck. And, in this case, a lame duck.

If you're from this area, you know that Arlen Specter is and has been, a larger than life figure in American politics for the last 50 years. There has never been anyone quite like him. Remember his "Scottish Law" standard during the Clinton impeachment trial? Specter not only devised and defended the single-bullet-theory to explain the assassination of President Kennedy, but went on to a political career that in many ways took on the same aspects of improbability as his famous assassination theory.

Think: The Jewish son of a junkyard owner from Russell, KS moves to Philadelphia and becomes the first person ever to serve five terms in the Senate from Pennsylvania and he does it as a Republican from Philadelphia, one of the most Democratic cities in the country. And, with no accomplices, Specter irritated everybody. His supposed "upset" loss on Tuesday tells us more about Arlen Specter and the last 30 years in Pennsylvania politics than it does about President Barack Obama and the next six months of this campaign season.

To the extent that there is an anti-incumbency mood, it is a reflection of what is happening inside the two political parties than in the country at large. Activists in both the Democratic and Republican Parties are disappointed at their leaders for not doing or being sufficiently aggressive on their party's traditional agenda. This is a in-house cleaning, more than anything else... mostly Democrats beating up on Democrats and Republicans beating up on Republicans.

Of course, Arlen Specter is a special case. His loss will always be tied to his controversial party switch from Republican to Democrat, just a year before the primary election. It has already been noted that the voters are in no mood for hypocrisy and opportunism in their politicians and that Specter may have become the poster child for this type of foolishness.

So, while President Barack Obama and his administration should be concerned about the mood of the the American voters and the outcome of this fall's elections, I wouldn't use Arlen Specter’s case as a measuring stick. Just for the record, I voted for Arlen... but, in this case, Arlen's worst enemy was himself.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Color Me Confused

I wrote a post last year about how a certain African American teacher said something particularly insensitive and hurtful to me when I was in elementary school and I responded by calling her "Ol' Black Flo" (her first name was Florence and she was darker than me). My grandfather admonished me about calling other black people names and especially, where skin tone and color was concerned. He said that the Ku Klux Klan didn't discriminate and that me and "Ol' Black Flo" could possibly be swinging from nooses right next to each other on the same tree.

I never again called another black person a name concerning their skin tone. It's not like I'm light skinned. I'm brown skinned... the color of a paper bag, if you will. Nobody is going to mistake me for white anytime soon. I don't know where my early impressions of black skin being negative came from. It wasn't from my house or my family because we had many different hues in my family. I suppose it was sub-consciously from the outside world at large. This type of thing can happen to children without them even recognizing it.

Most of my girlfriends were dark skinned. Now, figure that out... while my friends were falling over themselves for the so-called "Redbone", I was more inclined to be attracted to the darkest girl in the room. It had nothing to do with politics of any kind. I was just a child during the "Black Power" era and the Civil Rights Movement. I wasn't too aware of any of that stuff at the time.

So, again... my preference in women and my idea of beauty must have come from somewhere else. My society at large? It could have been nothing more than my tendency to go opposite of what everybody else is doing. Who knows? I don't try to understand too much of what I do... I leave that up to professionals.

Now, I was a child and in grade school in the late 1960's, so any attitudes I had might have been affected by that world... that strange world I was born into where race and race issues were exploding, seemingly everyday. So, you can understand my confusion when I was watching a show on CNN the other night, hosted by Anderson Cooper.

These children, both black and white live now, in 2010, with an African American President. A white child looks at a picture of a black child and says she's bad because she's black. A black child says a white child is ugly because he's white. A white child says a black child is dumb because she has dark skin. This isn't a schoolyard fight that takes a racial turn or a vestige of the "Jim Crow" South... these are American schoolchildren in 2010. Can you believe it?

Nearly 60 years after American schools were desegregated by the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education ruling, and more than a year after the election of the country's first black president, white children have an overwhelming white bias, and black children also have a bias toward white, according to a new study.

Renowned child psychologist and University of Chicago professor Margaret Beale Spencer, a leading researcher in the field of child development, was hired as a consultant by CNN. She designed the pilot study and used a team of three psychologists to implement it, two testers to execute the study and a statistician to help analyze the results.

Spencer's test aimed to re-create the landmark Doll Test from the 1940s. Those tests, conducted by psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark, were designed to measure how segregation affected African-American children. The Clarks asked black children to choose between a white doll and, because no brown dolls were available during that time, a white doll painted brown. They asked black children a series of questions and found they overwhelmingly preferred white over brown. The study and its conclusions were used in the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education case, which led to the desegregation of American schools.

In the new study, Spencer's researchers asked the younger children a series of questions and had them answer by pointing to one of five cartoon pictures that varied in skin color from light to dark. The older children were asked the same questions using the same cartoon pictures, and were then asked a series of questions about a color bar chart that showed light to dark skin tones.

The tests showed that white children, as a whole, responded with a high rate of what researchers call "white bias," identifying the color of their own skin with positive attributes and darker skin with negative attributes. Spencer said even black children, as a whole, have some bias toward whiteness, but far less than white children.

"All kids on the one hand are exposed to the stereotypes" she said. "What's really significant here is that white children are learning or maintaining those stereotypes much more strongly than the African American children. Therefore, the white youngsters are even more stereotypic in their responses concerning attitudes, beliefs, attitudes, and preferences than the African American children."

Spencer says this may be happening because "parents of color, in particular, have the extra burden of helping to function as an interpretative wedge for their children. Parents have to reframe what children experience... and the fact that white children and families don't have to engage in that level of parenting, I think, does suggest a level of entitlement. You can spend more time on spelling, math, and reading, because you don't have that extra task of basically reframing messages that children get from society."

So, I'm going to ask the question where do we go from here? This isn't something you can throw money at to solve. This is something deeply ingrained in our culture as a whole and therefore, harder to deal with. And, while it is complex, it is surprisingly simple to deal with too. When my grandfather heard me say something he found to be offensive, he quickly corrected me and gave me a rather strong and frightening reason why I shouldn't continue my present behavior. Some people today might have argued that he could have chosen a better parable but I say, he did the right thing. He broke it down where I could understand it and he got his point across.

Parents of both children, black and white can make the difference. Tolerance, being taught by a parent and a relative goes a lot longer than the same message being taught by a teacher, Anderson Cooper, or me for that matter.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Then They Came

Perhaps, I was always speaking up... if not for myself, then for what I believed. I had two strong-willed grandparents who instilled that in me and a mother who always said, "Don't ever let someone else speak for you. Speak for yourself." They're all gone now, but those early lessons have stayed with me, which is why when I read this poem years ago it stayed with me too! It re-inforced my resolve to never back down from tyranny!

THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews, and again, I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

THEN THEY CAME for me, and by that time , no one was left to speak up."

This was written by Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group. The text expresses, in a condensed form, the understanding of history presented by Niemöller in a January 6, 1946 speech before representatives of the Confessing Church in Frankfurt.

I could easily replace that with American Indians, Asians, Hispanics, immigrants, unionists, homosexuals, and women and that poem would be just as valid today as it was in 1946.

Certain forces in this nation are coming after the Blacks and those mentioned above and they aren't even trying to be subtle about it. If anybody stands aside and lets one group's rights get taken just because they don't belong to that group, just remember... it could be your group tomorrow.

Who will be around when they come for you, playa?

Monday, May 17, 2010

They Used To Wear Bedsheets & Hoods

I did a post a couple of weeks ago called "Who's a True American?" about Arizona's new "immigration" bill that masquerades as a justification for racial profiling. Now, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed into law another bill that is equally controversial and so blatantly racist, it makes me wonder if she's secretly a member of the White Citizens Council or the local branch of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

Last week, she signed a bill targeting a school district's ethnic studies program, hours after a report by United Nations human rights experts condemned the measure. State Schools Chief Tom Horne, who has pushed the bill for years, said he believes the Tucson school district's Mexican-American studies program teaches Latino students that they are "oppressed by white people." Public schools should not be encouraging students to resent a particular race", he said. Is he serious? What world do these legislators live in?

I mean, seriously... with all of the real problems we have in this country... unemployment, education, the infra-structure, etc., you mean to tell me that they have time for this nonsense? And, get this... He went on to say, "It's just like the old South and it's long past time that we prohibited it," giving me further proof that these Republicans are out of their minds, or at least they live in another world that only vaguely resembles this one.

Brewer's signature on the bill Tuesday comes less than a month after she signed the nation's toughest crackdown on illegal immigration — a move that ignited international backlash amid charges the measure would encourage racial profiling of Hispanics. The governor has said profiling will not be tolerated.

The measure signed Tuesday prohibits classes that advocate "ethnic solidarity", that are designed primarily for students of a particular race or that promote resentment toward a certain ethnic group. Some of you may say "Keith, you're African American and that's about Mexicans... What do you care?" Yeah, well for the short-sighted amongst you, here is why I care...

The Tucson Unified School District program offers specialized courses in African-American, Mexican-American, and Native-American studies that focus on history and literature and include information about the influence of a particular ethnic group. For example, in the Mexican-American Studies program, an American history course explores the role of Hispanics in the Vietnam War, and a literature course emphasizes Latino authors.

The African-American History program is simular and these courses exist primarily because for centuries, if you weren't white, your participation in AMERICAN history was largely left out. All of this is American History and, hopefully, it will all be included one day and there will be no need for African American studies, Latino studies, or Asian American studies. But, I just checked and that time ain't now!

In their defense, supporters of this bill say the measure doesn't prohibit classes that teach about the history of a particular ethnic group, as long as the course is open to all students and doesn't promote "ethnic solidarity or resentment." Oh, come on... there is actually a hidden political agenda in this entire thing!

Republican Tom Horne, who is running for Attorney General, said these programs promote "ethnic chauvinism" and racial resentment toward whites while segregating students by race. He's been trying to restrict it ever since he learned that Hispanic civil rights activist Dolores Huerta told students in 2006 that "Republicans hate Latinos" and that's what this is really about. He now has an ally in Governor Jan Brewer and Sarah Palin, who has agreed to come to Arizona to campaign for him.

Wow! Ku Klux Klanners used to wear hoods and bed sheets... now they just use the stroke of a legislative pen instead of the hangman's noose. This is why I urge everybody everywhere to get out and vote. Every election is important. You don't want nuts like this in office anywhere. You can vote and make sure they don't get a job. It's a little too late to picket the statehouse, city council, or the governor's mansion after these "kooks" have already been elected!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Weekend Humor

Four Catholic men and a Catholic woman were having coffee, when one of the Catholic men tells his friends... "My son is a priest. When he walks into a room, everyone calls him 'Father'."

The second Catholic man chirps... "My son is a Bishop. When he walks into a room, people call him 'Your Grace'."

The third Catholic gent says... "My son is a Cardinal. When he enters a room, everyone says ' Your Eminence'."

The fourth Catholic man then says... "Yeah, well my son is the Pope. When he walks into a room people call him 'Your Holiness'."

Since the lone Catholic woman was sipping her coffee in silence, the four men give her a subtle, "Well...?" She proudly replies... "I have a daughter, slim, tall, 38D breast, 24" waist, and 34" hips. When she walks into a room, people say 'Oh - My - God'!"

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cleveland's Hope

A sports writer asked the question if Cleveland fans feel cursed. In the article I was reading, the sports writer went on to name the five worst moments in Cleveland sports history.

In case somebody from Cleveland is reading my blog, I'm not about to elaborate on those moments. All I can say is that I feel for ya. Really. As a Philadelphian, I have had my share of sports heartbreak. I've had endless instances of being the bridesmaid but not quite the bride.

Then again, unlike Cleveland, I have actually won the big prize a few times. I have been fortunate enough to see my baseball team win the World Series twice, my basketball team win two NBA Championships, and my hockey team win two Stanley Cups. I'm still waiting for that elusive Super Bowl Championship, but I know it's just around the corner.

Poor Cleveland. What do they have to hope for? It's a feeling, not something that needs to be seen. Cleveland sports fans have been here before... been shocked... been left at the altar... been torn down and left to feel the rain. This spring was supposed to be different. It still might be, but the panic button has been pressed.

"I can understand it from a fan's perspective," LeBron James said Wednesday. "Year after year after year, yhis whole thing has been fumbled, and driven, and shot. And repeated. This is the Cavaliers' best shot yet, but they've lost two straight to the Celtics and now need to win two straight to stay alive in the Eastern Conference semis.

Well, short of their goal, the only thing Cleveland fans can do now is hope and believe. It's hard... so hard that some have actually been preparing themselves for some version of this for a while now. Pro-active punishment... it's an odd concept, but this is an odd situation.

These Cavaliers seem to have the pieces, the experience, and the seasoning. They have now basically no-showed in two straight home games. But, as they head to Boston for tonight's Game 6, they say they haven't lost that hope.

So, I'm pullin' for Cleveland because as a Philadelphian, I know exactly how they feel. By the time you guys read this, hopefully, Cleveland will still have something to be hopeful about.
P.S. Boston Celtics 94, Cleveland Cavaliers 85... Cleveland, like Philadelphia, now must continue to learn the meaning of hope.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Random Thoughts

1. Why in heavy traffic, do people beep their horns? Don't they think if the car in front of them could move a little further, it would?

2. Why do some women love bragging to their girlfriends about how good their man is in bed and then are shocked later on when they find the so-called girlfriend has had a fling with their man?

3. Is it just me or do I only exist to some people when they need something?

4. Whether you're following your heart or your mind, you're still following your mind. Your heart just pumps blood.

5. Age doesn't protect us from love, but love protects us from age, that's for sure.

6. When you can't get OVER it, and you can't get AROUND it, then you just gotta go THROUGH it to get to it.

7. Number 6 sounded like something James Brown would have said , didn't it?

8. Love somebody for who they are, not who you may feel they need to be.

9. Ghandi said it best... "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

10. It's hard to consistantly write two blogs everyday, this is all I got!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lawrence Taylor's Giant Mess

I was going to post this under my "What The Hell" blog title category, but I decided not to because this story is so pathetic, it stands for itself. Former pro football great Lawrence Taylor may or may not be guilty of rape, but he is guilty of stupidity. Taylor was arrested early last Thursday and charged with the third degree rape of a 16 year old girl in New York, according to the New York Times. He allegedly raped the girl in a Holiday Inn in Montebello, NY and it was reported that a "pimp" brought her to the hotel.

The girl, who had been punched in the face, was treated at a local hospital but it is not known who did the punching. The police held a press conference at 3:00pm last Friday afternoon to discuss Taylor's arrest. The girl, unnamed to protect her privacy as a victim and a minor, had run away from her Bronx home in March and was stuck with a pimp. (Is this a plot from a bad 1970's blaxploitation flick?)

Lawrence Taylor was arraigned and charged with third degree rape. Taylor, who has also been a pro football Hall of Famer since 1999, has residences in Florida and Northern New Jersey, which is not too far from the New York border. He played 13 years with the New York Giants, and his time was full of problems, including cocaine and alcohol issues which led to suspensions from the NFL and numerous arrests for drug possession. There was no comment from the NFL on the rape charges.

Kenneth Gribetz, an attorney for Lawrence Taylor, said... "We're confident his innocence will be proven." He's very sadly mistaken. Taylor might receive a favorable verdict, but innocent? I doubt that, only if such a thing exists for a married man who allegedly had a young woman delivered to his hotel and gave her $300.00 after having sex. As for the case, he'd stand a better chance of winning if the accuser wasn't a minor. At first report, she was 15 years old... by Saturday night, she was reportedly 17 years old. Maybe by the time this reaches the court, she'll be middle-aged. One can only hope.

Even if Taylor didn't rape the accuser, he's guilty anyway if they had sex because she not's old enough to consent. Yes, there are 16 year old girls who can pass for 21-year-old women. (You should see some of the girls at the local high school around here.) But, as Ramapo Chief of Police Peter Brower said, "Ignorance is not an excuse to an individual's age." So, whether he forced the issue or not, Taylor could be screwed (no pun intended) if the DNA evidence links him to the girl. Watching Attorney Ken Gribetz squirm out of that hole will be fascinating as well as humorous.

You know, I was so rooting for this guy. He had so many problems and it seemed like he was finally getting himself together. He was a favorite on Dancing With The Stars recently (a show that I don't watch) and was slowly on his way back to respectability. I would say Poor Lawrence, but my sympathy lies with this young girl, a victim of both him, a fading celebrity, and a cruel pimp.

Once again, the bad behavior and poor judgement of my fellow human beings has brought my faith in humanity and decency down a notch.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

R.I.P. Lena Horne

I was sadly informed that we have once again lost one of the greats. Ms. Lena Horne has died at the age of 92. She was one of those icons that just seemed timeless... like they would never die. Truly larger than life, that's what icons are... but, icons are also human and, therefore, prone to die just like the rest of us. The first black actress signed to a long-term contract by Hollywood, Lena Horn, a very unique and talented singer, will be long-remembered as a “class act”.

The passing of Ms. Horne is a milestone in the lives of many. A voice like no other entertained millions around the world and stood out against all her peers. She was famous for her theme song “Stormy Weather”, a song no one would ever, ever forget for her sultry, aching sadness.

I must admit, I had never heard of Lena Horne until I was 14 years old and saw her on an episode of Sanford & Son in 1972. She had quite a career before that, as my grandparents, my mother, and countless aunts and uncles informed me. I read up on her and was amazed at what she overcame and what she had to live with that couldn't be changed at the time she was coming up. Dorothy Dandridge, Diana Ross, Beyonce and all the would-be divas of today owe Ms. Horne a great debt of gratitude. She paved the way and opened all of the doors that would have been closed.

Later, I saw her on an episode of the Cosby Show in the 80's. She had to have been about 67 or 68 years old by then, but still stunningly beautiful and very classy. A lot of people, male and female, can only hope to still have it going on like that when they reach that age.

So, I'll say my goodbye to one of the truly great ones... Sleep well Ms. Lena Horne and thank you for everything.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Weekend Update

A Celebration Of Trains

Saturday, my wife and I took our grandson to "National Train Day" at Amtrak 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. He was in 7th Heaven...

Happy Belated Birthday

Later that day, we had barbecue and birthday cake at our daughter and son-in-law's house to celebrate our granddaughter's 1st birthday (her birthday was actually last Saturday, but we had to postpone the celebration)...

When I finally got home, I was dog-tired but full and happy. And, with that said, I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all of the mothers out there in Bloggerville, a very Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Keith's Favorite Quotes

"It's not that I'm smarter than everybody, I just work on problems longer..." - Albert Einstien

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tased & Bewildered

Most people have heard about this incident whether they live in Philadelphia or not. It's just one more incident involving Philly's nationally-known rowdy and unruly sports fans that I would rather forget.

The other night during the Phillies game, an over exuberant teenaged fan ran on the field during the game. Despite repeated warnings and pleading for him to return to his seat, he continued to run until police officers tasered him. I can't believe that this made the national news! Jay Leno was riffing about it and Jimmy Kimmel was joking about it too. I didn't catch David Letterman because I had turned back to the game (Lakers vs. Jazz).

Anyway, in response to all of the furor, the Philadelphia Phillies say team security will now apprehend most fans who jump on the field during games and then, hand the unruly fans over to police to face charges.

The team announced the revised policy Wednesday, two days after a Philadelphia police officer tasered the teenaged fan who ran onto the field Monday evening at Citizens Bank Park. On Tuesday evening, another fan ran on the field... this time, it was a 34 year old man, a man who really should have known better. (I might add, he had marijuana on him too!...Idiot!)

The Phillies say they made the decision after discussions with the police department. The team says in a statement that Phillies security personnel will apprehend most field jumpers, but will call for the assistance of police officers at the park if greater force is necessary... that is, if they can find a police officer. A law was recently passed here that says that the police do not have to be called and do not have to be present after an automobile accident. Will they find it necessary to be present if a fan or two or three decides to run on the field? And, this is not a trick question.

I'm just bewildered by the whole thing. I wonder if this had happened in San-Francisco, Atlanta, or Cleveland would this have made national news? I'm just wondering. This has been the subject matter of the Steve Harvey Morning Show and the Michael Baisden Show recently and now I have blogged about it.

This kid and the kid who vomitted on an off duty policemen's daughter a few weeks ago at yet another Phillies game, have gotten way more publicity than either of them deserved. Ahh, the luck you can have on a slow news day!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Who's A True American?

With a stroke of her pen, Gov. Jan Brewer (AR-R) not only signed into existence the toughest immigration law in the country, she also reignited a polarizing debate. Protesters held dozens of marches in Los Angeles, New York, and other cities on Saturday to cap a chaotic week. And with congressional elections six months away, the Arizona law has put the contentious vocabulary of "amnesty" for illegal immigrants vs. "securing our borders" back on center stage.

Somebody say "racism". Somebody say ''racial profiling". The main point of contention in this law is the responsibility given to local police to verify immigration status if there is a "reasonable suspicion" that a person is in the country illegally. Brewer has said Arizona was "forced to pass the law" because the federal government has failed to act on a flood of illegal immigrants.

There was a time (and in some areas, still is) when I or someone who looked like me gave police officers reasonable suspicion to believe that a crime might have been committed. You know, like a stick up, a carjacking, etc., take your pick. I have been stopped and searched (when I was in my teens and twenties) several times because I didn't look like I belonged certain places... at 6'+1", 200 lbs., and an African-American male, obviously shifty and suspicious.

Now, any Mexican or person of Latin descent may be stopped and even worse, asked to prove that they are indeed an American citizen and face being escorted over the border if they can't prove it in Arizona. At least, nobody doubted that I was an American. The worst that ever happened to me is that I got dropped off in some God-forsaken neighborhood far from where I lived and was forced to make it home the best I could.

Such indignities is just par for the course of growing up male and of a certain race and economic class in this country. There are some people reading this who won't believe this, will think I'm lying, and can't conceive of this type of treatment. Yet, for many in this country, they know exactly what I'm talking about and have been through worse.

I feel for Mexicans and Americans of Latin descent in Arizona. Laws like this will open up a can of worms for abuse. Some civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, say the law will mean racial profiling, unfairly targeting Latinos who are in the country legally or were born here.

Congress jumped back into the debate Thursday, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid outlined a legislative proposal that would increase border security and give some of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants a chance to earn citizenship. President Barack Obama has ordered a review by the Justice Department into whether the Arizona law, scheduled to go into effect in late July, is constitutional.

The first legal challenges were filed in Arizona last week. Civil rights groups, including the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund, are mounting a broader attack. They say the law infringes on federal responsibility and violates the 14th Amendment's equal-protection clause. Supporters of the law are comfortable that it will hold up.

Yes, supporters of this bill would be comfortable. They are comfortable because they will never be stopped by a policeman and asked if they are an American. They will never be stopped by a policeman because they are the wrong color or they don't look like they belong in a certain place... and that's why they can afford to be comfortable.

You know, Black people have yelled and screamed about racial profiling for years and for years, we were yelling alone. After September 11, 2oo1, Arabs and people who practiced the religion of Islam got a taste of it and now Latin Americans are getting a taste. At least, it's just not one race protesting against it now.

Funny thing, though... Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma Federal Building bomber, was a White American male with a crew cut. I didn't see White males with crew cuts or buzz cuts being pulled out of cars and searched after his crime was committed. I bet if that had happened, laws like the one in Arizona would not have passed or at least it would have been more difficult to pass.

I guess until "Real Americans" get it, all of us marginal Americans will continue to catch it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

What I've Learned

1. Sex is an act, love is a state of being.

2. I write, therefore, I am!

3. My grandmother used to say that "a man can wallow in dirt all night long, get up in the morning, put on a clean shirt and still be called "Mister", but a woman can 't do the same. Unfair? Yes, but true!

4. You trust everyone until they betray you or break your heart. Then, the trust is gone!

5. Never invest short and borrow long.

6. In the course of a lifetime, you watch different friends develop. Some have unfortunate turns of fate, some have bad marriages, others have drug or alcohol problems, etc. You try to help them out, but it's to no avail. Sometimes they even wind up resenting you for trying to help.

7. Friendship for me is how quickly I can get to the point with someone where we can both communicate openly and honestly about all aspects of our lives.

8. Everybody needs a respectable adversary to bring out the best in you, which is why I love the sport of boxing so much.

9. Philadelphia is a tough town. You can't come from here and not have tough skin. When they love you, they worship you... but when you screw up or disappoint, they crucify you. And, how can you never screw up? I've learned to take the bitter with the sweet in life, just from growing up here.

10. I believe everyone comes here with something special about them that they were born to do. Me? I was born to communicate!

Saturday, May 1, 2010


"Mommy, can I go to Timmy's blog and play?"

Click on image to enlarge for reading

Click on image to enlarge for reading

Click on image to enlarge for reading