Thursday, June 30, 2011

We've Got To Do Better!



When I heard Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey say this...I had to just shake my head...This has got to be a record....A dubious one at that....but this past weekend in Philadelphia, 32 people got shot in a series of incidents.....I'm still shaking my head in disgust!

Five people were killed, and 27 others were wounded this past weekend , in a rash of senseless violence that Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey described as a “blatant disregard for human life.”

There were a total of 9 incidents of gunfire, including one incident where a gunman targeted random patrons inside a bar.He had been asked to leave because he was drunk and being a pain in the ass and nothing for him to do, but to return and open fire on the patrons.

“They were all patrons inside, laughing , joking , dancing just having a really good time and this is tragic that this individual just fires randomly into the bar,” Ramsey said. Tragic and stupid. Police Cheif Ramsey is now worried that this weekend’s violence will spark retaliation.


It may or it may not...The thing is..This is crazy, just plain insanity and we have got to stop just accepting this as the rites of Philadelphia summers, the rites of St. Louis summers, the rites of Camden, Chester,Baltimore, Atlanta, New Orleans summers...People are getting killed....and it's over non-sense...If I dare say strengthen the gun laws...The Ghost of Charlton Heston and the N.R.A. will come after me....But something has got to be done...

In London, Montreal,Toronto and Amsterdam, Private citizens aren't allowed to own handguns...Their Homicide rate is much lower than Philadelphia's....and London is a larger city with a much larger population than Philadelphia...They average like 60 murders a year....Hell, Philly had 62 murders by the end of January!





When I was a child, Former Mayor, Frank Rizzo boasted ,and it was backed by the FBI's national crime statistics that Philadelphia Pa. was the safest of the Nation's ten largest city's....No way we can state that now!  We simply have got to do better!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ohhhh Michelle!



You know...The Republican Party used to have credible candidates at one time. I might not have agreed with their ideology..but they were good candidates. Reasonably intelligent, just wrong minded....Now they have cartoonish candidates who don't seem to have much on the ball upstairs.  These candidates actually mirror some of the population, which is really scary. She reminds me of those people Jay Leno interviews on his show that scratch their heads when he asks them what year was the War of 1812!

Sarah Palin was scary enough in 2008....To think that she was actually elected Governor of a state horrifies me...Now the Republican front runner of the week is...drum roll please...Michelle Bachman!  The goofy soccer mom from Minnesota. The one I said that makes Sarah Palin look like a Rhodes scholar.


Fox News...Yes...Fox News had this to say about the start of her campaign-

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) kicked off her formal presidential campaign with a gaffe this weekend, comparing herself to the wrong well-known Iowan on the eve of the official announcement of her bid for the White House, FOXNews.com reported Monday.


In an interview Sunday in front of the Waterloo, Iowa, home where she lived until the age of 12, Bachmann misspoke as she stated her hope that Iowans accept her as a native.


"I want them to know just like John Wayne is from Waterloo Iowa, that's the spirit I have too," Bachmann said. "It's embracing America. It's sacrificing for America."


After that sound bite played on FOX News Channel, fans of the late actor called the news station to point out that John Wayne was born 150 miles away in Winterset, Iowa. It was serial killer John Wayne Gacy -- known as the Killer Clown -- who lived and worked in Waterloo.


The Bachmann campaign responded saying the parents of the iconic actor did live in Waterloo for a time. (No they didn't...I looked it up!)



Michelle Bachmann, who has risen near the top of recent Republican polls,by some fluke, has been trying to shake her reputation as a candidate known for gaffes and misstatements. On Monday, she declined to accept an apology from FOX News anchor Chris Wallace, who asked if she was "a flake" during a separate interview on Sunday.

You know it's bad when Fox News makes light of a republican candidate.

Here was yet another Michelle Bachman gaffe-From that ultra liberal newspaper The Washington Post no doubt-

"President Obama has announced his support of returning Israel and Palestine to the pre-war borders of 1967.”

— new Web ad by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)

Michelle Bachmann, a likely candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, has posted an ad on the Web accusing President Obama of having “betrayed Israel” with his statement on the 1967 boundaries of Israel during his speech last week on the Middle East.

President Obama’s comments attracted wide attention, because as documented last week, U.S. presidents have generally shied away from mentioning the 1967 boundaries. We ruled that in diplomatic terms his statement was “a major shift,” largely because he said something publicly that had only been acknowledged privately or in code. But did he really say Israel should return to those boundaries?


Okay...Here is something Michelle Bachman and the Tea Party crowd wouldn't know if it slapped her in the face...The Facts...Here is what the President actually said-

“The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”



And, after a few days of controversy, here is how President Obama explained what he meant in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Sunday:

"It was my reference to the 1967 lines — with mutually agreed swaps — that received the lion’s share of the attention, including just now. And since my position has been misrepresented several times, let me reaffirm what “1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps” means.

By definition, it means that the parties themselves — Israelis and Palestinians — will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. That’s what mutually agreed-upon swaps means. It is a well-known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation. It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last 44 years.

It allows the parties themselves to take account of those changes, including the new demographic realities on the ground, and the needs of both sides. The ultimate goal is two states for two people: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people — each state in joined self-determination, mutual recognition and peace.

It seemed pretty clear the first time — when President Obama said “mutually agreed swaps” — that he did not suggest Israel needed to return to the 1967 boundaries. But his statement on May 22 made that point even clearer.

Indeed, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may have a rocky relationship with President Obama but he approvingly quoted President Obama on the 1967 issue during his speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday: “Now the precise delineation of those borders must be negotiated. We'll be generous about the size of the future Palestinian state. But as President Obama said, the border will be different than the one that existed on June 4th, 1967. Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967.”

Was Bachmann not in attendance? More than likely she wasn't. She heard what she wanted to hear. This is the woman who said that "Slavery wasn't all that bad."






And don't get me wrong...I fully expect for there to be a woman president before I leave this existence...This has nothing to do with anything....But we've got to do better than Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin..We've got to..Mitt Romney, where are you?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

An Irresponsible Negro and others!




Who is Van Jones?   Well, before about a week ago...I didn't know either...I thought he was some guy I either knew in college or used to hang with out on the street...Truth is...He can't be either...He's about ten years my junior and way smarter than me or anybody I associated with..

You should remember him because I feel he's going to make waves...And one day be either a guy my grandchild will learn about during Black History month along with President Barack Obama and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or he'll be branded an" irresponsible negro" like Malcolm X, Huey P.Newton, Robert F.Williams and H.Rap Brown and he'll have to take the time to read about him on his own like his grandfather did so many years ago...

Long story short, Anthony K. "Van" Jones  was born  on September 20, 1968. He is an  African-American environmental advocate, civil rights activist, and attorney. Van Jones is a co-founder of three non-profit organizations. In 1996, he founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, a California non-governmental organization (NGO) working for alternatives to violence. In 2005, he co-founded Color of Change, an advocacy group for African Americans. In 2007, he founded Green For All, a national NGO dedicated to "building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty."

His first book, The Green Collar Economy, was released on October 7, 2008, and reached number 12 on the New York Times Best Seller list. In 2008, Time magazine named Jones one of its "Heroes of the Environment". Fast Company called him one of the "12 Most Creative Minds of 2008".

In March 2009  Van Jones was appointed by President Barack Obama to the newly created position of Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where he worked with various "agencies and departments to advance the administration's climate and energy initiatives, with a special focus on improving vulnerable communities."

In July 2009 he became "embroiled in a controversy" over his past political activities, including a public comment disparaging congressional Republicans, his name appearing on a petition for 911Truth.org, and allegations of association with a Marxist group during the 1990s.

For these issues, Van Jones was heavily criticized by conservatives.Van Jones resigned from the position in early September 2009. "On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me," Jones said in his resignation statement. "They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide." This is why I say he may one day be labeled an "irresponsible negro" That's okay....I like irresponsible negroes like him...I consider myself a member of that club. It's an honor.


Van Jones is currently a senior fellow at the Center For American Progress and a senior policy advisor at Green For All. Jones also holds a joint appointment at Princeton University, as a distinguished visiting fellow in both the Center for African American Studies and in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.


Okay, so what is he doing that has gotten my attention enough to write a post about him? Well it appears that he is spreading his wings, launching a "Rebuild the Dream" movement, which is primarily aimed at helping thousands of middle-class workers who have lost their jobs, their homes and their livelihoods in the past few years.

The Huffington Post's Lucas Kavner reported that Van Jones stood before a packed house at New York City's performance venue Town Hall, delivering an hour long speech complete with charts, diagrams, videos and graphics. The American people have been "robbed," he said, and we must restore the American dream to this country.
Yeah, well we knew we've been robbed..Some of us anyway know it.

"We are being lied to," Mr. Jones repeated throughout the evening. "We are not broke. We're the richest country in the history of the world." I have kind of suspected as much, but that's just me.

"If the country were actually broke, he said, how come only some of us are truly suffering? (Yeah, how come?)Mr.Jones delivered the fact that 83 percent of U.S. stocks belong to the top 1 percent of Americans, while 21 percent of American children are living below the poverty line.

"There used to be an iron link between pay and productivity," he said, adding a challenge to the rich: "If you do well in America, you should do well by America."

Throughout his speech, many references were also made to the Tea Party movement, as Jones essentially framed "Rebuild the Dream" as a less partisan attempt to organize progressive thinkers into a similar collective. Somebody has been needing to do this for a long time.

"We are not fighting against our opponents; we're fighting for them, too," he said. "This is a moral movement."

He listed the four main lies that are being spread. The first lie: We're broke. The second: Asking the super rich to pay taxes hurts America's economy. Third: Hating on America's government and wrecking America's infrastructure is patriotic. The fourth: We're helpless against Wall Street."

"We are not helpless," he said. "They just want us to shut up, sit down and suffer."
You're preachin to the choir man...
So starting July 5, he's asking Americans to submit any and all ideas for how we can rebuild the American dream.

Van Jones is not pulling any punches in his quest to right the wrongs of America. On the heels of issuing a cease-and-desist letter to Fox News for reporting lies about him, Van Jones has re-emerged as an activist who is taking on the establishment and all of its falsehoods. It is refreshing to see someone speak knowledgeably and passionately about the state of this union and the reality that is being suppressed by the rhetoric around issues like the economy.

Yeah...He'll be labeled an irresponsible negro alright...One my grandson will have to look up and read about on his own!

OTHER IRRESPONSIBLE NEGROES:


(Left to right- Bobby Seale, Huey P. Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, Fred Hampton)

  Robert F. Williams,( and his wife) The N.A.A.C.P. activist who took up arms against the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina and ran them out of town in 1961...an irresponsible negro!

and the most irresponsible negro of them all-





Malcolm X



"Most of my heroes  don't appear on no stamps!" - Chuck D.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Prince May Have A Point



Hmmmm, Just like this blog almost becomes a sports blog at times...It also almost becomes a music blog too. Should I create a fourth blog for music and a fifth blog for sports?? NOT GONNA HAPPEN! It's hard enough maintaining these three...But those are my blues.. This post is about Prince.  Have you heard...Yesterday he said that he is not recording anymore albums.

Marinate on that for a minute...Album...Now there is an archaic term...Does anyone under the age of 40 even use that term anymore? What he said was that he was not going to record any new music anytime soon until the audio piracy issue is properly dealt with.

He said the other day -"“The industry changed. We made money (online) before piracy was real crazy. Nobody’s making money now except phone companies, Apple and Google. I’m supposed to go to the White House to talk about copyright protection. It’s like the gold rush out there. Or a carjacking. There’s no boundaries. I’ve been in meetings and they’ll tell you, ‘Prince, you don’t understand, it’s dog-eat-dog out there.’ So I’ll just hold off on recording,” he said.




He also said that he "could not stand digital music" You’re getting sound in bits. It affects a different place in your brain. When you play it back, you can’t feel anything. We’re analogue people, not digital,”

Prince was actually the first person to release a major album completely online in 1997. However, he has since decided that he hates digital music. He is now standing up against piracy as the reason he is not recording albums anymore.


Prince may be on to something here...You do get a warmer sound and texture from an analog recording...A vinyl record, a cassette tape and even some digital CD's...A lot warmer than say, a digital download...but on the other hand digital downloads do make it easier for you to transport a lot more music easier than before...Everything has it's negatives and positives.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Still Missing You MJ






It's been 2 years....still can't believe you're not amongst the living!





Friday, June 24, 2011

Weekend Humor...




I usually have a joke to tell on Friday, but today I have a true, but funny story..It occurred at my place of employment yesterday.

We had been plagued with a lunch room bandit for the past few months…People, including my supervisor have all had their lunches stolen….There was an obvious suspect…

The Fat guy who rushes into the kitchen or conference room everytime there is extra food left over from a meeting….But as it turns out..It wasn’t him….In fact ,I was rather surprised and saddened by who it was…It was a friend of mine… A good solid worker who has never given anyone a problem…



There was some Baltimore Crab Cakes and some deviled eggs in the Refrigerator that had been in there since February…I was meaning to toss them..but I hadn’t gotten around to it…They vanished yesterday morning!!!




The guy was now as sick as a dog….He was in the bathroom  throwing up and doing other things…. If you know what I mean. He was sweating profusely….They had to call a medic in to tend to him….It was just horrible….This is what happens when people try to be slick and eat other people’s stuff…You don’t know what people have in their food or how long it has been lying around!



I asked him if he took the other lunches and he said he did….I told him that I’m going to write him up, but that nothing else will probably be done to him…No one else knows he’s the lunch room bandit…I’m not going to make that public…..He could get hurt the way people are about food in my office.

Crime doesn’t pay!


Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Five Questions






1.What Talent Would You Most Like to Have?

"I think I'd like to be able to draw and paint...My Mother could do both...I can't draw a stickman...Guess that's why I write..To compensate."



2.If You could change one thing about yourself...What would that be?

"I'd learn how to tell people NO and mean it."



3.What Do You Most Value in a Friend?

"One Word! Loyalty"



4.What is Your Favorite Time in Life?

"Right Now....Today."



5.What Annoys you most about people?

"Self Absorption..Self Centeredness..People who take themselves too seriously..I look at some people and I'm like...Really? YOU?? Come onnnnn."



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Not Like They Thought It Would Be.



Ahhh those Republicans...When will they ever learn?   They had a "leadership " conference in New Orleans recently and of course they didn't really discuss leadership or policy...You can't discuss what you don't have or know about..so they decided to do the only thing they have been good at...Roasting President Obama.

They wheeled out, Comedian and Obama impersonator, Reggie Brown...As long as he was making fun of Barrack and Michelle Obama...everything was cool...but as soon as he began making fun of the "front runners", there's that funny term again....He got the hook...


Comedian, Reggie Brown, who hails from Chicago, opened his act by joking about Mr. Obama’s family history, referring to his white mother from Kansas and his black father from Kenya. He said that he was born in Hawaii, adding, “or as the Tea Partiers like to call it, Kenya.” The Republicans yukked it up..they loved it.

He then said that Michelle Obama, the first lady, enjoys celebrating all of February, Black History Month. He said the president celebrates only half the month. Again...The Republicans yukked it up more!

“My mother loved a black man and, no, she was not a Kardashian,” Mr. Brown said later, referring to the family that stars in reality shows. Khloe Kardashian, who is white, is married to Lamar Odom, who is black and plays for the Los Angeles Lakers.


The audience, which was of course nearly entirely white, watched with befuddlement as the impersonator told them to look into the future to see what the Obamas will look like when they are retired. An image of a feuding Fred Sanford and Aunt Ester, from the 70's TV show “Sanford and Son,” was flashed on screens in the ballroom.

They don't know about that....Of course they should..depending on their age! But it was after all a BLACK show...They probably didn't watch it!

The Louisiana Republican Party hired Mr. Brown, who has spent years refining his impression of Mr. Obama, to appear during the afternoon session of the party’s three-day gathering. He also made derogatory jokes about Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and Newt Gingrich before his hosts cut him off with loud music and escorted him from the stage before his act was over.


The act, which included a fake Secret Service detail, a recorded video address from the Oval Office and a presidential seal, came one day after Govs. Haley Barbour of Mississippi and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana urged fellow Republicans to stay disciplined — and focused on economic issues — in their quest to defeat Mr. Obama next year.

The act included photographs of Anthony D. Weiner, a Democrat who resigned his seat in Congress because of lewd pictures he sent to some of his Twitter followers. Then, the impersonator turned to the implosion of Mr. Gingrich’s campaign, after many of his aides resigned 10 days ago, saying, “His supporters are dropping faster than Anthony Weiner’s pants.”


This was definitely not funny to the Republicans and the Tea Party crowd and just like on the gong show...He got pulled off the stage.  You know what really galls me?? Some of these people had the nerve to say that they thought some of Reggie Brown's jokes were RACIST!!! Can you believe that?? Racist?? Coming from this crowd???   Listen....If the Republicans and the Tea Party don't do anything else....They provide me with more laughs than I can imagine in the course of a day!



Get over it....At the end of the day...He's still the President.....You'll be alright!





See ya in 2012!

Monday, June 20, 2011

R.I.P. Clarence Clemons



Clarence "The Big Man " Clemons

1942-2011





Seems like I'm always writing obituaries these past few weeks of music greats..What's going on? Phoebe Snow, Gil Scott Heron and now the "Big Man", Clarence Clemons. I had heard that he suffered a massive stroke last Tuesday and now on the eve of Fathers Day , I hear the sad news that he has passed on from complications from that stroke.. He was 69.

He was the mainstay of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band...but music heads like me know that he played that big beautiful warm sounding Saxophone for just about everybody...He made playing the sax look so effortless and so easy...I mean, wow...He just was so cool.

The Big Man as he was affectionately called was the son of Clarence Clemons, Sr., a fish market owner, and his wife Thelma. He was the oldest of their three children. His grandfather was a Southern Baptist preacher and, as a result, the young Clemons grew up listening to gospel music.

When he was nine, his father gave him an alto saxophone as a Christmas present and paid for music lessons. He later switched to baritone saxophone and played in a high school jazz band.

His uncle also influenced his early musical development when he bought him his first King Curtis album. Curtis, and his work with The Coasters in particular, would be become a major influence on Clemons and led to him switching to tenor saxophone.

As a youth Clarence Clemons also showed some potential as a football player, and he attended Maryland State College on both music and football scholarships. He played as a lineman on the same team as Emerson Boozer and attracted the attention of the Cleveland Browns, who offered him a trial. However, the day before he was involved in a serious car accident which effectively ended any plans of a career in the NFL.

At age 18, Clarence Clemons had one of his earliest studio experiences, recording sessions with Tyrone Ashley's Funky Music Machine, a band from Plainfield, New Jersey that included Ray "Stingray" Davis, Eddie"Maggot Brain" Hazel and Billy "Bass" Nelson, all of whom would later play for George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic.

He also performed with Daniel Petraitis, a New Jersey and Nashville legend. These sessions were eventually released in 2007 by Truth and Soul Records as Let Me Be Your Man.

While at Maryland State College Clemons also joined his first band, The Vibratones, which played James Brown covers and stayed together for about four years between 1961 and 1965. While still playing with this band he moved to Newark, New Jersey where he worked as a counselor for emotionally disturbed children at the Jamesburg Training School for Boys between 1962 and 1970. He also fathered a son, Chuck Totlis in 1972.

Then he met the man who would change his life..."The Boss" The story of how the Big Man first met Bruce Springsteen has entered into E Street Band folklore. In concerts Bruce Springsteen would introduce "The E Street Shuffle" with a monologue about how they met and the event was also immortalized in "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out".

They allegedly met for the first time in September 1971. At the time Clarence Clemons was playing with Norman Seldin & The Joyful Noyze at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Norman Seldin was a Jersey Shore musician/entrepreneur who, as well as playing piano and leading various bands, had his own record label, Selsom Records. In 1969 Clemons had recorded an eponymous album with this band. In 2008 tracks from this album were reissued on an anthology, Asbury Park — Then And Now, put together by Norman Seldin. It was Karen Cassidy, lead vocalist with The Joyful Noyze, who encouraged Clemons to check outthis kid,Bruce Springsteen who was playing with The Bruce Springsteen Band at the nearby Student Prince.

According to Clarence Clemons-

"One night we were playing in Asbury Park. I'd heard The Bruce Springsteen Band was nearby at a club called The Student Prince and on a break between sets I walked over there. On-stage, Bruce used to tell different versions of this story but I'm a Baptist, remember, so this is the truth. A rainy, windy night it was, and when I opened the door the whole thing flew off its hinges and blew away down the street. The band were on-stage, but staring at me framed in the doorway. And maybe that did make Bruce a little nervous because I just said, "I want to play with your band," and he said, "Sure, you do anything you want." The first song we did was an early version of "Spirit In The Night". Bruce and I looked at each other and didn't say anything, we just knew. We knew we were the missing links in each other's lives. He was what I'd been searching for. In one way he was just a scrawny little kid. But he was a visionary. He wanted to follow his dream. So from then on I was part of history."



In July 1972, Springsteen began recording his debut album Greetings From Asbury Park, New Jersey and during breaks from recording, he jammed with  Clarence Clemons and The Joyful Noyze on at least two occasions at The Shipbottom Lounge in Point Pleasent, New Jersey. When Springsteen then decided to use a tenor saxophone on the songs "Blinded By The Light" and "Spirit of the Night" it was Clemons he called. By October Springsteen was ready to tour and promote Greetings… and he put together a band featuring Clemons, Tallent, Danny Federici and Vini Lopez Clemons played his last gig with Norman Seldin & The Joyful Noyze at the Club Plaza in Bayville, New Jersey on October 21, 1972. Four days later Clemons made his debut with the formative E Street Band at an unadvertised, impromptu performance at The Ship bottom Lounge.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Clemons featured prominently on Bruce Springsteen's albums. On Born to Run he provided memorable saxophone solos on the title track, "Thunder Road" and "Jungleland" while Darkness on the Edge of Town featured another notable solo on "Badlands". The River sawClarence Clemons feature on songs such as "The Ties That Bind", "Sherry Darling", "I Wanna Marry You" and "Independence Day" while Born in the U.S.A. saw solos on "Bobby Jean" and "I'm Goin' Down".

At the end of shows, while recognizing members of the E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen referred to Clarence Clemons as "The Biggest Man You Ever Seen". He sometimes changed this depending on where the E Street Band performs — at their 2009 concert in Glasgow he introduced Clemons as "the biggest Scotsman you've ever seen".

There is going to be a big void now...Not only in Bruce Springsteen's E. Street Band...but in the music world..
Below if you care to listen are some of his most memorable solos...







Thanks Big Man...Thanks for everything...I know you're in heavy with Micheal Jackson, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Teena Marie, Rick James,Luther Vandross, Gerald Levert, et al...What a kick ass band that must be!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

HAPPY FATHERS DAY


Happy Fathers Day...To all of the good and real fathers out there!



Saturday, June 18, 2011

West Oak Lane Jazz Fest



For those of you who read my other blog "Escapades" (shameless plug like a mug time again)..You know that last year I wrote a fictional story of a week long neighborhood jazz festival that featured all of my colorful urban charactors who have frequented my blog since it's inception...Well, like most things fictional, art often imitates life.

Those stories were based off a real life , annual event that occurs in Philadelphia called the West Oak Lane Jazz Festival...My wife and I go often though not every year...Last night we went and were treated to the musical stylings of Chrisette Michelle and a local 13 piece band called The Urban Guerilla Orchestra that turned the few city blocks out for close to two hours with an awesome walk down memory lane to the 70's and Early 80's when there were funk bands all over creation.

These guys, two guitarist, a bassist, a drummer, a percussionist, a keyboardist, two trumpet players, two saxophonists , a trombonist and three vocalists performed an awesome medley of hits by Rick James, Teena Marie, Mandrill,War, Slave, Frankie Beverly and Maze and other soul-funk legends...They were very respectful and true to the original music and played it almost note perfect...They even played a Mary J. Blige tune or two and a couple of new things for the young people who were in the crowd...






For those of you who don't live in Philly, let me give you a brief history of this particular area and this festival.West Oak Lane is a neighborhood in the Northwest Philadelphia section of Philadelphia. It is located between East Mount Airy, East Germantown, Cheltenham, Montgomery County, East Oak Lane, and Fern Rock. Ogontz Avenue runs generally north, then northwest as the spine of the neighborhood and the main business strip. The neighborhood was developed primarily between the early 1920s and late 1930s, with the areas near to Cedarbrook constructed after World War II. At the northeast corner of Limekiln Pike and Washington Lane was the site of the Cedar Park Inn, a historic tavern built in the early 19th century, which was torn down sometime after 1931 as the neighborhood was being fully developed.[2]

Although it was a predominately white neighborhood from its inception until the mid-1960s, West Oak Lane is now one of Philadelphia's premiere middle class African American communities. The area known as Ogontz is widely held to be a section of West Oak Lane. West Oak Lane is commonly referred to by teens with the acronym W.O.L. and Uptown.

The West Oak Lane Jazz Festival has been occurring since 2003 in mid-June. The neighborhood has distinct architecture that separates it from surrounding neighborhoods. Along with larger and sometimes detached houses, West Oak Lane also has many tree-lined streets and small yards. In 2005, the 19126 and 19138 zip codes, which contain West Oak Lane, had a median home sale price of $113,200. This was a 34% increase over the median price in 2004.




While the huge crowd was thrilled to the cool but funky sounds of the Urban Guerilla Orchestra....Ms, Chrisette Michelle and her band was performing a set on another stage a few blocks away...There were several vendors selling hot food and Afro-centric Artwork and CD's amongst other things and all of the local businessess and vendors were open especially late....I mean, what better time to advertise right???






Tonight, The Urban Guerilla Orchestra will be back, along with Mr. Roy Ayers and the Men of Soul- Jeffrey
Osborne, Peabo Bryson, Howard Hewitt and Freddie Jackson. Chaka Khan is supposed to close out the show on Sunday Afternoon.






Friday, June 17, 2011

Weekend Humor

After 10 yrs of marriage, a wife asked her husband to describe her.

He looked at her then said, "You're A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H.... I, J, K".

She asked what that meant. He said," Oh it means Adorable, Beautiful, Caring, Delightful, Elegant, Foxy, Gorgeous and Hot."

She smiled happily and said "What about I, J, K?"


He said, "Oh That means I'm Just Kidding! Heh heh heh heh"




...His eye is still swollen but is getting better!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

So Who's The Front Runner?




Okay....I've been all warm and cuddly..(Smurfy is the word I used to use in the early days of this blog.) for awhile now.  It's time to write about something serious again...Politics.  It seems as if the Republicans are trying to line up a viable candidate to run against Barrack Obama next year,

Let's see...Since I last wrote about anything political, Donald Trump, the front runner...(Okay, I'm still laughing at that) has dropped out of the race...When the President produced his birth certificate, Killed Osama Bin Laden and roasted the Donald all in one weekend..I guess that was just too much for that one trick pony to handle.

Oh and lets not forget that that also ran named Newt Gingrich's entire staff walked out on him last week...I kid you not...I can't make this stuff up..So right now...His quest for the nomination is either in serious limbo or dead in the water......



That said...That brings us to the rest....Other Republican candidates have officially unveiled their campaigns. They’ve pressed the flesh with voters across the country. And they’ve participated in debates and cattle calls.

With about eight months left until the first Republican Party nominating contests, less than half of Republican primary voters — 45 percent — say they are satisfied with their current crop of presidential candidates, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. That doesn't bode well for the GOP at all!

That number is substantially lower than the 73 percent of Republicans who were satisfied in the summer of 2007 (when the Republican candidates included John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt"The New Front runner" Romney and Mike Huckabee), as well as the 68 percent who were satisfied in early 1996 (when Bob Dole won the party nomination...(Was that before or after the Viagra ads? I know that has nothing to do with anything, but I just thought I'd bring that up!).

The frustration those likely to vote Republican have with this 2012 GOP group of candidates explains why some Republicans are searching for others — like Texas Gov. Rick Perry, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (who has said he’s “100 percent certain” he’s not running, Thank God for that!) and even former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — to join the field.(They must be desperate!)

“In retrospect, the 2007-2008 field looks unusually strong compared to the current crop of candidates,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the survey with Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart and who served as McCain’s pollster in the 2008 election.(This guy still has a job?)


The current crop includes former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty,(WHO?) Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann,( She makes Sarah Palin look like a Rhodes Scholar) Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.(Puh-lease!) Next week, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman will join that group.
(Again...WHO???)

According to Democratic pollster, Pete Hart- "Republican voters obviously sense that there is something that is weak about this field.” Me too!

I guess I should cheer but in all truth, President Obama is not exactly home free, despite this weak cast of charactors..President Obama has weaknesses of his own — including an American public that’s pessimistic about the nation’s direction and the state of the U.S. economy — that foreshadow a potentially close general election.



According to the poll, 62 percent of the voters think the nation is headed in the wrong direction versus 29 percent who think it’s going in the right direction. What’s more, a plurality of 44 percent believes the U.S. economy is in store for another recession. And a whopping 69 percent say that high gas prices have affected them either “a great deal” or “quite a bit.”

Unless President Obama can steer this economy back to at least a semblance of what it was before 2008...We could very well be talking about President Mitt Romney in 2012 and that wouldn't be funny at all.

But...Remember...there is always a But! Despite the pessimism and current economic headwinds, the president’s overall numbers are holding steady, even though his Osama bin Laden bump is officially over. How soon we forget!

President Obama’s job-approval rating in the poll sits at 49 percent who approve to 46 percent who disapprove, which is down from 52 percent to 41 percent after Osama bin Laden was killed in early May.



In addition though, President Obama still leads Mitt Romney — the early GOP front-runner — by six points in a hypothetical general-election match up, 49 percent to 43 percent. And he’s ahead of Pawlenty(WHO?) by 13 points, 50 percent to 37 percent.

Peter Hart the Democratic pollster, cites three reasons why President Obama is staying afloat. One is his personal popularity and charisma, with this poll showing him with a 49 percent to 37 percent favorable/unfavorable rating. (That’s compared with 27 percent to 26 percent for Mitt Romney, 14 percent to 15 percent for Pawlenty, 24 percent to 54 percent for Palin and a record-setting 16 percent to 48 percent for former House Speaker Gingrich. (Okay...you can stop laughing now.

According to Peter Hart, a second advantage is Congress, whose approval rating in the poll is a dismal 18 percent. This is the Republican controlled -Tea party congress that was going to do sooo much isn't it?




A third reason is that the American public isn’t blaming President Obama for the current economy, with more than six in 10 respondents still saying he inherited the country’s economic problems from his Oval Office predecessor. Well ,I'm glad for that.

I did ask who the Republican Front runner was didn't I? I think you know...It's Mitt Romney...Hasn't his name come up first in the previous paragraphs and polls?
He has the best numbers ,if you can call those numbers the best!

Mitt Romney, however has two hurdles he must leap over..The first is the similarity between his Massachusetts health care law and the federal one President Obama signed into law in 2010.

When told that Mitt Romney opposes the federal law requiring that nearly all Americans have health insurance — but that Romney’s own law continued a similar requirement — 34 percent of GOP primary voters said that those facts diminished their favorable impression of the Republican presidential candidate. Twenty-one percent said it made their impression more favorable, and 42 percent said it made no difference. Just shows once again that Republicans live on one planet and the rest of us live on yet another.

A second hurdle is that just 24 percent of total respondents in the poll have confidence in Romney’s skills and ability to be president. Back in Sept. 2007, Hillary Clinton (46 percent),Rudy Giuliani (36 percent),Barrack Obama (32 percent), John McCain (31 percent) and John Edwards (31 percent) all had higher scores on this question than Romney does now.

But he is the Front Runner...All I can say is...The next few months are going to be very interesting.




KEEPING THE FAITH: RANDOM PRAYERS "ON THE DOWNLOAD"
























































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