Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Myth of Election Integrity



Someone has informed my aunt and other senior citizens that they can't use their drivers licensce for proper identification when they go to vote in November.  I am checking this out , but I am still under the impression that she was given a bit of mis-information or someone is intentionally trying to mis-inform her and other senior citizens.

It would not be the first time that dirty tricks have been used to quell the African -American vote.  I have some fellow African-Americans who don't bother to vote at times and who doesn't think that their one little vote matters.

That's exactly how it's intended to be...I listen to conservatives and their apologists swearing that this is for election intergrity.  Funny how there was no cry of election intregrity in 2000 when they were busy stealing an election from Al Gore.

Your vote, yes...Your itty bitty vote counts...and someone somewhere is afraid of your itty bitty vote...That's why they are going to do everything possible to dissuade you from voting this November..


II-

There is a history of these shenanigans...

In a nation such as this ,where little  children are taught in grade school that every citizen has the right to vote, it would be comforting to think that the last vestiges of voter intimidation, oppression and suppression were swept away by the passage and subsequent enforcement of the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965.

It would be good to know that voters are no longer turned away from the polls based on their race, never knowingly misdirected, misinformed, deceived or threatened. Unfortunately, it would be a grave mistake to believe it. In every national American election since Reconstruction, every election since the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965, voters particularly African American voters and other minorities have faced calculated and determined efforts at intimidation and suppression.

 The bloody days of violence and retribution following the Civil War and Reconstruction are gone. The poll taxes, literacy tests and physical violence of the Jim Crow era have disappeared. Today, more subtle, cynical and creative tactics have taken their place.


Here are a just few examples of recent incidents in which groups of voters have been singled out on the basis of race.
  • Most recently, controversy has erupted over the use in the Orlando area of armed, plainclothes officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to question elderly black voters in their homes. The incidents were part of a state investigation of voting irregularities in the city's March 2003 mayoral election. Critics have charged that the tactics used by the FDLE have intimidated black voters, which could suppress their turnout in this year’s elections. Six members of Congress  called on Former Attorney General John Ashcroft to investigate potential civil rights violations in the matter.(Don't know if he did)
  • This year in Florida, the state ordered the implementation of a “potential felon” purge list to remove voters from the rolls, in a disturbing echo of the infamous 2000 purge, which removed thousands of eligible voters, primarily African-Americans, from the rolls. The state abandoned the plan after news media investigations revealed that the 2004 list also included thousands of people who were eligible to vote, and heavily targeted African-Americans while virtually ignoring Hispanic voters.
  • This summer, Michigan state Rep. John Pappageorge (R-Troy) was quoted in the Detroit Free Press as saying, “If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election.” African Americans comprise 83% of Detroit’s population. WHAT??? You can't get more blatant than that.
  • In South Dakota’s June 2004 primary, Native American voters were prevented from voting after they were challenged to provide photo IDs, which they were not required to present under state or federal law.
  • In Kentucky in July 2004, Black Republican officials joined to ask their State GOP party chairman to renounce plans to place “vote challengers” in African-American precincts during the coming elections.
  • Earlier this year in Texas, a local district attorney claimed that students at a majority black college were not eligible to vote in the county where the school is located. It happened in Waller County the same county where 26 years earlier, a federal court order was required to prevent discrimination against the students.
  • In 2003 in Philadelphia, voters in African American areas were systematically challenged by men carrying clipboards, driving a fleet of some 300 sedans with magnetic signs designed to look like law enforcement insignia. I wished...I wished that I had run into them...
  • In 2002 in Louisiana, flyers were distributed in African American communities telling voters they could go to the polls on Tuesday, December 10th three days after a Senate runoff election was actually held.
  • In 1998 in South Carolina, a state representative mailed 3,000 brochures to African American neighborhoods, claiming that law enforcement agents would be “working” the election, and warning voters that “this election is not worth going to jail.”
Now Republicans and Conservatives, talk to me again about election integrity!!!



Tomorrow I'll discuss some more recent voter suppression strategies!

(To Be Continued...)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Banned At The Chapel


Here is another of these types of stories that I hate to write....Here is another of these types of stories where I scratch my head and what little bit of hair that I have left and ask myself.....In this day and time...2012...You still have this going on?

Look at this couple...They are both black, African-American.....It's a male and a female, so they are straight....They are not inter-racial and yet a predominately white baptist church voted to ban them from being married in their church...What am I missing here?

Charles and Te'Andrea Wilson were looking forward to saying "I do" in the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, Miss. on July 21. But the day before their Big Day, their pastor told them their wedding had been cancelled.

Fox 6 in Alabama reports that the couple had booked the church and distributed invitations only to find out that the church's congregation had decided that the Wilsons, an African American couple, could not tie the knot in their church.

"The church congregation had decided no black could be married at that church, and that if he went on to marry her, then they would vote [the pastor] out the church," Charles Wilson told Fox.

The Wilsons regularly attend the predominantly white church, though they are not members.

Even though the U.S. elected its first African American president in 2008, and the Civil Rights movement was successful more than 40 years ago, the Deep South is still apparently struggling with racism. In March, almost 30 percent of likely GOP voters polled said that they thought  all inter-racial marriages should be illegal.

Are you serious?  This is 2012, Not 1912.  Which is why when these evangelicals get in a froth about gay marriage and other things ,I look at them all side eyed....These are the same people who championed segregation and who think inter-racial marriage was or is wrong...They use the same bible to try and justify their narrow mindedness..

I don't worship the same God that these people claim to worship...A God that justifies blind hatred and narrow mindedness and just plain stupidity....I bet'cha some of these people's heads explodes when they are forced to think too rationally or too long about any one subject...

All I can say in closing is God , help them!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Butterball



R.I.P.- Joseph "Butterball" Tamburro  (1942-2012)


If you aren't from Philadelphia...This man probably means nothing to you...but if you are Black and grew up anywhere in Philadelphia, PA. from 1962 until the present and listened to a radio...Then you just had to know who Joseph "Butterball" Tamburro was....He was simply "Black radio" in Philadelphia. He passed away yesterday at the age of 70.

From the time I was about four years old and first remember hearing a radio blasting...
"Hot Butter in the City" was on the radio...I was a grown man before I discovered that he was white....Not that it mattered and it really didn't....This was the hippest , coolest man of any race that ever picked up a mike in a Philadelphia radio station...

He introduced me and all of my peers to The Motown Sound, The sound of the south, Stax/Volt Records and our own Philadelphia sound...I don't care if it was Sly and The Family Stone, The Jackson 5, Teddy Pendergrass, Rick James, Teena Marie,Lionel Richie, Patti Labelle, whoever....Butterball was usually the first to break their latest hits on his radio show.

All through High school and college he and a list of super talented Black jocks brought this city the best in R&B, Funk, Disco, New jack soul and Neo soul....

By the time I was in my thirties...He was no longer on radio everyday, but you could hear him playing the oldies on Sunday Nights at different clubs in South Jersey and the Philadelphia area...He was still doing that show as late as last Sunday!

He was like part of the family.  My wife and I even got a chance to meet him a few years ago at Penns Landing here in Philadelphia...She hugged him and told him that he practically raised us...He laughed....I know he'd probably heard that from so many people....  It was afterall, the truth.  He was just so nice, so humble...

I had just heard him on his weekly oldies show this past Sunday.....I had no idea that that was going to be his last broadcast.....I can't imagine him not being on the radio...
I just can't.....He was such a part of my life..

Butter, you'll be missed...There will never be another quite like you!




Friday, July 27, 2012

Weekend Humor







Here's a few great reasons to allow drinking in the workplace...

1. It's an incentive to show up.

2. It reduces stress

3. It leads to more honest communications.

4. It reduces complaints about low pay.

5. It cuts down on time off because you can work with a hangover.

6. Employees tell management what they think, not what management wants to hear.

7. It helps save on heating costs in the winter.





8. It encourages carpooling.

9. Increases job satisfaction because if you have a bad job you don't care.

10. It eliminates vacations because people would rather come to work.

11. It makes fellow employees look better.

12. It makes the cafeteria food taste better.

13. Bosses are more likely to hand out raises when they have had a couple of drinks.

14. Salary negotiations are a lot more profitable.






Have a cold one and a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Backtrack!



The Olympics are just beginning good and the foolishness is just beginning...A female would be contestant recently got caught with her foot in her mouth or should I say her tweet in her mouth! (That sounds nasty.)

That damn social media strikes again....Before Facebook and twitter, people kept their most foolish thoughts in their heads..but now....now it all comes out for the world and I do mean the entire world to read.


Triple jumper Voula Papachristou (pictured above)was expelled from Greece's Olympic team Wednesday for her comments on Twitter mocking African immigrants and expressing support for a far-right party.

The Hellenic Olympic Committee said Wednesday that Papachristou is ''placed outside the Olympic team for statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement.''

Voula Papachristou is in Athens and has not responded to calls from The Associated Press. The committee said she was to travel to London shortly before the track events start.

Voula Papachristou's Twitter account (@papaxristoutj) contains several retweets and postings of YouTube videos promoting the views of Golden Dawn, a formerly marginal extreme right party that entered the Greek Parliament in the recent two national elections - in May and June this year - by polling almost 7 percent of the vote.

But it was her attempt at a joke Sunday that went viral. Commenting on the widely reported appearance of Nile-virus-carrying mosquitoes in Athens, Papachristou wrote: ''With so many Africans in Greece, the West Nile mosquitoes will be getting home food!!!''. Her tweet prompted thousands of negative comments that snowballed Wednesday. Not exactly what the little blond haired, blue eyed racist expected.


Since anyone can access an unprotected Twitter account, Voula Papachristou's YouTube links and retweets inevitably became known. Several of her retweets were original tweets by Ilias Kasidiaris, the Golden Dawn spokesman and one of the party's 18 Parliament members, who became notorious a few weeks ago for striking a woman Communist MP in the face and throwing water at another female MP during a TV talk show. Papachristou tweeted to Kassidiaris on his name day, last Friday, ''Many happy years, be always strong and true!!!''


Voula's initial reaction to the negative comments, on Tuesday, was to tweet: ''That's how I am. I laugh. I am not a CD to get stuck!!! And if I make mistakes, I don't press the replay! I press Play and move on!!!''

However, her attitude changed completely Wednesday and she has posted five, yes..five apologetic tweets in less than two hours. The last tweet, a very long one in English, which she has also posted on her Facebook account, reads: ''I would like to express my heartfelt apologies for the unfortunate and tasteless joke I published on my personal Twitter account. I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights.
''My dream is connected to the Olympic Games and I could not possibly participate if I did not respect their values. Therefore, I could never believe in discrimination between human beings and races. I would like to apologize to all my friends and fellow athletes, who I may have insulted or shamed, the National Team, as well as the people and companies who support my athletic career. Finally, I would like to apologize to my coach and my family.''

Uhhh huh!  Yeah!

"The people and companies who support my athletic career" says volumes...Racism can sometimes be expensive...Not good for business...

Before the publication of the last tweet, Democratic Left, one of the three parties in Greece's coalition government, had published a statement assailing the ''racist humor'' and calling on the Hellenic Olympic Committee to expel Ms. Papachristou from the Olympics.

''Let her make any miserable ''jokes'' on social media while watching the games on TV. She definitely cannot represent Greece in London,'' the Democratic Left statement said.

I agree...It's (supposedly) a new day!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

And Now...For some good news!






No you are not reading my other blog, Escapades!  I just decided after all of the bad news lately about Penn State and the Mass Murders in Aurora...It might be good to talk about something else for a change...something the world needs more of...Love...yes...Sex definitely...but not too soon and better after you are happily married.

A survey recently stated that Black teenagers in the United States have become much less sexually active over the past two decades, and those who do have sex appear to be more likely to use condoms. Yes ..it's true...In this age of HIV and Hypersexuality and out of wedlock births...It appears to be true if this survey is to be believed.


The declines are "dramatic," said report author Laura Kann, who studies adolescent health for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The numbers don't disclose anything about why black teens might have changed their behavior. "This tells us what kids do, but not why," Laura Kann said.
Overall, teens of all racial and ethnic groups are about as sexually active as they were a decade ago. And the rate of condom use by teens -- just six in 10 used them the last time they had sex -- hasn't changed much since the 1990s.

By contrast, the numbers for black teens are strikingly different. The percentage who reported ever having sex fell from 82 percent in 1991 to 60 percent in 2011. Ms. Kann said the numbers coincide with drops in teen pregnancy and births.

Increased education about HIV/AIDS among blacks, leadership in the black community and a public health focus on black Americans could explain the change, Ms. Kann said. Of course I and leaders in the Black community have been saying this for the past twenty years...It looks as if it's finally sinking in.

the new CDC teen-sex survey also reveals that:
  • The percentages of students who've had sex have remained fairly stable over the last 20 years for Hispanic students (49 percent in 2011) and whites (44 percent in 2011).
  • Overall, 47 percent of all teens surveyed said they'd ever had sex, down from 54 percent in 1991. The rate has barely changed since 2001.
  • About one-third of students said they'd had sex within the past three months, and 15 percent said they'd had sex with four or more partners.
  • The percentage of sexually active teens who use condoms grew from 46 percent in 1991 to 60 percent in 2011, although the number hasn't changed much in recent years. Black teens are more likely to use condoms: their rate is 65 percent.
The recent stabilization of condom use could have something to do with less focus on HIV, which has largely become a treatable disease, Kann said. Also, "the percentage of high school students overall who have had HIV education has dropped since 1997. That hasn't helped any either."

The new survey results come from the CDC's National Youth Risk Behavior Survey of students in grades 9 through 12 from both public and private schools. About 15,000 students take the surveys each year.
Jennifer Manlove, area director of Fertility and Family Structure with the Child Trends advocacy group in Washington, D.C., said the survey shows that much of the evolution toward less sexual activity occurred in the 1990s, even among black teens.

"There's been a little bit more since 2000, but not really that much. The big news in the 1990s was the real focus on the AIDS epidemic and a lot of attention given to that," she said.

Just when I was losing hope in some of our youth...Just when I thought that nobody was talking about HIV seriously...I get this news and a ray of hope..

More so than just HIV  and STD's...The glut of unwwed mothers has been a concern of mine also...Unwed mothers in their teens had become damn near epidemic in the 1990s and I was concerned about the social and economic welfare of both the mother and children who were almost surely doomed to poverty...

If this survey is on the money and young people are holding off on having babies and practicing safe sex...It tells me that one, the number of people being born into poverty may decrease and with that, the public doles will also decrease and two...our young people are starting to think seriously about their lives and their well being.

In a world of diminishing hope and values...That alone is a reason to cheer!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Does The Punishment Fit the Crime?







Does the punishment fit the crime....This is what I am asking today?

Look...we've all heard about it over the weekend.  This story was second, only to the horrible tragedy in Aurora,Colorado...Penn State Football a longtime powerhouse program that was once one of the cleanest, most admired programs in all of college sports, escaped the so-called death penalty from the NCAA on Monday but was dealt a heavy blow that will cripple it for years to come.


The university agreed to an unprecedented $60 million fine, a four-year ban from postseason play and a cut in the number of football scholarships it can award - the price it will pay for having looked the other way while that freak ,Jerry Sandusky brought boys onto campus and molested them.


The NCAA also erased 14 years of victories, wiping out 111 of Paterno's wins and stripping him of his standing as the most successful coach in the history of big-time college football. Now come on...You're going to rewrite history? Seriously?? I think that that is a little much...I call it, picking on the dead guy...I don't know if all or any of you agree.


''Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people,'' NCAA President Mark Emmert declared.

Penn State meekly accepted its punishment, pledging to hold itself to high standards of honesty and integrity.
Penn State spokesman David La Torre said university President Rodney Erickson had no choice but to acquiesce, given the threat of a total shutdown of the football program.

''It was clear Penn State faced an alternative - a long-term death penalty and additional sanctions for the program, university and whole community. Given the situation, he believed the sanctions offered and accepted was the appropriate and course of action,'' La Torre said.
At a student union on campus, several dozen alumni and students gasped, groaned and whistled as they watched Emmert's news conference. The news was a crushing blow to many students. Nicole Lord, a senior, questioned why Penn State's student body, and especially its athletes, should be punished ''for the wrongs of three men and a monster.''

This is what I'm questioning...Joe Paterno...whether he did enough, and I'm leaning on the side that he didn't do enough in this matter...is dead!  Jerry Sandusky is in prison for the rest of his natural life where he should be... and the two other officials are on trial.... I see no need to further penalize students who weren't even attending Penn State at the time these atrocities occurred....The Football team!

My opinion is in the minority . Most people around me feel as though Penn State and it's culture is getting just what it deserves....I'm not saying they are all wrong....They did put that powerhouse football program and all of the money and fame that it generated ahead of those poor kids....I'm just saying that making other kids pay for it...Isn't right either!  Just my humble opinion.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

That Exit door



Okay, so yesterday, in light of the tragedy in Aurora ,Colorado....I went to see The Dark Knight Rises...I decided that I was not going to let the bad guys win...I was not going to let this simple bastard, this nobody who decided that he needed attention so bad that he just through regard for human life to the wind...win.

I was not going to allow James Egan Holmes to destroy my joy , to keep me from enjoying life.  I was going to see "The Dark Knight Rises"..Damn him! I said...


After all this is Philadelphia...Philly right? Not Aurora, Colorado...This isn't going to go down here...This wouldn't go down here!...Right?  I'm sure that's exactly what those people in Aurora ,Colorado thought too!

So I bought some hot buttered popcorn and some goobers , a hot dog and a coke.. I'm sitting on the end seat, next row to the back...(.Just in case something does start...I can drop ,roll and hit the door fast)....And then, the previews begin...

I should note that I'm by myself...My wife is not into superhero action flicks like I am, so I was solo on this trip. So the previews are done and the movie begins...Like everybody else...I'm glued to the screen, into the story....and then...about twenty minutes into the film....the exit door, up by the screen swings open!!!!!!


Everybody gasped!  I said -"AWWWWW sh(rhymes with it!)" ,then...........then.......nothing!  There was no one there...Must have been the wind.....or some smart alec who thought this might be funny. The attendant immediately slammed the door shut!

People everywhere breathed a sigh of relief and looked at each other with that uneasy look one has ,when one has been embarrassed....We all smiled and chuckled amongst ourselves ,while secretly checking our underwear.


Then Anne Hathaway as the Catwoman appeared on the screen and we all quieted down and got back into the movie.....

After all...this is Philadelphia...That couldn't happen here!!!.....Nahhhh!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Aurora



Aurora,Colorado is a nice place....In fact it's beautiful....The reason I know is because I've been there.  I was stationed there at the now closed ,Lowry Air Force Base , right after I left basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San-Antonio...I used to tell everybody that I was in Denver...because I figured nobody had ever heard of Aurora...but the base was actually in Aurora..a beautiful little suburban community that was just a ten minute bus ride from the city of Denver.

When I had liberty,I'd often take the bus ,right at the gate of the base to the Aurora shopping malls and bars and movie theatres...I loved it there...Once I got used to the thin air...You know because of the high elevation...I didn't want to leave.....That's how much I liked it there!  I was considering becoming a transplant..For a minute.

Hadn't thought about Aurora or Denver for years until I read about the horrific tragedy that occurred there Friday at midnight during the showing of  the new Batman movie..."The Dark Knight Rises" which I was also planning to see this weekend.


A sick and demented graduate student's attack in a sold-out theater near Denver showing the new Batman movie, in which 12 people were killed early Friday, was the culmination of two months of meticulous planning that included a potentially deadly booby trap left in the suspect's home for investigators, authorities said.

 Fifty-eight other people were injured, many of them seriously, in the shootings shortly after midnight at the Century 16 Movie Theaters complex in Aurora, Colo. Earlier reports had said 59 people were injured, but police revised that number at a news conference Friday night.

All but a small handful of the injured had been shot, Police Chief Dan Oates said Thirty people remained in area hospitals Friday night, 11 of them in critical condition, after a carefully orchestrated attack in which the suspect, identified as James Eagan Holmes, 24, bought all of his weapons and ammunition legally beginning in May.


 Late Friday, the family of Alex Sullivan, 27, said in a statement that he was among the dead, the Denver Post and The Associated Press reported. Heart-wrenching photographs taken earlier Friday showed Sullivan's father, Tom, grieving and pleading for information about his son. Federal and local enforcement officials said James Holmes was sheathed in a helmet, a gas mask, a tactical bulletproof vest, throat and groin protectors and tactical gloves. All of the gear was black. Holmes was armed with two .40-caliber Glock handguns, a Remington 870 single-barrel pump shotgun, a Smith & Wesson AR-15 assault-style rifle and as many as 6,000 rounds of ammunition, Oates said. The scene also appeared to have been specially targeted for maximum carnage — the local premiere of one of the most eagerly awaited movies of the year, "The Dark Knight Rises," the third in the series of director Christopher Nolan's Batman films.

This vision had to be more horrifying to the crowds than anything going on in the movie... A lot of the patrons thought that when James Holmes appeared in the exit door  and tossed tear gas cannisters up into the air that this was a publicity stunt to hype the movie....It wasn't until they actually smelled the burning tear gas that they realized that something was horribly wrong....by then, it was too late...This fool opened fire on the hapless movie goers with about three different weapons, a glock, a shotgun and an assault rifle.



It seems as though this type of thing happens a little too often for my tastes...We had Columbine, which was in a community not too far from this....Then we had The Virginia Tech killings and the Fort Hood Massacre and now this....The worst mass shooting in U.S. History..  I'm no psychiatrist or TV pundit....and believe me , they are all over the news trying to figure out this kid's motivation...but I'm going to take a gander that yes...He ,James Holmes is obviously crazy.....(I know it's not politically correct to say so) but that I think due to the media's sensationalism of the other mass shootings...He was out to make a name for himself by topping the body counts of all the others....

So where will all of this madness end?  I don't know....He bought the guns legally and months apart...He would have passed any background test...He had no criminal record...Hell, He was, from what I hear an outstanding student back in his home state of California....and a Phd candidate who had been asked to withdraw from the program for reasons unknown.

He was also a classic "loner", not too sociable....Didn't have a girlfriend or many friends period....Hard to tell what's on a person like that's mind.....

Clearly , you can't politicize this....you can't pass a bunch of laws to stop this...You see he slipped through every law....This can't be legislated or controlled...This is something that deals with the American Psyche, the dark night of the American soul...which makes it even more horrific!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Weekend Humor


There was a farmer who collected horses; he only needed one more breed to complete his collection. One day, he found out that his neighbor had the particular horse breed he needed. So, he constantly bothered his neighbor until he sold it to him.

A month later, the horse became ill and he called the veterinarian, who said: - Well, your horse has a virus. He must take this medicine for three days. I'll come back on the 3rd day and if he's not better, we're going to have to put him down.



Nearby, the pig listened closely to their conversation. The next day, they gave him the medicine and left. The pig approached the horse and said: - Be strong, my friend. Get up or else they're going to put you to sleep!

On the second day, they gave him the medicine and left. The pig came back and said: - Come on buddy, get up or else you're going to die! Come on, I'll help you get up. Let's go! One, two, three...

On the third day, they came to give him the medicine and the vet said: - Unfortunately, we're going to have to put him down tomorrow otherwise, the virus might spread and infect the other horses.

After they left, the pig approached the horse and said: -" Listen pal, it's now or never! Get up, come on! Have courage! Come on! Get up! Get up! That's it, slowly! Great! Come on, one, two, three... Good, good. Now faster, come on.... Fantastic! Run, run more! Yes! Yay! Yes! You did it, you're a champion!!! "  he said with glee.




All of a sudden, the owner came back, saw the horse running in the field and began shouting: -" It's a miracle! My horse is cured. This deserves a party. Let's kill the pig! and eat it!"

Sometimes you can't win for losing!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Random Thoughts




1. I am surprisingly underwhelmed by the coming election.

2. I am surprisingly underwhelmed by a lot of things nowadays

3. How come the 76ers don't make bold power moves like the other teams?

4. John Sununu (who was born in Cuba) said yesterday that President Obama needs to learn how to act like an American...Oh really?

5.When did the Republican Party get so nutty?

6.I am the biggest lover of summer, so why has this rash of 100 degree days got me wishing for winter or at least fall?

7.Do kids still go outside and play? Or is everybody on Facebook, Twitter ,Myspace, Tumbler or what have you?

8. I fear one day the art of conversation will be but a thing of the past...Hope I'm wrong!

9.I'm 54...and I still make and drink Kool Aid...It's my inner child! Don't Judge me!

10.I meant to write something meaningful today, but it's so damn hot...I didn't feel like it!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The" Voice" Silenced??



Is this a case of  international racism?? I don't know yet...But the recent news I'm hearing from London does appear to be very disapointing...

It appears that the U.K.'s longest serving and biggest black newspaper, The Voice, has been denied accreditation to the Olympic Stadium. WHAT?  I say Old chaps, what is the deal?


Sports Editor Rodney Hinds says staff at the paper “are stunned by the decision” and the “outpouring of support from our community has been overwhelming.”
The Voice's managing director George Ruddock said “he was extremely disappointed The Voice will not be inside the stadium,” despite the high number of black British athletes on the national team.

The 2012 Olympics is taking place in East London’s multicultural community and one of the key themes behind London’s Olympic bid was celebrating the diversity of London and the UK. However, when The Voice applied for accreditation they received this reply. Why is it that something like this always happens at a time like this to further put a stain on human relations?...Not RACE relations but human relations. If I empathize the word HUMAN ,perhaps I'll get it in the thick racist skulls of those who would do this.

The British Olympics Association (BOA) said it only had space for 400 journalists and told The Voice it would go on a waiting list. “We’ve known about the decision for a while but with the Olympics just days away we can only assume we’ve been sidelined,” says Rodney Hinds.

Rodney Hinds says the decision was taken by the board of the British Olympics Association and “to his knowledge there are no black people on that board.”(Any surprise there?) He says it important for The Voice to get access because the stadium is the main venue for track and field.

An online petition has been launched on behalf of The Voice, with most saying the decision by the British Olympics Association is “shocking” and a “disgrace.” The story has also been trending on social networking sites.

“After careful consideration by the Media Accreditation Committee, we regret to inform you that your application accreditation for the London 2012 Olympic Games has been unsuccessful,” it wrote in a letter to the paper.

According to an article on The Voice website, the paper “has been inundated with messages of support from readers, MPs, campaigners, celebrities and journalists who started their career at the newspaper.”


Simon Woolley, chief executive of Operation Black Vote, told The Voice, “I hope that the games authorities will rethink their position. Without The Voice there, there is no black British perspective on the games. The Mirror, The Sun and The Guardian will not report the same story.”

Rodney Hinds says the paper is now reaching out to black Members of Parliament and high-profile minority individuals to support their campaign to reverse the decision.
The Voice was founded in 1982 by Jamaican-born accountant Val McCalla. Over the past 30 years, it has been an important training ground for minority journalists, where novice writers are given the opportunity to cut their teeth and develop before landing coveted Fleet Street or broadcast journalist jobs.

High-profile black British journalists, such as Rageh Omaar and Dotun Adabayo, have all passed through the paper.


The Voice offices are in London’s Docklands, just a stone’s throw away from Stratford’s Olympic stadium. The paper is the only national weekly black weekly newspaper in the UK.

My thing is...I know some people will call me a race baiter and say that race has nothing to do with this!  Of course not...In those people's eyes it never does! They are either very naive, insensitive or stupid or...a combonation of all three..

I get tired of having to write protest blogposts about this kind of narrow mindedness..
I get tired of it...I wish I didn't have to call people out for this type of thing...and yet ,here it is...Hidden and masked behind the cloak of protocol...

If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck.....it's racism! Plain and simple...and you can dress it up, clean it up all you want...but this was no co-incidence!  If I'm wrong...Prove me wrong!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Bain of His Existence


Okay..Okay...stop snickering....That photoshopped photo above is a play on the new Batman movie for those of you who didn't get it...The latest villian is Bane...get it ,Bane, Bain?

Okay ,moving on...Bain Capital is something Mitt Romney and everyone in his camp would like to go away...In the past few days, President Obama's camp has fired shots at Mitt Romney's camp charging that while he was President or CEO of Bain Capital, Mitt Romney outsourced a number of American jobs overseas...Something Mr. Romney catagorgically denies...but something that is becoming more and more evident..just judging by all the hue and cry over the accusations...



According to MoveOn -"Explosive news broke last week that Mitt Romney may have been in charge of Bain Capital well after he claimed to leave it in 1999, as Bain continued to outsource American jobs.

Mitt Romney's own tax returns could help clear up his actual role at Bain during this time and his responsibility for what happened to those workers, but he's refusing to release them. Hmmmmm..Wonder why?

Even Mr. Romney's Republican allies, including two governors, are now calling on him to release more of his returns.  And guess what? The one complete tax return Mr. Romney did release details massive offshore investments in the Cayman Islands and a Swiss bank account. Sounds like the dirty(but ficticious) dealings I've been writing about on my other blog, Escapades.


The bottom line is that if Mr. Romney has nothing to hide...Then he should come clean..Produce a full disclosure of his tax returns to prove otherwise... If this sounds a bit nit picky and petty...It's no more so than all of those people who demanded the President produce his birth certificate..  Think about it!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Keith's Music Spotlight



This is definitely a song and an artist I am feeling now of days...Pull up a chair and a cool glass of lemonade or ice tea or something and just check this out.




A Hummer for the summer!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Weekend Humor



The funny thing about this is...This is the truth more than a joke!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Boo


Ohhhhh you disrespectful negroes! Mitt Romney spoke to the NAACP yesterday.....He failed to alter his script!  He offered no solution other than he could do better than President Obama and that if elected , he'd repeal Obamacare....He was met with a torrent of boos from the crowd... I heard that he allegedly shipped in his own African -American contingent and scattered them throughout the crowd and that even they couldn't help him out...

I imagine that even some of them were saying- "Mannn please."  See, that 'Repeal Obamacare " plays well in
the south and amongst the Republican faithful...It doesn't play well with the Brothers and sisters...He might have fared better if he hadn't of mentioned President Obama's name at all!

Ohhhhh you disrespectful negroes!

"If our goal is jobs, we have to stop spending over a trillion dollars more than we take in every year. So to do that, I'm going to eliminate every non-essential, expensive program I can find. That includes Obamacare, and I'm going to work to reform and save -- " Romney said, being interrupted by boos.
Mister Romney otherwise encountered polite applause in his speech, which hit on themes of jobs and the economy -- mainstays of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's overall stump speech -- as well as education reform. That was from the African-Americans he allegedly shipped in.

The former Massachusetts governor faced an uphill task politically in speaking before the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), one of the most historic and well-established civil rights groups. President Barack Obama, as the nation's first black president, enjoys tremendous levels of support and enthusiasm from black voters, who helped propel Barrack Obama to office in 2008 in key swing states.

An obviously uncomfortable Mitt Romney joked about the fact that he's unlikely to win over many African American voters. (That's no joke, that's a fact!) "I appreciate the chance to speak first -- even before Vice President Biden gets his turn tomorrow," he said. "I just hope the Obama campaign won’t think you’re playing favorites."

(Crickets!)


But the speech, overall, was intended to portray his candidacy as one for all Americans, unified by a theme of improving the economy. Mitt Romney pledged to return to speak before the NAACP at its convention next year, should he be elected. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that!

Mitt Romney also spoke with reverence toward the legacy of his father, Michigan Gov. George Romney, a Republican who broke with his party at times over the issue of civil rights.

"For every one of us a particular person comes to mind, someone who set a standard of conduct and made us better by their example. For me, that man is my father, George Romney," he said, detailing some of his father's work to advance civil rights.

Ahhh Politicians....They can come out of their hat with certain things at just the right time can't they?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Time For Tax Fairness



Once Again ,President Obama has called for "Tax Fairness" or for extending most tax cuts in households like yours and mine..And Once more,  The Republican/Tea Party opponents are gearing up to fight him on this.

Surprised? I'm not!

President Barack Obama urged Congress yesterday to extend expiring tax cuts for most American households, injecting the issue of tax fairness into the 2012 campaign.

President Obama, speaking early yesterday afternoon at the White House, again voiced support for allowing tax cuts for households earning over $250,000 per year to expire at the end of 2012, while also preserving existing rates for households earning less than that. Like I said...Households like you and I...The average workaday joe or jane.

“We don't need more top-down economics. We tried that theory ... we can't afford to go back to it,” The President said. “That's why I believe it's time for the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, including myself, to expire.”



But let's be for real now...This present Congress is likely to do anything but that, though. Republicans who control the House of Representatives quickly rejected President Obama's proposal as a tax hike, though the president sought to decouple the middle class tax cuts from the high-end breaks. No surprise there..This was almost a knee jerk reaction.

 President Obama urged lawmakers to act now to extend most of the expiring tax cuts, and have a second debate – likely to be decided in November’s election – on the tax cuts for the wealthiest.


"My opponent will fight to keep them in place; I will fight to end them,” President Obama said in reference to Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

All of the tax cuts, which were first proposed by President George W. Bush, were set to expire at the end of 2010. After having initially resisted their extension,President  Obama relented and agreed to a two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts for all income brackets – a compromise that allowed the administration to advance some of its legislative priorities through that year’s lame-duck Congress.

At the time of that extension, President Obama said he would refuse to again agree to any extension of the high-end tax cuts. The announcement is rife with election year significance.

The Republican/Tea Party crowd  have raised the specter of a tax increase that would spring into effect if the Bush tax cuts were allowed to expire at the end of this calendar year. Of course , this is fiction....but it is no surprise that a lot of people in the middle and working class believe this fiction... Thus here in lies the true genius of the Republican party...They are experts at convincing some people to vote against their own class interests.

Though President Obama's proposal would preserve existing tax rates for all but the wealthiest American households, Republicans still derided it as a massive tax hike -- especially on small business owners whose revenues are treated as personal income.

"President Obama’s response to even more bad economic news is a massive tax increase," said Mitt Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul. "The president's latest bad idea is to raise taxes on families, job creators, and small businesses. Almost half a million fewer Americans are working today than the day Barack Obama took office, and we've just come through the worst job creation quarter in two years." She said.

In response to that charge, President Obama said: "This isn't about taxing job creators; this is about helping job creators."

The Republicans accused The President of looking to divert attention from last Friday's jobs numbers, which showed the economy added 80,000 jobs in June, a figure that fell somewhat below estimates.

Taxes have often been an effective political cudgel for the GOP to wield against Democrats in election years.President Obama's announcement on Monday was ostensibly intended to defuse the looming tax fight at the end of this year, though it's unlikely that any legislation makes it to the president's desk before Election Day.

The President's proposal, rather, doubles down on what Democrats view as a politically advantageous demand that the wealthy contribute a higher share of taxes, a sentiment that generally polls well. Nonetheless, Americans slightly favored Republicans on the issue of taxes in the June NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Thirty-four percent of respondents said they favor the GOP's approach to taxes, versus 32 percent who said that of Democrats. This is exactly what I mean when I say that they convince people , some people that is..To vote against their own class interests.


II-

Republicans on Capitol Hill have been eager to highlight, though, differences between Democratic lawmakers and the president on this very issue. Democratic leaders in the House and Senate have called on preserving tax rates for all households earning less than $1 million per year, a higher threshold than President Obama's. This alternative proposal was born of politics, since it opens the door to Democrats' charge that the GOP wishes to preserve tax breaks -- literally -- for millionaires.
.
The president's push to extend the Bush tax cuts for households earning less than $250,000 per year is also meant to set up a contrast with Romney, whose proposal to cut marginal income tax rates by 20 percent in each bracket composes the cornerstone of his tax reform plan.

"Unlike President Obama, Governor Romney understands that the last thing we need to do in this economy is raise taxes on anyone. He has a plan to permanently lower marginal rates, help middle-class Americans save and invest, and jumpstart economic growth and job creation," said Saul, the former Massachusetts governor's spokeswoman.

Mitt Romney has also called for cutting the corporate tax rate to 25 percent and maintaining friendly tax rates on investment income. The presumptive Republican nominee has said that he would pay for the price tag of these cuts with an overarching tax reform package that would eliminate some loopholes and deductions.

But! He has  refused to specify what those changes might be, or how they would affect the nation's tax ledger. He told CBS last month that he would "go through that process with Congress" to determine which deductions and exemptions he would eliminate.

Nice way to pivot away from the central issue....Isn't that what they do when cornered with a difficult question or rather one that they left out??? Hmmmmmm! Trying to be objective here, but finding it extremely difficult!

Mitt Romney and the republicans have additionally weathered pressure from the Obama campaign to release more of his own tax records amid scrutiny of his overseas holdings.

 Mr.Romney released his returns from 2010, which showed he paid an effective tax rate of about 14 percent (because much of his income came from investments). Mr. Romney filed for an extension on his 2011 taxes, and his campaign said it would release them to the public when they're available, no later than October.  One month from Election time...Hmmmmm, Good timing!

"The next president, in the next four years -- somebody's going to have to tackle comprehensive tax reform. And they're going to have to deal with sheltering income, like it appears Mitt Romney is doing in Bermuda, in the Caymans, in Switzerland," senior Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs said Monday on NBC's "TODAY" show. "I think the American people deserve to know what tax breaks and what sheltering each of these candidates is taking advantage of."


Yeah..I think so too!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Need a Jobs Act?



Black unemployment is rising..  Black unemployment is rising despite the fact that the overall U.S. economy appearing to be on the rise.  It's a very disappointing set of circumstances and I must admit hard to fathom.


If you, like I am Shocked by news that the unemployment rate among black Americans rose nearly a full percentage point between May and June 2012, Then join the club. Economists have been trying to determine why also.

 One reason for the increase could be a rise in the percentage of African Americans looking for a job, rather than an uptick of black people losing jobs, according to KETK TV in Texas. Keep in mind that the unemployment rate only accounts for people who are actively seeking work.

The unemployment rate for blacks rose to 14.4% from 13.6% in May, the Labor Department reported Friday. That's a sharp contrast to the white unemployment rate, which stayed put at 7.4%, and the Hispanic rate, which held at 11%.

From what I've been reading and hearing.. This trend is not a new one,  The black unemployment rate has been roughly double that of whites since the government started tracking the figures in 1972. But Algernon Austin, director of the the Race, Ethnicity and the Economy program at the Economic Policy Institute, attributes the rise in the rate to more black Americans entering the workforce, not to job losses or more people out of work.

The percentage of eligible African-Americans holding or seeking a job rose in June to 62% from 61.3% in May. It was the second straight month that the percentage has increased. The employment-population ratio, which measures the proportion of the population that's employed, also rose slightly in June.


 "More people wanting work is what really pushed up the unemployment rate for blacks. That's a good thing," according to Algernon Austin.. "You want people to participate in the labor force." But as the number of people looking for jobs has risen, they face a lukewarm job market that is struggling to create growth.


So....I am looking squarely at Congress...Because I know there are some Blacks who want to blame the President for this....I want to say to Congress...There is President Obama's American Jobs Act floating around that they still have not acted on...Why is that? Why would anybody be against putting all Americans back to work?? Ask yourself that?


II-


Mitt Romney and the Republicans are  already accusing President Obama of having no plan for economic growth: (Where is their plan?) Here is what Mr. Romney had to say on the subject recently-

"The president's policies have not gotten America working again. And the president is going to have to stand up and take responsibility for it. I know he's been planning on going across the country and celebrating what he calls 'forward.' Well, forward doesn't look a lot like forward to the millions and millions of families that are struggling today in this great country. It doesn't have to be this way. The President doesn't have a plan, hasn't proposed any new ideas to get the economy going—just the same old ideas of the past that have failed." 

Now again I ask....Where is the Republican or alternative plan?  


(crickets!)

It seems like the political world has all but forgotten the American Jobs Act, but it remains on the table as President Obama's plan for jump starting this stagnant economy. If passed in full, the Jobs Act would cut payroll taxes for businesses, double the size of the payroll tax cut for individuals, give aid to states to prevent public sector layoffs, and increase infrastructure spending. All together, the Jobs Act would create 1.9 million jobs over the next year.



Why is no one talking about this? Why is the Republican/Tea Party section of our congress blocking the passage of this and lying about it?  I write this specifically for the Black intelligentsia that attack the President and say that he doesn't have a "Black" agenda...While ignoring the Jobs act and his plans for relief for student loan payments...Things that will effect Black college grads entering the workforce as well as every other nationality...I write this to beat them to the punch....Because I know that as much as they criticize the President..None of them ever come up with a solution or alternative plan..  I wouldn't be surprised to find out that they're on the Republican party payroll one day...Since they mimic each other somewhat.

I'm still interested in any alternative plan.....

(crickets)

Uh Huh...just what I thought!  






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