Tuesday, February 28, 2006

My Picks For Best Performances WK 2 (Women)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Thumbs Down For The Recall

In am surprised at the media attention, this recall petition is getting. I'm not playing the race card, as I'm sure I'll be accused of doing. Just take notice where the campaign is centered. In the settled part ,of White East Memphis. Poplar and Highland, is in City Councilwoman Carol Chumney's district. One of the mayors most vocal opponents, on the city council. She ran on the platform, of making a change in the administration. It soon became evident she couldn't do anything by herself. I think she has aspirations, of being the Mayor of Memphis.

When you ask the average protestor why he dislikes the mayor? They don't have a legitimate complaint. They cry about the high taxes in the city, and the services that have been cut. The city has only had, three tax increases in fifteen years. The county has an increase every year. Why didn't anyone want to investigate the financial books, when Jim Rout was the county mayor. He spent $10,000 of taxpayer money, on his daughters wedding. It didn't come to the public attention, until after he retired from office. Do you think Mayor Herenton, could have gotten away with that? Everything this man does, has been gone over with a fine toothed comb. If he had done anything, it would have been discovered by now. The FBI has been watching this man for several years. They have caught everyone around him, that was dirty. Look at former Mayor Campbell of Atlanta, and the Tennessee waltz scandals respectively. The bait was there in both cases, the mayor just didn't bite. I know the organizers of the recall are chomping at the bit, hoping the FBI finds something. If they hadn't discovered anything yet. I would be willing to bet, they'll just be waiting.

If this was based on valid complaints, I would feel differently. This Recall Petition,Charter Commission and even the Ophelia Ford case, are simply attempts to override the peoples vote. These are plans devised by the minority of voters (White), to circumvent the choices of the majority voters (Black). They are trying to accomplish something in the courts, they can't do in the voting booths. If their position is right, the race doesn't matter to me personally. I spoke with someone earlier today, who is collecting signatures for the recall. He won't meet with White people though. Does that make sense? I'm not so optimistic, that I'm not realistic. I know race oriented issues, when I see them. We live in the only city in America, that has duplicate governments. The city and county administrations do the same thing. The residents of the county pay one, residents of the city pay two. That's the basis of the city's problems. This I see as a last ditch effort, to hold on to the past. Some traditions need to be discontinued, they were always wrong. For that we need a recall, but the citizens of Memphis aren't ready. Recalling Mayor Herenton won't change anything.

Joseph Ford Jr., Running For Congress

This is just farther proof, in my humble opinion. That the people of Memphis, can easily be manipulated. Why would someone with no record of service, think they can be elected to congress? I can't really say anything about him. He really hasn't done anything, for me to hold against him. He went away to college, and became a practicing Attorney. He is smarter than his cousin, he hasn't passed the bar. I think he was planted, to split the votes up. Either way he's going to get support. The question is, how much can he get. He can get his feet wet, without leaving the bank. That raises the total to 25 candidates. If he receives a significant number of votes. That explains why we are discussing a Recall and a Charter Commission.

Are You A Republican ?

Are you a Republican?

Click the above link and take the test. Some of the questions in my opinion, are somewhat one sided. Nonetheless I think this quiz gives you a pretty good idea of where you fall. If you answer the questions honestly. I think many people will be surprised.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Emerging Leaders In The Black Community

These are a group of young leaders, all under the age of forty. Many of them popular, many of them not. Based on what I heard them say. They were more interesting and innovative, than the older group that preceded them . They didn't mention political party, or call the Presidents name one time. Instead of them complaining, they offered workable solutions. The egos also weren't as evident as with the older speakers. This is what I thought, of what they had to say:

Dr. Ian Smith- He was very informative and interesting. He is used to the t.v. camera, I've seen him on "Celebrity Fit Club". He is not a preacher, but he could be one if he wanted.

Jim Shelton- Education is the key. Eighty percent of the people, in the criminal justice system. Dropped out of high school. He is backed by the richest man in the world Bill Gates. If for no other reason than that. We should listen to what he has to say.

Kamala Harris- She is a career policeman. Even though she is the San Francisco District Attorney. She talks out of both sides of her mouth. She offers a lot of solutions, but she is part of the problem too. I see this dynamic in our community, all the time. Being correct, and being politically correct are two different things.

Victor Marsh- He is young, and has a lot to learn. I think they just needed someone to fill up the seats. He has some good ideas, but they need to be seasoned. We don't need to reinvent the wheel. That's why I'm not overly excited about the vote or die campaign. He needs to listen, and take heed. To what older people, like Dr. Ian Smith had to say.

Malia Lazu- Sista Girl, she looked a little old to me. Maybe she was just strong spirited. She is from the KRS mold of activism. She spends a lot of time and effort. Trying to bring attention to a time forgotten. In all you get, get understanding. That's the drawback to technology. Many times that doesn't happen. Ditto about the vote or die comment.

Walter Mosley- I'm glad Tavis saved him for last. He compressed the whole three hours, in three short minutes. The first group was good at identifying the problems. They seem to have a firm opinion, that something is wrong. The second group as it were,was adapt at pointing fingers. These are the big guns, the ones who normally lead the charge. Much to my astonishment,then we got to the solutions. Which were offered by the emerging leaders, on stage with him.

Shola Lynch- She was on the right page, personal accountability. We as Black people have a history, it starts with the individual not a group. We can't focus on the past. We have to look at right now.

Eddie Glaude- He was taught by Cornell West, need I say more. He knows how to use fancy words. He is his mentors boss now. At least he was a good student, we know that. Through him the Cornell West legacy will endure. I understand why college professors are the way they are.

Jerome Ringo-He is the first Black to head an environmental organization in America. The nature of environmental concerns, are liberal in their foundation at best. Without that type of attitude, it probably wouldn't exist. I can understand why he feels the way he does. It's the source of his livelihood. We need representation, on both sides of the fence. He has found a niche.

Trish Millines Dziko- I like what she said about the curriculum of our children. We need to make sure, they are learning something productive. If your child is getting excellent grades and never reading a book. You have reason to be concerned. They need to be learning something that will prepare them to farther their education, or get a decent job. One that provides a family living. "Students turn the computers on, parents turn the televisions off".

Rev. Jamaal Harrison-Bryant- He is articulate in his delivery. "We must be liberated, not just saved". I thought he defended the church well, considering it was under attack. He preaches a different type gospel, designed to get the numbers. I always enjoy good preaching, he can certainly do that. I would have to see, what he does with the immature believer. Once he gets them to come. He has a good line, I don't know about the hook.

Based on what I heard the young leaders say today. The future looks promising.

Covenant With Black America

I have written my synopsis of the speeches I heard today,on "Covenant With Black America". I watched all day long. This is what I got from the speeches, in the second segment:

We first heard comments from hurricane Katrina survivors, Rochelle Smith and Alvin Seymore. It was more of what, we have already heard. All I can say is,"God Bless You".

Dr.Na'im Akbar- He made a call to action, requiring us to think for ourselves. He received mixed responses from the 99% Black audience. I think he wanted to convey a message, not just invoke a response. He said Blacks don't know what their own issue is, until someone else comes along and tells them. I agree with him, often that is the case.

Harry Belafonte- I will say this about him. He has truly been blessed. He looks good, he is eighty years old. Everybody has had different experiences in life. His which I think, have somehow made him bitter. I think somewhere earlier in his life, he received a wakeup call. He was reminded of the fact, that he was Black. He better be glad he isn't in Austria, he would have been in jail. For some of the statements he has made. I respect him because he is my elder, not his opinions though. I think his approach is outdated and antiquated. Although we all want equality. We don't have to die anymore. There's no fool, like an old fool.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee It was only fair that she be there. I'm not very familiar with her and her positions. Well should I say her politics. It took place in the state of Texas. Where she is a representative. She has to take a stab at the 100,000 evacuees in her state, as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Otherwise she added nothing to the conversation. She reminded me a lot of a local politician where I live. I don't have anything against her, I'm not moved by her either. She will go along with anything, to get re-elected. I don't blame her, she makes over $100,000 a year.

Raymond Brown- He is paid to bring depth to the conversation. He is always careful not to step on anybody's toes. He is an annual guest, and it's apparent.He says enough, to be reinvited every year. I was about to puke, when he suggested that Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, could be the first female President. He was clearly seeking brownie points.

representing Mel Watt As the chairman of the Black Congressional Caucus. It would appear that he would have more input in such a forum. Could it be he was afraid that someone would mention the money, that was supposedly raised for the quatrain victims? Why hadn't they received it yet? His speech was ineffective as a whole. Raymond Brown kissed his butt too.

Wade Henderson- Obviously another Davis Smiley fan. Maybe it's the other way around. Davis is a fan of his. If he is so aware strategically, why didn't he tell the whole story. Explain the voting rights act, in it's entirety. So all that hear about it, will understand. He did say one good thing. We need to vote.

Cornell West- He is a highly educated clown, he says what he always does. I think he likes to hear himself talk. He has a well versed way, of saying absolutely nothing. To my surprise he didn't talk much. It was probably due, to time constraints.

Bishop Henry Jackson He is softshoeing the issue. He is still claiming to be a registered Democrat. He supports nothing they represent, but he's still a member of the party. He talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk. He doesn't want to offend anyone.

Angela Glover Blackwell She made a lot of good points, I like what she said about holding local politicians accountable. She has the charisma to move a group, but not our problems as a race. I liked her conversation though. She needs to get with the right team. She may already have switched.

AL Sharpton- He said nothing of substance as usual. He is a good storyteller to some, me not included. Everytime we listen to him talk, do we have to get a lesson in history. The time has passed, for all the poetry and rhymes. The Black crowd goes into a frenzy. He knows how to pluck the emotional strings. Him and Jesse Jackson, thank God he wasn't there. Davis held him in check though. He wanted to get carried away. Davis wouldn't let him, he put him on the spot with legitimate questions. I think that's largely why he left early. In my humble opinion. It wouldn't have mattered had he not came.

Kimberle Crenshaw If she was so concerned about White supremacy and it's effects. She should start by removing the extensions, and color from her hair. It's kind of hard to take someone serious, that fit's every stereotype aesthetically. You dislike everything about them, except the way they look.

State Senator Jackie Winters She stressed the importance of diversity. As one of the few admitted conservatives, in the building. She exhibited the true root of the problem. The refusal of Blacks to have an open mind. She seemed to be in awe of Louis Farrakahn. She showed the softer side, of the conservative party. I like that she acknowledged, the most important thing to her is her family. That's a connection between all loving mothers. I was glad she showed up, to present another view. She did exactly what I expected of her. That's usually what happens. When you send a woman, to do a man's job. I guess you can reach them pointing out the likenesses, as opposed to the differences.

Louis Farrakahn He said one thing that was true, "this whole thing is spiritual". Beyond that everything he said, was warped and twisted. He made a mockery of the entire program. As they panned the crowd. I could see the discomfort in many of the faces. There is an apparent attempt, to attach Islam to Christianity. The two are not the same. I think he was disrespectful to Davis Smiley. Taking his moment in the spotlight, to promote the Muslim agenda. He took this opportunity to steal the attention given, to the concerns of Blacks. To pollute the opinions, others already have, or those that are forming.

I was glad Davis spoke up. I think he was aware, the eyes of America were on him. Since it really was to promote his new book, he couldn't go out like that. It was interesting to watch, the other panelist backpedal. They opened the door, but they didn't intend for it to go that far. It made me think of a joke I heard once. I won't tell the whole thing. But here is the punch line "I wouldn't have said that". A lot of those panelist I previously had distaste for, gained some points with me later. Harry Belafonte, Cornell West and Kimberlie Crenshaw backed away, from Farrakahn. They didn't want to be subject to the wrath, I'm sure those comments will bring. It's entertaining to watch the program annually. Though I don't think it changes much. This years show indicates to me, we have a long way still. The conclusion I draw from this, is that the race is not together.

Where Were Katrina Victims, Before The Dreaded Storm?

I am often called cold,callous and uncaring, for the position I'm about to take. When hurricane Katrina first happened, I was saddened like everyone else. I prayed on behalf, of the victims and the country itself. Which is the most any of us had to offer at first. That was the first problem to me. The fact that people thought there was something man could have done, to prevent this. Both frustrated and disturbed me deeply. This was an indication, of the confusion yet to come. If I ask the question in all honesty and sincerity. I can't ask that question of everybody, not even from people from both states. I haven't heard a lot from the citizens on the Gulf Coast. I guess they're too busy rebuilding. The casinos are up and going, and they were utterly destroyed. The Governor of Mississippi, has come forward praising the efforts of the government.

Throughout this whole ordeal, it was as though there were two storms that took place. One in the city of New Orleans, and another everywhere else. It was the first storm ever in America, of it's magnitude. It's not like we had a blueprint to follow. Sadly it was trial and error under the microscope. It just made me take a closer look, at this whole thing. After the elected officials started to point fingers, and blame each other. I didn't put much faith in anything, any of them said. I think we as a country would've handled this crisis much better. Had some people not tried, to make it a political issue. And focused on what we could have done. If we had only faced the truth from the beginning. We would have approached this whole thing differently.

Facing the truth, is what brings me to my point. I know the first thing people are going to say is, "it's easy to say that, when it's somebody else". That statement is true, but that also allows me to be honest and objective. Everyone affected by the storm, won't be given what they deserve. Unfortunately it rains on the just, as well as the unjust. In the event of something like this, everyone looks to the government for help. The deserving and undeserved both. In my area they have begun to prosecute people, caught committing FEMA fraud. Evidently people from New Orleans, are abusing the system. I'm sure people from Mississippi are committing crimes as well. But I haven't heard or seen, a lot of talk about them. As a matter of fact, hardly none at all. I mention New Orleans because that's the basis of most of the complaints. I can imagine it's worse elsewhere than it is here. We didn't absorb a lot of the evacuees, thanks to the foresight of our Mayor. Had he listened to the people, we would be loaded with new settlers too. Those cities in Texas like Houston and San Antonio. Wished they hadn't opened their public facilities either. They all have experienced a sharp increase in crime. I'm not surprised, the criminals mixed in with everybody else. Since they opened the doors of their city, to the evacuees. The problems came along with them.

The same thing that was being done before, is going to continue now. Some people couldn't wait, to get back to their homes. So they could clean-up and start over. If they had jobs and mortgages, they didn't have a choice. Which didn't apply to the majority, of the displaced evacuees. Many of them were unemployed renters. If the flood didn't kill me, or wipe the whole state out. I still couldn't just drop everything, and move across the country. A lot of people, are treating this like a vacation. If you were a ward of the state in Louisiana, nothings going to change when you go somewhere else. Unless you make a change to yourself. All of a sudden they need education, and start-up expenses. What were they doing up until now? I'm all for one furthering ones education, but there's a price. Remember that's for the recipient's benefit, not for mine. We must have the attitude that accomplishment, requires sacrifice. Just because you happened to live in a area, where a storm took place. That doesn't translate, to a financial windfall for you. At what point do you get back to what you were doing? If you were doing anything worth mentioning. I never saw so many new small businesses. That were supposedly just getting started. Considering the fact that no one was working. Who was going to support them? If you did nothing but what you're doing now, how long does the country pay the bill?

Grandmother's Right, Or Grandson's Gift ?

The FBI wanted to look over the records, of the HARP organization . A program set up to assist the elderly low-income citizens of Memphis. With costly repairs and even rebuilding, of their present homes. It's not like these are, exquisite sought after homes. In the trendiest parts of town. It provides the opportunity for elderly citizens, to remain in their present neighborhoods. Many of these homes are in such bad repair, they're barely standing. Due to neglect from lack of money, or various other reasons. In many cases it's just cheaper in the long run, to tear the decaying structure down. With utilities on the rise, you could easily pay a modest mortgage. Trying to heat and cool an energy inefficient house. I think it's a wonderful thing, for those who qualify. That's the keyword here qualify.Here lies the issue in dispute. City Councilman Ricky Peete's grandmother, is the recipient of one of the houses. According to some of the neighbors, the house wasn't in that bad of a shape. The F.B.I. wants to know if any conflict of interest laws, were broken in the process. If society went around requiring every grandson, to fully provide for their grandmothers. I dare say we would have a lot of grandmothers walking the street. Often it's the other way around. I would bet the majority of the people in the program have grandsons as well. If Councilman Peete's grandmother qualified for the program, I'm sure there were others who benefited also. They didn't just take tax money, and build 90 year old Lizzie Jones(grandmother) a new house. That's what the program does. The city attorney has issued an opinion . That no conflict of interest occurred. If you are a senior citizen, who qualifies for certain benefits. Should you be denied those benefits because your grandson is successful?You know these vigilante groups are costing the taxpayers a fortune. It cost the taxpayers money, to prove them wrong. Every man hour spent on these investigations, are being paid for by us John Q citizen. A Ex-Judge Ben Cantrell has been hired to work on the Roland case. Who is going to pay for that? He isn't doing the job for free. If Ophelia wins her latest lawsuit, that's another $57,000 added to the list. Everytime one of these off the wall accusations comes up, we tap into state coffers to investigate. The value of the house in question is only $70,000, that's only because it's new. I would like to have the numbers, on the cost of the investigation. I'm saying that to say. The motivation supposedly behind all this checking, is the abuse and waste of taxpayer money. When we chase all the deadend leads.What's a bigger waste than that?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Disqualified Contestants (Wk 1)

Ayala Brown

Stevie Scott

Bobby Bennet

Patrick Hall

Thursday, February 23, 2006

My Condolences, To The Family Of Judge Odell Horton

Judge Odell Horton, the first Black U.S. District Court Judge, to be appointed in Tennessee since reconstruction. Passed away on yesterday, of respiratory failure. He leaves to mourn his passing his devoted wife of 52 years Evie, and two sons Odell Jr, and Christopher Horton. He also leaves two grandchildren.

Considering the fact, he had such a distinguished career. That spanned some 35 years. I was surprised that there wasn't more local media coverage, on his death. He was president of the local HBC, Lemoyen Owen College. He was the Director of Hospital and Health services, for the city of Memphis. He was once a practicing attorney, plus he held several judgeships. In addition to all that he was a local product, he was born and raised in Bolivar, Tennessee. Considering the fact that we're celebrating Black History month. His life and accomplishments, should be highlighted. He is a prime example, of what Blacks can achieve in America. Through diligence, commitment and hard work. He possessed something that every real man should strive for. This was witnessed by those, who he came in contact with. He was known to take the time in his court, to explain the legal phrases being used. He recognized the importance, of people having a clear understanding, of what was going on. He had the patience to try and make a difference.

Unfortunately Judge Horton, is a victim of the same mentality as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He doesn't think like everyone else, so somehow that dilutes his importance as a Judge. In the illogicical reasoning, of some narrow minded people. Furthermore I would be remiss not to mention, his careers most newsworthy case. He handled the 1990 bank fraud trial of Harold Ford Sr. and Jake Butcher. The trial he conducted, ended in a mistrial. Judge Horton later called the jury's conduct a "mockery" of the judicial process. I'm sure he was labeled an Uncle-Tom back then. The social attitudes of some Memphians, haven't changed much since then. I think this quote best describes his view, of how the law should work.

" May the Constitution of the United States go with you. May the Declaration Of Independence stand by you. May the Bill Of Rights protect you. And may your dreams be your only boundaries henceforth now and forever".

My Picks For Best Performances (Men)

Perennial Political Protestors

Our city is being besieged by an onslaught, of what President Bush calls defeatist. There are those who don't honestly seek solutions, to the country's problems. In our case in Memphis, the problems of our city. Instead they find fault in every thing that's done. It sounds a lot like, the Democratic party these days. The ignorance must be contagious. Though they don't make up the majority. There is a significant number of this breed. Enough to create unnecessary problems. And waste useful , valuable time. Not to mention taxpayer dollars. In most cases , if given the uninterrupted opportunity to voice their complaints. Their frustrations with administration, are usually unwarranted. They are biased in their complaints at best. Everytime anything comes up, you already know where they stand. On the opposite side, of whoever is in authority. I appreciate the freedom of assembly and free speech. But where do we draw the line?

When we look around the world, we see there is clearly a place for protest. Unfortunately people refuse to treat other people fairly, without being coerced. It comes as a result of human nature. If you put two people together on an island, one is going to seek to dominate the other. The laws of nature dictate that the strong survive. We are blessed to live in a country, where everyone survives. Not on the same level , but even the weak are given a fighting chance. In America even the poor, are accustomed to a decent standards of living. If a person doesn't eat regularly and have a roof over their head. It's probably a personal thing, or either temporary. Nationally and Locally, if we didn't live in the best place in the world. You wouldn't be allowed to protest or publicly complain. When we abuse our right to challenge the system. After a while, it becomes like the boy who cried wolf. Nobody is listening, because you're saying nothing new. Just complaining as usual, same old soup reheated.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

My Picks For Best Performances (Women)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The 60 Second Test

Today I issued a challenge over the radio, that I don't think will be met. I live in Memphis, which is a predominately Black city. The ratio is like 60% Black, 40% others give or take. Therefore most of the talkshows, and elected officials are going to be Black. Having said that, it shouldn't be the center of our existence. Everything that is wrong in Memphis, is not a racial issue. There are those people that do. I think they call those people, Black and just that. There are some citizens, that have a problem with everything. Needless to say the Black elected officials, are the catch of the day. Some complaints are legitimate, but they're bunched in with the bogus ones. To find something worth addressing, you have to cipher through the garbage.

I get tired of hearing the same old arguments rehashed. Today I bet them they couldn't go one minute, without saying the word Black. They never say anything, of substance or new. I was was being ambitious, when I said one minute. Most of their rebuttals don't last that long. They couldn't even do it for fifteen seconds, let alone a minute. The other part of the deal, was that I listen to a local White talkshow host. To see how long it took him, to mention the word White. I listened for over an hour, as much as I could take. As obnoxious as he is, he hadn't said the word yet. The person I was talking to, is usually wrong about most things. The problem is, he isn't by himself. I found it amusing to listen, to his conversation from that point on. After that, he had nothing else to say. I had taken away, his primary subject matter. It's a test anyone can take. If you can't state your case, without making it racial in one minute. You can't pass the 60 second test.

I Had A Bright Idea

I was watching the news last night. About the frenzy surrounding the visit to Memphis, by the dynamic duo. That's what Harold Ford Jr., and Barack Obama are calling themselves these days. It has been rumored that the two don't get along, but they did for the camera. Barack Obama is said to have worked hard, for everything he has. He came up through the ranks, with little or no help from anyone. Harold Ford Jr. is exactly the opposite. His career in politics, has been handed to him on a platter. He won the first time he ran for office, and hasn't been out of office since. He has spent his entire adult life in politics, via the family name. Though the paths have been different. They both have thus far, the same destinations. They just have different ways of getting there. The day of the hard core liberals is over. I think both these young men, represent the future of the Democratic party. A middle of the road conservative view. Claiming to be Democrats, but really being Independent. Obama has tried to straddle the fence , but has been called out. The veteran politicians are aware of their claims, they will keep them honest.

Up until yesterday I had been writing this campaign off. Then I thought about, what was at stake. Why give up a sure thing like the 9th congressional seat, just to play a hunch? The Ford family didn't rise to power , making foolish decisions. As witnessed by his aunt's situation, the family is quite shrewd. My wife said something, that made me give this campaign a second thought. The charisma of the young congressman and Barack Obama, will attract the progressive young female vote. I don't know how many votes that is good for. But I'm sure the Ford camp does. They have their eyes on a particular demographics. One that everyone else is overlooking. This could be a page out of Mayor Herenton's book, he wins Memphis with the 100 Black Women alone. Imagine the impact this would have on a statewide scale. A candidate wielding this power. Would be a force to be reckoned with. That along with the college vote, notice where the rallies were held. The University Of Memphis and New Directions Christian Center. They are clearly breaking away, from the status quo. Those who vote on name recognition alone. They already have that vote secured. They didn't stop at the normal hotspots, or the normal powerbrokers. They were clearly after a different base.

Everybody is focusing on the eastern part of Tennessee, that may not even be a factor. If I am correct in my assumptions. If this movement materializes. It's a sign of things yet to come. It would be a direct challenge, to the present power structure. Which has always been dominated, by predominately White men. This could bring about a significant number of votes. That's the question , how many? Even the vote, of young White females. Not to mention the sisters, especially those who are educated. This race could turn out to be interesting, if this is the hidden agenda.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Lynn Swann For Governor Of Pennsylvania

One of the most popular receivers in NFL history, Lynn Swann of Pittsburgh Steeler fame. He has thrown his hat in the ring, for Governor of Pennsylvania. There is nothing strange about an athlete, taking on a career in politics. They are usually successful in their endeavors. Their popularity usually transcends the lines, of the different professions. Those who liked them as players, usually follow them into elected office. He's running in a state, where he is a living legend. He has mass appeal, he's a member of the Hall Of Fame. He has a clean record so far,no checkered past. The other week he was recognized nationally, as one of the Superbowl MVP's. He is a minority to boot, he's Black. This guy is so far picture perfect.

It seems that he has all his ducks in a row. All should be well in the Swann camp. Hold your horses, don't open the champagne yet. I guess you wonder, what could possibly be wrong? He committed the ultimate political sin, in the Black community. He is running on the Republican ticket. How could he be so right one day, and all of a sudden be so wrong? Only if you didn't know what that person stood for anyway. I like what he is talking about. I can't vote for him, but I'll be watching.

Is Obama A Big Boost For Ford ?

Barack Obama came to Memphis today, in support of Harold Ford Jr., in his bid for the U.S. Senate. The excitement level was equal to that of a concert, as opposed to a campaign rally. If they could build up excitement like that all over the state,we would have been looking at two future young Black Senators. To speak in Memphis, was like preaching to the choir. Fords level of support here, was strong whether he came here or not. He is the closest thing we have, to a native son. He had the people of Memphis before he started. It will help him in Memphis though, with the undecided vote. Just not with the rest of Tennessee. Where he's going to need it most. I didn't support Harold Jr. as a Congressman, but maybe as a Senator I would. Let me explain the difference as I see it, in my opinion.

As Congressman of the 9th district, I didn't really think he earned it. I didn't have much of a complaint about his performance. As a matter of fact, he's been pretty productive. It was more of a personal gripe, I had with him. When I think about it,in hindsight. I was hating the player, not the game. He was given a congressional seat on a silver spoon, but that's wasn't his fault. That instead was his blessing. He has done his job good enough, to be repeatedly elected. A total of four times, and he would win again if he ran. One thing I didn't like was the fact. He said one thing, and did another. At least according, to his voting record. Often I agreed with his positions, but the message didn't always get back to the district. I considered this to be sneaky politics. He would tell the people of Memphis anything they want to hear, to continue getting their votes. His popularity has grown among whites, through his voting record. He has been courting the conservative vote, all the time. He just never admitted it openly.

As a Senator the scope changes, he is at the second level of power in the chain of command. He joins a more elite group of politicians. For Harold Ford Jr. to win, would be advantageous for the city of Memphis. He would be able to serve his constituents, on a whole different level. As Senator he will need more of a presence in Washington D.C., than he will in Memphis. In my opinion, that's the major difference in the positions. Which the young Congressman Harold Ford Jr., already has acquired. He isn't new to the game, he is a veteran of congress. With ten years experience. He served as an aide prior to that. He has been groomed for the Senators job. He has been given the label of a moderate liberal, often leaning to the conservative side. I understand why he takes the position he takes. It's the only way he can get elected. To claim to be conservative in the 9th district, would amount to political suicide. It's okay to vote that way, just don't say it. As a Senator I think he would be less constrained, and pressured to cater to party politics.

This was the first time I ever saw Harold Ford Jr. upstaged, by any politician in Memphis. There wasn't this level of excitement, for the presidential candidates.They at one time were both rising stars, on the political horizon. Needless to say Obama's took off. Not that Ford has been stagnant, just not as successful as Obama. No one else seems to remember, but I think that's where Harold Ford Jr. fell off. He endorsed the wrong candidate, for the Democratic nomination for president. His flame has been flickering every since. The people were more excited about Barack Obama than they were about Harold Ford Jr., but he isn't running for office. After seeing the two together, it's obvious who's the more charismatic. If they can create the magic in somewhere other than Memphis, they may be on to something.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Let's Be Objective

I was confronted a couple of weeks ago with reasons why the mayor should be recalled. I don't agree with the recall, but it's a free country. The citizen I was talking to were passionate about their position.They rattled there reasons off real fast, not allowing me to address them individually. They were supposed to send me an e-mail, outlining their complaints. I haven't got that e-mail yet. I don't think I will. The letter below is the closest I have come to a list of their complaints:

So I'm going to give Herenton supporters a chance to focus on the issues. If you believe in the leadership of Willie back it up with facts,and not attacks. I willgive you my reasons for wanting Willie recalled,and you tell me where I'm wrong.

As if we needed his permission. It's interesting that they want facts to disprove them though they don't have any themselves. This whole thing is based on subjection. We don't have concrete answers for anything. There are many factors contributing to the shortage. Unpaid taxes, lawsuits and loss of base due to flight. The population of Memphis grows 39%, during the day.

Willie bragged about taking the city reserves from $3 million to $70 million, now we're down to $1 million,where did the money go? Why hasn't Willie told the community where the money went? Do supporters think that herenton has a duty to let citizens know were their tax dollars went?

As with all the arguments they're one sided. They focus on the fact that the funds are no longer there. But they never ask how they got there in the first place. Remember the storm of 2003, how quickly we forget. What if we hadn't had the seventy million dollars when we needed it? What would we have done to pull us through the storm? We haven't had a city tax increase, in many years. Two in thirteen years to be exact. The county has had an increases every year. Where were the financial gurus in the county under Jim Rout? If you keep taking money out, and not putting it back. What do you think is going to happen?

Willie admitted that in 2003, he made a deal with certain city council members to not tell the community the truth about the finances. Why did he lie? Was winning more important than telling the truth? Do you supporters considered his LIEING deceit?

They call it playing politics. What could any candidate in the race do to turn things around at that point ? If they were stealing the money, that would be one thing. Obviously based on many of the complaints it would take to much explaining. If he had told the public. What would they have done? They wouldn't have a solution, just like they don't now. Why do you think the city council went along with the deception. I never agree with lying. Unfortunately a lot of people can't handle the truth.

Why was the person who over projected the amount of money that would be coming into the city,Joseph Lee never held accountable? Do you believe that Herenton was not having meeting with Lee concerning the finances of Memphis? Why was he not fired? Why was he promoted to CEO of MLG&W? should a person who screwed up the finances be placed over a multi-billion dollard Corp. Like MLG&W? Why was Lee who had no ultiley experience given the job,and why did Herenton fight so hard for him to get the job?

How can you blame Joseph Lee, for the city not collecting taxes or other revenue. If we collected unpaid traffic tickets, that would knock a hole in the deficit. Let's not bring up the property taxes we continually cry about. To grasp what's taking place,you must understand what projections mean. Projections are nothing more than educated guesses. All the meetings in the world won't create the money we need. We're not in this shape because of incompetence. It's due to a lack of funds. Joseph Lee is not a magician, he has to work with what he has. MLGW is a multimillion dollar operation, but it's owned by the city of Memphis. To make it fiscally sound, there would be a whole lot of changes. Mayor Herenton had faith in the abilities of Mr. Lee, that's why he was persistent. He was given the job because of his abilities with numbers. Mayor Herenton fought for him because he felt he would be a asset to his administration. Which thus far, he has been.

Why did herenton sign off on the FEDEX FORUM knowing that the community would never get a return on their investment? Why does the mayor want to cut services and not tell the community why we're in the financial shape we are in? In the face of financial ruin do herenton supporter support the fact that there are over 300 appointed jobs when the charter calls for just over 100?

He signed off on the FedEx Forum because they were finished. How can we say the city will never get a return on it's investment when we already see the rewards? Ask those that don't like the Mayor, they seem to hang out at the forum. The Mayor wants to cut city services because he has too. We don't want to cut jobs, but we don't want to pay anymore taxes. Nobody wants to work for free, where does the money come from? Why are we not complaining about the University of Memphis being allowed to leave the Pyramid? And the exhorbiant salary we pay John Calipari. That's tax money also, the school is state and federally funded. The city charter is over a hundred years old, the city has grown tremendously in that time. Is it fair to hold today's Mayor to those outdated guidelines? The city of Memphis has a population of almost 700,000 citizens. Memphis is not a one horse town anymore, it's a major metropolitan city. In spite of the thinking of some of the residents.

Do you supporters think that these decisions by Willie were good ones? If so why? Are these the kind of decisions of a wise man or a man who cares about the needs of the community? Do you think that his security detail should make over $100,000 when polie officers who lay their lives on the line daily make less than half of that?

I don't agree with everything that the Mayor does. I'm not a fair weather friend though. I am loyal. I'm going to stick with him for the long haul. I share his overall vision for consolidation. That's the main thing. I think the decisions he has made have been his own. That's the mark of a leader. In regards to this security detail, that's exactly what it is a detail. I'm sure being on the Mayor's security detail is a special assignment. Officers probably compete for the chance. Don't act like this is their only assignment. This is not all they do, they're policemen too. If the unions get their wishes, they'll be making even more. With people trying to recall the mayorand scrutinizing his every move. You can never tell when someone, might do more than just talk. Working on his security assignment could be a hazardous detail.

I guess that's enough for herenton supporter to try and answer. If you think Willie is great, then prove it by honestly answering the questions of the issues.

I have honestly answered the questions. For those that don't agree. I welcome honest debate. I think Mayor Herenton is better than anyone thus far we have to compare him with. There was more to the last comment. I didn't post it because it was irrelevant. As usual when someone has nothing to say. They say something derogatory.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

One Month Isn't Enough, Or Is It ?

The complaint has always been that Black History month, was the shortest month of the year. Since that is true, there shouldn't be enough time. To cover all the events, that should be planned. The event planner should be running over. For some reason this year, has been quieter than usual. I almost forgot it was Black History month. That may be more of an indictment of me, than of Black History month itself. That may be the case, but I don't think it is. I think it has more to do, with less attention from Blacks. The recent deaths of Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King, drained the emotions of the Black community. The atmosphere isn't as hyped as usual. People aren't in the mood to get excited about issues of race. It shouldn't be a time for politics anyway. Unfortunately there are those, that have switched the focus. The normal mouthpieces haven't made much noise. There isn't much vigor left for the month of February. The celebrations have been low key, to say the least. Did the importance of past achievements, somehow disappear lately? I don't think they have, just looked at differently. If something is important, it's not just important for one month. It makes an impact all the time, year round. Not just one month a year, as Black History month would suggest. To single Black achievements out, make them less credible in the eyes of some. Why is it so important to have others, as excited about your contributions as you are? You can't count on others always for encouragement. At some point you have to be your own support, stand on your own two feet. Do we have a Jewish History month, or a Asian History month? For that matter a Hispanic History Month, whatever your nationality. I'm sure you wouldn't mind a whole month being set aside, to recognize your accomplishments. Everyone else keeps the legacy alive within themselves. The Civil Rights movement was unique for Blacks. It blazed the path for equality in America for everyone. There was a need for legislation at one time in history. That need no longer exists. Society today in this country, has progressed beyond that point. It's not perfect, but it's closer than anything else. There is no way you can encompass the Black experience in one month out of the year. Having said that, none of the other races can do it either. All of our pieces make a complete. In the present state of America, all things considered. In my opinion, one month is enough.

What Is Racism ?

Since this subject always comes up. I thought we should invest some time, on really getting to the bottom of the issue. We use the word sparingly, not really knowing what it means. I never hear Whites use the word, in general conversation. I see it's affects, in some of their behaviors. They automatically take sides based on color, not principals. That doesn't automatically make them racist though. Just looking out for those, that look like themselves. Just like the Blacks, self preservation rules. Black people seem to do it by habit. It's always convenient, to play the race card. When nothing else works. Blame it on racism. That bothers me somewhat. Before we take this farther let's get to the root of what the word means.

Main Entry: rac·ism
Pronunciation: 'rA-"si-z&m also -"shi-
Function: noun
Date: 1936
1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2 : racial prejudice or discrimination

Let me explain where my ideas come from. Like the definition says it's not exclusive to any particular race of people. It's a way of thinking, or a mindset. I think everyone has a degree of prejudice in them. In my opinion that's healthy, afterall we're not perfect. I would consider a skinhead racist. I reserve the same opinion, for many Black Muslims. If you believe thatsomeone'ss color automatically makes them superior, you are one who perpetuates racism. As a society we must be careful that we don't have different rules, for different people. That's what you call discrimination. No one gets a pass, regardless of race. So what happened to your foreparents, doesn't excuse you from your responsibilities now. Neither does it entitle you to anything, that wasn't left for you. In America we have capitalism, no one is denied the right to participate. You come up with an idea, you can get paid. I talk about finances, because that's usually what it revolves around. I don't think people would be concerned with race. If they didn't think someone else of another color, had something they should've had. When you take all things into consideration. You must come to the conclusion, it's tough but it's fair.

She Is Entitled

Ms. Ophelia Ford is entitled to the $57,000 for attorney fees she is requesting. If she didn't have an attorney, she would have been removed from the seat by now. To suggest that she not have a lawyer is irresponsible at the least. Last week they suggested that she resign from the post. That required a lot of thought, on their part. The Roland camp is just taking stabs in the dark now. That would make their job easy. It would suggest that they have won, when they really haven't. I would be leery of a politician, that didn't get legal counsel on this matter. She is defending herself, against an accusation made by her opponent Terry Roland. I'm sure his attorney advised him, on how to pursue this case. They thought for sure, by now she would have given up. The Republicans keep running into snags, they didn't anticipate. The attorneys for the Ford camp, are on top of their game as well. The average politician would have folded by now, their pockets wouldn't be that deep. A person wouldn't spend that much money, to get a $16,500 a yr. job. With expense accounts and organizational allowances, it totals a little over $30,000 a year. Unless they were well connected. They thought the Ford men, didn't support their sister. They thought they would sacrifice her, without a fight. I think they found out, they were wrong. Even if they once felt that way. They don't feel that way now. They are part of the big guns, she has used.

I am not an Ophelia Ford supporter, but I don't support Terry Roland either. I am a conservative, not a Republican. I am not a bigot, so I don't look at it as Black and White thing. I do know in our society, predjudice exists unfortunately. I hate the fact, that people are looking at this from a racial viewpoint. To me it's about right and wrong, not race. Locally we're stuck on that. As I Listen to the responses from the public, that's the way it's being split.This isn't even for a whole term, there's only one year left. By the time the litigation is over. It will be time to vote again. The ultimate loser is the Tennessee taxpayer, and the voters of district 29. That doesn't solve this case though. Ms Ford is entitled, to what she's asking for. Whether you agree with her politics or not.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Mandisa (American Idol)

She is not a Memphian, but she's from close around here. She is from Antioch Tenn., that makes her a homegirl. I don't know exactly where that's located. I like the way she sings though. I think she'll go far, in the competition. Based on the talent I've seen so far. I like the way she took what some would consider a negative, and made it a positive. I think she made some fans, when she took on Simon. If nothing else she scored points with him. I hope she provides us with many memorable performances. I don't think we'll uncover any dirt on her. I'll be watching and hoping, she goes a long way.

Gedeon McKinney (American Idol)

I am happy with the latest American Idol contestant representing Memphis. It is a seventeen year old young man, that's still excited about life's possibilities. His attitude about life isn't marred by racism, thank the lord. Which I think is largely the reason for his success. He is a spiritual young man. He consistently gives God the glory. I like his singing style, but I don't expect him to make it to the finals. He did a rendition of a Al Green tune "let's stay together", which is always popular with the crowd. If a singer has the ability, and can pull it off. I'll have to wait and see, how versatile his performance styles are. I didn't see the other twins I liked,the sixteen year olds. I guess they got eliminated. They were more of a tagteam duo, this may have been the wrong competition for them.Whatever happens at this point, he has shown himself to be a fine talented young man. Not a gifted thug, like the Brittenum twins turned out to be. Memphis has a history of characters, that end up overshadowing the areas genuine talent. The fact that Gedeon has made it to the final twenty four contestants. He has already done, the city of Memphis proud.

Islam Is Not A Peaceful Religion

I was reading an article in today's local newspaper. That denounced the activity of Muslims reaction, to the Islamic cartoons. People are being killed daily, and structures destroyed. I was once told that Muslims don't speak against each other regardless. Up until reading this particular story. I hadn't seen them prove that saying wrong. They were saying they abhorred the violent actions of some, but understood their being upset.To the point of them understanding why it was happening. Wait a minute, hold your horses.What kind of reasoning is that? I am a Christian, but I wouldn't condone murder by other Christians under any circumstance.That falls under the category of tacit approval.To not come out against this abhorrent behavior, is just like doing it yourself.If you know someone is committing terrorism in the name of Allah. If you remain quiet, you're as bad as they are.

The doctrine differs depending, on to whom you're talking. One argument is that no one has ever seen the Prophet Muhammad. That's a new one on me, I never heard that before. Some people came to the knowledge via Wallace Farad Muhammad, in the early nineteen thirties. There have been attempts to separate the major factions, from what they call Black Muslims.Then we have the Sunnis and the Shites, which depends largely on where you live. I have read in the Quran, where followers are instructed to destroy the infidel. That's those who don't believe as them. Every true Muslim should know this. During the month of Ramadan, they must read the entire Quran. Those in our society if true, are just going along to get along. Would they behave differently, if given the opportunity for an Islamic state? How do they really feel about stoning someone to death, and cutting off peoples head as punishment? If you're not against them,you're for them. If one follows Islam as written. It is not a peaceful religion.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Are The Brittenum Twins, Auditioning For Brokeback Mountain ?

I was watching this weeks episode of American Idol. I see they still have the Brittenum twins, on the show. I saw them on a press release, announcing a new record deal. I'll just have to wait and see, how this thing turns out. I can't listen to the local media anymore. They have a tendency to report, what they get from the Brittenums. I'm not ready to solely listen, to what someone accused of forgery has to say. They want the people to forgive them, of too many things. I always say where there's smoke, there's fire. I was impressed and excited the first time I saw them. The ride has been downhill since then. One of them was locked up, when the first episode aired. Even as I was watching him sing. The other one was a fugitive, hiding from the law. After several requests, he finally turned himself in to the police. I have a sneaky suspicion, of how this whole thing happened. It requires some speculation on my part, so I won't say. We'll just wait and see. It won't be long now. Any popularity they have, will be with their ongoing perils post Idol. They won't go far, in the American Idol contest. If I were a betting man, I'd bet on that. I was wrong about Fantasia. This time I don't think I am.

Every time they come on television, they only make it worse. Last week they were complaining about the level of competition. This week they wanted to play judge. They should be more concerned, with their own performances. Terrell tried to critique his team mates, on their rehearsal time. They turned out, to sound better than him. In the end, he's the one who needed the rehearsal most. The other twin Derrell prematurely resigned, because he thought they had cut his brother. Only to come back later, after he learned different. Begging Simon and the other judges, to let him stay. On second go round, they aren't as good as I initially thought. Those arrogant attitudes they have, make them even less appealing. They are so full of drama, even Simon had room to talk. They acted like full fledged drama queens. The key word here, being queens. I picked up on it last week, but I didn't say anything. Is it just me, or do they both act sort of feminine? Even if they get kicked off American Idol, all is probably not lost. With the success of Brokeback Mountain. There will be a demand for off-beat performers.

My Funny Valentine

Happy Valentines Day, To All The Ladies

One Thing After Another

I'm sure this thing is harder on Harry Whittington, than it is anyone else. If we relied on him complaining, there wouldn't be a story. The only thing I have heard him say is," it's not such a big deal". Look around at the way your friends are reacting to this. It could be a prelude to the future. You might not trust them anymore. If an accident happened, they would probably want to file a lawsuit. They would probably seek legal action if possible. It's kind of like giving someone a ride. And have them sue your insurance, if you have a fender bender. If the situation warrants it, that's what insurance is for. To pay for the medical bills incurred. That wouldn't be a problem here. There was medical personel, at the the scene of the accident. The main concern here, was to expedite treatment.

Many would say this is indicative, of this administration. They took over twenty-four hours, to report the incident. I agree with that assesment, but for different reasons. I think Murphys law, is definitely in effect. What can go wrong, will go wrong. When it comes to this administration. It couldn't happen at a time that would be better. The wolves would jump on this whenever. If this wasn't someone that gave them something to use against Vice President Cheney. Would we even know who Mr. Whittington was? I just wish Mr. Whittington a speedy recovery. I respect the way he has handled the situation. In the grand scheme of things. Sooner or later,this too will pass.

New Cheney Footage ( LOL)

This is an exercise in making lemonade, when life hands you lemons. The Vice President Dick Cheney, has been cleared of any wrongdoing in this matter. So check ot the link below for some sugar:

http://www.youtube.com/watch_fullscreen?video_id=pR7CH9zvD6s&l=172&s=2A24520B94F7E107:8A51374783A7BCE6&fs=1&title=dick cheney goes Hunting

Monday, February 13, 2006

Did He Use Executive Priviledge ?

Over the weekend the Vice President was in a hunting accident. He mistakenly shot his hunting partner, Austin Tx. Attorney Harry Whittington. They were out with another unidentified individual, hunting quail. It appears to have been an accident and the victim is recovering. The problem is, how long it took to report the accident. It was over 24 hours before it was reported. It was leaked on a newspapers website then. Republican opponents are foaming at the mouth. Thinking he did something illegal. Conspiracy theorist figure this was enough time, for the Cheney camp to create a story. The idea is that the Vice President shot him on purpose, for some yet unexplained reason. Is ludicrous to say the least. To shoot someone and later have to explain it publicly, doesn't make any sense. To suggest that this wasn't a mistake, requires a vivid imagination. If you really believe that.

I think it was an accident , but he caused unecessary questions. It wasn't a fatality, but it required hospitalization on Mr. Whittington's behalf. I always thought hunting accidents, were a common occurence. Through gun safety education, it's not as many as I thought. If you're the victim, one is too many. This accident made me wonder about hunting accident statistics. I discovered there is not a whole lot of information out there. Just like in this case. It's left up to those involved to report the incident. By the way they no longer refer to them as accidents, they now call them incidents. Especially when a hunter shoots someone else. Most injuries are self inflicted, and below the victims waist. It's usually in the leg, or either the foot. Mr. Whittington was shot in the right shoulder,chest and cheek. According to eyewitness accounts, the victim broke the cardinal rule of hunting. He came in the line of fire, without making his presence known. He had on an orange vest, which is the law. He dotted all his i's , but he didn't cross all the t's. If Vice President Cheney had been me or you. Among the first people called, would have been the police. If you shot someone mistake or not, and they went to the hospital. If you didn't get shot yourself ,or on your death bed. You would've talked to the police, before a whole day passed.

Somewhat Silent Partners

Someone who hasn't revealed themselves, is behind this recall petition to remove Mayor Herenton. Political insider Del Gill was instrumental, in the beginning of this drive. He was hiding his identity, and calling himself Bill Dundee. Once he was discovered, it took the shine away. He has been quiet lately,hiding in the background. If in fact, he really is the man behind the scenes. I think he's waiting to see how this thing turns out. In case it blows up, in their face. He won't have his name attached to a failure. He better hurry up though, the spotlight will be taken. His partner is a glory hound. Thaddeus Matthews doesn't have a choice. Whether this thing wins or loses, he's in for the longhaul. Everytime this thing comes up, you hear his name or see his face. If he doesn't have to, he won't share the bounty. Take a look at his track record, we'll see if he's changed his ways. That will probably be the first sign of trouble in the "Operation Fedup" camp. I don't understand why this recall petition is being given , all this unwarranted media attention. If the people are as excited about this thing, as the supporters pretend. There is no need for the added publicity. Word of mouth should be spreading like wildfire. I don't think it's getting the response from the voters, that was expected.

The story in the Commercial Appeal, didn't say anything we haven't already heard. We were aware of Mr. Matthew's felony convictions, and his racy radio career. The only thing different was the spiced up interviews that were added. This time they included Janis Fullilove, former radio talkshow hostess. And County Commisioner John Willingham. A former city mayoral candidate. Janis Fullilove had some very poignant things to say about Mr. Matthews. Though they were once political allies, so to speak. She supports Mayor Herenton, over Thaddeus. It's a career move, on her part. I'm not a supporter of her recent politics, but she's right about this. John Willingham a Republican , didn't say much of anything. He just added fluff to the article. If anything, he just added an air of credibility for the Whites. Notice the majority of those who attended the meeting. I feel like him or someone close to him, is at the bottom of this thing. The Commercial Appeal, is indirectly dumming this community down. By suggesting they read something, even they label as gossip. The people of Memphis have enough misinformation already. By doing so, they are adding fuel to the fire. Somebody not Thaddeus Matthews, just won't let this thing die. Along with his help. Instead of letting the people take this to the next phase. They keep throwing it up in our face. To have this thing keep coming up makes me wonder. Who is this throwing rocks, and hiding their hands?

Who Is Maya Angelou, Really ?

I don't mean any harm, in what I'm about to say. It's on my mind though. Some will view this as a chauvinistic remark, but I don't think it is. I'm wondering is this one of those things. We just don't talk about, in front of mixed company. Maya Angelou seems to have significant relationships, with a number of very powerful Black women. I wasn't aware of the closeness between Maya Angelou, and Coretta Scott King until the funeral. I see nothing wrong with sista's watching each others backs. In fact I think that is a good thing. The problem I have is this. The common thread I have noticed in these relationships, is nobody has a man. In my opinion, that is largely the problem in the Black community. We refuse to accept and adhere, to the natural order of things. We want to accomplish equality, without our men rising to the occasion. No matter how succcessful our women become. Until our Black men become the leaders, they are called to be. As a people we will fall short. I don't want the message to young women to be, "you don't need a man". Ms. Angelou is an inspiring, and prolific writer. Her books and poems have profound influence on many people. Maybe she has played well the hand she was dealt. But a voice for the masses, I don't know.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Big Shoes To Fill

I was impressed with the fact that Bernice King had the composure, to deliver her mothers eulogy. I was reminded of my own grandmothers funeral. We all had fond memories of her, that exceeded her public persona. For immediate family members, to be able to stand as a pillar of strength publicly is commendable. Especially during such a vulnerable, and sensitive time. It's more than most people can pull off. The gift of being able to hold an audience of thousands of people captive. Is not a skill, one can just past to someone else. That's what made Martin Luther King Jr. special. He had exceptional oratory skills. Having said that about her father. I wasn't overly impressed with the eulogy given by Ms. King, for her mother. I think there were several people who could've done a more memorable sermon. Coretta Scott King, was an icon in civil rights. Mainly because she was married to the recognized leader, of the Civil Rights movement. She was not a "in your face" type activist. As people at her funeral may have led you to believe. To use her homegoing as a political stage, was not indicative of her character. She had a poised, reserved demeanor about her. She was always a lady. I wish she had been given a homegoing service, worthy of her memory.

This was only the second time I heard Minister King speak. I think one thing she said, was noteworthy. But just like all the other good things, people said at the funeral. It got lost in the mire, of inappropriate statements. She said "Don't do with our mother. What you have made us do, with our father". Let us allow her to rest in peace. Some of those, are not her exact words. But that's what she meant. The public has held the King family responsible, for Martin's dream. If they truly want to move on with their lives. It appears some of the children do, some of them don't. If they do,that was a poor way to start. I think the funeral service was a direct contradiction. It was an awkward attempt to pass the torch, to another family member. Bernice King is highly educated, and well versed. That doesn't make her a rousing speaker though. I think she is more hype than substance. The few times I have heard her speak. I got the feeling, that she was a womens rights activist. If she wasn't Martin Luther King's daughter, would we even know about her ? People are looking for someone to follow. That's evident by some of our leaders. Leadership is not a quality passed down from a father, to his children. Unless they prepare themselves for service. They should be required to prove themselves worthy. Not just given unchecked authority and podition. I don't know Ms. King personally, but I do know this. The honor and trust we've bestowed on her father. Wasn't given to him without works. It came from being on the battlefield, building a reputation as a warrior. I'm sure Ms. King is a great teacher and inspiration, for those around her. That doesn't mean she can follow in her fathers footsteps. The prerequisite for being a leader, shouldn't be and isn't your last name.

Nothing Left To Be Said

I expressed my displeasure with Rev. Lowery's comments earlier, much to the dismay of some people. I am pleased to discover, that it seems widespread. The majority appear to agree with my assesment. Some people dislike President Bush so much, they disregard decency. As someone who is considered as a religious leader. Rev. Joseph Lowery should be one to rise above this type behavior. I found it disheartening that he acted the way he did at Mrs. Kings funeral. At first I thought he might have gotten caught up, in the moment. They were in front of a huge crowd. That always seems to happen when people get in front of the camera. I later got information to lead me to believe it was planned. I noticed several notable activist, didn't speak at the funeral service. This didn't just happen, it was by design. The President was asked to be there. Certain people were not. Steps were taken, to make him feel welcome. That type of behavior wasn't expected.

I was glad to hear the family publicly apologize, for the actions of some. They puposely asked certain people not to come. To prevent these type of outbursts from happening. To have someone slip under the ropes, was a shame but it happened. Coretta Scott King wasn't a rebel. To convey her memory as such, is a contradiction to her life. Just like when Martin Luther King Jr. died, they used it as an excuse to riot. Rev. Lowery and people like President Jimmy Carter, made spectacles of themselves. Until calmer heads prevail, we can't turn this thing around. How do you expect the students to learn, when the teachers don't know.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Bolton Brings Bigger Challenge

The field for the 9th congressional seat, is still growing.The latest candidate to throw his hat into the ring, is county commisioner 'Julian Bolton'. The attorney has announced that he will not seek re-election, to his county commision seat. Even though him and two other members, Walter Bailey and Cleo Kirk. Have won a lawsuit prohibiting term limits. Their terms have been Bolton 23 yrs., Bailey 33yrs., and 17yrs. for Kirk. I think we can safely say, they are career politicians. I have no problems with that, as long as they're effective. The people must be satisfied with his performance. He is consistently elected, over and over again. Somebody in Memphis likes him obviously.

I think 'Steve Cohen' was the best qualified candidate the Democrats had to offer. He has the experience and the connections, to get things done. The people got behind him for the lottery. Why abandon ship now? He should be just what the doctor ordered. An official that does exactly what his constituents ask. Whether it's good, for them or not. He has proven his specialty to be legislation. I think with the right motivation, and courting. He would be the best Democratic nomination.

I think the entrance of Bolton, is racially motivated. I think someone decided, they wanted to keep a Black person in that congressional seat. The seat has been held by someone in the Ford family, for the last 31 years. The Black power brokers probably figured. They didn't have big enough guns in the fight, to defeat State Senator Steve Cohen. That position is a little to important to Blacks, to just let it slip away. Julian Bolton is a more formidable candidate than anyone else, on the Democratic roster. I don't think a position of this importance, should be given to a rookie. Just because it worked before. That doesn't equate to a working plan. We got off lucky with Harold Ford Jr., due to his father. That won't work this time around. Harold Ford Jr. doesn't have a son.


Are there such things as ghost? I would've said there wasn't, before events of late. Now I'm not so sure. Some people act as though their daily lives are affected continually by the actions of someone who has been dead 129 years. There is a small segment of the Memphis community that feel the (Nathan Bedford Forest) park, is impeding the progress of this city today. Based on the way people feel about this park issue. You can pretty much figure, their position on anything else that arises. I think the mentality behind this way of thinking. Is what holds this community back. How can your thinking be affected by something you know nothing about? Many people weren't even aware of the parks origin, before they were told. Some people view this as a oppurtunity to be heard. Jump on a heavily disputed issue, taking advantage of the free publicity. If that's your motivation. I guess I can't blame you. Get what you can for free. That's the extent of my understanding though. Beyond that is senseless, in my opinion.

The problem is these people won't go away. No matter what comes up, they're there with their usual complaints. Always making a mountain out of a molehill. They carry this park thing around, like it's luggage. Why is it that when some people are proven not to be correct? They want to redirect the focus. It changes from being racial, to being a matter of his wishes. Obviously the majority of citizens weren't concerned with the park issue. The activist Al Sharpton, had a lapse in judgement. He thought it would garner more media attention, than it did. I'm sure he was surprised and disappointed. When he only gathered a crowd, of about 250 people. That's giving them the benefit of the doubt. It may not have even been that many. Some of the people there were for the other side. He said he didn't get paid for speaking. Which I sincerely doubt. He was brought to the city and stayed at the Peabody hotel. That's fair payment for what he did. Even swap no swindle. Somebody footed the bill for him being here. It didn't come out of his pocket. Even with a nationally recognized name, the movement didn't build any steam. To most citizens it's just not that important.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. That doesn't entitle you, to belittle someone elses. I have a problem with that type behavior. After a point, it becomes offensive. Usually the people making the accusations. Don't know left from right. Because someone doesn't agree with you. Doesn't make them stupid. In many cases they're not even wrong. It may very well be you. Some things are just a matter of opinion. It would serve us all well, to treat them as such. You can attract more Bees with honey, than you can vinegar. Others could be right, and you're the one that is wrong. If there is such a thing. This is the ghost of ignorance, and disrespect.

Friday, February 10, 2006

In All You Get, Get Understanding

I wanted to find something befitting of my 100th post. Then I began to think about the time I spend on here. Especially since I started this blog. With the invention, of the internet. There is very little reason, for owners of computers to be uninformed. You can put anything in your search engine, and get feedback. There is so much documentation, it's just a matter of what you're looking for. Just like you can find information that can be helpful. You can just as easily find information that is detrimental. There are always three sides to every story. The right one, the wrong one, and yours. Putting all personal biases aside. Did you come to your conclusion, with an open mind? A simple test I always use, to check behind myself. If you had to omit something, or leave something out. You're not telling the whole truth. It doesn't always make you right, but seldom it allows you to be wrong. It at least gives you a reference point to start from. A way to retrace your steps, find out where you went wrong.

I think the assembly of information, is just as important as the collection. The right information in the wrong hands, is equally as damaging as mistakes. To say it's one thing to be wrong, and know it. And another to be wrong, and not know it. Is true, but they both do the same damage. I always go back and add stories to my post , as I come across them. For my own edification, as well as anyone else. A blog is a personal web log, a place to post your thoughts. Mine has been integral in keeping up, with the things I learn. With so many sources of information, you have to be careful. Make sure the things you read, you understand.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

She Talked Too Long

When I expressed that I felt Ms. Shabazz's remarks were too long. Many people were offended by my statement. Needless to say they were Black, and mostly Muslim. Attalah Shabazz spoke at length about the legacy of her mother and father. Mostly that of her mother, being that she was so young when her father died. In some ways her life, resembled that of the King children. She took her time at the podium, to make that comparison. That would have been fine, had it not been a homegoing service for Coretta Scott King. Maybe she just got caught up in the moment. Since everyone else seemed to be speaking out of turn. Why not her; she thought. Not only did she speak out of context. She stayed at the podium too long. She said so much, I think she practiced her speech ahead of time. She had to time it, she read from a prepared speech.

After researching this issue further. I developed a soft spot for Attallah. Any young child would have an affection for their father. If their relationship with him, was a good one while he was there. She was old enough to remember seeing her father being shot down in cold blood. There are six Shabazz daughters, Attallah, Qubilah, Ilyasah, Gamilah, and twins Malikah and Malaak . Four of them watched their fathers brutal death. Betty Shabazz was pregnant with the twins, when Malcolm X was killed. I can imagine the Shabazz children feel as though they have been robbed. Their father died for a cause as well. Unfortunately for his wife and children, it was a different one.

If you're not sure about your spot,maybe you should change your position. I have noticed Black Muslims try and attach themselves to Christian causes. The Civil Rights Movement, was built on Christian principles. Malcolm may have left the Nation of Islam, but he didn't enter the kingdom. At least he didn't say so publicly. If he did, he didn't tell his family. As far as Martin Luther King and a Malcolm X relationship. They may have taken pictures together, and spoke to each other on occasion. That doesn't translate, to a having each others back though. Based on what I see. Both wives followed in their Husband's beliefs. One widow was provided a very good living. The other lived a life that seemed riddled with trouble. Much like their husbands when they were alive. Ms. Shabazz can talk all day long, it doesn't change the past.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Americas's Dirtiest Jobs

Think your job is disgusting? From the gastroenterologist who spends his days deep in the bowels of patients, to the crime-scene cleaner who scrapes human remains off ceilings, here's a look at five careers that are hard on the stomach -- and just might make your job seem like a day at the beach!
Porta-Potty Cleaner To anyone who finds using a porta-potty distasteful, having to clean one might sound unbearable. But it's all in a day's work for the crews at companies like Sani-Hut, who go onsite to clean and service porta-potties. They start by picking up wads of toilet paper, then spray every surface with a degreasing solution. Next, they power hose it all down with scalding water, scrub it, squeegee it, dry it and finish off with a deodorizing spray.
The entire process takes about three minutes (unless the potty has been tipped over and sitting out in the heat for a few days), with the average worker sanitizing anywhere from 10 to 60 potties a day.
"People come up to us all the time and ask how we can do this," laughs Larry Balz, who says this is one of the best jobs he's ever had. "When they find out what we make, they ask if we're hiring."
Annual wages are around $50,000. In addition, Sani-Hut offers incentive pay as well as excellent medical, dental and optical benefits.
Gastroenterologist Don't want to spend your days cleaning toilets? How about plumbing the depths of the human intestines? That's what gastroenterologist Sean Griffin does -- and loves it! "People ask whether I like doing colonoscopies and, to tell you the truth, they're quite enjoyable," Griffin says.
"It's like a computer game with a start and finish point -- and you might find things along the way like polyps that you have to pull off. It requires a lot of manual dexterity and the challenge is quite fun."
Aware of his occupation's public image, Griffin often tells people he's an electrician. However with earning potential of up to $800,000 a year, most folks are able to get over any initial feelings of shame or revulsion.
Crime-Scene Cleaner Perhaps the most mentally disturbing job of all is the crime-scene cleaner, who must cleanse walls of blood and guts, rip out stained carpeting and deal with decomposed bodies or loose remains of victims. Of course all this is done wearing a hazmat suit, respirator and chemical-spill boots.
Starting salary is about $35,000, but after a few years it can jump to $80,000 in a big city (read: high-crime market). Those in private practice make more, as each assignment pays between $500 and $5,000. (We only hope mental health counseling benefits are included.)
Exotic Dancer The adult entertainment industry is often not a person's first career choice and its customers can range from unwholesome to downright unhygienic. While at certain clubs, an exotic dancer can earn up to $2,500 in tips a night, most times, things don't go so well. Sandra Stevens, who writes of her first (and last) exotic dance job in the book, 'Bad Jobs: My Last Shift at Albert Wong's Pagoda and other Ugly Tales of the Workplace,' recalls being ordered to strip to Aretha Franklin's "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" for which she earned $20.
Odor Judge Science is full of inquisitive minds that revel in performing jobs others wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole. According to Popular Science magazine, the very worst is that of odor judge.
Mouthwash companies employ them in their research labs, where, halitosis-inflicted subjects blow into their faces before and after using the product to test its efficacy.
And just recently, two brave researchers were called in to help determine the most malodorous component of human flatus and the role it plays in disease. In the study, 16 subjects volunteered to eat pinto beans and have their gas syringed into a discrete container. The odor judges then sat down with more than 100 samples, opened the caps one at a time, inhaled and rated just how noxious the smell was.
While the researchers did not divulge how much they paid these judges, it would seem safe to say it was not enough!
Sure, you may be bored, frustrated or feel unappreciated at work, but remember there are others out there worse off than you. Next time your job drives you crazy, be thankful it's only testing your patience, not your gag reflexes.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I Am Redeemed

I gained a new found respect, for Bill Clinton today. His main point was, he has been redeemed in the eyes of the lord. I have never heard him publicly state his repentance. He has never admitted that he lied. Many didn't seem to get that from his message, I did. Wouldn't you know the majority of Blacks missed that point. The same president that has gone down in history, for his immorality. He let it be known to those who listened, you can't excuse my iniquities. Even if it's in your wishes. Regardless whether we as a people, forgive him or not. It's not in the hands of man, it's left up to God. He is not the same person, he was different man then. I think the former president has realized, there is a higher power to which he has to answer.

I like the way he challenged Black Fulton county residents. It has the highest percentage of Black millionaires in the country. To all the Black millionaires sitting in the audience, and watching on television. The Martin Luther King Center For Social Change" is in financial trouble. Do you think Eddie Longs church will sponsor the center? Based on the way the crowd applauded, when he got up to speak. I would expect to hear more about his speech. Being that it called for people to follow the true King legacy. It won't get much media coverage. I can't remember exactly what the president said. I remember one word distinctly. It's ironic I heard a sermon the next day, that fitted his speech perfectly. It was written in scripture like this:

Isaiah 44:22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

They Came Together, They Left Together

They all left the church,long before the eulogy. The three minute limit for expressions, should have been enforced to some degree. Some people wanted, to give their own sermons. Mrs. King affected so many people, there wasn't enough time in a day for everyone to speak. Finally Bishop Long had to step in, and bring the remarks to a halt. It would still be going on, if it hadn't been checked by the pastor. I was very impressed with some of the speeches. I thought it was important that they showed up, as a united front. All for America, and America for all. I'll look over the comments made by President Carter. He has always been the softer side of America.

John McCain Says Barak O'Bama, Is A Wolf In Sheeps Clothing ?

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) lashes out at Senator Barak O'Bama (D-Ill.), about his partisan posturing politics. He is only saying, what many observers have already seen. I am put off by these politicians that build their popularity, by doing one thing and saying another. To tell the truth, won't always get you elected to political office. But not being trustworthy, won't make you popular among your fellow politicians. You don't want the reputation, of not being able to deliver. You can fool some of the people, some of the time. You can't fool all the people ,none of the time. Senator Barak O'Bama has been heralded, as the bridge between the two parties. I don't think that's going to happen though. I think Barak O'Bama,is a liberal at heart. He won't take a stand when it's unpopular. True conservatives aren't fooled by his slick talk. Unfortunately for him, they read in between the lines.

I was looking at the polls, and I was surprised. In spite of the enormous trust, the people in Illinois have for him. The people as a whole, don't buy his story. It just shows that people who really study the issues. Don't fall for the rhetoric. You have to come out as what you are, or be uncovered. If you don't engage with honest resolution in mind. You are simply part, of the bigger problem. We have too many people that are part of the process, that are no more than spies themselves.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Tape Tells Nothing

I waited for the tell all tape, that was supposed to pull the cover off Mayor Herenton. The mayor was subpenoaed, not indicted. That's a major difference. I must say I was sadly disappointed, when I heard what the media had. I'm surprised at the coverage, of Eyewitness News. They're usually informative and objective, in their news stories. The tape was merely a discussion between two people, one being a contractor seeking business. The other being someone already convicted, and have served their jail time. So much for their credibility. Not to mention this tape isn't recent. It's unfair to assume Mayor Herenton is involved with wrongdoing, just because of his accquaintance with Mayor Campbell. The circle for Black mayors of major metropolitan cities, isn't that big. Someone who has been in office as long as Willie Herenton, is likely to know quite a few of them. If they investigate any Black mayor in the south. Mayor Herentons name is bound to be mentioned. All this as a result of what a former Campbell aide said, in exchange for not being prosecuted.

Those who don't like the mayor, are salivating over this. There are several things going on in the city, to undermine this administration. Some citizens have a problem with everything he does. Just because it was his doing. I won't say residents, because many of them don't even live in Memphis. Something like this, just adds fuel to their fires. This is not a new investigation. It's over seven years old. Many of the defendants have been convicted, and already served their jail time. If Mayor Herenton was guilty of anything other than guilt by association. He wouldn't be giving testimony, he would be on trial himself. If there is anyone who might end up in trouble it's Reginald French. Just like Dewey Clark admitted taking money for himself. I think this could also be the case with Mr. French. Just like Mayor Herenton though, he's not the one on trial.