Oct 31, 2010

Via Daily Kos:


What was the average monthly private sector job growth in 2008, the final year of the Bush presidency, and what has it been so far in 2010?

What was the Federal deficit for the last fiscal year of the Bush presidency, and what was it for the first full fiscal year of the Obama presidency?

What was the stock market at on the last day of the Bush presidency? What is it at today?

Which party’s candidate for speaker will campaign this weekend with a Nazi reenactor who dressed up in a SS uniform?


In 2008, we lost an average of 317,250 private sector jobs per month. In 2010, we have gainedan average of 95,888 private sector jobs per month. (Source) That’s a difference of nearly five million jobs between Bush’s last year in office and President Obama’s second year.

In FY2009, which began on September 1, 2008 and represents the Bush Administration’s final budget, the budget deficit was $1.416 trillion. In FY2010, the first budget of the Obama Administration, the budget deficit was $1.291 trillion, a decline of $125 billion. (Source) Yes, that means President Obama has cut the deficit — there’s a long way to go, but we’re in better shape now than we were under Bush and the GOP.
On Bush’s final day in office, the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 closed at 7,949, 1,440, and 805, respectively. Today, as of 10:15AM Pacific, they are at 11,108, 2,512, and 1,183. That means since President Obama took office, the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 have increased 40%, 74%, and 47%, respectively.

The Republican Party, whose candidate for speaker, John Boehner, will campaign with Nazi re-enactor Rich Iott this weekend. If you need an explanation why this is offensive, you are a lost cause.

Bravo Mr. Stewart!!! Excellent rally! I enjoyed it immensely.

Text from speech:
And now I thought we might have a moment, however brief, for some sincerity. If that's okay - I know that there are boundaries for a comedian / pundit / talker guy, and I'm sure that I'll find out tomorrow how I have violated them.

So, uh, what exactly was this? I can't control what people think this was: I can only tell you my intentions.

This was not a rally to ridicule people of faith, or people of activism, or look down our noses at the heartland, or passionate argument, or to suggest that times are not difficult and that we have nothing to fear--they are, and we do.

But we live now in hard times, not end times. And we can have animus, and not be enemies. But unfortunately, one of our main tools in delineating the two broke.

The country's 24-hour, political pundit perpetual panic conflictinator did not cause our problems, but its existence makes solving them that much harder. The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems, bringing them into focus, illuminating issues heretofore unseen. Or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire, and then perhaps host a week of shows on the dangerous, unexpected flaming ants epidemic. If we amplify everything, we hear nothing.

There are terrorists, and racists, and Stalinists, and theocrats, but those are titles that must be earned! You must have the resume! Not being able to distinguish between real racists and Tea Party-ers, or real bigots and Juan Williams or Rick Sanchez is an insult--not only to those people, but to the racists themselves, who have put in the exhausting effort it takes to hate. Just as the inability to distinguish terrorists from Muslims makes us less safe, not more.

The press is our immune system. If it overreacts to everything, we actually get sicker--and, perhaps, eczema. And yet... I feel good. Strangely, calmly, good. Because the image of Americans that is reflected back to us by our political and media process is false. It is us, through a funhouse mirror--and not the good kind that makes you look slim in the waist, and maybe taller, but the kind where you have a giant forehead, and an ass shaped like a month-old pumpkin, and one eyeball.

So why would we work together? Why would you reach across the aisle, to a pumpkin-assed forehead eyeball monster? If the picture of us were true, of course our inability to solve problems would actually be quite sane and reasonable--why would you work with Marxists actively subverting our Constitution, and homophobes who see no one's humanity but their own?

We hear every damned day about how fragile our country is, on the brink of catastrophe, torn by polarizing hate, and how it's a shame that we can't work together to get things done. The truth is, we do! We work together to get things done every damned day! The only place we don't is here (in Washington) or on cable TV!

But Americans don't live here, or on cable TV. Where we live, our values and principles form the foundation that sustains us while we get things done--not the barriers that prevent us from getting things done.

Most Americans don't live their lives solely as Democrats, Republicans, liberals or conservatives. Americans live their lives more as people that are just a little bit late for something they have to do. Often something they do not want to do! But they do it. Impossible things, every day, that are only made possible through the little, reasonable compromises we all make.

(Points to video screen, showing video of cars in traffic.) Look on the screen. This is where we are, this is who we are. These cars. That's a schoolteacher who probably think his taxes are too high, he's going to work. There's another car, a woman with two small kids, can't really think about anything else right now... A lady's in the NRA, loves Oprah. There's another car, an investment banker, gay, also likes Oprah. Another car's a Latino carpenter; another car, a fundamentalist vacuum salesman. Atheist obstetrician. Mormon Jay-Z fan.

But this is us. Every one of the cars that you see is filled with individuals of strong belief, and principles they hold dear--often principles and beliefs in direct opposition to their fellow travelers'. And yet, these millions of cars must somehow find a way to squeeze, one by one, into a mile-long, 30-foot-wide tunnel, carved underneath a mighty river.

And they do it, concession by concession: you go, then I'll go. You go, then I'll go. You go, then I'll go. 'Oh my God--is that an NRA sticker on your car?' 'Is that an Obama sticker on your car?' It's okay--you go, then I go.

And sure, at some point, there will be a selfish jerk who zips up the shoulder, and cuts in at the last minute. But that individual is rare, and he is scorned, and he is not hired as an analyst!

Because we know, instinctively, as a people, that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light, we have to work together. And the truth is there will always be darkness, and sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land.

Sometimes, it's just New Jersey.

Via Huffington Post:

There may be something rotten at McDonald's -- and it's not a year-old Happy Meal.

The owner of a franchise in Canton, Ohio enclosed a handbill in employees' paychecks that threatened lower wages and benefits if Republicans don't win on Tuesday.

"As the election season is here we wanted you to know which candidates will help our business grow in the future," reads the letter. "As you know, the better our business does it enables us to invest in our people and our restaurants. If the right people are elected we will be able to continue with raises and benefits at or above our present levels. If others are elected, we will not. As always, who you vote for is completely your personal decision and many factors go into your decision."

The note ends with a list of candidates McDonald's believes "will help our business move forward." It names Republicans John Kasich for governor, Rob Portman for Senate, and Jim Renacci for Congress. With the letter was a biography of Renacci.

"The handbill endorses candidates who have in essence pledged to roll back the minimum wage and eviscerate the safety net that protects the most vulnerable members of our workforce," said Attorney Allen Schulman of Canton law firm Schulman Zimmerman & Associates, which received the documents from an employer who stepped forward. "But it's more than that. When a corporation like McDonald's intimidates its employees into voting a specific way, it violates both state and federal election law. It's no surprise to anyone that Ohio is a battleground state in this election, and for a multinational corporation like McDonald's to threaten employees like this is morally and legally wrong. This despicable corporate conduct is the logical extension of the Citizens United decision, which has unleashed corporate arrogance and abuse."

Schulman turned over the documents to local prosecutors, asking them to "investigate this matter for a criminal violation." Ohio election law specifically states that no corporation "shall print or authorize to be print...or post or exhibit in the establishment or anywhere in or about the establishment...handbills containing any threat, notice, or information that if any particular candidate is elected or defeated, work in the establishment will cease in whiole or in part, or other threats expressed or implied, intended to influence the political opinions or votes of...its employees."

On Friday, franchise owner Paul Siegfried apologized in a written statement, saying the communication was "an error of judgment on my part." "Please know it was never my intention to offend anyone," he added. "For those that I have offended, I sincerely apologize."

In a statement to The Huffington Post, Shirley Rogers Reece, general manager of McDonald's Ohio region, said, "We wholeheartedly respect diverse views and opinions, and our employees' right to vote. Our position is that every employee should make his or her own choice. McDonald's had no knowledge of this material being distributed. As independent business owners, our franchisees are responsible for matters regarding their own employees. The content of this material is not reflective of McDonald's position. We remain bipartisan on these matters. That said, while clearly this was poor judgment, we don't believe it was intended to offend anyone."

Oct 29, 2010

Volunteer for Get Out The Vote, go to OFA.BO/GOTV

To call swing districts: Call.BarackObama.com. That will automatically give you a targeted list of voters in a swing district.

To volunteer with MoveON with a campaign near your home, go here: www.moveon.org/2010

If you want to call from home, go here: pol.moveon.org/2010

If you want to go to a MoveOn campaign event, go here: pol.moveon.org/event/lastchance

Meek: Clinton didn't push me to drop out

MIAMI (AP) -- Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek is denying reports that he agreed to drop out of the Florida Senate race under pressure from former President Bill Clinton.

Politico reported Thursday that Clinton, while campaigning with Meek in Florida last week, tried to talk him into quitting. It says that Meek agreed twice to drop out and endorse independent candidate Gov. Charlie Crist.

In a statement, Meek campaign manager Abe Dyk says the congressman is staying in and never agreed to give up.

A Crist campaign spokesman says the story is accurate.

Polls show Meek badly trailing Crist and front-runner Republican Marco Rubio.

Clinton has been campaigning all over the country, trying to keep the U.S. House and Senate in Democrats' hands.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

CHICAGO (AP) — Oprah Winfrey is again taking on sexual abuse in a pair of shows she calls "two of the most phenomenal" she's ever done.

Harpo Productions said Thursday that each of 200 men in "The Oprah Winfrey Show" audience will hold a photo of himself at the age when he says he was first abused. Winfrey will be joined on the Nov. 5 episode by filmmaker Tyler Perry and a psychologist who works with male sexual abuse survivors.

In the show's second half airing Nov. 12, the men will discuss abuse's impact on their relationships as they are joined by their spouses, partners and girlfriends.

Winfrey has said she was abused. The talk show host says she's proud of the episodes and hopes they "can be an open door to freedom" for men who have been abused.
Kenny Ortega, the choreographer/director responsible for turning footage of Michael Jackson's last concert rehearsals into the documentary movie "This Is It," has reportedly signed on to adapt the iconic music video for Jackson's 1982 song "Thriller" into a full feature length film.

The filmmaker, who oversaw preparations for Jackson's planned "This Is It' tour," is due to get behind the camera for the new film version, reports Deadline.com. "The Hangover's" Jeremy Garelick is writing the movie's screenplay, and Rod Temperton, the man who wrote the song, is also involved.

The original 14-minute video, which saw Jackson leading a group of zombies through a now infamous dance routine, was originally shot by director John Landis and is often considered to be the greatest pop music video of all time.

Word has it that the forthcoming film could focus on the character played by Vincent Price in the video. Price provided the video's narrative voice as well as the rap section

According to the UK's Guardian newspaper, the makers of the "Twilight" series of films are interested in buying the rights to the film, as are Lionsgate and Twentieth Century Fox.

There is currently no word on when filming will begin.


Oct 28, 2010



Jasmine performed this poem at the 2010 Stomp Da Madness at University Wisconsin - Madison. The sista reminds me of Jessica Care Moore.

Here's the words to the poem:

You are being traded paper in exchange for you to be plastic

All Dolls will eventually mal-function

(I don’t even know why these girls bother at this point like give it up, it ’s me I win you lose)

Nicki MInaj,

(It’s me)

I must admit

I have always been intrigued by your ass,

I guess that’s what the world looked like after falling from your shoulders.

(Like give it up)

You have the heartbeat of a suicide bomber

A baseline breathing out of your pulse

Your thighs play storage for the weight of this world

I dreamt that you used to back packed, the lost raps, of Female MCs who could not find their way out the cipher

(Its just like I single handedly annihilated like every rap bitch in the build)

Traded in your crown for unsharpened pencils and blank CDs

(Like give it up)

Do you ever feel a cord gripping on your neck, choke, spit?

Don’t let this industry rape the Assata out of you


Can and will never be code for queen

You are a Queen no matter how many times they try to shuffle you back in tape decks.

Bi Sex, straight, you’ve earned my respect

(You da Bestest)

But I know your spine binds and crooked lines

And you can’t seem to write a rhyme for your broken daughters

Slaughter, bent over back, ass cracked, bitch slapped, in videos

There is nothing pedal bike pretty about broken

Do you know what this media is trying to do to you?

Look in the mirror, They will porcelain


Doll the shit out of you

Leave you noose necked hanging from Zion they will Lauryn Hill you

The mis-education of a Barbie doll coming soon

(I just had an epiphany)

Barbie, I think NYC is making you forget you come from Queens

It’s scary when you have wack MCs trying to ghost write your obituary

(You should buy a 16 cuz I write it good)

Your existence is not recyclable to me


Stop spitting me toy stories


Of Woodys and Buzzlight Years who only come alive when no body is watching

Fake breast

Once upon a time before puberty and tissue filled training bras all little girls wanted a toy chest

What do you treasure?

You have turned your G-spot into a land-mine

Dirty, disgusting

We have been waiting centuries for a woman like you to stomp your stiletto in history

This microphone is not a dildo so you are going to have to cum a little harder than that,

(I, win, I win, you lose)

Come a little harder for rap

Too many women before you have laid down tracks — UNIT…Y?

So you wouldn’t have to record on your back

Spit some shit it for girls who kiss girls and got beat down to their backs

We will remember you for that

Lips sync your screams and remember your inflections and memorize your raps



For young money anyone can buy themselves their own ( I’m Nick Minaj, Nicki Lewinski, Nicki Barbie, the boss)

Crown, Vagina, Womanhood, and Talent,

All Sold separately


You are being stabbed in the back

Inserted with a wind up string and a tag?

(R, R, R, Roger that)


For more poems by Jasmine check out her Youtube channel.
In Jay-Z's upcoming book, "Decoded," the superstar MC examines his career via a close analysis of his most famous lyrics. That, of course, required that his lyrics be written out -- something Jay hasn't actually done since 1996, when he scratched out the words to "Can I Live" for his debut "Reasonable Doubt." Jay-Z, who has described his creative process as "no paper, no pen, just listen to the music," appeared in Miami earlier this week. He was there to celebrate the launch of his partnership with search engine Bing -- which involved an internet-driven, international scavenger hunt to locate pages from the memoir -- where the lyrics to his 2000 hit "Big Pimpin' " were revealed in dramatic fashion, printed in giant type on the floor of the Delano hotel's pool.

Ironically, that's the one song Jay admits he had a hard time revisiting.

"Some [lyrics] become really profound when you see them in writing. Not 'Big Pimpin.' That's the exception," he told the Wall Street Journal in a candid new interview. "It was like, I can't believe I said that. And kept saying it. What kind of animal would say this sort of thing? Reading it is really harsh."

The lyrics to "Big Pimpin' " describe Jay-Z's troubled relationship with women (in short: He wants them to look good, stay away from his money, and be available when he needs them), a subject he has abandoned since marrying Beyonce in 2008. In fact, Jay says all hip-hop needs now is love.

"We have to find our way back to true emotion. This is going to sound so sappy, but love is the only thing that stands the test of time," he told the WSJ, name-checking two of the most iconic hip-hop records of the past 15 years. "'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill' was all about love. Andre 3000, 'The Love Below.' Even N.W.A, at its core -- that was about love for a neighborhood."

Jay-Z said he'd like to hear more about the real challenges facing people today -- like the housing crisis and unemployment -- in other rappers' lyrics. This idea hearkens back to Public Enemy MC Chuck D's oft-paraphrased observation that rap is CNN for black people. Jay-Z cites hip-hop's efforts to help Barack Obama get elected as proof the community can help foster social change.

"Whether he does a great job or not is almost secondary to what it did for the dreams and the hopes of an entire race," he said. "Just based on that alone, it's a success -- the biggest we've had. ... It's Martin Luther King's dream realized. Tangible. In the flesh. You can shake his hand."

Hip-hop "saved a generation," argues Jay-Z, which is why it's important to preserve its legacy and continue pushing it ahead. Every time he steps into the booth, he has to believe he's going to make "the best album of all time."

"You always fail," he added, "But every time I go up to bat, I'm thinking how can I make an album better than "Thriller."

Decoded, which was co-authored by writer-filmmaker Dream Hampton, will be released on November 16.

Maybe he should do an album discussing the societal ills of the country and maybe other rappers will follow.  Gone are the days of the Furious Five and Public Enemy.  Rap is more BET than CNN for the community.  Rappers would rather talk about popping bottles in the club than discuss the fall out from the popping of the housing bubble and the impact it's had on the community.  Now, I know we can't place all the blame on the rappers.  We, as consumers, must share the blame also.  This is just as much our fault as it is theirs. 
I voted today.  As a Pennsylvania resident temporarily relocated to Washington D.C., I had to fill out an absentee ballot.  I am proud to say that I overnighted my ballot today (since it has to be at the election office by 5pm tomorrow).  Since I voted absentee, I was unable to Take a Buddy to the Polls with me, but I don't want that to stop you from taking a buddy to the polls with you.  If you know of a friend or family member who is registered to vote make sure you take them to the polls with you when you go to vote.  The media and pollsters are counting on us not to participate so it's imperative that we prove them wrong.
Just remember that voting is only the beginning of your civic duty as a citizen of this country.  You must remain active and vigilant.  It is imperative that you read the Constitution for yourself and make sure your children read it as well.  Knowledge is the only way one can counter ignorance.  We have to arm ourselves with facts and then start our own 527's and Political Action Committees (PAC's).  We have to get in the game if we ever expect to win it.
Please join us this Sunday on Savvy Talk Radio at 6PM EST as we continue our discussion about the importance of African American turn out during the midterm elections with the show titled, Black In America: To Vote or Not To Vote Part II.

Most writers would sell their souls to have their work spotlighted by Oprah Winfrey.

After all, Winfrey's endorsement can make stars out of unknowns. When featured on her syndicated talk show, books routinely rocket to the top of the best-seller lists.

So it comes as a bit of surprise to learn that one Philadelphia scribe is suing Winfrey, claiming that she read selections from a booklet he penned a decade ago.

Charles Harris, in a suit filed this week in U.S. District Court, says Winfrey recited selections from his work last year without permission.

He also claims Winfrey neglected to credit him or mention the booklet's title.

Harris says Winfrey's unauthorized use was "deliberate, willful, malicious, oppressive, and without regard to [his] property rights."

A spokeswoman for Winfrey said Tuesday she could not comment. "We have not been served in this lawsuit," she said.

Harris says he wrote How America Elects Her Presidents in 2000 and has been selling it through his own company. The booklet is not available - nor is it mentioned - on Amazon.com or any other mass-market retailer.

In the 12-page legal document filed Monday, Harris says he thought it would be a "good business opportunity" if Winfrey championed his book.

So he says he mailed off 10 copies to Harpo, Winfrey's production company, in January 2008.

When Winfrey didn't ring back after five weeks, Harris spoke with a Harpo employee who said there was no record of receiving the booklets. Harris says he sent the booklets via certified mail and says he received confirmation that they were delivered.

On Feb. 16, 2009, Harris says, he was thrown into "shock and dismay" as he watched The Oprah Winfrey Show. Winfrey, he said, recited several questions included in his booklet. "She was also highly praising of the information contained in the booklet."

He says "the language and structure of the questions were exactly the same" as the copyrighted material in his book.

The suit says the material was not intended for Winfrey's show and that "plagiarizing from Mr. Harris' booklet How America Elects Her Presidents constitutes copyright infringement in violation of the Copyright Act."

Harris claims Winfrey damaged his business reputation and caused a loss of all profits. He wants $150,000 for each "intentional unlawful use," and additional money to cover damages and lost profits. He also demands that Winfrey destroy any remaining copies of the booklet in her possession.

Harris's company, Unique Products & Services, could not be immediately located. The filing attorney named on the suit, James Lee, of Brooker, Richardson & Associates, did not return several calls placed to the firm's offices in Center City and Texas.


This was a good season for education. NBC launched "Education Nation," its intensive, ongoing coverage of education in America. Speaking before a Texas audience, President Obama called education "the economic issue of our time," and said that he was absolutely committed to making sure that "here in America...nobody is denied a chance to make the most of their lives just because they can't afford it." Back in Washington, he convened a summit to consider the role that community colleges play in college completion. The Department of Education awarded $330 million in "Race to the Top" grants to public schools that are making their schools better.

But while most people were working to help more Americans get a good education, a few were working to tear down a community of institutions, America's historically black colleges and universities, that are getting the job done. Working in fact, to make sure that fewer, not more, Americans, and fewer African-Americans in particular, can go to college.

It started with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. "Once an essential response to racism," wrote Journal writer Jason Riley, HBCUs "are now academically inferior." Citing sources more than thirty years old, Riley said that HBCUs should be turned into community colleges, or turned over to for-profit corporations. Riley's motion was seconded by an Ohio University professor, Richard Vedder. Blogging at the Chronicle for Higher Education, Vedder called Riley "a great writer" and HBCUs an "embarrassment to our nation."

Both Riley and Vedder are as wrong as they can be. HBCUs represent only 4 percent of all 4-year institutions but produce 21 percent of all bachelor's degrees awarded to African-Americans. A National Science Foundation study found that the top eight colleges producing African-Americans who went on to get Ph.Ds. in science and engineering over the previous decade were HBCUs -- ahead of Harvard, UC-Berkeley, MIT, Brown and Stanford. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. graduated from an HBCU. So, more recently, did the president of Brown University, the Surgeon General of the United States, and the president and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education. HBCUs have produced Rhodes scholars and host chapters of Phi Beta Kappa.

But don't take my word for it. Dr. MaryBeth Gasman, an associate professor of higher education in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, has called the arguments of Riley and his sources "flawed" and "ill-informed." "A fair assessment of the work of HBCUs places them side by side with historically white institutions (HWIs) with similar student populations," she writes. "Such an evaluation would show that in many cases HBCUs are doing a better job of educating African-American students. Moreover, they have done so with far fewer resources than their HWI counterparts."


You've heard the lies, now believe the facts

"The dirty little secret," writes Washington Post financial columnist Steven Pearlstein, "is that most Americans don't really know what they think about the issues that so animate the political conversation in Washington, and what they think they know about them is often wrong."

The list of public misconceptions is long and politically crippling. Maybe the single most damaging is that the Obama administration has brought about an epidemic of government spending, tripling the yearly budget deficit and vastly increasing the national debt.

Never happened. History records that President George W. Bush, who inherited a $236 billion government surplus from the Clinton administration in 2001, handed President Obama a stacked deck eight years later.

The Congressional Budget Office's projected budget deficit for FY2009, beginning four months before Obama took office, was already in excess of $1.3 trillion. Indeed, the 2011 budget deficit is projected to be ever-so-slightly lower than the one Bush left on the White House doorstep. Despite the one-time $787 billion economic stimulus (spread over three years), no huge growth in government spending has taken place on Obama's watch.

Three proximate causes of the rising national debt remain: the Bush tax cuts of 2001, his unfunded Medicare drug benefit, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Alas, stating these historical facts has been declared out of bounds. It's playing the "blame game," a formulation greatly persuasive to Tea Partiers and conservative talk-show hosts basically because it rhymes.

Yes, the United States needs to get its fiscal affairs back to where they were under the previous Democratic administration. But not by slashing spending and laying off government employees during an economic crisis, as it appears the British people, to their collective sorrow, are doomed to relearn.

People have heard Republicans say "the failed stimulus" so often that many believe it. Again, according to the CBO, the (clearly inadequate) American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan resulted in approximately 3 million jobs, the difference between a lingering recession and a full-blown depression, most economists would say.

Also, many people swear Obama raised their taxes. Actually, he cut them. Almost one-third of the stimulus consisted of tax cuts, not spending. But because the money reached people in small increments through decreased withholding, most don't know it.

And, no, it wasn't the Obama administration that bailed out Wall Street. The Bush administration enacted TARP in October 2008, although most Democrats (Obama included) voted for it. We'd all like to see more high-flying Wall Street fraudsters locked up, but TARP did succeed in saving the financial system while paying for itself.

Ditto the auto industry bailouts, an unfortunate necessity also first initiated by the Bush administration that's basically worked. Do you really think Americans would be better off without General Motors?

No, you don't.


Somali women carry weapons during a demonstration organized by the islamist Al-Shabaab group iin Mogadishu on July 5, 2010.
 Somali militant group publicly executed two teenage girls Wednesday after accusing them of being spies for the Somali government, according to the group, eyewitnesses and a relative of one of the girls.

"Those two girls were evil and they were spies for the enemy (the Somali government), but the mujahedeen caught them and after investigation, they admitted their crime, so they have been executed," said Sheikh Yusuf Ali Ugas, commander of Al-Shabaab in Beledweyne, a town in central Somalia.

The teens were blindfolded with their hands behind their backs against a tree, and shot, according to a local journalist.

A resident of Beledweyne told CNN that Al-Shabaab called on the town's residents to come out and watch the execution.

"Hundreds of people came out to watch the execution," he said. "It was very bad ... the girls looked shocked and were crying but [no one] could help."

A relative of one of the teens denied they were spies.

"My cousin, Ayan Mohamed Jama, was just 16 years old and she was absolutely innocent," said the relative, who did not want their name used out of fear of retribution from Al-Shabaab. "And Al-Shabaab caught her and the other girl between El-gal and Beledweyne and simply accused them of what they were not."

The other girl, said the relative, was 15. Al-Shabaab refused their families' request to see the teens while they were in detention, "and they executed them at a public gathering, so this is inhumane and cruelty."


This will be my first rally on the Mall.  I'll be sharing details and pictures....
Mariah Carey Pregnant
Now people can finally get on with their lives.  Mariah is pregnant and all is right with the world.  Maybe now we can get on with more pressing matters such as the election next week.
Mariah Carey is going to be a mommy.

The superstar singer confirmed on NBC's "Today" show Thursday that she and husband Nick Cannon are expecting their first child. Carey says the baby is due in the spring.

Carey had declined to discuss her pregnancy, the subject of rampant speculation for months, until now.

Carey and Cannon have been the subject of a baby watch since they got married after a whirlwind romance two years ago. Carey said the couple was actually surprised to discover that she was pregnant at that time, but she had a miscarriage soon afterward.


Oct 25, 2010

Mariah is BACK!!! For anyone who had doubts about whether or not ol' girl could still bring it in the vocal department, you need to give her new duet with her mother, Patricia, a listen. Mariah's latest Christmas anthem comes off of her new Christmas cd,‘Merry Christmas II You’ in stores on November 2nd.

MimiPat by grapejuicy

Mariah's signture dog whistling octave along with her mother's operatic splendor makes this one an instant classic for me. Welcome back MiMi. We sure have missed your voice.

Gospel singer Tye Tribbett suffered from such terrible depression during the breakdown of his marriage, he contemplated suicide "almost every day". Tribbett's relationship with his wife Shante became strained after he admitted to having an affair with a woman from his choir, Greater Anointing, in 2009.

The damage to their marriage was compounded when Shante sought revenge by cheating on Tribbett with another man, sending him spiraling into a deep depression. He tells the Associated Press, "I thought it was something that'll never happen. I saw infidelity with my mum and dad who was a pastor, which made them split. I told myself that I would never do that. So when it happened in my marriage, it was like 'Whoa.' God broke down my self-righteousness, my pride..."

"When I was between my house and mum's home (during the separation), I was contemplating suicide - almost every day." But the couple, which shares two daughters, has since patched up its relationship, and Tribbett insists the union is now stronger than ever.

He adds, "Every second, it's like we are texting each other. We've been married for 13 years, but it's kind of like we are dating again. Personally, this is a fresh start for me as a husband and a father."

LeBron James took to Twitter to introduce his new commercial 'Rise' which pretty much aims to revamp the star's tarnish image after 'The Decision.'

I actually find the commercial to be quite clever with the subtle dig at Charles Barkley, who happened to be one of LeBron's staunchest critics, as well as the us of Dr. Maya Angelou's iconic poem 'Still I Rise.' Even the cameo from Miami Vice's Crockett aka Don Johnson was a nice touch.

But at the end of the day I really don't think this commercial will do anything to change people's mind about LeBron. Those that hate him will continue to hate him as well as those that love him will continue to love him. The only thing that can change LeBron's image is if he goes out and win a championship. Everybody loves a champion just ask Kobe.

Conspiracy theorists from all over can now rejoice since even the mainstream media is beginning to report on Kanye West and the allegations of him being apart of the Illuminati.  I knew the movement I saw his new video that was going to be the only thing people could talk about and so it has begun.

Via CNN:

Kanye West is having a devil of a time convincing critics that he's not a Satan worshiper.

The hip-hop star took to Twitter yesterday to deny claims that his new short film "Runaway" contains references to the occult and the Illuminati, a secret society thought to control world events. In fact, MTV reports, West claims he doesn't even know what the Illuminati is!

"Is Illuminati and devil worshiping like the same thing?" tweeted West, whose video shows people marching in hoods and model Selita Ebanks as a sexy phoenix.

West goes on to have fun with the rumors. "What's better for devil worshiping, Iphone or the Droid?" he asks. "Does Lucifer return text... is he or she on Skype? Don't wanna be sexist."

This isn't the first time West has been accused of turning to the dark side. He created a stir last year after spitting out the freestyle verse, "I sold my soul to the devil," and also sparked rumors with his Jay-Z/Rihanna collaboration, "Run This Town." In the video for the song, the trio perform in front of an angry mob and appear to overthrow the order of things.

For his part, Jay-Z, who has also faced numerous Illuminati accusations because of alleged occult imagery in his videos and Rocawear clothing designs, denies having a deal with the devil.

"As far as God, of course I believe in God," he told radio DJ Angie Martinez of Hot 97 in New York City. "Am I a part of some sect or cult? That sounds stupid to me. It's like ignorant to even say, and umm… I guess that'll be the last time I address that. It's ignorant to me."

This definitely sounds like something I'll be on the look out for.  Oprah, Meryl and Sandy makes for quite an interesting combination.

Hollywood is BUZZING!

Writer/director Michael Patrick King of Sex and the City fame has a new comedy in the works and it has an all star female cast like none other!

The movie is set to star Academy Award-winning actresses Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock and the wonderful Oprah Winfrey. The power trio have already committed to the untitled project, with a rumored plot to revolve around working at the Home Shopping network.  King met with producer Scott Stuber and hammered out the idea with the three leading ladies in mind.

"I came up with the idea of writing for Meryl, Sandy and Oprah, and it became so specific to them that I wanted to be sure I had interest from these ladies," King told Deadline. "I put it in front of each of them and they all said yes. To have access to these women, tell them this story and hear yes was almost like a Greek mythological journey, with me going from one goddess to the next. It was humbling."

King is currently working on the script and expects to have it completed by January, with production scheduled to begin in the late summer or fall of 2011.

Spirit Day
featuring the
King & Queen of Orange & Green

Date: Monday, October 25

Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Location: The "Set"
Comedy • Talent Showcase • Concert

Monday, October 25

8 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center
Teaching Gymnasium
Royal Luncheon for Mr. & Miss FAMU/Court
(By Invitation Only)

Date: Tuesday, October 26
Time: Noon  – 2 p.m.
Location: Grand Ballroom
Dorm Step Show and Movie

"Stomp the Yard II"

Tuesday, October 26

8 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center
Teaching Gymnasium
SGA Annual Homecoming Barbeque

Date: Wednesday, October 27

Time: Noon – 4 p.m.

Location: FAMU Park
BET College Tour

Date: Wednesday, October 27

Time: Noon – 4 p.m.

Location: FAMU Park
Black College Music Conference

Thursday, October 28

2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Perry-Paige Auditorium
Coronation of Mr. & Miss FAMU

Thursday, October 28

7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Lee Hall Auditorium

Coronation Ball & Gala

9 p.m. – Midnight

Grand Ballroom
Via CNN:
A county prosecutor in Michigan is proposing a law that could punish parents with jail time for repeatedly missing their children's parent-teacher conferences.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy introduced a proposal Tuesday at a Detroit City Council meeting that would require a parent to attend at least one parent-teacher conference a year or face up to three days in jail, according Maria Miller, Worthy's press secretary.

The proposal, which Worthy has also sent to the state legislature and the Wayne County Commission, would exempt parents whose children are performing exceptionally well or who are actively engaged with their children's teachers. Parents who are unable to travel for health reasons also would be exempt.

So far the proposal has met with mixed responses.

Detroit Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown applauded Worthy's idea, saying he would support legislation.

"It's child abuse when your child is failing in school and you're not involved, because you are strapping that child to a life of poverty," Brown told CNN.

He noted, however, that jailing parents for missing school meetings might not be practical and suggested altering the punishment. "If it's not jail maybe it's something else, but we've got to do something to get the parents' attention," he said.

Daniel Lessard, a member of the Livonia Public Schools board, said that he agrees with the need to get parents involved, but called the idea "the dumbest thing I've ever heard."

"You can't legislate parental involvement. I think this proposal is purely political and a real neat way to get your name in the paper," Lessard said.

Wayne County Commissioner Laura Cox, R-Livonia, blasted the proposal because she feels that Worthy has bigger problems she needs to deal with first. "Kym Worthy has a record of complaining that her office doesn't have enough funding to prosecute violent crimes, and now she wants to put parents in jail. It's despicable," Cox said.

According to the proposed ordinance, teachers would work to accommodate parents' schedules by setting up conferences at any time during the day. Additionally, any parent convicted under the law would have their sentences delayed to give them another chance to attend a meeting. If they do, the charges would be dropped.

At present there is no legislation pending in the state House, County Commission or City Council.

Kym Worthy was not available for comment Thursday.

Oct 24, 2010

Interesting seems to be the only word I can use to describe this nearly 35 minute short film from rap impresario Kanye West. The video stars Supermodel Selita Ebanks as a phoenix who falls to earth and encounters Kanye. There is a lot of symbolism and metaphors in this video. I'm pretty those who believe Kanye is a member of the Illuminati or what have you are going to have a field day with this. I can only imagine what the conspiracy theorists are going to say.

I have two favorite scenes in the video and that is the parade honoring Michael Jackson and the 'Last Supper' scene. Each was pretty cool in my opinion.

Thriller this video is not or no where near, but it is definitely better than what most artists are putting out today. I'll definitely appreciate Kanye for pushing the boundaries and trying something new. Hat tip to Hype Williams for the screenplay.

***Side Note***

Am I the only person that notice all the servants during the 'Last Supper' were white while the people dining were black? Hmmm..... now that's interesting....

Oct 22, 2010

Eric Cantor Npr

Unwilling to let go of the white-hot sociopolitical debate, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced on Friday tha de-funding National Public Radio would be an option that GOP leadership would consider.

Speaking a day after NPR fired longtime analyst Juan Williams for comments he made admitting to a personal fear of Muslims on airplanes, the Virginia Republican joined the chorus of conservatives who have called on Congress to cut the station's funding. House Republicans, Cantor said, would list that option among other policy suggestions that visitors could vote on leadership's YouCut website.

"Whether it's people walking off The View when Bill O'Reilly makes a statement about radical Islam or Juan Williams being fired for expressing his opinion, over-reaching political correctness is chipping away at the fundamental American freedoms of speech and expression. NPR's decision to fire Juan Williams not only undermines that, it shows an ignorance of the fact that radical Islam and the terrorists who murder in its name scare people of all faiths, religions, and beliefs. In light of their rash decision, we will include termination of federal funding for NPR as an option in the YouCut program so that Americans can let it be known whether they want their dollars going to that organization."

A statement like this is obvious red meat. One only need to watch Fox News these past 24 hours to get the sense of how riled up conservatives are is over William's firing -- using it, in a way, as an opportunistic medium to attack NPR's alleged liberalism. But putting the defunding option on the YouCut website doesn't necessarily guarantee it will happen.

When the House GOP leadership unveiled its agenda for the 111th Congress, title America Speaking out, an analysis done by the office of DCCC Chair Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) showed that roughly 80 percent of the ideas put on that website went ignored.


When Joey Mazzarino's adopted Ethiopian daughter Segi told him that she hated her hair and wanted to have long, straight, blond "princess" hair, he decided to do something about it. Mazzarino, a Sesame Street puppeteer, created a Muppets video called "I Love My Hair." In the 2-minute video, an as-yet unnamed brown puppet with an afro dances and sings "I love my hair" repeatedly.

The video was first shown on Sesame Street's October 4 episode. Then it was posted on Sesame Street's YouTube page. And then it went viral, as women began posting it on their Facebook pages.

The original video post, put up a week ago, has how received 706,000 views.

"Don't need a trip to the beauty shop, 'Cause I love what I got up on top," the Muppet sings. "I love my hair, I really really really love my hair." Then the little Muppet shows all the different ways she can wear her hair and sings, "I love all the things my hair can do."

The message stands in stark contrast to many media messages about appearance, in which one narrowly-defined standard of beauty is held up as the ideal for all girls and women. Perhaps that is why the video is receiving such a strong reaction from even adult women. One YouTube commenter said, "It's interesting that there are such undertones of self-confidence and cultural pride in such a inocent video. I think it sends a good message to anyone."

The strong reaction to the video has surprised Mazzarino. "I sort of wrote this little thing for my daughter," he said, but he is receiving calls from adult women touched by the video's simple message of loving and accepting oneself the way you are.

Interestingly, "I Love My Hair" is one of two videos about black hair that are receiving national and international attention. The other is Willow Smith's "I Whip My Hair," which has a similar – although more subtle – message of empowerment. Not surprisingly, there is already a YouTube mashup of the two songs, which has had 450,000 views.
Real Housewives of Atlanta star, NeNe Leakes, went to People magazine to discuss all the plastic surgery work she's had done in between shooting the RHOA.  I'm thinking we pretty much already knew this, but homegirl felt the need to confess.  Personally, I think NeNe looks fine both before and after.  If getting her nose done and her breast lifted makes her happy then who am I to talk about her? 
Here is what TheYBF is reporting:

42-year-old NeNe, who admits she's vain and now wants botox, dished to People magazine about all the work she had done in between "RHOA" seasons.  We figured this chick was just holding out for a payday. 

She's had a nose job, of course, a downsize of her DD implants to a D, a breast lift, and liposuction.  Not surprised by any of it as we figured a whole lot was different about Mrs. Leakes this season.

The now size 8-10 NeNe says she feels "so confident" after her surgery, and after losing 15lbs pre-lipo.  


Kamari Charlton, Singapore, caning, Florida State

A former Florida State University football player faces the possibility of being beaten with a cane in Singapore.

Kamari Charlton was arrested in September when he tried to leave the city-state almost 200 days after his 90-day "social visit pass" expired.

But Charlton's lawyers said he was staying in Singapore while his wife received medical care for pregnancy complications.

If found guilty of overstaying his visa, Charlton would become the first U.S. citizen caned in Singapore in 16 years.

The last time an American citizen was punished by caning there was in 1994, when teenager Michael Fay was punished for vandalism.


Most Americans believe messages about homosexuality coming from religious institutions contribute to negative views of gays and lesbians, and higher rates of suicide among gay youths, a new poll reports.

While split on whether same-sex relations are sinful, Americans are more than twice as likely to give houses of worship low marks on handling the issue of homosexuality, according to a PRRI/RNS Religion News Poll released Thursday (Oct. 21).

A plurality (45 percent) of Americans, however, give their own house of worship an 'A' or 'B' grade on how it handles homosexuality.

After a recent spate of teen suicides prompted by anti-gay harassment and bullying, the poll indicates a strong concern among Americans about how religious messages are impacting public discussions of homosexuality.

Nearly three-quarters of Americans (72 percent) say religious messages about homosexuality contribute to "negative views" of gays and lesbians, and nearly two-thirds (65 percent) see a connection to higher rates of suicide among gay youths.

"I think we are, without a doubt, making progress," said Brent Childers, executive director of Faith in America, a nonprofit organization founded in 2005 to combat negative religious messages about homosexuality.

"There is a growing awareness and understanding about the harm that is caused when society places a religious or moral stamp of disapproval on the lives of gay and lesbian individuals, especially youths."
Che "Rhymefest" Smith, a Chicago Grammy Award-winning rapper, announced Thursday that he will run for alderman of the 20th Ward to the sounds of cameras clicking. A lot of cameras.

Smith, 33, is no stranger to the limelight, and as he spoke of the issues facing his community — poverty, disenfranchisement, struggles of small-business owners — he waxed poetic.

"The definition of revolution is love," he said.

Among moments of levity — a cell phone rang during the news conference and a gnat took a particular liking to him during an interview that followed ("If I was like Barack Obama, I could just catch it, but I'm not that quick") — Smith did not take his run lightly.Before making the decision, Smith, of Washington Park, said he asked himself how effective he could be, if he was doing it for the right reasons and if he could truly help people.

Smith said he would use hip-hop as a tool to speak to the youths and engage the community, as well as his connections in the music industry to bring business back to the many boarded-up storefronts.

He said he will call on Kanye West, with whom he co-wrote the song "Jesus Walks," which won him a Grammy, and fellow rapper Common to "start a 20th Ward renaissance."

Smith will face Ald. Willie Cochran, who has declared his intention to run for re-election in the 20th Ward, which includes Woodlawn, Washington Park, Englewood and Back of the Yards.

Smith said his grandmother, a Woodlawn resident who stood with him Thursday, related stories of "a Cottage Grove and a King Drive that she walked down and people said hello to each other." Not, he said, a neighborhood where he is fearful of sending his 12-year-old son, Solomon, to the park. His son and daughter Amirah, 2, were among the crowd of supporters who gathered at the local car detailing shop at which he announced his candidacy.

"This is the ward that we are going to take back for the people who live here," Smith said. "We are the 20th Ward, and we will reclaim our greatness."

Oct 21, 2010

Juan Williams

Veteran journalist Juan Williams was fired from his job as senior news analyst for National Public Radio late Wednesday because of comments he made about Muslims and terrorism on "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News Channel.

NPR said in a statement that Williams's remarks--including that he gets "worried" and "nervous" when he sees people dressed in Muslim-style clothing on airplanes--"were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR."

Williams, 56, made the remarks after the show's host, Bill O'Reilly, asked him whether he thought the United States was facing a "Muslim dilemma." "The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet," O'Reilly said.

Williams, who is African American and writes and speaks frequently on race, told O'Reilly that he agreed with his assessment.

"I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country," he said. "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

Williams then brought up a statement made in a New York courtroom this month by Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani-American who pleaded guilty to trying to detonate a bomb in Times Square and was sentenced to life in prison.

"He said the war with Muslims, America's war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don't think there's any way to get away from these facts," Williams said.


I'm not mad at singer/actress Simone for going on the defensive when it comes to her legendary mother, Nina Simone.  If placed in the same situation I'm pretty sure I would've came out swinging too. 
Mary J. Blige, who is slated to play Nina Simone in an upcoming biopic, made the statement that Nina was a 'drug addict' and let's just say the claim didn't go over very well with the late singer's daughter.  Here is what she had to say to Eurweb.com about the situation:
The conversation took a turn in a different direction when we asked Simone her opinion of recent statements made by Mary J. in which she is quoted as saying the late legendary Nina Simone was a "drug addict" when asked what she and the late entertainer/activist had in common.

"Yes I was sitting here praying as you said that because I was saying 'I hope the right thing would come out my mouth'," she joked. "All I can say is if you're going to do a movie about a great public figure I think it behooves you as a person who has decided this is what they want to do, to do their due research so that you can embody the character and bring the most that you can of their personality to the screen. After having read Mary J. Blige's comments (yesterday) that just kind of capped off (in my mind) that I don't think that's been done.""That's very disappointing and disconcerting for me because now information is being put out that is not true. My mother was not a drug addict," she continued. "She was many things but a drug addict is not one of them. That's the best way that I can put it right now. I'm attempting to reach out to her so that maybe through us sitting down and talking she can get a better idea of who my mother was, what made her tick and why she did the things that she did. I don't know who she's been talking to or whose been talking to her, but obviously we need to get together."

"My mother was very complex," admitted Simone. "She's been dead now … this coming April, 2011 will be eight years. Since my mother passed away what was left of the rose colored glasses of my childhood died with her. As the administrator of her estate, a mother, business woman and entertainer I'm walking very closely in her footsteps. In the last eight years I'd like to think that I've gained a much deeper understanding of her. She was mommy all my life where as now she's Nina: the woman, the person, the human being. And it's really helped me heal these past eight years."

Oct 20, 2010

OUR VIRGINIA Past & Present

A textbook distributed to Virginia fourth-graders says that thousands of African Americans fought for the South during the Civil War -- a claim rejected by most historians but often made by groups seeking to play down slavery's role as a cause of the conflict.

The passage appears in "Our Virginia: Past and Present," which was distributed in the state's public elementary schools for the first time last month. The author, Joy Masoff, who is not a trained historian but has written several books, said she found the information about black Confederate soldiers primarily through Internet research, which turned up work by members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Scholars are nearly unanimous in calling these accounts of black Confederate soldiers a misrepresentation of history. Virginia education officials, after being told by The Washington Post of the issues related to the textbook, said that the vetting of the book was flawed and that they will contact school districts across the state to caution them against teaching the passage.

"Just because a book is approved doesn't mean the Department of Education endorses every sentence," said spokesman Charles Pyle. He also called the book's assertion about black Confederate soldiers "outside mainstream Civil War scholarship."

Masoff defended her work. "As controversial as it is, I stand by what I write," she said. "I am a fairly respected writer."

The issues first came to light after College of William & Mary historian Carol Sheriff opened her daughter's copy of "Our Virginia" and saw the reference to black Confederate soldiers.

"It's disconcerting that the next generation is being taught history based on an unfounded claim instead of accepted scholarship," Sheriff said. "It concerns me not just as a professional historian but as a parent."

Virginia, which is preparing to mark the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, has long struggled to appropriately commemorate its Confederate past. The debate was reinvigorated this spring, when Gov. Robert F. Mc­Don­nell (R) introduced "Confederate History Month" in Virginia without mentioning slavery's role in the Civil War. He later apologized.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group of male descendants of Confederate soldiers based in Columbia, Tenn., has long maintained that substantial numbers of black soldiers fought for the South The group's historian-in-chief, Charles Kelly Barrow, has written the book "Black Confederates."

The Sons of Confederate Veterans also disputes the widely accepted conclusion that the struggle over slavery was the main cause of the Civil War. Instead, the group says, the war was fought "to preserve their homes and livelihood," according to John Sawyer, chief of staff of the Sons of Confederate Veterans' Army of Northern Virginia. He said the group was pleased that a state textbook accepted some of its views.


Lance Gross could hardly be described as green since, by now, he's a seasoned actor. But he is contributing to the green movement with his work on the Toyota Green Initiative for historically black colleges and universities. 

Gross will serve as a mentor to students and as one of the judges of the Toyota Green Initiative Contest.

The TGI encourages students to turn their HBCUs green with a contest that will allow a student to win a one-year lease on a 2011 Toyota Prius. Students must take the Promise Drive at their school and then upload their plan with documentation of their project to make their school more green.

Toyota officials will travel to 13 HBCUs to provide onsite information about sustainability and how students can help the environment.

Here's a list of upcoming TGI events:

Wednesday, Oct. 20
Miles College
BET Campus Tour
12 - 4 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 22
Alabama State University
BET Campus Tour
12 – 4 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 23
Fayetteville State University Homecoming
CIAA College Tour
Saturday, Oct. 23
CIAA College Tour
Winston-Salem State Homecoming

Wednesday, Oct. 27
Florida A&M University
BET Campus Tour
12 - 4 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 29
Albany State University
BET Campus Tour
12 – 4 p.m.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called Anita Hill to ask her to apologize for accusing the justice of sexually harassing her, 19 years after Thomas' confirmation hearing spawned a national debate about harassment in the workplace.

Virginia Thomas said in a statement Tuesday that she was "extending an olive branch" to Hill, now a Brandeis University professor, in a voicemail message left over the weekend.

In a transcript of the message provided by ABC News, which said it listened to the recording, Thomas identified herself and then said, "I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. Okay, have a good day," Thomas said.

When Hill heard the voicemail, she contacted Brandeis' public safety office, which in turn informed the FBI.

"I certainly thought the call was inappropriate," Hill, who worked for Clarence Thomas in two federal government jobs, said in a statement released Tuesday night.

"I have no intention of apologizing because I testified truthfully about my experience and I stand by that testimony," she added.

In her statement, Virginia Thomas said she did not intend to offend Hill.

"I did place a call to Ms. Hill at her office extending an olive branch to her after all these years, in hopes that we could ultimately get passed (sic) what happened so long ago. That offer still stands, I would be very happy to meet and talk with her if she would be willing to do the same," Thomas said.

FBI Special Agent Jason Pack, a spokesman at bureau headquarters in Washington, declined to comment on the voicemail.

During his 1991 Senate confirmation hearings to the high court, Justice Thomas adamantly denied Hill's accusations that he made inappropriate sexual remarks, including references to pornographic movies. Thomas said he did talk about X-rated movies while at Yale Law School, adding that so did many other young people in the 1970s.

The allegations nearly derailed his nomination.

Thomas called the nationally televised hearings a "high-tech lynching."

He broke a 16-year silence about the hearings in a 2007 book, "My Grandfather's Son," writing that Hill was a mediocre employee who was used by political opponents to make claims she had been sexually harassed. The justice's wife first suggested Hill apologize in interviews the couple gave after the release of the book.

Hill had worked for Thomas at the Education Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She first made her allegations after Thomas had been nominated to the high court, 10 years after she began working for him and only after she was contacted by congressional investigators.
Via Eurweb:
The upcoming Queen Latifah-produced movie "Single Ladies" has been expanded into a weekly television series for VH1. Today, the cable network announces more details surrounding the project.

The movie, starring Stacey Dash, LisaRaye McCoy, Charity Shea and DB Woodside, is to become an eight-episode series set to launch in July, 2011, according to Variety.

Latifah, who was not initially featured in the project, is now scheduled to make a guest appearance in the expanded TV version. She took inspiration from Beyonce for the film, about a group of girlfriends who are unlucky in love, naming it after the singer's hit "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)."

The movie was shot in the summer of 2010 and features guest appearances by Lauren London, Eve, Common, Chilli, and Kim Porter.

Here's how VH1 describes its TV version…

Single Ladies is a comedic drama about a Val, Keisha, and April – three best friends with different philosophies on sex and relationships. Val ( Stacey Dash) is an ambitious aspiring fashion mogul who wants to find a true partner. Keisha (LisaRaye McCoy), on the other hand, is a former video dancer just looking for a rich man to keep her in style. April (Charity Shea) has supposedly found the perfect man and the perfect marriage – but is learning that marriage isn't necessarily a happy ending. Single Ladies is a modern, sexy series set in the world of Atlanta fashion, music, and celebrity that will constantly explore which woman has the right approach to relationships.

"My (producing) partner Shakim (Compere) and I are excited to collaborate with VH1, as they have a similar vision on how to bring this show to life," Latifah says in a statement. "I think 'Single Ladies' will really fill a hole in what is needed on television today."

  • Executive producers include Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, and Shelby Stone for Flavor Unit Entertainment. Executive producing for VH1 are Maggie Malina, Jill Holmes, and Jeff Olde. "Single Ladies" was written by Stacy Littlejohn and directed by Tamra Davis.

Oct 19, 2010

By Dr. Boyce Watkins
When I heard about 16-year old Ralph Jones Jr. choosing Florida A&M University over Harvard, I didn't even flinch. In fact, the words "woopty damn doo" came to mind. Those words were not chosen because I didn't appreciate the enormity of Jones' achievements, but rather, it was because most of us already know that many HBCUs are better than schools like Harvard and Yale. They are certainly better for African American students in almost every context.

The imaginary mystique of schools like Harvard and Yale effectively exists because these schools got a huge head start on HBCUs as it relates to access to resources and the establishment of legacy. In fact, many of these institutions were founded at a time when it was illegal for slaves to learn how to read. So today, Ivy League universities have endowments in the billions, while many HBCUs can barely pay the light bill.

But fortunately, you don't need lots of money to inspire and educate. You can learn more from perusing the Internet than from sitting in the class of some stodgy, old professor. Additionally, your intellectual development is largely a function of the degree to which you are inspired by those who teach you. HBCUs provide inspiration, while many majority universities only provide unnecessary social hurdles.

Black students have a greater likelihood of having an uplifting and confidence-building experience at a place like Morehouse or Spelman than they would at Harvard or Yale. Rather than feeling as though they are guests in someone else's home, they get the sensation of being right at home when they are at an HBCU. Many schools like Harvard and Yale have a horribly embarrassing track record when it comes to hiring black professors. Their consistent rejection of black scholars signals that as a collective, they consider black intellectuals to be inferior to white ones. Do you really want your child being taught by someone who believes that they are inferior?

So, when it comes to the decision being made by Ralph Jones Jr., I applaud him. He reminds me of the enormous potential of black men, and what we are capable of when we put our best foot forward. Every parent should demand that their child be as hard working, proficient and focused in the classroom as they are on the basketball court. In fact, it's easier to excel academically than I also think that many of us should consider sending our kids to HBCUs instead of buying into a power structure that tells us that almost everything black is somehow inferior. Black athletes earn a billion dollars per year for majority institutions, when that same billion dollars could change the world for HBCUs.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and a Scholarship in Action Resident of the Institute for Black Public Policy. He is also the author of the book, "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about College." To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — Crystal Cathedral, the megachurch birthplace of the televangelist show "Hour of Power," has filed for bankruptcy in Southern California after struggling to emerge from debt that exceeds $43 million.

In addition to a $36 million mortgage, the Orange County-based church owes $7.5 million to several hundred vendors for services ranging from advertising to the use of live animals in Easter and Christmas services.

The church had been negotiating a repayment plan with vendors, but several filed lawsuits seeking quicker payment, which prompted a coalition formed by creditors to fall apart, church officials said.

"Tough times never last, every storm comes to an end. Right now, people need to hear that message more than ever," Sheila Schuller Coleman, the Cathedral's senior pastor and daughter of the founder, told reporters Monday outside the worship hall.

"Everybody is hurting today. We are no exception," she said.

The church, founded in the mid-1950s by the Rev. Robert H. Schuller Sr., has already ordered major layoffs, cut the number of stations airing the "Hour of Power" and sold property to stay afloat. In addition, the 10,000-member church canceled this year's "Glory of Easter" pageant, which attracts thousands of visitors and is a regional holiday staple.

Vendors owed money by the church formed a committee in April and agreed to a moratorium to negotiate a repayment plan with the Crystal Cathedral.


Two Spelman College women created a first-place winning AT&T mobile application and captured a $10,000 prize with a tool called HBCU Buddy.
Jonecia Keels and Jazmine Miller, co-captains of the college's Spelbots robotics team, will share the $10,000 scholarship with their winning development for the 2010 AT&T Big Mobile Campus Challenge.
The women said they developed the HBCU Buddy because many people still are unaware of what an HBCU really is.
"There are many people, including African-Americans, who hold stereotypes pertaining to these colleges and universities, such as the false belief of HBCUs not being academically challenging institutions - which is far from the truth," said Keels, a Spelman senior majoring in computer science and computer engineering. The Miami native is currently studying at Columbia University as part of a combined program.
"We created this app to educate the masses, inspire the next generation to attend HBCUs, and also demonstrate that HBCUs are still a mecca for producing talented and future leaders in our society," Keels told BlackAmericaWeb.com. 
The women included features on the app, such as virtual tours, that would have helped them when they were preparing to enter college, said Jazmine Miller, a senior majoring in computer science.
"Neither NeeCee or myself were able to see Spelman before we moved in," Miller told BlackAmericaWeb.com.

HBCU Buddy is a fully-fledged mobile service application that provides detailed information about each and every HBCU in the nation and integrates all facets of college life. The application opens with a directory profiling each HBCU, with information on academics, admissions, research, student life and alumni, among other details. After selecting a school, students can navigate through the school – literally – by accessing virtual tours of buildings, on-campus videos and local GPS and directions.

HBCU Buddy can also provide students with customizable social networking features to connect with each other, their school and community. The application connects to social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, and integrates tools such as chat and calendar to help students stay informed. Students can use the application to follow the latest on school club and campus happenings, local events, hot spots around the community and more.