Saturday, August 16, 2008

Obama & McCain Participating In Saddleback Forum Tonight On CNN

Tonight on CNN, Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain will be participating in a forum at the Saddleback Church in Orange County, California. The church's pastor, Rick Warren will be asking questions of the two presidential candidates, and the forum will be broadcast on CNN at 8 pm.

The Los Angeles Times is calling the forum a prelude to the upcoming debates. The interviews of the two candidates will be conducted separately. It will be important for Obama to present clear and concise responses to the questions, and honestly tell the audience where he stands on the issues as opposed to what he thinks the audience will want to hear.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Hip Hop Mayor Not Wanted At Democratic Convention

My favorite mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, yesterday was granted permission by one judge to attend the Democratic Convention, but another judge later again placed restrictions on his travel, putting in limbo whether he'll be able to attend. Kilpatrick for his part, has waffled regarding whether he wants to attend, indicating that he doesn't want to be a distraction.

Barack Obama's campaign has not openly requested that Kilparick not attend, but they have suggested correctly that he would be a distraction that they don't need. Michigan is a critical state in Obama's hopes of becoming president. Too bad Kilpatrick won't just take a hint and go away.

Former N.B.A. Player Vincent Askew Arrested For Having Sex With 16 Year Old Girl

We all know that athletes aren't the brightest people on the planet, and often make horrific decisions. I have to add former National Basketball Association basketball player, Vincent Askew to the list. According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Askew, 43, was arrested on Wednesday in Florida accused of having sex with a 16 year old girl.
I guess Askew, who played 9 years in the N.B.A wanted to ruin his life at the age of 43.

Clinton Will Get Roll Call

New York Senator Hillary Clinton will get her name placed into nomination for a roll call vote at the Democratic National Convention later this month. Barack Obama approved the roll call, and it's really a symbolic gesture more than anything to assuage Clinton's many supporters. Hopefully this will mend the fences of the party, and Obama can focus on becoming the next President of the United States.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Actress Tasha Smith Holding 3 Day Workshop In ATL This Weekend

If there are any budding actors or actresses out there, Tasha Smith will be holding a 3 Day workshop in Atlanta this weekend. Tasha most recently starred in Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married", and will be featured in the new Ice Cube, Keke Palmer movie "The Longshots", which premiers on August 22th.

Hip Hop Mayor's Attorney Asks Michigan Governor For Pardon

I just love the "hip hop" mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick. On a slow news day, I can always count on him to bring me laughter. According to the Detroit Free Press, Kilpatrick's attorney has requested that Governor Jennifer Granholm consider pardoning him for the charges that he faces from the text messaging scandal. This is absolutely hilarious, but on top of the pardon request, Kwame has conveniently decided to take a 2 week vacation.

Kwame, the end is near, you can't travel outside of metro Detroit because you're wearing a tether. Enjoy your remaining days at the Manoogian Mansion while you can.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Patty Jackson's 411 Report

In this week's 411 Report, Patty comments on the sad deaths of Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes. She also provides updates on the marital issues surrounding Lisa Raye McCoy-Misick, which is pure drama. She also states that actress Vivica A. Fox and actor David Caruso have been dating. I wasn't aware of this little tidbit.

"Sex Lies and Older Guys"

The Neighborhood Service Organization's Youth Initiatives Project, which is located in Detroit, Michigan, will be holding a workshop to deal with the growing issues that teenage girls are faced with everyday. The next workshop will be held this Saturday, and will be facilitated by comedian/activist Bill Cosby.

The workshop will be open to 1,000 girls aged 12-18 and will tackle such subjects, as sex, deliberate pregnancy, older men, and the effects of the sometimes negative urban culture on their lives. The workshop will also address the alarming trend of increased sexually transmitted diseases amongst young black females.

The Detroit Free Press supplied the article, and profiles young V'Lecea Hunter, who overcame drug use, abuse by older men, and rape to become a speaker at YIP. She has graduated with a 3.89 GPA and will be attending Grand Valley State University in the fall.

Oprah To Be At Democratic Convention When Obama Accepts Nomination

According to the Oprah Blog at The Chicago Sun-Times, Oprah's BFF, Gayle King has announced to Entertainment Tonight that Oprah Winfrey will be in attendance at the Democratic National Convention when Senator Barack Obama accepts the Democratic Nomination for President.

Oprah deserves this moment as she was instrumental in jump starting Obama's campaign. She also initially endured unnecessary criticism to support the Senator from Chicago.

Interesting That Hillary Didn't Take Advice of Top Campaign Strategist

Hillary Clinton's top campaign advisor, Mark Penn advised Clinton to go negative on Barack Obama and cast him as having questionable ''roots to basic American values and culture.'' Clinton, however, never took Penn's advice, which probably would've cast her in an even more negative light with African Americans. The Atlantic Magazine profiles Hillary's downfall.

In hindsight, if Hillary really wanted to win the Democratic Nomination for President, going extremely negative as Penn suggested probably would've sealed the deal, but she would've ultimately lost the election to John McCain using this tactic. The alternative of Obama losing to McCain in the fall allows her to still run in 2012, and by then African Americans would be over the "sting" of Obama losing if that ultimately happens.

Stroke Killed "Black Moses"

The New York Daily News is reporting that Isaac Hayes' family physician, Dr. David Kraus states that Hayes died from a stroke on Sunday. Kraus had been treating Hayes for high blood pressure.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Chicago Gets $2 Million Federal Aid To Fight Gangs

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that city agencies will have access to $2 million in funds to be used towards reducing gang violence. Chicago will be the 11th city to receive funds from the Justice Department's Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative since 2006.

Interesting information, only 11 cities have received funds from the Anti-Gang Initiative since 2006. Hopefully all of our U.S. cities are aware of this information.

San Francisco Black Population Dropping Faster Than In Any U.S. City

According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, blacks are exiting the city of San Franciso at an alarming rate, and as of 2005 comprised only 6.5% of the population in the city. According to the article, blacks are leaving the city due to the lack of quality schools, affordable housing, jobs, and a quality black culture.

Walls Closing In On Detroit Mayor

Yesterday the walls appeared to be closing in on Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick after Lt. Michael Kearns, a Detroit Emergency Medical Service worker, stated in an affidavit that he saw an upset Tamara Greene(shown at right) at a Detroit gas station in late 2002 according to an article in the Detroit Free Press. Greene is the dancer who allegedly performed at the infamous party held at the Manoogian Mansion where the mayor resides. She was killed the following spring while sitting in a vehicle with her boyfriend, and the crime remains unsolved. At the time of her encounter with Kearns, Greene stated that the mayor's wife had hit hit her, and thrown her out of the mansion.

It's always been suspected that Kwame Kilpatrick had some knowledge regarding Greene's murder. Kilpatrick for his part has always denied that there was even a party with dancers at the mansion. When the walls finally come tumbling down on Kilpatrick, it will be a massive avalanche for all of the dirt that's on his hands.

Monday, August 11, 2008

R.I.P. "Black Moses"

First we lost Bernie Mac, now we've lost one of the true innovators of music as we know it today, Isaac Hayes. Hayes was simply a genius. Prayers go out to his family in their time of grieving.

Another Day of Young Brothers Dying from Violence

Yesterday I posted an article from the Orlando Sentinel about 3 young brothers dying from a hail of bullets. Today's link is from the Chicago Sun Times that profiles three more young brothers, Devin Stokes; Oscar Pritchett, and Kent Flowers Jr.. All under 20, and all now dead, killed when they were sitting a car outside of Flowers' home early Saturday morning.

It really isn't my intention to constantly mention black men dying from violence, but unfortunately at every turn, it's a constant in our culture.

Sisters Becoming Prison Guards In Philly Jail System

Faced with a struggling economy, and having to sometimes work 2 jobs that pay minimum wage, a growing number females in the Philadelphia area are taking jobs as prison guards. The starting salary is just under $39,000, and they have the opportunity to make a decent amount of overtime. The Philadelphia Inquirer profiles several of the women choosing to face the obvious dangers of working in the prison system.

The numbers from the article are pretty startling. Women now comprise 49 percent of the total corrections officers and supervisors who serve a prison system in which 90 percent of the occupants are male.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Operation Safe Streets Expanding In Baltimore

Baltimore Mayor, Sheila Dixon is expanding the city's Operation Safe Streets program with an infusion of $1.7 million. The program was initially funded by federal money, but the new cash infusion was generated from private donations. The Baltimore program is modeled after the Chicago program called CeaseFire and is in it's 14th month of existence. The program hires ex-offenders to reach out to the youth to encourage the mediation of disputes instead of turning to violence. The initial results of the program have been promising, and the Operation will now be expanded to five active sites.

This is a great program, but expensive. Again, I hate to try to tell the wealthy how to spend their money, but programs like this would be a good investment that won't have a monetary return, but a socially conscious return. Thanks to the Baltimore Sun for the story.

3 Funerals Bring Orlando Drug Dealers To Their Knees

The Orlando area is valiantly attempting to take back it's community after 3 young males were shot execution style at the Palms Apartments on July 30th over stolen drugs. Carlos Patterson, 16; Cedric Garrett Jr., 18; and Marcus Hayes, 29 were killed in the episode. Yesterday the funerals for the 3 young men were held, and Bishop Kelvin Cobaris of Empowerment Ministries Church chastised the drug dealers with the following statement, "I want to let you know that if you're a drug dealer in here, you just kill like the murderers, killing the community. It's not the white man that's killing you. It's the foolish Negroes just like you."

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the drug dealers broke down in tears and swore off violence for a day. Very sad story of continued violence in our communities. 3 more brothers taken away from us before their lives have begun. Perhaps the church is the way to reach the thugs in our communities, because nothing else has worked.

Hip Hop Mayor Ex-Pastor Says He Should Resign

Embattled Detroit Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick's ex-pastor is asking for him to resign according to the Detroit Free Press. Rev. Edgar Vann, pastor of Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit says, "I just feel that the mayor came into office with a lot of promise, a lot of potential, some very unique gifts to help Detroit be better." "I think that what we have over the city now is this abyss of darkness that prevents us from moving forward. ... And so I think the time has come for the mayor to resign."

Vann helped Kilpatrick get elected as mayor, but he's now calling on his fellow clergy members to encourage Kilpatrick to resign so that this travesty of an administration can end.

Should The U.S. (Black) Mens Basketball Team Have Boycotted The Olympics?

Today in Beijing, China, the U.S. Men's basketball team routed the China team in the opening game of their quest to regain the Olympic Gold Medal. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are widely considered to be the leaders of the team comprised of 12 black men who happen to play basketball.

President George Bush proudly stood in the huddle as the team prepared for the beginning of the game and sat in the stands along with his wife watching the 12 black men proudly represent their country. China has come under tremendous criticism for its human rights issues, but I wonder if the 12 black players on the U.S. team can really be proud of the tremendous epidemic that is taking place in their own country as their own brethren, the black man, is quickly becoming an endangered species.

I wonder if LeBron, Kobe or Dwyane Wade asked President Bush if he was going to address the growing crime problem in urban areas, or the scarcity of black men receiving the basics of an education. What would've happened if they had approached managing Director Jerry Colangelo, and presented a series of grievances that needed to be addressed before they would be willing to perform for their country. With the clout that these players have, Colangelo would at least have been put on notice that these players do have a social conscious.

At the end of the day, I'm in no position to advise 12 mini corporations how to spend their time when performing their jobs. I just wish that they would display their consciousness more publicly when on such a national stage as the Olympics. Especially when they're operating from a rare position of power and authority.