Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Race Is On

Barack Obama has officially selected Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate. Right now, I'm not sure how I feel about this selection, since I believe that Obama needed Hillary Clinton to win in the fall.

The fact that Hillary was never vetted boggles my mind, and borders on arrogance in my opinion. Obviously the Obama camp feels that they can win in the fall with Biden, so officially The Race Is On.

Hillary Talks About The Loss Of Her Friend And Sister

New York Senator, Hillary Clinton, spoke to the Cleveland Plain Dealer about the loss of her good friend Stphanie Tubbs Jones. I vividly remember watching Tubbs Jones appear on the nightly cable show supporting her good friend Hillary Clinton when was competing against Barack Obama. I also remember her stating that she knew Hillary Clinton well before she knew of Barack Obama, and despite criticism from the black community she never wavered in her support of Clinton.

Clinton will honor her good friends memory by supplying buttons with Tubbs Jones' photo to her supporters at the Democratic Convention next week.

TV One and BET Covering Democratic Convention Very Differently

The Los Angeles Times has posted an interesting article regarding how the two black cable networks, TV One and BET will cover the Democratic Convention this week. TV One will be covering the convention gavel to gavel in prime time, while BET will provide sporadic coverage except for broadcasting Barack Obama's acceptance speech in it's entirety.

Obviously BET still doesn't get it. This week will be one of the most historical weeks in our lifetime and they're only providing sporadic coverage. Don't get me wrong, I love watching reruns of "Girlfriends" or the latest "Access Granted", but come on BET, "You're Better Than That."

Has Shaq Lost His Mind?

This story broke yesterday, but shocked me so much that I just couldn't comment. The fact that N.B.A. superstar Shaquille O'Neal is accused of stalking Atlanta area rapper Alexis Miller is crazy.

Miller is alleging that Shaq threatened to pay performers $50,000 not to work with her, and of sending her threatening e-mails.

I always thought that Kobe Bryant was the crazy one, when he and Shaq played together with the Lakers. Obviously, with Shaq's career winding down, he's also starting to lose some of his brain cells. Shaq's estranged wife Shaunie had even indicated this week that the two would be reconciling. This new revelation may put a damper on that one.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Jameer Nelson Also Assisting Teammates With Money Matters

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson is giving an additional assist to his teammates by inviting them to the Philadelphia area for a week of bonding, which includes receiving investment advice from money management experts.

In light of the the recent revelations concerning Michael Vick and countless other athletes who earn millions, only to be penniless once their careers are over, Nelson is doing the right thing for his teammates.

Pancreatic Cancer Takes Out Upshaw and Carry

Pancreatic cancer took the lives of actor Julius Carry, and NFL Hall of Famer and Player Association President Gene Upshaw this week. Carry was 56 at the time of his death, and best know for portrayal of Sho'Nuff from the movie the "The Last Dragon". Upsahw, who was 63, received his diagnosis on Sunday, and was gone by Wednesday evening. Prayers go out to the Carry and Upshaw families in their time of grieving.

Some of the signs of pancreatic cancer are the following:

Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes).
Pain in the upper or middle abdomen and back.
Unexplained weight loss.
Loss of appetite.

Brothers, please go get annual physicals. Pancreatic cancer is very difficult to detect, and apparently once it hits, the chances of survival are minimal.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Usher Supports Obama In Detroit

R&B Superstar, Usher, made a stop in Detroit today in an effort to encourage voters to support Barack Obama. Usher encouraged over 200 people at Obama's Detroit headquarters to urge all family and friends to get out and support the Senator from Chicago.

Besides being a superb singer and dancer, Usher is a persuasive speaker and ardent supporter for Sen. Barack Obama. Thanks the the Detroit Free Press for the article.

"Just Stand Up"

The once prolific musical production team of L.A. Reid and Babyface have reunited to produce the star studded charity single "Just Stand Up" (click the link for a listen). The single, which will support the Sept. 5th "Stand Up For Cancer" telethon includes the following singers: Mariah Carey, Sheryl Crow, Leona Lewis, Beyonce, Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, Carrie Underwood, Melissa Etheridge, Miley Cyrus, Fergie, Ashanti, Natasha Bedingfield, Keyshia Cole, Ciara and LeeAnn Rimes.

L.A. and Face went their separate ways as a production team in the the mid nineties, and individually carved out their own indomitable niches in the music industry. Good to see them back together for a good cause.

Barack's Half Brother

The Chicago Sun Times summarizes an article from Vanity Fair Italy concerning Sen. Barack Obama's 26 year old half brother George Obama. George Obama lives in a shanty home in Nairobi, Kenya on $1 a month.

Obama has been open about his family roots, and his brother's living conditions is a reflection on his "rolling stone" father, and not the Illinois Senator. George says that he's only met his brother on 2 occasions, and stated that the last time he met him 2 years ago, "it was like meeting a stranger."

McCain Leading Obama In Reuters/Zogby Poll

There's finally something for Sen. John McCain's supporters to be happy about, a poll that shows him with a lead over Sen. Barack Obama in the race for the presidency. The latest Reuters/Zogby poll shows McCain with a 5 point lead over Obama, however the graph shown here gives Obama a narrow lead over McCain when the average of all of the major polls are taken.

Obama obviously has work to do, to solidify his base. Next week's Democratic Convention will be very interesting as we will find out if the Clinton support of Obama will be lukewarm or joyous.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Bolt of Lightning

Jamaica's now 22 year old sprinter, Usain "Lightning" Bolt, broke Michael Johnson's 12 year old 200 meters world record with a time of 19.30 seconds at the Olympics on Wednesday. Bolt, who stands 6 foot 5 inches now holds the world record in the 100 meters and 200 meters races.

Like swimmer, Michael Phelps, Bolt has captivated a worldwide audience, and hopefully brought back some credibility to a sport that has been tarnished in recent years by steroids. Keep running like a gazelle young brother.

R.I.P. Stephanie Tubbs Jones

It was announced today that U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones died today after suffering a burst brain aneurysm. Tubbs Jones was the first black woman to represent the state of Ohio in Congress, where she served five terms. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

Detroit Scandal Estimated Cost: $10.5 Million

Since I started my blog about 3 months ago, I've been on an almost daily rant about Detroit Mayor, Kwame Kilpatick, and the Text Messaging Scandal for which he and his sidekick Christine Beatty are responsible. According to the Detroit Free Press the scandal at present has cost the city an estimated $10.5 million and still counting. This is why Kwame needs to GO, and soon.

Obama Turning Gray

The New York Daily News has posted an interesting and very factual article about the "graying" effect that the presidential campaign is having on Barack Obama. Obama, who turned 47 this month, has held up well on the trail, however, even he can't combat the effects of father time on his now closely cropped hair. What can I say, it's a slow news cycle.

Vick's Home Still For Sale In Metro Atlanta

If anyone is interested, Michael Vick's home is still for sale in Duluth, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. The asking price is $4.5 million. Vick reportedly had a mortgage on the home of $2.85 million. I wonder why Vick didn't just pay cash for the home. This is why athletes and entertainers need an education. Thanks to the Atlanta Journal Constitution for the article.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Friends Beaten Up Because Of The Color Of Their Skin In Philly

The Philadelphia Daily News is reporting a very disturbing occurrence of what has to be considered a hate crime. Levi Lee and Bryson Mills, lifelong friends, who grew up in Philly were beaten after encountering the following exchange in which the assailants had chased another black male, according to the article:

" 'Get back here, n-----,' " one yelled, according to Lee and Mills. " 'We gonna get you, n-----.' "
One of the white guys took a swing at the black guy, and Mills said that he yelled out something like, "Yo, they're jumping that black guy!"
The pack of white males turned their attention to Mills and Lee, while the guy they were chasing took off toward Penns Landing and disappeared.
"That's when they came running towards us and said, 'You f------ n------,' " Lee said.

Lee and Mills, who both received scholarships to college, went directly to the newspaper to report their story. Just when we think we've come so far, we see a disturbing story such as this one. Thankfully, two of the assailants have been arrested, and other suspects are being sought in this very disturbing crime.

Obama To Pick VP As Soon As Wednesday

Senator Barack Obama is expected to announce his running mate as soon as tomorrow according to most media outlets. The short list has come down to Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, and Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia. I wonder if any of these names strike fear for Sen. John McCain.

I've stated many times that Obama should pick Hillary Clinton as his running mate to help heal the party. Perhaps giving Hillary a roll call vote at next week's convention will be enough appeasement for her constituents. Obama's campaign has been politically savvy up until now, so it'll be interesting to see if the campaign can continue that trend when his running mate is announced.

Hip-Hop Helps Push Phelps To Greatness

Hip-Hop music has always been to me more about the rhythmic beats than the words that accompany the rhythms. I can listen to a hip-hop song and simply love it just because of the way the music makes me feel.

Olympic star, Michael Phelps uses the music to fuel his quests towards greatness. If you've ever see him with his iPod prior to a race, he could be listening to any of the following songs:

1. “Overnight Celebrity” - Twista
2. “Burn” - Usher
3. “Roses” - Outkast
4. “Till I Collapse” - Eminem
5. “Smile” - G Unit
6. “A Milli” - Lil’ Wayne
7. “Hustlin” - Rick Ross
8. “Hello Brooklyn 2.0” - Jay-Z (featuring Lil Wayne)
9. “I Got What It Takes” - Young Jeezy

Phelps, who grew up in Baltimore, says that he will be returning to his roots to give back to his community when he's finished this year's Olympics. His success transcends race, and hopefully using hip-hop music as a motivational source can be adopted by more kids who may look up to him.

Monday, August 18, 2008

After Nearly 12 Years Tupac Case Still Cold

One of my favorite music sites,, reports that after nearly 12 years the Tupac Shakur murder investigation has gone cold with no active or hot leads.

Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur-Davis, has continued to keep her son's legacy alive through the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation, located in Stone Mountain, Georgia. It appears unfortunately, that she may never have the satisfaction of seeing her son's murder solved.

Race An Issue In Witness Identification

The Memphis Commercial Appeal profiles Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton. Thompson-Cannino mistakenly identified Cotton as the rapist in her 1984 attack. Cotton spent over 10 years in prison and was cleared when DNA evidence exonerated him. The two are now collaborating on a book called "Picking Cotton", which is expected to be published next year.

The Innocence Project, a legal group that has sought genetic testing and led the charge to free innocent inmates contributed much of the information for the article. the Project points out that since 1991, 218 people have been exonerated through DNA testing, and in more than three-quarters of the cases, mistaken eyewitness identifications were crucial in the wrongful convictions.

Hopefully with more proponents out there working on behalf of the wrongly accused, mistaken identity will be less of a problem.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Kilpatrick Attempted To Settle "Text Messaging Case" In The Last 10 Days

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that within the past 10 days, Detroit Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick offered Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy concessions he was willing to make to bring an end to his case. Unfortunately for Kilpatrick, Worthy declined the offer.

Kilpatrick obviously knows that the end is near, and he's trying to be proactive in bringing an end to this whole sordid mess. Worthy appears to be taking the stance of being as accommodating to Kilpatrick as he's been to the residents of Detroit.

Three Killed In Saturday Shootings In New Orleans profiles 3 "brothas" being killed in New Orleans yesterday afternoon in 2 separate incidents. Nothing else has to be said, except that the killings continue.

Sacramento Police Reducing Crime In Black Area Through Traffic Stops

The Sacramento Bee profiles Sacramento police having a positive impact on crime in the Oak Park area of the city. The police credit the reduction in crime to increased traffic stops in the area which profile probationers, parolees, gangsters and narcotics traffickers. 75 percent of Oak Park is "non white" and the increased traffic stops has been controversial, but the results have been startling. Oak Park, which has an estimated population of 15,000 hasn't had an African American homicide in over 2 years.

Obviously the results of the increased traffic stops has been effective, but unfortunately the sample size is very small. It would be great if similar tactics could be implemented by police in our larger urban areas.

Gerren Doing Just Fine Despite Her Short Fashion Career

Today, Gerren Taylor, is well know for participating in the BET reality series Baldwin Hills. This Friday, Gerren will be profiled in the documentary "America the Beautiful", which opens in the Los Angeles area. The documentary was directed by filmmaker Darryl Roberts. The Los Angeles Times profiles Gerren's meteoric rise as a model at 12 years old, to her not receiving any calls to model a year later, and being told that because she's 6 feet tall with a 38 inch waist she's too being to model.

Now 18 and entering her final year of high school, Gerren is a promising volleyball player. She still models occasionally, but now has set her sights on attending college and majoring in psychology. Watching her promising modeling career grind to a halt did leave Gerren with self esteem issues, but with the help of her mother and her church, Gerren appears to be as well adjusted as an 18 year old can be who's 6 feet tall. Hopefully Gerren will be a role model for other young black females who have seen their dreams derailed, only to resurface stronger and more focused on achieving their future goals.

Vick's Insolvency

This week came word that David Talbot had been removed as a "responsible person" in handling former Atlanta Falcon, Michael Vick's bankruptcy case. It had been discovered that Talbot's been accused of securities fraud in New Jersey. Nationally renowned bankruptcy attorney, Peter Ginsberg has now been brought on to preserve what little is left of Vick's money.

Lester Munson, an attorney and legal writer for ESPN has delved into Vick's poor decision making and written an article that profiles the decisions that led to the decimation of Vick's fortune. Munson points out that when Michael Vick was forced to pay the restitution to the State of Virginia for the dog fighting charges, he had to borrow the money.

I've heard other stories of NFL players who have squandered nearly $1 million bonuses in less than a year. I assume the the NFL and other professional sports leagues give all of their athletes basic financial planning advice. The advice that they don't give them is how to keep the vultures away, who simply want to steal their money.