Friday, September 30, 2011

"Extreme color arousal", the n-word 101, and Target shopping.

The guys in the pic belong to one of my favorite bands of all time,(Third World) and they have absolutely nothing to do with this post.

From the personal experience files: "Extreme color arousal" almost got some poor lady and her kids killed today.

So I was at lunch in Center City, Philadelphia-- sans suit as I was in a training seminar. (That's important) I am on the corner of 12th & Market waiting for the light to change, when I spot a late model station wagon making a right turn towards 12th Street from Market.

Now those of you from Philly know that you can't make a right on 12th from Market because it is a ONE WAY street going South. I noticed two adorable little rugrats perched (one in baby car seat) in the back, while mommy was alone in the front and looking quite clueless as she drove towards certain death.

Anywhoo,I stepped forward (trying to seem as non threatening as possible with my biggest black republican smile) and tapped on her passenger side window. I wanted to alert mommy to the fact that she was about to turn the wrong way on a very busy street.

So what do you think mommy did? You guessed it. She looked up and saw the bald headed black man tapping on her window and shot out the wrong way down 12th Street.(That look.) Fortunately for her, the brakes on her car were in proper working order and the light on 12th street was showing red. Mommy soon attracted a crowd of like minded individuals who acted as traffic cops while she maneuvered her way back to Market Street. (Who said Philadelphians are mean?)

Folks, the moral of my little experience is this: Do not let "extreme color arousal" (thanks for that word, Francis) cloud your judgement and get you killed.

Speaking of color arousal, they are teaching "n-word" classes at Arizona State University.

"Neal Lester has never been called a ni**er. But his Italian wife was once called a "ni**er-lover."

"We were just friends at the time, but people assume when they see a black man and a white woman that there must be some type of intimacy," Lester told theGrio. "There's a lot of history there."

It's those type of experiences and misunderstandings that helped inspire Lester, dean of humanities and former chair of the English Department at Arizona State University, to create a course called "The N-word, an Anatomy Lesson."

Every fall, students can learn about the n-word, in all its complexities and connotations.

Click here to view a Grio slideshow: The top 10 n-word controversies of the decade

Lester designed the single-credit, first-year course for students to explore the n-word in a cultural context. Course materials include popular music tracks, magazines, newspaper clippings, television commercials, political campaigns, children's' play toys and other elements of pop and mainstream culture.

A literary scholar, Lester first made the class available in 2008 and again in 2010. It is open to all students.

While there have been recent attempts to get rid of the n-word, including a symbolic public burial four years ago by the NAACP with then-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Lester says that words cannot be buried. There have even been efforts to remove the n-word from the dictionary..." [Source]

I just wonder if Mr. Lester's wife took the class.

Speaking of class. Our very classy First Lady was out shopping at Target recently and was trying to be all incognito while doing it.

"Yesterday, AP photographer Charles Dharapak snapped pictures of the first lady shopping (sort of) incognito at a Virginia Target, holding a couple of bags and pushing a cart.

In the images, she's wearing a floral-print button-down over a yellow v-neck. It seems a Nike baseball cap and a pair of sunglasses did the trick when it came to staying anonymous -- CBS News reports that during her 30-40 minutes of shopping, the cashier was the only one to recognize her." [Source]

Oh lawd, I can hear the wingnuts now: "Why not Wal-Mart Mrs. Obama?" Or, "Why not K-Mart? Is it because the Target logo and the O for Obama are similar? Is it because Target's colors are red and your husband is a Socialist? Is there some subtle political message in your little jaunt Mrs. Obama?"

Don't laugh folks, the wingnuts really are upset:
"In a September 29 blog post, Michelle Malkin attacked Michelle Obama for shopping at an Alexandria, VA, Target store, writing that Obama went "about as 'incognito' as Lady Gaga's outfit at her younger sister's graduation." Malkin went on to call the first lady "the glamour queen" and further stated that Obama's Target visit was "to counter the negative diva buzz" and that it "looks like she left the bling at home." From the post:
The East and West Wings of the White House are guilty of more cheesy stage-managing than the Emmy, Oscar, and Tony Awards shows combined.

Last week, the glamour queen wore more than $40,000 worth of diamonds while partying with hubby at several high-priced fundraisers in New York. Her bling made international headlines and photos.
To counter the negative diva buzz as most Americans face hard economic times, Mrs Obama somehow managed to turn up at an Alexandria Va. Target (with her "shopping assistant" in tow)." [Source]
Do they sell breaks in Target? Doesn't matter, because poor Michelle couldn't buy a break even if she wanted to. Michelle, it's all your husband's fault.

Finally, for those of you who still believe in the death penalty, please consider the following:

"The execution of Troy Davis in Georgia last week despite tremendous doubt about his guilt has brought the issue of capital punishment into the national spotlight. As a country that supports use of the death penalty, America is in poor company with “the world’s great dictatorships and autocracies [such as] Iran, Zimbabwe, China, North Korea, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt, Ethiopia, Cuba, [and] Belarus” according to The Atlantic — while we are supposed to be the land of the free.

Far above and beyond the politically nasty associations with capital punishment is of course the moral concern over accidentally putting innocent people to death. It is likely that the average American believes this is a rare occurrence worth the social value of the death penalty as a deterrent from violent crime. Unfortunately innocent people are often placed on death row. In a study of executions in 34 states between 1973 and 1995, Columbia University professor James Liebman found that: “An astonishing 82 percent of death row inmates did not deserve to receive the death penalty. One in twenty death row inmates is later found not guilty.”

Most death row inmates do not have the resources or time necessary to determine their innocence before it is too late. Hopefully, Troy Davis’ case and others like his will show U.S. citizens how the death penalty destroys innocent lives. Over 1,000 people have been executed since 1976. We may never know how many went to death in error. Here are just a few who we know for sure were likely innocent — but this was discovered too late." [Source]

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Sweet Home Alabama" is only for the ducumented.

Down in the heart of Dixie they are passing laws to make sure that those illegals stay out of their state.

"Interim State Superintendent Larry E. Craven said Alabama schools are prepared to check the citizenship status of new enrollees, as required by the state's new immigration law. But he emphasized that no student will be kicked out of school if their parents fail to provide the documentation.

Craven said a memo was sent today to local school superintendents informing them a judge had cleared for implementation the section of Alabama's new immigration law requiring schools to check citizenship status.
"We will comply with the law," Craven said today.

School systems will ask parents and guardians to provide a copy of a child's birth certificate when they enroll in public school for the first time. If none is available, they will be asked for additional documentation and to sign a declaration that the student is a legal citizen or immigrant." [Source]

Thanks to HB56, some of those undocumented folks are already fleeing the state. I guess that the law is doing what it was intended to do.

It should be interesting to see what happens a few years down the road. Since those evil immigrants were taking all the jobs, let's see if the unemployment rate goes down in Dixie.

Finally, why are republican candidates for president so angry? Newt is cursing out reporters, and the usually mild mannered John Huntsman is in a twitter war with the Donald. And don't even get me started on Herman Cain. That is one angry Negro. He thinks that the rest of you Negroes have been brainwashed and that you are all trapped on the democratic plantation. (Mmm, what if there are two plantations and he is just on the one with less black folks?)

I guess you have to show anger and resentment to properly represent your constituency. They are, after all, very angry these days. They want someone out there who can show their anger to the rest of us. -OK, we get it; you want your country back.- I guess that this current crop of candidates are just giving their people what they want.

Let's see how they start working back to the middle come general election time. A-merry-cans don't want anger, they want hope and optimism. Times are tough out here, the last thing they want is some "woe is me" type politician preaching gloom and doom.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

From George to Troy.

"Many black men have an absurd dark comic lurking inside them, inspired by the experience of racism in America-which is one of the biggest dumbest jokes in the history of the world..." ~Patrice Evans writing in Negropedia.~

"all the things that you wrote are completely off. we know how much you people love to fight! we know that when you are not picking on a white person you are picking fights with eachother. thats why we don't want you savages anywhere near us! ive never considered black people as religious. onfact i see all of you as hypocrites because you are always going to church singing (trying to outsing eachother) (competeting aka fighting) and then go rob a hard working mexican. this is only a little bit. but u are wayyyyyyyyy off. i hate all you people i hope you all die!" ~Anonymous commenter responding to a post by the field~

I am sure that a lot of you do wish that we would die. And back in the day you damn sure knew how to make it happen.

Along those lines, I was reminded of the story of George (Junius) Stinney while reading over at the theGrio today.

"It's 1944, and police escort a 14-year-old boy into the death chamber. He stands just 5'1 and weighs a mere 95 pounds. He is so small in stature that dictionaries need to be stacked on the seat of the electric chair so that when he sits in it his head reaches the height of the electrodes. His chains are loose around his narrow ankles.

This young boy is about to be the youngest person ever to be executed in the history of the United States. Before there was a Troy Davis there was George Junius Stinney, Jr. and the state of South Carolina electrocuted him.

Stinney was accused of murdering two young white girls. They were eleven year-old Betty June Binnicker and 8-year-old Mary Emma Thames. The two girls went missing one day after they were riding their bikes while looking for flowers on the wrong side of the tracks in a small working class town of Alcolu, South Carolina where whites and blacks were separated by railroad tracks. The girls went missing and were later found dead in a ditch, murdered with a railroad spike.

George Junius Stinney was even part of the search crew and told a bystander simply that he had seen the girls earlier that day. This claim was enough probable cause for the South Carolina police to arrest Stinney for the double murder, even though, the idea of him being strong enough to kill not one but two girls is a stretch. Despite this fact, the police hauled Stinney into the station for hours of intense interrogation, without the presence of either of his parents. Reports claim the police offered Stinney ice cream if he confessed to them that he committed the double murder.

Stinney confessed. There is no written record of his confession in the archives. There is no physical evidence linking Stinney to the murder. There is no paper record of Stinney's conviction.

The lack of any physical evidence or archived police and court records is the reason South Carolina attorney Steve McKenzie, who detailed Stinney's story to TheGrio, said he wants to re-open the case of the execution George Junius Stinney, Jr. McKenzie said he believes Stinney was innocent of the murder and with "no investigative notes, no trial transcripts, no written confession, and nothing to indicate guilt," it is clear Stinney's trial and subsequent execution were suspicious at best and a miscarriage of justice at worst. (Story)

Yep,it kind of reminds me of another story from the deep south, recently.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dropping dem g's.

You all know by now that I can chase the big R with the best of em. But not everything calls for a racism alert. Take for instance this latest story concerning his O ness:

The Associated Press’s report on President Barack’s Obama’s Saturday speech to the Congressional Black Caucus drew scrutiny from a prominent journalist for foregoing journalistic practices that normally dictate that quotes should be cleaned up by writers and editors.

“Shake it off. Stop complainin'. Stop grumblin'. Stop cryin'. We are going to press on. We have work to do,” AP’s Mark Smith quoted the president as saying to the CBC.

MSNBC’s “Up w/ Chris Hayes”
dove into the issue Sunday, and journalist and MSNBC contributor Karen Hunter took issue with the literal transcription used, rather than ironing out the president’s slangy pronunciations.

“I think it’s inherently racist to do something like that,” Hunter said, to the protests of New Republic writer John McWhorter, who argued the AP report was more accurate than other outlets that cleaned the quotes up.
To that Hunter said, “for them to do that in a publication, you know what it is … I teach a journalism class and I tell my students to fix people’s grammar because you don’t want them to sound ignorant.”

Smith said he normally cleans up quotes but in this case thought the president made a point of “dropping Gs.”
He told Mediaite “I believe I was respecting his intent in this.”

A standards and production editor
told Yahoo! that though the AP Stylebook cautions against using spellings that depict informal pronunciations, in the CBC story the reporter (Smith) thought it “appropriate to convey a particular touch that President Obama appeared to be intentionally making use of.

The headlines for the AP story differed depending on which publication was using the story, it seems some editors were aware of the brewing controversy.
The Washington Times cleaned up the quote and went with “Obama to blacks: ‘Stop complaining’ and fight,” though the story still contained the dropped g’s. The Huffington Post chose Smith’s phrasing: “Obama tells blacks to 'stop complainin' and fight.” [Story] 

Sorry, my racism censors aren't picking up anything.  I respect Ms. Hunter, but the president was the one leaving off his g's. She should be blaming the president not the journalist who reported what he said.

So stop the presses; I agree with John McWhorter on this one.

I get what his O ness was doing. My daddy actually taught homiletics to theology students. But Honestly, I never liked politicians who use a particular type of cadence or dialect to fit in with a different audience. I suppose that they all do it, but it doesn't make it right. O does it all the time when he is speaking to his cousins. It's as if he is at a Sunday morning revival meeting and he is the preacher making an altar call. I guess everyone wants to sound like Martin. The thing is,though,brother Martin actually was a preacher.

Finally, I see that Andy Rooney is leaving 60 Minutes after all these years. Folks, let's be honest with ourselves; the miserable old coot should have left 20 years ago.  

Monday, September 26, 2011

Propaganda alert.

Always beware of wingnut propaganda:

 "This should be required reading for every man, woman and child in the UK , United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, etc.                    

"I'm 76 and I'm Tired"
– by Bill Cosby

I'm 76. Except for brief period in the 50's when I was doing my National Service, I've worked hard
since I was 17. Except for some serious health challenges, I put in 50-hour weeks, and didn't call in sick in nearly 40 years. I made a reasonable salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, it looks as though retirement was a bad idea, and I'm tired. Very tired.                 
I'm tired of being told that I have to "spread the wealth" to people who don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.                   

                      I'm tired of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family "honour"; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't "believers"; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for "adultery"; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and Shari'a law tells them to. 
I'm tired of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we must let Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries use our oil money to fund mosques and mandrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in Australia, New Zealand, UK, America and Canada, while no one from these countries are allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia or any other Arab country to teach love and tolerance.
I'm tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate.

I'm tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses or stick a needle in their arm while they tried to fight it off?

I'm tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of all parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.                   

I'm really tired of people who don't take responsibility for their lives and actions I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems.    

I'm also tired and fed up with seeing young men and women in their teens and early 20's bedeck themselves in tattoos and face studs, thereby making themselves un-employable and claiming money from the Government. 
Yes, I'm damn tired. But I'm also glad to be 76. Because, mostly, I'm not going to have to see the world these people are making. I'm just sorry for my granddaughter and her children. Thank God I'm on the way out and not on the way in. 


There is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us sends it on!
This is your chance to make a difference. I'm 76 and I'm tired."

The stuff you just read was in an e-mail that has been making the rounds in certain circles. I, like some other folks, immediately became suspicious after reading it.

Shout out to someone named Emma ***** (Won't publish her last name) who did the research and exposed this fraud:

As I suspected, the Cos did not write that wingnut drivel. But nice try.
Finally, poor O, you Negroes have been really giving him the business. I guess that's why he went to the CBC shinding in D.C. and told you Negroes to shut up and stop complaining. Well, as is to be expected, some of you Negroes had some choice words of your own:
“I’m not sure who the president was addressing. I found that language a bit curious,” Waters said today. “The president spoke to the Hispanic Caucus… he certainly didn’t tell them to stop complaining and he never would say that to the gay and lesbian community who really pushed him on don’t ask don’t tell or even in a speech to APEC, he would never say to the Jewish community stop complaining about Israel.” [Source]
Ouch! I think the Negroes are getting restless. They haven't been feeling the White House love, lately.  
O, here is a thought; maybe it's time you allow Michelle to make the rounds on the Negro PR circuit. They still have love for her. You, on the other hand, not  so much.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A win for Herman, but not for Mike.

Congratulations to Herman Cain. I see that my man won the Florida straw poll for the republicans. Poor Governor Big Hair. Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that folks were saying that he is all but unbeatable?

My my, what a difference a few weeks on the campaign trail makes. But doing and saying one dumb thing after another will do that to you.

Rick, if you can't beat Herman Cain in a Florida straw poll, I am guessing that your future isn't looking too bright in these national elections. You just might want to hold off on ordering those boots with the presidential logo on them.

"The Perry camp shrugged off the results.

'Cain won, we still have work to do,' said Perry spokesman Mark Miner. 'It's his day. The conservative message won today. We've been in this race for five weeks. We're going to continue campaigning hard.'

Miner put the focus on Romney's third-place finish, saying Perry's chief rival has been running for president for years and is still not breaking through.
'It's more of what happened to Mitt Romney. He's not going to be crowned president of the United States. He's going to have to work for it. And after five and a half years he once again got rejected in a key state in the Republican primary process,' Miner said."

Nice try. But this is more about what happened to Rick Perry. Romney skipped the Florida straw poll, and expectations were low for him. For Governor Big Hair, on the other hand, this was supposed to be an easy winner. He stayed and campaigned in Florida, and his organization wanted to deliver after a bad debate performance.

"Cain, an African-American who promotes himself as a pragmatic problem-solver with a clear tax reform plan, eagerly welcomed the victory.
'This is a sign of our growing momentum and my candidacy that cannot be ignored,' Cain said after his win."

Calm down Herman, let's not lose perspective here. It was a nice win, but you and I have about the same shot at winning the republican primary to run against his O ness in November of 2012.

Finally,I am glad to see that Michael Vick is speaking up for himself. The hits long after he releases the football is really getting old.  Mike is wondering why he doesn't get the same protection from the refs like other quarterbacks such as Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.

"I was trying to protect myself," Vick said in his postgame news conference. "Still didn't get a flag and that's pretty much been the story for the last three weeks. I mean, obviously at some point something catastrophic is going to happen and I broke my hand."

"Looking at the replays, I'm on the ground every time, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't frustrated," Vick said in his postgame news conference. "The refs have got to do their jobs. And I mentioned it to the refs in training camp when I talked to them. I'm on the ground constantly, all the time. Every time I throw the ball, I'm on the ground. And I don't know why I don't get the 15-yard flags like everybody else does." [Source]

I know Mike, and I suspect that you do as well.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Trouble on the Bayou.

This is Saturday in A-merry-ca, so a post about college football is apropos.

Unfortunately if you are a fan of those "Bayou Bengals" you might not like what I have to say.

If you know anything about college football you know that LSU lost their starting quarterback at the start of the season due to being suspended indefinitely from the team after an off campus incident.

I have people down in Baton Rouge, so I will tell you how it really went down:

The football team is partying at a bar named Shady's. (Shady's?!First red flag.)
Lots of Southern Belles in the house, and the quarterback, being the big man on campus, is more or less having his pick of the litter.

Marine (not a college boy) and his friends are in the house, and they are not pleased. (Why no love for us?) They are giving the big man on campus the fuzzy eyeballs all night.

It's closing time and the football players along with other party goers are in the parking lot. The Marine and his friends are trying to drive through the crowd with their truck, when all hell breaks loose:

"Lowery told police that he got involved in the fight after he saw several football players pull a man out of a black Chevy truck.
Lowery pulled the man back into the truck, but that’s when the players started

However, two bar employees told police they saw Lowery throw the first punch, according to The Associated Press
According to the arrest warrants obtained by the Advocate, the man who was kicked suffered “extreme physical pain and unconsciousness,” the warrant says. Of the four men injured in the fight, one had three fractured vertebrae, police said.

The warrants indicate there was physical evidence of the attack and eyewitness accounts that led to the arrest.

“They’ve ruined the kids’ careers,” Nathan Fisher, the payers’ attorney, told the Advocate. “We’ll see.'''

So now, some of the players on LSU's team are threatening to quit the team if the quarterback isn't reinstated. There is a grand jury that convenes on Wednesday, and it will decide if the big man on campus will be formally charged with a felony. The poor folks in Tiger Nation will have to relive this sordid incident all over again.

Now many of you reading this know what it's like in college towns. And you know that a fight after a night of partying is not that unusual. So what happened here?

Well, for starters, this is Baton Rouge, Louisiana we are talking about. And in  southern towns where big time college football is king, some folks are kind of picky about who their big man on campus should be.

But I have a question for Mr. Jefferson: Where the hell do you think you are? You are in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and you are the quarterback of one of the top five programs in the country.Take your ass home and go and study your damn play book. Why are you hanging in a bar called Shady's until the "wee hours" of the morning? What happened to you was not surprising. Didn't Big Mama used to say that "nothing good happens after midnight"? Throw in some Southern Belles, a bunch of haters, and a whole lot of drinking, and you are going to have a problem. 

  "Today is a sad day for the city of Baton Rouge. Today is a sad day for Louisiana State University, the LSU alumni and the countless fans that follow the Tiger football program," Baton Rouge police chief Dewayne White said. "It is also a sad day for the Baton Rouge police department."

Yeah, right!

"This has become something very disproportionate to what it is," said Unglesby, a former special counsel for the Louisiana governor's office whose other past clients have included former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo, Popeye's Fried Chicken founder Al Copeland and several politicians who have faced corruption charges. "There are fights in bars involving young people all over this country every day. I don't believe Mr. Jefferson did anything wrong. At the end of this, when you get through with the drama of a big-time program and quarterback, at the end of it it's a bunch of college students acting like college students act. And we can't lose sight of that."

Yes, but some college students should know better. Where is Big Mama when you need her?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Barack,Troy, and a falling satellite.

Just getting back from Washington. (Memo to self: Take Acela for my next mid week trip to D.C.) Shout out to all the folks who were at the digital civic engagement forum. Especially those of you who came up to me and showed me love. Jeff,Joseph,Navarrow, and Kristal, we have to do this again sometime.

Someone asked me today if I thought that the killing of Troy Davis will cost his O ness votes. Black folks are still mad that you could hear a pin drop in the White House during the days leading up to the state sanctioned killing of Davis.

Hey, what can I tell you? O is first and foremost a politician, and he did what politicians do when these types of "touchy" issues raise their ugly heads: He kept his mouth shut. Pro death penalty folks vote.

But back to the question: Will it cost him votes? Maybe. It's still too early to tell. I just don't think that blacks folks are going to be motivated to head to the polls this time around. He will still get 85% of the black vote, but there just won't be as much of them. A 16% unemployment rate will do that to you. We know that it wouldn't be better with a republican in charge, but we also realize, now, that no matter who is the HNIC, politics will always take center stage over everything else. It's back to business as usual in A-merry-ca. Just like it was under Reagan and those Bushes.

I keep telling you Negroes that it's time to stop looking to Washington and start taking care of yourselves. Work with your local governments to try to get things done in your neighborhoods. If they tell you that there is no money available, then work among yourselves. You would be surprised what you can do when you put your heads together. I am watching you do it with certain neighborhoods here in Philly. Some of you have wonderful community partnerships with certain institutions like Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania. And some of you work with non profits and religious groups. It's all good as far as I am concerned. Whatever it takes to keep us moving forward in these divided states of A-merry-ca.

Finally, I see that a very large satellite is about to fall to earth anytime now. They say what goes up must come down, and it looks like it's about that time for the school bus sized object. But don't worry, folks, the chance of it hitting us is slim....

"It just doesn't want to come down," said Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

McDowell said the satellite's delayed demise demonstrates how unreliable predictions can be. That said, "the best guess is that it will still splash in the ocean, just because there's more ocean out there."

Until Friday, increased solar activity was causing the atmosphere to expand and the 35-foot, bus-size satellite to free fall more quickly. But late Friday morning, NASA said the sun was no longer the major factor in the rate of descent and that the satellite's position, shape or both had changed by the time it slipped down to a 100-mile orbit.

"In the last 24 hours, something has happened to the spacecraft," said NASA orbital debris scientist Mark Matney.

On Friday night, NASA said it expected the satellite to come crashing down between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. EDT. It was going to be passing over the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans at that time, as well as Canada, Africa and Australia.
"The risk to public safety is very remote," NASA said in a statement.

The Aerospace Corp., which tracks space debris, also estimated the strike would happen sometime between about 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. EDT, which would make a huge difference in where the debris falls. Its projections also put almost all of the U.S. in the clear — with Washington state the lone holdout.

Any surviving wreckage is expected to be limited to a 500-mile swath.
The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS, will be the biggest NASA spacecraft to crash back to Earth, uncontrolled, since the post-Apollo 75-ton Skylab space station and the more than 10-ton Pegasus 2 satellite, both in 1979.
Russia's 135-ton Mir space station slammed through the atmosphere in 2001, but it was a controlled dive into the Pacific.

Some 26 pieces of the UARS satellite — representing 1,200 pounds of heavy metal — are expected to rain down somewhere. The biggest surviving chunk should be no more than 300 pounds."

With any luck it will drop on a certain house in Florida.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

"For too long we have treated violence with violence, and that's why it never ends."*

"Field, you had a lot to say about Troy Davis. Why nothing about the white man who was put to death yesterday in Texas?"

Oh yes, Lawrence Brewer, the white supremacist who was tried and convicted of dragging James Byrd, Jr. to death(Shout out to Dick Gregory for being in Huntsville, Texas and protesting the death of even this scumbag.)

He should not have been killed by the state of Texas. (Derrick Mason should not be put to death tonight in Alabama.) I do not believe in the death penalty.Period. (I like what Coretta Scott King said about the subject.*heading*)) Killing this scumbag will not bring James Byrd, Jr. back, he should have spent the rest of his miserable life in prison.

Unlike Troy Davis, he admitted to killing Byrd, and he was proud of it:

 "As far as any regrets, no, I have no regrets. No, I'd do it all over again, to tell you the truth."

Sorry there big guy,you won't be doing much of anything ever again. But still, I did not want you to die at the hands of the state. As far as I am concerned, being raped over and over by Tyrone and Bubba would have been punishment enough for you.

Anyway, I was thinking about who actually puts the needle in Troy Davis, and Lawrence Brewer, or who is on the firing squad in Utah. Or, who is the hangman in Washington -Lawrence O'Donnell talked about it tonight.- Who does a job like that?

"So what do you do for a living? Ahhm...I work for the department of corrections. Really? What department? Ahhm......."

Poor guy. How does he live with himself?

Finally, speaking of playing executioner. I am glad that those animals masquerading as cops who allegedly murdered that homeless man in California while he was in custody were charged with murder and manslaughter.

Not so fast gentlemen, we have to have a trial and convict him first.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"The Killing"

“May God bless your souls” Those were Troy Davis’s last words to the men who killed him on behalf of the state of Georgia.
He is not here, so I will say those very words on his behalf to the rest of you in A-merry-ca: “May God bless your souls.”  

The McPhail family members who were there seemed to get some satisfaction from the entire process. Davis told them that he was sorry for their loss, but that he was innocent and did not kill their family member. According to reporters present, while Davis lay on the gurney they (the family members) stared at him, and after he took his final breath, they smiled and hugged each other. Justice was served.
What a country. Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson are alive, Charles Manson is alive, and Troy Davis is dead.  *shaking head*
I hope that he died quickly.

 America is dying as well, but her death has been slow and painful.

What happened to Troy Davis tonight just helped to speed up the process.     

The end is near.

The following is from Christopher Emdin writing for HuffPo today as Troy Davis is probably about to eat his last meal before his 7:00 date with a needle. *cheers from the pro death penalty crowd*

"For hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, the world seemed to come to a standstill when the news was released that the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles had turned a deaf ear to pleas for clemency for Troy Davis. Hundreds of thousands of supporters, who range in profile from teenagers in public schools to former presidents, have written letters on behalf of Davis, and hoped that their words would sway the state of Georgia away from the Death Penalty.

Davis was convicted for the shooting death of off-duty police officer Mark Allen MacPhail 22 years ago in a case shrouded with allegations of police coercion of witnesses, blatant inconsistencies in witness statements, a drunken confession from another possible suspect, a lack of physical evidence, and consequently, doubts about whether or not Davis committed the crime.

The rallying cry from people around the globe has been loud and clear: we cannot put someone to death if there is some doubt about whether or not they committed the crime. Human Rights organizations are also expressing condemnation. The NAACP, who undoubtedly connects the Troy Davis case to the fact that he is a black man, a member of the racial group that is arguably, the most likely to interact with the criminal justice system and receive harsher penalties than other racial groups, is speaking up against the death penalty in this case.

As the Troy Davis case unearths the flaws in our justice system, and shines a light on the fact that there are many inequities in society at large, it has brought anger, frustration, and even a renewed sense of commitment to fighting injustice. However, in the midst of the bevy of emotions surrounding this case, it is important that we focus on the many teaching moments it provides us. Therefore, I outline 5 lessons that parents can learn from this case, and that must be shared with urban youth.

1) Urban youth must be aware of this case. In many ways, they are Troy Davis.
This is especially the case for black males. Parents must let youth know that Davis has been placed in a situation that many of them could potentially be placed in as well. Many urban kids exist around crime and it's possible that they could be a witness to one, or be accused of something they did not do. Parents should introduce their children to the case, and discuss any potential risk they have of being in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Let them know that it's important to voice complaints about what they feel is unjust so that they can make the world better. Encourage your children to write letters, or even write a reflection about how they feel about the case. Making them feel like they are part of a social movement empowers them, and also lets them vent their frustrations constructively.

2) All youth must be wary of the company they keep. They should be taught that if something doesn't look or feel right, they should leave immediately.
One of the most powerful pieces of the Troy Davis case is the set of events that led to the murder of an innocent man. Allegedly, Davis, was at a party, left with a friend, and got into an argument with another group of men. He then met with another man who was arguing with a homeless man. The second situation quickly escalated into the shooting of MacPhail, who came to the rescue of the homeless man. It is important for youth to know that any scenario where voices are being raised or someone is arguing with someone else has the potential to escalate into violence. When this happens, they should leave as soon as they can.

3) Remind youth that the unspoken "No snitching" rule is useless.
For many urban youth, their negative interactions with the criminal justice system have caused them to develop the idea that they should not "snitch" on each other, no matter what. The common belief is that a code of street ethics is broken when someone tells another person (especially the police) about a crime that has been committed. It is important to let youth know that this belief is often the source of an innocent person being implicated for a crime they did not commit. In the case of Troy Davis, he witnessed the shooting and did not report it. Instead, another person who has been accused to be the shooter, told police that Davis committed the crime.

4) Youth must be encouraged to describe exactly what they see. Nothing more, nothing less. In the Troy Davis case, many witness statements that were the anchor of the case against Davis were later recanted. Witnesses mentioned that they felt pressure by the police to make statements, and in one case, mentioned that she believed that the shooter had gotten away. This pressure by the police happens too often to urban youth, and has serious implications on who gets accused and/or convicted of crimes. Parents must let youth know that they do not have to bend to pressure by those who have more power than them. The truth is always sufficient if it is told respectfully.

5) Youth must know that when all is said and done, things may not go their way. However, they must handle every situation with dignity and grace
In the Troy Davis case, one of the most powerful things has been the response of Davis and his family to the recent decision to deny clemency. Even in the face of what they feel to be unjust, the family continues to remain in good spirits and fight until they can no longer do so. This response has done a lot for furthering their cause, and brought much needed visibility to this case. This certainly does not mean that what is right has been done. However, youth must see that this response does much more to further their cause than reacting violently. [Source]

All good rules and words to live by. But the killing of Troy Davis won't deter one single knucklehead in the hood from taking another life. (I guarantee you that there will be another murder in Georgia before the end of the week.) Those who should hear this message will not be reading Huffington Post, and they sure as hell won't be tuned in to the Troy Davis case. That is the reality of the world in which we live.

In a way, the killing of Troy Davis is society's revenge for all of those crimes committed by violent criminals in the hood. He might not have shot that officer, but somebody did. So we might as well sacrifice one (potentially) innocent person to send a message. Just think of all the killings that might be prevented in the future. Or so they think.

"Davis's pending execution has sparked an extraordinary outcry nationally and internationally that continued Wednesday, with thousands of people expected to participate in evening protests and vigils at Georgia's death row prison and the state capitol. By early afternoon, dozens of protesters were already singing and praying in a small cordoned-off area on the prison grounds.

Earlier this week, the state's pardons board was bombarded by hundreds of thousands of petitions to spare Davis's life, including calls from former FBI director William Sessions and Bob Barr, a four-term Republican congressman from Georgia and death penalty supporter. Many of those opposed to the execution noted the lack of physical evidence tying Davis to the crime and the recantation of critical eyewitness, many of whom told attorneys for Davis that they had been pressured by police to testify that Davis was the shooter.
"Imposing an irreversible sentence of death on the skimpiest of evidence will not serve the interest of justice..." 

It might not "serve the interest of justice" Mr. Barr, but it sure feels good.

*Pic from Cleveland Leader.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

American Justice?

This is another sad day for these divided states of A-merry-ca. No, not because Ron Artist sucked on Dancing with the Stars, but because, once again, we have diminished ourselves as a people and a country by our actions.

Troy Davis was denied clemency by the Georgia board of pardons and parole, and he will be killed by the state of Georgia tomorrow. Not that I am surprised, this was an uphill battle all along. Davis didn't have much going for him; just the people who believed in his innocents and that the death penalty is wrong 

For the record, after reading the trial transcript from the case; I believe that Mumia Abul Jamal was guilty, which is why I have never advocated for his release on this site. (Although I do not think he should be given the death penalty) But I am not so sure about the guilt of Troy Davis, and if the folks clamoring for him to get the needle are going to be honest with themselves;  they would have to tell you that they aren't either.   
But vengeance is mine sayeth the state of Georgia, even if it means the wrong person will be sacrificed. The relatives of that slain officer want justice, and they want someone to pay for their loss. Anyone. Troy Davis fits a profile, and he was arrested, tried, and found guilty. I suppose that's good enough for them. Given their emotional stake in the outcome, that’s understandable. What is not understandable, are the actions of so called reasonable people who are charged with making important decisions.

Still, this too will pass, and they know it. As I write this post the name Troy Davis is not even trending on Yahoo. Sarah Palin, Brooke Burke, Jeff Conaway, Cam Newton, the Boston Red Sox; all of them are getting more play in the American psyche than some black man in Georgia charged and convicted of killing a police officer many years ago.  Hey, if the state of Georgia didn’t kill him, some other black man would. Or, maybe high blood pressure, diabetes, or any one of those other diseases that Negroes tend to get. He lived to the ripe old age of 41, which is more than we can say for other men who look like him in A-mery-ca. So what’s the big deal?     

Those of you (black and white) who advocated and fought on this man’s behalf should be proud of yourselves. I know that it’s hard to see a person who might be innocent of the crime for which he was charged put to death, but your conscience should allow you to sleep tonight, which is more than I can say for Terry Bernard, Robert Keller,Albert R. Murray,James E. Donald, L. Gale BucknerSteve Hayes, and the rest of you in A-merry-ca.
Oh well, at least Nancy Grace's debut went alright.

Monday, September 19, 2011

No "American Dream" for Bill.

I would like to thank Bubba for saying publicly and giving more recognition to what some of us so called "secular progressives" have been saying all along. 

"Being a former president in the internet age means you don't necessarily need a TV network to interview you in order to get some talking points out there.
Case in point is former President Bill Clinton, who sounded off about the current sorry state of the American economy in a video produced by his Clinton Foundation. That video was then posted as an exclusive on the Yahoo homepage, giving his message reach well beyond what a typical network news interview might offer.

Some of Clinton's talking points:

>> Clinton said "the American Dream has been under assault for the last 30 - 35 years." Leading the charge, he noted, has been the changing priorities of multinational corporations, which have enhanced the influence of their shareholders while downplaying the role of their employees and the general public.

>> Among leading industrialized nations, America is alone in its fixation on "choking off" the federal government.

>> The United States is only about half as energy-efficient as some of its global competitors -- millions of jobs could be created by kick-starting some serious retro-fitting." [Source] 

Tell us something we don't already know there Bubba. Of course the "American Dream" has been "under assault", and corporations have been the main perpetrators. This, of course, could not be possible without the help of at least half of the A-merry-can people who seem to believe that corporations really do care about them and their dream. They don't. These "cash hoarders" care about you about as much as I care about the republican presidential candidates.  

For the next few days we will all enjoy how the party- bought and paid for by the wealthy-will claim that all attempts to raise taxes on those who are very rich will be an attempt at "class warfare".

Well, I will put it to you like this: If you are not paying your fair share and making it harder for the rest of us to achieve our A-merry-can dream; maybe, just maybe, there should be a war.



I would like to interrupt your daily scheduled life to give you the following information:

19 September 2011

Kimberly Davis, Petition Author, contact Wende Gozan Brown (212) 633-4247
Jonathan Perri, Senior Organizer for Criminal Justice (401) 265-9445

Death row inmate Troy Davis’ last chance to avoid a September 21 execution to take place this morning at a hearing before the Georgia Board of Paroles and Pardons. Nearly a quarter million people join Davis’ sister Kimberly’s campaign on asking for clemency.

ATLANTA, GA – Death row inmate Troy Davis will face the Georgia Board of Paroles and Pardons this morning at a clemency hearing in Atlanta. Nearly 250,000 people from around the world have joined an online campaign on created by Davis sister Kimberly, calling on the board to grant Davis clemency.

“In the past two decades, seven of the nine witnesses in this case have recanted their testimony or changed their stories,” said Kimberly Davis, who launched the campaign on “There is too much doubt to execute Troy.”

Last week more than 650,000 signatures from multiple petitions seeking to stop the September 21 execution were delivered by supporters to the Georgia Board of Paroles and Pardons at a press conference in Atlanta. Over 220,000 of these signatures came from the campaign created on by Kimberly Davis, a Savannah, GA resident and Troy Davis’ sister.

“When Troy saw that more than 650,000 signatures had been delivered to the board in his name, he called to tell me he was deeply moved,” Kimberly Davis said. “He told me he knew that he had supporters around the world, but he had no idea that the support was that widespread.”
Convicted in 1991 of the 1989 murder of a Savannah, GA police officer, Davis’ case has attracted international attention because of recantations of witness testimony and a lack of physical evidence tying Troy to the murder. Seven witnesses have recanted or contradicted their testimony against Davis and others have implicated another man as the killer.
Georgia Representatives John Lewis and Hank Johnson sent the parole board a letter signed by over 50 members of Congress supporting clemency for Davis. In addition to that letter, other public figures who support commuting Davis’ death sentence include Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop of Atlanta Wilton Gregory, President Jimmy Carter, activist and singer Harry Belafonte, the European Parliament, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and many others.
Pro-death penalty figures have also voiced their opposition to the execution, including former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr, former Texas Governor Mark White, and Norman Fletcher, a former Georgia Supreme Court Justice.

Kim Davis’ campaign has been one of the most popular ever launched on” said Jonathan Perri, Senior Organizer for Criminal Justice at “ is about empowering anyone, anywhere to demand action on the issues that matter to them, and it’s clear that there is overwhelming support for granting Troy Davis clemency.”

At 7:30 a.m. today, supporters will gather outside the Parole Board meeting in the "Sloppy" Floyd Building, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30334 for a day long vigil.

Live signature totals from the Kim Davis’ campaign:

Journalists interested in interviewing members of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles should try doing so through:

Steve Hayes
Director of Public Affairs, Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles
(404) 657-9450

Members of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles

James E. Donald
Chairman, Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles
Albert R. Murray
Vice Chairman, Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles
(404) 651-6599
L. Gale Buckner
Member, Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles
(404) 651-6595
Terry Barnard
Member, Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles
(404) 651-6667
Robert E. Keller
Member, Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles
(404) 651-6695

For more information on, please visit: is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by more than 400,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country."

Carry on.