Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Tale of 2 Quaterbacks

As you read this, especially if you are a fan of football, you may be still marveling at the gridiron feat composed by one Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles against the Washington Redskins. It was indeed a work of art comparable to Tchaikovsky’s Overture of 1812, Prince playing each of the 16 instruments used to make his first album at age 16 or martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter From a Birmingham Jail. His six touchdown sonata included 300 yards in the air and an astonishing five touchdown drives in a row to begin the game.

Unfortunately, as opposed to pronouncing this historical accomplishment on its own merits, the America I live in as expressed via commentary, prefers to couple this even with his past of dog fighting and incarceration (that serviced his criminal debt) albeit more than two years past. I find this strange and have asked the question why this is so? Yes, Vick did commit a crime and he also paid for it, but in comparison, Pittsburg Steelers’ Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, seems to have been given a pass although his iniquities have occurred during the current year and are recurrent. I did not hear one mention of his problem behaviors during the Steelers beat down by New England this past Sunday Night. But for Vick, it is a continuous theme.

I suspect that the main reason why Vick is always discussed with his past and Roethlisberger is not, is rooted in the fabric of American history. In America, African descendents have always been considered less than white people and even equated to livestock in the US constitution. Consequently, dogs were regarded in higher esteem by whites than slaves or the African Americans trough the times of Jim Crow up until the civil rights movement – maybe this is why dogs were released on protesters during that period. Thus it would not be unreasonable to assert that Mike Vick and what he represents humanly is not as important or valuable as a dog to many. Likewise, that it is more heinous to fight and kill a dog than molest, assault or have forcible sex with women- in particular under-aged college girls, with GBI documented bodily fluids of her alleged attacker.

Now I may be wrong but my recollection of history is not. America has always saluted rapist, drug addicts and other sultry types if they were of European descent. Thomas Jefferson (who raped his slaves), Rush Limbaugh (drug addict), Andrew Jackson (Indian killer) and now Ben Roethlisberger.

I guess it is easier for folks to speak about redemption and forgiveness than it actually is to do such. Folk just need to get off Vick’s phallus, but I know they will not, for they do not desire to see him as the MVP and in their mind he will always be behind Tom Brady, Matt Ryan and even Ben Roethlisberger; for he will never have blond hair or blue eyes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

GOP More Concerned With Obama than China Passing US

Since the Democratic party took an old-fashioned butt whipping from the GOP during the midterm elections, one can only assume that their “just say no” mantra and incessant attacks on President Obama and his administration will not only continue, but might even accelerate and become more pointed.

As a result, we should all be on guard for the Republican-dominated Congress, along with the assistance of Fox news and other right-wing extremist groups, to ask for investigations into the fledgling Obama administration. If this speculation is true, then there are several areas for certain that the GOP will likely target over the next few years.

First, based on what has already transpired over the past two years, it is clear that Representatives Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Lamar Smith R-Texas, will likely lead the charge. Both have been attacking the Obama administration since day one through often strange and bizarre press releases. Now after this past Tuesday, the actually have some pull, since they will most probably become the chairs of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Judiciary Committee, respectively. And what does this mean; it means that they now have the power to subpoena presidential staff and appointees. But what will they investigate?

Well, based on all of the attention Attorney General Eric Holder received for not investigating the New Black Panther Party, one should expect to see a monumental government waste of money on this. The Obama administration decided to limit the scope of the civil case and the Department of Justice was strongly criticized by the GOP for dropping the case against some of the members of the party. Then there will also be some interest in how the administration dealt with the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Issa has made it clear that he had some major issues with how the president handled the natural disaster, stating that the Obama was more concerned about his image than the oil spill.

Whatever happens, it will be very interesting. It won’t be a surprise if they decide to hold hearings on his religious beliefs or whether he was truly born in America. So the question is, how long will it take for the Republican-led House to start investigating the Obama administration?

If they do, it will show me just how stupid the GOP and worse, how much they hate America. For if they were competent and loved this great country, they would focus on the nation and not politics. It is as if they cannot see how China is running around us like the Roadrunner. China has the world's longest network of high-speed rail, giving China more high-speed rail tracks than the rest of the world put together. But Republicans don’t see this and say stupid things like they do not want high speed rail. That is what the Governors-elect of Wisconsin (Scott Walker) and Ohio (John Kasich) said during their campaigns. This has also been a point made by Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., the committee's ranking GOP member, who said that he believes high-speed trains are a good idea, doesn’t agree with the projects selected by the Transportation Department for funding. Other idiots include New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Florida, Governor-elect Rick Scott.

Republicans have shown they are the party of no, but now they are the party of China, doing all they can to make certain the pass us by as number one in the world as soon as they can.

Monday, November 15, 2010

There is a hole in the economy

It gets me as to how folks can propound on the esoteric meaning of nothing in the world of economics. Especially here in America, were we hear how to solve problems with solutions that do neither have method nor definition. All reminds me of an Island song I would hear harry Belafonte sing when I was a child growing up, “There's a hole in the bucket dear Liza, dear Liza.” If ever was there a need of a song to be remixed, it should be this one and the word bucket should be replaced with economy.

What is their not to see? It seems that politicians, albeit not very good in math as most Americans, want to make this a complex issue and act as if the solutions are massive and difficult – for lack of a better phrase, as if we are talking about Calculus or differential equations. Unfortunately it is not that complex and really a function of basic, simple, remedial math – adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.

The simple truth is that the way we are going economically is unsustainable. We are borrowing as a nation more than one-third of what we spend. I mean, let me put it another way. We as a nation, the United States, are spending $3 for every $2 we are bringing in the form of GDP.

It is also infelicitous that our political leaders know this and don’t or won’t tell us or worse, they do not know or understand the rusticism of the situation at hand themselves. For if they did they would do something and stop pointing fingers at each other. If they do not, you can best believe that the global capital markets will do it for us and like at the G20, we will not be in a position to do anything about it. We see what has happened in London, with students marching against the conservative political leadership, or last year in Greece with protesters in the streets or even this year in France. Don’t sleep it can happen here also.

But what is more troubling and scary to me is that if the Government, regardless of political affiliation does not see on the horizon what I fear, and that is a collapse in the bond market. I mean if the US is a company, with a massive debt problem plus $12 trillion and counting, with all these nations like China holdings of dollar-denominated short-term U.S. securities, including Treasury bills, and other custody liabilities, and the feds drop $600 billion into circulation, the value of the dollar may drop.

If this happens then it would not surprise me if foreign governments no longer want long-term US debt and will dump all the bonds on the markets if interest rates rise from current lows. This is not as farfetched as one may think given what has just occurred in Ireland and soon maybe in Portugal.

Politicians, there is a hole in the bucket. We have a sovereign debt crisis and all yawl do is point fingers at each other. We see that neither the Bush Tax Cuts, nor Obama’s massive spending have not worked. Regardless, something needs to be done now before it is too late, and it must entail at looking at entire projects and not bits and pieces. For inaction, may take our jobless rate up like Greece while they are trying to tackle their deficit. Maybe we could learn something from the difficulty they face now trying to restore fiscal soundness to their economic policy – naw, that would be too simple, instead we pass the buck, a borrowed buck at that,.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Constipated Now Nows

While many of us continue our habitual over zealous consumption of stuff and things of no real economic value, two events have occurred since the November mid-term election that may be of critical economic importance regarding the future of America, three if one includes the proposal presented this week by President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

The first was the announcement by the U.S. Federal Reserve this week of $600 billion of extra money being put in the economy. Specifically they will use the loot created out of thin air and computer virtual reality to buy $600 billion of long-term Treasury bonds (about $75 billion a month) through March 2011. They call this “quantitative easing.” In theory, this can be defined as a willy nilly, hocus pocus way to promote a stronger pace of economic growth and recovery. By my math, in addition to the pronouncement made by the New York Federal Reserve Bank to reinvest maturing mortgage securities owned by the Fed in Treasury bonds, that projects to approximately $900 billion of Federal bond purchases in the next six months or almost half the loot issued to finance this year's federal deficit.

The second is the meeting of the G-20 in South Korea. We know that most of the attention during this meeting will be directed towards the global economy. Particularly, monetary and currency policy and international trade. This will be an up hill battle for the US, since most of what we see that is jacked-up economically is our fault. I mean since the time of Nixon, we as a nation encouraged all of this, when we decided to get cheap stuff abroad via Chinese, Vietnamese and Latin American labor and taking the dollar off the gold standard.

Yes, once upon a time there was a gold standard in which the monetary unit is a fixed weight of gold. This came about via the Bretton Woods agreement put in place after World War II, allowing several countries to base their exchange rates to the U.S. dollar. But like I said previously, this ended in 1971 when President Richard Nixon ended the dollar-gold peg, leading to what we have now - floating exchange rates. Even stranger is that at this time, Alan Greenspan, who arrived in Washington in 1967, as a campaign advisor to Richard Nixon, wanted to reshape the economic landscape of America via deregulate, But I digress.

The China/US relationship is a clear example of what I am trying to say. They have pegged their currency to the dollar, which keeps the value of the Yuan artificially low, thus giving them the ability to flood the US market with cheap products. The consequence was that it gave China the ability to use the dollars they earned to buy US debt, which let us live way above our incomes. Unfortunate for us, this created a trade imbalance between the two nations, growing dollar reserves in China and creating a trade surplus (just as what we see with Germany).

Chinese dollar reserves currently are estimated at about $2 trillion. If the Feds puts too much money into circulation, these reserves may be devalued. And if China isn’t happy, and their value is decreased because the dollar is reduced in strength by the Feds actions, a trade war and a worldwide recession would not be far fetched as a probably outcome. Funny thing is we complain about china keeping the value of the Yuan fixed, but the actions the US central bank is doing by flooding billions in the world market, is the same thing, only via monetary policy.

What the federal Reserve has done is to take more risk with respect to our economy, an untested risk, which could not have come at a more dangerous time globally for the US. Banks already have about $3 trillion in cash, they just are hoarding as opposed to lending or spending. Thus such actions seems to increase the risks of higher inflation sooner than latter, especially now since the places we used to get cheap labor from is outcompeting us and holding our economic growth stagnant.

Now, other wealthy nations are super critical of the US economic policy as were of theirs 30 years ago, with the clout being on their side now. Especially the German and Chinese with respect to the Feds actions and overall macroeconomic policies. I just don’t get it, what will buying bonds do to encourage job creation? We still spend too much. On December 31, 2010, the Obama stimulus package, will end and thing will really be up in the air.

I do not know what the end game will be but I can say from our actions at home and our buddies around the world. And on the real the U.S. needs to generate at least a million plus jobs annually to keep up with new workers entering the job market alone. From the actions of the G20 summit there are several things we see. First is obvious, that no one wants to be in any paper currency. This may be why a former banker at Goldman Sachs and deputy secretary of state under George H. W. Bush, suggested a return to a modified gold standard. Second, that we are not in a position to tell other nations how large of a surplus or deficit they can run. And last, Unfortunately neither individual folk or our government have learned anything from the last 6 to 10 years of economic disarray. It is very obvious that folks still think and behave the same and still have not taken responsibility and just spend as much loot as they brought in – Governments included. Foir even with this second round of “quantitative easing," Amercia sure feels constipated to me. And may require Funkadelic - Promentalshitbackwashpsychosis Enema Squad.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Aryan and white nationalist Group wants to send blacks back to Africa

Historically, the “back-to-Africa” movement, which sought to encourage the descendants of displaced Africans throughout the world to return to their homeland, was championed by African people living in America. Activist Marcus Garvey was one of the main advocates of such a vehicle for self determination and community empowerment.

Today, a Maryland-based organization has started the "Motherland Project,” a movement designed to encourage African Americans to leave the United States and return to Africa. Founded in 2003, the Center for Perpetual Diversity advocates preserving the white race through racial segregation. Their slogan is "Save Europe" and the first sentence of their mission statement reads, "Native Europeans are in grave danger of becoming extinct in the future. Actual extinction may still be hundreds of years away, but the point of no return may be reached in the next 10 years. If nothing is done, soon it will be too late."

Interestingly, the group supports contemporary back-to-Africa rhetoric. In fact, leaders share that it will actively seek grant money to assist in relocating African Americans. To my recollection, this is the first time that a white power/supremacist group has taken such an approach. Now, this isn’t to say that they want what’s best for African Americans or Africa. On the organization’s website, founder James Schneider calls African Americans a "retrograde species of humanity."

Supposedly, the project is run by an African American woman. Contact information on the website says that those interested in the project should contact the director of CPD's Motherland Project, Sharity Ross-Petit, at (301) 792-5810 -- when I called, the number wasn’t working. The organization has posted a so-called picture of Ross-Petit, 52, standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Given the history of such white supremacist organizations in America and the increased fervor with which Aryan and white nationalism has contrived over the past two years, I’m highly skeptical of such claims. Especially when CPD’s website suggests to white women that "you must never let a Negro get you in a place where nobody can see you. The nicest Negro will suddenly turn into a raving madman when he is alone with you and does not get what he wants."

Don't believe me? You make the call.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Football, Hypocrisy and Cam Newton

One of the best books on sports I ever read was William Rhoden’s “Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete.” In the book, he provides a lucidly terse commentary, backed by historical occurrence, that the African American athlete and today’s sports industry are equally comparable to the slave and plantation respectively. More specifically, that the industry of sports today, whether professional or amateur, is no different than that of the slave era plantation, which was exclusively distinguished by white ownership and African American labor.

Some would argue against such but I would say his premise is on point, in particular with respect to the hypocrisy being evinced regarding precarious allegations directed toward Cam Newton. I have wondered, since the New York Times and ESPN ran with the story of him taking money “supposedly from a no name former quarterback,” what was the reason for doing so? It was strange because it happened after Auburn beat LSU and became the number one team in the land, albeit for a week. Now all of a sudden records from the University of Florida have been released regarding allegations that Newton once cheated while in college. Again, I can’t understand this, unless the University of Florida and Florida football head coach Urban Meyer have something to do with this. It would not surprise me since Newton was first enrolled at the University of Florida.

Now it seems that the mainstream writers and the coaches alike are doing what they normally do to African American athletes who are successful, or considered recalcitrant. But what can I expect; the proclaimed legendary Pop Warner, Coach of Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School threw Thorpe under the bus when he didn’t want to play football for him, causing him to have his Olympic gold medals to be taken away. Pop Warner lied and said he had no knowledge, when he did and knew that Thorpe would gross him $10,000 each game he played.

Folk the likes of Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Jesse Owens, and Willie Mays knew of this environment. Mays even told his God son Barry Bonds to look after himself because baseball didn’t care. As was evident when they looted the negro leagues for more talented players for less than half the price, the same way they do Latin American players now. Barry Bonds as a result of his attitude and his purported cheating via steroids use may not make it to the Hall of fame, when he deserves and more obvious cheaters like Gaylord Perry and Whitey Ford have.

A say all this just to question the dynamics of sports, what is it that would make some suggest that Mike Vick less than a quarterback than Matt Ryan, or that Cam Newton, although a greater physical specimen, is not as smart a quarterback as Tim Tebow or Kellen Moore? I cannot answer these but It does strike me as strange that all of this attention, albeit it unsubstianted, directed toward Cam Newton, ironically happens prior to his race for the Heisman Trophy and National Championship chase. Maybe it is just me or maybe there is truly a level of unprecedented hypocrisy in college and professional sports – God forbid you use the R-word, for the reality is this is what Black kids who show exceptional athletic talent should expect.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Black male and Gay: Reality TV or castration

Historically, African Americans — especially males — have been portrayed in a multitude of stereotypical caricatures. The noted author Sterling Brown studied and wrote about this extensively, with respect to the images of African American men in literature.

In the past it was playing roles like Uncle Tom and Buckwheat or as Brown wrote "a harmless eunuch who could be tolerated if he accepted that role or the raging beast who could be killed without conscience if he did not."

During Sterling Brown's time, in the Harlem Renaissance era, the daily image of the African male was one who wore torn and ragged clothes and oversized baggy pants. Thus, over the years males have developed a psyche best seen through the psychologically emasculation of our personal image and self-concept.

It is no wonder that white men would lynch and castrate African American men from slavery through the modern era. This trend is continued today in the images created by white and blacks that we see inordinately on television and the wide screen. If you have not noticed, there are a large number of men playing gay roles and even cross-dressing.

This group of characters is way more visible on television and more popular than positive heterosexual images of African American fathers on shows slotted for prime time.

In the '90s, cross-dressing characters played by Martin Lawrence and Jamie Foxx were hugely popular.

The sketch comedy show “In Living Color” ratcheted things up another notch with a skit titled, Men on Film, in which Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier played extremely effeminate flaming gay men named Blaine Edwards and Antoine Merriweather.

Since that time, new gay characters with prominent roles can be found on network and cable television.

“Noah's Arc” is about the lives of four black gay friends and even shows intimate relations between many of the characters.

Then there is Tyra Banks' "America's Next Top Model" show, which features J. Alexander, a man that looks and dresses like a woman and even walks around in high heel shoes. Miss J. as shim is called, is a judge on the show and a runway coach.

Not even gangsters are safe. In the HBO hit series “The Wire,” Michael K. Williams, who plays Omar Little, a drug-dealing thief, plays the role of a homosexual. The character has even had several boyfriends.

It appears that there is an overt and focused attempt by Hollywood to place more African American men in the role of gay men. Why is this? Is it a result of the history of how the majority has treated African American men as outlined in the many writings of Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison? Or is it an extension of the practices promulgated during Jim Crow and reconstruction that often saw strong African men hanging from trees with their genitalia cut off and stuffed in their mouths?

Whatever the answer is, it is impossible to separate what we see in Hollywood and on television from the historical truth in America: there is still a movement afoot, through overt and covert means, to emasculate African American men.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Supended sentence

African American males, from elementary school to high school, are struggling academically. This has been confirmed in a new report outlining suspension rates of African American males. According to a national study co-written by Daniel J. Losen, a senior associate at the Civil Rights Project at the University of California Los Angeles, and Indiana University Professor Russell Skiba, there is a growing disparity with respect to the treatment of white and nonwhite students in terms of suspension.

Using U.S. Department of Education data on suspensions, the findings support that black males in middle school are suspended at higher rates than white students. The study also reported that Palm Beach County ranked No. 1 among 18 large, urban school districts nationwide in terms of the frequency with which it suspended black male middle school students in 2006. Fifty-three percent have been suspended at least once. Milwaukee was second with 51 percent. Other cities, including Atlanta, reported suspending more than 35 percent of African American male middle school students during the same time period.

The national sample was comprised of more than 9,000 middle schools. The study also observed that 28.3 percent of black males, on average, were suspended at least once during a school year, This is a rate almost 3 times the 10 percent recorded for white males in middle school. African American females of the same age group were suspended more than four times as often as white females (18 percent vs. 4 percent).

The study suggests that as a result, many African American male students miss valuable class time during the middle school years, a critical period in their academic and social development. The report, titled “Suspended Education: Urban Middle Schools in Crisis,” found that 175 middle schools in these districts suspended more than one-third of their black male students. Eighty-four schools suspended more than half the black males enrolled.

The report confirms what many have suspected for years. In Nashville, Tenn., nine metro middle schools have suspended more than 50 percent of African American males, mainly ages 9 through 12, according to Vanderbilt University psychologist and human development specialist Maury Nation.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

You Big Dummy

Imagine this; Fred Sanford is at home, sitting down listening to the election returns from around the nation on his radio from NPR. Well not really, imagine me at home in the bed listening to the national election results on the radio, after all that’s what amounted for my entertainment last night. All I could say to myself, upon return upon return were Mr. Sanford’s legendary description of his son Lamont “you big dummy.”

It seemed to fit the evening correctly, both in terms of describing the democrats and the Obama administration and the fools who voted the GOP in office around the country by a historic level. In fact not since 1948, when Truman was president have we seen such a large take over of the house by one party. We know what happened nationally, now in the US House of representatives the GOP controls 239 seats, a pick up of 60 and also added 10 gubernatorial seats that they swiped from democrats

But even more troubling is what occurred on the state levels. In Georgia for example, the second Republican governor was elected in a row since 2002. Prior to this Georgia had not had a Republican Governor since Reconstruction. And for your history Buffs that is since Benjamin Conley in 1872, who ironically was one of the persons who assisted in promoting harsh resolutions condemning the state's failure to comply with the Reconstruction Acts of Congress in the organization of the General Assembly in an effort to reseat the colored members, kicked out by democrats.” A former Whig, Conley had opposed secession and retired to his plantation near Montgomery, Alabama, for the duration of the war. On his return to Georgia after the surrender it was natural for him to join the Republicans and to support the congressional plan for Reconstruction.”

But back to my point. In the state house the won 17 seats giving republicans 107 of the 180 seats and in the senate the control 37 of the 56 district senate seats.

Now what caused this? I don’t listen to pundits but I have my own developed postulate on the outcome. Now unlike many I don’t credit this too the Tea (Taxed enough Already) party, and don’t understand how folk, especially black folk can suggest such when they likely don’t even know what the acronym stand for or their beliefs, albeit most of which are rooted in agoraphobic based nativism. But I can say first and foremost is President Obama.

President Obama selfish tendencies and his ethnicity brought this on. Only a fool, taking office after George W. Bush, who inherited an economy in shambles and on the brink of collapse would put health care before Jobs and stabilization of the dollar. I just don’t get it, I mean it seems to be misdirected attention to spend 18 of your first 23 months on passing health care with the way the market and unemployment situation is currently. Moreover, Obama also appointed some foxes (Geitner and Sumners) to run the hen house and allowed the to suggest policy, without critical examination too solve the economic crisis that history tells us would not be able to improve the economy that has taken 20 years to get this bad in a two year period.

All of this has made me prophetic since two years ago I stated that people were blinded by the “Obamafication of America” and we were moving from “Tobe to Joe Six-Pack.” Now the lunatics run the asylum.

Now Obama has to depend on Black folks to keep him in office, since he may loose the Latino electorate since he promised to deal with comprehensive immigration reform in his first year – which he did not, just as he promised to address needle exchange – which he did not.

The tea party is another issue. It seems that they do not understand that one cannot fix an economy as bad as ours in one or two years (idiots). Plus they are dishonest, for if the pundits knew anything and were honest, they would call this election for what it was. No, this is not an anti-incumbent protest vote; it was an anti-democratic incumbent vote. No it was not anti-Obama vote; it was an anti Black man as president vote. Which in summary means that this vote was directed to punish democrats for promoting and getting a black man elected as President.

Black folk if they were smart could learn something from the tea party. Instead of voting democratic without question, and complain about the GOP, if they truly desired change they would join the GOP, and vote for their own kind and once elected form their own political coterie. But requires too much though and many, as I said drank the kool laid – since they were just happy to have a black man as president. See what a vote does, nothing, for America is not a democracy it is a republic – and only land owners make decisions in republics, You big dummy. Now we have a collection of Andrew Jackson’s all over the place and all that is missing now is David Duke. Arizon just passed by a large margin, Prop 107, legislation that bans preferential treatment and discrimination prohibition (Affrimative Action) so the way I see it its on and all down hill from here - thanks for nothing.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Job Loss, USA

Most Americans are keenly aware of the horrible economic state of affairs the country is facing. However, there is a small group of people those with jobs and benefits — who don't think the economic outlook is as bad as some say. In addition, they don't understand that our problems are part of a larger and more systemic global economic problem that is just as impactful as what we experience directly at home. This essay is for such people to inform them of the dramatic changes that may suggest that the economy is not going to improve anytime soon.

On Thursday, Oct. 28, the pharmacy chain operator CVS Caremark announced it will eliminate 300 employees who work in customer support and other operations to reduce corporate costs. These job cuts will affect staffers across the country, but more than half are at the company's customer support center at its headquarters in Woonsocket, R.I.

Astoria, New York-based Home Services Systems Inc., a home care agency that provides 1,900 seniors across the city with personal care services such as feeding, cleaning and bathing, reported it may be forced to and lay off more than 2,000 home attendants by year's end after losing its long-standing contract with the city. The agency filed a notice with the state Labor Department on Oct. 14 that indicated 2,065 employees will be laid off as a result of the contract loss.

On Friday, Oct. 29, a report was leaked regarding plans for a large reduction in the workforce of the Savannah River Nuclear Solutions at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C., by 2012, due to the completion of work under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. An internal memo details a phased workforce restructuring plan that would reduce the workforce by 1,400 employees, through a two-phased involuntary separation plan.

West Penn Allegheny Health System of Pittsburgh, Pa., announced that it also will be laying off employees. Four hundred workers will lose their jobs as part of an ongoing restructuring plan.

And states have had their own share of woes as well. New York Gov. David Paterson said he plans to lay off an additional 898 public employees by the end of the year.

I am just presenting this information to show people that it is bad and may even be getting worse. The sad truth is that this is not reported on television and it is beyond me why it isn’t. We all need to prepare ourselves for the future, because the economy will not be improving anytime soon.

Monday, November 01, 2010

TI and Gucci Mane Celebrated, Mumia Abu Jamal Still Forgotten

It is easy to feel concern, compassion or apathy, about what people openly discuss and talk about frequently — especially in this age of social networking with regards to sights like Twitter and Facebook. I joined Twitter around 2007, but have yet to open a Facebook site. From my perspective, the main benefit is that one can easily share information as well as keep track of events that are provided by news outlets, mostly newspapers that I would otherwise not be able to via a regular medium. However, it does have its negative aspects as well.

Last night, via Twitter, I found out that Atlanta hip-hop artist Radric “Gucci Mane” Davis had been released from jail. Not that it was important, but the interest it attracted and the unexpected joy and veneration with respect to his release was. Personally I could not understand it, but next it dawned on me that these people have never to my knowledge used this medium to gather momentum with respect to another individual in a similar position, Mumia Abu-Jamal.Jamal was a journalist and the founder of the Philadelphia Black Panthers. In 1982, he was convicted and sentenced to death for the alleged killing of a white Philadelphia police officer.

He has been in prison since 1981 and on death row since 1983, for the aforementioned murder of Daniel Faulkner. Prior to that, he was best known for his award winning reporting on police brutality in the city of Philadelphia called “Voice of the Voiceless”.

It appears that our priorities are backwards, giving more attention to Gucci Mane and other rappers who are incarcerated inclusive of T.I., Lil Wayne, than people who actually contribute positively to our community. Neither Lil Wayne nor Gucci Mane could compare to Mumia Abu-Jamal in character, community development or integrity. Yet Mr. Davis, speaking to a group of reporters said "My time in jail was trying, but I grew from it and am now a stronger and better person. I want to continue on a positive track and truly focus on being a role model to my fans and my community."

It is a shame and maybe even a sign of the times when a former president of the Association of Black Journalists and the founding member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Black Panther Party, gets less attention than people who through their music, applaud greed, self-centeredness, materialism and violent self-destructive behavior. Someone please explain, I just cannot not comprehend it.