Monday, November 30, 2009

Something to think about...

The recession has compounded a decades-long problem for black workers, who began the downturn facing a far higher jobless rate than the general population and have fared worse since.
Now experts are worried that many blacks will remain in crisis even as the economy begins to recover, largely because the recession has eliminated so many working-class jobs in sectors like manufacturing and retail that are likely to come back slowly, if at all.
“Across the board right now the job prospects are slim, but for blacks even more so than average,” said Algernon Austin, director of the program on race, ethnicity and the economy at the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank that focuses on issues affecting lower to middle-income workers.
Tariq Mustafa can relate. Mustafa, 30, has been looking for work since March, when he completed a temporary retail job after he was laid off from a hotel position. He estimates he has filed 100 online job applications as well as spending months pounding the pavement and visiting potential employers in person.
He said he occasionally feels that race plays a role in his inability to get a job, especially in this tight job market.
“Sometimes you come in and you ask for an application, and you know they’re hiring because it was on the Internet, and they’ll say, you know, ‘No, we’re not hiring,’ ” he said. “It’s just, it’s that vibe, just how people treat you.”
The numbers illustrate the sheer depth of the problem black workers are facing. For all the gains that black workers have made over the past 20 years, everywhere from corporate boardrooms to the White House, there remains a persistent gap between black and white unemployment rates.
Since the recession began in December 2007, the national unemployment rate has gone from 4.9 percent to 10.2 percent, while the the black unemployment rate has jumped from 8.9 percent to 15.7 percent, according to government figures.
In addition, blacks have been more likely to drop out of the labor force altogether as many have become so discouraged about job prospects that they have stopped looking for work.
The labor force participation rate for blacks has fallen from 63.4 percent of adults in December 2007 to 61.7 percent as of October. The overall labor force participation rate in the same period has fallen from 66 percent to 65.1 percent, the lowest level since 1986.
Black workers also are likely to take longer to find a new job. In 2008 blacks made up 19.3 percent of the total unemployed population but represented 25.4 percent of the people who had been unemployed for six months or longer, according to the National Employment Law Project.
In good times and bad, blacks face harsher employment prospects for many reasons, including a higher likelihood of past incarceration or homelessness, and less access to a network of friends and relatives who might have job leads. Discrimination, while less overt than in years past, still plays a role, experts say.
“The American labor market is less friendly to black workers than to white workers, and it has been for all of U.S. history,” Austin said....

Just another reminder why this nation needs to right the wrongs it has done generational and socioeconomically to people of color and still affecting us.  Institutional racial bias is a bitch and it still haunts our society with the way people of color are the last to be hired but first to be fired.

Mike Huckabee screwed up BIG TIME

It turns out that the alleged shooter, Mike Clemmons in the assassination of 4 officers in Lakewood (Washington) Police Department at a coffee shop yesterday was sentence to 95 years in prison in Arkansas.  However, his sentence was commuted by then-Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee because he felt that prosecution was being "too harsh" although they proven Clemmons has a history of violent acts. Huckabee was a viable candidate for the Republican presidential ticket in the 2012 election, but after this...

As of yesterday evening from Politico, Huckabee let it be known that is is "less than likely" that he will run for president in 2012.

Now that is crazy as hell because this guy had a long ass wrap sheet, but gullible Huckabee commuted his sentence along with the sentence of another violent convicted criminal, Wayne Dumond, who was implicated in another rape in Missouri and died in prison in 2005.  Huckabee isn't the brightest bulb on the tree and now may have a Willie Horton-like albatross around his neck politically for the rest of his life because of this psychopath assassinating 4 law enforcement officers.

Mobile mayor Sam Jones endorses Artur Davis for governor

This morning, Mobile mayor Sam Jones has endorsed Artur Davis for the Democratic nomination for governor over Ron Sparks.  Sam Jones is the Port City's first black mayor and a very popular amongst constituency of black, white, moderate, and progressive backgrounds.  He was first elected in 2005 after gaining the endorsement of outgoing mayor Mike Dow, and earlier this year he was reelected unopposed. 

Jones said:

“Artur Davis and I share a common approach to leadership,” said Mayor Jones.  “Congressman Davis solves problems by bringing people together across traditional dividing lines like partisanship, race and ideology.”
Jones continued, “A vitally important quality that distinguishes Artur Davis from the other candidates in this campaign for governor is his positive vision for the future of Alabama’s economy.  Artur Davis is not satisfied for our state to lag behind our neighbors any longer, not when we have so much talent and so much potential right here in Alabama.”
“I don’t just think that Artur Davis can win, I think he can lead,” said Mayor Jones.  “I don’t just think Artur Davis can get elected, I think he has the potential to be one of our greatest governors.”
He seems to get what a number of progressive and moderates are getting about Davis being little more electable because he's not a reactionary candidate nor is he a foil of his opponent just for the hell of it.  If Sparks thought his endorsement from former Birmingham mayor Richard Arrington was something to buy him black votes, IT WON'T.  Arrington is a washed up politico amongst most black voters and voters in Birmingham, so he can try again.  Also Jones is popular with black voters along with other voters in the Mobile area, which is key to pull a primary win for Davis.  Good call...

Racial Fatigue and why some want to say bitch and moan about the facts of society inequities for people of color

In nation where racial inequities are still prevalent even more with the high unemployment rates amongst people of color, but since the election of the current president Barack Obama, there seems to be more white Americans want to deny the existence of these inequities.

Now, I live in Birmingham, which is in Alabama and the heart of the Deep South, a region where race and ethnicity has always played a major role in the social landscape.  However, I know that the root of a number of our nation's issues lays with the generational views and level of cultural understanding of American whites on their understanding socioeconomic disparities between people of color and themselves.

I regularly read newspapers like the Birmingham News, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Washington Post where I've seen comments from people who are clearly white degrading blacks who are attempting to better themselves by saying how sick of hearing about the economic disparities that exist.  I've seen many want to denote who if southern states weren't home to so many blacks the issues such education rankings would be higher along with lower rates of poverty, single-parent households, median income, etc.  These comments alone give one a little incite on the mindset of some white Americans and how they feel about particularly black Americans as well as Latin Americans.  Both groups have been subject to social inequities and faced racism of the overt kind in the past, but the institutionalize and covert kind of modern times.

One thing that baffles me is how some whites will say "I have a black friend", "my son/daughter is married to a black...", or "my grandchild/nephew/niece is half black...", "I've had dated/married to a black..." as if having a black person in your life will via osmosis give you an profound incite of the issues, inequities, mindset, problems, and the culture of black Americans.  It doesn't because one has to either witness and have a direct and profound understanding to empathize issues that black people involving socioeconomic inequities.  Most whites still doesn't understand them because they either brush over the concepts assuming they understand it, just pretend like it doesn't exist, or become full of guilt commonly known as 'white guilt' over these issues.  None of the reactions are rational to understanding the issues facing people of color. Also many white assume that since we have a black president along with highly successful people like Oprah Winfrey and Bob Johnson that suddenly blacks have overcame these issues.  Here are the facts, most blacks are still more likely to face unemployment, i.e., 'last to be hired and first to be fired', grow up in a lower income to borderline impoverish households, lack the access to adequate education resources, face racial profiling, incarceration, and lack access to indignant health care.  These things are true regardless if they grow up in a single-parent household or grew up in the core of an urban area, suburbs, or rural areas.

The solution to this should be that the government still need programs in available for people of color and lower income residents to obtain their basic necessities such as educational grants for collegiate education and health care facilities.  I know there are a number of issues that can be discussed about about things such as nutritional habits, discussion of sexual behaviors, and rearing of children.  However, most of these things can be traced to the economic and education disparities because most parents have to work more than one job to support their household, thus taking away precious time from instilling values while rearing their children.  If we can fix these basic issues then people of color would likely have more resolutions to the social issues.

Same-sex unions, Atlanta mayoral race, and HUH?

Over the long weekend Atlanta's mayoral race just got even pettier with the issue of same-sex unions.  OK, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the issue of same-sex unions as known as "gay/same-sex marriage" became an issue of the very contentious race between former Georgia state senator Kasim Reed and current Atlanta City Council member Mary Norwood. 

Apparently, Georgia Equality, the major LGBT organization in Atlanta, has chosen to stay neutral over the mayoral race (for obvious reasons not to burn bridges and because look at how racially contentious it is and we know how that goes for LGBTs and race).  However, the Georgia State Democratic Party has made it known that they think that Norwood is a Republican, and even claiming to outright and no-holds-bar stance.  Whereas, the Atlanta Stonewall Democrats have fully endorsed Kasim Reed over Mary Norwood in the mayoral race.  Interesting the Georgia Democratic Party has all but formally endorsed Reed and made it known that their state party is only for civil unions.  Well, I told the LGBT bloggers that this is how they see it in the majority of the South even in so-called progressive ol' Atlanta.

Now, Kasim Reed has went out and said he supports civil unions, but doesn't go for the full same-sex unionship stance.  However, Norwood has said she supports same-sex unions, but voted to abstain from a key vote on the issue for the Atlanta City Council in the past.  Leaving the hyperbole that who's more of a champion for this issue? 

Well, some of the LGBT/SGL citizens of Atlanta haven't stayed as quiet and neutral as Georgia Equality has on the issue like Douglas Brooks is an Atlanta attorney, parent of two, who is upset at the Georgia Democratic Party’s opposition to Mary Norwood, an advocate of same-sex marriage equality.  Brooks wrote a long diatribe:
Kasim Reed’s anti-marriage equality position is not only an insult to the thousands of tax-paying gay and lesbian Atlantans, his position represents a step backwards for a city which is currently led by Shirley Franklin, who favors marriage equality. Like many of you, we are disappointed in this year’s race, and not just for Senator Reed’s position, the party’s intervention, and the lock step support from party faithful.
The Democratic Party of Georgia asks gays and lesbians to compromise on marriage equality in voting for Reed this year, while doing nothing elsewhere to improve the discriminatory treatment we feel from state government. No member of the Democratic caucus has introduced legislation to repeal the 2004 anti-marriage equality amendment; nor to create a parallel structure of civil unions, nor domestic partnerships, nor any other advance.
Is it any wonder gays and lesbians are – for the first time in memory – ignoring the party’s candidate endorsement to support the pro marriage equality, Mary Norwood?

I kind of expected this type of outrage which has been so common nationwide from so many LGBT/SGLs over marriage equality and Democrats.  However, as I've said for a while that the Democrats are a big yet fragile "tent" where a number of members of that party is socially conservative when it comes to same-sex unions.  Most of those are considered moderates and conservatives and will bail on them if the issue is push any further, but the more liberal members and LGBT caucus are getting angry because of the lack of push from the leadership. ONCE AGAIN, THIS IS WHY I'M AN INDEPENDENT.  Pragmatism is the only way this issue will be resolved, but patience has to be prudent.  Did anyone forget about the economy and unemployment numbers????

Tiger Woods and his ness

The conflicting reports on Mr. Woods, his car accident, and his alleged rescue by his wife, Elin, is just plain fishy at his estate in suburban Orlando.  At first Friday when it first occurred the reports were Woods had crashed into a fire hydrant and tree and his wife had broke the front windshield with a golf club then rushed to a hospital.  Then by late Friday, the reports were that his wife broke the windshield and back windows out then and he had a facial lacerations.  Now, it just a big ass confusing mess that doesn't even make any type of sense where he had a concussion, facial lacerations, dents on the front end of the car from the golf club, and the broken out windows.  The 911 tape to Orange County 911 says otherwise like Woods was unconscience and severe injuries. 

IMO, he and his wife got into a fight over the allegations that he was cheating on her with some NYC socialite and event planner, Rachel Utichel, who has been alleged to have been with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Bones star David Boreneaz. 

That's not the icing on the cake is Woods along with his wife have refused to give any type of information to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.  Now why are they avoiding the authorities when it is within their purview to request a statement from Woods and his wife on the incident.  You can play private all you want, but they can get the DA to subponea you to talk....  SMH

Why Urban Radio sucks!

Ok, here's my rant on this topic.  As I said many months ago, local radio stations out of Birmingham suck like a Hoover vac since they are so skewed.  Well, here is part 2 of my rant along with the rest of the stations along with why I tolerate over the garbage.

When I do turn on the radio in the vehicle I drive, I cringe because if it isn't for the fact that 98.7 Kiss FM will play a song that should be played during a slow jams show in the middle of the day or Hot 107.7 plays all R&B and no hip-hop aside from Saturday mornings for whatever reason.  It is 95.7 Jamz and their lack of variety.  Now I will say I looked on YES ( and saw that they have added the current Maxwell hit song "Pretty Wings" and Melanie Fiona song "It Kills Me" to their playlists, but only because they are urban hits.  However, they still play the same 25-30 songs over and over again and practically never play any true throwback songs from the 1990s, just those from early 2000s.  Hence, my dilemma.

The other reason why I deplore the local stations is the lack personality any on-air talent that is local has.  I can tolerate Tasha Simone on Hot 107.7 since she makes a good midday personality, but I can't stand country bumpkin wannabe Steve Harvey or Michael Baisden.  Anyone aside from Tom Joyner and his crew on the syndicated morning show puts me to sleep on 98.7.  However, what truly pisses me off is the ignorance that Cox Radio Birminngham allows on 95.7.  Buckwild, whose real name I do know, but refuse to post it because I'm respectful to his privacy, is 40 years old and he tries so damn hard to pretend like he is 'down' with his whackness.  If B-Money (another person whose name I know as well) doesn't stop with is lame self as well I will scream.  Nobody in their right mind would listen to any of the other ignorant, non-pronouncating personalities on that station who all talk like they don't even have a high school education at all.  I mean come on?

Cox acts as if the 18-34, nevermind, their target is 12-24 black demographic group suppose to be that damn dumb in Jefferson and Shelby counties.  They bores us in the 18-34 demographic group with 98.7, so they only chase after the 34-54 year olds instead.  Thus Citadel needs to be monkey stomped with their incompetence of programming an urban here because practically all their urbans in Little Rock and Charleston, SC were inherited along with their management from other companies.

Why is that urban stations can't have program a station these days?  I mean I work in the field of demographics and cultural aspects on a regular, but these stations are so over researched to the point that stations fear to play local or undiscovered artists anymore.  95.7 will play the ghetto ones locally that doesn't have any talent like Soulja Boy tell Em, but aside that nothing.

The stations I do love is KMEL '106 KMEL' in San Francisco that serves the Bay Area and Northern California.  It originally was a Mainstram Top 40 radio station when it first moved in the direction of what it is today in 1983 and evolved from that to Rhythmic Crossover like WPGC in DC to the Urban Contemporary format it has today.  They play quite a bit of Southern hip-hop music for a station in Northern California where the black population is less than 15% of the region's population.  I also love how they play quite a bit of R&B and soul songs along with a good slow jams show on Sundays through Thursdays from 10pm to 2am their time (midnight to 4am my time).  Also they play the music I remember when I was growing up which is perfect for somebody like me in the 18-34 demo.  Their personalites are quite entertaining as well with Chuy Gomez, Sana G, and Big Von on weekdays along with Box Kev on weekends.  I enjoy the station for their realness regardless of the fact that they are owned by corporate misfit Clear Channel, but they apparently bring in the big bucks for them thus the musical freedom. 

V-103 and WPGC "95.5 PGC" wins me over with their personalities and variety within their playlists is at least tolerable for a radio enthusiast such as myself.  I'm more of a balance of both R&B and hip-hop type of person that likes to hear old school, recurrents, and current songs of both genres.  In general, CBS Radio has the best radio stations in the nation hands down over any other group of stations in the urban and rhythmic crossover formats with WVEE, WPGC, WJHM, WZMX, and WMBX in the mix so they speak for themselves.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Today's events are dumbfounding and ignorant if you ask me.  OK, this morning the new councilors were swore in and immediate the went into conference to appoint the new Council President and President Pro-Tem.

Prior to this apparentl political deals went down between Steven Hoyt and Carole Smitherman that he would get to keep his appointment as head of the Economic Development committee and he would give his vote to Smitherman to remain Council President.  However, Hoyt heard from someone that apparently Smitherman told an incoming councilor that they were getting it instead of him, now who that incoming councilor could be anybody's guess.  However, my guess is not so incoming but appointee and now elected Johnathn Austin who voted for Smitherman to remain.  Anyways, Hoyt changed his vote at literally the last minute and voted for Roderick Royal as the new council president and interim mayor of Birmingham. 

Now word is that Royal had supposely been vying for this for awhile with practically all the incoming councilors voting for him: Kim Rafferty, LaShaunda Scales, and Jay Roberson along with Steven Hoyt as the swing vote aside from himself. 

However, around 5:30 pm this evening Smitherman held a press junket where she claimed to be have been "played" by Hoyt after he suppose to have as late as last night promised a vote for her instead.  Her claims says that the 3 mayors within a month is showing instability of the city's leadership.  UGH, LIKE YOU BEING MAYOR DOESN'T EITHER?  She goes on a pout and "crying foul" fest, but says that she is a "Christian" and will let it go after this announcement.   Kyle Whitmire of the Birmingham Weekly points out the "what-ifs" of the Mayor-Council Act of 1962 that states that the interim mayor couldn't have voted in the appointment of the President Pro Tempore.  However, Royal didn't there would have been a 4-4 tie in the vote thus defeating the purpose of the appointment.  It just seems like there is a "dust up" for the controversial effects of this already quasi-bizarre, complicated mess with the elected leadership of Birmingham.

The thing that took the cake-and-ice cream was how she claimed during the junket that Patrick Cooper called councilors pursuading them to vote for Royal over her.  Now that is puridy-stupid if you ask me because if he did some backdoor campaigning didn't she do the exact same thing when she was promising Hoyt the position on the Economic Development committee.  Oh so it's a "do-as-I-say-but-not-do-as-I-do" call, huh Councilor Smitherman?  WOW, WOW, WOW! 

Also she chose not to attend the event planned by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute welcoming the new councilors.  She said, "I'm sleepy.  I have been working 16 hours a day for four weeks, and I am going home to clean my house and prepare for Thanksgiving dinner with my family.” 
Hmmm, I warned that Smitherman would get what she put out and get smacked dead in the face for her political grandstanding along with it backfiring on her sooner than later.  She is one stupid and hypocritical person that wants others to bow to her trivialized wishes, but if one does what is beneficiary to themselves, i.e., self-preservation, then it is backstabbing.  She is a piece of work and tries to attack Cooper and play the sympathy card to the gullible and pro-establishment black voters and that one special assoicate that I know that believe everything she says.  All I have to say is:  HEIFER, SIT YOU AND YOUR 3 CHINS DOWN SOMEWHERE AND THINK ABOUT WHAT I SAID!  SMDH 

After this and the antics of Bell and Smitherman, both of whom I said look out for I say "GO COOPER!" AND "GO ANTHONY!".  I would rather see an election of Cooper outright or a run-off between these 2 because those other 2 jokes known as Smitherman and Bell as mayor.

Republican National Committee is requesting purity resolution on 3 issues...

According to the New York Times, the RNC issued a mandate stating the 'purity' on issues involving health care reform, same-sex unions, and the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  The resolution has been endorsed by 10 members of the committee and will be discussed in the winter conference...

Here's the list of mandates:

(1) We support smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama’s “stimulus” bill;

(2) We support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run health care;
(3) We support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;
(4) We support workers’ right to secret ballot by opposing card check;

(5) We support legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;

(6) We support victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;
(7) We support containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat;
(8) We support retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;
(9) We support protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and
(10) We support the right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership.

Now that is just precious how they want 'purity' on such contentious issues, but I hope they know us Independents are watching and saying OH HELL NO! 

They are burning their bridge on what would be their swing they need via moderate and progressive Republicans and destroying what is left of the end of the RNC.  I just love their illogical stances on health care reform with the wording "protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding abortion".  On the other hand, isn't that exact opposite of what they claim to be protecting when theyare denying any form of health care reform legislation from passing?  Hmmm... 

Then there is ol' Mikey Steele from Maryland that is now the "token negro-in-chief" of the RNC who admitted that some white Republicans are scared of him.  So many problems, but so few realistic solutions.  What is there for a socially progressive, fiscally conservative Independent to do? 

For starters, this doesn't mean I'm going to become a Democrat again, but my reservations for Republicans will likely become even more common when it comes to voting.  However, I digress... 

The Queen B redeems herself with me...

She told the truth about Sarah Palin.  She has juju beads for brains and everybody knows it, but you betcha that some white people don't care because you know in their eyes "white is right!"

Mayor Races on Race and Sexuality

Oh yeah, it's time for another one of my rants on the mayor races and the racial issues that have come out because of them.  This post will be updated in the next day(s) about what is going on in Birmingham, Atlanta, and Houston.  Some black folks can't elect a progressive for shit to some black folks just want to stir the racial pot just to get the splaboos to vote for the "black" candidate. 

BIRMINGHAM: Suprisingly, the race has stayed quite non-contentious on the racial front, but it's likely to be a run-off considering 14 candidates are running for mayor on Dec. 8th.  However, the infamous William Bell aka Lay Low Brown hasn't spared any racial quips about Patrick Cooper when he called "a slave trader that will bring plantation politics back to the city" during a Sunday morning prayer breakfast about 2 weeks ago.  Then word is that Bell supporters and workers are going around taking up Cooper signs all around the city.  SMH

Also the bootleg YouTube video posted by "thevacantoverload" with two white guys doing a lame video acting as if Cooper is the bigger than life hero for Birmingham and making vulgar swipes at Carole Smitherman and William Bell.   Cooper's campaign quickly denied responsibility of this, but Bell wasn't having it and claimed it was Cooper and he should be more mindful of usage of such "blue language".  Now WTF is "blue language" is beyond me, but this seems like an hack job to patronize black voters.

On the other hand, I'm waiting for Carole Smitherman to make a swipe or two towards Cooper for being an "over-the-mountain" pawn like she did to Shelia Tyson during the District 6 council race.  So this is just the beginning, so more is likely to come.

ATLANTA: Since it is the run-off come next Tuesday, December 1st, the racial issues are threatening to tear the faux facade of the "city too busy to hate" which has claimed to never had any during the 1960s.  However, the battle between Kasim Reed and Mary Norwood has up the ante for sure.  Now Reed was endorsed by civil rights activists like Joseph Lowery and Andrew Young, but apparent one alternative web-rag dubbed the Atlanta Progressive News about Reed's past as an attorney.  According to the Atlanta Progressive News, Reed was working for a law firm that representated the often-racially contentious and controversial Cracker Barrel chain of restaurants over the piss-poor treatment of black customers compared to white customers.  The suit was over hourly wages for workers not their race, but this rag also endorsed Norwood over Reed hoping to garner more black supporters for Norwood. 

It gets worse, some  poster known as Diondra Rollins posted the "Norwood Rap" basically a bootleg rap video saying what Mary Norwood would do as mayor.  In othe words, it the Norwood campaign denied responsibility or connection to the video.  Finally, the alleged threats that Norwood's black supporters have faced from according to Norwood during an evening debate on WAGA-TV "FOX5 Atlanta" this past Saturday.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution blogs:
Fox 5’s Diedra Dukes opened up the topic by asking Reed whether the mayoral campaign had divided the city by black and white.
Reed responded optimistically:
“I think that the city has made outstanding progress. I think that we both received support both from white citizens and from black citizens. My support in the white community has actually been growing significantly.
“Elections are tough. But I think now that the campaign is down to two individuals, you will see more support that is cross-racial. And I think that is important. Both Ms. Norwood and myself are working toward the best Atlanta – the Atlanta that Dr. [Martin Luther] King talked about.
"I think that we have both conducted ourselves in a way that makes the citizens of Atlanta proud. And as long as we don’t get bogged down in trying to win an election based upon dividing the city, I think that Atlanta will come out just fine.”
Norwood contradicted Reed's statements in this follow-up exchange with Morse Diggs:
Diggs: Some of your black supporters say that they have been harassed and intimidated because they are supporting a white candidate. There’s still an edge out there. What does that say about the level of race relations where we’re at right now? Are we still a divided city?
Norwood responded:
Morse, I have been very saddened, that the people that have been supporting me, who are so courageous, have been threatened. The people who have gone up to their doors, and knocked on their doors, and have said, “What are you doing supporting this woman?”

And it is coming from other camps. It has been going on for a while. We have had our yard signs – just every day – taken away. So we have seen evidence of just not great, not appropriate behavior.

I think the citizens of the mayors of Atlanta deserve to have the mayor they want, whoever that mayor is. And so I’m very hopeful that the harassment will cease.
Diggs: What are you telling those supporters who have been harassed?

Norwood: That I will do everything in my power to protect them. That I have alerted the police department, just to make sure that they are riding through neighborhoods where Mary Norwood signs are, because there are people who have been very concerned.
Reed was given an opportunity to respond:
“If she’s talking about old campaigns, prior to the two of us, then I don’t have a problem with her comment. But if she’s talking about ‘other camps’ now, the only camp is me, and I wholeheartedly reject it. If Ms. Norwood wants to make an accusation, she should stop [indistinct]. Make the accusation.
“My campaign has 6,000 addresses with yard signs in them. Yard signs for Kasim Reed have been removed citywide as well. So we can get into this game. Both of us have supporters who have been who are supporting us very aggressively and robustly.
“But the notion that my campaign is engaged in intimidation is something that I reject. And it’s time for us to put up, or let’s stop slinging mud.”

The sign removal incidents that occurred last week with Norwood's only real endorsement from an elected official came to the light last week when Georgia State Rep. Ralph Long of SW Atlanta when he told that to WXIA-TV.  Then Long followed the theives back to a Reed campaign field where they gave the Norwood campaign signs in exchange for cash.  Then Long's vehicle was pounded and pelted by individuals at the Reed office after exposing them of the events leading up to the confrontation. 

According to 2 polls done by WXIA-TV "11 Alive"/V-103/Survey USA and another by WSB-TV and InsiderAdvantage shows that Reed is in the lead over Norwood.  The WSB-TV/Insider Advantage poll shows that both are practically in a deadheat with Reed having 46.3% whereas Norwood at 46.1%.  However, Norwood does better with men and Reed does better with women, but black women are more likely to vote than black men so it's at the advantage for Reed in the race.  The WXIA-TV/V-103/Survey USA poll has Reed in the lead at 49% whereas Norwood is at 46%, but Reed's lead doesn't exceed the margin of error. 

I knew this was going to come to this head for sure.  Atlanta's majority white business community wants to take back their city, but the black folks there want to keep a black person leading the city as well.  If polls and early votign shows what is going down Reed will win because of his black support there, but I still have my reservations since he seems like an "establishment" candidate more than an standout from the crowd.  In the end, it shows that the white-black divide that exists in Atlanta just like in Birmingham along with the majority of the South when it comes to politics and social issues. 

HOUSTON: It has also came to a sexuality turning point with the mayoral run-off between Annise Parker and Gene Locke as I also warned.  Some fools can't handle shit for nothing without bring up race and in this case as well sexuality. 

Parker was the victim of a nasty mail campaign depicting her and her partner with the title "Is this the Image Houston wants to portray?".

According to Houston CBS affiliate KHOU, was distributed by electrician turned community moral compass Dave Wilson.  He seems to feel that if Houston has a homosexual mayor it will 'the openly gay lifestyle leads to extinction. You can't reproduce.'"  Wilson has mailed out 35,000 fliers asking this question to potential voters across Houston. 

According to poll by Lake Research Partners,  Parker is leading Locke in a 47-34% with 18% undecided. 

A recent Lake Research Partners survey of likely voters in Houston's upcoming mayoral runoff shows that City Controller Annise Parker holds a strong lead over former City Attorney and lobbyist Gene Locke. In our recent survey, among likely voters with previous participation in past city runoff elections, Parker leads with 47 percent (37 percent strong) to 34 percent for Locke (27 percent strong). A fifth of voters (19 percent) remains undecided.

Parker holds this large lead even though the poll simulated high turnout among African American voters. The sample was comprised of 54 percent Anglos, 30 percent African Americans, and 12 percent Latinos. Parker remains the best-known and liked candidate in the race and she maintains her lead even under a simulated attack.

Only a substantially negative campaign from Locke can interrupt her momentum. Sixty-seven percent of voters have a favorable impression of Parker and 62 percent think she has done either an excellent (21 percent) or good job (41 percent) as City Controller. Fifty-seven percent of voters hold a favorable view of Locke.
Also the Houston Chronicle endorsed Parker over Locke. 

Well, the run-off election will be December 12th, but it's ashame that candidates can't be elected based on platform.  However, I doubt this mailing will affect Parker and Locke just seems weak as a candidate in this race.  Houston will apparently become the largest city in nation with a openly homosexual mayor surpassing Portland (Oregon) with their mayor Sam Adams.  I'm just as surprised as everyone else since Parker was the underdog in the original race, but now is the frontrunner in the run-off.

In 2008 hate crimes down in Alabama, but...

The FBI report dubbed "2008 Hate Crime Statistics" on the number of hate crimes annually publish that details crimes and incidents reported in 2008 that were committed based on race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability reported in Alabama are minimal compared to other states.  According to the report, Alabama has the fifith lowest number of hate crimes reported with just 12 incidents, according to the report. Only Mississippi, Alaska, New Mexico and Georgia reported fewer than Alabama.

However, the report doesn't require anything, but the statistics were reported voluntarily by law enforcement agencies. In Alabama, 163 agencies, representing about two-thirds of the population, participated in the report.  In other words, they only gave what information they wanted to give.  Also Alabama is one of the many states that doesn't including sexual orientation or gender identity within their definitions of a hate crime. 

Oh yeah, I do love when social conservatives and the ignorant comes in saying that a hate crime is a "thought crime". 

Hate crimes (also known as bias-motivated crimes) occur when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a certain social group, usually defined by racial group, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, or political affiliation. "Hate crime" generally refers to criminal acts which are seen to have been motivated by hatred of one or more of the listed conditions. Incidents may involve physical assault, damage to property, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse or insults, or offensive graffiti or letters.

I just love when (white) people say that "liberals" came up with hate crimes yet they were saying the same thing when ethnicity and racial group was included with in federal definition.  However, they were silent when religion was included. 

Anyways, the Shepard/Byrd Hate Crimes Act does help, but only when local law enforcement agencies fails to do anything and in most cases they will fail to even report the act as a hate crime since the state laws doesn't include sexuality or gender identity as protected groups.  How convienent, sometimes society worries me...

An opinion that appeared in the Baltimore Sun

In this past Sunday edition of the Baltimore Sun, a teacher in the Baltimore City School district pinned his views of the distrubing behavior occuring with black youths towards the SGL/LGBT members in their ranks.  This is in response to the distrubing murder of Jason Mattison, Jr., after his body was found in an abandoned house near his aunt's home, whom he was staying with.  The author asked the simple question that I just asked last week:  Why are black folks so against black SGL males?
As a Baltimore City public school teacher, I hear about one homophobic slur an hour. Usually, this homophobia is reserved for gay men rather than lesbians, who are somewhat more accepted. Even intelligent, educated adults I meet will often surprise me with such prejudice, and this is especially true in the black community.

Usually this prejudice is justified by religious convictions, but slave owners used to go to church on Sundays and quote the Bible too. Gay people have always existed, in every culture and country in history, yet we are told their sexual orientation is unnatural and perverted. What is the threat that these people pose to the rest of us that they must be denied their full rights of citizenship? What disqualifies homosexuals from the principles of equality set forth in the Declaration of Independence as inalienable?
Further, the moral superiority that the intolerant award themselves on this issue offends me even more.

You would think that the leaders of the black community, a group that has experienced so much discrimination and prejudice over the course of American history, would be the last to turn around and stigmatize other people, but the opposite is true.
I asked myself the same question everytime I listen to certain black folks that have issues with SGL males when in reality there are so many of them amongst them just either deeply-closeted or creeping.  I can only speak for myself, that I am out to friends and a number of members of my family, so I don't have any qualms about my sexuality.  However, so many black folks frown upon the being open about yourself in the realm of acceptance or tolerance of SGL males.  Then you see the hypermusculine behavior of males even the SGLs to protect themselves from this stigma with whole faux stance of "swag", "homothugs", etc.  

Now, I don't agree with the urban myth that floats around that the heavy turnout of blacks in states like California and Florida are what mainly contributed to the passage of same-sex unionship bans on the ballot in November 2008, but black folks in general homophobic when it comes to black SGL males.  Black SGL women have much more acceptance and even fetishized by some black males over the lesbianic sexual contact, but the proof is in the pudding...


Haley Barbour and his recklessness of MS HBCUs and a womens' university

A little late, but still new to me...

Last week, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour proposed a cost-cutting plan to merge all the state-funded historically black colleges and universities into one saving a whooping $35 million dollars out of a state budget that is running hundreds of millions in deficit for Fiscal 2010.   There is also plans to merge or do away with the women's institution, Mississippi University for Women into Mississippi State University. 

"Under Barbour's plan, no campuses would close but Alcorn State and Valley would be merged into Jackson State. Each of the smaller schools is roughly 100 miles from Jackson. Barbour said the merger would save money by reducing administrative costs and eliminating academic duplication. He also wants to consolidate Mississippi University for Women with nearby Mississippi State University. The governor said the restructuring could save the state $35 million out of a nearly $5.5 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.The black university presidents have made clear they want to remain independent."The governor's proposed budget cuts will change the face of higher education in Mississippi for decades," JSU President Ronald Mason said in a statement. Alcorn State President George Ross said the university leaders didn't find out about the plan until Monday."
Now his plans calls for the merger of Alcorn State and Mississippi Valley State universities into Jackson State University (JSU) in Jackson.  The state only has 3 publicly-funded universities, but the thing is that those other 2 besides JSU are all rural universities serving the very impoverish regions of Mississippi's Black Belt and Delta regions where like in Alabama, it's predominately black. 

Before I attack Barbour, I'll be pragmatic for a minute and say this: HBCUs were very pivotal institutions for providing the educations for a significant number of black leaders who led cultural and scientific breakthroughs for modern society here in the US and the world over.  However, since the Civil Right era they become mostly cultural hubs for young blacks who want to get a taste of black culture for the first time or places where alums come back to every year for the homecoming festivities.  On that I digress, the majority of them are publicly funded (barely) or privately funded with lacklaster results from alums and donors.  The exceptions to this rule are Howard, Hampton, Clark Atlanta, Morehouse, and Spelman. 

However, this is clearly callousness on Barbour's part, who for the record said last week that, "a state with about 2.9 million residents can't afford eight universities. He said Monday he's not worried about appearing racially insensitive with his proposal." 

There it is for you, another Southern white governor that doesn't care, but that's too simplistic because he is also the former Chairman of the RNC in the 1990s and current head of the Republican Governors Association.  Also Barbour could careless since he is term-limited and can't run in 2011, but this will buy him some cool points with that "certain demographic group", i.e., rural whites.  However, this doesn't stand a chance in hell of passing Mississippi State Legislature in the 2010 general session due to the shear numbers of the black legislators and how barely helps their deficit.

Oh, the irony!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Assed out literally!

Well, during the final moments and play of the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eages game last night on NBC when Bears Wide Reciever, Devin Hester, had his pants pull down literally during the play.  His ass was exposed to the world for nearly 10 seconds on live network television.  Here's the video of the ass-outing of Hester:



According to the Birmingham News, 1800 individuals showed up on Sunday afternoon to line up for the book signing of Sarah Palin at the Books-A-Million at Colonial Brookwood Village shopping mall in Homewood.  It just makes me wonder who in the fuck would show up to see her, but then I realized and it dawned on me this is the South and Alabama, where anything "white is right" in the minds of a significant number of undisclosed people.  Then you tie in being white, socially conservative, and Republican, and you have the perfect combination to bring out that demographic of people who have a slight gullibility of mindset in droves like free food at an event or getting in free at a club before 11.

I have to say, WOW, but then yeah I shrug it off and say "WHATEVER" because I hope they had fun wasting their Sunday and Monday waiting for one of the "folkiest" and "incompetent" figures in modern politics.

Oh yeah, former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential nominee, Mike Huckabee, being there on Sunday might have contributed to the crowd as well.

Political humor or sabotage? Both in Birmingham and Atlanta mayoral races

Both of these are links to rap videos where candidates for mayor in Birmingham and Atlanta are depicted in "rap" videos. 

Now anybody with half a brain knows that if you use patronize black folks they will turn on you faster than a rabid dog.  So are this videos depictions of political humor or just plain sabotage by surrogates for the opposition of these candidates? 

It seems to me that they just might be considering how contentious both of these races are and considering the key demographics of the swing voters of both cities.

If you are black or Latino and male, chances are you are unemployed right now

Some very distrubing figures came out on Monday saying that unemployment amongst black and Latino Americans are more likely to be unemployed hands down
The Congressional Black Caucus and civil rights organizations are calling for a targeted aid package to put minorities back to work and stepping up pressuring on the White House ahead of its jobs summit next month where corporate CEOs, academics, labor leaders, community activists, and others have been invited to suggest any and all ideas to spur hiring.
The US unemployment rate among black workers soared last month to a 28-year high of 15.7 percent and the rate has risen to 13.2 percent for Latino workers - both well above the overall 10.2 percent national average. Despite early signs of economic recovery, many economists predict the jobless rate will continue to climb toward 20 percent in minority communities, which historically have higher unemployment than the general population.

The scary fact is that here in Alabama the numbers are even worse with 10.9% unemployment and rural, majority black counties like those in the Black Belt of West and South Central Alabama are facing unemployment numbers pushing 30%!  It's very scary out there for black and Latino folks hands down.  According to the Washington Post, unemployment numbers for 16-24 year-old black males have reached Great Depression levels at 34.5%.  For young blacks, race statistically appears to be a bigger factor in their unemployment than age, income or even education. Lower-income white teens were more likely to find work than upper-income black teens. Even blacks who graduate from college suffer from joblessness at twice the rate of their white peers.

Word is floating around that if you are double minority, i.e. SGL/LGBT of color, then you are even more likely to be unemployed than your heterosexual counterparts.  I'm trying to do my damnest not to wind up in an awkward situation myself although I'm in school at the moment...

I know the President (Obama) claimed the economy his persay, but it would have been his one way or another either through admitting it or having it pinned to him by Republican opponents come next year or 2012...

YAWN! The AMA last night...

I thought it was going to be good, but nope!  Although I could care less for Sean "Jay-Z" Carter, his performance with Alicia Keys of "Empire State of Mind" was the apex of the night.  Even my girl, Janet, was boring and lacklaster last night with her opening performance. 

Rihanna, well, was OK, but the hype of bigger than the performance.  I'm going to have to take a line from T-Boz and Jazzy Phae, who were sitting in for Ryan Cameron on V-103 today, Rihanna needs to get with Divine Stevens and get it together performance-wise.  She has beaten Beyonce in the hits category, but if you really want to become a BIG NAME like her then you gotta step it up on the live performance tip.  Otherwise, she'll be like Mariah Carey, just a sit-and-watch artist when it comes to performance like her music.

Other stuff, the whole granddose intro for Keith Urban as a "sexy man and half" was EXTRA to Carrie Underwood pretending to be major when she should know her lane by now.  WTF was the Black Eyed Peas doing?  I love me some B.E.P., but they should have SAT DOWN with that crap.  Jennifer Lopez, SMDH, I hate to say this, but J.Lo your time in the music spotlight is up!  The rest was alright from Kelly Clarkson (who has gone back to her natural size and I'm proud) to Sharika give one of her best with the Timbaland-produced hit "Give It Up to Me". 

Oh yeah, I changed the channel on Adam Lambert's so-called contraversial performance because I was bored with the AMAs and the news was on by then.  However, I saw it and it was forced and lame.  It's cute that you are open about your sexuality Adam, but you could have tried to let it occur naturally like most contraversial performance rather than hyping it up to be one...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Jesse Jackson and his "foot-in-mouth" syndrome and the Black Establishment

After the whole House health care bill debacle where Alabama Congressman and Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Artur Davis, was one of only few dissenting votes against the health care bill on the grounds of small businesses and his awaiting the Senate version, he was lampooned by the splaboo Jesse Jackson.

'You can't vote against healthcare and call yourself a black man'

The remark stirred a murmur at the reception, held by the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Foundation as part of a series of events revolving around the 25th anniversary of Jackson’s run for president. Several CBC members were in attendance, including Chairwoman and Congressional Democrat Barbara Lee, who had introduced Jackson.

Jackson seems to have a have an issue with black politicos that doesn't fall line-in-toe with the Democratic establishment.  Just last year, Jackson had went on FOX News Channel and had thought he had his mic off when he said "I want to cut his nutts off" about then Democratic candidate Barack Obama on how black men needs to step up as fathers and father-figures.

So this is no surprise to me at all.

However, after a day of ridicule and apparent deep afterthought of his comments, Jackson released another statement yesterday via his organization the Rainbow Coaltion:
WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 19, 2009)— “I talked to Congressman Artur Davis today to assure him of my abiding admiration of him as a leader who is engaged in a huge challenge.

I offer no challenge to his integrity as a leader. Representatives should all vote their conscience in the interest of their constituency.

There is a growing disparity among the black and the poor and we desperately need voices and votes.

Among the black and the poor, the infant mortality rate is higher, life expectancy is shorter, poverty is growing and unemployment is highest.

We need comprehensive healthcare that is more accessible and less expensive for all Americans. The historical Davis journey as a change agent continues and his latest quest deserves the support of the caring.”
He better backpedal because it seems to be a common remark I hear from so many blacks that want to question whether or not somebody is 'black enough' because they don't fall into the communal mindset of the majority.  Also Jackson knows he has become an irrelevant political pimp with little to no influence on the decisions of the younger generation of black voters when it comes to black issues.  He hasn't been relevant since the late 1980's and early 1990's at best.

What pisses me off more than anything is the fact that there are fools out there even on Left in Alabama blog where they think the Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC) and the black establishment will show Artur Davis because he didn't do what he was 'suppose' to do on waiting his turn with the Alabama 7th Congressional district seat to now the health care vote.  If we all were to wait our turn on things and always kiss somebody's ass. 

I find it borderline pathetic because there are posters on there giving life and validation to the irrelevancy of people like Joe Reed, the Alabama black Democrats "leader".  This is the same dumbass that inaccurately predicted Hillary Clinton would win Alabama in the 2008 Democratic Primary by endorsing her before even listening to Barack Obama's platform.  It was dumbfounding yet predictable because the Black Establishment ideology comes from the same place where black conservative comes from (which can even be connected to why so many blacks doesn't accept black LGBTs as well but that another conversation).  It's sad commentary on the agenda of those who claim to represent the black voters, but can't even change and evolve with society and time. 

Here's an except from The Hill:
He came to Congress soon after winning a primary against a CBC-backed member, Rep. Earl Hilliard (D-Ala.), whose surrogates had questioned whether the Harvard-educated former prosecutor was “black enough.”
The CBC’s political action committee gave $10,000 to Hilliard to fight off Davis. Then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gave even more. But when Davis faced his own primary in 2004, no such help was forthcoming.
“I’m sure I asked,” he said with a laugh on Thursday.
One CBC staffer quipped that Davis  is part of the 42-member caucus “by default.” In an interview, Davis noted he bucked the party on legislation on terrorist surveillance and hate crimes, adding, “I was the only [CBC] member who didn’t sign the letter demanding that [now-Sen. Roland] Burris get seated. I didn’t think that was a racial issue.”
The Black Establishment is another contributing reason why I'm no longer a Democrat since they are always wanting to put somebody in their place.  Yet wasn't that what they were fighting against just 5 decades earlier when they were trying to gain a place at the table in Congress, state legislatures, city council, and other organizations where blacks weren't permitted to serve?  They seem to want to disenfranchise young up incoming black politicos like Obama, Davis, etc. who doesn't want to be directly tied to the identity as being black all the time when they are running for statewide or diverse electoral pool in such offices like mayor, governor, etc. 

Yet, there is always a double standard because the Democratic Establishment will bend hand over foot for a "Blue Dog" white Democrat running to secure an office.  It seems that this a triangulated racial bias when it comes to blacks that doesn't confirm to stereotypical platforms when it comes to public office, but the same principles never seem to apply when a white does the same thing.

Now, I don't agree with Artur Davis on quite a number of things including the stance on same-sex union/civil unions, ENDA, or health care reform, but at least he is able to stand out on his own principles.  It is obvious that because of these traits at the moment he is more electable on the Democratic side than Ron Sparks.  He doesn't have to confirm to anybody's standards to be liked or electable.  However, there are just as many Democratic purists as there are Republican purists, but the "tent" is bigger with the Democrats so they just don't make up the majority.  

Once again, incidents like this reminds me why I am non-conformist along with being my own person because nobody will have your back regardless if you do want they want you to do or not.  Regardless, this also reminds me why I will continue to be an Independent thinker and voter.

OK, the People magazine "Sexist Man Alive" edition is out

The real question I want to ask is why haven't there ever been a black male as titled as one or Latino one?  As much as I want to avoid asking such questions, but how many homely looking guys whose 'sexiness' is questionable unless you like the imfamous 'swag' crap. 

Anyways, Johnny Depp is again the 'Sexiest Man Alive' according to People. 

How many hate crimes associated with the South will we have?

First the incident in Baltimore where a black teenage male was murdered, now this incident in Houston.  Ironically, all of them are black males and the alleged assailants were black as well.  I know I usually stay out of this arena of things because it has more to do with your surroundings and the people you are around, but this got to cease and desist.

The teen's mother said since the district's officials didn't do a damn thing about the threats that teen himself informed them about before it occured that they are moving to another district.  It's so bizarre and ridiculous how people are so callous about threats when involves sexuality.

The real question I ask is "What in the hell is up with black folks in the South and the acceptance of black LGBTs?"  I guess too many black males are uncomfortable with their own sexuality that they got to throw a fit and attack someone else who is comfortable with themselves and in their own skin.  Just as I said last week, the South is home to the majority of the nation's black population, but it seems to be the worst place to be open and honest about yourself for black LGBTs aside from the cities.  Black folks, we got to get it together and stop impeding other black folks' happiness.  As the old omen says, "let it be, let it be".

Here's the video of the report from Houston CBS affiliate KHOU, Channel 11, on another teen was beatened with a pipe:

Well, the shuttered LGBT-oriented publications carry on

Although they went kaput on Monday, the former staffs of just about all of the Window Media, LLC publications (weekly) have continued on under new names.  The Washington Blade is now the DC Agenda and I will update as I find out the new names of the other former-Window Media properties in South Florida, Houston, and Atlanta.

Now the irony of all this all the properties are/were in the major population and cultural centers of the South, DC, ATL, Houston, and Miami.  Also this company was the largest LGBT oriented publications group in the nation, but apparently they didn't pay their bills or handle their finances well if they had to liquidate and shutter everything...

Oh, Tallahassee! Your showing your small pundit roots!

The Tallahassee chapter of the SCLC has decided to throw in their 2 cents of why the extension of domestic benefits of city employees to same-sex partners.  They wrote a long diatribe about how the voters of the State of Florida has made it known that same-sex unions should be banned, blah, blah, blah!  They say their mission statement of how they are for equal protection of all, but the City of Tallahassee should wait until the same-sex union banned is rescinded before extending benefits.

Uh ok, I wonder if they would have felt the same if this was an amendment of rules based on interracial marriages?  I guess since Bernice is in charge of the SCLC that the rules have changed and they will go out their way to make sure anything same-sex union or LGBT oriented is out.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Martha Stewart is a Bitch with a capital "B"

In a recent interview with Cythnia McFadden on ABC News' Nightline, where she basically derides Rachel Ray for her imperfections on air and style of cooking.  Here's an excerpt:
"Well, to me, she professed that she could -- cannot bake," said Stewart. "She ... just did a new cookbook which is just a re-edit of a lot of her old recipes ... and that's not good enough for me. I mean, I really want to write a book that is a unique and lasting thing. Something that will really fulfill a need in someone's library."
She is a BITCH, but I can respect her for being one regardless since she is able to admit that openly unlike some...

UGH! Here we go again

In recent days, I seen so many incidents of stupidity it makes my head hurt.  OK, yesterday Ala. Gov. Bob Riley had a speech before the Birmingham Business Alliance where he proposed constructing an elevated toll road east of I-459 beltway to the Eagle Point Drive along U.S. 280.  Also the other portion of the proposal included a plan similar to what the officials in Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills, and Homewood have recommended for the U.S. 280 corridor, which includes adding express lanes along with entrance and exit ramps while removing the traffic lights from intersections in between the Red Mountain Expressway and I-459 beltway.  Now, I don't have a problem with the idea of constructioning the roadway as planned in between the Red Mtn. Expy. and I-459, but the other portion is tacky and short-sighted at best.  If one thinks building things like Austin, Tampa are the way to go then they are in for a big surprise.

Most of us that knows that developmental patterns of cities is that building more roadway, i.e. an elevated tollway is a BAD IDEA.  The area would be better served by an extension of an the western portion of the plan with express lanes along with entrance and exit ramps at intersections would be much wiser.  This is similar to what ALDOT used along the Memorial Parkway (U.S. 231) corridor in South Huntsville.  The long-term plans should eventually include the usage of mass transit such as bus-rapid transit (BRT) such as that proposed to be used in the ITP which can be easely converted to light rail transit (LRT) at some point. 

OTHER FOOLISHNESS: The lack of foresight and what I dub as "retail segregation", i.e., chasing the majority white and affluent households.  That's what has happened to the majority of retail in the region, i.e., Eastwood Mall, Century Plaza, Roebuck Shopping Center, Five Points West, and now the Western Hills Mall area around Fairfield and Midfield.  The Sears store at Flintridge Centre is closing Januray 17th.  Although, nationally the Sears Holding Corp. has been struggling financially, it's borderline acrimonious how quick these retailer will close in majority black areas, but keep their locations in areas where they have a more a timeclock on their existence than anything else like, uh, Riverchase Galleria in Hoover. 

Now before anyone would argue with me it's more about economics than racial composition, I understand that, but there seems to be more a prevalence of the shuttering of retailers in prodominately black or Latino areas whereas others are quick to open in far flung areas like Shelby County, Trussville, and Hoover.  However, the retailers needs to realize that these areas have incomes to support retail regardless of who makes up the racial composition of the surrounding areas. 

FINALLY: A new report was released by the United Health Foundation, American Public Health Association, and Partnerships for Prevention yesterday.  It depicted Alabama once again at the bottom in rankings of the health survey at 48th. 

Challenges in Alabama include a high prevalence of obesity at 32.2 percent of the population, high levels of air pollution, a high percentage of children in poverty at 23.7 percent of persons under age 18, a high premature death rate with 10,116 years of potential life lost before age 75 per 100,000 population, a high rate of deaths from cardiovascular disease at 358.8 deaths per 100,000 population and a high infant mortality rate at 9.2 deaths per 1,000 live births, the report noted.
Now everything isn't all bad for Alabama, but these things are very minuscule:
The report also said the rate of uninsured population declined from 13.6 percent to 11.9 percent in the past year and in the past five years, the prevalence of smoking decreased from 25.3 percent to 22.1 percent of the population.
Alabama has several strengths, the report said, including a low prevalence of binge drinking at 11.4 percent of the population, low geographic disparity within the state at 8.6 percent and high public health funding at $97 per person.
IMO, the stats weren't any better for Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Mississippi, or the majority of the South.  However, we are the fastest growing region in the nation with most states including Alabama posting  <4% growth of each state population in the past decade.  We gotta get it together on this front because we are killing ourselves slowly with this lack of sustainable, walkable communites, removal of physical education in schools, and the overusage of the private automobiles for short-distance and local travel.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mayoral forums for Birmingham Mayoral Candidates

There is a mayoral forum for tonight at Huffman High School @ 6:30 PM hosted by the Jefferson County Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority
Another one hosted by the Birmingham Business Alliance on November 30th @ the Alabama School of Fine Arts
On December 1st at Workplay in this Theater hosted by Catalyst, a group of citizens and young professionals from the area at 6 PM.

Honestly, I'm wondering why the Delta waited until yesterday to formally announced this publicly, which would have given both the candidates and public time to schedule their attendances.  Anybody with half-a-brain would know that it is pointless to attend a debate only 24 hours notice from a candidate's perspective.  The Deltas could have kept that and in Huffman?  LOL, Huffman isn't a bad place, but let's be serious... 

Why do I hate smaller cities and towns?

  1. They suck because they are BORING AS FUCK.
  2. 9 out of 10 times they are about as diverse as a sheet of paper
  3. You have to drive everywhere
  4. Most of them are usually socially conservative, which I abhor
  5. Most doesn't have lively restaurant, bar, or club area where people can let their "hair down" and unwind
  6. Dubious mindset where the residents think they are "safe" from crime
  7. Most are chain store city where everything and everywhere you can shop, eat, or entertain your can be found in any major urban area if not in multiple parts of a much larger urban area, i.e., Wal-Mart, Target, McDonalds, the chain theater, GAP, etc.
  8. Most people-of-color who live there are so delusional that they will "fit in" when in reality when shit goes down...
  9. Lack of sidewalks or public transit since most small cities in the South doesn't believe in public transit because the perception only "poor people uses it".
  10. Most of are "dry" (and for those that doesn't know what that means they doesn't sell alcohol on Sundays or at all).

Smaller cities are losing their appeal for medium-sized and large cities

According  the U.S. Census Bureau, smaller cities and communities are losing their appeal to those who are economically mobile and educated in a report released Monday. 

A review of newly released census data shows, for example, that cities of between 20,000 and 50,000 residents have lagged behind their larger counterparts in attracting higher-educated residents in this decade.
In 2000, small cities, which include remote towns and the distant suburbs known as "exurbs," ranked at the top in the share of people with college diplomas. They slipped to No. 2 last year with 30 percent holding degrees -- in between medium-sized cities, which had 31 percent, and big cities, at 29.8 percent.
Poverty is growing in the small cities, fueled partly by population growth, although average median income of $60,294 in those communities is still higher than other places.
Compared with previous years, they had smaller incomes, higher housing costs, longer commutes, more poverty and more single-parent families. Demographers attributed some of the shifts to the housing downturn and a spike in gasoline prices, which has hit residents in the far-flung exurbs harder. Many families in smaller towns also are looking for jobs in larger cities because of the current recession and are rethinking the wisdom of a lengthy commute to work.
Some small cities may have become victims of their own success. As their local economies boomed mid-decade, many places grew rapidly and attracted lower-income residents needed to build roads, schools and other public works projects. Some of these areas have shot up in size and are now medium-sized communities.
"Small towns have a certain appeal to people, and their quality of life there is backed up by the data," said Mark Mather, associate vice president of the nonprofit Population Reference Bureau. "But as more people move in, small towns start to lose the qualities that attracted people there in the first place."
The shifts are notable in the ranks of the educated.
Now all these places like Hoover, Anniston, Tuscaloosa, and Gadsden are starting to feel the pinch of the economy and aren't growing as fast as they used to.  They are seeing levels of poverty increase with its inhabitants and aren't fully-equipped to handle it like the large cities like Birmingham. 

I knew this was going to occur since here in Central Alabama everybody wants to diss Birmingham as this "horrible place" and flock to the suburbs and exurbs.  Now they see that if you run from your problems then your problems will always find you even in the smaller cities.  Hence why I enjoy and continuously want to live in the city where you know what to expect and expect what you know. 


Thank God! Arrington is not running

Former Birmingham mayor Richard Arrington, Jr. got the hint when all the candidates he and his New Jefferson County Citizens Coalition, realized that they weren't as viable as yesteryear, and said that he isn't going to run for mayor again.  Instead, he said that all the 13 candidates running for the 2-year term left by former mayor Larry Langford was going to be filled by the winner of either Dec. 8th special election or its run-off (which is very likely) are more than enough for the variety for the election. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Oh Donnie McClurkin

This was posted by Rod Mc on Rod 2.0, but Donnie McClurkin has been cutting up at the last weekend's Church of God in Christ (COGIC) annual conference in Memphis.  He was remarking how the young people are lost and stay up all night long like vampires, but the high point of controversy was when he want to make some swipes at gospel singer and pastor, Tonex, who came out over the summer as a SGL (same-gender loving) male.  McClurkin also wanted to take some swipes at the gay and bisexual males who are effeminate and flambouyant about themselves along with lesbians as well about how butch they are.  Of course, anybody with half-a-brain knows that McClurkin claims to be "ex-gay" and "save" with the temptation to taste the "sugar" like a diabetic, but knows better to resist. (SURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRE! YOU DO!  *WINK*)

Anyways, Yvette Flunder, orator and founder of the LGBT affirming City of Refuge Church,  in DC.  She posted this on the church's pastor Kendal Brown Facebook page:
Pastor Donnie knows like I know that Tonex’ is more the ‘rule’ than the exception to the rule. What makes Tonex’ unique is not that he is a Gay gospel music artist and Pastor but that he told the truth about his sexuality, while not claiming to be delivered. I believe that these public hateful words directed to the Same Gender Loving community come from the need to instill fear of public ridicule in the hearts of those who may be considering coming out and come from folks who felt they were denied the opportunity to be authentic in their sexuality AND remain successful in the mainline church. I am not worried about Tonex’. He will feel the pain of rejection for a time but he will rise up and answer the prophetic call to be a liberator to his generation. My deep concern is for those young people who are part of the COGIC and for their families who have now been driven deeper into the closet by experiences like this. The closet is a dangerous place, where theological, and physical self-abuse runs rampant.

These young people love the church and feel the only place they can go is underground. I am encouraging these young people to find their voices and not run to the shadows to live in fear like my generation has. Watch the signs, change is possible. God is greater than any denomination and bigger than the narrow theologies that seek to hold us hostage. I am excited about our future and I am determined to let folks know that there are safe places to land.
Now, I follow and understand what she is saying because those types of messages Donnie McClurkin and those like him are very dangerous and the cause of a many suicides/suicide-attempts along with self-deprecating behaviors.  However, her message isn't universal to all portion of the US especially the South, Midwest, or West.  Also most black folks still live in the South, and not in the large cities of NYC, LA, Chicago contrary to popular notions (just check out the US Census site).  Outside the large cities, partiuclarly in the South, you are playing Russian Roulette with your well-being since homeless shelters are overflowing these days due to the deep recession.  Also they are few to no refuges for SGL/LGBT youths that are kicked out or runaways (especially in Birmingham), so you have to play your hand wisely if you want to not wind up on the streets.  There are some resources here in Birmingham, but they are very limited to AIDS Alabama, Central Alabama Pride, and Birmigham MPowerment group.  However, from last I checked only AIDS Alabama can provide any real physical resources but most of those are reserved for HIV/AIDS patients.  However, the dilemma lays with what choices one makes and how they are executed. 

I believe (depending on their individual situation) one can come out in stages and work towards being totally independent of their parents, relatives, or guardians, if they aren't supported by any of them for being out.  However, one can only do what is applicable to their situation aside from the "throw the baby out with the bathwater" approach that is universally advocated by some.  I'm not saying coming out at all because that is ridiculous, but you have to wise and have a plan on whatever you do when coming out...

The Catholic Archidoses of DC threatens to pull a "we'll show you" over the same-sex union charter

According to yesterday's Washington Post, the Archidoses of the District of Columbia said they will yank their funding and services from the District's homeless shelters over the passages of the same-sex union ordinance to the DC Charter.  Now get this, DC aka Washington is the first city in the South to pass such law, not Atlanta, but DC, LOL.  However, after all the splaboos and coons pretending to be members of clergy of the black community in the Maryland suburban counties of Prince Georges' and Montgomery had their whining over the past month about the same-sex unionship ordinance.   Yeah, yeah, yeah, anybody that reads this blog knows I don't tolerate coonery of any kind especially from splaboos that need to get their house in order faster than anybody else..

Anyways on to this episode, the ordinance passed the Committee on Public Safety and Judiciary vote of the DC Council on Tuesday in pre-council meetings, and rejected an amendment that would allow an individual to reject providing services based on their religious beliefs.  However, on Wednesday, the church decided to swoop down and attack with their ultimatium.  They released their attackdog or should I say spokesperson Susan Gibbs to announce:
"If the city requires this, we can't do it. The city is saying in order to provide social services, you need to be secular. For us, that's really a problem."

Now the downside to this foolishness is that some 68,000 people use the city-owned shelters are provided services to the homeless and impoverish residents via the DC Archidoses' non-profit, Catholic Charities.  So the Archidoses wants to strong arm the city into getting in line or they will walk.  However, the DC officials pointed that the church is the primary provider of anything in particular, so they will adjust. 

The sponsor of the ordinance, DC Council at-large reprep, David Catania, said he would rather end the relationship with the Church regardless of the fact that he has been one of their biggest supporters.  Another council member like for Ward 3 said it was "somewhat childish".  The chair of the committee that passed Tuesday's vote, Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), said they wouldn't legislate based on threats.

I say let the bastards go since they want to play chicken with the DC Council.  They want to hold the impoverish and homeless hostage over something that actually helps the city gain better reputation beyond being the nation's capital, but as an inclusive place to reside.  Does it matter at this point since the ordinance is good as done, but you never know...

However, the million-dollar question is how will cities the likes of Atlanta, Miami, Charlotte, Orlando, Raleigh, Nashville, and the rest of the Southern "progressive" bunch handle this when it comes up?  This is going to show the true make or break of these cities and their progressiveness in my eyes since they always try to shit on Birmingham by saying we are ass-backwards.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

OK, now I'm getting annoyed

The list of buffoons running for the mayor of Birmingham is getting too long and borderline ridiculous.  12 CANDIDATES for a special election?

I say this because in the 2007 actual mayoral election nobody wanted to run aside from 90% career politicans, but all of asudden these crop of village idiots want to pop up and run for the special election on December 8th.  I'm all for civic involvement, but 2/3rds of these fools are running to be funny or try to say "yeah, I want to fix the city".  My proverbial question is, where the fuck were you in 2007 when you knew Langford was going to damn near destroy the city then?  Oh yeah, they were too busy being apathetic or "going-along-to-get-along" because they didn't want to rock the boat.  Yeah, this another reason why I get so annoyed with this crap because they could have done more THEN instead of NOW...

At the rate this bull is going I'm going to stop being on the fence and fully endorse Cooper because these other idiots have proven to me that they are as useless as a flat tire.

UPDATE: Two more morons added their names to the hat, City Councilor Steven Hoyt and former mayor Richard Arrington, but he claims he's contemplating over the weekend before formally announcing...  Regardless, the Old Guard wants to maintain status quo in Birmingham so that they can remain in control of the city, but they are apart of the problem than solution.  I sometimes absolutely hate some black folks at times especially splaboos...

More political grandstanding and bizarre things occuring

According to the news reports on Tuesday,  the Birmingham City Council has unstalled the project known as Birmingham Intermodal hub.  The Intermodal Hub is going to be the future home of the Birmingham Amtrak station, the Greyhound terminal, and the central station for the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA) Metro Area Express (MAX) bus system.  There are also plans in place to make this a central hub of the In-Town Transit Partnership (ITP).

The federal funding in place wasn't signed off because the former mayor Larry Langford couldn't do anything sign he was indicted by the feds.  Now interim mayor Smitherman has signed off on this project so it can begin next year. Smitherman is hoping to get some brownie points from us transit advocates come December 8th.  Sorry, sister girl but it's not going to work because we still stuck on how you cosigned on Langford's bullshit. 

IN OTHER NEWS:  An unknown state legislature in the Alabama House of Representatives named DuWayne Bridges (R-Valley) has pre-filed a state amendment that would ban any public funded agency from allowing domestic benefits of its employees including those with same-sex partners.  Yeah, this asshole is trying to force UAB, and the other schools in the University of Alabama system to drop their new policy or plans to allow benefits for same-sex couples.  This douchebag is doing the regular ol' political grandstanding, but yet his district is extreme east Alabama including Chambers and portions of Lee counties.  In other words, he has more to do with Auburn University than the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  This another reason why I get so pissed at rural white Southerners and Alabamians because a number of them doesn't want to mind their own business and let Birmingham do what it do.  Instead, they want to ensure UAB doesn't recruit top talent regardless of what their sexual orientation.   When it comes down to it every little thing counts to these people since they can go to any other major research university in the nation and they already have their suspicious about Alabama, but thanks to an ass like Bridges it will just reaffirm them rather than defy them.  UGH!


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