Thursday, January 31, 2008

MJ's 25th Anniversary of "Thriller"

i can't believe it's been 25 years...

i remember the michael jackson videos (and the hoopla over their release) like yesterday! there have been few artists who captured the art of performance like MJ.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Edwards Drops Out of Race

The New York Times reports that John Edwards has decided to drop out of the race for the Democratic nomination for President. He is expected to make a speech from New Orleans today - the same city where he kicked off his campaign.

Edwards ran a vigorous campaign, but could never get past the top two with either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. He has spoken with the two of them by phone, but has not said whether he will endorse either of them.

Read the entire New York Times article here.

plez sez: this is a good move by john edwards. the early primaries have shown that his message was not going to get past those of Obama or Clinton... this has been a two-horse race from the beginning (even though, edwards did have a respectible showing in the Iowa Caucus, where he was in a virtual dead heat with clinton for second place).

plezWorld thinks edwards would be a good vice-presidential running mate for either Obama or clinton, as both will need a southern presence on the ticket come november. the only issue may be that he is TOO LIBERAL and both obama & clinton should look for a more moderate democrat to balance their tickets.

Bird Doo Doo (Shut Your Mouth)

plez sez: i think i just threw up in my mouth!

...and 1 Lap Around the Sun!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Barack Obama Response to State of the Union

Earlier tonight, President George W. Bush delivered his last State of the Union Address... Barack Obama offers a response:

Monday, January 28, 2008

Early Super Tuesday Vote in plezWorld

I went out at lunch and voted early in the Super Tuesday Democratic Primary at the Main Office.

There was a substantial line at the polling station, I had a 5 minute wait to vote. I usually vote early and have never had to wait to vote.

I then raced home in time to watch Caroline Kennedy, Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), and Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) endorse Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) at American University in Washington, DC.

That's the way to start the week!

If you live in DeKalb County, Georgia, you can vote this week (Monday through Friday) in the following locations from 7am until 7pm:

    Memorial Drive Complex
    4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300, Decatur, GA 30032

    330 West Ponce deLeon Avenue, Room A
    Decatur, GA 30030

    Around the Ivy
    2614-A Max Cleland Boulevard, Lithonia, GA 30058

    DeKalb County Fire Headquarters
    1950 West Exchange Place, Room TBD Tucker, GA 30084

    Brook Run
    4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338

    South DeKalb Senior Center
    1931 Candler Road, Decatur, GA 30030

  • All pictures courtesy of plezWorld Treo 680

    Kennedy Endorsements of Obama

    On the heels of a convincing victory in the South Carolina democratic primary on Saturday, Barack Obama woke up on Sunday morning to endorsements from two members of the Kennedy clan. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) plans to endorse Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) due to the rancor that has bubbled up during the campaign for votes in Nevada and South Carolina over the past 2 weeks; the Clintons has caused much distress in the Black community who up until a few days ago were staunch supporters. The Clintonistas have insisted on bringing Obama's racial DNA into the contest in an effort to create a wedge, but it seems that their strategy backfired in South Carolina.

    Senator Ted Kennedy's Endorsement

    Read the New York Times article about the Ted Kennedy endorsement here.

    In a surprise move, Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, penned a glowing endorsement for Barack Obama, stating that "I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans."

    The text of Caroline Kennedy's op-ed piece in the New York Times follows:

    OVER the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.

    My reasons are patriotic, political and personal, and the three are intertwined. All my life, people have told me that my father changed their lives, that they got involved in public service or politics because he asked them to. And the generation he inspired has passed that spirit on to its children. I meet young people who were born long after John F. Kennedy was president, yet who ask me how to live out his ideals.

    Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible.

    We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama. It isn’t that the other candidates are not experienced or knowledgeable. But this year, that may not be enough. We need a change in the leadership of this country — just as we did in 1960.

    Most of us would prefer to base our voting decision on policy differences. However, the candidates’ goals are similar. They have all laid out detailed plans on everything from strengthening our middle class to investing in early childhood education. So qualities of leadership, character and judgment play a larger role than usual.

    Senator Obama has demonstrated these qualities throughout his more than two decades of public service, not just in the United States Senate but in Illinois, where he helped turn around struggling communities, taught constitutional law and was an elected state official for eight years. And Senator Obama is showing the same qualities today. He has built a movement that is changing the face of politics in this country, and he has demonstrated a special gift for inspiring young people — known for a willingness to volunteer, but an aversion to politics — to become engaged in the political process.

    I have spent the past five years working in the New York City public schools and have three teenage children of my own. There is a generation coming of age that is hopeful, hard-working, innovative and imaginative. But too many of them are also hopeless, defeated and disengaged. As parents, we have a responsibility to help our children to believe in themselves and in their power to shape their future. Senator Obama is inspiring my children, my parents’ grandchildren, with that sense of possibility.

    Senator Obama is running a dignified and honest campaign. He has spoken eloquently about the role of faith in his life, and opened a window into his character in two compelling books. And when it comes to judgment, Barack Obama made the right call on the most important issue of our time by opposing the war in Iraq from the beginning.

    I want a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.

    I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.
    Read the entire op-ed piece on-line here.

    plez sez: both of these endorsements had to deal a blow to the clinton camp - hillary (and bill) were dissed & repudiated by the daughter of Camelot and the godfather of the democratic party. this is not good news for the clinton strategy of divisive politics within the party. slowly, more and more democrats are moving away from the clintons... and Obama appears to be the direct beneficiary.

    endorsements are nice, they tend to lend legitimacy to a campaign... but at the end of the day, they don't amount to a hill of beans if they aren't converted into votes! plezWorld will take advantage of the early voting option here in georgia and vote for Obama on monday morning!

    Sunday, January 27, 2008

    Obama Notches Big Win in SC

    Along with receiving more democratic votes than were cast during the 2004 primary, Barack Obama's 55 percent more than doubled Hillary Clinton's paltry 27 percent (with John Edwards coming in a distant third place finish of 18 percent) to win the SC primary, on Saturday, January 26th, in a landslide! This was the most lopsided win of the primary season where all three candidates were actively campaigning (Obama & Edwards did not campaign in Michigan). The pundits were touting the huge numbers of Black voters in the state, but it is apparent that Obama's win - in all but two counties, one being John Edward's hometown - cut across racial, gender, and age groups. The win was so big, both Hillary & Bill Clinton left the state with their tails between their legs before the polls were closed on Saturday!

    Obama's victory speech excoriated the Clintonistas "dirty politics" yet stayed above the fray by focusing on his main campaign themes of hope and making the sacrifices necessary for change. Excerpts from Obama's speech include:
    "Tonight, the cynics who believed that what began in the snows of Iowa was just an illusion were told a different story by the good people of South Carolina."

    "I did not travel around this state over the last year and see a white South Carolina or a black South Carolina. I saw South Carolina."

    "The choice in this election is not between regions or religions or genders. It's not about rich versus poor; young versus old; and it is not about black versus white. It's about the past versus the future."

    Read the entire CNN article here.

    'Yes, We Can Change' Speech after SC Primary Win

    Read the transcript of Obama's victory speech 'Yes, We Can Change.'

    plez sez: it is great to see Obama back in the driver's seat in the democratic race, i feel he will be the most formidable opponent for the republicans come november. hill & bill engender too much hate from the republicans who will surely come out in droves to keep them from returning to the white house... and their lack of decorum over the past couple of weeks (dredging up racial politics hell bent on dividing the Black community) may cause many Black voters to skip the general election in november if she is the democratic nominee (plezWorld will NOT be voting for hillary clinton in november).

    i plan to vote early in georgia's primary (i'll probably go out to vote on monday morning)... we are part of super tuesday on february 5th. i encourage all right minded AMERICANS to ensure that BARACK OBAMA is the democratic party's presidential nominee and vote to make him our president in november 2008. he represents our best hope for change to the status quo in washington, to begin troop withdrawals from iraq, and work to heal the festering wounds of racism & classism to unify this country.

    plezWorld is willing to make the necessary sacrifices to make change in this country!

    Saturday, January 26, 2008

    Electoral Compass USA

    Check out the 2008 Electoral Compass USA. This is another site that asks voters a series of questions and then determines your position in the political landscape for the 2008 Presidential Election against all of the candidates. Below are my results:

    Click here to enlarge

    plez sez: i was bopping around Blog365 when i happened across this political compass of presidential candidates on another blog (hat tip: Meanwhile... by Julie Larson). i consider myself to be just slightly left of center politically, so i was anxious to see if the results of this survey matched my self assessment.

    i'm closest to Barack Obama (and so is Julie)! i did a similar survey in April 2007 and had very similar results (i'm still supporting Barack Obama).

    Friday, January 25, 2008

    Well, That Leaves plezWorld Out

    The New York Times reports that a tentative plan has been reached on the Economic Stimulus Plan that George W. Bush asked for. The plan calls for roughly $150 billion to pay stipends of $300 to $1,200 per household, and then an additional $300 per child for families with children. The plan also includes tax incentives for businesses to encourage spending (notice how the tax incentives are never spelled out). About that the rebates would go to 117 million households. About two-thirds of the total package would go toward the rebates, with the remaining one-third going toward business tax breaks.

    Here's the rub, at least $300 would be paid to all workers who earned at least $3,000 last year, even those who did not earn enough to pay taxes. Workers who paid income taxes will receive $300 to $600, and couples will receive up to $1,200 — plus $300 more for each child. Payments will go to individuals with adjusted gross incomes under $75,000 and couples with adjusted gross incomes under $150,000. The plan does not call for any "extraneous spending" like extending unemployment benefits (people who don't work, don't make money) or food stamps (what do you think most people will spend their $300 on?).

    Read the entire New York Times article here.

    plez sez: no one asked me... but this economic stimulus crap is a farce! what happens two weeks after these damn checks are spent? is $150 billion (around one percent) really going to jump start a $13 trillion economy? let's get real... by not addressing the root causes of the economic collapse (weak ass dollar, credit crunch, mortgage mess, loss of manufacturing jobs to overseas companies, loss of high tech jobs to overseas companies, trade imbalance, NAFTA, $100 a barrel oil, inflation, tax burden placed on the middle class, etc.).

    and frankly, this stimulus package does NOTHING for plezWorld since i'm left out of helping to "stimulate" the economy because i make too much money! DAMN! never thought i'd be able to say that! i'm in the middle class and pay out the WAH-ZOO for federal taxes, yet, i don't qualify for this pissy tax rebate!

    i guess i'll have to sit out this recovery... see more feedback about this post over at Booker Rising.

    Thursday, January 24, 2008

    Michelle Obama - What We Didn't Expect

    Here is a letter that I received from Michelle Obama today:
    plezWorld --

    In the past week or two, another candidate's spouse has been getting an awful lot of attention.

    We knew getting into this race that Barack would be competing with Senator Clinton and President Clinton at the same time.

    We expected that Bill Clinton would tout his record from the nineties and talk about Hillary's role in his past success. That's a fair approach and a challenge we are prepared to face.

    What we didn't expect, at least not from our fellow Democrats, are the win-at-all-costs tactics we've seen recently. We didn't expect misleading accusations that willfully distort Barack's record.

    Barack Obama isn't relying on a former President of the United States to campaign for him.

    He's relying on us -- you, me, and hundreds of thousands of people like us who are giving whatever they can afford to support this movement.

    You have given generously to this campaign in the past, but we all need to stand up in the face of these new attacks.

    Please make another donation of $*,*** today: Obama for President

    Barack's unwavering opposition to the war in Iraq, his outspoken support of women's rights, and his call for leadership that will transform our party and our country have all been mischaracterized in the past two weeks.

    We've seen disingenuous attacks and smear tactics turn people off from the political process for too long, and enough is enough.

    It's time for a change. It's time for a new kind of leadership and a new kind of politics in our party and in our country.

    And while Senator Clinton has a former president in her corner, I'll put my faith in a movement of a whole lot of people who are ready for change.

    South Carolina votes in 48 hours, and more than 20 states will make their voices heard in less than two weeks on February 5th. Now is the time for all of us to step up and take personal responsibility for making change happen.

    Thank you,


    plez sez: my family continues to support the candidacy of Barack Obama over that of the other democratic contenders. in response to my buddy, francis holland, i do not support clinton on the ticket with Obama (when he wins the nomination)... and in the unlikely event hillary wins the nomination, i pray that Obama is not on the ticket, because i'm going to have a HARD TIME voting for her in november!

    i just got off of the phone with my wife and plezWorld will be making another donation to the Obama Campaign this evening!

    Wednesday, January 23, 2008

    A View from Training

    This week, I'm just outside Boston (in Waltham) attending a training class for a software application that I will implement for a client next month. It's cold up here... I mean below freezing cold (it snowed briefly on yesterday)!

    I took this picture of tracks in the snow from the classroom window. I gaze out there on occasion to remind me of the warmth I have in Atlanta.

    This picture & posting is courtesy of my Treo 680.

    Tuesday, January 22, 2008

    Barack Obama at Ebenezer Baptist Church

    Barack Obama spoke at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s church in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday, January 20th.

    Senator Barack Obama: The Great Need of the Hour
    Atlanta, GA | January 20, 2008
    The Scripture tells us that when Joshua and the Israelites arrived at the gates of Jericho, they could not enter. The walls of the city were too steep for any one person to climb; too strong to be taken down with brute force. And so they sat for days, unable to pass on through.

    But God had a plan for his people. He told them to stand together and march together around the city, and on the seventh day he told them that when they heard the sound of the ram's horn, they should speak with one voice. And at the chosen hour, when the horn sounded and a chorus of voices cried out together, the mighty walls of Jericho came tumbling down.

    There are many lessons to take from this passage, just as there are many lessons to take from this day, just as there are many memories that fill the space of this church. As I was thinking about which ones we need to remember at this hour, my mind went back to the very beginning of the modern Civil Rights Era.

    Because before Memphis and the mountaintop; before the bridge in Selma and the march on Washington; before Birmingham and the beatings; the fire hoses and the loss of those four little girls; before there was King the icon and his magnificent dream, there was King the young preacher and a people who found themselves suffering under the yoke of oppression.

    And on the eve of the bus boycotts in Montgomery, at a time when many were still doubtful about the possibilities of change, a time when those in the black community mistrusted themselves, and at times mistrusted each other, King inspired with words not of anger, but of an urgency that still speaks to us today:

    "Unity is the great need of the hour" is what King said. Unity is how we shall overcome.

    What Dr. King understood is that if just one person chose to walk instead of ride the bus, those walls of oppression would not be moved. But maybe if a few more walked, the foundation might start to shake. If a few more women were willing to do what Rosa Parks had done, maybe the cracks would start to show. If teenagers took freedom rides from North to South, maybe a few bricks would come loose. Maybe if white folks marched because they had come to understand that their freedom too was at stake in the impending battle, the wall would begin to sway. And if enough Americans were awakened to the injustice; if they joined together, North and South, rich and poor, Christian and Jew, then perhaps that wall would come tumbling down, and justice would flow like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

    Unity is the great need of the hour -- the great need of this hour. Not because it sounds pleasant or because it makes us feel good, but because it's the only way we can overcome the essential deficit that exists in this country.

    I'm not talking about a budget deficit. I'm not talking about a trade deficit. I'm not talking about a deficit of good ideas or new plans.

    I'm talking about a moral deficit. I'm talking about an empathy deficit. I'm taking about an inability to recognize ourselves in one another; to understand that we are our brother's keeper; we are our sister's keeper; that, in the words of Dr. King, we are all tied together in a single garment of destiny.

    We have an empathy deficit when we're still sending our children down corridors of shame -- schools in the forgotten corners of America where the color of your skin still affects the content of your education.

    We have a deficit when CEOs are making more in ten minutes than some workers make in ten months; when families lose their homes so that lenders make a profit; when mothers can't afford a doctor when their children get sick.

    We have a deficit in this country when there is Scooter Libby justice for some and Jena justice for others; when our children see nooses hanging from a schoolyard tree today, in the present, in the twenty-first century.

    We have a deficit when homeless veterans sleep on the streets of our cities; when innocents are slaughtered in the deserts of Darfur; when young Americans serve tour after tour of duty in a war that should've never been authorized and never been waged.

    And we have a deficit when it takes a breach in our levees to reveal a breach in our compassion; when it takes a terrible storm to reveal the hungry that God calls on us to feed; the sick He calls on us to care for; the least of these He commands that we treat as our own.

    So we have a deficit to close. We have walls -- barriers to justice and equality -- that must come down. And to do this, we know that unity is the great need of this hour.

    Unfortunately, all too often when we talk about unity in this country, we've come to believe that it can be purchased on the cheap. We've come to believe that racial reconciliation can come easily -- that it's just a matter of a few ignorant people trapped in the prejudices of the past, and that if the demagogues and those who exploit our racial divisions will simply go away, then all our problems would be solved.

    All too often, we seek to ignore the profound institutional barriers that stand in the way of ensuring opportunity for all children, or decent jobs for all people, or health care for those who are sick. We long for unity, but are unwilling to pay the price.

    But of course, true unity cannot be so easily won. It starts with a change in attitudes -- a broadening of our minds, and a broadening of our hearts.

    It's not easy to stand in somebody else's shoes. It's not easy to see past our differences. We've all encountered this in our own lives. But what makes it even more difficult is that we have a politics in this country that seeks to drive us apart -- that puts up walls between us.

    We are told that those who differ from us on a few things are different from us on all things; that our problems are the fault of those who don't think like us or look like us or come from where we do. The welfare queen is taking our tax money. The immigrant is taking our jobs. The believer condemns the non-believer as immoral, and the non-believer chides the believer as intolerant.

    For most of this country's history, we in the African-American community have been at the receiving end of man's inhumanity to man. And all of us understand intimately the insidious role that race still sometimes plays -- on the job, in the schools, in our health care system, and in our criminal justice system.

    And yet, if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that none of our hands are entirely clean. If we're honest with ourselves, we'll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King's vision of a beloved community.

    We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them. The scourge of anti-Semitism has, at times, revealed itself in our community. For too long, some of us have seen immigrants as competitors for jobs instead of companions in the fight for opportunity.

    Every day, our politics fuels and exploits this kind of division across all races and regions; across gender and party. It is played out on television. It is sensationalized by the media. And last week, it even crept into the campaign for President, with charges and counter-charges that served to obscure the issues instead of illuminating the critical choices we face as a nation.

    So let us say that on this day of all days, each of us carries with us the task of changing our hearts and minds. The division, the stereotypes, the scape-goating, the ease with which we blame our plight on others -- all of this distracts us from the common challenges we face -- war and poverty; injustice and inequality. We can no longer afford to build ourselves up by tearing someone else down. We can no longer afford to traffic in lies or fear or hate. It is the poison that we must purge from our politics; the wall that we must tear down before the hour grows too late.

    Because if Dr. King could love his jailor; if he could call on the faithful who once sat where you do to forgive those who set dogs and fire hoses upon them, then surely we can look past what divides us in our time, and bind up our wounds, and erase the empathy deficit that exists in our hearts.

    But if changing our hearts and minds is the first critical step, we cannot stop there. It is not enough to bemoan the plight of poor children in this country and remain unwilling to push our elected officials to provide the resources to fix our schools. It is not enough to decry the disparities of health care and yet allow the insurance companies and the drug companies to block much-needed reforms. It is not enough for us to abhor the costs of a misguided war, and yet allow ourselves to be driven by a politics of fear that sees the threat of attack as way to scare up votes instead of a call to come together around a common effort.

    The Scripture tells us that we are judged not just by word, but by deed. And if we are to truly bring about the unity that is so crucial in this time, we must find it within ourselves to act on what we know; to understand that living up to this country's ideals and its possibilities will require great effort and resources; sacrifice and stamina.

    And that is what is at stake in the great political debate we are having today. The changes that are needed are not just a matter of tinkering at the edges, and they will not come if politicians simply tell us what we want to hear. All of us will be called upon to make some sacrifice. None of us will be exempt from responsibility. We will have to fight to fix our schools, but we will also have to challenge ourselves to be better parents. We will have to confront the biases in our criminal justice system, but we will also have to acknowledge the deep-seated violence that still resides in our own communities and marshal the will to break its grip.

    That is how we will bring about the change we seek. That is how Dr. King led this country through the wilderness. He did it with words -- words that he spoke not just to the children of slaves, but the children of slave owners. Words that inspired not just black but also white; not just the Christian but the Jew; not just the Southerner but also the Northerner.

    He led with words, but he also led with deeds. He also led by example. He led by marching and going to jail and suffering threats and being away from his family. He led by taking a stand against a war, knowing full well that it would diminish his popularity. He led by challenging our economic structures, understanding that it would cause discomfort. Dr. King understood that unity cannot be won on the cheap; that we would have to earn it through great effort and determination.

    That is the unity -- the hard-earned unity -- that we need right now. It is that effort, and that determination, that can transform blind optimism into hope -- the hope to imagine, and work for, and fight for what seemed impossible before.

    The stories that give me such hope don't happen in the spotlight. They don't happen on the presidential stage. They happen in the quiet corners of our lives. They happen in the moments we least expect. Let me give you an example of one of those stories.

    There is a young, twenty-three year old white woman named Ashley Baia who organizes for our campaign in Florence, South Carolina. She's been working to organize a mostly African-American community since the beginning of this campaign, and the other day she was at a roundtable discussion where everyone went around telling their story and why they were there.

    And Ashley said that when she was nine years old, her mother got cancer. And because she had to miss days of work, she was let go and lost her health care. They had to file for bankruptcy, and that's when Ashley decided that she had to do something to help her mom.

    She knew that food was one of their most expensive costs, and so Ashley convinced her mother that what she really liked and really wanted to eat more than anything else was mustard and relish sandwiches. Because that was the cheapest way to eat.

    She did this for a year until her mom got better, and she told everyone at the roundtable that the reason she joined our campaign was so that she could help the millions of other children in the country who want and need to help their parents too.

    So Ashley finishes her story and then goes around the room and asks everyone else why they're supporting the campaign. They all have different stories and reasons. Many bring up a specific issue. And finally they come to this elderly black man who's been sitting there quietly the entire time. And Ashley asks him why he's there. And he does not bring up a specific issue. He does not say health care or the economy. He does not say education or the war. He does not say that he was there because of Barack Obama. He simply says to everyone in the room, "I am here because of Ashley."

    By itself, that single moment of recognition between that young white girl and that old black man is not enough. It is not enough to give health care to the sick, or jobs to the jobless, or education to our children.

    But it is where we begin. It is why the walls in that room began to crack and shake.

    And if they can shake in that room, they can shake in Atlanta.

    And if they can shake in Atlanta, they can shake in Georgia.

    And if they can shake in Georgia, they can shake all across America. And if enough of our voices join together; we can bring those walls tumbling down. The walls of Jericho can finally come tumbling down. That is our hope -- but only if we pray together, and work together, and march together.

    Brothers and sisters, we cannot walk alone.

    In the struggle for peace and justice, we cannot walk alone.

    In the struggle for opportunity and equality, we cannot walk alone

    In the struggle to heal this nation and repair this world, we cannot walk alone.

    So I ask you to walk with me, and march with me, and join your voice with mine, and together we will sing the song that tears down the walls that divide us, and lift up an America that is truly indivisible, with liberty, and justice, for all. May God bless the memory of the great pastor of this church, and may God bless the United States of America.

    Monday, January 21, 2008

    "Letter from Birmingham Jail" Redux on MLK Jr Day

    In April 1963 (only 45 years ago), a young Martin Luther King, Jr. (then only 34 years old) lead a march in Birmingham, Alabama for which he was jailed. While he sat in his jail cell, a group of clergymen sent him a letter which basically asked him why he brought his demonstrations to disrupt the peace of Birmingham.

    Dr. King set pen to scraps of paper in his jail cell and wrote what plezWorld considers to be the Magna Carta and Declaration of Independence -- all rolled into one -- of the Civil Rights Movement, as a reply to the clergymen's letter.

    It is interesting to note that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson alittle over a year later, thanks in large measure to the efforts of one Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    As we pause to celebrate the life of the Greatest American, tarry a few minutes in plezWorld and read Dr. King's Letter from Birmingham Jail. This letter is not as widely publicized and distributed as the "I Have A Dream" or "I've Been To The Mountaintop" speeches, but this letter lays out the entire rationale and strategy of the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. King's stunning prose, and his grasp of psychology and human history while being confined to a jail cell is mind boggling. Excerpts of the letter follows:
    But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century BC left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I. compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.

    Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling, for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.

    The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we stiff creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging dark of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son who is asking: "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross-county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you no forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness" -- then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.

    There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may won ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there fire two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all."

    Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distort the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I-it" relationship for an "I-thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and awful. Paul Tillich said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.

    Read or download the pdf version of the entire Letter from Birmingham here.

    Access the "Letter from Birmingham Jail" website to get a thorough explanation of the letter and its structure.

    plez sez: Happy Birthday, Dr. King (January 15, 1929 - April 3, 1968)!

    Sunday, January 20, 2008

    WTF - Homies

    Picture from plezWorld Treo 680

    As if today's "snow panic" (i.e. the obligatory run on the grocery stores for bread, eggs, and milk when there is even the hint of snow) wasn't enough (Saturday brought the second snowfall of the week - a new record for these parts), the SugarPlum and I decided to take a leisurely sojourn to our local Publix grocery store after her ballet class was cancelled (see "snow panic" above). We had an accumulation of less than one inch by noon... then it rained and washed everything away.

    Not realizing the madhouse that awaited me as I pulled into the completely full parking lot, we strolled into the store to buy some coffee beans to make a fresh pot of coffee to go with our dozen glazed Krispy Kreme donuts! And a madhouse it was, buggies clogging each aisle, the bread guy just planted a rack of loaf bread in the center of the bread aisle and watched as the customers grabbed loaf after loaf like we were going to be snowed in for a week! I'll admit, I was so taken into the feeding frenzy, I left the bread aisle with a loaf of Honey Wheat bread and some hot dog buns. I elbowed my way past the dairy department and slipped the SugarPlum in an opening by the bacon packages to grab some Nathan's hot dogs. After making a plezWorld blend of assorted coffees, we made it to frozen foods for a couple of Marie Callender chicken pot pies... yummy!

    Since there were no buggies or little green baskets to carry our booty, the hood on SugarPlum's coat served to hold the hot dogs, coffee beans, and chicken pot pies. I don't like my bread smashed, so we had to delicately hand carry the bread to the checkout lines. Each line was 15-20 people deep. Imagine the quandary of keeping a 6-year old's attention with all of that human activity around us! Twenty minutes and ten SugarPlum Death Threats later we were heading to sliding doors that would yield the winter wonderland before us... but not so fast!

    Out of the corner of my eye, I see the usual line up of bubblegum vending machines that stand guard at the entrance of every grocery store in America. These days, they aren't limited to just bubblegum, they have bouncing balls, blowup balls, fake gold necklaces and rings, and other rubbery throw away trinkets. One in particular caught my eye, because it was top row, dead center, and had little figurines in the window... and the word "HOMIES" inscribed on the label as though written by some graffiti artist.

    Upon closer inspection, one can see that the background was vaguely reminiscent of "the 'hood", with tenement buildings and old fashioned power lines (where I live, most utilities are underground). For 50 cents, you can get a random "Homie" figurine for Series 10: bandanna clad gangbanger, Kangol cap wearing homeboy, single mother, Mexican migrant worker, Black dude with backwards fitted cap wearing a Raiders jersey, a dude wearing a white wife beater, a butcher... and just about every other stereotypical 'hood rat imaginable!

    I saw no humor. I saw no socially redeemable value. I saw nothing even remotely entertaining about the lineup of characters.

    I don't live in the 'hood... far from it! I don't embrace it, I don't even claim to be from it! I'm not ghetto, never lived in a ghetto, and god willing, don't plan to. Call me elitist... call me bourgie (just don't call me late for dinner!)... but I find this particular enterprise to be offensive on a number of fronts. These vending machines are geared to and for children; I do not want my daughter playing in her doll house with a dude wearing a do-rag or worse yet, a pimp! I don't want her to think any of those characters displayed live the kind of life that plezWorld expects for her. And most importantly, I don't want her growing up looking at people as stereotypes.

    When I was about 8- or 9-years old, Frito-Lay had a character associated with its Frito's Corn Chips: the Frito Bandito. He was a Mexican bandit complete with gold tooth, mustache, wide sombrero, two six-shooters, and criss-cross bullet belts across his chest. He spoke with a heavy Mexican accent and sang a song warning you to watch out for the Frito Bandito because he would steal your corn chips! I remember that I had a yellow Frito Bandito character eraser for one of my pencils. Well, pressure from various Mexican-American groups had the offensive character and commercials banned in 1971.

    I googled "homies" and was SHOCKED at what popped up... there is a whole city of these urbanites: shirtless gangsta rapper dripping gold, a pimp, a nun, a homeless guy, a guy with a pit bull, and the Grim Reaper! You can even buy "HOMIES" figures from past series on eBay.

    I'm sure this isn't a sign of the apocalypse, but it does make plezWorld say, "WTF?!?"

    Saturday, January 19, 2008

    Nevada - Clinton Pulls Out Another Win

    plezWorld Supports Barack Obama!Hillary Clinton bested her two rivals by snapping up over 50% of the vote in Nevada's caucuses on Saturday, January 19th. After a week of bellyaching by Bill Clinton about the disenfranchisement of voters due to the structure of the caucuses which would allow MORE people to participate, the Clinton Machine found a way to pull out another one.

    Barack Obama came in second with a respectable 45% of the vote with John Edwards a distant third with only 4% of the vote.

    Since these three left Iowa, the Democratic nomination battle has turned into a two-horse race with Clinton besting Obama over the past two weeks. The focus has shifted to the Southeast and South Carolina where the Democratic Primary is on Saturday, January 26, 2008. Obama appears to be leading in the polls there, but his campaign can expect a heavy push from the Clintonistas this coming week.

    Everyone will be in Atlanta over the next couple of days for the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday; Barack Obama will be at Dr. King's old church - Ebenezer Baptist Church - tomorrow morning. If I can get up and get my family to the queue by 7:00 AM tomorrow morning, we may go check him out in person. Obama is going to need this win in South Carolina to remain viable in this race or I'm afraid his campaign may drop off considerably.

    Even though, Nevada carries few delegates and Michigan's delegates are in doubt, the Clinton camp is gaining momentum and confidence with each win. Obama has only won one race, in Iowa, and that win is becoming more distant and meaningless as the losses pile up. I had planned to go out canvassing for Obama this morning, but inclement weather (snow) cancelled the event.

    It would be nice for Obama to win at least one race before going into Super Tuesday on February 5th!

    Side Bet: plezWorld did predict a Clinton vs. Romney election a few months ago... I'm really hoping that I wasn't right!

    Bush Band-Aid for Sick Economy

    As the stock market continued to tank, as the credit mess continued to get messier, and as the housing market continued to go south... President Bush released a $145 Billion Plan with no specifics, no timetable, and no parameters. Well, he did go to his supply-side economics medicine cabinet and trotted out a request for tax cuts/incentives for businesses and his rich buddies, while also accepting the fact that normal people (i.e. the middle class that has been sustaining this sinking economy for the past 2-3 years) should also get a trifling token from the government trough.

    The Washington Post reports that Bush laid out an economic rescue package only in broad strokes, saying the plan must be “built on broad-based tax relief” and “big enough to make a difference in an economy as large and dynamic as ours.” He did not use the word recession, but acknowledged that “there is a risk of a downturn.” The talking heads opined that his 1 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) would come out to about $800 per taxpayer or $1600 per couple. In addition, he would want some additional tax cuts to spur growth. The plan is now to sit down with Congress and hammer out something more concrete in the coming weeks.

    Glenn Beck writes an article for where he lays out the areas that the Administration missed the warning signs of the impending recession: (1) slowing consumer spending (spending was down for Christmas, (2) increasing inflation (inflation rates are the highest in 17 years), (3) the credit crunch on the heels of the mortgage crisis, and (4) the housing slump where regional home values have been declining for the past 2 years! The stimulus package may be too late because so many leading indicators have already bit the BIG ONE!

    And of course, the politicians have begun politicking. Senator Hillary Clinton of New York is quoted as saying, "I want to see money in the pockets of people who are having trouble paying their energy bills. That stimulates the economy. ... And then, if we need additional stimulation, we should look at tax rebates for middle-class and working families, not for the wealthy who have already done very well under George Bush." And Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin plans to vote for the plan even though he says, "I think it’s fine to send people their tax money back, but I don’t think it does much to generate economic growth[.] This wouldn’t be the first thing on my wish list."

    Read the entire Washington Post article here.

    Read the CNN article by Glenn Beck here.

    plez sez: George W. Bush... a day late and a dollar short!

    i don't know about your household, but if a check for $1600 shows up in plezWorld's mailbox, i can assure that it won't go to stimulate the economy (whatever in the HELL that means!). my wife will probably use it to finish painting the upstairs bedrooms and halls, and then we'll use the rest to catch up on some credit cards that got raped during the Holiday season. no one on my street will be using their $1600 to lower gas prices, or slow down inflation, or create jobs for single mothers facing foreclosure!

    how many employers are going to hold off on next week's layoffs because of this news? NONE!

    how many mortgage companies are going to wait for a couple to get their $1600 check in a couple of months instead of foreclosing on the property at the end of this month? NONE!

    how many oil companies will use their tax break to ease the continued escalation of gas prices at the pump? oh, they'll just add that tax break to their growing coffers of windfall profits.

    how many companies will see this short term band-aid approach as a compelling reason to stop sending jobs to countries that pay their workers a fraction of what they are paid in the U.S.? ha ha ha... i know mine won't! these companies get tax breaks and government handouts whether the jobs employ Americans or someone toiling away offshore.

    just like the war in iraq, ole W aims his limp "weapon" at the wrong target. this may be one of those recessions that we'll have to ride out for the next year or so, because i assure you that this Bush Plan ain't the cure for what ails our economy.

    Friday, January 18, 2008

    The 6th Degree: Do Be Have

    Lewis Empire blog describes itself as "strategies to help manage your finances, invest your money and retire young." plezWorld found an interesting meme tucked away in this blog post. Lewis has apparently developed something called the 62 Steps to Success based on Jack Canfield’s book, "The Success Principles." The basic premise is that in order to work towards something, you need to know what you’re going to learn (Be), experience (Do), and get to play with (Have).

    The meme seems pretty simple, come up with make your list of 10 things you want to do, 10 things you want to have, and 10 things you want to become. Well, it turned out to be a lot more difficult than I had expected. Here’s my list:
  • Blog everyday in 2008
  • Skydive
  • Drive a car over 200 mph
  • Get invited to the White House by the President
  • Endow a scholarship in my name at my alma mater
  • Dunk a basketball, again
  • Teach a high school calculus class
  • Find and visit my ancestral home on the African continent
  • Sing the National Anthem before a football game
  • Walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding

  • An expert in my field (whatever that may be)
  • An elected official
  • 50-year old retiree
  • A good husband and father
  • A role model for my community
  • The basis of a positive story on the nightly news
  • Reincarnated, so I can do it right the next time
  • My destiny
  • A trusted advisor
  • Happy

  • $1,000,000 in my bank account
  • A red Cadillac Escalade
  • Life Membership Pin
  • A seat on the Space Shuttle
  • Respect of my family
  • No debt
  • Great grandson
  • My daughter's PhD hood
  • A beach house in the Caribbean
  • My health

  • I'm probably supposed to tag some other blogs to compel them to complete this meme, but I find that process so passe'... so if you've gotten this point in my post, consider yourself tagged! *smile*

    [Hat Tip: Lewis Empire]

    plez sez:

    the third installment of the sixth degree of plezWorld:

    1st Degree: Brown Sugar
    2nd Degree: Whitney's Big Adventure
    3rd Degree: Reggie, another kid with good* credit
    4th Degree: Dual Income No Kids
    5th Degree: CheddarBlog
    6th Degree: Lewis Empire

    ...and 1 Lap Around the Sun!

    What is the sixth degree of plezWorld? Find the answer here.

    Thursday, January 17, 2008

    plezWorld's First Winter Snow

    On Wednesday evening, January 16, it started to snow in plezWorld. To those who live above the Mason-Dixon Line, this isn't anything new, you probably had snow before Thanksgiving. But in plezWorld, it may snow once a year. And considering the drought that we've had in the Atlanta area for the past 12 months, I can't recall even a dusting in the last 2 or 3 years.

    As the white fluffy stuff began to accumulate, I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures of the SugarPlum trying to catch her first snowflakes on her tongue. Actually, I think this is the first time that she has actually been out in some snow.

    Tonight, I'm sure the SugarPlum is in bed dreaming about her first snow day out of school. I don't want to be one to disappoint, but I don't think our little dusting will close many schools tomorrow!

    But this is the Deep South and the schools have been closed for much less...

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008

    Bishop Earl Paulk Goes to Jail

    Earl Paulk, founder and Archbishop of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Decatur, Georgia turned himself in on Tuesday evening after a warrant for his arrest was issued for a perjury charge. The perjury charge stems from testimony that the 80-year old Paulk gave during a sexual misconduct deposition last summer. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and $1,000 fine.

    Read the entire Atlanta Journal-Constitution article here.

    View pictures associated with Bishop Paulk here.

    plez sez: i should insert a fitting quote here about putting one's faith in false prophets, but that would be too easy. and this whole story is so base, it should call into question ANYONE who dons a collar and calls himself a man of God!

    this 80-year old coot was called in to give a deposition about alleged sexual misconduct that HE was conducting at his church over the past 4 decades. he claimed that he'd only screwed around with one church secretary. come to find out, DNA evidence shows that his 35-year old nephew, D.E. Paulk, a senior pastor in the church, is actually his son... yeah, old Earl was boning his younger brother's wife!

    and it gets worse: one of his granddaughters claims that she was sexually assaulted on numerous occasions by this old man starting when she was only 7-years old!

    one staffer claims to have been his "sex toy" for 14 years, with the old man claiming sex with him was her path to salvation. a number of former church employees and attendees have accused him of sexual molestation and sexual misconduct over the past 25 to 30 years!

    there is no telling how many little girls were molested by this monster. how many women who went to church there fell into his trap of sexual deviancy? jail is too good for this pervert... my only hope that his old ass croaks before another dime is wasted on convicting him.

    the street that runs past the church was renamed in his honor - Bishop Earl Paulk Parkway - i wonder how long it will take the county to remove the signs and rename it back to Flat Shoals Parkway!

    it's scumbags like Earl Paulk who justify me not exposing my daughter to the falsehoods and lies of the church on sunday mornings. plezWorld was raised in the baptist church, went to sunday school every sunday, sung in the youth choir on the fourth sunday, and played my saxophone in every easter and christmas program i can remember. i occasionally feel twinge of guilt for not sharing the faith of my fathers with my daughter, and then money-grubbing and sex-starved perverts like Earl Paulk, Eddie Long, and Creflo Dollar (all local celebrity "preacherpimps") tell me that i'm right!

    Read an excellent treatment of religion at Hypocrisy.

    BLOG UPDATE (1/16/2008): the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Earl Paulk plead guilty to perjury and received a $1,000 fine and 10 years of probation.

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008

    Quote of the Day - January 15, 2008

    “I don’t want to rehash that. I think that Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton have historically and consistently been on the right side of civil rights issues. I think they care about the African-American community and that they care about all Americans and they want to see equal rights and justice in this country.”
    - Senator Barack Obama responding to allegations about the Clinton campaign's racial insensitivity in recent days

    The New York Times reports that Obama is seemingly taking the high road and trying to rise above the "silliness" that has been bubbling forth from the Clinton campaign since the New Hampshire primary. He called a number of press conferences to get the Democratic front-runners back on track to talking about issues that affect all Americans (ex. the economy and how to fix it as we descend into recession) and abstain from the racially-charged rhetoric that has become de rigor over the past week.

    Read the entire New York Times article & comments here.

    Read the Booman Tribune blog & comments about Obama's tact here.

    plez sez: i applaud Obama's maturity and statesmanlike approach to the frontal, guns-a-blazing attack by the clintonistas! being a Black candidate in a traditionally white male contest, he cannot strike back (for fear of driving away white voters), he must acquiesce and live to fight another day. he must go forward, head held high, as though the nasty tone from The Clintons can wash off like sand from the beach. he has to check his seething rage and compliment his attackers, so as not to be seen as another angry Black man. hillary gets to cry, shed a few crocodile tears, but Obama must man up and turn the other cheek, even when the efforts of our most cherished Martin Luther King, Jr. are denigrated and sullied by the power-hungry Clinton Machine!

    you see, Barack Obama has to take the high road... plezWorld doesn't!

    the clinton hold on the Black community is slowly slipping through hill & bill's fingers, like that sand from beach. i heard bill clinton called the Tom Joyner Morning Show trying to salvage his dwindling popularity and trying to make Black people love him again, but Black folk are going back and looking at the record: what in the HELL did bill really do for you people?!? and what can you expect from hillary? were the clintons this patronizing all along? were they taking all the love (and all those votes) from Black people for granted back in 1992 and 1996? do they think it's cool to turn a ghetto-pimp like bob johnson against his own people for their political gain? what other "tricks" will they play in an effort to get back into the white house? has bill referred to barack obama with the "n-word" in private? hey! i'm just asking the questions!

    two or three weeks ago, hillary clinton could've counted on the plezWife vote in the event she got the nomination... guess what? that bet's off! this is one n-word (and his family) who won't be wasting any more votes on hillary, bill, or heaven forbid, chelsea clinton. i cannot and will not forget their actions of the past few weeks... and i'll welcome a (gasp!) republican in the white house before watching hillary clinton's scrawny ass sashaying into the oval office next january!

    Monday, January 14, 2008

    Terrell Owens And The Bitch Move

    On Sunday, the heavily favored NFC Eastern Division Champion Dallas Cowboys lost to the surging New York Giants, a team that they had beaten twice this season. During the postgame press conference, Terrell Owens pulled a bitch move: sniffled and cried as he tried to defend the poor performance of his quarterback, Tony Romo.

    plez sez: WTF!

    TWO (count 'em), two BITCH MOVES on one day... first bob johnson dissing obama and then terrell owens sobbing to the rescue of his overmatched and overrated QB! where were the tears when he was pissin' on donovan mcnabb in philly?!? at least, mcnabb got them to the NFC Championship game for 4 straight seasons and one super bowl... tony romo can't get the cowboys out of the first round of the playoffs!

    T.O. seems to be unstable... didn't he have a failed suicide attempt a few seasons ago? they may need to keep an eye on this brother, because i ain't ever seen any *ish* like that before!

    and my frat brother, ny giants rookie michael matthews, is heading to green bay next week to play for a shot in the super bowl... congrats!

    Bob Johnson And The Bitch Move

    On Sunday, Bob Johnson - founder of Black Entertainment Television and world's first Black billionaire - was in Columbia, South Carolina stumping and opening for Hillary Clinton's campaign (for Black votes). During his comments he once again played the "Bill Clinton Fairy Tale" card by comparing Obama to Sidney Poitier's fictional character in the movie "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." Johnson took a turn at explaining away Hillary Clinton's disparaging comments about Martin Luther King leading the move for civil rights. And not to be outdone, he also made a veiled reference - that was later denied - to Obama's past drug use while he was in college.

    A few excerpts of the Johnson comments:
    "She did not mean to take any credit away from him when she said that it took President Johnson to sign the civil rights legislation he fought for. Dr. King had led a 'moral crusade,'but such crusades have to be written into law. That is the way the legislative process works in this nation and that takes political leadership. That’s all Hillary was saying.”

    And to me, as an African-American, I am frankly insulted that the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Hillary and Bill Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues since Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood –? and I won’t say what he was doing, but he said it in the book –? when they have been involved.”

    “That kind of campaign behavior does not resonate with me, for a guy who says, I want to be a reasonable, likable, Sidney Poitier ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.’ And I’m thinking, I’m thinking to myself, this ain’t a movie, Sidney. This is real life.”

    Bob Johnson "clarified" his alleged reference to Obama's drug use in a statement released by the Clinton campaign:
    My comments today were referring to Barack Obama’s time spent as a community organizer, and nothing else. Any other suggestion is simply irresponsible and incorrect.

    When Hillary Clinton was in her twenties she worked to provide protections for abused and battered children and helped ensure that children with disabilities could attend public school.

    That results oriented leadership — even as a young person — is the reason I am supporting Hillary Clinton.”
    Read the entire article in the New York Times blog section here.

    Watch Bob Johnson spend close to 9 minutes crapping on Barack Obama and only 30 seconds introducing Hillary Clinton here.

    plez sez: this sucks! bob johnson sucks! if judas had only been so kind to jesus!

    the clinton campaign is beginning to show its TRUE COLORS on a daily basis. if you don't believe that ALL of bob johnson's comments were not approved and given a green light before he spoke, then i have a bridge in brooklyn to sell you. it's now obvious that not only will bill & hillary say anything, but they'll try to get other people to say anything to get her elected! the clintons' patronizing manner and assumption that Black America owes them something is amazing... simply amazing!

    i truly believe that everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion and just about everything is in fair play during an election for president, but pulling in a BLACK celebrity to bash Barack Obama, the FIRST & ONLY Black person to ever seriously contend for the nomination for office of president is - in the words of my buddy Raw Dawg Buffalo - FOUL!

    bob johnson's actions were similar to groups like "Mormons Against Romney" or "Women Against Hillary" or "Catholics Against Guiliani" or "Baptists Who Bash Huckabee"! have you ever heard of these groups? well, neither have i!

    i'm not asking people to like Barack Obama because he's Black, but - DAMN! - let's give him the benefit of the doubt. if we don't agree with his candidacy, why can't we just keep quiet? if you don't agree with him, why can't you just be "too busy" to attend a rally for hillary, like those republican candidates who snubbed the "Black" debate at morgan state university a few months back?

    and while assailing obama for his actions in college, i wonder if bob johnson would like to divulge what actions led his (and my) college fraternity to EXPEL him from the fraternity while he was in college (only to reinstate him a few years ago - after over 30 years - after he made his first billion dollars)?!?

    plezWorld is just wondering... because what bob johnson did was a BITCH MOVE! i just call 'em as i see 'em.

    Sunday, January 13, 2008

    Good News - Morehouse Man Genarlow Wilson

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Genarlow Wilson, freed last October by Georgia's Supreme Court after nearly three years in prison for oral sex with a 15-year old girl during a hotel party in 2003, will be attending Morehouse College in Atlanta this spring semester. He has received financial assistance from the Tom Joyner Foundation so that he can go to college.

    Read the entire AJC story here.

    plez sez: THIS IS GREAT NEWS!

    this young man has more than suffered for his youthful indiscretion and plezWorld really wishes him the best with his studies at Morehouse. he will be the recipient of a quality education from one of the best HBCU's in the country. KUDOS to the Tom Joyner Foundation for stepping up and supporting this young man (click here to hear the Tom Joyner Morning Show).

    Saturday, January 12, 2008

    The 6th Degree: Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs.

    You think you're smart, huh?!?

    More Brain Stuff... From Cambridge University.

    Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs.
    I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset c! an be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs psas it on!!

    Psas Ti ON!
    The blogger writes: "Not just that you can figure it out, but you can read it at nearly full speed. If our minds are so amazing, how come we keep doing such stupid things?"

    [Hat Tip: The Happy Carpenter]

    plez sez:

    a mere 6 days after the inaugural segment comes the second installment of the Sixth Degree:

    1st Degree: Lori's Old School Mix
    2nd Degree: NewBlackMan
    3rd Degree: The Casey Lartigue Show!
    4th Degree: Asymmetrical Information
    5th Degree: TigerHawk
    6th Degree: The Happy Carpenter

    What is the sixth degree of plezWorld? Find the answer here.

    Friday, January 11, 2008

    The Obama Debates

    A debate concerning Obama's link with the Black community was broadcast on Democracy Now! on Wednesday, January 9, 2008. It is a lively debate with Michael Eric Dyson (Obama supporter) and Glen Ford (Obama antagonist).

    The debate participants:
    Michael Eric Dyson is a professor at Georgetown University, where he teaches Theology, English and African American Studies. He is the author of 14 books and has been named by “Ebony” magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans.

    Glen Ford, Veteran journalist and Executive Editor of Black Agenda Report, a weekly journal of African American political thought and action.

    Description of Program:
    Does Barack Obama present a hope for dealing with African American issues? Or has he watered down his platform to appeal to white voters?

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ presents a debate of Barack Obama vs. Hillary Clinton... and which candidate will be a better nominee for the Democratic Party. The debaters are Glenn Loury (a Black Clinton supporter) and Joshua Cohen (a white Obama supporter).

    The debate participants:
    Glenn Loury is a professor of Economics at Brown University.

    Joshua Cohen is a professor of Political Science at Stanford University.

    Description of Program:
    Which one of these candidates can win the White House for the Democrats?

    Watch broadcast of the debate.

    plez sez: two fascinating debates, very little new information. since i am an Obama supporter, i found it interesting to hear Loury and Ford's reasoning behind their lack of support. i must say that i found the discussion the most interesting since the conversation was more relaxed and the Black guy was supporting hillary clinton while the white guy was advocating for barack obama!

    check 'em out.

    Thursday, January 10, 2008

    A Jaundiced Eye on Ron Paul

    Blogger Ann Althouse takes Republican Candidate Rep. Ron Paul to task for some of his extremist right-wing views. Speaking with Stephen Kaus on bloggingheads tv, she brings up a number of salient points that should be pondered while considering his position on a number of issues. She writes, "I feel like the people who are so enamored with those states' rights positions and that libertarian position... Coming from the South... an older person... who grew up in the segregated South... How do I know he's not a racist? ... I find it offensive, the positions he's taking, but maybe it's the pretty face that you put on the position that is, if not really racist, just insensitive about race?"

    James Kirchick takes a look at the bigoted past of Ron Paul in The New Republic. He cites a Ron Paul newsletter article about the Los Angeles riots in 1992:

    "Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began," read one typical passage. According to the newsletter, the looting was a natural byproduct of government indulging the black community with "'civil rights,' quotas, mandated hiring preferences, set-asides for government contracts, gerrymandered voting districts, black bureaucracies, black mayors, black curricula in schools, black tv shows, black tv anchors, hate crime laws, and public humiliation for anyone who dares question the black agenda." It also denounced "the media" for believing that "America's number one need is an unlimited white checking account for underclass blacks."

    Read the entire Ann Althouse post here.

    View the Ron Paul discussion on here.

    plez sez: i never paid much attention to ron paul until the iowa caucus and had never heard him speak until the republican debate on saturday night. he came off as quiet, scholarly, and even a bit aloof (i thought he was pissed off because no one really wanted him on the program). i was pretty cool with him as he voiced opposition to the war in iraq and the need for more fiscal responsibility when making decisions.

    when you pull back the covers and look at what nastiness is crawling in his white sheets, i am appalled. as soon as i start hearing talk about "states' rights," my ears perk up! if you recall, "states' rights" were the justification for segregation and jim crow laws in the South until the mid-1960's. ron paul finds fault with the civil rights act of 1964 and thinks abraham lincoln was wrong for leading the country into civil war to end slavery... um, i don't think i need to know much more about this dude.

    but it gets better (or worse, depending on your perspective), he not only sleeps in those white sheets, but he wears them, as well: there are articles published under his name that denigrate Martin Luther King, Jr., praise kkk imperial wizard david duke, bashes gays, and decries any type of federal spending or intervention when it comes to civil rights.

    the plezWorld list of "do not vote" candidates just got longer: mitt romney, john mccain, hillary clinton, and now ron paul. do i need to add anyone else to the list?

    Wednesday, January 09, 2008

    Quote of the Day - January 9, 2008

    “Let's give America the comeback that New Hampshire has given me."
    - Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton during her victory speech after the New Hampshire Primary on January 8, 2008.

    With all of the major news agencies reporting a double-digit lead in the polls for Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. Clinton pulled a major upset by squeaking out a 6,000 vote (with 70% of the precincts reporting) win in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, January 8, 2008. This comes a mere 5 days after Obama shocked THE WORLD with a substantial win in the Iowa caucuses. All of the news organizations are now scrambling to explain how they could've gotten the polling numbers so wrong, but they tend to forget that close to 45% of the voters in New Hampshire are independents with no party or candidate affiliations... and they go out to vote!

    This win is a big boost to the Clinton campaign which was reeling after the Iowa loss: there have been strategy changes, rumors of staff reorgs, and Bill Clinton's role was altered in the Granite State.

    This "loss" is a minor setback to the Obama campaign since he has been trailing for a majority of the campaign season, but the big Iowa win may be viewed by some as an aberration. Clinton nosed ahead when it really counted, but both candidates will probably receive the same number of delegates since her win was so slim (only 3%).

    plez sez: i'm stunned! i've been riveted to C-SPAN coverage since last thursday's iowa caucus and all day they have been reporting about Obama's 10 point lead in the polls.

    i'm shocked by the outcome, but not surprised because New Hampshire (like Iowa) is a different kind of political bird: the biggest block of voters are Independent and they can vote for any candidate (unlike other states that have registered democrats and republicans). the way the electorate is situated in the state, there was no way that they could accurately poll the likely voters.

    call it sour grapes, but my distaste for hillary (and all things clinton) has only been magnified by the last couple of days in new hampshire:
  • the manufactured sympathy she received when edwards and obama "teamed up" on hillary during saturday night's democratic debate, even though she is the one who "stole" the Change Strategy that Obama has been trumpeting since Day 1.

  • bill clinton's name calling attack on Obama in response to a question from the audience.

  • hillary clinton's bullsh*t emotional breakdown & crocodile tears on the eve of the primary, which just goes to show that these people (the clintons) will say or do ANYTHING to get elected.

  • her continued touting of her 35 years of experience when her ass has only been in the Senate for one and a half terms... Obama has double that time in elected office when you factor in his time in the Illinois State House and his grassroots community work.

  • with this loss, it is going to be tough going for Obama in the upcoming nevada primary, but i'm certain that he'll rebound to take south carolina. with the volatile nature of this campaign, it'd be folly to predict what will happen on Super Tuesday, but i can only hope that the voters will come to their senses in the coming weeks and see hillary clinton for what she is: a calculating politician with little or no conviction.

    plezWorld will NOT be casting a vote for hillary clinton in either the georgia primary (on Super Tuesday) nor during the general election in november (if heaven forbid she's the democratic candidate).