Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bhutto Assassination & War on Terror

Twice-serving Pakastani prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday evening as she left a political rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The New York Times reports that she was apparently shot several times as she was riding in a car away from the rally and then the gunman detonated a bomb killing himself and at least 20 others, and injuring 50 more. Bhutto was at a political rally only two weeks before Pakistan was to hold elections where she was leading in the polls to return to the prime minister post again.

The assassination and accompanying violence has plunged this hotbed of extremist radical turmoil; President Pervez Musharraf will more than likely have to impose another state of emergency, leading to a clamp down by his former troops (he recently stepped down as the head of the military).

Read the entire New York Times article here.

plez sez: this morning, i had planned to settle down with some C-SPAN when the news broke about the apparent bhutto assassination (at the time, there was only the report of a suicide bomber at her rally), so i quickly flipped over to CNN for an update. by this time, it had been confirmed that she had been shot and a bomb had been detonated a few seconds later.

this is a sad day for the world: armed terrorists are continuing to wreak havoc in the middle east and this was another "in your face" to bush's failed war on terror. the american people were bamboozled into supporting the war in iraq under the guise of a war on terror... for the past four years, our troops have been bombing and terrorizing the WRONG PEOPLE! OSAMA BIN LADEN and his gang (al qaeda) are not in iraq, they are alive and well in afghanistan and pakistan. they have widespread support in these countries. BARACK OBAMA was castigated for his talk of sending troops into pakistan after bin laden if their government would do nothing when he becomes president... as evidenced by today's bombing, apparently, obama's intelligence is more reliable than george w. bush's!

bhutto had spoken out against the terrorists and extremists who had taken up residence in her country and was determined to eradicate them... her Fate was death. this entire region is without strong leadership and the america's presence is doing little to deter their stronghold. if these terrorist cells are not destroyed, it will only be a matter of time before we are threatened with another 9/11 with those pakistani nuclear weapons (yes, people, pakistan has nuclear weaons)! our presence in iraq is not the answer and it appears that we are four years too late to pakistan! we can only hope that the next administration can provide leadership in dealing with the terroristic threat of the middle east.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

"All I Want For Christmas Is You" - Music Videos

Mariah Carey:

Olivia Olson in the "Love Actually" Movie:


Monday, December 24, 2007

"This Christmas" - The Music

Donny Hathaway - The Original Version:

It's not Christmas until I've heard
Donny Hathaway's version of "This Christmas"

Chris Brown - Music Video:

Cuts from the movie make this video a delight

Boys II Men - Acapella:


Friday, December 21, 2007

On Mitt Romney & Martin Luther King

Mitt Romney joined Tim Russert on NBC's Meet The Press and discussed the racist past of the Mormon church on December 16, 2007. While defending the practice of excluding Blacks in church practices until 1978, Romney let fly with the notion that his father was a staunch supporter of civil rights and had in fact marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mitt Romney speaks of seeing his father march with Martin Luther King, Jr. during his "Faith in America" speech on December 7, 2007.

plez sez: it was no surprise that the mormon faith had race-based exclusionary practices up until the mid-1970's. i was a bit surprised that a guy running for president in 2007 would continue to defend those practices as though everything is cool; hell, it's been 30 years since the church has renounced the practice! by evading tim russert's question on this issue, it seems that mitt romney is saying, "until 1978 when the church fathers had this epiphany about Black folk, racial discrimination in the mormon church was cool!"

but my jaw dropped when mitt romney went on to talk about how his father marched with MARTIN LUTHER KING, Jr.! say what?!? well, i had to look this up because something about that statement just didn't seem to ring true... to be honest, it comes off as political balderdash in an effort to get votes in an election year.
so i go to the salt lake tribune, the hometown paper of the mormon church... it seems that they can't seem to dig up this phantom march!

the boston phoenix is in the state where mitt was the governor for 4 years... they printed this explanation: "A spokesperson for Mitt Romney now tells the Phoenix that George W. Romney [Mitt's father] and Martin Luther King Jr. marched together in June, 1963 -- although possibly not on the same day or in the same city."

on to the detroit free press which is located in the state where george romney was governor when this march in 1963 with MLK allegedly took place. A spokesman for romney is quoted as saying, "He was speaking figuratively, not literally."
in other words, mitt romney is traipsing around the country LYING about his father's involvement with MARTIN LUTHER KING and the civil rights movement. as i wrote in a previous comment on plezWorld, i'm disturbed when Martin Luther King's lieutenants (like andrew young & jesse jackson) make a mockery of his legacy with their actions... so it makes my blood boil when some right-wing vote-whoring politician who couldn't care less (LITERALLY & FIGURATIVELY) about Black folk ties his political fortunes to the struggle of Black folk in America... mitt romney is plain sickening!

[Hat Tip: rikyrah]

SugarPlum & Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies

The SugarPlum's school is out this week for the holidays. For the past couple of days, SugarPlum and one of her friends from her class are engaged in an extended playdate (3 days and counting...). Monday was the movie "Enchanted" and shopping at the mall. Yesterday was "Alvin & The Chipmunks" and shopping at the mall. Today was the Waffle House for breakfast, accompanying me to the barbershop, a couple of intense rounds of Hullabuloo, getting their nails did (my daughter has a small Christmas tree painted on her big toe nails), whipping up some chocolate milkshakes, and baking some cookies out of her friend's Christmas Cookies Cookbook.

Imagine the division of labor between 6- and 7-year old Montessori School students while trying to modify a recipe on the fly, successfully mixing all of the ingredients, facilitating the construction of candy canes made of dough, and then baking one batch of cookies. One breaks the eggs, while the other mixes them in a bowl. One measures the flour, while the other measures the sugar. I added the peppermint extract to the recipe, so that the cookies will taste more like a real candy cane.

The girls didn't appreciate the final product (it was more fun making them and they didn't look enough like a candy cane to them), but my wife and I really enjoyed the cookies. They are buttery, light, with a hint of almond and peppermint in each bite. I'll have a few tonight with a glass of milk after the girls are tucked into bed.

plezWorld Candy Cane Cookie recipe:
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon red food coloring

Beat together sugar and margarine until creamy with an electric mixer at medium speed. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract; set aside. Mix flour and baking powder; stir into butter & sugar mixture. Divide dough in halves: mix almond extract to one half, mix peppermint extract and food coloring with the other half. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Divide each half into 32 pieces; (and here comes the hard part) roll each into a 5-inch rope. Twist together one red and one plain rope and bend end to form candy canes. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden. Remove from baking sheets; cool on wire racks. Store in airtight container. Makes 2-1/2 dozen candy canes.

I have no idea what tomorrow will bring!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Barack Obama - Our Hope for the Future

plezWorld Supports Barack Obama

Since attending the Obama Rally in Atlanta, Georgia in April 2007, plezWorld has been a staunch supporter for Barack Obama's run for the White House. I sincerely feel that he shares my hope for a brighter day in America, a day that removes the roadblocks of petty partisan politics, a day the ushers in a time for civil discourse, and a day the restores America's place in the world as a facilitator of peace, rather than the harbinger of death and destruction. I also share Obama's steadfast opposition to the War in Iraq, an act that was wrong from the first day that our jets strafed that country, until today. I applaud Obama's call for a more focused search for Osama Bin Laden. And I also agree with his plan for universal health care for all Americans.

In addition to creating a blog at the Obama '08 site, I have done something that I have never done before: plezWorld contributed cold, hard cash to a presidential campaign. I want to share the e-mail message that was recently received from "Obama for America" campaign:

Dear plezWorld,

Thank you for your generous donation of $*,***.00.

Your gift will be immediately put to work building a campaign to change our country and our politics for the better.

Looking for more ways to get involved?

Head over to where our growing set of tools puts the future of this campaign in your hands:

On you can...

  • build your own profile and connect with supporters near you
  • find or create your own local or national group
  • create your own personal fundraising page and track your progress
  • find events near you or plan your own
  • chronicle your campaign experience on your own blog

    There will be much more to come in the weeks and months ahead thanks to your support.

    Thank you again for your donation.

    Obama for America

  • Note: The size of the donation is irrelevant, the amount was obscured in an effort to encourage you, the reader, to actively support Obama for President. His website will accept donations of any amount.

    plezWorld Supports Barack Obama

    Wednesday, December 19, 2007

    Bill & George for Hillary?

    "Well, the first thing she intends to do, because you can do this without passing a bill, the first thing she intends to do is to send me and former President Bush and a number of other people around the world to tell them that America is open for business and cooperation again."
    -Bill Clinton in response to a question from a supporter about what his wife's "number one priority" would be as president. [read more at CNN's Political Ticker].

    It is obvious that this slap at Bush 43's ineffectual leadership for the past two terms did not escape the Republicans, as RNC spokesman Danny Diaz quickly responded with the following statement in response to Clinton's comments: "In 2009, a Republican president will be working with our friends and allies abroad to continue to keep our nation safe. The American people expect our leaders — both current and former — to present serious solutions to the very real challenges confronting our nation." [read more at CNN's Political Ticker]

    plez sez: come on, folks! it's 11 months BEFORE the election and i'm already tired of the second clinton administration!

    what is going on in the mind of bill clinton? does he still think that he can get away with saying ANYTHING?!? or is he suffering from the early stages of dementia? what in the heck would compel W's father go on a world tour with bill clinton to tell the world what the world already knows: that his son is a blubberin' idiot and that W has been screwing everything up for the past 8 years!

    i mean, there's a big chasm between hubris and insanity - it seems that bill is mired in it. bill's comment is so loaded with foolishness, that this latest episode (bill's comment and the RNC response) must come in second on the HILLARY HUMILIATION METER to the discovery of that "stained" blue dress.

    even though, america has survived 8 years of george w. bush, i know we're not going to sign up for another 8 years of clintonocracy. imagine how much trouble ex-president bill will get in if he's back in the white house! if he is delusional enough to believe that george h. w. bush is going to do a world tour with him to trash his son, then i'm also thinking that he's planning to "party like a rock star" during his second stint at 1600 pennsylvania avenue... hillary won't get any work done (or much sleep) for cleaning up the "mess" bill will be making all over the world (sorta like having an older version of jimmy carter's brother, billy, except he'll actually be living full time in the white house).

    and worse yet, we'll have TWO presidents in the white house saying whatever moods hits them, because neither has the moral character or integrity to actually say what they really believe. like hillary saying that she didn't authorize anyone to continually bring up that old news about barack obama's drug use. like bill saying that he wasn't criticizing barack obama when he called him too inexperienced to be president. [read about it at CNN's Political Ticker]

    we're only two weeks away from the iowa caucus. there is a great alternative to this clinton mess, and his name is BARACK OBAMA! he is grounded, he has a good sense of self, and he provides the hope and change for this country that the clintons only dream about. let's break the bush-clinton monarchy here, before jeb bush decides to run for president in 2016!

    plezWorld Supports Barack Obama

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    "Christmas Rappin'" by Kurtis Blow

    "Christmas Rappin'" by Kurtis Blow

    As released by Mercury Records in 1979

    'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house...

    Hold Up! That's played out!

    Don't you get me all that jive
    About things you wrote before I was alive
    'Cause this ain't 1823
    Ain't even 1970

    Now I'm the guy named Kurtis Blow
    And Christmas is one thing I know
    So every year, just about this time
    I celebrate it with a rhyme

    Gonna shake it, gonna bake it, gonna make it good
    Gonna rock shock rock through your neighborhood
    Gonna ring it, gonna sing it till it's understood
    My rap's about to happen
    Like the knee you was slappin
    Or the toe you been tappin' on a hunk of wood

    'Bout a red-suited dude, with a friendly attitude
    And a sleigh full of goodies for the people on the block
    Got a long white beard, maybe looks kind of weird
    And if you ever seen him he could give a quite shock

    Now people let me tell ya about last year
    When the dude came flying over here
    Well the hawk was out, the snow's on the ground,
    Folks stayed in to party down

    The beat was thumping on the block,
    And I was dancing in my socks

    And the drummer played at a solid pace

    And a taste of the bass was in my face

    And the guitar player laid down a heavy layer of the funky chunky rhythm of the disco beat

    And the guy with the 88
    Started to participate
    And I could sure appreciate it sound so sweat

    We were all in the mood so we had a little food
    And a joke, and a smoke, and a little bit of wine
    When I thought I heard a hoof on top of the roof
    Could it be or was it me? I was feeling super fine

    So I went to the attic where I thought heard the static
    On a chance that the prance was somebody breaking in
    But the noise on the top was a reindeer clop
    Just a tricky St. Nick so I let the sucker in

    He was rolly, he was poly, and not the holy moly
    You got a lot of whiskers on your chinny, chin, chin
    He was loud, he was proud of the hairy little crowd
    On the point of the door where the skin should've been

    Get's cool for a fool throwin' out a merry yule
    For a day on sleigh where the cold winds blow
    So the beard maybe cleared but I never have it cheered
    'Cause it's warm in the storm when it's ten below

    I said, "You're right it's cold tonight,
    Can you stop for a drop before you go?"
    He said, "Why not? If the music's hot,
    And I'll chance a dance beneath the mistletoe."

    So he went downstairs and forgot his cares
    And he rocked the spot and danced like a pro
    And every young girl tried to rock his world
    But he boogie oogie oogied till he had to go

    And before he went this fine old gent
    Finding gifts went sift through his big red bag
    In the top for the bottom he reached in and got 'em
    Had toys for boys and a girl's glad rag

    And the grownups got some presents too
    A new TV and a stere-u.
    A new Seville 'bout as blue as the sky
    The best that money couldn't buy

    'Cause money could never ever buy the feelin
    The one that comes from not concealin'
    The way you feel about your friends
    And this is how the story ends

    The dude he heads back at the pole
    Up north where everything is cold
    But if he were right here tonight
    He'd say "Merry Christmas! And to all--a good night!"

    ~~~~~ RAPPIN' BLOW, PART 2 ~~~~~

    I see that its not clear,
    For you good buddy so clean out your ears,
    So listen very closely while I pop my game,
    'Cause my names in the Hall of Fame

    The K-U-R, the T-I-S,
    The first is the best I must confess
    The B-L-O and the W
    Makes you wanna catch the boogaloo flu

    Now, If your name is Annie
    Get up off your fannie
    If your name is Clyde,
    Get off your backside
    If you name is Pete,
    You don't need a seat

    'Cause i'm Kurtis Blow and i'm on the go
    I'm rocking to the beat in stere-ery-oh!

    Now just throw your hands in the air
    And wave 'em like you just don't care.
    And if your ready like freddie to rock real steady ,
    Somebody say, "Oh yeah!"

    Young ladies, all the ladies in the house say, "Owww"
    And you don't stop, come on, come on, come on, let me see you rock.

    Ah get down and stop messing around
    When Kurtis Blow is in your town
    I'm Kurtis Blow on the microphone
    A place called Harlem was my home

    I was rocking one day, it started to shake
    It sound to me a-like a earthquake
    I packed my bags, I said goodbye
    I kissed my woman, and I started to fly

    I came to Earth by a meteorite
    To rock you all on the mic
    So just kick off your shoes, let your fingers pop
    Kurtis Blow's just about ready to rock

    Now people in the back, if you're not the whack, say:
    "Don't stop the body rock!"

    People in the front, if you want to bump, say:
    "Don't stop the body rock!"

    People in the middle, if you want to wiggle, say:
    "Don't stop the body rock!"

    And people on the side, if you want to slide, say:
    "Don't stop the body rock!"

    Now a preacher or a teacher or a e-lec-tri-cian
    A fighter, or a writer, or a po-li-ti-cian
    The man with the key to your ignition
    Kurtis Blow is competition

    Young ladies, shock the house
    Yes, the young ladies, shock the house

    A-just throw your hands in the air
    And wave them like you just don't care

    If you're really, really ready to rock this house this morning
    Somebody say, "Oh yeah!"

    Somebody scream


    plez sez: quite possibly the GREATEST christmas song ever?!? quite possibly the GREATEST dance hit ever?!? ok, it is easily the GREATEST christmas song that you can dance to!!!

    it is a fact that this was the FIRST rap single ever released by a major record label! kurtis blow and his two producers took this song to Mercury Records, who signed him to a 2-single deal, under the condition that if both singles were successful, he would get an album deal. this was the first single, and it did very well. the second single was "The Breaks," and it became the first rap song to be certified as a gold record, selling over 500,000 copies. kurtis got the album deal and became the first rapper signed to a major label. his first album contained the second part of "Christmas Rappin'," the party part with was released as "Rappin' Blow, Part 2."

    plezWorld was in high school and had a party at my house during the christmas break. i remember that my parents' house was packed, cars were all over the front lawn, and my oldest brother hooked me up with some "punch" and one of his frat brothers played the part of the dj. this song had just been released and it was the ONLY song that we played at the party... over and over and over! it was such a JAM, that we didn't want to listen to any of the other records! those were the days when you could throw a house party with only one or two records.

    it's funny, but this single (which was a 12" single) is probably still in the record player at my parents' house.

    NOTE: the sugar hill gang's "rapper's delight" was released earlier in the year by sugar hill records, which was not a major label at the time.

    ["christmas rappin'" info courtesy of SongFacts.]

    Monday, December 17, 2007

    Clinton & Obama's Drugs

    In light of her staffer's resignation over comments about Barack Obama's past drug use, Hillary Clinton becomes fodder for Maureen Dowd's editorial satire.

    Reefer Madness in Iowa, a New York Times op-ed piece by Maureen Dowd.
    With the Iowa campaign in wild flux — and in the case of Hillary, acid reflux — The Des Moines Register decides to hold a tie-breaking debate with the two Democratic front-runners.

    Carolyn Washburn, the phlegmatic editor of [The Des Moines Register], once more moderates.

    WASHBURN: Senator Clinton, I’d like you to start us off by explaining why your campaign has been getting down and dirty with someone so clean and articulate?

    CLINTON: I apologized to Senator Obama. I absolutely did not authorize or condone the remarks made by one of my co-chairs in New Hampshire about my distinguished colleague’s youthful indiscretions. If primary voters don’t care that he did “a little blow,” then my goodness, why should I? Even if he had packed a straw full of the white rabbit and had a snow bunny blow it in his ear, who would care, for Pete’s sake? I only wish I knew all that colorful chasing-the-dragon lingo. Senator Obama certainly has a lot of street cred, even if it isn’t Main Street. We owe it to the good people of Iowa to stick to critical issues like the economy, and how to get a fiscally responsible budget like we had in the ’90s, the ’90s, the ’90s —

    WASHBURN: Snap out of it.

    CLINTON: Sorry. Anyway, even if Senator Obama were still riding the snow train, I would not allow any revelations about it to sully this campaign. I’m not sure who that young man in a hoodie was that Barack was talking to outside tonight, before the debate. I’d seen the young man earlier, standing around in the shadows outside. But that’s neither here nor there. Even if I had been able to see whether any money was exchanged, or who was selling to whom, I would not allow anyone in my campaign, even that scamp Mark Penn, to use the word cocaine, cocaine, cocaine —

    WASHBURN: Senator!

    CLINTON: Continuing in this vein, I just want to conclude by saying, both in terms of experience and illegal substances, I am vetted. I am tested.

    WASHBURN: Senator Obama, what would your priorities be as president?

    OBAMA: I will pass a health care bill because I am not a polarizing person whose negatives are completely off the charts, and I’m certainly not threatening to drag down the whole party at a time when we should be killing the Republicans.

    WASHBURN: Are you referring to Senator Clinton?

    OBAMA: Most certainly not. I want to bring a new kind of politics to Washington that can reverse the polarizing atmosphere of the ’90s, the ’90s, the ’90s.

    CLINTON: Don’t bogart the time, Barack. I’d like a hit. Carolyn, shouldn’t there be some timing device to let my young friend know when he’s going over, something that would go “BONG!”

    OBAMA: I know what you’re doing, Hillary. I wasn’t born yesterday. She wants Americans to think I’m so young and green that I can only run for White House intern. It would be a stain on me to sink as low as her.

    CLINTON: I don’t appreciate that crack. If you’re going to needle me, Senator —

    OBAMA: In turn, I would like to reply that what this country really needs is change —

    CLINTON: Change is mine now, Senator Belushi. Bill and I stole it weeks ago. Some people believe you get change by hoping for it. Some believe you get change by snorting it. I believe you get it by working hard.

    WASHBURN: Can you both please describe the key features of what you consider to be the best education system in the world?

    CLINTON: Well, I know that some of my supporters have been spreading gossip that Senator Obama loves the madrassa system for pre-K through terrorist training camp. But there is not a gram of truth in those accusations. We shouldn’t inject intolerance into this race.

    WASHBURN: I would like to talk about the Peru free trade deal that was signed on Friday. You both missed the vote.

    CLINTON: Oh, Barack should take that one. His views on Peruvian are positively flaky.

    OBAMA: You’re the flaky one, Hillary, backing up the president when he wanted to rush into Iraq and wage this trillion-dollar war.

    CLINTON: It’s no wonder you didn’t want to go into Iraq, Barack. There are no free bases there.

    WASHBURN: All right, you two. We’re out of time. Have a Merry Christmas and —

    CLINTON: And I am sure that Senator Obama is dreaming of his usual White Christmas. Hitch up the reindeer!

    WASHBURN: As I was saying, a Happy New Year.

    CLINTON: He gets no kick from Champagne ...

    plez sez: depending on how you look at it, this could be considered to be a pro-Obama piece... but then one would wonder how the continuing to highlight Obama's use of drugs as a college student will help him in his run for the White House. even though, the "white horse" was not the indiscretion of choice for plezWorld, it would be disingenuous for me to hold such a youthful indiscretion against Obama. but i tend to wonder how he will sell this indiscretion to middle america who may be hesitant about casting a vote for a Black man in the first place. i'm glad that we don't have an "i didn't inhale" moment to bandy about - talk about lack of character and integrity (ole bill clinton must be the first person in the history of illegal drug use to have brought the reefer to his lips and didn't inhale... puh-leeze!).

    i would like to see Obama pull away and win this thing, but i wonder if his admitted indiscretion will not only be fodder for op-ed satire, but also for a full-blown frontal assault by the republicans, granted he makes it out of the democrat mud-slinging contest. i don't know, these weekly spats with The Hillary may breath new life into the Edwards run, who may finally have the opening necessary to pull off a couple of early upsets in the primary races. you can't sling mud without getting a substantial amount on yourself.

    the 2008 primary season began too early (spring of 2007) and has given the primary combatants too much time to raise money and bicker amongst themselves about non-issues (in plezWorld, the use of recreational drugs 20 years ago is a non-issue). i'm afraid it's going to get worse before it gets better, sort of like the new and improved expanded Christmas shopping season (it now begins around Halloween!). the 2012 race will probably begin in earnest in january of 2011... get ready.

    we need to get off of smoking the political crack pipe before fall's first frost! as you can see, there are no winners, because even political crack is whack!

    Sunday, December 16, 2007

    The Twelve Days of Christmas

    Wikipedia provides a good explanation for the twelve days of Christmas... which begins on Christmas evening (December 25) and continues every night until the Epiphany:
    The Twelve Days of Christmas and the associated evenings of those twelve days (Twelve-tide), are the festive days beginning the evening of Christmas Day (December 25) through the morning of Epiphany (January 6). The associated evenings of the twelve days begin on the evening before the specified day. Thus, the first night of Christmas is December 25–26, and Twelfth Night is January 5–6. This period is also known as Christmastide.

    Over the centuries, differing churches and sects of Christianity have changed the actual traditions, time frame, and their interpretations. St. Stephen's Day, for example, is December 26 in the Western Church and December 27 in the Eastern Church. December 26 is Boxing Day in the United Kingdom and some of its former colonies; December 28 is Childmas or the Feast of the Innocents. Currently, the 12 days and nights are celebrated in widely varying ways around the world. For example, some give gifts only on Christmas night, some only on Twelfth Night, and some each of the 12 nights. What remains constant is celebrating the birth of Jesus on December 25th, and a period of twelve days and nights following leading to Epiphany.
    As with just about everything, there is also an urban legend that is associated with the "Twelve Days of Christmas":
    Catholics in England during the period 1558 to 1829, when Parliament finally emancipated Catholics in England, were prohibited from ANY practice of their faith by law - private OR public. It was a crime to BE a Catholic.

    The songs gifts are hidden meanings to the teachings of the [Catholic] faith. The "true love" mentioned in the song doesn't refer to an earthly suitor, it refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge which feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, much in memory of the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered thee under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but thou wouldst not have it so..."

    The other symbols mean the following:

    2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments
    3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
    4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists

    5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.

    6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
    7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
    8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
    9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
    10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
    11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
    12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

    plez sez: growing up in suburban new york in the early 70's didn't afford much time to delve into the true meaning of the twelve days of christmas... until tonight, i thought the twelve days of christmas ended on christmas day!

    i just remember the fun we had in school singing the (now) annoyingly repetitious song, which is about as annoyingly repetitious as "crank dat soulja boy" or "chocolate rain."

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you from plezWorld... and a partridge in a pear tree!

    Saturday, December 15, 2007

    plezWorld Reviews "This Christmas"

    My family and I went to the movies last night. We went to see "This Christmas," a family movie for the holidays.

    The premise is pretty simple: the Whitfields gather for the Christmas holiday for the first time in several years. It is a movie that is suitable for the entire family, with mild language and some sexual innuendo.

    Check out the "This Christmas" site here.

    plez sez: all of the family members bring their baggage along for the ride. it was a fun, family drama that explored the intricate family dynamics that affect us all. just about every dynamic was explored in a very real way, but each was explored with the help of a well developed plot and three dimensional characters.

    loretta devine glows as the family matriarch and this was the first time that i've seen teen heart throb chris brown in a movie where he wasn't killed off in the first 10 minutes: "stomp the yard... but he does sing in this one... and he's a very good singer. you will also note that chris brown's brother (columbus short) in this movie was also his brother in "stomp the yard."

    there was something for everyone in this flick... i highly recommend that you add it to your holiday fare.

    and you must stay for the "family movie" AFTER the movie... it was the MOST FUN i've seen in a flick in a long time!

    Friday, December 14, 2007

    MLB: The Steroids Era

    Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Andy Pettitte, Lenny Dykstra, Mo Vaughn, Jason Giambi, and 70 other Major League Baseball players were named in the Senator George Mitchell Report on the use of steroids by baseball players over the past decade. Based on information from the BALCO investigation, and trainers for the New York Mets and New York Yankees, the Mitchell Report was able to assemble a list of names and events that tie these players to the use of performance enhancing drugs (steroids and HGH) during their time in the big leagues.

    Surprisingly, Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa are NOT named in the report!

    Read ESPN's slant on the Mitchell Report here.

    Read/download the entire 409 page Mitchell Report here.

    plez sez: i gotta problem... i don't like the publishing of names in this report! and i'm gonna tell you why...
  • prior to the 2002 season, players were not tested nor penalized for the use of these performance enhancing drugs (other sports were, but not major league baseball). by their mere acquiescence, team owners gave tacit approval for steroid use as long as the baseballs were flying out of the ballparks and fannies were in the seats. these drugs were a BOON to a sport that had been waning in popularity in the early-90's.

  • this investigation (by senator mitchell) was kicked off to nail barry bonds... the implication of the other players is an unintended consequence.

  • if you played major league baseball in any market other than san francisco or new york (mets & yankees), you got away scott-free (ten former atlanta braves were in the report, but they were implicated for the time that they spent with the mets or the yankees)! the report acknowledges the widespread use of these drugs in baseball, yet the investigation was unable to identify any players who did not willingly testify outside of these two cities.

  • senator mitchell asks that no one named be punished by mlb... even though, only50% of those named are no longer playing! and the few who are still playing obviously represent such a small part of the problem, it would be tantamount to selective prosecution.

  • most of the evidence that was used to name these guys was circumstantial evidence... basically on the word of two trainers (Radomski & McNamee) who were forced to give up names to save their butts from federal charges! no one's name should have been divulged without a positive drug test.

  • the investigation had ZERO subpoena power and NO ONE was required to speak with them... so in a sport where it is estimated that almost 10% of the players were users, the ones who would know best about steroid/hgh use were not "encouraged" to testify before the mitchell commission... hmmmmm!

  • and what of the players who were wrongly accused and named in this report? the evidence against most is shaky at best... you cannot unring the bell. i heard David Justice on an Atlanta sports radio show a few hours ago claiming his innocence, he said that he doesn't even know radomski! he said that there are no checks or credit card receipts for him! david justice could be lying... but then again, without corroborating evidence, those two snitches could be lying, as well.

  • the mitchell report could have reported on the suspected widespread use of steroids/hgh, it could have offered a remedy to the problem, and it could have suggested punishment for offenders... but it should not have breached the confidentiality of the players by divulging their names without benefit of solid evidence of their drug use.

  • this whole steroids era foolishness was a media-driven event: the fans don't care, most of the players played with other players who they knew were on "the juice", and the owners benefited from the increased revenues that pumped up stars like bonds, clemens, mcguire, and sosa provided. by swinging his bat, barry bonds basically built that ballpark in san francisco!

    real talk: the hall of fame voters and the pencil-necked geek reporters who turned a blind eye to steroids use until barry bonds broke mark mcguire's homerun record whipped up a frenzy and this story... and they would not let it go until the commissioner had to act. by propping up an old fogey u.s. senator to lead the "investigation," you can see from the results that this was a glorified witch hunt and all those names falling into his lap was an accident.

    plezWorld would be more comfortable with the report's findings if even a quarter of the teams were more thoroughly investigated, rather than relying on the word of two new york snitches for the bulk of the report. shame on bud selig and shame on major league baseball for being part of this sham. AND now what're the hall of fame voters gonna do... keep roger clemens out or send him to cooperstown with an asterisk by his name, too?!?

    Thursday, December 13, 2007

    ANTM9: And The Winner Is...

    Way back in mid-October, plezWorld had a post on my main Guilty Pleasure after weekends of college football and consuming large bowls of rocky road ice cream: it's those fine ladies who grace my television every week under the guise of Tyra Banks's "America's Next Top Model." For Cycle 9, I decided to add my own prognostication as to who I thought should win.

    The weeks rolled by and two of my three favorites were removed from the show. Ambreal was eliminated TWICE, the first time, the other contestant volunteered to leave, thus sparing Ambreal for a few more weeks. Lisa's lack of confidence finally did her in, and she was sent packing.

    Saleisha made it to the finals against a tall, beautiful, and very blonde Chantal. They competed in a show by Chinese designer Qi Gang... the dresses were complex masterpieces. Both models looked great, but my favorite stole the show!

    Politics, Sports, and now High Fashion... plezWorld sure can pick 'em!


    Saleisha and ANTM: plezWorld's Guilty Pleasure!

    Wednesday, December 12, 2007

    Nupe Cane Freestyle

    Nupe Cane Freestyle

    plezWorld (lambda delta, 1982) has seen drew brown (mu, 1993) twirl in person - we were in the same alumni chapter a few years ago - trust me, he is even more amazing in person.

    i have twirled two canes in a step show (as recently as last february during my undergraduate chapter's 25th anniversary alumni exhibition), but i have NEVER even considered touching 3 or 4 canes during a routine... this guy is SICK!

    Tuesday, December 11, 2007

    Petrino Abandons Falcon's Sinking Ship

    Less than one year after taking the job, Atlanta Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino has quit his post with the team to return to coaching in the college ranks with Arkansas.

    Apparently, Petrino called team officials the day after getting embarrassed by the New Orleans Saints at home on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" and presiding over the once promising Falcons' fall to 3-10 in league play. Coupled with the 23 month sentence of former team star Michael Vick for dogfighting on yesterday, it was obvious that this franchise is in a "no win" situation and he pulled the trigger on returning to the college ranks.

    Read AJC coverage of the Petrino move here.

    Read ESPN coverage of the latest Falcons mess here.

    plez sez: i am shocked that this guy would bail on the team before the end of the season, HELL, there's only 3 weeks left! i'm sure the main allure of this job was the prospect of coaching Vick, but he was also getting PAID to the tune of close to $5 million... i think i could weather a few losing seasons for that amount. plus, NO ONE was blaming the head coach for the woeful situation of the franchise: he had THREE quarterbacks that no other team wanted (harrington, leftwich, and redman), he had a different offensive line every week, the running game is on the decline, there was no Vick, the defense secondary was suspect, he had no rapport with the team veterans, and one could go on-and-on about how badly the falcons need a draft day remedy.

    well, i guess bobby petrino can join the ranks of college coaches who couldn't hack it in the pro's: Steve Spurrier (Redskins), Pete Carrol (Jets & Patriots), Chan Gailey (Cowboys), Lou Holtz (Jets) and, Nick Saban (Dolphins).

    WOW! the repercussions of the michael vick mess will continue to reverberate within the falcons franchise for YEARS to come!

    we got jokes!
    Q: What do you call 53 people sitting around a TV watching the Super Bowl?
    A: The Atlanta Falcons

    Q: How do you keep an Atlanta Falcon out of your yard?
    A: Put up goal posts.

    Q: Where do you go in Atlanta in case of a tornado?
    A: GA Dome -they never have a touchdown there

    Q: What do you call a Atlanta Falcon with a Super Bowl ring?
    A: A thief.

    Q: What's the difference between the Atlanta Falcons & a dollar bill?
    A: You can still get four quarters out of a dollar bill.

    Q: What do the Atlanta Falcons and possums have in common?
    A: Both play dead at home and get killed on the road!

    Q: What do the Atlanta Falcons and Billy Graham have in common?
    A: They both can make 72,000 people stand up and yell "Jesus Christ!"

    "Cherry Chocolate Rain" by Tay Zonday

    After having his viral video cult classic "Chocolate Rain" blowup over the Internet, the New York Times reports that Tay Zonday was given an opportunity to rework the song and post a version that will become an ad for Dr. Pepper's newest flavor "Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr. Pepper."

    Read the New York Times article here.

    plez sez: i posted about the tay zonday "chocolate rain" phenomenon a few months ago. this updated version of the song is kinda catchy. pretty good for a graduate student at the university of minnesota who posted the original song as just something to do.

    i guess you can always tell when you've hit it BIG... Pepsi comes calling (Pepsi bottlers distribute Dr. Pepper), see michael jackson, ray charles, beyonce', britney spears, pink and madonna.

    The Jacksons' Pepsi Commercial

    Ray Charles's Pepsi Commercial

    Pepsi Commercial with Beyonce, Britney Spears, and Pink

    Madonna's Pepsi Commercial

    Monday, December 10, 2007

    Michael Vick Gets 23 Months in the Slammer

    Vick Supporters & Protesters

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that suspended Atlanta Falcons QB Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months by a federal court judge earlier today. The judge cited Vick's unwillingness to accept full responsibility for the illegal dogfighting ring that he funded and ran. He also noted Vick's drug use while he was out on bond awaiting sentencing (he tested positive for marijuana in September shortly after entering a plea agreement).

    In addition to the 23 month prison sentence, Vick also received 3 years probation. He must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence (19-1/2 months), so the earliest he can get out of prison is May 2009.

    After Vick apologized to Hudson, his family and his children, Hudson told him he should also apologize "to the millions of young people who looked up to you."

    Read the entire AJC article here.

    plez sez: without vick, the falcons are a woeful 3-9. and there are no wins for the team in the foreseeable future.

    the atlanta falcons have another monday night football game tonight (against the new orleans saints)... this is the second such game this season. in addition, they played the indianapolis colts on Thanksgiving night. vick was so popular that the nfl wanted him (and the falcons) on prime time television as many times as the super bowl champion colts and new england patriots!
    michael vick was not only the face of the falcons, he was the face of the NFL... the truest competitor in the ultimate competition sport. and apparently that was his undoing!

    instead of owning up to his mistakes and taking responsibility when this THING blew up over the summer, vick held out for that miracle hail mary pass that would bring him another victory. unfortunately, the virginia federal court building is not a football field and vick's lawyers wore no cleats or pads. he entered into a competition where he was not the star and his magical feet were unable to deliver a victory.

    personally, i feel that the punishment (almost two years) is a bit harsh considering the "crime." but then again, lying in federal court ain't no joke! it is very disappointing and disconcerting that my homeboy (i went to high school in neighboring hampton, virginia) would allow himself to get into something like this... and this is something for which he will have to pay the ultimate price: his freedom and his livelihood.

    i hope (and expect) that we'll see #7 sprinting into the end zone once again... in 2010 or 2011! i'm sure he'll be given another chance at the league minimum.

    and i truly hope that others who find themselves in the throes of illegal activities will use this mike vick tragedy as an example of why they should find a way to chart a more positive path for their lives.

    Shame on the Irrelevant - Guest Blog

    I have been corresponding with one of my fraternity brothers who blogs for the The Detroit News ( He recently posted an opinion on Andrew Young's twisted logic for not supporting Barack Obama as the democratic nominee for president. I considered writing something concerning this subject myself, but his thoughts concerning Barack Obama mirror mine, so I present Eric Brown as my guest blogger.

    Shame on the Irrelevant, December 8, 2007

    I am amazed at how so many so-called leaders of blacks try to make and/or keep themselves relevant today. A little over twenty-four hours ago, former mayor and U.S. Ambassador went on record to state his reasons for not supporting Illinois Senator Barack Obama. In what I find to be one of the most ridiculous statements by Mr. Andrew Young, he said that Mr. [Bill] Clinton is every bit as black as Barack Obama (referencing author Toni Morrison's declaration on the former president). He then went on to say that Bill has probably gone out with more black women than Senator Barack [Obama]. Well, based on the logic of Andrew Young, if ignorance is bliss, then I take it that he is a very happy fella.

    The words that came out the mouth of someone that people may still refer to as a leader borders on pathetic. Again, what I see is another black pseudo leader that resentful of the fact that they are not currently in the limelight. I also see a black man that is still beholden to the Clinton's as if masta controls the mental slavery that permeates the thought process of these fallen souls. To have a litmus test referencing and comparing the dating pattern of a former president to someone seeking the office is just downright sad. To suggest that Mr. Obama should wait until the year 2016 to run and that now is not the time is another example of metal slavery controlling the words that somehome makes it way out of the mouth of people these days.

    Mr. Young, you truly embarrassed yourself by referencing the fact that you served as one of the many lieutenants under Martin Luther King, Jr. I say that because if he could see how you and others have failed him in his efforts to make this place called the United States better for all, you are surely one that would have been fired for failing to live up to his goals. Your rationale for not supporting the junior Senator from Illinois sounds like sour grapes to me. You are no better than the men of yesteryear that did whatever they could to keep a person of color from living out his/her dreams. You and those like you sicken me with all of this "we shall overcome" bull(manure), when you do everything possible to keep those that look most like you from overcoming. Jason Whitlock of the Kansas City Star recently wrote about the death of NFL player Sean Taylor and those that caused his demise. He referred to the young men as the "Black KKK". Well sir, you and all of the so-called leaders of the black race that continue to find reasons to discredit Mr. Obama can join that club.

    You want to question the senator on the amount of advisors that are black in his camp compared to that of your masta Clinton's wife. Is it because you and members of your posse were not asked to join up to be a part of "Team Obama" reason enough for you to constanly criticize his presidential run? Or is it that you fail to see that masta's wife knows how to manipulate you to get exactly what she wants from you? You people are too stupid to put aside your pride and embrace the best thing you have going for you with regard to a legitimate black presidential candidate. Mr. Obama is no different than your masta was when he first ran for president. I do not recall any of you back in 1992 questioning the age of Bill Clinton. Yes, he was only forty-six at the time of his first presidential run (same as Mr. Barack is now). Neither do I recall any of you worrying about whether or not the masta's kid would be picked on at twelve years of age by others. Barack and [Michelle] Obama have two beautiful daughters that are six and eight years of age respectively and exactly what are your concerns regarding other kids picking on them? I ask you and others that were so involved with the late Martin Luther King, Jr.; was there ever a discussion with regard to his take on "paralysis of analysis"? Is so, then you are truly an embarrassment as you try to analyze the candidacy of Mr. Obama. However, if there was a conversation and you feel the way that you do about Mr. Obama, it tells me that you were with Dr. King for the ride only. Seems as if you are a lieutenant that should have been left behind.

    I have no idea what it is going to take to get black people to understand that what we have in Barack Obama is something special. I am not saying that each and every one of us have to support his bid to become our next president. What bothers me more is that I constantly hear reasons that are so illegitimate for not supporting him and the alternative of many blacks is Hillary. So I ask, what exactly is it about her that have earned you people her trust and support? Remember, slavery is over and masta no longer has control over you; that is unless you like being controlled. When statements continue to be made by you leaders of the past as it relates to Mr. Obama, you will continue to stay irrelevant.

    On Monday, December 10, 2007, Mr. Brown will be a guest on NPR's "Bloggers' Roundtable" at 1:00 PM EST.

    thanks to Eric Brown for his contribution to plezWorld.

    Watch Andrew Young Being Irrelevant

    Sunday, December 09, 2007

    The Black KKK by Whitlock & McWhorter

    Black Klansman
    The blogosphere is wrought with posts decrying the state of Black America and the latest boil up has been over Jason Whitlock's reference to the Black KKK. plezWorld happened upon a New York Sun article written by John McWhorter which seems to encapsulate many of my thoughts on the matter.

    To put things in the proper context, one should first read what Jason Whitlock wrote about the Black KKK and the death of Washington Redskins player Sean Taylor here.

    Here are a few excerpts from the Whitlock article:
    There's a reason I call them the Black KKK. The pain, the fear and the destruction are all the same. The Black KKK claimed another victim, a high-profile professional football player with a checkered past this time. I could very well be proven wrong for engaging in this sort of aggressive speculation. But it's no different than if you saw a fat man fall to the ground clutching his chest. You'd assume a heart attack, and you'd know, no matter the cause, the man needed to lose weight.

    Well, when shots are fired and a black man hits the pavement, there's every statistical reason to believe another black man pulled the trigger. That's not some negative, unfair stereotype. It's a reality we've been living with, tolerating and rationalizing for far too long.

    When the traditional, white KKK lynched, terrorized and intimidated black folks at a slower rate than its modern-day dark-skinned replacement, at least we had the good sense to be outraged and in no mood to contemplate rationalizations or be fooled by distractions.

    No disrespect to Taylor, but he controlled the way he would be remembered by the way he lived. His immature, undisciplined behavior with his employer, his run-ins with law enforcement, which included allegedly threatening a man with a loaded gun, and the fact a vehicle he owned was once sprayed with bullets are all pertinent details when you've been murdered.

    Rather than whine about white folks' insensitivity or reserve a special place of sorrow for rich athletes, we'd be better served mustering the kind of outrage and courage it took in the 1950s and 1960s to stop the white KKK from hanging black men from trees.

    Our self-hatred has been set to music and reinforced by a pervasive culture that promotes a crab-in-barrel mentality.

    You're damn straight I blame hip hop for playing a role in the genocide of American black men. When your leading causes of death and dysfunction are murder, ignorance and incarceration, there's no reason to give a free pass to a culture that celebrates murder, ignorance and incarceration.

    The "keepin' it real" mantra of hip hop is in direct defiance to evolution. There's always someone ready to tell you you're selling out if you move away from the immature and dangerous activities you used to do, you're selling out if you speak proper English, embrace education, dress like a grown man, do anything mainstream.

    The Black KKK is enforcing the same crippling standards as its parent organization. It wants to keep black men in their place — uneducated, outside the mainstream and six feet deep.

    [T]he Black Klan and its mentality buried Sean Taylor, and any black man or boy reading this could be next.

    This is a rarity, but I would like to share with you McWhorter's response to the Whitlock article, in its entirety:
    [Jason Whitlock is] a black sports columnist at, and he is disgusted with much of the black punditocracy's response to the murder of Redskins football player Sean Taylor. Some are claiming that he was a target because he was an athlete. Others insist that it is wrong and even racist to bring up that Taylor had spent a lot of time on the wrong side of the law.

    But the tacit assumption would appear to be that the staggeringly high murder rate among young black men these days is just the way it is. Mr. Whitlock calls these murder[er]s the Black KKK.

    Oh sure, if it's brought up people shake their heads. And certainly there are "Stop the Violence" forums and such.

    But very few are as truly, lastingly aroused by issues such as these, which involve the black community looking inward, as they are by nooses hung from a tree, someone saying a bad word, or the latest study showing that racism still persists in one way or another in "institutional" guise. No one takes to the streets about the Black KKK, and academics find it much less interesting than, say, a study that some employers reject job applications with black-sounding names.

    Friedrich von Hayek once noted, "It seems to be almost a law of human nature that it is easier for people to agree on a negative program — on the hatred of an enemy, on the envy of those better off — than on any positive task." That's Black America's problem right now.

    Mr. Whitlock seeks "the outrage and courage it took in the 1950s and 1960s to stop the white KKK from hanging black men from trees." Instead, "we take great joy in prescribing medicine to cure the hate in other people's hearts. Meanwhile, our self-hatred, on full display for the world to see, remains untreated, undiagnosed and unrepentant."

    The question Mr. Whitlock leaves, however, is precisely what we are to do about our internal cultural problems. Everybody knows how to protest. And sometimes a protest is necessary. But obviously, protest alone isn't working. How do you actually build something?

    For one thing, get a copy of Bill Cosby and Alvin Poussaint's new book, "Come On People" and read it cover to cover, because it is all about precisely what needs to be done and how to do it. If Mr. Whitlock has written the best race column of the year, Messrs. Cosby and Poussaint have written the best book.

    All black people should read it. The audiobook should be played in barbershops. Maybe somebody needs to set it to some "phat" beats so people can dance to it.

    Read of how Joyce Riley's 24th Street Non-Violent Marchers actually got the thugs out of her Kansas City neighborhood. Read about how to get a degree and a job even if you're not on your way to college — step by step. And to top it all off, "Come On People" is a great read.

    No, Tavis Smiley's book "The Covenant with Black America" from last year was not the same thing. Reading it you'd barely know the Black KKK existed, and the theme is reform of the system, when the solutions that help people almost always involve working within it. Or, instead of waiting for that great day when all inner city kids are taught by awesome teachers in glimmering buildings, focus on something that can happen in the real world. Become active on your local school board, and simply insist that students are taught to read with phonics-based programs. It's how poor kids learn to read, period. So much starts from there.

    Another one: If you're going to vote for a Democratic presidential candidate, vote for the one most interested in things that will help black people to help themselves.

    Upon which, note that this person is not Hillary Clinton. The fact that it is even possible that the black electorate will elevate Mrs. Clinton over Barack Obama because of her mere familiarity, or residual affection for her "black president" husband, is frankly a little embarrassing.

    Those who say they don't "know" Mr. Obama need to get to know him, now. And if Mr. Obama is "not black enough," I would think that his commitment to reconnecting ex-con dads with their kids, not to mention his days doing community work, would qualify him as, at least, brown.

    Mr. Whitlock's point about self-hatred is also key. Currently, in large swathes of the black community, an able-bodied young man who doesn't hold down a 40-hour-a-week job is considered normal even when he has kids. We must get to the point that men like that are considered as socially unacceptable as they are in a Scarsdale[, NY] living room — as they were even in black slums until the 1970s.

    I vary from day to day as to how likely I see it that one day black America will be as committed to helping itself as, say, Israel's first residents were to reviving Hebrew. There is no telling how far we could go if only most of us found reading instruction programs as interesting as nooses.

    John McWhorter is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

    Read the McWhorter opinion article here.

    plez sez: mcwhorter really packs a punch... he is quite the wordsmith and has an excellent economy of words. i loved his article.

    there were a few points that jumped out at me while re-reading his article for this post:
    1. you will find a glowing recommendation to read "Come On People" by Cosby & Poussaint.
      plezWorld has been reviewing this book (here, here, and here,) for the past two weeks and echoes mcwhorter's suggestion. if only the people who need to read it (i.e. those Black Klansmen) would read it! and i would love it if i went into my barbershop one morning and they were playing the audiobook version of the book.

    2. we are spending too much time and energy trying to cure the hate in other people's hearts.
      michael roberts used the n-word, imus called the rutgers basketball team a group of nappy-headed-hos and then got his job back 8 months later, some slack jawed hicks hung a noose in someone's cubicle at work, blah!, blah!, blah!!! get over it, people! we have mountains of issues in the Black community (education crisis, family crisis, disease crisis, employment crisis, etc.) that should preclude us spending time chasing after a mole hill of white folk begging for acts of contrition.

      where is the contrition from the Black people who are murdering other Black people in Philadelphia, Detroit, Newark, and Atlanta? where is the contrition from the gangsta rappers who perpetrate their filthy language, misogynistic lyrics, and self-hating ways in their music[sic]? where is the contrition from those Black teachers who continually miseducate and under educate our Black children? and where is the contrition from the Black communities who let the Black KKK wreak havoc on our communities while throwing mere pebbles at a whiff of injustice by others?

      EXHIBIT 1: three Black guys invade a white guy's house planning to steal drugs and money. they beat the white guy's stepson to a bloody pulp. when they attempt to escape, all three are shot in the back by the white guy, killing two of them. the survivor is charged with the murder of his two partners in crime. now the NAACP is protesting the murder charge saying that it is racist... WTF?!?

    3. stop sucking up to hillary clinton, because bill clinton was not a "black president!"
      "earth to those mindless Black democratic voters who think that january 20, 2009 will usher in a new age of enlightenment as long as hillary clinton is taking the oath of office"... it ain't gonna happen! as a matter of fact, her poll-watching ass may decide that it's time to end the affirmative action tit that so many of you like to suckle up to for comfort. she may not be the awe-shucks saxophone playin' "black person" that so many of you still think her husband to be. she may decide that we ought to stay in Iraq a little bit longer, she may decide that an invasion of Iran is in order, she may decide to extend those no-bid contractors that don't need any minority representation, she may lose that "ole time religion" and that "fake ass southern accent" that she dons everytime she speaks (down) to you!

      there's only one BLACK man who could possibly be heading to the white house, and his name ain't bill!

    Saturday, December 08, 2007

    Come On People - Cosby & Poussaint - Review 4

    I have taken on the task of writing a review for the book. In this and subsequent posts, I will review one chapter in the book. The fourth chapter is titled: Teach Your Children Well

    The good part about this book is that it lays down suggestions and fixes for the ills of our society in an easy-to-read and straightforward manner. The reviewer has an issue as to HOW this plan can be enacted in a disinterested populous; the very people who should be reading this and working to affect change in the Black community would no more read this book than attend a KKK rally! The poor people who are the beneficiaries of our broken public school system have few means to correct its woes: underfunding, poorly trained teachers, poor facilities, etc.

    The authors spend a fair amount of time decrying the use of Black English (or Ebonics). I agree that the predominant use of Ebonics is not a good thing and Standard English should be encouraged and spoken around Black children. But a linguist like John H. McWhorter, Ph. D. will tell you that Ebonics was not born of ignorance, but is just a variation of Standard English that was created by victims of the Black Diaspora who were brought to this country against their will. Standard English is the language that is used by and large globally and Ebonics is a pidgin-creole language.

    The section that resonated the most with me was titled "Respect Our Elders." The wisdom of our people resides in the minds of our elders, they endured the barbs and disgrace of segregation and hostility of racism, they can surely provide the wisdom as to how we can overcome the overwhelming odds that threaten our youngsters. We, as a people, have become a rudderless race, a group charting a course for disaster without a moral compass or the values that kept us doing right when others were doing us wrong. If we learn to respect our elders we will stop tearing up and destroying what they worked so hard to build (for us).

    ~ End of Review ~

    Here is a link to a downloadable PDF of excerpts from this chapter:
    Teach Your Children Well (pages 124 - 132)

    plezWorld encourages you to visit where you can purchase copies of the book and you will find a forum called "The Cos," that is designed for community members to discuss issues beyond those addressed in the book, as well as a place for people to come together and offer solutions.

    Friday, December 07, 2007

    Georgia Tech & Paul Johnson Agree on Contract

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Paul Johnson has agreed to a contract to coach the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The story does not have contract terms, but local sports radio (790 AM - The Zone) reports that the terms of the contract are for 6 years and $14 million!

    Johnson is currently the head coach at Navy, where he took a 2-10 team after his first season to winning 43 games over the next 5 seasons. He was also the head coach at Georgia Southern University where he was 62-10 and won TWO Div 1-AA national championships.

    Read the entire AJC article here.

    plez sez: way to go TECH! i like this move, spend the money, bring in top notch talent, and work on beating the Bulldogs and winning the ACC on an annual basis!

    paul johnson is obviously a very good coach (look at his track record) and has a good reputation for being a good recruiter, as well. something this is necessary to compete with UGA in Georgia and has the ability to recruit nationally for talent (Tech's academic rigor requires a much wider net that just the state).

    well, it's time to celebrate, the only way i know how... with the rambln' wreck song:


    Two Atlanta Preachers Snub Senate Probe

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that metro Atlanta-based mega churches of Rev. Creflo Dollar, of World Changers Church in College Park and Bishop Eddie Long, of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, have denied Sen. Charles Grassley's (R-Iowa) request for documents sought in a probe of nonprofits. A total of six mega churches, most of whom preach a version of Prosperity Gospel, were included in the probe.

    The AJC quotes the church's reply to the senator's request:
  • The attorney for Dollar sent a letter that read in part, "...'Prosperity Gospel,' a deeply held religious belief that God's devout followers and earthly leaders will prosper and be successful in all they do, including in financial matters, as the outward expression of his favor."

    ... we believe that the religious doctrine and practices of a church should not be held out for the world to evaluate as a result of responding to Congressional inquiries."

  • The attorney for Long sent a letter that read in part, "[it] clearly disregards the privacy protections of the Church under law and appears to cross the line of Constitutional guarantees for churches."

  • Of the six requests, only Rev. Joyce Meyer, of Missouri, has complied with her church's financial records. In a written statement, Meyers says, "... this latest opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to transparency with our supporters and our dedication to the continual improvement of our own systems of accountability."

    Read the entire AJC article here.

    plez sez: let me state for the record, i wholeheartedly support the separation of church and state.

    with that said, i find it unfathomable how one can ask for tax exempt or tax free status from the government, yet thwart the government to examine one's fitness for that status! it is obvious to me that these "prosperity preachers" are in IT for the money and cannot stand the glaring light of scrutiny into their ministries. i've visited one of the Atlanta-based mega churches and the ministry there is nothing like the religion i was raised with as a child... it is more commercial, more sanitized, more packaged... and frankly, far less inspirational. there is a profound emphasis on money and contributing money and counting your blessings of money and grandstanding about - you got it - money.

    both churches do wonderful work in their respective communities, but i am concerned with the armored-car amounts of money that these preachers generate AND how this money is used to provide them with lavish lifestyles (large homes, expensive cars, jets, helicopters, and all the trappings of success). and if they happen to accidentally blurt out the name, Jesus... oh, never mind!

    i do not work for the IRS, but i would think that if these "ministries" would like to maintain their tax exempt status, that they would have to submit financial records that support that status. and as Rev. Meyer wrote, shouldn't these churches want to be transparent with their constituents and the federal government which provides this tax exempt status? their fierce money grab and the attempt at obfuscation around the need to submit financial records makes me wonder if those "love offerings" and massive salaries are justified by our current tax code.

    and since GOD made it possible for them to reap such huge rewards from their people, i'm sure this same GOD will watch over them during this government probe: if they have nothing to hide, i feel they should turn over their financial records.

    Thursday, December 06, 2007

    WTF - Bush Offers Token Subprime Mortgage Relief

    Bush plans to announce a plan the would freeze interest rates for up to five years for a portion of the two million homeowners who bought houses in the last few years with subprime loans. The plan will allow borrowers to keep the low introductory rates and escape an increase of 30 percent or more in their monthly payments when the rates expire.

    The New York Times reports the provisions of the plan:
  • The homeowner must be current on their payments.

  • The plan excludes any borrower whose introductory rate expires before January 1, 2008.

  • The plan excludes borrowers whom the mortgage companies conclude are making enough money to afford the higher monthly payments.

  • It is estimated that roughly 12 percent of all subprime borrowers will get relief with the Bush plan.

    Read the entire New York Times article here.

    plez sez: WTF?!?

    ok... we (the u.s.) have been mired in the after effects of this "mortgage price gouging" scheme for alittle over a year now, and this is the best that george "lining the pockets of his friends" bush can come up with?!? people are being put out of their homes, entire neighborhoods (mainly in minority areas where this scheme was perpetrated) are boarded up eye sores, and the economy is on the brink of a recession; and this is the best they could come up with?

    i live in an area that is predominantly Black and the surrounding neighborhoods are in trouble. especially, for homes that cost more than $300,000, it is becoming increasingly difficult to resell homes and new developments are sitting idle because of this mortgage mess. this has been going on for more than a year, but leave it to bush to provide token assistance for those homeowners who were FLEECED by the mortgage companies as they used loan shark tactics to sell their tainted products. i have former neighbors who were taken in by the bait-and-switch, start-'em-low mortgages that balloon into a behemoth payment that the borrower would never be able to afford... and the bad part is that many borrowers didn't know about the increases until the mortgage coupon appeared in their mailbox.

    if you take a look at the bush plan, you will see that we can spend BILLIONS of dollars attacking foreign countries, but will barely lift a finger to defend AMERICANS from predatory lenders:
    1. The homeowner must be current on their payments.
      this plan will only help those whose payments have not ballooned, the New York Times states: "it is estimated that 22 percent of all subprime borrowers are behind in their payments." this plan is not going to help over a fifth of all of the people who have these mortgages AND it does not even touch the ones whose homes are already in foreclosure or have been sold on the courthouse steps. why not freeze ALL subprime loans or provide a mechanism to pull their rates in line with a traditional mortgage (around 6 percent)?

    2. The plan excludes any borrower whose introductory rate expires before January 1, 2008.
      correct me if i'm wrong, but hasn't this "problem" been around for over a year (by some estimates, it has been over two years)? it is estimated that $57 billion in subprime loans are scheduled to be reset at higher rates before the end of 2007. this provision of the plan just goes to exclude more homeowners and does nothing for those who are on the brink of foreclosure. since the mortgage companies are dealing with federally insured funds, why not require that the mortgage companies refinance all subprime loans to traditional loans, as a punishment for this predatory practice?

    3. The plan excludes borrowers whom the mortgage companies conclude are making enough money to afford the higher monthly payments.
      this mortgage mess has depressed home values all over the country, thus stripping away the investment value of home ownership... ALL subprime loans should be refinanced to a traditional loan.

    in typical bush fashion, he rides in on his white horse to save the damsel in distress: unfortunately he shows up late and goes to the wrong address!

    bush's plan was created in concert with the mortgage lenders and wall street firms in an effort to minimize the affect on their business, but does little to help the people who are struggling under the burden of the mortgage companies' predatory lending habits of the past 3 years.

    WTF were they thinking?!?

    In Rotation - The Return (Part X)

    "If you hear any noise, it's just me and the boys... gettin' it!"
    - from "Mothership Connection (Star Child)" by Parliament

    It seems like FOREVER since I've posted In Rotation... so I'm just feeling the mellow sounds of the ladies tonight. Sitting here at my desk and letting my iPod take me away... so far away that I'm having an out-of-plezWorld experience... check it out!

    1. "5 Miles to Empty" from the Still Climbing LP by Brownstone

      I could only find "Grapevine" by Brownstone... but you can still feel it, can't you?!?

    2. "Put Your Records On" from the self titled LP by Corinne Bailey Rae

      I love this song... and not only because she shares the same first name as my wife! *smile*

    3. "Hero" from the Music Box LP by Mariah Carey

    4. "Sittin' Up In My Room" from the Waiting to Exhale LP by Brandy

      From the Babyface produced LP from the movie "Waiting to Exhale".

    5. "Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)" from the Rainbow LP by Mariah Carey

      Mariah tears into this Phil Collins standard.

    6. "Unbreakable" from the Unplugged LP by Alicia Keys

      I love this girl... she can play on my piano ANYTIME!

    7. "Dream Lover" from the Music Box LP by Mariah Carey

      A nice little groove from Mariah Carey, back from when she could hit those ultra-high notes.

    8. "Nothing Even Matters" from the The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill LP by Lauryn Hill

      Lauryn and D'Angelo chop it up... there are no weak cuts on this album.

    9. "Irreplaceable" from the B'day LP by Beyonce'

      I hope you enjoy the Reggae influenced remix of Beyonce's hit!

    10. "Tell Him" from the The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill LP by Lauryn Hill

      Now this is a love song... I love the background harmony.

    11. "Shut Up and Drive" from the Good Girl Gone Bad LP by Rihanna

      It has a NASTY rock-tinged opening riff... this song makes me wanna just shut up and drive (real fast)!

    12. "Ex Factor" from the The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill LP by Lauryn Hill

      Damn... I can feel the pain in this song! If you've ever been in love before, then you've been through this before.

    13. "How Come You Don't Call Me" from the Songs in A Minor LP by Alicia Keys

      Finally an artist that can do a Prince song some justice!

    14. "Umbrella" from the Good Girl Gone Bad LP by Rihanna featuring Jay-Z

      Quite polished for a first song... and getting help from Hova can't hurt!

    embedded audio for select songs courtesy of