Monday, March 31, 2008

Cherry Blossom Spring

Photo courtesy of my Treo 680

Even though it was a bit chilly and overcast today, nothing can diminish the splendor of my cherry blossom trees in full bloom. Despite the weather forecast of overcast skies and temps in the 40's, spring is in full bloom in Atlanta.

To celebrate, plezWorld will extend the weekend for an extra day in Georgia, basking in the springtime before returning to Milwaukee's remnants of winter.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Quote of the Day - March 30, 2008

"There is no way that Senator Clinton is going to win enough delegates to get the nomination — she ought to withdraw and she ought to be backing Senator Obama."
- Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont on the reason he is backing Senator Barack Obama for President.

Read the entire New York Times article here.

plez sez: i'm sure the Democratic Party would like to see this nomination process play out, but isn't this race (as far as delegates) over? at this point, it'll be up to the superdelegates to pick the winner... howard dean should call on the superdelegates to pick a winner in the coming weeks, so the eventual nominee can stop getting bludgeoned by a fellow party member and start attacking the republicans.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Shame Revisited - The Dunbar Village Rape

Several months ago, plezWorld joined Blogging for Justice to cast light on two horrific cases of sexual abuse directed at Black woman. It appears that the media cannot sate itself when telling the story of a blonde-haired blue-eyed victim, but seems to rarely illuminate cases that involve our Black women. We still get updates on that crazy Peterson dude whose wife went missing around Christmas, we still hear about the circus surrounding the disappearance of the high school girl who disappeared without a trace in Aruba (I think), but we hear precious little about poor Megan Williams in West Virginia or have heard even less about the Black mother and son who were sexually abused by crazed teenagers in West Palm Beach, Florida.

It was recently brought to my attention that the Dunbar Village incident (in Florida) did receive some media attention, but it was for all the wrong reasons. To recap the story from the August 22, 2007 Sun Times article:
The victim returned home from her job delivering phone books about 9 p.m. the night of the attack, according to her statement to police. While fixing her son something to eat, a young male with braids knocked on her door to tell her the tires on her truck were flat. Once outside, she said, she saw a male with a large gun and two others armed with guns. They wore black clothing over their faces, she said, and ordered her back into the apartment, where they demanded money.

After being told there was no money, the attackers tore off the woman's clothes and raped her until five others arrived, according to the documents. The new arrivals took turns having sex with her and then sodomized her. The mother was then ordered into a tub filled with vinegar and water where they used hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, nail polish remover and ammonia on her. At gunpoint, the assailants forced the mother and son to have sex.

Throughout the attack, the victims suffered beatings, including having a bowl and light bulbs smashed over their heads. The encounter was recorded on a cell phone camera, according to the mother.

Before leaving, the males looked for a lighter to set the two on fire but couldn't find one, she told police. They ordered the pair to stay in the tub and took off. About 30 minutes later one of the males returned to sexually assault the mother one last time. Before leaving, he scribbled a man's name and 6-CO, the name of a local gang, on a piece of paper and told the woman he hangs out on Sixth Street and that's where he could be found. He grabbed a Sony PlayStation 2 before fleeing the scene.

Police believe at up to ten teens/men were involved, but only four were ever charged.

Read the entire Sun Times article here.

The blog, The Point, has taken the initiative along with the blog, What About Our Daughters, in shedding light on this travesty. And this is where the story takes an ugly turn. The NAACP was contacted by the author of the blog, What About Our Daughters; an NAACP spokesperson responded that they would not be getting involved in the case because “it was outside their mission”! Al Sharpton's National Action Network never responded to any calls from the author of the blog... and then the other shoe dropped. Sharpton helped organize a town hall meeting for the Dunbar Village victim that was scheduled for February 10, 2008... and then he backed out ONE DAY before the event without explanation. On Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - only four weeks after the planned demonstration in support of the victim - Al Sharpton and the West Palm Beach NAACP held a press conference accusing the prosecutor of treating those arrested in this case unfairly. They demanded that the prosecutor offer bail to the youths arrested in this case and not try them as adults, because this was being done by the prosecutor in another gang rape case involving white perpetrators in a different Florida jurisdiction. The NAACP has apparently event sent attorneys to aid those arrested in their defense, this in spite of the heinous nature of the crime, air tight DNA evidence and confessions.

Nothing has been done by the NAACP or Al Sharpton's group to aid the victim and her son!

It makes one wonder what is going on in our society when so little value is placed on the lives of our Black women. If the victims had been white, there is no doubt that this story would've been at the top of Nancy Grace's show for weeks on end, the gang rape and violation of a Black woman gets nary a mention!

If you can find it in your heart to feel a shred of compassion for this family's misery, you are encouraged to make a $5, $10, $50, or $100 contribution to the victim fund to help the Dunbar Village victim and her son rebuild their shattered lives. Checks can be made payable to the Dunbar Village Victim Assistance Fund-St. Ann. You can drop your contribution off at any Wachovia Bank branch or mail them to: St. Ann Catholic Church, 310 N. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach, FL 33401. The church’s phone number is (561) 832-3757.

The NAACP and Al Sharpton must be brought to task for continuing the victimization of this victim while trying to aid and abet the worst elements of our society. We must let them know that they will no longer be welcome to speak on behalf of Black people if they cannot represent the best interests of Black people... and defending a group of degenerate thugs is not in the best interest of anyone!

  • Cancel your membership with the NAACP.
  • Contact your local NAACP Chapter and express your outrage at the behavior of the West Palm Beach Chapter.
  • Contact the National NAACP to express your outrage (Julian Bond–Chairman, NAACP National Headquarters, 4805 Mt. Hope Drive, Baltimore MD 21215 Phone: 410-580-5777)
  • Contact the West Palm Beach NAACP to express your outrage.
  • Contact Al Sharpton's Group to express your outrage (National Action Network, Rev. Al Sharpton, 106 W. 145th Street, Harlem, New York 10039 Phone: 212-690-3070 )

    I thank Aaron over at A Political Season for bringing this issue to my attention.

    [Hat Tip: The Point]
    [Hat Tip: What About Our Daughters]
    [Hat Tip: Black Women Vote!]
    [Hat Tip: A Political Season]

    plez sez: al sharpton is a blight on the Black community! he is that cancer that only destroys good cells. the sooner he is repudiated and discredited and muzzled... the better!

    naacp is a mere shadow of its former self. the national association for the advancement of colored people is advancing the cause of thugs and masked goons... give me a break! the sooner that this group is disbanded... the better! i wish i could name ONE GOOD THING that the naacp has done in the past five years! the past ten years! i don't have a membership to cancel, i joined my college chapter when i was a freshman... i saw no need to renew it as a sophomore.

    these groups (like al sharpton and the naacp) have a tendency to seek out the lowest and most base... and then call it justice. those four bastards should rot in jail for the misery they brought on this innocent family. the physical pain notwithstanding, consider for a moment the psychological scars that this mother and her son must carry for the remainder of their lives. when that pain is placed in the balance, it makes the actions of al sharpton and the naacp all the more egregious.
  • Thursday, March 27, 2008

    What Would plezWorld Do?!?

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that The National Accreditation Commission has voted to revoke Clayton County, Georgia public school district's accreditation unless it meets nine conditions by Sept. 1. If the credentials of the Clayton County schools are yanked, next year's graduates will not be eligible for the HOPE Scholarship (free tuition to Georgia state colleges and universities) and could find it hard to be admitted to many of the nation's colleges and universities. Hundreds of parents are wondering if they should move to another county or wait to see if the (inept?) school board can "right the ship" and prevent the accreditation loss.

    Last week, the Georgia High School Association weighed in by voting to extend hardship status to Clayton County student-athletes who transfer to other schools — making them eligible to compete immediately without moving — if their district loses its accreditation. But if the school district meets the nine mandates by September 1st and keeps its accreditation, students who have transferred will not be eligible to compete without moving into the new school district.

    Clayton County is the adjacent county that is just southeast of Fulton County and the city of Atlanta.

    Read the entire AJC article here.

    plez sez: what would plezWorld do?!?

    if you've read even a few of my posts, you know what i would've already done!

    first, i would've never moved to clayton county in the first place, their school system has been a HOT MESS for over 5 years (they almost lost their accreditation a few years back) and their school board is comprised of a bunch of boobs (and that's a very nice way of saying it).

    with that said, if i were a resident of clayton county, my house would be for sale and i would quickly settle in one of the more upwardly mobile surrounding counties (it is time to cut & run): fayette, fulton, dekalb, henry, or cobb. after i have established my residence there, i would go back and burn that house in clayton county to the ground - yes, torch the joint - and mail the keys to the mortgage banker, because NO ONE in their right mind wants to move to clayton county. and if they do, they aren't going to pay you what the damn thing is worth!

    you may note that the ajc article about the accreditation loss was in the SPORTS section of the paper! gives you a good idea where their priorities lie.

    i must also put a small disclaimer here: i have a six-year old daughter who attends a private school and she will more than likely continue private school education until graduation; plezWife & plezWorld made the conscious decision not to risk our only child's education with the boobs who run the dekalb county schools... i don't wish the loss of accreditation on anyone, but...!

    now back to our regularly scheduled programming: i feel sorry for the kids who attend these poorly run schools... and a school has to be pretty damn sorry to risk the loss of accreditation in the state of georgia, i don't believe it has ever happened in a state that consistently ranks in the bottom two nationally! the clayton county school board which oversaw the near destruction of these children's future should be brought up on charges (negligence, malfeasance, wasting taxpayer's money, SOMETHING, ANYTHING), and then lynched hung, drawn, and quartered! white flight has left clayton county to its devices, being run by a ragtag group of ignorant Black folk who are slowly being overrun by an influx of Latino immigrants. believe me when i tell you, this does not look good!

    this is another case of white flight bleeding an area of its financial resources, leaving behind a people who are ill-equipped to manage their own lives, much less those of thousands of children. this continues to be a sad day for the children of clayton county.

    ...what would you do?!?

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    XM Merger With Sirius Close

    The New York Times reports that on Monday the Justice Department gave approval to the merger of two rival satellite radio networks, XM and Sirius. These are currently the only two satellite radio providers with a combined subscription of 17 million.

    The proposed merger was announced over a year ago has not been approved by the FCC. There is opposition from consumer groups and broadcasters who say that this will create a monopoly and force a reduction in programming available from the two systems. The Justice Department says that the merger will not cause prices to rise because satellite radio does compete with other program sources, like high-definition radio, iPods, and other MP3 players.

    with about 9 million subscribers - currently has programming by Oprah Winfrey, Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg, and offers play-by-play from Major League Baseball games.

    with about 8.3 million subscribers - has programming by Howard Stern, Martha Stewart and National Public Radio, and broadcasts live play-by-play games of the N.F.L. and N.B.A., as well as live Nascar races. Both stations have been operating in the red since they started, they claim that they need the merger to remain a viable programming choice.

    Read the entire New York Times article here.

    plez sez: i received a Sirius receiver for my car about 4 years ago as a father's day gift... and it remains one of my favorite gifts beside the 80G iPod i received for christmas a few years back! the merger came as good news to me, because i happen to know that neither of these companies are turning a profit and they need to merge to survive.

    ...and without Sirius, i'll loose my daily fix of - shhhhh, don't tell anyone! - Howard Stern!

    with satellite radio, you can choose the type of music you want to listen to - my favorites are old soul, r&b hits, the strobe (disco), classical music, raw dog comedy, and howard stern - with few or no commercial breaks. you can literally set your radio to a station and have hours of uninterrupted programming! satellite radio goes in the "best thing since sliced bread" department along with the Nintendo Wii and Apple iPod!

    Monday, March 24, 2008

    5 Years - 4,000 Dead

    CNN reports that four U.S. soldiers died last night in a roadside bombing in Iraq. That brings the American toll in the 5-year-old war to 4,000 deaths. This number does not count the tens of thousands who have been maimed and seriously injured in combat. It does not count the tens of thousands who will suffer from their injuries for the rest of their lives.

    Read the entire CNN article here.

    plez sez: five years after invading a sovereign country that posed no threat to the united states, we have now lost more americans in battle than were lost in the september 11th attack (which incidently involved no iraqis terrorists). this is now the third longest war in the history of the united states behind the revolutionary war and the vietnam war. it is now known that cause for the war - weapons of mass destruction - do not exist, and never existed. it is now known that the bush administration knew that they would never find WMD.

    al-qaeda took responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. when the war started, al-qaeda was operating in afghanistan and pakistan, yet we invaded iraq.

    bill clinton was impeached for lying to congress about an illicit sexual encounter with a white house groupie. george w. bush has not even been investigated for lying to congress about the reasons why the united states invaded iraq... something is wrong with this picture.

    Sunday, March 23, 2008

    Retreat Remnants - Spring 2008

    Twenty-four hours later, there are seven more.

    Friday, March 21, 2008

    What is Sin?

    With the dawn will come Good Friday, to some, the beginning of the most sacred three days in Christianity. Actually, the whole notion of Christianity hinges on Easter and the notion that Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected on the third day to sit at the right hand of God.

    But if the notion of sin no longer exists, will that portend the end of religion, as we know it? Between Two Worlds poses a similar question, "[A]s Easter approaches, some pastors and theologians worry: How can Christians celebrate Jesus' atonement for their sins and the promise of eternal life in his resurrection if they don't recognize themselves as sinners?"

    Friday's edition of USA Today had an article that asked this question: is the "notion of sin" lost? plezWorld ain't at church every Sunday, but I have spent a great of time in church and was raised "knowing" that Jesus was nailed to the cross for me and my sinful ways. But now that I think about it... when is the last time that I considered a thought or action of mine to be a sin?

    I'm still thinking...

    And when you think about all the bad things that people do to each other with impunity and with the seeming loss of morality in this world, one has to wonder whatever happened to that little governor within us that said "thou shall not sin"? What about the Seven Deadly Sins: greed, lust, gluttony, and the rest of them? Is greed still a sin?

    The USA Today article continues:
    Take it from Pope Benedict XVI. He says the modern world "is losing the notion of sin." And not just personal sins such as greed, lust or the rest of the infamous Seven Deadlies, but social sins, too, such as polluting the planet or allowing injustice to flourish.

    Pope Benedict, in his prayers last week, said, "People who trust in themselves and in their own merits are, as it were, blinded by their own 'I,' and their hearts harden in sin. On the other hand, those who recognize themselves as weak and sinful entrust themselves to God, and from him obtain grace and forgiveness."

    Since the old sins aren't quite as deadly anymore... are there some new sins that we need to be concerned about? The article answers that question, too... Ellison Research conducted a poll in August 2007 and released the following results for the percentage of Americans who felt an action or thought was a sin:
  • Adultery: 81%
  • Racism: 74%
  • Using "hard" drugs, such as cocaine, LSD: 65%
  • Not saying anything if a cashier gives you too much change: 63%
  • Having an abortion: 56%
  • Homosexual activity or sex: 52%
  • Not reporting some income on your tax returns: 52%
  • Reading or watching pornography: 50%
  • Gossip: 47%
  • Swearing: 46%
  • Sex before marriage: 45%
  • Homosexual thoughts: 44%
  • Sexual thoughts about someone you are not married to: 43%
  • Doing things as a consumer that harm the environment: 41%
  • Smoking marijuana: 41%
  • Getting drunk: 41%
  • Gambling: 30%
  • Not attending church or religious services regularly: 18%
  • Drinking any alcohol: 14%
  • Read the entire USA Today article here.

    plez sez: based on this updated list... from top to bottom, i'm a sinner! there's a lot more stuff that i've done on the list, than stuff i haven't done on the list (and i can't have an abortion!)... i would suggest that you not stand too close to me if you don't want to get struck by lightning! *smile*

    just curious... do you believe in sin? do you believe in hell? how many sins on the list above have you committed?

    plezWorld loves art, especially old oil paintings, so i was intrigued by the imagery that was invoked by the picture that was chosen for this post.
    picture description(from the Britain Tate exhibit): Satan, Sin, and Death from Milton's "Paradise Lost" by William Hogarth circa 1735-40 - Sin intervenes between the armed figures of Satan and Death as they prepare to fight at the gates of Hell. She is shown at the point of revealing to Satan that she is both his daughter and a former lover, and that the skeletal figure of Death is the offspring of their incestuous relationship.

    [Sin] is pictured as if trapped and imprisoned by the many-headed tentacles that wrap themselves around her torso and writhe from her waist; furthermore, her expression and her gestures are tender and imploring, rather than malicious or manipulative. [Hogarth fuses] a feminised iconography of sentiment with a sublime and grotesque imagery of hell-fire, violence and monstrous masculinity.

    Thursday, March 20, 2008

    SugarPlum's Playdate

    In the mid-1950's, Dr. Seuss was working his magic as a producer of children's books. As I grew up in the 1960's, I read most of them (How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Green Eggs & Ham, The Cat in the Hat, Hop on Pop, etc.). I outgrew Dr. Seuss before I could get around to reading Horton Hears A Who!

    Well, I can now add this book to my booklist since I had occasion to check out the movie version on Saturday night when I took the SugarPlum and one of her girlfriends out on a playdate, so their mothers could have a Mom's Night Out.

    So while they gorged on nachos, popcorn, Twizzlers, and Coca-Cola's, I sat intently and took in the magic that was Horton. The movie has a pretty simple premise: Horton comes across a speck which houses Whoville, but no one believes him. It was a pretty cool concept where the largest animal in the jungle has to protect the smallest speck. The moral of the story: a person is a person, no matter how small.

    Surprise. Surprise. It works... probably the best children's movie that I've seen since Shrek 2! Excellent, well made flick with a cool message. Unfortunately, the SugarPlum and her friend were more enamored with their brush with celebrity since we went to the same movie theater that hosted the premier of Tyler Perry's latest flick (Meet the Browns): "We met Tyler Perry! We met Tyler Perry! We met Tyler Perry!" I guess all the kids in her class will know more about the us not being on the guest list to meet Tyler Perry than about Horton and Mayor of Whoville.

    After the movie, we traipsed over to Johnny Rockets for some burgers and milkshakes. We rode home with the two of them singing along with the "High School Musical 2" soundtrack. We made it home a scant two hours before their mothers rolled in.

    Incidently, Horton Hears a Who was the top grossing movie of the weekend with $45 million in receipts!

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    Barack Obama: "A More Perfect Union"

    March 18, 2008. Barack Obama speaks in Philadelphia, PA at Constitution Center, on matters not just of race and recent remarks about his association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, but of the fundamental path by which America can work together to pursue a better future.

    plez sez: finally!

    i know that he could never win the democratic nomination by running as the "black candidate," so he had to run as just another us senator, but the undertones of his blackness have followed Obama nonetheless.

    i love the fact that it is BARACK OBAMA who has taken the lead on discussing the "racial divide" in america... and what can be done to heal this thing that divides this nation along racial lines. i appreciate the fact that he is no longer running from being Black and in this speech has turned to face the ugliness that is racism in america.

    thank you, BARACK OBAMA ... i pray that this country exhibits the wisdom to make this man our next PRESIDENT!

    Tuesday, March 18, 2008

    A Quarter of Teenage Girls Have an STD

    The first national study of four common sexually transmitted diseases (STD) among girls and young women has found that one in four are infected with at least one of the diseases. The New York Times goes on to state that the number is closer to 50 percent of Black girls aged 14 to 19 years who have at least one of the diseases monitored in the study - human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia, genital herpes, and trichomoniasis, a common parasite.

    The two most common STDs among all study participants were HPV and chlamydia. Most of the girls would show very few symptoms of any of the diseases which increases the likelihood of continued transmission.

    There are treatments for all of the diseases and the disease agency recommends the HPV vaccination for all women ages 11 to 26. The use of latex condoms is highly effective at preventing infection by chlamydia, trichomoniasis, HIV, gonorrhea, and hepatitis B. Condoms are less effective against genital herpes, syphilis, and HPV.

    Read the entire New York Times article here.

    plez sez: this was a very disturbing article in light of the fact that i have a young daughter. it appears that our society has become more permissive of the sexualization of our children at younger and younger ages. my daughter is only six years old, so imagine the shock when she came home from school one day and said that another little girl in her class said that my daughter was gay! we had her look up the word "gay" in her children's dictionary... one crisis averted, but how long will we be able to beat back the constant barrage of sexual content that is directed at children at such a young age? how can we protect her innocence until she makes it to her teenage years?

    this feeds directly into my revulsion at hearing so many girls (and yes, teenagers are girls) are infected with sexually transmitted diseases! there has to be an equal number of boys (yes, teenagers are boys) who are infected, as well. some would say that i was a late bloomer, sexually, but even when i got started (in college), i always had condoms or made sure that my girlfriend was on "the pill". and back then, i only "messed" around with women who had the potential to eventually become my wife.

    and it is no surprise that the Black community carries the biggest share of the infection rate (50 percent)! with single parent households in the Black community hovering around 70 percent, little boys and little girls are doubtlessly witnessing their mothers with a number of male sexual partners without the benefit of marriage or commitment... it is quite likely that each sibling can have a different faceless father! it is no wonder that they have carte blanche to practice unsafe sexual behaviors with numerous partners without any thought to commitment or monogamy. little boys see these men come and go as they please, using their mothers as little more than sexual hookups. little girls model their behavior on the transient and seemingly slut-like actions of their mothers. i grew up with a loving respect for Black women, because my father always provided for our family and always respected my mother!

    i contend that we are watching (yes... the Revolution is being televised) the unraveling of our moral and social fabric. we can no longer tell our little girls that it is shameful to be sexually active with little boys... i guess there's a coolness factor in being a whore (well, that's what we called girls who screwed around when i was a child). and even though it was every boys dream to "get some", it was the morals of my society that said that it was wrong to "knock up" a girl or for a girl to get "knocked up". remember how outraged we were the Genarlow Wilson had gone to jail for having sex with a 15 year old girl? remember that Genarlow Wilson was one of four boys who had had sex with this girl on the same night. remember the outrage at him receiving a ten year sentence for having consensual sex with a 15 year old? as if a 15 year old girl can consent to having sex (oral and vaginal) with four teenage boys! i would bet that at least four of those participants have an STD.

    the sad truth is that "abstinence education" will not work in a society that glorifies the sexualization of its children. britney spears's pregnant 16-year old sister (Jamie Lynn) had a show on the Disney channel... they're not making new shows, but "Zoey 101" has plenty of re-runs... imagine the horror of catching my daughter seeing that! when we go to the grocery store, they have "Zoey" on the cover of all of the checkout lane mags talking about her pregnancy. the most popular song of the summer was by some geeky looking teenager, rapping about "superman dat ho'"... i don't allow my daughter to do the superman dance nor listen to that insipid song! and the list goes on and on...

    it is time for the entertainment industry to own up to the fact that whether they like it or not, they set the tenor of the norms in our society (would we be as repulsed today by the scene in "Peyton Place" when the audience finds out that Selena killed her stepfather because he was raping her? i think not!). let's have more "Hanna Montana" and less "Madonna"!

    Monday, March 17, 2008

    St. Patrick's Day

    plezWorld is not Irish.

    I have no idea who St. Patrick was... okay, you can click on the link and get a Wikipedia definition. But since early childhood, I've donned a touch of green on March 17th. And no, I won't be cruising the Milwaukee Beer District this afternoon looking for green beer!

    I do suggest that you wander over to SullsBlog and Suldog to get a St. Patrick's Day fix!

    On yesterday, I had a Springtime blog entry all setup on my Treo 680, but have been unable to upload it due to a change in my AT&T Internet service. BUMMER!

    Sunday, March 16, 2008

    Spring Has Sprung in plezWorld

    Picture courtesy of my Palm Treo 680

    The wild daffodils in my yard have bloomed; therefore Spring has arrived.

    We must enjoy because the long hot Summer is only a few months away.

    Saturday, March 15, 2008

    Barack Obama & Rev. Wright & Religion

    Rev. Jeremiah Wright is the Senior Pastor
    of Barack Obama's Church in Chicago

    The conservative blogger, Crunchy Con, has a long held belief that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright would evolve into a nagging issue for Barack Obama as the campaign progressed. His oft-inflammatory and borderline racist comments could not enhance the image of a guy who was trying to run a political race bereft of racial overtones with an eye to transformational politics. If you call a religious zealot your spiritual advisor, what does that say about you. Crunchy Con goes on to write:

    I said that Jeremiah Wright was going to become a big issue for Barack Obama, but I didn't think it would happen so soon. With the release of this video, that time has probably arrived.

    Politico describes Wright in this video as "deeply racially confrontational." Which might be an understatement. He rants and rails against "rich white people who run this country," demonizes white people, calls Jesus a "poor black man" oppressed by "Italians," says that Barack Obama "ain't privileged" -- this, even though Barack and Michelle Obama are Ivy-league grads in the top two percent of Americans in income. And so forth. This Wright is a clown.

    While doing research for this blog entry, I find that the New York Times is reporting that Barack Obama has denounced the hate speech by his pastor and is taking steps to distance himself from Rev. Wright. He is quoted in the Times as writing the following at The Huffington Post,
    "I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it’s on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue."

    Read the entire New York Times article here.

    Read the entire blog post at The Huffington Post here.

    plez sez: a man with a pen once wrote: "religion is the opiate of the masses" - okay, it was karl marx who wrote that passage in the 1840's... but the thought he was trying to convey still holds true: in our quest to explain the unexplainable, we find solace in our faith. as a presidential candidate in the united states, a candidate has to bend over backward to show that he/she is a god-fearing christian, but when you are bending over backwards with the likes of a buffoon, Obama would be better served to live up to the rumors that he's a muslim (i.e. get your opiates from another source)!

    i'd hate to see the Obama Campaign get derailed on some B.S. spewed forth from a ranting lunatic, but that is exactly what will happen if he does not repudiate and move quickly to distance himself from this guy! Barack & Michelle Obama are Ivy League trained lawyers worth millions of dollars, he's one of only one hundred US Senators, and his campaign raised over $50 million last month: ummmm, the Obamas ain't missin' many meals... and they never have! trying to cast Obama as some poor little Black boy against the rich white Clintons just doesn't wash, no more than casting Jesus as the poor Black man being oppressed by the white Romans... step away from the Bible, dude! just put it down.

    yo, Barack, i know you're supposed to be a christian and all... but do you have to practice your religion at this wack-job's church?!? we're trying to win a national election here... and having friends and associates who scare white folk ain't the path to the white house!

    but this begs an even bigger question: is there a religion that supports a multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-socio-economic society? aren't most religions based on the fact that their god looks out for his people AND i pity the heathen who would worship another god or diety? don't most religions evangelizes for their god and want everyone to convert to their way of worship? if that is the case, why would a country that professes to separate church from the state be so CRAZY over whether a candidate even practices a particular religion? i'm a member of a church and that church has a pastor, but i'm not inclined to share the name of the church nor the fervor with which i practice my religion... that seems to be a pretty private affair. by the same token, why would rev. jeremiah wright want to broadcast his message to his flock over YouTube? isn't his sermon during his 11 o'clock service only for the parishioners at his church? as you can see, i'd rather he kept his brand of religion confined to his church... and i'm sure that Barack Obama is in rapt agreement!

    i began to write this blog post prior to reading about his denunciation of the pastor, but one has to admit, had hillary clinton or john mccain been members of a church where the minister was featured in YouTube clips spewing racial epitaphs and such, they would've had to leave the race! Obama is getting a pass on this one, but he can expect that ALL of his friends and associates (including Rezko) will continue to receive much more scrutiny in the coming weeks.

    Friday, March 14, 2008

    Pi Day 2008

    Today is Pi Day... a celebration of pi, that little symbol that us math and engineering geeks have learned to love since initially being exposed to it in high school geometry or calculus. My alma mater (Georgia Tech) even has a Pi Mile Race every year.

    For those who are not in the know, pi is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

    If you don't have your handy calculator present, Pi = 3.1415926535... therefore, it is only fitting that on March 14th (3/14) at 1:59:26 PM we celebrate Pi Day... check out the Pi Day Rap below!

    Thursday, March 13, 2008

    The Case of the Spin Meisters

    When BARACK OBAMA won Iowa, the Clinton campaign said it's not the number of states you win, it's "a contest for delegates."

    When BARACK OBAMA won a significant lead in delegates, they said it's really about which states you win.

    When BARACK OBAMA won South Carolina, they discounted the votes of African-Americans.

    When BARACK OBAMA won predominantly white, rural states like Idaho, Utah, and Nebraska, they said those didn't count because they won't be competitive in the general election.

    When BARACK OBAMA won in Washington State, Wisconsin, and Missouri -- general election battlegrounds where polls show Barack is a stronger candidate against John McCain -- the Clinton campaign attacked those voters as "latte-sipping" elitists.

    And now that BARACK OBAMA has won more than twice as many states, the Clinton spin is that only certain states really count.

    And with BARACK OBAMA's overwhelming victory in the Mississippi primary on Tuesday, his lead in earned delegates is now wider than it was on March 3rd, before the contests in Ohio and Texas.

    But the facts are clear.

    With all of the Clinton Spin Meisters' attempts to discount, distract, and distort, BARACK OBAMA has won more delegates, more states, and more votes.

    Meanwhile, more than half of the votes that Senator Clinton has won so far have come from just five states. And in four of these five states, polls show that BARACK OBAMA would be a stronger general election candidate against McCain than Clinton.

    BARACK OBAMA is ready to take on John McCain. But he needs to build operations in places like Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina, and Oregon that will hold their primaries in April and May.

    BARACK OBAMA needs your support to win this battle. Join plezWorld and make a donation of $25 to BARACK OBAMA for PRESIDENT right now.

    plezWorld Supports Barack Obama

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    Mississippi Cottons to Obama!

    The New York Times reports that Barack Obama easily won the state of Mississippi with another 20 percent win over his rival, Hillary Clinton. By garnering 90% of the Black vote (in a state that is 36% Black) and about a third of the white vote, he pulled away early and was never threatened in the primary.

    The Times writes:
    Mr. Obama’s lead in Mississippi was built on a wave of support among blacks, who made up half those who turned out to vote Tuesday, according to surveys conducted by the television networks and The Associated Press of voters leaving polling places. The surveys found that roughly 90 percent of black voters supported Mr. Obama, but only a third of white voters supported him, suggesting a racially polarized electorate in the state.

    Read the entire New York Times article here.

    plez sez: congrats to the Obama Camp for pulling out another BIG WIN! unfortunately, delegate-poor mississippi won't provide much of a boost to Obama's lead. he can at least point to two straight wins (with the win in wyoming over the weekend).

    i still contend that pennsylvania (in 6 weeks) is a must-win primary for Obama... he needs to win another Big State to solidify his grip on the democratic nomination. i also heard today that plans are under way to have a do-over primary in delegate-rich florida and michigan!

    in the words of soul singer lenny kravitz, "it ain't over 'til it's over!"

    Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    Live Blog of Obama in Mississippi

    Since plezWorld is shivering in Milwaukee, I sought out and found an interesting live blog of an Obama Event that was held in Jackson, Mississippi on yesterday. As you know, the good folk in the Magnolia State hold their primary today.

  • Obama Introduction
  • Obama Enters the Building
  • I Made a Bet with America
  • Lobbyists Aren't Popular in Jackson
  • This is America
  • Cotton Mouth even has the latest poll numbers for the state from the American Research Group (ARG) here.

    Monday, March 10, 2008

    Obama Bristles At Veep Talk

    "I don’t know how somebody who’s in second place can offer the vice presidency to someone who’s in first place."
    - Senator Barack Obama being incredulous at a speech in Mississippi on Monday, March 10, 2008 at the suggestion that he accept an offer to be Hillary Clinton's running partner, even though he has a lead in the delegate count.

    Read the entire New York Times article here.

    plez sez: if nothing else, those clintonistas have balls! i have no doubt that they will figure out a way to pull off the nomination at the democratic national convention, but to suggest that Obama take the role of second banana while he's in the lead is... ballsy!

    billary has been plotting and planning a return to 1600 pennsylvania avenue for eight years now, and you'd have to be crazy to think that they're gonna let some slick talkin' tenderfoot take that opportunity away from them. billary has proven that they can win in those delegate-rich big states, they stopped the bleeding in texas & ohio, they stopped the superdelegate defections, and you can bet your last dollar that they are going to figure out a way to seat those delegates from florida and michigan.

    but billary also knows that they won't be returning to 1600 pennsylvania avenue without the Obama's supporters (Blacks and energized independents)... if he's not on the ticket, mccain will walk away with the presidency. the funny thing is mccain can't beat Obama by himself, but he can beat billary without Obama!

    plezWorld is still 100% behind OBAMA and i'm still gonna find it difficult to ever vote for billary, but the writing is on the wall: texas & ohio were just as much must-win states from him as they were for her... he's not going to get the nomination with wins in puny states like delaware, vermont, and south carolina... he needed wins in california, new york, and new jersey!

    the next must-win is pennsylvania... it's a waste of time (in more ways than one) to spend valuable resources trying to win mississippi.

    Sunday, March 09, 2008

    SugarPlum & The Birthday Party

    This afternoon, I accompanied the SugarPlum to a birthday party of one of her little school friends. It was a small affair of five children at an artsy ice cream shop - Jakes Ice Cream in the Irwin Street Market - in a gentrified section of downtown Atlanta (about a mile from The King Center). They created a custom blend ice cream & munched on a purple crayon shaped cake. Yummy!

    Thursday, March 06, 2008

    The 6th Degree: 6 Sites

    plez sez: the fourth installment of the sixth degree of plezWorld is slightly different than the others. instead of drilling down six blog links from here, i am going to touch on six blogs on my BlogRoll that i have not visited lately who have posted something in the last day or two, enjoy:

    1st Degree: Georgia Politics Unfiltered
    2nd Degree: Wandering the Ether
    3rd Degree: The Stepfather of Soul
    4th Degree: Not the Nanny
    5th Degree: Living-Loving-Laughing
    6th Degree: Lori's Old School Mix

    ...and 1 Lap Around the Sun!

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

    Wednesday, March 05, 2008

    Clinton Comeback Kid II

    plezWorld Supports Barack Obama!For all of those who were expecting a Clinton Concession Speech last night, were rewarded with an Obama Concession Speech... as Hillary racked up wins in Rhode Island, Ohio, and Texas primaries. a day or so ago, my crystal ball had predicted that her campaign would soldier on, but it had no idea that she would wake up on Wednesday morning all refreshed with a new bounce in her step!

    I'm afraid the Democratic Party battle will wage on until the convention in July!

    Please recall that Bill Clinton came from behind in 1992 to win the Democratic nomination... could history be repeating itself?

    Read the entire Washington Post article about the Clinton wins here.

    plez sez: i wasn't surprised with rhode island and i was expecting her to win in ohio. i was SHOCKED that the wheels fell off of the obama bandwagon the way they did in texas (even though she only made off with 4 more delegates than obama)!

    based on the way things have panned out since super tuesday, it appears that clinton does well in these large delegate rich states (new york, california, texas, ohio, etc.), while obama message is more amenable to liberal enclaves in midwestern, southern, and western states. something in the pit of my stomach tells me that clinton has regained her composure and will continue to "go negative" on obama's lack of experience (since the "red telephone" ad seemed to work so well in the last week).

    it's funny, but when i heard about the "who do you want answering the phone at 3:00 AM?" campaign tactic, the first thing that came to mind was that if hillary was in the white house, the person answering the phone would probably be bill clinton, "uh, mr. president, would you mind putting your wife on the phone!"

    i wonder if rep. john lewis is contemplating that he should change his superdelegate vote back to hillary clinton?

    Tuesday, March 04, 2008

    J. Anthony Brown Sings for Obama

    A humorous incentive for those of you in Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont to get out and vote for Barack Obama in your state's primary and caucus today!

    plez sez: J. Anthony Brown of the Tom Joyner Morning Show updates The Intruders's "I'll Always Love My Mama" for Barack Obama if you didn't have reason enough to vote for Obama! *smile*

    [Hat Tip: Soul Conviction]

    Monday, March 03, 2008

    Memories of The Jones Girls

    The Jones Girls - You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else (1979)

    this song came on the radio a few days ago and i took a short trip down memory lane. in the late-1990's, plezWorld had the fortune of working with one of the Jones Girls (Shirley) for a couple of years in the sales organization of multi-national corporation. it was really cool to talk with a superstar who had her life shaped by the entertainment industry: one of the reasons she had settled into the suburbs of metro atlanta to quietly raise her family. The Jones Girls were from Detroit and got their start as the backup singers for Diana Ross.

    they were also one of my brother's favorite groups when he was in college (he had ALL of their albums)... so i brought his albums with me to work one day where Shirley graciously signed all of them for him. these are THE JONES GIRLS!

    here is Shirley Jones doing the solo thing... as you can hear, she could definitely hold her own. the last time i spoke with her, she was looking at releasing a gospel album in europe... it's been years, but i wish her well.

    Shirley Jonest - Last Night I Needed Somebody (1986)

    Sunday, March 02, 2008

    plezWorld - Crystal Ball & Primaries

    Primary Punch opines that Team Hillary will soldier on after Super Tuesday 2, with primaries being held in Texas, Ohio, Vermont, and Rhode Island. They write:
    The hypothetical some Clinton supporters posit -- Barack Obama wins Vermont, Rhode Island is close, Clinton wins Ohio, Obama wins delegates in Texas but the popular vote is either close or perhaps Clinton wins it.

    [If] Clinton can claim at least two if not three victories (Texas popular vote being one of them), I don't get the feeling that Sen. Clinton will be at all inclined to drop out.

    Read the entire article here.

    plez sez: for weeks following Obama's win in Wisconsin, the pundits have been writing the obit for Hillary Clinton's failed presidential run. many have predicted that she will get beat in Texas (and have a close win in Ohio), thus causing her to see the writing on the wall. she will then gather her advisors upon which an announcement will be made on wednesday that she will throw all of her support her erstwhile, fresh faced, silver voiced opponent.

    but everyone's prediction carried a caveat... an out (she's a fighter, she's a survivor, she'll bounce back, etc.).

    plezWorld has gazed into an actual crystal ball and asked a simple question: will hillary clinton drop out after super tuesday 2? the crystal ball croaked to life and mist... and replied with the following answer: NO!

    crystal ball: she will lose texas outright, she will lose vermont outright, rhode island will be a virtual tie... but her campaign will soldier on based on the eight point squeaker she pulls out of ohio. she'll take that $35 million she raised last month and direct her attention on pennsylvania (her newest firewall).

    plezWorld predicts another six weeks of the clintonistas!

    Saturday, March 01, 2008

    Black History Month Plus One

    Carter G. Woodson began Negro History Week in 1926. in 1976, that week was expanded to Black History Month. of course, these celebrations of Black achievement in america began with noble intentions, but to my way of thinking, something feels wrong about the concept of setting aside a month to celebrate Black achievement in america. considering the fact that Black people have been in what is now called the united states since before there was a united states AND considering the fact that Black people have been contributing members of this society (through forced labor and worse) since before this society existed. the history of Blacks in america is the history of america, as surely as any other group of immigrants who landed on america's shores.

    why is there not an asian history month? why is there not a latino history month? my good friend over at Diary of a PhD Student asks the question, "why is there not a white history month?" he goes on to link Black history to the history of all of america.

    i purposely waited until after the end of february to write this post, because i think acknowledgement of Black history month was an attempt to pander, to "throw a bone" to the Black community out of a sense of white guilt... thanks, but no thanks! there is no more a need of having a month to ponder Black folks' achievements in america than there is a need to spend a month thinking about arab-americans', jewish americans', irish-americans', italian-americans', or mexican-americans' achievements in america. the history of america is the shared history of all americans. it was as wrong to denigrate the contributions of Black americans as it is to create a false celebration of it. and that is my issue with Black history month, while celebrating the achievements of Blacks in america, it marginalizes those achievements by confining them to the shortest month of the year.

    the true history of this country is yet to be written, but there is every hope that it will ultimately contain the contributions of all.