Friday, October 30, 2009

Georgia Tech QB Josh Nesbitt for the Heisman Trophy

Josh Nesbitt leads a deadly triple option oriented attack for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The video below highlights how Nesbitt (and the Tech defense) dismantled No. 4 Virginia Tech to take the ACC Coastal Division lead.

To: All Heisman Trophy voters

Fr: Brian McMahon, PhD; School of Psychology; Georgia Institute of Technology

For Your Heisman Consideration: No. 11 Georgia Tech QB Josh Nesbitt

The Heisman Memorial Trophy is awarded to "an individual who deserves designation as the most outstanding college football player in the United States" (,; 2009), and this is a call for Georgia Tech junior quarterback Josh Nesbitt to be fully considered for this prestigious award. This proposal deviates from the Best Player from the Best Team (BPBT) model that involves awarding the trophy to a player from one of the teams competing in the BCS National Championship Game or its predecessor (e.g., Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow, Troy Smith, Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, Jason White, Eric Crouch, Chris Weinke et al.). The BPBT model is not without merit, of course, and indeed it is certain that the best teams in the nation feature very good players. However, and also paradoxically, the best teams in the nation likely are so good because they have so many very good (i.e., outstanding) players. Nesbitt, on the other hand, while certainly surrounded by many very good players, leads a Yellow Jacket team (No. 11, AP) that likely does not possess the depth and breadth of talent that does, say, Florida, Texas, or USC (,; 2 007;,; 2007). It is suggested here that Nesbitt's relative importance to a surging Yellow Jackets (7-1, 5-1) team coming off wins against Virginia and then-No. 4 Virginia Tech - and whose only loss was at then No. 20 Miami - makes him the most outstanding player in college football and worthy of the Heisman Memorial Trophy.

In an effort to place Nesbitt and his performance over two thirds of the season in the appropriate context, it is necessary to understand the player, what he has done, and the importance of his accomplishments to his team. This step is undertaken with the aim of demonstrating that Nesbitt's season to date is superior to any player from a larger-market or higher-profile team afforded more media coverage than Georgia Tech (e.g., Florida, Texas, and USC). First, Nesbitt is an elite athlete who was ranked the 10th-best quarterback prospect of 2007 and received scholarship offers from, among others, Auburn, Florida, and Georgia (,; 2007;,; 2007). Thus, while he is quarterback at Georgia Tech, a university with four national championships in football (the most recent being 1990), Nesbitt likely could have achieved greatness at schools with higher national profiles. Second, Nesbitt has been the most important player on an 11th-ranked (AP) Yellow Jackets team that has played the nation's 15th-toughest schedule to date (,; 2009), rushing for 88.4 yards per game (4.1 yards per carry) and 11 TDs on the nation's leading rushing team (292 ypg).

Additionally, Nesbitt has thrown for 979 yards and 4 TDs and has a quarterback passing rating of 149.4 that with more attempts would place him among the nation's most efficient passers (e.g., preseason Heisman favorite Colt McCoy of Texas has a rating of 143.3). Perhaps more important than his own statistics is Nesbitt's role as primary facilitator of Tech's triple-option offense in which the q uarterback must make a series of almost instantaneous decisions on each play. Should the ball be handed off to the fullback, pitched to the halfback, or kept by the quarterback? In wins against Virginia, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Clemson, and Jacksonville State, Nesbitt has made the correct decisions that have enabled his team's success, while also leading the Yellow Jackets to the seventh-best third-down-conversion rate (48%) in the nation. This last statistic is notably critical because offenses that convert third downs build and maintain momentum while keeping tiring opponent defenses on the field. Finally, Nesbitt's contributions and Tech's offensive success must be considered in relation to a Yellow Jacket defense that surrenders nearly as many yards (355) as the offense gains (421) each game. By comparison, Florida's offense gains nearly twice the number of yards (457) than its defense allows (230) per game; Texas amasses 438 yards per game while surrendering 236; and USC gains 440 and allows 292. This suggests that Nesbitt and the Yellow Jacket offense - of which he accounts for 50% - have a slim margin for error that has been navigated successfully over Tech's seven wins.

To consider something is to think carefully about it (,; 2009), and the individuals who vote for the Heisman Memorial Trophy are "informed, competent, and impartial" (,; 2009). In the spirit of this these guiding principles and the great tradition that is the Heisman Memorial Trophy do we request that you vote Georgia Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt for this illustrious honor. In addition to the evidence presented above and Georgia Tech's place atop the ACC Coastal standings, additional support for Nesbitt's candidacy abounds. For instance, against then-No. 4 Virginia Tech, Nesbitt's 39-yard, fourth-quarter TD run increased the Yellow Jackets' lead to double digits and e ssentially put away the Hokies. In Tech's thrilling 49-44 win at Florida State, Nesbitt accounted for 105 of Georgia Tech's 116 yards in the fourth quarter as the Yellow Jackets won for the first time at Doak Campbell Stadium. In that same game, Nesbitt demonstrated his character, will, and strength by wrestling away the ball from a Seminoles linebacker who had temporarily recovered a fumble by another Yellow Jacket; Nesbitt's effort allowed Georgia Tech to maintain possession and, eventually, he sealed the win with a 22-yard TD run. Finally, in a game in which Mississippi State was committed to slowing the Yellow Jackets' running game, Nesbitt was 11-for-14 for 266 passing yards and one TD as Tech defeated the Bulldogs in Starkville. Most striking about Nesbitt's passing in that game is that it came a week after he rushed 32 times in a win over then-No. 22 North Carolina. As opposed to the seemingly perpetual search for a Heisman candidate when none readily appears on the national landscape (e.g., recent discussion of an Alabama lineman who blocked two field goals against an unranked team; talk of a Notre Dame quarterback on a 5-2 team with the nation's 25th-toughest schedule), this proposal aims to present a candidate with credentials and intangibles superior to any player in the country. To be outstanding is to literally stand out, and Nesbitt does that from his peers because of both his tremendous statistical season and his relative importance to the No. 11 Yellow Jackets. This is a request for you formally recognize Josh Nesbitt as the nation's most outstanding college football player.

Note: Brian McMahon works in the Georgia Tech School of Psychology. McMahon and some of his fellow psychologists are hoping that voters for the Heisman Trophy will take a strong look at Josh Nesbitt.

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plez sez: this is a plausible argument. as the person who is responsible for 75% of the offensive production on a single-loss team with a passing efficiency among the best in the country, i could see josh nesbitt at the new york athletic club hoisting the trophy that sports the name of past georgia tech head coach john heisman.

we had another plausible candidate a few years ago, joe hamilton came second in voting when he was up for the award. plezWorld would love to see the award sit in the athletic complex of the school where its namesake once coached. JOSH NESBITT for the HEISMAN TROPHY!!!

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the Georgia Tech Official Sports Report article about Nesbitt for Heisman.

Read the BBuzzOff article about the argument for Josh Nesbitt.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Michael Jackson's THIS IS IT - Movie Review

plezWorld and the family just got home from watching the World's Greatest Entertainer's final dance... this was Michael Jackson as you have never seen him before!

Excerpts from the press release on about the movie:

CULVER CITY, CA - Commenting on the announcement, Kenny Ortega, director of and Jackson's creative partner on the THIS IS IT concert, said, "This film is a gift to Michael's fans. As we began assembling the footage for the motion picture we realized we captured something extraordinary, unique and very special. It's a very private, exclusive look into a creative genius's world. For the first time ever, fans will see Michael as they have never seen him before – this great artist at work. It is raw, emotional, moving and powerful footage that captures his interactions with the THIS IS IT collaborators that he had personally assembled for this once in a lifetime project. This film shows a consummate performer working with and guiding singers, dancers, band members, choreographers, special effects creators and countless other creative members of the team as we all assemble this historic concert. I can think of many words to describe Michael as he rehearses for and creates THIS IS IT– inspirational, dynamic, generous, dedicated, loving and the guiding force—you see him as the true architect and driving force of this project – a true master of his craft, the Entertainer of Entertainers. I'm proud of the many years of friendship and creative association I shared with Michael and I'm happy that people will get a chance to see his spirit and drive in action. THIS IS IT may go down as the greatest concert that no one got a chance to see, but with this film, we get a rare portrait of Michael as he prepares for his final curtain call and what I believe was going to be his master work."

Michael Jackson's THIS IS IT will offer Jackson fans and music lovers worldwide a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the performer as he developed, created and rehearsed for his sold-out concerts that would have taken place beginning this summer in London's O2 Arena. Chronicling the months from April through June, 2009, the film is drawn from more than one hundred hours of behind-the-scenes footage, featuring Jackson rehearsing a number of his songs for the show. Audiences will be given a privileged and private look at the singer, dancer, filmmaker, architect, and genius as he creates and perfects his final show.

"I have never been partners with a more creative, innovative or groundbreaking entertainer than Michael Jackson," said Randy Phillips, President & CEO, AEG LIVE and producer of Michael Jackson THIS IS IT. "While the concerts would have been the greatest shows in the history of music, our film will provide a historic event for Michael's fans to see for themselves the genius that he was and the creativity, talent and imagination that the entire cast devoted to create the ‘greatest concert that never happened'."

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plez sez: go see this movie! i know i'm going to see it again. it was dazzling! it was exhilarating! it was fun! it was pure magic! and if that wasn't even the dress rehearsal, i cannot imagine how great the actual concert would've been.

it is almost beyond comprehension that MICHAEL JACKSON died while rehearsing for this show. in the movie, he was always upbeat, humble, respectful. he was so full of life... and he was also a consummate perfectionist who nailed every dance move and hit every note. he was not a 50-year old has been... he was that 20-something guy who walked away from the grammy awards with eight trophies.

and that concert would've been worth every penny spent to see him. he had reworked many dance moves and added all kinds of cutting edge technology to the show that would've made his old videos seem... old! "this is it" would've been the greatest concert ever.

plezWorld cannot believe he is no longer with us, but his music and the image of a once-in-a-lifetime icon will live forever.

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the movie review about "THIS IS IT."

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hampton University Homecoming Queen Controversy

Is it me, or does it seem like a fair portion of this homecoming court is not happy?

As my business partner would say, "Whoa, Nelly!" And plezWorld has exclaimed, "What the...!" when the situation warrants... well this is one such situation.

Hampton University, the alma mater of my oldest brother, has taken to a peculiar way of finding the winner of their homecoming queen, Miss HU, she is selected by a panel of judges. It appears that they don't the title to be a mere popularity contest (and judging from the article that follows, the winner participates in the Miss Virginia pageant, so that may play into how they pick the winner, as well).

Well, this year's winner attends a satellite campus of Hampton University in Virginia Beach... and she's not Black! GASP! You see, Hampton University used to be Hampton Institute, a historically Black university (HBCU) that was founded in 1868 for Blacks who had recently been freed from slavery. When the winner of the contest was announced, some people expressed their displeasure by walking out... and I'm sure there were some unsavory comments made as well.

To make matters worse, Nikole Churchill - Miss HU - wrote a letter to a fellow Hawaiian, President Obama, urging him to intervene on her behalf and help the student body learn to embrace diversity at her college. Well, after the letter was sent, she re-thought that approach and apologized to the school... you can't make this stuff up!

The entire Daily Press article about the controversy:
HAMPTON — Miss HU apologized one day after writing a letter to President Barack Obama that said her crowning was not widely accepted on the Hampton University campus because she is not black.

Nikole Churchill, 22, is a student from Hawaii who won the pageant Friday. On Sunday, she asked Obama to help her convince close-minded people on campus to support her title.

She issued a statement about 9 p.m. Monday that said she regrets writing the president and did not intend to bring negative attention to her school.

"I took the comments of a few and blew it out of proportion," Churchill wrote. "In reality, all comments that have been directed toward me and the reception I received at the (HU vs. Howard University football game on Saturday) were genuinely supportive."

Churchill competed against nine other contestants, who were all black, and was selected by a panel of five judges, including two certified by the Miss Virginia pageant, in which Churchill will compete next.

Her crowning was followed by complaints from some students that aside from not being black, she attends the university's 90-student satellite campus in Virginia Beach and doesn't know what real HU life is like.

Churchill issued the apology after meeting with student officials and leaders Monday afternoon to discuss her term as Miss HU, said school spokeswoman Yuri Milligan.

About 110 people attended the meeting, including business management senior Brandon Northington, who is in the student leadership program. He said Churchill, who transferred to HU from Virginia Commonwealth University, was genuinely apologetic.

Northington said she explained that as a newer student, she wasn't familiar with HU protocol and didn't initially realize she overstepped her boundaries by taking her complaint directly to Obama.

"I thought she should have contacted the student government president or even (HU President) Dr. (William) Harvey, not the president of the United States of America," he said. "If there's a problem in the house, a family problem, you keep it in the house. You don't display your dirty laundry for everyone to see."

Student Government Association President Matthew Washington said her approach made HU students seem intolerant, while they really are not. Churchill would easily have found the support she needed to feel more welcome if she contacted him or Harvey, Washington said.

"The feelings of 50 or 70 students don't reflect 5,700 students," he said. "I went to the pageant myself, and she did an excellent job. There may be some students unhappy about it, but she rightfully won her title."

Milligan said Churchill was not granting interviews to the media Tuesday.

Her win came just one week after HU held its 10th annual Mr. Pirate pageant, which is named after the school's mascot. The winner was Jonathan Lee, an accounting senior who is a third black, a third white and a third Asian, said Northington, who is his roommate.

Lee was also selected by a panel of judges.

Northington said Lee's race was not an issue when he won, and that his title was met with complete support because Lee is well-known on campus. He is a member of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity and on the student leadership council.

The controversy following Churchill's win could have been avoided if she'd reached out to students instead of writing Obama, said Regina Powell, a 1975 HU graduate.

"I'm tired of people saying or doing things and then you come back to apologize," she said. "Think before you act. Barack cannot save everyone. The way she's going to get the students to accept her is to reach out to them."

Washington said Churchill pledged Monday to visit the Hampton campus as often as possible, including at community service and social events where she can connect with students.

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plez sez: i think this situation is referred to as a conundrum. what does an archaic institution (the hbcu in question) do when one of its archaic institutions (homecoming queen contest) is won by an outsider?

hampton university has been around all of 140 years! isn't it about time the school (and its students) embrace this diversity? shouldn't they be happy that a non-traditional student be embraced?

i was a student at georgia tech in the early 80's when its first Black homecoming queen was selected... back then, the student body voted on the winner. and i remember racist comments being made about her. but only two years ago, georgia tech picked another Black homecoming queen... and it wasn't a big deal. the crowd cheered as she was driven around the stadium in the ramblin' wreck.

now, i have to be honest, plezWorld isn't a big fan of hbcu's. not because i feel they are bad schools (because hampton university happens to be a very good college), but because i feel they have served their purpose. until the 1980's, most Black college graduates had matriculated through hbcu's. but i feel that today's college students have many more options and Black colleges and universities are doing themselves a gross disservice by clutching to the vestiges of a bygone era. has racism end? i would reply with a resounding, "HELL NO!" but i feel strongly that institutional racism has become so marginalized as to be largely ineffective.

and don't even get me started on the sexism associated with a homecoming queen contest! once again, this miss homecoming queen is a relic from a time when MOST women did not receive secondary education and the menfolk of the college wanted an attractive and sexy co-ed to parade campus. i would think in 2009, there would be a shortage of young women who would desire to be objectified in such a manner... i guess not! where's the women's lib movement when you need 'em?

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and no snide remarks about mr. pirate, please!

[Photos courtesy of]

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the Daily Press article about the tiff at Hampton University over their homecoming queen.

Read the Daily Press article about how a non-Black homecoming queen divided a campus.

Take the Daily Press poll about the crowning of a non-Black contestant at an HBCU here .

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"This Is It" by Michael Jackson

To coincide with the upcoming movie with the same name, "This Is It" is the first recording by Michael Jackson that has been released posthumously. I imagine this is only the beginning, since there are probably hundreds of recordings that have never been released... enjoy!

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plez sez:'s as though he's still with us!

i like this song... and i'll be going to the movie when it opens later this month.

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Go to and find out more about the movie "This Is It".

Read the Access Atlanta article about Paul Anka co-wrote "This Is It" which he claims was recorded back in the early-80's during MJ's "Thriller" days.

Read the Access Atlanta article about Michael Jackson's newly released song.

Read the article about MJ's "newest" song.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Chris Rock's "Good Hair"

When Chris Rock’s daughter, Lola, came up to him crying and asked, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?” the bewildered comic committed himself to search the ends of the earth and the depths of black culture to find out who had put that question into his little girl's head! Director Jeff Stilson’s camera followed the funnyman, and the result is Good Hair, a wonderfully insightful and entertaining, yet remarkably serious, documentary about African American hair culture.An exposé of comic proportions that only Chris Rock could pull off, Good Hair visits hair salons and styling battles, scientific laboratories, and Indian temples to explore the way black hairstyles impact the activities, pocketbooks, sexual relationships, and self-esteem of black people. Celebrities such as Ice-T, Kerry Washington, Nia Long, Paul Mooney, Raven Symoné, Maya Angelou, and Reverend Al Sharpton all candidly offer their stories and observations to Rock while he struggles with the task of figuring out how to respond to his daughter’s question. What he discovers is that black hair is a big business that doesn’t always benefit the black community and little Lola’s question might well be bigger than his ability to convince her that the stuff on top of her head is nowhere near as important as what is inside.

"Good Hair" Movie Trailer:

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plez sez: saturday was my wife's birthday, so it was only fitting that we went to see chris rock's movie "Good Hair" which opened on friday here in the atlanta area. you see my wife is a Black woman and chris rock's movie is about the Black women and their hair; we've been married for close to 20 years and the only constant over all those years is the on-going saga of the care of my wife's hair. the other reason why we had to go to see this movie on its opening weekend is that one of the featured stylists - jason griggers, the white guy who should've won the bronner brothers hair show battle royale - has been my wife's hair stylist for close to ten years! jason autographed a "good hair" movie poster for my daughter, who is the same age as his son.

so despite my obvious bias going in, plezWorld found this movie to be quite enjoyable! it is a hilarious, yet sobering account of the how the care of Black hair is such a big business - it is a multi-billion dollar industry that has been wrestled away from the control of the Black community. More than 60% of all hair care products are consumed by Black people who come in at 12% of the US population. The sobering part of the equation is that control of the industry is in the hands of large white cosmetics companies (like Revlon and Clairol) and asian hair care products companies who will not do business with Black-owned retailers.

and throughout the movie was this sad undercurrent of "self hate" in the Black community as it relates to our hair: this longing to have long straight hair like white women, the perception that white people will not do business with someone who projects an afrocentric image (nappy hair or dreads or braids), this multi-billion dollar craving for products to make our hair more like our white counterparts, and this near insatiable need to even purchase hair from other ethnicities (i.e., people from eastern asia and india) and sew onto the top of our own hair to cover what we were born with.

my daughter's hair is not permed (yet!), but my wife has already had to deal with the "my hair is ugly because it is not long and doesn't swing like the little white girls in my school" issue. i vividly remember my mother putting a hot comb over an open flame on the stove in preparation for straightening my sister's hair when she was a little girl (my sister who is now a grown woman wears her hair in a natural state with long twists).

so even though there were plenty of laughs in the movie, there were some portions of the film that nearly brought tears to my eyes... how can we HATE our brown skin and our gorgeous curly locks so much? is being a Black person that bad (michael jackson bleached his skin white, for Christ's sake)? does having nappy hair equal being unworthy of being a productive citizen in the united states? my daughter is beautiful (inside and outside), but why does society continue to tell her at every turn that she is more beautiful with her hair in an unnatural straightened state?

note: by the way, my daughter normally wears her hair in braids, as it is much easier to care for by her busy working mother. but it was straightened (by another stylist who works in jason's shop) earlier this week because it was time for her annual school pictures... and we couldn't have an image of her youth saved for prosperity with curly hair in its natural state!

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the Sundance Film Festival article about "Good Hair".

Read the New York Times movie review about "Good Hair".

Read the article titled "Chris Rock's good hair day".

Read the Kansas City Star editorial about Chris Rock's movie.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

President Barack Obama Wins 2009 Nobel Peace Prize

In a SHOCK to everyone, except those five Norwegian voters, President Barack Obama pulled off what will probably go down as his biggest upset win ever... this is bigger than the caucus and primary wins in 2008 over Sen. Hillary Clinton, this is bigger than the win over Sen. John McCain (that race was over before the Democratic National Convention), and even bigger than his stimulus packages! After spending less than 9 months in residence at the White House, Obama was awarded what many claim is a lifetime achievement award, before he has had any significant achievements.

Excerpts from the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize citation:
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

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Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts.

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The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.

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Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population.

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For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."

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Excerpts from the article about Obama's latest win:
OSLO — President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a stunning decision designed to encourage his initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the Muslim world and stress diplomacy and cooperation rather than unilateralism.

Nobel observers were shocked by the unexpected choice so early in the Obama presidency, which began less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee lauded the change in global mood wrought by Obama's calls for peace and cooperation but recognized initiatives that have yet to bear fruit: reducing the world stock of nuclear arms, easing American conflicts with Muslim nations and strengthening the U.S. role in combating climate change.

"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," said Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Nobel Committee.

Still, the U.S. remains at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Congress has yet to pass a law reducing carbon emissions and there has been little significant reduction in global nuclear stockpiles since Obama took office.

"So soon? Too early. He has no contribution so far. He is still at an early stage. He is only beginning to act," said former Polish President Lech Walesa, a 1983 Nobel Peace laureate.

"This is probably an encouragement for him to act. Let's see if he perseveres. Let's give him time to act," Walesa said.

The award appeared to be a slap at President George W. Bush from a committee that harshly criticized Obama's predecessor for his largely unilateral military action in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The Nobel committee praised Obama's creation of "a new climate in international politics" and said he had returned multilateral diplomacy and institutions like the U.N. to the center of the world stage.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, who won the prize in 1984, said Obama's award shows great things are expected from him in coming years.

"It's an award coming near the beginning of the first term of office of a relatively young president that anticipates an even greater contribution towards making our world a safer place for all," Tutu said. "It is an award that speaks to the promise of President Obama's message of hope."

Until seconds before the award, speculation had focused on a wide variety of candidates besides Obama: Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a Colombian senator, a Chinese dissident and an Afghan woman's rights activist, among others. The Nobel committee received a record 205 nominations for this year's prize, though it was not immediately apparent who nominated Obama.

"The exciting and important thing about this prize is that it's given to someone ... who has the power to contribute to peace," Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said.

Obama is the third sitting U.S. president to win the award: President Theodore Roosevelt won in 1906 and President Woodrow Wilson was awarded the prize in 1919.

The Nobel committee chairman said after awarding the 2002 prize to former Democratic President Jimmy Carter, for his mediation in international conflicts, that it should be seen as a "kick in the leg" to the Bush administration's hard line in the buildup to the Iraq war.

Five years later, the committee honored Bush's adversary in the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore, for his campaign to raise awareness about global warming.

Obama was to meet with his top advisers on the Afghan war on Friday to consider a request by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, to send as many as 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan as the U.S war there enters its ninth year.

Former Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei, director general ofthe International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, said Obama has already provided outstanding leadership in the effort to prevent nuclear proliferation.

"In less than a year in office, he has transformed the way we look at ourselves and the world we live in and rekindled hope for a world at peace with itself," ElBaradei said. "He has shown an unshakeable commitment to diplomacy, mutual respect and dialogue as the best means of resolving conflicts."

Obama also has attempted to restart stalled talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, but just a day after Obama hosted the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in New York, Israeli officials boasted that they had fended off U.S. pressure to halt settlement construction. Moderate Palestinians said they felt undermined by Obama's failure to back up his demand for a freeze.

Nominators for the prize include former laureates; current and former members of the committee and their staff; members of national governments and legislatures; university professors of law, theology, social sciences, history and philosophy; leaders of peace research and foreign affairs institutes; and members of international courts of law.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation welcomed the award on behalf of its founder Nelson Mandela, who shared the 1993 Peace Prize with then-South African President F.W. DeKlerk for their efforts at ending years of apartheid and laying the groundwork for a democratic country.

"We trust that this award will strengthen his commitment, as the leader of the most powerful nation in the world, to continue promoting peace and the eradication of poverty," the foundation said.

In his 1895 will, Alfred Nobel stipulated that the peace prize should go "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses."

Unlike the other Nobel Prizes, which are awarded by Swedish institutions, he said the peace prize should be given out by a five-member committee elected by the Norwegian Parliament. Sweden and Norway were united under the same crown at the time of Nobel's death.

The committee has taken a wide interpretation of Nobel's guidelines, expanding the prize beyond peace mediation to include efforts to combat poverty, disease and climate change.

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plez sez: OK... let's get this out of the way: plezWorld is still giddy over the Obama presidency! i cannot believe this country (as a whole) was able to throw out over 400 years of racial intolerance and bigotry to elect a Black man to the white house. over an eleven month span, this country went into overdrive to prove that it really was seeing the dawn of a post-racial society.

so i am just as giddy that Obama was tapped for the 2009 nobel peace prize, but... as i began to read the articles touting the selection and as i watched a few morning news shows shine the bright glare of our 24-hour news cycle on this selection, some doubts began to nag at plezWorld: (1) he was nominated a few weeks after he took office (the deadline for the nomination is february 1st and he was inaugurated on january 20th), (2) our troops are still in iraq, (3) the troops who are leaving iraq are being re-deployed to afghanistan, and (4) other than making other likeminded folk giddy and feel all warm and fuzzy, what has President Obama done over the past 8 months to win such an award?!?

i read that there were 205 nominations this year, the most ever. and President Obama was the unanimous selection of the five voters, they said it wasn't even close. so of the 200+ nominees, not ONE of them had devoted more than the last 8 months of their lives to promote world peace? jimmy carter brokered the israel-egyptian peace accords while he was in office, and he had to wait TWENTY YEARS before he was recognized. two other sitting US presidents have won the award (teddy roosevelt and woodrow wilson), but neither was deemed worthy of the award during their first year in office.

i love Barack Obama and he is a worthy recipient of the award. but this move seems mighty political (a slap at the bush administration) and sets the bar of expectation for Obama administration at stratospheric heights. i'm sure he'll eventually "earn" this award, but i have no doubt the republicans will savor his every setback along the way.

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the article containing the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize citition excerpts.

Read the article about President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Read the Washington Post article about the wide chasm of reaction to the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

Read the New York Times article titled "For Presidency in Search of Success, Nobel Adds a Twist".

Read the New York Times article titled "From 205 Names, Panel Chose the Most Visible ."

Read the article about Americans being split on the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Read the article about Obama calls the Nobel Prize a "call to action".

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Friday, October 09, 2009

SF Muni (Public Transportation) Fight

The video speaks for itself:

~ ~ ~

plez sez: ole girl should've known something was up when the other woman put her stuff down and took off her bag!

now... how in the HELL are you gonna throw the first punch... and then get your ignorant ass whooped?!?

i laughed sooooo damn hard, i couldn't believe what i was seeing.

note to plezWorld: don't ride on MUNI through chinatown and start no sh*t... 'cause someone from chinatown just may end it!

note to the sista who got five to the dome, repeatedly: next time, call for a cab!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Dr. Andrew Manis: “When are we going to get over it?”

I tried, but plezWorld is unable to authenticate the origin (date or publication) of this editorial. I received it as an e-mail message that claimed it was written in the Macon Telegraph, but my research did not bear this out. I've also seen this article included in a blog written in December 2008, before Obama was inaugurated.

What follows is an open letter to white people from a white person about our Black president. I welcome your comments.

Dr. Andrew Manis: “When are we going to get over it?”

For much of the last forty years, ever since America “fixed” its race problem in the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, we white people have been impatient with African Americans who continued to blame race for their difficulties. Often we have heard whites ask, “When are African Americans finally going to get over it?

Now I want to ask: “When are we White Americans going to get over our ridiculous obsession with skin color?

Recent reports that “Election Spurs Hundreds’ of Race Threats, Crimes” should frighten and infuriate every one of us. Having grown up in “Bombingham,” Alabama in the 1960s, I remember overhearing an avalanche of comments about what many white classmates and their parents wanted to do to John and Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Eventually, as you may recall, in all three cases, someone decided to do more than “talk the talk.”

Since our recent presidential election, to our eternal shame we are once again hearing the same reprehensible talk I remember from my boyhood.

We white people have controlled political life in the disunited colonies and United States for some 400 years on this continent. Conservative whites have been in power 28 of the last 40 years. Even during the eight Clinton years, conservatives in Congress blocked most of his agenda and pulled him to the right. Yet never in that period did I read any headlines suggesting that anyone was calling for the assassinations of presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, or either of the Bushes. Criticize them, yes. Call for their impeachment, perhaps.

But there were no bounties on their heads. And even when someone did try to kill Ronald Reagan, the perpetrator was non-political mental case who wanted merely to impress Jody Foster.

But elect a liberal who happens to be Black and we’re back in the sixties again. At this point in our history, we should be proud that we’ve proven what conservatives are always saying -that in America anything is possible, EVEN electing a black man as president. But instead we now hear that schoolchildren from Maine to California are talking about wanting to “assassinate Obama.”

Fighting the urge to throw up, I can only ask, “How long?” How long before we white people realize we can’t make our nation, much less the whole world, look like us? How long until we white people can -once and for all- get over this hell-conceived preoccupation with skin color? How long until we white people get over the demonic conviction that white skin makes us superior? How long before we white people get over our bitter resentments about being demoted to the status of equality with non-whites?

How long before we get over our expectations that we should be at the head of the line merely because of our white skin? How long until we white people end our silence and call out our peers when they share the latest racist jokes in the privacy of our white-only conversations?

I believe in free speech, but how long until we white people start making racist loudmouths as socially uncomfortable as we do flag burners? How long until we white people will stop insisting that blacks exercise personal responsibility, build strong families, educate themselves enough to edit the Harvard Law Review, and work hard enough to become President of the United States, only to threaten to assassinate them when they do?

How long before we starting “living out the true meaning” of our creeds, both civil and religious, that all men and women are created equal and that “red and yellow, black and white” all are precious in God’s sight?

Until this past November 4, I didn’t believe this country would ever elect an African American to the presidency. I still don’t believe I’ll live long enough to see us white people get over our racism problem. But here’s my three-point plan:

First, everyday that Barack Obama lives in the White House that Black Slaves Built I’m going to pray that God (and the Secret Service) will protect him and his family from us white people.

Second, I’m going to report to the FBI any white person I overhear saying, in seriousness or in jest, anything of a threatening nature about President Obama.

Third, I’m going to pray to live long enough to see America surprise the world once again, when white people can “in spirit and in truth” sing of our damnable color prejudice, “We HAVE overcome.”

It takes a Village to protect our President!!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

About the author:

Dr. Andrew M. Manis
Assistant Professor of History, Macon State College
Author, historian, researcher, lecturer

Andrew Manis is author of Macon Black and White and serves on the steering committee of Macon’s Center for Racial understanding.

The author of five books, Dr. Manis is a frequent lecturer and has become one of Central Georgia’s leading authorities on the history of race relations, especially in the South. His most recent book, Macon Black and White: An Unutterable Separation of the American Century, published in 2004 by Mercer University Press and the Tubman African American Museum, earned him the 2005 Georgia Author of the Year (History Division) award, and he was a semifinalist for the 2005 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. Manis’ previous book, a biography of Birmingham civil rights leader Fred Shuttlesworth, won a number of prizes, including the 2000 Lillian Smith Book Award. In addition, he has written many magazine articles about religion and religions in the South.

He’s conducted more than 40 lectures, sermons or interviews on race relations in Macon, made presentations at colleges and universities throughout the South and has appeared on national radio broadcasts.

He is a member of the steering committee for the Center for Racial Understanding in Macon and Bibb County, is involved in the South Atlantic Humanities Center’s Thanksgiving Project to document people’s experiences of Thanksgiving Day, assists the Georgia Humanities Council in charitable giving programs and was named one of the 2006 recipients of the council’s Governor’s Awards in the Humanities. He also serves as the faculty advisor for the Macon State branch of Habitat for Humanity.

An ordained minister, Manis received his bachelor’s degree from Samford University, and his Master’s of Divinity and Ph.D. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been at Macon State College since 2000 and previously served as editor for religion and Southern Studies with Mercer University Press; was associate professor of religion at Averett College in Virginia; was a fellow in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania; and an assistant professor of theology at Xavier University of Louisiana.

~ ~ ~

plez sez: excellent commentary. i'm sure there will be those white folk who will take exception to dr. manis's decision to paint all white people with the same brush. but he makes his point when he implies that everyone is complicit in the "crime" when they remain silent or do not call out their peers for their racist jibes.

~ ~ ~

as you can see, plezWorld is still alive and kicking... and going strong! i must admit that business is good and i simply have not had the bandwidth to post on a daily basis like last year. i can promise that it will be a few months before i'll be able to consider going back to a daily posting on plezWorld.

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the People's Voice Weekly article here .

Read the African American Planning Commission, Inc. article here .

Read the Clarksville (TN) Online article here .

Read the Take Political Action blog posting here .

Read the Jacksonville(FL).com article about here .

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Southern University Marching Band - Michael Jackson Tribute

On Saturday, September 5, 2009, Southern University played Louisiana-Lafayette in football. They were blown out by a score of 42-19. But the Human Jukebox, also known as the Southern University Marching Band wowed the crowed with a thrilling Michael Jackson tribute:

plez sez: that was a nice show, but why didn't they show the score (a Human Jukebox tradition)?!?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Michael Vick Lands with Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles have signed former Falcons quarterback Michael Vick to a two-year deal, Eagles president Joe Banner confirmed during halftime of the team’s exhibition game against the New England Patriots on Thursday evening.

Published reports say that Vick will receive $1.6 million for the first year, with an option of $5.2 million for the second.

Vick will return to the NFL after two seasons away, including 18 months in federal prison and five more in home confinement after he was convicted on charges related to dogfighting, and a conditional suspension by the NFL.

The animal-rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, reacted negatively to the news.

The potential exists for Vick to face his former team this season. The Falcons host the Eagles on Dec. 6, the Falcons’ 12th game.

~ ~ ~

plez sez: good for you, Mike! you've done your time and i applaud the eagles for giving you the opportunity to display your awesome talents.

plezWorld wishes Michael Vick the best this upcoming season, but still hopes the falcons beat the eagles in november!

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the article about Michael Vick joining the Philadelphia Eagles.

Read the article about Michael Vick with the Eagles.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The Jackson 5 - The Cartoon (1971)

Michael Jackson passed away at the age of 50 on June 25, 2009.

Michael Jackson leads The Jackson 5 in a 1971 Saturday morning cartoon. This episode features the story about how they met Diana Ross; she brought them to Detroit to meet Berry Gordy of Motown... and the rest is history!

Part 1:

Part 2:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

plez sez: and you can bet a young plezWorld was plopped down in front of the RCA tv at the break of dawn on saturday mornings to see this!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Sarah Palin to Quit as Alaska's Governor

Six short months ago, I thought I'd written the last posts on the fading political career of Sarah Palin.

Well, folk flocked to plezWorld on Friday to get the skinny on the latest from Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) (more than 400 visitors dropped by on Friday). CNN and all major news outlets have been buzzing all afternoon about the latest from the Great White North: Palin has decided that she should step aside and let her lt. governor take over, so she "can effect positive change outside of government."

Palin said she was transferring authority to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who will be sworn in at the Governor's Picnic on July 26, 2009.

Read Sarah Palin's official statement:

Palin Announces No Second Term
No Lame Duck Session Either

Hi Alaska, I appreciate speaking directly to you, the people I serve, as your Governor.

People who know me know that besides faith and family, nothing's more important to me than our beloved Alaska. Serving her people is the greatest honor I could imagine.

I want Alaskans to grasp what can be in store for our state. We were purchased as a territory because a member of President Abe Lincoln's cabinet, William Seward, providentially saw in this great land, vast riches, beauty, strategic placement on the globe, and opportunity. He boldly looked "North to the Future". But he endured such ridicule and mocking for his vision for Alaska, remember the adversaries scoffed, calling this "Seward's Folly". Seward withstood such disdain as he chose the uncomfortable, unconventional, but right path to secure Alaska, so Alaska could help secure the United States.

Alaska’s mission – to contribute to America. We’re strategic in the world as the air crossroads of the world, as a gatekeeper of the continent. Bold visionaries knew this - Alaska would be part of America's great destiny.

Our destiny to be reached by responsibly developing our natural resources. This land, blessed with clean air, water, wildlife, minerals, and oil and gas. It's energy! God gave us energy.

So to serve the state is a humbling responsibility, because I know in my soul that Alaska is of such import, for America’s security, in our very volatile world. And you know me by now, I promised even four years ago to show my independence… no more conventional “politics as usual”.

And we are doing well! My administration's accomplishments speak for themselves. We work tirelessly for Alaskans.

We aggressively and responsibly develop our resources because they were created to be used to better our world... to help people... and we protect the environment and Alaskans (the resource owners) foremost with our policies.

Here’s some of the things we’ve done:

We created a petroleum integrity office to oversee safe development. We held the line for Alaskans on Point Thomson – and finally for the first time in decades – they’re drilling for oil and gas.

We have AGIA, the gasline project – a massive bi-partisan victory (the vote was 58 to 1!) – also succeeding as intended - protecting Alaskans as our clean natural gas will flow to energize us, and America, through a competitive, pro-private sector project. This is the largest private sector energy project, ever. This is energy independence.

And ACES – another bipartisan effort – is working as intended and industry is publicly acknowledging its success. Our new oil and gas “clear and equitable formula” is so Alaskans will no longer be taken advantage of. ACES incentivizes new exploration and development and jobs that were previously not going to happen with a monopolized North Slope oil basin.

We cleaned up previously accepted unethical actions; we ushered in bi-partisan Ethics Reform.

We also slowed the rate of government growth, we worked with the Legislature to save billions of dollars for the future, and I made no lobbyist friends with my hundreds of millions of dollars in budget vetoes... but living beyond our means today is irresponsible for tomorrow.

We took government out of the dairy business and put it back into private-sector hands – where it should be.

We provided unprecedented support for education initiatives, and with the right leadership, finally filled long-vacant public safety positions. We built a sub-Cabinet on Climate Change and took heat from Outside special interests for our biologically-sound wildlife management for abundance.

We broke ground on the new prison.

And we made common sense conservative choices to eliminate personal luxuries like the jet, the chef, the junkets... the entourage.

And the Lt. Governor and I said "no" to our pay raises.

So much success in this first term – and with this success I am proud to take credit... for hiring the right people! Our goal was to achieve a gasline project, more fair oil and gas valuation, and ethics reform in four years. We did it in two. It’s because of the people… good public servants surrounding the Governor's office, with servants' hearts and astounding work ethic... they are Alaska's success!

We are doing well! I wish you'd hear more from the media of your state's progress and how we tackle Outside interests - daily - special interests that would stymie our state. Even those debt-ridden stimulus dollars that would force the heavy hand of federal government into our communities with an “all-knowing attitude” – I have taken the slings and arrows with that unpopular move to veto because I know being right is better than being popular. Some of those dollars would harm Alaska and harm America – I resisted those dollars because of the obscene national debt we’re forcing our children to pay, because of today’s Big Government spending; it’s immoral and doesn’t even make economic sense!

Another accomplishment – our Law Department protected states’ rights – two huge U.S. Supreme Court reversals came down against that liberal Ninth Circuit, deciding in our state’s favor over the last two weeks. We’re protectors of our Constitution – federalists protect states’ rights as mandated in 10th amendment.

But you don’t hear much of the good stuff in the press anymore, do you?

Some say things changed for me on August 29th last year – the day John McCain tapped me to be his running-mate – I say others changed.

Let me speak to that for a minute.

Political operatives descended on Alaska last August, digging for dirt. The ethics law I championed became their weapon of choice. Over the past nine months I've been accused of all sorts of frivolous ethics violations – such as holding a fish in a photograph, wearing a jacket with a logo on it, and answering reporters’ questions.

Every one – all 15 of the ethics complaints have been dismissed. We’ve won! But it hasn't been cheap - the State has wasted thousands of hours of your time and shelled out some two million of your dollars to respond to “opposition research” – that’s money not going to fund teachers or troopers – or safer roads. And this political absurdity, the “politics of personal destruction” … Todd and I are looking at more than half a million dollars in legal bills in order to set the record straight. And what about the people who offer up these silly accusations? It doesn’t cost them a dime so they’re not going to stop draining public resources – spending other peoples’ money in their game.

It’s pretty insane – my staff and I spend most of our day dealing with this instead of progressing our state now. I know I promised no more “politics as usual,” but this isn’t what anyone had in mind for Alaska.

If I have learned one thing: life is about choices!

And one chooses how to react to circumstances. You can choose to engage in things that tear down, or build up. I choose to work very hard on a path for fruitfulness and productivity. I choose not to tear down and waste precious time; but to build up this state and our country, and her industrious, generous, patriotic, free people!

Life is too short to compromise time and resources... it may be tempting and more comfortable to just keep your head down, plod along, and appease those who demand: "Sit down and shut up", but that's the worthless, easy path; that's a quitter's way out. And a problem in our country today is apathy. It would be apathetic to just hunker down and “go with the flow”.

Nah, only dead fish "go with the flow".

No. Productive, fulfilled people determine where to put their efforts, choosing to wisely utilize precious time... to build up.

And there is such a need to build up and fight for our state and our country. I choose to fight for it! And I'll work hard for others who still believe in free enterprise and smaller government; strong national security for our country and support for our troops; energy independence; and for those who will protect freedom and equality and life... I'll work for and campaign for those proud to be American, and those who are inspired by our ideals and won't deride them.

I will support others who seek to serve, in or out of office, for the right reasons, and I don't care what party they're in or no party at all. Inside Alaska – or Outside Alaska.

But I won’t do it from the Governor’s desk.

I've never believed that I, nor anyone else, needs a title to do this - to make a difference... to help people. So I choose, for my State and my family, more "freedom" to progress, all the way around... so that Alaska may progress... I will not seek re-election as Governor.

And so as I thought about this announcement that I wouldn’t run for re-election and what it means for Alaska, I thought about how much fun some governors have as lame ducks… travel around the state, to the Lower 48 (maybe), overseas on international trade – as so many politicians do. And then I thought – that’s what’s wrong – many just accept that lame duck status, hit the road, draw the paycheck, and “milk it”. I’m not putting Alaska through that – I promised efficiencies and effectiveness! That’s not how I am wired. I am not wired to operate under the same old “politics as usual.” I promised that four years ago – and I meant it.

It’s not what is best for Alaska.

I am determined to take the right path for Alaska even though it is unconventional and not so comfortable.

With this announcement that I am not seeking re-election… I’ve determined it’s best to transfer the authority of governor to Lieutenant Governor Parnell; and I am willing to do so, so that this administration – with its positive agenda, its accomplishments, and its successful road to an incredible future – can continue without interruption and with great administrative and legislative success.

My choice is to take a stand and effect change – not hit our heads against the wall and watch valuable state time and money, millions of your dollars, go down the drain in this new environment. Rather, we know we can effect positive change outside government at this moment in time, on another scale, and actually make a difference for our priorities – and so we will, for Alaskans and for Americans.

Let me go back to a comfortable analogy for me – sports… basketball. I use it because you’re naïve if you don’t see the national full-court press picking away right now: A good point guard drives through a full court press, protecting the ball, keeping her eye on the basket… and she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can win. And I’m doing that – keeping our eye on the ball that represents sound priorities – smaller government, energy independence, national security, freedom! And I know when it’s time to pass the ball – for victory.

I have given my reasons candidly and truthfully… and my last day won’t be for another few weeks so the transition will be very smooth. In fact, we will look to swear Sean in – in Fairbanks at the conclusion of our Governor’s picnics.

I do not want to disappoint anyone with my decision; all I can ask is that you trust me with this decision – but it’s no more “politics as usual”.

Some Alaskans don’t mind wasting public dollars and state time. I do. I cannot stand here as your Governor and allow millions upon millions of our dollars go to waste just so I can hold the title of Governor. And my children won’t allow it either.

Some will question the timing. Let’s just say, this decision has been in the works for awhile…

In fact, this decision comes after much consideration, and finally polling the most important people in my life - my children (where the count was unanimous... well, in response to asking: "Want me to make a positive difference and fight for ALL our children's future from outside the Governor's office?" It was four "yes's" and one "hell yeah!" The "hell yeah" sealed it - and someday I'll talk about the details of that... I think much of it had to do with the kids seeing their baby brother Trig mocked by some pretty mean-spirited adults recently.) Um, by the way, sure wish folks could ever, ever understand that we all could learn so much from someone like Trig - I know he needs me, but I need him even more... what a child can offer to set priorities right – that time is precious... the world needs more "Trigs", not fewer.

My decision was also fortified during this most recent trip to Kosovo and Landstuhl, to visit our wounded soldiers overseas, those who sacrifice themselves in war for our freedom and security… we can ALL learn from our selfless Troops… they’re bold, they don’t give up, they take a stand and know that life is short so they choose to not waste time. They choose to be productive and to serve something greater than self... and to build up their families, their states, our country. These Troops and their important missions – those are truly the worthy causes in this world and should be the public priority with time and resources and not this local / superficial wasteful political bloodsport.

May we all learn from them!

*((Gotta put First Things First))*

First things first: as Governor, I love my job and I love Alaska. It hurts to make this choice but I am doing what’s best for Alaska. I’ve explained why… though I think of the saying on my parents’ refrigerator that says “Don’t explain: your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe you anyway.”

But I have given my reasons… no more “politics as usual” and I am taking my fight for what’s right – for Alaska – in a new direction.

Now, despite this, I don’t want any Alaskan dissuaded from entering politics after seeing this real “climate change” that began in August… no, we need hardworking, average Americans fighting for what’s right! And I will support you because we need you and you can effect change, and I can too on the outside.

We need those who will respect our Constitution where government’s supposed to serve from the bottom up, not move toward this top down big government take-over… but rather, will be protectors of individual rights - who also have enough common sense to acknowledge when conditions have drastically changed and are willing to call an audible and pass the ball when it’s time so the team can win! And that is what I’m doing!

Remember Alaska… America is now, more than ever, looking North to the Future. It'll be good. So God bless you, and from me and my family - to all Alaska - you have my heart.

And we will be in the capable hands of our Lieutenant Governor, Sean Parnell. And Lieutenant General Craig Campbell will assume the role of Lieutenant Governor. And it is my promise to you that I will always be standing by, ready to assist. We have a good, positive agenda for Alaska.

In the words of General MacArthur said, “We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”


~ ~ ~

Excerpts from the New York Times article follows:

Update | 7:00 p.m. Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska announced Friday that she would step down by the end of the month and not seek a second term as governor, fueling speculation that she is trying to position herself as a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

Her decision follows a week of extraordinarily bad publicity, from within her own state over ethics inquiries and across the national landscape as top aides on her vice-presidential campaign and supporters have been engaged in a highly public feud that has spilled out in vociferous tones online on blogs and on television. Bloggers in Alaska, critics of the governor as well as former Palin supporters, suggest also that pending releases of e-mails among the Palins were about to expose her to further questions about her finances and governance issues.

In fact, Governor Palin signaled in her nearly breathless news conference that more trouble may lie ahead, as she cited battles that could cost her millions of dollars, a pile-up adding on to her burdens.

Ms. Palin, who was Senator John McCain’s vice presidential running mate last year and solidified the support of the party’s conservative base, explained her decision at a news conference at her home in Wasilla, Alaska, accompanied by her husband, Todd, and other family members.

“We know we can effect positive change outside of government,” she said in making the announcement. Full text of the speech.

Known as Sarah Barracuda when she played basketball in high school, Ms. Palin used point guard analogy in explaining her decision, saying she knows “exactly when to pass the ball so the team can win.”

~ ~ ~

Brad Woodhouse, communications director of the Democratic National Committee, issued these remarks:
Either Sarah Palin is leaving the people of Alaska high and dry to pursue her long shot national political ambitions or she simply can’t handle the job now that her popularity has dimmed and oil revenues are down. Either way - her decision to abandon her post and the people of Alaska who elected her continues a pattern of bizarre behavior that more than anything else may explain the decision she made today.

~ ~ ~

plez sez: sorry, ya'll! but i had to breakup the MJ KING OF POP tribute to pen a response in regards to my insatiable curiosity about sarah palin.

ol' girl picked the slowest of news cycles (the beginning of a major US holiday weekend) to announce the biggest political news since last year's election!

i've read her poorly written statement (which includes reference to a refrigerator magnet in her parents' house) and i have no better idea why she would quit in the middle of her term other than there is some Outside Influence guiding this decision. after reading all the drivel she obviously wrote during one sitting, you get the idea that alaska is doing really well, everyone loves the palins... so there isn't a good reason for her to step down. she would be a lame duck because she chose to be one... or does she KNOW that she'd never win re-election next year?

why is sarah palin quitting on the people of alaska: is it because she's falling off the radar politically at home and she wants to skip out before the bottom falls out? is it to raise money for the legal fees it is taking to defend her good name against the interpolators who descended on alaska during last year's campaign? is it because she wants to devote full time to campaigning for a presidential run in 2012? she has a brood of five pickaninnies running around her house (including her grandson), is she planning to devote her time to being a full-time housewife? is there some juicy scandal about to break in the coming weeks and she wants to be gone when it drops? maybe alaska is just too small time for a big time national politician of her stature?!?

this woman has been shrouded in mystery, bafflement, confusion, yet an undeniable charisma since she was thrust into our lives during the last gasps of john mccain's failed presidential bid. never has someone generated so much heat from so little kindling... a literal flash in the pan. this announcement is little more than a blip on the political meter, since alaska is a far off land with more moose than voters. but for some strange reason this woman keeps getting attention as if she was a serious candidate for national office (are the republicans THAT desparate?) or as if she ever had anything of substance to say (her little back-and-forth with david letterman a few weeks ago proves that she doesn't).

plezWorld is putting his money on the breaking of some news in the coming weeks... probably some salacious accusations involving certain members of her family (remember her jilted teenage daughter who got knocked up just before the campaign was supposed to be married to her high school sweetheart by now?).

~ ~ Citations ~ ~

Read the Anchorage Daily News article about how even fellow Alaskans are baffled by Palin's decision to quit.

Read the New York Times article about Palin to resign as governor of Alaska.

Read the Washington Post article about the governor of Alaska plans to quit.

Read the Washington Post op-ed article about how Palin plays by a different set of rules.

Read the article about Palin stepping down as governor of Alaska.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Friday, July 03, 2009

Quincy Jones Reflects on Michael Jackson

The following Q&A was featured in shortly after the death of Michael Jackson:

By Jeff Gordinier

Q: How have you been holding up since Michael Jackson's death?
A: Oh, man. It's surrealistic. I went to Shanghai for the movie festival over there—I took Halle Berry—and then went back to Luxembourg, and in three days I lost Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael. And Michael's thing is still surrealistic to me. I can't process it, man. I don't know how to process it. It's just unbelievable—him leaving before me. I can't believe it.

Q: How did you learn that he had died?
A: Well, everybody in the world called me. I got 500 e-mails. I've never seen anything like it in my life. At first they said they'd taken him to the hospital, then they said he'd had a stroke or a heart attack—it just kept going back and forth and we didn't know what was really happening. And at first I thought he was just kind of freaked out by the coming concerts, because I was in London when they announced the 50 concerts and they sold out in four hours. . . We'd see each other all the time, and I just can't believe he's not here.

Q: Have you been crying?
A: Oh, man, it's more than that. It's way more than that. It hurts my soul, man. It's just a lump down there.

Q: You were there to witness the strange evolution in Michael's appearance. Did you ever step in and saying anything about it?
A: Oh, we talked about it all the time. But he'd come up with, "Man, I promise you I have this disease," and so forth, and "I have a blister on my lungs," and all that kind of b.s. It's hard, because Michael's a Virgo, man—he's very set in his ways. You can't talk him out of it. Chemical peels and all that stuff.

Q: Did you believe him about the disease?
A: I don't believe in any of that bullshit, no. No. Never. I've been around junkies and stuff all my life. I've heard every excuse. It's like smokers—"I only smoke when I drink" and all that stuff. But it's bullshit. You're justifying something that's destructive to your existence. It's crazy. I mean, I came up with Ray Charles, man. You know, nobody gonna pull no wool over my eyes. He did heroin 20 years! Come on. And black coffee and gin for 40 years. But when he called me to come over to see him when he was in the hospital on his way out, man, he had emphysema, hepatitis C, cirrhosis of the liver, and five malignant tumors. Please, man! I've been around this all my life. So it's hard for somebody to pull the wool over my eyes. But when somebody's hell-bent on it, you can't stop 'em.

Q: But it must've been so disturbing to see Michael's face turn into what it turned into.
A: It's ridiculous, man! Chemical peels and all of it. And I don't understand it. But he obviously didn't want to be black.

Q: Is that what it was?
A: Well, what do you think? You see his kids?

Q: Did you ever discuss it? Did you ever ask, "Michael, don't you want to be a black man?"
A: No, no, no, please. That's not the way you do it.

Q: But he was beautiful before?
A: Man, he was the most gorgeous guy.

Q: But he seemed to have some deep-seated issue with how he looked?
A: Well, that comes about a certain way. I'm not sure how it happens. I'm just a musician and a record producer. I'm not a psychiatrist. I don't understand all that stuff. We all got problems. But there's a great book out called Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart. Did you see that? That book says the statute of limitations has expired on all childhood traumas. Get your stuff together and get on with your life, man. Stop whinin' about what's wrong, because everybody's had a rough time, in one way or another.

Q: I've heard you say that you wanted Michael to sing "She's Out of My Life," the great pop ballad from Off the Wall, in part because you felt like he had to deal with reality.
A: I just wanted to hear him deal with a romantic relationship with a human being rather than a rat. I'm saying that facetiously, but it's true. I saw him at the Oscars very emotional about "Ben." I wanted to hear him get in touch with a real human relationship. "She's Out of My Life" was written by Tommy Bahler from a very bad ending to a marriage. So it was very real. I was saving it for Sinatra. But I gave it to Michael. And Michael cried during every take, and I left the tears in.

Q: It's interesting you mention this, because I was just watching a clip on YouTube where you're sitting on a couch with Michael and he's petting a snake the whole time.
A: Oh, I remember that. Yeah, that was Muscles.

Q: Muscles?
A: Muscles. That's a big boa constrictor he had. Muscles used to wrap around my leg in a record session and crawl across the console. I was never comfortable with that. It was a choice between that and Bubbles—you know, the chimp.

Q: Did you ever meet Bubbles?
A: Are you kidding me? He bit a hole in my daughter's hand! Rashida's hand. Rashida Jones—did you see I Love You, Man? That's my daughter. She was a little girl. And Bubbles bit her hand. Michael used to bring Muscles and Bubbles by the house all the time, you know.

Q: What did you think of that? Wasn't that a little weird?
A: I don't know, man. Everybody does his own thing. I've met every freak in the business. Everybody has their idiosyncrasies. I try not to judge it, you know. I know all women are junkies for little dogs and bags and purses. Ha ha ha ha!

Q: At root, what do you think killed Michael Jackson?
A: I don't know, man. I'm a musician. I'm not a psychiatrist. I would think that the pressure of the concerts and the debt and everything else . . . look, I've been in the hands of Nobel doctors for the last five years, in Stockholm, at the Karolinska hospital, which you can't even pay to get in. I've learned so much about the human mind and the body, and the doctors talk all the time about how you become your thoughts. It's true. With one thought it starts, you know, and if you sit there and just stay hung up on one negative thought, you will become that thought. I know that Lisa Marie Presley said that she always thought he was going to die like Elvis. You sit and think about that stuff, it'll happen to you. If you start thinking about darkness instead of light, or fear instead of love, you'll get in trouble. I really believe that.

Q: With so many people asking you about Michael Jackson, is it hard to find the private space in which to mourn his death?
A: Yes, it is. It's surrealistic. I don't know how to process it at all. Because everybody's reacting to it, and making up their own answers.

Q: You've said that you don't attend funerals anymore because you've lost so many friends. Do you plan to attend Michael Jackson's funeral?
A: No, not at all, not at all. Because it's going to be, like, 9 million people there, and it's not what I want to see.

Q: You're not going to be there?
A: No. I can't be there, anyway. I'm going to Wales the day after tomorrow, I go to Montreux, I go to Marbella, I go to the south of France. My condolences and love I've already sent to the family. But being there with 10 million people is not my idea of a tribute to somebody you were so close to—who's got a part of your soul. Our souls were joined, you know. And a piece of it goes with him.

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plez sez: Q drops the bomb... but then again, is anyone surprised?!? MJ was the KING OF POP, but he was a fatally flawed individual none-the-less: the incessant whining about a childhood lost over 40 years ago, the obvious self-hatred and desire to be anything but Black, the weird social habits, the severe drug addiction, and his desire to rekindle a childhood long past with other peoples' children.

plezWorld hated to see him go, but the sad truth is that he had peaked a long time ago in a land far, far away (his record sales fell off with the allegations of child molestation soon after "Dangerous" dropped in 1992). it's been almost 20 years since he'd had a major hit album of the magnitude of "Thriller" and "Bad." he was a tortured soul... i only pray that he is finally at peace.

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