More Celebrations

I forgot to include an oldie (circa 1996) but goodie from the UK group St. Etienne, “I Was Born on Christmas Day”, featuring the ethereal vocals of Sarah Cracknell.
Today is the 3rd principle of Kwanzaa: Ujima – Collective Work and Responsibility
The goal is to build and maintain a community. This is where it is imperative that people financially support those entities and companies that don’t harm the Black community, especially Black women and girls. 

For example, if a large consumer products company such as Proctor & Gamble is paying for advertising on shows that degrades the image of Black women then we should NOT lend our tacit approval by purchasing their products. If a certain music artist displays skin-shade racism don’t buy their music! It requires making informed and deliberate choices. Stop blindly supporting churches, Civil Rights organizations and even your neighborhood store if they don’t offer reciprocity in turn. We can demand equal access and fair representation by using our collective bargaining power. 

It’s like holding a large voting block on the board of a company where you can easily wield influence. It is time for people to begin strategizing and planning a long term goal and an overall course of action for the uplifting and care of those who show themselves to be allies and recognize and protect each other from the enemies. 

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Let today be a time you can share with your family by biology or choice and be warm, safe and loved. Know that millions across the world are collectively sending out good thoughts today. Somebody loves you!!
          Bruce Springsteen & E. Street Band
          Luther Vandross & Chaka Khan
          Aretha Franklin
          Take 6 – Joy to the World
          Stevie Wonder – What Christmas Means to Me
          Adam Sandler – Hanukkah Song

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Was the Warren Pick An Effort at Neutralizing Gay Animus From Religious Zealots?

McCain And Obama Attend Campaign Forum At California Mega-Church
I’m wondering if Obama is just a mere politician pandering to those that voted for him and triangulating support – or if he really is pulling Ninja stealth moves and we’re really slow on the uptake? Is he giving oxygen to haters or sucking out poison from a snake? The pick of Rick Warren to deliver the Inauguration Invocation, which is the opening prayer and lasts 5-10 minutes, caused a major uproar from Gay Rights advocates and rightfully so. I wondered however if people were overreacting and placing more significance than it warranted. 
Dr. Joseph Lowery is giving the Benediction, the closing prayer, which is 15-20 minutes or so and he is an advocate. Also there are other ‘openly gay’ scheduled participants scattered throughout the events of the day. I have a problem with those advocates who want to decry the Warren pick but won’t examine their own privilege as well as those that don’t build relationships with others across various communities. 
I find it very telling when so many white gays were quick to attack Black people when they didn’t get what they wanted. I am also equally if not more appalled by the animus displayed by many Black people who are claiming moral hierarchy in condemning homosexuality and some people’s stubborn insistence that they are “only quoting the word of God”. Meanwhile, the Black community such that it is, has fast disintegrated into a cesspool of dysfunction and evil that far permeates any argument against teh gay. 
But people don’t want to hear it. I’m having an ongoing conversation – argument if you will – at a black-oriented political blog about this very issue. Those people that cling to their very selective Bible quotations do not want to have a real conversation about dogma versus compassion. Or even a brief review of history, from the Crusades, to slave trading, to bombing health care workers and clinics. It’s all in the name of the Lord! So there may never be a point of agreement. What didn’t go unnoticed was the voting trends of the so-called evangelicals who voted for the Democratic nominee in such large numbers this election cycle while white gays and lesbians voted Republican.
What I also find interesting is how Warren is making nice nice with teh gay, well Melissa Etheridge and one owner of a store in West Hollywood. You know, other white people, because yet again Blacks are not a part of this conversation except to blame or to bash each other. Warren has also been busy sanitizing his web site of all the fire and brimstone condemnation. Which only proves my point that he is a false prophet and snake oil salesman hawking ‘religion’ to make his name and fortune. 
If he really believed what he preached he should not publicly change his stance to curry favor with the incoming President. Which brings me back to Obama and wondering if he chose Warren knowing he would start backpedaling in favor of…..a favorable spotlight. Of course it could also be because of the pressure he’s getting from gay advocates, though he didn’t seem to care about them before under cloak of “my religious beliefs are this”. 
If the Warren choice neuters his animus then Obama may have accomplished more in the course of a few weeks than others have tried for years. Those that follow Warren will be forced to disavow themselves – as some have done – or rethink their position because their “leader” has done so. Even though the effort is minor, any budging at all signifies a huge shift. Maybe people will start thinking for themselves for a change instead of blinding following a guy on a pulpit. 
I could be wrong though. Now can we also talk about his views on abortion?
photo source: Getty

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A California Carol for Our Gov

T’was the day before Xmas and all through the state, disgruntled citizens are sharpening their stakes. Is that Morgan Freeman I hear or a really good impersonator? Yup, it’s him. I am so relieved to know I’m not *crazy* about my outrage over the Governator’s failure to lead. He tried blatant right-wing tactics when he prepared to attack nurses, fire fighters and teachers but that was quickly slapped down. He’s let the budget balloon from $7B to $15B while ignoring the pending calendar year that adds on another $28B the State does not have. Now the State will run out of money in February 2009. He’s claiming that he’ll pass a budget without fellow Republicans to save Kah-li-fawn-ya. I’ll believe it when it happens. 

The Courage Campaign put out this satirical piece (note to all the racist regurgitaters who tried to be ‘cute’ with the Obamas – this is how it’s done) and is asking for our signatures. The end.

Before Dancing, There Was Circus With the Stars!

Yet again I want to nominate YouTube as one of the greatest modern conveniences of the Internet and thank people for their participation. I sorta remember this show. I now realize there was “reality” tv before it became the scourge of the industry. 
Episode with Emma Samms – hosted by Downtown Julie Brown (the coolest MTV VJ!). She looked a little concerned!!
Episode with Deidre Hall. Blue spandex and an elephant. She was brave!

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Inauguration Countdown 29 Days or Bust!

A crowd estimated at 300,000 braved the cold and drizzle to attend the inauguration ceremony for George W. Bush as he was sworn in as the 43rd president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 20, 2001.
Well we know some of the participants may not be everyone’s cup of tea and the activities planned may not be as exciting as other Inaugurations for some, there are plenty of people who are looking forward to having a cause for celebration. I am so looking forward to the words: “Your Next President Barack Hussein Obama”
The organizers have prepared for millions of people who will brave the elements to stand at the National Mall to watch the Swearing-In Ceremony live on a jumbo-tron.  A few lucky or well-connected folks actually got the tickets at the Capitol steps (I tried!). There are numerous Balls being given by organizations aside from the ‘Official’ first Ball. Tickets and invitations are required for these as well as other events such as the Parades. One very nice businessman/philanthropist is throwing the People’s Ball for the working class and homeless – even including clothing and beauty services! The theme is “A New Birth of Freedom” which means the universe is not without a sense of irony.
Washington, D.C. is going to be a much colder but livelier Denver Convention experience I am certain. Restaurants and bars are planning on being open 24/7 and the Inauguration is the day after the MLK Holiday. Pretty much every hotel has long been sold out! 
The deadline for requesting Media Credentials is today. A lot of us will just be glad to say it’s the official end to the Bush/Cheney years! The surviving students who integrated public schools in Little Rock, AR and the Tuskegee Airmen will be in attendance. Be aware cell phone service might be a little spotty – unless you’re watching from the comfort of your home.
Here’s the schedule per the Washington Post:
The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies announced today the schedule for the swearing in of President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joseph Biden on Jan. 20. The ceremony traditionally begins around 10 a.m. and lasts for about two hours. Obama must be sworn in by noon. 

Musical Selection
The United States Marine Band

Musical Selection
The San Francisco Boys & San Francisco Girls Chorus  – yeah San Fran!!

Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein              – could be our next Governor

Invocation
Dr. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA   – Boo!

Musical Selection
Aretha Franklin               – we are hoping for a tasteful presentation

Oath of Office Administered to Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
By Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
The Honorable John Paul Stevens

Musical Selection: John Williams, composer/arranger
Itzhak Perlman, Violin
Yo-Yo Ma, Cello
Gabriela Montero, Piano
Anthony McGill, Clarinet

Oath of Office Administered to President-elect Barack H. Obama
By the Chief Justice of the United States
The Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr.

Inaugural Address
The President of the United States, The Honorable Barack H. Obama

Poem
Elizabeth Alexander    – Black Woman Poetess Extraordinaire!

Benediction
The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery          – yeah!

The National Anthem
The United States Navy Band “Sea Chanter”

photo credit: 2001 Inauguration Wally McNamee

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Will Smith on Letterman

This interview was so funny (the 2nd half was the best part). I like the insight into Will Smith’s family life and career. How much was improv and how much did they discuss pre-interview? It’s nice to see such a positive exchange. No hints about the movie because it will give away the plot – but Seven Pounds was GREAT!!!!

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Some of the Best Covers Ever

                  Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah

                  Eva Cassidy – Over the Rainbow

                  Cowboy Junkies – Sweet Jane
                  The Sundays – Wild Horses

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