While I Clean Out the Clutter You Can Have A Laugh Today!

Enjoy Your Day Whatever You Are Doing!
Ikea (Winter Sale). Haven’t there been times where you thought the cashier rang up the wrong price and it was in your favor?
Ikea (Mocha Milk). This is a foreign commercial. Sexy but still classy and in case you doubt that you should look at the less puritanical (or more explicit) commercials in regular rotation.
McDonalds (McNuggets Lovin’). This has the same production value as your typical R&B song and video being released today. That’s not a good thing. 
Ad Council PSA on Fatherhood Involvement (Cheerleader). This airs at least three times per week. I haven’t gotten sick of it yet. They have an entire series of them so check ’em out!

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Johannes Mehserle To Be Charged With Murder – Is the Sky Falling?

Johannes Mehserle, right, appeares in the East Fork Justice Court on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009, in Minden, Nev. Mehserle is being held on charges related to the New Year's day shooting of an unarmed man on an Oakland, Calif., train platform. Mehserle, 27, waived extradition to California early Wednesday during a brief court appearance in Minden, Nev., and was being held without bail on a warrant charging homicide. Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Ron Mills is at left.

Johannes Mehserle, right, appeares in the East Fork Justice Court on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009, in Minden, Nev. Mehserle is being held on charges related to the New Year’s day shooting of an unarmed man on an Oakland, Calif., train platform. Mehserle, 27, waived extradition to California early Wednesday during a brief court appearance in Minden, Nev., and was being held without bail on a warrant charging homicide.
Source: Star-Telegram, Photo: AP
Lyrics from Snoop Dog:
As I look up at the sky
My mind starts trippin, a tear drops my eye
My body temperature falls
I’m shakin and they breakin tryin to save the Dogg
Pumpin on my chest and I’m screamin
I stop breathin, damn I see deamons
Dear God, I wonder can ya save me
I can’t die Boo-Boo’s bout to have my baby
I think it’s too late for prayin, hold up
A voice spoke to me and it slowly started sayin
“Bring your lifestyle to me I’ll make it better”
How long will I live?
“Eternal life and forever”
And will I be, the G that I was?
“I’ll make your life better than you can imagine or even dreamed of
So relax your soul, let me take control
Close your eyes my son”
My eyes are closed

[Chorus:]

Murder… murder was the case that they gave me
Murder… murder was the case that they gave me

I hadn’t expected to continue writing about the Oscar Grant III shooting much, but this is the #1 news story in the Bay Area right now. That and the lack of a State budget thanks to the idiot actor playing at being Governor. Well color me dumbfounded because I can’t recall the last time a law enforcement official was arrested and charged for shooting someone they’d labeled a perp. There are protests going on in Oakland right now as I write. I”m not sure if the fact that Mehserle quit has something to do this or what it is really. Was it the video? Pressure from the community? If so why for this one incident and not all the others? 
There are numerous cases where police have shot and killed innocent people with no consequences for them. The leading cause of death amongst younger Black men is still at the hands of other Black men. Again I ask, where’s the protest and outrage over that! Why won’t people come forward with information they have about the criminal activity they see?  I really don’t know what to say other than if a trial proceeds, there is likely to be a venue change with not one Black juror and the officer will be acquitted. I’m highly skeptical he will serve any prison time either way, but stranger things have happened. I just feel for the lives of both daughters should they grow up without sufficient male influence and love. Life isn’t fair though. The justice system is only just for some. 

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Do You Think We Need A Secretary of the Creative Arts?

I’m not sure how the position would be titled or implemented specifically, but I really like the idea of having a Cabinet-level position focusing on music and the arts. There are so many creative individuals: musical scientists, the next great poet or someone who can use technology in ways we can’t envision. Not everyone is meant to focus on the technical aspects of things. Since the Feds implemented massive cuts to public schools in 1977 effectively ending things like piano lessons or photography classes, this country has never really recovered. Teaching kids music assists them in learning math and science so this isn’t a frivolous thing. There’s a petition you can sign that’s been attributed to a quote by Quincy Jones. Now this is only a start. If people are serious they will need a well-executed plan and some structure. Artsake blog has discussed this as well as Parabasis. 
I know I’d like to see more access to classes, a steady supply of well….supplies, keeping up with technology and a little innovation. Guidance with filling out the massive amounts of paperwork required to receive funding is always helpful. I’d love it if everyone could submit a simple application that doesn’t require hosts of recommendations or a large body of work to get a little stipend of some sort. Every little bit helps you know. Of course now that the economy is in the toilet it may be less likely, but this is the precise time when it’s more needed than ever.
I think it should be a person who’s had exposure to people from working class backgrounds and not just the elite with a non-traditional point of view. This is something worth exploring for sure. In the meantime check out this video of an artist who’s using their iPhone to create a song from scratch. Just when I think it’s safe to rail against consumerism and the constant release of computers, video games, cell phones and other gadgets I realize there is some use for these items. My G4 is considered obsolete and it’s not even 3 years old yet. I’d gladly upgrade now that I’ve seen how much faster the processor for the latest models are by comparison.
Be sure to leave a comment and rate the video when you get a chance because this musician is trying to retain funding to teach music and production classes to youth without charging them.

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I’m Goin’ to D.C.

Well wouldn’t you just know that when you think you’re going in one direction, life throws you a curveball. I had considered and rejected the idea of going to D.C. for the Inauguration due to logistics, crowds and money. Monday afternoon I received a phone call from my representative that my ticket request had been processed. I have unused airline mileage I can redeem and a friend who lives in the vicinity so there’s no reason why I can’t go. 
I do tend to be sensitive to weather as my giant rant about Denver would show. I’ll keep any frustrations to myself this time! I didn’t need the tickets to go, but I think the Universe is trying to assure me going has validity. I haven’t made any resolutions per se but I’ve been stuck in a rut, questioning myself and this is just the boost I needed. I told a few people and their reactions were so positive and encouraging that I am even more grateful for this opportunity. This is the continuation of my awakening, an unfolding of the best parts of myself that until now could not bloom. 
2008 was a time of reflection, upheaval and a shifting of thought. There are a few things I want to accomplish in 2009 and I must confess I was starting to falter. I want to make the “right” choices to yield the best results. So why would going to an open air event in the freezing cold help? Well, it’s the energy and the people I am certain to meet. I started blogging after contemplating it for months once I attended a blogger conference and met some awesome women. I don’t have access to the elite events or unlimited funds to attend the Inaugural Balls. I’m just your average citizen on a tight budget. 
You have to understand I went to Denver for the Nomination at the last minute. I’d emailed a fellow commenter at a blog we both frequented and asked if they had a spare badge – and it worked out. I stayed with a volunteer. I didn’t meet either person until after my arrival. I certainly am not lacking in daring. Was it just something meant to be, did I create an outcome or was it pure dumb luck? I still wonder because I have other things that I value much more that haven’t come together that easily. I want to bottle it’s essence in the hopes I can recreate the process. 
For some people being part of the glitterai is a regular aspect of their lives. The Inauguration is just the beginning of their social calendar for the year. They may know world leaders and this is a little bit special but it won’t be the pinnacle of their lives. Others will watch on television millions of miles away with awe and joy. This is just the kick in the pants I need. Well, perhaps it’s more like the hug that I really needed. What are the odds for an unconnected, unknown person getting to Denver and D.C. for both events? I am very humbled right now. 
I will be certain to blog about this. Perhaps I might be persuaded to exchange my ticket for some, eh renumeration. (I hear they’re going for thousands).
P.S. I’d really like to go to Sundance next!

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Yeah..Um..I Guess Brownie Didn’t Do Such A Good Job Afterall

It is the best of times but it is the worst of times. Shrub gave what was touted as his last hurrah and hemmed and hawed a lot. This was classic Charlie Brown – full of noise static. I could say reflection is too big of a task for a man with a feeble brain except our dearly departing President knows exactly what he’s done. And what he hasn’t. It’s just the alcohol buzz or apathy talking. Either way he’s just not that into us.  
I have a countdown ticker to the Obama inauguration on my sidebar but this also signals the end of this latest Bush reign of terror. May a Bush never hold office again. They still get to keep their Nazi money and be considered “respectable”. So don’t cry for them Argentina, ok?! 
Have you ever left clothes out in the rain and they smelled moldy? You washed them numerous times and though they were technically clean there was no way to get the stench out? That’s the Bush administration and the state of where this government is. 
Obama may be so cool that he doesn’t stink but even he won’t be able to rewind time back to when things were corrupt but still manageable. I’m under no delusions about the true nature of those that seek power above all else and how many decent people are stonewalled from being productive. I don’t care how many revisionists appear after the fact to present a rosy picture. Bush (and Cheney) were the worst things that ever happened to the United States. I have one thing to say: Katrina. 
Black bodies floating in the water. Formaldehyde poisoning. Leaving people to die to save off-shore oil reserves. Bush gets a big fat FAIL FAIL FAIL. And some of you have yourselves to thank for voting for the bastard. Now let’s roll up our sleeves, tighten our belts and remember how we got here. We’re going to need a lot of patience because we have a lot of work to do. 
It’s not Obama’s responsibility to clean it all up or to rescue us. That’s on us. Should our incoming President do something equally foul I will be first in line to call him out on it, but I do NOT want to hear from any of those that stood by for YEARS as Bush destroyed this country brick by brick complaining about some nonsense. When a reporter who threw his shoes in disgust is facing a 7-year prison sentence but the crimes of these crooked politicians go un-prosecuted there is something inherently evil afoot. People in a position of power did NOTHING when it really MATTERED! They need to just zip it, take a seat and let a man with some INTELLIGENCE and INTEGRITY do what he NEEDS TO DO. 
Psych! Bush will give a Farewell Address on Thursday. He doesn’t know how to quit us!

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Sunday Morning News Roundup

CBS: Offered commentary on the meaning of the Bush years. We don’t need to review this now do we? They sucked. People rolled over and look at the mess we’re in. There will be NO REVISIONIST HISTORY!!
PBS: Washington Week doesn’t have video up for the latest show, but you can download a podcast. Gwen Ifill discussed the stimulus plan, the continuing Roland Burris/Senate spectacle and Obama’s CIA pick. Nice but they need to step up with the technology.
ABC: No embeddable video directly from the site – what’s up with these news orgs? Can’t they get this is why they’re losing viewers. That and the surplus of white hosts. 
The President-Elect met with the blatantly partisan Clinton stan Snuffleupagus to discuss his economic plan amongst other things. If George would stop trying to interject himself and pose gotcha questions Obama would be able to finish his point. I found myself yelling during the replay for George to just shut-up! I cannot recall any such fervor over the failed Bush policies during the past 8 years. It was old skool Oprah’s Favorite Things “you get a tax break, you get a rebate check” to keep that Hope Train chugging away. 
With the promise of 4 million jobs it sure sounds good. I wonder however if this plan is going to implemented in a way reminiscent of trickle-down theory which was fairly useless to the average or below-average work force. Let’s face it, people who make 6-figures are much more likely to recover from this economic slump than say a former coffeeshop employee or ex-felon trying not to re-offend. The higher earner may have more debt but proportionally would be in a better position to address repayments than someone who was living paycheck to paycheck. 
Still Obama hasn’t given specifics – nor do I expect him to at this time. It seems members of his own party are the biggest problem magnets right now. Makes me want to re-register as an Independent! We will soldier on without all the trouble-makers and naysayers, but still hold our elected officials accountable and vote them out when necessary.
NBC: The only network that offers a video player that works consistently (the fail to play sweepstakes goes to CNN).
On “Meet the Press” Marshmallow (white, all fluff no substance) moderated a roundtable discussion about what they think the Obama economic plan. Feel free to skip at your leisure. The second half (around 23:00) was much more interesting. Bill Cosby, Alvin Poussaint, Adrian Fenty and Maxine Waters discussed the quality of life for Black folks – after shooting down Marshmallow’s “sucks to be Black” diatribe. As if all Blacks share the same class status – they don’t. Cutbacks hurt more people across economic lines than race, but the race of certain people is adversely affected. Waters thinks a rising tide will lift all boots and fixing the infrastructure will address a lot of these issues. Let’s hope so.

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Warhol Meet Palin: There’s the Door!

In the future everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes – Andy Warhol

Failed VP candidate Sarah Palin is holding on for dear life what Warhol so famously quipped about! It’s a looong way to 2012 though! I had a laugh as her continued attention addiction led her this week to complain Caroline Kennedy gets the white glove treatment and how the big bad bloggers openly ridiculed her. Why should she care what we think? We’re just “losers who live in the basement and wear pjs” anyway. Psst! We have moved on – and so should you pretty lady with the guns. I needed a Sunday filler post to be frank and I do derive a little bit of pleasure poking fun at her. It’s the hypocrisy that compels me to discuss this though.
This reminds me of last spring’s Democratic primary when Hillary Clinton would not leave. She had been trailing since Iowa in reality and never recovered from the Obama Movement, but being the fighter that she is meant wearing out her welcome. She still has campaign debt by the way even though she and Bill are worth 8 figures. She’s not the most qualified candidate for the job either but she’s likely to be our next Secretary of State. They all think they’re Effie White, justified in their stubbornness and unfairly cast aside. What happened to competing on a level playing field? Why the huge sense of entitlement? The reality is their time was just up. Or at least it should have been. Hillary still got a fat reward for being Obama’s nemesis.
The thing she and Sarah have in common besides ovaries is the all-hallowed WPP. White Woman Privilege – or White Woman Pedestal depending on how you’d like to define the situation. It’s how Ann Coulter and Elisabeth Hasslebeck bask in their pedestal privilege while sneering at Michelle Obama but get away with it because they “have friends who are or date Black men”. In Sarah’s case it’s when you get praised for your mediocrity while claiming to be at a disadvantage. What else explains the corporate media fawning? Openly courting racists? Especially after (nearly) everyone had figured out what a fraud her image was compared to the reality. In Hillary’s case it was the ridiculous argument that sexism trumped racism in the Oppression Olympics which it clearly doesn’t when there’s zero consideration of  any non-white women in this equation. Hello!!!
WPP is why Affirmative Action mostly benefits the Sarahs, the Anns as well as the Hillarys of this country. That and legacy admissions/promotions and having your relationship with a male relative be a boon to you career-wise. Be it generational wealth or generational considerations it’s hard not to succeed when it is expected for you to do so and a path has been cleared. Not that we all don’t have our individual trials and tribulations, but certainly we can see they are all still here and that the Hill & Bill show will never be cancelled. 
The only push back I noticed was from certain members of the Republican wing who didn’t like their accidental Chosen One. She believed all of her own hype – remember how shocked she looked when McCain conceded? Your gonna love me – or else! It wasn’t the Democrats that leaked the clothing non-troversy. Even I thought that was rather low (some of the time) but some quarters of society view the dumbing down of their party a serious mistake. They’ll take the votes of course but they don’t want to actually have to see or interact with their minions. 
They would’ve had to relinquish the moral superiority crown and they did not want to be seen as common. The Republicans are known to be rich, elite, intelligent but exclusive (at least in their minds). Cocktails at the country club are de rigeur, not beer bongs and strip malls. The Palin clan came chock full o’ nuts: kids with funny names, kids who’d dropped out of high school, kid(s) who had unintended and unplanned for pregnancies: if they weren’t white they would’ve been the talking points of everything that’s wrong with other people. How can they fundraise with the steerage passengers running the ship. Nuh unh!  
So if you’re not familiar with the talent show, Showtime at the Apollo you’d recall the time after the crowd has spoken and the curtain is about to be drawn on the performer who has bombed? The show runners brought out the Sandman who yanked them off with his hook as he tap danced. Check out this hilarious sequence on the Cosby Show – no embedding allowed :(. Now I don’t care for or underestimate the appeal that some still have for Sarah but I still say the exit is located Stage Left…..

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Stupid People Do Stupid Things

Hey I’m including myself in this! I can look back and think of times I’d love to do-over. Like the time I mixed cream-based alcoholic beverages with sushi with wine all in the same evening. When protests lead to violence and the arrest of more than 100 people that is counterproductive. Those people that thought taking out their frustration for the Oscar Grant shooting on OPP (other people’s property) was a good idea had to stand before the judge on Friday. You know I’m all for second chances but the attitudes of some of these people really alarm me. I know some people think you can’t tell all of us apart but I’m not claiming them!

From the  Mercury News:

“I know it’s a very frustrating time,” Johnson said, referring to the police investigation into the shooting. “But Oscar would not want to see the violence and the fires. We believe this situation is going to come to a close and justice will be served. I’m asking you please, please, stop it and let justice prevail. Please stop it.”

Let’s just say I’m glad they live over the bridge and not in my neighborhood. I’m all for Black solidarity but I can’t abide by foolishness and criminal activity. Smashing windows and setting cars on fire is not respectable Negro behavior. Yes, I know lots of people riot and over really dumb stuff like a sporting game (yeah I’m talking about Manchester United or similar). But those are dumbs acts by white people and truth be told, the greater society at large isn’t going to hold it against all of them for what some of them do. Like with Black people. 
Besides this is bigger than that. When Oscar Grant’s mother – in her time of grief – has to publicly urge people (as posted above) to stop acting like a da** fool because they’re making things worse for the family then you are the problem! There are more protests scheduled and not all of the participants are Black but you know who’s going to end up in the news should things go south. All that outrage should be channeled into something productive like completing an education, cleaning up the neighborhood (literally and figuratively) and focus on something besides playing ball or rapping about nonsense. That foolishness is not Black culture – that’s displaying depravity and callousness. Which breeds apathy. Which breeds violence. We do not need to go there anymore.
Also people need to learn to engage politically. I’ve been mentioning this in a lot of posts because after last year I got the memo that ‘real’ change isn’t going to happen from complaints, petitions or protests alone. More Black people have to learn to interact in all areas of society and navigate through sometimes unpleasant and unfair circumstances and do it while keeping one’s cool with high self-esteem. It can be a tall order but it’s necessary. We need to reach out to those who will support our endeavors and we cannot be our own islands. 
Have a vision for yourself beyond what you think is readily available. Be more positive. Trust me on this – it may be challenging but it’s not impossible. 
From Immediate Influence Blog

The most powerful opposing force to achieving your goals in 2009 and beyond is YOU! More specifically, it’s the disempowering beliefs that you are harboring about yourself, your capabilities, and resources. For example, let’s suppose that in the past five, ten, or twenty years an associate of yours has repeatedly set a goal to earn six figures but it has never happened. Why didn’t it happen? It’s not that they didn’t want to achieve the goal. It’s that they allowed feelings/emotions to stop them during their journey.

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Old School Friday

lauryn hill – x factor
tell me who i have to be
to get some reciprocity
She was expecting equality! This video and song could be released today and wouldn’t sound or look dated at all. The brightest stars always fade out too quickly.

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Link Time

Where the future of media is headed.
Gov. Ah-nold joins Twitter but he still won’t sign a budget without trying to cut the school year or raising the state sales tax to 10-10.25%. His previous attempts at gutting the SEIU, Teachers, Police, Nurses and Fire Fighters were unsuccessful though. One more year. One more year.
Coldplay joins with Oxfam in fighting global poverty. 
Blago got a recommendation for impeachment. Why didn’t they do this in the first place? If you can recall so did Billy Jeff Clinton. We see how successful that one was. Fitzpatrick put in an extension request. If you’re a prosecutor who needs an extra three months to do your job, you are either a hack or you have no real evidence. Which one is it?  
Host a movie screening of Violence Against Women and the Darfur Genocide and speak to experts on Feb 11th for Save Darfur and see their latest campaigns.
If you have a mother, wife, sister, cousin, or friend who’s a female please support pay equality legislation. The Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is back and up for vote later today. Sign or call your representative!! 
Request your representatives adopt a fair and balanced policy in negotiating a cease-fire with the Israelis. From the Friends Committee on National Legislation.
For the CA residents. Voting for delegates takes place this weekend. This is the time to get involved in the political process to gear up for the 2010 election and beyond. Despite the crappy state of the economy, it’s very important to stay on top of the gatekeepers and decision makers now when the chips are down! We don’t need to our interests being sold out to the highest bidder by politicians who don’t care or don’t have the support of enough voters to make positive changes.

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