A WORD OF ADVICE TO THE PRESIDENT AND FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: NO MORE FLIRTING AND OTHER CURIOUS BLOOPERS THAT MAKE US SAY ‘HMMM’!
What is the REAL deal behind the series of bloopers and blunders that it appears President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are making lately? First, the White House Press Office release a statement that the President and the First Lady are vacationing – separately. Next, there was the confusing drama surrounding the visit of the very beautiful and intoxicating Miss Israel to the United States. The first Black Miss Israel, Yityish Aynaw, was extended an invitation to dinner at the White House with President Obama last month. Not dinner with the First Family. Not dinner with the President and the First Lady. Just dinner with the President. Miss Israel’s camp declined the invitation. Sources report that the invite was re-extended with a message that it was non-negotiable. Interesting. First Lady Michelle Obama does an interview about the importance of accessible healthy food and ends up calling herself a “single mother” and then makes a poor attempt to clarify her blooper. And Thursday at a Democratic fundraiser, President Obama called California Attorney General Kamala Harris “by far the best-looking attorney general in the country.” What was that all about? Blatant flirting? In public? White House spokesman Jay Carney said Friday that the President called Kamala Harris Thursday night to apologize for his flirty statement and that “he did not want in any way want to diminish the attorney general’s accomplishments and capabilities” when he blurted that she was fine!
Note to readers of The Washington Review:
Every year we post information regarding the history and origins of Christmas and other holidays that pertain to Christ Jesus and Christianity. It is our feverent hopes that our readers will intelligently process this information and use accordingly for their own personal benefit. The following research taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia can be readily found in any library, encyclopedia, and seminary. ~ Publisher
Origin of the word
The word for Christmas in late Old English is Cristes Maesse, the Mass of Christ, first found in 1038, and Cristes-messe, in 1131. In Dutch it is Kerstmis, in Latin Dies Natalis, whence comes the French Noël, and Italian Il natale; in German Weihnachtsfest, from the preceeding sacred vigil. The term Yule is of disputed origin. It is unconnected with any word meaning “wheel”. The name in Anglo-Saxon was geol, feast: geola, the name of a month (cf. Icelandic iol a feast in December).
Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. Irenaeus and Tertullian omit it from their lists of feasts; Origen, glancing perhaps at the discreditable imperial Natalitia, asserts (in Lev. Hom. viii in Migne, P.G., XII, 495) that in the Scriptures sinners alone, not saints, celebrate their birthday; Arnobius (VII, 32 in P.L., V, 1264) can still ridicule the “birthdays” of the gods.
The first evidence of the feast is from Egypt. About A.D. 200, Clement of Alexandria (Stromata I.21) says that certain Egyptian theologians “over curiously” assign, not the year alone, but the day of Christ’s birth, placing it on 25 Pachon (20 May) in the twenty-eighth year of Augustus. [Ideler (Chron., II, 397, n.) thought they did this believing that the ninth month, in which Christ was born, was the ninth of their own calendar.] Others reached the date of 24 or 25 Pharmuthi (19 or 20 April). With Clement’s evidence may be mentioned the “De paschæ computus”, written in 243 and falsely ascribed to Cyprian (P.L., IV, 963 sqq.), which places Christ’s birth on 28 March, because on that day the material sun was created. But Lupi has shown (Zaccaria, Dissertazioni ecc. del p. A.M. Lupi, Faenza, 1785, p. 219) that there is no month in the year to which respectable authorities have not assigned Christ’s birth. Clement, however, also tells us that the Basilidians celebrated the Epiphany, and with it, probably, the Nativity, on 15 or 11 Tybi (10 or 6 January). At any rate this double commemoration became popular, partly because the apparition to the shepherds was considered as one manifestation of Christ’s glory, and was added to the greater manifestations celebrated on 6 January; partly because at the baptism-manifestation many codices (e.g. Codex Bezæ) wrongly give the Divine words as sou ei ho houios mou ho agapetos, ego semeron gegenneka se (Thou art my beloved Son, this day have I begotten thee) in lieu of en soi eudokesa (in thee I am well pleased), read in Luke 3:22. Abraham Ecchelensis (Labbe, II, 402) quotes the Constitutions of the Alexandrian Church for a dies Nativitatis et Epiphaniæ in Nicæan times; Epiphanius (Hær., li, ed. Dindorf, 1860, II, 483) quotes an extraordinary semi-Gnostic ceremony at Alexandria in which, on the night of 5-6 January, a cross-stamped Korê was carried in procession round a crypt, to the chant, “Today at this hour Korê gave birth to the Eternal“; John Cassian records in his “Collations” (X, 2 in P.L., XLIX, 820), written 418-427, that the Egyptian monasteries still observe the “ancient custom“; but on 29 Choiak (25 December) and 1 January, 433, Paul of Emesa preached before Cyril of Alexandria, and his sermons (see Mansi, IV, 293; appendix to Act. Conc. Eph.) show that the December celebration was then firmly established there, and calendars prove its permanence. The December feast therefore reached Egypt between 427 and 433.
Cyprus, Mesopotamia, Armenia, Asia Minor
In Cyprus, at the end of the fourth century, Epiphanius asserts against the Alogi (Hær., li, 16, 24 in P.G., XLI, 919, 931) that Christ was born on 6 January and baptized on 8 November. Ephraem Syrus (whose hymns belong to Epiphany, not to Christmas) proves that Mesopotamia still put the birth feast thirteen days after the winter solstice; i.e. 6 January; Armenia likewise ignored, and still ignores, the December festival. (Cf. Euthymius, “Pan. Dogm.”, 23 in P.G., CXXX, 1175; Niceph., “Hist. Eccl,”, XVIII, 53 in P.G., CXLVII, 440; Isaac, Catholicos of Armenia in eleventh or twelfth century, “Adv. Armenos”, I, xii, 5 in P.G., CXXII, 1193; Neale, “Holy Eastern Church“, Introd., p. 796). In Cappadocia, Gregory of Nyssa’s sermons on St. Basil (who died before 1 January, 379) and the two following, preached on St. Stephen’s feast (P.G., XLVI, 788; cf, 701, 721), prove that in 380 the 25th December was already celebrated there, unless, following Usener’s too ingenious arguments (Religionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen, Bonn, 1889, 247-250), one were to place those sermons in 383. Also, Asterius of Amaseia (fifth century) and Amphilochius of Iconium (contemporary of Basil and Gregory) show that in their dioceses both the feasts of Epiphany and Nativity were separate (P.G., XL, 337 XXXIX, 36). <!–
In 385, Silvia of Bordeaux (or Etheria, as it seems clear she should be called) was profoundly impressed by the splendid Childhood feasts at Jerusalem. They had a definitely “Nativity” colouring; the bishop proceeded nightly to Bethlehem, returning to Jerusalem for the day celebrations. The Presentation was celebrated forty days after. But this calculation starts from 6 January, and the feast lasted during the octave of that date. (Peregr. Sylv., ed. Geyer, pp. 75 sq.) Again (p. 101) she mentions as high festivals Easter and Epiphany alone. In 385, therefore, 25 December was not observed at Jerusalem. This checks the so-called correspondence between Cyril of Jerusalem (348-386) and Pope Julius I (337-352), quoted by John of Nikiû (c. 900) to convert Armenia to 25 December (see P.L., VIII, 964 sqq.). Cyril declares that his clergy cannot, on the single feast of Birth and Baptism, make a double procession to Bethlehem and Jordan. (This later practice is here an anachronism.) He asks Julius to assign the true date of the nativity “from census documents brought by Titus to Rome“; Julius assigns 25 December. Another document (Cotelier, Patr. Apost., I, 316, ed. 1724) makes Julius write thus to Juvenal of Jerusalem (c. 425-458), adding that Gregory Nazianzen at Constantinople was being criticized for “halving” the festival. But Julius died in 352, and by 385 Cyril had made no change; indeed, Jerome, writing about 411 (in Ezech., P.L., XXV, 18), reproves Palestine for keeping Christ’s birthday (when He hid Himself) on the Manifestation feast. Cosmas Indicopleustes suggests (P.G., LXXXVIII, 197) that even in the middle of the sixth century Jerusalem was peculiar in combining the two commemorations, arguing from Luke 3:23 that Christ’s baptism day was the anniversary of His birthday. The commemoration, however, of David and James the Apostle on 25 December at Jerusalem accounts for the deferred feast. Usener, arguing from the “Laudatio S. Stephani” of Basil of Seleucia (c. 430. — P.G., LXXXV, 469), thinks that Juvenal tried at least to introduce this feast, but that Cyril’s greater name attracted that event to his own period.
In Antioch, on the feast of St. Philogonius, Chrysostom preached an important sermon. The year was almost certainly 386, though Clinton gives 387, and Usener, by a long rearrangement of the saint’s sermons, 388 (Religionsgeschichtl. Untersuch., pp. 227-240). But between February, 386, when Flavian ordained Chrysostom priest, and December is ample time for the preaching of all the sermons under discussion. (See Kellner, Heortologie, Freiburg, 1906, p. 97, n. 3). In view of a reaction to certain Jewish rites and feasts, Chrysostom tries to unite Antioch in celebrating Christ’s birth on 25 December, part of the community having already kept it on that day for at least ten years. In the West, he says, the feast was thus kept, anothen; its introduction into Antioch he had always sought, conservatives always resisted. This time he was successful; in a crowded church he defended the new custom. It was no novelty; from Thrace to Cadiz this feast was observed — rightly, since its miraculously rapid diffusion proved its genuineness. Besides, Zachary, who, as high-priest, entered the Temple on the Day of Atonement, received therefore announcement of John’s conception in September; six months later Christ was conceived, i.e. in March, and born accordingly in December.
Finally, though never at Rome, on authority he knows that the census papers of the Holy Family are still there. [This appeal to Roman archives is as old as Justin Martyr (First Apology 34-35) and Tertullian (Adv. Marc., IV, 7, 19). Julius, in the Cyriline forgeries, is said to have calculated the date from Josephus, on the same unwarranted assumptions about Zachary as did Chrysostom.] Rome, therefore, has observed 25 December long enough to allow of Chrysostom speaking at least in 388 as above (P.G., XLVIII, 752, XLIX, 351).
In 379 or 380 Gregory Nazianzen made himself exarchos of the new feast, i.e. its initiator, in Constantinople, where, since the death of Valens, orthodoxy was reviving. His three Homilies (see Hom. xxxviii in P.G., XXXVI) were preached on successive days (Usener, op. cit., p. 253) in the private chapel called Anastasia. On his exile in 381, the feast disappeared.
According, however, to John of Nikiû, Honorius, when he was present on a visit, arranged with Arcadius for the observation of the feast on the Roman date. Kellner puts this visit in 395; Baumstark (Oriens Chr., 1902, 441-446), between 398 and 402. The latter relies on a letter of Jacob of Edessa quoted by George of Beeltân, asserting that Christmas was brought to Constantinople by Arcadius and Chrysostom from Italy, where, “according to the histories“, it had been kept from Apostolic times. Chrysostom’s episcopate lasted from 398 to 402; the feast would therefore have been introduced between these dates by Chrysostom bishop, as at Antioch by Chrysostom priest. But Lübeck (Hist. Jahrbuch., XXVIII, I, 1907, pp. 109-118) proves Baumstark’s evidence invalid. More important, but scarcely better accredited, is Erbes’ contention (Zeitschrift f. Kirchengesch., XXVI, 1905, 20-31) that the feast was brought in by Constantine as early as 330-35.
At Rome the earliest evidence is in the Philocalian Calendar (P.L., XIII, 675; it can be seen as a whole in J. Strzygowski, Kalenderbilder des Chron. von Jahre 354, Berlin, 1888), compiled in 354, which contains three important entries. In the civil calendar 25 December is marked “Natalis Invicti”. In the “Depositio Martyrum” a list of Roman or early and universally venerated martyrs, under 25 December is found “VIII kal. ian. natus Christus in Betleem Iudeæ”. On “VIII kal. mart.” (22 February) is also mentioned St. Peter’s Chair. In the list of consuls are four anomalous ecclesiastical entries: the birth and death days of Christ, the entry into Rome, and martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul. The significant entry is “Chr. Cæsare et Paulo sat. XIII. hoc. cons. Dns. ihs. XPC natus est VIII Kal. ian. d. ven. luna XV,” i.e. during the consulship of (Augustus) Cæsar and Paulus Our Lord Jesus Christ was born on the eighth before the calends of January (25 December), a Friday, the fourteenth day of the moon. The details clash with tradition and possibility. The epact, here XIII, is normally XI; the year is A.U.C. 754, a date first suggested two centuries later; in no year between 751 and 754 could 25 December fall on a Friday; tradition is constant in placing Christ’s birth on Wednesday. Moreover the date given for Christ’s death (duobus Geminis coss., i.e. A.D. 29) leaves Him only twenty eight, and one-quarter years of life. Apart from this, these entries in a consul list are manifest interpolations. But are not the two entries in the “Depositio Martyrum” also such? Were the day of Christ’s birth in the flesh alone there found, it might stand as heading the year of martyrs’ spiritual natales; but 22 February is there wholly out of place. Here, as in the consular fasti, popular feasts were later inserted for convenience’ sake. The civil calendar alone was not added to, as it was useless after the abandonment of pagan festivals. So, even if the “Depositio Martyrum” dates, as is probable, from 336, it is not clear that the calendar contains evidence earlier than Philocalus himself, i.e. 354, unless indeed pre-existing popular celebration must be assumed to render possible this official recognition. Were the Chalki manuscript of Hippolytus genuine, evidence for the December feast would exist as early as c. 205. The relevant passage [which exists in the Chigi manuscript Without the bracketed words and is always so quoted before George Syncellus (c. 1000)] runs:
He gar prote parousia tou kyriou hemon he ensarkos [en he gegennetai] en Bethleem, egeneto [pro okto kalandon ianouarion hemera tetradi] Basileuontos Augoustou [tessarakoston kai deuteron etos, apo de Adam] pentakischiliosto kai pentakosiosto etei epathen de triakosto trito [pro okto kalandon aprilion, hemera paraskeun, oktokaidekato etei Tiberiou Kaisaros, hypateuontos Hrouphou kai Hroubellionos. — (Comm. In Dan., iv, 23; Brotke; 19)
"For the first coming of Our Lord in the flesh [in which He has been begotten], in Bethlehem, took place [25 December, the fourth day] in the reign of Augustus [the forty-second year, and] in the year 5500 [from Adam]. And He suffered in His thirty-third year [25 March, the parasceve, in the eighteenth year of Tiberius Cæsar, during the consulate of Rufus and Rubellio].”
Interpolation is certain, and admitted by Funk, Bonwetsch, etc. The names of the consuls [which should be Fufius and Rubellius] are wrong; Christ lives thirty-three years; in the genuine Hippolytus, thirty-one; minute data are irrelevant in this discussion with Severian millenniarists; it is incredible that Hippolytus should have known these details when his contemporaries (Clement, Tertullian, etc.) are, when dealing with the matter, ignorant or silent; or should, having published them, have remained unquoted (Kellner, op. cit., p. 104, has an excursus on this passage.)
St. Ambrose (de virg., iii, 1 in P.L., XVI, 219) preserves the sermon preached by Pope Liberius I at St. Peter’s, when, on Natalis Christi, Ambrose’ sister, Marcellina, took the veil. This pope reigned from May, 352 until 366, except during his years of exile, 355-357. If Marcellina became a nun only after the canonical age of twenty-five, and if Ambrose was born only in 340, it is perhaps likelier that the event occurred after 357. Though the sermon abounds in references appropriate to the Epiphany (the marriage at Cana, the multiplication of loaves, etc.), these seem due (Kellner, op. cit., p. 109) to sequence of thought, and do not fix the sermon to 6 January, a feast unknown in Rome till much later. Usener, indeed, argues (p. 272) that Liberius preached it on that day in 353, instituting the Nativity feast in the December of the same year; but Philocalus warrants our supposing that if preceded his pontificate by some time, though Duchesne’s relegation of it to 243 (Bull. crit., 1890, 3, pp. 41 sqq.) may not commend itself to many. In the West the Council of Saragossa (380) still ignores 25 December (see can. xxi, 2). Pope Siricius, writing in 385 (P.L., XII, 1134) to Himerius in Spain, distinguishes the feasts of the Nativity and Apparition; but whether he refers to Roman or to Spanish use is not clear. Ammianus Marcellinus (XXI, ii) and Zonaras (Ann., XIII, 11) date a visit of Julian the Apostate to a church at Vienne in Gaul on Epiphany and Nativity respectively. Unless there were two visits, Vienne in A.D. 361 combined the feasts, though on what day is still doubtful. By the time of Jerome and Augustine, the December feast is established, though the latter (Epp., II, liv, 12, in P.L., XXXIII, 200) omits it from a list of first-class festivals. From the fourth century every Western calendar assigns it to 25 December. At Rome, then, the Nativity was celebrated on 25 December before 354; in the East, at Constantinople, not before 379, unless with Erbes, and against Gregory, we recognize it there in 330. Hence, almost universally has it been concluded that the new date reached the East from Rome by way of the Bosphorus during the great anti-Arian revival, and by means of the orthodox champions. De Santi (L’Orig. delle Fest. Nat., in Civiltæ Cattolica, 1907), following Erbes, argues that Rome took over the Eastern Epiphany, now with a definite Nativity colouring, and, with as increasing number of Eastern Churches, placed it on 25 December; later, both East and West divided their feast, leaving Ephiphany on 6 January, and Nativity on 25 December, respectively, and placing Christmas on 25 December and Epiphany on 6 January. The earlier hypothesis still seems preferable.
Just one day after troubled “One Day At A Time” star, Mackenzie Phillips, appeared on Oprah’s recliner, the fall-out from her revelations continue to pile up. Phillips revealed to Oprah that her father, The Mamas and The Papas’ founder and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Phillips, raped her at the age of eighteen or nineteen. Then, according to her claims, Mackenzie and her father maintained an incestuous for years. The relationship ended when a pregnancy developed that resulted in an abortion allegedly funded by John Phillips.
The not so big news and fall out is the response from family members and the media over the reliability of Mackenzie’s recollections. Mackenzie Phillips’ stepmother, Michelle Phillips, fervently denied the allegations hurled at her former husband by releasing the following statement:
“She (Mackenzie) told me, then she called me back and said, ‘You know I’m joking.’ I said it wasn’t funny. Mackenzie said, ‘I guess we have different senses of humor.’ John was a bad parent, and a drug addict. But *&^@ his daughter? If she thinks it’s true, why isn’t she with a good psychiatrist on a couch? I think it’s unconscionable that Oprah would let her do her show. I have every reason to believe it’s untrue. Oprah should be more judicious about who she has on her show.”
“Mackenzie has a lot of mental illness. She’s had a needle stuck up her arm for 35 years. She was arrested for heroin and coke just recently. She did ‘Celebrity Rehab’ and now she writes a book. The whole thing is timed.”
What do we at The Kaleidoscope Factor think? Well, since you, the reader asked, we feel this way: John Phillips, although famously talented and an icon of his generation, was a known habitual drug addict. Dopefiend. Druggie. Dope head. He used in front of his children and even taught them how to use as well. Has anyone denied that allegation? Nope. Why? Because it is a fact. All of the adults in Mackenzie Phillips’ life were habitual addicts and dropped the ball in being real parental figures.
It is nothing these days to hear of drug-starved parents selling their children for a hit of crack or heroin. Mothers strung out on crack selling their daughter’s precious bodies for drugs or leaving their children home alone for days while out getting high. Why is it so hard to believe that John Phillips could have raped his own child? Why is it so hard to believe that a child, so desperate for her father’s attention and affections, would maintain a incestuous relationship with her father for decades? Remember, the main characters in this story are all strung out on coke and heroin.
As to Michelle Phillips’ comments about whom Oprah picks as guests on her show, doesn’t Michelle realize it’s about the ratings, y’all? Yep. Whitney Houston and now, Mackenzie Phillips, are two troubled women in search of redemption and a come-back. Both admitted drug abusers, each has a story that is powerful and unique. Whether or not the stories are truthful, well, who really believe anything addicts say anyway?
But instead of immediately calling Mackenzie Phillips a liar in Joe Wilson fashion, maybe Michelle Phillips is covering her own sense of guilt and irresponsible behavior, or lack thereof, in regards to the raising of her stepdaughter. She was in the home up until some point before divorcing John Phillips. Also, in a “Behind The Music” interview, Michelle was recorded saying that she never left Chynna Phillips, their only child together, in John Phillips care, ever! Why was that? Because she knew all too well what her ex was like under the influence.
So, the fact of the matter is Mackenzie Phillips may or may not be lying about what happened with her father. But given the history of everyone involved in this mess, a swift benefit of the doubt is certainly due.
Patrick Swayze, the man who put “dirty” and “dancing” together and made the year 1987 one long, sizzling hot summer, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer Monday. He was 57.
Publicist Annett Wolf released the following statement to the media:
“Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months.”
Swayze became a movie star and sex symbol in his breakout role of bad boy Johnny in the film “Dirty Dancing” alongside actress Jennifer Grey. Dance studios around the world added ‘dirty dancing’ lessons to their repertoire and the “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack to the movie spun three number one records including Swayze’s “She’s Like The Wind.”
Then the movie that propelled Patrick Swayze to superstardom status opened in theaters in 1990. “Ghost” featured Swayze playing the role of murdered banker Sam Wheat who seeks justice and revenge for a life ended too soon. Whoopie Goldberg won a best supporting Oscar for her role as a fake psychic who helps Wheat brings his murderers to justice and protect his girlfriend, Molly, played by Demi Moore.
Patrick Swayze said in a past interview that once he read the script for “Ghost,” he knew he had to have the part. He said that the script moved him to tears. Swayze waged a courageous fight against one of the most deadly cancers, pancreatic cancer. Patrick Swayze fought tabloid magazines who invaded his privacy as he came to grips with his medical diagnosis. Tabloids, such as the National Enquirer, splashed personal medical information on their pages which forced Patrick Swayze to publicly acknowledge his condition against his will.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Even though it was tweeted over the weekend, we like to have confirmation before we report it. A publicist for designer/CEO and reality tv star, Kimora Lee Simmons, has just announced that the former spouse of hip hop entreprenuer Russell Simmons, gave birth to a baby boy Saturday, May 30, 2009.
Kimora Lee Simmons tweeted her labor on Twitter this past weekend. The newborn’s father, Oscar nominated actor, Djimon Hounsou, was there for the birth.
Why do we at The Kaleidoscope Factor believe this is news worth reporting?
Well, we happen to like and respect Kimora Lee Simmons. She’s our shero! Don’t hate the playa…hate the game!
Overview of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act
The Administration has released the names of three Mexican organizations against which the President has decided to impose sanctions pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (the “Kingpin Act”) (21 U.S.C. 1901-1908, 8 U.S.C. 1182). Kingpin Act targets, on a worldwide basis, significant foreign narcotics traffickers, their organizations, and operatives.
The Kingpin Act became law on December 3, 1999. Its purpose is to deny significant foreign narcotics traffickers, their related businesses, and their operatives access to the U.S. financial system and to prohibit all trade and transactions between the traffickers and U.S. companies and individuals. The Kingpin Act authorizes the President to take these actions when he determines that a foreign person plays a significant role in international narcotics trafficking. Congress modeled the Kingpin Act on the effective sanctions program that the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) administers against the Colombian drug cartels pursuant to Executive Order 12978 issued in October 1995 (“Executive Order 12978”) under authority of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”).
The Kingpin Act requires that the Secretary of the Treasury, the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency coordinate to identify drug kingpins and propose them to the President for sanctions. The Department of Homeland Security and the Directorate of National Intelligence are also included in the process. The Act calls for the President to report to specified congressional committees by June 1 of each year on those “foreign persons [he] determines are appropriate for sanctions” and stating his intent to impose sanctions upon those Significant Foreign Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Act. While previous Presidential determinations have been tied to the statutory June 1 timetable, the President may also identify Significant Foreign Narcotics Traffickers at any other time pursuant to the Act.
Under the Kingpin Act, the President may identify foreign entities as well as foreign individuals as Significant Foreign Narcotics Traffickers, or “kingpins”: a foreign person is defined in the Act as “any citizen or national of a foreign state or any entity not organized under the laws of the United States, but does not include a foreign state.” Likewise, the President is not required to designate Colombian persons exclusively under Executive Order 12978, and may impose sanctions on a Colombian individual or entity under the Kingpin Act, which is intended to be global in scope.
The long-term effectiveness of the Kingpin Act is enhanced by the Department of the Treasury’s authority (in consultation with appropriate government agencies and departments) under the Act to make derivative designations of foreign individuals and entities that provide specified types of support or assistance to designated traffickers, or that are owned or controlled by such traffickers, or that act on their behalf. This authority broadens the scope of application of the economic sanctions against kingpins to include their businesses and operatives. Including this year’s action, the President has named a total of 78 Significant Foreign Narcotics Traffickers since the first set of kingpins was announced on June 1, 2000. The Department of the Treasury’s OFAC has issued a total of 496 derivative designations pursuant to its authorities under the Kingpin Act; these entities and individuals are subject to the same sanctions that apply to kingpins.
Individuals who violate the Kingpin Act are subject to criminal penalties of up to 10 years in prison and/or fines pursuant to Title 18 of the U.S. Code. Entities that violate the Act face criminal penalties in the form of fines up to $10 million; officers, directors, or agents of an entity who knowingly participate in a violation of the Kingpin Act are subject to criminal penalties of up to 30 years in imprison and/or a $5 million fine. The Kingpin Act also provides for civil penalties of up to $1.075 million against individuals or entities that violate its provisions.
Foreign Narcotics Traffickers Identified for Sanctions
The foreign persons that the President has identified today as appropriate for sanctions pursuant to the Kingpin Act are:
La Familia Michoacana
These names are being added to the list of kingpins first announced in June 2000 and updated every year since then. A complete list of individuals and entities sanctioned under the Kingpin Act can be found at www.treasury.gov/ofac.
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building
12:02 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. I decided not to bring Bo today — because he stepped on my economic speech yesterday. (Laughter.)
Good morning. I know that April 15th isn’t exactly everyone’s favorite date on the calendar. But it is an important opportunity for those of us in Washington to consider our responsibilities to the people who sent us here and who pay the bills. And I’ve brought some friends of mine who sent me here and pay the bills.
Across America, families like the people who join me have had tough choices forced upon them because of this economic downturn. Many have lost a job; many are fighting to keep their business open. Many more are struggling to make payments, to stay in their home, or to pursue a college education. And these Americans are the backbone of our economy, the backbone of our middle class. They’re the workers, the innovators, the students who are going to be powering our recovery. So their dreams have to be our own. They need a government that is working to create jobs and opportunity for them, rather than simply giving more and more to those at the very top in the false hope that wealth automatically trickles down.
And that’s why my administration has taken far-reaching action to give tax cuts to the Americans who need them, while jump-starting growth and job creation in the process. We start from the simple premise that we should reduce the tax burden on working people, while helping Americans go to college, own a home, raise a family, start a business and save for retirement.
Those goals are the foundation of the American Dream, and they are the focus of my tax policy.
First, we’ve passed a broad and sweeping tax cut for 95 percent of American workers. This tax cut was a core focus of my campaign, it was a core component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and it is the most progressive tax cut in American history. And starting April 1st, Americans saw this tax cut in the extra money that they took home with each paycheck.
Make no mistake: This tax cut will reach 120 million families and put $120 billion directly into their pockets, and it includes the most American workers ever to get a tax cut. This is going to boost demand, and it will save or create over half a million jobs. And the Congressional Budget Office has found that tax cuts like these for American workers are more than three times more effective in stimulating recovery than tax breaks for the very wealthiest Americans.
This tax cut also keeps a fundamental promise: that Americans who work hard should be able to make a decent living. It lifts more than 2 million Americans out of poverty. And together with the child tax credit, it ensures that a working parent will be able to support their family.
Second, we are helping small businesses keep their doors open so they can weather this economic storm and create good jobs. Instead of the normal two years, small businesses are now allowed to offset their losses during this downturn against the income they’ve earned over the last five years. And this could provide a record number of refunds for small businesses, which will provide them with the lifeline they need to maintain inventory and pay their workers.
Third, we are helping Americans get the education they need to succeed in a global economy. For years we’ve seen the price of tuition skyrocket at the same time that it became more and more important to earn a college degree. And that’s why we are making college more affordable for every American that needs a hand. That is why we are committed to simplifying the student loan process so more families can get the help they need. And that’s also why our $2,500 tax credit for all four years of college will help us reach a goal that will help our country lead in the 21st century: By 2020, Americans once again will have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.
Fourth, we are helping more Americans purchase homes that they can afford. Just as we must put an end to the irresponsible lending and borrowing that created the housing bubble, we must restore the home as a source of stability and an anchor of the American Dream. That’s why we’re providing a tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time home buyers, which will put a home within reach for hardworking Americans who are playing by the rules and making responsible choices. And by the way, there are at least a couple of folks here who have already used that $8,000 credit, and I think it’s wonderful to see that this is already prompting some willingness for people to go ahead and make that first-time purchase where they thought maybe it was out of reach before.
Fifth, we know that tax relief must be joined with fiscal discipline. Americans are making hard choices in their budgets, and we’ve got to tighten our belts in Washington, as well. And that’s why we’ve already identified $2 trillion in deficit reductions over the next decade. And that’s why we’re cutting programs that don’t work, contracts that aren’t fair, and spending that we don’t need.
We’re also doing away with the unnecessary giveaways that have thrown our tax code out of balance. I said this during the campaign, I’m now saying it as President: We need to stop giving tax breaks to companies that stash profits or ship jobs overseas so we can invest in job creation here at home. And we need to end the tax breaks for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, so that people like me, who are extraordinarily lucky, are paying the same rates that the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans paid when Bill Clinton was President.
Finally, we need to simplify a monstrous tax code that is far too complicated for most Americans to understand, but just complicated enough for the insiders who know how to game the system. So I’ve already started by asking Paul Volcker and my Economic Recovery Board to do a thorough review of how to simplify our tax code, and to report back to me by the end of this year. It’s going to take time to undo the damage of years of carve-outs and loopholes. But I want every American to know that we will rewrite the tax code so that it puts your interests over any special interests. And we’ll make it easier, quicker and less expensive for you to file a return, so that April 15th is not a date that is approached with dread every year.
Now, I just had a conversation with these wonderful Americans, and like people I talked to all across the country, they’re not looking for a free ride. Every single person here is working hard and deserves a chance to get ahead. And they’re a family like — families like the Kirkwoods, who just want to own their own business and put away some money away for their kids’ college tuition. And they’re workers like Clark Harrison, behind me, who has worked hard and wants to be able to purchase that first home. They’re business owners like Alan Givens, who wants his company to sustain itself through bad times as well as the good. And I was encouraged to hear that Alan’s business is going strong on a whole bunch of clean energy measures that he’s helping to promote in his area.
For too long, we’ve seen taxes used as a wedge to scare people into supporting policies that actually increased the burden on working people instead of helping them live their dreams. That has to change, and that’s the work that we’ve begun. We’ve passed tax cuts that will help our economy grow. We’ve made a clear promise that families that earn less than $250,000 a year will not see their taxes increase by a single dime. And we have kept to those promises that were made during the campaign. We’ve given tax relief to the Americans who need it and the workers who have earned it. And we’re helping more Americans move towards their American Dream by going to school, owning a home, keeping their business and raising their family.
So on this April 15th, we’re reminded of the enormous responsibility that comes with handling peoples’ tax dollars. And we’re renewing our commitment to a simpler tax code that rewards work and the pursuit of the American Dream. And I just again want to personally thank all of the families, folks who join me here today, because they inspire me to do what I do every single day.
All right, thank you, everybody.
Remarks of President Barack Obama
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I speak to you today during a time that is holy and filled with meaning for believers around the world. Earlier this week, Jewish people gathered with family and friends to recite the stories of their ancestors’ struggle and ultimate liberation. Tomorrow, Christians of all denominations will come together to rejoice and remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
These are two very different holidays with their own very different traditions. But it seems fitting that we mark them both during the same week. For in a larger sense, they are both moments of reflection and renewal. They are both occasions to think more deeply about the obligations we have to ourselves and the obligations we have to one another, no matter who we are, where we come from, or what faith we practice.
This idea – that we are all bound up, as Martin Luther King once said, in “a single garment of destiny”– is a lesson of all the world’s great religions. And never has it been more important for us to reaffirm that lesson than it is today – at a time when we face tests and trials unlike any we have seen in our time. An economic crisis that recognizes no borders. Violent extremism that’s claimed the lives of innocent men, women, and children from Manhattan to Mumbai. An unsustainable dependence on foreign oil and other sources of energy that pollute our air and water and threaten our planet. The proliferation of the world’s most dangerous weapons, the persistence of deadly disease, and the recurrence of age-old conflicts.
These are challenges that no single nation, no matter how powerful, can confront alone. The United States must lead the way. But our best chance to solve these unprecedented problems comes from acting in concert with other nations. That is why I met with leaders of the G-20 nations to ensure that the world’s largest economies take strong and unified action in the face of the global economic crisis. Together, we’ve taken steps to stimulate growth, restore the flow of credit, open markets, and dramatically reform our financial regulatory system to prevent such crises from occurring again – steps that will lead to job creation at home.
It is only by working together that we will finally defeat 21st century security threats like al Qaeda. So it was heartening that our NATO allies united in Strasbourg behind our strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and contributed important resources to support our effort there.
It is only by coordinating with countries around the world that we will stop the spread of the world’s most dangerous weapons. That is why I laid out a strategy in Prague for us to work with Russia and other nations to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons; to secure nuclear materials from terrorists; and, ultimately, to free the world from the menace of a nuclear nightmare.
And it is only by building a new foundation of mutual trust that we will tackle some of our most entrenched problems. That is why, in Turkey, I spoke to members of Parliament and university students about rising above the barriers of race, region, and religion that too often divide us.
With all that is at stake today, we cannot afford to talk past one another. We can’t afford to allow old differences to prevent us from making progress in areas of common concern. We can’t afford to let walls of mistrust stand. Instead, we have to find – and build on – our mutual interests. For it is only when people come together, and seek common ground, that some of that mistrust can begin to fade. And that is where progress begins.
Make no mistake: we live in a dangerous world, and we must be strong and vigilant in the face of these threats. But let us not allow whatever differences we have with other nations to stop us from coming together around those solutions that are essential to our survival and success.
As we celebrate Passover, Easter, and this time of renewal, let’s find strength in our shared resolve and purpose in our common aspirations. And if we can do that, then not only will we fulfill the sacred meaning of these holy days, but we will fulfill the promise of our country as a leader around the world.
Gotta love her! First Lady Michelle Obama actually started her White House garden last week along with 25 school children to help. Before leaving on her European trip, the First Lady broke ground on what would become the White Houses’ first garden since the mid 1900′s. But really, who thought that Michelle Obama was really gonna get down in the dirt and start planting seedlings?
Kudos to the First Lady!
The White House garden will include annual and perennial herbs such as mint, garlic, chives, thyme, oregano, anise, basil, cilantro, dill and fennel.
Assorted vegetable also will grace the White House table. Different varieties of lettuce, spinach, onions, black kale, shard, snap peas, shell peas, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, tomatillos and cucumbers were planted. The White House garden functions as a duel purpose. To feed and inform. The White House garden will feed, not only the First Family, but neighboring soup kitchens. Most importantly, the White House garden will promote national awareness of eating good, natural healthy foods that families can grow for pennies. It is economical and heart-smart.
But where are the collard and mustard greens? Where’s the cabbage and corn? Something tells me that there is another more secret garden close by!
TMZ made a huge blunder last week by reporting that Snoop Dogg’s wife, Shante Broadus was killed in an accident. The story proved to be false and birthed questions on the mechanisms that churn gossip media outlets.
Snoop Dogg’s camp released the following statement to Internet site Bossip:
In regards to the story you ran earlier on the false death of Shante Broadus, can you please run this official statement from Snoop Dogg’s management and please attribute the quote as “an official statement released by Snoop Dogg’s management.” Thanks and please let me know if you have any questions.
“Of course, the CHP rumors are absolutely not true, totally ridiculous, and most of all hurtful to Snoop Dogg and his family. Snoop, Shante and their family are all alive and well – we appreciate the fans concerns for their safety. Anything said or reported on regarding the death of Shante Broadus is totally false.”
The creator and executive producer of fan favorites “The Tyra Banks Show” and “America’s Next Top Model,” Tyra Banks, issued a statement concerning the riot-like situation that took place among “Top Model” hopefuls in front of a Manhatten hotel last week.
“We are concerned by the events. We still don’t know all the details of what triggered the event,” Banks and “Top Model” producer Ken Mok said in a joint statement. “We appreciate the the efforts of the NYPD and will assist them in any way possible.”
Thousands of hopefuls turned out for a chance to be featured on the show, only to have the NYPD cancel the audition. Six people were injured and three people were arrested and charged with inciting to riot and disorderly conduct.
When Jay Leno announced on his show late Tuesday that his comedy show would debut in one of his “favorite” cities, Detroit, Detroiters were beyond excited! “Jay’s Comedy Stimulus Plan,” according to the comedian, is intended to bring much needed laughter and hope into a city that has been crippled with political, economical, and social strive. Leno said that his show was primarily for those Detroiters who are homeless and jobless.
The only problem with that is the comedy show is not really in Detroit. It’s in a fairly affluent suburb of Detroit. Auburn Hills. Homeless and jobless Detroiters have no means to take this trek out into suburbia. If you are homeless, do you have the bus fare needed to ride out to Auburn Hills and back? If you don’t have a job, do you have the money or can you afford to spend your unemployment check on putting gas in your car to drive out to Auburn Hills?
Detroit City Councilwoman Martha Reeves wondered the exact same thing.
“When I heard Jay Leno say Detroit is one of his favorite places and he’s going to do a free concert for the people laid off, to people who don’t have any money right now, given the economic state we’re all in, I was elated,” Reeves said. “Then he said Auburn Hills… and that’s not Detroit.”
Councilwoman Reeves also told the press Wednesday that there are several venues available for Jay Leno’s comedy tour in the city of Detroit such as: Ford Field, Joe Louis Arena and Comerica Park. These places could very well hold a great deal of disenfranchised Detroiters in need of comedy relief. Maybe Jay Leno needs to reaccess his list of “favorite cities.” Detroit and Auburn Hills are two distinctive places on the map of Michigan. You can’t confuse the two or exchange one for the other.
Friday self-proclaimed “King of Pop” Michael Jackson announced in London that he was on the comeback trail. Sort of.
Jackson has commited to ten concert dates to be held at London’s O2 arena. In a press conference, Michael Jackson alluded to the fact that these performances would in fact be his last in the UK.
“This is it!” Jackson said as he left the much anticipate press conference Friday. With mounting financial woes and a fizzled career, Michael Jackson just might be speaking too soon. But will he tour the states? That’s anyones guess. Late in 2008, Jacksons’ brothers announced a world-wide tour that supposedly would feature all six of them. That would have included Michael.
But soon those plans were scrapped and nothing else was said about it. Jackson fans were salivating at the opportunity of reliving the magic of having Jackie, Tito, Michael, Marlon, Randy, and Jermaine together on one stage again for old times sake. Why didn’t that idea pan out? Michael Jackson didn’t want it to. You see, Michael would have had to split the profits five different ways.
What could have been profitable and beneficial for the Jackson brothers collectively, by the way all of them are flat broke, obviously was not, and could not be a big enough of a take for Mike. Hence, he chose to tour solo.
No ones hatin’ on him. Maybe Jermaine, Randy, Marlon, Tito and Jackie, though. But the question is will Michael tour here? Is there a large audience in the U.S. who will plunk down about a hundred bucks to see Michael Jackson? Personally speaking, no. Not an arena size audience. Or a stadium.
However, the possiblity existed when the Jacksons tour was proposed.
Thursday Los Angeles County District Attorneys Office officially charged R & B singer Chris Brown with two counts of felonious assualt and one count of making criminal threats. The charges originate from the alleged domestic altercation that occured between Brown and his pop star girlfriend, Rihanna, about a month ago.
In the charges, Rihanna is identified as “Robyn F.” Rihanna’s legal name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty.
Chris Brown is due in court Thursday afternoon.
Wanted: Experienced Aviation Pilots And Boaters To Assist In Search And Rescue Effort For Two Missing NFL Players And Friend!
In a press conference given minutes ago, United States Coast Guard officials announced that the search for three missing boaters has been called off. NFL players Corey Smith, Marquis Cooper and one other person have been missing since their boat over-turned in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Clearwater, Florida, Saturday.
Nick Schuyler, a former football player for USF, was part of the fishing crew and rescued Monday afternoon, clinging to the over-turned boat. Schuyler told Coast Guard officials that a large wave hit the boat, causing it to topple. Schuyler is in stable condition at Tampa General, recovering from hypothermia and dehydration.
With the U.S. Coast Guard suspending the search for the missing men, former NFL linebaker and close friend of Marquis Cooper, Tank Johnson, sent a call out to all experienced aviation pilots and boaters, requesting their assistance in a search and rescue effort to start at 6am Wednesday.
To join the search and rescue squad, please send an email with qualifications in aviation and boating to:
The insanity of the cartoon satarizing the assassination of President Barack Obama featured in The New York Post mid week has yet to illicit the type of headlines it so deserves. On CNN late Friday, a farce of a discussion was debated half-heartedly by three male political commentators: two Caucasian and one African American. The conversation was ridiculous and lukewarm at best and unsurprisingly the only African American on the panel was oreo in texture, weak in tone and void of true substance. This particular commentator once peppered the Bush cabinet. That figures.
The New York Post should be held responsible for nurturing a counter-productive environment that thrives on ignorance and racial bias. The “apology” that the editorial staff of The New York Post offered wasn’t really an apology at all. It was another attempt to blow a smoke screen over the truth. The truth is that this particular newspaper, that happens to be minority owned, practices a wicked brand of propaganda that breeds a complex set of circumstances with tragic results.
Throughout America’s history, the media has been used to sell all kinds of misleading garbage to further one group’s agenda over another. Usually, these are collective groups with a singular identity, coupled with a never ending supply of money, investments and political clout. That is how groups as these succeed. However, the power that they wield can lead to devastating results. Case in point, Nazi Germany.
When Adolpf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in the early 1930′s, his agenda became crystal clear. Through the formation of the Third Reich, and in turn the creation of the SS, Hitler was able to wrestle control of the media, and in essence, control the thoughts of a nation. Through his horrendous propaganda machine, Hitler was able to thoroughly emasculate those he deemed undesirable and unfit. This systematic programing and wiring of a nation was spoon fed daily through the government owned newspapers. Soon, an entire country was desensitized. When that was accomplished, the out and out slaughter of millions upon millions of innocent human beings commenced. An entire nation was seduced by the cunning propaganda of one prominent group of people who chose to exterminate those it labeled unworthy to live.
How did this happen? Through the media, courtesy of the local newspaper.
How about the assassination of Malcolm X? This is an excellent study in using a media platform to further or carry out an expressed agenda. Upon being subsequently forced out of the Nation of Islam in late 1963 due to a jealous, power hungry and ego-tripping unstable religious hierarchy, Malcolm X experienced media harassment. This intense media harassment came from two ends of the spectrum. Secular and religious.
Muhammad Speaks was a prominent community newspaper that Malcolm created to showcase the activities of the Nation of Islam, spread the message of Islam, as taught by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and advertise local Muslim businesses. With Malcolm at the helm, the newspaper had validity. After Malcolm’s departure, the editors of Muhammad Speaks decided to declare a jihad on him.
In the name of Allah, faithful readers were systematically fed lies about Malcolm that bred an intense hatred. The tone of Muhammad Speaks became volatile by the usage of key words that meant a great deal to Nation of Islam followers. Words such as “traitor”, “Devil,” hypocrite,” “loyalty,” and “betray.” The language in Muhammad Speaks and the sheer magnitude of hate propaganda helped to fuel the electric atmosphere that crackled around Malcolm X and disgruntled Nation of Islam members.
Satiric cartoons, as the one displayed above, succeeded in assisting in the psychological execution of Malcolm X. All that was needed was some sick and demented person or persons to ‘righteously’ defend the honor of Elijah Muhammad in the name of God. Hence the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965. Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan has since admitted that his role as editor of Muhammad Speaks, fueled the hatred that led to Malcolm’s death.
So, what does this mean? It means that with the lack of public outcry over such a blatant attack on not just President Barack Obama, but African American men in general, and African Americans as a collective, the scene has been set for ignorant people to continue to wallow in the depths of hatred and degradation of human beings that they have marked as moving targets. Traditionally, these type of individuals dwell in secrecy and in a cloak of darkness. With the continued support of media representation like The New York Post, those with the same diabolical agenda will soon venture further into the mainstream. Many are already visible.
The desensitizing of America has been underway for decades now. Hundreds of years in the making. With a violent past as a nation that enslaved human beings, and a violent present that has seen America launch a preemptive strike against a defenseless country based on falsified documents, it is no wonder why The New York Post was able to get away with an “apology,” that in fact sounds more like a justification.
This is a symptom of a problem that Americans do not want to address now, especially with the historic election of America’s first African American president. There are some who believe that racial intolerance died on January 20, 2009 at 12 noon.
Obviously, this is not the case.
Did you miss “The Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion Show” Tuesday night? Well, lets just say that the reunion was better than the series! Okay. I admit that I was hooked on all of the back-stabbing, double-talking, spend freaks that are Kim, Sheree’, NeNe, Lisa and DeShawn. Some say the show was fake and heavily scripted. That is certainly possible. But I do believe that about 75% of “The Real Atlanta Housewives” was real.
I mean, really. Who can fake the fiasco that was Sheree’s birthday party and fashion show? Remember NeNe’s facial expression upon learning that even though Sheree had personally invited her to the birthday party, somehow NeNe had been left off the guest list and was turned away at the door by security? Who could possibly fake that moment? LOL! Well, the Reunion was everything that I anticipated plus more!
The one burning question that I wanted answered was who spilled the beans about NeNe’s drunken, hilarious song about Kim? Which one of the “Housewives” couldn’t wait to spread some hot juicy malicious gossip? In the limo during NeNe’s funny song about non-singing wanna be sensation Kim, were Lisa and Ed Hartwell, DeShawn and Eric Snow, and NeNe’s better half Greg. Which one ran directly to Sheree’?
Answer: Lisa! Yeah, that was why Lisa was playing the role of peace-keeper every chance she got! She was responsible for the atomic bomb that blew up NeNe and Kim’s friendship. Not to say that the relationship wasn’t on the way down the tubes in the first place! Lisa just pushed ir further along. At the Reunion, Lisa tried to act like Kim was lying about the role she played in the soap opera ’she say she say’ by deflecting and calling Kim a habitual liar and back-stabber. Well, it appears that Lisa is capable of doing a little back-stabbing herself. Hmmm.
Speaking of Kim…what is that woman on? First she said that the reason that she wears wigs and weaves is because she had cancer and all of her hair fell out. Then in the next breath she claimed that she didn’t have cancer after all; doctors said she had an undisclosed illness. But apparently Kim is fine now and wears a weave…still. I’m a sista, I have worn a weave, piece or wig many a time. Why was Kim’s hair a source of discussion anyway when NeNe, Sheree’ and DeShawn were wearing hundreds of dollars of weave on their heads? It was a ridiculous discussion, but the liar that NeNe and Lisa accused Kim of being was verified.
What was up with DeShawn? All she did was sit on the couch looking like she didn’t want to be there or involved. I suppose she really wanted to be off somewhere shopping for jewelry or something. I am thoroughly surprised that DeShawn was let off the hook for her shenanigans! Can anyone forget her introductory statement at the beginning of the show every week? “I always knew that I was destined for greatness?” Or how about what DeShawn said when she entered her new home? “I always knew I was going to be somebody.’ DeShawn Snow obviously has self-esteem issues she hasn’t dealt with. How can having lots of money turn you into a ‘somebody’? I’m not the wife of an athlete with mega bucks and a 15,000 sq. ft mansion. Does that make me a nobody? That fundraiser was a bust because the one thing that DeShawn Snow had forgotten from her time of growing up a nobody in Detroit, is to be about the paper! The purpose of a fundraiser is to raise FUNDS. You do not open your million dollar mansion to the public for FREE and expect to stack major Benjamens! Most of the folks that came to DeShawn’s fundraiser were broke Joe’s, nosy neighbors and sistas on the prowl for a comeup! When you forget and belittle your roots, unfortunately you miss out on the meaning of the incrediable life lessons you were taught. Now that Eric Snow has retired from the NBA and is doing his thing as a sports commentator, that guaranteed money that DeShawn was bragging about to Lisa, is no longer a fact of life. I guess she and Lisa can now relate. Budget Time!
The icing on the cake was Dwight, ya’ll!! Dwight, billed as NeNe’s ‘Gay Boyfriend’, was just his delightfully intuitive self. Always fashionable and decked in the best couture, Dwight was deemed the ‘sixth Housewife’. Of course, the ever wise Dwight told the five ladies that all of the bickering and hating was simply not classy and that they are better than that. Love the extensions Dwight!!
All in all, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” was a pretty cool experience. Rocky at times and a hoot at others, the sistas of Atlanta “Housewives” should be proud to be a part of the Bravo franchise. I hear that a second season is planned and Kim’s ‘Big Poppa’ will be making an appearance. Yeah…Right! Oh! Can’t wait for that cd to drop, Kim! LOL! With your non-singing self! I bet Dallas Austin didn’t dare think about producing a single track for Kim! Do you all remember Dallas’ expression when he heard Kim sing for the first time? LOL! Priceless!
Oh, and SHE by Sheree’ is supposed to be on the runway Fall ’09. Hope that Sheree’ learned her lesson! Hiring a lazy seamstress that had zero sewing skills. The trash that person produced! Why didn’t Sheree have the good sense to check what her seamstress was up to? You know, go over to the seamstress’ home or business and inspect the work. It was HER dream! Why would a self-proclaimed fashionista leave her vision to chance? What a laugh! And by the way Sheree’, TRUE iconic designers DO sketch their designs! Some even know HOW to sew! Saying on the Reunion show that designers don’t sketch their work is false. Do your homework! Now, celebrities who turn to the fashion world to expand their wallets may not. Kimora and Russell have a team of designers to come up with sketches and designs. Yet, Karl Lagerfeld, Calvin Klein, Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Gianni Versace and others were true artists and visionaries, able to take a mental picture and transfer it to paper. Then develop a visual in the form of a sample.
That little lost fashion venture cost about $100,000! Sheree’ could have used some of that wasted money enrolling herself into a fashion institute! That would have saved her or should I say, her soon to be ex-husband some loot. How much you wanna bet that that nice handsome chunk of blowed change will figure prominently in their divorce battle?
This cover is an outrage and every African American in America should protest The Advocate’s December issue. Why? It is down right insulting for any minority group at this stage in the game to refer to another minority group in this fashion. When I first saw the cover, I wanted to give the editors at The Advocatethe benefit of the doubt. The terminology ‘new black’ has been under the radar for years now. You hear the phrase used here and there. In the fashion world, designers use this terminology when referring to the color black as it denotes a certain cutting-edge in fashion demagoguery.
But The Advocateis clearly using the term ‘new black’ to imply that the LGBTQ community are now the scapegoats of oppression, inhuman treatment, and seen as second-third class citizens, virtually replacing African Americans whom seemingly have ‘reached the Promise Land’ and happen to be the poster child for a movement that was overwhelmingly successful. Using the term ‘new black’ implies that us black folk have risen beyond our former status as the descendants of slaves, we have over come!
That is laughable. America has elected its’ first African American President, but check out how long that took? Take a look at the major cities in the U.S and notice African Americans and how they are fairing. Michigan is the most racist state in the Union and it is greatly acknowledged that this northern state is racial polarized. The public school system is systematically failing African American students and the drop out rate for African American teens between the ages of 14-17 is nearly 60%! A university education is a pipe dream for most African American children and community college PELL grant funding has dwindled to almost nothing. Drug addiction and crime, teen pregnancy, single parenting, HIV/AIDS, and staggering unemployment has created generational ghetto residents.
African Americans are still in this fight. The war is not over. For The Advocateto use such an insulting phrase gives those who don’t know or understand the Civil Rights Movement the impression that the struggle is complete. This can’t be further from the truth. To say that the fury over the passing of Prop 8 has propelled the LGBT community into the role of the ‘new black’ is preposterous to say the least. For years, the LGBTcommunity has equated itself with the Civil Rights Movement, saying that the Civil Rights Movement is really a Human Rights Movement that is inclusive, not exclusive to one particular group of people.
This ideology is an untruth. The Civil Rights Movement was a vehicle to lift African Americans from 20th Century tyranny and modern slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation was a great thing back in 1862. But for many, many years after the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. Black folk and entire communities were burned down to the ground. Lynchings were a sport. African American women could still be raped by Caucasian men without these men seeing some type of legal consequence. African Americans couldn’t address Caucasians eye to eye. Our schools were inferior. The list is substantial. African Americans were vilified because of WHO they were and not WHAT they were. The color of our skin dictated the treatment we received.
How can the LGBT community and The Advocate be so insensitive to African Americans? Do they not know our history? We didn’t come to this country because we wanted to take a trip and scout out the land for Africa. America was not a cruise destination stop. Africans were kidnapped from their homes and bought and sold to feed the greed and laziness of an oppressive capitalistic society. We are not here in America by choice. We didn’t ‘come out.’ We were ‘forced out’ of our native land.
The LGBT community’s fight is no way comparable to the fight of African Americans in this country. African Americans understand what the LGBT community are fighting for. Some support it. Others do not. But each group is diverse and unique. You simply can not cut and paste a movement to fit a cause just because there may be one or two similarities.
‘New Black’ is so uncreative and thoughtless. The cover title of The Advocate’s December issue is merit-less and void of any real meaning. It is just another disrespectful shout-out to African Americans. Like the “drinking the Kool-Aide” line. That has its’ origins in Jonestown.
Besides, the term is ‘African American.’ AND…The color black that is used on the page has deep racist and bias connotations. HMMMM…..
On November 24th, New Yorker magazine will publish a controversial interview given by Prince. It is said by insiders to include Prince’s take on his legacy, music and religious beliefs. Becoming one of Jehovah’s Witnesses about five years ago, Prince has seen his life make a serious 360 degree make-over! Here are some excerpts from that soon to be published article:
So here’s how it is: you’ve got the Republicans, and basically they want to live according to this.” He pointed to a Bible. “But there’s the problem of interpretation, and you’ve got some churches, some people, basically doing things and saying it comes from here, but it doesn’t. And then on the opposite end of the spectrum you’ve got blue, you’ve got the Democrats, and they’re, like, ‘You can do whatever you want.’ Gay marriage, whatever. But neither of them is right.”
When asked about his perspective on social issues—gay marriage, abortion—Prince tapped his Bible and said, “God came to earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out. He was, like, ‘Enough.’ ”
Reports circulated late today that apparently Prince disputes that last statement above. Sources close to Prince say that the New Yorker writer paraphrased the entire last paragraph and that Prince never said anything close to what was written above. It has also come to light that the writer was told that she could not use a tape recorder for her interview with Prince.
We at The Kaleidoscope Factor believe that Prince DID voice the opinion that was presented. Perhaps those inside of Prince’s camp felt that damage control was necessary being that Prince has enjoyed a huge GLBTQ following over the years. Jehovah’s Witnesses are known for their strict moral adherence to the Bible which includes taking a stand against any form of sexual behavior performed outside of marriage. That is why it is of no stretch of the imagination that Prince may very well have stated indirectly what his religious convictions are.
However, is it plausible to criticize a man for stating his stance in a public forum, for being honest? This is America where we are all entitled to our First Amendment Rights. But sometimes we can all become narrow-minded and hypocritical. Back in the 80′s, Prince shot to stardom by being extremely vocal about sexuality! His extensive catalog of songs has included some of the most explicit, pornographic lyrics the imagination could ever conceive! Who can forget “Darling Nikki”, “Little Red Corvette”, “Lady Cab Driver”, “Erotic City”, “Computer Blue”, “Dirty Mind”, “Nasty Girl”, “Raspberry Beret”, “Cream”, “Sex Shooter”, “International Lover”, and countless others?
But did anybody notice that Prince also had a religious side to him as well? Yes, even then, Prince was traveling to higher spiritual plane. Remember the lyrics to “Purple Rain,” “I Would Die For You”, “Let’s Go Crazy”, “Sign O Times” and “Thieves in The Temple”? Check those songs out and you will find that Prince was saying some deep religious stuff back in the day and nobody noticed it. Maybe this was the case because Prince was a hindrance to himself and the rest of us.
Flash forward to 2008.
Prince continues to make music. But you will not find rated XXX lyrics on his CD’s. Prince makes his ministry public by doing what Jehovah’s Witnesses are known for: knocking on their neighbors doors delivering a helpful spiritual message. It is unfortunate that no one is praising Prince for his radical change. As always, Prince has never wavered on whatever he has set out to do. That is why he has fans, Jehovah’s Witnesses and non Jehovah’s Witnesses that love his work. He is and continues to be true to himself, and not to what others may want him to be.
The New York Post filed this quote about Prince:
The purple-loving pop star tells this week’s New Yorker that since he joined the Christian denomination two years ago, he’s started leaving his gated community to knock on doors and proselytize. “Sometimes people act surprised, but mostly they’re totally cool about it,” says Prince. The “When Doves Cry” singer adds that he sees his conversion as more of “a realization. It’s like Morpheus and Neo in ‘The Matrix.’