Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kurtis Blow "Raps For Jesus"


Rapper Kurtis Blow is rhyming for the Lord


I will attempt to avoid the dismissive criticism that various conservatives and Christian-fundamentalists might be inclined to render upon Kurtis Blow's Christian outreach efforts.

When I hear the name "Kurtis Blow" I am draw back to a hotwing restaurant that I was sitting in about 4 years ago. I was eating lunch when a CNN story about his NY based church came on television. Me and a Black female who I did not know sat and watched the episode. I was initially impressed by the high energy that was taking place in the church. Then one guy at the mike started to do back flips down the isle. Upon watching this the woman and I instinctively opened our eyes and gasped. We turned to each other and she said to me "Some of us just go too far sometimes".

I view Kurtis Blows church as I view the church that former rapper "Mase" once headed in Atlanta. In talking with a young woman who attended "Mase's church" I could tell a lot about it and their guiding principles. I am forced to assume that Kurtis Blow's ministry is the same. Based on my conversation this was a "God is your comforter" type of church. People coming to seek out healing and emotional uplift.

This is coupled with a pretty loose notion of God's commandments. They jettison notions of "judgment and conformity to a 'Christian pathway'" for inclusion and non-judgmentalism.

I am not outright attacking this ideological bias of a church. I am saying that this orientation is not always the correct one. With a young congregation they believe that they have to appeal to the interests of the attendees. If they did start a regime of strict confinement they would soon lose their "flock".

My challenge is one which poses the question - "What happens when there is a noted series of problems within your flock? Would they adopt a regime of direct intervention and 'command', putting aside their libertine orientation to address this problem?"

There is a place for such churches in this country. I would much rather have them in a youthful spirited church than hung over in the bed after a late night party on Saturday night. At the same time we must make sure that the same music that was heard at the club the night before is not played yet again in "God's club".

Monday, July 27, 2009

Blacks Attended NY School Created For Chinese Immigrants For Access To Academic Excellence

NY Times: New York School for Chinese Is a Magnet for Black Pupils


NY Times - 2002
Paul and Denise Gamble have never been to China, and they were never particularly interested in its language or culture. Yet their two school-age children attend Shuang Wen Academy, a public school on the Lower East Side where much of the day is spent learning Mandarin.

Their children are part of an unexpected phenomenon at the four-year-old school: while most are children of Chinese immigrants, almost 10 percent of the students are black, and many of them come from the outer reaches of the city, enduring long trips for the chance to attend a school that has developed a reputation for excellence.

''When I tell my friends that my children are in a bilingual school learning Mandarin, some are shocked,'' Ms. Gamble said. ''Some think I'm crazy. Some ask, 'Why would you do that?' Well, I just want my children to have a good education.''

Shuang Wen is one of more than 150 small public schools established in the late 1990's as an alternative to larger, impersonal public schools. The school, whose name means dual language in Chinese, has many teachers who believe in dual-language education, and its goal is to teach students Mandarin and Chinese culture.

Although only two of the school's first class of 45 students were not of Chinese descent, Shuang Wen gradually gained a reputation among some of the city's black middle-class parents for being nurturing yet rigorous. In last spring's citywide third-grade math and English tests, Shuang Wen ranked third in math and 23rd in English among the city's almost 1,000 elementary schools.

Now, before the start of every school year, more and more black parents arrive at the office of the principal, Ling-Ling Chou, seeking admission for their children to the prekindergarten class -- which is based on interviews with prospective students and their parents. They are undeterred by the fact that their children will be among the few non-Asians in the school, or that Mandarin is famously difficult to master. Chinese instruction runs from 3 to 5:30 p.m. daily. All subjects, however, are taught in both languages.

Shuang Wen is housed in a corner space in Public School 134, at East Broadway and Grand Street, and blacks are not the only non-Chinese among its 245 students. But the 23 black students are by far the largest non-Chinese group, outnumbering the 11 whites and 8 Hispanics.

As an alternative school, Shuang Wen admits students from all five boroughs, and many of the black children live an hour or more away. There are no school buses serving them, and parents have to drop off and pick up their children.

For Ms. Gamble, a supervisor for the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, the trip from her family's brick house in Cambria Heights, Queens, starts at 6:45 a.m. Often, her car is stuck in traffic jams.

To the Gambles and other black parents, the sacrifice -- long days for the children and a difficult trip for the adults -- is worth it.

''The long hours and the challenging curriculum are good preparation for the future,'' Mr. Gamble said, ''when they go to college, when they go to graduate school.''

But not all the black parents' friends agree.

''People would ask me, 'Why Chinese? Why not French? Why not Spanish?' '' said Bridgitte Fouche-Channer, another black parent whose daughter is in second grade and whose son is in kindergarten at Shuang Wen. ''I would ask them, 'Why not Chinese?' ''

Sometimes, friends would even accuse the parents of betraying their heritage. Ms. Gamble had a ready answer.

''My children know their heritage,'' she said. ''They know they are African-Americans of West Indian descent. They are not Chinese, nor are they pretending to be Chinese.

''Call me a snob. Call me what you want. I just want my children to have a good, solid education.''

Ruth Smith, a lawyer who had considered sending her daughter to private school, remarked, ''If I had sent my child to a private school, she would be in the minority anyway, since that school would be mostly white.''

The Gambles have decided to send their third child, Patrick, 2, who can already sing ''Happy Birthday'' in Mandarin, to Shuang Wen in two years.

Like many of the black parents of Shuang Wen students, Ms. Gamble, Ms. Fouche-Channer and Ms. Smith are from the West Indies, and that is not a coincidence, they said.

''Shuang Wen reminded us of the kind of schools we know from home,'' said Ms. Fouche-Channer, explaining that schools in Trinidad, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are often strict and orderly, like Shuang Wen is.

The Chinese parents are generally enthusiastic about the school's ethnic mix.

''The black kids are really nice, and they showed my kids the way when they were new at the school,'' Christine Chuah, who has two children at Shuang Wen, said in Chinese. ''They are seriously interested in learning Chinese, and we like that.''

The teachers, mostly Chinese-Americans or recent immigrants from Taiwan and China, have embraced the non-Asian children as well, offering them extra help with Mandarin.

When Paul Michael, 8, the oldest Gamble child, started at Shuang Wen in second grade last fall, his parents and the school's teachers worried about whether he could catch up with his classmates, who had studied Chinese for two years. But his teacher, Li Ron Wu, had faith in him.

''Ms. Wu said, 'You can do it, Paul Michael. You can do it, Paul Michael. You will do it, Paul Michael.' '' Ms. Gamble said. ''And he did it.'' Now, his Chinese is on par with his classmates.

Mrs. Smith, whose daughter, Iliana, 5, is in kindergarten, said that every day, as soon as she gets home, she asks to do her homework. Ms. Gamble said her children even ask to go to school on days when they are sick. Ms. Fouche-Channer said her daughter, Addis, a second grader, reads beyond her bedtime frequently.

''They love their school,'' said Ms. Fouche-Channer, whose younger child, Makonnen, is in kindergarten at Shuang Wen. ''That's the only way to describe it.''

With its academic success, Shuang Wen has become a desirable alternative not only to neighborhood public schools, but also, for some parents, to the city's elite private schools.

Lydell Carter, a senior program officer with New Visions for Public Schools, an organization that has financed some of the city's alternative schools, including Shuang Wen, is a firm believer in early bilingual education. He transferred his son, Jelani, into the school's fourth grade from Friends Seminary, a well-known private school.

Non-Asian children who started at Shuang Wen in the early grades appear to speak Mandarin as well as children of Chinese descent do, frequently without any trace of an American accent. And in classrooms, in the dining hall and on the playground, the non-Asian students and their immigrant classmates mingle easily, holding hands, arguing with and teasing one another, seemingly unaware of their racial difference.

And a few black and Chinese families have become close. Joshua Foote, a black third grader, regularly calls Jennifer Shyue and her parents for help with Chinese homework, and the families sent the two children to a Chinese camp in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., last summer.

Occasionally, however, some Chinese children will flaunt their higher marks in Mandarin tests to their non-Asian peers. Some black parents have also complained that the school did not take note of Black History Month.

But Gabrielle Gamble, a first grader, sees all the children at the school as her friends, regardless of their ethnic backgrounds.

At school one day, her teacher assigned her to be a buddy and guide for Linda Lin, a shy new classmate from Fujian Province in China.

In the lunchroom, Gabrielle tried to shield Linda from the rambunctious boys while keeping her company.

''What do you like to do?'' Gabrielle asked, earnestly, in Mandarin.

Linda, who was blushing, shook her head.

''Do you like food? Do you like toys?'' Gabrielle asked, again, in Mandarin.

Again, Linda simply stared at her.

Gabrielle looked away, sighed, and concluded, in English, ''She doesn't like talking. But I will keep talking to her.''

By the end of the day, Linda still wasn't talking. But, at least, she was smiling back at Gabrielle.

State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

RI closer to changing state name over slavery

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The country's smallest state has the longest official name: "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations."
A push to drop "Providence Plantations" from that name advanced farther than ever on Thursday when House lawmakers voted 70-3 to let residents decide whether their home should simply be called the "State of Rhode Island." It's an encouraging sign for those who believe the formal name conjures up images of slavery, while opponents argue it's an unnecessary rewriting of history that ignores Rhode Island's tradition of religious liberty and tolerance.
The bill permitting a statewide referendum on the issue next year now heads to the state Senate.
"It's high time for us to recognize that slavery happened on plantations in Rhode Island and decide that we don't want that chapter of our history to be a proud part of our name," said Rep. Joseph Almeida, an African-American lawmaker who sponsored the bill.
Rhode Island's unwieldy name reflects its turbulent colonial history, a state that consisted of multiple and sometimes rival settlements populated by dissidents.
Banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his unorthodox religious views, minister Roger Williams set out in 1636 and settled at the northern tip of Narragansett Bay, which he called Providence Plantations. Williams founded the first Baptist church in America and became famous for embracing the separation of church and state, a legal principle enshrined in the Bill of Rights a century later.
Other settlers made their homes in modern-day Portsmouth and Newport on Aquidneck Island, then known as the Isle of Rhodes.
In 1663, English King Charles II granted a royal charter joining all the settlements into a single colony called "The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations." The name stuck. Rhode Island used that royal charter as its governing document until 1843.
Opponents of the name charge argue that "plantations" was used at the time to describe any farming settlements, regardless of slavery.
Rhode Island merchants did, however, make their fortunes off the slave trade. Slaves helped construct Brown University in Providence, and a prominent slave trader paid half the cost of its first library.
Still, Stanley Lemons, a professor emeritus of history at Rhode Island College, said changing the state's name ignores the accomplishments of Williams, whose government passed laws trying to prevent the permanent servitude of whites, blacks and American Indians.
"There are different meanings for this word," Lemons said. "To try to impose their experience on everyone else wipes out Roger Williams."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ted Kennedy: The Most Destructive Force To The Black Consciousness Of Independent Thought In The Past 50 Years

Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy, long time Democratic senator from the State of Massachusetts. In office since 1962. Kennedy is described as "The Liberal Lion".

Kennedy is to be credited for the amount of power that he wields in the senate chambers. He has been known to be a driving force in working to cut deals with his more conservative adversaries. His main legislative focus has been upon social services among the poor and the working class in America.

If there was even an embodiment of Malcolm X's "Snarling Fox" - I know of no other force who could effect the long term destruction of the Black Independent Consciousness while working so closely to our people after being welcomed into our midst to do so.

I have noticed that those who know not what I am arguing against Senator Kennedy antics simply differ from me in that they prefer Black People having obtained the state of being "IN RECEIPT OF BENEFIT" without necessitating that this state be obtained via the transaction of value between two equal parties. Ironically - these are the same group of people who desire to have various African nations enter into the world economy as trading partners. There is a huge canyon that exists between their fantastical goals and their practices to obtain them.

Let me start off but putting two important background facts upon the table:

The Prevailing Black Establishment in America views Senator Kennedy in a very favorable light. (In fact the would be inclined to view ME as a "rogue negro".) Senator Kennedy routinely receives an "A" on the NAACP Legislative Report Card. This grade does not detail Senator Kennedy's "correctness" in absolute terms. It only details how closely the good senator stands with respect the the NAACP'S view of what is in the best interests of the African-American community. In as much as there is no overlay group to inspect the efficacy of the NAACP's platform upon the Black community - this will only ever be a relative judgement of Ted Kennedy and his popularity to the prevailing ideological order within the Black community. It should not be mistaken as an absolute reference until indeed these policies actually deliver what has long been struggled for, especially know that these policies in in place where our people live in our highest concentrations.

The second point that I must come clean about is that - I DO NOT LIKE TED KENNEDY'S LINE OF POLITICS AND IDEOLOGY. I SEE THEM AS A THREAT, REGARDLESS OF HOW MUCH IN DEMAND THEY ARE BY SOME WITHIN THE BLACK COMMUNITY.

Ted Kennedy is on a mission to give what he sees a "help" to the poor and the feeble of all races. In as much as the Black Establishment sees a Black face in the blank canvas of left-wing, progressive social justice policies - they see Ted Kennedy as worthy vehicle to ride along with. My problem with Ted Kennedy is my problem with "No-Fault Social Justice Progressivism": It asks the SOCIETY TO PROVE THAT IT VALUES THE DOWNTRODDEN INDIVIDUAL WITHOUT EVER ASKING THE INDIVIDUAL TO DO ANYTHING TO EXPRESS THEIR OWN WORTH VIA THEIR WORKS AND CHOICES.

This is not personal with Ted Kennedy and me. This is strictly based upon my analysis of the strategic path that my people should be taking.

Thus I put forward to cultural constructs by which to measure Senator Kennedy and his brand of social justice that will be implanted via Ted Kennedy-like Policies:
  • The tie-in between the people's daily actions as guided by the prevailing community consciousness in correlation to the long term goals of the community
  • The satisfaction with "Being In Receipt Of A Benefit" to make a people whole or the demand for a TRANSACTION that flows between the two or more parties
Simply put - "Ted Kennedy-like" Policies represent a direct assault upon the attainment of any sort of a highly developed cultural consciousness that ties behavior with long term outcomes.

Anyone reading my blog properties over an extended period of time already know the themes that I hit upon constantly:
  • The danger of abstracting repetitive individual behavior from a people's end goals
  • The devastation rendered by not being able to define the two way transaction that takes place when entitlement flows from one group of people to another
  • With respect to the above point - when material benefit in one direction is "payed" with "Good Feelings" or thoughts that in doing so one has "Moved closer to God" with his actions - the giver receives a bit of aggrandizement while the receiver has been made one bit more incomplete for his original image to which his God has crafted him
  • The harm of ASSUMED INFERIORITY - those who possess this attribute will always seek to shelter the inferior being from the consequences of his actions, inserting GOVERNMENT intervention to compensate for the failings of the people in question

I wish that my views were simply abstract theories, stuck in an academic environment. Instead - in my view - so much of the pathology that we see streaming from many majority Black communities serve as residue from these flawed strategies.

The popular view is that the legacy of "Slavery and Jim Crow" has dealt a body blow to the Black community. What we are witnessing is a people in "recovery mode". The call for Reparations is meant to provide the final "fix". For me this does not hold water.

When I hear this line of thinking I rarely hear two critical constructs being mentioned:
  1. The Potential Renewal Of Consciousness Contained In A New Born Black Child
  2. The Responsibility that comes with Incumbency

The Potential Renewal Of Consciousness Contained In A New Born Black Child
Both of these following points actually point back to the same elemental concept - MANAGEMENT.
A new born child represents an opportunity to indoctrinate the next generation of African Americans with a healthy set of thoughts and with a set of rules of interaction with other people that support our long term interests.

The "Ted Kennedy-types" would argue that indeed this is so, this is why we need to apply resources from the government which assist in removing this child from the snare that has been placed upon him by his impoverished circumstances.

My key criticism of this assumption is that in 16 to 30 years in the future this same assumption will be applied to these newborns when their kids are considered. In fact, if we simply abstract these basics of life from their shoulders we would not have to debate these elemental points in the first place. This only creates a serial, long running set of dysfunction. There will be strong motivation to apply corrective intervention upon the adults so that different outcomes can be had. Instead the SOCIETY will be asked to step up and show the universal worth of all who's fathers had inseminated their mothers in the qualifying lands.

Ted Kennedy-like policies actually represent a cheapening of the human rather than the edification of the need to tie the whole of the messages received during its formative years with some greater goals of higher social development. It is a "pull" rather than a "push".

The Responsibility that comes with Incumbency
In listening to certain Social Justice advocates one would swear that today is July, 26, 1909 instead of 2009. They continue their outward struggle despite having more control over the key institutions that the people who they seek entitlement on behalf of than ever before.

Aside from the formal elected political seats - they ultimately influence the entertainment culture, the academic culture, the social mores of their own communities and the economic practices within. I have noted previously that this group has a "Struggle" or "Chase" milieu. As they gain more ground in their quest for control - they simply remain focused outward, functionally increasing their control.

At some point the "Ted Kennedy-like" policies need to be judged based on their DELIVERABLES not their INTENTIONS. One's "intention" to feed the world may be a lofty goal. They should be appraised by the veracity of their plans - NOT by the formidableness of those they fight against. Such a displacement in analysis is why the "struggle" milieu remains entrenched. Failing to inspect the "good intentioned" soul is akin to supporting an aspiring actor while ignoring the fact that he has 3 kids to feed at home. In not trampling his dreams with a dose of cold water - those who fail to do such an inspection are enablers of the divergent course.

With such incumbency of the prevailing ideology the populace makes the mistake that "THE MACHINE'S ASCENDANCY" is their own. It is not. The machine must be forced to deliver upon its promises, jettisoning the theories that have failed thus far, replacing them with more effective alternatives. Failing to do so means that the people are more interested in pursuing an ideological domination rather than practical results.

BLACK PEOPLE AS 'USEFUL IDIOTS FOR 'TED KENNEDY'S AGENDA'

It is my opinion that those who think as Senator Kennedy does will always have a poster child to advocate for. If the entire Black community was to be healed from the clutches of Slavery and Jim Crow - the next generation of "Ted Kennedys" will come along a find a new bird of prey with a broken wing. I am not convinced that their goal is to restore this bird of prey back to its natural and organic order. It is my belief that they believe that their own souls are seen as pleasing to their God when they can show a compound full of "wounded birds" which they are providing care for. Thus - this is not about the birds - its about THEM.

A person who did care about the birds would seek to be as transparent as possible in their "care and feeding" of these who are "God's creatures".

Years ago I recall visiting a nature preserve in Florida. There was a sign that said "Do Not Feed The Birds. These Are Wild Birds. Their Interactions With Humans Providing Food Disrupt Their Natural Foraging Habits"

I struggle to understand how Environmentalist Liberals understand this point so clearly while the Social Justice Liberals just don't GET IT?



When the Black Community reaches a state of consciousness as arrived at by the great Fredrick Douglass in his "What Must We Do With The Negro" speech given more than 100 years ago we will collectively tell the "Ted Kennedy-types": NO THANK YOU. YOU HAVE HAVE HELPED US ENOUGH. THE HELP THAT YOU HAVE RENDERED THUS FAR HAS INJURED US GREATLY. LEAVE US ALONE. ALLOW US TO STAND OR FALL BASED ON OUR OWN MERITS.

The arrival at this point of consciousness by the Black man is a great source of fear for the White Liberal and his sold out Negro operative who seeks power in the political framework that resides in the American political system.

THIS IS WHY TED KENNEDY IS A THREAT TO BLACK CONSCIOUS THOUGHT.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Medical Procedure Upon A Child While In The Womb




When I viewed this report the following questions /thoughts came to my mind:

  1. The only difference between this child and many others is that this mother valued the child that was in her womb above all else and chose to bring her to term
  2. Will these type of advanced medical treatments be available to Americans after our system of health care is radically transformed due to government health care?
  3. If falicimeia (I need to confirm the spelling) is a mutation to protect Asians against malaria then what about this medical research is being applied in the quest to address malaria in Africans?
I am not getting any good hits on the term "falicimeia". This news report has provoked my curiosity on the subject.

Looking Good After Dropping 101 Lbs



AJC: Chaunda Walker Walls, 40, of Lawrenceville loses 101 pounds

This is no question that this fine looking woman worked hard to shed those pounds.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Culture Of Food



Pictured is the grand opening of a "Golden Crust Caribbean Restaurant and Bakery". According to the holding company - this is the 120th Golden Crust franchise location to open and the 5th location in metro Atlanta. They operate in 9 states in the USA.



These locations are typically owned and operated by Jamaican business owners. The Jamaican ambassador to the United States spoke. He told of the importance of having entrepreneurs risking their capital in order to provide quality goods and services to the community. He told of the importance of keeping the Caribbean culture alive, providing the food that many in the expat community desire as they are away from home but also providing jobs and a location for socialization in the communities that they presently live.




This little expose' on "food culture" is timely. In a recent discussion about the high occurrence of obesity in Black America the issue about healthy eating and the availability of healthy foods came up as one of the reasons for our current problem set.

As a brother who has thrown down on some Jerk Chicken, Curry Chicken, Ox Tail, Stewed Peas, Jerk Pork as well as Goat Head Soup and, amazingly "Cow Cod Soup" - I can't claim that Caribbean food is low calorie food. It surely is good but it is likely fattening. Any Jamaican restaurant that skimps on portion sizes won't have too many return visitors either.



A NEW CULTURE OF FOOD THAT SUPPORTS HEALTHY WEIGHT RANGE


I say this as a Black man who is in a boot camp, seeking to shed a few pounds:

If it is true that a group of people can maintain a set of dishes that are attributable to their homeland. A land that did not always have these dietary choices but which obviously had them developed based upon the availability of foodstuffs and spices. Why is it not thought possible that the African-American, seeing the problems with our current lifestyle choices - can't develop a new culture of food that yields better "directed outcomes"?

(Here goes the conservative part:) We are more inclined to take offense at someone attributing Fried Chicken, Watermelon, Collard Greens (note - I just had some Glory Collard Greens for dinner - and YES I like collard greens) than we are interested in making note about our dietary choices and fielding some new alternatives that might assist those who choose to participate in this dietary experiment in achieving a health zone of weight management.

The unspoken component of a national health care policy is the importance of healthy lifestyles. The increase of obesity had lead to an increase in high blood pressure and Type II diabetes and all of the associated damage that these ailments cause us as a people.

If there a more significant motivating force for the establishment of a culture of health living than the benefit of longer, ailment free living for our people?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Those Swinging Single Democrats?



The proper analysis of this data is important. Anyone attempting to make the case of "See you should become a Republican and thus you would have less problem with out of wedlock birth" and/or "single parenting " has got it all wrong.

Political parties basically serve as aggregation points for people with common values on certain key issues that are important to them. The party does not make these values. Instead they allow the individuals to express them.

My argument is that the Black community must set out on a course that is primarily focused upon addressing our permanent interests. From this mission will come different messages that are primarily focused upon keeping people walking toward the directing for solutions, rather than away from them. From these new messages will come new leadership. From this new leadership will, hopefully, come a machine that is INDEPENDENT of the American political domain as it first attempts to obtain its proper orientation.

In as much as the members of this machine do live in the United States of America they will indeed participate in the American political domain. The key distinction from the Black machine of today is that it will no longer be a wholly owned element of the political domain. Instead it will retain its fidelity toward addressing the key issues within and only reach out to the political domain when failing to do so would allow its interests to be compromised.



Marriage Remains Key Predictor of Party Identification

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Household Socialism - Community Coins



This morning as my daughter raided the coin jar that I keep in the kitchen as the source for her Sunday school offering I was made to recall the issue of access of money during my childhood.

My father gave us a weekly allowance as a means of stemming the flow of requests for money to purchase ice cream or for candy at the corner store that was across the street. We were each given a fixed amount of money for these type of incidental purchases.

Being the little ants that we were, after rumbling through every draw in the house we (I) came across my parent's stash of money. My father had a mayonnaise-type jar in his bedroom chest of drawers full of coins. My mother kept her coin purse in a draw in the kitchen. I used to be a big time thief while growing up.(in addition to a pyromaniac - but that's another story unto itself). I used to raid these coin jars for quarters so I could go and purchase candy from the store across the street. I recall getting into trouble for "stealing" my father's coins. I suspect that my mother knew that we were taking her coins but she went along with it.

I am not sure that I have consciously altered the monetary policy that is present in my house as a result of my childhood experiences but I have a community coin jar (well its actually a vase) sitting upon a counter in the kitchen. Every day I clear out my pockets of coins and place it into this jar. I have made no specific rules as to who has access to it so my kids have made the rules themselves.

If there is a "popcorn day" at school, my daughter will be seen rustling through the jar looking for silver coins, leaving all of the worthless pennies behind.

I asked her this morning - "How did that money get into the jar?".
She told me "First we buy something at the store and then the cashier gives us money back and we put the coins in this jar".

I asked her "We?"
She said "Well you and mommy buys things....".

I was only giving her a hard time.
I think that this system works out for the best.

They have their own stash of money in a piggy bank in their own rooms. When they have a brilliant idea on what I should purchase for them in the way of food or toys I always suggest that we use their money. Then when my son says "I don't have enough money to buy it" I say "A ha!!!"

Each of them do have their own savings accounts. I try to get them to transfer their cash money into the savings account. Beyond their little competition regarding who has the most money in their account per the monthly statement that the credit union sends to the house - my daughter has received more birthday presents over time than my son - this money is "out of sight, out of mind". They don't have the first clue on how to get the money out of the savings account.

Now I am allowing them to go into the store and make purchases as I wait in the car and go to the check cashing place to purchase the money order that their day camp requires (no personal checks or cash allowed). The key is to have them developed the consciousness to count the money handed to the cashier and to count the change - instead of relying on the cashier to take the handful of money and give them back what he or she chooses to. I keep telling my daughter that she, being a math wiz, needs to retain control over the money that she has in her possession and not outsource the amount in change that she receives back over to anyone else's scheme that they might be running on her as a little kid.

In any event I think that I have done due penance to my parents for all of the coins that I have stolen from them during my childhood. I make sure that I send them some of my annual bonus that I receive.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Evaluate The State Of Black Community Not By "Black Head Count" But By "Black Body Count"

Evaluate The State Of Black Community Not By "Black Head Count" But By "Black Body Count"

How do we as a people develop a more transparent framework for evaluating our present standing after having "struggled" and remained "unified" behind a particular agenda that was sold to us with the promise of transforming our people?

Those who enjoy the present power and influence over our community seek to have us to evaluate our standing based on "Head Count". Primarily this involves them enumerating
  • The Number of Favorable Black People (ie: Democratic Progressives) in Elective Offices
  • The Number of "Black People They Can Work With" (ie: those who support Affirmative Action) who are in positions with hiring power and policy making power within corporations

In essence - theirs is a "Circular Reference". The evidence of the success of their stewardship over the interests of Black America should be viewed by the number of portraits of Black (and otherwise favorable people's) faces on the wall. Today Black America should notate our progression because we have a Black President in office, if you will. If we "stay unified" and "keep fighting" we will get more people who "look like us and who have our best interests in mind" populating the domain of the American political system.

As long as our people are able to endure from one "election night victory party" to the next - all is well.

THE BODY COUNT IS WHAT COUNTS

Since I am being bombarded with the demands that I change my critical inspection into "solutions" I will now put forth a framework by which to manage the establishment machine that has influence upon our community.

The measurement of the "Body Count" proves to be a far more transparent and effective evaluation of our community's condition. Instead of making these centralized measures of "head count" working on our behalf in various legislative bodies let us cast an eye upon the periphery where the real people live.


The Traditional Body Count

The first element of this body count is indeed as one would expect - the evaluation of the Public Safety within our community. How many individuals within our community are counted among those who are Assaulted, Murdered or victims of property crimes and intimidation? This body count of individuals that make up this group of victims is a measure of the effectiveness of policies that define the interactions of people within.


The Condition Of The Body

What is the general health of the bodies that make up our community? Are these bodies healthy? Are the vital health statistics of weight, blood pressure and glucose in line with the normal range for a person who is on track to live a long, disease free life?


The Condition Of The Mind

Education and discipline


The Condition Of The Collective Body

Economics

Monday, July 06, 2009

BET's Fight Against Childhood Obesity



Often the subject of attack in our community - this is one area where BET deserves praise.

Childhood Obesity is a growing problem. Type 2 Diabetes is a problem that will impact the lives of more of our people, mostly due to their dietary habits and lack of physical activity.

This is clearly a good use of BET as a megaphone into the Black community, prompting behavioral change.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

No Respect For Church Property



Some people need the demons exercised out of them.......with a good stiff cane upon their backside.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Who Controls Your Compass? Certainly It Can't Be Your Adversary

A BLINGNUT RANT.

I try to use this "Functional Culture" blog as my "lessons learned" blog for the benefit of documenting my long term agenda. My "Within The Black Community" blog is more of a muckraking blog. I use it to document my case as to the everyday goings on so that when someone comes along and attempts to hijack that reality - I'll have enough documented images of reality residing on the shelf so that I can pull it off for easy reference.

The other compartment that I maintain is my analysis of the Black media and blog sites. I learn so much about how Black people think by engaging in verbal debates with people than any other channel for understanding.

As such - I learned that my friend and Philly Homeboy, Field-Negro picked up a post that I had made about the priorities of his blog site and put ME up for inspection with his audience of attackers.

Let me first start off by saying - There is little that anyone can do in their responses that are going to "hurt my feelings". In fact, I thoroughly enjoy reading the "attacks". I strive to find at least one sound critic who can lay out the case against me and either get me to justify my position or change it because I failed to consider all of the facts in the previous view that I had presented.

Sadly - as I read through the responses on the Filled Negro blog - the majority of them were "throw away" in nature.

First we have the "English Lessons". Those who provide zero rebuttal to my actual words and only comment about my writing skills. To them they get NO RESPECT from me. They are but "judgmental CONSUMERS". In their entrenchment they are less concerned about the ideas that are presented to them than they are with the wrapper that they are presented in. If I ever tried to live up to their expections - they'd simply find some new, tangential problem with my ideas as a front for their inability to articulate a sufficient rebuttal.


Next we have the "Labelers". These are the people who have a predefined viewpoint of a given group, work to put me into that group and then kick the entire group down the street like a tin can. Again they are not forced to take apart any of the ideas that I have said on a stand alone basis. They only need to say "I heard him talk before....through Clarence Thomas".

Through all of this I make an assessment of the SOUL of these people.

When I am not the center of attention of these people I listen to the PAIN that they feel about the conditions that are present within their community. I try not to get involved in the discusssion with an "I told you so" in that they will simply shut down their honest discussion and go into defense mode.

When I listen to them attack me - I always have their "open hearted expression" juxtaposed in with their words against me. I am actually made to feel empathy for their condition. While they sit in the cat bird seat as a JUDGE of all who CHALLENGE THEM, their attacks against me come off as a desperate attempt to seek some measure of contentment in an otherwise dissatisfactory set of circumstances.


OUTSOURCED CONSCIOUSNESS

The over riding force that allows me to laugh off their attacks is that I have a strong knowledge of self prior to walking into battle with them.

Thus as I come up against an intransient force who is NOT GOING TO CHANGE no matter what I say to them - I realize that I WOULD BE THE FOOL if I looked to them for MY own SELF WORTH.

Why is it then that they are so worried about what THEIR OWN IDEOLOGICAL ENEMIES say about them and operate so sensitively in response? The reason for this is because THEY are the ones that have their own self-worth as a function of what these others view about them.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Aaron Copland - I Bought Me A Cat



Aaron Copland - I Bought Me A Cat


Let me set it up.
I traveled to another city.
I was put into a rental car.
The radio was tuned to some (what I thought was) a Classical Music station.
I kept the music on in order to releave some stress. I would normally find an NPR station and, failing that a Black music station. I only get to listen to Hip Hop ( "Lil Wayne", "Young Jeezy") when I am in an unfamiliar city, don't have my own Sirius satellite receiver and have nothing better to do while I am driving.

When the day was done today I got into the car and received a pleasant surprise.
I hear the song "I Bought Me A Cat" for the first time. I scrabled to find my iPhone so I could use the "Shazzam" application to identify the song. Sorry the phone is in the trunk.
I was happy that the DJ told the name of the singer and the composer of the song. (Aaron Copland is the composer)

The quality and cultural uplift received from this song gives me hope in believing that if we as a community were "once THERE"......we can return to a point in time in which we dispense of much of the vile music and return to that which is worthy of being played decades later.

Now I have WUOL saved on my iPhone.

They were playing songs by Paul Robeson and others.

I will need to do more research on Aaron Copland.