Monday, June 29, 2009
We Can Make This Sentence Even Better
I only have two problems with Bernard Madoff's sentence. The first problem is that some of his sentence should have involved working in some way for all those retirees that had to go back to work after he stole all of their savings. I figure if you are 80 years old and checking bags at Wal Mart after 30 years on your real job because of what he did the least he can do is come around and cut your grass or something.
The second thing is that we need to figure out a way to keep him alive as long as possible so his time in prison will be enough to haunt him. They need to send him to a real prison like the ones that are featured on Lockup and National Geographic. With all the lives he destroyed he should have to join a prison gang to survive like the everyday criminals have to. Nobody deserves to lose the money they worked for on a Ponzi scheme. His appearance was still too honorable for me. He should have been led into court with an orange jumpsuit and shackles like they lead people into the courtroom for traffic ticket violations in New Orleans.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Inspiration From A Man In Parachute Pants
When football season is out and I am trying to avoid the heat I stay inside and I sit around and find television shows to check out for the first time. I wonder sometimes why we spend so much money on cable and satellite television because most of the programming brings me down. I guess that’s why I watch the Food Network so much. It’s hard to be upset watching good food. It’s especially rough on black men. Between The First 48, American Gangster, and all the other crime shows watching T.V can bring your morale down. Today I was flipping channels trying to escape Michael Jackson and ended up on A&E. M.C. Hammer’s reality show was on and I have a new favorite show. M.C. Hammer may be the best image of a black father on television. As a matter of fact, all black families should watch this show. The show is set up like the standard reality show that follows around people and their families. Hammer and his wife are raising their five children as well as his nephew who he has been raising since the age of 11. His sister is a single parent and Hammer thought the young man needed a male figure so he took him in.
There are two major reasons I think the show is so good. The first one is the interaction between Hammer and his kids. M.C Hammer is a great dad. He reminds me of my own dad. I watched every episode and I never once saw him do anything to put those kids down. On one of the episodes he took his oldest son on the road to a concert in Utah. His ten year old brother was pissed because he had been rehearsing too but Hammer didn’t think he was ready. Before he left me made sure to talk to him about it and let him know that he would have his time to get out on stage if he keeps working. The same kid also had a bad report card and Hammer jumped on him but he never stopped encouraging and telling him he could achieve at a high level. At the end of the show he came home with an A on his test. One of his daughters recorded her first song with her sister and it came out alright so they decided to go to an open mic night and perform it. She’s so shy and was very nervous so the whole family went down there, sat in the front row and acted like she sounded like Aretha Franklin. That’s how family is supposed to get down for one another.
The second and possibly more impressive aspect of the show is Hammer’s attitude as well as his wife. Her attitude might be even more impressive to me than his. Everyone remembers how he blew 33 million dollars in a year and ended up in bankruptcy. That kind of thing surely pushes any relationship to the limit no matter how strong. It also has to be a challenge to a person’s resolve because I can’t imagine waking up everyday knowing I was set for life and now I have to keep grinding because I didn’t do the right thing. When you watch that show you can’t tell they ever fell that hard. Actually, they look pretty damn happy to me. The reason I think they look so happy is they never let what they had define who they are and their love for one another. As far as she’s concern she married Stanley Burrell before he was M.C. Hammer and that’s all she cares about. She’s the perfect example of what my mom used to say about riding the roller coaster ride with your mate. You take the ups and the downs and keep moving. Then I look at his attitude and I think he should be going around talking to brothers about how to handle adversity because many of us make mistakes in life. We mess up money. We burn bridges and waist opportunities. We hurt people we care about with out decisions. Many times we do all of these things at one time and we don’t know where or how to f ix it. I am certain Hammer felt that way when he lost all that money and his light on his fame got dim. When you get broken down you have two choices. You can run away and let that become the excuse for laying around feeling sorry for yourself or you can acknowledge the situation, identify what you did wrong, try to learn enough from the situation so it won’t happen again and keep going forward. I have to say I was inspired by Hammer’s attitude because I have seen some brothers throw in the towel for things far less than losing millions of dollars. I think that that if more of us had Hammer’s perseverance as well as a partner with the dedication to stand with you and empower you enough to keep going through all of that, things in the community would feel a lot better than they do sometimes. I am telling all of my friends to watch this show. I’m glad I felt lazy today.
I was never a fan of M.C Hammer’s music back in the day because I am one of those hip hop snobs that thought he sold out the culture. I was just a kid back then. Now I am a grown man and a father. Today I became a fan of his as a man and a role model. That deserves a least a YouTube clip. I hope his next album goes platinum.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Sitting On My Porch Part Twenty Eight
It’s been a long week in many ways. This is the first time in a long time that I am glad Friday is here. I want to sleep late. I have been listening to Michael Jackson related material for the last 24 hours. I know Mike hadn’t been on top like the old days but his death makes you realize just how big he was. He’s taking over everything. The news, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and anything else you can think of is jammed with Michael Jackson. I was looking up the picture of the album cover and ended up listening to Off the Wall about ten times. Sadly, I think this story is going to get a lot worse as the days go by and more people that knew him personally feel comfortable enough to talk about things they never would have while he was living. This might be the first time I am going to feel sorry for someone because they ended up being famous.
I had to show Mike some love on the Just A Song page.
If Mike hadn’t died I would be searching the internet for anything on Governor Sanford and his Argentina fling. This is another example of why politicians should really think twice before putting themselves out there. He was one of the main people criticizing Bill Clinton for being nasty in The White House and now he gets busted for going all the way to another country to do the same thing. I need to see a picture of this woman. She better be a 12 on a scale of 10. Something tells me that Mrs. Sanford is not going to play the good wife role. Hell hath no fury like a governor’s wife scorned. Maybe he should have just taken the stimulus money. He could have used that to replace the tax dollars he used to pay for his secret rendezvous.
The best thing about Iran’s leadership looking dishonest and not having their people’s best interest is the fact that they did it on their own. The president handled this one correctly.
When the chief of police calls your family out for being criminal then apologizes, it’s probably not the best thing for the legacy of your kinfolks to go out and shoot someone the same week. I personally think this should be done regularly. Every week the chief should have a press conference with a list of 50 names that’s messing it up for everyone and read them in alphabetical order. I’m pretty sure that might be unethical but since we want to know everything about everybody in the city anyway why not extend it to the suspects to.
Why does it seem like so many pregnant women around town are wearing the same clothes they did before they got pregnant? That normally wouldn’t be a problem but if the shirt was tight when your stomach was flat imagine how it looks now.
I am not saying I am the greatest writer or anything but why do I feel such a since of unfairness at the fact Perez Hilton is becoming famous for that horrible blog he has. Is that the key to success in the blogging world? All you have to do is hate on people? I can do that and get some benefit. Check this out……
Buffie the Body is not fine and her pictures suck! I don’t care how many times I look at them or join her fan club in hopes of a VIP invitation to one of her events. She's really not impressive. Erykah Badu is not that fly either and I am glad I removed one of the many pictures I downloaded of her as my desktop wallpaper. Lil Wayne = Simple New Orleans people! Reggie Bush ain’t fast and his girl is not that awesome(Did I just type that?)!
I don’t like any black people especially Stevie Wonder and my family.
I can feel the hits and advertising dollars rolling in any minute now!
The city of New Orleans is about to spend 8 million dollars to buy a building from a company that abandoned the business district and moved across the lake. Once we buy the building we will end up spending another 8 million because this is New Orleans. That means there is going to be some kind of problem and everyone is going to want to pick out new stuff to put in there. This sounds like a plan someone thought of while they were stuck in traffic one morning. I have a bad feeling about this plan. The next mayor is going to be working in a tent.
Let’s give Mike one more clip and try to move on. I am dedicating this clip to Renaldo. He was a tough kid from the Iberville Projects but he loved Billie Jean.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I Have To Post This Because I Love To Do It
As much as I am addicted to blogging, the best part about it is that I don’t get paid so there is no pressure to post anything. This has been a hectic week and I have had much time to sit down. However, like any good addict I had to find the time to post something anyway. I got to have my fix. I figure I can squeeze in a quick post while I try to find out what’s going on in
I received this I (Heart)
Make sure you go through his archives if you have a chance.
Make sure you go through his archives if you have a chance.
Yes, they are all bloggers in
It’s been a busy week today and tomorrow will be worse. After it’s over I will be sitting on the porch with a glass of something brown. Stay in the air conditioning folks because its hot out there and the sun ain't playing.
Monday, June 22, 2009
The Brother Got A Full Plate
Here is the list that I can remember off the top of my head:
Mexican drug wars
A budget deficit
General motors failing
Damn….I bet President Obama wishes he was still spending time worrying about what kind of dog to buy his babies.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
My All Time Favorite Clip
Friday, June 19, 2009
My Spotlight On Black Fathers
Father’s Day is Sunday and I want to wish all the fathers a peaceful and fun time. I will be heading to
Last month I drove home the Friday before Mother’s Day and there were tables and stands all over the street with baskets and gifts to celebrate mama. I didn’t see one table in anticipation of Father’s Day. Mama definitely deserves her admiration but maybe since everyone agrees we have this problem with responsible fathers we should try giving more recognition and admiration to the ones who are trying to do the right thing.
We have been through all the chastising, the ridicule, the guilt by association, and the constant reminders of what black fathers don’t do. All of those things are real and I see the effects of it everyday but Sunday isn’t about them. Sunday is Father’s Day and that means we should be celebrating real daddies who get out there and grind for their kids. I just want everyone to know that if you have a man around you that is doing the right thing it is ok to put him on a pedestal for a few days. I am sure he would appreciate it. If we don’t start showing more admiration to the men who are trying than we do to the ones that are not, then what reason do those guys have to want to be like us when he is having more fun being selfish anyway? We say we want the brothers to stand up then we treat everything they do like it’s no big deal. At the same time that brother has to hear one of his friends that are supposed to be such a deadbeat brag about all the women he has and how much fun he’s having while not doing anything for anybody. I figure if a guy can ignore all of that temptation and stay focused the least we can do is let him have the big piece of chicken. How are we supposed to change a culture that has a major focus on self glorification when we don’t glorify the alternative at all? Yes, I know we are supposed to do these things anyway even if no one ever gives us recognition. We do this all the time but we are in crisis mode right now and the old approach hasn’t been working.
I’m giving the brothers love this weekend. We are going to make it better.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Is It October Yet
Why is it so hot outside?
It’s now official. The summertime sucks. Remember when you were little and couldn’t wait for the summer to come so you could go outside and play all day instead of sitting in class? Well, those days are over for me and I can’t stand this heat anymore. I was driving a friend to the airport this morning and we determined that this is now the worst time of year. Gas prices are going up every 15 minutes. I had been filling up on twenty bucks as early as April. Now it’s taking forty to get close to the “F”. Pass all the stimulus packages you want to. Americans have low morale after leaving the gas station. I can’t stop sweating because it feels like its 148 degrees outside so I have to wear two shirts so people won’t think I have some kind of illness. I’m carrying around this handkerchief and I keep wiping the sweat from my head like an old black preacher. Everyone’s attitude seems to be a little worse than usual when you are out in the public. Plus, there are too many people wearing ugly sunshades that are supposed to be cool because they cost a lot of money. There’s no football on television and the major sport is boring ass baseball. Then there is the yard work to do and the constant cutting of the grass once it starts raining. It is hurricane season so every night I check out the weather and make sure that I don’t have to start tripping. If that isn’t bad enough, everyone thinks they have to do stuff on the weekends in spite of the heat wave so people keep inviting me to stuff I am not going to attend without air conditioning. They can think I am being anti-social and that’s fine. I’m trying to conserve gas and sweat glands. The bottom line is that if you are over 17 years old you should be waiting for October to roll around.
Technically it’s not even summer yet……..DAMN!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Someone Finally Stopped Something Before It Started
In his resignation letter, Lapene said he didn’t want to be a distraction for Cannizzaro’s office, and wrote “that continuing my employment with you could interfere with your good work in attempting to make a positive difference in this community.”
I read about here on the Blog of New Orleans.
You know when I wrote about this Sunday I felt strongly about what I said. I thought this was one of those stories that would fly under the radar until a major trial later and it would blow up. Apparently, Mr. Lapene or someone close to him did too. I know he was allegedly involved in a racial altercation but give him or whoever made the decision credit for ending a potential problem before it started. Most of the time people here defiantly keep everybody on staff no matter what they do.
Monday, June 15, 2009
The Little I Know About Healthcare
I don’t know all the details about the health care debate going on right now. I only know a little about health care based on real life situations.
I know that when I got laid off and received my COBRA statement in the mail I was floored by the cost of one employee policy. When I saw how much that insurance was and multiplied it by 1000 employees, it totally made sense why companies try to hire temps and part time workers instead of full time employees. Trying to pay for health care packages has to cripple a company if there aren’t great profits coming in.
If you have a family of four and have everyone covered under your package, even if you got a 5% raise each year the increase in your deductions would eliminate it. That’s why families find loopholes to put the kids on the government plan and hope they don’t get sick themselves. The other choice for the employer is to change the package to a cheaper one that is easy on them and the employees but when you do that you end up with a plan that doesn’t pay for anything above two aspirin or the closest doctor on the plan is 50 miles away.
I know that if you have three kids and all of them get sick with the same illness that can cripple your household budget if they have to go to the pediatrician. When you add up the co-pays for each visit, plus the cost of prescriptions (because pediatricians love writing prescriptions) and factor in the return visit for one or two of them, that’s about 200 dollars minimum coming out of your household budget. The backwards part is this scenario describes what happens to be a person who works everyday and pays for insurance. I know when I am sitting in the clinic about to drop my gas and lunch money on an ear infection I wish I had a Medicaid card.
Even though everything I just talked about happens to millions of people everyday no matter what ideology they believe in, some folks feel more patriotic because they pay for these benefit packages that are draining them and the country they work for and don’t complain about it. There are too many people getting sick and can’t afford it or whose company is suffering trying to keep up with the cost of their benefits. I think the public option might be the way to go even if it’s just to give the HMO’s a reason to compromise on their prices. If we don’t do that, then they have to get some kind of tax break or something to get them to bring some of those prices down. If we don’t do anything at all we might as well get used to more layoffs and an increase in home remedies.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
We Love To Hire Problems
Is this investigator that qualified where we are willing to have the entire investigative team stigmatized as being prejudiced just to hire him? There had to be someone qualified enough to have that job without the questionable incidents in the past. What about the relationship with the police department? I guess the D.A doesn’t care because there are enough folks in his world that don’t like Chief Riley. Just because certain people are not satisfied with his job performance shouldn’t mean its ok to disrespect the department by hiring someone they just fired for conduct even before the process is over. In the article in the paper the District Attorney made the following statement, "The process has not run its course. The man has not received what I consider to be full due process," What happens if the process has run it’s course and his firing was justified? Does the Leon Cannizzarro fire him immediately because the image of his office would be compromised? We could end up with an investigator going out to the community to help solve crime while at the same time being involved in a lawsuit against the police department for his own crime. Unless David Lapene has the investigative instincts of Jessica Fletcher on Murder She Wrote, the District Attorney should have hired someone else.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Sitting On My Porch Part Twenty Seven
You know I was thinking..... if it wouldn't have taken me a whole year of blogging to figure out how to be creative I could have just named the whole blog Sitting on My Porch. It really fits the whole vibe. This is another example why spending your 20's getting tipsy doesn't pay. All the young folks reading this please here my cry......Booze makes you slow. After all the dancing, fun, laughs, memories, and courage to ask any girl for a date when she is feeling really good too, what do you really have to show for it? I just made myself want to be 22 again for a weekend.
On Thursday I will be 35 years old. To me 35 is the age where you start crossing the line into full adult status. You know that saying “you are as old as you feel”? Well, between 2004 and 2007 I felt about 75 years old because of stress. I still had my handsome and youthful appearance but inside I felt worn down. I’m happy to say I don’t feel that way anymore. I don’t feel too young but I don’t feel old either. I think I am right about where I should be. Even when things in the news try to get to me I maintain. I guess I feel battle tested or something. Usually around my birthday I write a whole bunch of self glorifying posts about myself. It’s my time to display my inner Ric Flair. Some of my friends might say I do this all the time and just don’t admit it. Either way I won’t be doing all of that this year. Instead, since this is my blog and I can do what I want, I will let Ric do it for me. I and my friends went to this show in the Superdome after watching this. Whoooo!
Let’s move on to other things....
I have been trying to calculate how much of my Chevy truck note balance I shouldn’t have to pay since I own a portion of GM. They ought to give us something for buying their product before the ship was sinking especially since they knew it was sinking behind the scenes.
Chrysler is being purchased by Fiat. Has anyone outside of
Is my mayor still in
William Jefferson’s trial started this week. Everyone in the city should watch this closely because if he is acquitted the next election will be a free for all of racial politics and the selective prosecution card will be played on Jim Letten daily.
Nike should have had a backup for the
I want to give a shot out to Leigh and her husband after seeing them at the WYES Beer Tasting on Saturday evening. The fact I can remember our conversation means that I have learned to drink in moderation. I don’t care what anyone says, you can’t beat the bagpipe band closing out a beer drinking event. There is a beer called Brooklyn Local 1 that was so good I thought about moving to
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Finding Local Inspiration In Cairo
I try not to do any over praising of Barack Obama’s time in office so far. I voted for him and I want him to succeed but at this early stage you can’t compliment or criticize his policies and decisions so early in game. You have to give things time to see how everything works out. Today I saw something in him that inspired me when I was watching his speech in Cairo. That speech was the greatest example of his leadership abilities and his commitment to change in the world. It was also the blueprint for the next mayor of New Orleans to follow. If there is a candidate who expresses what I saw today he has my vote.
I don’t talk about committing acts of violence because that’s an easy stereotype. However, one of the things that make me want to punch someone is any reporter or writer that makes the comparison between New Orleans and anywhere in the Middle East. I find that really insulting and out of line for an American city. As much as I am offended by that comparison there is one thing that we sort of have in common. We have deep rooted divisions based on class and background that keep us from making any significant changes. The issues are so deeply rooted in our everyday fabric that too many people are set in their ways to even consider what the other side of the table is saying. When you add the fact that every point of view has leadership that benefits from those divisions staying in place, the prospect of change becomes almost impossible. We are not as brazen with it and we try to hide it but the general principle is the same. That’s why we need the Obama speech.
When you are dealing with this kind of entrenched culture, the only way for anyone to start things moving in a different direction is to stand up, tell the truth about everything and call out the mistakes of your allies as well as your adversaries while respecting their position and at the same time admitting your own group’s transgressions. Basically, you have to give everyone a big hug while pissing them off at the same time. It’s the way you get all the folks in the middle to realize you are trying to be fair and objective so they lessen the power of the people on the far ends of the spectrum. You can open dialogue with more positivity that way. That’s what the president laid the groundwork for today. I thought it was an outstanding speech because of the tone. I believe if we have any hope for the future down here we need someone with the vision to stand up and take this same approach. It’s time to acknowledge and accept the reality that unless there is another disaster the same magnitude of Katrina, no one is going anywhere. Mayor Nagin gets a lot of blame but the truth of the matter is that there are issues that are deeper and older than him keeping this city from doing what it needs to do.
In 2009 there is blame and accountability for all races and classes to accept. The next leader of this city needs to stand up and say “I respect and appreciate all your diligence and dedication to the city now sit down and listen while I tell you what you are doing wrong and what you need to change.” That person has to speak the truth to everyone even their own race or circle of people. It’s the only way to get the people in the center to think you don’t have an agenda so they can get involved and support you. If we don’t have that then we are headed for four more years of finger pointing, email reading and obsessive investigative reports. One speech no matter how honest won’t change the entire Middle East just like one speech can not change New Orleans. What something like this could do for us is start to eliminate the divisive people and open the floor to honest discussion. That’s our first step. The big question is there anyone running for mayor that can come close to pulling this off.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Feeding The Cycle
Last week the open discussion around the office was about this brother in
The discussion was very interesting. I was the only man involved and the sisters seemed to have varying views on who was responsible. A few of them wondered why the mothers of these children kept choosing to have babies with this man when he has already fathered so many children. I couldn’t really argue with that because
There is no excuse for a man who can barely afford to take care of himself to make 21 children. There isn’t enough time during the day to work long enough or spend enough time with that many kids and give them what they need. Desmond Hatchett knew that before he made them. That’s why I give him almost all the blame. There is no such thing as a grown ass man without any control over what comes out of his body. We are not talking about some naive 14 year old that goes by his girlfriend and makes a mistake. A grown man knows exactly what has to take place to create a child. I can’t stand when a man gives me one of those tired excuses like the woman had a gun to his head and made him plant his seed. I don’t care if she said she was on birth control. In the end you still control your own pistol. You can go to any clinic these days and pick up condoms without even having to speak to anyone. Whenever a situation comes up where you can’t control your own body then your manhood has to take a hit for that. After 21 confirmed moments with no self control, I don’t think we can call this male a man. This is an irresponsible fool consciously bringing all these babies into the world to struggle. That’s 21 more kids in the hood trying to beat the odds on their 1.50 child support. That’s 21 children to potentially keep the cycle going. That’s 21 more children we will be potentially having forums about in 15 years so we can develop plans to save them from the streets. The odds are with so many kids that a few of them will probably make it through to be successful in life. I bet as soon as their first big check clears dear old dad will come walking through the door looking for his 15 dollars of support a year and his 15 minutes of quality time to be repaid. That would fit the profile of jokers like this. Men like this give all brothers a bad name.
The saddest part about this whole story is that I know someone personally that has him beat in children and moms. He just hasn't made the news yet.
Pre-Applying for The Worst Case Scenario
I think this opinion may be in the minority but I think this is bad karma. I know where I live and what happened in the past. I am all for having a plan to leave and a long term plan to stay somewhere else for awhile in case something goes wrong and you can’t come back home immediately. I’m not naive and even if you wanted to be clueless about the need for a plan you couldn’t. Everywhere you go someone is reminding you its hurricane season and you need to have a plan. To me there is a difference between having a plan and willing yourself into a situation. I’m one of those people that believe in karma and getting back the energy that you put into a situation. In my mind if I apply for disaster relief food stamps before there is any indication of a disaster coming I am just begging for a hurricane to come. I think this is overkill and generating negative energy. It’s just like when your friend buys a gun to take to the club in the event he gets into an altercation. He hasn’t had a fight in 20 years but now he feels the need to carry a pistol. It never fails that as soon as he does, that’s when trouble finds him and something bad happens.
I’m not applying for the chance to need disaster stamps. I have my game plan to roll out. I will spend money wisely and be prepared if something comes. Other than that, I am going along with my days like I will never have the need to put this plan into place because there is a difference between planning for the worst and waiting for it to happen. I guess next year everyone will apply with FEMA in February and have our claims already in action too. We might as well call up the insurance company and tell our adjuster to start the paperwork now so they can come up with ways to not pay us. We are going to drive ourselves crazy before the hurricane gets a chance to. Maybe I am making too much of this. If I am then please excuse me. A brother just gets tired of expecting bad things all the time.