September 27, 2006

Being Part of a Solution Does Not Make You Right

Can 10 million dollars be considered an "investment" by the national government? Isn't our dept in the TRILLIONS?

Our government has found another way to feel good about themselves. We've decided to donate 10 million dollars to fund the building of "PlayPumps." These merry-go-rounds are connected to underground water reservoirs, and store water as the children spin. This is not a joke.

Sounds cute, right? "Kids play, water pumps!" Even the King himself, Jay-Z, has gotten involved. There's a catch. Money talks:

"In addition to providing safe drinking water, the pioneering product uses advertising billboards located on the storage tank to deliver powerful educational messages to children and families. The advertising revenue helps ensure a decade of system maintenance."

We'll give you water for 10 years. All you need to do is spin a merry-go-round, buy our products, and stop having sex. Oh, and here's a Bible. No, we don' have condoms. I wish I was making this up.

By 2025, most of Africa will be in a "water stress." That's more than ten years from now. I assume all of the PlayPump funds will have dried up, the kids will grow up, and we'll forget. At least, they'll have a play ground.

Real problems require real solutions. Pipes, water plants, education, jobs, and self-reliance help end a water crisis. Cute doesn't end a water crisis. Chancletas are for girls. Just ask DMX.

Orchestra Baobab Pirates Choice

September 26, 2006

Diggin' in the Crates: A Reminder

Reading the news can be a frustrating process. We celebrate a stadium, as people lie homeless. Voting is not a process with equal access. Terrorism has grown since the invasion of Iraq. Schools are nothing more than a market for publishing companies to peddle their wares. People are still being murdered senselessly, Philadelphia is piling bodies like no tomorrow. Ground Zero is a clusterfuck of bureacracy, at least New Orleans had a stadium to catalyze their rebuilding. Playgrounds have become the answer to solving Africa's water crisis. President Bush just signed the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act. We'll now have the privilege of seeing our tax dollars at work and the assurance that our money isn't spent illegally. We needed a law for that?

Where's OUR RESPONSE? Where's the GALVANIZING FORCE of music?

Turn off the radio. The FORCE is in the crates. Music that asked questions, kicked down doors, and shook your ass. Everything is not all good.

1. Sam Cooke - A Change is Gonna Come
2. David Ruffin - Heaven Help Us All
3. Funkadelic - Funky Dollar Bill
4. Harlem River Drive - If (We Had Peace Today)
5. Lee Dorsey - Who Gonna Help Brother Get Further
6. Bob Dylan - A Pawn in Their Game
7. Horace Andy - Live in the City
8. Rance Allen Group - Harlem Heaven
9. Sister Nancy - Roof Over Mi Head
10. Meters - You've Got to Change (You've Got to Reform)
11. Sly and the Family Stone (Skin I'm In)
12. Jack Dupree - Failin' Health Blues
13. Curtis Mayfield - Underground
14. Chambers Brothers - People Get Ready
15. Justin Hinds - Save A Bread
16. Charles Mingus - Oh Lord Don't Let them Drop the Atomic Bomb On Me
17. Desmond Dekker - It Is Not Easy
18. Prince Buster - A Change is Gonna Come
19 The Coup - Underdogs

September 25, 2006

Are You Ready For Some Football?

"The good news is - and it's hard for some to see it now - that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before."

"Out of the rubble of Trent Lott's house - he's lost his entire house - there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch."
-GW Bush, 9/2/2005
We've come a long way, baby. One year and 185 million dollars later, the Superdome has gotten a facelift. No more eau de death, rape, mayhem, and homelessness. Just astroturf, pigskin, and beer. They even lowered the ticket prices for us! Football cares about homeless, displaced, jobless people.
66% of New Orleans public schools are open and only 7% of St. Bernard's public schools are open. 0% of St. Bernard's and 50% of Orlean Parrish hospitals are up and running. 44% of New Orleans' grocery stores are open. Unemployment is sky high. Why spend 185 million dollars on football, you ask?
Loopholes are a politicians best friend. Under the Stafford Act, federal disaster money can only be used to repair state-owned buildings. Of course.
"In bringing the Superdome back, and getting it back on the fast track," Superdome spokesman Bill Curl said, "we saved, not only the full Saints season, and not only got Monday Night Football out of it, but we saved the Tulane [college football] season. We saved the New Orleans Bowl, which is the first game of the bowl season.

"We saved the high school football championships, which means 50,000 from all over the state for a weekend. We saved the Bayou Classic [the annual football game between historically black colleges Grambling State and Southern], which always fills the place."
I wish I had made that up. At least we got football. Schools, hospitals, food, and jobs may be privileges, the Saints are our right. According to Governor Kathleen Blanco: "It's [Superdome] now a symbol of our recovery. It stands as a symbol of all of our experiences over the past year."

As we spend money rebuilding symbols, New Orleans real estate is in a clusterfuck. Rents have gone up 39% since Katrina, and
federal aid is only going to homeowners. Let's do the math together: 859 million for renters, 7.5 billion for homeowners. One billion is one thousand times one million.
The Superdome is a symbol. A symbol of misplaced priorities. A symbol of supremacy. A symbol of where we stand. A symbol of how far we need to go.
Anger, frustration, and rage do not need words to be communicated.

Separated at Birth

Can YOU distinguish the two?

Peace to Dallas Penn.

September 19, 2006

Foreign Policy is a JOKE

Kazakhstani president Nursultan Nazarbayev is visiting on September 29th. According to the spokesman for the embassy of Kazakhstan, Roman Vassilenko: "Kazakhstan really is a special kind of 'stan and people need to know that. It's a different 'stan."
Stan indeed.
Now that Kazakhstan has oil, our government cares. Unfortunately,none of us know who or what the fuck a Kazakhstan is. Neither do we care.
Enter Borat. The world's most famous non-Kazakhstani Kazakhstani. Again, Vassilenko said, "The Government has expressed its displeasure about Borat's representation of our country." As a result of their displeasure, Kazakhstan has launched a P.R. campaign in American newspapers, magazines, and television campaign entitled "Kazakhstan: Reaching for the Stars." I wish I was making this up.
In fact, Borat is first and foremost on President Nazarbayev's agenda during his meeting with George Bush. Oil and 30 troops in Iraq. Apparently, that's all it takes to get a meeting with Bush. As the Congo and Uganda scream for democracy, a man who won a sham election will talk about Borat with Bush, to show American's the "real Kazakhstan." As Darfur goes through a Bush-proclaimed "genocide," Borat will be discussed in the White House.
I can't wait to hear Bush say Borat. BOE-RAT.
RICHARD PRYOR Anthology 1968-1992

September 16, 2006


Carnage. Violence. Bloodshed. Needless. Many of the aforementioned words are used to describe the daily happenings of these places. Violent. Failing. Teacher shortage. Bloodshed. I just gotta pass. Many of the aforementioned words are used to describe their schools. Makeshift memorials line the streets and porches. Schools are cheap day care. Safe water is a commodity. Everyday, more senseless killing. More senseless violence. More senseless bloodshed. Where are we?
Baghdad or Philadelphia? Al Anbar or Oakland? Najaf or Paterson? Falluja or Brooklyn? Mosul or the Bronx? Basrah or Chicago? Mamoon or New Orleans? Black or brown or yellow?
Don't get me wrong, there is a war goin' on OVER THERE. People are dying senselessly everyday. Teachers are trying to teach everyday. People are trying to get by everyday. Hospital emergency rooms are filled to capacity everyday. Sound familiar? Don't believe the hype. There's a war goin' on RIGHT HERE too.
We're killin' each other like we were at war with each other. Everyday. We need responsibility, accountability, and respect. It starts with US. It starts with YOU. No one's gonna hold our hands. Legislation, security, and investments in our community would help too. 315 billion dollars for a war over there. All New Jersey schools are asking for is 3 billion. Not to mention the 108 failing New York City schools. Don't forget the 50 million uninsured Americans. YOU do the math.
As we still look for the faceless enemy OVER THERE, we're creating unstable time bombs right HERE: uneducating our kids. Our own people are killing each other. We're doing it to ourselves. They're just waiting for us to go away. One by one. One more two paragraph blurb buried in Section C, page 18. One more kid dead. Stop the war HERE.

September 15, 2006

1,829 Days. Always in Sight. Always in Mind.

Political affiliation, blame, rhetoric, explanations, and conspiracy theories are all moot. Thousands of people died for no reason at all.
The pain still lives on. Not just the mental anguish. Lead, toluene, dioxin, benzene, mercury, and asbestos add up. The results are shocking: 70% of the first responders have a new or substantially more serious lung condition, 1/3 of the first responders have diminished lung function, and babies born within a two-mile radius of the World Trade Center weighed significantly less at birth than babies born elsewhere.
The response? Rhetoric. Words. Palliation. Partisan bickering over the meaning of "torture" and "secret prisons." A health coverage bill for 9/11 first responders was not even entertained on Capital Hill - Republicans blocked the measure before letting it come to a vote.
We'll come to the city once a year, early fall, just for breakfast and a chat. Reporters will snap some pictures. YOU can go to the doctor on your own time...with your own money. We have investments to attend to, incumbents to reelect, agendas to create.
Mesothelioma. Persistent Cough. Asthma. Those words don't sell papers. Those words don't fit the political midterm agenda. Iraq. Iran. Operational Freedom. Fear sells. Are you buying?

September 10, 2006

If I Flush It, It Is GONE.

Drugs are everywhere. Not just your in your medicine cabinet. Not just near your condoms. Nearly 1 out of every 2 Americans pops a pill everyday. What we fail to realize is what goes in must come out.
If a lot goes in, a lot will come out. Researchers recently found male fish that were exhibiting female traits, such as rudimentary eggs in the Potomac River. Some researchers blame this rise in "intersex" fish on the many drugs that we take that eventually end up in our rivers and fresh-water reservoirs. Many of our drugs are deemed "endocrine disruptors," once we flush the toilet. In other words, the drugs we ingest, ultimately are pissed out and become part of our water supply. These endocrine disruptors may, over time, disrupt our body's own hormone cycles. Our water works are not designed, and more importantly, not required to clear water of endocrine disruptors. Thus, the birth control pills, ADHD drugs, Viagra, etc may slowly becoming a part of our water supply.
Male fish making eggs isn't a red flag! Damn. I may need to switch to Poland Springs.
The Environmental Protection Agency began the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program in 1996 to address growing concerns of our over-medicated waste becoming part of our water supply. Guess how many regulations have past since 1996? Exactly. Guess how many pharmaceutical company lobbyists live in Washington DC? YOU do the math.
Instead of PREPARING for the inevitable, we give our kids more ADHD meds. Just a smaller dose, however, cause now ADHD meds are known to cause heart problems and psychotic disorders. As parenting takes a back seat to medications, endocrine disruptors will soon become lawyer's favorite phrase.
At least we FINALLY have an answer to our burning question: Do rappers drink straight from the Potomac? Yes.

September 07, 2006

WE Watch Channel ZERO. What else is on?

The powers that be have decided. They know what is important for us. For the good, they say. Immigration is no longer an issue. 12 million immigrants can't be right. As elections draw near, the real guns come out. Not AK-47s. Not even .38s. The Republican think tank.
The immigration station has been shut down, to be replaced by national security. You may think you have a choice. However, you turn the channel and find more national security. If it's on TV, it's gotta be right.

Enough politics, you say? Enough. Let's turn the channel to the entertainment network. BET. MTV. Hot97. Entertainment is just fun and games, right? No messages, no agenda, no ulterior motives.

The think tank has got lots of friends with lots of money. Lots of money means lots of influence. Lots of influence means its on TV. We don't vote, anyway. What they WANT us to see is what we see. The Daisy Age didn't die. It was killed. Don't get it twisted, it's ALL CONNECTED.
All we have to do is stop watching. Time equals money. The more of OUR time we waste, the more of OUR money they get. The more of our time we waste, the more of THEIR agenda becomes OUR reality. The more of our time we waste, the older we get. Before we know it, their agenda will become OUR CULTURE, their agenda will become our INSTITUTIONS. God bless America.
Slavery was an American institution.

September 01, 2006

Creating An Investment Portfolio that WORKS FOR ME.

An outcome-based education system requires one thing: results. What were the numbers last year? What are the numbers this year? Are they better? If so, end of story. If not, who do we blame?
New York City Regents exam results are down, and school boards are looking for excuses. Another band-aid on a gunshot wound. Some Tylenol for your cancer. Some Harlem School Board officials have a novel idea: kids don't like getting up in the morning. Test scores will go up if school starts later. School is no longer a place to develop critical thinking skills, to develop a healthy social schema, and to develop nonacademic interests. Schools are state-sponsored test-preps. Buy Kaplan stock NOW.
Raising kids is not cheap. It's not supposed to be. It's an investment. Time. Money. Effort. TLC. Just like that retirement account that you keep meaning to open, the earlier you start investing in children, the better their future. For instance, the opportunity cost to start vigorous pre-school intervention programs yields a huge return. In other words, disadvantaged children who receive interventions in pre-school are more likely to "pay their debt back" to society in education, career, lower incarceration rates, etc.
When money talks, POLITICIANS listen. Current intervention programs like GED, prison rehab, alternative high schools may temporarily cover their ass. That problem is for the next generation of politicians. Life is good NOW.
At least OIL is fairing well on the international market. How long can our kids survive being outcompeted and outsourced and outnumbered?

We see the inevitable. The water is rising. All we need to do is prepare. We need more than life jackets and 99 cent umbrellas. We need more than just a promise that boats are on their way. We need to unearth the foundation and start from the ground up. Choose new foremen, pour new concrete and fight the RIGHT BATTLES. THE WAR IS HERE & NOW.