Wednesday, September 30, 2009

“My job is to get this bill across the finish line,”

A Senate committee drafting health care legislation soundly rejected two versions of a proposed government-run program Tuesday. Supporters of the “public option” vowed to resurrect the provision later this fall. Moderate Democrats twice voted with a unanimous bloc of 10 Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee to beat back attempts by more liberal Democrats to insert the public option into the $900 billion, 10-year plan under consideration by the committee. Defeat of the public option underscored divisions among Democrats and bolstered predictions by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., that the proposal doesn’t have the support it needs to pass in the full Senate. “My job is to get this bill across the finish line,” said Baucus, chairman of the Finance Committee and one of five Democrats who voted against the public option offered by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.(Taken from USA Today)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lacy Thomas Update:Anonymous has left a new comment




Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We have to continue to show our support for President Obama and his administration in order to eliminate this nonsense by the Republicans and Conservative Democrats. Change will happen Only if Our Voices are heard!!!

All Things In Time
Tommie L. Williams

Tommie --

Last week, Republican Senator Jim DeMint made it pretty clear why the opponents of health care reform are fighting so hard. As he told a special interest attack group, "If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him." Here's how the President responded:
Think about that. This isn't about me. This isn't about politics. This is about a health care system that is breaking America's families, breaking America's businesses and breaking America's economy. And we can't afford the politics of delay and defeat when it comes to health care. Not this time, not now. There are too many lives and livelihoods at stake.
With Congress only days away from finalizing their plans for reform, it's time to stand up with the President and fight back against this disastrous brand of old-style politics. So we need as many people as possible to publicly support the President's principles for health care reform and call on Congress to act.

Before the first full votes in Congress, we'll publish the signatures in newspaper ads across the nation, to make sure your voice is heard.

Watch President Obama's full response, then add your name in support of reform. Or if you've already signed, please forward this message to every one of your friends and neighbors so they can join you.

The President is more dedicated than ever to passing health care reform that satisfies the three requirements he's been talking about for months: Health care reform must reduce costs, guarantee choice -- including the choice of a strong public insurance option -- and ensure all Americans have quality, affordable health care.

If we do not reform our broken health care system this year, we will only shackle future generations with spiraling costs and deteriorating care. The cost of inaction is simply more than this country can afford.

But the special interests who profit from the status quo won't go down without a fight. The ads, the smears, and the attacks -- targeting both President Obama and members of Congress who support reform -- will only get worse. So it's crucial that we show huge backing before Congress finalizes their plans this month.

Stand with President Obama on health care reform:

Thanks for standing up for change.



Mitch Stewart
Organizing for America

Paid for by Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee -- 430 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, D.C. 20003. This

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thanks Stephen!!!

Conservative Free Republic blog in free speech flap after racial slurs directed at Obama children
By Chris Parry
July 13, 2009 3:41 PM

This photo of U.S. President Barrack Obama's daughter Malia, wearing a peace-symbol t-shirt touched off a storm of epithet-laced comments on the conservative 'Free Republic' blog

"A typical street whore." "A bunch of ghetto thugs." "Ghetto street trash." "Wonder when she will get her first abortion."

These are a small selection of some of the racially-charged comments posted to the conservative 'Free Republic' blog Thursday, aimed at U.S. President Barack Obama's 11-year-old daughter Malia after she was photographed wearing a t-shirt with a peace sign on the front.

The thread was accompanied by a photo of Michelle Obama speaking to Malia that featured the caption, "To entertain her daughter, Michelle Obama loves to make monkey sounds."

Though this may sound like the sort of thing one might read on an Aryan Nation or white power website, they actually appeared on what is commonly considered one of the prime online locations for U.S. Conservative grassroots political discussion and organizing - and for a short time, the comments seemed to have the okay of site administrators.

Moderators of the blog left the comments - and commenters - in place until a complaint was lodged by a writer doing research on the conservative movement, almost a full day later.

"Could you imagine what world leaders must be thinking seeing this kind of street trash and that we paid for this kind of street ghetto trash to go over there?" wrote one commenter.

"They make me sick .... The whole family... mammy, pappy, the free loadin' mammy-in-law, the misguided chillin', and especially 'lil cuz... This is not the America I want representin' my peeps," wrote another.

Such was the onslaught of derision on the site that the person who originally complained about the slurs, who goes by the nickname 'CatM', claimed on the left-wing website that only one comment in the first hundred posted actually criticized the remarks as inappropriate.

A note on the front of Free Republic reads, "Free Republic does not advocate or condone racism, violence, rebellion, secession, or an overthrow of the government," but one comment on the thread read, "This disgusting display makes me more and more eager for the revolution," while another read, "I never actually wnated [sic] to be a pistol before but..."

After attention from other blogs, the thread was suppressed and placed under review, but before long it was returned to the site intact, and attracted a new series of racial slurs when the original complaint email was posted publicly to the site, with the sender's email address intact.

"The writer has a point," wrote site owner Jim Robinson sarcastically. "We should steer clear of Obama's children. They can't help it if their old man is an American-hating Marxist pig."

"I agree Jim," wrote commenter, by the nickname NoobRep. "The kids didn't pick their commie pinko pansy of a father. Nor did they choose to be put into the spotlight. But Obama/Soetoro is fair game and so is his witch of a wife."

"Poor kids. I hope they're not 'punished with a baby'," wrote another. "Hopefully they won't deal cocaine like the Kenyan."

"DIRTBAGS! All of them. Our [White House] is now a joke to the rest of the world. We have no respect and this is not going to turn out well, mark my words. We will be hit, and much worse than last time. We are now seen as weak and vulnerable. Ghetto and Chicago thugs have taken over."

Only after significant negative attention from a host of left wing political blogs did the maintainers of the Free Republic site place the thread under review for a second time, before finally pulling it.

In the wake of the controversy, some Free Republic posters complained about the vitriol.

One poster by the name of "fullchroma" wrote, "To Jim Robinson: The recent uptick here in racist vitriol, aimed at Barrack, Michelle and their children has made me wonder if I belong. My objection to Obama has nothing to do with skin tone. Is the ugly stereotype of Conservative racism true?"

Another, going by the name of TChris, wrote, "Free Republic is a political discussion forum. It SHOULD be beneath us as a group to stoop to such juvenile tactics as I see increasing here lately. Do we REALLY have to insult Mrs. Obama's appearance like a clique of nasty 14-year-old girls?"

But such opinions were not shared by all. Said Roses of Sharon, "Poor libs .... Too late, the battle has been joined."

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's a shame that our community does not protest the assassination of this Officer. A car drove up and fired at him from behind while he was doing his job. If he had been in a shootout and had to kill someone, then the community would be in an uproar complaining about "bogus" Police harrassing the innocent. Officers of other races are dying to protect us from ourselves, and the community does not even acknowledge them. We harbor those among us that only serve to destroy us. It seems as if some of us truly have no souls.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Lacy Thomas Update:":

Lacy Thomas is now the Vice President,Client Services Director for ESI Network in Dallas, Texas, a Revenue Cycle Management Outsourcing company that does business at Cook County in Chicago.
Lacy was responsible for the original business for this company in Cook County several years ago.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Thinking about lending money to a friend or relative...":

Steve on "Thinking about lending money to a friend or relative...":

If your thinking about it...Consider using It's friendlier more social place, you can upload files and post messages and comments throughout the loan term.

Click here to check out this siteZIMPLEMONEY


Friday, April 17, 2009

Thinking about lending money to a friend or relative?

Lending money to a friend could be risky if you don't set up ground rules
By Eileen Ambrose | Tribune Newspapers
March 22, 2009
With banks being so tightfisted these days, you might find friends or relatives falling on hard times and turning to you for a loan.

Should you do it?

Your loan could prevent a loved one's foreclosure, bankruptcy or other dire fate.

Then again, the borrower might never repay. You fume, the borrower resents your hints to repay and the relationship blows up.

Loans to friends and relatives are dicey. You can play it safe by saying "No" to all loans or offering the money as a gift without expecting to be repaid. But if you do decide to play banker, set some ground rules for yourself and the borrower.

•Never lend more than you can afford to lose. That way, if the borrower defaults, you haven't put your finances in jeopardy.

•Make the loan as business-like as possible, drawing up a promissory note that both of you sign. The note should contain loan details, such as the amount borrowed, the interest rate and repayment terms. Discuss what you'll do if the borrower can't repay.

Indianapolis financial planner Grace Worley said some parents worry about favoring one child over others by making a loan. To be fair, some execute a promissory note so there's evidence of the loan to a child, and when the parents' estate is settled, the loan is subtracted from that child's share if necessary, she said.

The IRS requires that you charge interest if the loan is more than $13,000, the amount one person can give another this year without triggering gift tax issues, said Cindy Hockenberry, research coordinator with the National Association of Tax Professionals.

The IRS publishes minimum rates to charge, depending on the length of loan. •One option gaining in popularity is peer-to-peer lending site Virgin Money, which acts as an intermediary for loans between friends or relatives.

Under Virgin Money's Handshake Plus program, you can set up a promissory note with a borrower. Virgin Money will electronically debit payments from the borrower's account and forward them to you.

If the borrower doesn't repay, collection action can be taken or the default could be reported to the credit bureaus. Families usually, though, revise the loan terms if a relative is struggling to repay, said Asheesh Avandi, chief executive of Virgin Money USA.

The cost is a one-time fee of $199, plus $9 per payment.

Not all lending stories end well. And if yours doesn't, you might be able to get some consolation by writing off a bad loan on your tax return.

To pass muster with the IRS, it must be a bona-fide loan, meaning you have a written agreement and both parties have signed the pact, Hockenberry said. And you must be able to show that you took steps to try to collect the money—a trip to small claims court, for example, or letters from you or a lawyer seeking to wring out payments from the borrower, she said.

Losses on loans can be deducted as a short-term capital loss, the same way you write off investment losses, Hockenberry said.

Hockenberry's job is to answer questions for tax professionals, and queries about writing off bad loans to friends and family come up year after year. "It's really a common thing," she said.

Friday, April 10, 2009

And you say you don’t have any “Friends”. Wow!

A message of hope for the young adults
Recently, I hosted a “Girls Night Out”, with some of my closest friends. We range in age from 30 to 50. We have different levels of education and varying job titles. We also vary in our marital statuses . In this group, there is a mother of 4, as well as a mother of none. Some I’ve known for 20+ years and others less than 2. We are all on a spiritual journey, but not all at the same place on this journey. Each of them hold a special place in my life and they are women that I love, trust and depend on.
For young women who think that people are only in your life because “they want something”, they’re right. Everybody wants something, but their perspective of what someone wants may be distorted. One friend offers me a reality check. Another a shoulder to cry on. Another offers a laugh just when I need it and another an uplifting word, and yes, I want all of these things. Each of them offers me something that I need and I’m more than certain I offer them something in return. I learned a long time ago, that in order to have a friend, you must be a friend. You can’t expect that someone will be a firend to you without reciprocating that action.
Have we failed the next generation of women? I hope not. Are their challenges different than the generation before them, not really, but perception is reality. They peceive that they do not have true friends, and that is true for them. What can we do to help mentor these women? How can we show them that the women they don’t trust, can be a great asset.
First, we have to acknowledge that this is what they feel. Pulling the sheets up to our necks won’t cover up what they are experiencing. We may not understand it, but be open to listening. Next, we need to address why they feel this way. Some of us have not experienced whatever it is that placed them on this path. Then, teach them that in order to pick a gem, they have to ensure that their jewelry is shining. Again, you can’t expect to have a friend, if you’re not willig to be one. Finally, teach them to LOVE themselves. Self-preservation is the first law of nature. When you learn to love yourself, the journey to loving someone else doensn’t seem so far.
This is not a one size fits all, but I feel we need to start somewhere or our next generation could trully be lost to the world.
To All my Friends, Thank you in advance for whatever it is you have to offer. May sun always grace your presence.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

There's always the Media's version and then there's the Truth!!! The Somalians are fending for themselves and their survival

News, analysis and and reporting from independent journalist Jeremy Scahill.

I'm Putting Today's 'Pirate' Attack in Context

A US ship, owned by a Pentagon contractor with ‘Top Security’ clearance, was seized off the Somali coast. Reports say the US crew has retaken the ship. But the question remains: Why are the pirates attacking?

By Jeremy Scahill

The Somali pirates who took control of the 17,000-ton “Maersk Alabama” cargo-ship in the early hours of Wednesday morning probably were unaware that the ship they were boarding belonged to a US Department of Defense contractor with “top security clearance,” which does a half-billion dollars in annual business with the Pentagon, primarily the Navy. The ship was being operated by an “all-American” crew—there were 20 US nationals onboard. “Every indication is that this is the first time a U.S.-flagged ship has been successfully seized by pirates,” said Lt. Nathan Christensen, a spokesperson for for the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet. The last documented pirate attack of a US vessel by African pirates was reported in 1804, off Libya, according to The Los Angeles Times.

The company, A.P. Moller-Maersk, is a Denmark-based company with a large US subsidiary, Maersk Line, Ltd, that serves US government agencies and contractors. The company, which is based in Norfolk, Virginia, runs the world’s largest fleet of US-flag vessels. The “Alabama” was about 300 miles off the coast of the Puntland region of northern Somalia when it was taken. The US military says the Alabama was not operating on a DoD contract at the time and was said to be delivering food aid.

The closest US warship to the “Alabama” at the time of the seizure was 300 miles away. At the time of the seizure, the US Navy did not say how or if it would respond, but seemed not to rule out intervention. ”It’s fair to say we are closely monitoring the situation, but we will not discuss nor speculate on current and future military operations,” said Navy Cmdr. Jane Campbell.

The seizure of the ship seemed to have been short-lived. At the time of this writing, the Pentagon was reporting that the US crew retook the ship and was holding one of the pirates in custody. At this point, it is unclear if the crew acted alone or had assistance from the military or another security force.

Over the past year, there has been a dramatic uptick in media coverage of the “pirates,” particularly in the Gulf of Aden. Pirates reportedly took in upwards of $150 million in ransoms last year alone. In fact, at the moment the Alabama’s seizure, pirates were already holding 14 other vessels with about 200 crew members, according to the International Maritime Bureau. There have been seven hijackings in the past month alone.

Often, the reporting on pirates centers around the gangsterism of the pirates and the seemingly huge ransoms they demand. Indeed, piracy can be a very profitable business, as the following report from Reuters suggests:

A rough back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that the operation to hijack the Saudi tanker, the Sirius Star, cost no more than $25,000, assuming that the pirates bought new equipment and weapons ($450 apiece for an AK-47 Kalashnikov, $5,000 for an RPG-7 grenade launcher, $15,000 for a speedboat). That contrasts with an initial ransom demand to the tanker’s owner, Saudi Aramco, of $25 million.

“Piracy is an excellent business model if you operate from an impoverished, lawless place like Somalia,” says Patrick Cullen, a security expert at the London School of Economics who has been researching piracy. “The risk-reward ratio is just huge.”

But this type of coverage of the pirates is similar to the false narrative about “tribalism” being the cause of all of Africa’s problems. Of course, there are straight-up gangsters and criminals engaged in these hijackings. Perhaps the pirates who hijacked the Alabama on Wednesday fall into that category. We do not yet know. But that is hardly the whole “pirate” story. Consider what one pirate told The New York Times after he and his men seized a Ukrainian freighter “loaded with tanks, artillery, grenade launchers and ammunition” last year. “We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits,” said Sugule Ali:. “We consider sea bandits those who illegally fish in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas. We are simply patrolling our seas. Think of us like a coast guard.” Now, that “coast guard” analogy is a stretch, but his point is an important and widely omitted part of this story. Indeed the Times article was titled, “Somali Pirates Tell Their Side: They Want Only Money.” Yet, The New York Times acknowledged, “the piracy industry started about 10 to 15 years ago… as a response to illegal fishing.”

Take this fact: Over $300 million worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are “being stolen every year by illegal trawlers” off Somalia’s coast, forcing the fishing industry there into a state of virtual non-existence.

But it isn’t just the theft of seafood. Nuclear dumping has polluted the environment. “In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed,” wrote Johann Hari in The Independent. “Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.”

According to Hari:

As soon as the [Somali] government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.

Monday, April 6, 2009

What do you think?

This is from one of my oldest friends. What do you think? SB

Black people are an intense people. Watch us in popular sports and we dominate; watch our church services - so much intensity & creativity. I had a conversation with a co-worker and we surmised that American Idol intentionally had to pick more white winners or Idol would have come to be dominated by Black folks - and who wants to see Blacks folks winning in open competition. A white early childhood instructor admitted to me that most people in her field knew that Black children at 3 or 4 years usually have better language & communication skills and better motor skills/muscle development; Black children are at the top of their class until 2nd grade; then bad upbringing, lack of motivation, laziness, shiftlessness from bad parenting diminish their lead steadily until 7th grade when we are probably the worst students in the country - and it goes downhill from there. I hate most Black conservatives, but as one Black conservative stated 'Black people in the US are at the bottom because we choose to be at the bottom' - there is some truth in that.

I held out for 20 years waiting on a good Sista, because I know the potential for greatness & happiness in our people; but eventually I had to get with a woman who chose to respect me & treat me nice rather than hoping that a Sista would finally decide to respect me as a man - you can't wait forever for things to change.

What’s up! I attended the Women of Color Conference this weekend, at U of I, in Champagne. I had the opportunity to hang out with some really cool young sisters. The conference addressed how we interact with one another, self Images, and relationships overall. Typically, women I’m around are between the ages of 38-60, that said; I’ve just not been around many young adults (21-35). Let me just say, I was extremely taken back by how they discussed and addressed the treatment of one another, their self-image, and their experiences. During and upon leaving the conference, I left knowing that some how, somewhere, we’ve failed them. Don’t get me wrong, the sisters are doing some amazing things, and the workshops were very interactive, and it gave me insight into what some of our young adults are dealing with. Apparently, I’ve had my head stuck in the sand; it was definitely an eye opener for me. Hearing you guys rant over some sisters, holds some truths,however, is it not the responsibility of each of us to somehow treat and teach our young sisters and young men the importance of loving self and others? I was taught as young girl that I was valued and special and if not to anyone else, but to the Ward Family. Knowing that, allowed me to love and also value others. I don’t have the answers, but for those of us that know better have failed our young. Let’s not go off into how terrible we are, but let’s began simply correcting our wrongs. Both my parents constantly drilled do’s and don’ts, and no, I can't argue that we are living in very different times, nevertheless, some things must not change…Our people need much help…Let’s stop making this about us and look at how we can help our young people. I left saddened… Cheech

Friday, April 3, 2009


Obama's message to Europe
Speaking before a French and German audience at a town-hall meeting, President Obama pledged to repair damaged relations with Europe. I watched coming in on the train this morning, and I'm hopeful that he will restore the damaged relationships inherited by the Bush administration. We're so proud of you Barack and Michelle!!!!!!

Obama and Michelle are doing their thing in Europe...

President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have received a rapturous welcome in the French town of Strasbourg ahead of a Nato summit. They were greeted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Why aren't Black folks discussing this? SB

(NECN: Josh Brogadir, Milton, Mass.) - WARNING: Graphic details included in both the text and video of this report.

Milton Police held a news conference Saturday afternoon to explain more about the killings of three Milton, Massachusetts siblings that unfolded at around 5 p.m. On Saturday.

According to police, Kerby Revelus, 23, first went at his sister Samantha, 17, stabbing her with a kitchen knife.

Police said that she called 911, and then another sister, 9-year-old Sarafina, got on the phone with the dispatcher.

Kerby killed Samantha, according to police, before a police officer responding to the call broke down the door. That is when Kerby decapitated his 5-year-old sister Bianca in front of the police officer, Chief Richard Wells said.

"The assailant had the 5-year-old daughter in his arms and was holding her hostage," Chief Wells said. "The assailant was armed with a knife and had the 5-year-old by the neck and severed her head immediately."

All that occurred with Bianca's birthday cake resting on the table. Sarafina was also stabbed, but was taken to the hospital and survived.

Kerby had a prior arrest from 2004 on domestic abuse charges against one of his siblings.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew: 6:34

Slow me down, God. I use my energy each morning troubleshooting for the days ahead. I completely bypass the gift of today, the gift of now. Calm my spirit, expand my breaths, fill me with Your peace so that my spinning thoughts settle. I serve no greater good by thinking ahead, wringing my hands, and wondering what might happen.

Save me from my need to control every situation or possible situation. Lead me back to trusting You with all that will happen. I know that You do no ask me to handle everything on my own. You will be there with me, for me. So today, this moment is only about this moment. May I rest in it and experience it as You intended.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I Need Your Assistance

I Need Your Assistance to help me find sponsorships for our high school students. It costs $1000 to sponsor a student but due to hard economic times we will take what we can get.

During the past three years, the ACAP Chicago has grown from 13 students in 2005 to 40 students in 2008. Each year we receive over 100 applications. However due to funding constraints, we have only been able to accommodate 40 students. Each year we have successfully recruited and encouraged a significant number of students to pursue careers in the accounting and business professions. All students attending the programs have graduated from their respective high schools. Additionally, each year, we have awarded three (3) $1,000 academic scholarships to the participants to aid them with their college expenses.

There is a substantial cost associated in providing this educational program, which includes but is not limited to meals, housing, transportation and program materials. Your corporation or company can contribute to the success of the program by supporting an ACAP student. (See Attachments)

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at 773-457-2078

Tommie L. Williams, Comptroller

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Jackie, Stephen B & Joe responds....

Hello beautiful,

I worked at WGCI for years as a announcer, and I started as Tom's afternoon producer. I know radio well, that's why I left it. Derrick Brown is right. Steve Harvey actually has more appeal in Chicago than Tom does. His radio career started in Chicago also. Combine that with his TV shows, movies and books, he has more face/name recognition with the demographic of WVAZ (35-54). Radio listeners aren't loyal. They won't fight for you, or switch the dial to a new station. Everything in radio has a shelf life, Tom's just expired. He had a great run. Stephen B


You know I like to stay silent on a few issues but this Tom Joyner hoopla makes me want to vent a little. Every now and then I would listen to the music on his show but soon as his talk portion came on I would turn. He and Anthony J Brown would talk "Playa this" and "Playa that" and spew anti family values to an audience where 70% of black children are born into single family households. Is that what we as a community need to solve our problems or was he merely reflecting (mocking) the current trend. I believe he should've projected something more positive that would have inspired us to reach higher rather than laughing at our sad current state of affairs. Also that stereotypical soap opera was like a step and fetch it program to me. Tom and his crew basically performed to the delight of his listeners and of course "The Man" and besides his college donations he showed no social responsibility to me.

History shows there has always been some people that can profit from our misery by making light/fun of us and our situations but in the end those who sacrifice their character and dignity for money will eventually lose. Until we learn to own our mediums (WVON) so we can decide the information we want to disperse we will be toys and pawns for those in power to use to amuse those who should be changing or mislead others and when they are done with them they will be thrown away also!

Joe Thanks Joe!!!!


What's up sweetie! Thx!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tom Joyner calls firing from Clear Channel's WVAZ-FM 102.7 in Chicago different from the others

Thanks Jackie! Tommie some insight please.....
Radio host Tom Joyner is based in Dallas but roots are in Chicago
Phil Rosenthal | Media
March 27, 2009
Monday's edition of "The Tom Joyner Morning Show" was typical, as far as Joyner was concerned. There were laughs, some solid information and encouragement. "And I talked a little bit about people who get laid off," he said. "Because every day there's a story about people getting laid off."

Four hours or so after he got off the air, he got the call. One of that day's stories would be his: Clear Channel pulled the plug on his show in Chicago, where his radio roots reach back to 1972.

Joyner's Dallas-based syndicated program, while continuing to be heard in dozens of smaller markets around the country as well as online, was replaced immediately on WVAZ-FM 102.7, his outlet here for the past 13 years, by comedian Steve Harvey, whose show has been airing on WGCI-FM 107.5.

"I've been fired a bunch of times, but this was up there," Joyner said by phone. "You know, I worked every radio station in Chicago, including as a cab dispatcher. I didn't walk from one station to the other, I got kicked. But I haven't been kicked in a long time, so this felt a lot different."

Suddenly, Joyner was off the air in the city he still considered home long after he returned to Dallas.

"Tom has been a great partner," said Earl Jones, president and Chicago market manager of Clear Channel. "This wasn't about that. This is about the direction we have to move."

Replacing Joyner, 59, on V103 with Harvey, 53, whose show is syndicated by a Clear Channel subsidiary, opened a slot for a new local WGCI morning program the company plans to launch Wednesday. The thinking is it will pay off long term.

Arbitron's switch from diaries to Portable People Meters to produce the radio audience estimates used to set ad rates has been accompanied by rating declines for almost all urban formats. But it has produced new data on listening habits.

With Tony Sculfield, 42, backed by WGCI evening co-host Leon Rogers and WKSC-FM 103.5 midday personality Nina Chantele, the company believes its new morning show will be more consistent with the rest of WGCI's programming.

"It's business," said Joyner, whose show's biggest markets are now Philadelphia and Detroit, where his syndicator, urban-focused Radio One, owns outlets. "If I were Clear Channel, I'd probably do exactly the same thing because you're in business to stay in business and, strategically, it's what they should have done."

Even if it ticks off listeners?

"Well …," he said, chuckling as his voice trails off. "I can't answer that one."

One need only check the Internet message boards to find resentment. Disgruntled Chicago fans have been pointed to BlackAmerica, where his show can be heard online. Joyner said there has been a surge in Web traffic, but online ad money simply doesn't match the broadcast numbers.

"I need the commercial-radio Chicago market," Joyner said. "I'm very concerned. Chicago, for all practical purposes, is the flagship. It is the mother ship. It is our largest market.

"Back in the day," he said, "whenever I got fired, there were options. And if there were no options, somebody who was not doing well in their format might flip to the urban format, and then that was an option. Now, [the Portable People Meters format] has made it so no one would think about flipping their signal to an urban station."

Chicago is where Joyner became a star, arriving at WVON-AM from Dallas in 1972. When new ownership cleaned house there six years later, he briefly went to old WBMX-FM. One fan was Johnson Publishing founder John H. Johnson.

"Mr. Johnson called and said he listened to me and he didn't listen to his own station [WJPC], so he wanted me to come there and I did," said Joyner, who eventually went back to Dallas only to make radio history a few years later by simultaneously signing contracts for a morning job in Dallas and afternoon gig here on WGCI without telling either station ahead of time.

For eight years, he was the Fly Jock, jetting back and forth daily. National syndication came later.

All the while, he never forgot what he was taught by Johnson, publisher of Ebony and Jet, who built a media empire by not only appealing to African-American audience but proving its value to marketers. Over and over he has said his philosophy is "to superserve the African-American community."

Little wonder his Chicago listeners feel a void, and that Joyner, ever-grateful for their loyalty, feels one too.

Friday, March 6, 2009


You know I love me some Michelle, and it appears that their relationship is truly balanced, but this was funny.......

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Blacks, whites hear Obama differently

By: Nia-Malika Henderson
March 3, 2009 04:09 AM EST

On his pre-inaugural visit to Ben’s Chili Bowl, a landmark for Washington’s African-American community, President Barack Obama was asked by a cashier if he wanted his change back.

“Nah, we straight,” Obama replied.

The phrase was so subtle some listeners missed it. The reporter on pool duty quoted Obama as saying, “No, we’re straight.”

But many other listeners did not miss it. A video of the exchange became an Internet hit, and there was a clear moment of recognition among many blacks, who got a kick out of their Harvard-educated president sounding, as one commenter wrote on a hip-hop site, “mad cool.”

On matters of racial identity, many observers in the African-American community say he benefits from what's known as “dog-whistle politics." His language, mannerisms and symbols resonate deeply with his black supporters, even as the references largely sail over the heads of white audiences.

This is part of the reason that as a candidate, Obama won intense support among African-Americans while never being branded, in the fashion of a Jesse Jackson, as a candidate defined by race.

In January remarks about the economy, Obama made a reference to “American dreams that are being deferred,” a phrase black audiences understood without a citation as black poet Langston Hughes’. First lady Michelle Obama often cites her upbringing in the “South Side of Chicago.” On Election Night, the winner promised that “we as a people will get there,” an echo of Martin Luther King Jr. made more powerful by not expressly invoking King’s name.

Or a year ago in South Carolina, when he tried to swat down the persistent rumors that he is Muslim. “They try to bamboozle you, hoodwink you,” Obama said that night, in what many listeners heard as an unmistakable reference to activist Malcolm X, as portrayed in Spike Lee’s movie.

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“All of us knew that he was referencing Malcolm X, and when he said it, the reaction was instantaneous,” said William Jelani Cobb, a professor at Spelman College who specializes in black history and politics.

Dog-whistle politics was hardly invented by Obama. One of its most deft practitioners lately was President George W. Bush. He regularly borrowed the language of evangelical Christianity and the anti-abortion movement to signal he was simpatico with their beliefs, even as he often avoided obvious displays of support that might turn off middle-of-the-road voters.

“The code words matter, how you dress matters, how you speak matters; it’s all subliminal messaging, and all politicians use it,” said Michael Fauntroy, an assistant professor of public policy at George Mason University, who specializes in race and American politics. “Ronald Reagan used to talk about making America the shining city on a hill, which is about America as divinely inspired, and it has a deep vein in the evangelical conservative movement. It goes on all the time, and there are so many circumstances when only the target people get the message.”

But Fauntroy said the stakes were higher for Obama, who had to “deracialize himself.”

John McWhorter, a linguist at the conservative Manhattan Institute, said that he believes that in Obama’s case coded messaging, which can be a matter of words, sound or grammar or all of them, is partly conscious because “he knows it arouses black audiences.”

“Black English, especially the cadence, is becoming America’s youth lingua franca, especially since the mainstreaming of hip-hop. Its sound conveys warmth, authenticity and a touch of seductive danger not only to blacks but many whites, especially ones below about 50,” McWhorter said. “Obama’s tapping into that cadence helped win him the election. Imagine John Kerry or Hillary Clinton saying, ‘Yes, we can!’ It would have sounded phony — only in what I call a ‘black- cent’ can it sound prophetic and arousing.”

Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for George W. Bush, said that dog-whistle politics at its best is not really about politics at all.

“The connection that Barack Obama has to the black community and the connection George Bush has to the evangelical community began long before they began running for president. It was a natural and deep connection, politics aside,” Fleischer said. “When they became candidates, it was a powerful, strong bond that created a base for both people. ... But genuine speech with conviction has tremendous power, and there always is a tendency for the base to hear the deeper message and say, ‘That was sweet. He’s talking to me.’”

Bush used phrases lifted from church hymns and the Bible to signal an affinity for like-minded Christians. The phrase “culture of life,” became part of the political lexicon when Bush used it weeks before the 2000 election — it was a less political, more evangelical version of “pro-life.”

Bush also recognized that he had to tread carefully with his evangelism — keeping his most loyal voters satisfied, even if following through on policy initiatives might be difficult.

As for Obama, an aide declined to talk about whether it was a matter of strategy.

Beyond speech, blacks have picked up certain of Obama’s mannerisms, particularly his walk, that signal authenticity. Bush had his cowboy strut, and Obama has a swagger — a rhythmic lope that says cool and confident and undeniably black. It was most noticeable on his first post-election trip to the White House, some said.

“The swagger was out of control, dragging the left foot, it was like, ‘Barack, you have got to calm down,’” said Melissa Harris-Lacewell, a Princeton University professor who teaches courses in politics and black studies. “The swagger thing just got worse and worse during the campaign. ... I am sure David Axelrod told him to stop swaggering. ... I can’t imagine that anyone is telling him to do that.”
“In those circumstances, it is his blackness kind of squishing out of the edges. It’s not the same thing as deploying it like Bush did, but it has the same effect ... solidifying his base of black folks,” she said.

Yet the question remains as to how far style or even swagger can take Obama among black people, without matching policies seen as beneficial to the black community.

“The swagger goes a long way for Barack, a long way,” Harris-Lacewell said, adding that the black support will mean a boost in polls. “Black people were strong supporters of Clinton because of race. ... If it works for someone who is just symbolically for the black president, it will be very powerful for the actual black president.”

Notably, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has used phrases recently like “bling bling” to describe the stimulus package and “off the hook” to describe the new RNC outreach plans, at a time when he is trying to step up the party’s appeal to African-American voters.

Beyond stylistic gestures, Obama has made several overtures to the black press since winning in November. His first print interview as president-elect was given to Ebony and his first print interview as president was given to Black Enterprise. And at his first press conference, journalists from the black press were given prime seating — yet weren’t called on for questions.

Strategy or not, Obama’s efforts will likely continue, some said, and so far have helped.

“I think that the combination of his style and his swagger and his connection to the various currents of culture make him seem like a man who is much younger than he is,” Cobb said. “But the genius with Obama is that he is fluent in it, so it doesn’t come off as a deliberate kind of doling out of references or points. It winds up to being to his benefit politically.”

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Offensive Obama Comic.doc

It's time for our voices to be heard. President Obama has said he cant do it by himself and he needs our help. Let's show our support by calling the New York Post and voice our displeasure over this racist editorial cartoon!!!

Tommie L. Williams

If you would like to call and complain regarding the cartoon in the New
York Post, please call (212) 930-8000.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Our Anticipated Inauguration - A Dream Fulfilled

By Cheryl Prater, Blog Reporter
Photographers: Felicia Bowser, Renae Edwards-Cruz, Shanah Young, Anthony Walker, Lovera Walker

I flew from Chicago to Tennessee on Sunday, January 18, 2009 and the flight was boring. My connecting flight to Washington, DC started setting the stage for the electrifying experience I was anticipating. People at the boarding gate were buzzing about their election adventures, from first-time canvassing to arriving at this gate. The conversation appeared to be amongst friends, not strangers. We were going to see more friends, about 2 million of them.

Even Dionne Warwick had time for some side conversations on her way to DC. She had planned an American Music Inaugural Ball at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, with tickets starting at $350.00 per person. Christopher "Ludacris" Bridges was to Co-Host the two-part event which was to include an Urban Ball and Legends Ball. The line-up featured: Fantasia, George Clinton, Marvin Sapp, Kirk Franklin, Cedrick the Entertainer, The Cheetah Girls, and Monica. Due to low tickets sales, the event was cancelled.

Once arriving in DC, I expected to join my cousin Renae (from New York) and secure a standing spot at the Inauguration Concert in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Renae had other plans, like pulling off a surprise birthday party for me. (Michelle Obama and I share the same birthday, January 17.) We viewed the concert from the comfort of her daughter’s Maryland home while partying. Several times during the evening, we cousins acknowledged our Mom’s journey through the Montgomery Bus Boycott and other similar events. (We thanked God for allowing them to see this historical moment.)

The Strategy
Sunday provided us time to strategize with another cousin, Felicia (from North Carolina) about finding a standing location on Monday for the Tuesday inauguration event. Secret Service provided a detailed web document about the event with a map which outlined street closures, Metro stations, and restricted areas. The news media strongly encouraged attendees to determine whether they were going to the inauguration or parade. An attempt to attend both events would be hard with the mass of people expected for this occasion.

Tasha, Renae’s daughter, provided us with directions from a native’s perspective about the Metro stations and best place to view the inauguration from the “I don’t have a ticket” zone. Now, it was time for us to talk about the needed clothing for the occasion. Renae and I had bought “Hotties” (a self-warming pack that is used in cold conditions) and layer of clothes. We had Hotties for the hands, feet, and body. The “Hotties” stay warm for different periods, 8 to 18 hours depending on the body area. Felicia only had layers of clothes. However, family came to the rescue and found enough “Hotties” to share with her.

On Monday, January 19, we did a dry run for Tuesday and took the Metro train from Largo Towne Center station (Maryland) to Federal Triangle (DC). There were thousands of people everywhere. People were commenting about the air of positive and peaceful vibes. It was amazing! A small group of protesters were drawing attention because they felt Bush and Cheney deserved to be jailed for our current problems. Their outrage was understood – Bush and Cheney did not represent the unity or peace we so desperately desired. Loads of street vendors lined the sidewalks with all kinds of Obama souvenirs. In addition, thousands of visible security personnel were sprinkled throughout the crowds.

No ticket to 8 tickets
While walking to the White House for pictures, I called my cousin regarding his location and activities in DC. (He is the co-owner of a media production company and has done extensive work for Barack Obama’s campaign.) I left this message, “Hey, I’m in DC for the inauguration event. I know you are here somewhere working and the chances are slim we will see each other. Call and let me know what you are doing.” My cousin called back and stated, “I’m not in DC. I'm working in Chicago. I had two ball tickets and two for the inauguration. I gave the ball tickets away.” I managed to scramble these words out, in front of the White House, “Are you serious? Can I have the inauguration tickets? Can the tickets be transferred to me? Can you overnight the tickets to me?” I had to calm myself down and realize overnighting the tickets was not going to be a good option. The delivery would occur on Tuesday around 10:00 am – maybe. All hopes were dashed.

My cousin provided a glimmer of hope when he said, “The tickets are in DC. Let me make a call and see what can be done”. In minutes, he called back and stated 4 tickets must be picked up by 4:00 pm. Felicia, Renae and I started jumping and screaming in front of the White House, “We got tickets!!!” (Those actions probably played well on the White House security cameras). Our passion drew excitement from the crowds around us and they started saying, “They got tickets!!!” Now we were on a mad dash to catch a cab and get to the ticket location. Once we arrived, I called the ticket holder. She met us at the door with 4 inauguration tickets and 4 parade tickets. Needless to say, we aborted our original strategy and returned to Maryland to develop a new plan – standing in the “Silver Zone” at the inauguration. In addition, we were hosting a pre-inauguration party that evening. My brother, Anthony and his wife, Lovera (from Chicago) joined us for this party. They received two seated tickets for the parade and other tickets were given to guests at the party. WOW!!!

Inauguration Day
The alarm clock sounds at about 4:00 am and our target time to leave the house was 5:00 am. All clothing (3 or 4 layers) are in place to meet the cold temperature of 18 degrees. We arrived at the Largo Towne Center Metro station to see other early morning risers. They were loaded down with smiles, greetings, minks, insulated boots, and even snow pants. As the train moves us closer to our destination, the crowds and lines are beyond belief. Exiting the train was a smooth process but all escalators were out of order which created massive lines to move from underground to street level. Moving through the train stations at a snail’s pace allowed us to notice the numerous happy and positive signs on the walls. The signs express love, soul, joy, etc.

We, along with hundreds of other, walked down lighted streets toward one of the inauguration entry points before sunrise. Capitol Hill, a massive white building with hundred of lights, is in the distance guiding our path. The crowd comes to a halt as we wait for 2 hours (tightly packed together) for the security checkpoint to open at 8:00 am. Everyone appears to be a friend not a stranger, the same feeling I had in the Tennessee airport. This two hour period prompted us to apply the “Hotties” to our hands and feet. The gate opened at 8:00 am and we started running about 500 feet to the security tables. The police requested, “Show the ticket. Open your coat. Open your purse.” I only saw one security checkpoint area for the “Silver Zone” which was behind the Reflecting Pool. The Reflecting Pool became the demarcation for the seated and standing zones. As the sun rises you can see sharp shooters on the roofs, helicopters, one Jumbotron, and rows of port-a-potties. We never saw a concession stand in the secured area.

Now we start a new waiting period for 2 ½ hours until the musical prelude, which is scheduled for 10:30 am. During the musical prelude, politicians and other dignitaries were shown on the Jumbotron taking their seats. The crowd loudly and pleasantly greeted their favorite people like Ted Kennedy, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Beyonce, Oprah, Aretha Franklin, and Joe Biden. Seeing Barack started a rally cry, “Obama, Obama, Obama”. However, the first appearance of President Bush started this chant from the crowd, “Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Hey, Hey, Hey, Goooodbye.” This chant was repeated several other times to Mr. Bush. Dick Cheney was sent cold goodbyes, too.

During the musical prelude, Felicia and I painfully noticed the “Hotties” on our feet were losing their warmth and our toes were hurting. The remedy became huddling on the ground with some other attendees to gain some warmth. People all around us were sharing blankets, leaning on each other for warmth, and coldly waiting for Barack to take the oath. The ceremonies started at about 11:40 am. By this time, we have been outdoors about 5 – 6 hours and the temperature had risen to 28 degrees with an unknown wind chill factor. The crowds stood quietly watching the Jumbotron as Barack took the oath. When the oath was finished, the hi-fives started, tears had frozen on faces, and bigger celebrations started. The benediction was powerfully provided by Rev. Lowery. As the crowds were leaving the search was on for loved ones, food, warmth and a ‘real’ bathroom.

Can’t Leave?
The city did a good job getting us to the event at 5:30 in the morning; however, they did a horrible job transporting thousands of people away after the event. Homeland Security’s plan included major street and bridge closures, only coach buses inside the restricted area and alternating train station closures. Calling a cab or loved one to pick us up was not an option with all the street closures inside the restricted zone – which covered numerous city blocks. The L’Enfant Plaza and Federal Center SW were both closed at the same time, stations closest to the “Silver Zone”. No one was able to tell the growing crowds when the train stations would be open; security was dumbfounded. The passion and energy we had to stand in the cold was long gone. Tempers were flaring as people felt caged by closed stations. The police and National Guard came to the Federal Center station, to bring peace. After waiting for about an hour or so, the police allowed us to cautiously enter the station for safety reasons. We arrived back in Maryland about 3:00 pm – 10 hours later and FROZEN. The coldness felt like it pierced the marrow in our bones. Thawing out brought warmth to our skin but our bones ached for hours.

My teenage cousin, Mercedes, while witnessing our discomfort from the cold asked, “Why did you go through this pain?” We reminded her that, “Our family members went through this and more to make sure their voices were heard by people that did not want to acknowledge there was time for a “change”. Our ancestries participated in the Montgomery Boycott from December 1 1955 – December 20, 1956. They lived in fear of the Ku Klux Klan going through their neighborhoods pushing their agenda of segregation in housing, buses, bathrooms, water fountains, schools, and restaurants. Aunt Alean (Jackson), was the Precinct Captain responsible for training the African American community about the 4-page application to become a registered voter and informing them about the poll tax. (The poll tax was levied on people rather than on property, often as a requirement for voting in poor neighborhoods.) As a result, we decided to work for “change” during this campaign and being at the inauguration was priceless for our mother’s sake and ours, too.”

“Change” is the beginning not the end.

The Inaugural & Parade Invitations

Blog Photographers (Shanah Young and Renae Edwards-Cruz) riding Metro to Inauguration before the sun rises

Blog Photographers (Felicia Bowser & Cheryl Prater) on their way to the Inauguration

Two blocks from the Inauguration location

Walking toward the Inauguration location at 5:30 am, the temperature is about 18 degrees

Inauguration attendees seating on blankets in the standing zone of "Silver".

The jumbotron for the Silver Zone section, numerous pictures taken from that view

Sunrise at Capitol Hill

Attendees in the "Silver Zone" section at the Inauguration

Inside the "Silver Zone" section at 8:30 am and the temps are about 20 degrees

Blog Reporter (Cheryl Prater) and Blog Photographer (Felicia Bowser) and other attendees sitting on ground to maximize heat from each other, until event starts.

Inaug Jumbotron view: Beyonce and Jay Z

Inaug Jumbotron view: Former President Bush and First Lady

Inaug Jumbotron view: Muhummad Ali

Inaug Jumbotron view: Senator Ted Kennedy

Inaug Jumbotron view: Former President Carter and First Lady
Inaug Jumbotron view: Michelle Obama bringing Abraham Lincoln's bible to the Inauguration with Jill Biden

Capitol Hill during the Inauguration

Inaug Jumbotron view: Aretha Franklin singing her version of 'My Country Tis Of Thee'

Inaug Jumbotron view: Joe Biden taking his oath of office

Inaug Jumbotron view: Obama's view of the crowds

Attendees watching the Inauguration

Inaug Jumbotron view: The Obamas preparing for the Presidential oath of office

Inaug Jumbotron view: President Obama starting his acceptance speech

Inaug Jumbotron view: Rev Lowery providing the benediction

President Obama exiting Capitol Hill

Inaug Jumbotron view: President Obama and Former President Bush

Inaug Jumbotron view: Former Vice President Dick Cheney

Inaug Jumbotron view: The First Couple and the Former First Couple

Inaug Jumbotron view: The other side of Captial Hill after Inauguration

The Bushes exiting by air to Texas. The crowds are singing "Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey Goooodbye!!!"

Tree viewing the Inauguration

Attendees taking final pictures after the Inauguration is over

The artwork displayed on a coach bus

The Inaugural Parade Ticket

President Obama's car

Numerous security personnel

Lovera Walker passing through a security checkpoint at the parade site for ticket holders

Sharp shooter on roof overseeing the parade route

The Biden family walking in the parade

Vice President Biden and his sons walking in the parade

Vice President Biden's car

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