Thursday, December 14, 2006

It's the Christmas season

Okay, its the Christmas season--or whatever holiday you need to

celebrate in the Wintertime--and all I ask is that you don't freak

out and get way too angry or too sad or go off the deep end in any

way, PLEASE.
It's just Christmas--or whatever holiday you want to celebrate--so

don't trip. It's like this every year so spend reasonable amounts

of money. Try not to go into debt. I'm planning on taking my own

advice (ya know, physician heal thy self) and I am making a budget

and I am sticking to it.
This season brings out so many feelings and emotions in everyone.

Sometimes they are difficult to handle. Some of us have had

wonderful Christmases filled with toys and joy and food and love

and everything. Some of us have had Christmases filled with

fighting, empty boxes and balled up wrapping paper from gifts that

were not even on our lists.
Let us adults provide a perfect Christmas Day for the children in

our lives. They deserve it. They have to put up with so much more

ick in this world. It has changed since we were kids. They have the

world and the war to deal with and everything.
All we had to do is live.
So please celebrate Christmas and the all important New Year with

glee but with not so much trepidation (\trep-uh-DAY-shuhn\, noun:

1. [Archaic] An involuntary trembling; quaking; quivering. 2. A

state of dread or alarm; nervous agitation; apprehension; fright).
Let us all put on our happy faces for our holiday and then fall out

in some kind of stupor in March or something--if it's all over by

then. (Notice I included Valentine's Day in all of this. It's a

long stretch after that. The first warm spring breeze is all we

have to look forward to after the holidays.)
Talk to ya quick,
Ms. McCloud
P.S. A napster gift card never hurt anyone (hint)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving and happy birthday to my sister-in-law Maria and congratulations to she and Kevin on the newest member to our family, Kiah. (am i spelling her name right?)
Now, if you are looking for my normal rant and soap-box murmurings, stop because I'm not doing it. We are now entering the holiday season and we all have to be greatful and happy about something. So, no more on-line whining about whatever. Be happy and promote well-being amongst your peers. Besides, I'm a little sleepy.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Whass been goin on

Y'all would not BELIEVE the ____ I have been going through lately. And, of course, it is mostly self-caused.
That one guy I used to talk about all the time won't talk right to me anymore so I gave up and I'm too busy anyways. So I mostly just work and these guys that I meet want to know why I don't have a boyfriend. They are poking around trying to figure out what is wrong with me. (where will they start?) I told one guy the problem is that I talk too much, I'm hardheaded and don't like being bossed around so I have no man. He started bossing me around so I left.

By the way, the most popular link on my Web site, is the "Drunk As Hell" link to all of the photos of tore-up folk. Go check it out.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


It's good to compromise, find a common ground in which to settle differences. However, too much compromise can be dangerous. Sometimes we can bargain away any glue and legs we have keeping you upright. Before you know it, you're a pool of _____ lying in the middle of the floor. People are stepping over you and whatnot.
So compromise with caution and wisdom but above all, compromise.
Oh, and by the by: Happy birthday Nicie
And another thing: That Olay Nighttime Regenerist Serum really works. It costs like $19 at the store (I go to Walgreen all the time)
Hey can the company send me some free samples of all of the Regenerist products? I'm in love.


It's good to compromise, find a common ground in which to settle differences. However, too much compromise can be dangerous. Sometimes we can bargain away any glue and legs we have keeping you upright. Before you know it, you're a pool of _____ lying in the middle of the floor. People are stepping over you and whatnot.
So compromise with caution and wisdom but above all, compromise.
Oh, and by the by: Happy birthday Nicie!


It's good to compromise, find a common ground in which to settle differences. However, too much compromise can be dangerous. Sometimes we can bargain away any glue and legs we have keeping you upright. Before you know it, you're a pool of _____ lying in the middle of the floor. People are stepping over you and whatnot.
So compromise with caution and wisdom but above all, compromise.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

I got another job

I haven't been writing on my blog because I got a job. Now, I'm the not-broke-that-much diva!
Chow bella

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Broke Diva (copyright LJM 2006)

I have never bought any stock or reaped any great financial benefits from keeping my nails done, wearing colored contacts, three-inch heels and hair down to my waist but yet I continue to do it.
I buy clothes that can only be worn to a nightclub because if I wore it to the office the boss would want to either send me home or take me home right away.
I am a Diva but I am a Broke Diva.

What if I removed the nail tips (New York manicure courtesy of Hollywood Nails in Griffith, IN) and the waist long stick straight brown hair with light brown streaks? What if I put my clear contact lenses in instead of the amethyst ones I wear?
How would my public receive me then?
(What if I stopped referring to the people that I meet each day as my public?)
What if, with revamped attitude in hand, I reintroduced myself to the world as just plain old Woman? You know, the real me. The me that my friends know. The one they've been knowing since the seventh and eighth grade? Plain old me.
I would be so boring. No one would pay any attention to me. I'd look just like any other woman walking down the street. My nails would revert to the hideous nubbs I once wore. (man hands--ewww)
My hair would just lay there in a layered bob of sorts--you know the mommy/working woman/ housewife hairstyle we have all worn at some point until we got that really great haircut.
The changes I speak of would certainly thrill my family. Although, I wonder if they too have gotten used to noticing my hair before noticing me. I'm sure it lends a certain excitement to their day figuring out how I'll look each day.
HMMMM.... (I'm actually thinking right now, watching the cursor blink.)
Nah, Broke Diva shall reign forever and ever because I like her too.
She's like this past model chick that never modeled but just thought she could, that's all fat and stuff but still has that cheery personality and lots of stories about celebrity sightings and stuff. And she's always into stuff. She seems to lead a very exciting life filled with intrigue, danger and lots and lots of turmoil. (really most of her time--like everyone else's--is spent keeping up appearances)
Yeah, I like Broke Diva and I think I'll keep her. Hey, maybe I'll give her some money so that she's not so broke anymore.
Then she can just be Diva.
(this is me thinking about where I can get a second job, watching the cursor blink)


Friday, July 28, 2006

Original Content

I've been so out-of-hand lately.
I know my place and all but I just don't know what has gotten into me.
For instance, I was told to stay at home and fininsh cleaning but instead I went to work. Now it doesn't matter that it was I who said stay home but why didn't I listen?
Okay, bad example.
Yesterday I was told to shut up but I didn't, Matter of fact, I talked even more. This insanity has to end. I'm putting my foot down.
You know, men folk don't like a sassy woman. They got a war to fight and all and other manly things to do and they don't have time to deal with a sassy-mouthed, hardheaded woman. This I know to be true.
Just ask any of them about it. Ask them if they mind putting up with your mindless chatter, endless requests and paying attention to you. Ask any of them. The answer will be a resounding No!
If you women would just do what the man says, get his dinner on time (and don't burn it) and stay out of his way, the world would be a much, much better place.
There, I said it.

Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew, chimed in on the Middle East war this morning on Fox during Your World with Cavuto.
He said America should stay out of it because it is a regional situation. In other words, if America got into it, it would turn into a free-for-all over there and lead to World War 3.
"I'm sitting there looking at kids dying and women bleeding--I don't think that's good for (anyone)," he said.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Reruns: Stupid Questions

April 2005 was a time for reflection and humor. It's almost as if I didn't write the post because I laughed and I'm still giggling--sorta.
I don't know what I was going through I'm sure it was trivial and blown completely out of proportion by me but go read it anyway.
Click on the title of this post and page down a little and you will see "Stupid Questions."

Friday, July 21, 2006


07-20-06 G-dumping
Copyright LJM 2006

textbox: Become a volunteer to help clean the city. Call public
information at 881-1314.

GARY--It's been going on for years but Thursday, the message was
clear: illegal dumping in Gary will bring jail time and a hefty fine.
Gary Mayor Rudy Clay delivered this message at a press conference
Thursday, hailing the work of code enforcement police who responded
to a call of illegal dumping Wednesday afternoon in the 800 block of
Lincoln Street.
"The lesson that should be learned is that if you dump garbage in
Gary (illegally) you go to jail and your truck will be impounded,"
Clay said.
Clay is taking the tough stance because he said for years, residents
and those who live outside of Gary, have been taking advantage of the
city by dumping their trash and bulk items anywhere they pleased.
According to police reports, Cpl. Len Miller and Ofc. Anthony
Boleware arrived on the scene in squad cars to find two black males
allegedly dumping from a red and blue pick up truck, dry wall and
other construction materials in an alley.
Duane L. Campbell 28, of Gary and Aliel Pettis, 28 of Joliet,
Ill.--but who listed a Gary address, were arrested Wednesday and
charged with criminal mischief, a misdemeanor. Campbell and Pettis
were cited for dumping litter in an alley. Both men are scheduled to
appear in court August 16.
But it didn't have to happen that way.
"On the very next block, there is a dumpster. They were doing
construction on a house. They took everything out of the house and
put it in the garage and in the evening they backed their truck up
and took it out and dumped it in the alley. Miller and Boleware
caught them on a traffic stop," Terry Smith, GPD Inspector, said.
Smith is in charge of code enforcement for the city of Gary.
"This is a continuing investigation," Smith said. The owners of
the house were cited for not having garbage cans or improper garbage
cans, failure to maintain property, unsanitary conditions, creating a
nuisance, accumulation of garbage and unnecessary storage and debris.
Owners of the property on Lincoln Street can face thousands of
dollars in fines. Campbell and Pettis are not only facing fines for
the misdemeanor arrest and code enforcement violations but also have
a $1,000 bond, Smith said.
The mayor kicked off a clean Gary initiative in May and since then
has staged several clean -up efforts involving volunteers and the
General Services Department.
Clay has asked citizens to clean around their homes and to involve
their neighbors. He has asked residents to remove abandoned cars from
property and dispose of hazardous and bulk waste appropriately.
Gary residents may dump bulk items free of charge two times a day at
4710 Industrial Highway and three times per week at an east side
residential drop-off site located at 15th Avenue and Clay Street.
However moving vans, trailers and dump trucks must pay commercial


g-firefighter 07-19-06
Copyright LJM 2006
GARY--They endured 20 weeks of pre-dawn jogging, classwork and
intensive training but it
all paid off Wednesday when 11 men were inducted as Gary's newest
"This is the first class of 2006. I hope each one invests 20 years.
These are wartime
recruits. They have to be very aware of their surroundings because
this is a high alert
area. We are the front line responders," Gary Fire Department Chief
Robert Walker said.
His thoughts were echoed within each recruit.
"I hope to have a great career and save many lives," Juan Gonzalez,
28 from East Chicago,
Sultan Jaber said he joined because of the respect firefighters
receive in the community
and a chance to save lives. He also understood the sadness he may
encounter if they are too
"Being a fireman is not an easy career," Gary Deputy Mayor Geraldine
Tousant, said.
Walker said the department is replacing the 21 retiring fire
personnel, so another class of
firefighters may soon be trained.
The men stood tall in their dress blues as they walked across the
stage at the Genesis Center to receive their badges.
"It helped me develop self esteem. It's the brotherhood and the love
you get from the
other firefighters. The training I received prepared me and so I will
lose any fears,
Jamier Ruffin, 23, of Gary said.
Mark Everette, GFD Chief of Training, said recruits are trained
beyond the state requirements.
"They are trained to firefighter II, the highest level of
certification. It's hard to keep
up with training outside of the structure of the academy so we train
them ahead of time so
that they may pursue other certifications. You can't get any other
certifications in the
state with out firefighter II training.
He said all training is done in house. They must pass an agility
test, lift a 60 pound extension ladder, run a mile in 10 minutes and
be tested for claustrophobia and vertigo.
"Training weeds them out. We started with 12," Everette said.
He also took the recruits for a run through the city's neighborhoods
ever morning at 5:45 a.m. He acknowledged their success in a speech.
"Some of you were out of shape. We ran through each community so they
could become familiar with the different regions of the city," he said.
Each recruit received 260 hours classroom training since Emergency
Medical Service is now the firefighter's primary response in Gary,
Everette said.
"This training can take them anywhere," he said.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Celebrating 100 Years

g-unity 07-15-06

GARY--Hundreds settled in for sausage, grits, eggs, biscuits and
gravy Saturday morning at the Gary Centennial Unity Breakfast held
inside the Genesis Center. There was a cheerful buzz in the room
about anything from the massive steel sculpture, the Fusion--which
would later be dedicated--to the glee at seeing old colleagues.
It was a time where many reflected on how far the city has come and
where it is heading.
"This day means strength, pride and accomplishments. We've been here
100 years and it's still going strong and we're looking forward to
growth and opportunity," Mirna Gonzalez said. She stood in line with
her husband, Naftali--a retired Gary fireman--in one of several
gigantic breakfast buffets spread around the open auditorium.
"I've been here since 1964", her husband, said.
They also brought their grandson.
"We wanted him to experience part of the history", Mirna Gonzalez said.
Many expressed curiosity about their city and wanted to get to know
Gary in another way.
"We have a great city here that very few people know anything about,"
Rufus Purnell said. He bought a 455 page hard-bound copy of "Gary
Indiana A Centennial Celebration" that was on sale at the event.
There was a mix of politician and average citizen at the breakfast
and everyone mingled.
"I believe the city of Gary has a very rich history and the history
is in the people," Gary City Clerk Suzette Raggs said.
Dharathula Millender, founder of the Gary Historical Society, stood
just ahead of Raggs with a member of the Gary Historical Society.
Millender was reconnecting with old friends.
"(I'm keeping) in contact with all ethnic groups, which is evident,"
Millender said, pointing to her friend and colleague, Carolyn Lisek,
whose father was a Gary business owner. Lisek is a member of the
Historical Society.
"I wanted to see what this was all about," Lisek said.
Dorthia Battle said she was glad to see the city come together for
the event. She sang with the Family Christian Center Choir, as a part
of the celebration.
The Rev. Dr. Stephan Munsey, pastor of Family Christian Center in
Munster, said his speech would span the past, present and future of
Gary. He also said Gary is an unusual city.
"Our society came in here 168,000 strong at the time of the
Industrial Revolution. No city or government can begin to understand
how to equip those many people. It was like fast money coming in one
day, going out the next," he said.
"We found ourselves in the 60s. The explosion began to come to a head
and we found we were really not ready as a city, when the winds of
the storm came. Many people disbanded and didn't know what to do. No
one is critical of the leadership--they did the best we could. I read
the history. We must do again what Mr. Gary did when nothing was here
and he said, 'something's going to happen.'" he said.
Some in attendance already had Mr. Gary's idea in mind. There were
vendors outside of the Genesis Center who had anything from snow
cones to memorabilia for sale. It seemed to show an appreciation for
the city's 100th birthday.
"I love Gary, Indiana. This is the start of something big. With the
influx of people we have from other communities such as
Chicago--that's generating a different kind of interest that people
thought we'd never have in this city. And I really love the Fusion,"
Eric Johnson, Public Affairs Director, WGVE 88.7 said.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

It Was Almost Like A Religious Experience

Frankie Beverly poses with fan, Leslie McCloud

I had never seen Frankie Beverly featuring Maze live before tonight. It was almost like a religious experience. It was like getting your first choice in anything. It was like falling in love over and over again. It was like getting exactly what you
want and having it work out all right.
It was like a sigh. It was like tears of joy. It was like a Baby's first smile. It was like all was right without the world. It was Frankie Beverly and Maze. These guys have been around for 40 years and they still got it going on. Frankie got some chops. He gives love to the audience and of course, the audience loves him back.
It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. And he's cute too.
I told Mr. Beverly that "I Can Tell By the Look in Your Eyes, That You're Falling In Love With Me." (ooh baby) He said, "Yeah" and nodded his head.
That is one of my favorite songs. He looked at me--I guess to see if he could judge my age or maybe that I noticed he didn't sing it or maybe that he sang everything else almost and I still mentioned that one. All of their songs are my favorites. People were at the outdoor concert Chicago Style Stepping and showing out with it and looking good too. Folks were doing the electric slide (a dance) in the grass--and doing it well.
But when they performed "Joy and Pain" Lawd we all lost it. He bongoed and keyborded and teased us with the intro. I wiped tears later, thinking about it. The crowd unleashed what ever they were holding back into one great big fury of Joy.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Gary, Ind. invites you to their 100 year celebration!

This is for the ol' school in you.

2006 Centennial Independence Celebration Weekend

Throughout the City


The Mayor's Office of Special Events
"100 Reasons to Come Home"

Weekend Celebration

Friday, June 30, 2006
Saturday July 1, 2006
Tuesday July 4, 2006

Performers include:

Cedric the Entertainer & surprise guest
Jesse Powell
Frankie Beverly & Maze
Tito Jackson & More
Denise Williams
Al Hudson & One Way

Call 219-881-1314 for more information.

Click here for a map and directions

Please read this horrifying story. You will laugh.

click on the title of this post, it is a link to laughter!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Vince moves on...

Brig. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks has been selected to become the deputy commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas.
The Army announced April 3 that Brig. Gen. Anthony Cucolo, who recently oversaw the Pentagon report on Iraqi decision making during Operation Iraqi Freedom, including the revelation that Russian officials may have supplied information on U.S. troop movements to Iraq, has been named to succeed Army public affairs chief Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks.
Brooks, who has led the Army's public affairs operations since Dec. 2004, will become deputy commander of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas.

Cucolo is director of the Joint Center for Operational Analysis-Lessons Learned at the U.S. Joint Forces Command in Suffolk, Va.

His most recent encounter with reporters came March 24 when he briefed Pentagon journalists about the "Iraq Perspective Project," a study by the operational analysis center into the views of Iraq's leaders and military in the months leading up to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq and the command influences on the Iraqi military during the "major combat phase."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Jesse Jackson Gives Back!

We should all take a look at what this man has done and congratulate him, then emulate him--as much as we can.
I never thought I'd see the day--Operation Push refunded a $40,000 corporate donation.
Donations are used to help fund Operation Push and their huge yearly convention so money is important to their survival. However, a sacrifice was made and they put principles before payments.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

No Child Left Behind Helps Public Education

(Please excuse the previous title. The report got me all revvved up!)

A just released report by the Education Trust states that by the end of high school, Latino and African-American 17-year-old students, on average, have been taught to the same level as White 13-year-old students.

Students in high-poverty and high minority schools also are shortchanged when it comes to getting teachers with a strong background in the subjects they are teaching.

Classes in high-poverty and high minority secondary schools are more likely
to be taught by out-of-field teacher--those without a major or minor in the subject they teach.

The report, "Teaching Inequality: How Poor and Minority Students Are Shortchanged on Teacher Quality," comes as states prepare their plans to ensure that low-income students and students of color receive their fair share of experienced, qualified teachers.

Those equity plans must be delivered to the U.S. Secretary of Education by July 7 -- and mark the first time that the federal government has demanded that states confront and fix the unfair distribution of teacher talent in their states.

The report also points out that school districts, not teacher unions, are responsible for balancing competing interests among stakeholders.
It would appear that pleasing powerful constituents has sometimes forced equity to take a back seat.

The simple truth is that public education cannot fulfill its mission if students growing up in
poverty, students of color and low-performing students continue to be disproportionately taught by
inexperienced, under-qualified teachers.

The report goes on to say that these manifestly unequal opportunities make a mockery of our commitment to equal opportunity
and undermine genuine social mobility. What we have is a caste system of public education that
metes out educational opportunity based on wealth and privilege, rather than on student or community needs.
Young people learn as much or more by watching what adults do as they learn from any classroom curriculum. Right now, they are learning that where you are born and how much money your parents make determine educational opportunity. Nowhere is this clearer -- or more destructive --than in access to effective teachers.
Education leaders and policymakers must confront this legacy more openly and honestly than ever before. If Americans truly value equality of opportunity, it is time to teach by example.

Senator Barack Obama said these students don't just score lower on tests, they are less prepared for college and the workplace as well.

What does all of this mean? (in my opinion)
If you are poor and dumb chances are you will remain poor and dumb
if you are poor and dumb you will get teachers that are poor and dumb
there is a problem with teacher retention and assignment when it comes to minority communities.

New teachers cannot stay new for long. At some point, experience is gained. Then what? Teachers who gain experience move to better situated schools?
I believe this report was mean as a wake-up call to those interested in improving public education for poor and minority students--which translates into a better society as those students grow up and take their places in the world.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Minority Affairs

g-naacp 06-08-06
copyright2006 LJM

GARY--Wrapping up a series of meetings in the area, a representative from Governor Mitch Daniels met with constituents Thursday at the Barbara Leak Wesson Center to hear from the local branch of the NAACP.
Tony Kirkland, Senior Advisor, Minority Affairs of the
Intergovernmental Affairs Department said it's important that the
Governor's office is in touch with the needs of local residents.
"I wanted to let the members of NAACP know that I am in the office
and I want to get some of the Governor's initiatives out. We want
to make sure we are being inclusive to minorities. (Business)
opportunities do exist and (residents) should take advantage of all
of them," he said.
Mentioned were the "Major Moves" initiative and the "Indiana Plan".
Major Moves is a comprehensive ten-year investment plan in IndianaÂ’s infrastructure to improve the economy and create job opportunities for Hoosiers. Major Moves eliminates the stateÂ’s transportation budget deficit and invests in the stateÂ’s future through public-private partnerships to complete over 200 vital transportation projects.
The Indiana Plan is a unique approach to preparing people for careers in the construction industry. The Indiana Plan accepts all people, regardless of educational background, work experience, age, gender or race. Opportunities for good-paying, skilled positions are available for people who are trained for the task. The construction building trades are one of the fastest growing areas of our nation's economy.
Specifically, officials were in the area this week talking about some of the programs that involve starting adult day cares and training programs that instruct in the building trades and road work construction.
Kirkland found that some qualified business aren't certified as minority
or woman owned due to mistrust of big government by minority and woman business
Sometimes not registering is due to lack of knowledge. The
state wants to protect itself from being scammed by front companies,
where businesses are minority or woman owned in name only.
In spite of this, to be considered for contracts with local and state
government designated for minority and women businesses, those
businesses must be registered as such, Kirkland said.
"They think they will miss out on funds coming to the area. There are
problems communicating the (details) of how to operate their own
business. Companies need to come to the table prepared," Kirkland
Money from the state for repairing roads and other infrastructure
improvements is in the works. Each county in the state could see up
$150 million.
"Northwest Indiana stands to get money after the Toll Road is
leased," Kirkland said.
The money may be administrated by local city government, he said. He
guessed possibly from $2 to $6 million could be seen in the area,
however, "it's not etched in stone". Workforce Development may be a
sponsor of a training program where people are trained on completing
roadwork and construction jobs.
Tammi Davis, president of the NAACP said it's important that
information like this gets around.
"We invited Tony Kirkland to come here so that we can have someone
who represents the minority community to the Governor's office. We
thought it was time we had a conversation with him--not about
anything in particular but in general. We want our voices to be heard
and taken seriously all the way downstate," she said.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

On Dissecting Blacks

Television producers and Newsroom managers: Please stop producing

and writing segments that ineffectively dissect African American

men and their community. To examine a problem you have to know a

problem. Mainstream America doesn't know the Black man or the Black

woman because they don't know the person--they know the persona.

Everyone has a persona.
You don't need to dissect a persona.
African American men and women want to be free to pursue their desires as do

White ones and Mexican ones and Asian ones. We all

want the same but have different routes to get there.
Some want to marry and raise a family financially and emotionally.
Some simply want to live in peace and not be in the corporate world

or wealthy or have a family at all.
Some just want to have a baby and let it raise itself. Some don't

understand what they want to do and do it anyway and when the times

get tough--they go.
And some are just self-destructive. They want to be a pimp, playa,

hustle and maybe grow-up one day.
One real solution is that African Americans need to create their

own wealth. Start a business needed in your community, put up with

your people and the baggage they carry and keep your money in your

community. Start a union in your community at your business and pay

union wages to your people. And live in your community because

well-to-do whites are running out of places to live Black-free.
(y'all know what I'm talking about)
Have you noticed that whites aren't breaking down the door to live

in economically depressed or wealthy Black areas? If the community

is on the upswing, then the indigenous peoples are priced right out

of the neighborhood or they sell and move.
African Americans make a habit of finding the whitest area--no

matter if the schools are crap or not--and move in and then cry

when the KKK is on the doorstep burning crosses.
(is it because there is too much crime in our communities?)
We don't like living in our own community that much and I know why

but if decent Whites and Mexicans can live and work amongst

themselves without needing or seeking out others to bolster their

community, why can't we?


Friday, May 26, 2006

Memorial Day and Fleet Week

Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor Veterans who gave their lives for this country and to a certain extent, men and women who are active in the U.S. Military. It's not just about chillin' and grillin', however, it is the day we use to signal that summer is right around the corner--so we blend the two. I heard that the end of May was chosen because it was thought that by that time, flowers would be in bloom all over the world.

Former POW Cpl. Joseph Hudson (right) presented the then U.S. Military Academy Commandant Brig. Gen. Leo Brooks with an American flag on behalf of all who serve and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our nation's freedom during the 2003 pre-game events of the 104th Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia. Brooks now works for another branch of the U.S. Government.

A 10th Mountain Division Soldier uses binoculars to look for enemy activity while a fellow Soldier unfurls an American flag near the village of Loy Karezak, Afghanistan. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Gul A. Alisan. This photo appeared on

In 1866, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the birthplace of Memorial Day. There, a ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff.

By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.

It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

Linda Patterson, founder of America Supporting Americans, applauds the U.S. Army Drill Team during a Twilight Tattoo in her honor on the White House Ellipse. Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, chief of Public Affairs, applauds on left and on the right is Military District of Washington Commander Maj. Gen. Galen B. Jackman.

But what about Fleet Week? I was led to believe it was a time to be as friendly as possible with all of the seamen.

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,Fleet Week is a United States Navy, United States Marine Corps and United States Coast Guard tradition in which active military ships recently deployed in overseas operations dock in a variety of major cities for one week. Once the ships dock, the crew can enter the city and visit its tourist attractions. At certain hours, the public can take a guided tour of the ships. Often, Fleet Week is accompanied by military demonstrations and airshows such as the Blue Angels.

Well, it all seems like a fine reason to celebrate to me. Pull out the grills, balance the veggies with the pork, beef and fish and have all the fun you want.

Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks salutes a fallen Soldier display for Sgt. DeForest Talbert, an Alexandria native who was killed in Iraq this year while on patrol. Talbert was memorialized during a Veterans Day program at Alexandria's Black History Museum.

These days were set aside for Americans to enjoy being in this country because of the hard work of many who have come before us. That would be Africans brought over from Africa enslaved then later freed, European, Hispanic, and Asian immigrants who willingly traveled to this country and anyone else who wants to be here.
Because of those who gave their time and lives in the U.S. Military, we get to chill and grill, kick back and enjoy. Just don't forget who made all of this possible.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Legends Ball

Oprah is so wonderful. Her parties, I thought, were usually a

private affair. It wasn't until I saw all of the love and power

under one roof did I really truly think of how wonderful a person

Oprah has become and what a wonderful gift she has given television

viewers by broadcasting the Legends Ball.

She can have all of the parties she wants and never reveal what happens

to the public but she shared the Legends Ball.
I was moved by the tribute because I understand how
the road to success for women and minorities is paved. It's not a crystal staircase at all. There are insults to endure, wrongs slow to be made right, hurt feelings rushed to heal and tears. Most of this is held inside and turned into either destruction or resilience. Oprah and the Legends she honored Monday night defined the latter. Success is a hard road for anyone but for Oprah to remember to thank these women gave me strength to do better.

She is such a positive role model.

Before the show came on, I was in a mood and a little tired. But after a homemade

pizza, clothes washed and children bathed, I found

it was one of the few shows of interest my 14-year-old daughter and

I could watch together and not feel uncomfortable.

No one but Oprah could do this kind of work and make it work. Tears

flowed when they passed the mic. I had never seen anything like the

Legends Ball in my life and now Oprah will have to bless the Lord

and make it a regular televised event--Amen--because no one can

ever get all of those voices together but Oprah!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Whooweeee Barry Bonds is the Man!

Congratulations Barry Bonds on tying Babe Ruth's record with your 714th career homerun.
...and it was all on Marshaund's Birthday!
Happy Birthday and I hope it was a good one!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Power 92 Morning Jump Off

Listening to WPWX Power 92.3 on the Morning Jump Off, the Chocklit Jok Trey, cast doubt on the validity of America's greatest tragedy--Sept. 11, 2001.
He said a plane crashing into the Pentagon could not have vaporized on contact. He said he looked it up and that 12 tons of steel and titanium couldn't burn up completely on jet fuel alone (although he said kerosene but I don't what comprises jet fuel).
Is this just another conspiracy theory or are these valid concerns of our braintrust?
Shout out to Trey in the morning because he stepped up and raised the bar in morning drive time hip-hop radio. Generation X has a brain and we have to use it to listen to him.
Thanks Trey!

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Why is there a trend in men not marrying the mother of their children?
Why is it that women are willing to allow this to happen?
(I am NOT speaking about anyone in the Entertainment industry because they can afford to do as they please.)One way to stop this is to stop getting pregnant out-of-wedlock. Men believe inpregnating a woman as a manly right of passage but never really stop to think about the child who has to live with the desicions their parent's have made.
MEN: What woman is good enough to have your child but not good enough to marry? How is that logical?
Many men say that the woman that they marry has to, "bring something to the table," because they don't intend on financially supporting them during the marriage. These are the same men who will get angry when their women makes eyes at other men.
One cannot have it both ways.
Either you are going to be a complete man and care for your wife or you are going to be a young boy looking for a girlfriend (or prom date) the rest of your lives. Desperate women often find themselves settling for the prom date.
They're not happy, whole or complete but in the back of their minds they are saying, 'he's good enough--for now' or 'I wanted a baby anyway,' without ever thinking about their or their children's future.
Stupid women think, 'he'll always be mine now. I got his baby!' or 'He'll change. I'll just wait him out.'
These women spend their time going through the their man's pockets for evidence of infidelity and calling strange women looking for their husband.
That mess is embarrassing. It's like leasing a man but forgetting that the lease will end and you'll have to give him back to Cupid or something.
People, just stay single and childless if you have to because any man that wants you to be his baby's momma without the benefit of marriage is nuts.
Marriage is an old world tradition of melding backgrounds and families to build stronger familes. If you are not willing to play by those rules then don't just take the parts you like--as if you are a child--but take the whole good with the bad.
My next tirade will be on men who finally marry their baby momma or girlfriend and then decides to start being mean to her.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

ACORN Fights for Seniors

g-nipsco 05-03-06
Copyright LJM 2006

GARY--The first leg in the race for justice has been run.
A midday protest Wednesday by the Northwest Indiana Association of Community Organizations
for Reform Now at the Northern Indiana Public Service Company, drew at least 30 supporters
and garnered a promise of a meeting from NIPSCO executives.
"We have a meeting with Mike Suggs at the local office. He wants to resolve some issues. In the immediacy, we will work out the problems of our members and from with the president of NIPSCO. That is what we came down here for today, we wanted to get a meeting," the Rev. Eric Weathersby, NWI ACORN leader, said.
He and his wife Katherine, are members of Salem Baptist Church in Chicago.
Tom Cuddy, a NIPSCO spokesman, said said a protest won't resolve the issue of high natural gas prices.
"We're going to meet Thursday to find out what (Weathersby's) issues are and work with him to resolve them," he said.
Cuddy said NIPSCO doesn't charge customers on energy assistance a deposit greater than two months service and in some instances, one. Customers pay a deposit when they have bad credit or a poor payment history with the company.
"Our goal is to keep our customers connected," Cuddy said.
Weathersby told ACORN members at their headquarters located 624 Broadway, that the bills that ACORN will negotiate will be for members of the group.
"We'd like it to be much broader but people have to come out and come together. These
people took time out because they believe in what ACORN is doing," he said. Membership in
ACORN is $20 per month.
Although local ACORN organizers are helping members with bills, they still have a broader
agenda. They want NIPSCO to allow a portion of deposits to be used to pay off winter
heating bills, make deposits affordable--no more than seven percent of a low to moderate
family's income--and provide a payment plan option that allows families to gradually pay
off their debts without fear of service disconnection.
Glen Park resident, Walter Avery--who was not a part of the protest--said the state should consider taking control of NIPSCO.
"There should be a lot more federal and state control. Illinois took over their
(power company). Now it's either pay or be in the dark," he said. No one helped him pay his $2,000 bill in spite of a lengthy hospitalization, he said.
Protesters walked from their headquarters to NIPSCO holding signs that read, "Seniors Are
in the Dark! Stop Shut-offs Reconnect Now" and "When You are Poor, You Pay More." They
circled in front of the NIPSCO building drawing support from passersby in the form of horn honking.
"We have seniors and working families in danger of shut-offs," the Rev. Weathersby's wife, Katherine said. Emma Robinson, 75 and her sister, an 86-year-old Alzheimer patient, live in a home owned by Robinson's son, but have had the gas shut off. The electricity was kept on because Robinson is on oxygen, she said. A six-day stint in the hospital with a bout of pneumonia, led to her $1,488 bill, she said. Energy costs for her are $200 to $400 a month. She doesn't want to ask for help but she needs it.
Diane Austin, said because of non-payment of a past bill, she is negotiating repayment of her daughter's bill in the house that they share. She now regrets not paying the $260 past-due account in her name.
"They wouldn't give me a plan because it's in my daughter's name and some programs don't
help," she said.
A few members shared stories of making minimal payments or no payments at all. Some feigned
ignorance of cut-off notices received but say a cut-off notice is necessary in order to get
assistance from some groups.

$40,000 per year the new Poor?

g-uninsured 05-01-06
Copyright LJM 2006

GARY--There are more than 500,000 uninsured residents in Indiana and the state wants to do something about it.
Representatives from the Indiana Family and Social Service Administration held a
listening session Monday inside the Multi-purpose room at Ivy Tech Community College, as part of a statewide listening tour. Members from the social service, legislative and business community as well as citizens in Lake County were invited.

"We want to get a better feeling on how those in the state feel about
expanding Medicaid to the uninsured population," Brian Carnes, a FSSA media specialist said.

Of the state's uninsured, 70% are families with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level, which is $40,000 for a family of four. Indiana has the highest per capita rate of medical bankruptcies in the nation, amounting to more than 77,000 affected Hoosiers, according to information from the FSSA.
More importantly, between 1999 to 2004, Indiana had the nation’s second highest
percentage drop in workers who receive employer-sponsored health insurance.

Joseph A. Wszolek, a Highland councilman and owner of a real estate appraisal and consulting service, said he pays about $16,000 a year for health coverage at his business.

He's looking for a way to not become bankrupt. He speculated that if he were
Medicaid eligible, he wouldn't have to go broke paying for health insurance. He
said the Highland town council pays $1 million a year for health care out of a $12 million annual budget.

He is not alone. Each Indiana family with health insurance paid an additional
$953 in premiums to help cover the costs that providers incur serving the uninsured,
according to information from the FSSA. Additionally, projected health care costs will become more of a burden for the state.

However, those in the session seemed concerned about how the expansion could affect hospitals.
Beth Wrobel, Executive Director of Hilltop Community Health Center said by the
time an uninsured patient seeks treatment, the condition is sometimes worse, costing the state and the medical center more money.

Both John C. Diehl Chief Compliance Officer for the Methodist Hospitals, and St.
Catherine hospital Chief Financial Officer, Lou Molina, said if the Medicaid expansion will take funding away from what the state gives hospitals for indigent and Medicaid patients, it can severely affect their bottom line.

"I applaud the Governor for finding ways to pay for the uninsured
population, may take money from safety net hospitals," he said.
Safety net hospitals have a high Medicaid and indigent patient population.
Hospitals can wait up to two years to receive Medicaid payments for patients. Meanwhile, there are indigent funds paid to hospitals by the state that may be used. The Medicaid expansion plan may get funding from a portion of those funds.

Many ideas were batted around. It helped FSSA Secretary, Mitch Roob get a better
feel of how the Medicaid expansion can best work for the entire state.
"This was tremendously helpful to get insight into the issues in Northwest
Indiana--which are different than they are in Indianapolis, or Madison, Indiana.
Our research shows that an increasing number of Hoosiers are without health
insurance for a variety of reasons," Roob said.
State Senator Earlene Rogers, said information gained at the listening sessions
may be incorporated into information that will later be presented to

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

U.S. Army Thrift Savings Plan helps New Recruits

The Army’s Thrift Savings Plan is now offering matching funds to new recruits willing to fill critical job specialties within the Army as part of a pilot program that runs to Sept. 30.

All non-prior service enlistees who elect to serve five or more years on active duty in a critical specialty designated by the Secretary of the Army will receive matching funds on the first five percent of pay contributed from each pay period during their initial enlistment term. The first three percent of pay that is contributed will be matched dollar for dollar, and the remaining two percent will be matched at 50 cents on the dollar. Only those who sign up during the recruitment process and make regular contributions into their TSP account will receive the matching funds.

This incentive is only one part of a new campaign to increase enrollment in the TSP program, Army officials stress. The TSP is a government-sponsored savings and investment program that offers tax-deferred opportunities similar to the civilian sector’s 401 (k) plan. All Soldiers have the opportunity to participate in TSP at any time.

Following this pilot test, using matching-funds incentives for recruitment will be studied with the possibility of making it a more permanent part of the Army’s recruitment policies.

Currently, a Soldier can elect to contribute any percentage from their basic pay, incentive, special or bonus pay up to the IRS annual tax-deferred limit of $15,000. A Soldier pays no taxes on this money until it’s withdrawn. A special feature of TSP is that money contributed while in a combat zone will never be taxed, even if it is withdrawn early out of the account. The only taxes paid on combat-zone contributions are on the earnings, rather than the balance.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


When will gas--unleaded regular--become $5 a gallon? I'm just waiting for that. Many people consider a $5 bill as valuable as a $1. A big so what to them.
People are stealing gutters and other accessible metal in the area in which I live. They are telling arresting officers and judges that they are selling it for scrap metal. They say they need the money for gas--not drugs--but gas.
These are people who are between jobs, underemployed or were on the brink of ruin anyway. They did a "Dick and Jane" and just said, "I'm crossing the line, right now!"
My God, help us please.
Someone a little closer than I to the mother's board, should start a prayer blog.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Chernobyl and the Use of Nuclear Power in countries outside of the U.S.

Mary Ann DeLeo produced and directed the documentary, "Chernobyl

Heart" in 2003, shown on Home Box Office at 5 a.m. Tuesday morning.

There are still problems with radiation over there. They still

have children who live in the affected villages over there. People

still eat the food that grows over there and most of them have some

form of cancer, like thyroid cancer. Food in containers is radioactive and

they still eat it. There was a 250 percent increase in birth

defects. Most of those children go to mental asylums or abandoned

baby homes because that is what is provided to them. Some of the children's

medical conditions are inoperable.

I got these facts from the film but these are the types of things that happen in a stupid human trick.
Carelessness with nuclear energy is unnecessary. In the U.S. there

are regulations to follow. Elsewhere, in countries where the health

of it's citizens isn't the highest priority, I worry when they get

nuclear capabilities.

Nuclear energy, if carelessly handled or misused, has the potential

to impact the world.

There is already too much suffering in the world, why add to it?

The United States is the greatest country in the world. Everyone

should be following our example rather than viciously fighting us

and plotting to undermine our power.

According to a Nuclear Issues Briefing Paper issued March 22, 2006

by the World Nuclear Association in London, The Chernobyl Nuclear

reactor explosion in April of 1986, was the result of a flawed

reactor design that was operated with inadequately trained

personnel and without proper regard for safety.

The resulting steam explosion and fire released at least five

percent of the radioactive reactor core into the atmosphere and


Twenty-eight people died within four months from radiation or

thermal burns, 19 have subsequently died, and there have been

around nine deaths from thyroid cancer apparently due to the

accident: total 56 fatalities as of 2004.

Nobody off-site suffered from acute radiation effects. However,

large areas of Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and beyond were

contaminated in varying degrees. Ninety-nine percent of Belarus is

affected by the radiation.

An authoritative UN report in 2000 concluded that there is no

scientific evidence of any significant radiation-related health

effects to most people exposed. This was confirmed in a very

thorough 2005 study.

Ukraine is heavily dependent on nuclear energy - it has 15 reactors

generating half of its electricity.

Ukraine receives most of its nuclear services and nuclear fuel from


In 2004 Ukraine commissioned two large new reactors. The government

plans to build up to eleven new reactors by 2030.

How does a failed nation get the funding to regenerate nuclear


In May 2005, international donors made new pledges worth

approximately US$ 200 million towards the new confinement shelter.

The largest contribution, worth more than US$ 185 million, came

from the G8 and the EU. Russia contributed to the fund for the

first time and other fund members, which include the US, increased

their contributions, with the Ukrainian government pledging the

equivalent of US$ 22 million.

In a separate statement, the European Commission said it had

contributed another EUR 49 million to the fund. The EC has

committed EUR 239.5 million since 1997, making it the main donor.

The new pledges follow the more than EUR 600 million in cash

contributions already pledged to the fund by a total of 28 donor


A large share of primary energy supply in Ukraine comes from the

country's uranium and substantial coal resources. The remainder is

oil and gas, mostly imported from Russia. . In 1991, due to

breakdown of the Soviet Union, the country's economy collapsed and

its electricity consumption declined dramatically from 296 billion

kWh in 1990 to 170 in 2000, all the decrease being from coal and

gas plants. Total electricity production in 2004 amounted to 181

TWh, and total capacity in 2004 was 52.7 GWe.

Ukraine's best-known nuclear power plant was Chernobyl (Chornobyl

in Ukrainian). This had the only RBMK type reactors in the country.

Unit 4 was destroyed in the 1986 accident, unit 2 was shut down

after a turbine hall fire in 1991, unit 1 was closed in 1997 and

unit 3 closed at the end of 2000 due to international pressure.

Ukraine has modest recoverable resources of uranium, and produces

up to 800 tonnes of uranium per year - around 30% of the country's

requirements. The uranium ore mining and uranium concentrate

production in Ukraine is performed by the Vostochny Uranium Ore

Mining and Processing Enterprise (VostGOK). Ukraine also has

Zirconium resources. Ukrainian uranium concentrate and zirconium

alloy are sent to Russia for fuel fabrication. The nuclear fuel

produced from these Ukrainian components then return to Ukrainian

NPPs. All fuel is imported from TVEL in Russia. The country depends

primarily on Russia to provide other nuclear fuel cycle services


In order to diversify nuclear fuel supplies, Energoatom started

implementation of the Ukraine Nuclear Fuel Qualification Project

(UNFQP). The Project assumes the use of US-manufactured fuel in the

VVER-1000 following the selection of Westinghouse as a vendor on a

tender basis. South Ukraine NPP's third unit will be the country's

first to use the six lead test assemblies supplied by Westinghouse,

which will be placed into the reactor core together with Russian

fuel for a period of pilot operation.

Spent fuel is mostly stored on site though some VVER-440 fuel is

again being sent to Russia for reprocessing, at US$ 418/kg (the

arrangement was suspended 1992-6). At Zaporozhe a long-term dry

storage facility for spent fuel has operated since 2001, but other

VVER-1000 spent fuel is sent to Russia for storage. A further US$

400 million storage facility is envisaged.

Also, a centralized dry storage facility for spent fuel has been

proposed for construction in the new energy strategy which is

currently under consideration by the government.

RBMK spent fuel from decommissioned reactors at Chernobyl is

stored, and a new dry storage facility is under construction there.

From 2011, high-level wastes from reprocessing Ukrainian fuel will

be returned from Russia to Ukraine.

Preliminary investigations have shortlisted sites for a deep

geological repository for high- and intermediate-level wastes

including all those arising from Chernobyl decommissioning and


The cost of building the arch-shaped confinement shelter is

estimated at more than US$ 1 billion.

The start of the first evaluation phase - the technical phase - of

bids to build the shelter was announced in November 2004, and the

financial evaluation phase is to follow. The awarding of the

construction contract is scheduled for autumn 2005 and project

completion for 2008-2009.

Units 1-3 are undergoing decommissioning conventionally - the first

RBMK units to do so, and work will accelerate when the new dry

storage facility is built.

Chernobyl Children's Project International is a fully registered not for profit organization.
217 East 86th Street, P MB #275, New York, NY 10028
Contact CCPI via e-mail:

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Red and White, Green and Purple: Jaundice = yellow skin

Jaundice is a yellow color in the skin, the mucous membranes, or the eyes. The yellow pigment is from bilirubin, a byproduct of old red blood cells.

New Movie

One of my favorite actors, Nicholas Cage and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson are starring in a new flic together named, "The Dance."
Read about it by clicking on the title link.

Baseball is supposed to be FUN!

I heard on ESPN that Barry Bonds has been receiving hate mail every since breaking Babe Ruth's record has become a reality for him.
Hank Aaron already broke the record.
Bonds pissed off the world two years ago, apparently, by stating he only wants to surpass Babe Ruth's record.
I had to ask a friend about all of this.
He said baseball is a racist team sport although it still considered the greatest American past time. Because he singled out Ruth, "they're a little pissed off," my friend said.
He doesn't want to write this post but he provided background, although he didn't consider himself a resource.
"They're going to hate seeing another black player pass up Babe Ruth. They thought the record was unbreakable.
"Bonds is an unlikeable character and invited negativity two years ago. Hank Aaron was humble. Bonds is getting ready to break a record they hold sacred."
The "They" in this post, are the Dumb Racists.
Breaking Babe Ruth's record is like fighting words to Dumb Racists who are writing, calling and e-mailing Bonds just to say stop n****r--please don't be all that you can be.
Racists are actually calling this man the n-word. He has the steroid accusations to deal with too. All of this because he is in line to break a longstanding record. Baseball records are set to be broken. What ever happened to enjoying the spirit of the game? Remember celebrating the official start of summer with the first baseball game on the first sunny day? Lazy summer afternoons spent at a sidewalk cafe on the near Northside listening to the game on t.v. Okay, maybe not the last one but you know what I mean.
Maybe Bonds is so mean to the sportswriters because he doesn't often see African American sports writers. Sometimes people need to see someone who looks like them to feel comfortable enough to talk. (hint, hint)
Well. Anyway, my friend had much to say about baseball, like John Robbins of the Philadelphia Phillies going after the Joe DiMaggio record of 56 straight hits.
"DiMaggio stayed clean. They compared Michael Jordan to DiMaggio--a compliment.
Anyway, stop harassing Bonds and get behind his effort to break the record. Skill breaks and sets records--not drugs.
click on the title of this post to read press on this issue.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

My review of Brokeback Mountain

I just rented "Brokeback Mountain," from Blockbuster.
I anticipated watching this because no one would go with me to the theater to watch it. Now

I have it here. The movie made my heart heavy. It was so realistic.
The main characters are sheep herders, ranchers and/or rodeo riders.

So They're Up On the Mountain, Huh?

It's too cold to sleep out in the open, so Jake Gyllenhaal's character, Jack Twist the

rodeo guy, tells ranch hand Ennis Del Mar, Heath Ledger's character (the blond one), to

come into the tent to sleep, way early in the movie.
Hmmm. Seems innocent. Ennis admits he has had no sex--a virgin.
Then the rustling starts, pulling and tugging at each other's clothes. Bare ass of Jack

exposed, spit in the hand of Ennis -- a cowboy's lubrication--and then groaning.
They sleep like babies in the morning sun in the next scene.
Ahh, the plight of the down-low man begins.
Ennis plans to marry after he leaves the mountain.
"This is a one-shot thing we got going on here," the blond one says, followed by, "y'know,

I ain't queer."
But they are in love. Tender love with lots of hugging and caressing and kissing in the

next scene. And playful wrestling in the next.
Then the boss catches the romeo and juliet pair. Ennis is a little violent.
They had to leave the mountain unexpectedly but not before a slap fight and then the summer

was over, as was their relationship.
Ennis had to get married in November, only a couple of months away. He had a nervous

breakdown on the way home.
This movie isn't filled with line after line of dialogue, like most men, gay or straight.
Jack asked him if they could live together on a ranch, like a couple when they were on the

mountain and Ennis said no.
Next thing you know Ennis is wrestling in the snow with his new bride.
Lawd have mercy, now she's knocked up and scrubbing clothes out in the kitchen sink on a

ranch of their own. They got twin girls.
And of course, Ennis wants to have ass sex with his wife. She is shocked!
Then Jake's character finds a girl at the rodeo. Her daddy's a rich farmer.
Whooweeeee! They're both married.

Here comes the Fishing Trips

Four years passed. You could tell the men missed each other. A powerful reconnection took place after a couple of post cards were sent between them. It took place behind Ennis' home with hard kissing and manly embraces. Ennis' wife saw it all. And then he had the nerve to introduce her to his boyfriend, Jack.
Soon they were out the door. They holed themselves up in a crummy motel, hugged up. Then

Ennis went home and grabbed some clothes and told his wife he and his man were going up to the mountain to fish for a couple days--said his boss wouldn't mind.
This went on for 20 years. Ennis divorced and grew a beard then he shaved it off.
Jack still wanted to know why they never got to shack up together.
These men were truly in love with each other. I got all teary. There was no humorous

sissyfied wrist slinging going on, they acted like men in love but with each other.
They aged gracefully in the movie.
Because they were in love with each other and not women, they were robbed of many of the happy moments couples in love who marry share.

Drink Up

April 6th is National Alcohol Screening Day and April is also Alcohol Awareness Month.
In past years,activities and educational programs have excluded discussions of treatment options that offered alternatives to 12-step programs, even though they
provide solutions which allow greater numbers of people to recover.
Melanie Solomon, author of the breakthrough book, AA Not the Only Way - Your One
Stop Resource Guide to 12-Step Alternatives, hopes that this year, those
seeking treatment for themselves or loved ones, or those making
recommendations for others will consider, embrace and expand the dialog
about these alternative approaches, programs and resources.
Solomon is quick to acknowledge the tremendous contribution AA has made
to those it has helped but suggests the numbers are just too staggering not
to explore alternatives for those not being served well by 12-step

There are viable, evidence-based alternatives, well accepted
and established in other countries, which might better suit the complex and
individualized needs of people suffering with substance abuse problems.
Solomon's book is the first to provide a comprehensive (and expanding)
directory of licensed professionals and treatment programs offering such
choices. Further, her presentations suggest some important questions for
expanding the treatment dialog in the US:
* Since the one-size-fits-all approach of 12-step programs only works for
3-5 percent of people, what alternative treatments are available?

* What has three decades of scientific research shown? Why are so many
conventional addiction professionals reluctant to accept and share the

* Are the rights of people suffering from substance abuse being
compromised by the lack of information sharing in the recovery

* Is mandating or prescribing only one treatment ethical? What is the
legal trend in the U.S. regarding 12-step programs?

* There are four times as many problem drinkers as there are "alcoholics"
in the U.S. What options are available to them?

Data continues to show that alcohol and other addictions remain
epidemic, contribute greatly to hospital and prison occupancy, dramatically
decrease workplace productivity, and are a leading contributor to
fatalities in the US.

It also confirms that there are four times as many problem drinkers as alcoholics in this country and that nine out of ten of
these people avoid conventional treatment. Other studies, including one
conducted by AA's own internal General Service Office, suggest that only 5
percent of those who first attend a meeting can be counted a year later.
Yet 93-97 percent of treatment facilities in the US remain based on 12-step
models. Americans, privately and through public funds, will spend at least
$10-12 billion in treatment facilities this year.

In order to stimulate dialog and exchange of information pertaining to
these issues, Solomon has recently expanded her website --- to include many other resources plus a free discussion forum.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


The online auction of the Academy Awards® Gift Bag received

by George Clooney at this year’s Oscar Awards ceremony has closed.,

The Oscar-winning
actor/producer/director and member of United Way of America’s Board

Trustees generously donated the bag to United Way to support hurricane

and recovery efforts.

The online auction of the transferable contents of Mr.

Clooney’s gift bag was
scheduled to close Tuesday, March 28, 2006 at 11:59 pm ET. The high
volume of bids in the closing minutes triggered a special feature

called “bid
extension” that allowed bidding to continue in five minute

increments until no
more bids were received, resulting in the $45,100 winning amount.
The auction took place at and was powered by
By auctioning the gift bag, United Way and Mr. Clooney hope to continue to focus attention on the long-term needs of the Gulf Coast areas devastated by the 2005
hurricane season as well as raise funds for ongoing rebuilding and recovery
As a member of the Board of Trustees of United Way of America,

Mr.Clooney has been a generous supporter of United Way’s efforts to

rebuild lives and communities devastated by the 2005 hurricanes.


Black tenors fight prejudice ...

I ran across this item on the NABJ Forum. It's worth reading.
Written by Tim Smith, Sun Music Critic.

Family of Notorious B I G wins settlement

B I G's family was awarded a $1.1 million settlement from city of Los Angeles, winning a police negligence suit brought against the department during the slain rapper's civil trial.
click on title link for story...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Film: Inside Man

I have yet to go see Spike's new film, "Inside Man" but I hear it's rather good. Go read the reviews. Mum's here--gotta go.
(Sssppppt: Hey Spike, lemme send you my screenplay, Eighteen Months. Holla back)

Reviews on "Inside Man"

Ebert/Sun Times/Chicago

Stein/San Fran Chronicle/CA

Entertainment Weekly/Schwarsbaum

Medicare Rx Bus

GARY--Amid complaints that the Medicare part-D plan was hard to understand, the
Medicare Rx bus with all of it's bells and whistles, made a stop Tuesday in Gary
at the Genesis Convention Center.
Many senior citizens seemed relieved at the answers they were given.
Mary F. Hayes, 74, of Gary got a shock when she picked up her pricey name brand

hypertension medication last week. She had to pay a co-pay but thought her
secondary insurance would prevent that. She said she never had to make a
co-payment when

she was on the state's Medicare subscription program.
"Saturday I had to pay $30 co-pay for each but the (counselor) said that
was not accurate," Hayes said. The counselor helped her find a better prescription drug plan.

Eddie Gray, 80, a SHIIP volunteer, said although it doesn't sound like much
money, Hayes' insurance coverage has a "gap" in coverage. The money she saves now
will help cover the gap later.
"When they pick up again, it will be with a lower co-payment. It's best to
go ahead and enroll now," Gray said.

According to data released by the Health and Human Services Department in
February, more than 51 percent of Medicare-eligible seniors already have signed up for the program.
"Some who retire find their health insurance plans aren't what they thought
it would be," Fran Wersells, Region V program specialist for Administration on Aging, said.

Medicare Part A, pays for hospitalization, Part B, doctor and
outpatient visits and Part D, prescription coverage. Enrollment for Part D, ends
May 15. Enrollment won't open again until November 2007.
Senior Health Insurance Information Program volunteers (SHIIP) are located at
Methodist Hospital Northlake. Information may be obtained from the desk near the
emergency room entrance. The hours of service are the first and third Tuesday of
the month 10 a.m. to noon. Information about SHIIP, a free counseling service
from the Indiana State Department of Insurance, may be obtained by calling

Some seniors, like Princie Kindred, had no coverage. Sometimes seniors believed
they must pay for medicines out of their monthly social security checks.
Wilma Wilson brought her mother, Barbara Palmer, on the suggestion of a
neighbor, Wilson said. Her mother wasn't signed up for a program.
The counselors and Senior Health Insurance Information Program volunteers,
helped seniors either find an appropriate prescription drug program or explained how they could help save money on their out-of-pocket expenses for medications.
Brenda Delgoto, of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, warned that
enrollment for Medicare Part D, closes May 15. She said sometimes unfortunate circumstances happen to otherwise healthy seniors, like accidents. Then they may need additional medicines, so it would be good to enroll.

Medicare prescription drug coverage provides protection for people who have very
high drug costs but everyone with Medicare is eligible for coverage, regardless
of income and resources.

Seniors can join a Medicare prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan
or other Medicare Health Plans that offer drug coverage.
There is a monthly premium, which varies by plan, and a yearly deductible (no
more than $250 in 2006). Depending on income, seniors may have to pay a part of
the cost of prescriptions, including a co payment or coinsurance. Costs vary.
Some plans may offer more coverage and additional drugs for a higher monthly

Seniors on a limited income and have few resources may qualify for extra help,
where they may not have to pay a premium or deductible.
Almost 1 in 3 people with Medicare will qualify for extra help and Medicare will
pay for almost all of their prescription drug costs, according to information
from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Friday, March 24, 2006

OOOOH burn.

"The crowd was noisy but sparse -- about 200 people in all. I asked a woman in the lobby about the Sun-Times boycott. She said, "The Sun-Times'll be all right until the Defender decides to become a real paper."

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Our Mayor has quit his job!

Citing "competition with family love", Gary Mayor Scott King submitted his resignation Wednesday, during an hour-long press conference aired on the Comcast Government Access Channel.

King's resignation ends a 10-year reign.

King, the city's first white mayor in 28 years, said his resignation will become effective noon Friday.

"I have to do family first," he said.

He said he wanted to quit earlier, after struggling with the decision to enter his third term, when the property tax issue arose, he said.

King, the father of two daughters and a son, said the rigors of balancing family and work were too much, so he felt it best to resign. During reporters questions, he talked about how low mayoral salaries are.

"Right now I'm making more than the governor so it would be hard to get an increase there," he said.
He inferred his "three stair step kids... who don't want to go to local college" put a strain on his household budget. He makes $107,000 a year--$87,000 from city and the balance from the Gary Sanitary District where he serves as special administrator mandated in a federal consent decree. King must serve in that position until another special administrator is named, he said.

However, King just sounded as he was tired of public scrutiny. He jokingly asked reporters to lose his home number and couldn't wait to say, "that's my personal business," in response to a reporter's question.

"The job is never done. It is a living organism. (However) the most rewarding experience is the sincerity the people of this community has accepted and respected and followed me as their mayor. Little kids know my name." King said.

He also answered questions on the airport and extending the runway and the changing face of Northwest Indiana, away from heavy industry.
"Development of the lakefront will get done," he said

He emphasized that a push from the private business sector is in line to cue up the city's economy.
However political pundits take a different view of the issues surrounding King's resignation.

King jokingly mentioned in a response to a reporter's question, that if the state raises the pay of Governor of Indiana, "who knows" he might take a "run at it."

His wife, Irene King, said before the broadcast was abruptly ended while she was still answering questions, told a reporter that, "everything must change."

Newly appointed deputy mayor, Dozier T. Allen will assume the duties of mayor. King's term ends December 2007. Allen's official title is acting mayor, King said.

The position of deputy mayor won't be filled until the Democratic Caucus.

Allen, the former long-standing Calumet Township Trustee, told the audience that he has an understanding of how government works. He also said he has the wisdom of a 75-year-old man and the stamina of a 50-year-old man. He asked the city to pray for him.

"More important is a humble spirit and a kind heart," Allen said.
Economic development and employment will be his major issue projects, Allen said.

"One large employer could solve that problem overnight. I'm interested in looking at every model that could serve this city,"Allen said. He also said he is impressed with the General Assembly's work, thus far.

"I have no fear of the Republican or Democratic party," he said, adding a person's personal philosophy is what it is.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Changes to my home.

I have been creating artwork and hanging existing artwork. It is an arduous labor of love. I majored in Graphic Design long ago at Indiana State University but was discouraged by my advisor at one point due to my lack of talent and inability to successfully complete an art perspectives class.
However, at my own cost, I can fill my home with as much bad art all I want!

Chicago has star power!

Guess what I found out...
Friends television sitcom star, Jennifer Aniston is reportedly moving to Chicago to get away from all of the Hollywood noise.
(And if you are wondering how I can shift gears from the Black People's Convention to showbiz dish--well go figure--I watch "Friend's" reruns too).
One of Aniston's co-stars from "Friend's" is from the Chicago area and once met with Mayor of Chicago, Richard Daley. Guess which co-star! (hee hee heee)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Black Peoples Unity Convention 2006

by Leslie Jones McCloud
Tammi Davis, president of the Gary NAACP chapter, said in a speech
Sunday about Hurricane Katrina victims that the country shouldn't
be fooled by grandstanding. She drew a standing ovation.
Davis made her comments on the last day of the The National Black
Peoples Unity Convention 2006
held all week long at West Side High
School in Gary, IN. It was the site of the first convention in 1972.
"I believe that one of the greatest challenges we face is making
the Katrina relevant to all of us everywhere. The hurricane
, like many of us, are victims of date rape by the same
government that promised liberty and justice for all. Conjugal
visits to New Orleans should not be interpreted as love but rather
for just what it is - a booty call," Davis told the audience.
She said Americans "should not allow ourselves to be prostituted by
the political pimps who seek to exploit and disenfranchise," got a
standing ovation and opened up the door for audience member's
spirited questions.
Davis said the NAACP formed an emergency response team of five
individuals who worked with local agencies to assist 300 evacuees
that were transported to Northwest Indiana.
A progress report about the American Federation of Labor and Congress
of Industrial Organizations
outlined an investment plan to ensure
the hurricane ravaged area is revitalized.
Davis pointed out in her speech that the NAACP formed a call to
action that recommends, among other things, an assurance that
displaced families will have the right to return to the Gulf Coast
region, rebuild and reconnect families and children, establish $100
billion Family Reconstruction fund,
provide mental and physical
health assistance, legal and voting protection, ensure that local
residents get first choice at jobs and contracts in the rebuilding
Her three minute speech wrapped up what some conveners considered
a revision of greatness, however, the National Black Peoples Unity
Convention 2006 was never meant to mimic the 1972 National Black
Political Convention
- and it didn't.
Instead, conveners discussed another way to get ahead in this
country - through economic equity.
West Side High School in Gary, Ind. was met by an array of Black
business, political, civic, labor and economic leaders there to
discuss the plight of African Americans and chart a course to
change the condition of Black communities nationwide.
Among those speaking: Revs. Jesse Jackson Sr. and Al Sharpton,
Minister Louis Farrakhan, NAACP CEO Bruce Gordon, SCLC President
Emeritus Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery
, and others.
During the last 34 years since the last convening of African
American politicians and activists, there has been an increase in
their ranks from 900 in the 1970s to about 16,000 in 2006, the Rev.
Walter Fauntroy
"We should be farther along - all considered," he said.
Fauntroy, a president of the National Black Leadership Roundtable,
was joined Saturday by former Colorado Lt. Gov. George Brown, the
first Black lieutenant governor in the country; former Gary mayor
Richard Hatcher, the country's first Black mayor and former Los
Angeles councilman, David Cunningham
, in the green room behind the
stage inside the school auditorium. He was joined by a few other of
his peers who were either at or influenced by the convention 34
years ago.
The discussions were lively and informative.
"Back then they told the people to go home and run for anything
even if it was for dog catcher," Brown said.
But if there is no economic parity, success is muted.
"If there is no money then where are we now? We are at the point
where economic empowerment is out of the game," Fauntroy said.
He said that between 1965 and 1971 four million new Black voters
were added.
Harking back to the glory days of the Civil Rights
Movement when Blacks were beaten and jailed for the right to vote,
Fauntroy added, "imminent danger fueled the agenda to empower
people to want to vote."
Today, the battlefield is economic. All of the men in the room
agreed blacks need to be as unified in this struggle as he believes
they were in 1972. Brown chimed in, "we need unity without
"We hope to make same kind of progress in our ability to control the billion of dollars that African-Americans spend as consumers every year--to make it more beneficial to African-Americans. One of the things we learned is that it is not enough to win political office and exercise political power. At the base of everything that takes place in this country is money and at this point African-Americans have been systematically excluded from that arena," Hatcher said.
He said the organizers of the convention hope to derive strategies to achieve a fair share of the dollars.
"Blacks have to learn that it's not how much you make but how much you keep," Hatcher said.
As a group, those involved with the beginning of what is known
black power movement, saw the end to apartheid, an increase in
black voters and Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday as a national
"Lots of people came out of here with the capacity and authority to
work," Cunningham said.
But blacks need to have more philanthropy, sharing and empowerment
Brown said.
Conveners liked the ideas discussed.
"I thought it was very thought provoking...this was a great
opportunity for us to come together to talk about the impact globally nationally and locally to our people and to put a plan together which---I think is
important. This is just the first step in us coming together... to talk about where we need to be," J. Allen Johnson of Gary, said.
Conveners also said the thought-provoking discussions inspired them to want to take action on the home front.
"I liked the educational part about out youth. They are going to form a coalition to make sure our children are educated and that there is health care for the poor, blacks and brown in this country. I learned that we are the poorest among us and that we are being left behind and that if we don't do something, we are going to be extinct. They were talking about how to do
it," Georgianna S. Gonzer, a psychiatric nurse from New Jersey, said. She said they drove to Gary for the convention because she heard it was a historical event.
"We heard the convention in 1972 was very great," she said.
Unlike the first convention, there will be no final documents like

the "Black National Political Agenda," Brown said, but there will be meetings and committees formed so that the discussion may continue
on how to further advance black economic power.
"When Harold Washington was mayor, we created Black millionaires
all over the country. Political power without economic power is
meaningless. There are people who are smart enough to run a nation
with what they know," Fauntroy said.


Friday, March 10, 2006

Program expanded for Soldiers to earn $1,000 referral bonus

A $1,000 bonus for referring recruit applicants announced by the
Army in January, expanded recently to include more soldiers who are
eligible to receive this payment.
This latest recruiting incentive will pay soldiers for referring
applicants who enlist, complete basic training, and graduate
advanced individual training. The referral must be made by the
soldier at the U.S. Army web site prior to the new recruit’s first meeting with a recruiter.
The incentive is a pilot program included as one of the provisions
in the Fiscal Year 2006 National Defense Authorization Act. Dates
of eligibility for the referral bonus are Jan. 1, 2006, through
Dec. 31, 2007. The Army is now authorized to pay a bonus to any
Soldier who refers to an Army recruiter a person who has not
previously served in the Armed Forces and enlists in either the
Active Army, Army National Guard or the Army Reserves. The
referral may not be an immediate family member and the soldier
referring may not be serving in a recruiting or retention
"Soldiers continue to play an important role in the recruiting
process and with this program we are able to recognize their
contributions,” Lt. Gen. Franklin L. Hagenbeck, Deputy Chief
of Staff, Army G-1 (Personnel), said.
“We thank Congress for their recent legislation to provide bonuses such as these,” Hagenbeck said.
The Referral Bonus Pilot Program includes Soldiers performing duties in the Hometown Recruiter Assistance Program (HRAP), Special Recruiter Assistance Program (SRAP), and the Active Duty for Special Work (ADSW).
For more information about this pilot incentive program, visit the U.S. Army web site or call 1-800-223-3735, ext. 6-0473.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I wanna hear it.

Jamie Foxx should produce a Christmas CD. I want to hear him this Christmas 2006 singing some Donnie Hathaway and some original Christmas music he arranged and wrote himself. He has such a soulful voice.
I want Kanye West to remake "Hurry Up This Way Again" by the Stylistics on a single. I know he can hit those notes and look good doing it.
Maybe they will both come over to my house to sing to me, instead.
I can cook and I got some yak.
...Let it flow let it flow ohh ohhh ohhhh ohhh...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Iraq's impending civil war

I've been wondering all week about why Iraq is edging towards a civil war. This Detroit Free Press editorial explains it.
Isn't this what this country does? Turmoil is always in the air somewhere in the Middle East. Haven't the people of this world been engaged in some kind of conflict for years?
The U.S. will teach these people to live in relative harmony but first must enhance their culture so that they can accept the American Way.
There are all kinds of checks and balances in our culture so that no one group imposes their will on another--thusly the Melting Pot theory.
Send some psychologists and social workers over there to help before they drain all of the resources from our communities, please.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I gotta get my nails done

I'm so sick of this weather. I'm tired of being glad for a 50 degree day in

February. When will summer get here?
But see, when it does warm up, I'll be the first to complain. *reminding self to

put a heavy duty air conditioning unit on lay-a-way--yes--LAY-A-WAY*
Who wants to swealter? But who wants to freeze?
Maybe the folk who own this building will get someone to clean up all of that

litter out there even if it is railroad property. I'd like to plant a garden. I already

bought the seeds. I got corn, peas, beans, sunflowers and some other types of

veggies and stuff. Even watermelon. The minute I plant something, we'll have

another frost. I just know it.
There is some other stuff I would like to write but I won't.
This Bloody Mary sure does make a good breakfast. I used V-8.
Anyway, I should go upstairs and make my bed. I bought a new mattress pad. I

can't wait to lay on my soft and wonderful bed. I'm going to Target today to get

some new sheets. Hopefully they won't all be $40-$60 for 350 thread count.

Monday, February 27, 2006

What I know

This blog started out as a personal diary but I have started to do a little promotion--using press releases and stuff. (this keyboard is sticking at the space bar--grr!)
I don't feel as if I can reveal enough. MY personal diary cannot be public (you should know why by now) so I will write what I feel is entertaining--commentary on news stories and stuff.
Anyway, I have turned my townhouse into studio. I have artwork in progress in the living room, no dining room table, no couch. Just a computer, television, chairs etc.
Well I gotta go do my hair so I can do momma's hair later.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Eight Coworkers Claim Record Jackpot

I saw the press conference for the winners of the $365 million Powerball lottery on Fox News this morning.
(I WISH I had goods and services they could buy. Congratulations. i am soo happy for them!)
No, really--spend it well. Here is the relesed statement:

February 22, 2006 — A group of eight coworkers at the ConAgra Foods ham and corned beet plant in Lincoln, has claimed the record $365 million jackpot from the February 18 Powerball drawing.
The group elected to take the cash option on the jackpot, valued at $177.3 million. Their respective shares will be $22,162,500. After withholding of 25 percent federal and 5 percent state tax, they will share $124.11 million or $15.5 million, respectively.
The members of the group are:
Quang Dao, 56
David Gehle, 53
Alain Maboussou, 26
Chasity Rutjens, 29
Robert Stewart, 30
Michael Terpstra, 47
Dung Tran, 34
Eric Zornes, 40
The group is represented by Lincoln attorney, James H. Hoppe.
Before presenting the group with their prize, Gov. Dave Heineman noted the attention generated by the record jackpot and said, “Since its inception, the Nebraska Lottery has quietly raised more than $244 million for its beneficiary funds like K-12 education.
“I am pleased to have an opportunity to meet this lucky group of hard-working Nebraskans and present them with their share of these winnings.
“Ladies and gentlemen, life just got a bit more interesting for eight Nebraskans.”
The group bought their winning ticket, one of eight (8) five-play quick pick tickets worth a total of $40, at U-Stop at 110 West “O” St., in Lincoln, at 3:09 p.m. on Friday, Februar 17.
Members of the group told Nebraska Lottery officials that some of them have been playing Powerball for up to five years, pooling their resources to buy multiple tickets whenever the jackpot eclipses $45 million. Each has contributed $5 at a time to buy a total of eight five-play quick pick tickets for each drawing. They noted the irony of waiting to play when their respective shares of the prize after taxes will be just more than $15 million, which is the minimum starting jackpot for Powerball.
Dung Tran typically bought the group’s tickets, usually at the same location. He learned of their winning ticket by checking the Nebraska Lottery Players Hotline (800-224-LUCK) at about 4:30 a.m. the morning after the drawing. The winning Powerball numbers for February 18 were: 15, 17, 43, 44, 48 and Powerball 29.
While none of the group has formulated specific plans for their prize, potential actions mentioned to Nebraska Lottery officials included, “Wash my truck,” “Pay bills”, “Get some sleep,” and, “Continue working temporarily” until their spot is filled.
*now that's really nice of them*