Showing posts with label off topic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label off topic. Show all posts

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cory Booker elected to U.S. Senate

From the Associated Press:

Newark (NJ) Mayor Cory Booker won a special election last night to represent New Jersey in the U.S. Senate, giving the rising Democratic star a bigger political stage after a race against conservative Steve Lonegan, a former small-town mayor.

Booker, 44, will become the first black senator from New Jersey and heads to Washington with an unusual political resume. He was raised in suburban Harington Park as the son of two of the first black IBM executives, and graduated from Stanford and law school at Yale with a stint in between as a Rhodes Scholar before moving to one of Newark's toughest neighborhoods with the intent of doing good.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

World AIDS Day turns 25

Today marks World AIDS Day, an annual public health initiative to raise awareness about and mobilize support for combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic around the globe. The good news is significant advances in HIV research and treatment suggest that an “AIDS-free generation” may be in sight.
In Florida, 5,000 new Floridians become infected with the virus each year.  An estimated 130,000 Floridians are living with virus while state officials estimate that 20% have it and don't know it.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cong. Steve Southerland among GOP late-night revelers on Israel trip that included drinking and nudity

North Florida Congressman Steve Southerland, R-Panama City, and his daughter, were among a group of late-night Republican lawmakers, their families, and top legislative leadership staff --including one nude member of Congress-- to take a dip in the Sea of Galilee while partying an drinking according to the FBI and more than a dozen sources, including eyewitnesses.

Congressman Steve Southerland, R-Panama City, FL
The late-night of boozing and partying took place on the taxpayer's dime during a fact-finding congressional trip to the Holy Land last summer.  Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) took off his all his clothes and jumped into the sea, joining a number of members, their families and GOP staff during a night out in Israel, the sources told POLITICO. Other participants, including Southerland's daughter, swam fully clothed while some lawmakers partially disrobed. More than 20 people took part in the late-night dip in the sea, according to sources who were participants in the trip.


Southerland's congressional district includes  FAMU, FSU, & TCC.
 


These GOP sources confirmed the following freshmen lawmakers also went swimming that night: Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) and his daughter; Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and his wife; Reps. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.). Many of the lawmakers who ventured into the ocean said they did so because of the religious significance of the waters. Others said they were simply cooling off after a long day. Several privately admitted that alcohol may have played a role in why some of those present decided to jump in. 

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who was the senior most GOP lawmaker in Israel on the trip, was so upset about the antics that he rebuked the 30 lawmakers the morning after the Aug. 18, 2011, incident, saying they were distracting from the mission of the trip.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Special Prosecutor in Trayvon Martin case drew rare rebuke from former ABA President

The conduct of State Attorney Angela Corey of Jacksonville, who Gov. Rick Scott appointed to serve as a special prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin murder case, was the subject of a stinging rebuke from Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte. D'Alemberte, a former Florida State University President and law school dean, is also the former president of the American Bar Association. He addressed his complaint about Corey to U.S. President Barack Obama's White House counsel back in 2009.

D'Alemberte wrote, "There is, in my judgment, a very real danger of a melt down of the justice system in Duval County with the election of a new State Attorney who has shown no enthusiasm for defending citizens. The civil rights of Jacksonville citizens are at real risk."

Since taking office, Corey has earned a reputation for being tough on juveniles, sending 230 juvenile felony cases to adult court in 2009, according to the Jacksonville Times Union.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Scott announces new state attorney and task force in response to Martin shooting

Gov. Rick Scott and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi have worked together to appoint Angela B. Corey (of the 4th Judicial Circuit) as the newly assigned state attorney in the investigation into the death of Trayvon Martin.

The governor and attorney general reached out to State Attorney Norman Wolfinger and spoke to her about the Martin incident. After the conversation, Wolfinger decided to step down from this investigation and turn it over to another state attorney.

Scott also announced the formation of a task force which will convene following the conclusion of the investigation by Corey.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

OT: Pop Icon Whitney Houston dead at 48

There's still no word on the cause of Whitney Houston's death this afternoon, but the LA Times has pretty thoroughly described the circumstances surrounding it. Whitney died in Los Angeles, in the Beverly Hilton.  She was 48-years-old, and was in town to attend a tribute to Clive Davis, and intended to join the revelries at Mr. Davis's pre-Grammy party this evening. She was found in her hotel room by a body guard, who called for paramedics at approximately 3:30 p.m. The paramedics performed CPR for 20 minutes, and Whitney was pronounced dead at 4:00 p.m. She is survived by her 19-year-old daughter, Bobbi; her mother, Cissy Houston; her cousin, Dione Warwick; her godmother, Aretha Franklin; several hundred million fans; many others. 

According to published reports, the singer spent her last days surrounded by family, catching up wit old friends and doing a bit of what she was known best for: singing.

Watching Whitney sing "My Own Strength after the jump....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Reed resigns as Bethune-Cookman president

Trudie Kibbe Reed is leaving the presidency of Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU). The school’s Board of Trustees accepted her resignation Jan. 20 by an overwhelming margin of 30 to three.

Larry Handfield, the trustees chairman and steadfast Reed supporter, is also stepping down from his leadership position on the board although he will remain a member.

Handfield told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that Reed’s exit has nothing to do with the approximately one dozen lawsuits against the school, including wrongful termination actions filed by former football coach Alvin Wyatt and former basketball coach Clifford Reed.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

“Red Tails” brings Tuskegee Airmen story to big screen



It is opening weekend for the “Red Tails,” executive producer George Lucas’ action film about the Tuskegee Airmen.

Anthony Hemmingway, best known for his work in HBO’s “The Wire” and “Oz,” directed the movie. Actors Terrance Howard (“Iron Man” and “Pride”) and Cuba Gooding Jr. (“Jerry Maguire” and “Boyz n the Hood”) headline the star-studded cast.

Lucas, best known for his multi-billion dollar “Star Wars” franchise, said he had to personally fund “Red Tails” because major studios told him they did not think a big budget movie without any major roles for whites could turn a profit.

“I showed it to all of them and they said no,” Lucas said. “We don't know how to market a movie like this.”

Thursday, December 01, 2011

OT: CDC new HIV infections among Blacks rising at an "alarming" rate


Nearly three out of four Americans living with HIV do not have their infection under control, according to a Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released earlier this week in advance of World AIDS Day, December 1. The authors say the low percentage is because 1 in 5 people with HIV do not realize they are infected and, of those who are aware, only 51 percent receive ongoing medical care and treatment.
Of the nearly 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States, only an estimated 28 percent have a suppressed viral load (defined as viral load less than 200 copies of the blood-borne virus per milliliter of blood) – meaning that the virus is under control and at a level that helps keep them healthy and reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to others.
Blacks are among the demographic hardest hit by the virus----- and the vast majority are unaware of their status.


Florida is home to the 3rd largest population of those infected with HIV in the nation. One in every 205 white men, one in every 113 Latino men, and one in every 42 African American men is living with the AIDS virus in our state. Nationally, AIDS is the leading cause of death among young African American women.
So on this World AIDS day, a day for people worldwide to unite and fight HIV, support those living with the virus and remember those who have died. We hope you will use today to help fight this terrible disease in whatever way you can.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Off Topic: So long friend !!


Wow!  It felt like I’d just been slapped in the face this evening when i heard the news that   Steve Jobs, the tech industry’s one true icon, was gone — taken from us far too soon, at the age of 56.  


But There it was: On Twitter. In my email.  On the Apple homepage.
Say what you will about the dynamic maverick who built and rebuilt Apple over the course of four decades, but Steve Jobs was a visionary. A maker of things. A doer who intimately understood the excitement of a new product. How the interchange of 1s and 0s could produce a sublime piece of software. Steve Jobs got all this. We admired him for it. Some loved him for it. None of us will forget him for it.
So long friend, we'll miss you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wealth gap widens between whites and everybody else

According to U.S. Census data analyzed by the Pew Research Center, the media net worth of a white family now stands at 20 times that of a Black family and 18 times that of a Hispanic family, roughly twice the gap that existed in 1984. The average wealth of white U.S. households in 2009 was $113,149, compared with $6,325 for Hispanics and $5,677 for African Americans.

Here's why according to the Pew researcher Rakesh Kochhar:

"The bursting of the housing bubble in the great recession has been much harder on minority households than on white households. White households have been more diversified -- they are more likely to own stocks and bonds."

Between 2005 and 2009, the median net worth of Hispanic households dropped by 66 percent and that of black households fell by 53 percent, according to the report. In contrast, the median net worth of white households dropped by only 16 percent.

“The lopsided wealth ratios are the largest since the government began publishing such data a quarter century ago,” said the report, “Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks and Hispanics.”

In non-racial financial news, between 2005 and 2009 the wealthiest 10% of households went from owning 49% to 56% of American wealth.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

OT: Farewell to Oprah

That's all, folks! After 25 years and more than 5,000 episodes, Oprah Winfrey is signing off and will air her final show today.

Details surrounding the finale have remained a secret, but the buzz is that it will be very intimate and few dry eyes are expected from viewers, staffers and Lady O herself.

“I am the most surprised of anyone that this has lasted 25 years,” Winfrey tells The New York Times. “When (Phil) Donahue had lasted 25 years and I was in the single digits, I thought, ‘That will never happen to me!' I never imagined that you could do it this long.”

Thursday, May 19, 2011

SUNO-UNO merger bills die

The fight to keep public historically black universities alive scored a big victory in Louisiana, today.

Two bills that proposed merging Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) with the University of New Orleans (UNO) died in the state House and Senate, respectively. Gov. Bobby Jindal was a leading supporter of the merger campaign.

The bills were withdrawn by their sponsors after it became clear that neither one would gain the 2/3 vote required to pass.

Sen. Conrad Appel (R-Metairie), who authored the Senate version of the merger bill, said that he may reintroduce the legislation in the future.

"I reserve the right to revisit the topic in a year or so,” Appel told Fox 8 Live in New Orleans. “We'll see."

SUNO’s strong performance during its on-site accreditation review helped the university strike back against claims that it is not meeting basic quality standards.

The on-site committee report from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) stated that SUNO is in compliance with all SACS standards with no recommendations for corrective action.

The SACSCOC committee noted that SUNO “has made a remarkable recovery since the Katrina disaster. A major commitment has been made to ensure that the quality of course offerings, the teaching/learning processes and students’ engagement in learning were sustained at a competitive level during the post-Katrina period.”

Monday, May 02, 2011

Obama: Osama bin Laden is dead

Early this morning, U.S. President Barack Obama addressed the nation to announce that the United States has killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda.

“At my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan,” the president said. “A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.”

Al Qaeda was responsible for the September 11, 2001 attack on America that cost the lives of nearly 3,000 citizens.

Obama emphasized, once again, that America is not at war with the religion of Islam.

“We must also reaffirm that the United States is not – and never will be – at war with Islam,” Obama said. “ I’ve made clear, just as President [George W.] Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.”

Saturday, April 02, 2011

OT: Manning Marable, scholar, activist, historian, dead at 60

Manning Marable, a noted African American scholar, writer, lecturer, and activist who founded the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University, died yesterday after a long illness. He was 60.

Marable, a native of Dayton, Ohio, earned his undergraduate degree at Earlham College in 1971, followed by a master's degree in American history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Marable taught at Cornell University, Fisk University, Colgate University, Ohio State University and the University of Colorado before coming to Columbia. Additionally, Dr. Marable for many years has been a columnist widely published in Black newspapers throughout the country.

Dr. Marable, had just-completed a biography of Malcolm X that is set for release April 4. He devoted 10 years to the Malcolm X project. Marable lectured and was involved extensively in public affairs, largely about—but not limited to--African Americans.

“Dr. Marable's contributions to the struggle for freedom of African Americans will never be forgotten,” said NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “Dr. Marable brought one of the keenest intellects of our age to the contemporary conversation on race in America. As an academic he was never afraid to speak his mind, and as an activist his words carried the gravitas of a published author. His life was dedicated to the struggle, and he will be sorely missed.”

He is survived by his wife, Leith Mullings, two stepchildren and three grandchildren.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

OT: Whites without a college degree most pessimistic about economy/government


No surprise here but, a new study conducted by The Washington Post, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University found that whites without a college degree are most pessimistic about the economy and the work the government is doing. Here’s a snippet:

The deep recession has had a profound effect on virtually every segment of the country’s population. But if there is an epicenter of financial stress and frustration, it is among whites without college degrees. By many measures, this politically sensitive group has emerged from the recession with a particularly dark view of the economy and the financial future. Whites without college degrees also are the most apt to blame Washington for the problems, and are exceedingly harsh in their judgment of the Obama administration and its economic policies.

A mere 10 percent of whites without college degrees say they are satisfied with the nation’s current economic situation. Most – 56 percent – say the country’s best days are in the past, and more, 61 percent, say it will be a long time before the economy begins to recover. Fully 43 percent of non-college whites say “hard work and determination are no guarantees of success,” and nearly half doubt that they have enough education and skills to compete in the job market.


The take away from this poll? Stay in school!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

SUNO/UNO merger being considered

Last year, the Southern University System hired former Jackson State University President Ronald Mason as its chancellor. Mason, who developed a plan to merge all three of Mississippi’s public HBCUs together, has arrived just in time to help Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal possibly merge Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) with the University of New Orleans (UNO).

Following a meeting with Board of Regents (BOR) Chairman Bob Levy, Jindal announced that he asked the regents to study whether SUNO (a historically black university) and UNO should be merged into a new single university that would then be transferred to the University of Louisiana System.

SUNO and UNO both suffered extensive building damage and enrollment drops as a result of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina and are currently in a vulnerable position.

The analysis of the merger idea would be part of a study that the regents were already authorized to conduct through a 2010 law which directed the BOR to look at the “regional coordination, maximization of resources, and quality of postsecondary offerings in the New Orleans area.” The legislation included a March 1, 2011 deadline for the regents to complete the study.

“Our goal is to provide the best service to students,” Jindal said. “That is why I have asked the Board of Regents to study whether students can be better served by a merger of SUNO and UNO and facilitating a greater partnership with Delgado [Community College]. Both UNO and SUNO, which are just blocks apart, are under-enrolled and have empty classrooms, while Delgado is struggling to meet the needs of the community with its limited space.”

The governor added that his office “will wait until we receive the completed study before formulating or recommending any legislative proposals for the upcoming session.”

Tony Clayton, former Chairman of Southern University at New Orleans and a current member of the Southern University Board of Supervisors is not showing any public outrage over the merger idea. “I understand and fully appreciate the bold initiatives that the governor is taking to address the higher educational needs of the New Orleans area,” Clayton said. “We will take this bold study and fully vet it to make sure the needs of African Americans students are addressed.”

A press release from Jindal’s office suggested that SUNO and UNO’s six-year graduation rates, enrollment numbers, classroom usage rates, and physical plant conditions are all problems.

According to the release:

“Currently, UNO graduates 21 percent of its students in six years, while SUNO graduates five percent of its students during that time. Additionally, UNO’s enrollment has dropped by 32 percent since 2005 – from over 17,000 students to 11,700 today. SUNO’s enrollment has decreased by 14 percent since 2005 – from 3,500 students to 3,100 today. By comparison, Delgado’s enrollment has grown without the physical space needed to expand.”

“While all three schools have buildings that remain out of use due to hurricane damage, UNO’s remaining classrooms are full 44 percent of the time. SUNO has not updated this data since before the 2005 storms, but at that time, the school’s classrooms were in use 46 percent of the time – far less than Delgado’s classrooms, which were used 84 percent of the time.”

The Louisiana Constitution requires the Board of Regents to study the “need for” and “feasibility of” mergers, transfers, and creations before they occur.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

OT: Pardon the interruption?



Ala. State's band puts a stop to 'Skegee show
After Tuskegee's band went about five minutes over their alloted time, Alabama State's band took the field and stopped TU mid dance routine (see 2:20 in video).

The fact that the Tuskegee band didn't react adversely is a testament to the quality of the students at the University. As a result, their the 'Skegee band's non-reaction helped what could have easily become a band brawl end peacefully and without incident during the nationally televised football game.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

OT: 10 things I want to say to a Black woman


By Joshua Bennett a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, double majoring in English and Africana Studies with minors in Spanish and History. He is a 3-time national poetry slam champion (BNV 2007, CUPSI 2007 and 2009), the youngest poet ever to hit finals stage at the Individual World Poetry Slam, and has recited his original work at events such as the Sundance Film Festival, The NAACP Image Awards, and, most recently, President Obama's evening of poetry and music at the White House. When he is not performing or writing, Joshua enjoys reading contemporary African American fiction (Percival Everett and Colson Whitehead are his favorite authors of the moment), blogging (entirely too much), and falling in love with all the wrong women (he attributes this to his affinity for musicians and hipsters). Joshua plans on pursuing a PhD after graduating from Penn next year, and hopes that he will be able to incorporate his craft into his academic work for years to come. He hails from Yonkers, NY.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy father's day!

RN recognizes all the Rattler fathers out there who take the time to be more than a father to their child, but put in the work to be called daddy! Happy father's day!