September 30, 2010

Large 50-Ft Snake Found Dead (Video)

I don't have any real reason to share this video with y'all ... I don't like snakes much. However, this video had an impact on me...

...did it have impact on you as well? (smile)

September 29, 2010

New AfroSpear Member: The Essentials of Cool

This blog has been a member of The AfroSpear for a couple of years now. There are truly some remarkable bloggers of African descent in The AfroSpear. You can see the full blogroll at the bottom of the left-hand sidebar.

The AfroSpear added a new member recently. Barry Belt is the owner of 'The Essentials Of Cool'. He began the blog in April 2008.

When asked about the purpose of the AfroSpear he wrote, "I see the AfroSpear as a source to receive news on various topics from an informed Black perspective. Basically, I see the AfroSpear as picking up the ball that the mainstream media has dropped. We can't hold our breath for BET to."
Shawn, better known in cyberspace as the Bohemian Hippie Chick, shared her insights on The Essentials of Cool. She has been following Barry's current blog since its inception in 2008 and noted that the blog regularly posts on issues in the Black community such as technology, music, entertainment and politics. She was very complimentary on three specific blog posts:
  1. Where Are The Black Tech Bloggers
  2. Afrolatinos: The Untaught Story
  3. Race & The Last Airbender
Barry and his blog, 'The Essentials of Cool', are a great addition to The AfroSpear. I hope that you will take a moment to share your Village Voice' (or COMMENT) to welcome the young brother to the crew!

September 28, 2010

Taser Lawsuit: Kelly Brinson (Cincinnati, OH)

The family of Kelly Brinson, a University Hospital psychiatric patient who died in January, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court. [SOURCE]

The lawsuit alleges University of Cincinnati Police Division officers used excessive force when they electrocuted the 45-year-old patient who admitted himself to the hospital for mental reasons.

It also alleges the hospital was negligent in its care for Brinson. The hospital was placed under probabtion by the Ohio Department of Mental Health. The department questioned whether police response was too excessive. The probation was lifted in April when the death was attributed to "natural causes" by the Hamilton County coroner's office.

The seven officers involved in the incident, the chief of UCPD, University Hospital and its trustees are among the 16 people including in the suit.

September 27, 2010

More GOP Racism: Why Would Any African American Join the Republican Party?

Politics is rather boring this year in Ohio. We don't have the same excitement that is occurring in other parts of the nation.
  • In Delaware it appears that a GOP civil war is about to break out now that Christine O'Donnell is their candidate for senator.
  • The GOP candidate for New York governor, Carl Paladino, is a guy who sends out racist and pornographic emails to his GOP buddies. He's also made controversial statements such as teaching welfare recipients job training and "personal hygiene" while housing them in converted prisons and calling outgoing Gov. David Paterson a drug addict.
  • South Carolina heavy-hitters in the Republican Party hosted 'The Southern Experience' at the Country Club of Charleston a few days ago. SC Gov. Mark Sanford and SC Senate President Glenn McConnell (shown in the above photo) hosted this event in which the only Black people present were dressed up as slaves.
I have never voted for a Republican candidate on a state or national ballot.  The policies, actions and culture of the Republican party never appealed to me. I don't feel any different about the Tea Party. They seem like a bunch of folks who strongly believe in white privilege and who've never interacted on a professional or personal basis with a Black person in America.

I don't like the way that the GOP and Tea Party have taken such a personal and pre-meditated hatred of our nation's first Black president and turned it into a 'Just Say No' or 'birther' or 'socialist' mantra over the past year. The GOP leadership is now calling our president a 'con' and a man with a 'Kenyan, anti-colonial world view'. What kinda shyt is that?

I try to stay open-minded. I include A Political Season and Booker Rising on my RSS-feed so that I don't miss any blog postings that either Aaron or Shay put on their blog.  However, I still don't have a clue why any person of African descent would become a member of the Republican Party.  It must be lonely to be a Black Republican. If the African Americans in Alaska weren't fooled by Sarah Palin ... why should those of us in the lower 48 be fooled?

Can any of y'all explain it to me?

How can a Black Republican have so much self-hate in them that they would want to be associated with these racist wackos who have no love for people of African descent living in America?

September 26, 2010

Taser Death: David Cornelius Smith (Minneapolis, MN)

Another day ... another unarmed US citizen killed by taser-happy police. This time the taser-related killing occured September 9th in Minneapolis MN. David Cornelius Smith, 28, was accused of disturbing members at a Minneapolois YMCA. The police were called and confronted Smith in the sixth-floor gym.

When officers Timothy Gorman and Timothy Callahan tried to physically remove Smith from the YMCA, he fought with them for several minutes, injuring one of them slightly before he was electrocuted with a taser gun. After he was arrested, it was clear that something was wrong and Smith was rushed by ambulance to the hospital.

Smith was brain-dead and in a coma for 10 days.  He stayed on life support at the Hennpin County Medical Center until September 18th ... when he died.

Some reports indicate that Smith was handcuffed and restrained before the taser gun was used. Family members claim that they have seen marks, consistent with taser barbs, on his back.

"For them to take his life in the prime of his life is wrong," said Diane Smith, David Smith's mother.
She said what happened to her son was mean, cruel and unnecessary. See video (embedded version not available).

"What gives man the right to take another person's life for something as simple as a little disorderly conduct at a gym that you were a member of?" she continued.
Diane Smith said her son loved to play basketball at the downtown Minneapolis YMCA. His sister Angela said he was known there. That's why his family is having a hard time understanding.

"How could a healthy, smart, God-loving young man full of life go into the Y and come out in a coma?" said Angela Smith, David Smith's sister.
Gorman and Callahan were placed on standard paid administrative leave, but they are now back at work and the investigation continues.

His family believes there is more to the story. They want to know why he had to die this way.

"I could have seen it if he had a gun. I could have seen it if he had a knife, throwing it at them. I wish they would have shot my son in his leg, anything, sprayed him with pepper spray. He's not a very big guy anyway and he's not a violent guy," Diane Smith said.
David Smith's mother and sister said there were no drugs or alcohol found in his system.

September 25, 2010

Archive Meme: Searching for Online Treasure in My Blog Archives

This blog participated in the Archive Meme three years ago. I thought it would be nice to do it again in 2010. The Archive Meme rules are simple enough:
  1. Link 1 must be about family.
  2. Link 2 must be about friends.
  3. Link 3 must be about yourself, who you are... what you're all about...
  4. Link 4 must be about something you love
  5. Link 5 can be anything you choose.
Post your five links and then tag five other people. At least TWO of the people you tag must be newer acquaintences so that you get to know each other better.... and don't forget to read the archive posts and leave comments! So villagers, here are my five links...
  1. About Family - Kyra Hicks is my sister. She announced publication of her latest book, 1.6 Million African American Quilters, earlier this month.
  2. About Friends - One of my professional friends is the president and CEO of the Cincinnati Museum Center. His museum is host to an astounding exhibit -- America I AM: The African American Imprint. I hope that all villagers in driving distance of Cincinnati, Ohio check out this exhibit before it leaves town in January.
  3. About Me - This post shares some insights into the demons that plaque me. I'm nowhere close to the father that my father was. But, everyday I have the opportunity to do better.
  4. Something I Love - I love the lessons that I've learned from my Dad. He transitioned a few years ago and I miss him very much. Even writing this entry on my blog about him brings up some raw emotions for me.
  5. Wild Card - One day I need to figure out how I got so engaged in tracking taser-related deaths!
Now then ... the next step is for me to tag five bloggers that I enjoy reading on a regular basis:
  1. Michael Lang (Noire Digerati)
  2. Patrick Phillips (The Intersection of Madness & Reality)
  3. Anna Renee (Anna Renee is Still Talking)
  4. LaShawn Sithole (One In A Billion Consulting)
  5. Symphony (Essential Presence)
I enjoyed putting this together. I hope that the five tagged bloggers will participate as well!

September 24, 2010

Taser Death: Gary Grossenbacher (Oklahoma City OK)

Oklahoma City was the hometown of a great television series called, 'Saving Grace'. Now it is the home of the latest taser-related killing in America. 48-year old Gary Grossenbacher was electrocuted to death by two inexperienced police officers yesterday morning. The two officers, Bryan Jones, a two-year veteran, and Joshua Norton, a one-year veteran, responded to a domestic violence call at 6:40 a.m. on September 16th. A couple were in an altercation at their house. [SOURCE]

The officers used a Taser and pepper spray while trying to subdue the man. Paramedics already on the scene treated Grossenbacher and took him to Mercy Hospital, where he died.

The officers have been placed on routine administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.

Please let this blog know of any new information that you may hear on this taser-related death.

[VIDEO] Taser Death: Freddie Lockett (Dallas TX)

It happened again. Freddie Lockett, 30, electrocuted to death by taser fire from an unidentified Dallas police officers. The man was trying to flee police officers who were answering a robbery call earlier today.

According to a police incident report, a man told officers he was sitting inside his vehicle at a gas station in the 2900 block of South Westmoreland around 11:30 p.m. on   Saturday night (September 11) when Lockett approached the car and asked for money. The man in his car said he didn’t have any money and began to roll up the driver’s side window.

That’s when the driver said Lockett opened the door and started punching him in the face. Afraid, the victim told officers he crawled across his car and got out using the passenger side door. He ran inside the gas station and asked for someone to call police.

While he was in the store, he said the suspect went into his car and took his cell phone. Police said when they got to the area, they saw a man matching the description of the suspect. When they tried to talk to him, he ran away; but officers were able to catch up to him.

The officers decided to punish Lockett by electrocuting him on five separate occassions with at least 50,000 volts each time from their taser guns.

The officers knew right away that something was wrong. They called emergency medical technicians to treat the man, who was taken to Methodist Central Hospital and pronounced dead at 1:05 a.m. Sunday, September 12.

Please let us know if you have any additional information that you can share about this taser-related killing.

September 21, 2010

Taser Death: Joseph Frank Kennedy (La Mirada, CA)

Authorities say Joseph Frank Kennedy, a 48-year-old parolee, has died after unidentified deputies electrocuted him with a Taser gun during a struggle outside a hotel in south Los Angeles County. [SOURCE]

Sheriff's spokesman Michael Parker says deputies patrolling the parking lot of the hotel in La Mirada were attacked after contacting Kennedy He fled on foot, then re-emerged to attack again and a struggle ensued.

Parker says Kennedy tried to disarm one of the deputies and threatened to kill them.  However, it turns out that the man was UNARMED!

The unidentified deputies used a Taser to subdue the unarmed man ... then they handcuffed him.  The police realized that something was horribly wrong as Kennedy had difficulty breathing.  Paramedics performed CPR on the man and took him to La Palma Intercommunity Hospital in La Palma, where he was declared dead at a hospital.

Coroner's officials were trying to determine the cause of death.

Investigators found substances they believe were drugs on Kennedy.

September 20, 2010

Taser Autopsy: Coroner Rules 'Homicide' in Death of Andrew Torres

The Greenville County coroner's office said that the death of 39-year old Andrew Torres was a homicide. On Aug. 9, two Greenville police officers went to the home of Andrew Torres to serve him with involuntary commitment papers when police said he became combative. Officers said they eventually were forced to kill Torres with their taser guns. Torres was electrocuted with multiple taser attacks, was winded after officers subdued him and became unresponsive about 10 minutes later.
Andrew Torres died from a cardiac arrhythmia as a result of having an enlarged heart, the use of Tasers and the physical strain of tussling with police, Coroner Park Evans said. [see VIDEO]

Evans said Tuesday that the use of Tasers "certainly would have added to the stress and strain he was under that brought on the lethal event." Another factor was a physical altercation in which Torres wrestled with police as they tried to take him to the hospital for evaluation.

"One (of those things) in itself would probably not be a cause for his demise, but when the combination came together it caused his death," said Evans.
The findings have been forwarded to the State Law Enforcement Division and the solicitor's office to decide if charges will be filed against the officers, Dale Dirton, Kevin Hill and Eric Koepke. The officers involved have been on administrative leave since Torres' death.

Andrew Torres' brother, Frank, says that his sisters heard an officer tell emergency medical personnel that their brother was stunned six times.

Family members have said in a written statement that doctors struggled to find the right medicine for Andrew Torres, and that it was sometimes necessary to have him involuntarily committed.

Three officers charged his door to force it open, and one of them reached inside to "blindly" stun him with a Taser, sending Torres into a panic, family members have said.

Family members said they don't hold anything against the officers, but that using force caused the situation to escalate unnecessarily.

Frank Torres said the family wants more training for officers, citing an almost identical previous situation in which 45 minutes of negotiation helped de-escalate the confrontation.

Greenville police are getting new training on dealing with the mentally ill after the death of a man stunned by officers with Tasers. Chief Terri Wilfong told multiple media outlets Wednesday that her officers will get up to 40 hours of crisis intervention training. [SOURCE]

September 19, 2010

The BDPA Insider (Sep 19-25)

I am a longtime member of group of African American IT professionals. This is weekly ezine produced by past national BDPA president Milt Haynes. What better way to start the week than with your message from BDPA!

In this issue:
  • BDPAtoday September 14, 2010 [USA Edition]
  • Message from Northern Delaware Chapter President
  • HSCC Testimonial: Joseph Huggins, Jr. (BDPA Chicago)
  • NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing
  • Are BDPA Members Using Second Life?
  • BDPA Newsletters from Chapters Around the Country
  • Responsible Social Media for Young Men
  • The White House Briefing Room, 9/15/2010 (David Segura)
Click here for "The BDPA Insider" Archives.
  1. BDPAtoday September 14, 2010 [USA Edition] -- Hotep! This e-newsletter is produced by the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation on any day that an event is occurring around the country. BETF exists to conduct, promote and support educational programs for students of African descent and others in the information technology industry.  Click here for the full article
  2. Message from Northern Delaware Chapter President -- Where does the time go! Here we are approaching the start of another school year and another National BDPA conference has come to a close. This is the time of year that we focus on bringing the year to a close with our Annual Banquet as well as formulating a strategic plan for organizational growth. 2010 has been a very productive year thus far.   Click here for the full article.
  3. HSCC Testimonial: Joseph Huggins, Jr. (BDPA Chicago) -- Joseph Huggins Jr. graduated from high school earlier this year. He made the decision to accept a commission with the US Navy. He left on July 27th for the Naval Academy Prep School in Newport, Rhode Island. There he will receive 10 months of extra academic and military training before being transferred to the Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.   Click here for the full article.
  4. NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing -- The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing honors young women at the high-school level for their computing-related achievements and interests. There are scores of young women participating in BDPA youth education programs all over the nation. My hope is that our BDPA chapter leaders will make a point of nominating their top female high school computer competition (HSCC) alumni for this award! Click here for the full article.
  5. Are BDPA Members Using Second Life? -- Philena Rush gave an outstandingpresentation on Second Life at the August 2010 program meeting hosted by BDPA Columbus chapter. Kai Dupe made a Second Life presentation at the 2007 BDPA Conference in Washington DC. Click here for the full article.
  6. BDPA Newsletters from Chapters Around the Country -- BETF-Blog Readers, would you like to see information about programs and services being offered all over BDPA nation? Check out this blog posting for some recent newsletters issued from around the country. You can find repository of prior BDPA newsletters in the files section of ourBDPA-Communications YahooGroup. You may need to subscribe to the BDPA-Communications YG before you can download the files located in that repository. Click here for the full article.
  7. Responsible Social Media for Young Men -- Last week I spoke to a group of local high school boys about how to safely and responsibly use tools like Facebook and Twitter. As you can probably guess, those tools are very popular with kids these days. The problem is, they many times use them inappropriately or recklessly. Click here for the full article.
  8. The White House Briefing Room, 9/15/2010 (David Segura) -- President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts. Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key administration posts including: David H. Segura, Appointee for Member, Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. Click here for the full article.
  9. 2011 National BDPA Conference Registration Now Open -- Please accept our invitation to join us in the City of the Big Shoulders by registering for the 33rd Annual National BDPA Conference, August 3-6, 2011 at the Hilton Chicago. Early bird registration for $350 now open! Click here to register for the 2011 National BDPA Conference today!

Here are some ways for you to stay connected with BDPA:

This message has been brought to you by the BDPA Social Networking Team or you can contact the BDPA Social Networking Team by email. Please share this information with your friends, co-workers, church members and other villagers so that they can get more involvement with this important organiation. The key is that we must share what we know with others so we can all grow and prosper. As the African proverb reminds us: "Small trickles of water make a flood."

September 18, 2010

New AfroSpear Member: SoultrainC

The AfroSpear is going international. Our newest member is Etta Jones. She is the owner of a number of German-language blogs, including 'SoultrainC'. SoultrainC created her blog in August 2009.

In her application for membership Etta wrote that AfroSpear exists to "...connect the community of Black heritage and to strengthen und support each other. To win the ability to work as singles and all together for the utmost acceptance and appreciation of Black people, wherever they live and wherever we are at. For me that comes together with respecting every man and woman and their beliefs - as well as their nature."

When asked how she can support the AfroSpear, Etta wrote that she "...hopes to be able to learn a lot from the community, get close to new ideas and goals and pass it on to my Black readers (and even more to the rest)!"
The AfroSpear requires all blogger-applicants to have an existing member to serve as an advocate and nominator for admission. Black Weblog Award Hall of Famer Field Negro served as the Nominating Member for 'SoultrainC'. He wrote:

"Etta and her team seem like good people, although I am not sure how long they have been blogging. This is a jazz aficionado in Germany and they send me info on the Black and Jazz music scene in that country. If they meet all the other criterias I would surely recommend them."
I encourage all villagers to use the COMMENTS ('Village Voice') link below to share some love with Etta Jones as she begins her adventures with the AfroSpear!

September 16, 2010

Conversation with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine

Soulclap to Gina McCauley (What About Our Daughters) for extending an invitation to this blog to participate in an on-the-record conversation with Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairmman Tim Kaine and his senior staff. There were a number of African American bloggers engaged in the discussion.

I went into the conversation with some skepticism. The DNC was very engaged with the afrosphere during the 2008 election. They worked with a number of Black bloggers to gain access to the convention at which President Obama secured the Democratic nomination allowing him to run for President of the United States.

However, since that glorious moment it has been mostly the sound of *crickets* from the DNC as it relates to working with the afrosphere. Today, the Democrats are facing an electoral tsunami by the Republicans due in no small measure to the lack of enthusiasm and support from Black voters.

Black voters appear to have been disrespected by the Republican Party and taken for granted by the Democratic Party. Meanwhile, the economic recession for America has been a DEPRESSION for Black America, especially the Black middle class. The predatory loans that brought down the national economy had a devastating impact on the Black middle class. Unemployment for the nation stands at a little under 10% ... but it is over 16% for African Americans ... and much worse for young Black males.

Nobody in Washington DC, including Tim Kaine and the DNC, ever speaks to the specific issue of Black unemployment and the other nightmares that impact on our community.

I was skeptical ... but willing to have an open mind as the conversation with Gov. Kaine began this morning. I found him to be very knowledgable and willing to answer questions. The discussions covered a variety of areas including:
  • evolution of the Organizing For America (OFA) within the DNC?
  • how can the DNC reach out in a stronger way via new media outlets such as Black bloggers?
  • is there a turf battle between OFA and existing grassroots organizations at state or local level?
  • Presidential successes and heavy lifting in terms of policy and legislation
  • Republican Party strategy to take the nation "dramatically backwards"
  • there were 15 million new voters who voted for Obama in 2008 (5 million of them were African American) ... were these voters supporters of Democrats (in general) or simply loyalists to President Obama?
  • what are Democrats doing to combat growing levels of poverty in Black community?
  • what is DNC strategy in support of micro-businesses (less than 5 employees, less than $250k in annual revenue)?
  • what is DNC strategy related to older, more conservative, Black voters who may be concerned about Democratic positions on issues of choice or marriage?
  • what is DNC strategy to develop a stronger pipeline of credible Black candidates for state or local elections?
  • what is DNC strategy to work closer with Black bloggers (afrosphere)?why don't Democratic candidates tout the past successes (e.g., saving the auto industry)?
  • what specific steps are being taken by Democrats to deal with 16% unemployment rate in the Black community?
  • why don't Democrats have party discipline (e.g., Blue Dogs)?
I'm not a reporter so it is going to take me a minute to share some of these insights in blog posts -- but, I will try to do so. Which of the questions or issues listed above hit home for you?

September 14, 2010

Good News Tuesday: Adebayo Ogunlesi -- Entrepreneur Extraordinaire

Did you know that Gatwick Airport, located 28 miles south of London, is the second largest airport in England? Gatwick is the busiest single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 200 destinations in 90 countries for around 33 million passengers a year on short- and long-haul point-to-point services. The airport employs 23,000 people.

Did you know that Gatwick Airport is owned by a Blackman?

Adebayo Ogunlesi, chairman of Global Infrastructure Partners, bought the airport earlier this year and said he is going "to make Gatwick a truly first class experience".

September 13, 2010

Rise and Grind If You Have 'More Month Than Money'

Rise and Grind! I understand the anxiety that my fellow villagers are feeling as they deal with unemployment and floundering business revenue. Some people joke about the idea of having "more month than money". It ain't no joke for many of us. We're less than halfway through the month ... and we're juggling bills and delaying purchase decisions so that we can make it to the end of the month. It's Monday morning and many villagers, including myself, realize that we need to rise, hustle and grind things out.

I'm an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs need to find new clients and retain current clients. That is easier said than done in today's economic environment. However, when the sun rises today I'll begin my grustle (hustle and grind). How about you? Are you feeling any real pain from the economy?

One thing that I'm fairly sure about ... I could give a phuque about renewing the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy. The wealthy always do well. They were doing well back when Clinton was president. So, in my view, they can handle having the same tax rates in 2011 that they had in the Clinton Administration. The GOP wants me to believe that Obama has a "Kenyan anti-colonial world view" because he wants to let the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy expire. Heck, if the GOP was serious about those tax cuts in the first place ... why did they put the sunset date into the law when it was originally passed. They said that the tax cuts should expire in 2010 ... so let 'em expire.  Newt Gingrich wants us to believe that President Obama is a "con-man".  I guess if Republicans can believe that our president isn't an American and that he practices Islam religion ... they may fall for Gingrich's nonsense as well.

On a personal note, I want to wish my 15-year old niece a very happy birthday. Zoe turned 15 yesterday ... and she is one of the most creative youngsters that I know. I wish her nothing but love and happiness over the course of the next year.

Finally, I give praise to the New England Patriots. They ripped the hearts out of the Cincinnati Bengals yesterday with a 38-24 victory. The Bengals need to do a gut-check this week as it gets no easier next week when the Baltimore Ravens come into town.

Baltmore Ravens vs. New York Jets tonight on Monday Night Football.   I'm hoping that New York Jets can live up to their hype by putting a beat-down on the RavensWho you got in tonight's game?

September 12, 2010

Sports, Obama, Running a Business and Cleaning House

Go Blue!  It is so nice to wake up on a Sunday morning with a smile on my face from the University of Michigan football game.  There was a time that the Wolverine football team embarrased me very much due to their consistently poor play.   Today, I see that their sophomore quarterback, Denard Robinson, is a legit contender for the Heisman Trophy.  Now if we could only improve our kicking game!

Today, we find out if the Cincinnati Bengals can live up to the hype.  They go on the road to play the New England Patriots and Michigan alumni Tom Brady.  I'm looking for the Cincinnati Bengals to go all the way to the Super Bowl this year.   I also want to see Cedric Benson and Tank Johnson have great seasons.  Those are the favorite players for my two youngest 'uns.  Bengals season begins today.

Cincinnati was able to give some props to Pete Rose yesterday at the Reds baseball game.   Apparently it's been 25 years since Rose became the all-time leading hits leader in major league baseball.  Of course, Rose's personal demons and character flaws have kept him in baseball's shadows for most of the past 25 years.  I know how he feels.  I feel like I've been in the shadows for the past decade.   It is difficult to regain your footing when your character flaws cause your downfall.

President Obama shouldn't need to worry about such things.  His character is strong and positive.   I have confidence that he will lead our nation out of its current economic doldrums.  I have no confidence in the likes of an old man from Kentucky (McConnell) or a tanned golfer from Ohio (Boehner) ... just as I had no confidence in McCain or the Half-Governor when they were running for the White House back in 2008.

How soon we tend to forget the spirit of hope, change and renewal that our entire nation felt when Obama was campaigning two years ago.  He's the same man.  He is still cool, calm and collected.   I just wish that he and his team would find the magic potion to reduce the unemployment rate.

I've never been to an unemployment office.  I'm an entrepreneur trying to get my consulting business on.  I've been full-time entrepreneur since July 5, 2002.   Things haven't been fly all the time ... and right now I'm at a point that I need to get very busy in order to make ends meet.   Maintaining this blog ain't bringing home many duckets ... but, I enjoy it ... so I'll keep doing it.   However, I may need to listen to Paula Mooney or some other role models out here in the blogging world that are more successful than I've been in creating a revenue stream from their web-work.

Time will tell.  For now, I'm going to sit back and enjoy my Sunday.   Hmmm, I may need to take some time to clean up my place.  There is no longer a Mrs. Villager to ensure that it gets done.   Anyhow, I'll talk at y'all again tomorrow.

September 11, 2010

Blog Safari #43

There are some truly creative Black bloggers out in the afrosphere. This semi-regular blog safari is designed to help you find and enjoy these talented folks. I encourage you to join Nyabingi, our rhino-guide, by visiting the links below to enjoy these suggested blog posts!

Let us know if you come across any remarkable posts that should be shared in our next Blog Safari!

September 10, 2010

Old School Friday: The Main Ingredient

Soulclap to Anna Renee for dropping knowledge about Cuba Gooding and The Main Ingredient. One of the songs she shared hit home with me today for a variety of reasons. After all, even though everyone plays the fool sometime ... who amongst us ever wants to be lonely?

Taser Death: Larry Rubio (Leemore, CA)

The Tachi Yokut Indians have inhabited the San Joaquin valley for centuries. In 1934, the Santa Rosa Rancheria was established on about 40 acres of desolate farmland in Lemoore, California. The reservation is famous because of to the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino.

Today the reservation is infamous because Santa Rosa Rancheria tribal security officers in Leemore, CA electrocuted a man to death with their taser gun. [SOURCE]

20-year old Larry Rubio found himself roaming the streets unarmed, naked and alone. Within a few minutes the unidentified tribal security officers had already used both a Taser and pepper spray and were trying to handcuff the man.

After he was in handcuffs, Rubio passed out and stopped breathing. Deputies administered CPR and called for emergency medical help. He was pronounced dead at Hanford Community Medical Center at 1:49 a.m.

An autopsy will be done today. The case is still under investigation.

Please let this blog know if you have any updated information about this extra-judicial electrocution!

September 9, 2010

2010 Black Weblog Award Winners

I've been blogging since 2007.  For a couple of years I posted a monthly update known as Villager's Black Blog Rankings.  There were 1,766 blogs included in the last published Black Blog Rankings. As such, it is truly an honor to win a Black Weblog Award.

Black Weblog Award founder Maurice Cherry did a remarkable job in growing this idea. Over 27,000 votes were cast in the contest this year. Without further ado ... enjoy the full list of 2010 Black Weblog Award Winners!

Blog of the Year
Popular Vote: Miss Jia
Judges’ Vote: O Hell Nawl

Blog to Watch
Popular Vote: Angry Black Lady Chronicles
Judges’ Vote: The Gentlemen’s Standard

Best Blog Design
Popular Vote: The Young, Black, and Fabulous
Judges’ Vote: Mostbeautifullest

Best Blog Network
Popular Vote: Global Grind Network
Judges’ Vote: theFreshXpress Blog Network

Best Blog Post Series
Popular Vote: “I Love Black Men” on Black ‘n Bougie
Judges’ Vote: “Michael Jackson and the Five Stages of Grief” on What Would Thembi Do?

Best Business Blog
Popular Vote: Young, Fabulous & Self-Employed
Judges’ Vote: kiss my black ads

Best Cooking or Food Blog
Popular Vote: Yes, Divas Can Cook
Judges’ Vote: My Life Runs on Food

Best Culture Blog
Popular Vote: Black Girl with Long Hair
Judges’ Vote: Socialtik Mag

Best Faith-Based Blog
Popular Vote: The Old Black Church!
Judges’ Vote: The Secular Parent

Best Fashion or Beauty Blog
Popular & Judges' Vote: Afrobella

Best Film Blog
Popular Vote: Black Box Office
Judges’ Vote: Shadow and Act

Best Gaming or Comics Blog
Popular Vote: Black Nerd Comedy
Judges’ Vote: Black Comix

Best Gossip Blog
Popular Vote: The Young, Black, and Fabulous
Judges’ Vote: Necole Bitchie

Best Group Blog
Popular & Judges' Vote: Very Smart Brothas

Best Health or Wellness Blog
Popular & Judges' Vote: A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss

Best Hip-Hop Blog
Popular Vote: AllHipHop
Judges’ Vote: Hip Hop Blog

Best Humor Blog
Popular Vote: O Hell Nawl
Judges’ Vote: Very Smart Brothas

Best International Blog
Popular & Judges' Vote: Catch a Vibe

Best LGBT Blog
Popular Vote: The Skorpion Show
Judges’ Vote: TransGriot

Best Microblog
Popular Vote: Sister Toldja
Judges’ Vote: The Smithian

Best Music Blog
Popular & Judges' Vote: SoulBounce

Best New Blog
Popular & Judges' Vote: The Dithering of a District Diva

Best Parenting or Family Blog
Popular Vote: Black and Married with Kids
Judges’ Vote: African American Dad

Best Personal Blog
Popular Vote (tie): A Belle in Brooklyn *and* Until I Get Married
Judges’ Vote: Sassy Wife Chronicles

Best Photography Blog
Popular Vote: My Damn Blog
Judges’ Vote: Chookooloonks

Best Podcast Series
Popular Vote: HBCU Digest Radio
Judges’ Vote: Friday Favecast

Best Political or News Blog
Popular Vote: The Urban Politico
Judges’ Vote: Black Snob

Best Science or Technology Blog
Popular & Judges' Vote: Black Web 2.0

Best Sex or Relationships Blog
Popular Vote: Until I Get Married
Judges’ Vote: The Relationship Playbook

Best Sports Blog
Popular Vote: Hardwood Diva
Judges’ Vote: Black Sports Online

Best Teen Blog
Popular Vote: Teen Savvy
Judges’ Vote: DamierDesigns MMX

Best Travel Blog
Popular Vote: Black in Cairo
Judges’ Vote: Jay Travels

Best Video Blog Series
Popular Vote: The Skorpion Show
Judges’ Vote: Ill Doctrine

Best Writing in a Blog
Popular Vote: Until I Get Married
Judges’ Vote: Uptown Notes

And the winner of the Aaron Hawkins Award is… Earl Dunovant!  Dunovant is a web developer and political activist who has blogged at Prometheus 6 since January 2004. Dunovant is also a member of the Media Bloggers Association, has attended presidential debates as a credentialed blogger, and has been featured on NPR as part of News and Notes‘ Bloggers Roundtable.

Please take advantage of the above links to experience the talent and energy that made these folks winners of 2010 Black Weblog Awards.    I can tell you right now that THIS BLOG intends to compete hard to be in the running for a BWA next year!!

Do you see your favorite blog on the list above?

September 7, 2010

District Attorney Still Considers Criminal Charges in DeKalb County Taser Deaths

The Internal Review Board cleared the unidentified officers involved in the taser-related deaths of Audrecas Davis and Sukeba Jackson-Olawunmi.

Prosecutors are still reviewing the cases to determine if criminal charges will be filed agains the officers.

Davis' family is reviewing the reports and trying to determine whether they should file a lawsuit.

The board, which is made up of investigators, reviewed the evidence and voted unanimously to clear all of the officers involved. The board voted that no policies or procedures were violated, and there were no safety concerns in either incident, according to the report. [SOURCE]

"As chief of police, I stand behind the use of the Taser as an alternative to deadly force. While both of these incidents were extremely unfortunate in that they resulted in death, I know my officers followed the proper protocols," Chief William O'Brien said.
Villagers recall that the DeKalb medical examiner ruled the deaths of Davis and Jackson-Olawunmi as homicides. Both died in separate incidents in May after being repeatedly tased by DeKalb officers. Police said both were combative and failed to comply with officers' commands during the incidents.

Autopsies found that Davis and Jackson-Olawunmi were under the influence of drugs and had prior medical conditions, including obesity, medical examiner Pat Bailey said.

Davis, 29, died May 10 from cardiorespiratory arrest and had caffeine, nicotine and chemicals found in marijuana in his system. He also suffered from hypertension and sickle cell disease, according to the medical examiner.

Jackson-Olawunmi, 40, died May 15 of a cocaine-induced delirium, the medical examiner said. In addition to cocaine, she had blood pressure medication in her system to treat her hypertension.

Both of these people would be alive today if not for the repeated jolts of taser voltage into their bodies.

September 6, 2010

Taser Autopsy: Coroner Says Phyllis Owens Died From 50,000-volt Jolt

I suppose that 100% of the deaths in America can be classified as 'heart stopped ticking'. Dr. Larry Lewman, Oregon State medical examiner, says that 87-year old Phyllis Owens died of "chronic heart disease" after he completed her autopsy.

Of course, Dr. Lewman, clarified a little when he added that the manner of death for the octogenarian, who had a pacemaker since 2007, was receiving a 50,000-volt jolt from a Taser fired by a Clackamas County sheriff's deputy. [SOURCE]

"The cause of her death is hypertensive cardio-vascular disease," Lewman said. "But it occurred because of the electric stun gun, which probably intercepted a pacemaker wire."
The two deputies involved in this taser-killing are Steve Shelly and Alan Alderman. Both were placed on administrative leave after the July 8 homicide.

Owens was shot with a Taser after about 15 minutes of negotiations, during which Owens was waving a pellet gun replica of a firearm.

At one point, deputies convinced Owens to put down the pellet gun, which she laid on her porch railing. But when Deputy Alderman advanced toward her, she reached for the pellet gun again.

The other deputy, Steve Shelly, believing Owens was reaching for a handgun, electrocuted her with a Taser. Owens died shortly afterwards.

I guess I need to see a photo of a "pellet gun replica" to understand how trained police officers can't tell the difference between it and a real gun.

Also, I have to wonder what the rush was for these officers. They killed Mrs. Owens after talking with her for 15 minutes? Was their coffee getting cold in the police car? She was contained on the front porch of her own home. These two 'Barney Fife' deputies couldn't wait and talk longer with her ... giving her a chance to calm down?

Anyhow, the next step in this process belongs to the Clackamas County District Attorney's Office. They are reviewing the case to determine if criminal charges will be brought against either of the two police officers.

September 5, 2010

Sunday Inspirations: Married Couples Dance Ministry at the Obama's Former Church in Chicago

Soulclap to Black and Married With Kids for pointing us to this uplifting video with married couples at the church Barack Obama and his family attended for many years. I don't think that I've ever saw my father dance ... but, I thought of him and my Mom and their 50-year marriage while I was watching this video!

Taser Death: Adam Colliers (Gold Bar, WA)

A young man will never see tomorrow as the result of taser-happy Snohomish County sheriff's deputies who chose to pump 50,000 volts of electricity into an unarmed 120-pound man rather than use other less-lethal methods of subduing him.

25-year old Adam Colliers was in Gold Bar, WA to help watch over a parapalegic man. For some reason he 'snapped' and began yelling and screaming. The police were called in. Instead of assessing the situation and trying to help Colliers ... two police officers electrocuted the guy with their tasers. After Colliers was hit the officers discovered he was not breathing.

When the fire department aid car arrived the EMT’s continued CPR and then took the man to Valley General Hospital in Monroe where he was pronounced dead.

The two unidentified officers involved have been placed on administrative leave. One of the deputies is a three-year veteran of the force and the other has four years of law enforcement experience. Both are under 30 years of age.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiners Office will conduct an autopsy to determine cause of death. I'm sure that the police will try to blame it on drugs ... that is their usual tactic in these situations.

Unpacking Collections: Symposium on Researching and Using Quilt History Collections (October 8-10, 2010)

My sister, Kyra Hicks, will be joined by Carolyn Mazloomi, Lauren Cross, Patricia Turner and Merikay Waldvogel at the Michigan State University Museum on October 8-10. Please help us spread the word about the Cuesta Benberry Symposium by sharing this post with any villagers that live in Michigan or that are fans of the ancient art of quilting.

September 4, 2010

First Ad: Hillary Clinton for President - 2012

I don't think that Hillary Clinton has finished paying off the debt from her failed bid at the presidency in 2008 ... but, here we have one of her supporters producing this unauthorized campaign ad for 2012 presidential campaign:

As I recall, the last time that a Democratic president was seriously challenged by a member of his own party was back in 1980 ... when Teddy Kennedy decided to challenge Jimmy Carter. That didn't work out so well for either Senator Kennedy or the Democratic Party. I figure that Hillary won't let history repeat itself in 2012.

Personally, I hope that she and President Obama can do something remarkable in foreign policy arena over the next couple of years ... like Peace in the Middle East ... or the capture of Osama bin Laden.

Anyhow, what are your thoughts as you see this 60-second campaign ad for Hillary Clinton's future presidential campaign?

September 3, 2010

Taser Death: King Hoover (Spanaway, WA)

It happened again. This time the taser-killing took place near Tacoma, WA in a small town of Spanaway. King Hoover, 27, was electrocuted to death by unidentified Pierce County sheriff's deputies as they took him into custody last Monday, August 31. [SOURCE]

Hoover overstayed his welcome after a gathering at a friend's house. He was asked to leave and a dispute began when he didn't leave quickly enough.   He eventually left the apartment ... however, he then took a propane tank from a nearby BBQ and threw it into the apartment through a back window. The police say that Hoover then broke another window and entered the apartment again.

Deputies were called to the apartment just after 8:30 a.m. Dispatchers could hearing arguing, screaming and crying in the background. Two deputies arrived and found the man hiding behind a couch. The man didn't follow commands to come out and refused to show his hands to the deputies.

A police spokesman said, "They tried to physically take him into custody," Bates said.
When Hoover refused to obey the orders of the officers they pulled out their six-shooters ...uhhhh, I mean their taser guns and electrocuted him.

A third deputy arrived at the scene. The three deputies were able to get Hoover handcuffed as he kicked at them. They also tied together his feet.

Shortly after he was in custody the deputies called for medical aid because Hoover wasn't breathing. Paramedics took Hoover to St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood, where he was pronounced dead.

The unidentifed deputies involved in the confrontation were interviewed and placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

Please let this blog know if you hear of any updated facts or circumstances regarding this taser-related death.

September 2, 2010

Black Unemployment Rate Rises to 16.3% in August 2010

The negative economic news continues to flow from Washington DC ... and it is hitting the Black community harder than anyone.  A new employment report released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows us that the unemployment rate for African Americans rose from 15.6% in July 2010 to 16.3% in August 2010.

The mainstream media is painting this month's report in a negative light -- 54,000 jobs were lost last month.  The unemployment rate edged up slightly over the past month ... it's now 9.6%. There was some positive news with private employers hiring increasing by 67,000 jobs last month.  Since its most recent low in December 2009, private-sector employment has risen by 763,000.

What do these numbers mean to you?

September 1, 2010

59% Say Sarah Palin Isn't Presidential Material -- What Are the Other 41% Thinking?

Did you see the recent poll where 59% of Americans believe Sarah Palin lacks the "ability to be an effective president." You can tell from the Sarah Palin World Map that she is still not ready for prime-time!

It is uplifting to see that only 26% of the adults polled thought that Mama Grizzly would have the ability to be effective. The number dropped to 21% when asked of independents. Not surprisingly, there are many more -- 47% -- of the Republicans in the poll who thought that Mama Grizzly had the right stuff to be our Commander-in-Chief.

We've all seen Sarah Palin on the national stage in the past two years. Can anyone seriously believe that she would be a credible leader of the free world?

Does Sarah Palin even know a Black person? You never see anyone of African descent in her videos or at her speeches. I remember that the Blacks folks in Alaska didn't think highly of her when she was running for Vice President. What's changed over the past two years?