Monday, December 13, 2010

Richard Holbrooke Has Died At 69: Torn Aorta

Richard Holbrooke, the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, a key player in President Obama's Afghanistan war strategy and relationships there, has died at 69 years of age.

Holbrooke's passing came after surgery.

Politico had reported that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said Holbrooke was in "stable but still in very critical condition." He had just sustained 20 hours of surgery for a torn Aorta. The most common cause of a torn Aorta is High Blood Pressure.

Holbrooke has served three presidents, and been involved in American Foreign policy at some level, almost since he left college at Brown University in 1962 (photo by Brown University). He is survived by his wife, Kati Marton.

U-Cubed to Unemployed: Pour it On...NOW

In an urgent email sent out to all Leaders and Activists today, U-Cubed advised all unemployed Americans to “Pour it On!”

The email in it’s entirety reads:

Dear UCubed Leaders and Activists:

Pour it on. Email Congress. Send Letters to the Editor … every day, twice a day, even hourly. Congress is giving $540 billion – over half a trillion dollars – in tax breaks to corporations and wealthy Americans. And yet, this tax deal contains not a dime for the 99ers, not a penny for direct job creation.
Clog their inboxes. You can find the UCubed Legislative Action links here, here, and here.

Congress plans to adjourn this Friday, December 17th. So pour it on! NOW!
The email was sent “In Unity -- Strength”, by Rick Sloan [Acting Executive Director of U-Cubed Union of Unemployed]

If you have not yet joined U-Cubed, it is free and there is great strength in numbers of Americans working toward the same goals - Jobs for Americans and until those jobs are available - UI benefits for ALL Unemployed (not just the more recent members of the jobless community in this country). When you get there, send me Paladinette a Friend Request.

Every unemployed American, their friends and family need to PLEASE contact your congressional House member immediately and often. Do NOT stop contacting them until they hear you loud and clear.

My advice is NOT to waste your time contacting your senators, as they have already demonstrated by the HR 4853 test vote today on the Senate floor that they are not acting in the best interests of American Jobless workers.

Unemployed Non-99ers need to WAKE UP:

The unemployed in this country are being sold a bill of goods by the President, the media, phony pollsters and most members of Congress.

FACT: The 13 month extension in this compromise does NOT guarantee your benefits continue for the entire 13 months.

FACT: If you have exhausted all available Tiers of benefits already, HR 4853 WILL NOT HELP YOU AT ALL.

FACT: If you are on Tier 2 now (or soon will be) and your state does not meet the state UI % threshold for Tiers 3 and or 4, HR 4853 WILL NOT HELP YOU AT ALL and after 14 weeks of Tier 2 you will have no more UI at all.

FACT: If you are collecting in Tier 1 and your state does not meet the state UI % threshold for Tiers 3 and or 4, HR 4853 WILL NOT HELP YOU COLLECT past the additional 14 weeks of Tier 2.

FACT: If you are collecting now on your original 26 weeks of State benefits and your state does not meet the state UI % threshold for Tiers 3 and or 4, HR 4853 WILL NOT HELP YOU COLLECT past the additional 20 weeks in Tier 1 + 14 weeks of Tier 2 That = 36 weeks or a about 8 months NOT 13 Months.

If you think that 8 months is enough time to land a job in this terrible economy, just consider that millions of Americans have been unsuccessful in landing any job for well over 2.5 years of desperate searching. Including 9 months now without any UI benefits - of course I am referring to the 99ers.

A majority of House Democrats will likely oppose the Senate compromise on a tax bill expected to go to the House later this week, but Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Today he thinks it will ultimately pass.

Nancy Pelosi may hold the key to the only chance left for the 99ers to get some help out of this $900 billion giveaway, as she has indicated a refusal to bring the bill in it’s current form to the House floor without significant changes.

The Congressional Black Caucus is already on record as to being opposed to HR 4853 unless a Tier 5 amendment to aid the 99ers is added first.

Please splash the link to this article all over the net. Republish and reprint net wide with my blessing. Post on Twitter and Digg, Facebook, Myspace and whatever social media pages you have access to and where unemployed Americans can read.

You will find a complete list of all Congressional members, by state - their phone /fax numbers, party affiliation and district number at:

Now let’s get moving people!

[Please use the donation button below to help Paladinette to KEEP FIGHTING for the 99ers! Thank you.]

Sal Alosi: Jets Coach Trips Dolphin Player

Sal Alosi, the strength and conditioning coach for the Jets, tripped a Nolan Carroll during a game on 12/12/10. While this type of behavior should definitely be punished, I still think it's freaking hilarious.

I'm sure we can all relate to having a mischievous thoughts pop into our head from time to time. Most of the time we don't act on them, and some of the time, we act on them without thinking. Was Sal Alosi acting like a dick? Yeah, probably, but don't we all secretly wish that we could do those mischievous deeds that pop into our head from time to time?

Unfortunately, whatever satisfaction Alosi may have gotten for his devious behavior didn't last long. Right after he tripped Nolan Carroll, Coach Sparano was getting an earful about how someone had stuck there foot out from the sideline. "I talked to the referee. I didn't see it at that particular time. I told him at that point that it was on tape and the people upstairs are telling me that's what they see."

Sal Alosi made a public statement about his actions saying that "I made a mistake that showed a total lapse in judgment," he went on to say that he made apologies to Carroll, Coach Sparano, and members of the Jets organization Coach Ryan, General Manager Mike Tannenbaum, and Owner Woody Johnson. Apologizing to the owner must have been the most difficult, as I imagine that it's hard to keep a straight face while apologizing to someone named Woody Johnson.

Nolan Carroll made this statement about the incident. "We got a W. That's not my problem," Carroll said. "That's the Jets' problem. We just move on. I felt contact, but I've got to watch film. I can't comment on it right now." You know he's pissed, but beating a team after one of their coaches trips you has got to add a little something extra to a win and take a bit of an edge of the sting to your pride.

No comments have been made as to what actions will be taken against Sal Alosi, but it's possible that he could be facing disciplinary action from the Jets organization and the NFL. In regards to whatever consequences result from his indiscretion Sal Alosi had this to say "I accept full responsibility for my actions as well as any punishment that follows." I can't imagine that he'll keep his job after this, but I suppose if you're going to ruin your career you might as well do it in a way that gives you a story to tell. Years from now Alosi will be able to tell his grandkids how he got fired from his job with an NFL team for tripping a player during a game.

John Bobst aka The Force of Nature

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John Boehner Cries - So What?

Honestly, what is the big deal ABC News? The headline reads "John Boehner Cries. Again. A lot." This is one of the top posts on Google News, really?

In theory with the list of what makes a story newsworthy this would qualify, but really - big deal. He cried. Maybe if the article was more about our incoming Speaker of the House not being afraid to show emotion - then maybe the article would seem more necessary.

But really? An article created just for the sole purpose of him crying. And now, a blog post has been created to criticize the choices made by other news outlets to make Boehner crying into a story worthy of being on the top of Google News.

Well enough time wasted on that. Back to studying for finals and working on articles.

It's far more important WHAT he was talking about and what made him cry etc. rather than the fact he was crying. Sure, include that tidbit within the article - comment about it and then post the video, but to base an article around the fact that a grown man cried; it's just sensationalism that would be expected of Fox News. Looks like everyone is jealous that Fox gets all the views so news sources are trying to copy Fox.

--Cynical College Student

Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens Split

Yes ladies, it seems that Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens have broken up - for real. Well - according to TMZ it's for real, but lately the credibility of TMZ when it comes to celebrities is sky rocketing.
How sad, the two had been going strong and going on for a very long time - she made them sound so perfect in her interview with Glamour (when subscribing to a magazine reading it cover to cover is a habit).

So a bunch of teenage girls are probably more excited for this than anyone. Zac Efron on the market - wonder when all the juicy gossip will start to spill about this split. It was almost in the stars that the two would be forever in love, or something like that. Disney would have profited from that in some how, manufacturing true love for once.

Now, time to go back to working on finals and big deal feature article. The life of a college student is always interesting, but always able to make time to blog about a celebrity break-up.

Minnesota Vikings: Stadium Roof Collapse

The roof to the Minnesota Vikings' Metrodome collapsed early Sunday morning due to heavy snow fall. The cave in caused the Vikings to cancel their game schedule for that day. The NFL moved the game to the Lion's home field for a 7:20pm kick off. Tickets will be refunded to fans who couldn't make it to Detroit. Here is some video of the cave in.

John Bobst aka The Force of Nature

Check out my website for my daily comic.


Rapper Wiz Khalifa Sparks Controversy w/ New Song Called 'Huey Newton'

Pittsburgh artist Wiz Khalifa has been making a lot of noise as of late. Most recently him and rhyme partner Currensy did song called Huey Newton which has ruffled the feathers of more than a few people who feel like the Black Panther Party co-founder who fought tirelessly for the liberation of Black people is being disrespected.

The song in question has nothing to do with Huey or the Panthers. It’s about smoking weed and kicking it. Hence it left many wondering why name check Huey? Was it to bring controversy or was it a reflection of one’s ignorance where freedom fighters and civil rights icons are seen as fair game for dismissal, ridicule and attacks?

Outkast caused quite abit of controversy with their Rosa Parks song

When I heard the song, two things went through my mind. First was the controversy surrounding Outkast when they used the name of Rosa Parks, the mother of the Civil Rights Movement in the biggest hit single off the critically acclaimed Aquemini album.

Many felt it was a huge disrespect, including some of Park’s people who wound up suing Outkast for using her name without permission. According to her representatives, Ms Parks didn’t like the fact that the group used profanity in a song that in no way reflected what she had stood for.

Outkast felt they were being mis-understood. They claimed that they were paying tribute in an artistic sort of way. Parks’ name was used as a metaphor to lay claim that the group was putting others on notice that it was time to make way, ‘move to the back of the bus’ and make way for Outkast.

Many in the Civil Rights community wasn’t buying it. While many in the Hip Hop community questioned the motives behind a lawsuit. Was this really Rosa Park’s sentiments or her people trying to make a buck? The counter to that question and ultimately one of the basis for the lawsuit-was Outkast trying to make a buck off of Rosa Parks?

Eventually famed lawyer Johnnie Cochran got involved on behalf of Parks. The lawsuits were dismissed on freedom of speech grounds but Outkast wound up settling with Ms Parks. They shot her some money and agreed to do a few community benefits for her foundation.

The other thing that went through my mind were the recent name checks where iconic freedom fighters are publicly clowned.

We saw this two years ago when a young columnist from Ebony magazinenamed Jam Donaldson of Hot Ghetto Mess fame took shots at political prisoner and former Panther Mumia Abu Jamal. In her piece she stated;

Mumia Abu Jamal

“One day I’m like, ‘Free Mumia’ and other days I’m like, ‘That n***** probably did it.’ And I’m not afraid to admit it, and I’m not afraid to write about it.”

Donaldson’s remarks angered many of Mumia’s supporters who felt her flippant remarks in a respected publication like Ebony not only added but in some ways legitimized an already poisonous climate set by police department unions who had been on a mission to see Mumia put to death.

Donaldson noted that her remarks and take on things are a reflection of how many in her generation feel these days. They’re sarcastic and have no problem crossing what many in the past may have seen as sacred lines. In her case she saw nothing wrong with dissing a man who was fighting for his life on death row. A few years prior comedian Cedric the Entertainer saw nothing wrong with clowning Rosa Parks by calling her lazy in the movie Barbershop. Parks boycotted the NAACP image awards in which Cedric was appearing as a result.

Today an artist like Wiz Khalifa may see nothing wrong with naming a song after Huey Newton without reflecting his legacy. These are just names to people who now live in an increasingly disposable society.

Here’s a video to the song Huey Newton

Needless to say… the Huey Newton song got a quick rebuke from more than a few people including Minista Paul Scott of the Militant Mind Militia. Below is his video response where he goes in on Khalifa and Currensy

Lastly, weighing in on this is fellow Pittsburgh rapper Jasiri X who feels like situations like this can lead to teachable moments. He knows both Wiz and Paul Scott and feels that we should be building bridges and not causing further divisiveness.

Huey Newton

I agree with Jasiri X and I like the video he did in response to the song. At the same time one thing that all of us need to keep in mind is the importance of empathy. We need to walk in each other’s shoes. We need to keep in mind that each generation has heroes and sheroes they hold dear and sadly there are outside forces that routinely malign those leaders and important figures in our community. Hopefully all of us young and old understand this and don’t add to the attacks or in Wiz’s case neglect.

In my generation the icons were Chuck D, KRS, X-Clan, Minister Farrakhanand others who we rallied around. A generation before that, it was the Malcolms, Martins, Shirely Chisolms and Hueys.

The generations after mine came to admire Tupac, Biggie, Diddy. and later Jay-Z.

For today’s generation those figures don’t hold the same emotional cache. They have their own heroes. Is it Lil Wayne? Souljah Boy? Rick Ross, Beyonce? The best way to find out is to ask the young folks around you and build. Who are the heroes and sheroes for today’s generation?

Remember we are in a date and time where ethnic studies is being cut from college campuses all around the country and history text books are being re-written as we speak. Freedom fighters like Thurgood Marshall and Cesar Chavezare being removed and replaced with Newt Gingrich and Jerry Falwell. Community leaders are less and less known while pundits seen on TV and entertainers and music moguls have become the new Civil Rights leaders Should we be surprised if a Wiz Khalifa doesn’t hold a Huey Newton close to his chest in 2010?

-Davey D-

Here’s Jasiri X’s remarks:

I saw the controversy over the Wiz Khalifa and Currensy song calledHuey Newton, including the video response by Paul Scott of the Militant Mind Militia, and being that I know both Wiz and Paul I thought I should weigh in.

I certainly understand why the conscious community would be upset with Wiz and Currensy considering the subject matter of the song, but I just wanted to offer some perspective. I grew up in a very conscious household, however in my early 20s, I dropped out of college and spent most of my days smoking weed, writing rhymes and hustling to support my habit. I figured I was gonna be an MC so I was gonna have as much fun as I could on the way to the top.

Eventually, that lifestyle got old and by the grace of God I regained my conscious mind and began trying to use my talents and gifts to uplift humanity. Wiz grew up around conscious people and he’s one of the most mature young men I’ve ever met. Where he is now…experiencing the tremendous highs of living his dream…does not mean he’s going to stop growing as a person.

I don’t know Currensy, but I did find it interesting that Huey Newton was born in his home state of Louisiana.

I don’t think Paul Scott was wrong in expressing how he felt and his frustration with the state of Hip-Hop. Knowing Paul, I know he spoke out of sincere love for his people and a desire to see us do better. But, I felt like instead of creating more division, I could use this as a teachable moment, so I grabbed the instrumental and did what I do. Paradise recorded the session at James Webb Studios, we added a interview Huey Newton did with William Buckley plus one of his speeches and pieced together the video we called “The Real Huey Newton”.

One Hood,
Jasiri X

Historic Non-Violent Prison Strike in Georgia Reaches Day 3

Former Black Panther Party chair Elaine Brown has been on the case keep[ing everyone up to speed on this historic Prison Strike in GA.. Click HERE to listen to interview

On Thursday morning, December 9, 2010, thousands of Georgia prisoners refused to work, stopped all other activities and locked down in their cells in a peaceful protest for their human rights. The December 9 Strike became the biggest prisoner protest in the history of the United States. Thousands of men, from Augusta, Baldwin, Hancock, Hays, Macon, Smith and Telfair State Prisons, among others, initiated this strike to press the Georgia Department of Corrections (“DOC”) to stop treating them like animals and slaves and institute programs that address their basic human rights. They set forth the following demands:


Despite that the prisoners’ protest remained non-violent, the DOC violently attempted to force the men back to work—claiming it was “lawful” to order prisoners to work without pay, in defiance of the 13th Amendment’s abolition of slavery. In Augusta State Prison, six or seven inmates were brutally ripped from their cells by CERT Team guards and beaten, resulting in broken ribs for several men, one man beaten beyond recognition. This brutality continues there. At Telfair, the Tactical Squad trashed all the property in inmate cells. At Macon State, the Tactical Squad has menaced the men for two days, removing some to the “hole,” and the warden ordered the heat and hot water turned off. Still, today, men at Macon, Smith, Augusta, Hays and Telfair State Prisons say they are committed to continuing the strike. Inmate leaders, representing blacks, Hispanics, whites, Muslims, Rastafarians, Christians, have stated the men will stay down until their demands are addressed, one issuing this statement:

“…Brothers, we have accomplished a major step in our struggle…We must continue what we have started…The only way to achieve our goals is to continue with our peaceful sit-down…I ask each and every one of my Brothers in this struggle to continue the fight. ON MONDAY MORNING, WHEN THE DOORS OPEN, CLOSE THEM. DO NOT GO TO WORK. They cannot do anything to us that they haven’t already done at one time or another. Brothers, DON’T GIVE UP NOW. Make them come to the table. Be strong. DO NOT MAKE MONEY FOR THE STATE THAT THEY IN TURN USE TO KEEP US AS SLAVES….”

When the strike began, prisoner leaders issued the following call: “No more slavery. Injustice in one place is injustice to all. Inform your family to support our cause. Lock down for liberty!”

Here’s the link to our recent Hard Knock Radio interview w/ Elaine Brown on this historic strike

Here’s an article written by Bruce Dixon editor of the Black Agenda Report on the strike

GA Inmates Stage One Day Peaceful Prison Strike, Authorities React With Violence

Bruce Dixon

In an action which is unprecedented on several levels, black, brown and white inmates of Georgia’s notorious state prison system are standing together for a historic one day peaceful strike today, during which they are remaining in their cells, refusing work and other assignments and activities. This is a groundbreaking event not only because inmates are standing up for themselves and their own human rughts, but because prisoners are setting an example by reaching across racial boundaries which, in prisons, have historically been used to pit oppressed communities against each other. PRESS RELEASE BELOW THE FOLD
The action is taking place today in at least half a dozen of Georgia’s more than one hundred state prisons, correctional facilities, work camps, county prisons and other correctional facilities. We have unconfirmed reports that authorities at Macon State prison have aggressively responded to the strike by sending tactical squads in to rough up and menace inmates.Outside calls from concerned citizens and news media will tend to stay the hand of prison authorities who may tend to react with reckless and brutal aggression. So calls to the warden’s office of the following Georgia State Prisons expressing concern for the welfare of the prisoners during this and the next few days are welcome.

Macon State Prison is 978-472-3900.

Hays State Prison is at (706) 857-0400

Telfair State prison is 229-868-7721

Baldwin State Prison is at (478) 445- 5218

Valdosta State Prison is 229-333-7900

Smith State Prison is at (912) 654-5000

The Georgia Department of Corrections is at and their phone number is 478-992-5246

This is all the news we have for now…

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