Thursday, August 28, 2008

History_The man who would be President

I have not written about this until now. I thought I would never see the day an African-American would be nominated and run for POTUS (President Of The United States)!! WOW!! How I wish my mother were here to see this historic event. Irrespective of how this turns out, this hopefully will set in motion a change in the hopes and dreams of young African-Americans. No longer will their only role model be limited to sports and the arts. Perhaps once again,education will become a force in our community and not be co-opted by negativity.
Barack will need our prayers and support.
What a speech!! Simply outstanding. There is no question that Barack Obama is a gifted individual. He is heads and tails above the current republican candidate.
Anyone that believes the hype of the RNC that he is not ready, I have a bridge to sell you!! The text of his speech can be found here.


Friday, August 15, 2008

The Passing Of A Friend

This is a picture of my friends in college. We formed an organization called BOSS (Brothers Of Soul Society) More on this at a later date.

See the guy in the front with the green jacket that is “ARK”. That was our nickname for him, his name was Armond Renee Kane "ARK" for short. Ark passed away this weekend 8/9/08. We were all the same age and his passing has left me feeling down all week.

Ark was the type of guy that was always positive, we spent many nights all of us talking about various things. The one night that stands out in my mind we were arguing about something and it had to do with “doing what we said we would do”. He was very big on that. Anyway he made this statement “You have to take time to make time” of course we all just laughed and dismissed his statement but ultimately we understood what he meant. He was trying to get me or one of us to stop missing appointments and giving the lame excuse that we didn’t have time! Ark was a good guy and I will miss him. Although we were out of touch for about 20 years or so we hooked up with a phone call about a year ago and spent at least an hour on the phone playing catch-up. Since that time we were exchanging emails daily. It is very hard to accept the fact that my friend, our friend is no longer with us………………….

Rest in peace Ark, we will miss you

Monday, August 11, 2008

Isaac Hayes

Another Icon and wonderful voice from the 70's has passed away. Black Moses as he was called was one of my music heroes. He possessed a deep resonant voice that elicited pleading emotions and and a pathos that was very real.
I was extremely saddened when I heard this, I was affected the same way when I heard that "Melvin Franklin" of the Temptations had passed. These voices were once in a lifetime voices and stood for an era that will never be again.
Here is a song that Isaac released on the U-Turn album in 1986. This album has not been released on CD and was not well known. It is quintessential Issac.......a revealing rap/talk with his estranged girlfriend and then the remake of a classic song....."Hey Girl" Girl

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Your Laptop can be seized at any time

Did you know.............
American federal agents can now take your laptop, iPods without reason

American federal agents can now take your laptop, iPods without reason According to new border search policies disclosed by the Department of Homeland Security, federal agents may take your laptop or other media devices for an "unspecified" period of time even without any suspicion of wrongdoing, in an effort to "prevent terrorism."

Additionally, the officials may share any content of the laptop or device with other agencies or private companies for "language translation, data decryption or other reasons."

The policies are dated as of July 16th by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement but the DHS says the policies have been in effect for "some time now."

"The policies . . . are truly alarming," adds Sen. Russell Feingold, a Democrat from Wisconsin who has vowed to look into the new border search policies. Feingold also plans to introduce legislation that will force the government to have "reasonable suspicion" for searches. The legislation will also limit racial and religious profiling during searches.

The policies effect anyone entering the United States, including US citizens. Civil liberties and business travel groups have been pressing for months to have the government disclose publicly these policies, after receiving complaint after complaint from international and US travelers that have had their laptops, iPods and even cell phones taken, sometimes for months at a time.

To quote exactly from the policies, federal officers can "detain any device capable of storing information in digital or analog form for a reasonable period of time" to "review and analyze information." They may do this "absent individualized suspicion."

"Any device capable of storing information in digital or analog form" means anything from iPods, laptops, cell phones and hard drives to, I kid you not, books and "written materials commonly referred to as 'pocket trash' or 'pocket litter.'"

Although there are protections on "business information and attorney-client privileged material" there is no protection on personal data of citizens, including medical or financial records.

"They're saying they can rifle through all the information in a traveler's laptop without having a smidgen of evidence that the traveler is breaking the law," said Greg Nojeim, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff wrote last month in USA Today that "the most dangerous contraband is often contained in laptop computers or other electronic devices." He recalled times where searches have uncovered "violent jihadist materials" and hard drives full of child pornography.

Earlier this year the US Court of Appeals upheld the government's right to conduct searches without any suspicion of illegal wrongdoing.

If you wish to view the the full policies, they are available here: