Sunday, June 28, 2009
Farrah went on to become quite a different and memorable character in her Emmy-award performance in The Burning Bed. And I just saw her in a relatively recent mid-2000s movie with Queen Latifah, Ja-Rule, and Danny Glover as her husband (the judge who finds his blackness and then his hip-hop with a transformation that she also loves - that black male manly scent. She has played in a number of venues, and while Charlie's made her famous, her speaking out for various causes, including the renal cancer that killed her, was one of her notable later in life achievements.
My mother, I much later in life found out, also died of renal cancer. I never knew that, other than she had trouble walking in her last years and was more wheelchair- and crutches-bound. I never fully knew what she was going through, she rest in peace also.
The icons in our lives define the times that each of us grows up into in this American diaspora of celebrity and larger-than-life living. We're a long way from being a simple people, such an advanced society we are, and yet the simplest thing in life - life and death - bring us back to the human of the earth that we are always destined to be. Living life to the fullest in between those spectrums of life and death is what defines, and enlightens, the world.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Posted Tue Jun 2, 2009 1:22pm PDT by Shawn Amos in GetBack
The other week Tone-Loc was hospitalized in Florida after passing out during a concert. He's 43 now, and his collapse begs two questions: can dudes rap into their forties, and... people go to hip-hop shows in Florida?
Actually, the whole hip-hop generation is approaching middle-age. I'm sure we could argue all day long about the first hip-hop moment, the first hip-hop single, or the moment when hip-hop's spark was truly ignited. I'm going to put a stake in the sand on that last one and call it as August 11, 1973. That's the night Bronx DJ Kool Herc (short for "Hercules" - a childhood nickname) played the first breakbeat at the 1520 Sedgwick Avenue project housing recreation room. And with this break the hip-hop blueprint was drawn.
Rap without a breakbeat is like rock with out an amp. That "five-minute loop of fury" gave rappers the foundation to build their rhymes. Thirty-six years later, 1520 Sedgwick Avenue is now officially the "birthplace of hip-hop" (thanks to Herc's lobbying) and a host of old-school rappers are now approaching AARP age. While Eminem, Method Man & Redman, and Cam'ron all suck up the hip-hop oxygen this summer, let's pay our respects to the pioneers who hold them up. Know your history to create your own.
GALLERY: See what rap's pioneers look like now
GRANDMASTER FLASHTHEN: DJ Grandmaster Flash (born Joseph Saddler) moved to the Bronx from the West Indies and quickly became a student of both his father's record collection and Kool Herc's DJ style. Both helped Flash pioneer the early use of scratching. An interesting bit of trivia: an unofficial video for the 1983 single "White Lines (Don't Do It)" was directed by NYU film student Spike Lee and featured an unknown Laurence Fishburne.NOW: Flash has travelled a lot of ground since his early '80s heyday. He spent most of the '90s as musical director for Chris Rock's HBO series and found a loyal following in Europe and Asia, where he continues mix for legions of kids who wish they were born in the Bronx (but deep down are glad they weren't). He's also taken to the airwaves with a show on Sirius XM Radio and made himself a legit author with the publication of his memoirs, which he wrote completely in rhyme. Just kidding.
KURTIS BLOWTHEN: Harlem native Curtis Walker was in a late-'70s group called The Force with future hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. Simmons wound up managing Walker and persuaded him to change his name to Kurtis Blow. His 1980 single "The Breaks" was the first hip-hop song to be released by a major label (Mercury) and got him an opening slot for Bob Marley at Madison Square Garden. NOW: Blow gave up recording in the '90s and briefly worked as a radio DJ with a show on L.A.'s Power 106. Then he got religion. Blow went back to college as a theology major, graduating this year. On the road to rap religion, he lent his name to a compilation of Christian rap music and co-founded Hip Hop Church New York, which holds services in Harlem. I guess this answers the question, "Are there breakbeats in Heaven?" Pass the turntable, and praise the lord.
DOUG E. FRESHTHEN: The Human Beat Box, Douglas Davis, gained recognition in the classic 1984 hip-hop film "Beat Street." Throughout the '80s, Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew (whose M C Ricky D left the group and went on to fame as Slick Rick) released a series of hugely successful records, including the humbly titled "The World's Greatest Entertainer." NOW: After his crashing from his chart heights, Fresh turned to commercials to keep the cash coming in. He's provided music for McDonalds, Coors, Tanqueray, and all sorts of other brands begging for hip-hop cred. Fresh also became a Scientologist. I assume he's bringing some hip-hop to the Celebrity Center. What rhymes with L. Ron Hubbard?
KRS-ONETHEN: New Yorker Lawrence Parker lived in homeless shelters as a teen. It was there he met Scott Sterling (a.k.a. DJ Scott La Rock), and the two formed the seminal late-'80s act Boogie Down Productions. The deaths of La Rock in a 1987 shooting and a fan at a 1988 show prompted KRS to form the Stop the Violence Movement, which donates money to the National Urban League. NOW: KRS-One briefly worked as a label exec for Reprise Records but ditched the gig in 2001. That same year he got himself into trouble when he said, "We cheered when 9/11 happened." To clarify his remarks, KRS explained that he was referring to the cheering for what happened to the rich and powerful. That didn't help. As recently as 2007, he was still explaining himself to Fox's Sean Hannity of all people.
PUBLIC ENEMYTHEN: Chuck D (born Carlton Ridenhour) and Flavor Flav (William Drayton Jr.) practiced their MC skills while delivering furniture for Chuck's father's business. They were signed to Def Jam after a demo featuring Chuck's freestyles caught the attention of label co-founder Rick Rubin. Their powerful black militant stance put them in the center of many controversies where they were accused of being homophobic and anti-Semitic. NOW: Today, aside from continued PE touring, Chuck D has become a reliable political pundit for the left. He co-hosted Air America's "Unfiltered" show with Rachel Maddow and now his own show, "On the Real." Flavor Flav, meanwhile, has become a reliable staple of reality shows, starring in four different series. He wears a clock in all of them.
RUN-D.M.C.THEN: One of the most influential hip-hop acts in history began when Russell Simmons asked his younger brother, Joseph, to DJ for Kurtis Blow under the name "DJ Run." Run's friend Daryl "D.M.C." McDaniels began rapping to his beats and soon they recorded their first single right out of high school with neighborhood bad boy Jason "Jam-Master Jay" Mizell. NOW: Mizell was gunned down in 2002, allegedly for deciding to work with a young blacklisted rapper named 50 Cent. Run has since dedicated himself to inner-city youth and reality TV, while D.M.C. successfully fought depression (with the unlikely help of Sarah McLachlan's song "Angel") and reunited with his birth mother in 2006.
LL COOL JTHEN: James Todd Smith probably had the most idyllic childhood of any of his rap contemporaries. He sang in church choir, joined the Boy Scouts, and delivered papers. His grandfather bought him his first mixer at Sears. His first single as LL Cool J (it stands for "Ladies Love Cool James), "I Need a Beat," sold over 100,000 copies. NOW: In the great hip-hop tradition, LL Cool J is a serial entrepreneur. He's written four books, has the requisite urban clothing line (Todd Smith), and regularly acts in film and on television. Next up is a starring role in CBS's upcoming fall series "NCIS: Los Angeles." Cool J is also one of the most in-shape dudes in hip-hop, employing a personal trainer and gracing the covers of fitness magazines. That's why the ladies love him.
M.C. HAMMERTHEN: Say what you will about his credibility (or lack thereof), Hammer taught the world how to wear baggy pants and blow $30 million. Hammer began his career as a batboy for the Oakland A's in the early '80s. By the early '90s he was a multi-millionaire thanks to rap-lite hits like "U Can't Touch This." He tried to toughen up his image by signing to Death Row Records at the end of the decade (none of his recordings, which included collaborations with Tupac Shakur, were released).NOW: By '96 Hammer was bankrupt and his career a punch line. He went from traveling with a 300-person entourage to appearing with Ed McMahon in a Cash 4 Gold commercial on this year's Super Bowl broadcast. He's now a minister (the "M.C." now stands for "Man of Christ"), which earns him extra cash for officiating weddings of other faded pop-culture icons, such as Corey Feldman and Vince Neil. But things may be looking up for the MC: his new TV show "Hammertime," which chronicles his struggle to relaunch his empire with the help of his wife of 24 years and their six kids, debuts June 19 on A&E.
D.J. JAZZY JEFF & THE FRESH PRINCETHEN: Jeff Townes was a local Philadelphia hero when he met a kid named Will Smith at a 1985 house party. They had instant chemistry and soon a hit single with 1986's "Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble." It was released a month before Smith's high school graduation. Three years later they won the first ever rap Grammy for "Parents Just Don't Understand." NOW: Officially, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince have never disbanded, but they have taken very different career paths. DJ Jeff went on to contribute scratching for Eminem, Talib Kweli, The Roots, and others. Unfortunately, things didn't turn our so well for Will Smith's career: a forgettable sitcom and some box-office bombs. Maybe Flavor Flav will put him in his next reality show.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Protests to Assumed Power of Ahmadinejad by an allegedly corrupted election, people went nuts and went to the streets. But they were protesting out of earnest for what they see is a stolen election by the power elite of Iran, instead of this new popular and forward-thinking leaded in the opposition. After President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was announced as winner of Iran's election, protesters hurled stones.
Published: June 13, 2009
TEHRAN — The streets of Iran’s capital erupted in the most intense protests in a decade on Saturday, with riot police officers using batons and tear gas against opposition demonstrators who claimed that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had stolen the presidential election."
the tiki lights at tavern on the green central park
Originally uploaded by eastvillagepeeps
Bright, colorful, sparking, inviting dance and entertainment!
Just what the doctor ordered to liven up the body and soul. this place is definitely a beautiful rendition of an era say between the 1940s to the 1980s, when its elegance took on a new meaning in a new age.
Tavern never disappoints!
A symbol of the meglomaniac government we still have that its bearth includes a global intellectual reach it calls American University. The home and alma mater of the CIA, it spreads its tenacles of learning far and reaching. It reaches the Middle East, it reaches Croatia, it reaches Tanzania. It reaches Malaysia and Bagledesh and New Zeland and the Czech Republic. It reaches Iran and Israel too.
With all of its benetton mosiac of colors, it exemplifies the exhibit of a global sphere, but all within and underneath the control and sphere of influence of the United States of America (hence the sign, with the Capitol dome in it for Christ's sake). All within the game of the plan. The symbol survives...and so too does the power.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Just some public service information.
For any of you students or world travelers traveling light out there....Here you can find Kolpinghouses, -hotels and -youthhostels all over North America. Reasonable price, nice people, and they feed you breakfast included in your cost of stay.
Just so you know (and to make all disclaimers), this is a religious group, not endorsed or views shared or believed or otherwise not affiliated with this blog in any way. This blog does not endorse nor promote the views of this organization, only advertises its offer of hospitality.
Catholic Kolping Society New York
165 East 88th Str.
New York, N.Y. 10128
Tel.: 001 21 23 69 66 47
Fax: 001 21 29 87 56 52
they also have a place in the Bronx, for adult as well as student residents. They service Columbia University and others who are young professionals and academians. Male and female welcome and among the current residents. Reasonable rates around $125-250/wk.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
The Beasley School of Law hosts an exclusive symposium on the credit crisis with nearly 50 practicing attorneys, judges, and law professors in attendance.
The Congressional Research Service names Temple Law program at Tsinghua University one of five "Key Actors and Programs" in China.
Temple Professor Phoebe Haddon named new Dean of University of Maryland Law School. Sister #1 of Temple Law who trounced her wisdom of constitutional law and her own husband Carl Singley, former Dean of Temple School of Law, and the so-called competition to really impress them with her notoreity near the Nations's capital at one of its most prestigious area universities.
Dean JoAnne Epps to receive the Philadelphia Bar Association's Sandra Day O'Connor Award and present the Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. Memorial Public Interest Lecture on June 9, 2009. Like my favorite professor, she is graceful, beautiful, and such a wonderful person (you too Dean Haddon - that sounds right on you - you too!)...so nice, hot too. Anyway, just a thought.
Professors Reinstein and Sinden deliver honorary lectures (Judge Green and Friel/Scanlan lectures).
U.S. News and World Report: Temple ranks in Trial Advocacy, Legal Writing, and International Law.
Michelle Orloski '09 wins the 2009 Distinguished Writing Award, presented by the Burton Foundation, in association with the Library of Congress.
National Trial Team: Year in Review.
Jessup Moot Court finishes third among US teams in international competition.
Temple student awarded Sandra Mazer Moss Scholarship.
In the Media:
Amy Sinden comments on Supreme Court ruling that allows government to apply cost-benefit analysis for ordering environmental upgrades (fish protection) in Washington Post, LA Times, Chicago Tribune.
David Hoffman discusses cyber-bullying in law school student forum in Conde Nast Portfolio.com.
The Philadelphia Inquirer cites Jane Baron in article on estate implications for Dow Chemical and Rohm & Haas merger. featured practice areas: Environ. Law, Estates, Business Law, Immigration, Cyberspace, Trial Adv., Prof. Responsibility.
Publications and ConferencesDuncan Hollis's article, "Unpacking the Compact Clause," to be published in the Texas Law Review.Sandra Sperino's "Judicial Preemption of Punitive Damages" accepted by the Univ. of Cincinnati Law Review.
William Carter's article on "Judicial Power to Compel Domestic Treaty Implementation" was accepted as the lead article for the Maryland Law Review. featured areas of interest: Treaties, Family Law, "Wiki"Law, Employ. Law, Int'l Law, Intellectual Property, Cyberspace Law, Business Law.
Complexity and Collapse: The Credit Crisis symposium organized by Temple Law Professors Peter Huang, David Hoffman, and Jonathan Lipson.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Again, as 2009 unfolds, the storms are still strong, stanky, and still with us. But we will trudge on with our new leader as he fords a new and better path. Starting with stepping up funding, he added $19 billion to the stimulus package for real jobs for young people, or at least more of them. A far improvement over the previous administration's dismal years, as evidenced by this archived 2007 article from the "Cold Case Files":
NYC MISSING BIG CHANCE TO BUILD TEENS' CAREERS
More slots available in the public jobs program for young people would pay major dividends in the shape of their futures. > By David Jason Fischer
City Limits WEEKLY #592June 18, 2007
New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) will serve approximately 9,000 fewer young people this summer than in 1999, and will turn away tens of thousands of applicants due to limited slots, according to a report released today by the Center for an Urban Future, City Limits' sister think tank.
The report shows that while the Bloomberg administration and City Council have significantly increased city funding for the program in recent years, steep cutbacks in federal support and a higher state minimum wage have caused the number of participants to shrink by 21 percent.
The report concludes that the declining enrollment in the summer jobs program is deeply troubling, since New York’s teen employment rate is the lowest of any of the nation’s 50 largest cities. The city also has an alarmingly high number of “disconnected youth,” young people who are neither working nor in school. According to the study, research by national workforce development experts shows that early work experience strongly boosts young workers’ prospects for future success in the job market.
Here is an excerpt from the report:
While there is no solid formula to measure the return on investment for subsidizing SYEP participation, a wealth of research suggests that the value is quite substantial for participants’ future jobholding and earning power.
Although SYEP is not means-tested for participants, the city is required to check participants’ financial eligibility in order to draw down state funds, and the numbers suggest that more participants than not hail from low- to middle-income households. Additionally, nearly three quarters of participants from 2006 were non-white. Research has found both that teens from wealthier families and white teens have higher rates of part-time employment than non-white and less well off young people. In that sense, SYEP gives a double boost to many of its participants.
Researchers found that during 2005, the employment rate of white New Yorkers between the ages of 16 and 19 was almost a third more than of blacks in the same age range, and about 12 percent more than older Hispanic teens. Without SYEP, those numbers would likely be considerably more skewed.
But what exactly do participants gain by working? And who gains the most? Perhaps the most definitive answers to these questions are found in a book-length report by Andrew Sum, Neeta Fogg, and Garth Mangum, released in 2000, titled "Confronting the Youth Demographic Challenge: The Labor Market Prospects of Out-of-School Young Adults."
“The cumulative years of work experience and the nature of [teens’] work experiences are critical determinants of their weekly and annual earnings,” they write. “Early work experience during the high school years has frequently been found in past national and local studies to have favorable labor market consequences for youth, especially for those not enrolling in four-year colleges and universities immediately upon graduation from high school. Those youth who obtain more work experience during the high school years experience smoother transitions to the labor market upon graduation, obtain higher weekly wages when they do work, and earn more per year 10 to 15 years after leaving high school.”
In other words, young people not immediately bound for college – whether from lack of interest, inability to pay, or need for quick income from work – gain the most from work experience as a teen. This is meaningful given that tens of thousands of city high school students graduate every year and do not immediately enroll in college. It also suggests that the SYEP program could maximize the return on public investment by giving preference for work opportunities to high school seniors (who typically account for more than three-quarters of total participants) who are unsure about or unlikely to directly pursue post-secondary education.
While almost any summer job has some positive impact, Sum, Fogg and Mangum argue that the better that job, the bigger the likely impact will be: “The quality of an employed youth’s work experience also influences the size of its labor market impacts. The opportunity to acquire new skills, to obtain more work hours per week, and to integrate school and work-based learning improve hourly wages and occupational mobility in the early school-leaving years.”
This suggests that the impulse behind CAPITAL, GirlsREACH and BoysREACH – to connect participating young people to higher-value work experiences with private-sector employers – is a good one, and probably deserving of even more city resources and effort than it currently commands. As things stand now, the “ladder” on which SYEP is a lower rung and CAPITAL, GirlsREACH and BoysREACH are next steps up would look more like a pyramid with a very wide base quickly coming to a point.
New York City is hoping to place a few hundred young people in private-sector internships. In contrast, Philadelphia – a city with less than a fifth of NYC’s population and a less diverse and high-powered business community – plans to secure 1,000 employer-paid internships for its young people this summer. The push for these internships has come not from government, but from the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Similarly, the private sector in Boston long has taken a leading role in helping to provide young residents of that city with meaningful work experiences; indeed, the program there served as a model for CAPITAL.
The comparison between New York and these other cities is imprecise because neither Philadelphia nor Boston – where several thousand young people gain private-sector internships each summer – has a publicly funded summer youth program at anywhere near the scope of SYEP. Additionally, a significant number of private-sector employers in New York City have their own programs for summer hiring.
“When we approach companies about participating in CAPITAL, we often hear that they’re already doing something on their own,” says Rich McKeon of the advisory Youth Board. “I don’t know if anybody’s ever documented how many employers are doing this, and what the untapped potential might be.”
Policymakers should worry about the possibility that this potential will remain “untapped.” If the research is correct that work experience during the teen years gives a strong boost to chances of later success in the job market, it is very troubling that so many young New Yorkers who want to work aren’t able to find summer jobs. In 2006, nearly 30,000 young New Yorkers were not selected through the lottery, and early indications are that an even larger number will find themselves out of luck this year. The extreme weakness of the city’s young adult labor market – which Sum, in a more recent publication, characterizes as a “depression era” employment rate – means that rejected SYEP applicants have very dim prospects of finding work through other means.
Finally, even program administrators acknowledge that we don’t know as much about SYEP as we should. “I think it would be terrific to get some money to do a longitudinal study about participants,” says DYCD Assistant Commissioner Suzanne Lynn. “We actually have a natural experiment; we can compare the long-term employment and earnings effects of those not selected for the lottery versus those who were.”
• The federal government must resume substantial support for summer youth employment programs, helping New York City and other localities place many thousands more young people into jobs.
• City government and the business community should measure the extent to which private-sector employers are hiring young New Yorkers for summer work outside the parameters of public programs.
• The Department of Youth and Community Development should offer more support for SYEP providers in fleshing out the educational component of the program, including a sample curriculum and opportunities to learn from best practices.
• The philanthropic community should fund a major quantitative and qualitative assessment of SYEP and summer work in general.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
One day in the future, OJ Simpson has a heart-attack and dies. He immediately goes to hell, where the devil is waiting for him.
'I don't know what to do here,' says the devil. 'You are on my list, but I have no room for you. You definitely have to stay here, so I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I've got a couple of folks here who weren't quite as bad as you. I'll let one of them go, but you have to take their place. I'll even let YOU decide who leaves.'
OJ thought that sounded pretty good, so the devil opened the door to the first room.
In it was Ted Kennedy and a large pool of water. Ted kept diving in, and surfacing, empty handed. Over, and over, and over he dove in and surfaced with nothing. Such was his fate in hell. 'No,' OJ said. 'I don't think so. I'm not a good swimmer, and I don't think I could do that all day long.'
The devil led him to the door of the next room.
In it was George W. Bush with a sledgehammer and a room full of rocks. All he did was swing that hammer, time after time after time. 'No, this is no good; I've got this problem with my shoulder. I would be in constant agony if all I could do was break rocks all day,' commented OJ.
The devil opened a third door. Through it, OJ saw Bill Clinton, lying on the bed, his arms tied over his head, and his legs restrained in a spread-eagle pose. Bent over him was Monica Lewinsky, doing what she does best. OJ looked at this in shocked disbelief, and finally said, 'Yeah man, I can handle this.'
The devil smiled and said . . . . .
'OK, Monica, you're free to go.'
Monday, May 4, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Yet they scorn everything Obama. Why, I'm surprised they haven't even rode Michele harder just for getting out to get to know the people of Washington DC, the town where she is in effect the first citizen. Washington is, after all, the capital of the Federal District, just like Sacramento is the capital of the state of California. I'm surprised they haven't made a complaint about that.
Nor has the opposition presented an opposition plan of action to solve the problems. Perhaps like the child who shits in his pants, he knows how to make a mess but not how to clean it up without Mom. In this case, Mom is our government, doing what should be done and whose responsibility it is to do it, more than anyone else or like any other parent. No, thank goodness, we don't want a parental government, only a helping mature hand.
Whatever Obama is doing or does, it is what needs to be done. It may not work, it may create more problems. If anyone has a better idea (and old stale ideas don't count) let's hear it. Let's try it if it will work, i.e. put people back to work in relatively safe jobs where they can be productive and earn living wages and take care of their lives. Let's try it if it will increase home ownership and personal wealth without jeapardizing our financial capabilities. Let's try it if it will bring reasonable equity between rich and poor. I mean, it's OK to have something to strive for, for some to be rich and some not. But the system in this country is too much capitalism at the expense of those who are disenfranchised, at too much wealth that isn't justified by any means.
We need ideas that made the 1990s go: economic opportunity that everyone can get a piece of. Those who can't we must help, perhaps in other ways. Those who won't must be made to understand they must, it is their duty to a society that takes care of them. If that means lower wages and some live in relative poverty, then so be it. Everyone can't be on top. But at least the bottom will be a place where one can live in and with dignity, safety and peace of life, like every one of The Supreme Being's children were meant to live.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Thursday, January 1, 2009
The year that everyone and everything has been predicting will be worse than 2008 is here! Welcome. I hope you find this year no more painful than last. On the other hand, you may find this the relieving moment in your life. Finally, we all came to understand the latter part of last year that our mindless conspicuous consumption formula for fueling our economy has no meaning that is fulfilling. Just buying stuff for buying stuff, just trying to prove you're richer than the next guy (while enjoying emotional bankruptcy), just projecting profit off the backs of tradition and sympathy that only follows an Anglo-Christian philosophy (better known as revisionist history), we find ourselves outspent, outwitted and broke.
So what many of us have learned or practiced this past Christmas season is restraint. We traveled less, spent less at Macy's, ordered less IPhones. No matter how much they marked down the price, we decided it's better to keep what little cash we have left in our pocket. So how will the 'greatest country on Earth' get outta this one? Well I guarantee it better not be by spending. But if we have to spend, let it be on job creation and production of goods and services which is purchased by those in the world who need it and want it. That should be the promise of globalization, that the machine that moved us in the 1840s and 50s, the 1870s, 80s and 90s, the 1920s, 1950s and 1960s, and again in the 1990s can once again be the production engines that generate one dollar in work for every one dollar earned. Or at least earn half that.
As long is production is honed in our hands, the spirit and infrastructure and investment in our own people, not just in skill, but in hands, can produce the amount and kinds of things the world needs and wants from us. The world will buy from America; we just have to have something to sell that's worth it.