Monday, August 31, 2009

U. Michigan Football and “Voluntary” Workouts – The Whistle Gets Blown

Ask University of Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez about Mike Barwis, and the superlatives will flow.

“He’s my guy,” Rodriguez told the Free Press in the summer of 2008. “I won’t go anywhere without him.”

Barwis has been Rodriguez’s strength and conditioning coach for six years — four at West Virginia University, two at Michigan. The 46-year-old Rodriguez, entering his second season at U-M, has said Barwis might be even more important than Rodriguez’s assistant coaches because of all the time Barwis spends working with players.

But how much time is too much?

The NCAA, which governs college athletics, has strict limits on how much time coaches can require players to spend on their sport. But Rodriguez’s team has routinely broken the rules since he took over in January 2008, people inside the program told the Free Press.

Click to read.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wells Fargo Accused of Using Black Churches to Sell Subprime Loans



Elizabeth Jacobson, a former loan officer for Wells Fargo, filed an affidavit in the company’s charges of predatory lending and discrimination.  In the case, the company is accused of trying to get African Americans to sign on for subprime loans.  The added allegation is that they were expected by the company to use the black church as an avenue to sell these loans to the black community.  Here is what Jacobson had to say:

“The management there, would encourage the loan officers, the subprime loan officers, to go into Baltimore city and target the churches, the African American churches, to get a relationship going with the minister or the reverend at the church and try to get that person to schedule some sort of meeting. They would call it a “wealth-building seminar” to get the parishioners of the church to attend. And any loan that was funded by Wells Fargo, whether a purchase or a refinance, $350 would then be donated to the church. And so, that was the incentive for the church to want to have these seminars there.

But what would happen is the only loan officers that would attend these seminars were generally the subprime loan officers. And on these conference calls, at one point, somebody made a joke who happened to be a white loan officer and said, “Well, will I be able to go to these seminars?” And they were told right there on the conference call, unless you were of color, you could not attend these conferences, these wealth-building conferences. So it seemed me—Wells Fargo didn’t come right out and say this; this is just what I saw—is that they wanted the African American Wells Fargo loan officers to sell loans to the African American community.”

Was this Racist?


Photo editors at newspapers and magazines, for the most part, want to do the right thing. They would like to present the world as the multicultural, racism-free mosaic that most of us would like to live in.

But with the advent of technology, some editors are trying to force diversity into images. The results can bring howls of laughter or claims of racism.

Recently, Microsoft Poland has come under scrutiny for an advertising campaign photo that swapped out the picture of a black man in a meeting and replaced his head with that of a white man.

Click to read.

Friday, August 28, 2009

“Kennedy and Vick: A Tragedy of Redemption?” says Dr. Deborah Stroman


Sen. Edward “Teddy” Kennedy and Michael Vick are two celebrities who triumphed over tragic situations. Whoa Nellie! Let me bring you in on my thought pattern this morning as I drove to work thinking about the loss of the “Senate Lion.” What is redemption and how does America tally its votes? Does the color of one’s skin define how much, if any, of that forgiveness vote one is to receive? Let’s recap the dreadful scenarios and their outcomes.

The Massachusetts treasure that served nearly half a century in the Senate died from brain cancer at the age of 77. Elected at age 30 to a Senate seat once held by his brother, then-president John F. Kennedy, Sen. Kennedy held true to his liberal family leanings as he championed the cause of the less fortunate and underserved. His years of service were honorable and most vital to all of the social legislation that passed during his tenure. From the 1965 immigration bill that opened U.S. borders to Asian and Latin American immigrants, to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that eased the path for women to sue for alleged wage discrimination, Sen. Kennedy successfully maneuvered the political waterways to effect change. He fought tirelessly despite the sinister activities of Pres. Nixon to pin impropriety on him and his family. He led the political effort to enact the Civil Rights Bill of 1990 whereby he found himself at odds with leadership in both parties. Many applauded his passion to make sure that Robert Bork did not join the Supreme Court and lastly, he broke ranks with the Democratic powers to support then Senator Barack Obama to endorse a “change – we can believe in.” America has much to be thankful for in the work of Sen. Kennedy.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Black Scholar Accuses University of Memphis of Tokenism – Is this a Nation-wide Problem?

An Open Letter to the Shelby County Legislative Delegation
With Regards to the 1960's Style of Black Tokenism
Practiced at the University of   Memphis Under
Joyce Raines and Ralph Faudree

To the Legislative Delegation:

This letter is addressed to you as representatives of the taxpayers of the state of Tennessee who contribute a substantial portion of the operating budget of the University of Memphis,  as trustees of state businesses who donate substantial funds to the University, and as  guardians of our students who pay tuition to the University. This letter  concerns  the operation of the University under the current President Shirley Raines and Provost Ralph Faudree, particularly with regards to none foreign born black faculty and graduate students at the University of Memphis.

While most major universities are aggressively trying to recruit, retain,  and promote qualified black faculty and graduate students, the University of Memphis,  under this  current administration, appears to operate under a 1960s form of tokenism, of marginalization, and of benign neglect of  those black  faculty members who have not been hand-picked by the administration for success, positions,  promotion, and salary, as well as an apparent lack of interest in black Phd candidates.

The way the Raines/Faudree administration  operates is relatively simple. Every two or three years a qualified black is hired with a great fanfare,  and given a high position with a great salary and often with a full professorship.  Then in an alternate year they will again, with high fanfare,  honor some well known black like Ben Hooks or Maxine Smith. This gives the impression that blacks are welcome and are well represented on campus, but in reality, this is solely a scam to continue to mislead the legislature, fool donors and stay under the radar of the EEOC, but after the fanfare, there is little or nothing else done to support or promote black professors or Phd  students.  In fact few blacks are ever  hired, and fewer still  are promoted. Indeed,  many of the current blacks who have been promoted to a full professor at the University through the regular tenure and promotion process, were promoted  under administrations. Also of those blacks who have been  promoted,  a large percentage are Africans, with American-born black men generally at the lower end of  the salary and promotion scale.

American born black professors constitute about  five percent of the faculty [about 46], but the majority are found in the school of education and nursing, and  with the largest number, [9]  or almost 20 percent of the campus total, in the department of leadership. This department has become an Enron like entity which this administration uses to increase the number of black faculty and promotions as a whole, while allowing other departments to have no black faculty presence at all.   Indeed throughout the rest of the University there are scores of departments that not only have no black professors, but have never hired a black professor in their  history at the University. The result is that only about two dozen blacks, half of whom are from Africa, actually benefit from a university which has a faculty presence of almost a thousand.

While there may be a reasonable explanation for such an anomaly, the appearances are very disturbing. A few other  examples are in order. In the Fogelman College of  Business every black that has come up for tenure or promotion under the entire period of the  Raines/Faudree administration has been rejected,  for a 100% rejection rate and a 0% approval rate. However, whites and international faculty are routinely approved for both tenure and promotion. There have never been more than four black faculty members in a college that has had as many as 120 professors at one time, and only one black faculty member has been recruited during the entire history of  the Raines/Faudree administration. In addition, the new dean who was hand picked by this administration has set a new record for generating  EEOC complaints against the university, getting one per year for each of his two years at the university [including my own]. Given the fact that there were only 4 black faculty members in the college when he took over, i eans that  50% of the black professors  in the college  at the time of his arrival have filed separate complaints against the school because of  him - which is extraordinary.

With regards to black doctoral students  there have been no black PhDs to graduate from the Fogelman College under Raines/Faudree  who were recruited under this administration, and there is only one American-born student now in the Phd program. However white and foreign born PhD students are regularly recruited and graduate every year from the college.

On the other side of the campus in the Department of Health Science, formerly known as the Physical Education Department, there is not one American-born black faculty member, and a look at the current list of graduate assistance in this department from the last academic year shows that there is not one black male graduate assistant. As a University whose nationwide name and reputation has been built on the substantial contribution of black male athletes, the fact that there is not one American black male in either a faculty role or graduate student position in the PE department is a disgrace.

The University under Raines/Faudree, seems to be saying to  young black males,  that while we want you in our athletic programs, we don’t think enough of you to give you a job in education after you graduate. They say a picture is worth 1000 words, attached are two from the Health Science Department. This is the faculty and graduate staff of the Department.

From the Health Science Department on the eastern side of the campus to the Fogelman College on the western side, black faculty and graduate students at the University of Memphis under Raines/Faudree administration are few and far between. And among those few, even fewer are rewarded, supported, or promoted. And among those so rewarded, they were hand picked from the beginning to be show pieces or tokens. A very old ploy from the 1960s.

The irony is that Old Miss has now become the school  of choice for qualified blacks who want to receive their PhD. Ole Miss actively recruits black candidates and makes them feel at home. On the other hand while blacks are sometimes accepted, they are seldom  really recruited at the University of Memphis, and among those that do attend, they  often complaint of  a hostile environment. One Ole Miss PhD student is an avid Memphis State athletic fan, follows the team on road games, lives within the Memphis State University housing area, and can pay the  tuition. Yet rather than go to the school whose  athletic teams the person so loves,  this student drives every day to Oxford and pays a higher tuition to get a PhD that is  available for much less time and money  just across the street.

Maybe there is a good and logical explanation for all of this.  If so, I  believe that it is the job of the  legislative delegation  to ask University officials to provide it. To require them to  explain why the University of Memphis, as a major urban institution, has almost no interest in playing a major positive role in being a leader in showing  how blacks can be integrated into such a major institution, to explain why it seems that this administration appears to actively seek out ways marginalize or suppress black faculty and Phd candidates. Indeed, this university if anything,  is turning out white and foreign born  Phd students who in addition to their degrees learn how to run a university with minimum black presence,

The Administration may also say that this letter is the work of a disgruntled unproductive employee. In the spirit of full disclosure, I should admit that I have been rated as the least productive faculty member at the college at the beginning of this administration, and have held this position during the entire Raines/Faudree administration. See attached Dean’s Letter. According to this administration, it is because  of my poor performance  that I receive the lowest salary of any professor in the college [I am being paid a base salary equal to what I earned in 1982 and which is about 1/11 of the almost $600,000 now being paid to the new Dean]; that I teach one of  the highest class loads with the most students; receive the least amount of support; and will also  have the smallest retirement of any faculty member in the college. So there is the possibility that this may be the meanderings of a disgruntled faculty member, but even so there are enough peculiar facts to demand some answers.

To see what an American  black man must do to earn the title of least productive faculty member  at the University of Memphis, look here:

Respectfully submitted,

Dr. Larry Moore
Associate Professor of Business Law
200 Fogelman College Admin Bldg
University of Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee 38152-3120

Your Black News: Dr. Wilmer Leon Analyzes Obama’s Position on Afghanistan


by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

Under the pretext of responding to the September 11, 2001 attacks in America, the United and States and Great Britain invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 under the banner of Operation Enduring Freedom. President Bush 41’ told the American people that the US strikes were,

“…designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations, and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime…we will make it more difficult for the terror network to train new recruits and coordinate their evil plans. Initially, the terrorists may burrow deeper into caves and other entrenched hiding places…At the same time, the oppressed people of Afghanistan will know the generosity of America and our allies. As we strike military targets, we will also drop food, medicine and supplies to the starving and suffering men and women and children of Afghanistan… ”

During the 2008 presidential campaign, candidate Obama promised to immediately withdraw troops from Iraq in order to bolster the forces in Afghanistan in order to defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda. “It’s time to refocus our attention on the war we have to win in Afghanistan.”

I believe that this tactic was taken by the Obama team in order to placate the anti-Iraq contingent of the American electorate on the left while not leaving himself vulnerable to the “soft on defense” hawkish argument on the right. As a campaign tactic this approach proved to be successful. In reality, this may prove to be one of the greatest miscalculations President Obama has made. The real question here becomes, what’s the best tactic to accomplish this end?

Click to read.

Dr Boyce Watkins: The Amazing Legacy of Ted Kennedy

Teddy was a lion for civil rights

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University  – MSNBC’s

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, FILE)

Many of us once joked that Bill Clinton was the "first black president" (which he wasn't). We had it wrong. If such a title were to be given to any white man, that should have to be the late Senator Ted Kennedy. He was never president of the United States, but he was certainly one of the kings of his generation.

As a member of the Senate since 1962, Senator Kennedy had a long career fighting for those forced to live in the underbelly of a capitalist society. Over the last 47 years, he has done it better than nearly any politician in American history. African-Americans were among the many beneficiaries of his passionate life's work, and for that, we will always be appreciative.

In a multitude of areas including housing, income, civil liberties, and equality, Ted Kennedy has been on the front lines. His brother John introduced the Civil Rights Act of 1964, considered to be one of the most impactful pieces of legislation ever produced by our government. After John's death, Ted and his brother Robert were instrumental in seeing that the bill was passed.

Senator Ted Kennedy then went on to help pass one law after another to support the rights of the elderly, the sick, the poor and the incarcerated. He introduced the Americans with Disabilities Act, The Civil Rights Act of 1991, The Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons Act, among others. He also helped to amend the Fair Housing Act, and has fought relentlessly for those who've never known the comfort of attending an Ivy League University.

Senator Kennedy's political compassion, as well as his complicated coping mechanisms, may be linked to the tragedy he experienced during his life. As a young child, he watched his sister Rosemary endure a failed lobotomy, saw his brother Joseph die in World War II and then witnessed his older sister Kathleen's death in a plane crash. This tragedy was compounded by the assassinations of his two brothers, Robert and John during the 1960s. This kind of pain doesn't heal easily, and few families endure such an amazing amount of personal tragedy. It is quite possible that the weight of his psychological pain gave Senator Kennedy the ability to empathize with the struggles of others, as well as the strength to fight through hurdles presented by his adversaries.

Click to read.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Your Black News: Glenn Beck Paying a Huge Price for Obama Insult

FILE - In this May 5, 2009 file photo, newscaster Glenn Beck ...

Glenn Beck returns to Fox News Channel on Monday after a vacation with fewer companies willing to advertise on his show than when he left, part of the fallout from calling President Barack Obama a racist.

A total of 33 Fox advertisers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., CVS Caremark, Clorox and Sprint, directed that their commercials not air on Beck's show, according to the companies and, a group that promotes political action among blacks and launched a campaign to get advertisers to abandon him. That's more than a dozen more than were identified a week ago.

While it's unclear what effect, if any, this will ultimately have on Fox and Beck, it is already making advertisers skittish about hawking their wares within the most opinionated cable TV shows.

The Clorox Co., a former Beck advertiser, now says that "we do not want to be associated with inflammatory speech used by either liberal or conservative talk show hosts." The maker of bleach and household cleaners said in a statement that it has decided not to advertise on political talk shows.


Click to read.

Dr. Elaina George: Michael Jackson’s “Teachable Moment”


The following is a statement made by Dr. Elaina George, an Otolaryngologist out of Atlanta and advocate for physicians.

‘Michael Jackson did not have a chance’ was my first thought when I read the report that just came out about what caused his untimely and tragic death. I was unprepared for the absolute disregard for the first tenant of the doctors’ Hippocratic Oath – First do no harm.

There was no way that harm would not have come to Mr. Jackson. It was beyond negligent to give him a mixture of three different kinds of sedatives, a muscle relaxant, an antidepressant in addition to Propofol, a general anesthetic that is only used in an operating room setting (because it can stop someone’s breathing). Each of these drugs by themselves can be lethal, but together it is a recipe that will almost definitely kill someone. I can think of no medical scenario that would justify mixing these kinds of drugs. Hopefully, Mr. Jackson’s death will teach us that prescription drugs, though helpful are no substitute for doctors doing everything in their power to protect the health of their patients, including just saying no when it is appropriate.

Click to read.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What to make of the NCAA Lawsuit?


Dr. Boyce Watkins of Syracuse University and Dr. Wilmer Leon of Howard University speak about the NCAA class action lawsuit.  The NCAA is being sued for illegal use of player images. The controversy grows, as the NCAA’s method of operation may soon be questioned by Congress.

Click here to listen!

Managing Large Insurance Companies


image Dr. Elaina George, 

For Americans, receiving heath care is like going to a casino, but here the typical rules don’t apply. In the healthcare casino, the medical insurance industry, Big Pharmaceutical Companies and hospitals make the rules to insure that the house wins every time. Over the years they have increased your stakes by increasing premiums, drug costs and hospital costs, while raking in windfall profits. The medical insurance industry has grown larger and more powerful by systematically fleecing patients and doctors. To hide the fact that they are playing with people’s health; they have been masters of distraction. The ever changing rules for patients and doctors have made it impossible to learn what you need to know. Moreover, it has placed doctors, who are the face of medicine, in a position where the patient has begun to question their motives. This has eroded the doctor patient relationship and has damaged the foundation of excellent medical care.

Over the next several weeks, we will examine how the game has been rigged so that you can finally understand the rules. Each week we will expose what you need to know to take back your power and put the odds back in your favor so you can win! This week we will examine the medical insurance industry.

Basic facts about the medical insurance industry:

Click to read.

Your Black News off TheGrio – 8/22/09

  • First black NFL official dies at 81
    First black NFL official dies at 81

    By theGrio via AP

    1:55 PM on 08/21/2009

    CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. (AP) -- Burl Toler, the first African-American official in NFL history who went on to work one Super Bowl in a distinguished career, has died. He was 81.

    > more

  • Female boxers will get a chance at Olympic gold
    Female boxers will get a chance at Olympic gold

    By theGrio

    12:38 PM on 08/21/2009

    For anyone who doubts a woman can hit or ever score a knockout punch, look no further than these women. Some are college students on scholarship and they all fight to win.

    > more

  • Urban farming may save the hip-hop generation
    Urban farming may save the hip-hop generation

    By John Baiata

    12:21 PM on 08/21/2009

    When Darren ("The Human Beat Box") Robinson was at his improvising best, rapping for "The Fat Boys" during the 80's and early 90's, fat was phat.

    > more

  • Naked man arrested for assault on plane
    Naked man arrested for assault on plane

    By theGrio

    9:01 AM on 08/21/2009

    VIDEO -- Authorities say a flight was forced to return to Oakland International Airport after a male passenger stripped, hit another passenger and fought with crew members.

    > more

  • Poll: Americans losing confidence in Obama
    Poll: Americans losing confidence in Obama

    By theGrio via AP

    8:01 AM on 08/21/2009

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- A new poll says that Americans, concerned over the future of health care reform and anxious about the growing federal budget deficit, are losing faith in President Barack Obama.

    > more

  • Burress' teammates saddened by plea deal
    Burress' teammates saddened by plea deal

    By theGrio via AP

    3:24 PM on 08/20/2009

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Plaxico Burress' decision to plead guilty to a weapons charge and accept two years in prison surprised his former New York Giants teammates

    > more

  • 2 teenagers charged as adults in hate crime against elderly black fisherman
    2 teenagers charged as adults in hate crime against elderly black fisherman

    By theGrio via AP

    2:39 PM on 08/20/2009

    Two teenagers were arrested Thursday and charged as adults in what police say was the racially motivated beating of an elderly black fisherman.

    > more

  • Same-sex couples stage 'kiss-in' to protest treatment at diner
    Same-sex couples stage 'kiss-in' to protest treatment at diner

    By theGrio

    12:15 PM on 08/20/2009

    VIDEO - Dozens of same-sex couples locked lips inside a popular Maryland diner Wednesday to protest the treatment of a lesbian couple there.

    > more

  • Friday, August 21, 2009

    Prison Population Set to be Reduced in California

    A controversial bill that California legislators say would allow the early release of more than 27,000 inmates from crowded prisons will be taken up by the state Assembly on Monday.

    Inmates at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, California, interact in a gym modified to house them in August 2007.

    Inmates at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, California, interact in a gym modified to house them in August 2007.

    The Senate on Thursday passed the corrections package 21-19, after Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, assured senators the changes would protect the public from the most violent offenders.

    The legislation also would direct more resources toward parolees, he said.

    Senate Republicans say the bill would undermine public safety. All 15 Senate Republicans voted against the measure.

    Both houses of the legislature are controlled by Democrats.

    Consideration of the bill comes as California faces a mid-September deadline for reducing itsprison population by about 40,000 inmates. A special panel of three federal judges issued the order, contending the crowded prison system violates prisoners' constitutional rights.

    The judges said they will make the reductions themselves if the state fails to act.

    The measure would save the financially strapped state $524.5 million, according to a statement from Steinberg's office.

    When coupled with budget revisions that lawmakers made in July, the total corrections savings would be $1.2 billion, he said. That is the amount that Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants as part of his efforts to cut state spending and balance the budget.

    Click to read.

    News: Comparing Him to Hitler Now? Jeez


    Lyndon LaRouche, an overzealous and obviously ignorant political action instigator decided to compare Barack Obama’s new Healthcare plan to Hitler.  Perhaps LaRouche’s mama should be compared to Hitler for giving birth to him.



    You might remember Mississippi State forward Jarvis Varnado from such films as "Mississippi State made a major leap in 2008, staring Jarvis Varnado," and "I will block that shot against the backboard and scream in your face," presented by Jarvis Varnado." The last time you saw the talented Mr. Varnado, he was leading the Mississippi State Bulldogs to the SEC tournament title and an NCAA appearance. Varnado has led the nation in blocked shots two years in a row. He's an awfully good player.

    And now, he's a walk-on.

    The Clarion-Ledger's Kyle Veazey has the scoop (thanks to Truth About It for the Twitter tip, by the way). When Bulldogs coach Rick Stansbury signed John Riek and the still-under-investigation Renardo Sidney, he signed his 13th and 14th players scholarship players. Unfortunately, there are only 13 scholarships available. Most coaches would probably just run a player off, but after mulling it over, Stansbury and the Varnado family came up with a mutual -- and pretty selfless -- solution. Varnado's father explains:

    read more click here

    Black News: Obama’s Support Slipping

    President Barack Obama is starting to see his kryptonite hitting him in the head.  A recent poll shows that less than half of all Americans feel that he is going to make the right decisions for the country.  The honeymoon might be over for the president, now the hard work begins.

    Thursday, August 20, 2009

    More NCAA Foolishness

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—Memphis will be forced to vacate the record 38 victories from its Final Four season of 2007-08 under former coach John Calipari because of NCAA violations, The Commercial Appeal reported.

    The newspaper, citing an unidentified source close to the situation, said on its Web site Wednesday night the NCAA will release findings of its investigation Thursday. The Commercial Appeal said it was unaware of any penalties beyond this season.

    The NCAA investigated whether someone took the SAT exam for a player on that Final Four team. Memphis was notified of potential violations in January and met with the governing body in June.

    The NCAA has said an unknown person took the college entrance exam for a player—with his knowledge—and that the player used it to get admitted. The governing body says the athlete played for the Tigers only in the 2007-08 season and the 2008 NCAA tournament. Just one person fits that description: Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls’ No. 1 overall draft pick in 2008 and its rookie of the year.


    Click to read.

    What’s Going on with the Economy?

    by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

    The economic downturn has hurt us all. Black unemployment has been nearly 70% higher than that for white Americans, and the blow is even greater for people of color, since there is less black wealth to fall back on during tough financial times. We must remember, however, that the global recession has literally led to starvation around the world, as there were many citizens who could barely buy food even during the good times.

    The IMF's chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, says the global recession had "left deep scars, which will affect both supply and demand for many years to come." Blanchard also makes the additional point that economic models used to understand past recessions cannot be used to understand this one. When attempting to understand the cyclical nature of African American wealth, the models are even sketchier than they are for the rest of the world.

    If you want to understand what happened to our economy, imagine you have a friend who appears to have the flu. The standard flu recovery time is going to be just a few days, so you expect to see them back at it within a week. They then go to the doctor, and it turns out that they have a sinus infection, extending the recovery period at least another week. But instead of coming back to work in 1 - 2 weeks, they are sick for an entire month. Well, this warrants another trip to the doctor, where you find out that the person actually has HIV. This changes the entire treatment strategy, since the short-term problems were nothing more than symptomatic triggers of serious long-term health issues. What's worse is that with or without serious intervention, the patient may never be completely healthy again.

    Click to read.

    Wednesday, August 19, 2009

    Your Money: IMF Chief Says Economic Crisis is Complex, Slow to Recover

    Olivier Blanchard, the IMF's chief economist

    August 19, 2009

    (RFE/RL) -- According to a new report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the world has begun to recover from recession but the process will not be simple. And sustaining any recovery will require refocusing the United States toward exports and Asia toward imports.
    The IMF's chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, says the global recession had "left deep scars, which will affect both supply and demand for many years to come."
    In a study released this week by the IMF, Blanchard describes the current economic difficulties as not a “run-of-the-mill recession.” He notes that models used to understand past recessions cannot be applied to this economic slowdown. 
    Blanchard writes that there are two elements central to a sustained global economic recovery.
    First, economies must move beyond their dependence on fiscal stimulus by national governments and inventory building by private firms. Such expenditures must sooner or later come to an end.
    Second, international trade patterns should be rebalanced. The United States must export more and Asia must import more. This sought-for equilibrium would lower the enormous U.S. current-account deficit and the Asian current-account surplus. But rebalancing world trade flows is not going to be easy and will depend on a reordering of consumption patterns.

    Click to read.

    Black News: lShot 59 Times: What are the Facts?

    Dad: Suicidal son shot 59 times by cops was

    • BILL POOVEY, Associated Press Writer

    CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (AP) -- Alonzo Heyward carried a rifle around his low-rent Chattanooga, Tennessee, neighborhood one day last month, ranting about suicide and ignoring the pleas of friends for hours before six city police officers surrounded him on his front porch and decided it had to end.

    His father says Heyward told the officers, "I'm not out here to hurt anybody."

    But the police, who tried unsuccessfully to disarm Heyward, fired 59 rounds to kill him on July 18. The medical examiner found 43 bullet wounds in his chest, face, arms, hands, legs, buttocks and groin. Police contend Heyward was a danger to others and threatened the six officers.

    Chattanooga police spokeswoman Jerri Weary described the case as "suicide by cop."

    As questions continue to surround the shooting, Heyward's family and civil rights leaders take issue with the police response. Heyward, a 32-year-old moving company employee, was black. The six officers are white. They were temporarily placed on administrative leave but have since returned to work.

    "We have a large concern about the amount of shots fired," said Valoria Armstrong, president of the Chattanooga branch of the NAACP civil rights group.

    A Chattanooga Times Free Press editorial cartoon asked "IS THIS EXCESSIVE FORCE?" -- spelling out the question with letters labeling the wounds in a drawing based on Heyward's autopsy report.

    His father, James Marine, 61, does not believe Heyward really wanted to kill himself or that he was trying to commit "suicide by cop."

    "He just needed somebody to talk to," Marine said. ... "I believe he was just depressed at that time."

    Click to read.

    Troy Davis Gets a Little Help

    The United States Supreme Court has granted Troy Davis' request to postpone his execution in yet another attempt to clear his name and prove his innocence.

    Davis is an inmate that was sentenced to death after the 1989 murder of a Savannah, GA police officer. Since his incarceration, Davis has gained international support behind his claims of innocence.

    Justice John Paul Stevens ordered a federal judge to "receive testimony and make findings of fact as to whether evidence that could not have been obtained at trial clearly establishes petitioner's innocence."

    Among the supporters of the motion were Justices Ruth Bader and Stephen Breyer. The newest member of the high court Sonia Sotomayor, however, did not participate in the petition. "Brother" Clarence Thomas did however and was one of two judges that dissented their reasons for not taking another look at the case and going ahead and killing Davis.

    In the last year or so, Davis' case has been quite turbulent, even being granted a stay of execution just two hours before he was to be put to death.

    Despite the execution delay, Davis will continue to sit on death row, reports CNN.

    Davis insists that he is innocent of the charges brought upon him in the murder of Officer Mark MacPhail. Witnesses claimed they saw Davis, then 19, and two other men harassing a homeless man in a Burger King parking lot when officer MacPhail arrived to the help the man. Witnesses identified Davis as the shooter claiming he shot MacPhail twice and fled on foot.

    Since the 1991 conviction, however, seven of the nine witnesses have recanted their testimonies. In addition to the witnesses reneging, no physical evidence was ever presented to the trial jury or court.

    Click to read.

    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    Health Scholars - Dr. Elaina George Analyzes the Healthcare Debate


    by Dr. Elaina George

    The debate on healthcare reform is in full swing, but no one is paying attention to the long term effects.

    I am for universal healthcare in theory. As a physician, I believe that it is a fundamental right. Unfortunately, the way the debate and pending legislation has been crafted, the outcome will result in unintended consequences.

    As a physician in solo practice, I am in a unique position to see the outcome if we continue on the path that Congress is proposing in HR 3200.

    1. A single payer system that pays the same rate as Medicare or as the bill stipulates (5% above Medicare) will lead to LESS choice. People are overlooking the fact that most private physicians are currently NOT accepting new Medicare patients because they can’t afford to do so and stay open. There will be no reason for this to change if the reimbursement scale is adopted.

    Unintended consequence: The network of private physicians would be smaller and more patients will be placed in a system of fewer physicians, less choice and longer waiting times to be seen. This would have the opposite effect – what is the point of universal healthcare if you don’t have quality physicians to provide it?

    2. The proposed healthcare bill sets up a bureaucracy run by a National health insurance commissioner and sets up an insurance “self regulatory agency” – made up of national insurers, national agencies, and insurance producers. There are no physicians or patient advocates.

    Click to read.

    What’s with the so-called “Post Racial America?”

    Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III, Howard University

    In 1903 W.E.B. DuBois wrote in The Souls of Black Folk, “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line, --the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea.” In 1968 the Kerner Commission determined "Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—-separate and unequal."

    In 21st Century so-called “post racial” America the problem is still race. African American’s like Derryl Jenkins are still being brutalized by the police in north Minneapolis, MN; shot in the back of the head while handcuffed like Oscar Grant in Oakland, CA; and mistaken for perpetrators and killed by fellow officers like Officer Omar Edwards in New York City.

    Many questions still need to be answered about these latest tragedies. What leads these officers to perceive people of color as a threat? Why do the police feel the need to use excessive force first and ask questions later? This takes me to the continual discussion about racism (white supremacy), its perceptions, and emotional responses that people of color deal with all too often.

    Click to read.

    Your Black News: Al Sharpton Speaks with Boyce Watkins

    Dr Boyce Watkins of Syracuse university will be appearing with Rev. Al Sharpton on “Keeping it Real with Al Sharpton” from 2 – 3 pm EST on Tuesday 8/18/09.  They will discuss Obama’s educational plans, Michael Vick and Healthcare reform.   Dr. watkins and Rev. Sharpton have appeared together on several other shows, including “Keep Hope Alive with Rev. Jesse Jackson”, “The Wendy Williams Experience”, “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch” and more.

    Monday, August 17, 2009

    President Obama Protestors Starting to Carry Guns

    About a dozen people carrying guns, including one with a military-style rifle, milled among protesters outside the convention center where President Barack Obama was giving a speech Monday — the latest incident in which protesters have openly displayed firearms near the president.

    Gun-rights advocates say they're exercising their constitutional right to bear arms and protest, while those who argue for more gun control say it could be a disaster waiting to happen.

    Phoenix police said the gun-toters at Monday's event, including the man carrying an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle slung over his shoulder, didn't need permits. No crimes were committed, and no one was arrested.

    The man with the rifle declined to be identified but told The Arizona Republic that he was carrying the assault weapon because he could. "In Arizona, I still have some freedoms," he said.

    Phoenix police Detective J. Oliver, who monitored the man at the downtown protest, said police also wanted to make sure no one decided to harm him.


    Click to read.

    President Obama’s New Healthcare Commercial


    President Obama just bought a great deal of ad time to push his healthcare reform bill.  What do you think?

    Click to watch the ad.

    Dr Boyce Watkins: Why Racism is not good for Business

    by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

    I received a call from CNN today about a major corporate mistake. We talk about such marketing issues in our Finance and Business Management classes at Syracuse University, and this was surely one that will be analyzed in many case studies for years to come.

    In an apparent slip of intellect, someone with the Costco Corporation decided that it might be a good idea to put out black dolls with the words "Lil Monkey" on the top of the doll's forehead. Alrighty then, that makes sense.

    I don't think that any executive with the Costco Corporation woke up this morning saying, "How do I offend as many black people as possible today?" But this does not excuse the fact that this move will be interpreted as a racist one, as it should be. The world is no longer plagued as much by good old fashioned racism, where a klan member shows up on your porch and calls you the n-word. We now have corporations and other institutions with white male dominated power structures that have not embraced diversity of ethnicity, thought or perspective. Racial ignorance remains acceptable and economic imperialism over people of color becomes the rule of the day. The point is simple: Someone should have caught this error before those dolls left the door, but no one cared enough to try.

    Click to read.

    Barack Obama Gets Feedback from Howard Dean on Healthcare

    U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about newly sworn in Secretary ...

    Former Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean, a leading figure in the liberal wing of his party, said Monday he doubts there can be meaningful health care reform without a direct government role.

    Dean urged the Obama administration to stand by statements made early on in the debate in which it steadfastly insisted that such a public option was indispensable to genuine change, saying that Medicare and the Veterans Administration are "two very good programs that have been around for a long time."

    Dean appeared on morning news shows Monday amid increasing indications the Obama White House is retreating from the public option in the face of vocal opposition from Republicans and some vocal participants at a town-hall-style meetings around the country.

    The former Vermont governor was asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" about President Barack Obama's statement over the weekend that the public option for insurance coverage was "just a sliver" of the overall proposal. Obama's health and human services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, advanced that line, telling CNN Sunday that a direct government role in a system intended to provide virtually universal coverage was "not the essential element."


    Click to read.

    Sunday, August 16, 2009

    Suing Saddam: How one man did it

    In this episode of “On with Leon", Dr. Wilmer Leon speaks with the man who successfully sued Saddam Heussein. Click here to listen!

    Black News: Tiger Woods Suffer Stunning Upset



    CHASKA, Minn. (AP) — In a year of spoilers at the majors, Y.E. Yang was the biggest of all.

    He toppled the mighty Tiger Woods.

    Yang became the first Asian-born player to win a major Sunday with a stunning performance in the PGA Championship, memorable as much for his clutch shots as the player he beat.

    Woods was 14-0 when he went into the final round of a major atop the leaderboard. He had not lost any tournament around the world in nine years when leading by two shots.

    None of that mattered to Yang, a 37-year-old South Korean who hit the shots everyone expected from Woods. Leading by one on the final hole, Yang slayed golf's giant with a hybrid 3-iron that cleared the bunker and settled 12 feet from the cup.

    Yang made the birdie putt and shouted with joy as he pumped his fist. That gave him a 2-under 70, and a three-shot victory when Woods missed yet another short par putt and shot 75.

    ``I tried to master the art of controlling my emotions throughout the small wins I had in my career,'' Yang said through his agent, Michael Yim. ``I think it turned out quite well today.''


    Click to read.

    Saturday, August 15, 2009

    Black News: Black Farmers are Losing their Land

    Black Farmers are losing their land to interests that want to use the land for industrial purposes.

    Dr Wilmer Leon interviews Monica Davis about the plight of Black Farmers".  Click here to listen!

    At What Point is Michael Vick Fully Rehabilitated?

    by Dr. Wilmer Leon

    On December 10, 2007 suspended Atlanta Falcon’s quarterback Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison for his role in a dog fighting ring. He was also found to have been involved in killing pit bulls that did not demonstrate sufficient fighting prowess.

    Michael Vick, once one of the highest paid players in the NFL with a 10 year $130 million contract that provided him with an $11.4 million salary in 2006 and $6 million salary in 2007 made 12 cents an hour in his job at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan. He filed for bankruptcy; claiming assets of $16 million and liabilities of $20.4 million. Vick is on the hook for judgments of $2.4 million to the Royal Bank of Canada and $1.1 million to Wachovia Bank, both because of loan defaults, and $4.5 million for a sports agent who sued him and won.

    On July 20, 2009, after serving 18 months of his 23 month sentence, Michael Vick was released from Leavenworth Federal Prison. After having served his time, on August 13, 2009 signed a two year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Click to read.

    What’s Going on at TheGrio? – 8/15/09

    Friday, August 14, 2009

    Oprah Puts Out a Women’s Power List

    Forbes has theirs, why shouldn't the most powerful media maven in the world have hers? In the September 2009 issue of 'O' the magazine, Oprah Winfrey names 20 of some of the most powerful contemporary and legendary women in her first-everPower List. There is no chronological ranking. This is an opportunity to celebrate some of the well-known as well as unsung heroes who inspire, educate and advocate in various arenas.
    The full list of honorees includes: Venus Williams, Sarah Silverman, Anna Deavere Smith, Donna Brazile, Mayda del Valle, Terry Tempest Williams, Lauren Ambrose, Pema Chodron, Lateefah Simon, Shirley Ann Jackson, Dambisa Moyo, General Anne E. Dunwoody, Kara Walker, Sheila Bair, Mary Gaitskill, Cleopatra (YES, Queen of Egypt of yesteryear), Michelle Rhee, Lilly Ledbetter, Anne Mulcahy, Melanie Sloan. --O, The Oprah Magazine

    Click to read.