Saturday, November 12, 2011

White House to host African American Policy in Action Leadership Conference

White House to host African American Policy in Action Leadership Conference

White House Releases New Policy Report Outlining the Obama Administration Achievements in the African American Community

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Wednesday, November 8, the White House will host an African American Policy in Action Leadership Conference, bringing community leaders from across the country together with a broad range of White House and Cabinet officials for an in-depth series of interactive workshops and substantive conversations on the Administration’s efforts and achievements in the African American community. Participants including community leaders, professors, faith leaders, civil rights leaders, and elected officials, will have the opportunity to interact with Administration officials on pressing issues that directly impact African Americans. Discussion topics include strengthening the economy through the American Jobs Act, job training, access to capital for growing businesses, reforming our nation’s education system, protecting civil rights, community development initiatives, and strategies targeting poverty.

When President Obama took office, the economy was shedding nearly 800,000 jobs each month and millions of families were unable to make ends meet. African Americans were hit especially hard by the recession, struggling with significant economic losses, including near-record high levels of unemployment and low incomes compared to the national average. Since day one, the President has fought to restore the strength of middle class, protect the interests of the low-income families, and allow those hardest hit by the economy to have access to the American Dream.
read more

Without a doubt, many of President Obama's hard-core critics in the black community who claim that he has not done enough to address African American issues, will cynically view this conference as election cycle Theatre.

They will say, Obama - the politician in need of a record turnout of African American voters - is moving to sure up his base for the 2012 presidential election campaign

Some of the hard-core critics - who strangely mirror the far right-wingers by wishing Obama failure from the get go - will still have personal animus with the president because they did not receive personal invitations to the conference.

To all those folks I say, it's not about you and I am glad that roll-up-the-sleeve type leaders were invited instead of headline seekers, talk show ratings publicity hounds or folks that want to appear daily on cable news shows.

We already have enough entertainers/activists.

Furthermore, I was impressed by the agenda (including assess to senior advisors and cabinet members). In particular, the afternoon break-out was very well balanced between what government in conjunction with the business community can do to help the black community and what can the community do - in other words accountability to self:

AfternoonBreakout sessions
Track one: Education Reform and Job Training
Track two: Economic Growth, Jobs Creation, and Business Development
Track three: Anti-Poverty Strategies
Track four: Prevention and Health Disparities (Let’s Move)
Track five: Fatherhood, Prevention, and Reentry Issues
Track six: Housing and Urban Affairs

Friday, November 11, 2011

Heavy D: TROY - (T)hey (R)emininisce (O)ver (Y)ou

My personal tribute to the original Big Man of Hip Hop who passed away this past week, Heavy D.

Heavy D, the light and graceful smooth operator, or AKA The Overweight Lover, remarkable career was noted for marrying the best of R&B to the best of Rap.

Hev, as he was affectionately called, showed that Big Guys could be just as suave and smooth as their smaller peers.

Watch Hev in action and later watch Pete Rock & CL Smooth kick the ultimate Hip Hot tribute song.

Awww do I miss the Golden Age of Hip Hop. Peace and blessings to Heavy D's family, friends and love ones.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dee Dee's Journal - Health & Fitness

As I previously stated I will always start my Blogs with a prayer for a person or a group of people, that have no relation to me. It is my way of helping a situation from afar and exercising my strong beliefs in the power of prayer. I challenge you to do the same.

Today’s prayers are for the innocent children that have been victimized and abused. I pray that they are healed and comforted and get the all the assistance they will need in the days to come.

Next on to my one year journey.

As I think about the daily, weekly and monthly goals I have envisioned for myself, I am forced to also look at all the obstacles and challenges that are in my way. Then, I remind myself:

“Dee, take it step by step Peace by Piece”

My next thought was what’s holding me back the most or standing in my way……… And to my surprise it is a Well Known Buzz phrase called “MULTI TASKING”. Think about today we are expected to Multi task in every aspect of our lives. We are so conditioned to always be working and doing many things at once . I have caught myself on my cell phone on a conference call, on my landline with my bank, all while trying to cook dinner for the twins……. No wonder why I have opened my refrigerator and found the remote to the TV in with my fruits and vegetables.

To reiterate, I remind myself to take my Journey one task at a time. One day at a time . When I am exercising, just focus on exercising , no worrying about work, household chores , or whose posting on facebook.

So, today I decided to lay out a plan of what I would like to achieve over the next week and here is my plan.

  • Outline the times I am going to take all of my medicines

  • Outline how many hours over the next seven days I plan to work out and literally write them down in 30 min time frames and cross them off as I complete them.

  • Outline time where I can teach myself how to relax. Surprisingly enough, I really do not know how to truly relax (really think about the things I truly enjoy doing that does not add stress to my life.)

  • Two common terms you may hear over and over again on my one year journey are planning and outlining. These terms see so simple yet when it comes to getting ourselves together they are often overlook.

    Think about it we can plan and outline for our jobs , for our schools and for other people , that we neglect planning for ourselves and in our personal lives.

    Some ideas for you Get a notebook and or Journal and hold yourself accountable to yourself. Take 15 minutes at some time during the day ( morning, lunch or before you go to bed) and write out the different parts of your life that you need to work on . My Notebook is divided into 4 sections My medical health, my physical health, my mental health and my financial health.

    Medical health, Doctors appointments, check-ups , medicines and reminders to check my sugars for my Diabetes
    Physical health Ideas that I can use to get my work outs and a schedule of exercising
    Mental health things that I can do that help me relax ( such as writing my Blog)
    And financial health ……The hard truth about how in these tough times can make it all work out.

    Your challenge this week, should you choose to join me on this journey is Plan and Outline what you would like to work on this week, Get a note book or journal and begin your journey. As always I end my Blog with a prayer for you and any issues that you may be going through. You are not alone.
    Take care
    Dee Dee

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Class Warfare: How The GOP Became A Party For The Rich

    I have a special practice. I handle one client.
    Tom Hagen, of The Godfather, referring to his sole client and boss, Don Corleon.

    The state of the Republican party brings to mind the fictional law practice of Tom Hagen (the Godfather's personal attorney) because similarly the GOP has one client - the super rich 1%.

    For the last 30 years they have created laws, tax codes, tax breaks, corporate subsidies and favorable corporate deregulation policies that has exclusively benefited that one client - much to the detriment of the middle and working class population.

    Economically speaking, everyone else (the 99%) gets the cold shoulder or yet worse, gets screwed.

    Although the GOP brand has always been pro-business, they once had a more comprehensive client list. So it raises the questions, when and how did the GOP adopt the (compliments to Tom Dickson) One Percent Doctrine?

    Well, Tom Dickson in a very intriguing article in Rolling Stones, titled How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich, details the metamorphosis of the GOP.

    Here's an excerpt:

    Modern-day Republicans have become, quite simply, the Party of the One Percent – the Party of the Rich.

    "The Republican Party has totally abdicated its job in our democracy, which is to act as the guardian of fiscal discipline and responsibility," says David Stockman, who served as budget director under Reagan. "They're on an anti-tax jihad – one that benefits the prosperous classes."

    The staggering economic inequality that has led Americans across the country to take to the streets in protest is no accident. It has been fueled to a large extent by the GOP's all-out war on behalf of the rich. Since Republicans rededicated themselves to slashing taxes for the wealthy in 1997, the average annual income of the 400 richest Americans has more than tripled, to $345 million – while their share of the tax burden has plunged by 40 percent. Today, a billionaire in the top 400 pays less than 17 percent of his income in taxes – five percentage points less than a bus driver earning $26,000 a year. "Most Americans got none of the growth of the preceding dozen years," says Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist. "All the gains went to the top percentage points." read more

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    RIP Smoking Joe Frazier

    Philly's Genuine Rocky

    Associated Press Report:
    Joe Frazier died at 67 after a brief battle with liver cancer. He and Ali will be linked forever, both heavyweight champions and bitter enemies in the boxing ring who squared off in three epic fights from 1971-75.

    Muhammad Ali:
    "The world has lost a great champion. I will always remember Joe with respect and admiration," Ali said in a short statement. "My sympathy goes out to his family and loved ones."

    George Foreman:
    "Good night Joe Frazier. I love you dear friend," former heavyweight champion George Foreman, who stopped Frazier to win the title, posted to his Twitter account.

    Fellow Philadelphian Boxer Bernard Hopkins said it best:
    "There's no way in the world you should come to Philadelphia and not recognize who Joe Frazier is. It's the perfect time to build the biggest statue in appreciation for all the heart and love he gave to Philadelphia," Hopkins said. "It's just to say how we regret when it's not there to touch and see. We didn't realize we had a super special person amongst us that we all in a way took for granted. I said this when he was living, I say this now. That's the only thing."

    As a young kid, I idolized Muhammad Ali. He was iconic, larger than life and very entertaining - in fact, 30 years after his boxing retirement, Ali's shadow still looms over the boxing community. However, as a middle-aged adult, I had grown to appreciate Joe Frazier and see him as a stand up guy, great champion and a great ambassador for my hometown Philadelphia and the sport of boxing.

    From a child born into poverty in South Carolina, to an Olympic champion representing his adopted hometown and to a man with a devastating left hook that helped him retain his Heavyweight championship belt against Ali in the Fight of the Century, Joe Frazier walked like a proud self-made man never backing down and always giving 100%.

    Well done, Champ. You gave us many Thrilla's.

    Best line:
    When Ali taunted Frazier during their first fight in New York's Madison Square Garden by telling Frazier he (Ali) was God and there was no way Frazier could whup him. Frazier retorted, "Well God, you're going to get your Ass beat tonight. Frazier backed it up with an Unanimous decision.

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    Shaquille O'Neal: The Big Whiner by Gregory Gee

    I said about six years ago when I started getting older, I wanted my legacy to be about winning championships. It's all about winning.
    Shaquille O’Neal, 34 years old USA Today 6/11/2006

    Practice what you preach brother.

    Aside from his four NBA rings and arguably being one of the most dominant post players in NBA history, O'Neal's legacy will also include his track record as “The Big Whiner.

    Shaq’s latest tell all (about everyone else’s flaws but his) autobiography - Shaq Uncut: My Story - trashes former teammates, coaches, organizations he played for and retired players—here’s a taste:

    All of these supposed Lakers leaders who care so much about the franchise, all these Lakers legends, none of them ever had the courage to say anything to Kobe and me. Not Kareem, not Magic, not Mitch Kupchak, none of them.

    On the surface, he is a lovable guy who is entertaining as hell. But beneath his criticisms of everyone he’s played with, we see an emerging insecure person who has an issue with anyone who gets more attention than him.

    If Shaq would have just kept in in shape and used his NBA wisdom/maturity to nurture Kobe Bryant, Lebron James or Dwayne Wade, then he had a real chance of winning 8 to 10 championships. Shaq did not or could not accept the fact that these young guns needed to carry “his” team which would mean more shine and headlines than O’Neal received.

    The lovable giant had problems with every franchise he played for, going back to the Orlando Magic days with Penny Hardaway.

    On Hardaway and Bryant:

    The young Shaq and the young Penny could have worked, but the young Shaq always had to have control. The medium Shaq and the young Kobe could have worked, but the medium Shaq had to have control.
    USA Today 6/11/2006

    On James:

    I always believed he could turn it on at any moment, but for some reason he didn’t against Celtics in 2010 and Mavericks in 2011. It was weird. It’s one thing to be a passer, but you are supposed to the One.

    Look in a mirror Shaq!

    You were a player who needed to hear how great you were instead of working on your greatness— a lack of work ethic and eroding skills that ultimately contributed to your pathetic and unsuccessful quest for more championships. Shaq thought he was an older version of Kareem Abdul Jabbar but was really an older Bill Walton. Both hall of fame centers ruled the middle during their careers but it was Jabbar who still dominated his position at 38 years old while Walton was only a contributor to a Boston Celtic championship.

    It’s amazing how Shaq (and this generation of superstars) do not know when use to use the pronoun “I” for accountability during or after his career: “I take this lost because I did not hit my free throws…I take this lost because I’m a little out of shape…I would have been a better player if I….” Professional superstars are allowed to use “I” because your teammates know that no one person loses or win a game: but your leader is accepting his flaws and willing to correct them sends a message to your less talented teammates that we all need improvement.

    So far, only sensational negative excerpts have been pulled from Shaq’s book. One excerpt offers a explanation and the foundation of the soap opera Shaq-Kobe rift:

    Kobe stands up and goes face-to-face with me and says, "You always said you're my big brother, you'd do anything for me, and then this Colorado thing happens and you never even called me." I did call him. ... So here we are now, and we find out he really was hurt that we didn't stand behind him. That was something new. I didn't think he gave a rat's ass about us either way. "Well, I thought you'd publicly support me, at least," Kobe said. "You're supposed to be my friend." Brian Shaw chimed in with "Kobe, why would you think that? Shaq had all these parties and you never showed up for any of them. We invited you to dinner on the road and you didn't come. Shaq invited you to his wedding and you weren't there. Then you got married and didn't invite any of us. And now you are in the middle of this problem, this sensitive situation, and now you want all of us to step up for you. We don't even know you.

    But Shaq’s failure to acknowledge his mess ups and shortcomings takes away credibility from his complaints.

    Maybe there are passages in the book where he reflects on his shortcomings as a player and demonstrates how he has grown as a person…nothing wrong with wishful thinking, right?