Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I can't say that I'm sorry that this old fart finally croaked.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) -- Former South African President P.W. Botha, the defiant face of white rule at the height of the anti-apartheid struggle, died at his home on Tuesday aged 90, the South African Press Association reported.

"Botha died at home, peacefully," SAPA quoted a member of his security staff, Frikkie Lucas, as saying.

Botha, known widely as "The Great Crocodile" for his adamant stance against black rule in South Africa, died at his home in Wilderness, about 350 km (220 miles) east of Cape Town, SAPA said.

Botha, who presided over some of the worst excesses of the apartheid era during the 1970s and 1980s, had been in hospital in October for what were described as routine tests.

He was toppled in a cabinet rebellion in 1989 and replaced by F.W. de Klerk, who repudiated almost everything the finger-wagging hardliner had stood for, including the laws that were the foundation of apartheid.

De Klerk later guided South Africa's white rulers through the delicate negotiations that ultimately brought the African National Congress (ANC), led by Nelson Mandela, to power in multi-racial elections in 1994.
Denied knowledge of torture, killings

Although Botha's security forces killed more than 2,000 people and an estimated 25,000 people were detained without trial and often tortured, he refused to apologize for apartheid and denied he had known about the torture and assassinations.

Known for his frequent defense of white rule in South Africa, Botha remained unrepentant to the end.

Asked in a television interview what would have happened if the black majority took control in 1948 -- when Botha's National Party took power -- he remained unwavering.

"I think by this time we would have been in the drain already," he said.

He declined to appear when summoned by the state-appointed Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which in its final report in 2003 blamed him for much of the horror of the last decade of white rule.

Since leaving office he had lived a quiet life with his second wife Barbara in a lagoon-side home on the Western Cape coast for almost two decades, occasionally emerging to launch broadsides at the ANC.

The ANC, which under President Thabo Mbeki continues to lead the country, issued a brief statement on Botha's death.

"The ANC wishes his family strength and comfort at this difficult time," the party said.

Copyright 2006 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Cool Ruler

By popular demand, the great "Cool Ruler" Gregory Isaacs in 1984 (his prime). This man's nasal crooning goes great when you're all alone with that special someone.

BUBBA is a Bad Word

I just told by a co-worker that the term "Bubba" was like a racial slur. Yeah, that's right...BUBBA. In the African-American community the word was used in the place of "brother". I was talkin' about G.W. Bush and referred to him as Bubba and my co-worker, we'll call her Gertrude stopped me in my tracks to tell me that the word was offensive. Did I miss something? I never even mentioned to her that my mother-in-law calls me Bubba and that my Pop usually greets guys with "What ya say Bubba".Another co-worker joked that it's only ok for white people to say it to each other....Here is how Wikipedia defines the term.

"Bubba is a relationship nickname formed from brother, given to boys to indicate their role in the family, especially the oldest male sibling. For some boys and men, bubba is used so pervasively it replaces the given name. The nickname may also be used outside the family by friends as a term of affection.

Because of its association with the southern part of the United States, bubba is often used outside the South as a pejorative meaning low economic status and limited education. Former President Bill Clinton, who is from Arkansas, was sometimes called bubba by detractors, although he is said to like the moniker."

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Modern Minstrel Shows

New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
All rhyme, no reason for rap world's modern minstrels

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

Like it or not, the precious First Amendment right to free speech gives every one of the hip-hop minstrels currently being hyped by cynical record labels and television execs a constitutionally protected right to act like complete jackasses before a national audience.

It also gives the rest of us the right to speak up and denounce such buffoonery as what it is: a direct throwback to the days of burnt cork and blackface, when fortunes were made from America's seemingly bottomless appetite for demeaning images featuring black folks shuffling, cutting up, dancing jigs and generally behaving like fools.

As recently pointed out by Byron Crawford, a blogger for the hip-hop magazine XXL, industry-backed racial clowning is so popular that it now constitutes its own subgenre: minstrel rap.

"Record labels are rushing out to sign the most coon-like Negroes they can find," Crawford wrote, citing the popularity of "Chain Hang Low," a song by a St. Louis teenager named Jibbs that is all the rage on the record charts and on YouTube, the online video service.

The song is an anthem to flashy jewelry set to the tune of "Turkey in the Straw" (Do your chain hang low? Do it wobble to the flow?/ Do it shine in the light? Is it platinum? Is it gold?).

As a New York Times music critic recently noted in a review of Jibbs' song, "Turkey in the Straw" is actually an altered version of a 19th-century minstrel song called "Old Zip Coon" (Ole Zip Coon he is a natty scholar/ For he plays upon de Banjo "Cooney in de hollar").

Jibbs is neither the first nor the biggest star in the world of minstrel rap. 50 Cent's album and movie "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" carry an unmistakable echo of a hit minstrel song from 1856 called "Root Hog or Die" - a tune based on a folk saying that carries pretty much the same meaning as 50's title. Even the lyrics barely need tweaking to sound like modern minstrel rap: (I'm right from old Virginny with my pocket full of news/ I'm worth twenty shillings right square in my shoes/ It doesn't make a dif of bitternance to neither you nor I/ Big pig or little pig Root, hog or die).

Other modern minstrel rap tunes include "Chicken Noodle Soup" and "Fry That Chicken," both of which have videos showing kids dancing little jigs while grinning and eating soul food.

It's sad to see musically untrained youngsters shucking and jiving for a bit of money and fame. Most could never dream of succeeding in a serious artistic setting like a church choir, dance ensemble or jazz band, places that require study, discipline and hard work. Many would be swiftly laughed off the stage.

Those who think that trafficking in racial selfabasement for cash is a harmless business should remember the controversial, tragic career of Lincoln Perry, whose stage and movie performances as Stepin Fetchit - a mumbling, dimwitted servant billed as "the Laziest Man in the World" - were popular in the 1920s and '30s.

Perry's minstrel act made him a millionaire movie star, but he ended up bankrupt, condemned by black audiences and all but forgotten by the time of his death in 1985.

Today's minstrel rappers are unwittingly racing down that same path - fooled by false financial promises, too lazy to hone their talent and condemned, like all who ignore history, to repeat it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Bill Clinton as VP???

VP Bill? Depends on Meaning of 'Elected'

By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 20, 2006;

The prospective presidential candidacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton has given rise to plenty of speculation about the notion of Bill Clinton as the nation's first gentleman. But what about another role? How about, say, vice president?

Politically, of course, the idea is a non-starter for all sorts of reasons. But that doesn't stop the parlor games, especially on the Internet. The issue came up last week during a chat on washingtonpost.com: What if Hillary picked Bill as her running mate? A Post reporter rashly dismissed the idea as unconstitutional. But that only proved the dangers of unedited journalism. The answer, it turns out, is not so simple.

Could Bill Clinton be Hillary Rodham Clinton's No. 2? He could not be elected president again, but some say he could succeed from the vice presidency.

A subsequent sampling of opinion from professors of constitutional law, former White House lawyers and even a couple of federal judges reveals a simmering disagreement on whether a president who has already served two terms can be vice president. Some agree with the conclusion that the presidential term limit embedded in the Constitution bars someone such as Clinton from returning to the White House even in the No. 2 slot. Others, though, call that a misreading of the literal language of the law.

As the former president might say, it all depends on the meaning of the word "elected." Under Article II of the Constitution, a person is "eligible to the Office of President" as long as he or she is a natural-born U.S. citizen, at least 35 years old and a resident of the United States for 14 years. The 12th Amendment says "no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President."

Okay, so that means if you're not eligible to be president, you're not eligible to be vice president. Makes sense. What would be the point of electing a vice president who can't succeed the president in case of death, incapacity or vacancy?

But then Congress and the states added the 22nd Amendment in 1951 to prevent anyone from following the example of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who won four terms. That's where things get dicey. "No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice," the 22nd Amendment says.

On its face, that seems to suggest that Clinton could be vice president because he is only barred from being elected president a third time, not from serving as president. That's the argument of Scott E. Gant, a partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner in Washington, and Bruce G. Peabody, an assistant professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. The two wrote a law review article in 1999 called "The Twice and Future President" and reprised the argument this summer in the Christian Science Monitor.

"In preventing individuals from being elected to the presidency more than twice, the amendment does not preclude a former president from again assuming the presidency by means other than election, including succession from the vice presidency," they wrote. "If this view is correct, then Clinton is not 'constitutionally ineligible to the office of president,' and is not barred by the 12th Amendment from being elected vice president."

Others share that opinion. Three former White House lawyers consulted by The Washington Post (two who served President Bush and one who served Clinton) agreed that the amendment would not bar Clinton from the vice presidency. A federal judge, who noted that he has "no views on the matter," said the plain language of the amendment would seem to allow Clinton to "become president through succession."

Kathleen M. Sullivan, director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center, said the 22nd Amendment, "as I read it, does not preclude a Clinton-Clinton ticket." She added: "Bill, if elected VP, could become president in the event that President Hillary became incapacitated; he just could not run for reelection from that successor post."

Still, that view is not universal. Judge Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit said by e-mail that "read literally, the 22nd Amendment does not apply" and therefore Clinton could be vice president. "But one could argue that since the vice president is elected . . . should he take office he would be in effect elected president. Electing a vice president means electing a vice president and contingently electing him as president. That interpretation, though a little bold, would honor the intention behind the 22nd Amendment."

Bruce Ackerman, a constitutional scholar at Yale Law School, also pointed to original intent in addressing the issue in his book this year, "Before the Next Attack: Preserving Civil Liberties in the Age of Terrorism." The amendment, he wrote, "represents a considered judgment by the American People, after Franklin Roosevelt's lengthy stay in the White House, which deserves continuing respect" and "should not be eroded" by a narrow interpretation allowing someone to manipulate his way to a third term.

Eugene Volokh, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles who was a clerk for Sandra Day O'Connor when she was on the Supreme Court, focused on the broader meaning of the language in the amendment in reaching the same conclusion. "My tentative answer is that 'eligible' roughly means 'elected,' " he wrote on his Web site, the Volokh Conspiracy, this summer, meaning that if Clinton cannot be elected president, he is no longer eligible at all.

One constitutional lawyer not heard from on the issue is William Jefferson Clinton, Yale Law class of 1973. But he has offered thoughts on the 22nd Amendment. Before leaving office and again in 2003, he suggested amending the amendment to let a two-term president leave office and then run again: "Since people are living much longer . . . the 22nd Amendment should probably be modified to say two consecutive terms instead of two terms for a lifetime."

Now, who might he have had in mind?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

From the WTF Files....

No one can criticize the GOP for failing to produce sophisticated propaganda that successfully exploits the hopes and fears of white middle Americans. But can the right-wing distraction factory woo minorities with the same techniques? Check out the following transcript of a new Republican ad targeting black voters in 10 battleground states this year and you be the judge:

BLACK MAN #1: "If you make a little mistake with one of your 'hos,' you'll want to dispose of that problem tout suite, no questions asked."

BLACK MAN #2: "That's too cold. I don't snuff my own seed."

BLACK MAN #1: "Maybe you do have a reason to vote Republican."

This ad was financed by J. Patrick Rooney, a white billionaire notorious for funding several misleading anti-Kerry ads that ran on urban radio stations in 2004. The money for Rooney's newest ad flowed through a little-known group called America's PAC, which was founded by Richard Nadler, a veteran Republican consultant who pushed Intelligent Design in Kansas public schools, declaring, "Darwin is bunk."

Nadler has an apparently dim view of the minorities he hopes to court. In 2000, he produced an ad in 2000 for school vouchers in which a white parent declared that his child's public school "was a bit more diversity than he could handle." The Republican National Committee flatly denounced that ad as "racist."

But about Rooney and Nadler's latest creation, which portrays black men as promiscuous misogynists and black women as submissive "ho's," the RNC is silent.

Courtesy Of The Huffington Post

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Rapper Slick Rick Facing Deportation Again
By Nolan Strong
Date: 10/18/2006 5:30 pm

Rapper Slick Rick has enlisted the aid of Russell Simmons' Hip-Hop Summit Action Network to help prevent him from being deported from the United States.

The organization will hold a press conference Oct. 24 at 11 a.m. in front of the Federal Court Building in New York.

Slick Rick (born Richard Walters), 41, served five years and 12 days in prison for shooting his cousin and a bystander in a disagreement in 1990.

Under U.S. law, any foreign national who serves more than five years in prison for committing a felony faces automatic deportation.

In 1995, the rapper won a ruling by an immigration judge allowing him to stay in the U.S., but in June 2002 Slick Rick was re-arrested after performing on a Caribbean cruise ship.

When the luxury boat returned to Miami, the Immigration and Naturalization Service cited a 1997 arrest warrant on immigration violations and charged Rick with voluntarily deporting himself and illegally reentering the country.

Rick served 17 months in the INS Detention Facility in Bradenton, Fla., before being released in November 2003.

The rapper's case has been assigned to Florida's 11th Circuit Court and he has been stripped of his status as a permanent resident and once again, faces deportation.

"With all of the real and present threats to American society from terrorism, why is the government chasing this rapper?" asked HSAN Co-Chairman Dr. Benjamin Chavis. "It's an obscene misuse of scarce resources."

Since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. has hardened its policy toward illegal aliens residing in the country.

According to Jean Butterfield, executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the U.S. is deporting almost 200,000 aliens per year.

"They're breadwinners whose families are U.S. citizens--and in most cases there's nothing a judge can do to help them," Butterfield said. "The mentality now is enforcement only. Discretion has been taken away from the judges and put in the hands of the executive branch. It's a damaging policy, which has not made the country safer. On the contrary, it inflicts untold hardships on our economy, our families, and our social fabric."

According to Chavis and Slick Rick's supporters, the rapper is a model citizen who completed his parole, has not been convicted of any crimes since his original conviction and is a hardworking family-oriented man.

Says Chavis, "The government is conducting a vendetta against Rick and we're not going to stand for it."

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fight The Power

Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos made history on this day 38 years ago during the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico by protesting the oppression and injustices leveed against African-Americans by the United States by lifting black gloved fists (symbolizing Black Power), wearing no shoes and black socks (symbolizing poverty) and wearing bands around their necks (symbolizing lynchings) while on the medal stand for their 1st and 3rd place finishes in the 200 meters.

A beautiful statue stands on the campus of San Jose State University commorating this event.

When Fists are Frozen: The Statue of Tommie Smith and John Carlos

by Dave Zirin
Trepidation should be our first impulse when we hear that radical heroes are to be immortalized in fixed poses of bloodless nostalgia. There is something very wrong with seeing the toothy, grinning face of Paul Robeson staring back at us from a stamped envelope. Or the wry expression the US Postal service affixed on Malcolm X - harmless, wry, inviting, and by extension slanderous.

These fears erupted in earnest when I heard that San Jose State University would be unveiling a statue of two of its alums, Tommie Smith and John Carlos. The 20 foot high structure would be a commemoration of their famed Black Gloved salute at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. I dreaded the thought that this would be the athletic equivalent to Lenin's Tomb: when you can't erase a radical history, you simply embalm it.

These fears are not without foundation. Smith and Carlos's frozen moment in time has been consumed and regurgitated endlessly by the wide world of corporate sports. But this process has taken place largely without any kind of serious discussion about who these men were, the ideas they held, and the price they paid.

With palpable relief, I report that the statue does Smith and Carlos justice, and then some. It is a lyrical work of art, and a fitting tribute to two amazing athletes who rose to their moment in time. Credit should go to the artist, a sculptor who goes by the name Rigo23. Rigo23's most important decision was to leave Smith and Carlos's inventively radical and little discussed symbology intact. On the statue, as in 1968, Smith and Carlos wear wraps around their necks to protest lynching and they are not wearing shoes to protest poverty. Rigo23 made sure to remember that Carlos' Olympic jacket - in a shocking breach of etiquette - was zipped open, done so because as Carlos said to me, "I was representing shift workers, blue-collar people, and the underdogs. That's why my shirt was open. Those are the people whose contributions to society are so important but don't get recognized."

The most controversial aspect of the statue is that it leaves off Australian silver medalist Peter Norman altogether. This seems to do Norman a disservice considering that he was not a passive player in 1968 but wore a solidarity patch on his Olympic jacket so the world would know which side he was on.

But Rigo23 did this, over the initial objections of John Carlos, so people could climb up on the medal stand with Smith and Carlos and do everything from pose for pictures to lead speak-outs. Norman who traveled to the unveiling ceremony from Australia endorsed the design wholeheartedly understanding that its purpose is less to mummify the past than inspire the future. "I love that idea," said Norman. "Anybody can get up there and stand up for something they believe in. I guess that just about says it all."

Perhaps the main reason the statue is so good, so different, from things like Martin Luther King, Jr. shot glasses and Mohandas Ghandi mouse pads, is that it was the inspiration not of the school's Board of Trustees but a group of students who pushed and fought for the school to pay proper respect to two forgotten former students that epitomized the defiance of a generation.

And, fittingly, the day of the unveiling was not merely a celebration of art or sculpture but a bittersweet remembrance of what Smith and Carlos endured upon returning to the United States, stripped of their medals and expelled from Olympic Village. Smith recalled, "The ridicule was great, but it went deeper than us personally. It went to our kids, our citizen brothers and our parents. My mother died of a heart attack in 1970 as a result of pressure delivered to her from farmers who sent her manure and dead rats in the mail because of me. My brothers in high school were kicked off the football team, my brother in Oregon had his scholarship taken away. It was a fault that could have been avoided had I turned my back on the atrocities."

Carlos also said, "My family had to endure so much. They finally figured out they could pierce my armor by breaking up my family and they did that. But you cannot regret what you knew, to the very core of your person, was right."

But it was also a day to speak explicitly about the challenges of the future and not turning living breathing struggles into a history that is an inanimate as a hunk of marble. "Will Smith and Carlos only be stone-faced amidst a beautiful plaza?" speaker Professor Ethel Pitts-Walker asked the crowd. "For them to become immortalized, the living must take up their activism and continue their work."

Peter Norman said, "There is often a misunderstanding of what the raised fists signified. It was about the civil rights movement, equality for man....The issues are still there today and they'll be there in Beijing [at the 2008 summer games]and we've got to make sure that we don't lose sight of that. We've got to make sure that there is a statement made in Beijing, too. It's not our part to be at the forefront of that, we're not the leaders of today, but there are leaders out there with the same thoughts and the same strength." But the last word went to Tommie Smith, proud of the past but with an understanding of the challenges in the future. "I don't feel vindicated," Smith said. "To be vindicated means that I did something wrong. I didn't do anything wrong. I just carried out a responsibility. We felt a need to represent a lot of people who did more than we did but had no platform, people who suffered long before I got to the victory stand...We're celebrated as heroes by some, but we're still fighting for equality." Fittingly, when it came time to unveil the statue, the Star Spangled Banner was played -as a symbol of "how far we've come" since 1968. There was one problem: the curtain became snagged on the statue's raised fists. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, we need our anti-racist history and our anti-racist heroes now more than ever. We need more fists gumming up the works.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

"Here, Listen To This"

I was in the preview section of the local newspaper today. Cool huh? Here's the article. Props to my bredren Kevin Young for inviting me to participate.

"Here, Listen to This" Published: 2006-10-12

This installment of "Here, Listen To This" finds us sharing this space with Robert Ellington, known to many as Papa Robbie, as he was promoting a couple of songs he just finished mastering. After agreeing to be interviewed, he subtly plugged his MySpace page (www.myspace.com/paparobbiemusic) and his blog page ( http://mrellington.blogspot.com) . Now it is time for Robbie to wax nostalgic and offer some music criticism in the process.

BECK - "Think I'm In Love": Catchy. I like it. Sounds like something very retro, but still having a nice feel to it.

WAYLON JENNINGS - "Theme To The Dukes Of Hazzard": Oh my God. This takes me back to, like, the fifth grade when I was looking forward to Friday so I could watch this on television. This and and Jerry Lee's song from "Smokey and The Bandit," "East Bound and Down" were the first country songs I heard and remembered. I can't listen to this without seeing the car jumping over a hill. I had a General Lee. Of course, this was before I understood the whole Confederate flag thing.

HERVE VILLACHAIZE - "Why Do People Fight": Is this Tatoo from "Fantasy Island"? (Papa laughs as this writer nods, "yes"). Sounds like a melancholy Oomp-Loompa. Did he really expect to be taken seriously?

TOO MUCH TROUBLE (AKA THE BABY GETO BOYS) - "Invasion Of The Purse SnatChers": This kind of music was my guilty pleasure in high school and college. It was so over the top. Back then it was more the exception. Now it seems to be the rule. Not the most complex lyrics. They sound like they're fighting rhythm. A third-grader could've written better.

MEGA BANTON - "Sound Boy Killing (Remix)": Ah, Mega Banton. This is the best of both worlds for me, reggae and rap. They're using a Barry White sample. Mega borrowed his flow and gravelly voice from Buju Banton. It's proof that, when done right, there can be a great marriage of hip hop beats with dancehall.

GEORGE CLINTON - "Atomic Dog": I'm a P-Funkateer. Takes me back to middle school, when I was in the arcade. Never understood the lyrics, but I loved it ... probably best left to the imagination. I got friends in Omega Psi Phi who'd automatically get to steppin' when this song came on. This and Zapp were the basis of West Coast rap for awhile there.This came out in 1982, I think. (grins) I'm an old man.

PUBLIC ENEMY - "Rebel Without A Pause": I'm catching flashbacks right now. It's like this, P.E. is the greatest hip-hop group ever - even Run-D.M.C. There, I said it. My mom would go crazy when I would listen to this on my radio. She'd say " What's that!?!? It sounds like a tea kettle!" You know this came out between their first and second albums as a B-side to the first album. They're the greatest because of the message, the innovative production, and because Chuck D.'s voice is so commanding. I could listen to this over and over. Our basketball team came out to this song. My wife can't stand P.E. She's says it has too much chaos, just like mom.
-Kevin Young

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Roots Of Rock & Roll

Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn and so many others' entire careers were based on this Giant's blueprint...My favorite blues singer "HOWLIN' WOLF" singin' my favorite Wolf classic "At The Bottom".

Friday, October 06, 2006


Watch the last living "Wailer" show ya how it's done. Many people don't know that he's the guy that wrote the one and only "Electric Boogie". That's right, a roots reggae artist wrote the song that inspires people to bust into the Electric Slide as soon as the first note drops..."You can't see it...it's electric!"

Cool Down De Pace!!!

The "Cool Ruler" Gregory Isaacs...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Cleopatra Jones R.I.P.

Tamara Dobson, the Baltimore-born model-turned-actress best known for her leading role in two films as kung fu-fighting government super-agent Cleopatra Jones, died Monday at Keswick Multi-Care Center from complications of pneumonia and multiple sclerosis. She was 59.

One of four children of a beauty shop operator and railroad clerk, Miss Dobson was a graduate of Western High School. She studied fashion illustration at the Maryland Institute College of Art and had her first modeling job there in its annual fashion show.

Miss Dobson caught the eye of a Hutzler's department store executive who encouraged her to pursue a modeling career, used her in several local shows and introduced her to New York designer Bill Blass, according to a 1969 article in the old Sun Magazine.

The article, headlined "Tomboy To $60-An-Hour Model," told how she was able to spend part of the school year in New York through the college's work-study program, with a job as an illustrator for a men's store there and modeling on the side. The piece also noted that she had enrolled in acting classes on the advice of a friend, actor Sidney Poitier.

She appeared in magazines including Vogue, Essence and Mademoiselle, was on the cover of Redbook and posed for a fashion spread in Ebony magazine with her hair in an Afro. She was seen in television commercials and served as the face of Faberge's "Tigress" for several years. She also appeared in ads for Chanel and Revlon.

Her film career began in 1972 with a small role in Fuzz as the girlfriend of the "deaf man" villain played by Yul Brynner.

Her big break came the next year when she was cast in the title role of Cleopatra Jones, the first black super-heroine in the "blaxploitation" genre -- a striking, fierce and fashion-conscious spy.

She reprised the role in 1975, in Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold.

At 6 feet 2 inches tall, Miss Dobson was at one time recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest leading lady in film, according to publicist Shawn Taylor with the Chicago-based Beaman Inc., which announced her death yesterday on behalf of the Dobson family.

"She was not afraid to start a trend. She designed a lot of the clothing that so many women emulated. With the knowledge from her degree and her natural creativity, she helped develop elegant fashions, especially for tall women," her brother, Peter Dobson of Houston, said in the announcement.

Miss Dobson continued to work throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Her film appearances include Come Back, Charleston Blue (1972); Norman, Is That You? (1976); Murder at the World Series (1977); Chained Heat (1983); and Amazons, a made-for-TV movie (1984). She also had TV roles in the early 1980s in Jason of Star Command and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

Miss Dobson lived most of her adult life in New York, where she and tennis great Arthur Ashe were the first two African-Americans to reside at the Carnegie House Condominiums, her family said.

Diagnosed six years ago with multiple sclerosis, she had been living the past two years at Keswick, according to the publicist.

"It was tough going through that debilitating disease, especially with her athleticism and involvement in karate," her brother said. "That was something she had to fight, and that fight was horrendous -- and being a proud individual, the fight was even harder for her."

Plans for a memorial service at Union Baptist Church in Baltimore were incomplete yesterday.

Survivors also include a sister, Darilyn Dobson of Baltimore.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Fair and balanced my a$$. In the photo, disgraced Republican Congressperson pedophile Mark Foley is labeled as a Democrat. Swapping a “D” for an “R” last night, Fox News and “The O’Reilly Factor” labeled disgraced pedophile Congressman Mark Foley, longtime Republican, as a Democrat-honest mistake not likely.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Anti-Bush statements still don't fly these days.

The latest target is Jackson, Miss., rapper Kamikaze, who was recently banned by student representatives at Mississippi's Millsaps College after he criticized the war in Iraq during a performance.

Kamikaze, one-half of rap group Crooked Lettaz with David Banner, was invited to speak and perform at Millsaps as part of the college's sexual awareness week.

During an interlude in his set, the rapper made comments about current U.S. president George W. Bush, infuriating members of the audience.

"I prefaced it by saying 'I know that a lot of you, or some of you, won't agree with what I'm saying and you're entitled to your opinion, as I am entitled to mine'," Kamikaze told AllHipHop.com. "There is a real strong Young Republican contingent at this school."

In his speech, the rapper accused Bush of pursuing oil and engaging America in a senseless war in Iraq, and also insisted that the government lied to start the war.

"The Bush thing was a piece of it [but] the other part was 'get out and vote,'" Kamikaze reasons. "The end of it is what probably pissed the Young Republicans off. I was like 'you guys need to register to vote, so next November we can get somebody in office that's not like Bush. I feel like an orangutan could run the country better than Bush right now.'"

Kamikaze, whose latest single "U Sked" is featured on NBA Live 2007, added that his show was profanity-free, although some members of the crowd did yell 'f**k Bush' at one point.

According to him, however, members of the Young Republican Party later complained about the show. He received a letter from Millsaps College the next day, chastising him for his comments on President Bush.

In the letter, Student Body Association president Stephen Bradford Yakots stated, "While the students at the college rightfully supported sexual awareness week at the college…some were treated to no other than a tacky, senseless and an absolutely astonishing, explicit blasphemy of the sitting President of the United States; an act that represented the worst that Millsaps College could offer to its students and alumni that were present, wanting to enjoy an evening of the performing arts. The Student Body Association and the Socializing Activities and Performing for Students Board (S.A.P.S.) has no use for your shameful, adolescent and worthless view point of our leader and therefore will not be supporting any more visits made by you to our campus."

Yakots was not available for comment at press time.

Ironically, the latest controversy to besiege Bush's White House involves former Republican Party member Mark Foley, of Florida, who recently resigned after emails expressing his interest in a 16-year-old male page rocked the GOP.

Foley, who was founder and co-chair of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, served six terms in Congress.

Investigators believe he repeatedly emailed the boy, making conversation and seeking pictures, which the boy said "freaked me out."

While Kamikaze admitted that the Foley scandal had nothing to do with the comments he made about Bush on Sept. 28, he claimed the boycott was rife with hypocrisy.

"They're trying to be so holier than thou, and they have to be married with the 2.5 kids and go to church every week, when they know when they get home and get on their computer, they're emailing young boys, and they're pedophiles," Kamikaze told AllHipHop.com. "It's just crazy to see the hypocrisy that exists within politics.

"Me and Banner came into this game and we always said we were going to use music to make some kind of change. We have always put something socially related into it," he continued. "And whenever we have a crowd in front of us, we address. If you have fans that you have that you can influence in one way or another, it's an obligation for you to say something. We have to let folks know we aren't up here to just rap. We are artists who are concerned with what's going on in our communities. Anytime I do a show, I am speaking on social issues.
Courtesy Of AllHipHop.com

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A Little Old Chess Poem

By Tomas Forsman

Once upon a time there was a King and a Queen --
In fact, there were two of each.
One couple had the most beautiful country ever seen,
The others had a house by a rocky beach.

Both countries had people who loved them dearly,
But did the royalty love them back?
The poor King called them pawns; which so clearly
Showed the compassion he lacked.

Talking about Knights, both Kings had two,
And the poor white Queen had an affair with one.
And the King had a plan on what to do,
To find out who was the father of his son.

He declared war upon his rich dark neighbor,
Asked his pawns prepare for a fight.
So they dropped their labour,
And they left that night.

His son was one of the first to attack --
At least so it seemed but the King showed his power.
He held his son back,
And he hid him in a tower.

The King watched his Queen, how would she react
When she saw her son fall in a fight.
Then suddenly, the pawn was attacked,
And the Queen fell in the arms of a Knight.

In anger the King sent the Knight
Away from the Queen and into the fight.
Deep in his heart he thought he was right.
He couldn't think clearly, try as he might.

The King lost his people, his wife and his son,
And he looked for someone to blame.
But when the other army came he realized what he'd done --
He never even knew a single pawn's name.