Category Archives: I’m Judging You (reviews & criticism)

Reviews and Criticism

hoodwinked

I’m pretty disgusted right about now. I was asleep, knocked out due to my sickness and woke up at midnight to find that the House had passed a health care reform bill (HR 3962). Sounds good at first, especially since we have been trying to get SOME form of legislation moving through the process. Unfortunately, this is not what I was hoping for. I get the feeling that most people had/have no idea that today, in what felt like a backdoor sneak move, Representative Bart Stupak put forth an amendment on a Saturday morning to the proposed health care bill. Oh, it got passed, by the way. What is this bill that you probably didn’t know was even being discussed?

“The Stupak/Pitts amendment violates the spirit of health care reform, which is meant to guarantee quality, affordable health care coverage for all. In fact, this amendment would create a two-tiered system that would punish women, particularly those with low and middle incomes, the very people this bill is intended to assist. The majority of private health insurance plans currently offer abortion coverage, and the Stupak/Pitts amendment would result in the elimination of private abortion coverage in the ‘exchange,’ the new insurance market created under health care reform, as well as in the public option, if one is created.

“The Stupak/Pitts amendment would purportedly allow women who want comprehensive reproductive health care coverage to purchase a separate, single-service rider to cover abortion.  But such abortion riders do not exist because women do not plan to have unintended pregnancies or medically complicated pregnancies that require ending the pregnancy.  These so-called ‘abortion riders,’ which would be the only insurance policy through which abortion care could be covered in the ‘exchange,’ are discriminatory and illogical.  Proposing a separate ‘abortion rider’ or ‘single-service plan’ is tantamount to banning abortion coverage since no insurance company would offer such a policy.*

Take some time. Read that again. How ridiculous is that? While folks were on Twitter talking about brunch, football and #threewordsaftersex, anti-choicers were hijacking health care reform and using this opportunity to revolutionize American health care as a stage for their anti-abortion agenda. Dude… not here. Not this fight. SMH. Don’t be mistaken, taking away abortion coverage (in both private insurance plans and the public option) will not deter people from having unprotected sex. It will not result in a significant decline in abortions sought or performed. It will not only hurt the people you think it might hurt.

Abortion is legal. Until Congress passes a law otherwise (that passes Constitutional scrutiny by the Supreme Court), it is legal. I can’t get hype about HCR, and trust me I WANT to be so hype about HCR, when people are trying to use the backdoor to chisel away at my rights. It’s sneaky and I don’t want my government to work that way. Please believe that the NRA folks would not be down for this. You see how they get when someone even breathes gun control. The Second Amendment gets trotted out like it was the 11th Commandment.

I took a Legislation & Public Policy course in law school. I’m currently taking Politics & Policy in my MPA program. Even without those classes, I know some BS okey doke when I see it. Game recognize game, right? This is a CLASSIC example of how you get a piece of legislation to FAIL. Instead of coming out and saying no to HCR (which will make you look bad, for sure), you say yes but also get on board with an amendment that will alienate so many people that it’s sure to bring down the whole house. This is some back to the drawing board shit if I’ve ever seen it, yet so many folks are just happy to have something, I bet they won’t raise a fuss. You are so used to accepting crumbs from the gov’t that you’re not willing to fight for what you believe in. Meanwhile, those that are AGAINST what you believe in are up ALL night, working hard. No, really. They’re up ALL night. Crazy does not sleep. But listen yall, don’t drink the kool aid. This is not the HCR we want. It’s the HCR we’re settling for.

Find out how your representative voted on the Stupak/Pitts Amendment. If they were on board with the amendment and you are not, please call your rep and let them know how poorly they’ve represented you this weekend.

Definitely hit up your Senators. Ball’s in their court now.

*Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Read the whole statement here.

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Filed under current events, Health & Wellness, I'm Judging You (reviews & criticism), Now I'm pissed, Pay Attention!, Politics, Swiped, What kind of fuckery?

those damned jabots

After commencing her duties on August 8th, 2009 as the 111th Supreme Court Justice and the first Latina to hold such office, Justice Sonia Sotomayor took her first seat on the bench Wednesday at a specially convened session of the Court. Yep, now that the hubub is over and she’s really in there (whoo!) Sotomayor is down to business hearing her first SC case involving campaign finance and Hillary Clinton. Interesting.

I know this isn’t the most progressive or feminist thing to be pointing out but as I was reading up on Sotomayor’s first days on the job, I couldn’t help but sigh at this photograph of Justice Sotomayor.

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Guest Post: Maia’s Descent Is No Laughing Matter

I’m late getting this post up due to my long Labor Day weekend without computer access but last week, actress Maia Campbell’s name lit up the Twitterverse. Where the majority of people were quick to barbecue Campbell and speculate on her behavior (drugs, mental illness, etc) I tried to stay on the periphery and avoid making light of what could be a serious situation. Additionally, I find little comedy in actual drug addiction. Therefore, I was glad that my good friend D.L. Chandler (twitter: @dlc123) was able to put into words what I couldn’t/wouldn’t express. I considered not posting this because the buzz around Campbell has died down but whatever she’s dealing with is not over and the message in D.L.’s post remains relevant.

Maia’s Descent Is No Laughing Matter – D.L. Chandler

Like many young men in the 1990s, I found actress Maia Campbell to be one of the more attractive young black starlets on television. Early on, I discovered that she hailed from the Greater Washington Metropolitan area just as I did and that factoid endeared me to her as well. Of late Maia Campbell has fallen out of the public eye, and has been unfairly ridiculed by her poor life choices fueled by her bout with Schizophrenia. The daughter of late bestselling author Bebe Moore Campbell, Maia found fame on the LL Cool J vehicle In The House. For 3 seasons, the show enjoyed some mild success and Maia Campbell was a prominent fixture of the sitcom. Once the show ended, Maia worked bit parts in television and small movies, but nothing more.

I am not going to play reporter here and try to guess what happened beyond that point. What I do know is that in the last three years, nude photos of an obviously inebriated Campbell and a very recent video of the actress has appeared on the Internet. The gossip blogs, Twitter, message boards and news outlets (such as The Examiner) have all had their say to the inner workings of Ms. Campbell’s fall. We don’t know what’s leading her down this path nor do we know if she’s ever had adequate help – at least as far as what’s been released publicly. However, what is quite telling is how much of my Twitter feed was filled with hurtful jokes about her condition. The blogs and their comment fields were also filled with the same insensitive and lame commentary found in the linked Examiner piece above. Continue reading

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Paging Dr. Shanté

I’m not going to rehash the whole story here because it’s all over the webz, but when I heard how the feel good/made it out the hood story about former teen rapper, Roxanne Shanté, getting her record company to pay for her education (including an Ivy League Ph.D. in Psychology) turned out to be false, I wasn’t surprised. Not in the least. Oh, not that I thought a rapper from Queens couldn’t have accomplished such things…

That's Dr. Danielle Spencer now... as if she'd let you call her Dr. Dee Thomas!

I BEEN knew something was wrong because the Daily News article on this unique record contract and amazing rapper-turned-doctor referred to her as Doctor Shanté. People were repeating that mess on blogs, message boards, twitter and facebook. Dr. Shanté. Really? Um, wasn’t Roxanne Shanté your RAP name, one you dreamed up after hearing UTFO go in on some stuck up chick named Roxanne? How am I supposed to take you seriously when I’m seeking out a therapist and she’s going by her RAP MONIKER? Sure, we still call Queen Latifah “Queen Latifah” but she hasn’t left show business so it’s allowed. I bet if she were to become a surgeon or an attorney we’d call her Dr. Owens, Dana Owens, Esq.

All types of folks are known to fudge their resume and trump up their credentials and it’s pretty much accepted. Flat out lying about where you went to school and what degrees you’ve earned, however, is a douche move. It makes you look silly in the end and it’s an embarrassment that will stick with you forever. People like myself, working on 2nd and 3rd advanced degrees don’t appreciate it Ms. Shanté! It’s not like people go around telling everyone they’re rappers (oh, wait. nevermind. Anyhood, USA proves me wrong on that front).

It’s just that we would have always thought of little 14 year old Roxanne Shanté in her slicked back ponytail and doorknocker earrings rapping with the big boys and smiled. Now that she got our hopes up by faking the funk, people are let down and a bit peeved. If there’s one thing the hip hop community doesn’t tolerate, it’s a liar.

Hold up now. ALLEGED liar, because maybe she really did get those degrees. Maybe she is a psychiatrist that uses hip hop to heal her patients. Perhaps there was a mix up with the name she used to enroll (clearly, she’s not good at sticking with one name). It’s possible the record company wants to deny paying that money to save face and just maybe a couple of somebodies at Marymount Manhattan and Cornell have it out for the good rappin doctor. Slate could have it wrong just as easily as the Daily News. Even Russell Simmons is cosigning her! Gooden/Shante doesn’t seem to be fazed, though. As of last Thursday, her Twitter page was still posting links to articles like the Daily News piece (@DrShante. Hmph…if it’s her real twitter account). It doesn’t really matter to me how it turns out because either way, she’s still dead wrong running around as Dr. Shanté.

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a thought on mike vick

Let me start by saying before Michael Vick’s legal troubles, I could probably count on my hands how many times I heard his name. Clearly, I am not an NFL fan or a big sports fanatic. My point is, I don’t really care about Michael Vick and am not invested in whether he plays or does not play football.

I went from barely noticing Michael Vick was alive to hearing about him constantly when he was brought up on charges and subsequently convicted of felony dogfighting charges. I had to witness the outrage from people who wondered how a man could go to jail for some dogs. Over and over people went on about how it was just some dogs and therefore it was ridiculous for Vick to be in jail. Okay. I’m not an animal activist and I’m not even really a dog person (I like cats). Still, it was very annoying to me that people were making a bigger deal of the perceived low value of a dog’s life than the fact that Vick just plain broke the law. There are lots of laws that people find ridiculous, but until you get the legislation changed, the law stands and going against it is a violation with consequences. Plain and simple, Vick broke the law (and in a shitty way, I might add) and therefore must pay the consequences. If the length of the sentence bothered people, well that was also written into law via statute and aggravated by the fact that Vick lied to the judge. Judges don’t like that. Remember that when judges have sentencing discretion, you might not want to lie to them or otherwise piss them off. Just a note. Continue reading

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Filed under Celebrities, I'm Judging You (reviews & criticism), Legal Pad, Routine Ramblings, sports

Making His Band ep03: teamwork

Count Diddula working on his vocals

[Contains Spoilers]
Back on the scene after last week’s back to basics catastrophe. To be honest, I’m not as committed to this show as I am to others but I’m watching it so you don’t have to (or so that you know you’re not the only one!). Anyway, let’s get to this week’s recap.

Where last week was about the individual, the musicians were put into groups tonight to focus on programming, playing as a team and sonically reproducing the feel of Last Train to Paris. While it’s apparent that many of the musicians weren’t formally trained or know the fundamentals, they’re here now because they’ve taught themselves or have a natural ear for music. Broken up into 4 bands, the musicians had three days to three songs (Point of No Return by Expose, Pleasure Principle by Janet Jackson and Take On Me by A-Ha).

Out the gate, Brockett was hype. “Once we get the sounds right… there’s nobody gonna play with the kinda feel I can play on these records. Trust me,” he proclaimed. I liked that kind of confidence and from what we’ve seen so far, Brockett can really back up all the tough talk. He can afford to run the keys all he wants in his group though, because he’s the only keyboardist there.

In the next group, Lynnette was on keys along with Jason aka J-Sweet and they weren’t meshing quite as well as they needed to. Everyone cannot be the leader/music director but at this point, with it being a competition and all, I don’t think that’s an easy concept to swallow. Hence, discord. I really like Lynnette though. I feel as though she’s hella talented and humble which is a rare combination. What I’ve noticed is that J-Sweet has a very negative and defensive attitude. Every time Lynnette says something or asks a question, J-Sweet gets super condescending and patronizing. Ew. It’s not the way to rally a team if you ARE the leader. To be fair, I don’t think Lynnette should react by running away. Continue reading

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Making His Band ep02: Fundamentals

Last week’s premier was the massive weeding out of less than stellar talent and our first intro to the musicians who made it into the house. This week, we get a closer look and more Didtastic shenanigans, of course.

The house is not a home. It’s a freaking mansion. That place is huge and fits 30 people, son! Amenities include a pool worthy of ___ and a mini theather with stadium seating.

Lynnette and Brockett (who violated by wearing sunglasses indoors) have a connection to Berklee and a formal music education. Most of the cats in the house seem self-taught though so it’ll be interesting to see how education or lack thereof impacts their sound. The judges apparently feel that music education is important at some level because they stressed technique on the first challenge. FUNDAMENTALS is the name of the game. Brockett made a pretty good analogy likening everyone to new NBA players who gotta go back to basics and shoot free throw drills. Although, I must say that the slam dunk v. free throw comment reminded me of the racist assumption that Black players have natural skill and athleticism whereas white players work hard and dedicate themselves to training. I’m not saying Brockett is racist at all, by the way. I’m just saying. Continue reading

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