Archive for the ‘Reflections’ Category


For the last three and a half weeks, it’s been a nightmare shocking whirlwind of the death of my father. For the first time here on WordPress, I’m going to summarize the feeling that I experienced losing Dad. This post will be in three parts.

The last time I saw my father alive was Sunday, February 19th, 2017. He was last looking at a picture album full of past funeral bulletins in the last decade or so. As my father was looking at the book and summarizing the funreal programs of my Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles (his parents and siblings) he realized to my mother that he was the last one. The last of the 10. My Dad was the youngest of the five brothers, my uncles. His last visit to my sister’s house in Milwaukee, was February 21st, 2017. He told my mother that he had to go to the store, and then home. He also told my sister that he was prepared to leave. That was the last time collectively within those two days we saw him alive.

A couple days later, my sister had to be admitted to the hospital for her health needs. And all day my mother had been calling Dad. Finding out where he was in all. No answer. Same day, no Answer.When Thursday came, I was going to my Aunt’s house to take over a recipe for a Black History Month Event at a Milwaukee Elementary School. It was a Thursday night watching Scandal and getting prepared. After a middle of that, I received a call from my mother to see how things are going.She also advised me to go over to the house to check in on Dad to see how he was doing. Plus again, no answer. So after I left my Aunt’s house I headed over my parents house. First I called into the house. No answer. Then I walked to the front door and rang the doorbell. Nothing.Then I checked the mailbox and it was full. That was odd to me because it’s not like my father to keep the mailbox this full. He usually takes in the mail and sorts it for myself, my sister and mother. Then I went around to the backdoor to try to gain access to the door. One vital factor,I needed the keys to get in. I had to return to my sister’s house to get the keys in my backpack. Then while I was there, I dropped off the cornbread and called the house to see if my father would pick up. I left a voicemail message to see if he would answer it. No avail. And I told myself that “if he doesn’t answer in the next fifteen minutes, I’m going over there.” So I got back in my mother’s minivan and returned to my parents house. Having a feeling of being scared I went inside just to see what’s been going on. I accessed the backdoor to get into the house yet again. While looking around I had my mother on the cell checking in. I looked upstairs to see if was there. Nothing. Along the way in the living room and nothing but his brown hoodie on the couch next to his Vietnam Veteran Flag. But then, I went downstairs to the basement, where his Entertainment Room was full of movies and CD’s, plus a table, an easel drawing from 1991. And my father was on the floor. I told my mother, “Mom, Dad’s on the floor!” And she asked “what do you mean he’s on the floor?” I called out to Dad to wake him up. Even I shook him a bit to wake him up. I checked his pulse on his neck and wrist. No pulse. Nothing. Then I told Mom that he was not responding.  I called 911 to have the parimedics to come, and while they were arriving I turned him over to have him face up, then did the CPR compressions to try to revive him. His head was slightly bloodied appeared he hit his head hard. And his Right Arm was bloodied with his blood tissue sticking out.  (Warning Graphic Words) When the Parimedics came, they took over and asked the questions. Moments later my mother called to see if we’re there any results, but the bad news that my father who gave me his name….had been dead for two days. I was shocked and numb! And sad. My mother and sister: Sad. Grieving. I was in disbelief. MY OWN FATHER!!! My 69 year old father, died. I was just absolutely shocked sad and numb all around. Later on , the Milwaukee Police Department came over to investigate the basement where he died. And between the police and the Parimedics, I had to answer the tough questions like: “When was the last time you talked with him?” My mind kept thinking back to Sunday, February 19th for a reason. In which that was the final time I saw him alive. Another question: “What kind of medications was he taking? He was taking his medications to upkeep his health, including his blood sugar to see how he was doing in which at the time was his focus. “Was he a smoker? At the time, Dad quit smoking in October 2009 after a major colon surgery. Which he lived to talked about it. And other Health conditions in all. With all that going on, I had to take control of the situation. I didn’t panic, nor freak out. I maintained my composure, answered the many questions as possible and they were impressed. I told them about the work history of what my father did from Allis Chalmers, Pfister and Vogel Tannery, the VA Medical Center and the US Postal Service. Plus I mentioned his military service with the US Army and served during the Vietnam War. I also described an attire that he wore the most of his dark blue shirts, blue jeans & shoes. He usually dressed like that in order to do work around the house, or other houses if needed.

My relatives mostly my cousins, aunt’s and uncles, all came over. Plus for a stint, it was dead silence. And the thunderstorm was brewing above with hailstones early Friday Morning. Later, my pastor and his wife came over to check out the situation. After many was assembled we all had prayer. I started to say that “you know me since the beginning. You know what I’m about”. After the prayer, I was given the honors to cover up my Dad with a yellow sheet. But before I did that, I uttered the words “you empowered me sir. You Empowered me!” And I made another vow “I got your back.” After I covered him up, I went back upstairs with the family by shutting the doors. Plus there were others from the Milwaukee County Coroner’s office wanted additional info to provide in all. Moments later, my pastor and one of my older cousins wanted to see Dad. I took them downstairs to the room, uncovered the sheet and at the moment, my pastor have given a prayer at the spot. He wanted to see him, and he did. Not a good look for my cousin’s reaction with grief. After that, we went back upstairs with me covering up the sheet and closing the door. Much later, I felt I needed to take a break, and sat in my Dad’s bedroom. Then, my mother came in the house, sobbing. And she called out my name when I was upstairs. I went to her immediately and hugged her tight. She thanked me for coming over knowing that I had felt scared of what happened to Dad. She was relieved of that part. Later on she wanted to go downstairs to see Dad. Along the way, she saw his last meal of greens and Barbecue Porkchops. As myself, my mother and uncle went downstairs, I opened the doors and the three of us hugged each other tightly while grieving. All she saw was him covered up except his foot. And after that, I closed the doors to his Entertainment room. Much later, here come the Undertakers. The representatives from a local Funeral Home stopped by to get Dad out of the room and with him covered. They got him and took him away to do further summarizations of his death and what lead to it.

After that, I looked to the heavens and told my late grandparents, aunts and uncles that “S.T. is home.” Meaning that he was on his way to be with them. S.T. was my Dad’s nickname growing up.

Many of us had our hugs, but I had many of them the most. After all that, this was the most hard beginnings I began to endure.

Part two of “Losing Dad” will continue featuring the hard facebook post, and preparations for his funeral.


Oh, what. You thought I was done, huh?

Well this is Leap Day 2016 and like many days, this is a extra bonus. I did this with the Olde to Sagittarius Poems, so I’m going to do this with the Black History Month thing. And trust me, it’s long waited to do this. So it’s time to do this on Leap Day in which many might forget about February 29th or so.

 

Listen up black folks: Black History Month is, was and our time to shine to start.

Without the use of our ancestors, we wouldn’t have a part to spark.

No matter we talk about the Pharaohs, Kings and Queens plus Presidents that ruled like a boss,

Never forget their triumphs and challenges that the purpose that caused.

As usual we must continue talk about the roots of Slavery, and the use of Civil Rights,

If we gonna be real about it, never ever give up those fights!

We can do, preview, summarize and examine our proud black history, with the honorable things up the latter,

For you non-black folks hating, and those side-eyeing, Our Black Lives INDEED Matter!

Continue to march on folks of color, we are done yet!

Sometimes we have to make that gamble to make the bet!

For the regular, irregular, educated, partially learned, the Conscious, the Semi-Conscious, the Brave, the REAL Activism, the REAL Evangelists,  the Introverted, Extroverted, Ambiverted, the Bold, the Beautiful, the rebel, the Handsome, the Rugged, the Strong, the Mindful, the Doers, the Energetic, the middleman, the middlewomen, the anchors, the straight, the techie, the religious, the freethinker, the gay, the tranny, the BiSexual, the mixed, the supporters, the secretive, The Singles, The Married, The Widowed, The Life Partners, the honorable, the distinguished, the grounded, the down to earth, the political, The American, The Canadian, The British, The French, The Australian Black, The Afro-Latino, The Italian, The Haitian, The Jamaican, the Jazz, the Gospel, the Hip-Hop, the Rap, The R&B, The Folk, The Rock, The Metal, The New Age, The Dance, The Vocal, The Opera, The Classical, The Old School, The New School, The Sporty, The Medical, The Dental, and many many others with the Black Fist in sight,

Strap on your seat belts no matter what you think, we taking this everyday flight.

For our Black men, women and children of our black community that has gone home to glory,

Us here on the planet, we will and must TELL your story.

So no need to ask permission, or asking for to be valid,

We should be out doing us anyway, from the time we come, and to be candid.

So as we close out the 90th Edition of Black History Month of 2016 and make way for beyond and 2017,

Never forget the lessons that were and were not peachy keen.

From the lessons, causes, joys, concerns, and missing pieces that us Black folks we need to flex,

As we continue to know about us, I ask this: there have been many many  firsts, who got next?

#BLACKHISTORYMONTH4LIFE

 

 

 

 

 


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,400 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 57 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thanks for another year of reading. We’re just getting started again for 2016.

 


So far, Sagittarius Centaurs: this has been a good 30 days in 2015.

Before we close out THIS BEST SEASON, yes Capricorns we know you’re ready to take the Zodiac Baton, I’ve done these “Ode To Sagittarius” things from poems to at least talk about our sign being unique, and how to keep those Bows and Arrows on lock all day and every day! This is what we do. This is how we supposed to do. Yeah the other folks might talk smack about us Sags, being Sags in a negative way. So what. But guess what like them other signs that got all that and a bag of chips, Sagittarius has that quality also of being all that and a bag of chips too. Yeah, I’m going old school with the bag of chips, but hey this is my sign. As we close out another Sag Season, and review: I’m just going to leave it right here. Courtesy of the Sagittarius Facebook Group. This quote right here, speaks fire! As I was reading this on Facebook, I was drawn to this. Straight up!

We rise. We fall. We sink. We swim. We shoot the arrows always getting Bullseyes. We do! They may not understand so hey this is who we are. This is us!

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So yes, we are still here. We Still Roam. Like us or not, in the clubs or not, in the buildings or not, at the job or not, at the church or not, at the malls or not, spinning the sounds or not, or whatever or not, words of advice:

NEVER OVERLOOK NOR UNDERESTIMATE A CENTAUR!

NEVER OVERLOOK A SAGITTARIUS!

No matter if we are jovial, straightforward, blunt or any other feeling or category that we have. Even a tad of sensitivity. Oh, wait! Some of you other signs might go in on the sensitive part. But ALL of our signs, no matter from Capricorn to Pisces, to Cancer to Leo, and Taurus and so on an so on, HAVE SENSITIVITY!

Don’t be surprised. And….Don’t believe me just watch!

Even during the other seasons that come and go!

You just never know when we might pop up.

 

Now many of you readers probably read this Sagittarius Poem of mine last year. Guess what? I decided to go back to the throwbacks and bring it up one more time: Plus with a few upgrades.

I rep the 9th house. I am that zodiac that roams no bounds,

It’s that thoroughbred in me that still abounds

No matter I’m at work, school or play,

It doesn’t matter, I’m a Sag that still makes the stay

I’ll innovate a famous month of blackness that keeps the folks all year flowing and crusin’

That would be cool, like Dr. Carter G. Woodson

Or to rule the White House: such as debating and tourin’

Like the guy of 8th President of Martin van Buren

For music a few like Little Richard, Jay Z, Jamie Foxx, Jimi Hendrix, Janelle Monae, Taylor Swift, Jim Morrison, Tina Turner,  Ludwig Von Beethoven, Keith Richards, Michel’le, Lalah Hathaway, Johnny Rzenik, DJ Khaled, Dionne Farris, FLO-RIDA, Frank Sinatra, or Keri Hilson,

Don’t mind me, I’ll be like the folks in Seattle doing a chant for Russell WIL-SON!

Whether I’ll make a pass for a Touchdown, or make the belt come out for the Max,

Just like Aaron Rodgers, I’ll tell those with conviction of R-E-L-A-X!

I’ll be a bit sassy like Nene Leaks or Richard Pryor, or get funny like Redd Foxx or Margaret Cho,

No matter the scene, I’ll be the icon that can still go!

Speaking of the Acting game, like Steven Spielberg, Lucy Liu, Kirk Douglas, Paula Patton, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Connelly, Jane Fonda, Eugene Levy, Don Johnson, or a sometimes witty opinionated Ben Stein,

No matter the role, or game, we seem just fine.

In church, I can do ministry like the Pope Francis I, or John Wesley and spread the inspiration,

Or like the beat of the drum like Sheila E, you’ll stay for the duration.

Don’t make me get funky up in here, like my name would be Morris Day,

I’ll make you get up and dance and you’ll have nothing to say!

Us Centaurs might be moody and most of the time can’t take no fool,

Just like the archer Samuel L. Jackson, yo we play it cool.

Us Centaurs will go full speed at times of glory, talent and through it all,

Like the spirit of sprinting of  Florence Griffith Joyner (aka Flo Jo), and the slam dunks of The Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee Bucks Basketball.

Us Centaurs will go to the extreme like whole lot of club goers jumpin’

Don’t make me get the stunner son, like the rattlesnake, Stone Cold Steve Austin!

Oh, it’s true! It’s true like the moniker of Kurt Angle and his Wrestling Game,

I don’t have Olympic gold medals, but still can rise to fame.

Us Centaurs will get creative like the names of Charles Schultz and Walt Disney,

I told you that thoroughbred sound was real, we also kick it like WWE’s Naomi and the dragon himself Bruce Lee, feel me?

Like the famous folks of John Stewart, Robin Roberts, James Avery, and Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix,

Knowing this season of maintenance, it’s always a reference of a done deal fix.

Having towards the wave of success and sometimes be crazy of anything that we oppose,

Go reference Nicki Minaj, or that WWE Lunatic Fringe Dean Ambrose!

It takes a king to know a king, ala the name Jerry Lawler doing fist drops,

We Sagittarius folks are party starters, which never stops.

We also have a voice of a Ella Baker, which the civil rights of her had never scowl,

we also can march to the beat of other civil rights soilders and learn from those of a Andrew Goodman, Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman and yes,  Adam Clayton Powell.

In closing of this poem, we do have to maintain this flow,

Like another Sag that tells us of Rob Van Dam, we are and can be the whole f’n show!

So as this Sagittarius season closes out for another year to come,

Remember Sagnation, word to the wise: no matter what we do and where we go, always have the bows and arrows on lock and roam, and never ever forget where you come from!

When the Centaurs roam, Glyph Happens!

Human Intelligence, Thoroughbred Strength. Sagittarius Soul, Baby!

 

 


Three way dance here. You know what time it is!

For the kickoff of the year 2015, I’m going to start off with three things that had me bugging since the New Year started. A Facebook Hoax going wild and many of you Facebookers have probably done it. Note to the Kanye West fans: I know who Paul McCartney is. And plus, I’ll dab in on the recent life and legacy of the late great Booyah man himself, Stuart Scott.

First Dance: For all of the folks who had to login on Facebook this morning. Who has typed this?

Today, January 4, 2015 in response to the Facebook guidelines and under articles L.111, 112 and 113 of the code of intellectual property, I declare that my rights are attached to all my personal data, drawings, paintings, photos, texts etc… published on my profile. For commercial use of the foregoing my written consent is required at all times. Those reading this text can copy it and paste it on their Facebook wall. This will allow them to place themselves under the protection of copyright. By this release, I tell Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, broadcast, or to take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The actions mentioned above apply equally to employees, students, agents and/or other staff under the direction of Facebook. The contents of my profile includes private information. The violation of my privacy is punished by the law (UCC 1 1-308 – 308 1 – 103 and the Rome Statute). Facebook is now an open capital entity.

All members are invited to post a notice of this kind, or if you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you have not published this statement at least once, you will tacitly allow the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile.

Don’t raise your hands at once. If’ you are one of the many, many Facebook users that copied that and pasted the message to your wall or made a statement about it in some form or some way: you have been tricked.

Led astray.

Bamboozled.

Hookwinked.

Got owned.

Or in this case, you have been served.

That message is nothing more than a mere hoax. Stop that! That was a mere hoax last year, in which many didn’t catch it, but now it’s real clear that mysterious message like chain letter is a trick just to get your goat! Again, stop that! Man, what is up with these dumb letters? Whoever is behind all of this, is just wasting time. Clearly it’s all bull with the fact well, you’re broke, no job, no bill paying, not to mention to lift a hand to support a bill, or any other thing that has nothing to do at all.

Clearly, from the sources of ABC News: “Here’s the thing: Facebook doesn’t own your posts. Under the social network’s privacy policy, they have the right to distribute and share the things a user posts, subject to their privacy and application settings. (Check out Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities here.)”

Look here, when we sign up for Facebook to use on our discretion, whatever we post on there: Pictures, Videos, Quotes, Links, thoughts on the war, or any other thing we share, they are in the right to share that via the privacy posts that we set. You know like those certain beer pictures that you probably have in which might get you fired from your jobs or giving organizations, yeah think about those. We post it. They share it. That simple. So again for those of us who are in this denial that our posts and pages maybe affected, our profiles are fine! To me, posting that message per say is like playing a practical joke just to get all folks riled up over a non-factual statement. So tell your friends that the message this morning is a trick. Don’t believe the hype!

Second Dance: If you are under the age of 30, and you listen to Kanye West, clearly you might be in the crowd somewhere that you might be asking about the legendary Beatle himself, Paul McCartney. No, not Jenny McCartney. You young Kanye Fans out there, have you ever done a thing called GOOGLE? That thing that most of you do most of the time? Yeah, that thing. Now I don’t have to tell you about how to get on google and do a search. I mean you Kanye Fans know how to do this! COME ON! And that thing called Wikipedia, where you can look up people, places, things, ideas, in all? I’m sure you probably done that. Or if Paul McCartney’s group has a website named after the Beatles, um………hello! THEY DO! Just do the websearch of “thebeatles.com” and you can see all of their work ranging from music, videos, hey you can even buy some stuff on their website. And yes, you can find out about who Paul McCartney was and is via his previous work.

Speaking of that: Many of us who are over 35, may remember this song he did with oh, what’s his name…….Listen up or watch the clip and listen good.

http://vimeo.com/37202934

Yes. Michael Jackson. The King of Pop himself in a video called “Say, Say Say”. Plus, Micheal Jackson and Paul McCartney did a collaboration song together called “The Girl Is Mine” on Michael’s Thriller Album. Again this was in the 80’s in which many of you weren’t even born! Who was born in 1983? Better learn folks! Remember the Moonwalker Video in which he did a mini concert on stage and song was called “Come Together?” That song is a Beatles Classic.

Now do we understand this or nah? I’m sure many of you probably heard of Paul McCartney’s son. You know who he is right?

 

And the last thing on the card: Stuart Scott

For all of my Generation X folks, yes we are shocked! Yesterday as I was getting ready for church, I looked on my Facebook newsfeeds that Stuart Scott died at age 49. We all know him as the sportscaster that changed the game of sportscasting with a flavor of hip hop to it. Oh, and they say that Hip Hop is bad. Really? I too had my sayings of BOOYAH! many times when I made the grades, made the points scored on the Video Games, made any good thing that was so good in terms of making a positive point. Again: BOOYAH!

Stuart was also a member of a prestigious club. The fraternity of Alpha Phi Alpha in which it’s part of the Divine 9 BGLO’s.

Growning up watching him, he repped his game well. I can’t say nothing bad about him. Stuart Scott had a gift. Not just the catchphrases or his suits and ties, or his work and Family. To me, I just like seeing another black man like him doing his work and being appreciated for his value of work was really an accomplishment. He earned it. Which no one, and I mean NO ONE can’t take away from him. Now  I know I’m injecting the black man mantra in this, but with all the mess about black men being labeled as n*ggas and not being in this and that, or not being good when it comes to women, (some black women per say) can any positive story about black men be told? Just saying! When his announcement of his cancer cameback numerous times and as he progressed his work, he never stopped. He kept going to the best of ability. No matter what happened, he wanted to be show others that having cancer may have slowed him up, but it has never stopped him for doing his work! Sometimes there are no excuses.

We all seen the ESPYS Award in which he got honored in July, 2014. Some were probably concerned about him, the way he looked in all. But Stuart himself had to let the folks know, he was not going to let a cancer disease get in his way. He was first diagnosed in 2007. He held on the fight for the last 7 – 8  years. And yesterday, after all of his battles, and fights with cancer, he was gone. 49 years old. Many are saying that it’s too soon. 49 years old is not an age to die from. But most of us heard in church that we don’t know when the good Lord calls us home. If its God’s time, its God’s time. We don’t know if the people that we know well who were around in 2014, may not be around in 2015. We don’t know, y’all! Here in Milwaukee, the city has racked up 2 homicides and some shootings in the start of the New Year. We don’t know! So yes, 2015 like many years before will have ups and downs. Every year, there will be ups and downs. That’s not just sports. It’s life. They say we need to celebrate life, well should we? With him be gone, he doesn’t have to suffer no more. No more of those therapies, or medicine or any other thing that he suffered. NO MORE! That is positive side of his transition.

For many, Stuart Scott to me will be a black legend that changed the game of sportscasting. I want all the future sportscasters to know this. Especially those who are black – we know that Black History Month is next month. And many are about to highlight the careers and achievements of African-Americans or black folks in general alike. Even more. I want all of you, no matter the level of school you are in, put Stuart Scott on your list. And if the folks ask you why Stuart Scott you tell them why! And also when making that presentation or that pictorial subject, be clear of what made you pick him or what inspired you to talk about him. And if you are going into the broadcasting game, just have one word in your office, or on your door that anyone can bring up. Booyah!


Oh, we are back Sagittarius folks!
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Our season is back on the scene and we are the scene. Oh yes, we archers should know about what we do in all. First, happy birthday to all of us either November or December Born Centaurs. No matter what we do on our birthdays,  let us celebrate it (or observe) like we know: Turn Up! or as like to say this year: MOUNT UP!

I know there is a question out there in probably asking, what is up with these “Sagittarius Check-Ins? What about my sign?” Its all about have some love for the zodiac sign. If I was a Capricorn born, or a Scorpio born person, or whatever, I would be doing a check in for those, but I have to be born under those signs! Since  I’m a Sagittarius being a straightforward centaur like minded person as I am, I do the check ins as a way of fun. And also to share some of my interest in the zodiac 9th house. And plus, I do them after my birthday which is gospel. If you must know or didn’t know:

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That’s right. December 5th Rocks!

 

Plus also, I want comment about age change. Oh yes, we know. Whenever the age change happens, we will expect it. On the 5th day of December, I turned 38. Yep. Already I’m getting some gray hair on my chin and hair style. Yeah, I’m moving on up! It kind of hit me when I start to find my keys, some items fell out of my bag. And I’m like, what up with this?!! Then I realized that yep the old age thing is a bugger! Learn that young archers! But at times though its all apart of growing up. And plus its the Christmas season. Oh, when Christmas (aka the Greatest Holiday of all time) comes, there might be a point in all the gifts and dinner where your mind might go wandering. But hey, its the holidays! I get it. And weird things are abound to happen while the season progresses. So, yes it’s Christmastime!

But don’t let that scare you.

We all have and will go through the thing and it will still be Christmas. And after holidays are over, the normalcy will comeback. So if those who might experience that, just keep telling yourself to RELAX!

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But anyway, when we rep our zodiac sign, nobody, and I mean NOBODY should not be on the whack list! Keep the repping the sign though. Go to the SagNation parties, or Sagittarius gatherings and get acquainted with others under the same sign. And don’t be surprised to see those that, well might have the same birthday as you. Also known as “birthday twins.”

So yes. While us Centaurs get our own parties on, Mount up! Mount up every day for the expected and the unexpected. Either at work or in the house. No matter if we’re Christmas shopping or gearing up for Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. No matter what SagNation, mount the blank up! And goes for the non Sags that are just watching. We see you, and you see us!

We got this! So as we continue our season until the Capricorns take over the Zodiac Baton,  and more in the coming year, mount up! And to add, in the words of December born Sag, Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers: R-E-L-A-X!

 

 


 

WARNING: The following post contains some Graphic Images, or clips related. Be Advised.

 

Usually I don’t address more of the Facebook phenomenon, but in this instance, I must.

Facebook Challenges. Some are interesting, but the one I want to address was just silly to end someone’s own life. I was just reading a story on-line called “Boy Dies After Participating in the Facebook Fire Challenge.” Yes. You read that right. Now for those who don’t know what are some of these challenges are, let’s take some for example.

We’ve seen the Ice Challenges. They are a challenge in which the challengers have to respond in sitting on a chair with their swimwear on or whatever, and the other person or individuals have either a bucket, or a large container of Ice, or Ice Water and dumps it on them. It’s almost like giving a Gatorade Bath to a coach after a major victory in a football game. Yeah, don’t lie. We all seen that.

We also seen Gospel Challenges. In which many had to accept the challenge of recording themselves on video singing a gospel song of their choice to accept the opportunity. If for example, if one sings Amazing Grace in a gospel like fashion, then the other person may have to sing a different song like something out of Kirk Franklin’s songbook or collection. And that carries on to another challenger.

We’ve also seen another challenge called Fashion Challenge or a fashion selfie challenge, in which others are challenged to display their best fashion pics either in a throwback sense or up to date. And to challenge others to do the same.

Thusly, these are more common challenges that mostly were doing at the time on Facebook. But this recent story about a boy setting himself on fire, with alcohol on his body with his life being on the line was so tragic. Now usually, I see stunt doubles or stunt people do dangerous stuff like this, but apparently they are trained professionals. The boy who died after doing this “Fire Challenge” was NOT A TRAINED PROFESSIONAL!”  You know what all these challenges like this reminds me of? Try “I dare you.” Or “I double dog dare you!” Many of us Gen X folks knows this. We know. And apparently this was a dare that was gone too far all because just trying to one up a person or individual on Facebook. Really?!!! Who they are supposed to be? ECW Wrestlers that set fire on Wrestling Matches? I mean REALLY?!

And apparently there’s always some degenerate commenter who have to be real stupid to make a comment like “he deserved it.” First of all, this black teenage boy didn’t deserve to die at 15 years old. When I was fifteen I was in high school, summer jobs, involved with church activities and stayed out of trouble. And no, Facebook was not even thought about way back when. And I had strict parents! The only time I burned myself was at the age of two with matches. And I was very young coming up.

Now about these so-called Facebook challenges with fire is just way out of bounds. All you parents of now, raising 15 year olds now, going on Facebook and having these challenges, you need to monitor your child’s activity of what they are doing. They are NOT GROWN! If you pay for the computer with a webcam, or a cell phone with YOUR MONEY, you better take it back. And when I was a teen, I didn’t have no cell phone nor a pager. Now, for those who were wondering, what’s a pager? It doesn’t matter right now. Find out later.

But for now, Facebook as well as other Social Media platforms including this blog on WordPress is not the cause of humanity concern! It’s the “human attitude” of what is put on Facebook that gets around. When someone attacks you on Social Media in a verbal assault, or putting a pic of you having sex with your enemy, or tagging your name or Hashtag along with a story that is not concerned with your well being. OR…. If you post a pic or video that is NSFW per say, and someone calls foul on it and you get mad because you believe it’s your 1st Amendment right to post whatever. Even though if you are being responsible in a sense. Probably. And yes, sort of like cell phones, ipads, ipods,  androids, windows products, TV’s, Video Games, and many other technological aspects we have now. Oh……don’t forget music too. Years ago, in High School, I remember writing a paper about Music and TV not causing the concern of teens like me growing up. It’s the folks reacting to that and assuming that it’s about that life. You Baby-Boomers should know. Gen Y, no exception. And the Millennials, you better learn!

So mainly what I’m saying is we need to re-establish self moral values and self moral lessons of what to not to do. Of course many will not care and do it anyway. But before they do they better see what is up before they do!

Time to be real! Even you don’t have no kids or starting a family!

You want real challenges? I got a real challenge: be a leader!

 


US Bank Fireworks n Milwaukee, WI

Independence Day has come and gone for another year. If you celebrated this year thus far with the fireworks, barbecues, day off from work, or any other reason to celebrate the legendary holiday of American Observances, then yes you have been blessed. BUT since the festivities has now been silenced until next year in July, the struggle continues. Many don’t think so. But plenty, we have to realize that of the objective to journey on. 

Dear US Americans (either by birth or by immigrant): It’s me Stephen, an African-American male blogger by hobby, but not by trade.

Happy Birthday America. Another year of our young 238 years has been celebrated, culminated or observed. Yes, we have we have well brought more of our Red, White, and Blue in various ways in terms of celebrations and cookouts. Even most of us have the “Independent Mindset” of takes to be independent among other things. Yes, I do have a confession as an African-American: And I’m using the term “AFRICAN-AMERICAN” Loosely. Not tightly. I do get down with the patriotic side of my Americana talents of decking the house with the RWB, and many others. So yes, I do celebrate Independence Day like everyone else, but I also reflect the observances for those who are no longer here living and also in dedication to those who have struggled for many many years tried to celebrate. Even here in Milwaukee, by going to a July 3rd US Bank Fireworks Show that was most improved. For those who don’t live in Milwaukee, my home city kicks off the 4th of July a day early due to the Lakefront Fireworks near Veterans Park and the Milwaukee Summerfest Grounds.  We do it big here! It’s our annual tradition that goes back to about 1911 in our County Parks.

I don’t mean to demean my own party of observances. During the signing of the Declaration of Independence in the hot July year of 1776, yes I do know and realized that my black people weren’t part of the celebration. They weren’t part of the folks who embraced the unification of the country’s birth due to one thing: Slavery. Many of my African-American compatriots, or brothers and sisters denounced the 4th of July as a farce. Some (not all)  go far by saying “Fourth of YOU-LIE!” based on the reaction of history that is still being talked about amongst us in 2014. Even in the era that we have a Black President in the White House. Speaking of that, Malia Obama just turned 16 on the nation’s b-day. And if you got a birthday on the 4th, or got married on the 4th, hey Happy Birthday and Anniversary. Getting back, the main reminder of the fourth, goes back to Frederick Douglass, when he published his famous writing, “What is the slave to the Fourth of July?” He published that on July 5th, 1862 which is about 162 years in the making. We know what he said. We know how he felt. And there are those today who read that same document have to draw comparisons of what Douglass was feeling in terms of not being included, left out, or not being mentioned or skipped over due to the skin tone and hate of being black. This includes voting rights, civil rights, jobs, health care, economics, living status, immigration rights, and many other factors that is still around. Even racism and other forms of discrimination. Just a reminder I don’t see any utopias!

 

What gets me that, if we are the country that is still on the pulse of all men are created equal, what is about the notions that are not equal? When I hear and see or read about African-Americans get the racism bug, and other folks of non-black had to bust out with the “get over it” speech, what are we are supposed to get over?! Those who say that, need to be in the boots or shoes of us black folks that go through this thing EVERYDAY! This is not some get over it fix. It’s real life on the real here. It’s kind of like were dealing with another version of Jim Crow remixed. Am I right? Or is it some figment of imagination?

Call out: How many of us encountered racism on the 4th? Be honest!

But hold up! How many of us have encountered racism and actually did nothing or something about it? Basic question to ponder. And don’t be like and say as a reminder  “Oh, I’m colorblind.” That’s a farce. When you meet a person of a different race, yes YOU WILL see color. And when you go home, same thing. When that encounters, it’s another reminder that America as young and old as is need to improve. Just to think that the figures of Dr. Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee, and even Bobby Womack and among others are not here to reappear. I know that many are about to break out the wise words of Dr. King in his I Have A Dream Speech. That one line that everyone knows. BUT: I advise by reading the entire speech!

Back to me celebrating in all: Yes I do celebrate the 4th. I celebrate for me, my family, my American values. Plus I celebrate my earned opportunity of Independence, Liberty, and the right to blog what I want on WordPress. Even my work. Even my church. Even my Alumni groups that contribute each year. And my community ideas and concerns of improvement. I even celebrate for my black folks who were slaves that got whipped, shackled, branded by force, beaten up and even killed in trying to get that one word etched: Freedom.

I also realized that Freedom is not free. It’s not. That is harder to work for because, there are obstacles everyday no matter what we go through. And I hope those of my culture and as many other cultures have to realize the similar notions. No shade. No generational cards. So in closing: We can celebrate. We can observe. BUT: like Melissa Harris-Perry’s father always says, and I believe him: the struggle continues.

Sincerely, (and Independently, patriotically rightfully so)

Stephen


Oh I got a four way stop for y’all! And I’m about to go in my way.

First: For all of us Milwaukeeans in the greater area that have a love/hate thing for Scott Walker.

We know the issues and concerns. But the biggest concern and the biggest story that hit was from the New Republic, and it concerned the well being of Scott Walker, and most of us living in Milwaukee with the whole case of segregation, the issues of polarized politics and many other concerns that would make those interested to freak out on Facebook. More on that later. If those in Milwaukee or any in the “WOW” counties of you know who you are, you might want review the New Republic’s article on the Toxic Racial Politics of Scott Walker. Oh, if you’re a Walker fan (which I’m NOT!) you will be moved with the truth that many here in Milwaukee or the Greater Milwaukee Area has been saying for years and even when Scott Walker was just trying to sneak up his way to the top of the Wisconsin food chain.  The author, Alec MacGillis highlighted many issues to the point that the Greater Milwaukee continues to face. The Voting areas, the ongoing talk of Mark Belling and Charlie Sykes and their disdain of blacks, Gwen Moore and other “majority white and less black issues” that the state continues to grasp. If those believe that it’s all smoke and mirrors or just a bunch of hooey, then you’re sadly mistaken. From the article about Walker’s beginnings, yes he was a PK, a preacher’s kid if you will. And yes he had those in his classrooms, hallways, and doorways that he talked smack against those weren’t on his side of the viewpoints.And he had the nerve to say to compare himself to Martin Luther King just because he’s a preacher’s son? Really Walker folks?  If Dr. King were alive, he would school Scott Walker in the radical and revolutionary game. And even Dr. King wouldn’t like the things Walker did or currently doing to the state right now anyway. Also in the article that had some or most of the “conservative Wisconsin regime” reacting like crazy, remember those racist emails that many downloaded from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel? Well from the excerpt it went like this: But what was most striking was the casual racism of many of the conversations. One anonymous e-mail, forwarded by Walker’s then–chief of staff, went like this:

“THE NIGHTMARE … ‘I can handle being a black, disabled, one armed, drug-addicted Jewish homosexual … but please, oh dear God, don’t make me a Democrat.’ ”

Another compares welfare recipients to dogs:

They are “mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who the r [sic] Daddys [sic] are.”This message was forwarded around by Walker’s then–deputy chief of staff, who remarked that it was “hilarious” and “so true.”

Last year, Walker also fired two aides after reporters exposed offensive comments they had made on social media. His campaign’s deputy finance director, for instance, sent out tweets that included references to “half-breeds” and one in which she vowed to “choke that illegal mex cleaning in the library.”

Does that refresh some reviews?

Many here in Southeast believe that the whole area is not segregated politically. Actually it is. Based on this demographic from 2012 as a reference from history. And yes, we’ve seen this in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Look at this from this angle:

A Guide to Scott Walker's Hyperpolarized Home Base

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This has been the talk thus far. Now normally you would think that, “oh this is a map, big deal”. But look at it closely. Look at the Metro Milwaukee Area in comparison with the Counties of Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington. Those are the “WOW” counties in which it’s Republican fueled. Those same counties by the majority have been filling up Scott Walker’s pockets with all the propaganda per say with the cuts to medics, educational aspects and I dare say the High Speed Rail  that would have rolled through Waukesha. Now for you in these counties, this is what you get.

Everyone in Wisconsin should darn well know about this. And the legalities behind the fuel of those of like Charlie Sykes and Mark Belling. For me, I don’t listen to  their spin and bubbles because most of what they say don’t mean a thing to me in my viewpoints. None. They think they know the black community, but they really don’t know squat in the black community. When was the last time Charlie Sykes or Mark Belling ever visited North Division High School in person full of black students? Nope! Never seen it.

Now since the ongoing case of the John Doe situation is currently in progress, it’s not closed or resolved like Walker wants it to be. It’s still open and it still being under view. And this is not going away. If he were to be beaten by Mary Burke in November, I would laugh. Speaking of Mary Burke, she’s been in the black news in Milwaukee lately for her campaign trail. And she’s been to black talk radio more than Walker, plus recently went to Juneteenth Day to make an appearance. Mary Burke is tapping into the black vote. In which that Walker is not.

The Second Stop on the list: Iraq.

We know about this country do we, Americans? The last time we went into this was when George W. Bush was ruining the country into ground on a freaking credit card. I want to say this and I’ll say it here: America has no business in Iraq’s backyard. In terms of the war over there. Now recently the President has sent about 300 Military Advisers over to the U.S. Embassy to provide support. But none of them are not going to be involved in the ongoing war between the Sunnis and Shiites. Or the ISIS factor. Frankly, yes it was a tight spot for the president to be in, but Obama knows that he does not want to be a repeat of what happened with Bush’s controls. Many are now just questioning about whether do I send my son or daughter to Iraq this time. Um, didn’t we asked that question like over 10 years ago when the U.S. should have focused more on Afghanistan/Pakistan in getting Bin Laden than Saddam Hussein? And the risk of losing more than 4,000 plus of our American Troops to do that? If you are a infinite follower of George W. Bush and support that, shameful. That even got the folks like Dick Cheney and Rand Paul talking. Oh we’ve seen the debate right?

After that commentary I thought I would never say this, one of the GOP’s of Rand Paul had the balls to tell Dick Cheney that he, George W. Bush, Condi Rice, and many others in the Bush 43 Administration were wrong about going into Iraq. With all the crap that the GOP is bleeding out to the American and to President Obama, this statement about Rand Paul makes sense of not invading a country that should have remained untapped in begin with.  Don’t get me on the GOP Train of favoritism. Oh no. At least this guy out of Kentucky is admitting the fact, Cheney was wrong. My question is, why can’t the other GOP folks admit the truth about the war in Iraq and ADMIT the fault of it on the part of the United States invading it? That is what I want to know! And again, I’m not a fan nor a supporter of the GOP. And that goes double for not being a fan of the so-called Tea Party. Now I know that many are going to say, “Bush is not in charge anymore. Why are folks and you talking about him after about 5 years he’s been out of office?” Well, it’s the truth! Everyone in the GOP Camp keeps talking about that President Obama should be impeached in all. I have to ask: IMPEACHED FOR WHAT?!! Just because he’s black? The main reason for that is because of ignorance and racism against this man since the day he sat foot in office after beating Sen. John McCain and the escalation of hate after Mitt Romney got whooped in 2012.

Even Senator Harry Reid agrees. In terms of the proverbial, “thanks but no thanks” mentality. The Bush 43 regime was blunderous at best, but it’s up to the Obama Crew to fix the mess.

 

Third stop: Wisconsin’s Gay Marriage is temporarily “halted.”

Here in the Badger State, folks of the LGBT were lined up outside of courthouses and statehouses to get married legally after the ban was lifted. And plus the ban ended a 8 year streak being unconstitutional. It was getting good for awhile, BUT……….Wisconsin’s AG JB Van Hollen had to whine like a wuss yet again to the federal judge of his appeal in the then-definition of the marriage law between a man and a woman. So there has been a temporary stop in which the idea is paused due to the resolution from 2006. Oh, even Walker is not saying anything, but he’s backing the word and resolution based on it. But SURPRISINGLY: RoJo or Senator Ron Johnson commented in his words, that if the voters wanted the Marriage Equality thing, he would not touch it, but leave it to the voters to decide. Ok, here’s the actual quote from the Journal Sentinel:

I’m a pretty traditional guy,” Johnson said. “I’m almost 60 years old. I think marriage is between a man and a woman. But again if the voters decide that they want gay marriage, I’m not going to oppose it.

I know that many are saying “that’s what he was put in office for! I see why we took out Feingold for him.” Really Wisconsin? Don’t fool yourself. Let me remind those who may have forgotten. Remember the Patriot Act after 9/11 when many in the senate and house voted up for the idea for the government to tap our phones in all to screen the terrorism acts? Many have voted up for it, BUT……………..Russ Feingold didn’t. Because he knew that would be a problem, and you “so-called Wisconsinites” voted him out for RoJo! Yep. He tried to tell you, but nope that Tea Party Mentality was just that: dumb. Now imagine if Russ Feingold were to back Marriage Equality now even more in a sense of passion per say, then this wouldn’t be a factor. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see if the official resolution of this matter does indeed pass for those who want the idea of Marriage Equality to continue. I said before and I’ll say it again. I don’t care. If the folks of the LGBT want to marry equally on their thing without all this harm to world domination, then hey. I’ll bet that the haters of it probably are going to be well in doubt of not getting that extra cash in the state. And speaking of that, if the state houses were to have that continually, there better be more jobs popping up, and also more notaries. And yes, proof of marriage via photography.

And finally on the stop: This is a mystery but I’ll dive in on the “private way of  the All Aboard Wisconsin Rail Idea.

Here is the thing that most of us Wisconsin folks probably don’t know. The talk of rail is still here. And we all know about the situation regarding Talgo, and the debauchery of the folks thought it was a boondoggle and wouldn’t ride it. But what most didn’t realize in the eyes of those voters that was a set up of additional segregation. Now for those who wanting to know where I’m getting this from, pay attention to Milwaukee Black Talk Radio, like WNOV. The commentary that is on there will not be heard on the dial of Mark Belling, Vicki McKenna, or Charlie Sykes. But Sherwin Hughes will talk about it. And many others who call in or have special guests will chime in and the guests who chime in on it know the deep reasoning behind the segregation. No matter if it’s activist, senators, congress representatives, journalists, police officers and veterans all of African decent. That’s just something to think about.

Just recently, on Facebook and many others like Madison’s Newspapers, I’ve been reading about an idea of resurrecting passenger rail. Oh, you didn’t know? From their webpage , there was a proposal talk about having a passenger service from Madison to Chicago and the idea of using rails already in use for that project. However just to be clear this is just talk of ideas. When would it be available? That remains to be seen.  From the excerpts of the article, it states:

Goyke and Mike McCoy, president of All Aboard Wisconsin, said details of the operation — including route, costs and potential ridership — have not been formulated.

Donna Brown-Martin, who oversees railroads and harbors for the state Department of Transportation, said she has not been contacted by anyone involved with plans for passenger rail service from Madison to Chicago.

Any plan to use a state-owned rail line would need to be approved by the state and the railroad that leases the line from the state.

The state of Wisconsin owns a rail line operated by Wisconsin & Southern Railroad that runs through McFarland, Stoughton, Edgerton, Janesville, Walworth and to the southeast to the Illinois border.

Wisconsin is served by two passenger Amtrak routes, neither of which includes a stop in Madison. The Hiawatha train runs between Chicago and Milwaukee, while the Empire Builder is a long-distance train operating one round trip a day between Chicago, Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

Its closest stops to Madison are in Columbus, Portage and Wisconsin Dells.

Goyke’s invitation drew excitement from business and political leaders Wednesday.

Madison Ald. Scott Resnick, 8th District, said he plans to take part in the informational train trip and wants to know more about costs, what type of participation might be needed from the city, the exact route and plans for a Madison train station.

 

Seems like an idea, eh?

If this idea were to pursue as an alternative in order to get moving, then it seems a good thought. BUT ALSO, that good thought must include Milwaukee, more jobs, and also to connect to where the jobs are. Let me remind those who are various clueless of having cars: NOT EVERYONE IN WISCONSIN DOES NOT HAVE A CAR!!!! Be clear. WNOV talks about this all the time, and to those in Madison need to know this! It’s the truth. I see it and read about it here in the economic engine all the time. There was a point in my life I took buses to work and school in Milwaukee alot. But when it comes places where the buses can’t go, yes I learned to drive. But I’m speaking about those in the areas who couldn’t afford a car had to take buses to get to work. I’m speaking this also from experience. And if those in the background can see that, then it would be a challenge to accept, change, and pursue.

 

 


 

Get to know these words: BANNED FOR LIFE.

That is what Donald Sterling is getting. Today, if you were working or getting ready to go to your second shift, or just now reading it all day, the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had made of decree and an order that the actions and words of soon-to-be former owner of the LA Clippers Donald Sterling  is banned from the NBA forever. No coming back. No getting involved in NBA related stuff. He also has a fine of 2.5 Million Dollars coming after him and that money will be donated to those effected with Anti-discrimination and other sorts of needy concerns of the community and country. Technically this was a small victory, but a much needed victory in terms of all of this.

Now I know that there are others who had to cry out to say “Oh, his first amendment rights were violated. What happened to Freedom of Speech?!” Oh let me tell you about that “Freedom of Speech”. Oh yes, freedom of speech is a right. It’s in our DNA to express whatever we want or display. But when that Freedom of Speech goes to far in terms of attacking someone’s ethnicity or making a private thought public, is that a freedom right? Is that a First Amendment right? Is that a right to say what you feel about a certain individual or individual after attacking someone or a group just because let say……………….African Decent?  That’s when that Freedom Of Speech gets jacked up! Oh yes, I said it.

Magic Johnson, V. Stiviano, pictured

Note: courtesy of TMZ Sports, this is the one pic that sparked the climax of the Donald Sterling case. 

 

One of the biggest mistakes that Donald Sterling said in that recording to the former girlfriend V. Stiviano, that he didn’t want any black players in his words: “at my games.”  Who’s games? Donald was acting like he owns the NBA. Yeah he fed the players, gave them clothes, shoes, houses and others, BUT…….Keep in mind that every game we see, is NBA Owned! Not Donald Sterling owned in a plantation like manner. Even this includes the Milwaukee Bucks new owners stepping up to the plate to take control of the team to try to stay in the brew city.

Donald Sterling ain’t God folks!

As far as the game is concerned, I’m not a LA Clippers Fan. But I would be fired up for the home court no matter what. Even though that this part is closed, but the concerns and stillness of racial hatred, bigotry still lingers. This is why race is still a hot button topic. Or the so-called race card is still on deck on tables of families and businesses everyday. We see it and sometimes we don’t get it. Oh, I hear folks say, “blacks complain everything about race.” Hell, so have everyone else. Why do we complain about this? Many of the other ethnics including whites probably may not get it. Many or some don’t want to listen to why it is. Or many think it’s all a figment of imagination, thinking we’re all the same under the same utopia.

Oh, did I mention that there are no utopias? Where is it? Again: Somebody tell me something! And to crap with the same blood red thing. Last time I checked, many of us have different blood types that don’t mix well. Harsh reality in a figure of speech.

You all know my story about being discriminated in Wisconsin because of a past job offer. Remember Dresser Waukesha? Black folks didn’t get in the company because of racism?

So this teachable moment should infuse every owner in the NBA not to cross that line. Not only that, those of you who are CEO’s, Chairman of the Board, Council Chairs, Presidents, Leading officials, Ambassadors, Superintendents, Supervisors, Recruiters, or any other soon to be leading person of a company, or a self-employed party guy/woman, or a business owner, I have a warning shot for you: we are on watch! Period. If any one of you or us should cross that line, it’s about suffering the consequences. Either severe or temporary. It’s like breaking the law. If you do the crime, hey there is a prison cell waiting. Like the old school folks used to say, don’t start nothing, so won’t be nothing!

Oh, and that’s even worse than having to hear the infamous “you’re fired speech” like Vince McMahon.

Like my old college teachers used to say, stay out of trouble!

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