Tuesday, January 31, 2017

New Music: Three Stripes by Bell Biv DeVoe (BBD) [Interview Video]

You know you gotta strike while the iron is HOT!!

Thus, fresh off the heels of The New Edition Story, the 3-member group Bell Biv DeVoe aka BBD, released an album by the name of Three Stripes on Friday.  It's an all-around good piece of work.  Of 10 songs, I really like about half of them.  As their first album in over more than 15 years, I'm labeling Three Stripes a successful comeback!

The guys were on Power 105.1's Breakfast Club recently discussing the BET miniseries, their new album and more..

..According to Johnny Gill, new New Edition is also on the way!

Meanwhile, click HERE to purchase Three Stripes on iTunes.

BET's The New Edition Story [Trailer and Playlist]

BET aired a three-part miniseries depicting the decades long career of the R&B group New Edition last week.  And it is a HIT!!

The New Edition Story begins with 4 little boys that grew up together in the Orchard Park projects in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts; the original New Edition members: Bobby Brown, Michael Givens, Ralph Tresvant and Ricky Bell.  Through the story we find out how the group grew to 5-members with the addition of their manger's nephew, Ronnie DeVoe and ultimately to a total of 6 (sometimes 5--long story.Watch the miniseries!) members when Washington D.C. native, Johnny Gill, joined in time for their third studio album.

The greatest takeaway from this biopic, for me, is the love the members have for one another regardless of all else.  The depiction of grand success achieved together, and within that story, a sub story of a single member's personal issues that threaten that success and the dilemma these young men were faced with of whether to throw their brother off the ship or all drown.  As well as the rise of individual members that reached solo success that many would say overshadowed any prior success the group achieved as a collective unit.  All of the setbacks with personal issues and games played by music executives, as well as step ups as the group gains notoriety and a keen sense for how to best navigate the industry are displayed in The New Edition Story and in the end, the boys that grew into men before their fans' eyes have forgiven past transgressions and have a genuine love and camaraderie for one another.

All of the love, the struggles, hardwork and dedication that created New Edition in the late 70's and to this day maintains the group is relayed so well through this miniseries.

BET got it so right with this biopic!  (It really touched my soul.) Great production and an awesome cast!

If you have not yet watched The New Edition Story (and what I've written so far still hasn't convinced you to do so), here is a trailer to whet that appetite:

And y'all know there is no denying the solid hits the men of New Edition has a a group as well as individuals and (one) smaller group.  So, click HERE to jam to the Ultimate NE Playlist on Apple Music.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

"Nasty Woman" Original Poem by Nina Mariah •• Performed At the Women's March by Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd recited a good ole NASTY!!! poem titled "Nasty Woman" during the Women's March held in Washington, D.C. the day following Trump's Inauguration.  The poem received loads of praise and came as a bit of a surprise that Ashley had "it" (the words and lyricist-esque abilities) in her!  And then it also came as no surprise when Judd gave the author of the poem, a teen by the name of Nina Donovan (Mariah), a shoutout for her great work.

Video of Nina Mariah performing her original piece, "Nasty Woman":

And in case you missed Ashley Judd's performance:

Florida Cop Steals Dog and Forges Checks From Elderly Woman Before Attempting To Kill Her!

Frankie Eugene Bybee, a (ex-) Sarasota County Sheriff deputy just shy of 2 decades of service has been jailed on a more than $1 Million bond after he'd befriended a local elderly woman, stole her dog, forged checks from her account and left her for dead in her home!

The 79-year old woman claims that in the Fall of 2016 she called local 9-1-1 for assistance and Bybee responded to the call, which ended with her being transported to a hospital.  Since then Bybee would visit her at her home while on-duty as well as off and became quite friendly with her;  introducing her to his family and all!

Things began to take a turn for the worse when the woman was admitted to the hospital and Bybee agreed to watch after her dog during her stay.  He took the dog, as well as a $1,000 check she had given him for the dog's veterinarian care and grooming.  With check in hand, he (claims to have) gave the dog away via a CraigsList ad.

At this point you really wonder, "How low can you go?!!"  A person trusts you to care for their dog and gives you $1000 to do so and you immediately get rid of the pooch on CraigsList?? Just.. low-down!

However, ole Frankie goes lower..

On January 9, 2017, the victim found an envelope addressed to Bybee which contained 4 checks made out to him and each of his 3 children, totaling $65,000 from her bank account.  She had not written these checks!  She handed them over to the Sheriff's office.  Bybee's fingerprints were found on the checks and he was placed on administrative leave.

January 12, 2017, the victim states that she was sitting in her living room when Bybee, clad in dark clothing and blue latex gloves, burst in, grabbed her face and forced pills down her throat, including those prescribed to her to assist with sleep.  Following this, the victim passed out and awakened to the interior garage door open and her car running.

According to Miami Herald:
Bybee faces charges of larceny, exploitation of the elderly of $50,000 or more, forgery, burglary of an occupied dwelling, battery on a person 65 or older and attempted murder. 
According to records provided to the Bradenton Herald by a Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, Bybee has been the subject of five previous internal investigations, though only two resulted in disciplinary action. He was reprimanded and suspended for a week following a 2008 internal affairs investigation and then again in 2014, this time for seven days.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article128364474.html#storylink=cpy
This... is what the protection of The Boys in Blue can lead to... attempted murder BY A COP, thievery BY A COP, and many more ills that they promise to protect the citizens from.

What if this woman would have died?!

The fact that Bybee had 5 previous investigations, 2 of which earned him suspensions, should have been the very incidents that saved the citizens in Sarasota, Florida from being exposed to and potentially harmed by this Boy in Blue.  Instead, Bybee was given chance after chance to do as he pleased with a gun and badge, even though it had been proven that he absolutely did not deserve the privilege.

Hopefully, the victim sues the hell out of the local Sheriff's office and any and all other departments associated!  She damn near lost her life due to their negligence!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Low Inauguration Turnout, Worldwide Protests, Cakegate & Embarrassing Denials

Welcome to the world of, The U.S.'s 45th President, Donald Trump.

For all of the 65,844,954 of us American citizens that did not vote for our current President*, his position in The White House is upsetting.  The low attendance numbers for Trump's Inauguration, held on Friday, January 20, 2017, and the protests that occurred that day, as well as the following day are indicative of exactly how the masses feel: unheard, excluded, (discarded, even),  fearful of what's to come with this new administration.  If one were to check out the list of words The Washington Post credited Trump as being the first President in American history to ever incorporate in the Inaugural speech, you'd probably agree with the fear.  Most are pretty dark:

.."carnage, bleed, despair, sad, stolen, trapped, wind-swept, depletion, unstoppable, ripped"... No doubt these are words to describe the era in which Native Americans were wiped out and their lands STOLEN.  Definitely characterizes the era during which America had a great affinity for inhumane and SAVAGE slavery practices.. And the times in which Jim Crow prevailed legally in the South. *YIKES*

For me, these inaugural novelties (words) surely support what Trump's main objective seems to have been since the very beginning:  To further divide Americans.  And I can only suppose that with a greater division, he can maybe pretend to be the savior that swoops in to "Make America Great Again". 

However, to be fair, I must say that many of these first ever inaugural words listed all alone spell D-Y-S-T-O-P-I-A-N!  Though, standing individually, without context, they actually belie Trump's message which was this vision of his for "solidarity" of all American citizens, jobs, schools, safe streets and America being America's priority, while maintaining  relationships with current allies and his hope to forge new alliances.

If Trump had not shown himself to be a blatant liar, I'd give him credit on his speech.  The words sound good, but he ain't good money.  Definitely not to be trusted.  We've all seen how this man conducts himself.  And for that reason alone, I cannot give his hopeful message any credit.  Coming from him, the words do not mean a thing!  

If you are like me and did not tune into the Inauguration from home or unlike the few (in comparison to past inaugurations) that showed up to witness the event in person, click the following link to read the transcript provided by The Washington Post: Donald Trump's 2017 Inauguration Speech

The small turnout pictured and captured on video throughout Trump's Inaugural proceedings really speaks to  his unpopularity with the American people.  And for a man such as Trump, this slim physical show of support from his country's people shot to the top of his camp's priority list and unsurprisingly was denied to the nth degree by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer who chastised the press; accusing media of attempting to downplay Americans' "enthusiasm for the inauguration" and stated that this (what I am guessing he claims to be) manipulative art of photography and videography is "shameful".  Spicer also went on to say that Trump's inauguration audience, "..was the largest..to ever witness an inauguration, period; both in person and around the globe!"-- Lies.

You know, the old saying goes, "All politicians are dirty.", but jeez!  Can we at least be lied to as if we have a tiny bit of intelligence and eyes and ears?!  I mean.. really!  Since the very beginning of Trump's run, him and his camp flat out deny things and even make things up out of thin air with no regard.  A very "So what" approach.  

Me, myself, would rather have a President that does not lie at all, but if no politician can be fully believed and my Prez must lie... make it believable, please.  Don't piss on us and tell us it's rain!  (All pun intended)

And even worse than his lies are the many things that we know to true about him, character-wise.  Here's a few labels he has earned himself through his ideology (and idiocy), which he seems all too willing and proud to have shared with us through words: RACIST, BIGOT, XENOPHOBE, FASCIST, BULLY, MISOGYNIST... 

Trump's misogynistic views and incredible lack of respect or even concern for women, their rights, needs and safety lead to a worldwide event know as the Women's March held in cities such as: Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Cape Town, Mexico City and many others.  A mere day following the sparse show of support for Trump's inauguration,  Americans of all races, and from varying backgrounds descended upon Washington in numbers well beyond what the city witnessed for the welcoming of the new U.S. President.  Here's the proof (I'm sure Spicer would disapprove):

Photo just as Trump's swearing in began
Photo captured roughly and hour prior to the beginning of the Women's March in Washington, DC--source

As they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words." And here we have two.

The size of these crowds: One in support of a Trump administration and the other opposed to the ideology of such an administration. This speaks to where the people stand and what the people feel.

Trump's speech reads as a soothing work of calm and restoration of a "peaceful" time.  As a black woman, I don't know if I can recall of ever hearing of a true time of peace in America for black people; historically speaking.  Though it is true that daily life has improved for blacks in America in comparison to what those bearing my color experienced in the 1700s or 1800s or even the 1940s, 50s and 60s, we still have yet to reach a complete stage of equality and thus, I don't believe, as a whole, that African-Americans have ever found a time in which we can actually breathe easy in our day-to-day lives in America.

I would love to exist in this land, with this shameful past that cannot be undone, with current leaders (President and Congress) that genuinely attempt to atone for all the ugly behavior and beliefs of men and women before them by ensuring ALL Americans a real chance to prosper with access to clean air, water and food, education and employment with at least a living wage.

I think that most Americans want that. They want to have a family and be able to comfortably provide that family with the things they need and sometimes a little extra. That's the epitome of the American Dream for most of us. That's a dream Trump promises to do his best to bring to fruition for the majority of Americans for which such a life has not yet been achieved. And at this point, it's a literal game of anxiety that goes by the name of "Wait and See".

God Bless the U.S.A..

ALMOST FORGOT!!! CAKEGATE! (First, Melania's stolen speech *cringe*, and now this.)

*Updated to report the actual total number that voted for his opponent, Hilary Clinton.  Previously the post reported a total of 2.9 Million, which is the actual number of popular votes Clinton earned in excess of the number Trump did, not the overall total.  The official count was found at CNN.com


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Arkansas Judge Abuses Power and Resigns Rather Than Go Through the "Motions"..

"Go through the motions."  That was a pun.  I thought it was funny, least...

However, what is absolutely not funny though is the latest story out of Arkansas about (ex) Judge Timothy Parker, who used his judicial power to garner sexual favors in exchange for extremely low bails or even the complete dismissal of bail.

Earlier today the Arkansas' Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission announced Parker's resignation; which is a decision the judge arrived at after he received a formal letter from the commission detailing accusations from several female defendants that alleges between the years of 2013 to 2016, he either set really low bail for them (and/or their family members or friends) or simply ordered their release without bail if the female was willing to give him something in exchange.

From NY Times:

The commission, which investigates judges who are accused of misconduct or for disabilities that prevent them from doing their jobs, said Mr. Parker continued to deny the allegations, but that he resigned as part of a negotiated resolution to avoid being formally charged with judicial conduct violations. The statement said he was concerned about the impact litigation would have on his family, and that his term was about to expire anyway. 
It [formal lettter] said the commission has recorded video statements from more than a dozen women and obtained text messages that supported the allegations. It said there were other undisputed allegations against the judge, including that he sometimes personally showed up at the county jail to order the release without bail of friends, and that he would give them rides home in his personal vehicle. 
..The commission was only responsible for judicial charges, which meant that Mr. Parker could have been removed from serving as a judge or could have faced other sanctions if he had not resigned, Mr. Sachar said. 
But Mr. Sachar said that there was also a criminal investigation underway by a special prosecutor and that Mr. Parker’s law license could be placed under investigation by a separate agency that regulates those licenses. 
The special prosecutor, Jason Barrett, told The A.P. that he was reviewing the case. He could not be reached for comment. 
Telephone calls and an email to Mr. Parker’s law office and to other numbers associated with him were not returned on Wednesday, but he denied the allegations to The Associated Press on Tuesday. Asked why he didn’t contest them, he told The A.P: “I have young children and I don’t want them exposed to that kind of crap.”

For the life of me, I cannot understand why these unethical beings, such as ex-Judge Parker, is given the option to simply step down, because of course, he doesn't want his "young children..exposed to that kind of crap."

What crap?.. The kind he was engaged in?.. Wielding his power from the bench to exploit desperate women for his perverse sexual gratification... Is that the "crap" he's referring to that he would not like his children to be made aware of?...

Unfortunately, this will most likely all end with the women suing and Arkansas tax payers footing the bill.  I mean, it's all good for them if they get some good money in their pockets and all, by why should the tax payers have to pay for this guy's fuck up?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

I been thinkin'... (Life is too short)

**The below post is a draft that I began September 18, 2012.  Even over 4 years later, the words remain true and hopefully someone finds inspiration in them. Happy New Year to you all!*

Life is too short for these few things:

1--Worrying about people that you care nothing about and/or those that care nothing about you!

  • Especially when it comes to what they think or say about you. And guess what... If you do care about someone that constantly talks about you and puts you down and revels in misfortunes and obstacles that enter your life... You need to STOP.

    • It's obvious that anyone who thinks your downfalls are funny or well-deserved, ain't for you. They are totally against you!

    • And anyone that speaks ill of you (behind your back) ain't for you.

2-- Chasing love from one that doesn't want to (and most likely never will) give it to you.

  • We all want to feel loved, but this ain't the way.  As the old saying goes: "Can't get blood from a turnip." Don't waste your precious time.

3-- Harping on regrets

  • Sure, we all have regrets. Once you go through with something and it doesn't go as planned, it's human nature to do the whole, "Damn! I shoulda.." That's a natural feeling and response. However, you can't stay stuck on the "Shoulda woulda coulda"'s in life. Every situation and experience is a lesson. Take what you've learned and apply it the next time 'round. (And there will be a "next time". The same people may not be involved, but the same situation is bound to arise.)
  • The past is the past and unchangeable. Worrying about something you nor anyone else can do anything about in the present or future is pure nonsense.  Shed regrets and pick up some HAPPY 😁.  Happy for another day and another chance to mold your life into what you want it to be. (Or even another day with the knowledge that the carryout around the corner has nasty food and will never get another dime of your money!--lol)

4--Not showing those that you love and care for that you honestly do love and care for and cherish them.

5-- Not Enjoying Life.

  • The majority of us work. And many of us work hard.  Life needs balance. You can't work yourself to death and not enjoy some of your breathing moments.

6-- Constant Negativity

  • Remember that negativity begets negativity and what your mind conjures up is just as powerful as the actions your body takes.  If you constantly think that things won't go right or that you aren't worthy or  even that you don't have enough.. You're probably right.  On the other hand, when you think positively, you'll see that you are just as likely to be right in that case.  The mind is powerful.  If you are a Negative Nelly try thinking positively and see how it changes your outcomes in the world.
  • This even reaches to those that are constant gossipers and/or evil wishers (for others).  Stop with that negativity.  Once you begin to focus on yourself and what you need in life, you'll be much lighter and open to receive all the good things you wish for in life.
**Life can be and will be a difficult journey for most of us.  No matter your race, socio-economic status, education, location, etc.  As humans we will all experience issues, traumas, disappointments, losses and gains.  

As I have maneuvered through life I have realized many worries and stresses that were all in vain: Caring what others thought of me and I either did not know them or knew them and did not care for them--what's the point in being stressed about what someone, that you have no respect for, thinks about you?  Is it your mission to please that person??--NO! Shed that stress and also, do not ever worry about what they are doing, unless it directly effects you.

I've also found myself at times being unnecessarily negative.  That really weighs one down.  Even when dealing with a negative person, when I do not allow their bad mood to rub off on me; thus controlling myself and my life, not allowing them to control me, I feel good and light inside.  And I'm not blocking the good energy the Universe has for me.  (I mean.. I'm only human and can be taken out of my zone.. I'm a work in progress.  But, I suggest you all try it.)

In addition to negativity that weighs us down, regrets that stay on our minds.. and our hopes and wishes that we had done or said something different during a time that has passed.. That's for the birds.  Don't stress today and tomorrow over something that happened yesterday. If you have the means to sort of make amends in regards to past actions, do it.  If you do not, let it go!  It's life.  You will experience things and hopefully you learn from those experiences.   

Though this post began in 2012, I am wrapping it up on January 4, 2017 wishing you all a HAPPY, PROSPEROUS, & POSITIVE NEW YEAR! 🎉🎉🎉**