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Friday, July 24, 2015

Suicide while in police custody--Sandra Bland

A police officer stopped Sandra Bland  vehicle for a  failure to use her turn signal when switching lane traffic violation.  A traffic violation which should have been a warning or a traffic ticket for a fine, turned into an what is deemed "driving while black" arrest.

A video dusplats an irritated Bland challenging being asked to put out her cigarette which drew disdain from a police officer.  The officer began to engage Bland in unnecessary conversation for a routine traffic stop.  

The more expressive  Bland became in her remarks, the officer respond began to trigger in the conversation fior probable cause reason for Bland's arrest.  

Bland was taken into custody.  We know she was Haled off to jail.  While in custody Bland died.  Now we are left with questions, such as how did this happen?   
#JusticeForSandy and #WhatHappenedToSandyBland.

The autopsy declares death by suicide.  I questions are endless when wondering how this could happe, if Bland disclosed she had suicidal  tendencies.  Why was detain for three day?  When was she scheduled to appear in court for her preliminary hearing?

Note:  The Department of Public Safety trooper, who has been on the force for just over a year, has been placed on administrative leave for violating unspecified police procedures and the department's courtesy policy.

#Black  or white bag.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Surrogate mother for a friend

This is friendship...carrying a baby for a friend, nine months after giving birth to her own child..

Hot in the summertime

How hot is it in the Maryland area?  It is Kilt hot...


Uber is offering free first  rides in Brandywine, Md. up to $20.00 for a trip.  I am not sure how far you can go for $20.00 but for me, I would be worried about getting back to my original destination.   But for those who want to test ride in the little car use this code in your app: BUILDPHL

Saturday, July 18, 2015


Surprise, surprise it is not just the kids who are using Social media, it seems the parents are using them also. According to a PEW study, Facebook, linkedin, Twitter, and Pinterest are used by most parents. A typical parent has 150 Facebook friends. One-third of them are “actual” friends. The Mothers favorite is of course Facebook...A typical parent has 150 Facebook friends. Facebook was about collecting data for dating for the elite. Facebook still collects data but it is your personal information you give to be sold and distributed to marketers. Twitter came through to save us from the overload of personal conversations by limiting the chatter to no more than 140 characters. But Twitter evolved into something else. Twitter became the lightning rod for revolting youths, flash mobs and revolutionary events like the Arab Spring.. word of mouth random mobilization was discovered inside Twitter. Facebook was left to reporting political and government news for parents. While young folks were creating news topic on Twitter. Twitter will soon use these same folks with Project Lightningto allow the uploading of their major news worthy event live moving from reading news topics and still photo to live interaction news by the people. So parents may be viewing facebook to get advice about their children, the children are making news on twitter.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Ida B. Wells

Google doodle honoring Ida b. Wells. 

Black History Month Day 14, Creating your own

Ida Barnett Wells was born during the era of slavery and lived during the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans. Wells would live to witness the birth of Jim Crow laws which prevented African-Americans from enjoying true liberation. The laws were a reminder of Abraham Lincoln words for African-Americans, they were "free but not equal". Neither words, free or equal applied to African-American women. Wells experienced this silence on her intersectional position of being both an African-American and a woman from enforcement of the United States Constitution. As an educated African-American woman, Wells discovered evem with the new provisions within the document did not and would not protect an African-American woman from being manhandled by raced white men. Who battled for the rights of African-American woman?

The fight would becomes Wells.

One day, Wells was asked to move to another section of the train. Wells, was told to move into a smoking section. But that day, Wells must have understood that this demand was not only an insult as a citizen but a threat against her as a woman. Wells refused to move and was thrown off the train. This light bulb moment would illuminate a different path for the teacher she was trained to be. Wells would now take on  a life time crusade against not only discrimination against African-Americans but for legal protection for African-American women. 

Wells would have to channel the messages from both former crusaders Sojourner Truth and Maria Stewart. It could not be left up to raced whites as Sojourner Truth pointed out, in defining womanhood when she asked "Ain't I A Woman ?" in order to be acknowledged by raced white males. Stewart stated that it was up to the African-American woman to define what it meant to be a woman. Wells' battle plan would have to fuse the two together and crafted a newspaper by a woman about African-Americans. 

Wells' newspaper, the Free Speech would tell about the injustices committed against her as an African-American woman. This same newspaper would later chronicle the horrible lynchings that were occurring in the south. Wells newspaper documented the number of lynchings that were occurring under the passive Separate but Equal doctrine. One of her report tell about an incident of lynching involving her friends and another the torturing of a man accused of raping a raced white young female. The lynching was a public event with witnesses collecting souvenirs. 

Wells reports showcased the South total disregard for human life. Wells learned through her travels to other countries, that there were sympathetic ears for her outrages against the south. Wells found those listening ears from the women in Britain. Britain had offered emancipated African-Americans freedom long before President Lincoln. The south was losing many African-Americans fleeing from the south to both Britain and Canada. Wells suggested that African-Americans leave Memphis and go elsewhere to live.  

Women in other countries were surprised to learn that Wells did not find support for her causes in fighting against injustices from women in the United States. Wells reported that America's women movement did not include African-American women. Highlighting the hypocrisy within the pious so called women movement -fight for equality for all women, Wells pointed out the non existence of African-American women membership. In fact, the United States women movement was a battle about class among raced white women. A class warfare as to which raced white women could enter the sphere of true womanhood and be classed a "lady". These women would be allowed to enter society or sororities to mate and marry America's patriotic and prominent males.

Wells writings about these contradictions in America angered her opponents and her newspaper was destroyed. Wells had to do what she was advocating for others to do. Wells had to flee to the north for her own safety. Wells continued her crusade against racial injustices by helping organize the NAACP. Her voice would replace her newspaper as she ran for political office. This would provide Wells an opportunity to rally others to the bully pulpit to fight for the legal rights of all African-Americans, including women. 

Wells life journey reminds us of the outrage years later when mild mannered Rosa Parks, a woman, refused to give her seat to a raced white male and remained in her seat.

Are you working for yourself as an Independent Contractor or a company does not want to pay you benefits?

Why We’re All Becoming Independent Contractors GM is worth around $60 billion, and has over 200,000 employees. Its front-line workers earn from $19 to $28.50 an hour, with benefits.
Uber is estimated to be...(See the rest of the article here #blogger
#independent contractors #Uber #GeneralMotors #RobertReich

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Return to Blogspot

Welcome back readers.

Or should I say, "I'm back!"

It's been awhile since I visited my own site, but I see some of my loyal readers have visited this site to see if I had returned.  Sorry, about my absence.  It seems that instead of focusing on my blog that I devoted much of my reading and my writing on FACEBOOK.  So, if you missed my rants, you can always go there to see what I have been up.

What brings me back?  So much, the murders of African-American males, the removal of the confederate flag, the body shaming of one of the tennis world greatest tennis player, Serena Williams, and my desire to earn additional income!  

With over a half a million page views, I should be able to attracts some of my readers back, if not I hope to capture some new ones.  So stay tuned..

Update July 16, 2015 Serena Williams has been selected to represent Aston Martin cars.Since its foundation in 1913 Aston Martin has combined three important elements in every single car: Power, Beauty and Soul.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

March on Washington 50 years later block party

Folks arrived on the weekend for the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.  They lingered around the steps of the Washington monument lincoln memorial overflowing onto the grass of the World WarII memorial onto the sidewalk and streets leading to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King,  jr. Memorial.  

They listened and gave speeches,  they rallied, they protested, they marched,  they walked, they stood, they sat as participates in the events             supporting their issues.

Their agendas were as varied  as the tee-shirts with slogans, from defending the dream, reform of laws, pro life, gay rights, voting rights, rights of education, economy rights, to prison rights.  So diverse that one could wonder aloud was this march ushering in the first collective march for the future?

But for many who were not among the original marchers of 1963, were witnessing the confusion of still not reaching the ears of those who implemented laws or defined how they moved about the world.  So many voices that you grew silence in trying to have your voice heard. Which song would they sing, which chant would they required a surrendering to the moment, because  Washington policies makers were planning their anniversary on other days.  they don't want to listen to no more we shall overcome.

Our generation will not usher in a more valued sense of self by standing around demanding issues be addressed with placards or another rendition of we shall overcome.    We must believe it like those who gave u the ghost of the past.  Lives were lost in fighting for the dream, not just picking out a teeshirt with a catchy slogan for the day.  They surrendered their lives so that we could wake up to a changing nation.

So the torch was passed to battle the triple threat of war, jobs, and stratification to this generation as they supported one another with little police presence,
The work is far from over,  especially when leaders fail to address the crisis of youth violence, joblessness, resegregation of schools and neighborhoods, and the racial profiling of our citizens that impact their moral decisions.

Young folks showed up and the elderly needed to promote those voices of the young whispering words of encouragement and wisdom in their Struggle to overcome.  It was Trayvon Martin who mobilized this crew of marchers.  The NAACP, the unions,  were leaded by those who refused to forget Martin or a nine year who spoke about his school closure.  They were men and women believing that it was not only their skin color but other issues that divided them among those in power in  Washington.  Let see what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Flash mob bank ATM robbery..

New York it seems had a flash mob of get the money street thugs swooping up cash in the tune of $45 million dollars. "Tech experts hacked into the system of an Indian company that processes prepaid debit cards. Targeting prepaid MasterCards issued by the United Arab Emirates’ RakBank (National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah), they raised or eliminated withdrawal limits. Then they sent out the account numbers — five, in all — to operatives in 20 different countries, who encoded the data onto magnetic-stripe cards. With cards in hand, the global network of “cashing crews” made 4,500 ATM transactions amounting to $5 million worldwide, which wound up getting laundered via luxury purchases, such as Rolexes and pricey cars."

 An arrest warrant for one of the suspect was issued based on images from a surveillance camera. The suspect was seen withdrawing money from several machines. The suspect was wearing a black sock cap with the name Domino Pizza. The suspect was employed by the pizza chain according to the arrest warrant..go figure..

 This appears to be a copycat scheme frome a 2009 heist. In 2009 over $9 millions were taken from over 2,100 ATMs in 26 cities. A year later, "VIKTOR PLESHCHUK, 28, of St. Petersburg, Russia; SERGEI TŠURIKOV, 25, of Tallinn, Estonia; and OLEG COVELIN, 28, of Chişinău, Moldova, along with an unidentified individual, were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit computer fraud, computer fraud, and aggravated identity theft. IGOR GRUDIJEV, 31, RONALD TSOI, 31, EVELIN TSOI, 20, and MIHHAIL JEVGENOV, 33, each of Tallinn, Estonia, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of access device fraud, "according to the FBI page.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Assata Shakur, collateral damage on the war on President Obama

Assata Shakur, living in Cuba, has become a target in the War on President Obama.  Shakur, is an escaped convicted felon protected as a political and racial prisoner avoiding extradition back to the United States.  Shakur, a member of both the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army and becomes the first woman ever to make the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list .   The pot has been sweetened to encourage a return of Shakur , a $2 million bounty, after some 40 years and  the labeling of her as a terrorist.

This provides a new spin on the United State policies on how we treat those who travel to Cuba.   The facts in this war on President Obama and how we treat those African-Americans who visit  Cuba,  an African-American, woman, connected to the death of state troopers,or committing horrific crimes such as the Tasnaerv brothers in the Boston Marathon killings.

To punish President Obama lackluster attitude toward Cuba and his friend, the political spin becomes, Cuba is harboring terrorists.  By not responding to the request to turn over Shakur, the United States can legally send one of its drone into Cuba and wreck haven.  Shakur just happen to be female, when the others are all males, but she is Black.  We know in America, all women are white.   and blacks are all male, the same designation of the President and his friend (Jay-Z)who recently traveled to Cuba.  If the President does nothing his political opponents suggest he is no different than the Tasnaerv brothers,  successful, but still rooted in his Muslim ties. Simply black, forget about the fact he is our President.

Assanta is no threat at 60 years plus, Assata is the colleratal damage in the war against a black man in the White House.  The spin is directed at President Barack Obama connections to Shakur, Jay-Z, Cuba and the Tasnaerv brothers.   President Obama born in the United States, but his father was foreign born, is the first President with the label of African-American, who can be tied to knowing folks who traveled to a country called Cuba.  Assata is dispensable..she is only a black.  
Lani Guinier tells us what black means in America..the marginalized, those with no political voice.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Please don't be an NRA member or White

Please don't be white.

Giving D. Tsarnaev, his Mirando right to remain silent until the presence of an attorney is being postponed.  Tsarnave is reported to be providing information from his hospital bed to law enforcement because of injury to his throat that prevents him from speaking.  Irony.  D. tsarnanaev is suspected of being the second of the brother duo, the other brother T. Tsarnaev, identified in photo of causing death and maiming at the Boston Marathon did not survive the unprecedented manhunt. 

The  photo of two suspects were released by the FBI and the thin slicing of terrorists certainty begins to unravel.  First, camera photo is not totally clear to erase the prospect that the two could possibly be home grown Terrorists like raced white Timothy McVeigh.  the identify focus on the better narrative, potential  dark skinned, one of India descent, suspects.   But retraction came quickly, and the more acceptable image was indeed albeit foreign born, light skinned suspects .with the added bonus of being tied to a Muslim community as  to conclude that al Qaeda was the ring master.

The terrorist label cleared  the way to round up American citizens by any means necessary, a shelter in place over the State of Boston.   Boston would be put on lockdown to catch these interlopers living amongst true Bostonians. These home grown  enemy combatants might require a little collateral  damage by the legal coercive force flooding the streets to apprehend the suspects.  We saw this in action with the suspect Chris Dorner.  Dorner was easy to track after discovering he was an African-American, former police officer gone bad.   

A roadblock was put into place and cars were searched because Dorner was easily recognizable  in a neighborhood where few if any African-Americans lived.  Dorner would be nihilated in a burnt down cabin with a flash bomb canister.   But, this tactic would not work in an ethic neighborhood, a  home land military style door to door confrontational style would be needed to unmask any potential accomplices or radicalized sympathizers to prevent hauling in the wrong folks.  The fact that one of the suspect had already gone down in a jihad style shootout with 15 officers, there was no telling if more bodies would fall in a neighborhood of sympathizers.  

Ethnic neighbors, some still having ties to international communities knew these were not disgruntled employees, but first generation immigrants working on assimilation immersion. One by one, other first generational immigrants friends came forward from the neighborhood school to speak highly about the two unlikely light skinned terrorists.  Details began to unfold that conflicted with the terrorist experts descriptions of psychopath  suspects.  Young men who worked hard to assimilate into an America that still felt foreign to these first generation foreign born naturalized citizens and not necessary on a Jihad mission. American citizens.

Why do I still not feel safe?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Jay Z visit to Cuba, from rap to cuban cigars.

Questions were raised about Jay-Z and Beyonce visit to Cuba on their fifth wedding anniversary. Americans are banned from simply being tourist to travel to Cuba, but can get a license for academic, religious or cultural programs as stipulations to visit the country.

Answers came back that the Jay Z and Beyonce visit to Cuba was a legal licensed visit sanctioned by the United States Treasury Department.   But the department may not have know the visitors were the two well known celebrities.

Jay-Z decided to provide an answer in a rap that challenged the political frenzy to criminalize the visit as simply a political attack on his freedom served as a political buffet to the public.

The freedom to promote, advertise and market seems to be Jay-Z niche that is the problem.  The new product could be sound cloud and Havana cigars, if you follow Jay-z history according to his book Empire State of Mind,  an excerpt,

On a frigid February night, I’m waiting outside a ground-floor apartment in Harlem, beginning to wonder if I’ve got the wrong address. Suddenly, a voice calls my name. I turn around. Striding toward me amid a majestic cascade of dreadlocks is Branson B., the man credited with introducing champagne to hip-hop.
Branson gave rap legend Notorious B.I.G. his first taste of Cristal, the $500-a-bottle French bubbly that quickly joined Mercedes-Benz and Gucci as rap’s most frequently mentioned brands (he himself has been mentioned in over 60 songs). He greets me with a handshake and a chest bump and opens the door, then leads me into a room dominated by a full-sized bar.
Scattered before me are at least 20 bottles of wine and champagne in varying states of consump­tion; dozens more adorn the shelves behind the counter. My eyes fall on an empty gold bottle of Armand de Brignac, a trendy $300 champagne. “Respectfully, I didn’t care for it,” Branson pipes in, as if reading my mind. “I didn’t think it was worth the money.”
He gestures to a neighboring bottle. “This is a Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d’Or Rosé,
1999,” he says. “I happened to go to a liquor store in New Jersey, and I was looking for something special for my birthday.”
”This,” he says, pointing back to the gilded Armand de Brignac, “is more the aesthetics, the pretty bottle—and everything that goes along with it.”
What goes along with Armand de Brignac is Jay-Z. The rap­per put the flashy bottle on the map when he featured it in his 2006 music video for “Show Me What You Got.” The video is typical of mainstream hip-hop, with one pos­sible exception: toward the end, a waiter presents Jay-Z with a bottle of Cristal champagne, and Jay-Z declines with a sweep of his hand. In its place, he accepts a gold bottle of then-unknown Armand de Brignac. Coming from some­one who’d been rapping Cristal’s praises for years—and once bragged that he was “popping that Cristal when all y’all thought it was beer”—this marked a major departure.
Jay-Z’s sudden change in attitude wasn’t without cause. In June 2006, a reporter from The Economist asked Fré­déric Rouzaud, manager of Louis Roederer, which produces Cristal, what he thought of rappers drinking his champagne. “That’s a good question,” Rouzaud replied. “But what can we do? We can’t forbid people from buying it. I’m sure Dom Pérignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business.”
As soon as Jay-Z caught wind of the comments, he publicly denounced Rouzaud and replaced Cristal with Krug and Dom Pérignon in his clubs, as Rouzaud had mockingly suggested. But the release of the “Show Me What You Got” video on October 10 immediately established Armand de Brignac as his favorite. By simply associating himself with the brand, Jay-Z was able to almost singlehandedly lift it from obscurity to the heights of celebrity chic; the gilded champagne sold out its initial production run (and all subsequent ones, according to representatives).
Some observers suspected that Armand de Brignac was Jay-Z’s latest business venture. Accordingly, two days after the gold bottle’s inclusion in the “Show Me What You Got” video, Armand de Bri­gnac attempted to dispel rumors of a financial connection. Representatives issued a press release explaining that the wine was simply an “ultra-luxury product in the high-end champagne category” that was “making its North American debut this year, after enjoying success as a pre­mium, high-end brand in France.”
Amid the aftermath of the divorce between Jay-Z and Cristal, Branson B. found himself in France, hand-selecting grapes for his own Branson B. Cuvée cham­pagne. During the three months he spent in the heart of wine country, he never heard a peep about Armand de Brignac or Ace of Spades. The notion that it had enjoyed “success as a premium, high-end brand in France” just wasn’t true. “Didn’t exist,” he told me.
Jay-Z may tout Armand de Brignac in his songs and videos, but to some champagne industry veterans, it’s at best a medi­ocre product masquerading as a high-end delicacy. “It tastes like shit,” says Lyle Fass, an independent wine buyer in New York. “At least Cristal tastes good.”
In response to such criticism, employees of Cattier, the French Champagne house that produces Armand de Brignac, like to tout their product’s accolades. In December 2009, for exam­ple, it was named the world’s best-tasting champagne by Fine Champagne magazine. Fass wasn’t impressed. “These wine tastings are garbage,” he says. “Everybody has a wine tasting … There’s a lot of stupid people in the world.”
Armand de Brignac tends to score in the low nineties on the industry-standard 100-point wine rating scale, which places it on par with wines that sell for $50 or less. Yet Armand de Brignac has sold 100 percent of every annual release. “Everybody should take a lesson who wants to sell wine that sucks,” Fass says. “Because it is probably the most bril­liant marketing in the history of wine.”
So why would Jay-Z get involved with a second-tier cham­pagne? Because of the immense profit potential. Fass estimates that Cattier’s pro­duction cost for each $300 bottle of Armand de Brignac is a mere 10 euros. Assuming Jay-Z is an investor, the connection could be through any number of outlets: Cat­tier itself, the brand Armand de Brignac, the importer, the exporter, or the distributor. All of these entities are registered with an array of state and national government agencies in the United States and France. Theoretically, the link could be established with a little bit of sleuth work.

My first call goes to the French offices of the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne, the leading Champagne trade asso­ciation. A woman named Brigitte informs me that Cattier is 100-percent family owned, but that the brand Armand de Brignac might have a different structure. She suggests trying the French department of agriculture. Via e-mail, one Isabelle Ruault explains that the brand Armand de Brignac is regis­tered to an export company owned by J. J. Cattier. Ruault supposes the brand belongs entirely to the family, but the exact details are impossible to know.
Turning my attention stateside, I place a call to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explo­sives in Washington, D.C. A representative redirects me to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which in turn points me to the New York State Liquor Authority in Harlem. There, a man named Kashif Thompson informs me that Armand de Brignac is distributed by Sovereign Brands, LLC, and imported by Southern Wines & Spirits. Southern is one of the largest liquor distributors in the country, and it’s known for having personal relationships with some of the biggest names in hip-hop. A call to the Florida Department of Business and Profes­sional Regulation turns up a list of Southern’s owners. Jay-Z is not listed among them.
The last link is Sovereign Brands, whose owner is listed as Brett Berish. Berish, I later learn, distributes and owns a line of spirits called 3 Vodka. The brand was launched in 2004 as a partnership with Atlanta-based hip-hop mogul Jermaine Dupri, who overlapped with Jay-Z as a member of Island Def Jam’s executive ranks. I also discover that shortly after Armand de Brignac’s 2006 launch, Berish issued a press release saying that “Armand de Brignac and Jay-Z have not entered into any agreement, sponsorship or otherwise.” However, he didn’t specify whether there was a financial agreement between Sovereign and Jay-Z. Besides Berish, the only other owner listed for Armand de Brignac is Shannon Bullinger, Sovereign’s operations manager. If Jay-Z has a Dupri-style partnership with Berish, it’s not on the books.
Next, I return to hip-hop’s sommelier. Standing behind the counter of his champagne speakeasy in Harlem, Branson gazes intently at an empty bottle of Armand de Brignac.
”The funny thing,” he says, “is I drank that before.”
He points across the bar to a bottle of another Cattier champagne, Antique Gold, strik­ingly similar to the empty Armand de Brignac sitting in front of us. “That bottle there, a friend of mine brought it back from Monaco,” he says. “It’s like 60 dollars, 70 dollars, 80 dollars in the store.”
I nod, realizing the magnitude of what Branson has just said. Antique Gold has been around for decades. Armand de Brignac looks nearly identical and costs four or five times as much. Both are made by Cattier. The only real difference seems to be the Ace of Spades label slapped on the more expensive bottle.
My visit to Branson didn’t yield a concrete paper trail between Jay-Z and Ace of Spades, and my calls to government agencies in the United States and France had yielded only circumstantial evidence, but there was one last chance: a transat­lantic trip to the birthplace of Armand de Brignac.
In the tiny village of Chigny-Les-Roses, France, a guide leads me down Rue Dom Pérignon, stopping in front of an unnumbered house with all its windows shuttered. She takes me into a garage whose floor is littered with dusty champagne bottles and elaborate metal contraptions used to insert corks. Then she flips on an electric lantern, and we descend a narrow spiral staircase some 90 feet into the ground. The tem­perature quickly drops from a dry, sunny 80 degrees to a brisk 45 degrees moistened by 90 percent humidity.
We arrive in a room glimmering with golden bottles of Armand de Brignac. They hang by the dozen in racks, slanted at a slight angle so that sediment col­lects in the necks and can be removed easily in the next step of the champagne-making process. The thousands of bottles sitting like gilded test tubes are impressive, but what really strikes me is that the bottles are completely blank. There are no labels, and nothing to distinguish a bottle of Armand de Brignac from, say, a bottle of Antique Gold, which Cattier stopped producing in 2006—the same year it started producing Armand de Bri­gnac.
I nod politely. When I ask Bienvenu for the name of the New York wine shop in which Jay-Z allegedly found his first bottle of Armand de Brignac, the affable Frenchman quickly becomes defensive.
After the tour is complete, my guide takes me back into the daylight and over to Cattier’s headquarters for a meeting with the company’s brass. First to greet me is Philippe Bien­venu, Armand de Brignac’s commercial director.
He introduces me to a few more Cattier employees, includ­ing the family’s kindly patriarch, Jean-Jacques Cattier, and his son Alexandre. As we walk the bright corridors of the Cattier headquarters, Bienvenu traces the origins of Armand de Brignac to Jean-Jacques Cattier’s mother, who first thought up the name in the early 1950s. Shortly after Armand de Brignac’s debut in 2006, Bien­venu claims, Jay-Z came across it purely by chance. “When we started to ship product to the U.S. and especially to New York, Jay discovered our champagne in a wine shop and bought a few bottles,” he says. “There has never been any partnership, any financial involvement, or something like this between Jay and us.”
As I press Bienvenu for more details, the cracks in the story begin to show.
”How,” I ask, “did the champagne find its way into Jay-Z’s ‘Show Me What You Got’ video?”
”He discovered our champagne by pure coincidence in a wine shop and a few months after came to Monaco to shoot a video,” Bienvenu replies. “On that occasion, he ordered a few cases that we shipped to his hotel there. We couldn’t imag­ine when we shipped those cases that the purpose of this was to include our champagne in the video.”
I nod politely. When I ask Bienvenu for the name of the New York wine shop in which Jay-Z allegedly found his first bottle of Armand de Brignac, the affable Frenchman quickly becomes defensive.
”I don’t know which wine shop,” he says. “I can’t tell you any more details because I don’t know.”
All of this makes for a great story: a family-owned champagne brand dreamed up by a little old French lady in the 1950s, dormant until resurrected half a century later, promptly discovered by the world’s most famous rapper, by sheer coincidence. But the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office confirms that the first bottles of Armand de Brignac weren’t shipped to the U.S. until the fall of 2006—months after Jay-Z’s video was filmed. Obviously, it would have been impossible for Jay-Z to stum­ble upon a bottle of champagne in a New York wine shop. When I later emailed one of Cattier’s publicists about this inconsistency, she backtracked. “There’s a misunder­standing regarding how Jay saw the bottle. It was in New York … but not in a store.”
In the weeks following my return from France, I realized that the answers had been here in the U.S. all along. I spoke with a number of sources close to the matter—including a prominent executive at a major record label, a wine distributor with ties to the entertain­ment industry, and the chief executive of a notable liquor company, to name a few. None of them would let me quote them by name for fear of damaging business relation­ships, and when I related everything I’d learned, all of them confirmed that Jay-Z receives millions of dollars per year for his association with Armand de Brignac. The connection wasn’t through the Cattier family, but through Sovereign Brands.
Jay-Z publicly denies any connection to Armand de Brignac because he wants to be seen as a connoisseur, a trendsetter with the sophistication to anoint a successor to Cristal. Or, as Bienvenu off­handedly explained to me: “He doesn’t want to be considered a brand ambassador or something like this.” More importantly, Jay-Z realizes that the revelation of a financial connection could endanger the authenticity of his endorsement—and jeopardize a lucrative arrangement.
The math looks extremely favorable for Jay-Z. The production cost per bottle of Armand de Brignac is about $13; the wholesale price is $225. The maximum output is 60,000 bottles per year. If Jay-Z splits the $212-per-bottle profit evenly with Cattier and Sovereign, a back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests his annual take would be a little over $4 million. One of my sources confirmed that number, and added that Jay-Z may have received equity in Sov­ereign Brands worth about $50 million. All for dropping a few lyrical references and featuring Armand de Brignac in a couple of videos.
For now, it looks like Jay-Z gets to have his champagne—and drink it, too.

Excerpted from EMPIRE STATE OF MIND: How Jay-Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office by Zack O’Malley Greenburg by arrangement with Portfolio/Penguin, Copyright © Zack O’Malley Greenburg, 2011.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bullet proof blankets or children body bags?

Someone must have put a lot of thought into this..but there has got to be a better way of protecting children from gun violence in the schools.  Pic from bag news.

Fort Wayne five minute action plan

There is a movement that require more than the same old talking heads uttering words and cliques. Action plan only requires a thought and a working solution..go get it. There are a few things that can be immediately implemented in reducing the number of shooting in the community of Fort Wayne. First, a survey can be conducted in the community and schools to determine the number of illegal guns floating in the community. A gun amnesty day to allow parents to turn in weapons found illegally in the home. Parents can have a conversation with their children, by asking them do they carry a weapon? The next component, would be implementing mini job fairs within the community with those who actually have job openings. Job skill assessment to support those who are seeking employment. Grants for training young people to create work without having to result to illegal employment. Redesign empty spaces into creative play areas that incorporate families. oGrants to individuals to train individuals in martial art or other types of self defense. Revamping community centers into play areas that incorporate child care during activities.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Résumé samples, tips and interview questions quiz

Filling out that application for a job, is sometimes not enough. You might have to dig deep and draft a stellar résumé to beat off the competition. Here's a website that may help with the task of writing a résumé or getting through an interview

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

There has been 11 homicides or murders in Fort Wayne, during the first three months of the new year 2013. Some suggest folks get a hobby, while others point out it is a hobby..the murder trend. It is called a trend mindless killing..own a gun and shot is all that is required, does not matter whether the person lives or dies. The other thing that matters is that the street know you are packing and you mean busy. The mean streets of drugs and drug money mandates a hustler to be packing. But the latest murder was Jacqueline Bouvier Hardy, 49, of Fort Wayne. riding on a city bus was yanked out the bus with her co-rider and shot dead. The killer ran. The killer ran and that gives him his freedom to kill again. No immediate arrest no organized man hunt, the victim was female and an African-American on her way to school. The fact she lived on the southside perhaps is why folks are not outraged or giving up this dude..but it's time.
UPDATE: This is a listing from the facebook page of Woody Woods Show of those shot and those who died. Jan. 11: Ryan Turner died of gunshot wounds after going to a gas station on East Lewis Street for help. Jan 19: Jermaine Foster was shot and killed in a car in the 7900-block of Serenity Drive. Jan 27: Jeremy Crews was gunned down and died in the hospital. Feb. 11: Nathaniel Rainer was found dead from gunshot wounds in a vacant lot. Feb. 20: An armed robbery ended with Stephen Wattley II being shot by police. Feb. 23: A heated argument led to a shooting that left Antonio Galvan III dead. March 14: Demarcus Adams died in his mother arms after being shot. Adams had previously been the victim of a shooting on Feb. 15. March 15: Mark Young was shot and pushed out of a car after an argument. He was declared dead at the hospital. March 16: Jordan Williams was shot early in the morning after he answered a knock on his door. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition. March 19: Gerelle Borum, was shot dead walking down Rudisill Blvd Police have charged Josiah C. Thomas with murder. March 20: A woman was shot and killed after getting off a Citilink Bus at 7:50 am near Reed St. and Pettit Avenue.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Maryland's 2 joints and a fine--recreational pot smoking-

Two marijauna weighing 10 grams or less will be punished with a fine in the state of Maryland. No jailtime if busted seem to be the path to allowing individuals to puff the doobies.
The Maryland Senate voted 30 to 16 on Tuesday to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, subjecting those caught smoking to only a civil fine of up to $100. Supporters of the bill said the move is consistent with a growing number of states that have sought in recent years to do away with jail time for minor offenders. But Maryland’s bill doesn’t go far as measures in Colorado and Washington that have legalized marijuana.
Other states have decriminalized pot with limitation clauses. Getting caught could earn a civil fine , drug education, or drug treatment instead of jail time. Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut,Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi,Nebraska,Nevada, New York, North Carolina,Ohio and Oregon. Indiana it seems would rather pay the bill for jails rather allow it's citizens to enjoy the recreational drug with civil fines..

Monday, March 18, 2013

My commitment to my blog posts every year are almost close cousin to my new year resolutions. Although, I rarely announce my resolutions, it is essence for my blog to have at least a posting. So after three weeks, I think I am ready to do this. Went to the public swearing in ceremony of President Barack Obama. I was able to get a little closer than the 2009 ceremony. Unfortunately I was unable to see the parade or get the "money" picture of POTUS and FlOTUS walking the route. But a great feeling to witness the second event. I spent a lot of time walking, so many streets blocked off. If you were able to get to the street of the parade, late one had to endure long lines. The tunnel where folks were stuck in 2009 was blocked off and was completely empty. However,vendors were aplenty. As you made your way, souvenir buttons, t-shirts,pictures and calendars were staples of the day. Fashion statements were made as women strolled the walk with their full length mink coats and hats. The walk was brutal for the overweight, but we marched as if we had been exercising for months or at least applying Ben-Gay for two days. uUpdate: Thomas made National news with him wearing the flag on his head.

Rodman meets Kim Jung Un Show

Former basketball player Dennis Rodman played guest to North Korea leader Kim Jong Un. This outraged elected officials who deemed North Korea as a hostile country. Rodman, the retired Hall of Fame basketball player had managed to gain full court with the North Korean leader. Instead of celebrating this new bromance between Rodman and the leader, Rodman was criticized for being out of his lane. A writer from Sports Illustrated wrote this about Rodman: "If you want to annoy a relentless publicity whore, dismiss his entire existence in a single sentence. Like this: Dennis Rodman is a desperate and pathetic character who will do anything to get noticed, probably to make up for the fact that his father had dozens of kids and ignored him, so Dennis has to stand out any way he can." In this attack he declared Rodman as simply a character because Rodman's dad was an whorish absentee father. Inspite of the slam, Rodman and Kim Jong Un had something in common--basketball. What Rodman did not understand was some folks wanted him to risk his life trying to play spy and gettingsome dirt on Kim Jong Un..clearly out of his lane. So he clearly stayed in his lane and a friendship was born not a war but a bromance. What Rodman should do, is get a group of his people and include Kim and began buying up property in improvised area, like Detroit. Rodman could use Kung Fe money to front this humanity project. If Rodman didn't know, another frowned upon relationship by the USA was controversial Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan and the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. In that relationship funds were distributed to support the Nation of Islam..millions of dollars. All the church is exempt from taxation, I am pretty sure the other properties in the area taxes increased benefitting the USA.