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Mother Kills Newborn by Microwaving Her

The Headline Reads: Police Say Mother Killed Newborn by Microwaving Her

What the @%$% is going on?

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - A mother was arrested on suspicion of murdering her newborn daughter by microwaving the baby in an oven. China Arnold, 26, was jailed Monday on a charge of aggravated murder, more than a year after she brought her dead month-old baby to a hospital. Bail was set Tuesday at $1 million.

"We have reason to believe, and we have some forensic evidence that is consistent with our belief, that a microwave oven was used in this death," said Ken Betz, director of the Montgomery County coroner's office.

He said the evidence included high-heat internal injuries and the absence of external burn marks on the baby, Paris Talley.

Arnold was arrested soon after the baby's death in August 2005, then was released while authorities investigated further. Betz said the case was difficult because "there is not a lot of scientific research and data on the effect of microwaves on human beings."

The death was ruled homicide by hyperthermia, or high body temperature. The absence of external burns ruled out an open flame, scalding water or a heating pad as the cause, Betz said.

Arnold's lawyer, Jon Paul Rion, said his client had nothing to do with her child's death and was stunned when investigators told her that a microwave might have been involved.

"China -- as a mother and a person -- was horrified that such an act could occur," Rion said.

The night before the baby was taken to the hospital, Arnold and the child's father went out for a short time and left Paris with a baby sitter, Rion said. The mother didn't sense anything out of the ordinary until the next morning, when the child was found unconscious, Rion said.

Arnold has three other children.

This is a damn shame! Our sisters and brothers really have to stop and THINK about what is they are doing before they have these children! Gosh, I really hope this 'suspicion' proves to be false because if it's not homegirl needs to be put UNDER the jail.

posted by Soulfull @ 12:17 PM , links to this post

Local News Team Loses 'Old School' Flava

The Headline Reads: WRC Cuts Change Face Of Local News

One by one, Washington's most popular news station is shedding the people who have helped make it Washington's most popular news station.

In a generational change of local TV news personalities, WRC (Channel 4) has in recent weeks begun eliminating some of its most familiar faces as part of a cost-cutting drive by its owner, NBC Universal. Yesterday, Arch Campbell -- the station's avuncular entertainment reporter/reviewer -- became the latest News4 star to announce he was severing ties with the station.

The roster of personalities whose contracts have not been renewed or were bought out early includes 5 p.m. anchor Susan Kidd, sports anchors George Michael and Wally Bruckner, technology reporter I.J. Hudson and weekend weatherman Clay Anderson. Including Campbell, who has been on News4 since 1974, the departing newspeople have collectively appeared on WRC newscasts for more than 115 years.

Goodness gracious, WRC has no idea that the young folks (or at least me), appreciate the stories and personalities of these 'old heads'. All of these reporters have helped to make this newscast what it is today and yeah I know NBC/Universal is saving money (blah, blah, blah), but it still doesn't make any sense considering these folks are your seasoned vets... But I think Susan Kidd said it best:

"This is the old school leaving the building," said Kidd co-anchor Wendy Rieger, who has another year on her contract. "People forget that's what journalism is about. It's not about pretty faces and the hot stand-up. It's about the story and the integrity of the craft and that's what's leaving the building. Who's left to set an example for those who are coming up behind us?"

posted by Soulfull @ 12:01 PM , links to this post

Washington Post Class Gets Graded

The Headline Reads: Washington Post Class Gets Graded

This is an interesting article for all you aspiring journos out there... It looks like the rules have changed in one newsroom.

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posted by Soulfull @ 11:44 AM , links to this post


Damn, damn, damn... I was over here reading and I just couldn't believe it. Life is just so precious and thinking about her passing just makes me think of that saying, "The Good Always Die Young"... Why does this kinda stuff happen??? Reading this article about her life and work on mental health illness, I find my own thoughts of anxiety and fear of death bubble to the surface. I go on to read that:

"If this is a fair world, Bebe Moore Campbell will be remembered as the most important African-American novelist of this century -- except for maybe, Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin. Her writing is clean and clear; her emotions run hot, but her most important characteristic is uncompromising intelligence coupled with a perfectionist's eye for detail," The Washington Post Book World said in 1989.

Well, indeed Campbell will be remembered by me as I strive to have just a piece of what she achieved in her life. Wow, I just don't know what to say. Learning about this now while, I'm at home sick and listening to Common rapping about a dream trying to understand why my body is turning against me is only making the tears flow harder. The mixture of pain from her death and the pain from my own issues are only making today a lot harder to get through. Man, I guess I should've said to myself, when I first had a dream to aspire to something; SELF: How much are you willing to endure or sacrifice to obtain it...

God Bless You Bebe. You are gone, but never forgotten for my pen bleeds the blood, sweat, and tears of all the great writers that came before me...

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posted by Soulfull @ 11:10 AM , links to this post

A ‘Soulfull’ Response To ‘KKKramer’

For some reason, I am not surprised by your racist tirade. I know there are many of you (of all backgrounds/professions) in ‘Hollyweird’ who still think that way about minorities, yet I’m also fully aware that there are those who are NOT like you. But even still, I was talking to a few friends of mine and in one way or another we all came to the same conclusion:

The day our brothers and sisters don’t have to worry about being killed by a black man or woman shouting the same racial epithet as you, THEN we will start to give a damn about what YOU have to say about US.

By no means does this conclusion excuse you in any way, but I'm looking at the big picture here and unfortunately worrying what a 'has been comedian' thinks is not going to change the self-hatred that permeates throughout our black communities, murdering the futures of so many of our brothers and sisters. As a matter of fact, racist comedians shouting racial slurs aren't killing black people. Black people are killing black people. So your comments have only made me more aware of the conditioning that continues to breed this voilence in our society.

Thanks for the wakeup call, but I wasn't one of those caught sleeping.


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posted by Soulfull @ 10:13 AM , links to this post

Monday's Motivation: I Finished NaNoWriMo!

Good afternoon all! I hope everyone has had a good Monday so far. Me, I AM EXCITED (so forgive me if I start to yell, shout, and jump up & down on your computer screen) that I FINISHED NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH with 50,925 words and counting!!! Working on this rough draft has kept me up many a late night, scarficing sleep, but if NaNoWriMo taught me one thing it's this: I AM ADDICTED TO WRITING! At first, I was sure of what I wanted to do with this story. I had the outline all ready, so when November rolled around, I was READY to hop right into writing. And yeah, in the beginning it felt like a chore, but once I started picturing scenes in my mind and writing out what I wanted these characters to say, my mind became NUMB with the joy of writing. I wrote, like I was watching it on TV or on the big screen and as I continue editing, I can't help but think about the sequel to this one or another story and another story that I would like to write... But I'm running off at the mouth. Let's get to today's video - Numb/Encore by Jay-Z and Linkin Park.

Numb/Encore - Jay-Z and Linkin Park

What this song is saying to me:

And I need you to remember one thing (one thing)
I came, I saw, I conquered

Oh yeah and here's an excerpt from the book (You know I couldn't leave this piece without giving everyone a taste. I hope you ENJOY!

Isaac led her down into the lower level of the house. It was affectionately named the ‘The Warpath’ for his love of his home team. Scattered around the large entertainment area were Washington Redskins paraphernalia. There was a clock, a trash can, framed jerseys of players like Art Monk, Bobby Mitchell, Doug Williams, and a few footballs that were signed by more players. “I’m still trying to get a football with the whole team’s signatures on it.”
“I bet.” Valerie resumed her scan of the room. There was an oversized flat screen TV, a wet bar, two sectional sofas, a pool table, and three arcades. As they came past, she stopped to figure the controls on one. It was Ms. Pac-man. “I used to play this game for hours on end…”
“Oh okay. I’ll be sure to take you up on a duel in the future. You know I’m the reigning champion with that lady…”
He led her around the corner to an area that housed a projection TV. It was there that everyone was gathered around watching the opening credits of the game. He introduced her to Mike and Elaine, Sam and Wendy, Demetrius and Shay, and his two single friends Ron and Baleu. Valerie smiled and said her hellos to everyone.
“Hey Valerie,” shouted Tamara over the loud television. “Shelia, didn’t tell me you were coming?”
Valerie walked over and gave her friend a tight squeeze. “I’m not here with her,” she whispered in her ear and turned to grab Isaac’s hand.
Tamara slowly nodded her head up and down. “Ohhhh, I got you.” She laughed. “I see you Isaac.”
Shelia came into the area and sat back down with Tamara. She handed her a Corona. “Yeah, I see you Isaac,” she mocked.
“Man, enough with all that,” said Ron, throwing a black Nerf football at Shelia. “The game is about to come on.”
“Oh be quiet, Ron,” shouted Wendy from the back of the room. “You know those sorry Cowboys are gonna lose anyway.” She turned and gave Shay a high-five.
Valerie gave Isaac her jacket and took her seat near the front of the room. She could tell from the tension in the room that someone wasn’t exactly happy with her presence.
“Oh shit,” said Wendy, poking her husband Sam. “Look, she’s a cowgirl!”
Everyone looked in her direction to see her white and blue jersey.
Isaac came back in the room and put his hands on her shoulders. “Yes, I know. I’m working to convert her to the Burgundy and Gold.”
They all laughed.
“Boy please.” Valerie swatted his hands away and took a chip out of the bowl on the end table. “It’s blue and white for life!”
“That’s right Valerie,” shouted Elaine from across the room. “You let this burgundy bammas know how we cowgirls like to ride. Blue and white bay-bee!” She ran across the room and gave Valerie a high-five.
Baleu spoke up. He was the more laid back dude of the bunch and like to ‘drop knowledge’ on his friends every once and a while. “Just like the white man’s woman to like the Cowboys.”
Everyone became silent at his cool outburst.
Ron started to laugh. “Man, shut up Baleu! I like the Cowboys and I’m not white.”
“Yeah, so do I,” shouted Elaine, rolling her eyes. “You always gotta say something about the white man.”
“Oh hush, Elaine. You only like the team because you’re crazy for… What’s his name baby?” asked Mike, smacking his wife’s leg.
“Kenyon Coleman and if you hadn’t clubbed me over the head and gave me three babies; WE would be man and wife,” she said, jokingly. She leaned over and kissed his cheek.
“Yeah, whatever.” He popped the collar of his Doug Williams jersey. “Girl, I didn't have to club you. I’mma mack!”
“Alright, would you guys keep it down,” Isaac shouted. “The kickoff is about to start.” He sat next to Valerie and pulled her close to him. Out of the corner of his eye he could see his sister eying him from her spot next to Tamara.

For the rest of the afternoon, they rooted for their individual teams, while cracking jokes on one another. Shelia couldn’t take much of her brother’s constant rubbing on Valerie, so she grabbed Tamara five minutes into the game and left. Demetrius and Shay ‘cut out in the Cutlass’ around the second quarter, claiming that they both were tired from working so hard during the week. But Isaac knew what was up. Demetrius had explained to him how much he couldn’t get enough of Shay’s incredible head, so he was sure that he had her back home playing ‘Head’ doctor with his horny ass.
Throughout the game, Baleu was still making his attempts to explain Valerie’s love for the white man’s team, but everyone divided their time between half listening to him and watching the game. However, when halftime rolled around Isaac was getting tired of his history lessons on the ‘cowboys’ and ‘Indians’.
“All I am saying is,” explained Baleu, sensing the irritation in the faces of his less than educated friends. “We should not continue to condone the stereotyping of our Indian brethren…”
“Dude, they have been called The Redskins for yearsss,” said Sam, munching on popcorn. “Why should they change their name now?”
Baleu looked to his left to address him. “Who cares how many ‘years’ they’ve had that name? It’s offensive! Would you appreciate some franchise naming their football team, The Niggers?”
Sam shrugged his shoulders. “Dude, that’s wayyyy different…”
“How so? ‘Redskins’ is a racial epithet used by Europeans to belittle the Native Americans and years later, these same crackers…” He looked to Valerie. “No offense…”
She stared him directly in his eyes. “None taken.”
He continued. “These same crackers greeted us on the shores of America as niggers. That was another way to make US feel just as inferior as them. Either way you slice it, these terms are BOTH pejorative expressions.”
“I hear what you saying, B.” Ron stood up to stretch his legs. “But, there’s no way in HELL the NFL would get away with a team called The Niggers. Us, black folks ain’t having that.”
Valerie spoke up. She had been in many racial discussions before and wasn’t afraid to jump in another. “Besides, what makes you any better than them if you are referring to white people as crackers? Isn’t that a racial epithet as well?”
Ron laughed. “I think she got you, B.”
Elaine added her two cents. “Yeah, she’s got a point Baleu. How are you speaking on all this racial injustice and still using the word ‘cracker’?
“Damn, can’t we just watch the game,” interrupted Mike, trying not to see this debate go any further. Halftime was almost over.
“No, hold on Mike.” Baleu looked to the front of the room and stared at Valerie. “Because I’m from The Cracker State.”
“Man, you from Georgia,” hollered Sam, waking his sleeping wife who had dozed off during the game.
“Be quiet, Sam,” Wendy whispered, snuggling into his stomach. “I’m trying to sleep.”
“Oh, sorry baby.” He reached down and rubbed her ass. He looked back up and repeated himself to Baleu, but this time he whispered. “You from Georgia.”
Baleu continued to stare directly at Valerie, piercing her with his dark brown eyes. “Since the 1870s, Georgia has been nicknamed ‘The Cracker State’ and some ‘country folks’, such as myself, still use that term today as a sign of endearment to our white counterparts.”
Elaine smacked her teeth. “Yeah, I’m sure the Massa thought the same thing when he was calling your brothers and sisters ‘niggers’ in the cotton field.”
She started to laugh and Valerie joined her.
“You find something funny about that statement?” Baleu asked Valerie, looking quite pissed that she would dare laugh. “I don’t find 400 years of oppression funny.”
Valerie took her head off of Isaac’s lap and sat upright. “What’s oppressive is that you think calling Native Americans ‘redskins’ is wrong, calling Blacks ‘niggers’ is wrong, but it’s quite okay to use the word ‘cracker’ for Europeans.”
Baleu stared blankly at her. “Your point?”
Valerie mimicked his blank stare. “My ‘point’ is this; if there's a hell below, we're all going to go so don’t worry yourself being upset over shit you can’t change.”
Everyone bust out laughing, but Baleu just rolled his eyes. It’s not like you have to deal with racism anyway he thought to himself.
Isaac looked to his right and smiled at Valerie. It was about time somebody shut that dude up. He loved Baleu to death, but his ‘knowledge’ talks could be so draining. He invited folks over to his place to have fun, not to debate.
Ron walked over and gave Isaac some dap. “Man, where did you find this lady?” He looked over to Valerie and smiled. “Shorty, what you know about Curtis Mayfield? That dude is wayyy before your time.”
Valerie grinned. “Don’t let the pale face fool you. I know something about some good funk music.”
“Oh, for real,” added Mike, getting up from the sofa. “Name some funk bands.”
Elaine jumped in, thinking that she was saving Valerie from embarrassment. She liked her. “’James Brown’ is one.”
“Hush, woman, I asked Valerie.” responded Mike, waving his hand at her to be quiet. “Besides, he’s a singer, not a band.”
Elaine smacked her teeth and sat back down.
Valerie looked up at Mike like he hadn’t said nothing but a word. She ran down the mental playlist in her mind. “The Isley Brothers, Kool and the Gang, The Temptations, Earth, Wind, and Fire, The Commodores, Funkadelic, Dazz Band, Hot Chocolate…”
“Damn, she knows about Hot Chocolate?” interrupted Ron. Yeah, he was feeling shorty. “Where you from you sexy thing?”
Isaac shot him a sly smile. “Watch out playa…”
Valerie continued. “War, Lakeside, Slave, Tower of Power, The Ohio Players, Average White Band…”
Baleu snicked. “Yeah, I bet you would like them…”
“Oh please Baleu, who doesn’t like the A.W.B?” asked Isaac, shutting him down. He turned to sing the lyrics of Queen of My Soul to Valerie. “Music, sweet music, you’re the queen of my soul, ohhhh…” He rocked his body from side to side to the old 70s groove.
Valerie quickly giggled, but her never-ending musical list continued. “Cameo, Sly and the Family Stone, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Rufus, Zapp and Roger, Wild Cherry, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Con Funk Shun…” Valerie’s mouth started to hurt. “I mean, do you need more or should I just stop right there?”
Mike playfully smacked his lips. “You forgot Sam & Dave…”
“Well wait a minute Mike,” whispered Sam. “Sam & Dave are more an R&B/Soul outfit than Funk…”
“Yeah, doesn’t the song Soul Man say anything to you?” asked Elaine, still mad over his James Brown statement. “SOUL!”
He picked up on his wife’s bruised ego and went over to tickle her. “What I told you about going against me? You know I’m the music maestro of your heart!”
Elaine giggled as he grabbed for different parts of her body. “Quit it Mike!”
“Yeah, quit it Mike! The game BEEN back on…” added Ron, sitting back in his favorite spot. “We need to finish watching your ‘Redskins’ get their asses whipped!”
Valerie and Elaine looked at each other and screamed. “BLUE AND WHITE BAY-BEE!”
Wendy jumped up, bumping her head on her husband’s elbow, which spilled a bit of his cold beer on her face. “DAMN IT, DON’T YOU GUYS SEE ME SLEEPING?”
“It’s alright baby,” whispered Sam, quickly swallowing the little bit of beer that made it into his mouth while trying to choke down his laughter as well. “Go on back to sleep.” He wiped her face and rubbed her ass like he was making a wish for her to close her eyes.
Everyone couldn’t help BUT to laugh, including Baleu.

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NaNoWriMo aspiring author motivation love writing

posted by Soulfull @ 5:00 PM , links to this post

Sunday Morning Reflections

It's funny how time flies. One minute, I'm at an early preview of Over The Hedge in Chinatown and the next, the movie is out on DVD. As I'm half watching it with the kids and working on my novel, I stopped to pay attention to one of my favorite parts in the movie....

One of my favorite scenes from Over The Hedge

This is the scene where the raccoon RJ (Bruce Willis) is teaching the wild animals the humans' tendencies for greed and gluttony. The scene is quite hilarious (and so true for some), but it led me to a passage in Luke 12:15, which reads:

And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

With every thing in my life, there has to be balance and as I forge ahead with fingers hurting and wrists aching to reach my goal of 50,000 words (or more), I'm also reminded of the decision I still have to make, but I'm also very much aware of what I want to accomplish in my lifetime. Yeah, I want to be mega successful (I'll pass on being famous), but I also know that I will not succumb to the greed and excess that the love of money and material possessions can bring. Shoot, like Amanda Diva says in my new favorite song, For The Love (B Girl):

I want a Lexus
And a beamer coupe
A benz and a Range Rover too


(Man, I can so relate to the words in this song!!!)

And I can also relate to the way the KJV puts it in Proverbs 28:25:

He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.

Now, ain't that the truth!?

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posted by Soulfull @ 9:01 AM , links to this post

A Blast From The Past: Theo's $95 Gordon Gartrelle Shirt

Hello world. I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving! I've been writing my behind off for NaNoWriMo, but I wanted to stop into my internet home and drop down a little package for everyone. This oldie, but goodie is definitely one of the funniest moments from The Cosby Show and even though Malcolm's all grown up now (Hot damn!) and has his own band (which is quite good), I'm still falling all over this hilarious scene. Man, there was some good shows (and script writing) back in the day!

My favorite line: It's tucked into my socks!

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posted by Soulfull @ 7:56 PM , links to this post

Hurricane Katrina Couple Sells Donated House

The Headline Reads: Couple Sells Home Church Donated After Katrina

Man o man, this is just WRONG...

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Nov. 22) - A church that wanted to do something special for Hurricane Katrina victims gave a $75,000 house, free and clear, to a couple who said they were left homeless by the storm. But the couple turned around and sold the place without ever moving in, and went back to New Orleans.

"Take it up with God," an unrepentant Joshua Thompson told a TV reporter after it was learned that he and the woman he identified as his wife had flipped the home for $88,000.

Church members said they feel their generosity was abused by scam artists. They are no longer even sure that the couple were left homeless by Katrina or that they were a couple at all.

"They came in humble like they really needed a new start, and our hearts went out to them," said Jean Phillips, a real estate agent and member of the Temple of Deliverance Church of God in Christ. "They actually begged for the home."

The church was also shocked by an ungrateful interview the couple gave with WHBQ-TV in Memphis.

"I really don't like this area," said Delores Thompson. "I really didn't, and I didn't know anybody, so that's why I didn't move in and I sold it."

Thompson, reached at a New Orleans phone number by The Associated Press on Tuesday, thanked the church for its generosity but said she saw nothing wrong in selling the three-bedroom, two-bath house.

"Do I have any legal problems? What do you mean? The house was given to me," she said. "I have the paperwork and everything."

She refused further comment and hung up.

The church had decided that it would do something special for one Katrina-displaced family, in addition to its other efforts to help evacuees. The church set up a committee to find the right family and conducted several dozen interviews.

Delores Thompson, who did most of the talking for her family, told the committee that she had lost her job as a nurse and that her husband had lost an import-export business in New Orleans, committee member Joy Covington said.

The committee also heard how the family had lost its home and most of its possessions and how the children, a 14-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy, were eager to get back in school. The family said it wanted to resettle in Memphis.

After the church settled on Thompson, real estate agent Phillips helped her pick out the house she wanted, and it was bought in Thompson's name. She took possession in February and sold it in September. Property transfer records for the resale list her as unmarried; the papers from the original sale list her as married.

"I feel like it was a sham or a ripoff," Covington said.

The church hasn't discussed legal action, but the members are upset because the house could have gone to a more needy family, Covington said.

Thompson claimed she and her family were living in an apartment supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but did not invite Phillips over during the house search.

"She didn't want me coming over there," Phillips said. "She'd say, `I'll meet you."'

Covington's husband, Edward, said the family had been listed by FEMA as displaced. But he said the church took Thompson's word for it that their house was destroyed.

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posted by Soulfull @ 7:23 PM , links to this post

If Condoms Had Sponsors...

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posted by Soulfull @ 6:43 PM , links to this post


Here's the background:
President pets "Flyer" during Rose Garden ceremony as Lynn Nutt of Springfield, Mo., steadies turkey. (You can see the video behind this photo, which is courtesy of AP, here.)

And here's my caption

Lynn Nutt: Come on Flyer, not in front of his friends...
Bush: Oh, it's alright, Nutt. I'm used to 'turkeys' trying to bust my balls.

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posted by Soulfull @ 3:13 PM , links to this post

Luxury Doesn't Always Equal Quality

The Headline Reads: Into the Red With Luxury (WaPo)

Yesterday, I received a small gift in the mail that has given me a little piece of mind -- a certificate that entitles me to a FREE engine replacement due to a class action lawsuit that was recently settled (read the story here and video is here. For whatever reason, I thought I was the only one in my struggle of maintaining an older 'luxury' vehicle, but after reading these articles, I can clearly see that I'm not. Here's an excerpt from WaPo:

The sticker on the window of a 2006 Range Rover Sport HSE parked inside Rosenthal Jaguar at Tysons Corner lists a few choice selling points: a child seat sensor, voice-activated controls and heated windshield washer jets -- all for an asking price of $59,350.

A more comprehensive list for buyers to consider might read something like this: $1,741 for a new headlight, $600 to replace a cracked windshield -- and the instant respect of valets and your little brother's friends.

Call it the unconscious cost-benefit analysis of the luxury car buyer.

It's a calculus more of us find ourselves making. Luxury vehicle sales in the United States have nearly doubled over the past decade, to 1.5 million in 2006, according to, a consumer automotive Web site. About 50,000 new luxury models are registered in the Washington area every year, according to R.L. Polk & Co., a Michigan firm that tracks the auto industry.

Many owners quickly learn, however, that the higher cost of owning a premium ride doesn't end with the sticker price. There are fancy-but-finicky electrical gadgets and heftier insurance premiums because of expensive parts, according to auto quality and insurance experts.

And yet, luxury automakers such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW post record sales year after year, even as non-luxury brands close the gap in quality and reliability. "There really are no bad cars or trucks sold right now," said George C. Peterson, president of the marketing consultancy AutoPacific Inc. "The range in research ratings . . . has narrowed consistently for the past 20 years."

That raises an obvious question: Why are consumers choosing to upgrade to premium brands when they have more opportunities than ever to get the same quality for less money?

The article goes on to say that...

Sleek styling and sophisticated features, such as 17-inch Belize wheels and a finished Burl Walnut dashboard, have always separated luxury cars from their more pedestrian cousins. But what increasingly sets luxury cars apart are technological gizmos such as adaptive cruise control (it adjusts the car's speed relative to the car in front of you), Bluetooth wireless technology (so you can leave that cellphone ear piece at home), and voice-activated controls (so you don't have to lift a finger).

Living on the cutting edge, however, comes at a price. The very gadgets that make luxury cars special can become gremlins that, in some makes, keep them in the shop. Electrical problems were partly to blame for Mercedes recalling 1.3 million cars last year.

"Electrical issues are the biggest bone of contention" and are most often a source of mechanical glitches with luxury cars these days, especially in non-Japanese brands, said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' auto test division.

This year marked the first time that luxury car brands didn't dominate the vehicle-dependability study by consumer research firm J.D. Powers & Associates. Toyota's luxury brand Lexus was first, and Cadillac was fourth. The rest of the spots were claimed by Toyota, Mercury and Buick, said Neal Oddes, director of product research and analysis.

"The extra stuff you don't have to have in a car -- that's what's giving [owners] grief," said Gus Mohammadi, owner of Eurosport Motors in Rockville, which specializes in Porsche repairs. "There's no essential major problems with them. It's the little stuff people paid a lot of money for."

At least owners of new luxury vehicles don't have to pay for fixing many of these glitches during the first few years. BMW, Mercedes, and Jaguar (a division of Ford Motor Co.) cover repairs during the first four years or 50,000 miles. BMW also covers routine maintenance, such as changing the oil and windshield wipers.

Generous warranty policies have helped luxury automakers counter the perception that their vehicles prohibitively costly to own.

Of course, no matter how good the warranty, it doesn't shield owners from higher insurance premiums, said car experts and luxury vehicle owners.

According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, an arm of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a large number of luxury models tend to have higher losses from collisions because their parts are more expensive to replace.

My first car was a 2000 two-door Honda DX, which I really liked until I had my first son. It was HELL trying to get his car seat in and out of that back seat. From that point on, I knew I wanted an SUV, but I wanted it to be small and not too bad on gas. So, I ended up buying a 1999 Lexus RX300 and the reasons behind purchasing my hooptie were simple - I liked the size, the versatility, I liked the price, and I wanted it. But two years into ownership, I found out the hard way why used cars can be a pain - I had to have the transmission replaced at a cost of $4,000!!!! Man, was I HOT! I wouldn't have expected this to be happening so soon with only 60-something miles on it. Man, I still THANK GOD that my car was covered under warranty! Even still, I would probably buy another 'premium' vehicle. Shoot, like the old saying goes, 'one bad apple don't spoil the bunch' right? But enough about me, let's talk about you (yes, you); Do you have any auto horror stories to share...

posted by Soulfull @ 2:53 PM , links to this post

You Can't Stuff This Turkey...

This is, by far, the funniest egreeting I have seen for Thanksgiving.

Check it out here

posted by Soulfull @ 1:43 PM , links to this post

A File From The Crazy Photos Department

Naturally, I doubt I will be blogging on Black Friday, so here's the crazy photos for the week. From the looks of these flicks, it's apparent that someone is neglecting their grandmother...

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posted by Soulfull @ 1:17 PM , links to this post

P.G. Officials Live It Up At The Taxpayers' Expense

The Headline Reads: Prince George's Taxpayers Pick Up Officials' Personal Tabs (WaPo)

I was reading about this story here and here (and excuse my French), but got-damn-it, WHEN WILL THIS FOOLISHNESS END!?!?

Prince George's County Council member David Harrington (D-Cheverly), needed a shirt for his pastor's funeral in 2003, so he bought one for $37.99 at a Temple Hills store called Uniforms & Lingerie Inc.

When he wanted a haircut, he got one for $21 at Hair Designers Plus in Hyattsville. And when he decided he wanted to get in shape, he bought a gym membership for $300 at the Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex in Landover.

Each time, taxpayers picked up the tab, according to county records.

Harrington is one of several Prince George's officials, including County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D), who have used county-issued credit cards to pay for personal expenses totaling thousands of dollars, violating county policy. Johnson, for example, charged taxpayers for a $236 stay at the Courtyard by Marriott in Jamaica, N.Y., when he was attending his father-in-law's funeral in 2004, records show.

Council Vice Chairman Camille Exum (D-Seat Pleasant) charged taxpayers $637 in June 2004 for three nights at the Embassy Suites in Richmond, a stay she described as "personal."

County records show that none of those charges was repaid.

In other cases, officials repaid the county for personal charges, but only after months and sometimes more than a year. Harrington, for example, took 19 months to repay a $36 charge at an eye care center in December 2003, according to records.

"In theory, they're supposed to write a check and pay it back," said Council Chairman Thomas E. Dernoga (D-Laurel). "But it seems like an odd way to do business. Why not use your own credit card and then you don't have to worry about writing a check to the government?"

The Washington Post reviewed billing statements and other documents covering credit-card use over the past four years for officials in Prince George's, where there has been a move to heighten scrutiny of public spending. Charges for council members between December 2002 and May 2006 totaled $196,300, mostly for business meals and travel, according to documents obtained under a public records request. Thomas R. Hendershot (D-New Carrollton) had the highest total: more than $61,000 over that period.

The county cardholder agreement, which officials sign when they receive the cards, states that they are "exclusively for authorized and lawful county business." It requires that an "inadvertent" charge placed on a card be repaid within 10 business days.

Records show not only that some officials have ignored the agreement but also that the county's oversight and record-keeping is haphazard.

It is impossible to know from the records what some of the charges are for, how many are personal and, of those, which have been repaid. Information from the county did not always match bank records. One personal charge, noted as being repaid in 2003, was for a trip that didn't take place until 2004. The county said another charge was for a meal, while the official who made it said it was for a workout at a health club.

And in one case, to prove a council member had repaid a charge to renew his driver's license, the council administrator's office produced a photocopy of a $20 bill and a $1 bill.

Johnson said he has no jurisdiction over council members but has reminded his staff in writing not to use the cards for personal items. "We are very firm that they do not use credit cards in that way," he said.

Council member Douglas J.J. Peters (D-Bowie), the only council member who declined to have a county-issued credit card, said oversight should be shifted to the county auditor.

"It's hard for the [council] administrator to police them, because he works for them," said Peters, who recently won election to the Maryland Senate.

Police them? Why should anyone have to 'police' county officials who are SUPPOSED to be TRUSTWORTHY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE?! Granted other counties have their dirt and I'm sure these officials aren't alone in their debauchery, but I want to speak for where I live. I am just growing TIRED of corruption stories like this and this. And what really bothers me is that most of these nuts were reelected -- Now that just makes me sick! I mean, how can we EVER expect REAL change if we keep electing the same folks year after year? I'm patiently waiting for somebody to be fired, suspended, reprimand, I mean, SOMETHING! Or maybe, I'm just living in a fantasy world, but I swear, I really would like to see this county reach its' highest potential, but we just can't do it with this kind of arrogance.

posted by Soulfull @ 11:41 AM , links to this post

BREAKING NEWS: Saddam Has Escaped!!!

GOTCHA! It's just a little Wednesday humor...

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posted by Soulfull @ 11:01 AM , links to this post

Please Don't Get It Twisted....

Why is it when I'm having a peaceful day, someone has to come in and stink it up with their funky attitude? Now I consider myself to be a nice lady. I speak to people when I walk by, I usually have a smile on my face, and I welcome conversation every once and a while, but PLEASE tell me WHY some people always want to take your kindness for weakness?!?! I hate having to embarrass folks (or break an idiot down) but lately folks are in NEED of an education on what I will and won't tolerate. I've had to drop a few 'don't get it twisted' bombs on folks so far this week and I guess they weren't prepared for that. For example, if I know for a FACT that you could careless about me, then don't come smiling in my face and trying to make conversation. Just keep it moving to the left (to the left). Shoot, I've had my fair share of being too nice (aka timid) and EVERYBODY knows that being too nice only gets you ran over like a speed bump by crazy folks who only seem to have one concern -- THEMSELVES. If they didn't know by now, I WILL (and do) speak my mind when I see or hear issues that aren't fair and I have no plans of keeping shit to myself anymore. Hmmm, all of this makes me think of something I read at one of my favorite bloggers spot...

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. - Bertrand Russell

Man, I couldn't agree more with this one!!!!!

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posted by Soulfull @ 10:13 AM , links to this post

Alice Walker Visits DC Bookstore

The Headline Reads: In the Looking Glass (WaPo)

Here's an excerpt from a good article on Alice Walker's recent visit to DC that I wanted to share:

At the moment, though, this somewhat reluctant literary lioness has emerged for a multi-city book tour, temporarily suspending that notion of "less travel" to promote a new collection of meditations, "We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: Inner Light in a Time of Darkness."

There is still activism in her, still fight, but it comes in a more self-reflective and overtly spiritual package. At 62, Walker grounds her life in meditation and yoga, and she writes about things like "the root of the peace cradling me" and "the ecstatic nature of impersonal love" that bonds her with the Iraqi women and children who so concern her.

But she can still energize a crowd. Speaking at Politics and Prose on Wednesday night, she went on a political tear, denouncing both parties, denouncing the Bush administration, denouncing the war. From all corners of the room came echoes of "uh-huh" and "that's right," punctuated with clapping and laughter.

"America is not free," she told her audience, " . . . and everyone knows it and can see it!"

Gosh, darn it! I'm sorry I missed this one!

posted by Soulfull @ 11:54 AM , links to this post

Monday's Motivation - You Gotta Be Bold

Good morning world! It's another manic monday and today I am really feeling myself! Even though I woke up a tad bit late, I managed to get myself and my sons dressed, fed, off to daycare, and I STILL made it to work on time! (Go me! Go me!) Shoot, that's what I call a good morning! But enough about me. I hope YOUR 'welcome back to the work week' has been good thus far. But if Monday hasn't, remember it's never too late to change the situation around! And that's why I like today's song, You Gotta Be by Des'ree. This song makes me feel so energerized and ready to CONQUER THE WORLD!!! But first, I think I'll settle for making it through today. (LOL!) Well, happy Monday folks and get out there and BE BAD & BOLD! :)

Des'ree - You Gotta Be

What this song is saying to me:
Listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky...

Herald what your mother said
Read the books your father read
Try to solve the puzzles in your own sweet time
Some may have more cash than you
Others take a different view
My oh my hey, hey, hey
You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold
You gotta be wiser, you gotta be hard
You gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm
You gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day

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posted by Soulfull @ 10:06 AM , links to this post

Sunday Evening Reflections

I'm comin' up
On the rough side of the mountain
I'm doing my best to make it in...

On some mornings, I like to get up, turn on some gospel music, cook breakfast, and then do the job of cleaning the house. I mean, it's not like I don't do it any other day, but this particular day was different. I was sweeping, dusting, and rearranging the whole living room, while listening to various songs play via Music Choice. The kids were happy drawing pictures for Jesus and I was content with my place in the world. Then I heard the voices of Reverand F.C. Barnes and Reverand Janice Brown. Before I could get a handle on myself and the broom, I was down on the couch crying. My oldest son came over to ask what was wrong. Nothing was really wrong, so I smiled and replied, "I remember hearing this song at your great-great-great grandmother's house and I miss her..."

As much as I think I'm doing okay with her being gone, it's still hard. Yet, I know hearing that song this morning was a reminder of the struggles that she overcome to help my mother and my mother's mother, so they could in turn help me reach my potential. And even if I'm on the rough side of the mountain, I know that I'm being lead by their spirits and all the spirits of my ancestors.

I found this video of Mahalia Jackson, who is also a favorite of mine. It's quite inspiring.

Peace & Blessings, ya'll...

Mahalia Jackson - Only Believe

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posted by Soulfull @ 11:45 PM , links to this post


This photo, courtesy of Reuters, shows President Bush and Secretary of State Rice listening to South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun (you can read the AP story here), but by the looks on their faces, I wonder, what could they possibly be thinking... Well, here's my guess:

Bush: Can you believe this guy? It's laughable that he thinks I'm going to do anything he says? I'm the DECIDER!

Condi: Yeah, who the HELL does he think he's talking to? Don't worry G.B., I got your back!

Now, what's your caption?

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posted by Soulfull @ 10:23 AM , links to this post

Rhythm-and-Blues Singer Ruth Brown Dies

The Headline Reads: Ruth Brown, 78; R& B Singer Championed Musicians' Rights

Another legend is gone and I'm just not sure how much my R and B heart can take...

Here's the story...

"Ruth Brown, 78, a rhythm-and-blues singer whose hits in the 1950s made Atlantic Records 'the house that Ruth built' and who revived her career decades later as the Tony Award-winning star of the musical revue 'Black and Blue,' died Nov. 17 at St. Rose Dominican Hospital in Henderson, Nev., after a stroke and heart attack.

Ms. Brown, who lived in the Las Vegas suburb, became known as a persistent and vital activist in the royalty reform movement of the 1980s. Her efforts brought aging, often ailing musicians payments that major music companies had long denied them.

With an aching, gospel-tinged attack to a lyric, Ms. Brown was among the top black pop singers of the early 1950s. Many of her recordings topped the R&B music charts, including the rollicking "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean" and the ballad "So Long." Her other popular recordings were "Teardrops From My Eyes," "Lucky Lips," "5-10-15 Hours (Of Your Love)," "Mambo Baby" and "Oh What a Dream."

Her admirers spanned several generations. Little Richard once said he borrowed his trademark whoop ("Lucille- uh") from her. Bonnie Raitt, with whom Ms. Brown played in recent years, also cited her as a musical influence.

Between career peaks, Ms. Brown endured a long professional slump that left her at times in dire poverty. Partly she blamed her ignorance on business matters. However, Atlantic's royalty system did not favor artists in any way, from extremely low royalties to faulty bookkeeping.

Many artists left owing the studio money for production costs, which Ms. Brown said was a way to discourage further attempts to collect payment when a studio reissued old material. By Atlantic's calculations, Ms. Brown owed Atlantic $30,000.

The matter stalled until her Tony -- as well as a Grammy for the jazz recording "Blues on Broadway" (1989) -- brought a resurgence in public attention. Working with Washington lawyer Howell Begle, she arranged an alliance of political forces, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, to pressure Atlantic and its longtime owner, Warner Communications, for payments.

Ms. Brown received $20,000 and was forgiven all "debts." The company changed its royalty payment system to favor the pioneering artists. This was credited with inspiring a royalty reform movement among other labels, including the conglomerate MCA.Warner's Atlantic subsidiary also agreed to contribute $1.5 million to start the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, a nonprofit aid organization for needy entertainers now based in Philadelphia.

God bless this beautiful lady and her entire family!

Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean (This is my favorite song!!!)

posted by Soulfull @ 8:56 PM , links to this post


UPDATE 11/17/06 2:15PM - See video from the Memorial Service here and more videos of the service are available here!

This is so beautiful that I had to share... Be sure to click on each page to enlarge. Again, God bless him and his family....

The service tomorrow is expected to last between 60 and 90 minutes, and will be broadcast live on WZAK FM/93.1.


I realize that the text isn't that easy to read so I am including the text here (You can DOWNLOAD your own copy of the actual program for Gerald Levert's Memorial Service here.):

From Page 1:

was born on July 13, 1966 in Canton, Ohio as the firstborn child of
Martha and Ed Willis Levert. Growing up in Shaker Heights, Ohio,
Gerald was raised in a Christian household as one of Jehovah's
Witnesses. He and his brother Sean spent countless hours imitating
their dad and the mighty, mighty O'Jays. Growing up listening to his
father, the seeds of a career that would put him in the same company
as Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye and Luther Vandross were planted as
he watched his father's career continue to grow. Always readying
himself for the passage of the proverbial torch, Gerald realized and
appreciated the blessing of the gift of song and his talent as a singer
while still yet a teenager. Gifted with a powerful, yet soothing voice
and the ability to speak to a multitude of listeners' needs and emotions,

Gerald was destined for greatness and fame at the onset of his career as a professional singer, songwriter and producer.
Gerald's ascent into stardom was first experienced in 1986 as a member of the R&B trio Levert,which included his brother, Sean, and childhood friend Marc Gordon. The group made their mark in the music industry with hits such as "(Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop) Goes My Mind," "Casanova," and "Baby I'm Ready." The four time platinum selling group set the stage for Gerald to embark on a solo career. His first solo album, Private Line, was released in 1991. Joining forces with his dad, in 1995 he went on to record Father & Son rendering the hit song “Baby Hold on to Me.”
As a singer and songwriter, Gerald was blessed with the fortune of turning out hits for nearly 20 years. From singing, writing and producing as a solo artist to writing and producing hits for others, his career has been consistently revered by fervent fans and admiring colleagues. As a singer and songwriter, Gerald spoke of love, family, politics, societal injustices and challenged us all to think
about society and our place in the world. In 2005, he even enlisted the help of noted social commentators Dr. Cornell West and Tavis Smiley for a dialogue about the state of mankind, as well as his father Eddie Levert and other family members to chime in on the song about changing family values on the album Do I Speak for the World?
From being a part of the 1996 trio LSG with R&B chart-toppers Keith Sweat and Johnny Gill to producing seven self titled albums and a host of songs for other artists such as Barry White, Patti Labelle, Anita Baker, this Ohio native son, with his soulful lyrics, became a timeless favorite of young and old alike. Offstage, all who knew him experienced first-hand Gerald's infectious personality, love of laughter, fierce loyalty and dedication to family. The warm and loving personality of Gerald Levert has been appropriately embodied by his signature “teddy bear,” the
souvenir of a lifetime for many a woman who ever attended a Gerald Levert concert.
The untimely death of Gerald Levert at the young age of 40 leaves a barren place in his family and the music industry. Gerald is survived by his mother and father - Martha and Eddie Levert, his children, Lemicah, Carlysia and Camryn, his brothers Eddie, Jr., and Sean (Angela), his sisters Kandice (Leonard Brooks), Asha, Eury and Ryan, and a host of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Friends of Gerald will always be touched by and will miss the big “teddy bear” but his loving memory will continue to live forever.

From Page 2:

My dad was a great man who was my hero, my role
model and my best friend. He taught me right from
wrong and not only how to be a good man but a good
person. Due to this tragic loss of my father, I now
understand the meaning when someone says “their
heart is filled with pain.” I am no longer afraid of death
because I now have someone waiting for me on the
other side….my pops, my pal and my best friend.
Love Always - Lemicah Edward Levert

Daddy, I love ya, so much! You're one of the best people
in the world. You're my hero. You may not be here
physically but you will always be here in heart, mind and
soul. All my life I thanked God for sending me the best
Dad/Father in the whole entire world. I am so proud of
what you accomplished. I will definitely keep your legacy
alive. I cherish all the moments we spent together. I will
see you in heaven! I love you again and know that you
will be missed.
Love - Carlysia….your little princess!

Dear Daddy, I want to thank you for loving me,
coming to my school, my doll and being there
for me. You are the greatest dad a little girl
could ever have! I will miss you.
P.S. See you in my dreams
Love - Camryn

1. Private Line 1991
2. Groove On 1995
3. Love & Consequences 1998
4. G 1999
5. Gerald World 2001
6. The G Spot 2002
7. A Stroke of Genius 2003
8. Do I Speak for the World 2004
9. Voices 2005
With LeVert:
1. Bloodline 1986
2. The Big Throwdown 1987
3. Just Coolin 1988
4. Rope a Dope Style 1990
5. For Real Tho 1993
With Eddie Levert:
1. Father & Son 1995
With LSG:
1. Levert, Sweat, Gill 1997
2. LSG-2 2003
Greatest Solo Hits on Billboard's R&B Chart:
1. Private Line 1991
2. Baby Hold on to Me 1992
3. Can You Handle It 1992
4. I'd Give Anything 1994
5. Already Missing You 1995
6. Thinkin 'Bout It 1998
7. Taking Everything 1999

From Page 3:

We Thought
We thought we’d have plenty of time to spend together
We thought we'd see your beautiful smile forever
We thought we’d always hear your wonderful laugh
But you’re gone so we’re dealing with the aftermath
We never thought we would say goodbye so soon
We’ll miss how your presence just lit up a room
We thought we’d hear your sensational voice for a while longer
You'd be happy to know the comfort of your fans and friends are making us stronger
Remarkable, sensational, kind and caring you are
Know that your legacy will live on both near and far
- Katrice Austin, on behalf of the entire family of Gerald Levert

From Page 4:

The family of Gerald Levert would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation and thanks for the
enormous outpouring of love and support from all who have been touched by Gerald's life. In
particular, we would like to extend a special thanks to:
Lyor Cohen, Craig Kallman, Kevin Liles, Ronnie Johnson, James Lopez
and the entire Atlantic Records family
Alan Haymon and Haymon Entertainment
Sylvia Rhone
Sharon Heyward
Patti Webster
Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones
Susan and Brian Hall
Tonya Range and the entire Cleveland Radio One Family
Dean Bolden, Star Fleet
Red and S&S Touring Company
Greg Mayo
Maxine Greer and the Pr Store
Dannette Render, DAR Public Relations, Inc.
Gerald Levert lived and breathed life as a rhythm and blues singer. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that all donations be made to the Rhythm & Blues Foundation. Checks should be made payable to the foundation and forwarded to Trevel Productions, 13816 Cedar Road, University Heights, Ohio 44118 to establish an endowment fund in the name of Gerald Levert.

Closeup of letter #1

From Page 6:

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posted by Soulfull @ 4:00 PM , links to this post

DC Museum Will Project Images of Darfur Outside

The Headline Reads:

Here's the news:

November 20 — 26, 2006
5:30 p.m. to midnight

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum will project wall-sized images of the escalating genocide in Darfur onto its facade during Thanksgiving week, marking the first time the national memorial's exterior will be used to highlight contemporary genocide. The program, "Darfur: Who Will Survive Today?" is a unique and highly symbolic Museum project produced in association with Darfur/Darfur to draw attention to the continuing crisis in Darfur.

A public program on Monday, November 20 at 6:30 p.m. will begin the weeklong project. The program will include an address by Andrew Natsios, U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan. Other speakers include Holocaust survivor Nesse Godin; Omar Ismail, a Darfurian refugee living in the U.S. since 1989 with family still in Darfur; and Clemantine Wamariya, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, who was recently featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show as a winner of Oprah's nationwide high school essay contest on Elie Wiesel's memoir Night.

"We can't afford to be bystanders to genocide in Darfur," said Fred S. Zeidman, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council Chairman. "This Museum is a harsh reminder of the consequences of inaction during the Holocaust. During Thanksgiving week, a time of reflection and gratitude, we are lending the Museum's moral stature to alert the public to the urgency of stopping the human catastrophe in Darfur."

The photographs of "Darfur: Who Will Survive Today?" were taken in Darfur and neighboring Chad by former U.S. Marine Brian Steidle and photojournalists Lynsey Addario, Mark Brecke, Helene Caux, Ron Haviv/VII, Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum, Ryan Spencer Reed/GroupM35, and Michal Safdie.

"Darfur: Who Will Survive Today?" comprises images from the exhibit Darfur/Darfur, which was conceived and curated by Leslie Thomas, a Chicago mother and architect who, with the support of her friends throughout the country, was motivated in July 2006 to provide national awareness of the ongoing humanitarian crisis. The exhibit is presented in association with Global Grassroots, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which invests in social entrepreneurship to advanced women's wellbeing in poor countries. The show will be held in 24 cities over 24 months.

"Once you see photos of a murdered three-year-old little boy whose face has been smashed or the body of a one-year-old girl who has been shot you cannot honestly look at your own children without doing something to stop this killing," says Thomas.

In July 2004, the Museum's Committee on Conscience declared a "Genocide Emergency" for Darfur. Since then the Committee has been working to educate policy makers and the American public about the urgent need to take action to end the genocide there. The Museum has mounted a display on the emergency in Darfur; held educational programming on the topic featuring members of Congress and Holocaust survivors; hosted two national conferences for student leaders engaged on the issue; and more. The Committee recently launched a weekly podcast series and blog, "Voices on Genocide Prevention," featuring leaders in government, media, and advocacy addressing how citizens can get involved in genocide prevention efforts.

If I'm able to make it out there next week, I will definitely share my photos of this emotional event here...

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posted by Soulfull @ 12:29 PM , links to this post

Memorial Service For Levert Tomorrow

The Headline Reads: Gerald Levert Funeral Planned For Friday in Cleveland

Here's the news:
A public memorial service for Gerald Levert is being planned for Friday at Music Hall in Cleveland. Details have not been finalized.

The R&B singer was pronounced dead last Friday afternoon, after a relative found Levert unresponsive at his home in Newbury Township. He was 40. Preliminary autopsy results indicated he had mild to moderate heart disease.

Reached by phone Monday, his father, Eddie Levert of the O'Jays, was too upset to speak at length.

"If you want to say something to your readers, just tell them I love my son very much," Eddie Levert said. "I'm going to really miss him. That's it."

Gerald Levert and his dad collaborated on the 1995 album "Father & Son." They often performed together, too.

Levert first found fame with the trio LeVert, whose single "Casanova" was a Top 5 hit in 1987. He went on to a successful career as a solo artist and as a member of the supergroup LSG with Keith Sweat and Johnny Gill.

The Levert family suggests contributions be made to the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. Checks (payable to the Rhythm and Blues Foundation) and condolences may be sent to Andy Gibson, Trevel Productions Inc., 13816 Cedar Road, University Heights, OH 44118.

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posted by Soulfull @ 11:31 AM , links to this post

Match Yourself With A Mentor

Check This Out - Match Yourself With A Role Model

This morning while I was researching something for work, I stumbled across this website,, which I found to be quite interesting. Here's some background:

The Academy of Achievement is like no other organization in the world. For more than 40 years, this unique non-profit entity has sparked the imagination of students across America and around the globe by bringing them into direct personal contact with the greatest thinkers and achievers of the age.

The life stories of extraordinary achievers can provide you with a roadmap of your own personal quest for excellence. You might be surprised to learn that someone like you has landed on the moon, started a media empire, or discovered the secret of the DNA molecule.

This site definitely helps one to "draw inspiration, courage and strength from those individuals who have shaped our world of today" and after completing a few clicks, I found that the 'mentor' that shares similarities with my own achievements ranged from Whoopi Goldberg to Bob Woodward to Oprah to James Earl Jones. But I'm curious. Who were your matches?

posted by Soulfull @ 10:19 AM , links to this post

911 Operator Gets 4 Days Off?

The Headline Reads: Music Producer's 911 Call For Help (NBC4)

Okay, I wrote how upset I was about the death of Scottie Beats here and now it appears that there's been an update to this tragic situation. NBC4 is reporting that after officials completed their investigation, the 911 operator is receiving a FOUR day suspension for her role in this situation. NBC offers the recording of the call over here, but what I don't understand is this:

Dispatcher: "OK, what I'm saying is the tow truck was picking up your car. Are you late on your payments on your car?"

Brown: "No! Not at all! Not at all! No I'm not late on my payments. Not at all!"

The dispatcher then told Brown to call back.

Dispatcher: OK, so what you're going to have to do sir, is give us a call back within the next two hours to find out what tow company has towed it, and where they took it to, and they'll give you a reason. But right now, they just did it, we won't have any way to know."

WTH?!!!!!!!!!!! Late payments? I mean come on! My goodness, just exactly why is it any of her business? 911 is not a bank nor a damn lender, so just exactly what was the point in going there. Man, it's just disheartening that this emergency wasn't treated with the respect that it deserved and with only four days off, I doubt that this is a sign of respect for a lost life either. Like Flexx said, "This can't happen! It's 911! They've got to help us."

Brown's homicide remains unsolved. Anyone with information is asked to Call Prince George's County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477). There is a substantial reward in this case.

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Scotty Beats photo is courtesy of Knock Hard Entertainment

posted by Soulfull @ 11:53 PM , links to this post

The Trailer For Tyler Perry's New Movie

Have You Seen this: Daddy's Little Girl Teaser

Ya'll know I enjoy the plays and movies by Tyler and when someone sent me the link to his new movie, I got so excited! I mean, Dreamgirls is nice, but I can not WAIT for Tyler's movie! :) You can check out some old photo stills of the movie here.

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posted by Soulfull @ 11:36 AM , links to this post

Isn't Brotherhood Beautiful?

Read the story behind this photo here

posted by Soulfull @ 8:09 AM , links to this post

What, You Have Cartoons? I LOVE CARTOONS!

Have You Heard About - aniBOOM - The home of animation

Yes, indeed the holiday season is upon us. My sister called me at work to ask about the plans for Thanksgiving and naturally before we knew it, we were on the subject of BLACK FRIDAY! But we cooled our heels and chilled out for a bit because hey, the holiday season (Thanksgiving and Christmas) is about giving thanks and appreciation for being able to spend another season with your loved ones, right? (Well, at least that's what I think about it.) Yet, hearing her talk about Thanksgiving only made me think about Christmas. I usually like to 'go all out' for Christmas, but after reading some holiday tips here, I looked around my kids' bedroom and decided to tone it down a bit. I mean, how many cars, crayons, markers, drum sets, basketballs, legos, action figures, blocks, etc. toys do two boys need?

So anyway, let me get to the point of this post, right? Today, I learned about a site that has nothing but CARTOONS (and GOOD ONES at that). It should come as no surprise that I. Fell. In. Love. Shoot, when being an adult gets too rough, cartoons help me to remember all the simple joys of being a kid! (As a child there was nothing like a bowl of cereal and Saturday morning cartoons.) Even today, I get a little excited. When I finally let my sons watch a little TV, I sing the jingles to some (okay, ALL) their cartoons with them, (Jimmy Neutron and Fairly OddParents are running neck and neck for favorite cartoon intro song). Needless to say, when I ventured over to aniBOOM, I found 1000 more reasons why I need to hurry up and finish this book. But, enough about me and my excitement. Check out this video below that helped to put an early Christmas grin on my face....


posted by Soulfull @ 8:54 PM , links to this post