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This Blog Is Under New Management....

I think there's
something you should know
I think it's time I told
you so
There's something deep inside of me
There's someone else I've got to be

- Freedom 90, George Michael


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posted by Soulfull @ 8:15 AM , links to this post

Monday's Motivation: It's My Life

I'm still uncovering the truths about myself. Lately, my unwavering need to be open, honest, and free is getting my ass in a lot of trouble. However unfair and painful the truth might be, I'd like to think that the painful truth is better than a f-ed up lie. Why should I hide from the truth because people can't handle it? Why should I neglect my own inner thoughts and feelings for yours? I think not. The days of repressed emotions is over. Damn, I can't front though. This feeling is quite scary, but exciting, yet fun, but sad, yet exhilarating. Since my purchase of Jane Child's 1989 album off of eBay, I've wanted to explore even more of the world around me. To jump out of the neat little lines I've created around myself. Hell, it's my (crazy) life right?

Jane Child - World Lullaby

What this song is saying to me:
Yes the ghost of Christmas yet to come
Has left his mark on everyone
Though the Winter’s looming dark and near
There’s time to see while Spring’s still here
Don’t turn your face to the wall
Trust in the strength of the small
Though uncertainty in every heart
And differences tear us apart
Oldest prophecies already true
Fear no mysteries, just me and you

Jane Child - You're My Religion Now

What this song is saying to me:

Thou art God, all the evidence I ever need
Never shake my faith, I know, I know what it means
No books, no magic words, we don’t need a ritual
Absolute truth it’s so personal
Now I understand, Now I know it’s true
Now I know it’s me, Now I know it’s you
You are, You’re my religion now
You’re my religion
You and I remain, we’re one in the same
No flesh, no blood can change
No more doubt or fear, Your mouth to my ear

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posted by Soulfull @ 9:54 PM , links to this post

New Look Coming To Ebony Magazine

The Headline Reads:New Execs at Ebony Push for a New Edge (Chicago Tribune)

All I have to say is this - IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME...

By Mary Ellen Podmolik
Special to the Tribune
Published January 28, 2007

Just before Christmas, before she had even agreed to take a job at Ebony magazine, syndicated columnist and author Harriette Cole supervised an auspicious cover photo shoot for a coming issue.

It proved to be a plum assignment for Cole, who this month was named Ebony's creative director. The February issue--with an attractive cover shot of Sen. Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, accompanied by the text "America's Next First Couple?"--hit newsstands just as Obama announced the formation of an exploratory committee to consider a presidential bid.

"It's magical timing," Cole said. "It doesn't get any better than this."

But executives at Ebony, including several recent arrivals like Cole, are hoping it does indeed get better.

The February issue is among the first to reflect a new direction and urgency at Ebony as Chicago-based Johnson Publishing Co. seeks to make the monthly and its weekly sister publication, Jet, more relevant.

Founded by media pioneer John H. Johnson in November 1945, Ebony was considered the black equivalent of Life magazine. It remains the largest black-owned and -operated publishing company, but readership is dwindling.

Ebony's circulation slipped to 1.46 million copies as of June, down from a five-year high of 1.86 million copies in 2002, according to statements Ebony filed with the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Meanwhile, circulation at Essence magazine, a Time Inc. product that competes with Ebony in fashion and lifestyle coverage, has remained relatively stable during the past five years, at about 1 million copies.

"Not only was [Ebony] a must-read, it was the only read when you looked at the marketplace," said Hermene Hartman, publisher and chief executive of Hartman Publishing Group in Chicago, which operates N'Digo and Savoy online. "It was the magazine on the coffee table in every black household. Now for every one magazine, you've got 10."

Beauty coverage to get boost

Some 64 percent of Ebony's readers are women, an attractive statistic for advertisers. But at the same time, 62 percent of its readers are age 35 and older, according to the company. Part of Cole's charge is to strengthen the fashion and beauty coverage to attract readers as young as 25. She also will be responsible for the overall look and design of Ebony, which last underwent a redesign in 2003.

Cole, an etiquette expert and author of several books, will continue to write "Sense and Sensitivity," a nationally syndicated advice column, for the New York Daily News. She will be based in New York.

"What we have to do is get that younger reader to pick [Ebony] up," Cole said. "Is it relevant for the younger reader? I would say yes, but when you go to the newsstand and have 100 titles to choose from, what are your choosing? We need to redesign."

Her new boss, Bryan Monroe, does not disagree. Recruited by president and CEO Linda Johnson Rice in August to be vice president and editorial director of both Ebony and Jet, Monroe previously was assistant vice president of news at Knight Ridder before it was sold to McClatchy Co.

"The magazines have been successful for 60 years in the black community, but in the last decade or so, they've gotten a little bit stagnant," Monroe said. "The current issue exemplifies where we're headed. We are going to be newsy and timely, but we also want to be fun."

Monroe also wants to build on John Johnson's legacy of taking a stand on important issues. While the current issue is referred to internally as the annual "love" issue, the editorial and stories that have generated the most buzz online have been about the n-word and Monroe's promise that it won't appear within the pages of Ebony or Jet.

Keeping what works

Ken Smikle, president of Chicago-based Target Market News, which studies black buying power, believes that Ebony's general-interest formula, unique in a world of special-interest publications, can still work and be attractive to advertisers.

"I think [Ebony] wants to hold onto what has been successful while trying to do things that will replace readers who may simply be dying rather than leaving," Smikle said.

In addition to Cole and Monroe, the company has hired two executives to revamp the newly named site.

At the same time, Ebony is working to extend its name beyond magazines. This spring, Dan River Inc. will manufacture home and bath products under the Ebony Home brand. Also, the company has formed a partnership with American Greetings Corp. to create a line of greeting cards under the Ebony Expressions label. The first series of cards, using classic Ebony magazine covers, is launching in 900 Wal-Mart stores to coincide with Black History month in February.

"You'll be seeing a lot of changes over the next 12 months," Monroe said. "Black America is ready for a new Jet, a new Ebony."

Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune

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posted by Soulfull @ 10:20 AM , links to this post

The State Of This "F-ed Up" Union

I don't know about you all, but last night's State of the Union address was some straight B.S. Just exactly what does Bush hope to accomplish NOW that this country has been run into the gutter with his "horse with the blinders on" mentality? It's such a big mistake to send more troops to Iraq and I don't want to see Bush receive another 'chance' at this war! We went into Iraq in March of 2003 and with the deaths of so many soldiers and Iraqi citizens, this is what Bush has to say...

"I respect you and the arguments you have made," Mr. Bush told skeptical lawmakers from both parties in his sixth State of the Union address, the fourth since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. "We went into this largely united -- in our assumptions and in our convictions. And whatever you voted for, you did not vote for failure. Our country is pursuing a new strategy in Iraq, and I ask you to give it a chance to work."

We didn't vote for failure? You damn skippy we didn't, but how many days, months, years have to go by before Georgie realizes that this shit just ain't working??? Last night's 'union' was a big joke! I hated all the pretentious clapping and fake smiles... UGH! With Bush at the helm, things are becoming more and more divided. I can only pray that the 2008 Presidential candidates bring their 'A' game. :sigh: I think I'll go back to listening to IJUSWANNALAYAROUNDALLDAYINBEDWITHYOU and try to make a baby Before Bush Do Something [Else] Crazy (By the way, that song is so damn dope!).

Peace & blessings ya'll...

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posted by Soulfull @ 7:44 PM , links to this post

J. Ivy's Poem, "History In The Making"

A new advertising campaign launched today features New Age poet J. Ivy, whose message resonates with African-Americans as he says, “History is more than a memory; it’s a movement, an act by certain individuals, who have found the ability to make time stand still.” Ivy has appeared on the HBO Def Poetry Series, and is featured on albums of award-winning artists, such as Jay-Z and Kanye West.

Also be sure to check out J. Ivy's MySpace page here

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posted by Soulfull @ 9:22 AM , links to this post

Sunday Evening Reflections: I AM NOT PERFECT

We had our first taste of snow today. It's funny how the ugliness of the world now covered in snow makes me think of my own imperfections. Still I make no apologies for my behavior as of lately. I am only human and I don't want to die with regrets. Peace & Blessings ya'll...

Mary J. Blige - Take Me As I Am

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posted by Soulfull @ 11:46 PM , links to this post

The Santa Clausification of Dr. Martin Luther King

I got this email (thank goodness for friends who know what I like to see/read) regarding the January 12th interview of Dr. Cornel West by Tavis Smiley. I missed this particular show when it aired on PBS, but the entire transcript of the show is a great read (watch the full interview on video here). I especially wanted to share Dr. West's thoughts on the Santa Clausification of Dr. King...

Tavis: When you think of Dr. King, what is for you his enduring legacy? The enduring legacy?

West: Well, that's a question. But let me begin by this, though, brother. I think that when it comes to mass media, this particular show enacts the legacy because what you have been able to do, Tavis. The reason why I believe you're the most brilliant talk show host on television is that you bring together high-quality, Socratic questioning with highly mature, active listening.

So when you fuse critical intelligence with empathy - and that's Martin - Socratic and prophetic with a democratic end, which is to say that you respect each and every person as one made in the image of God, equal before the law, but an everyday person, and in your exchange, you respect them enough to listen and then, in your utterance, you take them serious enough to challenge them.

You see, brother Martin was really about the fusion of the Socratic and the prophetic with democratic ends. So that particular legacy, I think, is found in a variety of different contexts, but when it comes to a market-driven mass media, it's a rare thing to find that kind of Socratic questioning and the active listening which is an example of a certain kind of empathy.

Tavis: You're kind. I appreciate that.

West: I mean, I think it's very important because you see a lot of chit-chat about Martin every year and Martin has been so domesticated and tamed and defamed, you know, what we call the Santa Clausification of the brother.

Tavis: Wait a minute. Hold the phone, hold the phone. The Santa Clausification of Dr. King, which means what, Dr. West?

West: He just becomes a nice little old man with a smile with toys in his bag, not a threat to anybody, as if his fundamental commitment to unconditional love and unarmed truth does not bring to bear certain kinds of pressure to a status quo. So the status quo feels so comfortable as though it's a convenient thing to do rather than acknowledge him as to what he was, what the FBI said, "The most dangerous man in America." Why? Because of his fundamental commitment to love and to justice and trying to keep track of the humanity of each and every one of us.

Tavis: Talking to you is kind of like talking to Dr. Angelo who comes here often. We move around and cover so much territory, so let me do the same thing with you obviously. Let me jump forward and then we'll come back again. When you talk about the Santa Clausification - I got to wrestle with that - the Santa Clausification of Dr. King, could the same thing be said in a contemporary sense of a guy named Nelson Mandela?

West: Oh, absolutely, absolutely. In fact, when I was there and spoke at his birthday celebration, I talked about the Santa Clausification of Nelson Mandela. What happens is, again, in the market-driven world in which celebrity status operates in such a way that it tries to diffuse all of the threat and to sugarcoat and deodorize what actually is rather funky. I say that in the name of James Brown, the legacy of James Brown, right?

We have to be clear that, when we're talking about towering freedom fighters like a Nelson Mandela or a James Brown, I'll say the same thing about Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and others, these folk are such powerful forces that are threats to powers that be. Of course, Jesus is a grand example; I'll speak as a Christian. And, of course, we've seen Jesus being Santa Clausified the last two thousand years.

Tavis: Certainly during the Christmas season.

West: Oh, Lord. Deodorized, manicured, sterilized and yet there's the blood constituting major threats. Why? Because love and justice is a serious thing in a world that's obsessed with fear, hatred and greed, and that's very much what we're talking about. I think for you and I, though, Tavis, brother Martin, of course, we dedicate our lives to making the world safe for his legacy.

It's just a question of what does it really mean to be a free human being and specifically what does it mean to be a free Black man who mustered the courage to both love beginning with himself and others who look like him and others who don't look like him? He's a human, but he also knows that he must confront America.

One way of characterizing Martin is he's a free Negro who resists niggerization because a nigger is an American invention to make sure these human beings are intimidated, scared, divided, distrustful of one another, feeling powerless, feeling impotent, feeling that they can never fundamentally make a difference. That's what a nigger is. It was invented in America. Abe Lincoln himself has this little line in his journal of February 1859, his lecture on the invention of the Negro, fifteenth century.

Tavis: This is Lincoln.

West: Abe Lincoln. Lincoln is honest. He's an honest brother.

Tavis: Speaking of the fact that this construct was created.

West: Absolutely. And Martin says, "I'm a self-loving Negro who resists niggerization. I'm a free Black man who resists dehumanization." Of course, the invention of niggers was grounded in what? White fear, white hatred and white greed. So Martin has to say, "You know what? I refuse to be fearful, I refuse to hate back and I refuse to be greedy."

Instead of the fear, I'm going to enact a what? A boldness. Instead of the hatred, I'm going to enact what? A love. Instead of the greed, I'm going to enact what? A giving. And not just any giving, but the highest form of giving, which is forgiving. He's even forgiven O'Connor and others. What a rich legacy. Any time we mention that brother's name, we ought to shout it because that's the kind of challenge he presents to us and to each one of us, no matter what color, creed, sexual orientation, gender and so on.

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posted by Soulfull @ 10:52 PM , links to this post

Darfur, Sudan: Seeking The Truth

This is from Sept 2006, but I had to share!

As proponents of sanctions against the African nation of Sudan continue to grow louder in the U.S. media, amplified by certain forces who all desire to negatively exploit the current conflict, features a discussion on the crisis in Darfur, Sudan.

During the live news talk show on New York's KISS FM, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and Nation of Islam International Representative, Akbar Muhammad discussed the situation in Darfur, Sudan with radio host James Mtume.

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posted by Soulfull @ 10:18 PM , links to this post

The Lucky and Unlucky Sides of Love

The Headline Reads: Couples Hope For Lucky Weddings On 7/7/07

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Plenty of couples are hoping to roll a lucky seven on their wedding day.

Wedding planners say this coming July 7 is their busiest day in years. That's because it will be 7/7/07.

Popular California and Nevada wedding spots have been booked for months.

Bride-to-be Arlene Hixson said she and her fiance made their reservation at the Boomtown Casino Hotel on the outskirts of Reno almost two years in advance.

Aside from the lucky sevens, Hixson figures her wedding date has another advantage. With the anniversary date of 7/7, it will be tough for her future husband to forget.

The Headline Reads: Judge Orders Wall Built To Separate Spouses

NEW YORK -- A divorce battle playing out in New York City has turned a Brooklyn home into something out of the Cold War.

Chana and Simon Taub can't agree on which of them should move out of their house. So they're both living there -- separated by a wall.

The white drywall partition was put up a few weeks ago, on orders from a judge. It divides the living room from the staircase on the bottom floor of the three-story house.

She gets the top floor, where the bedrooms are, along with the kitchen on the second floor. He gets the living room on the first floor and the dining room on the second floor.

So that they don't run into each other on the second floor, the door between the dining room and the kitchen is barricaded on both sides.

One of their children is staying with Dad. Three others are staying with Mom.

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posted by Soulfull @ 9:49 PM , links to this post

Secret Service Visits Man After Letter To Editor

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Some might say Dan Tilli's letters to the editor threaten conservative values. The Secret Service briefly worried that the 81-year-old's words threatened President George W. Bush.

Tilli's letter published in Monday's edition of The Express-Times of Easton earned him a visit from a pair of Secret Service agents.

The letter referenced the execution of Saddam Hussein and ended with the line, "I still believe they hanged the wrong man." There was no mention of a threat to Bush.

The government apparently saw that as a potential threat toward the president.

Tilli said he didn't say who, and that he could have meant Osama bin Laden. He also said the statement wasn't a threat.

He said he received a phone call from a Secret Service agent Thursday morning, and that he was shocked to find out that the agents were already sitting outside his apartment building.

"They said, 'We're coming up,'" Tilli told The Express-Times. "They were in the parking lot and they came up in two seconds."

The agents, who confirmed their visit, grilled Tilli at his Bethlehem apartment for nearly an hour Thursday before deeming him safe.

Tilli said they asked him questions about his siblings, if he has considered suicide and whether he has traveled to Washington, D.C.

"I don't even know how to get there," Tilli said. "Atlantic City is the only place I go."

The agency said it has no further interest in Tilli, but that it had to check him out.

Tilli told the paper that the agents appeared to relax after he showed them a scrapbook containing more than 200 letters to the editor that he's written over the years, most of which were on political topics. He has written to the paper for more than 20 years.

"He (the agent) said they are good letters; they are interesting. He said keep writing but just don't make no threats," Tilli said. "They said, 'Don't worry about it. We just had to check.'"

He said they searched his house for weapons and took photographs of him.

Secret Service agent Kenneth Beauchamp told the paper that he enjoyed his visit with Tilli.

"He was an interesting man to talk to," Beauchamp said. "He seemed like a very nice gentleman."

It wasn't Tilli's first visit from authorities concerned about his writing. He said two FBI agents visited his home last year. He said they were apparently worried about a letter he wrote advocating a civil war to unseat Bush.

"It was a little surprising on this one because I didn't think the letter was that bad," Tilli said.

Tilli told that paper that he plans to follow the agents' advice and continue writing letters.

"I'm glad they came because it makes me feel that people are interested in what I'm doing," Tilli said. "Some guys, they save cards. I write letters."

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posted by Soulfull @ 9:30 PM , links to this post

Let's Talk About Sex

I'm stuck ya'll! I've been doing some major editing to this story and I'm stuck on one crucial element of the whole story -- the final sex scene. DAMN IT! Why is it much easier to have sex than it is to write about it? Okay, I have these two characters who are FINALLY going to get to 'ride the rodeo' and I can't get the words together. I want the sex between them to be passionate, yet HOT. Freaky, but full of intimacy. I want FIREWORKS! I want readers to feel the sexual energy radiating from the page, to feel the blue magic and get caught in a sexual spell. But all that's managed to 'come' out is this line:

He carried her up the winding staircase, down the long hall and into his bedroom.

Why!?! I just don't understand why writer's block is forming around one of my most favorite subjects: S-E-X! Yeah I've written about sex before (here's one story and another here), but hell I think my sizzle has fizzled. I'm totally sucking at making this love scene...

Joe - Love Scene

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

The Procrastinator's Creed

A joke for nOva and all you procrastinators out there. Whether it's a book or laundry, there's a little procrastinator in all of us... :)

The Procrastinator's Creed

* 1. I believe that if anything is worth doing, it would have been done already.
* 2. I shall never move quickly, except to avoid more work or find excuses.
* 3. I will never rush into a job without a lifetime of consideration.
* 4. I shall meet all of my deadlines directly in proportion to the amount of bodily injury I could expect to receive from missing them.
* 5. I firmly believe that tomorrow holds the possibility for new technologies, astounding discoveries, and a reprieve from my obligations.
* 6. I truly believe that all deadlines are unreasonable regardless of the amount of time given.
* 7. I shall never forget that the probability of a miracle, though infinitesmally small, is not exactly zero.
* 8. If at first I don't succeed, there is always next year.
* 9. I shall always decide not to decide, unless of course I decide to change my mind.
* 10. I shall always begin, start, initiate, take the first step, and/or write the first word, when I get around to it.
* 11. I obey the law of inverse excuses which demands that the greater the task to be done, the more insignificant the work that must be done prior to beginning the greater task.
* 12. I know that the work cycle is not plan/start/finish, but is wait/plan/plan.
* 13. I will never put off until tomorrow, what I can forget about forever.
* 14. I will become a member of the ancient Order of Two-Headed Turtles (the Procrastinator's Society) if they ever get it organized.

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posted by Soulfull @ 12:43 AM , links to this post

Freedom For My Mind, Freedom For My Soul

I really should be in the bed right now, but I can't sleep. I'm slowly spiraling into Dumbville. I feel like I'm not being challenged enough during the course of my workday. I want more. I crave more. I need more FREEDOM! I'm tired of the same 'ole routine. I got dreams like Dr. King and I want to see them manifested. I have to get to that promise land... I'm. Just. Not. Sure. How... Yet.

MLK Day is 'officially' over, but the FREEDOM within the dream, OUR DREAM, doesn't know a specific day...

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posted by Soulfull @ 12:10 AM , links to this post

Monday's Motivation: HAVE A DREAM

I went to see Stomp the Yard yesterday and at the end of the movie there’s this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King:

”Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.”

I must say I really enjoyed this film. Granted the plot is quite predictable and at times cheesy, yet I found it entertaining and it had some valuable moments of edutainment too. There’s this one scene at Heritage Hall, where DJ sees photos of other African-Americans who've been in Greek societies. He was amazed at the photos of Dr. King, Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King. Throughout the movie, this scene continued to stand out to me. As hubby and I left out of the theater, I saw a young boy trying to do a few step moves from the routine Theta Nu Theta did against Mu Gamma Xi. His sporadic hand slaps and leg kicks got me to thinking… Just maybe this movie had planted the desire for the college experience? It was great that this little boy felt THAT inspired to want to emulate them in the middle of the lobby and shoot, we need more of our young men to go to college. If Stomp the Yard was the catalyst to do it, than so be it...

We all have dreams (at least I hope you do) and having a dream, something to strive for is what makes life worthwhile. Through our quest, we become stronger, wiser (hopefully), and even happier. Yet sometimes before we reach our own dreams, we might have to serve the goals of others before we can serve our own. There’s a portion of
a famous speech entitled The Drum Major Instinct that I want to share. Dr. King delivered this speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church on February 4, 1968 and it speaks to the importance of servitude…

If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That's a new definition of greatness.

And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant.

In 2007, we're serving the legacy of Dr. King well by building the dream. My, my, my. I can only imagine the multitude of dreams that will be created from this monument... Well, I'm off to work on my dream of publishing a book. Peace & Blessings ya'll...

King Holiday - The King Dream Chorus and Holiday Crew(1986)

What this song is saying to me:

Dr. King tried to love somebody
(Do you wanna love somebody)
For his sake put your hate away, take a day
(Take a day to love somebody)
Don't play on the Holiday, work to find a better way
(Everybody love somebody now)

Oh, everybody sing
For Martin Luther King
Oh, let freedom ring (That's right)
For Martin Luther King, now sing...

Sing! Celebrate!
Sing! Sing! Celebrate!
For a King Celebrate!
Everybody in the place
Sing! Sing! Celebrate!

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posted by Soulfull @ 8:17 AM , links to this post

Sunday Morning Reflections: Take A Chance

It's 7 in the morning and I'm just grateful for another day. My doctor's appointment last week is weighing having on my mind, but I'm trying not to let it get me down. We all got issues, right? No sense in letting it stifle the joy of living life, right? Because life is all about chances. The inevitable ebb and flow of the good and bad. I keep reminding myself that I'm going to take a chance and walk on the happy side of the street. Well speaking of chances, I took one yesterday and I made the switch to the 'new' Blogger. (I know, I've been holding out for a minute.) I've seen so many mishaps occur to other people's blogs that I just didn't want to run the risk of screwing up one of mine. But so far everything has been working fine. I had a few problems editing older posts over here, but that went away. So other than that, it's nice. I like the improved functionality of the dashboard, blog settings, and thank goodness there’s no waiting for posts to publish! I hated that. So basically, my step towards the new Blogger is just a small example that things aren't always as bad as they might seem. You can't let the negative experiences of life hold you back! You gotta get out there and do your own thing. Besides, negativity is always going to be there, so why not count it all joy and take a chance on living life to the fulliest!?

Peace & Blessings Ya'll...

Javen - Count It All Joy

FYI, you can check out Javen's MySpace page here. He has some really good music...

posted by Soulfull @ 7:54 AM , links to this post

In Case You Forgot...

This is our president....

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posted by Soulfull @ 5:58 AM , links to this post

Are My Emotions Making Me Sicker?

Emotions and the Immune System

posted by Soulfull @ 3:55 PM , links to this post

James Brown's Body STILL NOT Buried

The Headline Reads: James Brown's Body Still Not Buried

All I have to say is WHY?!?!

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Jan. 10) - The body of soul singer James Brown has yet to be buried as attorneys and his children work to settle issues surrounding his estate, including where he will be laid to rest.

For now, his body lies in a sealed casket in his home on Beech Island, said Charles Reid, manager of the C.A. Reid Funeral Home in Augusta, Ga., which handled the services.

Brown died of heart failure Dec. 25 at age 73. His will has yet to be filed, said Buddy Dallas, an attorney for the singer.

The room where Brown's body lies is being kept at a controlled temperature, and security guards keep watch, Reid said.

The funeral home delivered Brown's body after services Dec. 30, Reid said.

Brown's home has been locked since hours after his death to protect his memorabilia, furnishing, clothes and other personal items, Dallas said.

"Just imagine what would have happened," Dallas said. "Items of James Brown would have left there like items off the shelves of Macy's in an after-Christmas sale."

The trustees for his will, along with Brown's children, will determine the burial site, Dallas said.

Tomi Rae Hynie, Brown's partner, said shortly after his death that she encountered locked gates as she tried to get into the home she says she shared with the singer and their 5-year-old son.

She wouldn't discuss the incident Tuesday, but her lawyer said Hynie should be granted access to the home, although he would not talk about whether Hynie might take legal action.

"The hope is that all parties can sit down and figure out what the problem is and what the challenges are," attorney Thornton Morris said. "And once we figure out what the challenges are we'll see if we can't resolve something that's a win for everybody."

Meanwhile, a woman who claims Brown raped her nearly 20 years ago said Tuesday she will continue her lawsuit.

Jacque Hollander has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear her sexual harassment suit, which a lower court ruled last year she had waited too long to file. A Supreme Court decision on whether to hear the case is pending.

She argues that the two-year statute of limitations in such cases does not provide equal protection to women.

"This has been a long road that ended tragically Christmas morning," Hollander said in a phone interview with the Associated Press.

"As a rape victim, I will never get to face him in court, and it hurts," she said. "But we are moving forward. We filed against his organization, as well as him. So now his organization stands in front of him."

In her lawsuit, Hollander said Brown raped her at gunpoint in 1988 while she was his publicist. She seeks $106 million in damages.

A federal appeals court tossed out Hollander's lawsuit in August.

"There was nothing to it 20 years ago and nothing to it 20 years later," Dallas said.

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james brown

posted by Soulfull @ 12:52 PM , links to this post

It's Not All About the iPods, Oprah

The Headline Reads: It's Not All About the iPods, Oprah (WaPo)

I first heard about Oprah's comments from Zane's MySpace blog and I still believe that her generalization of inner city children is unnecessary. It's your money so do with it what you will, but you don't have to put down others in the process. I think the following Op-Ed from Eugene Robinson addressed the situation very nicely...

There can't be more than a handful of people on Earth who are better at choosing their words than Oprah Winfrey. So I was stunned last week to read a quote from her that was so . . . so totally un-Oprah.

She was talking about the new $40 million school for poor young girls she has built in South Africa and her awareness that some people would ask why she hadn't spent that money to benefit poor students at home. She already gives millions to educate underprivileged children in the United States, and anyway, she told Newsweek, the two situations are different. South Africa has desperate poverty and rudimentary infrastructure. The American educational system may have its faults, but "it does work."

Point made. But she wasn't done.

"I became so frustrated with visiting inner-city schools that I just stopped going. The sense that you need to learn just isn't there," she said. "If you ask the kids what they want or need, they will say an iPod or some sneakers. In South Africa, they don't ask for money or toys. They ask for uniforms so they can go to school."

Oh, no, she didn't.

It's hard to know where to start. I guess the most charitable spin is that Oprah should visit some different schools. If she checks out some rich suburbs, for example, she'll find that kids there also want iPods -- and, yes, that they lust after overpriced sneakers, too. It's possible to argue that young people in the United States are overly materialistic, but not that the problem is confined to inner-city youths or is even worse among inner-city youths.

And there's no way to put lipstick on the part about how "the sense that you need to learn just isn't there" among inner-city young people, who, by the way, tend to be African American and Hispanic. As a nation, we should be outraged that there are so many failing, dysfunctional schools in our inner cities. No one should make excuses for students who foolishly fail to understand how education can better their lives and who do their best to drag others down with them. But in the inner-city schools I've visited, most students desperately want to learn -- just as Oprah, growing up poor in inner-city Milwaukee, wanted desperately to learn.

The razor-sharp contrast that Oprah drew between young people in South Africa and those in the United States gets all fuzzy when you read her "What I Know for Sure" column in the December issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.

She writes of 10 South African orphans, ages 7 to 14, whom she took under her wing several years ago, hiring caretakers for them, sending them to a private boarding school, buying them a big house and hiring a decorator "to personalize each of their bedrooms." Last summer, she said, she went to South Africa and dropped by the house unannounced.

"I found them all at the homework table off the kitchen, doing their work," she wrote. "That's a good thing. But when I sat them down in the living room for a conversation, everyone's cell phone kept going off." But "the inner spark I was used to seeing in their eyes was gone, replaced by their delight in their rooms full of things."

The girls had "long, braided hair extensions flowing down their backs" and were wearing baseball caps. In general, the kids "could talk about what they owned -- the latest portable PlayStations, iPods, and sneakers -- but they couldn't speak of what they'd done."

Once again, those dastardly iPods and sneakers. But it seems that South African kids, as well as Americans, are susceptible to the evil lure of really cool stuff.

Look, I have nothing but sincere applause for Oprah's philanthropy, both at home and abroad. It's mean-spirited to criticize her for building that $40 million school outside Johannesburg, complete with beauty salon and yoga studio. Her idea is to offer a unique opportunity to a few special girls who have the potential to do great things in their society, and Oprah generally accomplishes just what she sets out to do.

But she should realize that however exceptional the students at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls might be, they're still teenagers. They will be sporting the latest look, whether it's long braids or elaborate curls. Their cellphones will buzz and hum nonstop with instant messages from their friends. That's what teenagers are like.

If Oprah should drop in unexpectedly and find them doing their homework, she shouldn't complain. She should get them iPods.

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posted by Soulfull @ 11:05 AM , links to this post

'Stomp The Yard' To Help Fund The MLK Memorial

UPDATED 1/15/07 3:28PM: As I understand it, there was some controversy with the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity with regards to their portrayal in this movie. That situation is over and there's no lawsuit pending. You can read about that story here.

I got this email from BAW (Black America Web) about this movie and I must say, I've definitely more inclined to see the movie now that '2.5% of the proceeds from the film's opening weekend gross will be donated to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington DC'.

"Stomp The Yard..... is more than a dance movie. It is a coming-of-age celebration of the human spirit; how a positive change can be made in life with the help of others. The film spotlights the power of brotherhood and sisterhood found in Black fraternities and sororities on Black college campuses and the ways the organizations shape and nurture young men and women." - Clarence Waldron, JET Magazine

Not since Spike Lee's School Daze has a major motion picture focused on black college life, but on January 12th STOMP THE YARD will go one step further by delving into the black fraternity and sorority world, and the traditional African-American style of dance known as Stepping. STOMP THE YARD follows a young man from a hard-luck background in Los Angeles as he enrolls in an HBCU in Atlanta and enters the world of black fraternity and sorority step show competitions. The film stars Columbus Short , Meagan Good and R&B/Pop sensations Chris Brown and Ne-Yo .
The film was shot by Rainforest Films (The Gospel) on location in Atlanta, GA on the campuses of Morris Brown, Morehouse and Clark Atlanta Universities, but it was the portrayal of real fraternities and sororities that once generated controversy. "I'm happy that all issues with the fraternities and sororities have been resolved." states the film's producer Will Packer, a Florida A&M grad and 13-year brother of Alpha Phi Alpha. "This film was made to highlight the positives of these great organizations and I know it will make their memberships proud. In fact when the Alpha Phi Alpha rep watched the film to verify removal of their references, he stated that it made him proud. That was great validation."

In honor of the film's debut on Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, Sony Pictures recently made the historic announcement that 2.5% of the proceeds from the film's opening weekend gross will be donated to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington DC. The MLK Memorial is the only Memorial on the National Mall dedicated to an African-American.

Stomp The Yard Trailer

You can watch another movie clip here courtesy of Black America Web.

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

The Headline Reads: Dark cloud over good works of Gates Foundation (LAT)

It's nice that the Gates Foundation got all that money back in June, but now there's a new story buzzing around the media circuit that speaks to where this organization makes some of their money...

Justice Eta, 14 months old, held out his tiny thumb.

An ink spot certified that he had been immunized against polio and measles, thanks to a vaccination drive supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

But polio is not the only threat Justice faces. Almost since birth, he has had respiratory trouble. His neighbors call it "the cough." People blame fumes and soot spewing from flames that tower 300 feet into the air over a nearby oil plant. It is owned by the Italian petroleum giant Eni, whose investors include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Justice squirmed in his mother's arms. His face was beaded with sweat caused either by illness or by heat from the flames that illuminate Ebocha day and night. Ebocha means "city of lights."

The makeshift clinic at a church where Justice Eta was vaccinated and the flares spewing over Ebocha represent a head-on conflict for the Gates Foundation. In a contradiction between its grants and its endowment holdings, a Times investigation has found, the foundation reaps vast financial gains every year from investments that contravene its good works.

In Ebocha, where Justice lives, Dr. Elekwachi Okey, a local physician, says hundreds of flares at oil plants in the Niger Delta have caused an epidemic of bronchitis in adults, and asthma and blurred vision in children. No definitive studies have documented the health effects, but many of the 250 toxic chemicals in the fumes and soot have long been linked to respiratory disease and cancer.

"We're all smokers here," Okey said, "but not with cigarettes."

The oil plants in the region surrounding Ebocha find it cheaper to burn nearly 1 billion cubic feet of gas each day and contribute to global warming than to sell it. They deny the flaring causes sickness. Under pressure from activists, however, Nigeria's high court set a deadline to end flaring by May 2007. The gases would be injected back underground, or trucked and piped out for sale. But authorities expect the flares to burn for years beyond the deadline.

The Gates Foundation has poured $218 million into polio and measles immunization and research worldwide, including in the Niger Delta. At the same time that the foundation is funding inoculations to protect health, The Times found, it has invested $423 million in Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and Total of France — the companies responsible for most of the flares blanketing the delta with pollution, beyond anything permitted in the United States or Europe.

Continue reading here

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posted by Soulfull @ 8:44 PM , links to this post

Did You Watch The Apprentice?

Okay, I had a ball watching last night's show of The Apprentice! I loved the fact that losers have to sleep out in the backyard (HA HA!) of the mansion (and what a nice mansion it is)and what's even better is that the winning PM gets to attend the boardroom to help decide who's going home. Now, that's a cool strategy considering the last couple of seasons have been blah. With the first episode of season 6, I'm glad to see that the right person was fired. Martin IS better suited for academics, yet I'm not totally in love with Frank either. I mean, WHO MAKES 8x11 FLYERS FOR A CAR WASH!?! Even kids in middle/high school know that you better have a LARGE SIGN and if anything Frank should have delegated the task to another person before leaving folks (who apparently need a lot of leadership to get the job done) alone. Either way, I think it should be interesting to see the next episode AND to jam to the theme song. Man, I love that frickin song!

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posted by Soulfull @ 10:20 PM , links to this post

Oh Joy, Bush Has A New Plan...

The Headline Reads: Bush to Announce New Iraq Plan Wednesday (WaPo)

Okay, here's a quick blurb:

President Bush will unveil his new approach to the 46-month-old Iraq war on Wednesday at 9 p.m., the White House announced today.

"This is the president's proposal for moving forward in a way that he believes is going to be conducive to producing results," White House spokesman Tony Snow said this afternoon.

Bush is widely expected to announce a boost in U.S. military forces in Iraq by as many as 20,000 troops, a jobs program to put Iraqis back to work and political benchmarks that the U.S. expects Iraqi leaders to meet in forming a national reconciliation government.Snow repeatedly declined at his daily news briefing to respond to questions about specifics in Bush's speech, which, he said, is still being written.

"All I can tell you," Snow said, "is that the president is going to be talking about a way forward that can help address the concerns about sectarian violence, developments within the country, the need for economic growth, political reconciliation, national security, Iraqi responsibility."

Snow said Bush's new war plan will reflect consultations that administration officials have had with members of Congress, U.S. military officials, the Iraqi government, foreign heads of state and scholars.

"There's been a lot of time and effort put into trying to figure out: How do you try to set the conditions that are going to enable you to move forward so that you have an Iraq that can stand up on its own?" Snow said.

Snow suggested that Bush continues to believe the war is winnable.

"I think millions of Americans believe that this war is winnable," Snow said.

Excuse me, but what the HELL!? Just exactly how is this war winnable? Now, I've been patiently waiting for the new Democratic leadership in the House and the Senate to make some much needed changes, but it's apparent that things aren't going to change as rapidly as hoped and this nation just might be in for the same BUSHit if this 'plan' goes through. Granted I want to see the minimum wage raised and new laws on global warming, but Bush is steadfast on setting the pace of this session so there's no time to waste. The Demos better move fast and counteract this damn message and apparently 45% of voters agree...

"Iraq is the elephant in the room," said Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee and a close ally of Pelosi's.

Democrats had hoped that the headlines and evening news would be dominated by votes in Congress to bolster homeland security, raise the minimum wage, fund stem cell research and grant the federal government authority to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare. Each of those measures will be taken up on sequential days this week, a bill-a-day approach designed to capture headlines and show the nation that Democrats can get things done.

But with Bush's long-awaited policy address tentatively set for midweek, those much-touted bills are not likely to lead the news, and the Democratic leaders have been forced to change their tactics.

"The challenge for them is this: Iraq is the central issue. It's an enormous problem for the president and the Republicans, but it has the suffocating effect of taking attention away from the Democrats' domestic legislative priorities, and I think they understand that," said Joe Lockhart, a White House press secretary in the Clinton administration.

To some Democrats, the House leaders' response to the burgeoning war debate has been too slow and too cautious. A CBS News poll released Thursday found that 45 percent of voters want the Democratic Congress to focus on Iraq, a figure that far outstripped the percentages for the economy and jobs, at 7 percent; health care, at 7 percent; and immigration, at 6 percent. "Americans couldn't be clearer," the poll report concluded.

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posted by Soulfull @ 9:40 PM , links to this post

Monday's Motivation: Suddenly I See

What's up ya'll? It's the second Monday of the New Year and I've so been on a mental trip around the world. Well, maybe not the world. Okay, just around my house. I've been doing some major cleaning around this piece. Throwing out old magazines, documents, clothes, etc. all in an effort to see what I really need around me. I despise junk and I hate clutter, but areas within this modest home were so buried in papers, books, mags, pictures, notes, pens, toys, (okay, you get the picture) that it took 3 large sized trashbags to throw everything out. It is truly amazing how fast four people can make a house feel even smaller with their 'stuff', yet it's better to see things for what they really are rather than living in a fantasy world of organized clutter.

Peace & Blessings, Ya'll....

KT Tunstall - Suddenly I See

What this song is saying to me:
She got the power to be
The power to give
The power to see (Yea, Yea)
Suddenly I See

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posted by Soulfull @ 8:34 PM , links to this post

I'm Still In The Running For RM Johnson's Writing Contest

If you've been a reader of this blog for a while, then you might remember this post on RM Johnson's writing contest... Well, it appears that I was chosen to go to the second round in a contest that could afford me the opportunity to be in a 'publication [that] is scheduled for mid 2007 and will be sold in all major book stores, discount stores, i.e. Wal-Mart, Target, on-line, and all other venues where books are sold'. I've been sworn to secrey on the content of the book, but my goodness, if I do make the final cut, I'm confident that folks will enjoy the subject matter! So once again, I'm back in the lab with my toes crossed as I hope (and pray) that my goal of being a published writer comes true this year. At any rate, check out the story that secured me a spot in the second round! Oh yeah, pardon the formatting, I can't seem to get Blogger to act right! UGH...

Opportunity Knocks

“Good Morning.”
Keisha looked up from placing her son in his car seat to see her neighbor Malik waving. As usual, he had that look of sexual hunger in his eye and as usual, Keisha couldn’t stand it. By the way he was undressing her with those eyes; he should’ve been holding his dick in his hand.
“Good morning,” Keisha responded dryly. She snapped the seat belt closed and shut the door. “I see you’re happy to be alive.”
“Yes indeed I am.”
Keisha eyed the firmness of his protruding dick from below his cotton pajama bottoms. One day, I’m going to tell your wife. “Well, you might want to close your robe.” Sick bastard.
Malik knew his dick was showing through his white pajamas, but he didn’t care. I want you to see what I’m working with. He decided to push the proverbial envelope.
“You like what you see?” he teased, rubbing his manhood.
Keisha couldn’t believe his boldness. Before he would just smile or try to spark mindless conversations, but now he didn’t give a damn who saw his longing for her. This shit has to stop. Being a single mother is not an open invitation to stick your dick in my face every morning.
She walked to the front of her car and spoke loud enough to ensure that Mrs. Roberts could hear.
“No I don’t like what I see,” she answered. “And furthermore, you might want to take that shit indoors to YOUR WIFE!”
He laughed. “Why do you assume that I want to give this to my wife? If I did, would I be out here showing it to you?” he asked. Dumb bitch, we aren’t even sleeping in the same house anymore ever since she discovered that darkroom full of your photos. “Besides, my wife and I are separated.”
Keisha stared at him in disbelief. “Honestly, I really don’t care and frankly I’m not interested in your, um, package!” she yelled. She turned to walk back to the driver side door of her SUV.
Malik snapped. He was tired of playing these cat and mouse games with her. This morning he was going to get some of her young twat whether she liked it or not. He ran down the sidewalk towards her.
“Who the hell do you think you’re talking to?” he questioned, grabbing her wrist. He forced her arm behind her back and pinned her against the car. “I’ve been nothing but nice to your silly ass and so what if my dick is hanging out… You act like you ain’t never seen a dick before.”
Keisha struggled to break free. “GET OFF OF ME!”
He slapped her face. “SHUT UP!” he yelled. He pressed his dick against her backside. “Every morning, I see you staring at this thing. Well, maybe it’s time you do more than just stare.”
He started to slowly grind himself against her as he looked quickly around the parking lot of their development. No one was in sight. He reached under her skirt to find the coolness of her bare ass. His dick stiffened as he felt the material of her underwear. “Lace thongs? Yeah, that’s real nice…”
Keisha squirmed. “I can’t believe you! You’re going to rape me? In front of my son?!”
Malik glanced at the boy who was still sitting quietly inside the car. The fear in his little eyes startled him. He contemplated letting her go as his continued palming her ample ass.
“CUT!” yelled the director from his perch overhead. “That’s a wrap for today. We can pick this up tomorrow.”
Tracey turned to David and giggled. “Um, was that your dick for real or a prop?”
David blushed. “I was hoping you wouldn’t notice…”
“Not notice? How could I not notice?” she asked, pointing at his dick. “You almost ripped my skirt with the way you were grinding that thing against me.”
“Well, duty calls,” he answered, wanting to plant a kiss on her auburn lips. David loved this scene in the script. He had been waiting all week for it. Now that it was here, it was hard not to show how ‘excited’ he was to be working with the famous Tracy Young. “And you didn’t do so bad yourself. The thongs were a nice touch.”
“Yea, Jack told me to surprise you,” she said grinning. “He said it would help to add more ‘realness’ to the scene.”
“And it did Tracy,” interrupted Jack, the director. “Great work! The look on David’s face was well worth it. I’m sure the viewers will LOVE this episode in the fall.”
“I hope so because starting Opportunity Knocks with Keisha’s attempted rape is definitely going to cause some ruckus,” she said. “I would’ve never seen that coming.”
“Yeah, that’s the point of having a team of well-paid writers. They give you the unexpected,” mentioned David, secretly alluding to the bribe he had paid Robin, a writer for Opportunity Knocks. It cost him $10,000 to have Robin add that hot scene into the opening show and because of it, he just might have a chance of making his wildest fantasy come true – the fantasy of finally having Tracy Young as his wife.


(C) 2006. All Rights Reserved.

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writing contests RM Johnson creative writing scripts

posted by Soulfull @ 8:24 PM , links to this post

I Want To Get Away...

Lenny Kravitz - Fly Away

It's been months since I've taken a trip and as Wanda from In Living Color would say, "I'm red ta go!" to Disney World....

Stay Tuned....

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posted by Soulfull @ 8:16 PM , links to this post

You're Grown - So Act Like It

I’ve always expected that my parents would some how find a way to work together for their children and their grandchildren, but instead they’ve chosen to be big ass babies and complain about what needs to be done instead of JUST DOING IT. Oh my goodness, it’s so frustrating. I’m not dealing with 80 or 90 year olds. I’m dealing with two adults that are very much able bodied. Well, at least one is and yet, I feel bad if I don’t step in and play referee between the two of them and I end up shortchanging my own family because of it. Man, I am at a loss and I can't play Dr. Phil for the two of them. It’s just really sucks balls that they can’t see how their shit is ruining my own life.

So what do you do when you’ve found yourself parenting your parents?

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posted by Soulfull @ 3:51 PM , links to this post


Tony, Toni, Tone - Anniversary

Do you know what today is? It's my anniversary!!

I can't believe it's been a whole year of me expressing my inner feelings online for the whole world to see. I swear, at first I would cringe at the thought of unknown folks reading me online, but I must say now that I've come to the conclusion that I need the therapy that blogging provides. I've been able to get a lot of shit off of my chest over the past year and I plan to be a lot more 'expressive' in the future. Shoot, there's really no point in blogging if you can't express how you REALLY feel. Sooo thanks to all that venture my way to read the ups and downs, rants and raves of my crazy life. Whether you comment or not, I hope that you'll stick around for what's in store for 2 double 07!

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posted by Soulfull @ 9:00 AM , links to this post