Friday, October 9, 2009

Leadership New Jersey 2009 Forum Photo's 10/8/09

Photo's By Daryl Mikell Brooks of Today's News NJ

Photo 1. Michael Aron, NJN and Rick Sheehy, Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska Photo 2. Rich Lee, Hall Institute Photo 3. Randall Pinkett, BCT Partners, Daryl Mikell Brooks, Anthony Brown, Lieutenant Governor of Maryland and Geroge B. Hall, NAACP Photo 4. Daryl Mikell Brooks and Rick Sheehy, Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska

2009 Forum on the Future of New Jersey:

Pregnant 12-Year-Old Found: Father Accused of Incest

A few weeks ago, we reported on the story of two sisters, one of them a pregnant 12-year-old, who were missing with their adoptive father. Well, time reveals most mysteries, and this one has become a bit clearer.

The father of the two girls, Mathew Hess, has been charged with indecent liberties with a child, first-degree rape and felony incest between near relatives.The father has already been charged with child neglect and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

This incident, which is alarming and disturbing, brings forth at least one major question: Why were these little girls not being protected and how was this man allowed to adopt them? There should be an investigation to find out if there was evidence before the fact that this man might harm the children. Child protective services should be held accountable.

In fact, our entire nation needs to be held accountable when it comes to the protection of our children. The murder of Derrion Albert, along with problems in the school systems, reminds us that our kids are not safe if we do not protect them.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a professor at Syracuse University, the 2007 Black Speaker of the Year and author of the forthcoming book 'Black American Money.' To have Dr. Boyce's commentary delivered to your e-mail, please click here.

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Ch-Ch-Ch Chia Pet Obama Pulled Off CVS Shelves

Getting your special loved one a Chia Pet Obama for the upcoming holiday season just got a lot harder, because a second national retailer has pulled the item off of its shelves, AOL Black Voices has learned.

Rhode Island-based CVS is following in the footsteps of Walgreens, which pulled the Chia Obama, a little bust of Obama that grows a green-plant Afro when properly maintained, earlier this year after it expressed concern that people would be offended or "interpret it through a political viewpoint or other viewpoints."

CVS spokesperson Michael J. DeAngelis declined to say why the company pulled the product from stores.

"We did sell them for a short time in a few markets, but they are no longer available in our stores," DeAngelis said in response to questions from AOL Black Voices. "It was a test, and we decided not to move forward with the product. Beyond that, we have no additional comment."

Chia Pet head Joseph Pedott said he doesn't know why the Chia Obama was pulled and is disappointed because the response to the product has been good. The 77-year-old Pedott says he is a Republican who felt inspired by Obama and decided to vote for the nation's first African American president.

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Police stop more than 1 million people on street

George Lucas stands at Adam Clayton Blvd. and 148th Street in Harlem, New York, Friday Sept. 4, 2009. It's a location where Lucas has been stopped and searched by police on multiple occasions. Nationwide, more than a million people _ mostly black and Hispanic men _ are stopped, questioned and frisked annually by police.

NEW YORK — A teenager trying to get into his apartment after school is confronted by police. A man leaving his workplace chooses a different route back home to avoid officers who roam a particular street. These and hundreds of thousands of other Americans in big cities have been stopped on the street by police using a law-enforcement practice called stop-and-frisk that alarms civil libertarians but is credited by authorities with helping reduce crime.

Police in major U.S. cities stop and question more than a million people each year — a sharply higher number than just a few years ago. Most are black and Hispanic men. Many are frisked, and nearly all are innocent of any crime, according to figures gathered by The Associated Press.

And the numbers are rising at the same time crime rates are dropping.

Ronnie Carr's experience was typical: He was fumbling with his apartment door after school in Brooklyn when plainclothes officers flashed their badges.

"What are you doing here?" one asked, as they rifled through his backpack and then his pockets. The black teenager stood there, quiet and nervous, and waited.

Carr said the officers told him they stopped him because he looked suspicious peeking in the windows. He explained that he had lost his keys. Twenty minutes later, the officers left. Carr was not arrested or cited with any offense.

"I felt bad, like I did something wrong," he said.

Civil liberties groups say the practice is racist and fails to deter crime. Police departments maintain it is a necessary tool that turns up illegal weapons and drugs and prevents more serious crime.

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Navy to honor civil rights martyr Medgar Evers

— Slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers will be honored Friday with a Navy supply ship named for him.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, a former governor of Mississippi, planned to announce the honor during a speech at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss. The nearly 700-foot-long vessel named for Evers will deliver food, ammunition and parts to other ships at sea.

During the civil rights movement Evers organized nonviolent protests, voter registration drives and boycotts in Mississippi, rising to the post of national field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

In 1963 Evers was assassinated in the driveway of his home in Jackson after returning from a meeting with NAACP lawyers. His death prompted President John F. Kennedy to ask Congress for a comprehensive civil rights bill.

Evers was born in Decatur, Miss., in 1925 and served in the Army during World War II. He returned to Mississippi, earned a degree from Alcorn College in 1952 and became active in the NAACP and its civil rights work in his home state.

Thirty-seven when he was shot to death by a white supremacist, Evers was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. His killer, Byron De La Beckwith, was not convicted until 1994.

"The selection of Medgar Evers ... honors the pioneering spirit of the late civil rights activist from Mississippi who forever changed the face of race relations in the South," according to an administration statement. "At a time when our country was wrestling with finally ending segregation and racial injustice, Evers led civil rights efforts to secure the right to vote for all African-Americans and to integrate public facilities, schools and restaurants."

The Navy names ships in the support fleet to honor pioneers, explorers and other notables. The Navy ship honoring Evers is the first named for an African-American since President Barack Obama took office.

Jay-Z, Beyonce, and BEP Set to ‘Kick It’ at World Cup 2010

Wait, what are they saying ? Oh, they’re saying “goooooaaaaaaallll”. I thought they were all screaming out “Hov”. A simple mistake, but not a far-fetched one. This Shawn Carter guy really seems to get around, and this time he and his wife BeyoncĂ© (I think she’s a singer or something) were asked to perform at next year’s 2010 World Cup. According to Hip Hop Wired, FIFA, the governing body that presides over the World Cup, asked the power couple to grace the stage for a kick-off concert for the huge international event, which is set to take place next summer in South Africa. Though both asked to rock the mic, Jay and Be will reportedly perform separate sets, along with performances by the Black Eyed Peas as well as popular African artists.

Always down for a charitable cause, the proceeds from the concert will be donated to 20 Centres for 2010, a program whose goal is to erect numerous community centers in Africa that will provide education and healthcare services for disadvantaged communities. The centers will also be a hub for soccer training as a way to build self-confidence and unity among the youth in said communities. Having big names like Jay-Z and Beyonce will hopefully drum up a considerable amount of attention and sponsorship to the charitable effort.

The show will kick off on June 10, 2010 at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto, South Africa, so if you want to be part of the action, you better start getting your ticket money and your passport game together soon.

Shannon Brown Dunk VIDEO, L.A. Lakers Play of the Day

The Honda Center in Anaheim
was alive with excitement Wednesday night when L.A. Lakers guard Shannon Brown pulled off the play of the game by throwing down a monster dunk in the preseason opener. Fans and teammates leaped to their feet and cheered wildly.

It began when Brown plucked a down-low pass intended for Golden State’s Corey Maggette. He then raced down the court, taking off from just inside the free-throw line and managed a one-handed dunk over the head of his Warrior opponent Mikki Moore, who fell to the ground. Brown also ended up on his butt after the dunk, where he remained while clapping his hands.

The Los Angeles Times reported that during a subsequent time-out, a fan in the stands goaded Moore by saying, “You got dunked on.” His reply was “It happens.”

The L.A. Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors 118 to 101.

Will Black Players Refuse To Play For Rush Limbaugh's Rams?

From a purely political standpoint, letting Rush Limbaugh buy into your football team is already an iffy proposition, but there's a more practical football issue to consider as well. Will some top players refuse to work for him?

There's at least two who say they won't and that's, like, conclusive evidence, right? Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka misses his old coordinator Steven Spagnuolo, but he recently told the New York Daily News that he would never play for his Rams if Limbaugh became a co-owner. Ditto Jets' linebacker Bart Scott who called him a "jerk" and an "ass." "I can't be bought," he added. Throw in Donovan McNabb and it's a bona fide trend!

Limbaugh, of course, makes it a regular habit of making racially charged comments on his show, particularly when it comes to sports. He has compared basketball players to violent gangs—because NBA violence isn't as polite and dignified as football's?—and giggled over songs like "Barack, The Magic Negro." So even if he managed to get approval to buy into the St. Louis franchise, many NFL players—who if you haven't noticed, are mostly black—might have a problem with that.

On the other hand, professional sports are filled with plenty of despicable owners who have had no problem signing players that might otherwise object to their personal beliefs. The funny thing about the world is that there are plenty of people who, unlike Bart Scott, can easily be bought

Corzine Scraping Walls Of Outhouse With The Fat Jokes

Somebody else must have told New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine that his gubernatorial challenger, Chris Christie, is fat, for certainly a blind man cannot see if someone is fat. They could of course assess the size of a person if they touched them – all over – but I think it safe to say, that didn’t happen. And yet again, we do hear of some really bizarre things these days.

Oh, for shame, that I must digress even if only momentarily to assure readers that only metaphorically is Gov. Jon Corzine blind. It was just over a year ago that I began referring to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine as blind. As a matter of fact it was at that time I took a picture of him and added the dark glasses to make him look like he was blind. If he was going to act the part, he might as well dress the part.

The reason for his “blindness” began when all around his state, black bears were and still are presenting a serious problem. Public safety has become the issue and yet repeatedly Corzine has stated that he doesn’t see any bear problem.

His problem now is how to get reelected. His challenger, Chris Christie, at one time had a sizable lead in the polls over Corzine. I’m not sure who is advising Corzine in his campaign strategies but now we find out, through Hot Air, that Corzine has decided to make campaign commercials showing a fat Christie and making comments about his challenger “throwing his weight around”.

Abraham Lincoln was always on the butt end of jokes directed toward his physical features. Let’s face it, Lincoln certainly wouldn’t be a male model of today. God knows he wasn’t womanly enough to do that. Lincoln was tall, gangling, and oddly proportioned. He was a man of great strength. But what set Lincoln apart from his opponents and others who disagreed with his politics, was his refusal to engage in such sophomoric behavior with even the slightest acknowledgment. We know that Lincoln was the master of words, the legend of oration and perhaps the most sought after storyteller of his day but he refused to bring himself down to such a level.

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Does Chris Christie look fat in this?

By Lindsay Beyerstein

NJ governor Jon Corzine's new ad insinuates that his Republican opponent Chris Christie abused his status as a US Attorney to get lenient treatment for two serious traffic infractions.

The ad sticks close to the facts: In 2005, Christie was pulled over for going 58 in a 40 zone. It turned out that the car's registration had lapsed and Christie couldn't produce proof of insurance. Remarkably, the cop let him drive home, despite New Jersey's strict policy of towing unregistered vehicles. The Lambertville police director initially claimed that Christie got loud during the traffic stop, but later reversed himself.

Christie denies that he pulled rank. He says he was allowed to drive home because his children, his wife, and his deputy were in the vehicle and he didn't want to leave them. Curiously, the tickets Christie received in connection with the incident were marked "no deal." This wasn't Christie's first brush with traffic laws, either. In 2002, he turned the wrong way down a one-way street and hit a motorcyclist. The cyclist ended up in a trauma center and Christie's rental car was totaled, but Christie walked away without a ticket.

The ad also alludes to Christie's failure to pay income tax on the interest from an unreported loan he made to a subordinate while he was a public servant, a prosecutor no less.

The takehome message is that Chris Christie has one set of rules for himself and another for everyone else. You can decide for yourself whether that argument is convincing, but the underlying allegations are true.

So, how does the Christie camp respond to the ad? By accusing Corzine of mocking his weight. Welcome to non sequitur hour in GOP-land.

The voiceover accuses Christie of "throwing his weight around." The ad uses some black and white video footage of Christie, which appears to have been shot before the candidate dropped 25 pounds.

So, new rule for Chris Christie: All pre-diet images of Chris Christie must be Photoshopped or destroyed. The entire pre-diet audiovisual record mocks Chris Christie by accurately depicting his physical appearance.

Michelle Obama’s Roots — A Complex Path From Slavery

WASHINGTON — In 1850, the elderly master of a South Carolina estate took pen in hand and painstakingly divided up his possessions. Among the spinning wheels, scythes, tablecloths and cattle that he bequeathed to his far-flung heirs was a 6-year-old slave girl valued soon afterward at $475.

In his will, she is described simply as the “negro girl Melvinia.” After his death, she was torn away from the people and places she knew and shipped to Georgia. While she was still a teenager, a white man would father her first-born son under circumstances lost in the passage of time.

In the annals of American slavery, this painful story would be utterly unremarkable, save for one reason: This union, consummated some two years before the Civil War, marked the origins of a family line that would extend from rural Georgia, to Birmingham, Ala., to Chicago and, finally, to the White House.

Melvinia Shields, the enslaved and illiterate young girl, and the unknown white man who impregnated her are the great-great-great-grandparents of Michelle Obama, the first lady.

Viewed by many as a powerful symbol of black advancement, Mrs. Obama grew up with only a vague sense of her ancestry, aides and relatives said. During the presidential campaign, the family learned about one paternal great-great-grandfather, a former slave from South Carolina, but the rest of Mrs. Obama’s roots were a mystery.

Now the more complete map of Mrs. Obama’s ancestors — including the slave mother, white father and their biracial son, Dolphus T. Shields — for the first time fully connects the first African-American first lady to the history of slavery, tracing their five-generation journey from bondage to a front-row seat to the presidency.

The findings — uncovered by Megan Smolenyak, a genealogist, and The New York Times — substantiate what Mrs. Obama has called longstanding family rumors about a white forebear.

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White House Tells General McChrystal to Cancel His Plans to Brief Obama on Need for Additional Troops....

Related and reason for Obama to hurry the hell up: An unbelievable account of last weekend's battle where Apache pilots responding to distress calls from Camp Keating say they were "shocked" by the size of the Taliban force attacking the base, who were inside the wire by the time they arrived on the scene, and with aircraft stacked "on so many different levels" the battle still raged for another 24 hours.....

(WaPo)- The White House has told the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan to delay a planned trip here Friday to brief President Obama and his senior advisers on his recommendation for a major troop increase.

Officials had hoped to have Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and what national security adviser James L. Jones called "all the key players" speak to Obama in person by the end of this week, leading to final deliberations over a forward strategy.

But "we're not finished," Jones said Thursday, and meetings may extend beyond next week. When the White House is ready, he said, McChrystal -- along with the U.S. ambassadors to Afghanistan and Pakistan -- will fly to Washington so that the three "can meet with the president before a decision is made."

Unlike the Bush administration, which repeatedly emphasized that the new direction it took in the unpopular Iraq war in 2007 was blessed and orchestrated by its commander, Gen. David H. Petraeus, Obama has solicited a broader range of views
(that's why Bush was succussful and Obama is not -ed.)White House officials have emphasized that McChrystal's assessment that tens of thousands additional troops are needed to resist Taliban advances is just one of a number of positions being considered.

Michael Steele’s Playa Hate on Obama’s Nobel Win

First Republicans rejoice that America loses the 2016 Olympic bid and now this:

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele released the following statement today:

“The real question Americans are asking is, ‘What has President Obama actually accomplished?’ It is unfortunate that the president’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights. One thing is certain – President Obama won’t be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility, or backing up rhetoric with concrete action.”

The NY Daily News points out that it is a more negative spin than even Hamas:

Says Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh (via the wires):

“We are in need of actions, not sayings. If there is no fundamental and true change in American policies toward the acknowledgment of the rights of the Palestinian people, I think this prize won’t move us forward or backward.”

I hate hearing static on the airwaves about how Barack Obama hasn’t done anything to deserve this award. Ummm, he’s withdrawn U.S. troops successfully from Iraqi cities and is beginning to bring troops home. He’s gone to Russia within his first year in office to negotiate for serious nuclear disarmament. He’s worked hard to promote peace around the world, including a markedly different approach to North Korea and Iran. The Nobel committee may have nominated him quickly in the wake of his inauguration, but they took most of this year to evaluate all submissions. Observe the graphic above on how the process works. There’s a full timeline of the process on and here’s the list of the Nobel Prize committee members who are appointed by the Norwegian parliament.Obama has worked hard as President to turn around America’s reputation as a global citizen nation. This clearly wasn’t a rushed emotional decision. The committee is making a clear statement about the type of world leaders the world needs right now. All Americans should be proud.Who really hates America? Conservatives are willing to take down America in their jealousy, fear and thirst for power. It’s ugly and deeply unpatriotic. It’s playa hate taken to the ultimate level.

Author: Jill Tubman

Ethics Committee Expands Rangel Investigation

The House Ethics committee announced today it will expand its investigation of Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) to determine if he "violated the Code of Official Conduct or any law, rule, regulation or other standard of conduct applicable to his conduct in the performance of his duties or the discharge of his responsibilities with respect to all Financial Disclosure Statements and all amendments filed in calendar year 2009 by or on behalf of" Rangel.

The committee said that in its year-long investigation into Rangel, it has so far issued 150 subpoenas, interviewed 34 witnesses for more than 2,100 pages of transcripts, reviewed more than 12,000 pages of documents, and held more than 30 investigative subcommittee meetings.

A Republican resolution introduced in the House yesterday to remove Rangel from his role as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee was shot down by Democrats in a legislative maneuver. It was the second resolution filed this year by Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), with both ending similarly.

Republicans have already jumped on the Ethics committee's announcemnt, calling on Speaker Pelosi to remove Rangel until the committee has completed its investigation.

"Given the expanded investigation announced today, it is past time for Speaker Pelosi to insist that Chairman Rangel step aside until the Ethics Committee completes its work," Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a released statement within minutes of the Ethics committee's announcement. "The American people won't stand for having a chairman of the House's tax-writing committee who is under investigation for not paying his taxes. What more has to happen before Speaker Pelosi does the right thing?"

The committee does not release the names of any candidates and keeps records sealed for 50 years.

NASA's always trying to push the envelope, and tomorrow the space agency's got a really big push: It's going to bomb the Moon. Seriously, and it's all in the name of science, the search for water, and space exploration.

If you're up at 7:31 a.m. EST (4:31 a.m. Pacific) tomorrow, cast your eyes skywards to the moon. You probably won't see anything with the naked eye (you'll need a 10-inch telescope) but right at that moment, thanks to some careful planning, the upper stage of the Atlas 5 rocket the propelled the Lunar Crater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) to the moon will smack right into a crater called Cabeus. Four minutes later, LCROSS itself will meet the same fate. If that's not exciting enough for you, they'll be traveling at over five and a half thousand miles an hour when they hit. That's going to result in what we scientists call a pretty big bang.

All this is genuinely important--NASA's teams hope the kinetic impacts will throw up a plume of lunar soil far into the skies over the surface, and that among the debris will be water--NASA's going to have a bunch of instruments on LCROSS and elsewhere examining the events, looking for H2O's telltale signature.

Why do we care about water on the moon? For a whole bunch of reasons that concern our expansion of robotic and human exploration of the solar system. Lunar water would greatly simplify efforts to establish a base on the moon, and could be useful for storing energy through fuel-cells and for providing oxygen for lunar explorers.

Scientists are pretty certain they've detected plenty of water there already, but tomorrow's impact could provide definitive evidence--and enable a precise measure of the concentration of water in the soil. But is that justification for bombarding a heavenly body? A video on CNN shows people objecting to the effort:

Some facts about the Nobel Peace Prize

The committee does not release the names of any candidates and keeps records sealed for 50 years.

_ Campaigns in favor of a particular candidate could be counterproductive, as the fiercely independent committee does not want to appear influenced by public pressure.

_ The nomination deadline is eight months before the announcement, with a strictly enforced deadline of Feb. 1.

_ Those who can nominate candidates for a Nobel Peace Prize include former laureates; current and former members of the committee and their staff; members of national governments and legislatures; university professors of law, theology, social sciences, history and philosophy; leaders of peace research and foreign affairs institutes; and members of international courts of law.

_ There are no provisions for revoking the prize, regardless of whether the laureate lives up to its standards.

_ The prize was award posthumously only once — in 1961, to former U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammerskjold, after he was killed in a plane crash in Africa. The rules were amended in 1974 to prohibit posthumous prizes.

_ The prize is awarded to encourage those who receive it to see the effort through, sometimes at critical moments, not only to recognize efforts for peace, human rights and democracy after they have proven successful.