As you may or may not be aware, a new decade will begin on Friday. Since lists are what people do at the end of things because paragraphs with common threads are just entirely too difficult to cobble together, I’ve followed suit with a random hodge-podge of observations, thoughts and things learned over the course of ten years.
2000: We were league champions after going on an improbably post-season run. Knocked off Wheeler, 53-51. In my career, we only beat Wheeler once. Lesson: Only one game counts.
2001: 9/11. Vagina. Lesson: You can learn all things from war and genitals.
2002: High school graduation.Robert Horry hit that shot against the Kings. on my graduation day. Lesson: Robert Horry is the Butterfly Effect.
2003: Yale. The Michelle. Being an idiot regarding several things, mostly The Michelle-related. Lesson: Flattery is the key to infidelity.
2004: The College Dropout (album and real life). Lesson: Being a nightclub bouncer is infinitely more interesting than folding pants at the Gap.
2005: Yale, again. The Justice League. Argentina with The Intercontinental Champ. Lesson: You can always go home again, but it might not be how you left it.
2006: The best and worst day of college happened on the same day. Iberia. Lesson: Sometimes, you have to make trades, especially when you don’t have a choice. Also, sometimes friendship is no friend at all.
2007: Yale graduation. Lesson: Getting in is easier than finishing.
2008: The Spirit Warrior’s Dream. The Feath. The Election. Lesson: It’s usually the one you never saw coming.
2009: Freezing at the Inauguration. Brougham gets married. The Feath begins work on The Franchise. Lesson: It’s about grown man time…
Oh snap! Barack Obama and Warren Buffett are distant relatives!
According to their family trees, the two men who at times shared the stage together during the 2008 presidential campaign are seventh cousins three times removed.
Genealogists at ancestry.com announced on Tuesday that Obama and Buffett are related through a 17th century Frenchman named Mareen Duvall.
The discovery was made by accident when the same team of genealogists who had researched Obama’s family tree went on to investigate details about Buffett’s relatives.
“We recognized the name Duvall and it made us wonder if this was a connection,” said Anastasia Tyler, the lead researcher on the project. “So we started focusing on Duvall.”
As much as I would like to believe this sort of thing makes news for the right reasons, for reasons to demonstrate just how close humanity really is, I’m fairly certainly this is yet another case of white people the people running things protesting a bit too much on matters of diversity.
Never do you read headlines about the various public figures of color who the Obamas may be related to. No; it’s always these white people who they are kin folk with and the tone is always one of being utterly wowed as if a biracial man and a descendant of the forced African diaspora (read: slavery) sharing relatives with white people is something to drop a jaw about.
But there’s the rub with all the post-racial confetti that’s been tossed about since November of last year.
As I said a few days ago, from the dominant culture’s perspective, the trend has a whole lot more to do with seeming an acceptable member of the dominant culture than it does with human progression that sees beyond race’s limiting confines. Shorter Pitts-Wiley: ‘Post-Racial’ is a hip, multi-culti version of white.
Cool Pic + Terrible Play on Words = FAIL
Saw this on Insanity Report. On principle, I’m tipping my hat to homie, but part of me is distraught at having seen this. I’m fairly certain I’d rather walk in on my grandparents having group sex.
A colleague, frustrated with what she sees as Michelle Obama’s inactivity on issues that matter, mentioned to me last night that she’d be impressed if she heard the First Lady speak publicly on the health care debate, particularly the public option.
I have to admit I would be impressed as well. But I would be impressed for different reasons. I would be impressed because, in the event that the First Lady spoke publicly on the public option, such a colossally ill-advised move could only inspire awe.
Michelle Obama will never speak on the public option and she shouldn’t. The move would only cripple what her husband is attempt to do no matter what side she came down on. If she favored the option, the Socialist Nazi Hitler Youth chorus would be refreshed anew. If she did not, the cries of betrayal would make even Joe Lieberman screw his face in disapproval.
While I appreciate my colleague’s remark–which was made during part of a larger discussion on Michelle Obama’s responsibilities, particularly in the Black community–I couldn’t help but feel as though relationship cornerstones had been overlooked regarding the First Lady speaking out.
In my experience, the strongest relationships were anchored in not only love, respect and fidelity, but also the presentation of a united front. Surely, there were disagreements behind closed doors and their were passionate differences of opinion, but that kind of transparency wasn’t for all company, particularly when a matter of critical importance was at stake.
Disagreement is natural–and hopefully welcome. Throwing your partner under the bus is never OK at any point. And while that seems obvious enough, plenty of people run into trouble because they don’t know which is which; they bus-chuck when they think they’re merely standing on their own two. The great partnerships get it; they understand the times when a family has to hold the line, even if one party is unsure. This isn’t about a wife’s obligation to her husband; this is about a partner’s obligation to another and it is a tie that binds both ways.
While I don’t know the Obamas personally, I imagine they’re acutely aware of their life and times. Perhaps in rousing closed-door discussions among friends, Barack and Michelle–two high intellects who don’t mind a good joust–go toe to toe, standing on their own two. But as the President and First Lady, it’s different; the doors are far too open, as are the ears.
For all we know, Michelle Obama is putting in all manner of work behind the scenes. She’s obviously intelligent and, in being one of the three people with the number to the BarackBerry, she has the president’s ear. And because she has it, she needn’t say more.
The homie Ashton Lattimore–NewsOne editor, Harvard grad, thug–has a little take on the phraseology of War herself. Peep game.
Reading Jon’s rumination on the newly capitalized Afghan War, I was naturally reminded of the larger fight that got us into this in the first place: The War on Terror.
Here in the good old US of A, we can have a “war on” just about anything (except widespread lack of health insurance, apparently). There was Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, the Reagan era War on Drugs (also known as the War on Un-incarcerated Black People) and today, the burgeoning War on Obesity.
In each such “war,” the name evokes the image of the American people valiantly and metaphorically fighting against social ills with the most powerful metaphorical weapons in our metaphorical arsenal: government policy, TV ad campaigns, and personal responsibility. There is no particular front or battlefield—we will simply find the coke, the cookies, and the poverty wherever they exist, and stamp them out. These “wars” are entirely bloodless, with the phrasing chosen to engender warm and fuzzy pride about the nobility in standing tall against uncomplicated forms of evil.
So how did the global fight against terrorism score an invite to the “War On X” party? There is nothing bloodless or warm and fuzzy about the War on Terror. Its entire premise is that we systematically hunt down and kill people who hate our country so that they can’t hunt us down and kill us first. The weapons are not metaphorical—they are guns, bombs, and torture. And these weapons aren’t mowing down, blowing up, and psychologically breaking down “concepts” like getting high or getting chubby; they’re doing all that to actual people in specific places: Iraq, Afghanistan, and likely Pakistan any minute now.
But thanks to the power of language, the “War on Terror” sounds as nebulous and non-threatening as its social policy brethren. Since we’re so accustomed to the sound of it (“We have wars on things all the time! No big deal.”) people are much more easily lulled into uncritical complacency. War on Terror? Who could argue with that? What killjoy wants to start asking needling questions like “where are the WMDs?”, “are we attacking the correct people?”, or “what’s the strategy and end date on this little escapade?”
Instead of perpetuating the use of the name “War on Terror,” and acting as though we’re fighting against a free-floating idea, let’s call a spade a spade. The United States is currently embroiled in the Afghan War and the Iraq War. And until people start speaking with some clarity, I’m officially fighting one of my own. It’s called “The War on Phrases That Obscure What’s Actually Going On.”
Today, First Lady Michelle Obama took part in a healthy living intiative for kids which included hula hooping, double dutching and some inexplicable running around that, if nothing else, gets the blood pumping and calories burning.
And yes; she was getting it in while dressed and just having had her hair did.
The video isn’t mic’d, but those present quote the First Lady as having said “Buk! Buk! Buk! South Side ’til I die! Olympia Snowe what!”
But for real though, I will never not have school boy crushes on awesome Black women.
This was originally posted on The Root
If you chief for medical purposes and live in Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, the great state of Rhode Island, Vermont or Washington–states where such a thing is allowed for medical purposes–rest assured that President Obama won’t have the feds kicking your door down anytime soon. According to the Associated Press, new FBI guidelines released Monday
Federal drug agents won’t pursue pot-smoking patients or their sanctioned suppliers in states that allow medical marijuana…prosecutors will be told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state law.
The new policy is a significant departure from the Bush administration, which insisted it would continue to enforce federal anti-pot laws regardless of state codes.
Make no mistake, though. If you are outside one of the fourteen states where the use of medical marijuana is legal, you will get bodied
The guidelines to be issued by the department do, however, make it clear that agents will go after people whose marijuana distribution goes beyond what is permitted under state law or use medical marijuana as a cover for other crimes, the officials said.
President Obama has stated in the past that he is not supportive of decriminalizing marijuana. Indeed, the discussion of whether or not marijuana should be a legal substance is complex (though the tax boon alone should be reason enough to strongly consider it).
More interesting in this situation is the matter of states’ rights. Fourteen states have decided, independent of federal support, that the use and distribution of medical marijuana is in the interest of the citizens in their respective states. Rather than expend federal resources on something they disagree with, the Obama administration has elected to live and let live.
What’s your take? How do you suspect those who champion states’ rights will view this move by the president?