Ebonics: A Cover for racist thoughts

⊆ 4:16 PM by James Manning | ˜ 7 comments »

There is something amazing going on with the Ebonics debate. It has gone from a movement to improve reading scores of African-American children to a being a façade in covering racist attitudes. Townhall’s columnist, Mike Adams, who has a habit of making racist comments under the guise of political satire, recently wrote an article called “Hooked on Ebonics”. The article made absolutely no sense except to highlight the fact that the writer is irked by the existence of ethnic and racially defined social groups.

One of the groups offered a scholarship for students that spoke Ebonics. In response to that, Mr. Adams writes an email littered with what he deems as Ebonics.

I be really getting tired o' deez automatic responses. Could ya please answer muh ma f****n serious inquiries about yo' program? Ever since da outbreak o' wildfires in Malibu, California, I gots felt uh calling ta give up everything - muh ma f***n job, muh ma f****n home, an' most o' muh ma f****n gat collection ta come he`p whitey California liberals who gots lost mo' in recent weeks than most peeps gain in uh lifetime.

Given dat I be bi-lingual, though not bi-sexual, I feel dat I gots mo' ta offer than da average applicant who speaks only one language. Given muh ma f****n linguistic diversity, I would be ready, willing, an' able ta extend he`p ta those in minority communities once whitey liberals in Southern California iz back on they feet ag'in.
Please take muh ma f****n inquiries mo' seriously than ya gots ta dis here point.

Mike Adams

After being challenged by a black professor for his antics, Mr. Adams was forced to reveal even more of his racist thoughts in a column entitled, “Ebonic Plague: The New Black Death”. In his column, Mr. Adams recalls a black secretary that could not spell or write very well but was not released from her job because her supervisor considered her communication deficiencies as a cultural problem, not to be used against her. To most people this makes no sense and I don’t know many black people that would support this logic.

But Mr. Adams can’t contain his racisms and suggest that “laziness is the main reason why blacks refuse to criticize the obvious absurdity of Ebonics.” To provide himself some cover, he pens this:

Of course, many people will say that it is not politically correct to suggest that some blacks are lazy. But the existence of a stereotype in no way proves the non-existence of cases conforming to the stereotype. There really are gay hairdressers, you know.

It's a nice try but it falls flat. A racist will always justify their racism by first making a sweeping generalization that truly defines how they feel then narrow their views so they are attributed to an individual rather than an entire race. So it is up to the rest of us to point out the facts. First, Ebonics has never had widespread support in the black community. This is supported by the fact that only the Oakland and Los Angeles school districts have ever formally recognized Ebonics. And many parents… yes black parents, disapproved.

Second, the proponents of Ebonics did not look to teach Ebonics and place it on par with English. They sought to recognize the way in which many black children speak and use that structure as means to help those students make the transition to Standard English. So to suggest that Ebonics is a method to not bother with learning to read or write Standard English is disingenuous, and further illustrates your ignorance and racist ways.

Finally, in Mr. Adams haste to use his newfound ammunition to spew his racist thoughts, he apparently didn’t research the scholarship (rather lazy of him) to understand that the use of Ebonics was in reference to the original name of the USC Black Alumni Association.

Mike Adams simply used this discussion as a means to express his racist views and provided a platform for other racist to interject their racist views as well. Townhall.com has become a bastion of white supremacy discourse disguised as an “exchange of ideas”. The article is crap as is the case with most of the columns written by Mike Adams.


Mass Appeal Radio - 12/08/2007

⊆ 8:29 AM by James Manning | ˜ 1 comments »

Mass Appeal Radio 12/8/07

Hosted by: James Manning, Che Johnson and Danielle Hylton
Time: Saturday, 12pm (CST)
Website: massappealradio.com


Last week we ended the show with a discussion on relationships. We’ll continue on that topic in the next show and will focus on starting a relationship on a strong note.

The idea of starting strong is a philosophy in many aspects of life. The football team that wins the coin toss looks to score first to gain momentum. Race car drivers compete for pole position and marathon runners look to get out in front of the pack in order to set the pace for the rest of the field.

A good relationship requires a strong start as well and we’re going to explore the elements that make for that start. We’ll also highlight some of the traits that may indicate if the person running up your anytime minutes has pinhead potential.

1. Do you have rules or guidelines to judge whether or not you should take the next step with someone?
2. What are some of the red flags that you look for when you first start dating?
This Christmas

With the Christmas season upon, it is only appropriate that we take a moment to bask in the excitement and anticipation of the gifts we’re surely to receive (unless you’re expecting a gift from me). Our hostess, Danielle Hylton, had never heard of the Heat Miser. People, not exposing your kids to “A Christmas without Santa Clause” and “Nestor the Long-eared Donkey” constitute as an act of depraved indifference to human life. STOP THE MADNESS!!!

Be a part of the show:

If you would like to get in on the conversation, call 877-864-4869 and be a part of the fun. You can leave your comments to the interaction questions on our blog. I’ll read the best comments on the air. Tune in tomorrow at 12pm (CST).


Upgrading the Blog

⊆ 10:07 PM by James Manning | ˜ 3 comments »

I've grown tired of the old blog look. For 2008 I am going with a fresh look. I'll have the links back up shortly and I'm adding some new links as well. I should have it completed within a week.


Lets Play Jeopardy: Sherri Sheppard

⊆ 6:01 PM by James Manning | ˜ 3 comments »

What is a mix of ignorance and Christian fundamentalist?

Apparently Sherri Sheppard believes, as she so ignorantly stated on “The View”, that nothing predates Christians.

Whoopi: Keep in mind probably when he was around there was no Jesus going on.
Sherri: No, they had Christians back then.
[Cross talk]
Sherri: They had Christians, they threw them to the lions.
[Cross talk]
Whoopi: I think this might predate that.
Joy: They believed in polytheism.
Sherri: I don’t think anything predated Christians.
Joy: No, the ancient Greeks were earlier. It went Greeks, Romans, then Christians.
Sherri: Jesus came first before them.
Whoopi: [Gently, bless her] Not on paper.

There are just too many things that I can say about this but it seems to me that she has never bothered reading any chapter of the Bible before Acts. But someone should tell Sherri that Jesus was a Jew... Oh, and they should also remind Sherri that the Egyptians believed in many Gods, as did the Greeks and Romans.


The Irony of Democracy at Work

⊆ 7:08 AM by James Manning | ˜ 1 comments »

Imagine this: You put to the voters a referendum that allows the President to handpick representatives, suspend the Constitution and all an individual to become President for life (i.e. King). When the referendum goes down in defeat, you then claim it as evident that democracy is working. Irony at it’s finest.

Chavez told reporters at the presidential palace that the outcome of Sunday's balloting had taught him that "Venezuelan democracy is maturing." His respect for the verdict, he asserted, proves he is a true democratic leader.

"From this moment on, let's be calm," he proposed, asking for no more street violence like the clashes that marred pre-vote protests. "There is no dictatorship here."

A senior U.S. official hailed Chavez's referendum defeat Monday as a victory for the country's citizens who want to preserve democracy and prevent Chavez from having unchecked power.

"We felt that this referendum would make Chavez president for life, and that's not ever a welcome development," U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns told reporters in Singapore. "In a country that wants to be a democracy, the people spoke, and the people spoke for democracy and against unlimited power."

It is clear that Dee and I may have to make another visit to President Chavez.


Our Young Black Men

⊆ 5:45 PM by James Manning | ˜ 2 comments »

I am currently writing an article on the ancient Egypt and the influence it had in Greek Philosophy. The reason that I am writing the paper is because I am in a running debate on the current status of the black community. In the past three weeks two incidents have occurred that I believe define the problem that is facing the black community.

The first situation involves the murder of Washington Redskins player, Sean Taylor. Apparently, Sean Taylor was killed by several young men that he was familiar with. News accounts suggest that one of the men worked on Mr. Taylor’s lawn and another young man charged is the cousin of a man that is dating Sean Taylor’s sister. So, this was not a random break-in. They were aware of the contents of his home and a simple burglary turned into murder.

The second incident occurred here on the University of Chicago campus. Three young men, all under the age of 20, went of a robbery spree. They robbed several students when they happened up on Amadou Cissie and after robbing him, shot him in the chest. Amadou had just defended his dissertation was to receive his doctorate in chemistry.

What is similar in both of these cases is the fact that both involved teenagers are young men. At some point we are going to have to address this issue in a substantial way. This past summer a group of angry African Americans protested after a police officer shot and killed a young man. At the same time, the neighborhood was reeling from a series of shootings that left over seven young people dead. The only emotion displayed by the community was a vigil.

How is it that we react so angrily when a police officer takes the life of a black child but have no reaction when young black people slaughter themselves? It’s time out for talking. Marching is an inadequate response. In the hours before and after school there should be two black men on every corner within a mile of every school. We should have volunteer security guards at the parks and walking the neighborhoods. Every block should have a block club. We should develop a “Rights of Passage” tradition that will transition boys to men.

It is not that we should ignore police brutality but we should not focus on that issue to the detriment of our ability to recognize the self-inflicted wounds.


Open For Discussion

⊆ 8:01 AM by James Manning | ˜ 2 comments »

Tomorrow is the first radio show and we’ll discuss four issues:

The Nature of Black Music
Barry Bonds as Scapegoat
Dating: Men defining how they are unique
Strange / Crazy names for drinks

Topic 1: Rap Music

I have discussed this topic on my blog many times before [past post]. There have been no significant developments in the music industry thus far that warrants a change of heart. Although there are few bright spots with Kanye West and Common, hip hop in general is a creative wasteland. BET had a series of town hall discussions concerning this matter and the artist, T.I. and Nelly regurgitated the same excuses: we’re just talking about what’s going on in the hood. T.I. made one good point in that if he were to rap about social matters and didn’t put half naked women in his video, BET wouldn’t play it.

Rap artist are making that music that kids are buying. By any measure, these kids are buying beats and hooks. An examination of the lyrics will show that there really is no artistry behind the music. Below are the lyrics to Gorilla Zoe’s Hood Nigga:

and i dont need a scale for the work
i can eyeball purp, i am not you jerk
hatin on me will make your situation worse
you dont wanna take a ride in that long black hearse
all eyes on me, shawty im a bomb first
im the truth and they say the truth hurts
Hustle mean hard work, hard work
if you scared go to church
man this rap shit is easy, every beat i get i murk

It would not be fair to compare Gorilla Zoe with BDP or Grand Master Flash so I’ll compare him to some of the gangsta music from the 80’s.

They say I'm violent,they should watch their T.V.
They say I'm brutal,they should check their P.D.
You made me,now your kids rave me
I rap about the life that the city streets gave me
Murder,intrigue,somebody must bleed
Miami Vice is small time,L.A's the big league
From the rollin' 60's to the nickerson "G"
Pueblos,grape street,this is what I see
The jungle,the 30's,the V.N.G.
Life in L.A. ain't no cup of tea

This is from Ice-T “Squeeze the Trigger”. Both songs come from a thug/gangsta mentality but there is a distinct difference in what they deliver.
We’ll also get into the role that women play in hip hop in comparison to what their roles were in the early stages of rap music.

Topic 2: Blame Game

This is a real simple topic: Barry Bonds is the scapegoat. Baseball had a serious crisis before the homerun race between Mark Maguire and Sammy Sosa. We now know that Mark Maguire used steroids or some performance enhancement drug. Personally, for a sport like baseball I don’t see how it makes that much of a difference. Hitting a baseball is very difficult and maybe Barry’s added strength got a few over the fence that may not have gone, but c’mon… the man was headed to the Hall of Fame anyway. And I don’t even want to hear about Babe Ruth. He played in an era where he wasn’t competing against the best athletes.

I'll be reading comments on the air so leave your thoughts and check out the show.



My Radio Show

⊆ 7:08 AM by James Manning | ˜ 2 comments »

After being a guest on Dee's radio show, I submitted an idea for my own show. The show will air Saturday at noon (CST). I'm pretty excited about it. I'll be back to blogging three times a week and I also have some writing partners so the content of the blog should be fresh. I have a websited dedicated to the show. MassAppealRadio.com Check the site out and I hope you guys listen to the show.


Death in Vanity

⊆ 8:54 AM by James Manning | ˜ 2 comments »

I was surprised when I heard the news that Donda West, mother of rapper, Kanye West died. But when I heard that she may have died due to complications from plastic surgery, I found myself appalled. Any surgery is risky but I don’t think people are fully aware of the risks that go along with plastic surgery. The website, SmartPlasticSurgery.com list the following:

• abnormal heart rhythm
• airway obstruction
• blood clots
• brain damage
• death
• heart attack
• malignant hyperthermia
• nerve damage
• stroke
• temporary paralysis

Considering that cosmetic surgery is an elective procedure, I could never see myself volunteering to go under the knife. But I understand that there are people who are really not happy with their bodies. The question I have is:

Would you have cosmetic surgery?
If so, what about your body or looks would you seek to alter?


Box Office Politics

⊆ 7:38 AM by James Manning | ˜ 4 comments »

Why do conservatives make such a big deal out of box office numbers? Over the past month conservatives have been discussing two moves: Bella and Lions and Lambs. They have used the box office numbers of these two movies as the basis for their arguments regarding Hollywood’s leftist-leanings and how it is ignoring the values of the American movies-goers.

Bella is a relatively small film about a young waitress who finds out that she is pregnant and now must choose between aborting the child or struggle as a single mother. She chooses to have the child and story unfolds. The movie has received rave reviews and won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival. It had a limited release and all indications are that it is a very good movie and its average gross per screen indicates that it will be a financial success. The number of screens on which it is showing has increased steadily over the last 3 weeks.

Conversely, Lions for Lambs – which I had no interest in seeing – did not do very well at the box office as expected. Having three major stars (Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford), one would think that it is a blockbuster in the making. However, I saw the previews and there was no way that I was going to waste my time with it. Not because of its message, but simply because it didn’t look like a very good movies. Apparently, a lot of people thought as I did.

Do the success of Bella and the flop of Lions for Lambs reflect the values of Americans or their movie taste? I would suggest that it is the latter. If Lions for Lambs was a quality film on par with Heat (Al Pacino and Robert Di Niro) or Hotel Rwanda (Don Cheadle), it would have been a runaway hit. But the story was not interesting and probably and the previews left the impression that that director was heavy-handed in his excution - essentially, putting more energy in making a point than making an entertaining film.

There are some that argue that Bella could be a box office hit had “leftist Hollywood” had the courage to give it a wide release. However, as is the case like many independent films, it has to build a buzz as was the case with Like Water for Chocolate, Sideways, Little Miss Sunshine, and the Sundance favorite, Hustle and Flow.

I do believe Hollywood pushes social commentary with its movies and television programming. African Americans fought the negative imagery and stereotypes portrayed in films and on television for decades. In many instances, we are still fighting negative portrayals of black people. But the success or failure of that fight is not based on box office numbers, nor should it be.

It would not be wise to praise the studios for their movie selections. The same studio that produced the atrocious Booty Call also produced the critically acclaimed Finding Forrester. In the case of Bella, it would not be wise to suggest that the studio has seen the error of its ways and is now supporting life affirming movies – as it is the same studio that has given us one of the most graphic slasher flicks with its Saw series.

There are very few movies that have a social intent other than attracting as many eyeballs as possible. Often times those intentions are well known as is the case with any Michael Moore movie and the Left Behind series. And they tend to do very well at the box office. Most movies, however, the box office numbers are a reflection of marketing, screen numbers and if the movies are worth the price of admission (and the ungodly cost of popcorn).


BCS Is Crap

⊆ 9:10 AM by James Manning | ˜ 7 comments »

So the BCS standings are out and I am not impressed. I love Big Ten football but Ohio State is not the best college team in the country. In fact, I would place OSU no higher than 4th in the rankings. The BCS is crap and should be done away with. This would be my rankings of the top ten teams in the country.

1. LSU: They lost to a very good Kentucky team that played a flawless game unlike USC that lost to Stanford. Reward Kentucky but I give LSU a pass.

2. California: I still believe this is the best team in a very competitive PAC Ten conference.

3. Oklahoma: They still have to prove something but I think they could be most teams in the country.
4. Ohio State: They are a good team but their schedule is too soft for me to think they are a number one team.

5. South Carolina: The defense is crazy and they’ve shown they that can play with the best.

6. South Florida: If they beat Rutgers and Cincinnati, I will bump them up in the poll.

7. Kentucky: This is a great team and if you take away the loss to South Carolina you could make the case for a higher ranking.

8. Oregon: I like this team and they have the talent to beat anyone in the top 25.

9. Boston College: Haven’t played anyone. I’m a wait and see with this team.

10. West Virginia: I have no feelings regarding this team. They’re ok but probably not much better than the next 7 teams ranked below them.

11. Virginia Tech: See West Virginia.

12. Arizona State: How the BCS got them in the Top Ten I’ll never know. The next two games will show us exactly what’s going on out their in the desert.

13. Thru 25: Who cares? Put any of the next ranked 30 teams in any order from here and a case could be made.


Rudy G. & the GOP

⊆ 9:04 AM by James Manning | ˜ 2 comments »

I haven’t discussed politics in a while but I was over at Chatter’s blog and she has some very interesting post on Rudy Guiliani and his lack of support from James Dobson of Focus on the Family. Rudy is pro-abortion, pro gay marriage, anti-gun, borderline incestor (he married his second cousin), three-time divorcee who has no relationship with his children and has a host of other issues of ill-repute. Yet, he is leading the race for the GOP nomination.

James Dobson’s issue is that Rudy supports a woman’s right to choose. This one issue is enough to not support his presidential bid and has threatened to back a third party candidate in 2008. This is causing some infighting in the GOP ranks and I personally think it is a necessary fight. I think Chatter’s argument is surmised with this quote:

“…this was about right and wrong and that he just couldn't allow Hillary to become president for the sake of this country and the moral issues that he holds dearly.”

An opposing view from Paul, one of many commentors on Chatter’s blog who makes the argument for not supporting Rudy based on his abortion stance:

“For most of us, the only thing we can actually do to advance the pro-life cause is vote for pro-life candidates. If we're voting for a pro-abortion candidate, then in what sense are we pro-life?”

Then there is the comment by CajunTiger to rebuff Paul’s statement:

Paul you haven't answered the MAIN point in this whole "debate". If Rudy does win the nomination, how does not supporting him help the pro-life cause at all? I have no problem with you backing another Repub in the primaries as hard as you want, but if Rudy does win the nomination and Dobson has his way, say hello to President Clinton

There are several factors to consider here. First, fiscal conservatives are upset that social conservatives have dominated the Party for the past ten years. The Republican Party has controlled the White House and Congress for six years and got little to show for it. Dick Army, a noted fiscal conservative is openly challenging James Dobson to wrestle the control that Focus on the Family has forged over the years (source: http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/10/20/news/gop.php) . A Rudy Guiliani nomination would strengthen fiscal conservatives.

Although I can understand Chatter supporting Rudy to avoid a Hillary presidency, in doing so, I believe she and those of like mind undercut their influence in the Party. If Rudy wins the nomination and gets significant support from social conservatives, the like of James Dobson will be silenced for decades. It will set a precedent and it will embolden Rudy to push his agenda which is very different from that of social conservatives in the Republican Party. Future GOP presidential candidates will feel confident in forging a centrist position earlier in the campaign to look electable knowing that not electing a Democrat is the primary motivating factor driving his/her support in the general election.

Where Paul’s stance falls short is that it doesn’t take into account that politics is a game of positions and pragmatism. And the last thing any constituency can afford is to relinquish their position. By supporting a third party candidate, social conservatives will render their voice mute.

The great thing about being a Democrat is that their so many factions that make up the Party that none have the ability to truly dominate the Party’s agenda; which is not at times because Democrats seem to do whatever the hell they please after their elected. But this infighting is the most interesting story in this election cycle and should continue for several elections cycles.


Not a Good Start

⊆ 7:25 AM by James Manning | ˜ 6 comments »

I was not very happy with what I saw from the Chicago Bears yesterday. There was a lot of anxiety about the play of Rex Grossman leading up to the game but he played well enough to win. The one interception was the result of Benard Berrian giving up on his route.

The defense did a good job holding LT but when you turn the ball over 4 times, eventually a team like San Diego is going to capitalize on it. Next week Kansas City comes to town and I expect the Bears to hold Larry Johnson in check as well. KC's defense doesn't come close to San Diego's so I expect the Bears to move the ball.

What really concerns me is the running game. I thought it was a mistake to let Thomas Jones go and my fears were realized. Cedric Benson is not a bad running back but he doesn't strike me as a premiere NFL rusher. Maybe he will prove me wrong but I doubt it. We will see.


Friday's Top Ten - Celebrities I Aint Feelin

⊆ 9:32 AM by James Manning | ˜ 27 comments »

The world famous Friday’s Top Ten returns to the blogaspere. I was talking with a co-worker about actors and actresses and we got to talking about Taye Diggs. I wasn't a big fan of this guy but over the years he’s grown on me. I can stand him now, and in fact, I think he’s a cool cat.

But, there are those celebrities that I just can’t wrap my head around. There is something about them that just irks me. Maybe it’s their talent (or lack thereof), attitude or persona. Either way, I just ain’t feelin’ ‘em.

So, today I present to you the Top Ten Celebrities… I Aint Feelin’

10. Joan Collins – I know she’s funny and Johnny Carson thought highly of her, but I have never enjoyed listening to the cackle-bag. She’s overbearing and I hate the sound of her voice. The fact that she has the audacity to leave of with a second generation of cackle-bags makes her worthy of this list.

9. Rosie O’Donnell – What’s the big deal about this woman. She has mediocre comedic skills, so-so acting skills, and overall, has a horrid personality. I’ve never liked her in anything and I certainly don’t give a damn about her opinion. I can’t even give her credit for being a liberal.

8. Jada Pinkett-Smith – I hate that she is on the list because I loved her when she was on “A Different World”. But over the years she has morphed into something that I find unrecognizable – and disturbing. It seems that she is always “on”. Tavis Smiley interviewed her several years ago and she came off as though she was the second coming of Angela Davis. I haven’t dug her since. The rock band thing doesn’t help.

7. Bill Bellemy – He was funny on the Def Comedy Jam – and then he made Booty Call. That diminished him in my eyes. After a few interviews and his role in “The Brothers”, he fell out of favor with me. In fact, subsequent appearances have only solidified my unraveling fandom.

6. Shemar Moore – I tried several times to give this brother the benefit of the doubt. I didn’t want to seem as though I’m hating on him because of his looks. But over the years he has proven himself to be void of any talent. His not being able to keep his shirt doesn’t raise any confidence in me that his career will last beyond his ability to keep himself in shape.

5. Everyone in G-Unit – It’s no surprise that I don’t like these guys. I don’t like the image they present and I don’t like their music. I wish they would go away.

4. Marques Houston – I have no idea what’s going on with this guy. He has no talent to speak of and lets face it – he’s a bitch of man. I may trip on the metrosexuals - but this cat takes it to a different level. How he keeps putting out albums is beyond me. He has never made a song that I would listen to and cannot act worth a damn. I’m far beyond not feeling this guy – I genuinely can’t stand the sight of the guy.

3. Ann Coulter – If you read my blog you know why she’s rated this high. I’ve learned to tune her out and take what she says with a grain of salt. I’ve gotten to the point where I won’t even waist time consuming airwaves when she is present.

2. Rush Limbaugh – Wind bag. What else can I say about this jerk? I don’t even have to go into details with this one.


1. Nancy Grace – How Miss Tweetie Bird ever got a show is beyond me. She is consumed by her own hate for the world and it comes across the airwaves every night. She is a bitter hag that could use some serious counseling. Under no circumstances will I ever watch her show. Hopefully, CNN will come to their senses and pull her show from the air.

Your Turn:


How Is Your Health

⊆ 10:00 AM by James Manning | ˜ 5 comments »

I went to my annual eye exam for my contacts. The doctor looked into my eyes and asked me about my cholesterol. I was taken aback a bit, but responded that it was ok. Actually, my total cholesterol number is 217. A bit high but not high enough for medication, or so I thought. Apparently, there are two eye conditions that alert doctors to impending heart disease: arcus senilis and Hollenhorst plaque.

Arcus Senilis causes a thin white line to form around the cornea. This condition is seen in mostly older people but it can happen with young people with very high cholesterol levels. The second condition occurs when cholesterol deposits break and get lodged in the blood vessels of the retina.

I have neither of these conditions. The eye doctors saw cloudiness in my eyes and he said this is the beginning stages and that I should talk with my doctor because diet alone may not be enough to get my cholesterol down.

What I find funny is that I never would have thought about any of these things 20 years ago. But as I get older, health and retirement issues are looming and I can’t ignore them. I’m still in good health and I am planning on getting back into the gym next week. I’ve changed my diet, and I do look to take care of every aspect of my being beyond weightlifting. I still want the guns to look good, but what’s the point of having great arms and a heart that won’t beat?

A toast to living.

What Do You Do To Take Care of Yourself


NFL Draft

⊆ 10:00 AM by James Manning | ˜ 7 comments »

This is one of the most important days of the year. Right now,

1 1 Oakland Russell, JaMarcus QB 6-6 263 Louisiana State
This is a good pick. JaMarcus is by far the superior QB and I think he should be very good.

2 2 Detroit Johnson, Calvin WR 6-4 237 Georgia Tech
I’m not sure if they will keep this pick because they’ve drafted several wide receivers over the past couple drafts, but they could package Mike Williams with someone else and get a defensive guy.

3 3 Cleveland Thomas, Joe OT 6-6 313 Wisconsin
I thought they would take Brady Quinn but they couldn’t run the ball last year so maybe this is a good pick.

4 4 Tampa Bay Adams, Gaines DE 6-5 260 Clemson
I don’t know much about him, but they say he is a little lazy on the run but is a great pass rusher. He will have to improve if he plans on staying in the league past his rookie year.

5 5 Arizona Brown, Levi OT 6-4 328 Penn State
They had to do this. They have the receivers, they have the quarter back, they have the running back. Now they need to protect them with an offensive line.

6 6 Washington Landry, LaRon FS 6-2 205 Louisiana State
Washington has a lot of holes to fill. This is a start but they will need a good free agent session to get that team in position to win.

7 7 Minnesota Peterson, Adrian RB 6-2 218 Oklahoma
The Vikings had a decent running game last year, but with this pick they are looking for a franchise-type running back.

It's 10:38am, I have to get in the shower, will be back. Atlanta is on the clock.


Ok, I ran out of time so I'll just look at some of the more interesting moments in the draft. The big one being Brady Quinn's fall to pick 23 by the Cleveland Browns. I thought BQ was an ok quarterback but there was a lot of hype around him this past weekend. He doesn't have a strong arm and when he wasn't play cream puffs, he was an average QB. The Browns were smart to deal with their most pressing issue - the line, figuring that BQ would be there later in the draft.

I don't think it was a bad thing for him to fall to 23. Hell, the number 1 pick in the draft will have to prove himself just as well.

Trades: New England is stocking their receiving corp and there is no bigger stock than Randy Moss. This is a perfect move for Oakland and New England. Moss is not the type of receiver you want with a rookie QB. However, Tom Brady needed a deep threat after the loss of D. Branch. It will be very interesting.

Bears: They continue to piss me off. But at least they are working on bring Briggs back and I think picking up Archeletta. My beloved is in chaos and will need to do some things to get the situation under control.

Ok, that's it. Sorry Diane... I have to discuss football. We'll hit the Bush boys later.


It's Been A While

⊆ 8:53 AM by James Manning | ˜ 11 comments »

Man, my life is crazy right now. Family, school, work and the Bears lost is taking a toll. I'll try to get back into the mix shortly.



⊆ 3:17 PM by James Manning | ˜ 24 comments »


The Life, the Sound, the Music: 1971

⊆ 11:15 AM by James Manning | ˜ 23 comments »

The Life

The youngest of my parents son was born this year. This was the year my beloved Bears moved from Wrigley Field to Soldier Field. Bobby Seale and six other six defendants were acquitted of the charge of conspiring to disrupt the 1968 Democratic National Convention held in Chicago. In 1969, the founder to the Chicago Chapter of the Black Panther Party, Fred Hampton was murdered by the Chicago police.

My uncle returned from Vietnam with a serious addiction to morphine. From what I've been told, my uncle was bitter about the fall of the Black Panther Party and joined the Nation of Islam. This story gets real interesting in 1975.

The Sound

Ike Turner was still beating the crap out of Tina but in between time, they released “Proud Mary”. The one classic that didn’t make it to number one was “Shaft” by Isaac Hayes. If you are a Curtis Mayfield fan then you should pick up his first live album, “Curtis/Live”.

But if you want the true essence of 1971, you need to check out another Chicago product (though he spent a lot of time in Tennessee) Gil Scott-Herron’s album, “Pieces of A Man”. If you want to know who coined the phrase, “the revolution will not be televised”, then look know further. Gil Scott-Herron was one of the first spoken word artist.

The Music

Number One Songs

(Do The) Push and Pull/Rufus Thomas
Bridge Over Troubled Water/ Aretha Franklin
Don't Knock My Love/ Wilson Pickett
Family Affair/ Sly & the Family Stone
Groove Me/ King Floyd
Have You Seen Her/ The Chi-Lites
Hot Pants /James Brown
If I Were Your Woman/Gladys Knight & the Pips
Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)/Marvin Gaye
Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone/Johnnie Taylor
Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)/The Temptations
Make It Funky (Part 1)/James Brown
Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)/Marvin Gaye
Mr. Big Stuff/Jean Knight
Never Can Say Goodbye/The Jackson 5
Spanish Harlem/Aretha Franklin
Stick-Up/The Honey Cone
Thin Line Between Love and Hate/The Persuaders
Trapped By a Thing Called Love/Denise LaSalle
Want Ads/The Honey Cone
What's Going On/Marvin Gaye

Grammy Winners

Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female
Aretha Franklin for "Don't Play That Song"

Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male
B.B. King for "The Thrill Is Gone"

Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group, Vocal or Instrumental
The Delfonics for "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)"

Best Rhythm & Blues Song
General Johnson & Ronald Dunbar (songwriters) for "Patches" performed by Clarence Carter


This Week on Meet The Press

⊆ 12:33 PM by James Manning | ˜ 7 comments »

Announcer: The Bush administration is set to reveal a new strategy for Iraq. Will it work? To discuss this topic and more, former House Majority Whip, Tom Delay. And from the blogasphere, Liberal blogger, James Manning

Tim Russert: Good morning gentlemen. Lets begin with you Tom. The president is expected to endorse a plan that would increase the number of troops in Iraq. Do you support that plan.

Tom Delay: Tim, I support anything the president does. Just last week the president was down in Texas and he invited me to his ranch. He wanted to kick my ass for helping the Dems take over Congress. I obliged the president by bending over and letting him kick the stuffing out of me.

Tim Russert: (Looking warily at Tom) So… you support the president then.

Tom Delay: I do support our president and I’ll do anything he wants. For example… the president wanted some hog mog and his pigs weren’t ripe for it so I cut off my own testicles and the president’s chef sautéed them with mushrooms and onions. They were delicious.

Tim Russert: Let me see if I got this. You ate your own… balls. That sounds… how can I put this?

James Manning: Crazier than a motha… What the hell is wrong with you?

Tim Russert: (Turning to James) So what are Liberal bloggers saying about the President’s impending speech.

James Manning: Tim, first of all thank you for this opportunity. I’m glad you didn’t hold the Polka party incident against me. I think President is short on choices here and a troop surge is about all he has left. I don’t think it will work, but he has no choice. Personally, I think most Liberals want a reduction in troops, not more.

Tim Russert: You have a prediction for the outcome?

James Manning: Yep. It won’t work because Bush won’t send enough troops to do the job. Really, he’s just buying time until he can leave office.

Tom Delay: That is not true. President Bush is committed to winning the war in Iraq. It’s in his heart to win.

Tim Russert: Well, I don’t think anyone truly knows his heart, but…

Tom Delay: I know his heart because I gave it to him.

James Manning: What the hell are you talking about?

Tom Delay: The President’s heart gave out after overdosing on crack so he asked me for mine. I gave him my heart and in return they used a deer heart to put in place of my heart. I support our President and I’ll do anything for him.

James Manning: You are SICK!!! Why don’t you leave the talking to me?

Tim Russert: (To James) Its just like you to want to take over.

James Manning (Throwing hands up) Oh, here it comes. You’re still pissed about the Polka party, huh?

Tim Russert: (Pointing finger) You had no business changing the music. You made me look like a fool.

James Manning: What? All you had to do was follow the instructions. (singing) “Right foot two stomps”, “Left foot two stomps”, “Turn it out”. What the hell is so hard about that?

Tim Russert: You suppose to play music that people have heard.

James Manning: Who the hell hasn’t heard of the Cha Cha Slide?

Tim Russert: A lot people.

James Manning: If an Amish grandmother can do the Cha Cha slide, your beady-eyed behind should be able to do it.

Tim Russert: Well, what about the fact that you played Isaac Hayes during dinnertime.

James Manning: Hey, “Shaft” is a classic.

Tom Delay: Speaking of shaft, I recall when the first lady was out of town and the President was feeling frisky and he called me…

Tim & James: Will you shut the hell up.

James Manning: Why would you book me with this bastard?

Tim Russert: It’s my show, shut the hell up.

James Manning: Man, you’re about five seconds away from…

Tim Russert: From what, trick?

Tom Delay: Speaking of tricks. I recall when our President asked me to turn some tricks to raise campaign funds. I love my president and I’ll support him by doing anything he asked.

James Manning: This nasty bastard. I’m out of here. (stands up and pulls off microphone) I’ll meet you in the parking lot. If you thought me smashing you nose in an accordion was bad.

Tim Russert: Nah Homie. We can do this right now on national TV.

(James looks at Tim then jumps over the table, slamming Tim in the stomach with his left foot. Tim counters with a right cross that connects to James’ jaw. Dazed, James shakes it off and proceeds to place Tim in a headlock and smash his face onto the table. Meanwhile, Tom Delay is curled in a fetal position crying like a bitch.)

Announcer: Tune in next week to “Meet the Press” when James Manning interviews Dick Cheney.


God Episode

⊆ 9:52 AM by James Manning | ˜ 5 comments »

I saw this on You Tube and I thought it was pretty funny.


The Life, the Sounds, the Music: 1970

⊆ 5:04 PM by James Manning | ˜ 6 comments »

This past weekend a Los Angeles radio station had a countdown of the 500 most popular R&B songs of all-time. A few days passed before I found out that the list was comprised of votes from listeners. This isn’t a bad thing but it also skews the results to the taste and experience of radio station’s demographic. Now, I say this with the full understanding that I am a soul music elitist… a purist some might call me. Meaning that greatness of soul music is rooted in the spirit of the music, vocals, lyrics, and spirit.

So, with the next few post I'd like to take you folks through some R&B history that I'm sure other soul music elitist will enjoy. The first stop: 1970.

The Life

I was just turning one in 1970. My mother and father were still married and we were living on 47th street in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. I don't remember much about this time except what I was told. My father and his brothers had a band called "The Masters of Music". They were still playing the blues and touring local clubs.

The Sound

Although Motown still dominated the scene, the music was changing. Vietnam, Black Power and social change dominated the music. Chicago dominated the music spectrum with artist like Curtis Mayfield, Gene Chandler, The Chi-Lites, The Dells, Jerry Butler and Tyrone Davis. And it was the year that Minnie Riperton, a little known artist from the south side of Chicago with a five octave range, released her first ablum. But more on her when we get to 1975. Another Chicago product, Donny Hathaway, released his first album as well.

The Music

Sly & the Family Stone

The Number One Songs

Someday We'll Be Together/ Diana Ross & the Supremes
I Want You Back/The Jackson 5
Thank You /Sly & the Family Stone
Rainy Night In Georgia/Brook Benton
Call Me/Aretha Franklin
ABC/The Jackson 5
Turn Back the Hands Of Time/Tyrone Davis
Love On a Two-Way Street/The Moments
The Love You Save/The Jackson 5
Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours/Stevie Wonder
Don't Play That Song/Aretha Franklin
Ain't No Mountain High Enough/Diana Ross
I'll Be There/The Jackson 5
Super Bad (Part 1)/James Brown
The Tears of a Clown/Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
/The Supremes

Notable Albums

A Tribute to Jack Johnson - Miles Davis

Bitches Brew - Miles Davis - Pharroh’s Dance (For you jazz purist this is not the album for you because Miles threw some funk in the flavor. It’s worth a listen.)

Ella in Budapest, Hungary - Ella Fitzgerald

The Isaac Hayes Movement - Isaac Hayes – I Stand Accused (I love this song. Isaac talks for some time but he jams it. If you have 12 minutes to spare, it would be worth you while to fill the time with this song.)

Sex Machine - James Brown

Spirit in the Dark - Aretha Franklin

ABC - Jackson 5

Psychedelic Shack – The Temptations – Take A Stroll Thru Your Mind (This is a complete departure from what the Temptations were known for. This wasn’t a single but it is the best song on the album)

Portrait – The Fifth Deminsion – On the Beach (This was a semi-hit but I think it’s the best song on the album)

Check Out Your Mind – The Impressions – If There’s A Hell (This was Curtis Mayfield’s last album with the group and this song was another part of the social commentary that set the tone for the entire album. “People Get Ready” is the song that most folks know, but you have to hear the entire album to appreciate it.)

Struttin – The Meters

The Delfonics – The Delfonics – When You Get Right Down To it (I’m sure everyone is familiar with this group. “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind” was the biggest hit but the rest of the album is worth a listen.)

Sign, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder. – Every song on the album. Listen to it and become a better person.

Turn Back the Hands of Time - Tyrone Davis – Turn Back the Hands of Time (A lot of people are not familiar with Tyrone so you might as well start with his hit)