Monday, February 28

Buddhist Thought of the Day

In Buddhism, the source of moral authority is the causal law.
Be kind, be just, be humane, be honest if you desire to crown your future.
Dishonesty, cruelty, inhumanity will condemn you to a miserable fall.
Soyen Shaku

And the Christian Oscar goes to...

13th Annual MOVIEGUIDE® Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry

Millions of Baby Dollars

Now, don't get me wrong. It was a good money and I would be hard pressed to say that any of the nominees were the best movie of the year.

Ray - great, very emotional and stylish but it flailed around
Aviator - haven't seen i and not excited to see it
Sideways - this was the closest to best picture...not much was missing although the characters spent 99% of the film in their stupor and not until the very end did they "develop", I think the could've used a bit more transitional stuff
Finding Neverland - I cried like a baby! This was my "best picture" I didn't think it was lacking much of anything

So, there you have it. Jai's Academy Awards rebuttal.

Leave your comments and be sure to pick up your gift pack.

On this Day in Black History

1704 - Elias Neau opened school for Blacks in New York City.
1708 - Slave revolt, Newton, Long Island (N.Y.). Seven whites killed. Two Black male slaves and an Indian slave were hanged, and a Black woman was burned alive.
1776 - George Washington writes to Phillis Wheatley, the first African American to publish a book, thanking her for a poem written in his honor, and inviting her to visit him at his Cambridge, MA military headquarters.
1778 - Rhode Island General Assembly authorized the enlistment of slaves.
1854 - The Republican Party was organized in Ripon, WI. About 50 slavery opponents began the new political group.
1859 - Arkansas legislature required free Blacks to choose between exile and enslavement.
1871 - Second Enforcement Act gave federal officers and courts control of registration and voting in congressional elections in order to protect the freedpeople's enfranchisement..
1879 - Southern Blacks fled political and economic exploitation in "Exodus of 1879."
1922 - Egypt becomes independent of Great Britain.
1932 - Richard Spikes invented/patented automatic gear shift.
1940 - Native Son by Richard Wright published
1942 - Race riot in Detroit.
1943 - Porgy and Bess opened on Broadway with Anne Brown and Todd Duncan in starring roles.
1945 - Bubba Smith born
1948 - Sgt. Cornelius F. Adjetey became the first martyr for national independence of Ghana.
1961 - Rae Dawn Chong born
1968 - Frankie Lymon died
1968 - Frank M. Adams, Jr. born (actually the 29th but what do you do)
1976 - The Western Sahara achieves independence from Spain.
1977 - Eddie "Rochester" Anderson died
1984 - Michael Jackson won eight Grammy Awards for "Thriller" which broke all sales records to-date
1985 - FeFe Dobson born
1990 - Philip Emeagwali awarded the Gordon Bell Prize (computing's Nobel Prize) for solving one of the twenty most difficult problems in the computing field.
1990 - Cornelius Gunter (The Coasters) was shot to death
1990 - Shelby Steele wins the National Book Critics Circle award for his The Content of Our Character.
2003 - Ernest Avants convicted for killing a Black man in 1966.

Sunday, February 27

Hollywood is for Hollywoodians

In my humble opinion. Million Dollar Baby was not close to being the best movie of the year.

'Million Dollar Baby' wins best picture

I think this shows who the largest demographic of movie goers might be.

Box office 'Mad' for 'Diary'

On this Day in Black History

1788(?) - Prince Hall born
1827 - New Orleans held its first Mardi Gras celebration.
1833 - Maria Stewart became the first U.S.-born woman to speak publicly on political issues before a mixed-gender audience
1834 - Patrick Healy, who will become the first African American to earn a Ph.D. and the first to become president of a historically white university (Georgetown), born
1853 - The first black YMCA is opened in Washington, DC.
1868 - John Willis Menard was the first African American elected to Congress. He was refused his seat, but in making his defense he became the first black to speak on the floor of the House of Representatives.
1872 - Charlotte Ray, the first African American woman lawyer, graduated from Howard University Law School.
1880 - Angelina Weld Grimké born
1883 - Walter B. Purvis patented the hand stamp.
1890 - Mabel Keaton Staupers born
1897(?) - Marian Anderson, who will become the first African American soloist to perform at hte White House, born
1904 - Elisabeth Welch born
1907 - Hilton Smith born
1920 - The "Frederick Douglass," a ship in Marcus Garvey's ill-fated Black Star Line, sailed for Havana on its way to Africa.
1923 - Dexter Gordon born
1926 - Okeh Records presents its first "Race Records Artists Night" at the Chicago Coliseum.
1942 - Charlayne Hunter-Gault, the first African American woman admitted to the University of Georgia and the creator of The New York Times Harlem bureau, born
1956 - Little Richard's first Number One R&B hit, "Slippin' and Slidin'," backed with "Long Tall Sally," was released
1960 - The Miracles made their first TV appearance on "American Bandstand."
1964 - Anna Julia Cooper died
1967 - Wharlest Jackson was killed
1971 - Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas born
1980 - Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF won elections in Zimbabwe
1982 - Wayne B. Williams was found guilty of murdering two young black people.
1988 - Debi Thomas became the first African American to win an Olympic medal in the Winter Games
1992 - Tiger Woods, 16, became youngest PGA golfer in 35 years
1997 - Don Cornelius received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1999 - Nigeria returned to civilian rule when Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo became the country's first elected president since 1983.
2003 - Frederick McFeely Rogers (Mr. Rogers) died

Carling Cup final, Congrats to the Blues.

Liverpool 2-3 Chelsea
Blues boss Jose Mourinho was sent off for taunting Liverpool fans after the goal and he watched on television as his side went on to win the game.

Saturday, February 26

Welcome to the 21st century!

FIFA agrees goal-line technology

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Just as the footprints of any creature that walks on earth can be placed in the elephant's footprint, which is the largest of all--even so mindful attention is the one quality that ensures ease of mind at all times.

Mindful attention causes beneficial thoughts that have not yet arisen to arise. It also causes harmful thoughts that have already arisen to vanish. In the one who is mindful, the good that is to be will be realized.
Anguttara Nikaya

On this Day in Black History

1770 - Joshua Johnson born
1844 - James Edward O'Hara born
1869 - Sissieretta Jones born
1869 - 15th Amendment sent to the states for ratification.
1870 - Wyatt Outlaw, leader of the Union League in Alamance County, N.C., lynched.
1872 - Cookman Institute created
1877 - Representatives of Rutherford B. Hayes and representatives of Samuel J. Tilden held a conference in the Wormley Hotel and negotiated an agreement that paved the way for the election of Hayes as president and the withdrawal of federal troops from the South.
1900 - Wallace D. Farad born
1920 - Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson founded "Associated Publishers."
1924 - Vivian Harsh became the first black librarian in the Chicago Public Library system.
1926 - Theodore "Tiger" Flowers became the first black middleweight boxing champion of the world.
1928 - Antoine "Fats" Domino born
1930 - "The Green Pastures" opened at Mansfield Theater
1933 - Godfrey Cambridge born
1943 - Bill Duke born
1946 - Race riot in Columbia, TN; Two killed and ten wounded.
1955 - LaVern Baker appealed to Congress in a letter to Michigan Representative Charles Digges Jr. The letter requested the revision of the Copyright Act of 1909.
1958 - Anita Baker born
1964 - Cassius Clay announced his conversion to Islam and the change of his name to Muhammad Ali.
1965 - Jimmie Lee Jackson died after being shot by Alabama State Police
1966 - Andrew Brimmer was appointed the first black governor of the Federal Reserve Board by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
1968 Thirty-two African nations agreed to boycott the Olympics because of the presence of South Africa.
1971 - Erykah Badu born
1985 - Chuck Berry received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy.

Maybe he just got a little ahead of himself

Togo's interim leader steps down

Friday, February 25

Buddhist Thought of the Day

And from all other cares released, the mind set on collecting my own spirit, to unify and discipline my spirit will I strive.

Another Sewanee reference

this one is not as explicit as the Tennessee Williams factoid but...

1986: Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and author Robert Penn Warren was named the first poet laureate of the United States by Librarian of Congress Daniel J. Boorstin.

Random Sewanee References

Found on the Literary Calendar.

On this day in 1983 (22 years ago) - Tennessee Williams dies, aged 71, in New York, leaving $10 million to the University of the South.

On this Day in Black History

1664 - Eleven Africans petition for their freedom in the Dutch colony of New Netherlands in the first legal protest by Africans in colonial North America. Since they have served the time of their indentures, they are granted their freedom.
1839 - Seminoles and their Black allies shipped from Tampa Bay, Florida, to the West.
1870 - Hiram R. Revels, R-Miss., became the first black member of the United States Senate as he was sworn in to serve out the unexpired term of Jefferson Davis.
1881 - James Garfield Beck born
1895 - George Samuel Schuyler, author of Black No More, born
1896 - Ida Cox born
1903 - Albany State University founded
1910 - 13th Dali Lama fled Tibet
1928 - Archibald J. Motley, Jr.'s one man show opens NYT headline read:"One-Man Show of Art by Negro, First of Kind Here, Opens Today"
1928 - A. L. Higgingbotham born
1935 - Jesse Owens sets a new world record at Madison Square Garden: 60 meters in 6.5 seconds.
1948 - Martin Luther King, Jr. was ordained as a Baptist minister.
1963 - Vee Jay Records, the small Chicago-basaed label, releases the first Beatles record in the U.S., "Please Please Me" backed with "Ask Me Why."
1964 - Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) became heavyweight-boxing champion in an upset victory over Sonny Liston.
1971 - President Nixon met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus and appointed a White House panel to study a list of recommendations made by the group.
1975 - Elijah Muhammad died
1978 - Gen. Daniel ("Chappie") James, Jr. , ret. died
1980 - Robert E. Hayden, the first African American poetry consultant to the Library of Congress, died
1987 - US Supreme Court upholds (5-4) affirmative action
1991 - Adrienne Mitchell became first African American woman to die in combat in the Persian Gulf War
1992 - James Brown received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy.
1998 - Bo Diddley received Lifetime Achievement Grammy awards.
1999 - John King, one of three white men accused of chaining James Byrd to a pickup and dragging him along a Texas road until he was decapitated, was sentenced to death by lethal injection.
2000 - A jury in Albany, New York, acquitted four white New York City police officers of all charges in the shooting death of unarmed African immigrant Amadou Diallo.

Thursday, February 24

Damn you, you, old world Anglicans.

Anglicans demand temporary split

On this Day in Black History

1811 - Daniel Alexander Payne, the President of Wilberforce University, was born free
1842 - James Forten died
1864 - Rebecca Lee Crumpler became the first black woman to receive an M.D. degree.
1868 - House of Representatives voted, 126 to 47, to impeach President Andrew Johnson.
1931 - Lillie Brown born
1940 - Jimmy Ellis, former world heavyweight boxing champion, born
1966 - Kwame Nkrumah, dlected leader and first president of Ghana, was ousted in military coup
1969 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience played its last British concert before breaking up.
1974 - National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice (NABCJ) began
1982 - Quincy Jones won five Grammy awards for "The Dude."
1992 - Edward Perkins, U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, was nominated by President George Bush to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
1999 - Lauryn Hill won five Grammy awards for her debut solo album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill."

I'm not EVEN going there...

Banana Guard

Reyes given three match ban by FA

WHo needs instant replay

I saw the replay of this match and my thoughts were...Why is Bergkamp getting sent off Reyes is the one who needs to go.

What I get for not reading local news.

Vandy's Black History Month Film Series

I can't believe I slept on this! Damn!

Wednesday, February 23

England's not doing so well against Europe

Barcelona 2-1 Chelsea
Man Utd 0-1 AC Milan
Bayern Munich 3-1 Arsenal

Except for the Reds:
Liverpool 3-1 Bayer Leverkusen

On this Day in Black History

1860 - Texas secedes from the Union, as the South unifies to defend slavery.
1868 - William Edward Burghardt DuBois born
1869 - Louisiana governor signed public accommodations law
1892 - The Tuskegee Institute in Alabama holds its first annual conference to discuss their agricultural and business problems
1895 - William H. Heard named minister to Liberia
1915 - Robert Smalls died
1942 - Haki Madhubuti (Don L. Lee) born
1943 - Gen-Maj Bradley arrived in Dakar and Marrakesh
1943 - German troops pulled back through Kasserine-pass Tunisia
1951 - Ed ‘Too Tall’ Jones born
1956 - Jackie Robinson signed a contract to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers
1963 - The 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified.
1965 - New York State Senator Constance Baker Motley was elected Borough President of Manhattan
1966 - Premier Obote took power in Uganda
1970 - Guyana became a republic.
1972 - Angela Davis was released from prison after being held for 16 months, accused of kidnapping, conspiracy and murder.
1979 - Frank E. Petersen, Jr. named the first African American general in the U.S. Marine Corps.
1990 - Comer J. Cottrell pays $1.5 million for the campus of Bishop College in Dallas, TX. Paul Quinn College moves from Waco, TX to the site.
1993 - Little Richard received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy.
1997 - Tony Williams died
1999 - John William King was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering James Byrd, Jr.

Lest we forget

On Nightline tonight (2/23)

Buddhist Thought of the Day

A shortcut into the path is to be inwardly empty and outwardly quiet, like water that is clear and still, myriad images reflecting in it, neither sinking nor floating, all things spontaneously so.

Yimou Zhang

After seeing House of Flying Daggers again I am rapidly deciding that Zhang is my favorite director.

I know this changes from time to time. First, there was Spike Lee & Almodovar, then there was Quentin Tarantino, throw in Mel Brooks, Scorsese and Shyamalan but it is Yimou Zhang who has come shining through for me. He is such an emotional director. His films are always visually arresting (just look at the costumes in House of Flying Daggers) and he always explores the depths of love between couples without being cliché or overbearing...the sorrow, the pain and the joy are always intricately intertwined.

I highly recommend the Road Home (Ziyi Zhang's first film), To Live (features Li Gong, his first favorite leading lady) and the House of Flying Daggers. If you can find the earlier ones like Red Sorghum and Yellow Earth, I would suggest those too but I don't think they are available right now.

Netflix: Yimou Zhang

MTV Africana (more American crap going worldwide)

MTV launches channel for Africa

"Anger is a good thing..."

"...and if kids want to listen to Korn, good, but there's happiness after the anger. I'm going to show it through my actions how much I love my fans."
Brian "Head" Welch (foormer Korn guitarist)

Korn guitarist finds God, leaves band

Must Be Deep

Last night I watched Black Wax, a docu-concert of Gil Scott-Heron, and he talked about when somebody says something that doesn't make a whole lotta sense he would say "must be deep". Well, the following comment by Tori Amos would qualify...As I started to trace its (beekeeping) history it began to fit in place...
I was thinking about pollination, and we go back to bees and the pollinating of that female worker bee with the male organ of that flower. I brought in the organ, the Hammond B3 organ, to marry with the piano, so that the music would reflect that concept.
Tori Amos talks to Billboard about "The Beekeeper", her new record.

Tuesday, February 22

On this Day in Black History

1732 - George Washington born
1819 - Spain ceded Florida to the United States.
1832 - The Female Anti-Slavery Society of Salem is organized.
1841 - Grafton Tyler Brown born
1856 - John Edward Bruce (Bruce Grit) born
1857 - Lord Robert Baden-Powell born
1865 - Tennessee adopts a new constitution abolishing slavery
1881 - James Reese Europe born
1866 - J. Frank Wheaton born
1888 - Horace Pippin born
1898 - Black postmaster lynched and his wife and three daughters shot and maimed for life in Lake City, SC
1911 - Frances Ellen "Bronze Muse" Watkins Harper died. Her most popular verse collection, Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects (1854), contains the antislavery poem, "Bury Me in a Free Land."
1936 - Ernie K-Doe (Ernest Kador Jr) born
1938 - Ishmael Reed born
1950 - Julius Winfield "Dr. J" Erving born
1956 - Billboard reviews James Brown's debut record "Please, Please, Please": "A dynamic, religious fervor runs through the pleading solo here. Brown and the Famous Flames group let off plenty of steam."
1967 - Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. is denied his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives after being accused of improperly using House funds.
1976 - Florence Ballard (The Supremes) died
1979 - St Lucia gained independence
1983 - Harold Washington won Chicago's Democratic mayoral primary
1989 - DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince won the first rap Grammy for the hit single "Parents Just Don't Understand."
1994 - "Papa" John Creach died
1995 - Melvin Franklin (Temptations) died
1996 - Halle Berry filed for divorce from David Justice

We're losing some great players.

Mason, Carter, Rolle among Titans' cap casualties

Monday, February 21

Top Ten Signs That You Won't Be Winning an Academy Award

Taken from the Late Show website w/o permission. Thanks Dave.

Late Show Top Ten Archive: March 18, 1997:

10. Instead of 'direct to video,' your movie was released 'direct to landfill'

9. Film title includes the words 'booty' and/or 'call'

8. Did Quentin Tarantino direct your movie? No. Did Quentin Tarantino star in your movie? Yes

7. After he saw your film, Salman Rushdie called for your death

6. In your movie, all of Sharon Stone's nude scenes are done by a stand-in named Stu

5. Every time you yelled 'action' your lead actor started shaking like a medicated bunny

4. The name of your movie: 'The People vs. Larry King'

3. You're this guy (picture not included so, use your imagination)

2. When reviewing your films, Siskel and Ebert use a different finger

1. Your movie's ad line: 'Richard Simmons is Hamlet' Back To March 1997 Archive

MLS Schedule 2005

Averaging 6 games a week for 7 months the 10th anniversary season of the MLS should be lots of fun.

Player to watch: Eddie Johnson (He's been a killer on the Men's National Team and he's only 20)

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Whatever happiness is in the world has arisen from a wish for the welfare of others; whatever misery there is has arisen from indulging selfishness.
Buddhist Proverb

Sad day for entertainment.

I guess all of these happened on 2/20. I didn't hear about John Raitt or Hunter S Thompson till this morning.

John Raitt, singer father of Bonnie, dies

Posted by Hello
Hunter S. Thompson dead at 67

Actress Sandra Dee dies

On this Day in Black History

1965 - Malcom X aka El-Hajj Malik El-Shabaaz was assassinated

Sunday, February 20

On this Day in Black History

*sorry no links today

1867 - Dr. Ida Gray Nelson Rollins, DDS born
1895 - Frederick Douglass died
1898 - James Yancey born
1901 - Frank Duncan born
1902 - Blind Willie Johnson born
1908 - Ruby Elzy born
1911 - Francis Ellen Watkins Harper died
1924 - Sidney Poitier born
1928 - Bettye Miller born
1929 - Wallace Thurman's play "Harlem" opens in New York.
1936 - John Hope died. He was the first black president of Morehouse College, and the first president of Atlanta University.
1937 - Nancy Wilson born
1951 - Anthony Davis born
1971 - Idi Amin took over Uganda
1987 - Jean Baptiste du Sable is honored on a U.S. postage stamp.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

When anger arises,
whoever keeps firm control
as if with a racing chariot:
I call a master charioteer.
Anyone else;
a rein-holder--
that's all.

Dhammapada, 17, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Saturday, February 19

On this Day in Black History

*sorry no links today

1850 - Edward Bannister helps form the Providence, Rhode Island Art Club
1869 - Sylvester Williams born
1871 - Lugenia Burns Hope born
1902 - John Bubbles born.
1919 - The first Pan-African Congress opens in Paris under the leadership of W.E.B. Du Bois.
1940 - William "Smokey" Robinson born
1940 - Bobby Rogers (Smokey Robinson & the Miracles) born
1942 - Tuskegee Airmen were initiated into the armed forces.
1952 - Emmett L. Ashford became the first black umpire in organized baseball. He was authorized to be a substitute in the Southwestern International League.
1960 Keith Musa[kawukhathi] Zondi South Africa head (Inkatha Youth Brigade) born
1963 - Seal born
1982 - Clarence Thomas is nominated by President Ronald Reagan to head the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the purpose of which they both oppose.
1991 - Public Enemy boycotted the 1991 Grammy Awards because the rap award was not going to be presented during the live TV ceremony
1992 - John Singleton became the first African American nominated for an Academy Award as best director for his film Boyz N the Hood.
1996 - Dorothy Maynor died
1997 - Miles Davis received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
2002 - Vonetta Flowers became the first African-American gold medallist in the history of the Winter Olympic Games.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

The way toward liberation is to train yourself to live in the present without any wanting to become anything. Give up becoming this or that, live without cravings, and experience this present moment with full attention. Then you will not cringe at death nor seek for repeated birth.
Sutta Nipata

Friday, February 18

Two of my favorite movie reviews...or should I say star reviews

Box Office : Defamer

1. Constantine—
Join us tonight in watching in utter helplessness as Keanu Reeves, Hollywood’s Most Unlikely Star™, furrows his brow like he’s sounding out his lines phonetically in his head before finally delivering them. If you look closely enough, you can see his lips move before you actually hear the words.

2. Hitch—
We’re going to go on the record with this: Will Smith is absolutely fucking adorable...Someone’s going to slap his face on a big-eared teddy bear and make millions.

Appropiate Action creates appropriate reaction

Togo president agrees to election
I have decided in the higher interests of the nation to continue the process of transition in line with the constitution
Faure Gnassingbe

Which is the best city for you?

Sperling's Best Places

Trae, what's up with this?

FIFA reviews Nigeria case

For those who don't tool around in Blogtopia, TRAE Days is a blog run by my man, Trae, over in Abuja, Nigeria. He's a soccer fan and I'm sure he can fill us in on what's happenin with Football pressure, I promise. ;-)

Abuja, Nigeria Posted by Hello

On this Day in Black History

1688 - First Formal Protest Against Slavery. Organized by Mennonite Quakers in Germantown, PA, they passes a resolution condemning slavery.
1795 - George Peabody, U.S. merchant and philanthropist
1861 - Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as the President of the Confederate States.
1865 - Charleston surrenders; Sherman's troops burn the city. Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers were among the first Union troops to enter the city.
1867 - Augusta Institute was founded at Augusta, GA which was later to become Morehouse College, following its relocation to Atlanta.
1885 - Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" was published in the U.S. for the first time.
1894 - Paul Revere Williams, renowned architect, born
1913 - Delta Sigma Theta sorority is founded at Howard University.
1931 - Toni Morrison born. She will be the first African American to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature
1934 - Audre Lorde born
1941 - Irma Thomas born
1941 - Herman Santiago (Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers)
1949 - William L. Dawson was the first black to head a Congressional standing committee, the House Expenditures Committee.
1952 - Randy (Veronica) Crawford born
1959 - Ray Charles recorded "What'd I Say."
1965 - Dr. Dre born
1965 - Gambia gains independence from Britain
1972 - The California Supreme Court struck down the state's death penalty.
1973 - Palmer Hayden dies
1976 - Chanda Rubin born
1979 - "Roots: The Next Generations" premieres on ABC-TV
1995 - The NAACP replaced veteran chairman William Gibson with Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers

Buddhist Thought of the Day

If a man should conquer in battle a thousand and a thousand more, and another should conquer himself, his would be the greater victory, because the greatest of victories is the victory over oneself.

Thursday, February 17

China has "eclipsed" the US as a consumer nation

China emerges as global consumer

* 64m tons of meat were consumed in China in 2004 compared to 38m tons in the US
* 258m tons of steel were used in China in 2003 compared to 104m in the US
* China's factories and homes burned 40% more coal than in the US
* The number of PCs in China is doubling every 28 months.

However, per capita consumption in China - the world's most populous country - remains far below that of the US.

Is he smart or crazy?

Namibia leader set to study rocks

Where has the time gone

I've been so busy recently I haven't been devoting much time to surfing the net and bringing the good stories to my few loyal readers.

I started my "On this day in Black History" series which takes quite awhile to pull together everyday. I like doing this but it is too time consuming to keep it up everyday!

My house is in deconstructed mode b/c I have the electricians rewiring the ENTIRE house. They are doing a great job but the are getting me out of bed almost 2 hrs earlier than usual which, of course, means I am trying to go to bed earlier.

I've been crazy busy at work, which is where I used to do a lot of my surfing and fact finding.

And lastly, I started an exercise program to go along with my weekly Yoga. Those who know me know I am pretty sedentary. Well, I finally got off my ass to start a program at the YMCA to help me 1. get healthier and 2. lose weight.

So, those are my excuses. Please stick with me while I figure out how to make all this work.

And the winner was...

Ronaldinho's World XI

Other CAF Winners:

Team of the year: Tunisia
Club of the year: Enyimba (Nigeria)
Coach of the year: Okey Emordi (Enyimba, Nigeria)
Goalkeeper of the year: Ali Boumnijel (Club Africain and Tunisia)
Young Player of the Year: Obafemi Martins (Inter Milan, Italy and Nigeria)
Best African Champions League player: Vincent Enyeama (Enyimba, Nigeria)
African Women's Footballer of the Year: Perpetua Nkwocha (Nigeria)
Best African Goal of the Year: Benni McCarthy (FC Porto, Portugal and South Africa)

Ladies & Gentlemen. May I present the back-to-back CAF Footballer of the Year...

Samuel Eto'o!

this is as close to the all-star benefit game as I got. :-( - World Week In Pictures

On this Day in Black History

1865 - Columbia, SC burned
1874 - Maud Hare born
1891 - Butter Churn Invented (patent #466,470) by A. C. Richardson
1902 - Marian Anderson born
1918 - Rep. Charles A. Hayes, D-Illinois, born. In 1989, Hayes was re-elected to a fourth term in the House of Representatives
1919 - 369th Infantry march in a victory parade up New York's Fifth Avenue. They are led by James Reese Europe's "Hellfighters" band.
1936 - James Nathaniel Brown born
1938 - Mary Frances Berry, the first woman to serve as a chancellor of a major research university, born in Nashville, TN.
1941 - Wellington Webb born
1942 - Huey Newton, co-founder of Black Panther Party, born
1943 - William P. French, bibliographer and rare book dealer, born
1955 - Little Richard sent his first audition tape to Specialty Records.
1963 - Michael Jeffrey Jordon born
1964 - US Supreme Court rules - 1 man 1 vote (Westberry vs Sanders)
1967 - Wilt Chamberlain (Philadelphia Warriors) score the first of an NBA record 35 consecutive goals without a miss.
1967 - Ronald De Voe, born
1973 - USS Jesse L. Brown, Naval Frigate, commissioned (the ship was sold to Egypt and renamed in 1994). Ensign Jesse L. Brown was the first African American naval aviator killed in combat over Korea.
1982 - Thelonious Monk died
1989 - Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia & Libya form common market
1997 - Virginia House of Delegates votes unanimously to retire the state song, "Carry Me back to Old Virginny", a tune which glorifies slavery.
1980 - The U.S. Justice Department charges J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), with blocking prosecution of four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members identified as responsible for the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL.
1995 - Colin Ferguson was convicted of six counts of murder in the December 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings. He was later sentenced to a minimum of 200 years in prison.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

The only foundation stone of practice is renunciation.
The only gateway of practice is faith.
The only approach to practice is compassion.
Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Creation and Completion

Can't you just go see Keanu's new movie, Constantine?

Vatican offers exorcism lessons

Wednesday, February 16


Togo army 'backing down on coup'

On this Day in Black History

1812 - Henry Wilson born
1852 - William Sander Scarborough born
1857 - Frederick Douglass elected President of Freedman's Bank
1862 - 14,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Fort Donelson, TN.
1863 - First recruitment rally held for 54th Massachusetts Infantry
1894 - British troops occupy Ilorin, Gold Coast (Nigeria)
1904 - Walt Disney's first live actor, James Baskett
1916 - Bill Doggett born
1923 - Howard Carter unsealed the burial chamber of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen. The next day he entered the chamber with several invited guests. He had originally found the tomb on November 4, 1922.
1923 - Bessie Smith makes her first recording, "Down Hearted Blues," which sells 800,000 copies for Columbia Records.
Down Hearted Blues
1932 - Otis Blackwell born
1934 - Austin "Ted" Taylor born
1944 - "The Golden Thirteen" begin training
1951 - New York City Council passed bill prohibiting racial discrimination in city-assisted housing developments.
1952 - The FBI arrests 10 members of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina.
1956 - James Ingram born
1957 - LeVar Burton born
1959 - Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba after the overthrow of President Fulgencio Batista.
1970 - Joe Frazier began his reign as the undefeated heavyweight world champion when he knocked out Jimmy Ellis in five rounds.
1972 - Jerome Bettis born
1977 - Janani Luwum, the Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, along with two other men, was killed in automobile accident.
1992 - LA Lakers retire Magic Johnson's #32 uniform
1996 - Walter Brown "Brownie" McGhee died
1999 - Testimony began in the Jasper, TX, trial of John William King. He was charged with murder in the gruesome dragging death of James Byrd, Jr. King was later convicted and sentenced to death.
2002 - The operator of a crematory in Noble, GA was arrested after dozens of decomposing corpses were found stacked in storage sheds and scattered around the building and surrounding woods.
2003 - In Chicago, IL 21 people were killed in a night club after a disturbance on the second floor. The panic that evolved resulted in the trampeling.
2335 - Geordi La Forge born

Buddhist Thought of the Day

The way is the perennial Way, the truth is the perennial Truth: don't misapply body and mind chasing after sayings. This is why it is said that "even the slightest object is dust; as soon as you arouse intent, you're confused by hallucination."

Tuesday, February 15

A president is a president because he has been elected

African diplomats in Togo to end crisis

Are you kidding?

Chris Rock bites Oscar hand.

I think this is great publicity. If they give Chris a loose rein b4 the show they are guaranteeing higher viewership. People will tune in to see what Chris will say during the show.

Congrats to my favorite Grammy Winners!

I'm just a fan of Ben & the Blind Boys:

Best Pop Instrumental Performance
11th Commandment
Ben Harper
Track from: There Will Be A Light

Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album

There Will Be A Light
Ben Harper & The Blind Boys Of Alabama

I have a working relationship with James:

Best Pop Instrumental Album
Henry Mancini: Pink Guitar
Various Artists
James Jensen, producer

Cool Nashville connections:

Best Native American Music Album
Cedar Dream Songs
Bill Miller

Best Historical Album
Night Train To Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues, 1945-1970
(Various Artists)

One of my picks for the year:
Best Contemporary World Music Album
Youssou N'Dour

Extremism begets extremism

"Liberal queer plus conservative Republican just doesn't mesh well"

On this Day in Black History

1793 - Austin Stewart born
1804 - New Jersey Legislature approved a law calling for "gradual" emancipation of African Americans. In so doing, New Jersey became the last Northern state to outlaw slavery.
1820 - Susan B. Anthony born
1848 - Sarah Roberts barred from white school in Boston. Her father, Benjamin Roberts, filed the first school integration suit on her behalf.
1851 - Black abolitionists broke into a Boston courthouse and rescued Shadrach Minkins, a fugitive slave.
1862 - Grant's major assault on Ft Donelson, TN
1900 - The British threaten to use natives in their war with the Boers.
1901 - Kokomo Arnold born
1902 - Fay Jackson born
1941 - Duke Ellington and his orchestra recorded "Take the "A" Train" for the first time.
1942 - Caroline Robinson Jones born
1943 - Thomas "Fats" Waller dies
1954 - Big Joe Turner recorded the original "Shake, Rattle & Roll".
1957 - Impresario Irvin Feld debuts his Greatest Shows of 1957 in Pittsburgh. On the bill: Clyde McPhatter, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Lavern Baker, Bill Doggett, the Moonglows, the Five Satins and more. Before it closes on May 5, the tour goes through every region of the U.S.
1961 - U.S. and African nationalist protesting the slaying of Congo Premire Patrice Lumumba distrupts U.N.
1964 - Louis Armstrong's "Hello Dolly" recording becomes his first and only number one record.
1965 - Nat "King" Cole dies of complications following surgery for lung cancer
1968 - Little Walter dies
1969 - Sly and the Family Stone's "Everyday People" hits #1 on the pop chart.
1969 - A Florida woman is arrested for impersonating Aretha Franklin during a concert. Vickie Jones' impersonation is so convincing that nobody in the club asks for a refund.
1978 - Leon Spinks beats Muhammad Ali in 15 for world heavyweight crown
1978 - Zaire revises constitution
1992 - The Ivory Coast village of Krinjabo named Michael Jackson "King of the Sanwis."
1994 - US asks Aristide to adopt a peace plan from Haiti
1995 - Burundi premier Anatole Kanyenkiko resigns
1999 - The body of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed West African gunned down by New York City police, was returned to his native Guinea.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

For there is suffering, but none who suffers;
Doing exists although there is no doer;
Extinction is but no extinguished person;
Although there is a path, there is no goer.
Buddhaghosa; Visuddhimagga 513

Monday, February 14

On this Day in Black History

1760 - Richard Allen born
1817 (?) - Frederick Douglass
1867 - Morehouse College organized
1867 - New registration law in Tennessee abolished racial distinctions in voting.
1874 - Charlotta Bass born
1880 - Aida Overton Walker born
1893 - Perry Bradford born
1894 - Mary Dawson born
1912 - Ollie Harrington born
1920 - Mamie Smith records "Crazy Blues," the first blues record. It is an immediate hit with sales of 1,000,000 records
1926 - Moneta Sleet born.
1934 - Merl Saunders born
1936 - National Negro Congress organized
1937 - Magic Sam born
1943 - Maceo Parker born
1943 - Pearl Primus choreographs "African Ceremonial" at New York's 92nd Street Y.
1946 - Gregory Hines born
1951 - Sugar Ray Robinson defeats Jake LaMotta & takes middleweight title, a bout sportswriters dubbed "The St. Valentine's Day Massacre."
1957 - Georgia Senate unanimously approves Senator Leon Butts' bill barring blacks from playing baseball with whites
1957 - Martin Luther King, Jr. organizes the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
1957 - Lionel Hampton’s only major musical work, "King David," made its debut at New York’s Town Hall.
1965 - Malcolm X’s home is firebombed. No injuries are reported.
1966 - Wilt Chamberlain breaks NBA career scoring record at 20,884 points
1967 - Frederick Douglass is honored on a U.S. postage stamp.
1967 - Aretha Franklin recorded her song "Respect" in New York.
1973 - Steve McNair born
1974 - The first Double Dutch jump rope tournament is held in New York.
1991 - "Mule Bone" opens at Ethel Barrymore Theater
1992 - Cease fire in Somalia begins
1995 - National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID), a day for family bonding!
1996 - Prince and Mayte Garcia were married.

What happened?

Do you think this is because people don't see the music biz as interesting? Maybe people think it's the same ol, same ol.
Grammy viewership 2nd-lowest ever

Presidential Advice

One night, George W. Bush is tossing restlessly in his White House bed. He awakens to see George Washington standing by him. Bush asks him, "George, what's the best thing I can do to help the country?"

"Set an honest and honorable example, just as I did," Washington advises, and then fades away.

The next night, Bush is astir again, and sees the ghost of Thomas Jefferson moving through the darkened bedroom. Bush calls out, "Tom, please! What is the best thing I can do to help the country?"

"Respect the Constitution, as I did," Jefferson advises, and dims from sight.

The third night sleep is still not in the cards for Bush. He awakens to see the ghost of FDR hovering over his bed. Bush whispers, "Franklin, what is the best thing I can do to help the country?"

"Help the less fortunate, just as I did," FDR replies and fades into the mist.

Bush isn't sleeping well the fourth night when he sees another figure moving in the shadows. It is the ghost of Abraham Lincoln. Bush pleads, "Abe, what is the best thing I can do right now to help the country?"

Lincoln replies, "Go see a play."

Obsession on the net

That Pepsi Girl

She is hot.

Seems like there would be a better way of getting back at these people.

Eto'o responds to racist abuse
I danced like a monkey because they treated me like a monkey
said the Barcelona striker.

More on Eto'o

CAF award to go to Eto'o

Makes sense to me.

Premiership threatens Tanzania league

Buddhist Thought of the Day

One act of pure love in saving life is greater than spending the whole of one’s time in religious offerings to the gods.

Sunday, February 13

Grammy Awards 2005 (Performaces)

Alicia Keys (before she was joined by Jamie Foxx), what a powerful performer.
Green Day kicked ass, like any good punk band should.
Kanye West was great but it was the women (and Green Day) who really set things on fire.
Melissa Etheridge was incredible, a great rock singer, she nailed it.
Bonnie Raitt and Billy Preston, SOUL. Her soul filled slide and voice matched with Billy's church organ...CHILLS!

Grammy Awards 2005 (Album of the Year)

Ray Charles: Genius Loves Company

This was not the best album of the year but what are you gonna do when Ray dies but give Ray all the Grammies.

Ray we do and will miss you forever.

Grammy Awards 2005 (speeches)

Loretta Lynn

Kanye West

were the hands down winners for best acceptance speeches!

Grammy Awards 2005 (photos)

Hadn't seen these two in a photo before. Laura's looking good after her recent baby.

Thanks Reuters

Grammy Awards 2005 (still in progress)

Surprise Hottie:

Sheryl Crow

Grammy Awards 2005 (in progress) far.

What's up with 4 bands playing simultaneously?
That red dress made QL look HUGE...images of Aretha
Alicia Keys...will you marry me? (Tara, don't read that part.) I just want to stand close to you.
J.Lo sounded like shit.
Lynyrd Skynyrd!?!?! You have to be joking me. Dickey & Elvin moved to the back of the stage ASAP...I woulda too!

Congrats to the winners

I think they are going for a parliamentarything so let's up they can pull in some Sunis.
Shiite alliance wins plurality in Iraq

On this Day in Black History

1818 - Absolom Jones, the co-founder of the Free African Society and the first African American Episcopal priest, dies
1866 - President Andrew Johnson vetoes a bill providing for an extension of the Freedman's Bureau, but Congress overrides his veto.
1873 - Emmett J Scott born
1892 - The World's Fair Colored Opera Company performs at Carnegie Hall.
1908 - Malvin (Mal) Russell Goode, the first Black network reporter, born
1919 - Eddie Robinson born
1920 - National Negro League is founded in Kansas City.
1923 - The first professional black basketball team, The Renaissance (named for the Harlem Renaissance), is organized. They will be popularly known as The Rens.
1947 - Atlanta hires its first African American police officers.
1970 - Joseph H. Searles III becomes the first black member of the New York Stock Exchange.
1979 - The U.S. Civil Rights Commission reports that 46% of minority students are still attending racially segregated schools. This is 25 years after the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision mandating integration.
1997 - Michael Jackson, Jr. (yes, THAT Michael Jackson)

The Boondocks

Posted by Hello
Thanks UComics!

Saturday, February 12

History of Nashville RnB

Alot of people are surprised to hear Nashville has a long RnB history but WLAC was one of the powerhouses of American radio and Jefferson Street had ALL the clubs!
Laying down the tracks

Go 'head on with yo bad self!

Area spa named one of world's best by travel magazine

News from my Hood

Inglewood neighbors welcome new Dollar General

Can Harold Ford overcome the craziness of his family?

State to probe payments to Ford

On this Day in Black History

Sorry no links today. :-(

1793 - Congress passes the first Fugitive Slave law, making it illegal to protect or harbor a fugitive slave or prevent his arrest.
1809 - Abraham Lincoln born
1809 - Charles Darwin born
1855 - Fannie Barrier Williams born
1865 - Henry Highland Garnet, first black to speak in the Capitol, delivered memorial sermon on the abolition of slavery at services in the House of Representatives.
Garnet, a former slave himself, was a pastor of the 15th Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. President Abraham Lincoln, with the unanimous consent of his Cabinet and the two congressional chaplains, had arranged for the special Sunday service to be held on February 12, the president's 56th birthday.

Garnet escaped to the North in 1824, where he became a prominent abolitionist, famous for his radical appeal to slaves to rise up against their masters. In 1881, he was appointed U.S. minister to Liberia but died only two months after his arrival in the African nation.
1896 - Isaac Murphy, perhaps the greatest African American jockey, dies.
1900 - Pink Anderson born
1900 - James Weldon Johnson and his brother J. Rosamond Johnson compose "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" for their high school Lincoln's Birthday celebration. It will become known as The Negro National Anthem.
1903 - Robert Todd Duncan born
1907 - Roberta Martin born
1909 - The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded. The call for the organizational meeting was issued on 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth by 47 whites and six blacks.
1926 - Historian Carter G. Woodson establishes Negro History Week, which will become African American History Month. (I've seen a couple of dates for this)
1932 - Lincoln Kilpatrick born
1934 - Bill Russell born
1948 - First Lt. Nancy C. Leftneant became the first black accepted in the regular Army Nursing Corps.
1952 - Congressional Medal of Honor was awarded posthumously to Sgt. Cornelius H. Charlton for his heroism in Korea
1956 - Screamin' Jay Hawkins recorded "I Put a Spell On You."
1957 - Arsenio Hall born
1959 - Omar Hakim born
1961 - The Miracles' "Shop Around" became Motown's first million-selling single.
1967 - Pirate Radio Free Harlem (NYC) begins transmitting
1968 - Eldridge Cleaver publishes Soul On Ice.
1968 - Jimi Hendrix returned home to Seattle where he received a key to the city and an honorary high school diploma. He also played for the students of Garfield High School from which he had dropped out.
1972 - Rufus Thomas performed "Do the Funky Penguin" on "American Bandstand."
1983 - James Hubert "Eubie" Blake dies in New York at the age of 100.
1993 - The Associated Press reports that the number of interracial couples has doubled in the past 12 years.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Subhuti, does it occur to you that I believe that through me living beings are led to liberation? Never think that way, Subhuti. Why? Because there is no separate being to lead to liberation. If I were to think there was, I would be caught in the notion of a self or a person or a life span.

Subhuti, what I call a self is essentially not a self in the way that an ordinary person thinks of it. But neither do I think of anyone as an ordinary person. However, knowing the essence, I can use the name--ordinary person.
Diamond Sutra

Friday, February 11

As a former employee, I knew this would cause problems

Blockbuster Late-Fee Policy Raises Questions


AOL BlackVoices: Meet 20-Year-Old Millionaire Farrah Gray

Threats Hendrix museum plan

The run-down house in Seattle has already been moved wholesale once and local authorities are now demanding it be moved to another site.


World premiere for 'Darwin dub'

Democracy in Zimbabwe

Mugabe launches election campaign by saying:
Condoleezza Rice was a girl born out of slave ancestry who should know "that the white man is not a friend"

The anti-Obama

Reprinted w/o permission from the Chicago Tribune.

Ohio's Bible-quoting secretary of state tests the GOP with his ultraconservative, unpredictable style

By Tim Jones
Tribune national correspondent
Published February 11, 2005

CINCINNATI -- At 6-feet-5 and 255 pounds, J. Kenneth Blackwell still is the noisy head-knocker the Dallas Cowboys brought to training camp 35 years ago.

Pro football didn't work out for Blackwell -- he insisted on being a linebacker, the Cowboys wanted him at guard -- so he walked away from a three-year pro contract and opted for the often brutish equivalent: politics.

The transition has paid off handsomely for the controversial Republican who, as Ohio's secretary of state, oversaw the election in that crucial state, which gave President Bush four more years in the White House.

Blackwell, a Bible-quoting child of Cincinnati's West End poverty pit, may be less well known beyond the borders of Ohio, but he is emerging as a national spokesman for black conservatism. Like Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, Ohio's Blackwell is one of a new generation of black leaders who have risen to national prominence by virtue of powerful government offices.

But in personality and politics, Ken Blackwell is the anti-Obama, a loud and persistent advocate for tax cuts, smaller government and a greater role for religion in daily life. With the cranky fiscal conservatism of H. Ross Perot, the saber-rattling chutzpah of Newt Gingrich and the volatile verbosity of Alan Keyes, Blackwell has already been elected statewide three times in Ohio. Now he is running for governor, aiming to be only the nation's second elected African-American governor.

"There are those who believe it is not my turn, but I believe it is my time," Blackwell said recently, with the unflinching self-assurance that has defined his three decades in politics.

In the ever-expanding warehouse of impatient politicians who fervidly believe their time is now, the 56-year-old Blackwell is notable because he is black, he is Republican and the tilt of his conservatism often exceeds that of a GOP that has been tacking to starboard for more than two decades. And one more thing -- Blackwell has proved to be an equal opportunity offender, angering Democrats and Republicans alike.

There are log cabin elements to Blackwell's personal story. His father, a meatpacker who never owned his own home, looked at the size of his young son's beefy fists and believed he could box his way out of the poverty of Laurel Homes, a housing project visited all too often by Cincinnati police. His mother pushed education -- there was no television, but there were books that had to be read. And the Bible. A football scholarship to Xavier University in Cincinnati led to a free agent contract with the Cowboys.

Blackwell has been married 36 years to his childhood sweetheart, Rosa, who is acting superintendent of Cincinnati public schools. Wooed by presidents of both parties for various Cabinet and ambassadorial positions, Blackwell is a portrait of hard work and success, which has rubbed off on his children. Two are professionals -- one a lawyer, another in marketing -- and a third is in law school.

Combined with pro-family homilies and tax-cutting zeal, Blackwell's personal story and strong personality comprise many of the endearing ingredients for just about any Republican.

In fact, Ohio's other top elected officials, including Bob Taft, great-grandson of the 27th president, William Howard Taft, bring to mind the stolid demeanor of Grant Wood's "American Gothic." The typical Blackwell greeting is a toothy grin and a "Hi, brother," followed by a firm hand-grasp, backslap or the occasional bear hug.

But diplomacy is not his strong suit. In a state that was home to the machinelike president maker Mark Hanna and still retains a strong hierarchical structure, Blackwell seems to revel in being a political free spirit. He enraged Republicans by denying Ralph Nader a spot on Ohio's November ballot. He said in an interview that when Ohioans elected Republican Bob Taft as governor in 1998 and 2002, they got "a pig in the poke," a governor who embraces "wooden-headed policies."

"I've never traded principle for blind obedience and I actually think that's what people like about me. I'm not a party hack. . . . I'm not in the hip pocket of anyone," said Blackwell, revealing his political strength and weakness.

Too conservative?

Some Republicans complain Blackwell is too conservative, too unpredictable. Democrats accuse him of hijacking Ohio for Bush, comparing him with Florida's one-time secretary of state, the controversial Katherine Harris. And some blacks, in between-the-lines remarks, suggest he has abandoned his heritage and race by staking his claim in the Republican Party.

Democrats, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, have accused Blackwell of trying to disenfranchise black voters. Blackwell seems to wobble at times on his old football knees, but he loves to fight.

"I'm Jesse Jackson's worst nightmare," Blackwell said with undisguised relish. "If I get 50 percent of the [black] vote, that's the first step and Jesse Jackson can't trade on black votes."

There are no middling feelings toward Blackwell, a politician too ambitious to stray far from television lights. Reporters in Columbus, the state capital, call him "Inkwell."

"Whenever he opened the refrigerator door and the light went on, he'd stand there and give a three-minute speech," quipped Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken, who has alternately worked with and against Blackwell since the 1970s. John Green, a political scientist at the University of Akron, said, "lot of people in Ohio have a hard time figuring him out because he doesn't conform to expectations."

And that is part of the political intrigue swirling around Blackwell. When white politicians espouse archconservative views, they are usually labeled conservatives. When blacks embrace the same positions, they open themselves up to criticism whites do not face.

"To some extent he is being criticized because he does not adhere to a stereotype," Green said. "Some criticize him for being too conservative. Some criticize him for being an ambitious black man."

Elected three times to statewide office in Ohio -- once as treasurer, twice as secretary of state -- and twice persuaded by party officials to cool his gubernatorial ambitions, Blackwell is testing the Republican Party's stated-but-not-proven commitment to racial and ethnic inclusion, especially at the top of the ticket. He applauds Obama's election, but he quickly notes, "I've already accomplished what Barack did."

Although Blackwell is the ideological counterweight to Obama, his origins from the poor West End neighborhood would not seem to be the starting point for a black political pioneer choosing the less-traveled path.

There always has been incentive to succeed. Blackwell's uncle won the gold medal in the long jump in the 1924 Olympic Games. His grandfather played baseball in the Negro League. In 1965 Blackwell won a football scholarship to Xavier University, a Jesuit school in Cincinnati with an overwhelmingly white student body. Amid nationwide campus turmoil over the Vietnam War, civil rights and the 1968 assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Blackwell was noted for his dashiki and 12-inch Afro. As president of the school's nascent Afro-American Association, he persuaded university administrators to send him and two other students to King's funeral in Atlanta.

"Ken was a real leader," said Don Darby, an Xavier classmate and now a retired public school administrator. "But we didn't do anything radical, we didn't take over any buildings."

The political hell-raising would come much later. As a City Council member and later mayor of Cincinnati, Blackwell championed urban issues such as anti-redlining laws. He served on the council with Jerry Springer and, participating in a 1970s local craze, Blackwell wrestled a bear on television. On his first day as mayor in 1979, 11 people were killed during a Who concert. It became a Rudy Giuliani moment for Blackwell, who was praised for his calm demeanor in the face of tragedy.

Important people were watching. Blackwell won presidential appointments, from Jimmy Carter through the current President George Bush.

Reflecting his own bear hug of conservatism, Blackwell's 16th-floor office in Columbus is dotted with framed portraits of Blackwell and revered conservative icons -- Margaret Thatcher, Antonin Scalia, Milton Friedman, Jack Kemp and Steve Forbes, whose 2000 presidential campaign he chaired.

"I used to believe a big activist government could indeed empower people. Now I realize it only makes people more dependent," said Blackwell, who describes himself as an unabashed economic supply-sider.

There was no political epiphany, he said, noting that in the '60s he never marched against the Vietnam War and in the '70s he opposed busing as a means to integrate public schools.

Blackwell, who said he has voted for Republicans in every presidential election since 1976, usually travels alone to campaign events. He is a man in a political hurry. Just as he left the Cowboys because he didn't want to be a guard, Blackwell does things his way. Returning from a recent campaign stop in suburban Columbus, he was not wearing his seat belt, despite a state law mandating it.

Some call Blackwell a lone ranger or, more charitably, politically entrepreneurial. As flamboyant as his style is, his path up the electoral ladder is a study in determined calculation. He's prepared for attacks from both parties, calling the political elite descendents of "Tweedledum and Tweedledee."

"He really charted his own course," said Gene Beaupre, a Xavier University political scientist who was student body president while Blackwell was a student. "He went from a huge Afro and a dashiki to French cuffs and cuff links from the president."

And Blackwell, beyond Ohio, has a national platform -- he's a regular commentator on Salem Communications' 80 Christian radio stations.

Usually driving alone around the state and speaking to chambers of commerce, Christian organizations, young Republicans and others, Blackwell quotes the Scriptures but preaches the gospel of fiscal restraint. He is pushing for a rollback in the state sales tax and a constitutional amendment that would sharply limit the growth of state spending.

His position on the proposals are controversial, as are others he has taken. He complained last year about Medicaid spending, saying there are too many poor people relying on the health care program. A month before the November election he suggested partners in same-sex marriages don't have the sense of "barnyard animals."

Just let him talk

All of this has given rise to the observation that the way to defeat Blackwell is to get out of his way and let him keep talking.

A recent poll showed Blackwell leading two other Republican candidates for the 2006 gubernatorial primary.

But it's early in the game and politics-weary Ohio voters aren't thinking much about the 2006 governor's race.

The election-year long knives aren't out yet, but they are being sharpened. On a recent morning Blackwell drove to his old Cincinnati neighborhood, for a ribbon-cutting at a new grade school, built next to the one Blackwell attended in the 1950s.

Taft, the governor, was there and the two exchanged brief, if not cold, "hellos" and perfunctory handshakes. So was Mayor Luken, who introduced Blackwell to a gathering of several hundred grade-schoolers as someone "who spent three of the best years of his life in 3rd grade."

Blackwell didn't get to respond before the students, but he laughed and told Luken he was "carrying a crucifix because you are a tax-sucking vampire."

Then, after the ceremony ended, Blackwell got into his car and drove to Columbus, alone.
- - -

Who is he?

Name: J. Kenneth Blackwell
Age: 56
Political party: Republican
College: Xavier University (where he was a scholarship football player)
Jobs: Ohio secretary of state (second term); commentator on Salem Communications' 80 Christian radio stations.
Previous posts: Ohio state treasurer; U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission; undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; mayor of Cincinnati.
Family: Married for 36 years to Rosa Blackwell, acting superintendent of Cincinnati public schools. They have three children