Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Night At The GAYVN Awards

Over the weekend I attended the GAYVN Awards (Adult Video Oscars) in San Francisco at the Castro Theater, which was packed to capacity. Although I didn't expect any big wins for men of color, porn legend Jack Simmons (see below) was one of the inductees into the GAYVN hall of fame...that was it!

And though no other men of color other than Jack won anything, studio wins including African American or Latino men were in the "Ethnic" film categories with Best Ethnic-Themed Film: Black Balled 6: Under the Hood, All Worlds & Best Ethnic-Themed Film-Latin: Roman's Holiday, Falcon.

It is for this reason that two years ago I created the Blatino Erotica Awards, the only adult erotic awards ceremony that specifically honors men of color (specifically men of African or Latino descent) and the only award ceremony of its kind in the world. It takes place during Blatino Oasis in Palm Springs, California and honors men of color in Erotica. We hope that you will come out and join us.

See some of my pics below from this weekend's GAYVN Awards.

Porn Star Mathew Rush




Legendary Porn Star & now GAYVN Hall of Famer Jack Simmons


Comedian Margaret Cho & Novelist Armistead Maupin

Porn Star & Director Michael Lukas

Comedian Bruce Vilanch


Actor & Comedian and Ugly Betty star Alec Mapa


Porn Star Aaron Ridge from Black Balled 6

Men struggling to finish at black colleges


MEMPHIS, Tenn. - They're no longer the only option for African-American students, but the country's historically black colleges and universities brag that they provide a supportive environment where these students are more likely to succeed.

That, though, is not necessarily true.

An Associated Press analysis of government data on the 83 federally designated four-year HBCUs shows just 37 percent of their black students finish a degree within six years. That's 4 percentage points lower than the national college graduation rate for black students.

One major reason: the struggles of black men. Just 29 percent of HBCU males complete a bachelor's degree within six years, the AP found.

A few HBCUs, like Howard and all-female Spelman, have much higher graduation rates, exceeding the national averages for both black and white students. But others are clustered among the worst-performing colleges in the country. At 38 HBCUs, fewer than one in four men who started in 2001 had completed a bachelor's degree by 2007, the data show. At Texas Southern, Voorhees, Edward Waters and Miles College, the figure was under 10 percent.

To be sure, women are outperforming men across education, and many non-HBCUs struggle with low graduation rates. And the rates don't account for students who transfer or take more than six years, which may be more common at HBCUs than at other schools.

Broad consequences
Most importantly, HBCUs educate a hugely disproportionate share of low-income students. Compared to other colleges defined by the government as "low-income serving," HBCU graduation rates are just a few points lower. Factoring in obstacles like lower levels of academic preparation, some research suggests that HBCUs do as well with black students as do majority-white institutions.

Still, HBCUs' low completion rates, especially for men, have broad consequences, on and off campus. Women account for more than 61 percent of HBCU students, the AP found. They have unprecedented leadership opportunities, but also pay a price — in everything from one-sided classroom discussions to competition for dates.

HBCUs educate only one-quarter of black college students, but produce an outsized number of future black graduate students and leaders. That group is distinctly female; HBCUs award twice as many degrees to women as to men.

The good news is some HBCUs are working hard to boost graduation rates — and succeeding. Experts say that proves failure isn't inevitable — but also means it's fair to ask tough questions of schools that are not improving.

HBCUs receive more than half their revenue from government. There is growing frustration with the waste of money — for students and taxpayers — when students have nothing to show for their time in college. President Barack Obama wants to return the United States to the top rank of college attainment by 2020. That will never happen if the colleges that do the heavy lifting of educating disadvantaged groups don't perform better.

Even some within the tight-knit HBCU community say the schools bear some responsibility. They say too many HBCUs have grown content offering students a chance at college, but resisting the hard work to get them through.

"I think HBCUs have gotten lazy," said Walter Kimbrough, president of Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark. "That was our hallmark 40, 50 years ago. We still say 'nurturing, caring, the president knows you.' That's a lie on a lot of campuses. That's a flat-out lie."

'Big Man on Campus'
Glancing around her classes at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis and in the stands at basketball games, sophomore Velma Maclin has noticed something odd. Most of the so-called "Big Men on Campus" are women.

"The ladies pretty much run the yard," said Maclin. Several male friends recently got discouraged and dropped out. She has little sympathy. She works the overnight shift at FedEx Corp. and says if she can stay in school, they can, too.

Women have probably outnumbered men at HBCUs for most of their history, but the proportion has been gradually rising, the AP found — from 53 percent in 1976 to about 61 percent the last few years.

On 17 HBCU campuses there are two women for every man. At a few, the ratio is three-to-one.

"I don't think any of us have put our finger on exactly why this seems to be exacerbating," said Norman Francis, the longtime president of Xavier.

It sounds like easy living for men at HBCUs, and some joke about the advantages.

"You have so many beautiful women around you (that) you get to see and so many to pick from. The net is real wide," laughed Eric Jefferson, a senior at North Carolina Central University in Durham, which is two-thirds women.

But while HBCU women are doing relatively well, many note the lack of gender diversity in their classes. The gender gap also weighs heavily on social life.

For many HBCU women, said Monet Phillips, an N.C. Central senior, the feeling is: "Even though that I'm the Monday woman, I'm going to be the best Monday woman so that when he's with the Tuesday woman or the Wednesday woman then he'll be thinking of me."

Continued at source>>>>


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Blade Outs LGBT Leaders’ Salaries

The Washington Blade has published a report of the country’s most prominent LGBT leaders and their salaries, including bonuses and benefits packages -- and the results are somewhat surprising.

Craig Shniderman, executive director of Food & Friends, a Washington D.C.–based nonprofit providing meals and nutritional services for homebound people with HIV/AIDS, topped the list with a total salary and benefits package of $382,200 in 2008.

That’s higher than the Human Rights Campaign’s Joe Solmonese (pictured), the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center’s Lorri Jean, and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s Neil Giuliano.

To put those numbers into perspective, in 2008, L.A.'s Gay and Lesbian Center generated $48.5 million in operating revenue, the highest among all the LGBT and AIDS groups in the survey. HRC placed second with $41.4 million in revenue. Food & Friends generated only $7.9 million, putting Shniderman above the 90th percentile in salary and at the top of the survey for a nonprofit the size of Food & Friends.

Several LGBT leaders on the Blade’s list agreed to significant pay cuts in 2009 in response to the faltering economy. Solmonese took a 10% pay cut for 2009, while Giuliano agreed to a $20,000 pay cut with no health benefits.

The Blade reported the salaries of 30 leaders of LGBT and AIDS organizations for the report. Click here for more on the Blade’s salary report.
Source>>>

Thursday, March 26, 2009

AMERICA'S TOP 20 MOST VIOLENT CITIES

TOP 20 Most Dangerous Cities In America

Of all of the cities in America, these take the cake.
Note that each of these cities have large African American populations. Poverty also is a factor in certain areas or overall in most of these cities.

1. New Orleans, Louisiana
2. Camden, New Jersey
3. Detroit, Michigan
4. St. Louis, Missouri
5. Oakland, California
6. Flint, Michigan
7. Gary, Indiana
8. Birmingham, Alabama
9. Richmond, California
10. North Charleston, South Carolina
11. Cleveland, Ohio
12. Baltimore, Maryland
13. Miami Gardens, Florida
14. Memphis, Tennessee
15. Youngstown, Ohio
16. Atlanta, Georgia
17. Compton, California
18. Orlando, Florida
19. Little Rock, Arkansas
20. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Source>>>

Black Gay Photographer Recognized After His Death

At the age of 26, Alvin Baltrop began photographing what was going on at Manhattan's West Side piers. The area, full of abandoned warehouses and dilapidated industrial piers, became a temporary home for queer teenage runaways and a cruising spot for gay men. It was a place that was under the radar. People went there to do drugs, muggings were common and so, unfortunately, were rape, murder and suicide. Baltrop's camera captured gay public sex, the public art of muralist Tava, various unknown graffiti artists, as well as pieces by David Wojnarowicz, who also visited the piers. Baltrop documented homelessness, death and the stark decay of run-down warehouses with depth and grace.

Of course, not everyone saw it that way. The mainstream art world, even the gay portion of it, couldn't see the value in Baltrop's work. Hostile reactions to his pictures were common. One curator he showed his portfolio to likened Baltrop to a sewer rat because of the content of his photos. Most art gallery owners and academic art critics could only see dirty homeless fags fucking in an abandoned warehouse, and stopped there.

According to his close friend and assistant, Randal Wilcox, gay art galleries were the most unreceptive to the late photographer's work.
"Al Baltrop endured constant racism from gay curators, gallery owners and other members of the 'gay community' until his death,” said Wilcox. “Many of these people doubted that Baltrop shot his own photographs; some implied or directly told him that he stole the work of a white photographer. Other people who were willing to accept the photographs treated Al as though he was an idiot savant. Other people stole photographs from him."

It didn't take long for Baltrop to get the picture. He subsequently withdrew from the art world and focused more of his energy on photography. As a result of his experiences, his work received very little attention during his lifetime. He had a few small shows in New York, one at the Glines, a gay non-profit, and another exhibit at the East Village gay bar where he sometimes worked as a bouncer.

After his death, his work received a bit more attention. Since 2004, his work has been shown internationally. In February 20008, ARTFORUM published an article on Baltrop including several reprints of his photographs. Most recently, the Whitney agreed to purchase one of his photographs for their permanent collection.

So Alvin Baltrop definitely wasn't in it for money or recognition. The man loved photography and he loved the people and places he photographed. Baltrop began taking pictures in junior high school and continued while he was in the military, taking scandalous photos of his friends in the navy. After he left the navy, he worked as a street vendor, a jewelry designer, and a printer. At one point, in order to spend more time at the piers, he quit his job as a cab driver and became a self-employed mover. He would live out of his van parked nearby the stoop he inhabited while he stayed at the piers for days at a time. His life seemed to revolve around his art.

"I learned photography from some unusual people," said Baltrop about the beginnings of his career. "Old photographers who are dead now, who'd say 'bring your camera, kid, and we'll go out shooting.'"

In the navy, he was a medic, serving during the Vietnam War. They called him W.D. for "witch doctor." He didn't have all of the supplies he needed to do his art, so he made them himself.
"I built my developing trays out of medic trays in sick bay; I built my own enlarger. I took notes about exposures, practiced techniques and just kept going." Later, when he began taking pictures at the piers, he used make-shift harnesses to hang from the ceilings of warehouses, where he watched and waited for hours to capture the moments that made up life on the West Side piers.
Source>>>

Isaiah Washington Facing Eviction


LOS ANGELES - Isaiah Washington's landlord has started an eviction procedure against the former "Grey's Anatomy" star, claiming he owes US$100,000 in rent.

Documents filed in Santa Monica, Calif., Tuesday claim that Washington and his wife have fallen behind on their $20,000 a month payments on a home in the Venice area of Los Angeles.
The complaint filed by Sandalwood Properties states the Washingtons have not paid rent since November.

A phone message left with Washington's agent was not immediately returned.
The 45-year-old actor lost his role on "Grey's Anatomy" in 2007 after using an anti-gay slur at the Golden Globe Awards. He has since appeared in a handful of episodes in other TV series.

The filing was first reported by RadarOnline.com.

In December 2008, American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino also became a victim of the foreclosure crisis.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rapper Rick Ross Sorry for Gay Slurs



Miami rapper Rick Ross has apologized for using homophobic slurs last week when he was denigrating rival 50 Cent. He told Southern California radio station 93.5 The Beat that "[50 Cent is] not straight. He's gay. He's a fag. You know it. I know it. Listen, we're not gonna waste time on Curly. He's a monkey."

A video blog on AllStarHipHop.com apparently made on Saturday shows the 33-year-old Ross smoking a blunt and apologizing for his homophobic language: "I heard I offended the homosexual community recently with terms I've been using the last few weeks -- terms, like 'fags,' 'punks,' 'homos,' gays,' we all know. And what I want to say is I apologize. I sincerely apologize to the gay community, to the people I offended with the words like 'fags,' 'gays,' 'punks.' You know, words like that. I apologize. And just to let the gay community know how sincere I am with my apologies, I'm offering and willing to do a record with a openly gay artist such as Curly, Curtis Jackson, 50 Cent. We all know he's gay. I'm willing to do a song ... even Elton John ... both two great gay artists ... so I apologize to the gay community. That's from the boss ... Now all the gays, we good. Peace."

It's not clear whether Ross actually thinks 50 Cent is gay or was just insulting him in a roundabout way.

Source>>>

Who Says A Black Man Can't Get A Cab In NYC


Education Secretary pledges safe schools for LGBT students

(Washington) Education Secretary Arne Duncan has told a gay student advocacy group that he intends to make schools safe for every student, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

Duncan made the pledge during a meeting with representatives of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network and a delegation of students and teachers.
It is the first time that a Secretary of Education has met with LGBT advocates. The Bush administration rejected calls to meet.

“It was moving to witness these students and teachers sharing their personal stories of pain, rejection, resilience and hope with the nation’s top education official,” said GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard who attended the meeting.

“Secretary Duncan showed great compassion for their experiences, respect for their perseverance and dedication to identifying effective responses to school climate issues. I am confident that we will see growing engagement with these issues at the Department of Education and truly positive change.”

Duncan also expressed an interest in finding ways to highlight the problem of bullying and harassment in national discussions about education, and requested further data on a number of proposed interventions.

GLSEN’s biennial National School Climate Survey has repeatedly shown that LGBT students experience extreme harassment. Forty-seven percent of junior/middle high school students identified bullying, name-calling or harassment as somewhat serious or very serious problems at their school. Additionally, 69 percent of junior/middle high school students reported being assaulted or harassed in the previous year and only 41 percent said they felt very safe at school.

Monday’s meeting with Duncan occurred a day before today’s Safe Schools Lobby Day, where participants are asking their legislators to support the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which would establish a federal anti-bullying policy.

The act would enumerate categories often targeted for bullying, including sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.

Monday, March 23, 2009

EAT RED MEAT DIE SOONER

Eating red meat increases the chances of dying prematurely, according to a large federal study that offers powerful new evidence that a diet that regularly includes steaks, burgers and pork chops is hazardous to your health.

The study of more than 500,000 middle-age and elderly Americans found that those who consumed the equivalent of about a small hamburger every day were more than 30 percent more likely to die during the 10 years they were followed, mostly from heart disease and cancer. Sausage, cold cuts and other processed meats also increased the risk.

Previous research had found a link between red meat and an increased risk of heart disease and cancer, particularly colorectal cancer, but the new study is the first large examination of the relationship between eating meat and overall mortality.

"The bottom line is we found an association between red meat and processed meat and an increased risk of mortality," said Rashmi Sinha of the National Cancer Institute, who led the study published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Complete story at source>>>

ABC Radio Reporter Murdered in Brooklyn NY


George Weber, a reporter whose voice had been a steady presence on ABC radio for more than a dozen years, was found dead in his brownstone apartment in Brooklyn on Sunday, the police said.

The death has been ruled a homicide. The police said they found Mr. Weber’s body about 9 a.m. on Sunday. He had been stabbed, but no weapon was found, the police said.
An autopsy is scheduled for Monday, said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the New York City medical examiner’s office.

Mr. Weber, 47, had worked as a newscaster for a number of shows on WABC-AM, including the popular talk-radio program that had been hosted by Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby. In February 2008, after more than 12 years at WABC, Mr. Weber was laid off in a cost-cutting move, according to his Web site, http://www.georgeweber.net/. Since that time, he had been employed by ABC News Radio, the national network, as a freelance anchor.

Steve Jones, a vice president of the network, said in a statement that Mr. Weber was “a consummate journalist.” Mr. Weber’s last newscast was on March 15.

Aaron Katersky, a friend and fellow ABC radio reporter, said colleagues had become worried on Saturday when Mr. Weber did not show up for his shift. The police found him dead on Sunday morning when they searched his ground-floor apartment on Henry Street in Carroll Gardens, where he lived alone.
Complete story at source>>>

Oakland California Man Kills Four Policemen


OAKLAND — In the most horrific day in Oakland Police Department history, a parolee shot to death three police sergeants within two hours of one another Saturday afternoon.
When officers tracked down the suspect, a fourth officer was shot and was in critical condition Saturday night.

The three veteran officers killed were sergeants: Mark Dunakin, 40, of Tracy, a traffic officer with the department since 1991; Erv Romans, 43, of Danville, a 13-year veteran with the force; and Dan Sakai, 35, a nine-year veteran, police said.

Romans and Sakai were SWAT team members. It was the first time any sergeant in the department had been slain. Officer John Hege, 41, of Concord, was on life support at Highland Hospital. A bullet grazed a fifth, unidentified officer. He was treated and released from the hospital.

The suspect was identified as Oakland resident Lovelle Mixon, 26. He was on parole for assault with a deadly weapon, police said. He had a no-bail warrant for his arrest on charges of violating parole. He had previous convictions in Alameda County for grand theft and possession of marijuana.

"I wouldn't wish this on any of my colleagues in the United States," said acting police Chief Howard Jordan during a news conference Saturday night. "This is very daunting for us, but we are very resilient. We are a big family and we rely on each other for support."
The first shooting happened in the 7400 block of MacArthur

Boulevard about 1:16 p.m. when Dunakin and Hege were shot with a handgun during a traffic stop. What led to the shooting was not known.
A man, who did not want be identified, said he heard gunshots and saw the officers lying on the road. "I went over to one officer and saw he was bleeding from his helmet pretty bad," he said. "The other officer was lying motionless."

He said the officer lying near a car was shot twice in the face. One bullet was lodged in his jaw and the other in his neck. The man said he performed CPR until other officers arrived.
Helicopters hovered for hours over the crime scene.

Dozens of Oakland police, Highway Patrol officers and Alameda County sheriff's deputies cordoned off stretches of blocks around 73rd and 74th avenues and MacArthur Boulevard.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Black Panther Asian Charter Member Dies

Richard Aoki, a charter member of the Black Panther Party and leader in the Third World Liberation Front Strike of 1969, died Sunday morning at his home in Berkeley from complications from dialysis, he was 71.

Aoki befriended Black Panther Party founders Huey Newton and Bobby Seale when they were all students at Merritt Community College in the mid-60s, at a time when the college was a hotbed of political activism, and black revolutionary thought in particular.
The co-founders showed Aoki their 10-point platform and plan, which he liked. He became a member of the revolutionary group and helped organize the early rallies. He also gave them arms, which were then used to patrol the police against brutality.
Though Aoki is most well-known for his affiliation with the Panthers, he played an important role in UC Berkeley's Third World Liberation Front Strike in 1969, which celebrated its 40 year anniversary last week. He represented the Asian Americans in the strike for a third world college, which led to the founding of ethnic studies at Berkeley, as a leader in the Asian American Political Alliance.

Aoki spent another 25 years as a counselor, instructor and administrator in the Peralta College system. He is remembered by friends, colleagues and family members not only as a dedicated and principled political activist — especially someone who linked the struggles of all ethnic minorities and marginalized people — but as a devoted son.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Raze BREAK 4 LOVE

EnVogue The Funky Divas Reunite

The group that got their start in Oakland California, "The Funky Divas EnVogue" recently sat down and spoke to Jet Magazine about their upcoming plans for 2009. “It’s like we haven’t missed a beat,” said Dawn Robinson, who left the quartet in 1997 but recently rejoined. “As the torch was passed from The Supremes to all-girl groups, then we passed it on to others. Now it’s our time again.

It’s not about pushing anyone out of the way. It’s time to come back and finish what we started. We’re going to take the world by storm again.”To read more pick up the March 16th edition of Jet on newsstands March 9th.

The original members were former Miss Black California Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones, Dawn Robinson, and Terry Ellis. The group was formed in Oakland, California in 1988. Their story began when the production duo of Foster and McElroy brainstormed on the concept of putting together a modern-day, original R&B girl group for the 1990s.

After they studied various girl groups, they chose to experiment with welding the female R&B/soul group heritage with hip-hop/new jack swing rhythms. They were looking for singers with strong voices who looked salacious and intelligent. The two held auditions and resolved on the official membership of Herron, Jones, Robinson, and Ellis.

Prior to the group's official name, they were primarily called For You. They shifted to Vogue and ultimately En Vogue after learning of another group having a very similar name.

I am happy for them and they all look great! Good luck girls and Dawn....chill.
Click here to find tour dates.

Famous Last Words From The Great Condi Rice






To see other Condaleeza Rice Postings on my blog click here.

Attending A Gay Event Could Mean Jail Time In Nigeria

(Lagos) Nigerian gays who regularly face police persecution are coming out to fight a proposed law that would make it a criminal offense to attend a gay event, gather or attend a gay wedding anywhere in the world.

Homosexuality already is illegal in Nigeria, punishable by a prison term up to 14 years with hard labor. Under the proposed new law, a same-sex couple married anywhere and returning to Nigeria, or anyone who is married to a same-sex partner who travels to Nigeria -including foreign business people - would be jailed for up to three years.

The legislation also would imprison anyone who attends a gay wedding with up to five years behind bars. In addition, police would have the right to raid public or private gatherings of any group of people suspected of being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

The National Assembly this week began holding public hearings on the bill and for the first time Nigerian gays openly testified. “This bill is not necessary, we see no reason why people should be criminalized,” Rashidi Williams, 23, of the Queer Alliance of Nigeria told the committee.
“I did not choose to be gay. It is trial enough to live in this country, we should not create more laws to make us suffer,” he said.

Williams went on to tell the committee that “We believe that we are created by God and do not wish to be discriminated against, we seek your help and appeal to you all to lay this Bill aside. We ask that the House of Representatives and our lawmakers work with us to understand the concept of sexuality and sexual orientation through our experiences and not create laws that punish us needlessly.”

The international groups Human Rights Watch and Global Rights also argued against the bill.
But a large number of Nigerian groups spoke in favor of the legislation, including the Anglican Church of Nigeria. In its submission to the committee, the church argued that “same-sex marriage is out to foist on the world a false sense of the family which will bring disastrous consequences to mankind.”


The church in its brief said that “same sex marriage, apart from being ungodly, it is unscriptural, unnatural, unprofitable, unhealthy, un-cultural, un-African and un-Nigerian.”
“It is a perversion, a deviation and an aberration that is capable of engendering moral and social holocaust in this country. Outlawing it is to ensure the continued existence of this nation,” the brief said.

In 2006, a similar bill was introduced but died when the government fell. It was reintroduced earlier this year. Amnesty International has expressed in the past concerns about human rights abuses against individuals on the basis of their actual or perceived sexuality.
In August 2007, police in Bauchi state arrested 18 men suspected of same-sex relations, charging them with belonging to an unlawful society, committing indecent acts, and engaging in criminal conspiracy. In 2008, several men and women were also arrested and detained on charges of engaging in consensual same-sex relations.
Source>>>

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Military Gay Firings Continue

(Washington) The Army fired 11 soldiers in January for violating the military’s policy that gay service members must keep their sexuality hidden, according to a Virginia congressman.

Democratic Rep. Jim Moran said he has requested monthly updates from the Pentagon on the impact of the policy until it is repealed. In a statement released on Thursday, Moran said the discharged soldiers included an intelligence collector, a military police officer, four infantry personnel, a health care specialist, a motor-transport operator and a water-treatment specialist.
“How many more good soldiers are we willing to lose due to a bad policy that makes us less safe and secure?” asked Moran, a member of the House panel that oversees military spending.

The Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was instituted after President Bill Clinton tried to lift the ban on gay service members in 1993. It refers to the military practice of not asking recruits their sexual orientation. In turn, service members are banned from saying they are gay or bisexual, engaging in homosexual activity or trying to marry a member of the same sex.

The military discharged nearly 10,000 service members under the policy in a 10-year period, from 1997 to 2007. The number fired each year dropped sharply after the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, when forces were stretched thin. Whereas more than 1,200 were dismissed in 2000 and 2001 for violating the policy, about half as many - 627 - were fired in 2007.
The Pentagon has not released its 2008 figures.

The White House has said President Barack Obama has begun consulting with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen on how to lift the ban. But the administration won’t say how soon that might happen or whether a group of experts will be commissioned to study the issue in-depth, as some Democrats have suggested.
Likewise, Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill support repealing the ban but have not promised to press the issue immediately.

Guilty verdict in gay porn producer murder


(Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) In less than four hours a jury of eight men and four women found 27 year old Harlow Cuadra guilty of first degree murder in the slaying of Cobra video owner Bryan Kocis in 2007.

Because it is a capital murder case, the jury tomorrow will deliberate whether Cuadra should receive the death sentence or life behind bars.
In addition to the murder conviction, the jury also found him guilty of 11 other counts including theft, robbery, arson and abuse of corpse.

Cuadra’s former lover and business partner, 35-year-old Joseph Kerekes, already is serving life after pleading guilty last December to second degree murder after making a deal with prosecutors.

The prosecution maintained that Kocis was murdered by Cuadra and Kerekes in a business rivalry over the lucrative gay porn industry. In closing arguments, defense attorney Joseph D’Andrea told the jury that Cuadra was guilty of nothing more than being at Kocis’ home during the murder and that it was Kerekes who committed the killing.

Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney Michael Melnick, in his summation, told the court that he agreed that Kerekes is a murderer but that Cuadra played a “predominant role in this homicide.”

Prior to closing arguments, Melnick grilled Cuadra on the stand for two hours, attempting to pick apart his testimony that he is innocent. Step by step Melnick went over the evidence gathered in wiretaps and statements to police in which he discussed his involvement in the murder of the Cobra Video owner. Several times Cuadra broke down in tears, but stuck to his story that it was Kerekes not him who murdered Kocis.“He pleaded guilty to murder,” Cuadra said. “I did not. For two years, I have held on to my innocence.”

Kerekes was subpoenaed by the defense but refused to testify earlier this week.
Kocis’ body was discovered in his home by firefighters responding to a blaze in the rural house in January 2007. More than 80 percent of his body was covered by third-degree burns and police said the fire had been set deliberately to destroy evidence.

An autopsy found that Kocis died of massive blood loss after his head was nearly sliced off. He suffered between 28 and 29 post mortem stab wounds before his home was torched.

Browns WR Stallworth hits, kills Fla. pedestrian


MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP)—Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth hit and killed a pedestrian with his Bentley Saturday morning on a busy causeway linking Miami and Miami Beach, police said.

Stallworth was headed toward the beach when he hit a 49-year-old man around 7 a.m., said Miami Beach police spokesman Juan Sanchez. The unidentified pedestrian was taken to a nearby trauma center, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later. He was near a crosswalk but it’s not clear if he was crossing legally.

Stallworth, 28, was cooperating and no charges have been filed, Sanchez said. Officers drew blood to test for drugs or alcohol, which is routine, but police said it was too early to tell if Stallworth was impaired or violating traffic laws. Police would not say where he was coming from or where he was headed.

Miami-Dade County property records show he owns two condos in a building on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami not far from the causeway and another condo in a different building in Miami.

A message seeking comment was left on the voicemail of his agent, Drew Rosenhaus.
Stallworth signed a seven-year, $35 million contract with the Browns as a free agent before last season but hardly played because he was hurt. He was due a $4.75 million signing bonus Friday.
He previously played for the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints in the NFL and the University of Tennessee in college.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Gospel Singer BeBe Winans Arrested for Domestic Assault


MARCH 12--Gospel singer BeBe Winans was booked yesterday on a domestic assault rap for allegedly pushing his ex-wife to the ground during an argument last month.

According to a court filing, a copy of which you'll find below, Winans, 46, and his former spouse got into a "verbal altercation" on February 13 about "custody issues dealing with their children." At the time, Winans was at his ex-wife Debra's Nashville home, where he had driven to pick up his children. "The victim was telling the defendant of issues with the children when he became irate. The defendant then pushed the victim to the ground." Winans, pictured in the mug shot at right, was arrested yesterday on a misdemeanor domestic assault charge. He was briefly held at the Davidson County jail before posting $1000 bond.

Winans, best known for albums recorded with his sister CeCe, has won four Grammy awards.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Oakland Activist Is Hired By Obama


Oakland Activist and green jobs visionary Van Jones will be joining the Obama Administration March 16 as a special adviser for green jobs, enterprise and innovation, announced the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Jones will work with agencies and departments to advance the administration’s climate and energy initiatives, with a special focus on improving vulnerable communities, according to WhiteHouse.gov.

Jones is the founder of Green For All, a national organization that promotes an inclusive green economy, and is also the co-founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Color of Change. He is the author of the 2008 New York Times best-seller, “The Green Collar Economy.”
Jones has long been a proponent of environmental justice. He, along with other advocates like Majora Carter, tries to raise awareness of the fact that the communities most hurt by unsustainable practices are often the poorest, reports U.S. News & World Report.
Here, Jones speaks on a panel at the first official meeting of the Middle Class Task Force in Philadephia.

I have known Van and his work for years and met him during the days when we were both working to get technology related jobs for youth.

I am proud to see you working under this historic presidency and now I am even more sure that Obama is the president of change.


Joe

Actor Marcus Patrick Honored at BLATINO OASIS 2009

Often referred to as one of the most beautiful men in the world, British actor and model, Marcus Patrick has been selected as the recipient of the Blatino Erotica Award for Sexiest Actor during Blatino Oasis 2009 which takes place May 8-11.

Other honorees include author Lee Hayes and Retired adult film star and author Bobby Blake. The event is also co-hosted by logo (MTV Networks) reality show star (Shirts & Skins) and out gay professional basketball player Mike Survillion.

Born in Bath England to an English, Irish, father and Jamaican, Cuban, Cherokee mother, Patrick has appeared in a number of American television series to include the sitcom “My Wife & Kids” with Damon Wayans and Tisha Campbell and CSI Miami.

Patrick also performed on Dancing with the Stars. He became a Soap Opera heart throb as a cast member of the long running Soaps All My Children and Days of Our Lives.

After creative differences with All My Children he joined the cast of Days of our Lives but was dismissed after a controversial explicit photo shoot in the September 2007 edition of Playgirl Magazine.

Although this photoshoot ended Parick’s stint on these soaps, it elevated his image to international sex symbol status.

Aside from acting, Marcus Patrick has had a singing career, firstly with the boyband Worlds Apart as well as a solo career. He has also practiced Tae Kwon Do, winning championships at the junior and men's heavyweight level. He is engaged to porn actress Michelle Maylene.

Meet him live at Blatino Oasis in Palm Springs, California.