The Cowardly Lions

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As of Monday afternoon, the NCAA imposed one of the most stringent and stiffest set of sanctions to one of the biggest athletic programs in the country. Penn State, after the lies, cover-ups, and sexual deviancy that went on for nearly twenty years, has to deal with the massive consequences behind the Coach Paterno and Jerry Sandusky scandal. As it stands, Sandusky has been convicted of 45 criminal counts for sexually abusing 10 boys currently awaiting sentencing. The NCAA handed Penn State a $60 million dollar fine in which the university is to pay $12 million a year for the next five years to a child abuse special endowment fund. The school will also donate another $13 million to charitable foundations and organizations dedicated to children. They must vacate all NCAA Division 1 wins from 1998 through 2011 and serve five years of probation. It school will be limited to the amount of scholarships that will be given during their probation.

Up to this part of the chapter, former FBI Director Louis Freeh last week released his 267 page report that concluded Penn State officials withheld and kept quiet their involvement of sex abuse allegations that took place for almost two decades. According to the report, known allegations of Coach Paterno, athletic director Tim Curley, vice president Gary Schultz, and President Graham Spanier “repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse.” The report, now used by the NCAA as to how they handed down Penn State’s fines and disciplinary rulings, has been the spark of controversy from the recent ruling to the removal of Coach Paterno’s statue outside of Beaver Stadium. 

 

On Sunday, I watched the live footage of when they took former Coach Paterno’s statute down, and fans outside as they whisked the statue away cried “We are…Penn State!” Over the last week the university was mum on their decision to take the statute down and kept it up despite the upcoming ruling from the NCAA. The day before the removal of the Coach’s statute, hundreds of Paterno fans were seen taking photos in front of the former landmark. But due to the current crisis the school is under, and how Paterno and Sandusky have given the football program a black eye, it was in university’s best interest to do this. And with the NCAA validating their fines and penalizing the school, Penn State University will probably never recover from this horrendous period of embarrassment. Nike has removed Coach Paterno’s name from a Beaverton campus hours after the report was released. Yet, Penn State will allow the campus library,which he and his wife donated to years ago, keep his name.

One of the biggest stories that took place while all the media hype has been on Louis Freeh’s report and the Sandusky trial has been on Coach Paterno’s alma mater, Brown University. Paterno graduated from the Providence, Rhode Island based university in 1950. School officials removed his name for the award named in his honor that was created in 1993. The school started the award for acknowledging the school’s best male freshman athlete. In a statement issued by the university they state: “In 1993 that award was renamed to honor Brown alumnus Joe Paterno ’50. In the spring of 2012, the Department of Athletics and Physical Education presented the award as it was originally created, honoring the year’s outstanding male freshman athlete but without Joe Paterno’s name attached. Now that the Freeh report has been released, the University will make a decision about the naming of the award in future years.”

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In all the madness that still exists from the aftermath, its hard for me to digest that many of Coach Paterno’s fans still idolize this man and what he stood for! Why the university board of directors will allow his legacy to go on with his name on the library is beyond imagination! I can’t for the life of me understand how a coach and his staff can be immortalized when innocent kids were violated at the stake of making millions of dollars for the school and football program. What I find really sick about the Coach and faculty of Penn State is the university, police, athletic director, and the coach’s inner staff knew Coach Sandusky was molester, yet, for almost 20 years they let this go untouched! The “Cowardly Lion” Paterno still gets to live as a icon to some deranged sports fans and rich boosters.Keeping Paterno’s statue on campus is like Amnesty International awarding Pol Pot the Humanitarian of the Year Award! Or, taking Karen Carpenter to the Old Country Buffet for her last meal! Penn State’s actions were sick and reflects on the moral less values that the school hid and promoted something entirely different in public. Paterno was a man that didn’t practice what he preached and his staff and the higher ups of the university saw dollars and sex minors as  common practice. Penn State and its football program represents the immoral and outright shame to the community and how they treat and respect innocent kids. Paterno’s name should be removed from all things Penn State and affiliated with his legacy. 

The Revolution Will Be Televised,

Brian Pace

The Pace Report   

www.thepacereport.com

thepacereport@yahoo.com

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Reflections of Busta Rhymes 20 Years Later: The 8th Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival

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Rap music has transcended all cultural, musical, and economic barriers while allowing musicians to actively say what’s on their minds. The music has grown from the barrios of the Bronx, New York and has allowed over three generations of musicians as well as the generation that listen to the music, exist as one of the only true American art forms next to jazz music, to keep evolving art.The mystique of the music and culture has been that you can make and create art with the ingenuity of a pin and pad of paper. Emcees would become wordsmiths and create a rhyming experience that would eventually take ordinary people off the streets of a place of gangs, drugs, and violence. A unique street artistry would take hold in a form of dance, art, clothing, and day-to-day life that would evolve into modern day Hip-Hip. Pioneers of the music like The Sugar Hill Gang, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force, Fab Five Freddy, and the Rock Steady Crew took their voices and art and generated what would turn out to become a ten billion dollar a year industry. The music then and today still reflects all the issues that continue to plague the black and Latino communities but it also still represents fun and unorthodox means of creating music. From the early block parties where the emcees would verbally battle other emcees from all the five boroughs in New York City, to the DJ’s recking havoc over break beats so emcees could master what would become rap, to the dancing and free spirit of Hip-Hop, the music gave and still gives many disenfranchised youth a channel to become creative.

The 8th Brooklyn Hip-HopFestival presented by Brooklyn Bodega, continues to bring Hip-Hop’s past, present, and future in full circle to fans all over the world.. Founded by Wes Jackson in 2006, he and his diverse staff have been on the front lines producing and keeping the legacy of Hip-Hop to fans all over the world via their website brooklynbodega.com. What I’ve really enjoyed about Brooklyn Bodga’s scope on the music is that they bring a more intellectual and historical view to the music unlike the negative images that continue to perpetuate the music. BB’s events during the entire year bring out all the true Hip-Hop heads that have been molded, shaped, and influenced by the music.

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This year’s festival featured the legendary Busta Rhymes. Busta, a Brooklyn native, first got his start in Hip-Hop when he, Dinco D, Charlie Brown, and Milo formed the group Leaders of the New School. L.O.N.S.would record two albums in the early 1990’s including “A Future Without a Past” and “T.I.M.E.” With hit singles like “Case of the P.T.A,” “Sobb Story,” and “What’s Next?,” the group made waves that set the course of Hip-Hop moving forward influencing many emcees during this time. The landmark “Scenario”single from rap group’s “A Tribe Called Quest” is hailed as one of the greatest posse Hip-Hop records of all time. When Busta left the group and recorded his debut record “The Coming” in 1996 his solo career accelerated selling over 20 million records, landing film and television roles, and becoming one of the top rappers in the game. After 19 years apart, members of Leaders of the New School reunited for this year’s 8th Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. The Busta Rhymes and Friends set this year celebrated the 20 years of this emcee as well as his legacy of the music.

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This year’s other featured performers of this year’s festival included Clear Soul Forces, Ka, Fat Tony, Chuuwee, Marty Speak, Maya Azucena, DJ MXT,DJ Rawbeatz, Slick Rick, Buckshot, Black Moon, M.O.P., Phife Daug, Q-Tip, and Uncle Ralph McDaniels.

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The Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival is something that’s a gem in the Hip-Hop Community and in the states. Jazz, country, soul, the blues, and Hip-Hop are the only original art forms that was created in this country. There are several festivals that cater and represent these art forms but BHH is the only one that takes place were the music was originated, New York City. Brooklyn Bodgea took a risk to form programming like the festival and other events throughout the year to keep real Hip-Hop visible and tangible at a time when the music has become real commercial. Again, this is the only festival where you can spend $30 a ticket and being your family and have a nice and relaxed time, while not hitting your wallet. The Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival includes two stages were music fans can watch and interact with the up-and-coming and iconic Hip-Hop emcees past and present. Also, there’s a section for kids between the ages of 3 and 10 years old that includes many play stations including a jumping trampoline and other kiddie rides thats part of the admission price.

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At a time when the media and record industry has tainted Hip-Hop, Brooklyn Bodega has been on the front lines keeping the legacy of the music and culture out there. Please continue to support Brooklyn Bodega and their many events. For more information or to volunteer your time and efforts please visit them on line at brooklynbodgea.com.

The Revolution Will Be Televised,

Brian Pace

The Pace Report   

www.thepacereport.com

thepacereport@yahoo.com

 

Obamacare Lives….

This has to be ripped out by its roots. This is government taking over the entire health insurance industry. The American people do not want to go down this path.

                                                                                           -REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (House Speaker)

In a landmark week for President Obama, the Supreme Court made its ruling on two of the most controversial issues that this administration has vowed to fight for and the GOP has deemed unfit and wants to dismantle. The high court in a 5-4 ruling voted that President Obama’s healthcare program via the power of Congress, to impose the right to implement taxes as part of law that makes it mandatory that Americans obtain health insurance or pay a tax. By 2014 under the new healthcare law called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will expand the Medicaid health insurance program that will eventually bring affordable health care to about 50 million Americans that are uninsured. Also, they voted that three of the four statutes in the state of Arizona’s immigration law was deemed unconstitutional. 

The new plan signed into effect in 2012 by President Obama will go down for the first time in history as one of the biggest overhauls of U.S. healthcare system in 60 years. The 2.6 trillion dollar price tag for the new program has members of the GOP in limbo as scratching their heads as conservative Chief Justice John Roberts voted in favor of the ruling. Roberts stated the law’s “requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax.” He later added “Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.”

As the GOP has spent the last couple of days on the ‘anti-Obamacare’ plan, you may be wondering what this all means to the common joe who’s working hard just keep a roof over your head just like me! Here’s what will happen to you in layman’s terms: 1) ALL insurers must eliminate annual caps. 2) Most families will be allowed to keep their children on their insurance plan until they reach the age of 26. 3) States that offer insurance exchanges MUST lay out and explain to the uninsured how to carefully choose and purchase any subsidized insurance plans. 4) ALL insurers MUST and will cover preventive services that will include no ‘out of pocket’ expenses. 

Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney in the upcoming November 6th presidential election responded to the ruling by saying “If we’re going get rid of ‘Obamacare’ we’re going to have to replace President Obama. My mission is to make sure we do exactly that.” Yet, the real irony in Romney’s case is that while he was governor of Massachusetts he pushed and spearheaded the overhaul of the healthcare program similar to President Obama’s current program. In 2006, he signed into law the Massachusetts health care insurance Reform Law in which “mandates that nearly every resident of Massachusetts obtain a state-government-regulated minimum level of healthcare insurance coverage and provides free health care insurance for residents earning less than 150% of the federal poverty level(FPL).[3] ” Under this mandatory law the state also as what called the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority. This authority is similar to what President Obama is going to try to implement under his healthcare law. Their role is to provide the insurance plans that the uninsured are allowed to choose from as well as give them payment options to the plans they qualify for. The Authority also provides insurance to those not working or unemployed, are self-employed or part-time workers, and those who aren’t qualified under the larger employer plan.

According to a report released by the Cato Institute titled “Lessons From the Fall of RomneyCare” states that his plan has failed miserably and its costing Massachusetts tax payers hundreds of millions of dollars. “The Massachusetts plan might not have achieved universal coverage, but it has cost taxpayers a great deal of money. Originally, the plan was projected to cost $1.8 billion this year. Now it is expected to exceed those estimates by $150 million. Over the next 10 years, projections suggest that Romney- Care will cost about $2 billion more than was budgeted. And the cost to Massachusetts taxpayers could be even higher because new federal rules could deprive the state of $100 million per year in Medicaid money that the state planned to use to help finance the program. Given that the state is already facing a projected budget deficit this year, the pressure to raise taxes, cut reimbursements to health care providers, or cap insurance premiums will likely be intense. Romney likes to brag that he accomplished his health care plan “without raising taxes.” Unless something turns around, that is not likely to be the case much longer.” 

Yet Romney rarely talks about the major flaws in healthcare program while he’s campaigning. But the biggest question I have for him and members of his party is, how do you support Romney when the Supreme Court’s decision supports a universal healthcare program that was similar, if not closer to the one you started in Massachusetts? What Romney considered his biggest victory while he was governor is now something that he wants to strip our current president of! In a 2006 video released by American Bridge, a special outside Democratic interest PAC, shows the republican governor commenting and praising the healthcare mandate. Romney states “With regards to the mandate, the individual responsibility program which I proposed, I was very pleased to see that the compromise from the two houses includes the personal responsibility principle.” 

This whole thing now comes down to the GOP and all it stands for. They are against what President Obama stands for and has kept the country at bay due to their resistance to change. In the last four years the GOP has tried to throw salt vertically and horizontally on the President via the Supreme Court ruling, funding of the Super PACS, and now the blatant attack on Attorney General Eric Holder. And then the attack of the Supreme Court decision by House Speaker John Boehner on CBS’s Face The Nation on Sunday added to the divisive artillery of further trying to move this country forward. Medical care and unemployment are two of the biggest issues that the country has got to face head on. Unfortunately we still live in a country where race and a ‘ass-backwards’ mind-state prevails at a time when change is needed! 

The Revolution Will Be Televised,

Brian Pace

The Pace Report   

www.thepacereport.com

thepacereport@yahoo.com

 

In Need of a Reality Check

In a article written by Dr. Jim Taylor titled “Popular Culture: Reality TV is Not Reality,” he makes extremely valid points on how the very best of these programs expose character flaws as well as sends and feeds the wrong ideas about success, fortune and fame. Dr. Taylor adds: “Reality TV promotes the worst values and qualities in people–and disguises them all as entertainment. Reality TV has made the Seven Deadly Sins–pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth-attributes to be admired. Throw in selfishness, deceit, spite, and vengeance–all qualities seen routinely on reality TV–and you have the personification of the worst kind of person on Earth. Reality TV makes heroic decidedly unheroic values, characters, and behavior.” 

But I want to take it to another level. In the midst of dumbing down the viewers with mindless and nothingness entertainment, its costed the major networks less money to produce these kinds of shows. Verses paying millions of dollars for actors and directors salaries, shooting in major cities like New York, Miami or Los Angeles, studios are cashing in sometimes in high ratings for shows like “Survivor,” “Temptation Island,” and “Basketball Wives.” According to Jonathan Murray, co-creator and producer of “The Real World,” one of the first and many successful reality TV shows, explains “I think the networks are realizing they can’t program every hour with expensive, scripted programming.” And thats what’s happen from the major networks to the cable networks, cheap and cheesy television shows have now over-saturated the marketplace at the expense of quality television.

Last week the Lifetime Cable Network stooped to what I believe was the lowest of the low. They premiered the new reality TV show “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp.” As you know, Bristol is the daughter of former Alaska Governor and Vice President republican candidate to Senator John McCain. Bristol had a child out of wedlock when she was 17 years old to much controversy to Levi Johnston who posed for a centerfold expose for Playgirl Magazine. She later appeared as one of the dancing contestants on ABC hit series “Dancing With The Stars.” 

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Also during the week, the “Octo-Mom” Nadya Suleman has a reality porn video released by Wicked Pictures in which she performs ‘soft porn’ acts. The mother of 14 stated “I won’t touch other human flesh.” She adds “The only flesh I’m touching is my own. I would never, never accept anything. I will not lose my grip of my deeply indoctrinated morals and values.” This same woman posed topless for a reported $10,000 for a cover of Closer Magazine. This past April Suleman filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in federal court due to the fact that she owed more than 20 times her net worth. Now it is reported that her La Habra home in La Habra, California is to go into foreclosure. At the expense of Nadya Suleman’s stupidity and ignorance she’s now getting the unnecessary exposure via the tabloid talk shows that send the wrong image via the media.

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Nadya, Snooki, Bristol, and all the Dog the Bounty Hunters of the world of reality television have set the bar lower on how women and men should carry themselves as people and the values and morals that they should uphold as adults. Unfortunately at the cost of ratings, advertisers, and lack of quality entertainment, reality television seems to validate this kind of behavior. Case in point, both Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton got their starts starring in porn videos! Lest we not forget! Kim’s video with singer and actor now reality TV star Ray J, was one of Vivid Video’s highest selling adult videos of all time next to their staple adult film actress Jenna Jameson. The same with hotel heiress Paris Hilton who’s video “One Night In Paris” was directed by her former boyfriend Rick Salomon. Yet, these successful businesswoman have graced the networks with mindless shows and continue to show people how if you achieve nothing, that success does pay off!

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Speaking as a person of color and knowing road for actors and actresses like Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington and Cicely Tyson had to raise the bar on how we’re perceived on television and film. Actors like Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Stepin Fetchit, and Hattie McDaniel played subservient and low roles that Hollywood only allowed people of color to play. Reality television shows like Basketball Wives and Love and Hip-Hop continue to degrade our beautiful black woman. Instead, these shows portray women as nasty, money hungry, and have lack of character. Shaunie O’Neal, the former wife of NBA great Shaquille O’Neal, served as the creator and producer of the show. The show has showcased women beating on one another, using language that would offend any soldier, and show the women wearing clothing that cost more that a person’s weekly paycheck! Yet, this and Love and Hip Hop are both VH-1’s highest rated programs.

According to Entertainment Weekly “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp opened to a mere 726,000 viewers and an anemic 0.2 rating among adults 18-49. That’s way below the performance of Roseanne Barr’s recent failed reality effort on the channel, Roseanne’s Nuts, which launched to 1.6 million viewers.”

The sad and unfortunate state of reality television is that it isn’t going anywhere. This kind of programming shows society where we’ve become as a people as producing a generation of nothingness and soulless role models and stars. At a time when the country has elected it’s first African-American President, the media seems to idolize and put people like Kim Kardashian and Snooki on a higher cultural level. Not only that, the Nadya Sulemans and the Bristol Palins of the reality TV world has made their presence blurry at a time when their reality seems to be fading!

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The Revolution Will Be Televised,

Brian Pace

The Pace Report   

www.thepacereport.com

thepacereport@yahoo.com