Today, host of the D. Oz Show, Dr. Mehmet Oz was questioned by senators on Capitol Hill, regarding him making false statements about weight loss products on his talk show.
Senator Claire McCaskill, chairwoman of the subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance, led the panel that looked at false advertising for weight loss products, claiming that the Dr. has made false claims about products that are not supported by scientific evidence.
Democratic Senator For Missouri, Claire McCaskill stated, "The scientific community is almost monolithic against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products you called 'miracles,'" and said that she was discouraged by the "false hope" he gives viewers and questioned his role, "intentional or not, in perpetuating these scams."
"I don't get why you need to say this stuff when you know it's not true. When you have this amazing megaphone, why would you cheapen your show?... With power comes a great deal of responsibility."
Dr. Oz stated that he is not selling magic diet pills, and that he has never sold supplements. He did say that he uses "flowery language" to describe certain products on his show, and that he believes in the products enough to give them to his own family.
Dr. Oz stated to that panel "My job, I feel, on the show is to be a cheerleader for the audience, and when they don't think they have hope, when they don't think they can make it happen, I want to look, and I do look everywhere, including in alternative healing traditions, for any evidence that might be supportive to them,"
In May, the Federal Trade Commission sued the sellers of Green Coffee Beans for deceiving consumers through fake news sites and invented health claims. According to the FTC, weeks after, "The Dr. Oz Show" promoted the benefits of Pure Green Coffee. After that show aired, several companies that marked the product, used video from the Dr. Oz Show to increase sales.
Last summer, the Supreme court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, and granted basic federal benefits to same sex couples in states that allow gay marriage.
This allowed the Obama administration to broaden those benefits through executive order, by implementing a series of new federal protections for same sex couples.
The new benefits will apply to all legally married gay couples including couples that do not live in states that recognize same sex marriage. Under the new DOJ Directive, same sex spouses will have the same rights as opposite sex couples in federal criminal trials. This includes the right not to testify against a spouse.
The directive will also extend federal death benefits and educational payments to same sex spouses of public safety officers who are killed or injured in the line of duty.
Federal prison inmates will qualify for compassionate release or reduced sentences if they need to care for incapacitated same sex spouses. And inmates’ spouses will have the same visitation rights regardless of their sex.
Also, Same sex couples will be treated equally in federal bankruptcy proceedings. And, in Utah, same sex marriages will be recognized.
Heroin use is on the rise. In New York's Long Island, addiction counselors are seeing users as young as 12 years old, and many are from middle class families.
According to experts, the crackdown on prescription painkillers has contributed to more young people looking for cheaper and more accessible drugs. Proximity to major airports and transportation stations has made buying heroin much easier.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says U.S. drug poisoning deaths involving heroin went up 45% from 2006 to 2010. And the Drug Enforcement Administration says the amount of heroin seized each year at the southwest U.S. border increased 232% from 2008 to 2012.
230 Member 2014 U.S. Winter Olympic Team Headed To Sochi
The 230 member United States Olympic Team team, that will compete at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, is comprised of 105 women and 125 men. The United States will compete in seven sports, and up to 94 of the 98 medal events. This phenominal group of athletes represents the largest delegation in the history of the Olympic Winter Games.
“We are thrilled to announce the 230 athletes who will represent Team USA in Sochi,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “This is the largest team we have ever sent to an Olympic Winter Games, and I’d like to commend all of those who helped support our athletes in the pursuit of their Olympic dreams. Most of all, this is a time to celebrate our athletes, who have made countless sacrifices and dedicated themselves to being their best, both on and off the ice and snow. I am very excited to watch them compete as they represent our nation with excellence and distinction on the world stage.”
The 2014 U.S. Winter Olympic Team features 106 returning Olympians. Among the veterans are 49 Olympic medalists, 13 of whom are Olympic champions.
Highlighting this list of accomplished U.S. men’s athletes are Bode Miller, who needs three medals to match U.S. short track speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno, as the most decorated U.S. Olympian in the history of the Winter Olympics, and long track speedskater, and five time Olympic medalist Shani Davis.
Headlining the list of U.S. women’s athletes are Julie Chu (ice hockey) a three time Olympic medalist and Julia Mancuso (alpine skiing), the most decorated U.S. Olympic female alpine skier. Julia Mancuso has a gold medal and two silver medals. The Winter Olympics 2014 Opening Ceremony will air on Friday, February 7th. Read more www.teamusa.org
November 14, 2013
President Obama Speaks About The Affordable Care Act
President Obama Signs New EpiPen Law To Protect Children With Allergies
President Obama signed into law the "Emergency Epinephrine Act.' This law will give schools access to medication for children with severe asthma and allergic reactions.
The law adds to the the Children’s Asthma Treatment Grants Program and other federal asthma programs, in that it authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to give funding preferences to states for asthma-treatment grants if they " maintain an emergency supply of epinephrine (EpiPens), if they permit trained personnel of the school to administer epinephrine, and if they develop a plan for ensuring trained personnel are available to administer epinephrine during all hours of the school day." Read more at www.whitehouse.gov.
June 7, 2013
Marines Arrested On Drug Charges In California
15 United States Servicemen have been arrested in Southern California on weapons, drugs and auto theft charges. Charges include insurance fraud, sales of cocaine and methamphetamine, sale of high capacity ammunition magazines, illegal gun possession, burglary, possession and sales of stolen military equipment including bullet proof vests, Kevlar helmets, night vision goggles, gas masks and thermal sights.
50 people were arrested including seven former Marines, seven active Marines and one Navy servicemen. Bonnie Dumanis the San Diego California County District Attorney, stated that the 64 count indictment was the result of an eight month sting named "Operation Perfect Storm." The operation included local law enforcement, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Read more at www.security.blogs.cnn.com
Yesterday, the United States International Trade Commission ruled that Apple had infringed on a patent owned by Samsung. The Commission has banned the electronics giant from selling in the United States, the iPad 2, IPad 3G, iPad 2 3G, iPhone 3, iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4.
The ruling states that Apple cannot import wireless communication devices, portable music & data processing devices, and tablet computers. Presently AT&T is the biggest seller of Apple devices in the U.S.
President Obama has 60 days to review the ruling. If he chooses, he can veto it. If not, the ban will go into effect immediately. Read more at www.reuters.com
This morning, in downtown Philadelphia, a demolished four story vacant building collapsed on top of a Salvation Army Thrift Store. During a news conference, Fire Commissioner, Lloyd Ayers, stated that 12 people with minor injuries have been pulled from the rubble, but that there are possibly 2 other individuals still trapped. "We have located them and we're going to continue until we can get them out and we can get them to hospitals."
Mayor Michael Nutter stated: "We have a significant number of people on the scene, and we will continue this operation until we are certain that anyone who was in the building has been recovered and taken out of the building." Read more at www.cnn.com
At least 18 major U.S.Companies used tax havens to get out of paying billions in U.S. tax dollars. According to a report by the Citizens for Tax Justice, companies like Nike, Apple and Microsoft have kept a combined 92 billion dollars in profits in off shore accounts to avoid paying taxes on the money.
Only when a corporation brings this money back to the U.S., does it have to pay taxes. An then only the difference between what was previously paid in taxes to the country abroad and the top U.S. corporate tax rate. Read more at www.huffingtonpost.com
Ford has recalled 465,000 2013 vehicles because of possible fuel leaks. These leaks could cause the vehicles to catch on fire. The list of recalled cars include the Ford Taurus, Explorer, Flex, Fusion, Interceptor Sedan and the Interceptor Utility. Also on the recall list are the Lincoln MKT, MKZ and MKS. At this time there have been no reported injuries, but there have been over 600 complaints about the leaks this year. Read more at www.money.cnn.com
Today, the World Health Organization released a statement saying that the virus MERS-CoV, short for Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, has now spread to Italy. Two female patients and a man that had recently returned from Jordan to Italy, have contracted the virus. There is little know about the virus other than it originated in Saudi Arabia.
Margaret Chan, the head of The World Health Organization said "Looking at the overall global situation, my greatest concern right now is the novel coronavirus." "It is "a threat to the entire world." There have been 50 cases and 27 deaths reported since April of 2012. Most have been in Saudi Arabia. Read more at www.cnn.com
May 29, 2013
Arizona Mom Arrested In Mexico On Drug Charges
Arizona mother of 7, Yanira Maldonado, was arrested in Mexico on drug smuggling charges last Wednesday. 12 Pounds of marijuana was found under her bus seat when she and her husband Gary were returning to Arizona from her aunt's funeral. Her family believes that she was framed in order to get bribe money.
In an appearance on CNN's Pierce Morgan Tonight, Yanira's daughter said about her mother, "She's an honest woman. She's innocent. It's not a place for someone of her kind. "It hurts just to know that she's there, to have seen her there. It's not fair." Soto says that her mother has nothing to do with drugs.
"Never. No. She is not that kind of person. I don't think she's ever even tried a cigarette in her life or even drank a beer." "You know, she's one of those people that tries to stay away from those kinds of people or those kinds of things." Read more at www.cnn.com
Last night, six people were killed when a storm struck north Texas. Dozens more were injured. There were possibly several tornadoes that touched down several times in Tarrant, Dallas and Parker counties.
Sheriff Roger Deeds of Hood County stated that six people were killed when the storm hit a Granbury area Habitat for Humanity. More than 100 homes were destroyed. Read more at www.cnn.com
The Pentagon disclosed that an unidentified Army sergeant is under investigation for "abusive sexual contact." The officer whose name has not been released is the head of the sexual assault prevention at Fort Hood, Texas. The officer has been suspended from his duties as an equal opportunity adviser and sexual harassment and assault prevention officer. Allegations are that the sergeant first class sexually assaulted and mistreated subordinates, which included pandering, a prostitution solicitation charge. He has been suspended but no charges have been filed.
The investigation comes on the heels of another investigation involving Air Force Officer Lieutenant Colonel Jeff Krusinski who was arrested in Arlington, Virginia. The Colonel is in charge of the Air Force's Sexual Assault Programs and was arrested on sexual battery charges for allegedly groping a woman's buttocks and breasts in a parking lot.
Sexual abuse in the military is at epidemic proportions and it's unfortunately affecting the military's ability to recruit. Public perception is that military personnel is not able to deal with sex abuse crimes.
The Pentagon recently released it's annual report from the DoD's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.
The report states that in 2012, 3,374 incidents of 'unwanted sexual contact' occurred within all branches of the military, a 6% t increase over last year. The report also included an anonymous survey in which 26,000 respondents said that they had been sexually assaulted in the past year, but did not report. it.
George Little, Pentagon Press Secretary stated that Secretary Of Defense Chuck Hagel is angry about the sexual misconduct in the armed forces. “I cannot convey strongly enough his frustration, anger and disappointment over these troubling allegations and the breakdown in discipline and standards they imply.”
The Secretary ordered the armed services to immediately “retrain, re-credential and re-screen” all personnel involved in sexual assault prevention and response programs. This includes hundreds of sexual assault prevention coordinators and an estimated 20,000 military recruiters in the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Read more at www.usatoday.com
Today, 72 year old Abortion Doctor, Dr. Kermit Gosnell was found guilty on 3 counts of First Degree Murder. Witnesses say that there were three babies born alive, and that Dr. Kermit Gosnell killed the babies, some by using scissors to cut their spinal cords. Several of the infants were alleged to be born alive during the 6th through 8th month of pregnancy.
Paramedic Bryce Reed, a first responder in the Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion was charged today with possessing a destructive device. Bryce Reed works with the West Texas, EMS. This morning he appeared in federal court in Waco, Texas.
Authorities were called to to a residence in Abbot, Texas on Tuesday. They recovered powders, metals and canisters filled with bomb making materials. In an affidavit from the Bureau Of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, it was stated that officers found canisters of fuses, a metal pipe, a lighter, a digital scale, a plastic spoon, coils of metal and several pounds of chemicals. The homeowner said that he had unknowingly accepted the materials from Reed on April 26th. According to court documents, Reed admitted to possessing the materials found.
Reed was not charged today for any crime in connection with the explosion that killed 15 people and injured over 150 on April 17th.
The Texas Department of Public Safety announced this morning that it is opening up a criminal investigation. TDP Director Steven McCraw stated "This disaster has severely impacted the community of West, and we want to ensure that no stone goes unturned and that all the facts related to this incident are uncovered. Read more at www.abcnews.go.com
Kidnapper Ariel Castro never raised his head and did not enter a plea during his Arraignment for kidnapping Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. Castro was charged with 4 counts of kidnapping and 3 counts of rape. His bail was set at $8 million dollars. He lured the girls into his car one by one from the same Cleveland neighborhood. The police report stated that Castro offered each of them a ride home. He told Amanda Berry that his son worked at the same Burgher King where she worked. Gina DeJesus was friends with Castro's daughter, so he told her that he would give her a ride to meet of with Arlene Castro.
The girls were subject to horrific conditions. Michelle Knight was pregnant 5 times, hit in the stomach and starved until she miscarried. Michelle Knight was made to deliver Amanda Berry’s baby in a plastic baby pool. The girls were told that if the baby died they would die. At one point the baby stopped breathing and Knight performed CPR. The girls nor the baby received any medical attention.
The Prosecutor told the judge “Despite what the defense has asserted, the charges against Mr. Castro are based on premeditated, deliberate and depraved decisions to snatch three young ladies from Cleveland’s west side streets to be used in whatever self-gratifying, self-serving way he saw fit. Two of the victims endured this horrifying ordeal for more than a decade, the third for close to a decade, and the ordeal grew to eventually include a little girl, believed to have been born to one of the women while in captivity. Also while in captivity, they withstood repeated beatings, they were bound and restrained and sexually assaulted, basically never free to leave this residence.
Going forward these three brave young women will have to start to put the pieces of their lives back together. They are certainly strong because survived this madman for years. God be with them. Read more at www.cnn.com
32 year old Jodi Arias was found guilty of first degree murder for killing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. Travis was stabbed 27 times. His throat was slashed from ear to ear, and he had a bullet to the head. This crazy girl said that there was no premeditation on her part. So she was overwhelmed and went blank when she heard the verdict. Really girl?
Jodi Arias does not want to spend the rest of her life in prison. She stated in an interview with Phoenix television station KSAZ “I said years ago that I’d rather get death than life, and that still is true today. I believe that death is the ultimate freedom. So I rather just have my freedom as soon as I can get it.” The next phase of her trial is the Penalty Phase. Jodi Arias just might get her wish. Read more at www.cnn.com
April 10, 2013
Canadian Teen Commits Suicide After Alleged Gang Rape
17 year old Halifax, Nova Scotia high student Rehtaeh Parsons was taken off life support on Sunday, three days after she tried to hang herself. Rehtaeh was sexually assaulted in November of 2011 by four teenage boys. After the assault there was a photograph of the teenager circulated online and to the cell phones of her friends. Leah Parsons, Rehtaeh’s mother said that she was taunted, relentlessly bullied and repeatedly on the receiving end of sexually harassing phone calls. Because of that hate, Rehtaeh was emotionally distraught and often had thoughts of suicide.
As of this date, no criminal charges have been filed against her attackers. But the family met with Canadian justice officials on Wednesday urging them to reconsider.
Glenn Canning, Rehtaeh’s father posted on his blog on Wednesday, that he tried everything in his power to save his daughter’s life:
“I asked her repeatedly what I could do, was I doing enough, what did she want from me? She said she just wanted me to be her dad. To make her laugh. To do everything possible to keep a part of her life normal. She said it helped more than I could ever know.”
Her mother Leah wrote a tribute to her daughter on her Facebook page:
"Rehtaeh is gone today because of the four boys that thought that raping a 15-year-old girl was OK and to distribute a photo to ruin her spirit and reputation would be fun. All the bullying and messaging and harassment that never let up are also to blame. Lastly, the justice system failed her. Those are the people that took the life of my beautiful girl.”
Rest In Peace Rehtaeh. May god bless and keep your family.
The congressional debates continue regarding President Obama's Gun Control Initiatives. More guns laws, no more gun laws. Re-vamp current gun measures, enforce the ones we have. Background checks, no background checks. Ban assault weapons and large capacity magazines or leave things the way they are.
Unfortunately, none of that would have made a difference in the tragic accident that occurred Saturday, April 6th in Lebanon Tennessee. A Wilson County Sheriff’s Deputy’s wife was shot and killed by the couple’s 4 year nephew at the couple’s home during a cookout. In this horrible incident there were no large capacity clips used, no assault weapons and the gun used was not illegal.
Josephine Fanning was accidentally killed with a weapon registered to her husband, when the law enforcement officer was showing his gun collection to a relative in the couple's bedroom. Josephine and the little boy walked into the room and the child picked up the loaded weapon that was lying on the bed. He then shot and killed Mrs. Fanning. The gun used was not Deputy Fanning’s service pistol.
Deputy Fanning in a written statement said that he put down his off-duty weapon “only seconds before the tragedy.”
"I would like the viewers to know that officers of Wilson County do not make a habit of leaving loaded guns simply lying around. The door to the room the accident happened in stays locked unless we were sleeping or we were in it. This was the only loaded gun in the house other than my duty weapon, which was locked away."
This is such a sad story. The horror that Fanning and the couple’s family and friends must have experienced that day. And that poor little boy, what must he be going through? He probably thought the gun was a toy.
I am all for people owning guns, but safety is a must. It wasn’t smart to be showing guns in an unlocked room during a gathering where there are children roaming around.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations is involved and as of yet no charges have been filed
April 8, 2013
Jada Talks About "Angela Davis Movie" Marriage To Will Smith And More
Jada Pinkett Smith stopped by Huff Post Live to chat with host Marc Lamont Hill about her latest project “Free Angela Davis and All Political Prisoners.” A documentary about historical political icon African American Professor and Civil Rights Activist Angela Davis.
Jada one of the producers of the movie talked about the work of Angela Davis and others who were actively involved in the struggle for the equality of people not only in America but around the world. Acknowledging that their dedication and determination has shaped the very different world that we now live in, especially in America. When she found out about the documentary, she knew that she had to be involved in any way possible.
The movie directed by Shola Lynch, centers around the trial of Angela Davis, and her connection to the Marin County Courthouse takeover. In August of 1970, 17 year old high school student Jonathan Jackson, an observer of a trial involving three San Quentin inmates pulled out a gun and held up the courtroom. He armed the three inmates then took the Judge, the DA and three female Jurors hostage.
The 17 year old moved the hostages outside where a van was waiting and a sawed off shotgun was taped to the Judge’s chin. Before the men could escape, a gun battle ensued between the four men and the police. By the time it was over, the heads of the judge and two of the inmates had been blown off and two hostages were wounded.
The three men were inmates of Soledad Prison and thus known as the Soledad Brothers. They were on trial in the connection with the stabbing of a prison guard which was in retaliation for several African American inmates being killed by another guard. The killings were believed to be a result of the political activism taking place within the prison.
How was Angela Davis connected? She was a supporter of the Soledad Brothers, romantically involved with one of the defendants, and the guns used in the attempted getaway were registered to her. She was charged with aggravated kidnapping and first degree murder. After spending months in jail, Davis was acquitted by an all white jury on all charges.
Jada as tiny as she is has an infectious laugh that can start a chain reaction of giggles in a packed room. She is funny, down to earth and can shoot the breeze with anyone. But she can quickly become serious when it comes to her beliefs and values.
She not only spoke about her involvement in the film but she talked about being a public figure and the scrutiny that she and other Hollywood celebrities face by some on a daily basis. Believing that just because an individual is famous, that does not give anyone the right to project their hate and prejudices onto them.
She also talked about women who inspire her. Michelle Obama she calls on when she needs a little encouragement, eluding to the fact that even she needs a little push now and then. Salma Hayek her girlfriend who shares her passion for the arts. And of course her mother who has taught her much.
Finally the question on the minds of many. Marc Lamont asked Jada if the success of her marriage to Will Smith one of the biggest stars in the world is due to the fact that they have an open marriage? Jada laughed and said that those rumors were started because of some of the ways that she answered questions about their relationship in the past. She did say that it can be difficult being part of a celebrity couple because people romanticize about celebrity couples. The public tends to believe that they are somehow different from everyone else and that they possess the ideal relationship. Jada scoffed at that notion. That could not be further from the truth. Celebrities have the same challenges and go through the same ups and downs as anyone.
She did say that Will is her best friend and has been supportive of her through many difficult situations in her life.
Jada didn’t really confirm or deny that she and Will Smith have an open marriage, but did say that she has always told Will:
“You can do whatever you want as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror and be ok. Because at the end of the day Will is his own man I’m here as his partner but he is his own man and he has to decide who he wants to be. And that’s not for me to do for him, or vice versa.”
You go Jada. I can’t wait to see the film. I will definitely take my family. Angela Davis is a part of American History.
Janet Jackson Gets Married
Congratulations to Ms. Janet Jackson. Correction, congratulations to Mrs. Al Mana. That’s right, my girl went and did the damn thing. She got married to that hot rich and yes younger business tycoon Qatari-born retail entrepreneur Wissam Al Mana.
People Magazine reported that the gorgeous couple tied the knot last summer in a private ceremony. The two chose not to exchange wedding gifts, but instead donate to each other’s favorite children’s charities. How beautiful, and of course so appropriate. As rich as they both are, what could they give each other that they don’t already have or haven’t already given?
Truth be told, I am not surprised that Janet got married without public knowledge of the nuptials. In spite of her being recognizable all over the world, she has been able to keep some aspects of her life private. Her two previous marriages were done quietly. She kept them a secret for quite some time.
Janet eloped in 1984 when she wed her first husband, 1980’s R&B singing group and family member James DeBarge. No one knew of the marriage until there were reports about the marriage being annulled. I am huge Janet Jackson fan. Back then I liked to keep up with what she was doing. I heard about the marriage and the annulment at the same time. I remember thinking Annulment? Really? Who knew she was even married?
By the time the media found out about their union, Janet and James had been married for about a year. The two divorced shortly after their marriage went public amongst reports that her family was not happy, and insisted that she end the marriage. Rumors were flying around that James DeBarge was knocking her around.
In 1991 Janet did it again. She married her backup dancer Rene Elizondo. The public didn’t find out about that marriage until almost 10 years later when Rene filed for divorce. Why he divorced her isn’t clear. But what is clear is that Janet upgraded Rene Elizondo for sure. He went from a backup dancer to being the husband of one of the biggest pop stars in the world. She gave him songwriting credit on almost all of her albums during the time that they were married. That credit translated into big bucks for Rene. Word is that that he cheated on her repeatedly.
This time Janet decided to step up above her multi-million pay grade. Her new husband Wissam is a 37 year old Middle Eastern business tycoon worth only about $1 billion dollars. He is one of the richest luxury retail investors in the Middle East. He along with his 3 brothers own the Al Mana Retail Luxury Company. The company represents some of the hottest designer fashion around the world. Giorgio Armani, Hermes, Balenciaga and Roberto Cavalli to name a few. He owns stock in Saks Fifth Avenue stores in Dubai, Bahrain and Kuwait. He also owns an Armani Exchange flagship store in Qatar.
During an interview with VMAN Magazine In November 2011 when asked if the two were dating, Al Mana said "I don't date Janet Jackson. She is my girlfriend; there is a difference. She is a very special and talented woman who never ceases to amaze me. When asked if he is with his dream? “I think a man's dream woman changes as he goes through different stages in his life. I'm fortunate to be dating my dream woman now.”
I am happy for her. Janet loves hot men. I mean she is successful and rich so she doesn’t need to marry for money. If only marrying someone gorgeous could guarantee her a happy marriage. Her two ex-husbands were good looking as well. But Wissam doesn’t only have good looks, he is fine and wealthy.
We will all have to see what the future holds for Janet Jackson. But if it ends up that she has to again live in a dog house, it might as well be the glorious one Wissam Al Mana owns. Too Cynical. What can I say, I am getting older. LOL
April 5, 2013
Rutgers University Basketball Coach Mike Rice Fired
April 5, 2013. Mike Rice, Rutgers University Head Basketball Coach has been called passionate about the game. I don’t think I would call him passionate. Crazy is more like it. Mike Rice was fired after a video surfaced of him clearly out of control and going ballistic on his players.
On Wednesday, ESPN broadcast a video showing the coach kicking, grabbing, throwing balls and screaming gay slurs at the players. ESPN obtained the video from the former Director of Player Development, Eric Murdock who was fired for insubordination for reasons unrelated to the video. Well alright then.
The former coach’s behavior on the video may have been a shock to the public, but his antics were no surprise to Rutgers Officials. Although the President of the University Robert Barchi publicly stated that he first saw the video when it aired on ESPN, the Athletic Director Mr. Tim Pernetti had for sure seen the video back in November. At that time Mike Rice was quietly reprimanded. In December he was suspended for three games, fined $75,000 and required to attend anger management classes.
In a written statement Mr. Pernetti said "I am responsible for the decision to attempt a rehabilitation of Coach Rice. Dismissal and corrective action were debated in December and I thought it was in the best interest of everyone to rehabilitate, but I was wrong. Moving forward, I will work to regain the trust of the Rutgers community."
Although the University President Mr. Barchi had not viewed the video until Wednesday, he did state that he was aware of Mr. Rice’s behavior and after an outside investigation recommended suspension, he agreed and complied.
After recently viewing the video, Mr. Barchi said the video showed a "chronic and pervasive pattern of disturbing behavior." I have now reached the conclusion that Coach Rice cannot continue to serve effectively in a position that demands the highest levels of leadership, responsibility and public accountability. He cannot continue to coach at Rutgers University."
Serena Williams Swirling
April 5, 2013. I came across photos of tennis superstar Serena Williams and her unconfirmed boyfriend on the internet. Unconfirmed meaning that Serena says that the two are just friends. A couple of things prompted me to comment on the two of them. First, I was taken aback by some of the negative comments that were made in reference to the two of them dating.
Now we all know that the internet can be good and bad. Good in that it’s an invaluable resource of information. Bad in that anyone can anonymously comment on any post. Needless to say the internet attracts an endless amount of faceless haters who drink a never ending supply of hateraid. There were so many people hiding behind their keyboard hating on Serena with respect to her white male friend. Everything from attacking her as a black women, to calling her a sellout to the black race. As if that wasn’t bad enough some went as far as to attack her appearance. I am sure Serena being the superstar that she is didn’t care, but I was outdone.
This was surprising to me because similarly when there is an article or a picture of a black man dating a white female, most of the comments are positive even describing the two as “so cute together.” Why the double standard? More importantly why in the year 2013 does it matter?
I live in California where it is commonplace to see interracial couples daily. Albeit it is mostly black men with white women or black men with women of all races for that matter. But you do see your share of black women dating white men. No one seems to care or be put off by it. However the negative and foul remarks directed at Serena got me to thinking. In American today, do we care about people dating out of their race? Do black women care if black men date white women? Do white women care if white men date black women? Do white men care if white women date black men? Do black men care if black women date white men?
Before I was married to a black man I did date white men. I have been married for several years, so that was some time ago. But even back then, except for a few double takes it did not seem to bother anyone I came in contact with. Maybe the double takes were because we looked good together? But seriously, do most people feel that everyone should stick with their own race?
I did ask a black man who has dated white women how he feels about black men dating white men. He said that he cannot explain why, but that black men can date whomever they want no matter what race, but a black women should stick with black men. Though he could not tell me a specific reason why he felt that way. He said “that’s just the way it is.”
I have a friend named Tracy who is a black, female and divorced. She and I were having lunch together one day when 2 different interracial couples came through the restaurant. All black men with white women. She asked me if I had ever dated outside of my race. You see she and I met after I was married. So she did not know me during my wild single years. I told her that I had. Her response was “really?” I then asked her if she had dated anyone outside of her race. She said no. But not because she is not open to it, but because she has never been asked out by anyone other than black men. I asked Tracy the reason for her question? She replied that because there so many black men dating and marrying white women, her options are dwindling. Feeling that in some ways that white women are taking something that black women are running short on. Tracy also said that she does not like it when black men dating white women bash black women in the process. Stating “black men dating white women should not be about what black women lack.” I agree with her on that.
One thing I don’t understand is when black men date white women, why do they feel that they have to be so rude to black women? Are they dating white women because they find them attractive and because they have something in common with them? Or are they punishing black women for some reason? Maybe it’s a defense mechanism. Being that they feel that black women are angry with them for dating out of their race. I am here to tell you that is a stereotypical myth. Largely black women don’t really care who black men date. One thing is for sure. Black women dating out of their race is not about being disappointed or angry with or giving up on black men. Real talk.
But back to Serena and her white boyfriend. I feel that in 2013 everyone should feel free to date whom they want no matter what race. But I don’t think that it should be exclusive. Maybe one day you wake up you want black coffee. Maybe one day you wake up you want milk in your coffee. Maybe one day you wake up you just want a cup of milk. And if you are the person who likes black coffee only or no coffee at all but milk only. Do your thing. But let everyone live their lives without judgment.
There you have it.
Jury Selection Begins In Jackson Family Lawsuit Against AEG
Katherine Jackson, mother of King of Pop Michael Jackson, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against concert promoters AEG for the death of the superstar.
Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 of “acute proposal intoxication.” According to court documents, Mrs. Jackson and each of Michael Jackson’s three children, are seeking over 50 million dollars in general damages. They are also seeking an additional 10 million in special damages, including loss of potential earnings by Michael Jackson.
The Jackson family believes that AEG is responsible for hiring Dr. Conrad Murray to supervise Michael Jackson’s medical care. Dr. Murray is not named in the lawsuit, although he was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and is presently serving a four year prison sentence for illegally administering the anesthetic Propofol to the star.
The Jackson family contends that that the media giant was only concerned with the millions of dollars they stood to make from the “This is it” concert tour. They ignored numerous red flags concerning the care that Dr. Murray was giving to Mr. Jackson.
In a statement to CNN, AEG says that they were not involved in the daily care that Dr. Murray was giving to Michael Jackson because of doctor patient confidentiality. They state that Dr. Conrad Murray was not an employee of AEG, but was chosen by Michael Jackson to be the icon’s personal physician. They intend to prove that Michael Jackson was addicted to drugs and ultimately responsible for his own death.
Manti Te'o Hoax
April 2, 2013. Back on January 24, 2013, Manti Te’o a Linebacker for the University of Notre Dame and candidate for the Heisman trophy, told Katy Couric that he was the victim of a hoax. In an appearance on her daytime talk show, he stated that he was manipulated into believing that a girl that he met on facebook and fell in love with, was Polynesian and Samoan like him. For two years he shared a pen and phone relationship with what he thought was a beautiful dark haired girl named Lennay Kekua. She was real and he had pictures that she had sent to him to prove it. They started out as friends during his freshman year, but things got serious when he became a junior. They talked on the phone for hours. Too bad Lennay Kekua did not exist. It was all a terrible lie.
A guy name Ronaiah Tuiasosopo was behind it all. He is the one that established a relationship with Manti for the last two years. But how could this be? Not only did Manti have pictures of Lennay, but he talked to her on the phone. They became even closer when she told him that her father died, and then later said that she was diagnosed with Leukemia, which he mentioned in an interview with ESPN on June of 2012. Who and where is that girl?
No one knows who or where that girl is. But the girl in the pictures for sure is not Lennay Kekua. It’s a girl named Diane O’Meara. In an interview on CNN with Anderson Cooper, Diane said that she knew nothing of this mess until two days before the story broke publicly. That’s when Ronaiah Tuiasosop a former classmate of Diane O’Meara called her to confess that he had been stalking her facebook page and downloading her pictures, so that she could be the face of a fake identity that he created to deceive Manti Te’o. Wait there is more.
In April 2012 the fake Lennay’s brother called Manti to say that Lennay had been in a car accident. However, months later she supposedly recovered and Lennay and Manti’s romance continued.
The stuff hit the fan on September 12, 2012 when Manti Te’o’s grandmother died. Hours later the fake Lennay’s brother called Manti extremely upset, shouting that Lennay had died of leukemia. Of course Manti was distraught over the two losses. He later lost it in the locker room, knocking and kicking over things. He was inconsolable. Unfortunately Manti’s coaches talked about his drama during a news conference, and the story went viral. In December Manti gets a text message along with photo stating that Lennay was in fact still alive.
Katie asked Manti why he continued to lie to the press about Lennay dying even though he knew she supposedly did not die. Manti told Katy whom he shares a publicist with, that he found out that he had been duped a couple of days before the Heisman Trophy Ceremony. He said that when questioned by the press regarding his loss, he continued to perpetuate the story by dedicating the season to his dead girlfriend and grandmother, because he was too embarrassed to tell the truth, and was “overwhelmed” and angry, and didn’t know what else to do.
What a story. This drama happens all too frequently. People creating fake profiles and putting them on social media. Today people meet on twitter, facebook and various dating sights. It’s easy to see how someone could be fooled. And what’s up with the guy Ronaiah who made up this craziness. Is he gay? Does or did he have intimate feelings for Manti? Did he come up with this elaborate scheme to trick Manti into falling for him later to let himself be known, hoping Manti would be so drawn to him that it would not matter that he was a man and not a women? Did he hope to ultimately gain something else from Manti? Maybe money? Drama. That’s another story for sure. By the way, Manti did confirm to Katie that he is not gay.
Men definitely can loose their head over a beautiful women, even if it’s a picture. That’s why books like King, XXL, Playboy and Hustler are so popular. But some question how this social media romance could go on so long without Manti demanding to meet this girl in person?
According to Manti, he did attempt to meet with her, but something always got in the way. Really Manti? For two years? Even when she was supposedly in the hospital in Los Angeles dying of leukemia where he was at the same time, he did not visit her. He said that it was because he was in between flights and ran out of time. He did not fit into his schedule time to visit his terminally ill girlfriend, someone he previously said was the most beautiful girl that he had ever seen.
Maybe he was just too busy being a star college athlete. Plenty of perks go along with that, including many other beautiful healthy women. I guess he wasn’t so in love with Lennay after all. I mean he is in his early twenties and wisdom is definitely not a virtue at that age. But being gullible and naïve can be used to describe most twenty something year olds. Most of us have done stupid things and made bad decisions when we were that young.
Some question whether or not Manti may have been a part of the hoax himself. I don’t see how that would benefit him. Although the story made him a household name, it surely would not help him win the Heisman Trophy or land him a spot on a professional football team. Me thinks that the world should go back to a simpler time when people socialized not by social media or text messages, but met up and interacted face to face.
Shain Gandee Star of MTV Series Buckwild Is Found Dead
Shain Gandee star of MTV's funny and entertaining hit reality series "Buckwild was was found dead.
As reported by the West Virginia Daily Mail, Kent Carper, President of the Kanawha County Commission, stated that the body of Shane, the body of his 48 year old uncle David Gandee, and the third body of 27 year old Donald Robert Myers was found dead at the end of a muddy dirt road inside of a Ford Bronco. The three died of carbon monoxide poisoning,
Shane and his uncle had been missing since Sunday, but were last seen at a bar in Sissonville at approximately 3:00 a.m.
MTV said in a statement to Fox411 “We are shocked and saddened by the terrible news about Shain Gandee, and those involved in this tragic incident. We are waiting for more information but at this time, our main concern is for the Gandee family and their friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. Shain had a magnetic personality, with a passion for life that touched everyone he met and we will miss him dearly.”
Pope Francis New Leader Of The Catholic Church
March 13, 2013, Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church after the resignation of Pope Benedict the XVI, the first Pope in 600 years to do so. Pope Francis who is of Italian descent was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina of immigrant Italian parents whose father worked on the railroad. Bergoglio who 76 years old is the first elected Jesuit Pope and the first ever from Latin America.
Jesuit Priests are members of the Society of Jesus, an order founded in the 16th century by St. Ignatius Loyola. The members are scholars and take a vow of poverty and are committed to work among the poor, the needy and the less fortunate. The Pope chose the name Francis because the Saint ministered to the poor.
Pope Francis is described as a humble man who leads a simple life including preparing his own meals, living in a Spartan Apartment, and using public transportation. Pope Francis is seen as reformer, which is welcomed especially after the many recent challenges of the Catholic church. Many hope that the new Pope will repair the Church's reputation, address Gay Marriage and allow women to play a larger role in the Catholic Church including considering allowing women to become priests. He certainly has his work cut out for him.
Broken Carnival Cruise Ship Arrives in Alabama
February 15, 2013, After 5 days of what was supposed to be a luxury cruise liner, Carnival Triumph finally docked in Mobile, Alabama. The Cruise had a mechanical breakdown in the middle of the high seas. It took days for the ship to be towed back to shore. After spending 5 days of their vacation on a broken down cruise ship, in the middle of the ocean, with spoils and sewage running through it, the ship, tired weary passengers disembarked the ship anxious to get home. But their vacation from hell wasn’t over yet, after getting off of that far from luxurious cruise ship that had a mechanical breakdown in the middle of the high seas, now their waiting bus broke down. Too much! I know it’s not funny, but I can’t help but laugh.
The passengers spent the night in Mobile, but got functioning bus the next day which was bound for New Orleans and Galveston, Texas. However, according to CBS News the bus bound for New Orleans broke down. Carnival Cruises will reimburse passengers for their trip as well give them an additional $500. I am not a cruise person, but if you are. It might be a good time to plan a cruise. I am sure their will be many discounts.
Olympic Paralympic Track Runner, Oscar Pistorius Shoots Girlfriend Dead
February 2013, 26 year old South African, 2012 Olympic Paralympic track runner Oscar Pistorius, is charged with shooting and killing his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp inside of his Pretoria, South Africa home. The Olympian is accused of murdering Reeva, a 30 year old law school graduate, reality TV actress and model on the day after Valentines Day. The Prosecution accuses Pistorius of shooting seven times through a locked bathroom door that Reeva was hiding in. Three bullets struck her.
Pistorius is a double amputee as the result of a bone defect that he was born with. He is affectingly known as the “Blade Runner.” After much opposition and controversy, he made history while competing in the 2012 Olympics with the use of his prosthetic limbs. Other competitors thought his carbon fiber blade prosthesis gave him an unfair advantage.
Authorities have stated that there is currently no known motive for the crime. However, they do intend to prove that the murder of Steevekamp was premeditated. Pistorius has stated that he thought his model girlfriend was an intruder. He said that they were deeply in love. Pistorius is being held without bail in a police station in the South African capital of Pretoria. Family and friends have said that the pair were involved in a happy relationship, and that 29 year old Steenkamp was excited about upcoming Valentines day. The day before the holiday she tweeted "It's a beautiful day! Make things happen. Starting my day off with a yummy healthy shake from my boo," followed by a smiley face. "Boo.”
Steenkamp was described as a great person to be around. Her agency Capacity Relations tweeted “She was the kindest, sweetest human being; an angel on earth and will be sorely missed.”
Christopher Dorner Killed In Shootout With Police
Verses from 1992 Cop Killer recorded by rapper Ice T and the group Body Count Cop killer, better you than me. Cop killer, Fuck police brutality! Cop killer, I know your family's grievin' Fuck em Cop killer, but tonight we get even.
I got my black shirt on. I got my black gloves on. I got my ski mask on. This shit's been too long.
I got my twelve gauge sawed off. I got my headlights turned off. I'm 'bout to bust some shots off. I'm 'bout to dust some cops off.
Verses from 1988 Fuck The Police recorded by rap group NWA
HUH, a young nigga on the warpath And when I'm finished, it's gonna be a bloodbath of cops, dyin in L.A.
I'm a sniper with a hell of a scope Takin out a cop or two, they can't cope with me The motherfuckin villian that's mad With potential, to get bad as fuck So I'ma turn it around Put in my clip, yo, and this is the sound [BOOM, BOOM] Yeah, somethin like that but it all depends on the size of the gat Takin out a police, would make my day
Hip Hop songs that were recorded more than 20 years ago. Lyrics that talk about avenging police brutality that was perpetuated by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on the black and brown youth of South Los Angeles.
It is no secret that the LAPD has had problems with corruption and discrimination within and outside the Department. Problems that date back more than 50 years.
1951 Bloody Christmas – Seven youth, 5 of whom were Mexican, were savagely beaten by 50 drunk white police officers, while in custody at the police station.
1965 – Watts Riots spawned by illegal stop and arrest of an African American man by California Highway Patrol.
1992 – South Los Angeles Riots. After a high speed chase, Rodney , an African man was brutally beaten by several LAPD offices.
Late 1990s - The LAPD Rampart Division’s Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH) anti-gang unit, were convicted of falsifying evidence, bank robbery, drug dealing, beatings and illegal shootings.
Fast forward to 2013. Christopher Dorner a 33 year old ex LAPD Officer. A Lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserves. A college graduate who played college football. A former football team mate described Dorner as someone whom he respected. Friendly, fun and easy to hang out with. A neighbor described Dorner as nice, friendly and easy to approach.
With a resume like that, how could Dorner an expert marksman kill the daughter of a former police captain and her fiancé? And then ambush and killed one police officer and wound another while the two were stopped at a traffic signal?
What exactly was Dorner’s beef with the LAPD? What caused him to go Rogue? Was he up one night listening to some old Ice T and NWA eating popcorn and watching Skyfall, when he decided to act out a scene from a Rambo move? According to a Manifesto that Dorner posted to the Internet, it’s not that simple.
According to the Manifesto, Dorner lived to be a police officer. It was something he aspired to do his entire life. Dorner’s ex-girlfriend stated that “for somebody like Chris, he was the type of person that without him having a badge, without him having that job, title of police officer, I really don't think he would exist without it." So how did this educated, easy going respectable guy who served his country and community, turn into a cold blooded murderer? Well it seems Dorner started to spiral out of control after he was fired.
Dorner writes in his Manifesto that he felt betrayed by the department. He was terminated 10 months after he reported that his then partner kicked a cuffed suspect in the chest and face. Though the suspect had visible injuries to his face, Dorner was found to have fabricated the story. The Department labeled Dorner a bully for assaulting a recruit while in the police academy, and also because he choked a fellow police officer. Dorner said that the assault charge was a lie, and stated the reason that he choked his fellow officer was because he repeatedly used the word nigger.
Dorner felt that his termination from the LAPD cost him his career as a Commanding Officer in the Naval Reserve. He blamed the department for the deterioration of his relationship with his family and friends, stating that when he lost his name he lost everything. Dorner was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy Reserve on February 1, 2013 and on February 3, 2013 his killing spree began.
In his Manifesto, Dorner named several police officers and their families specifically, but stated that every LAPD police officer was a part of the department wide corruption and therefore every police officer was a target. Asian officers for not standing for anyone or anything. White officers for victimizing minorities. Latino officers for victimizing Latino immigrants. Black officers for victimizing incoming white recruits for payback. And Lesbian officers for victimizing male officers. Words of a mad man. A man who had snapped.
In all fairness the LAPD has come a long way in cleaning up the department. It may not be perfect, but it is most definitely not the force it was before. In reading Dorner’s Manifesto, it does not seem to me that there was anything mentioned that could send anyone over the edge let alone turn them into a calculated cold blooded killer. Maybe Dorner had some undiagnosed psychological problem. Maybe Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Dorner’s ex-girlfriend said that he was Paranoid. Stating that he kept guns in plain sight around her house, and that he slept with a gun in and next to the bed. She stated that she understands it is not unusual for police officers to always be on duty, but felt that he went overboard.
After killing three people, Dorner fled to a cabin at Big Bear Lake, some 100 miles east of Los Angeles, CA. On February 12th, in true movie fashion, Dorner’s life ended in a shootout with the Police. Police threw in tear gas which set the Cabin Dorner was in on fire. There are questions as to whether or not the cabin was deliberately set on fire by police to get Dorner to come out. The cabin burned down, and Dorner’s body was pulled from the ashes. But in the end it was not the fire that killed Dorner, but rather a self-inflicted gunshot. He shot himself while the cabin was on fire, but not before he killed another police officer. This bringing the death toll to 4.
Dorner's violent rampage left questions that may never be answered. Where were his family and friends? Were there signs that he was losing all sense of rationality, and if so, did anyone try to help him? More importantly, did the police department or the armed services have any clue that he was a walking time bomb? Dorner’s break is divesting for the police department on so many levels. One of their own turned on them. Will this tragedy affect how the officers interact with each other? Will it cause division? Will it bring out other sleeping giants? One thing is certain, with so many police officers and serviceman overworked and trained to kill, I think it impotent that more measures to recognize mental instability be put into place. Even for those that have been terminated or discharged from duty.
Hadiya Pendleton Shot And Killed After Attending Inauguration
January 20, 2013. While the debate on guns in America continues, background checks, no background checks, assault rifles, no assault rifles, 2nd amendment rights, etc., people are dying in Chicago. Chicago remains the state with one of the highest rates of gun murders per year. Young minority men, women and children are being shot and killed on a regular basis. As of January of 2013, there have been 157 violent shootings and 42 peopled murdered by guns.
The dead include a lovely 15 year old honor student named Hadiya Pendleton. On January 29th Hadiya was killed in Harsh Park on Chicago’s Southside. She was a sophomore at King College High School. Hadiya recently returned from the inauguration of President Barack Obama. She was a majorette with the high school band. The band performed at several inaugural events. When Hadiya was killed, she was at a local park with several fellow classmates, members of the school volleyball team. A torrential rainstorm began, and as she and her friends took cover underneath a canopy when she was shot in the back. Two of her classmates were shot in the leg but fortunately survived. Hadiya and none of her friends had any affiliation with gangs. So why did someone open fire on them?
At a police news conference in Harsh Park where she was killed, Hadiya’s father Nathanial Pendelton spoke to his daughter’s killer. “He took the light of my life.” Look at yourself, just know that you took a bright person, an innocent person, a nonviolent person.” Nathanial described Hadiya as a good student who was very active. A dancer, a cheerleader who wanted to attend Northwestern University to become a “doctor or pharmacist or maybe a lawyer.”
Hadiya’s name was sited during the gun violence hearings at the White House this week. Jay Carney, White House press secretary said that Hadiya is in the President and Mrs. Obama’s thoughts. Their prayers are with the family.
54 year old Cabrini-Greens housing projects resident Shirley Chambers, has lost all 4 of her children, to gun violence. Her son, Ronnie Chambers was the last of Ms. Chamber’s children to be murdered. 33 year old Ronnie Chambers an ex-gang member turned record producer had turned his life around. He was gunned down in mid-January, while sitting in a parked car, after attending a listening party.
Ms. Chambers lost her 18 year old Carlos while he was walking in Chicago’s South Loop. Her 23 year old son Jerome, was killed in April of 2000 outside of their in Cabrini-Green. He had just been hired to work in construction. Three months later, her 15 year old daughter LaToya was killed outside their home, by 13 year old boy. Ms. Chamber’s stated that “to have to bury all your children, all of them, it's hard. My life will never ever be the same again."
Though Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, over 500 people were killed in 2012. How does this happen? There are no gun shops. Assault weapons and high capacity magazines are banned. Decades long ban on handguns was only lifted in 2010. Potential gun owners must obtain a background check, get a Chicago firearms permit which requires firearms training, and a state-mandated firearms identification card. The state requires that all legal gun owners must report lost or stolen firearms. This is true of Chicago but not true of the entire state of Illinois. The penalty for having an illegal firearm is 1 year in jail. However in 2012, police seized almost 7500 illegal guns. Almost 600 were confiscated in January 2013.
Twenty five percent of the guns confiscated by the Chicago Police Department were purchased in Cook County, just outside of Chicago as well as other stores around the Illinois. Indiana state, not more than an hour outside Chicago also supplies the guns that somehow end up in Chicago. The Cook County Board president has introduced a countywide provision requiring gun owners beyond Chicago to report lost or stolen guns. First offence will be punishable by a $1,000 fine.
Clearly the gun laws that are in place now in the state of Chicago are not working. So, is the answer to gun violence more gun laws? The problem may be much bigger than that. Reverend Jesse Jackson says that the culture of violence in Chicago like many other minority environments, is poverty. The Reverend says that young black and brown children are born poor, hopeless and full of despair. They feel forgotten. They have been abandoned by one parent and the other parent spends many hours outside of the home trying to make ends meet. They are left often left alone to raise themselves. The schools they attend are old, worn down and not up to par. Teachers and staff are overworked. They are hungry. Maybe even depressed. They get to together to support one another. But they are children and children need love, understanding and guidance. They want to know someone cares for them.
Critics say that this is no excuse, because many who come from the same situation do not resort to gun violence. True. Unfortunately many is not all.
Lance Armstrong Confessed to Blood Doping On Oprah Winfrey
January 2013, In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in which he admitted to using performance enhancing drugs including EPO, transfusions and testosterone, professional cyclists Lance Armstrong stated that it is for the best that he stepped down from The Livestrong Cancer Foundation. The charity he founded in 1997 and viewed
as his “sixth child,” reportedly has raised nearly $500 million dollars to fight the disease, in part by the charities yellow Livestrong wristbands. Armstrong is a survivor of testicular cancer competed between 1999 and 2005, retired then made a comeback in 2009.
Since confessing to using steroids, he has been banned from the sport of professional cycling and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. He may possibly lose his bronze metal. Armstrong stated that he viewed him taking performance enhancing drugs as a leveling the playing field, and that he “deserves to compete again.”
The US Anti Doping Agency “USADA” stated that they are releasing more than 1,000 pages of “overwhelming” evidence that as a professional cyclist of the U.S. Postal Service Sponsored Team, Lance Armstrong was a part of "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that the sport has ever seen." The Report includes "direct documentary evidence including financial payments, e-mails, scientific data and laboratory test results that further prove the use, possession and distribution of performance-enhancing drugs used by Lance Armstrong.
The USADA reports goes to the professional cyclists governing body, “International Cycling Union, UCI, Union Cycliste Internationale” its French name, the “World Anti-Doping Agency” and the “World Triathlon Corporation”, which runs Ironman competitions. UCI, is to recoup millions in prize money won by Armstrong.
Pat McQuaid UCI Union President stated that he was“sickened” by the report, but that "Cycling has a future.” He writes "today's young riders do not deserve to be branded or tarnished by the past or to pay the price for the Armstrong era."
For years Armstrong denied that he used performance enhancing drugs and relentlessly attacked his fellow team mates and anyone that spoke out about his drug use. In 2010 ex-team mate, Floyd Landis tested positive for synthetic testosterone, and was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France Title. He accused other cyclists of using performance enhancing drugs including Armstrong. Armstrong’s attorneys said that Landis was desperately seeking money and attention.
Their have been others that have spoke out about Armstrong, including Tyler Hamilton. According to ESPN, Armstrong ran into Hamilton at a restaurant and threated to make his life a “living hell,” if he testified against him in court, regarding the doping allegations of U.S. postal team members.
In a lawsuit against the USADA, Lance Armstrong named head CEO Travis Tygart as a defendant, stating Tygart was on a “witch hunt and out to get him.” Emma O’Reilly Armstrong’s former personal assistant and team massage therapist said that she was in the room when Armstrong and two other team mates planned to backdate a prescription for cortiscosteroids, to explain a positive steroid test during the 1999 Tour de France.
Armstrong went after her calling her a prostitute, alcoholic and a trader. Once good friends of Armstrong, fellow cyclist and his wife Franky and Betsy Andreu stated that they were with Armstrong, when a doctor told him that he had taken EPO, Testosterone,cortisone, growth hormone, and steroids.
Betsy Andreu also said that her then fiance Franky was fired from the team because he refused Armstrong’s request to see Michelle Ferrari an Italian doctor who treated Armstrong and team mate Landis. Ferrarri publicly defended EPO , stating that the drug is not dangerous. Armstrong has accused Andreu of bitterness, jealousy and hatred.” Armstrong told Oprah that he was sorry for the pain he caused by his need to win at all costs.
Ex-team mate John Eustice told CNN that he believes that Armstrong admitted to doping because he wants to compete again. In order to do that he has to cooperate with USADA on certain details. He says that Armstrong called the shots and encouraged team mates to blood dope. Stating that that in order make the team and ultimately win the Tour de France you have to perform at a certain level. If you do not blood dope you are not going to perform at the level.
So the question is taking performance drugs par for the course if the majority of the cyclists are blood doping? Do you compete without using drugs and risk not performing as well as those that are? Or, do you join them, especially if you can’t beat them any other way?