Welcome to the A

Once again it is my honor to welcome all to Atlanta's Annual Black Pride Celebration. By the emails, phone calls, and online messages I see that this will be yet again a well attended event... and as a Georgia resident for yet a few more days we welcome you and your tax dollars to Hotlanta.

However on behalf of Shirley Franklin and the police chiefs of Fulton County PD, DeKalb County PD, and Atlanta City Police lets go over some ground rules:
  • Stealing from Lenox Mall will have you arrested and embarrased. A friend that manages a store there has already told me that some punk was arressted for trying to steal from Neimans this past weekend... and instead of the side door they took him right out the front entrance... what a gag.

  • Leave the Str8s alone. For some reason they often forget or want to pretend to forget that it is gay pride, then walk around the mall trying to figure out why the mall is gayer than usual. (if that is even possible)

  • When hanging out in Piedmont Park on Sunday.... please remember the park closes at dusk and there is no restroom or exit in the bushes behind the tennis courts.
I feel it is my duty to remind you again this year, on Monday (Tuesday if you just must) we ask that you pack your bags and take only what you brought with you or have receipts for and go home… Atlanta is currently at its homo resident limit and currently way over our traffic capacities, so no new residents at this time!!

But on the real tip enjoy your Labor Day weekend everyone whether you are here in ATL, Miami or wherever.

5 Things I Will Miss About ATL: #4 Being in the South

The fourth thing I will be missing about being in Atlanta, is also one thing I won't miss. And that is being in the south. There are some aspects of being in the south I love and there are others that I could definitely do without.

I will definitely miss being driving distance to my mother. Out of my entire family my mother is the person I am closest to. Being an only child to a single mother, kind of requires that. While there are aspects of my life that are not discussed, she is the only person in my family that really knows me.

I will also miss being close to my Alma mater, Auburn University. Auburn was a great time for me. Of course I learned a lot I walked away with 2 degrees in 4 years, but more importantly I learned so much about myself and relationships as well. Before attending I was quite nervous about going to a predominately white college in the middle of nowhere in Alabama. But the very first time my mother drove me on to the campus... I knew this was going to be home.

Being in the south has a few perks... but the slow fullness, segregation and lack of diversity are things that make moving north worth it.

After the Destruction

Once again the journalists at the Washington Post have done a great job in covering a story. As we mark the 2nd year since Katrina you should check out
videojournalist Travis Fox returned to Nola to cover the recovery and revitalization efforts within the city.

Always remembering, Nigel Alexander Baptiste-Williams
March 12, 1989 - August 30, 2005

Keeping Diddy Relevant Season Finale

Ok so Diddy finally Made the Band last night. And I don't recall them saying anything about how the audience voted but that was probably cause I was paying very little attention to the show. But anyway the band is Qwanell, Willie, Robert, Brian A., and for some odd reason Mike. Can someone explain why Mike made it ?

And to appease the white folks... Donnie got a solo deal. I actually like his voice and could see him in a boy band but a solo deal with Bad Boy is about as useful as... well... hell you name 4 Bad Boy solo artist?

5 Things I Will Miss About ATL: #3 The Nightlife

Atlanta's night life is by far not the most idealic, however it is probably one of the best out there right now.

Whether you are looking for the gay, straight, or mixed crowd... Atlanta has what alot of other cities doesn't have and that is options. Sunday through Saturday there is always a spot open to go to. On Sunday alone there are three different gay clubs open... Friday and Saturday there are four. And for these options... I will miss the Atlanta nightlife.

I'm Feeling a Tammy Faye Cry Coming On

Well Fox 5 here in Atlanta reported last night that the good Bishop Thomas Weeks but a public beating on his wife, Juanita Bynum recently. Weeks described as a 'bishop, prophet, conference host, and highly sought after motivational speaker' was still being sought after by Police at the time of the newscast.

Weeks and Bynum are the leaders of the Global Destiny ministry which has churches in Washington, DC, Los Angeles, London and here in Atlanta. As well as a huge television and online following at www.bishopweeks.com .

While of course there are three sides to every story... Juanita's is quite a sad and salicous story. According to Fox 5

ATLANTA (FOX 5) -- Atlanta police said Wednesday that well-known television minister, Juanita Bynum, became the victim of domestic abuse after her husband savagely beat her in a hotel parking lot Tuesday night.

A relative of Reverend Bynum told FOX 5 News that the Reverend Bynum and her husband, Bishop Thomas Weeks, are in the middle of a separation.The relative said the two agreed to meet Tuesday night in the dining room of the Renaissance Hotel near Hartsfield-Jackson airport.The meeting reportedly did not go well and ended with Bishop Weeks leaving abruptly. The relative said Reverend Bynum followed him to the parking lot where the two exchanged words.

According to an Atlanta Police Department report, that's when Weeks allegedly attacked her. In a statement to police, Reverend Bynum said her husband, Thomas Weeks, "choked her, pushed her down, kicked her and stomped her in the Renaissance parking lot." Ronald Campbell of the APD said a bellhop at the hotel saw the attack, intervened and stopped it.

Officer Campbell said Reverend Bynum suffered multiple bruises and swelling and
required hospitalization.

Don't know about you guys but for some reason I am feeling a tearful, apologetic, "I've Sinned Against the Lawd" sermon coming this Sunday.

You better preach gurl!!

5 Things I Will Miss About ATL: #2 Phipps Plaza

Directly across the street from the overpopulated Lenox Mall (thanks MARTA!!) is a less visited jewel to Atlanta... Phipps Plaza. Phipps sits less than a mile from my house and I can be found there a couple times a month.

Whether it is a Saturday afternoon and I want to catch a movie away from the masses... or a Sunday afternoon and I want to see what my favorite stores Theory, CoOp, and Sisley have in. I always feel I can shop or browse (which I do most often) without running into 100 homos and College Park's finest. It is a rare occasion when I can remember being in one of the stores with more than 8 other people at the same time.

Phipps was also the first time I got to see Janet Jackson, Faith and T.I. up close and personal. I will definitely miss my lil shopping haven.

5 Things I will Miss About ATL: #1 Elizabeth Baptist Church

I can't remember a time growing up when church wasn't a constant. There was always two services on Sunday and bible class on Wednesday. Vacation Bible School every summer and once I was a teenager there were the weeklong camps held at universities across the country.

During college my attendence dwindled, but it wasn't until I was an adult when I realized how important spiritual fullfilment was to my life. I discovered this with the help of Metropolitan Baptist Church, which I am excited to finally be returning to.

But after visiting countless churches here in Atlanta, it was only Elizabeth Baptist Church that fed my soul and not only had me eager to return, but had me telling everyone about it. It is truly a unique worshiping experience. It is everything that I enjoy... a good message, uplifting singing (even from the Mens Choir... which tend to be dull and boring), and a timely service. But the thing that suprises me the most about the multigenerational EBC, is how the service and church are led by quite a youthful staff. Craig L. Oliver the pastor is in his mid 30s, and the ministerial staff that I have had the opportunity to see when Oliver was away have all been in their early 20s. When I asked one of the elder members I sat next to one Sunday, she simplied replied "it is a beautiful thing to see the young folks so active nowdays". Inspring as well, if you ask me.

For anyone looking for a church experience, I highly recommend checking this church out. You can watch the services live or On Demand at Streamingfaith.com. It will definitely be apart of any of my weekend trips to ATL.

Danny will Always be My Winner

Congratulations to Sabra... but Danny will always be my favorite

CoCoDorm must Go... just not today

In the ever evolving story of CoCoDorm. In a hearing lasting more than 25 hours over three days, the Miami's Code Enforcement Board said it's not about the sex, it's about the residential neighborhood and have ordered the business shut down.

The board voted 5 to 2 finding that the business is violating Miami city code in two ways: Operating an adult business in a residential area, and operating a business in a residential area.

Porn house illegal, Miami rules
BY LAURA MORALES as printed in the Miami Herald

The residents of Northeast 27th Street in Edgewater may not have neighbors like Pretty Ricky, Jerzey Flyrt and Nick Da Kannon for much longer.

After 10 hours of listening to evidence and arguments, Miami's Code Enforcement Board ruled late Monday that Phillip Bleicher's Flava Works, an Internet porn production and distribution company, is illegally running an adult entertainment business out of a single-family home at 503 NE 27th St. -- zoned for residential use -- and ordered that those operations cease.

''I think the city has met its burden of showing a link between the house on 27th Street and the website,'' board member Oscar Rodriguez Fonts said before moving to deny a motion, made by Flava Works attorney James Benjamin, to dismiss citations posted by city code inspectors in May.

The website is CocoDorm.com, where visitors can, for a fee, watch live video streams from the Edgewater house, where chiseled young males are paid $1,200, plus room, board and meals, to live in the two-story home for a month and have sex with each other on schedule.

Monday's hearing was the third in the sex-house case. Assistant City Attorney Victoria Mendez argued that Bleicher also was running an illegal rooming house, but that violation was dismissed. Benjamin argued that the house, leased by Flava Works from owner Angel Barrios, was not part of the adult entertainment operation. He cited a Tampa case where the 11th Circuit
Court of Appeals ruled that VoyeurDorm.com, a female version of CocoDorm, was not guilty of similar violations.

He also argued that business transactions don't happen at the house and that all sales and distribution take place at Flava Works' office at 2610 N. Miami Ave. ''No member of the public came to the location to view, buy, trade or obtain any adult entertainment,'' Benjamin said.

But Mariano Loret de Mola, the city's director of code enforcement, testified that, on one occasion, he saw a man he recognized as ''Dorm Dude'' Breion, who is prominently featured on the website's main page, walk up to the Edgewater house and punch in a code to let himself in.

That, and the differences between Miami's and Tampa's laws, scuttled Benjamin's argument. ''Miami's adult entertainment ordinance encompasses Internet activity in a way the Tampa ordinance did not,'' Rodriguez Fonts said.

Benjamin said he intends to file an appeal within the next few days. ''But we're not sure where we're going to file the appeal yet,'' he said. ``We're not going to put our tail between our legs and go away. The activity is protected by the First Amendment.'' Mendez said the decision would not be enforced immediately.

''The city has no problem with giving them two weeks to get their business affairs in order,'' she said.

So what does this mean for Flavaworks will they have to move again? Does the First Amendment protect Flavaworks and CocoDorm? If VoyeurDorm.com, a female version of CocoDorm operated in the nearby city of Tampa, was not guilty of similar violations, will Flavaworks get the same ruling in Miami? Only time will tell... and you know we will be watching.

Trailer for Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?

So what do you think?

GoGo'n Home

My return to Atlanta has been filled with many ups and downs. This past year and some months have definitely been a learning experience about myself, my strength, and my faith in God.

For those who have no clue to what I am talking about you may want to pause here and go back and read this entry from New Years Eve. (reference: Lessons Learned in 2006)

In June, I was approached about a management level position in my field that would afford me all the opportunity and challenges my current position seriously lacks. On August 1st, after a couple interviews and several conversations with my 4 trusted voices (my 2 bestfriends Karlo and Rey, my attorney and friend Cyn, & my colleague and good friend, Micah) I decided to take this position which will require me to return to DC. While I am disheartened that I didn't get the opportunity to accomplish all of the things I had hoped and dreamed for my time in Atlanta... I am looking forward to my return to the Nation's Capital, to my friends, to those last minute trips to NYC, and the new opportunities and challenges before me.

One month from today I embark on a new career voyage... Keep me and my decisions in your thoughts and prayers because I am go go'n home.

The Value of Life

When I heard the news teaser about an upcoming story of students shot execution style.. I shook my head but kept it moving. Then after flipping the channels I happened to land back on the NBC station just as the story was coming back on. I wasn't surprised to learn this tragedy happened in a city where gun violence has become more common and a part of daily life than Starbucks in Seattle. Four young friends shot execution-style in a schoolyard just days before they were to head to Deleware State University.

Forced against a wall at an elementary school and shot in the head at close range, these vicitims were thought to been a part of a random robbery committed by several assailants and that some of the victims may have tried to resist their attackers.

What type of callaous and cruel person could shoot someone in the head at close range? Even if I wasn't gravely afraid of guns... I don't think there is anything that could promote me to take someone's life other than saving my own.

Are we not teaching our children the value of life? Until we start holding parents responsible for the crimes of their children... this nonsense will continue. How is someone raised that they could do something like this? Where are our churches? What is the government doing? These senseless crimes continue but yet their focus is on Iraq. If we can't stop our own people from killing each other, why should we even be concerned about terrorism.

How did all of this start... When corpral punishment and prayer left the schools.... when children stopped being raised with religious/spiritual beliefs... when kids started having kids at profound rates???

Random Thoughts... on Celebs

  • Jones had bypass… no shit

  • Ritchie is preggers… who cares

  • Osama after Bobby… boy please

  • Lohan drunk again… are u surprised

  • Wonder on tour… please stop

  • Goldberg on view… yawn

  • Superhead giving HOdashin advice… and you are

  • Monique defending the N-word… just ignorant

  • Spears going insane… pure comedy

  • Barron removing Paris from will… ooo you done done it now

  • Murphy hit with paternity… condom was so much cheaper

  • Flava of Love 3… stop this insanity

  • Genarlow still in jail… travesty

  • Kelly on trial… finally

that is only King James' VERSION

Once again I have revealed something that has left two of my friends speechless. The friends have known me for 10 and 5 years respectively but would have never guessed that what I exposed would ever come out of my mouth. For as long as they have known me they have seen me active at Metropolitan Baptist in DC and now faithfully attending Elizabeth Baptist here in Atlanta. But in a conversation this past Thursday with the 10 year friend and one this Saturday with the 5 year friend caught them both by total surprise when I stated, “ I have quite a few issues with the King James Version of the Bible and don’t really believe it for what it is supposed to be.”

My issues with this version first stemmed from school when we were studying the many Kings of England. This is where I learned that King James once studied and promoted witchcraft and showed very little interest in women but preferred the company of men. A few years ago I was exposed to Alister McGrath’s book, In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and How it Changed a Nation, a Language, and a Culture. It was in this book where I learned that the legendary King James commissioned the translation of the Bible to conform to the Church of England. He also wanted any words that had different meanings, to be translated using whatever meaning “the most eminent fathers” used. Also instead of translating from an original Hebrew text, the KJV derives from the Geneva Bible and several other translations.
So basically you have a translation of a translation that isn’t even a literal translation.

In saying this doesn’t mean I think the KJV is just an incredible novella. But unfortunately since I can’t read Hebrew, I must hope and believe that the inspiration of the word of God is still there. And continue to read my Bible that has the KJV and the NIV side by side for comparison. (I am sure the NIV has issues with its translation as well).

Faith is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen.