If you pull up to the McDonald’s drive-thru on Thursday (Dec. 5), don’t be surprised if no one is there to take your order.
Fast food workers in over 100 cities are expected to walk off their jobs this week. This nationwide protest is the continuation of a ongoing fight for higher minimum wage. Currently, the U.S. minimum wage is $7.25, which is seen as an absurd amount to live on for many workers. The campaign is backed by unions and other advocacy groups. Their aim is to get the minimum wage increased to $15 a hour. However, many of the fast food companies find that request unrealistic.
President Obama is even supporting the campaign. Just last month, he said that he would support Senate’s efforts to raise the federal minimum wage rate to $10.10 a hour.
Advocacy groups believe that the fast food industry hasn’t restructured its thoughts to modern times. Today, many workers aren’t teenager or young adults working their way through school. Instead with the unemployment rates, older individuals are applying for jobs at fast food joints. Adults have more household responsibilities. The federal minimum wage is simply not enough to survive on.
Do the strikers have a point? Or should they be thankful that they’re getting a paycheck period?
Each week Stacks Mag will bring our readers “The Rachet Report”. We will highlight hot topics that have made headline news that make us say “Really?”. We will choose one report to receive the “Really Award” for the most down right rachet thing we have ever heard of. So sit back and enjoy as we bring to you “The Rachet Report”
Definition of Ratchett in the Urban Dictionary: A hot mess
YALE University Poop Bandit
Students in YALE are falling victim of the poop bandit. Yale Daily News, reported they received three complaints that students laundry have been popped in. One victim of this horrific event went as far as taking the feces out of the dryer and taking it to the College Masters office to show her frustration. Students have decided to take a stand and take shifts watching the laundry room in efforts to support each other and not have the same thing keep happening.
SMDH, regardless of where this stupidity happened it’s ignorant and low on some many levels. With everything that’s going on in the world people would waist energy taking craps in people’s laundry. Some people have way too much time on their hands. Please do something more productive like trying to get a life!
Jermaine Jackson buys a $160,000 Ferrari but in debt
Jermaine Jackson is falling but still balling. Apparently, Jermaine Jackson feels like the male version on NeNe Leaks ’cause they both want to show the world that they are “Rich B—h”. The former Jackson Five member and brother of famous icon Michael Jackson was reported buying a $160,000 Ferrari but is in debt nor has he paid his child support. TMZ reports that Mother Katherine Jackson was furious that her son is making such poor financial and responsibility decisions. Mother Katherine was also reported helping the mother of Jermaine’s youngest child financially.
Jermaine is definitely a legend in the music industry, but obviously a dead beat in real time. How could any real man purchase a $160,000 car and his child and ex-wife are broke and living with his mama…. Really Jermaine?
Friday Marks the last day of pay for many Fed Workers
Worse news is that it’s been a little over 10 days since the Government shut-down. Regardless of whose popularity rating is going up, the American people are suffering. NBC news polls reported that most Americans want to vote out the whole Congress. This Friday is the last day of pay for some Government workers which may cause a rippling effect in the economy and could potentially raise crime rates. Government workers that don’t have savings and were blindsided from the shutdown have no clue when they will see another check. NBC interviewed an Arlington, VA furloughed federal worker named Lisa and she stated “I could only pay half of my October rent so that I would have money to get groceries until my next and possibly last check.”
We shouldn’t be pledging allegiance to a land of lies, broken promises and a government that has constantly defrauded the nation.
This week the “Really Award” goes to the “Government” for not even considering the people that voted for you and will eventually turn the tables during the next elections. Congratulations Government! You didn’t think this thing out ’cause pay back is you being voted out and you too will be unemployed.
Submitted by Dameon Daniels, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
Each week Stacks Mag will bring our readers “The Rachet Report”. We will highlight hot topics that have made headline news that make us say “Really?”. We will choose one report to receive the “Really Award” for the most down right rachet thing we have ever heard of. So, sit back and enjoy as we bring to you “The Rachet Report” !
Definition of Ratchett in the Urban Dictionary: A hot mess
O.J. Simpson is back in the News…. O.J. Simpson has been in the news a lot frequently since being acquitted of the 1994 double murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown-Simpson and friend Ronald Goldman. O.J. was later arrested and convicted of the 2008 felony armed robbery and kidnapping charges and sentenced to 33 years. Fox News radio reported that O.J. was allegedly caught stealing cookies from Lovelock Correctional Center in Pershing County where is serving his full sentence. Simpson confessed after a guard confronted him after noticing he was hiding something under his prison clothes.
Why, why, why, O.J?!! Is it not enough that you will be serving the remainder of your life behind bars but to add a petty cookie theft is just plain dumb….
Raised Credit Interest Rates and No Jobs
Credit card rates may go up real soon. The Government shut down has caused a rippling effect to the public from federal agency employees being out of employment to tight stipulations on Credit cards holders. Apparently the Treasury is scheduled to ask investors for $120 billion in loans in the next two weeks. Investors aren’t so sure that (do to the economy) that the government will be able to pay back the loan. So, the American people may pay the price. Investors raised interest rates that affected the economy in 95-96 lasted 28 days.
The government is being so selfish and ignorant to try to prove a point by having a pissing match. Children are suffering and families are out of work trying to figure out how they plan to survive until the government decides to wake up and serve the country properly with…ethics.
Feb 8th baby slapper pleads guilty to simple assault…. Joe Rickey Hundley slapped a 19-month year old baby boy after making a racial slur on a Delta flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta airport. Based on statements from the FBI investigation, Hundley was reportedly not happy about the child on the plane and inquired about the child lap policy. The mother of the child moved to another part of the plane but as it was preparing to land, she moved back to her original seat. As the plane landed, the baby began to cry and Hundley called the child the (N)word twice after being confronted by the parent. Hundley has recently pleaded guilty for an simple assault charge.
So we all know that no matter how people try to sweep the topic under the rug but racism is still real. But regardless of anything, any adult that slaps an innocent child should be tied up and slapped repeatedly and then put in an empty jail cell without any human contact for 6 months. But that’s just my opinion….
For the first time ever, this weeks “Really Award” is a tie between the racist baby slapper Joe Rickey Hundley for just being a “jerk” and The Government for just being a “jerk”. Congratulations “Jerks” I’m done…
Submitted by Dameon Daniels, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
STACKS Magazine and staff would just like to take this moment to remember the lives lost on September 11, 2001. May their souls continue to rest in peace and in the hearts of their loved ones. To law enforcement, fire fighters, medical staff, politicians, and random citizens who spent countless hours helping those affected by this tragedy, we continue to salute you.
God Bless America.
This week marked the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s historical march on Washington, DC. Many American’s participated in the day of festivities, speeches, and reflection. President Barack Obama, the King Family, and various other civil rights leaders and supporters were all in attendance to express their gratitude for one of America’s greatest leaders for civil rights. Amongst the group, comedian/actor/singer Jamie Foxx spoke briefly about Dr. King’s legacy and a recent discussion held with civil rights activist, Harry Belafonte.
Foxx told the huge crowd that at recent dinner, in which him and his 19 year old daughter were seated with the legendary actor, Belafonte said that he had just returned from the war when he started as an activist. Belafonte explained that he was only about 19 when he made the decision to march alongside Dr. King and others. It was this point in their discussion that Foxx realized that as young people, it was time for him and his peers to step up and continue on the legacy.
“Everybody my age, and all the entertainers, it’s time for us to stand up now and renew this dream,” Foxx told the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial. “That’s what we gotta do.”
Foxx understands that, as an mega star, the influence and ability to help change injustices in America is possible. But, Foxx can not walk alone. It will take some of his peers to speak out as well in order to make sure Dr. King’s legacy lives on.
What we need to do now is the young folks pick it up now, so that when we’re 87 years old, talking to the young folks, we can say it was me, Will Smith, Jay Z, Kanye, Alicia Keys, Kerry Washington, the list goes on and on,” Foxx said.
Listen to Jamie Foxx’s speech during the 50th Anniversary commemoration program:
We should all applaud Foxx for being one of the only entertainers who normally step out on the forefront of injustices we see in America. Foxx has been a big supporter of the Trayvon Martin situation, Jena 6, Sandy Hook, and other causes. A lot of the top entertainers stood up and campaigned for President Barack Obama to make sure he was elected. Why can’t that same energy and enthusiasm be used to help fight against present-day civil rights issues? Sometimes it take a village of people to make a difference. In order to get Stand Your Ground laws and other laws changed, for instance, people with influence, power, and money will have to stand up.
So, Jamie Foxx did a great job by calling out entertainers like Will Smith, Kanye West, and Jay-Z. These are some of the biggest African-American stars in the U.S. and the world. As much as you they want us to support their music and movies, it is only right for them to support the movement entirely (not only when it’s convenient).
What are your thoughts?
SMH…it’s a shame that people even have to read ridiculous news stories such as this one.
A Colorado Senator, Vicki Marble, made an absurd comment recently during an Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force meeting. The task force included lawmakers who would review and discuss the poverty levels and disparities amongst various races. During their discussion, Marble commented that “”Although I’ve got to say, I’ve never had better barbecue and better chicken and ate better in my life than when you go down South.” She also spoke on African-Americans an their overwhelming health scare of sickle cell.
The comment sparked a big outrage. One Democratic representative, Rhonda Fields, was highly offended by the comment and had her two cents to share.
“I will not engage in a dialogue where I’m in the company, where you are using the stereotype references about African-Americans and chicken and food … I will just not tolerate that.”
What was Marble thinking when she made this stupid comment? The whole world pretty much each or have ate fried chicken once in their life. Regardless of if Blacks or any other race eat chicken frequently, this does not associate or cause the high poverty levels within their communities. Now, she may have wanted to say that since the price of chicken is cheaper than some other meats, this may be one determining factor that can possibly point out which races may suffer economically. But to specifically say that Blacks are poor because they eat fried chicken is extremely offensive and untrue.
SMH. And these are the people we vote into office. Chile please!
Honestly, I never knew there was such a term. Throughout my life, I oftentimes seen people exchange food stamps or EBT cards for cash. Heck, I’ve even purchased a few. The exchange is an illegal act on the part of the benefiter. But, I had no idea that the government called this “food stamp trafficking.” Apparently, this has become an epidemic and the Agriculture Department has been investigating the problem.
According to an article on Fox News, people are in desperate need of cash and are selling food stamps illegally back to stores.
“The percentage of Americans selling their food stamps back to stores for cash has increased by 30 percent over the past several years, according to a new Agriculture Department study.
The study on food stamps trafficking — which the agency said included “covert investigation” in stores — compared the periods of 2006 -2008 to 2009 -2011.
Despite the increase, trafficking has declined since the 1990s, when the rate was nearly 4 percent of food stamps, also known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs benefits.
The total amount of SNAP benefits is now at roughly $858 million, compared to $330 million annually in the 2006-2008 period.
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The increase reflects the overall growth in SNAP participation and benefits, the agency said in the August 2013 report.
Recipients typically sell back their benefits at a discount, according to the agency, which said its undercover investigations and research into electronic SNAP transactions focused on stores that showed “suspicious activities.”
So this means that the stores that are purchasing the stamps are probably using the stamps for personal purchases and/or to charge other customers an up-price. However store owners are handling it, the government is tracking perpetrators down. But the sad news is that this has been going on for years in the streets. Hand-to-hand food stamp sells have been going on for years. It will be interesting to see how the government will be able to regulate the SNAP benefits.
The city of Gary, Indiana has done something good for their local citizens. In effort to stabilize some of their decapitated University Park neighborhood, the city purchased unoccupied homes from county tax sales. The homes were residences whose owners fell behind on their property taxes and was forced out.
The program designed to help bring life back into the neighborhood was announced in June. The announcement received over 400 applicants. But, only 25 people made the final cut. Why? Because the city placed strict requirements on the program which only a few locals were able to qualify. The requirement were:
- Must be a Gary resident for no less than 6 months
- $1000 in savings
- Earn at least 80% of annual income of $35,250
- Must prove that they can financially afford to rehab the home
- Applicant can NOT currently own a home
- Must live in home for 5 years before city will fork over full ownership; early departure from home will forfeit your residency
The city will announce the final 12 winners via a drawing. Gary’s Mayor, Karen Freeman-Wilson, will eventually sell 50 of these homes a year, only if this initial run works.
Gary has seen a tremendous downfall over the several decades in its population. After once being one of the nations top manufacturing towns, the decline of employment opportunities ultimately took a toll on the neighborhoods.
Mayor Freeman-Wilson remembers purchasing her first home 20 years ago through an U.S. Housing and Development program. She says this helped her “forge a life in the community.” This program, she hopes, end the decline of this Gary neighborhood and bring life back into it.
This initiative will also provide financial assistance to current homeowners who need repairs to their home.
Over the weekend, Sybrina Fulton, the mother of murdered teenager Trayvon Martin, visited the Big Apple to speak against the continuation of racial profiling. Fulton spoke on NBC’s “Meet The Press” and aired out her frustrations regarding police and civilians having the right to stop someone based on their race.
“You can’t give people the authority, whether civilian or police officers the right to just stop somebody because of the color of their skin,” Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The city of New York is currently battling this situation amongst their police and local citizens. According to statistics pulled by the Associated Press, during a ten year span, the city of New York has stopped and questioned over 5 million people. Out of those 5 million people, 87% of them have been either Black or Hispanic. 10% of those stopped, end up being arrested. The NYPD claims says most of those arrest were warranted because of weapons found on the suspects. This is why the NY Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly doesn’t agree with Ms. Fulton and other critics who are fighting to end the use of “stop and frisk”.
In the past week, a judge ruled that “stop and frisk” was a form of racial discrimination. However, the City of New York disagrees and is now planning an appeal. Their justification is that more violent crimes will ensue if some form of profiling cease to exist.
Do you think “stop-frisk” should be banned throughout the U.S.? Let’s start the discussion and tell us what you think.
Jessie Jackson Jr. and wife Sandi Jackson arrived at the United States District Court in D.C. on Wednesday, August 15th, and sentenced for mishandling campaign funds. Jessie Jackson Jr. received 30 months in prison for spending $750,000 from his campaign for personal uses. Jackson Jr. was a well-known Democratic congressman and son of Civil Rights icon Jessie Jackson Sr. Wife, Sandi Jackson was sentenced to 12 months in prison for omitting over $500,000 in income from the couples tax returns. The couple will serve separate terms per judgment of the court to raise the couples 2 younger children ages 9 & 13. The NY Times reported that Jackson wept in front of the court and family as he asked for forgiveness and accepted responsibilities for his actions.
Article submitted by Dameon Daniels, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
ttorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. may soon grant a bit of hope to prisoners serving long-term mandatory sentences. During the American Bar Association conference, in San Francisco, the Attorney General announced plans for a prison reform package. As part of the new Justice Department policy, offenders currently serving (and any detained in the future) will no longer serve severe mandatory sentences. Those offenders who are subject to this new policy will include elderly, non-violent inmates, and small-time drug dealers with no gang or large-scale drug affiliations.
Over the years, Holder Jr and the Justice Department have seem the overwhelming increase of the prison population. The issue arose when the prison system was opened up to private entities. These private entities soon began to build massive compounds across the U.S.. Some theorists believe that the prisons were built (post the drug wars of the 1980′s) as another way to systematically oppress minorities. Also, private prisons costs millions to operate. Therefore, the only way to maintain the facility is to keep prisoners in for long periods of time and continue to fill it up with new inmates. But, the system is broken and has strayed far away from it’s original purpose: to reprimand and rehabilitate.
“We must face the reality that, as it stands, our system is, in too many ways, broken,” Holder said. “And with an outsized, unnecessarily large prison population, we need to ensure that incarceration is used to punish, to deter and to rehabilitate — not merely to warehouse and to forget.”
“A vicious cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities,” Holder said Monday. (Excerpts of his prepared remarks were provided Sunday to The Washington Post.) He added that “many aspects of our criminal justice system may actually exacerbate these problems rather than alleviate them.”
Holder believes that if reform occurs, our communities will be strengthened. Therefore, he asked over 90 U.S. attorneys to come up with ways in which federal charges should be avoided and when not. He also charged the Justice Department and Department of Education with figuring out the disconnect with the “from school-to-prison” pipeline and see why so many kids end up behind bars (instead of being punished in schools).
The attorney general can make some changes to drug policy on his own. He is giving new instructions to federal prosecutors on how they should write their criminal complaints when charging low-level drug offenders, to avoid triggering the mandatory minimum sentences. Under certain statutes, inflexible sentences for drug crimes are mandated regardless of the facts or conduct in the case, reducing the discretion of prosecutors, judges and juries.
Some of Holder’s other initiatives will require legislative change. Holder is urging passage of legislation with bipartisan support that is aimed at giving federal judges more discretion in applying mandatory minimum sentences to certain drug offenses.
Read more here…
What do you think? Is prison reform needed?
In efforts to continue her fight on obesity in America, First Lady Michelle Obama will release a hip hop album for the youth. The album is called Songs For A Healthier America and will feature several notable artists. Jordin Sparks, Run DMC, Doug E. Fresh, Ashanti, Ariana Grande, and many others will add their talents to the project. Of the 19 tracks that will appear on the album, Michelle Obama will appear in 10 videos. The first video called “Everybody”, which features Doug E. Fresh, Jordin Sparks, Dr. Oz, Ryan Beatty, and the Hip Hop MD, is online now.
“Songs For A Healthier America” will be released in September.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to sign into law new student loan terms which will reduce interest rates. The law will affect the student loan recipients who are currently enrolled in school, graduates, and individuals who have had outstanding loans for years. The new law would affect over 11 million borrowers and will help save thousands of dollars over the lifespan of their loans. Once the new law is in place, it is speculated that current loan interest rates will be adjusted and fixed. Here’s a look at what interest rates to expect:
Okay. We know Stevie Wonder was the first person to step up as an artist in support of the George Zimmerman verdict.
“I decided today that until the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again,” Wonder said at a concert in Quebec City. “As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world. The truth is that — for those of you who’ve lost in the battle for justice, wherever that fits in any part of the world — we can’t bring them back. What we can do is we can let our voices be heard. And we can vote in our various countries throughout the world for change and equality for everybody. That’s what I know we can do.”
Then came along the gospel sisters Mary Mary. They too were turned off by the not guilty verdict and decided to take a stand against the Stand Your Ground law. Well, now there are a list of big name artists/celebrities who are refusing to perform in the state of Florida until the law is changed. According to the Huffington Post, those celebrities are…
•Jay Z (pending confirmation)
•Justin Timberlake (pending confirmation)
•Will I AM
It is great to see these artists stand up for something that is as major as this. Whether it is through a tribute song or participation in one of the marches, kudos to these celebrities that are standing up for the right thing.
The worst feeling that many of Detroit’s public workers and retirees are feeling nowadays is due to the bankruptcy filed by the city. Last week, the City of Detroit announced that it had filed for $19 billion in bankruptcy protection. The debt incurred by the city was mainly due to the shut down of large car manufacturers and other businesses that employed thousands of local citizens. The car companies began outsourcing a lot of their workforce when the recession hit. Also, many of the companies are now using robotic technology in place of human labor. These things caused the citizens who relied on these jobs for decades, to lose them. With no job, the local people can’t spend dollars in the city. It’s very difficult to pump money back into the economy if no one has any money.
Now, there is another issue that has arose because of the bankruptcy. City workers and retirees are now realizing that their salaries, health benefits, and pension are tied up in this debt.
“The debt question needs to be addressed. But even more important is the accountability to the citizens of Detroit,” said Snyder. “They are not getting the services they deserve and they haven’t for a very long time. So this can has been getting kicked down the road for decades. Enough is enough and now’s the time to turn it around.” (Michigan Governor Rick Snyder)
Although Snyder says he’s optimistic that the city can make a big turnaround, the immediate affects of this crisis is disheartening to the citizens. The city, which once held a population of $1.8 million, has about 700,000 people now. Of those 700,000, Detroit has 10,000 active public workers and 18,000 retirees. Detroit believed that the money coming in from property taxes, business taxes, etc would help fund the pension and health benefits. But, the contributions outweighed the city’s revenue. According to the Associated Press, benefits and pension plans are now underfunded by approximately $9.2 billion. The city hasn’t been able to pay payroll and pension contributions for some time now.
With immediate focus on the unfunded portion of the pension funds, emergency manager Kevin Orr believes this issue can be resolved. The help of a federal bailout is also a possibility.
Detroit stand out like a sore thumb right now, but can return as a very productive and profitable city once the financial issues are patched up. Mayor Bing has faith and believes the citizens can pull through this.
“Detroiters are very, very resilient people,” said Bing, a professional basketball Hall-of-Famer who spent most of his career with the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. “Detroit is a very iconic city, worldwide. Its people will fight for this and we will come back.”
Is Kirk Franklin Choosing Money Over His Religious Beliefs?; Gay Community Says “NO” to $80K Performance In D.C.
When conversations involve religion and/or money, that’s when things get sticky. Case in point…
The LGBT community in Washington, D.C. is pissed off at Kirk Franklin for being chosen to perform at the DC Emancipation Day. The city’s government paid the “Stomp” gospel singer $80,000 to perform at the event. But, the gay community believes that this was just a blatant contradiction to Franklin’s personal believes involving the gay lifestyle. Although Franklin has stated in past interviews that the LGBT community should be treated with kindness, compassion, and love by the church, he still feels as though the lifestyle goes against what the Bible says about homosexuality.
But, the LGBT people are simply NOT hearing it.
One man Wayne Besen, founder of Truth Wins Out (a national LGBT organization) believes Kirk Franklin and others are “fake Christians.” “The truth is, they compromise on everything the Bible says for their own convenience, yet twist the Scripture to support bigotry,” says Besen.
What do you think? Is it fair for “Christian” performers/celebrities to profit off of LGBT related events, knowing that they disapprove of the homosexual lifestyle?
Hit us up…this is an interesting topic. We’d like to know what you think!
Atlanta City Council President Ceasar C. Mitchell and the U.S. General Services Administration are hosting an all day business conference for government and private sector buyers. This event will give business owners the opportunity to learn ways to grow and market their business. Business and government experts will teach attendees the ins and outs of procurement and alternate funding. Also, there will be discussions of any future business opportunities.
In 2012, the conference was attended by Georgia Power Company, Atlanta City Council, DeKalb County, Environmental Protection Agency, Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Georgia State University Small Business Development Center, The Army Corps of Engineers, Georgia African-American Chamber of Commerce, and many others.
The event will be held on June 20, 2013 at the Atlanta City Hall-Atrium, 9AM to 3Pm. To reserve your spot for this upcoming event, please go to Ceasar C. Mitchell’s 2nd Annual Back to Business Conference.
Memorial Day weekend in Atlanta, Georgia was very festive. As Atliens packed the city, several major events were happening. One of which was the 1st Annual MLK Renaissance Festival/ATL Superfest.
On May 25th and 26th, Atlanta’s historical West End District was the location for this celebration. The festival’s purpose was to unite people of all ages, genders, and cultural backgrounds through onsite games for kids, artists performances, vendors, and more. The historic West End neighbors have seen the area degrade over the years. Despite having several heavy populated Historical Black Colleges & Universities in the area, the students or business owners hadn’t pumped enough funds into the area to enhance its growth. However, within the last few years, the district has seen a tremendous change in business ownership and economical dedication the City of Atlanta has to the area. Therefore, it was only right that Atlanta City Council President Cesar Mitchell officiated the kick-off celebration. He did this by presenting a proclamation naming May 25th and 26th the “MLK Renaissance Festival Weekend”.
The overall weekend was a huge success. Several well-known celebrities/artists came out to show their support like Atlanta Falcons Thomas Johnson, RL, Pastor B. Scott & his wife Pastor D (“Sisterhood”), Mishon, Cori Sims, Momma Dee, and Mr. Collipark. Artists who performed on P.Brown’s (CEO of Streettalk Promotions) ATL Superfest stage were: Ying Yang Twins, DG Yola, DTE Trouble, Myko Montana, Tex James, Fabo, Young Tone, La Da Boomman, Pastor Troy, The Shop Boyz, Big A Prado, Jazi J, and several other independent artists.
Indie artists who performed were selected via a judges panel the evening before at GME Sports Lounge. The lounge was the primary sponsor and headquarters for the festival weekend. Our cameraman was on the scene to capture the highlights from the weekend. Check out the pictures below…
May 24, 2013
May 25 & 26, 2013
In conjunction with GME Sports Lounge, several other businesses were deemed as official sponsors (i.e. Streetz 94.5FM, Metro PSC, and MLK Resurgence Commission). The event was a success and everyone is looking forward to the celebration in 2014.
To see more photos from the event, please visit STACKS Magazine on Facebook HERE!
Special thanks to Areina “Reinchild” Plowen, of ReinChild PR for the invite!
President Barack Obama was officially sworned in, for a second term, as the 44th president of the United States. His inaugural speech was heartfelt and timely as he spoke on climate change, the gay community, jobs, and more. In case you want to read President Obama’s speech in its entirety, we’ve captured it in full text below. Enjoy!
Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:
Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution.
We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.
For more than two hundred years, we have.
Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.
Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.
Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.
Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.
Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.
But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.
This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.
For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.
We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher. But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American.
That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed.
We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn. We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.
We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.
We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage.
Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.
We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice – not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice.
We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.
It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.
That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.
For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.
My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride.
They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope.
You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course.
You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.
Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.
Thank you, God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.
Photo Credit: GettyImages
Congratulations are in order for our President of the United States, Barack Obama. Tuesday night in a landslide Obama was re-elected for another term beating out Republican Mitt Romney. While he only needed 270 electoral votes to win the race, Obama easily brought in a cool 303 electoral votes. While many have said Romney put up a good fight in the end it was Obama’s solid campaign and vision of “hope and change” that won the people over.
Now that the battle has been won, it’s time for the President to get on with his business of winning the war. While many are not happy about the outcome and are not in support of Obama, the reality of it all is that as a people we’re in this together. Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, we’re first an American citizen. During his victory speech, President Barack Obama couldn’t have said it better… “We rise or fall together as one nation.”
Congratulations President Barack Obama!!!
Alright good people, we’re down to the wire. It’s officially V-day, so if you didn’t get your ballots in early, it is a must that you go to the polls today and cast your votes.
Now for those of you that think that this is a laughing matter and no big deal at all. Let me be if not the first to tell at least another one to tell you that you are flat out wrong. While you may not think so, the outcome will have an impact of your life and way of living. So it your responsibility just as much as the next person, that your voice be heard.
While I could, I’m not going to beat you over the head with all the reasons why you should get out and vote. Just know that it’s your civil duty, that there is power in numbers and that yes your vote does count. I won’t even try quilting you by reminding you of the trials and tribulations endured for many of us to even have the right to vote. Just know that a price was paid and it’s your turn to pay the piper. So I encourage you to RESPECT YOUR VOTE!
Remember….polls close at 7pm!!!
Well, the $40,000 a ticket private fundraiser thrown by Jay-Z and Beyonce paid off. It’s being reported that the Carter’s were able to raise $4 million for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign!
President Obama and one hundred supporters were in attendance on Tuesday night at Jay’s 40/40 Club. While partaking in Champagne and food, the building was full of pre-congratulatory spirit as everyone mingled and showed grand support for Obama. Jay-Z and Beyonce have been firm supporters of Obama since his first run four years ago. Even Beyonce said a few words celebrating the POTUS.
“I can’t tell you how proud we are to host tonight’s event with President Obama,” said Beyonce, in a stunning red cocktail dress and blond curls. “We believe in his vision.”
In appreciation for the special fundraiser on his behalf, President Obama took time out to express his gratitude and crack a joke about the similiarities of his wife Michelle and Beyonce.
“We both have daughters and our wives are more popular than we are. So, you know, we’ve got a little bond there. It’s hard but it’s OK,” the president said of he and the “Watch The Throne” rapper.
“Beyonce could not be a better role model for my girls,” said Obama
You got to love President Obama. He is one cool dude!
If you’re not yet register, please go register to vote. Elections are November 6. Remember, your vote count!
Photo Credit: Obama/Biden Official Twitter
We’ve heard of $5000 a plate fundraisers for political fundraisers. But, for hip hop’s richest couple, it will cost you a wayyyyyy more than that to even enter the door.
Coming up on Sept 18, Jay-Z and Beyonce Carter will do their part to help fund President Obama’s campaign. According to the NY Post, this exclusive event will cost $40,000 to wine and dine with Obama, The Carters, and other VIPs at the 40/40 Club. And if you’re a true baller, you won’t mind dishing out another $12,500 for a family photo with the President. Word is that Obama will visit a family oriented fundraiser early in the day on the 18th. Location is unknown.
New York is believed to Obama’s last stop before the elections.
When the recession hit, millions of Americans found themselves rationing everyday household purchases. From home foreclosures to loss jobs, the average middle-class family received a harsh-but-quick dose of reality. Without funds, things such as trips to the grocery store have become less and less.
Recently CNNMoney listed a few statistics on their website that proves that this increasing epidemic has caused greater economical impacts on millions of people.
More than 50 million Americans couldn’t afford to buy food at some point in 2011, according to federal data.
Children in some 3.9 million households suffered from food insecurity last year, with their families unable to provide them with adequate, nutritious food at times.
Nearly 17 million Americans suffered from “very low food security,” meaning they had to reduce the amount they ate, saying the food they bought did not last and they didn’t have the funds to buy more. They typically found themselves in this situation a few days a month for seven months of the year.
The number of people in this category shot up by more than 800,000 from 2010, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released Wednesday. Women living alone, black households and the poor and near-poor were affected the most.
Overcoming this issue of lack of food may take some time. But in the meanwhile, the U.S. government need to do more to solidify employment for those who are not working. We’re sure their are plenty of jobs still being outsourced. So, if the government can mandate corporations to open up more jobs in America, household finances could escape from red. Therefore, allowing life necessesities such as food to become more abundant for the everyday family.
What do you think? Are there other ways in which the “lack of food” can be no longer an social issue?
My favorite quote of the night “…reach back and give others the same chances you had to succeed”, was spoken so passionately by the First Lady Michelle Obama during Tuesday nights Democratic National Convention. With conviction and enduring respect, all of those in attendance (and the millions that tuned in) were captured by her spirit, her love of President Barack Obama and the United States of America.
While Michelle traveled down memory lane, like speaking on their struggle as young lovers, the First Lady words touched families worldwide. Her speech was more like a continuous Hallmark card. Not choosing to give direct opinions on topics up for debate (such as healthcare reform), Michelle used her 20 minutes or so to express her family background and the values they share. Within each sentence she spoke, all that listened could snatch several great quotes to Tweet or Facebook about. In case you missed it, here are few standout quotes I love:
“Well, today, after so many struggles and triumphs and moments that have tested my husband in ways I never could have imagined, I have seen firsthand that being president doesn’t change who you are. No, it reveals who you are.”
“And believe it or not, when we were first married, our combined monthly student loan bill was actually higher than our mortgage. We were so young, so in love, and so in debt.
That’s why Barack has fought so hard to increase student aid and keep interest rates down, because he wants every young person to fulfill their promise and be able to attend college without a mountain of debt.”
“Barack knows the American Dream because he’s lived it, and he wants everyone in this country to have the same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we’re from, or what we look like, or who we love.”
To see Michelle Obama in her entirety, check out the video…
It’s one thing to have money. It’s another thing to have everyone’s respect. But, you can definitely call the shots when you’re considered one of the most powerful.
Women have always held a secondary place in the world when it came to business and politics. Slowly but surely, women have been planting their stake by becoming more influential and business savvy. Many would think Queen Elizabeth or Oprah would be considered powerful. Don’t get us wrong, they are. But according to Forbes, there’s only four women who ranked among the “World’s Most Powerful People”.
Meet the Real Boss Ladies…
This is the smartest thing I’ve heard in a minute.
The housing market and predatory lending is the primary reason why the U.S. experienced a “recession”. So in order to counter act this and get the U.S. citizens out of financial hardships, why not allow mortgage owners to refinance! Glenn Hubbard, dean of the school of business at Columbia University, expressed his views on the current mortgage crisis and how the banks can fix it. He states…
“If everybody who’s current in their payments could refinance at a low rate. It will be equivalent to a tax cut of nearly $70 billion a year for several years. A very large stimulus for the economy. And would help reset expectations in a big way in the housing market.”
Check out his interview with WSJ Marketwatch’s Greg Robb below:
President Obama and Congressional “leaders” have reached an agreement on a deal to raise the debt ceiling. I put leaders in quotation marks because the deal still has to pass the smell test with the members of both houses. There are items in the deal and more accurately some things that are not part of the deal that are sure to raise the ire of Tea Party Republicans and Progressive Democrats. Most believe that the leaders of both parties, with the support of the President, can garner enough support to get the deal passed. For several weeks we have all been inundated with reports about the impending doom of the American economy, and it all centered around the now infamous debt ceiling. The August 2nd deadline hung over our collective heads like the Sword of Damocles. Furthermore, the eyes of the world have been watching with keen interest, and not just the Chinese who are the largest holders of US debt. The American economy is vital to the health of the world economy. In the days and months to come this impasse will become fodder for endless debate about the efficacy of our system of divided government .
The United States Constitution gives Congress the sole authority to borrow money on the credit of the United States. In 1917 the United States had finally entered World War I and Congress passed the Second Liberty Bond Act. In short, the act was intended to make it easier to finance that war effort. Congress essentially modified the manner in which it authorized debt. Prior to 1917 debt matters were handled by Congress individually. The Second Liberty Bond Act changed this procedure by setting a limit or “ceiling” on the total amount of bonds that could be issued, and eliminated the necessity of coming to Congress anytime the Treasury wanted to issue bonds. The debt ceiling as we understand it today was further established in 1939 and 1941 with the Public Debts Act.
“The United States Public Debt Act of 1939 eliminated separate limits on different types of debt. The Public Debt Act of 1941 raised the limit, and consolidated nearly all federal borrowing under the US Treasury.”
There have been many subsequent Acts and laws that have had an impact on US government debt but the aforementioned acts essentially laid the foundation for what we understand today as the debt ceiling. Now, everyone agrees that the US debt situation is completely out of control. The schism develops when we begin to discuss solutions. Democrats want to protect entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare. They want to increase taxes on the wealthiest members of our society and eliminate tax breaks for corporations and the like, essentially rolling back the Bush era tax cuts. Republicans, especially those affiliated with the Tea Party, want a balanced budget amendment, far deeper budget cuts than the Democrats and no tax increases or new taxes. This is a simplification of the issues on both sides, but these are the basic battle lines for what has become an epic struggle. It is nothing less than a battle over what the nature and size of American government will be in the 21st century. I don’t know what the answers are but I have my opinions and in the coming days and months we are going to examine these issues and others from stem to stern. Right now there is a deal, but regardless of what happens between now and midnight on August 2nd there is still a glacial divide between Democrats and Republicans. There is still tons of work that needs to be done and if the lunatic fringe in both parties are allowed free reign we may see this scenario play itself out over and over again. I never believed in slippery slope arguments, but America we are sliding down a hill and its not into a valley overflowing with milk and honey.
Written by Kevin A. McLeroy, contributing writer for STACKS Magazine
November 2 is your time to vote! STACKS Magazine would like you to stress the importance of voting to all of your family and friends. No one should believe that their vote doesn’t count. It does! You can start by spreading the word online at the COMMIT TO VOTE challenge.
Also making history during the nomination season is retired NBA star Kevin Johnson. Defeating his competition, two-term incumbent Heather Fargo, Johnson recently became the first black mayor of Sacramento, California. Much like our very soon to be president, Barack Obama, Johnson’s campaign theme focused on change. “No more business as usual” said Johnson.
During his campaign, Johnson had the support of billionaire investor Warren Buffet and fellow NBA stars like Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson, and Shaquille O’Neal.
Once again….YES WE CAN!!!!!