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I was playing with my daughter on the floor one night and realized I didn’t have my normal ease of getting off the floor. I attributed to a long day at work being in an awkward position and probably at least 4 other excuses. It kept happening. There have been times where I have been overweight but it has never affected me in a way where its slowed my movements or made an easy task difficult. This time it did. I know a part of this equation is that I’m sitting at 38 which is not 28 as Shaq once eloquently said. Also, a huge factor was that at that time I was 235 lbs which at 5’10 gives me a belly like Buddha. If I’m being moderately active and not being dumb with my diet I can usually rest at 212-215 range. If I’m in running mode I can rest in the low 200s to 195 area. This current incarnation of myself was unacceptable. I can’t have an active daughter and be that father that is telling his kid to slow down because they can’t keep up. How embarrassing is that?

My journey technically began at the new year and while I’ve could consistently be in the gym I haven’t had the weight loss I should because my diet sucks. (ed. note: As of 4/5 that changed, I have started by removing all sugary drinks from my diet) told my trainer that week: “Help me”. I felt like the pitiful little boy lost in a mall looking for his parents. I know that part of my triggers is right after I start really going hard in the gym my appetite goes crazy and I eat anything not nailed down. This depending on what’s in the house could result in a bag of Pop Chips being hoovered in sitting. That is “no Bueno”.

I started doing research on the impact of sugar on our diets. The levels of sugar in our drinks is crazy. As I started doing more research and saw that Fat was pushed as a focus not because of research but because of money that can be made from low fat foods. I recommend reading this article as it started my wheels turning — even though it took 2 months for me to start doing something about it.

I’ve done it before and I know I can do it again but I’m a little older and a little more set in my ways. I think in America we all fight this battle. The problem is everything that isn’t good for you taste delicious. I mean just thinking back to all the pie I’ve consumed in my life. But now I have a belly (my wife says it just a little belly…that’s just love talking) and I need to get rid of it. I’m big on achievement — so I just can’t work out just to workout. I need a goal so before I ran a lot and races were my goal. While I still want to run races I need something else to get me through. I do have to do this 5K in Atlanta again this summer to avenge my horrible showing last year.

2 Things are currently motivating me: My Family and Vanity.

Besides dodging the police department and making sure they don’t kill me with any interaction I must fight hypertension and avoid being a diabetic. I’ve been successful at 2 out of the 3.

Here I am, aspiring to have my Trey Songz body (pause) by the end of June. This means no more fast food (ed. note: No fast food is a moving target but my consumption of fast food has vastly reduced) and ensuring that every meal has a real vegetable (I was told lettuce doesn’t count). Luckily, I have iKia to help me stay on track with her motivational posts. We’ll see how this works out…stay tuned…I’ll either be ready to sing “OOO Na Na” shirtless at your local karaoke bar this summer or I’ll be hating the fact that I can’t find XXXL Bape Tees.

 

Ed. Note: As of 5/31 – BDotM is down 22 lbs with 25 lbs left to go to reach his goal weight. 

*I’m not a dietician and any claims are anecdotal based on what happened to me. Before you start a diet or any workout routine please consult your physician.

I’m not going to waste words here. These are the best two teams in the NBA by far and if you watched the terrible playoffs you knew this matchup was inevitable. The Cavaliers have a matchup problem. Kevin Durant is a problem that they don’t really have an answer for. They can throw LeBron at him, possibly Kevin Love but that’s it. If they are guarding a scoring dynamo like KD most of the game their offense will suffer. I don’t think Ty Lue would be foolish enough to put JR Smith on him. Even though LeBron is the best player in the world there is multiple people they can throw at him. They can throw the whole starting lineup at him except Steph to slow him down.

Apart of me thinks the Cavs will pull this out in 6

But my final prediction — Warriors in 5. Average margin of victory 15 points.

MVP: Kevin Durant

It’s not really a brave prediction. I think KD wants this. He wants this ring. If he played more games this season he could have been a contender for the MVP. Plus, I like his game better. So there’s that.

No I don’t spank my child. I’m not saying you’re a dick if you do spank but…you’re a dick. As a child I was spanked or as it’s colloquially called ‘beat’. And yes I am a functional adult and I survived with minimal therapy but that doesn’t mean that how I was parented 30 years ago should still be the standard. 30 years ago people were still using Toaster R Ovens, you’re telling me I’m supposed to use that instead of a microwave.

Nah B.

We all elevate our parents on pedestals that they can’t possibly live up to. We all assume we were parented in the right way because we feel ‘normal’. The fact of the matter is our parents did the best they could with the information they had. There isn’t any shame in that. It’s nothing that we should look back with regret or anything. As a parent that’s really all you can do. This isn’t a judgment on past parenting – this is a judgment on new parents who have new information but refuse to use it.

Two things are facts: Climate Change is real. Spanking doesn’t work. The science is in, deal with it.

This all came from a discussion with a couple of friends over the weekend. They were shocked that I wouldn’t assault my child (It takes a different spin when you phrase it like that huh?).  At the end of the day – that’s what it is… Maybe I’m being dramatic, maybe I’m not. If I’m at a point where I have to discipline via physical violence I have already lost. Take it from someone who was beat, often – it didn’t deter me from doing anything wrong. It just made me angry. That anger was just the feeling that was transferred from my parents. They were angry at me, rightfully so but still.

MiMo being 18 months old – she’s not understanding anything that nuanced of that I’m hitting her because she did something wrong and differentiating that she shouldn’t hit her classmates. That’s too much for a 1.5 year old to comprehend and to apply.

I’m not saying I have all the answers. Hell I don’t even know if I have any answers but I am confident in my feelings that hitting my child is something I am not comfortable with. When you discuss no spanking everyone gets the image into their head of the yuppie (read: white) parents in the grocery store with little Johnny screaming and going crazy. There’s a big jump between your child having no discipline and you committing first degree assault on your child.

Please, go ahead spank your kid (actually please don’t), just know if you do, you’re a dick.

Also enjoy Stacey Patton’s take in the NYT.

Few question the valor of those who serve in the military. Even those who disagree with American foreign policy recognize that soldiers don’t have the luxury of choosing their missions. As such, for having the guts to risk the ultimate sacrifice for their country, they are held in high esteem.

Similarly, no one can question another’s personal truth – including what it means to those who carry the weight of combat experience.

I spoke recently with a friend, a veteran who saw action overseas, who knows first-hand that freedom isn’t free. The cliché, rooted in truth as commonly understood, has unique significance for him.

This man, who we’ll call Mikey, recently completed serving a two year sentence in state prison for growing and distributing marijuana. But he didn’t walk out before he stood up in a courtroom and diagnosed the brutal reality of a paradox in plain view. His conclusion left the courtroom stunned.

“The government sent me halfway around the world,” Mikey said. “Carrying a gun for them, I was considered a hero. Then I grew marijuana. And the government kicked my door in and locked me up. If you had told me when I was nine years old, that one day I would have two jobs – one where I shot human beings that never killed anyone, and another one where I grew a plant that has never killed anyone – and the second one would make me a criminal, I would have told you that you were crazy.”

The judge nodded. Others in attendance cried. In the collective silence, there was agreement: It was crazy.

As Mikey put it, he was “ahead of his time” in North Carolina, where marijuana is illegal for any purpose. Yet one in five Americans now live in a state where marijuana is legal. A clear majority of Americans favor legalization for recreational use and even more favor legalization of marijuana for medical use. The only real question is when, not if, marijuana will be legalized from coast to coast.

Beyond the legal context, another aggravating factor was tougher to stomach. Mikey said he was conflicted about the rationale for his incarceration in contrast to many of those around him.

“Some of these guys had done bad things – hurt people, killed people,” Mikey recalled. “But for some of them, they had this sense of peace about being locked up. They accepted that they were being punished for something they knew was wrong.”

Lying down to go to sleep each night on a thin mattress in a metal bunk, Mikey could find no such comfort.

“I still stand strong with love in my heart,” he announced in his first social media post after being released. “I’m still not sorry. At all.”

What is it in us that seeks the truth? Is it our minds or is it our hearts?

The eyes of the law are human eyes — yours and mine — and until we can see each other as equals, justice is never going to be evenhanded. It will remain nothing more than a reflection of our own prejudices, so until that day we have a duty under God to seek the truth, not with our eyes and not with our minds where fear and hate turn commonality into prejudice, but with our hearts — where we don’t know better.

Now I wanna tell you a story. I’m gonna ask y’all to close your eyes while I tell you this story. I want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to yourselves.

This is a story about the President of the United States. He welcomes foreign enemies of our nation into the Oval Office. Upon greeting them he divulges highly classified information. His reckless admission not only puts lives and already jittery international relationships with allies at risk but magnifies doubts about his administration’s essential competency. Anyone but the President to commit such a colossal blunder would be subject to criminal charges.

Can you see him? I want you to picture that President. Now imagine the President is Black.

The defense rests your honor.

Why did the raid of a Republican consulting firm with ties to former Trump Campaign manager Paul Manafort take place on Friday afternoon? Because the night before the President went on television to volunteer a sterling case against himself for obstruction of justice in the Russia scandal.

Since then, many have noted a marked shift in mainstream media coverage: From language describing the investigation in terms of intelligence-gathering to framing it in terms of eventual criminal prosecution.

“The FBI has started pulling that string,” said former Republican Congressman and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough. “And they are still pulling that string where it leads is not just an election issue, it is a criminal issue – and Trump knows that.”

Contrary to the President’s hopes, Comey’s dismissal has actually propelled the investigation into its next phase – publicly, at least. It had already been confirmed that grand juries have been impaneled to consider evidence related to the investigation. And there are as-yet unconfirmed reports that those grand juries have generated dozens of indictments under seal with many more to come.

Sources outside the traditional media – most notably Louise Mensch, a conservative former British Member of Parliament now working as an independent journalist in New York – have been ahead of the curve on Trump-Russia. It was Mensch who broke the FISA warrant story just days before the November election. That information was eventually corroborated by mainstream media reports but not formally confirmed until Comey testified publicly in March.

The same day the FBI descended on the office of the GOP consulting firm, Mensch reported the existence of a New York state-level racketeering and corruption (RICO) case against the Republican Party. The raid was coordinated between the FBI and the Eastern Virginia District Court of Virginia, overseen by Acting Assistant Attorney General Dana Boente. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance are conducting their own investigations into Trump campaign associates’ business dealings.

Like any criminal investigation, to topple powerful people – especially in the highest positions of government – even overwhelming evidence may be insufficient to get convictions. To take down the big game requires nailing lower-level actors and flipping them to work up the food chain. And when the threat of executive power looms, the order of operations and inter-agency coordination becomes even more essential.

Also vital is a critical mass of public pressure on the Republicans to place country before party. For that to happen, a scandal that is complex and hard to understand needs to be distilled into a plot busy people can readily follow. Reagan never went down in the Iran-Contra affair for many reasons, but a major one is that the public never quite knew who did what wrong.

Two years ago, in covering the “Bridgegate” scandal that embroiled Chris Christie and his associates, the New York Times’ Jim Dwyer quoted the Pulitzer Prize-winning Richard Aregood in citing a basic law of politics that the New Jersey Governor violated:

“Never do anything crooked or evil that the average person can understand.”

By going on camera and bragging he canned Comey because the Russia investigation was based on a “made-up story,” Trump not only violated a basic law of politics, he confessed to violating the law of the land. He will learn in disgrace, as Richard Nixon did, that he is not above it.

In case you forgot, on June 25th 2009 the dancing machine who re-invented entertainment, Michael Jackson, died. 3 days later, during the red-carpet pre-show of the BET Awards, CNN’s Don Lemon briefly interviewed Joe Jackson, Michael’s father. In a matter of minutes Joe Jackson confirmed, to the 10 million plus tuned in, how self-centered he is.

The second question Lemon asked Joe Jackson during the interview was, “The last couple of days, I know it’s been really tough for you guys?”

Joe Jackson replied with one word, coldly he said, “And.”

His reply shocked no one familiar with the Jackson family saga, but with each subsequent question Joe Jackson continued to show his egocentrism.

Lemon continued by asking Joe Jackson, “Is there anything you would like to share with the world about your son and about his legacy?”

Joe Jackson responded to this question by calling on a publicist to read a statement prepared for Joe Jackson and the Jackson family. The moment was awkward, and begged the question, why would a father need to have prepared statement to address the love he had for his son, and the impact his son had on the world?

Further into the interview Lemon asks Joe Jackson, “Do you know anything, Mr. Jackson about funeral arrangements?”

Joe Jackson replied, “Not yet we haven’t gotten to that yet,” and without pause he introduces Don Lemon to his business partner, Marshall Thompson of the Chi-Lites, to gleefully promote his record company, Ranch Records. It was an ego moment reminiscent of the chip on Kanye West’s shoulder.

On April 30th 2017, ESPN senior writer Darren Rovell reported that the three major shoe brands, Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour who traditionally compete for top NBA prospects to endorse their products, would not be offering an endorsement deal to UCLA star, and the #1 or #2 overall projected prospect in the 2017 NBA draft, Lonzo Ball. As unlikely as it is for a superstar College Basketball player destined to be one of the top two picks in the NBA draft to not be offered an endorsement deal by the big three shoe companies, the reason why, is equally perplexing.

It’s because of Lonzo Ball’s father LaVar Ball, the Joe Jackson of Basketball. Rovell quotes Lavar Ball in his ESPN article as having said, “We’ve said from the beginning, we aren’t looking for an endorsement deal, we’re looking for co-branding, a true partner. But they’re not ready for that because they’re not used to that model. But hey, the taxi industry wasn’t ready for Uber, either.”

Now that’s ego. A really big ego. A Joe Jacksonesque ego.

LaVar Ball in several media appearances has promoted his Big Baller Brand, an athletic apparel company, he hopes will become a household name like the Jordan brand. LaVar Ball’s attempt to leverage his son’s college basketball success into a profitable brand that will inevitably benefit himself and his family isn’t ridiculous in theory. However, when you consider that Lonzo Ball hasn’t played a single minute in the NBA it’s clear how foolish and costly LaVar Ball’s egocentrism has already been to Lonzo Ball.

Last year’s #1 NBA draft pick Ben Simmons received a 5 year $20 Million dollar endorsement deal with Nike, according to USA Today. On May 4th 2017, LaVar Ball and his Big Baller Brand debuted Lonzo Ball’s signature shoe the ZO2 Prime with a price tag of $495. A pair of Nike Air Jordan’s have never been released with a price tag of $495, and Michael Jordan is universally recognized as the greatest basketball player ever. In addition, Big Baller Brand would have to sell more than 40 thousand ZO2’s to equal Ben Simmons endorsement deal with Nike, and that is highly unlikely, especially if you’re in it alone. Lonzo can thank LaVar’s ego for that.

The only thing LaVar Ball’s egocentrism has succeeded in doing thus far is making his son Lonzo Ball’s transition from College basketball player to professional basketball player more difficult than it already is. Lonzo Ball is already a pariah before his new unknown teammates get the chance to meet him.

When LaVar Ball makes such outlandish statements as, he can beat Michael Jordan because Jordan would have been to slow and too small to guard him one on one, or when he says his son (Lonzo Ball) will be better than Magic Johnson, and that his son (Lonzo Ball) is already better than future Hall of Famer Steph Curry, that’s barbershop dialogue. Those statements are not meant to be taken seriously. However, when Lavar Ball makes those statements in an interview or via twitter they get him the attention his ego craves. It is a masterful deployment of the Kardashian business model, always seek the spotlight, watch the dummies follow, and laugh all the way to the bank.

What isn’t funny, however is when others pay the price for Lavar Ball’s ego.

Stephan Gilling was the head basketball coach at Chino Hills High School were LaMelo and LiAngleo Ball, LaVar’s other sons, played this past season. Gilling lead the school to a 30-3 record in his first year, but despite their success Gilling was fired. Gilling’s crime is believed to have been an ongoing feud with LaVar Ball.

Gilling through a twitter video, as reported by For The Win of USA Today Sports, announced his relief in being fired from his position at Chino Hill High School on April 29th 2017. When someone, anyone, announces relief at losing their source of income that means that particular source of income cost more than it was worth.

For The Win reports that Gilling and LaVar Ball’s relationship went sour during the Tarkanian Classic Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas in December 2016. Chino Hills was playing Roosevelt High, and by halftime they were down by 12. At halftime, Gilling instructed his players to stop double teaming Roosevelt’s shooters and to stay in man-to-man defense in the second half, the report says.

His players listened and won the game 76-68, but during the entire second half of that game, For The Win reports, Lavar Ball kept yelling for Chino Hills players to double team Roosevelt from the stands contradicting Gilling’s instructions.

In line with his egocentrism, Lavar Ball following the victory over Roosevelt, as reported by For The Win, was upset and confronted coach Gilling for instructing his team against Ball’s wishes. Gilling replied that he was doing what was necessary to win the game, which they did, but that explanation wasn’t sufficient for LaVar Ball who then headed into the Chino Hills locker room, after Gilling asked him not to.

Gilling requested that LaVar Ball leave the team locker room, and Ball refused, as reported by For The Win. Gilling was forced to have the team leave the locker room, and head back to the hotel, LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball were the only players who didn’t follow the coach back to the team’s hotel at that time.

The report by For the Win also goes on to detail how LaVar Ball, after the locker room incident, went to the hotel and talked to the team on the 18th floor and advised them that he was running things and not Coach Gilling.

For the Win writer Andrew Joseph quotes Coach Gilling describing the after-tournament hotel incident this way, “An assistant coach comes up to me and tells me that he sees LaVar rallying the team up, I guess he got them out of their rooms on the 18th floor and tells the team that it was his system that won. That we’re doing what he says. ‘I run Chino Hills! I run UCLA, about to run the NBA!’”

That is ego. A really big ego, especially considering LaVar Ball averaged a measly two points in College during his playing days.

Joseph goes on in his report to quote Coach Gilling as saying the following regarding the team chemistry after the hotel incident, “So, throughout the rest of the year, we had games that I would not talk to them (LaMelo and LiAngelo), The kids looked at me different. Not all of them, but some. They understood and knew they were caught in the middle of it all. It was sad for the kids because it was from that point on that they didn’t know who to listen to. It was also noticeable that things were being said at home, and brought back to the gym in a way of, like, they’re not listening to the coaches.”

To be clear I am not critiquing LaVar Ball for wanting the best for his son’s or being involved in their lives, and nobody should have an issue with LaVar Ball encouraging or even requiring his sons to work hard, and protecting them from the inevitable collegiate and professional vultures who will pick their carcass bare if not checked, but clearly LaVar Ball has reached a point where what he is doing is no longer about LaMelo, LiAngelo, and Lonzo Ball. Through his actions, not just his cartoonish proclamations, LaVar has most assuredly scorched bridges his sons have yet to cross.

LaVar Ball through his actions is going to force, LaMelo, LiAngelo, and Lonzo Ball to muster the will to write LaVar out of their lives. The same way Michael Jackson, because of his father’s actions, wrote Joe Jackson out of his will.

If, and I believe most likely when, that happens, LaVar Ball will become an opponent to his son’s, an opponent they can’t afford to lose too, because it will mean the end of their careers, and could potentially jeopardize the families they will eventually develop for themselves.

It is at that point LaVar Ball will be left with his ego, him and his ego, his really big Joe Jacksonesque ego.

 

You can find Deonte’s Podcast on Youtube: Run It Back Radio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

French President Emmanuel Macron reminded Americans what intelligence, class and youthful exuberance looks like in a leader.  The French opted against the nationalist wave by electing Macron. They took a stand for globalism and against xenophobia. While the people stood strong waving their French flags in joy, Macron’s speech to environmental scientist was reminiscent of one hip hop’s most notorious figures Suge Knight 1995 Source Awards acceptance speech.

This video is from 3 months ago but because of President Macron’s win its gaining new life.

 

Everybody. Minorities. LGBTQ. Elmo. Poor Christians. Ja Rule. Females. Bobby Brown. Poor people in general. The list is really exhaustive.

Let’s start with the facts the ‘repeal’ of Obamacare is not a health care plan. It’s a tax plan. That’s one of the few things that both sides can truly agree on — this has nothing to do with health care and everything to do with cutting taxes for the wealthiest 1%. The problem with the GOPs tax plan is that they went out of their way to screw the majority of their constituents. Luckily for them their constituents are one issue voters (abortion) so if they lose their coverage or if it skyrockets it doesn’t matter because Emperor Orange and inept merry men will eventually strike down Roe v. Wade.

Spoiler alert — It’s not happening.

The issue with health care is one of the few things in America that transcends race and cuts to the heart of America’s problem — class. I’m lucky enough to work for a large company and my premiums hasn’t really been impacted except for small increases but that’s to be expected. I have friends that opt to roll the dice with their health because they can’t afford coverage. The problem with the whole health care discussion is it was dishonest from the onset. This battle had nothing to do with coverage for Americans.

It had EVERYTHING to do with President Obama’s legacy. The administration is doing a systematic dismantling of it. This is what happens when the dumb rich kid wins.

It’s exhausting. That’s the goal of the administration exhaust the smart people so they stop caring. Nah B, I’ll pass.

 

PS. Outside of passing the HOUSE — Obamacare has not been repealed. Our president failed Civics and keeps forgetting that the bill needs to go to the Senate. But let’s not stop the victory lap.

 

This the ministry of street energy /The church of criminology, teaching my chemistries/Woo I’m the L. Ron Hubbard of the cupboard

Facts are facts. Deal with it. Not Kendrick. Not J Cole. Not Lupe. And damn sure not Drake.

The greatest rapper alive post 2002 is Terrence “Pusha T” Thornton. If you’re real with yourself you know he transcends any of his peers and it’s not even as close as you think.

He has given us the career that Andre 3 Stacks and Phonte wouldn’t. He has exceeded all expectations after splitting from a legendary group. Honestly, since The Clipse ended — he has gotten better. One of the few rappers that revel in being the bad guy. The character that doesn’t have any remorse for his sins and takes drug dealer braggadocio to another level. That is what makes his bars appealing. The drug dealer rapper is not a novel concept. He’s the conscienceless hustler that weaves heroin laced tales with dramatic imagery and sly wit.

There was this moment on “Fear of God” when I was listening to ‘Alone in Vegas” and I knew he was the best rapper on the planet and he was coming to prove it. This couplet “The self-righteous drug dealer dichotomy/I’m drawing from both sides, I am Siamese” is so profound especially if know the history and present of the Clipse and his relationship with this brother. While a part of him wants to be like No Malice and talk about the lighter side of life, he also knows that no one does this coke talk better than him so he voices the internal struggle.

Who else would use their songs co-star as a call to arms against fraudulent drug dealer rappers as he did to Rick Ross on “Hold On”? On the same album he flips the script and talks about the choices hustlers makes when they get caught on “SNITCH”. The way he weaves a tale that was happening in real-time into one of the strongest songs on the album.

When you look at “Darkest Before Dawn” everything from beat selection to his lyrics were built to make a mood. He wanted a modern dark album in the vein of Mobb Deep’s “Hell on Earth” where the depth of album aurally surrounds you. Even through the darkness he’s able to make records like “MFTR”  and “MPA”. Both songs tackling light subjects but Pusha’s pen game makes it sound profoundly ill.

Pusha T is a rappers rapper. He takes seriously the mantra of no lines off. The lines that he uses to set up punchlines aren’t throwaway — they add to the image he’s painting. Check the catalogue. “My Name is My Name” is a classic. “Darkness Before Dawn” is a ridiculously dope project. Loosies like “HGTV” and “Lunch Money” are just bangers.

So why won’t you give Pusha T his due? Because all he raps about is drugs?  Really? He’s so materialistic. Really? The question should always be — Can he rap? Does he rap well?  The answer to those are a resounding Yes. Pusha T is the greatest of his generation because he embraces an image in his rhymes that makes people uneasy. He’s drug dealer turned good but still revels in his past — because he’s comfortable enough admitting that its was fun. It’s not full of remorse of lost friends it’s him reflecting on the good times. Now he’s got legal money to floss in your face and he’s always talking about fly shit. Now that’s a bad thing? Ughk!