Monday, October 30, 2006

This Is For The Economist In You....

Just last week, I was afforded the opportunity to take in a lecture at a Cincinnati law firm which gave insight into doing business with Japan. This caused me to take a good look at some of the differences between the way that Western economies (theorized by such economists as Smith and Ricardo) and Asian economies (theorized by German economist List) conduct business.

I found several resulting implications formulated from each set of ideas that coincided fantastically from what I heard during the presentation. I guess my education is not a waste of time.

In the Western world economic policies followed the belief that economies should have 'automatic' growth, measured by as how much well off the consumer is. Conversely, the Asian mindest is to run their economy in a more deliberate or controlled way, with growth being measured by how well off the producer is and not the consumer.

Yet another difference in the two style of economic policy making is that most Western societies subscribe to the thought that in order for growth , the process to which producers obtain wealth should be protected but the Asian market want to take a different pill. They think that the key to wealth should be to make sure that the producer's out come was fair, and not the process.

Also the Western societies had an over lying idea that business should cohabitate peacefully with one another, which is very different as to the way that Asians feel about business relationships. They feel that the more the business compete with each other, the better, very similar to being in a perpetual state of war.

I know that this may seem Greek to many of you, but some practical examples of the aforementioned economic thought could be found when looking at the economic decisions made by Britain and Japan.

During Margaret Thatcher's reign as Prime Minister of Britain, she forced her country to dismantle the 'Commanding Heights' and sell government controlled industries and place them in the hand of private ownership, letting competition dictate who would prosper and who would faultier. While in Japan, during the 1950's, this Asian nation viewed economic policy as being inherent to the control of the government and that government intervention should be a "national component of economic policy".

I am going to think twice when dealing with an Asian nation.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Teenager Shot Trying To Get Home Before School

OK...may be misleading

Quavale Finnell, a 14yr old 8th grader was shot Monday morning here in the great city of Cincinnati. He was killed at 6am while he attempted to steal a car that was running. Bennie D. Hall Jr. went in the house after turning on his car to warm up and came out to find his car being stolen.

To me this does not seem like a random robbery. Quavale most likely knew that Hall warmed his car the same time every morning. But I have been incorrect before.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Columbus A Go Go

Wanting to get out of the Nasty Nati for a bit, I sort of bamboozled my way into hitching a ride with a friend of mine to Columbus, OH for the night (sorry DEW). Columbus is about 110 miles north of Cincinnati so when you decided to leave at 8:45pm on a Saturday night, you do not have long to get ready. So in 2.2 seconds, or so it seemed we were out the door and on the road.

We were able to snag a room at the Courtyard Marriott, Downtown Columbus, within walking distance from most of the hotspots that we wanted to hit up.

Arriving in Columbus just before 11pm, we freshened up and headed out. It has been almost six years since I had even set foot in Columbus so needless to say, some of the bars and their locations have changed. Q, located on N 5th Street was our first stop, and just 4 blocks east of our hotel, was an easy walk. The crowd was a bit older than I had expected and a bit sparser than anticipated, though lived up as the night progressed. Though small, Q has two levels with lounging areas, a dance floor, square bar tops and a front bar, this little chib (Korean for house) can pack a big punch.

As the night wore on the capacity of the little placed filled and I felt as if I was in Chicago at Hydrate on a Saturday night so we decided to head to Axis just a few blocks away on High Street.

Bad idea.

The club was fun the last time I went, but of course that was close to six years ago when I was a lot closer in age to those that populated the place this past weekend.

This Saturday taught me a lot of things about Columbus and myself, because of that, I am glad that I went.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fountain Square Opens To The Public

Saturday evening I trudged down to the heart of downtown to take experience the events that were planned for Fountain Square's re-opening celebrations. The music groups that I took in were great! Taileb Kwalib and High Tech energized the crowd, as did Los Lobos and OK Go. The fireworks that were set atop of the Fifth Third parking garage were a welcomed surprise to cap off the evening.

The events started at noon and part of me wish I would have made it to see Nikki Giovonni's reading of her poem "I Am Cincinnati". Here are excerpts for her reading:


Former Cincinnati resident Nikki Giovanni read an original poem at the reopening of Fountain Square Saturday. The following is an excerpt from a recording made at the ceremony.

I am Cincinnati
I ran from the whips and the dogsAcross the frozen pond
I made my home in the West EndWhen the Civil War came
I dug the trenchesShowing the SouthFree men live here

Who are unwilling to yield
I kept the city safeI am the Seven Hills

I am the neighborhoods
Community Centers
Shopping malls
I am the Bengals
The Reds
The incomparable Underground Railroad Museum

I am history
I am Findlay Street market
I am the best 3-way chili in
the world
I am Montgomery ribs
I am the University of Cincinnati
I am Xavier

I am Sister Jean Patrice Harrington bringing Mount St. Joseph into the 21st century
I am Eden Park and the Conservatory of Music
I am Symphony Hall and the oldest Opera company and one of the world's
greatest teaching zoos
I am Spring Grove Cemetery
My dead rest in beauty and peace
I am Marian Spencer
I have watched segregation reign and have built a bridge between that island and the city
I have watched policemen
Shoot young black men in the back
And have watched my community respond, a people who once saved this
I am the Cincinnati Western and Southern Tennis Championships though
I am played in Mason..
I am not a son of a bitch like Kenny Blackwell
I will not use the color of my skin to cover the hatred in my heart
I am not a political whore jumping from bed to bed to see who will
stroke my knee

I am Mark Mallory

Talking to everyone
Walking with everyone

Listening to everyone
Leading by consensus not fear
I am Cincinnati

I slaughter hogs and make soap
I am the biggest Oktoberfest outside Munich Germany
Though I have been boycotted
I am not shirking my responsibilities to the next generation
I am finding a way to be great again
I am the lady in the fountain
Let my waters cleanse and refresh you

Let my waters heal
Together we can still save this city.

Do you think Ms. Giovonni and Mr. Blackwell crossed paths early in their careers here in Cincinnati?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Re-Opening And A Re-Awakening for Downtown

Over the past few years, Cincinnati has been plagued with negative national publicity. The Cincinnati Riots of 2001 coupled with the multiple killings of African American youth have given a black eye to Cincinnati, especially its downtown area. Shortly after the Cincinnati Riots of 2001, many prominent African American celebrities and leaders canceled their engagements in Cincinnati in the name of a boycott. Some among the list of 'boycotters' were Bill Cosby (comedian and Cosby Show fame) and comedienne and Academy Award winner Whoppie Goldberg.

Things are starting to change here in Cincinnati. Not only can you take in either a Major League baseball game at Great American Ball Park, you can also walk a few city blocks and partake in the frenzy of a National Football League football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Currently, Cincinnati’s professional football team, the Cincinnati Bengals are well on their way to recapturing the AFC Championships as they did in 1988, and on their way to another appearance at the Super Bowl.

Sports are not the only thing that Cincinnati has going for it. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is unabashedly positioned in between Cincinnati’s two professional sports team's stadiums. Located on The Banks of the Ohio River, you can meander through this state of the art museum and learn about Cincinnati's role as being the gateway and primary destination for African Americans as they escaped the horrid institution of slavery in the South.

This museum was one of Cincinnati's first instances in its pro-active stance to bring culture to this city. Other attractions, thought not permanent, that you could find here at Cincinnati are its annual MidPoint Music Festival, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati and this past summer, one was be able to catch the high flying antiques of Cirque de Soleil, as they set up camp on The Banks.

This push towards cultural diversity is nothing new to the downtown area of Cincinnati. The ‘Final Friday’ (FF) event that has been taking place in the Pendleton neighborhood has been a staple of downtown living for at least the past two decades. Over the years this display of monthly exhibition of artesian expression has spread to other parts of downtown and Over-the-Rhine (OTR) areas to include the downtown business districts and Main Street. This event occurs (as you may know from the name) on the last Friday of every month, from 8pm to 10pm, where art gallery and shops in the downtown keep their doors open later than normal, seducing patrons with free wine and appetizers. I fell in love with this even my first year of college when the parent’s of a high-school friend opened an art studio in this area and invited my to my first FF event.

The crowning jewel of Cincinnati and one of the most notable landmarks of downtown is Fountain Square where you will find the Tyler Davidson Fountain. A must see if you are visiting within 50 miles of the area or any area in Greater Cincinnati. Currently, The Square, as it is so affectionately called to those who were born and raised in the Queen City, has been under a major face lift. The last time that The Square was remodeled was in the 70’s. Closed for the past several months, The Square is scheduled to re-open October 14, 2006, with a celebration that you should not miss if you are visiting the area. There are many hotels in the downtown area were you can stay to experience the re-opening celebration where the unveiling of the poem, 'I am Cincinnati' written for and read by native Cincinnatian and distinguished author Nikki Giovonni.

The weekend of the re-opening celebration of The Square is a perfect time to visit the city of Cincinnati and experience all of the uniqueness that this city has to offer. At the celebration, there will be performances by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Ballet and the Cincinnati Opera, in addition to the unveiling of the new and improved Tyler Davidson Fountain. Other attractions of this weekend will be performances by OK Go, a band that is mixed between indie, stadium and straight up rock. Nationally known Talib Kweli and the band Los Lobos will also e in attendance for performances.

So I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Editorial...The Sheriff Came to Town

Here is the editorial that I wrote in responce to the Cincinnati Enquire's article "Duputies get tough on OTR." i doubt it will get published in the Enquirer, so I thought I would post it here.

I have to say, it is a bit daunting to drive on a downtown city street and have a Hamilton County Sheriff drive behind you for any period. In fact, just yesterday a sited a few patrolling the area that I live, in Prospect Hill.

I am glad to see that the Cincinnati Police Department has gotten passed its squabble with Hamilton County and have agreed to have its sheriffs aid in the patrolling of our city’s downtown streets. After reading Monday’s article, “Deputies get tough on OTR” I see that many residents, who have first hand experience to the ‘change’, think that the patrols are doing
some good.

Though I agree with the downtown residents quoted in the aforementioned article, I am far pressed to say that it is only the additional downtown patrols that are causing downtown streets to become more enjoyable for its residents.

Over the past several years, the University of Cincinnati in collaboration with the City of Cincinnati’s Department of Community Development and Planning has been integrating a vision to revitalize downtown. On September 21, both institutions jointly sponsored the OTR
Summit where they invited the residents to hear their accomplishments and the
activities of other organizations that share in the downtown revitalization

In addition, events such as Second Sundays on Main, sponsored by the OTR Chamber, have been a huge success. This monthly street party is in its second year and continues to draw residents out from in front of the television and into the streets to meet, greet and be merry.
This is a perfect example of strengths in numbers. I attended this event this past Sunday. There I was able to take in two free concerts by an up and coming band made up of students from the School of Creative and Performing Arts, and an accapella choir. After I chatted with different members of the community, I took in brunch at Kaldi’s.

The sheriff coming to town has been a big help in deterring crime on the streets of downtown, but let us not forget the efforts of community leaders and organizations that have been
struggling to keep their community safe as well.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Weekend Rundown

I regretfully did not make it to the opening weekend of Dream Girls as I had planned on Friday. I instead attended the wedding of a woman that I graduated highschool, followed by a B-day party at the Lazy Gecko.

The weeding was great, but I felt as if I were in a time warp. As I said before, a friend of mine that I graduated highschool with got married. The man that she married was the son of our highschool girl's basketball team and well respected in our school system while I attended. This meant that a bevy of teachers and school administrators were present. Flashes of 10th grade algebra and 11th grade homeroom sessions darted back to me as I watched the two take their vows and during the reception. Coincidentally, the grooms older sister was among my graduating class as well.

After the wedding, I rushed home to change out of my wedding attire and into party gear where a met up with a few friends for a D-day party at the Lazy Gecko in Dayton, KY. This little known gem had a live band playing all night which added to our fun.

I swear I will see Dream Girls this Friday. I'll let you know if the reviews were truthful or not.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

And I Am Telling You...

I can't tell you how excited I am.

Jersey Productions' Dream Girls opened last night at The Carnegie in Covington, Ky. My involvement was a bit suspect when I had to bow out of their production of RagTime due to my time commitments. The out of control summer vacation did not help my commitment too much either.

I can't remember the first time that I heard the song that propelled Jennifer Holiday into the mainstream of vocalist, but I immediately fell in love with it. Not knowing the context behind the song, "You're Going To Love Me" optimized the struggle that some go through to show the world that they are confident enough to succeed in what ever endeavor they put their mind too. Little did I know that the sound was capping off the failed career of a third of a successful girl singing group.

Everytime I hear the song on the radio, watch the original performance on YouTube of hear the song sung at Universal Grill's karoke, tears come to me eyes and a jolt is felt in my loins.

Dispite the not so good reviews, I plan to see it on Sunday Night.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Is Ken Blackwell Good For Us?

When I say Us I mean a plethora of different things. African American, Ohioans, Gays and Lesbians, they can all quantify what I mean by the word ‘us’

Though Blackwell has been blasted into the national arena with both is election day schnanaghanns and him running for the Governor’s seat here in Ohio, Blackwell got his start right here in the Queen City.

Blackwell was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and married his wife Rosa (superindentact of Cincinnati Public Schools) in 1969 while he was in college. Blackwell attended Xavier University on a football scholarship and received a bachelor of science degree in psychology. He went to receive a masters of education degree, also from Xavier, in 1971. It all seemed a success story for an African American man who grew up in Cincinnati.

From 1979 to 1980, Blackwell served as Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio. Earlier, he had been a member of the Cincinnati city council. Blackwell was then willed away from Cincinnati and served in the administration of President George H.W. Bush as undersecretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1989 to 1990.

It all went downhill from there. I guess this is why Blackwell did not register on my radar until the election fiasco of 2004.

This morning I was listening to Russ Par’s morning show and was astonished that he taking listener’s calls to talk about something substantial (still luv ya Russ). This morning, Russ posed the question “Should we vote for a person just because they are Black.” I was sanctified when I heard that all of the callers (at least all that I listened to in my 10min commute to work) said that they WOULD NOT vote in a person simply because they were Black. On the other hand, many said that would not have a problem voting in a republican candidate.

My heart skipped a beat. I thought of an entire contingent of Black voters in Ohio voting in Blackwell. Then I thought that we are smarter than that. Though Blackwell is a successful African American and is (superficially) a role model for young African Americans, he is not the only Black role model out there. So the ‘insult’ shield that some of us stood on the other side of when Clarence Thomas became supreme Court Justice and when Condalisa Rice became Secretary of State, or when Colin Powell became the Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, (not that Colin did a bad job, just proving a point here). should be done away with. Because of the growing number of African American role models, we should not be afraid to condemn those African Americans who are incompetent to hold government office should not be immune to the scrutiny of reporters and hurtful comments brought on by being a politician.
To take the words from Forrest Gump’s mouth, “Stupid is as stupid does.”