Friday, November 28, 2008

Buyer's Remorse

"No lyrics,
No quote,
Just a shake of the head..."
- Soul Brova 1

Nov 28, 10:50 AM EST

Wal-Mart worker dies during Black Friday event
Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Police say a Wal-Mart worker has died after being trampled by a throng of unruly shoppers shortly after the Long Island store opened Friday.

Nassau County police say the 34-year-old worker was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 6 a.m., an hour after the store opened. Police also say a 28-year-old pregnant woman was taken to a hospital for observation.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in Bentonville, Ark., would not confirm the reports of a stampede during the day-after-Thanksgiving bargain hunting, but said a "medical emergency" caused them to close the store.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First Family!...Salute

"It's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you
Without a strong rhyme to step to
Think of how many weak shows you slept through
Time's up, I'm sorry I kept you"
- Eric B. & Rakim

Greetings, it indeed has been a long time. Many of us have been caught up in the MOMENT as well as life itself. Anyway, I missed President Elect Obama's interview on 60 Minutes this past Sunday and was quite disappointed that I did, especially because I believe in him and his ideas, voted for him and had to listen all day to some that didn't vote (but they rocked the T's) talk about it. Thankfully, we have technology such as the internet and 60 Minutes has the interview on their website. I've re-posted the interview here as a courtesy (no telling how long they'll keep it up) in the full version and broken up into segments. Enjoy and share with others. Peace.

60 Minutes, 11.16.08

Obama And The Presidency

The Personal Transition

A Father's Promise

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And the Winner is ...

"So just get your boys and bring the noise and just swing it
And party people in the house, sing it"
- Chubb Rock

Praise and Glory to the Most High. To my black and brown brothers and sisters, we should all be so proud of President Obama and ourselves as well. Also, let's acknowledge that it wasn't just-us, justice..but not just-us, so I wanna give props and much respect to those of a different persuasion that went out and did the right thing (McCain supporters are already protesting that these voters were high off a Spike Lee joint and their votes shouldn't count). Let us rejoice in this moment as it has been a long time coming. Remember those who fought for freedom first (and continously), civil rights second (and continously), let us remember those who succeeded in providing us with the right to vote. Going down the roll call list, every first black councilman and woman, every first black mayor, governor, Shirley Chisholm, Jesse Jackson, Colin Powell, Dr. Condoleeza Rice, even Alan Keys and many, many others who were either out front or playing the back. It is time for us to step up and move forward, striking while the iron is hot.
We must also be prepared for the backlash. When the pendulum swings one way it eventually swings in favor of its polar opposite. While it has swung away from the oppression and discrimination that has restricted us before it also swung non-blacks to support and vote for Obama which means that it will visit the area where his non-supporters will express their disgust about the results. We need to be prepared, strong and vigilant. Let us not gloat as if this is the end of our journey as a people or country, but recognize that it is merely the beginning.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Anti-Nigga Machine

"I've seen some blind, some deaf, some dumb
Whichever one choose to follow the other one
Loses to the mass confusion caused by fast illusion
Showin 'n provin, it's not just a phrase that we usin'
It's the way of life when you keep it moving"


Be Aware!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

NIGGAS!!!, is a beautiful thing

"God is the author of color. Why are you going crazy, because you see color in the flowers, color in the rocks, color in the earth, color everywhere you look and color in the human family, and now we can accept the differences in rocks and stones in earth, but we cannot accept the differences of color and characteristics in one another? That says that the human being is sick."
- The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

We're just a few days away people. Reminder to all those people rocking the Obama shirts, bumper stickers and buttons...if you don't vote it doesn't mean but one thing and that one thing is...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


"and we never wear the pants they call the Calvin Kleins
Cause Calvin Klein's no friend of mine
Don't want nobody's name on my behind"

CNN reports of a New Mexico voter turned away*

KNOW the LAW in your STATE!!!! And if you don't KNOW, GET TO KNOW!!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ohhhhhhh Donnn-na

"This is an invitation, to the crossroads
With a KEY!!"
- X-Clan

This clip is important. Watch and pass along.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Last Days

"Nightmares of the night (nightmares)
Nightmares, they're alright (nightmares)
Cause they just show imagination of reality (nightmares)
Just keep telling yourself that they're make-believe (nightmares)"

-Dana Dane

The nightmare alot of us are having around this time is John McCain and Sarah Palin being voted into the White House. Yes, we all hear the reports of how Barack Obama is leading in the polls and is real close in some of the red states; however Senator Obama is still a black man and this is America.

The latest overnight sensation, yes "Joe the Plumber", and others that subscribe to his way of thinking represent the boogeyman in these nightmares. Logically, he should be supporting Obama's policies. He doesn't make anywhere near $250,000,000.00a year (licensed plumber or not) and even if he was to buy the company he works for he still wouldn't fall into the higher tax bracket thus receiving a tax cut on top of another cut as his business would create jobs here and not abroad (then he might be able to pay on the taxes he owes). Joe, however, is the stereotypical (I am not familiar enough with him or the residents in his part of town to use typical) middle America white male whereas rather than see a black man as president with new ideas and policies that he would benefit from he would rather acknowledge how he would benefit but still vote for the other guy who will keep in effect the same if not very similar policies as those of the current president that has the country where it's at. Not to mention the guy he's voting for in an attempt to connect with and show "Joe" that he's fighting for him got his name wrong. He doesn't even know your name "Joe". And Joe, the tax cuts McCain is talking about, almost 60% will go to the wealthiest 1% of Americans, not you, not Joe Sixpack, not Joe Crack. You may say well when I get my business, but that may never happen and if it does you still won't be in the wealthiest 1%.
In about minute 7 1/2 of his 15 minutes "Joe" spoke to some reporters about his views on the war, immigration and social security. In regards to the war he said he was proud of the troops (we all are proud of the troops, we all know they didn't make the decision to invade, they are merely honoring their committment). As I listened, I wondered why all these people who are so happy about the "fight against terrorism" (quotes because in my opinion we have captured and executed a cruel dictator at best and the terrorist is still out there) didn't sign up, I' sure the troops who have come back and are still there that realized they should have never been over in Iraq could use their pep talks and encouragement. Especially those who lost limbs and can't get proper medical treatment, benefits, Bin Laden is still free and gas is still over three dollars a gallon.
I'll skip right to social security as I agree with "Joe the Plumber" that borders should be closed to those who try to circumvent the proper channels of immigration. "Joe" feels he should be able to access his social security monies and invest them as he deems fit. Had social security been privatized where we would have been able to do so; could you imagine the uproar when Wall Street went from all good to all gone.
So each night, after tuning in to all the political pundits on the various shows and hearing the rhetoric going back and forth along with the recent history of presidential elections I myself can't help but be leery of the outcome. I know that I am not alone in my suspicions. My prayer (hope floats, prayer works)is that everybody eligible to be registered to vote is and does so based not on the rhetoric being spewed but on close examination of the issues and the policies that the candidates will try to put in place. Many people say they are going to vote for the candidate that is going to do best for them and that is where we go wrong. We need to vote for who will be best for America that way we all are included though sacrifices have to be made. The main focus point among the issues is taxes. Obama has been attacked for wanting to share the wealth. It is quite simple or I am extremely naive but if the middle class and poor are given breaks that puts more money into their hands and big business and the wealthier pay more it balances out as the middle class and poor will spend more which means money goes back into big business and subsequently the wealthier. What big business needs to do is cut back on salaries of CEO's and redistribute that money among the worker bees who are truly the force behind these corporations. At some point the money needs to be redistributed. It takes us back to when we were all kids and our parents use to tell us to do something and ultimately were given the warning "Do it or I'm gonna do it for you"; none of us wanted them to do it for us if you know what I mean. It is the same way, if you don't want government doing it for you then you need to do it yourself. As the greatest nation (status is in serious jeopardy) if one of us is homeless or out of work or struggling then we all are.
In closing we need to either disregard the rhetoric coming from the McCain-Palin camp or call them out on McCain's ties to Acorn (two years ago, as opposed to Obama's tie which was thirteen years ago, he spoke at one of their events at Miami Dade College and even said "what makes America special is what's in this room tonight"), as well as Palin's unethical actions in Troopergate and her tie to a member of the AIP (Alaska Independence Party) who happens to be her husband. Let's call them out on these as they spew out rhetoric questioning whether Obama can be trusted or not. Leave your comment, pass the word on to "Joe the Plumber" and get out and vote.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Terror Squad

"And I know, when I go, I'll flow dangerous
Brains'll bust, what you tryin to explain to us?
You got lost, and couldn't go on
Came up short, so here's one to grow on
Elevate off a high IQ
In time, you'll find I'm true
Cause once I start on a piece of art
from sun to moon and light to dark I build the Ark
Now you can float off the rhymes I wrote
I'm sure that we'll hit shore without a boat
You could bring a battleship and still get shipwrecked
Attacked with a torpedo, what did you expect?
Driftin up the creek, without a beat or a paddle
Castaway on a raft and stand fragile
Rescue your crowd, which ain't a hard job
Me and my knowledge put together, I'm a lifeguard
Dealin with actual facts it sold out fat
here and now, but I go so far back
to bring you up to date, so we can elevate
It's no time to wait, or anticipate
Cause I'm never late, I'm gonna motivate
So I can let em brake, and set em straight"

- Eric B. & Rakim

I feel those lyrics are fitting for Obama at this point in his campaign against McCain and especially after last night's debate. Barack has got to be the Rakim of politics.

However, the focus of today's post is this video from where Keith Olberman discusses Sarah Palin's ties to domestic terrorists. Also, read the other posts at which includes a post on October 15 by Frank Naif (link at bottom of this post) which tells of Mr. Palin's ties to an Alaskan secessionist group (AIP which stands for Alaskan Independence Party) which (and I paraphrase Frank Naif here) in order to address the United Nations in an appeal for Alaska's Freedom from the "tyranny" of the United States had allied itself to the Islamic dictatorship in Iran in 1993.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hip Hop Lives

"It ain't nuttin like hip-hop music
You like it cause you choose it
Most DJ's won't refuse it
A lotta sucker MC's misuse it
Don't think that Stet can lose it
Too much to gain to abuse it
The name of the game is rapture
This song is complete and captured, BREAK....."
- Stetsasonic

Some old school hip hop videos for the old heads to reminisce to and for the young heads to see what hip hop once was. Enjoy the videos and let me know which ones you would have liked to have seen.

Big Daddy Kane - Smooth Operator

Queen Latifah - Dance for Me

Heavy D & The Boyz - Don't Curse

Eric B & Rakim - Paid in Full

Salt-N-Pepa- Tramp

Too Poetic - God Made Me Funky

Inspector Gadget - Bad Boys Featuring K-Love

Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew - All The Way to Heaven

Stetsasonic - Talkin' All that Jazz

X Clan - Funkin Lesson

Stop the Violence Movement - Self Destruction

Friday, October 10, 2008

The more things change the more they stay the same

"Nigga first was used back in the Deep South,
Fallin out between the dome of the white man's mouth"
- A Tribe Called Quest

7th-Grade Teacher to Students: Obama is a 'N'-Word

From BET - 7th-Grade teacher to students: Obama is a ‘N’-word. Angry parents in the northwest Florida community of Marianna want a middle school teacher fired after he put the “N”-word on the board to describe Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama. The Marianna Middle School teacher, Greg Howard, is now serving a 10-day suspension after writing an acronym on the dry-erase board on Sept. 26: “C.H.A.N.G.E. - Come Help A N*gg*r Get Elected.” But many parents want the 17-year teacher fired. The seventh-grade social studies teacher’s class has 17 White students, six Black students and one Asian student. Initially he was suspended for the day without pay, but that was elevated to the 10-day punishment. He must also write a letter of apology to students. “We feel like the punishment is sufficient,” Larry Moore, superintendent of the Jackson County School District, told The Detroit Free Press. “We did not feel he had to be fired.” NAACP officials say they will reserve their actions in the case until their investigation is complete. Audrey Wad, who has nieces and nephews at the school, didn’t need any more information before expressing her outrage. “To me, it’s hurtful,” she told the Free Press. “The idea that he would impose his political opinion on the children is wrong to me. That’s where he crossed the line.”

Right...& Left?

"Johnny the Dipper, beware of your past
Johnny the Dipper, I think you're movin too fast"
- Dana Dane

Interesting article from Rolling Stone Magazine about you know who. (no, not "that one")

Monday, October 6, 2008

Party For Your Right to Fight

"This party started right in 66
With a pro-Black radical mix
Then at the hour of twelve
Some force cut the power
And emerged from hell
It was your so called government
That made this occur
Like the grafted devils they were" - Public Enemy

Just wanted to share with you some information about current attempts to disenfranchise voters for the upcoming presidential election. Below are two articles of such events as well as a list of a few activities that the Brennan Center documented in their recent report on voter purging.

You can access the Brennan Center report as well as access links to websites to learn whether you have been purged from the voter roles by going to the Bill Moyer's website on PBS (

1. Posted on Thu, Oct. 2, 2008
Vote-scam fliers target black neighborhoods
By CATHERINE LUCEYPhiladelphia Daily News 215-854-4172
With just weeks to go before the presidential election, voter intimidation has reared its ugly head. An anonymous flier circulating in African-American neighborhoods in North and West Philadelphia states that voters who are facing outstanding arrest warrants or who have unpaid traffic tickets may be arrested at the polls on Election Day.Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Everett Gillison, who learned of the flier last week, said that the message is completely false."The only thing that police officers are going to do that we'll be encouraging that day is that they'll be exercising their own individual right to vote," Gillison said.He plans to put up statements on the city and police Web sites to let citizens know that the handouts are false. He said that he also will record a public-service announcement for broadcast.Gillison referred the matter to the U.S. Attorney's Office and the district attorney."We are not going to stand for any intimidation of voters," Gillison said. "Not in this city."He said that he did not know who was behind the fliers, which appear to be targeted at supporters of Democratic candidate Barack Obama.But telling people to beware of voting if they have outstanding warrants is an old trick. In Maryland's 2002 gubernatorial election, anonymous fliers in African-American communities warned people to pay parking tickets and resolve outstanding warrants before heading to the polls."It seems to be clearly aimed at lower-income voters that might have had some problems in the past and clearly aimed at discouraging people from voting," said Zack Stalberg, who heads the political-watchdog group Committee of Seventy.Stalberg said that he feared that there could be more fliers to come."I'm a little surprised it appeared this far before Election Day," he said. "It's another indication of how dirty this election might become."Local NAACP President Jerry Mondesire said that he was aware of the flier and would be watching for other intimidation efforts, but would wait until closer to Election Day to reach out to the public."We probably will do something closer to the election," he said. "People tend not to pay attention until two weeks out."Mondesire said that he didn't know who was circulating the fliers, but added, "I do know one thing for sure: They're not Democrats."

2. Palast: One out of five Colorado voters purged from voter registration
Outcome of 2008 election likely to be skewed by unethical tactics
By David O. WilliamsAugust 27, 2008 — Robert Kennedy Jr. had a pretty good excuse for skipping his scheduled appearance with investigative journalist Greg Palast to promote their latest project, “Steal Back Your Vote” — a report on voting irregularities and fraud in the 2008 election.Palast, speaking at the Progressive Democrats of America gathering at a downtown Denver church during the DNC Tuesday, excused Kennedy’s absence to be with his uncle, Monday’s inspirational surprise speaker Sen. Ted Kennedy, and introduced a surprise replacement of his own, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now.Progressive investigative journalist Goodman asked a delegate to hold up a goody bag with sponsor logo from AT&T on one side and decried the influence of big corporate money on the modern American political process.She talked about trying to get into a delegate gathering at Mile High Stadium Monday and being denied access by towering security guards. Goodman said delegates at a corporate party are in training for just how skewed by campaign contributions politics in America have become, and added that there can be no good reasons to keep the press out, only bad ones.“When you’ve got money saturating politics, and even if you care deeply about the public good, you’ve got to see where the money is and that’s what this is about every four years,” Goodman said. “It’s about teaching (budding politicians) big-money politics.”Goodman said AT&T’s sponsorship of the DNC is the Democrats’ reward for refusing to block a bill several weeks ago giving telecom companies retroactive immunity for facilitating domestic spying by the feds. She also urged support of independent media during both parties’ political conventions in order to limit and expose excesses by police against protesters in Denver and Minnesota.
Palast took back the microphone to talk up his project with Kennedy, which will be the subject of a feature in a major national magazine next month and which also will be released as a 24-page comic-book-style PDF illustrated by three top political cartoonists. The report will be available on the Web site said former Colorado Secretary of State Donetta Davidson has made the state the epicenter of the rampant practice of purging voter registration lists for alleged irregularities — a tactic now even more en vogue in the wake of new legislation backed by the Bush administration.“Now under the Help America Vote Act the entire nation is Floridated, but the champ, [former Florida Secretary of State] Katherine Harris, ain’t got nothing on Colorado,” Palast said. “We’re sitting at purge ground zero. The reason that there’s a convention here is this is a swing state where Democrats are piling in, tens of thousands of new voters in Colorado at the top of the bucket, but at the bottom of the bucket the spread sheets are going (poof).“What’s happening? Donetta Davidson, who had been secretary of state in the state of Colorado, removed 19.4 percent — one out of five voters in the state of Colorado, she removed their names. And what happens to Davidson as a result of this? The answer is George Bush made her head of the brand new Election Assistance Commission, where she can train all 50 secretaries of state in her purging ways. In fact, President Bush, instead of calling her chairwoman of the EAC, was going to call her the Purging General.”
3. A few recent examples as noted in the report by the Brennan Center:
• In Mississippi earlier this year, a local election official discovered that another official had wrongly purged 10,000 voters from her home computer just a week before the presidential primary.
• In Muscogee, Georgia this year, a county official purged 700 people from the voter lists, supposedly because they were ineligible to vote due to criminal convictions. The list included people who had never even received a parking ticket. • In Louisiana, including areas hit hard by hurricanes, officials purged approximately 21,000 voters, ostensibly for registering to vote in another state. A voter could avoid removal if she provided proof that the registration was cancelled in the other state, documentation not available to voters who never actually registered anywhere else.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Black True the Future


Monday, September 22, 2008

The Huxtables vs The Evans Family

"I can relate to the Good Times, the Cosby's on the sometimes ..." - Brand Nubian

They are the two most prominent black families ever on television. They existed in different eras and evoke different responses as to their reality, influence and greatness. The variance in opinions I believe is reflective of society's prejudice for affluence. I believe that both families were positive reflections of blacks in America. For those that disagree, you strengthen my belief that the affluence of the Huxtables sways your thinking as opposed to the facts of the matter. I also theorize that maybe the Evans family was too close to home for some of us.
Good Times ran from 1974 to 1979. It was about a black family of five living in the Cabrini Green Projects in Chicago. There was James, the father, a hard working but oft looking for work, disciplinarian who was the head of his household. Florida was his queen, she supported her husband, checked him when he was wrong but always let him be the head of the household. J.J was the eldest son and child. He was a kid at heart and sometimes mind yet immensely talented with the gift of painting; Thelma was the middle child and only daughter. She was a beautiful, intelligent girl who didn't get into trouble or situations (wink, wink). Last but certainly not least of all, there was Michael, an intelligent, militant young man who was pro-black and bound to go far in life. That backdrop should shed some light as to the positive imagery that this show put forth. Though they lived in the projects, the projects did not live in them. James never went outside the law for the easy money, never took his fustrations out on Flo or the kids, and most of all he stayed in the house. Flo stood by her man and encouraged him and let him be the man that he was. She didn't try to kick him while he was down or usurp the head of household from him. She taught her children about God (there was an episode where she told Michael's boss that he could no longer work there for fear of Michael adopting his boss' atheistic beliefs) and both she and James stressed education and were both involved in the political process as they served as campaigners for the politicains they supported. JJ had a gift and used it. He wasn't running the streets as many of our young soldiers in the projects do as if that was their sole purpose. As stated before, Thelma wasn't putting herself out there as many young girls do for love, money or whatever reason. Michael seemed to be the chosen one. In alot of families the youngest seem to be the one chosen (often by the knocks of life rather than parental decision) to reap the benefits of education and opportunity. The neighborhood I lived in growing up is world reknown, albeit for the wrong reasons, and I often tell people that I did not grow up in the "ghetto" or 'hood but in my parents house. The "ghetto" was just a place I had to pass through to where I was going and to get back home again. Good Times served as an inspiration and blueprint to blacks in the seventies that were facing the same struggles as the Evans family. Despite the temporary lay-offs, easy credit rip-offs, through all the scratchin and surivin' they had each other, kept each other, loved each other and even sat down and ate dinner with each other. So it is we who were and are lucky for Good Times because it showed the world the survivors that we are, the champions that we are because the Evans family refused to become a product of their environment or take the easy way out. They became the pride of the Cabrini Green Projects and alot of households in America as well. Nowadays it seems to many they are just another project family and it is that mindset that has many people living in the "ghetto" which is a state of mind. (The only difference between the projects and a co-op is the attitude of the residents.)
The Cosby Show is often hailed as the best representation of blacks on television. The show ran from 1984-1992. Cliff Huxtable was the patriarch and a doctor who was married to Clair, a lawyer. They had five children in the order of Sondra, a Princeton graduate, Denise, college dropout that married a naval officer and became a stepmom to his daughter, Theo, dyslexic C- high school student that went on to graduate from New York University, Vanessa, A-student that went on to college and then get engaged to a man closer to Sondra's age than hers ; finally there was Rudy the baby of the family until Olivia, Denise's stepdaughter came to live with the family in a somewhat upscale neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY.
From that backdrop you can see that education was an important value stressed in the Huxtable household as was family bonds as the grandparents were often around. Also, you can see that the parents had careers that afforded them more luxuries than James and Flo. However, if I recall correctly, none of the kids pursued their talents like JJ did (yes Rudy had the football episode and activities of Theo and Vanessa were mentioned but they were more of a "you did it once and gave up"; there was no commitment). As opposed to Good Times where both JJ and Michael were confronted with being forced into gangs I do not recall where any of the Huxtable children were faced with any such dangers (around this time there was a notoriuos gang in Brooklyn called the Decepticons). It wasn't until Erika Alexander was brought in as Claire's cousin Pam that sex factored in to the show. So it wasn't one of his kids, even though Theo was dating, and then Vanessa got engaged to an older man they did not meet until after the two were engaged. Cliff and Claire volunteered at a community center and Theo did so later as an internship but that was it. Whereas on Good Times, JJ gave lessons to kids in the community, Michael was pro-active in participating in the community as well. Aside from the careers of Cliff and Claire and the fact that four of the five children went on to college (Theo attending NYU was and still remains suspect; we can also assume Rudy would have went to college as well if the show did not end it's run) I fail to see how The Cosby Show was more positive than Good Times. Cosby did introduce many to Miriam Makeba, Dizzy Gillespie and other great African American people but with them being introduced as "friends" of the family it came off as cheesey.
In conclusion, they both stressed education and family but Good Times had more religion, everyday pressures, and discipline. The Cosby show had more income and therefore opportunities. I enjoyed the Cosby Show but I believe that Good Times had a more positive and realistic portrayal of blacks than the Cosby Show. If you think about it, Good Times avoided the imagery that we protested against that utlimately brought about The Cosby Show. Dad wasn't an absentee father, Mom wasn't strung out, son wasn't thugging, daughter wasn't hooking and knocked up, other son wasn't running around making babies and dipping out. So even if you continue to believe that the Huxtables are the best portrayal of blacks on television, Good Times served as the blueprint and inspiration. Which comes closest to your family?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Stand Up or Stand Down?

Recently in the news there have been discussions regarding NBA player Josh Howard's comments regarding the National Anthem and the fact that he doesn't celebrate it because he's black. I've participated in conversations on this matter and was told by another participant that they celebrate the anthem as a tribute to the blacks that fought and died in the struggle for rights and to lay the foundation for a better life for the next generation. In my opinion, the anthem embodies the right for a person to stand, sit or hum their favorite tune while the anthem is being played (I myself prefer to remain seated). What I wonder and choose to ask is, by celebrating the anthem which was not written with us in mind are we paying tribute to our heroes or are we slapping them in the face? Should a new anthem be written to incorporate the changes (to whatever degree, some feel change has been limited considering the state many of us are in today) that have come about since the original was penned?