Democratic Sweep

With the final battle in the mid-term elections finally over, it’s official: the Democrats have control of both the House and the Senate, as well as the majority of governorships. The elections were marked by several bitter political campaigns, featuring some of the most negative advertising campaigns ever witnessed.

The Democrats fought hard and won seats in states where they were once never even competitive. The final numbers reveal that the Democrats picked up six seats in the Senate, 29 in the House, and six governorships, snatching away spots from notorious Republicans like Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

Control of the Senate hinged on the outcome of the tight race between Democratic candidate James Webb and Republican incumbent George Allen. After a laborious and prolonged tallying process, Webb emerged the victor, beating Allen by barely 1 percent of the vote. Allen conceded, saying that there was “little point” to a recount.

The message sent by American voters (of which young people made up 13 percent) was clearly heard by the Bush administration when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stepped down one day after the elections, despite the fact that just one week before President Bush claimed that Rumsfeld would remain at the Pentagon until the end of his term.

The majority of Republican losses in the elections centered around one issue: the growing opposition to the war in Iraq. In addition to tackling that issue, the Democrats launched a series of ambitious campaigns in the so-called “battleground states,” such as Pennsylvania, where Senate and House races were of particular importance.

To that effect, the Democratic Party descended on Philadelphia on Nov. 3 to rally support from its working-class urban followers in the final days before elections. As noon approached, the large crowd, composed mostly of union workers armed with anti-Santorum signs, “Vote Casey” pins and “Rendell for Governor” stickers began buzzing with excitement, despite the chilly midday conditions in Love Park.

The festivities kicked off right on schedule, as the Democratic candidates introduced one another and made brief speeches about the new Democratic Party and the new direction the country must take. They noted issues such as raising the national minimum wage, funding health insurance for all children, and finding a solution to the increasingly deadly war in Iraq.

Appearing onstage with Mayor John Street, Bob Casey, Governor Ed Rendell, a host of hopeful house candidates, and an assembly of union officials, was keynote speaker Sen. John Edwards, who rumor has it might be making a bid for the presidency in 2008.

While there was little new rhetoric, Edwards nevertheless captured the enthusiasm and spirit of the crowd. He emphasized how the U.S. needs to step up to the plate as one of the central leaders in the world and lead by example, with better social and foreign policies. He repeated, over and over, “America is better than this.”

He ended his speech by reminding everyone that when they vote on Tuesday, they aren’t just deciding who will lead the country for the next few years, but also who will shape the world that we live in. With that, the youthful and charismatic Edwards left the stage to the tune of cheers and thunderous applause as the mass of loyal supporters filling Love Park flashed signs and eagerly awaited the upcoming election day.

Edwards and the Democrats obviously got their message of change across to the voters of Philly and the nation. Now the American people will just have to wait and see if the changes and ideas he described, global and domestic, make their way into legislation. In the meantime, voters always have the 2008 presidential elections to look forward to.

You can contact Zack Engel at a-e@campusphilly.org.

Simon “One Punch” Carr

He has appeared on the front cover of the Philadelphia Daily News, and been dubbed the “most talked about fighter in Philly.” Making a name for himself as a determined fighter, Simon “One Punch” Carr is destined to take his place among the Philadelphia boxing greats such as Joe Frazier and Bernard Hopkins.

Simon Carr is not only dedicated to rising as a boxing star, but also to redeeming himself from the nightmare of his youth, when tragedy struck his and another family.

He has just finished serving time in prison after shooting a thirteen year-old who entered the backyard of his grandmother’s frequently burglarized home to take bicycle parts at five in the morning. It’s difficult to say whether or not Carr will be able to redeem himself in his own mind, or in the minds of the victim’s family members. In my opinion, he is striving toward it, and that, in itself, is more respectable than just coming out and acting as if nothing has ever happened.

Aalim Elitou: Tell us about why you served time.

Simon “One Punch” Carr: I was convicted of a third-degree murder, but it was definitely an unfortunate situation for both parties (myself and the young man). Someone was breaking into my home at five in the morning and I reacted. My grandmother lived in the house and I was protecting her and myself, and the young man that I shot died. I served nearly a decade in prison.

A.E.: What is redemption?

S.C.: It stands for so many things, but it is the word that I use to guide me. I use it to analyze the decision that I made that affected myself, and the family of the young man that I shot. I will never be able to vote or get a government job. I was seventeen years-old, and this incident will follow me for the rest of my life. Therefore, I use it to redeem myself and remember that everyday life struggles have to be faced with making the right decisions.

A.E.: What made you choose to box?

S.C.: When I was young, I was always in fights and I would draw a crowd during the fight. One day my uncle said, “If you gonna get into fights and draw a crowd, then you should get paid for it.” He then took me to a boxing gym and that was that.

A.E.: How long have you been boxing?

S.C.: I have been fighting all my life because of the many adversities, but I became a crafted boxer at twelve, so it has been about eighteen years.

A.E.: How important is boxing to you?

S.C.: It’s very important. Spiritually, it helps me channel certain things…it’s a release for me. I meditate a lot, so it is a spiritual art for me. Physically, it keeps me in great shape.

A.E.: How would you categorize your style?

S.C.: My name came to be “One Punch” because at the gym when I was younger, the elders would say that I was a boxer-puncher. When I got older and started developing my skill, and the knockouts started coming, they called me “One Punch.”

A.E.: Tell us about your last fight.

S.C.: It is interesting. I was said to be a Philly fighter, and we are considered to be the best fighters in the world. The decision was made in favor of my opponent and many people say that it was my fight, but I live with the decision that was made because this is the business that I chose to be in. I am still considered one of the most talked about fighters now in Philly and I plan to bounce back.

A.E.: What advice would you give to aspiring fighters?

S.C.: Stay true to yourself. Don’t allow yourself to be carried to places that you don’t want to be carried.

A.E.: Which fighters do you admire and why?

S.C.: Bernard Hopkins is like a big brother to me. He is very supportive.

A.E.: What type of support should a boxer seek to move further in his or her career?

S.C.: You need a lot in the beginning. Since boxing is so segregated, you have to gain sponsorship to get the bare essentials. You definitely have to be great in what you do so that people want to sponsor you.

A.E.: How do you juggle the art of boxing with the businesses of boxing?

S.C.: You have to have keen sense. I stay grounded because I took up business management while incarcerated so that I can look at it from an athletic and financial standpoint. I pretty much spearhead the project, and my team and I work together well.

A.E.: What is the message that you want your fans to embrace?

S.C.: Simon Carr symbolizes the struggle, pain and endurance. If you deal with any adversities please look at me—a person that lost my parents, has been incarcerated. I lost all of my twenties, and if I am able to change my life around, so can you. I am demonstrating this, not just saying it.

A.E.: What was the reason for wanting to give back to the community?

S.C.: It is very little resources for us in the hood. I said that if I ever gained some type of celebrity, I would be sure to give back and not go away from my community.

A.E.: Where do you see yourself in five years?

S.C.: I see myself as a champion and a people’s activist. It doesn’t matter what I do in the ring, but what I do afterwards.

A.E.: What is your goal for 2007?

S.C.: I have a movie that I am working on called Redemption. I hope to have a tell-all memoir out. I also have a poetry book that I am working on. I will definitely be involved in the community. Yeah, I will be collecting toy donations for children this holiday and giving them out.

A.E.: What other fights are you contending in?

S.C.: On November 9, I will be fighting at home. I will be at the Wachovia Center and this is exciting to me.

A.E.: What is something readers would be surprised to know about you?

S.C.: I am a deep thinker. I am a vast reader, I have a barber’s degree and I went to college.

Learn more about this talented boxer on his MySpace page.

You can contact Aalim Elitou and Infinite Magazine at infinitemag@yahoo.com

Simon “One Punch” Carr

He has appeared on the front cover of the Philadelphia Daily News, and been dubbed the “most talked about fighter in Philly.” Making a name for himself as a determined fighter, Simon “One Punch” Carr is destined to take his place among the Philadelphia boxing greats such as Joe Frazier and Bernard Hopkins.

Simon Carr is not only dedicated to rising as a boxing star, but also to redeeming himself from the nightmare of his youth, when tragedy struck his and another family.

He has just finished serving time in prison after shooting a thirteen year-old who entered the backyard of his grandmother’s frequently burglarized home to take bicycle parts at five in the morning. It’s difficult to say whether or not Carr will be able to redeem himself in his own mind, or in the minds of the victim’s family members. In my opinion, he is striving toward it, and that, in itself, is more respectable than just coming out and acting as if nothing has ever happened.

Aalim Elitou: Tell us about why you served time.

Simon “One Punch” Carr: I was convicted of a third-degree murder, but it was definitely an unfortunate situation for both parties (myself and the young man). Someone was breaking into my home at five in the morning and I reacted. My grandmother lived in the house and I was protecting her and myself, and the young man that I shot died. I served nearly a decade in prison.

A.E.: What is redemption?

S.C.: It stands for so many things, but it is the word that I use to guide me. I use it to analyze the decision that I made that affected myself, and the family of the young man that I shot. I will never be able to vote or get a government job. I was seventeen years-old, and this incident will follow me for the rest of my life. Therefore, I use it to redeem myself and remember that everyday life struggles have to be faced with making the right decisions.

A.E.: What made you choose to box?

S.C.: When I was young, I was always in fights and I would draw a crowd during the fight. One day my uncle said, “If you gonna get into fights and draw a crowd, then you should get paid for it.” He then took me to a boxing gym and that was that.

A.E.: How long have you been boxing?

S.C.: I have been fighting all my life because of the many adversities, but I became a crafted boxer at twelve, so it has been about eighteen years.

A.E.: How important is boxing to you?

S.C.: It’s very important. Spiritually, it helps me channel certain things…it’s a release for me. I meditate a lot, so it is a spiritual art for me. Physically, it keeps me in great shape.

A.E.: How would you categorize your style?

S.C.: My name came to be “One Punch” because at the gym when I was younger, the elders would say that I was a boxer-puncher. When I got older and started developing my skill, and the knockouts started coming, they called me “One Punch.”

A.E.: Tell us about your last fight.

S.C.: It is interesting. I was said to be a Philly fighter, and we are considered to be the best fighters in the world. The decision was made in favor of my opponent and many people say that it was my fight, but I live with the decision that was made because this is the business that I chose to be in. I am still considered one of the most talked about fighters now in Philly and I plan to bounce back.

A.E.: What advice would you give to aspiring fighters?

S.C.: Stay true to yourself. Don’t allow yourself to be carried to places that you don’t want to be carried.

A.E.: Which fighters do you admire and why?

S.C.: Bernard Hopkins is like a big brother to me. He is very supportive.

A.E.: What type of support should a boxer seek to move further in his or her career?

S.C.: You need a lot in the beginning. Since boxing is so segregated, you have to gain sponsorship to get the bare essentials. You definitely have to be great in what you do so that people want to sponsor you.

A.E.: How do you juggle the art of boxing with the businesses of boxing?

S.C.: You have to have keen sense. I stay grounded because I took up business management while incarcerated so that I can look at it from an athletic and financial standpoint. I pretty much spearhead the project, and my team and I work together well.

A.E.: What is the message that you want your fans to embrace?

S.C.: Simon Carr symbolizes the struggle, pain and endurance. If you deal with any adversities please look at me—a person that lost my parents, has been incarcerated. I lost all of my twenties, and if I am able to change my life around, so can you. I am demonstrating this, not just saying it.

A.E.: What was the reason for wanting to give back to the community?

S.C.: It is very little resources for us in the hood. I said that if I ever gained some type of celebrity, I would be sure to give back and not go away from my community.

A.E.: Where do you see yourself in five years?

S.C.: I see myself as a champion and a people’s activist. It doesn’t matter what I do in the ring, but what I do afterwards.

A.E.: What is your goal for 2007?

S.C.: I have a movie that I am working on called Redemption. I hope to have a tell-all memoir out. I also have a poetry book that I am working on. I will definitely be involved in the community. Yeah, I will be collecting toy donations for children this holiday and giving them out.

A.E.: What other fights are you contending in?

S.C.: On November 9, I will be fighting at home. I will be at the Wachovia Center and this is exciting to me.

A.E.: What is something readers would be surprised to know about you?

S.C.: I am a deep thinker. I am a vast reader, I have a barber’s degree and I went to college.

Learn more about this talented boxer on his MySpace page.

You can contact Aalim Elitou and Infinite Magazine at infinitemag@yahoo.com

PMA Kicks Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Premiere Martial Arts (PMA) in Kennett Square hosted a weekend of seminars, Oct. 27-28, to raise money for Living Beyond Breast Cancer.

Living Beyond Breast Cancer is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering all women affected by breast cancer to live as long as possible with the best quality of life. Premier Martial Arts (PMA) wished to honor the passing of a prominent instructor who recently passed away from breast cancer.

I was looking for a martial arts trainer for months to no avail. All the studios I found were very basic form training with no real world practical application. After my long quest, I finally found PMA. The instructors there range from professional body guards to fifth-degree black belts and tournament champions. I was pleasingly surprised as they trained me so hard that within a week my body and mind felt stronger and my awareness increased significantly.

Although I went in to PMA with a brown belt in kenjitsuru, I have learned that the forms I had learned in my previous training did not teach me anything that could be easily applied in a real world situation. The instructors at PMA teach practical applications that increase speed and fortitude.

As a woman, I feel that one should consider self-defense paramount. The workshops offered at PMA are ideal for anyone seeking to defend themselves as well as help the fight against cancer.

Adult classes range from $10-25 per person. Workshops offered include: Knife Defense, Jujitsu, Yoga, Fitness/Body Sculpting, Self-defense, Basic Gun Defense, and Rape Prevention.

Children’s workshops are only $10 per child and include The ABCs of Success as well as Children’s Confidence Building Karate workshop.

For a complete list of Premier Martial Arts Kick Cancer weekend events, call 610-459-1933 or visit www.KirksPMA.com.