Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Antiwar activists, where are you?
By Victoria A. Bonney | November 7, 2005

MY FELLOW young Americans, the evidence is mounting that this war we are fighting in Iraq is not a ''just" war. No, this is a dirty fight, and we're in it for the long haul. But I guess that's the problem -- ''we" are not in it at all.

''We" are here in our land of iPods and cellphones, luxuriating in our apathetic comas while our soldiers are over there.

I know what you're thinking. You have that magnetic yellow ribbon on your SUV, and, boy, if that is not uber-effective I do not know what is. But let me ask you, if you'd just put your Podcast on pause and cellphone on silence for a moment, is this all enough?

Two wars ago, during the Vietnam disaster, there was Generation Activist. The youth of America rallied against ''the man." How did they do it? They didn't have e-boards or e-mail for that matter.

Yet somehow, this archaic mob of longhairs and peaceniks managed to mobilize. They marched on the National Mall. They protested everywhere, even in bed (refer to your hippie handbook, under John Lennon and Yoko Ono's ''bed-in"). Their methods were not always nonviolent, but they were creative and incorrigible.

Why is Generation Apathetic unable to have the same resounding roar?

For starters we have a woman from Generation Activist doing our dirty work. Former flower child Cindy Sheehan is out on the front lines with a pack of her patchouli-wearing alliances. What is the youth of America doing in the meantime?

We are watching it on our car television sets thinking about the jerk in front of us who is not driving fast enough.

It's not our fault that we all have Attention Deficit Disorder. We are conditioned like Pavlov's dogs to jump at the sound of ''You've got mail!" But we are in dereliction of our duty as a thorn in the side of authority. Our parents shouldn't have to bail us out of everything. So while we appreciate the help of Cindy and her comrades, this is our fight.

It's not only apathy that is killing the spirit of our generation, it's the execution of our dissidence. For some reason the youth of America think that violence is the most effective method of rebellion (albeit something we learned from our Playstations).

That brings us to another nifty way that the young inactivists of America are making life easier for our elected warmongers -- E-Marches.

Yes, E-Marches are the newest way to protest your government. All it takes is a double click and you will be part of a simulated march on Washington.

Oh, dear, sweet, well-intentioned youth, don't you see? Just as easily as you signed up to electronically protest your senators, they can delete you from their inbox. The Internet is a resource for sports scores, CliffsNotes, and porn -- not a venue for modern dissent.

We are a generation with potential coming out of our ears. We could move mountains if only we'd turn off our televisions. They only tell us we are powerless and to just give up.

So this is what you have to do. Tomorrow when you stop into Starbucks for your venti latte and the person behind the counter gives you your change, look at it. Look closely. There, written on your bills is our American mantra in a defunct language.

It says, ''E Pluribus Unum," which means, out of many, one. Let this be your daily reminder. Generation Apathetic, we are in this boat together.

It's up to us to chart a course. We cannot live our lives on cruise control.

Victoria A. Bonney is a senior at Endicott College.

Source: Boston Globe
Note: I've been thinking the same things this writer thinks. What a waste this generation is.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Ray Nagin, White Rage and the Manufacturing of "Reverse" Racism

By Tim Wise
January 25, 2006

If you're looking to understand why discussions between blacks and whites about racism are often so difficult in this country, you need only know this: when the subject is race and racism, whites and blacks are often not talking about the same thing. To white folks, racism is seen mostly as individual and interpersonal--as with the uttering of a prejudicial remark or bigoted slur. For blacks, it is that too, but typically more: namely, it is the pattern and practice of policies and social institutions, which have the effect of perpetuating deeply embedded structural inequalities between people on the basis of race. To blacks, and most folks of color, racism is systemic. To whites, it is purely personal.

These differences in perception make sense, of course. After all, whites have not been the targets of systemic racism in this country, so it is much easier for us to view the matter in personal terms. If we have ever been targeted for our race, it has been only on that individual, albeit regrettable, level. But for people of color, racism has long been experienced as an institutional phenomenon. It is the experience of systematized discrimination in housing, employment, schools or the justice system. It is the knowledge that one's entire group is under suspicion, at risk of being treated negatively because of stereotypes held by persons with the power to act on the basis of those beliefs (and the incentive to do so, as a way to retain their own disproportionate share of that power and authority).

The differences in white and black perceptions of the issue were on full display recently, when whites accused New Orleans' Mayor Ray Nagin of racism for saying that New Orleans should be and would be a "chocolate city" again, after blacks dislocated by Katrina had a chance to return. To one commentator after the other -- most of them white, but a few blacks as well -- the remark was by definition racist, since it seemed to imply that whites weren't wanted, or at least not if it meant changing the demographics of the city from mostly African American (which it was before the storm) to mostly white, which it is now, pending the return of black folks. To prove how racist the comment was, critics offered an analogy. What would we call it, they asked, if a white politician announced that their town would or should be a "vanilla" city, meaning that it was going to retain its white majority? Since we would most certainly call such a remark racist in the case of the white pol, consistency requires that we call Nagin's remark racist as well.

Seems logical enough, only it's not. And the reason it's not goes to the very heart of what racism is and what it isn't--and the way in which the different perceptions between whites and blacks on the matter continue to thwart rational conversations on the subject.

Before dealing with the white politician/vanilla city analogy, let's quickly examine a few simple reasons why Nagin's remarks fail the test of racism. First, there is nothing to suggest that his comment about New Orleans retaining its black majority portended a dislike of whites, let alone plans to keep them out. In fact, if we simply examine Nagin's own personal history -- which has been obscured by many on the right since Katrina who have tried to charge him with being a liberal black Democrat -- we would immediately recognize the absurdity of the charge. Nagin owes his political career not to New Orleans' blacks, but New Orleans' white folks. It was whites who voted for him, at a rate of nearly ninety percent, while blacks only supported him at a rate of forty-two percent, preferring instead the city's chief of police (which itself says something: black folks in a city with a history of police brutality preferring the cop to this guy). Nagin has always been, in the eyes of most black New Orleanians, pretty vanilla: he was a corporate vice-President, a supporter of President Bush, and a lifelong Republican prior to changing parties right before the Mayoral race.

Secondly, given the ways in which displaced blacks especially have been struggling to return -- getting the run-around with insurance payments, or dealing with landlords seeking to evict them (or jacking up rents to a point where they can't afford to return) -- one can safely intuit that all Nagin was doing was trying to reassure folks that they were wanted back and wouldn't be prevented from re-entering the city.

And finally, Nagin's remarks were less about demography per se, than an attempt to speak to the cultural heritage of the town, and the desire to retain the African and Afro-Caribbean flavor of one of the world's most celebrated cities. Fact is, culturally speaking, New Orleans is what New Orleans is, because of the chocolate to which Nagin referred. True enough, many others have contributed to the unique gumbo that is New Orleans, but can anyone seriously doubt that the predominant flavor in that gumbo has been that inspired by the city's black community? If so, then you've never lived there or spent much time in the city (and no, pissing on the street during Mardi Gras or drinking a badly-made Hurricane at Pat O'Brian's doesn't count). If the city loses its black cultural core (which is not out of the question if the black majority doesn't or is unable to return), then indeed New Orleans itself will cease to exist, as we know it. That is surely what Nagin was saying, and it is simply impossible to think that mentioning the black cultural core of the city and demanding that it will and should be retained is racist: doing so fits no definition of racism anywhere, in any dictionary, on the planet.

As for the analogy with a white leader demanding the retention of a vanilla majority in his town, the two scenarios are not even remotely similar, precisely because of how racism has operated, historically, and today, to determine who lives where and who doesn't. For a white politician to demand that his or her city was going to remain, in effect, white, would be quite different, and far worse than what Nagin said. After all, when cities, suburbs or towns are overwhelmingly white, there are reasons (both historic and contemporary) having to do with discrimination and unequal access for people of color. Restrictive covenants, redlining by banks, racially-restrictive homesteading rights, and even policies prohibiting people of color from living in an area altogether -- four things that whites have never experienced anywhere in this nation (as whites) -- were commonly deployed against black and brown folks throughout our history. James Loewen's newest book, Sundown Towns, tells the story of hundreds of these efforts in communities across the nation, and makes clear that vanilla suburbs and towns have become so deliberately.

On the other hand, chocolate cities have not developed because whites have been barred or even discouraged from entry (indeed, cities often bend over backwards to encourage whites to move to the cities in the name of economic revival), but rather, because whites long ago fled in order to get away from black people. In fact, this white flight was directly subsidized by the government, which spent billions of dollars on highway construction (which helped whites get from work in the cities to homes in the 'burbs) and low-cost loans, essentially available only to whites in those newly developing residential spaces. The blackness of the cities increased as a direct result of the institutionally racist policies of the government, in concert with private sector discrimination, which kept folks of color locked in crowded urban spaces, even as whites could come and go as they pleased.

So for a politician to suggest that a previously brown city should remain majority "chocolate" is merely to demand that those who had always been willing to stay and make the town their home, should be able to remain there and not be run off in the name of gentrification, commercial development or urban renewal. It is to demand the eradication of barriers for those blacks who otherwise might have a hard time returning, not to call for the erection of barriers to whites--barriers that have never existed in the first place, and which there would be no power to impose in any event (quite unlike the barriers that have been set up to block access for the black and brown). In short, to call for a vanilla majority is to call for the perpetuation of obstacles to persons of color, while to call for a chocolate majority in a place such as New Orleans is to call merely for the continuation of access and the opportunity for black folks to live there. Is that too much to ask?

Funny how Nagin's comments simply calling for the retention of a chocolate New Orleans bring down calls of racism upon his head, while the very real and active planning of the city's white elite -- people like Joe Cannizaro and Jimmy Reiss -- to actually change it to a majority white town, elicits no attention or condemnation whatsoever from white folks. In other words, talking about blacks being able to come back and make up the majority is racist, while actually engaging in ethnic cleansing -- by demolishing black neighborhoods like the lower ninth ward, the Treme, or New Orleans East as many want to do -- is seen as legitimate economic development policy.

It's also interesting that whites chose the "chocolate city" part of Nagin's speech, delivered on MLK day, as the portion deserving condemnation as racist, rather than the next part--the part in which Nagin said that Katrina was God's wrath, brought on by the sinful ways of black folks, what with their crime rates, out-of-wedlock childbirths and general wickedness. In other words, if Nagin casts aspersions upon blacks as a group -- truth be told, the textbook definition of racism -- whites have no problem with that. Hell, most whites agree with those kinds of anti-black views, according to polling and survey data. But if Nagin suggests that those same blacks -- including, presumably the "wicked" ones -- be allowed to come back and live in New Orleans, thereby maintaining a black majority, that becomes the problem for whites, for reasons that are as self-evident as they are (and will remain) undiscussed.

Until white folks get as upset about racism actually limiting the life choices and chances of people of color, as we do about black folks hurting our feelings, it's unlikely things will get much better. In the end, it's hard to take seriously those who fume against this so-called reverse racism, so petty is the complaint, and so thin the ivory skin of those who issue it.

Source: LipMagazine

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Student Dies in College Park Blaze
U-Md. Senior, 22, Lived in Off-Campus Apartment Cited for Fire Concerns
By Allison Klein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 25, 2006; B01

A 22-year-old University of Maryland student who was a hip-hop disc jockey on a campus radio station was killed yesterday when fire roared through his College Park basement apartment, which had recently been cited by the city for having windows too small to permit easy escape.

It was the second fatal fire in off-campus housing in nine months.

Firefighters found David Ellis of West Windsor, N.J., unconscious in his bedroom, trapped by flames that were shooting between him and the apartment door, said Prince George's County fire spokesman Mark Brady. He was pronounced dead a short time later at a hospital.

The cause of the blaze, in the 7100 block of Rossburg Drive, was under investigation, fire officials said.

The apartment building's owners, who did not respond yesterday to requests for interviews, were cited by the city for not complying with new regulations to enlarge the unit's windows, Brady said. The intent of the regulations is to provide a second exit in the event of a fire, he said.

"We tell people: 'You need two ways out.' These windows were not up to code," Brady said.

The owner, listed in property records as Knox Box Realty of Rockville, had appealed the citation and asked for an extension to complete the renovations, Brady said.

Students on campus were rattled by the death, which came a day before classes were to resume. Many remembered back to April, when senior Michael A. Scrocca died in a fire that had been set, a case that remains under investigation by Prince George's police.

Some aspects of the cases are similar: Both victims were 22-year-olds from New Jersey; both were seniors and about to graduate; and both died in fires that ripped through off-campus housing in the early hours.

The April fire was ruled an arson; officials said they will not know what ignited yesterday's fire, or the cause of Ellis's death, until today at the earliest. Brady said the blaze started in the kitchen area of the apartment.

A friend of Ellis's, who asked not to be named because the case is open, said Ellis had complained over the weekend about his stove overheating, causing smoke to fill his apartment and setting off the smoke detector.

Ellis lived with Richard Lang, 21, in the apartment, which is in a two-story brick building two blocks south of campus. There was one way to enter and exit their unit: through a cellar door in the back of the building.

The apartment building is one of several square, squat brick buildings known as a "Knox boxes" because of their proximity to Knox Road. The building dates to 1953, property records show.

Christina Santiago, a close friend of Ellis's, said the apartment buildings have a reputation for being run-down. "The Knox boxes are dangerous," she said. "It was just a matter of time."

Lang suffered minor smoke inhalation and was treated at a hospital and released. He arrived home at 2:30 a.m., shortly after the fire ignited, and tried to enter the back door before firefighters arrived.

Late yesterday morning, Lang walked around the parking lot in front of the building. A soot-stained tear streaked his face. He wore hospital scrubs under a green fleece jacket.

"As far as I knew him, he was pretty laid-back and funny," Lang said of Ellis, his roommate for three semesters.

Seven other students in the six-unit building were home during the fire and escaped unharmed.

University spokesman Millree Williams said the school is coordinating a workshop on fire safety for students living off campus. In the meantime, the off-campus housing office is updating its Web site to remind students what to look for when renting, including making sure that an apartment has two exits, and adding information on fire safety.

"We're always concerned whenever we have a tragedy on campus," Williams said. "We certainly are looking at ways to ensure that our students have a safe and secure environment at all times."

He said the university isn't working directly with the apartment building where the fire occurred, but it has coordinated with College Park officials to try to ensure safety for the 13,000 or so students who live off campus.

College Park Mayor Stephen A. Brayman said the city will review its regulations to see whether they need to be updated. "We will be taking this unfortunate incident to see if there are more lessons we can learn to make the housing within College Park even safer," he said.

After the April fire that killed Scrocca, city officials said they were discussing the possibility of mandating that all housing in the city be retrofitted with sprinklers.

Santiago came by Ellis's apartment yesterday with tears in her eyes. She said she had been hanging out with him Saturday night.

She spoke about his love of watching televised wrestling and spinning underground hip-hop music. He was known around town for his hip-hop radio show from 9 p.m. to midnight Fridays on campus station WMUC-FM (88.1), where he entertained under the name D. Ellis.

"He was a popular face on campus," she said. "He had a lot of potential to go far." She said he was majoring in American studies.

Another close friend, Rahul Reddy, 21, graduated with Ellis in 2002 from West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South. Speaking from his home in Irvine, Calif., Reddy said he and Ellis bonded over hip-hop music.

"He was so intelligent with music," Reddy said. "I didn't know anybody who knew as much music as Dave. His personality was unparalleled. He's such a loving and caring guy. All our friends gravitate around Dave."

Source:Washington Post
Check out his website

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Random Search

When I get stressed I get on the internet. A few interesting sites I pulled from random, pointless searches:

This one site, "Growing Up Sexually, A World Atlas", has a disturbing account of the sex lives of black youths in the "urban slum" of Chicago. Sickening thing is that they make this account indicative of what all Black Americans go through. This extreme example, which describes 4 and 6 year olds having sex, is suppossed to be what all black kids go through. That's complete BS if you ask me, though.

Speaking of youngsters and sex, I wish that sites like Puberty 101 and Teen Puberty existed when I was younger. The only thing I had was MTV and rap music when I was that age in the early 80's.

MedLinePlus is an awesome Medical Encyclopedia, generated by the NIH website. Have a medical issue? Find out the solution here!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The truth about that "Jamie Foxx" special Email Alert

For those people who got that email about the Jamie Foxx show tommorow night, or who heard the rumor on the Russ Parr morning show this morning, check out the story on EUR Web:

*Someone tried really hard to start some drama surrounding tomorrow night’s airing of Jamie Foxx’s “Unpredictable” special on NBC.

Despite television promos that have been airing since last week, Foxx’s two-hour interview accessibility via satellite and a nationwide telephone press conference with reporters on Monday – not to mention interviews in Time and TV Guide and a guest spot this evening on “The Tonight Show” to promote the special – an e-mail is being passed around to industry insiders and the general public claiming the network is deliberately trying to ambush the program by refusing to promote it and throwing it under the “American Idol” bus.

The e-mail - of course from an unknown source - says NBC “is purposely putting his show up against the second week of “American Idol” in hopes that it will fail.” It further states: “This will give them the excuse to never give another black person a music special because ‘it doesn't work.’”

The author of the e-mail also says that “NBC is not doing any marketing and publicity” on the special “because he stood his ground and wouldn't have any white guests as they requested.”

Responding to EUR’s request for comment, NBC would only say “we don't comment on baseless rumor and speculation.” However, Foxx’s publicist Alan Nierob confirmed to EUR’s Lee Bailey that the Oscar winner had indeed spent Monday morning talking to media outlets via satellite and telephone, in addition to the interviews for Time and TV Guide.

Filmed at the historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, “Jamie Foxx - Unpredictable: A Musical Journey” features such R&B and hip-hop artists as Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, Angie Stone, Snoop Dogg, The Game and Common.

The performances will include his current hit single “Unpredictable,” a duet of the remake “Love Changes” with Blige, and a medley of “Gold Digger” and “With You” with Snoop Dogg and The Game.

Playwright and author David E. Talbert, who co-produced and staged the special, came on board after receiving a sudden phone call from Jamie's manager, Marcus King.

“The next thing I know, I'm in Miami with Jamie Foxx on the set of ‘Miami Vice’ putting the pieces together,” Talbert says. “Really it's Jamie's story, my job was to take what was in his head and bring it to life theatrically.”

According to NBC, the “inspirational special centers on the milestones of Foxx’s life and his musical influences growing up in Texas. Dramatic vignettes lead up to each musical performance and portray childhood conversations with his grandmother and family minister, as well as life-changing events such as falling in love and the birth of his daughter.”

The Jamie Foxx "Unpredictable" special airs Wednesday night, at 8pm E/P on NBC and re-airs Friday night.

Source: EUR Web
New Blogs.....

New hip hop blogs keep on coming up. Here are a few I found today. I will make more of an effort to update my blogroll:

The Fallout Shelter:http://antistat.blogspot.com/ Really cool personal look at hip hop and culture.
Spiced Tea & Letters
Really cool Hip Hop Sista!
Straight, No Chaser-Views From a Hip-Hop Perspective Good writing, very interesting.
Soul ImperialistThe name says it all.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Links 1/15-1/21

Check out the Yahoo Group Just Janesse!
Hip Hop DX: Calling Out Names
Xclusive!MTV:Notorious B.I.G.'s Family Awarded $1.1 Million From City Of L.A.
Who Is The Next Black Leader?
Amp Fiddler:Waltz of A Ghetto Fly
Check out Underground Magazine!
Look! Mad Cow Productions
Internet privacy in China and the U.S.
The Hustle Heads Take Hip-Hop Back To The Future With CD Duky Dope Demo
Hip Hop, Bloggers, and The Voice of a Generation (Remix)
Thug Life Army:Hip-Hop 'Reggaeton' Film to be Produced by Jennifer Lopez
Why Isn't Bin Laden Caught, 'Dead or Alive?'
Check out the new messageboard Pumpitude!
Google's reputation at stake in fight with government
Hollywood has a thing for hip-hop stars
Britney's husband-what a joke.
U.S. accused of spying on those who disagree with Bush policies
Quote: "Neither you nor anybody in that (Quaker) church had anything to do with terrorism," said Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla. "The fact is, the Truth Project may have a philosophy that is adverse to the political philosophy and goals of the president of the United States. And as a result of that different philosophy, the president and the secretary of defense ordered that your group be spied upon.
"There should not be a single American who today remains confident that it couldn't happen to them."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Hip Hop&A G-rated culture

Yawn. Today the politicians discussed Internet Pornand Decency on Cable TV. Personally, I would've rather seen them discuss poverty, homelessness, unemployment, or the rising costs of health care. But hey, they have their priorities straight, so who am I to question them?

At times, it seems that politicians want to bring back to the culture of America a G-rated culture. Though the focus on the net porn seemed to be on child porn, I think that ultimately they want to try to just get rid of all porn on the net. How broad the definition of porn is going to be is anybody's guess. Could they slap on the porn label on a site with girls in bikinis? These self appointed moral vanguards might just end up doing that. I wouldn't have a problem with them doing away with some of the more extreme stuff on the net. The problem that I see is that they will make the definition so broad that fines will go to a site where a woman shows a little too much leg.

With the decency and cable TV thing, I think that ultimately there is a middle ground. I think the industry wants to maintain a standard of free expression. However, the other side of the debate is the people on this whole "protect the children" kick. One of the participants pointed out that if such an approach as eliminating everything deemed obscene is taken, then everybody, including adults, will have to be subject to a G-rated culture. This means that when the government is done eliminating all "indecency" (defined by them, of course), all of us will have to turn off the TV because the only thing that the whole "protect the children" crowd wants on TV is Barney, that annoying purple dinasour. And I hate Barney.

Don't get me wrong, Im all for protecting children against nasty TV shows and child porn, but I don't want this country to end up like China. There, they have succesfully stamped out net porn, and everything else for that matter. In this post 9/11 world, the whole cultural landscape and the power of the net has made it a really strange world that scares the puritanical types. This group of people represented by various special interest groups like the American Family Association wants the government to step in and censor whats on TV and whats on the net.

In the end, what will result will be a G-Rated culture. Where will hip-hop fit into that mix?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

P.E.'s New Whirl Order

Download PE's "New Whirl Order" off Emusic!

Public Enemy is somewhat of an enigma in today's rap world. I think if anybody is a hardcore fan of P.E. it is me.

As it is, I confess, I am 36 years old, just brought a house, have a 9-5, and so on. When I first went to college, I was 18, and everybody was bumping the classic PE diatribe "It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back".

In writing about a group like PE, you don't really look at the music per se, you look at what PE is. You look at what the day and age is. As Flav would say, you have to see "What time it is." Flav used to trip me out with those big clocks he would wear.

Today, with the unlimited power of the Republicans (dare I say?), the country on edge because of terrorism, the wars in Iraq and the up coming war on Syria? Iran?, and it is ideal that PE come back and drop another. Not only does PE have the task of trying to be a thorn in the side of the Republicans, PE also has to contend with their peers, most of whom were in diapers when PE put out its first album, and with a Nation of millions of indifferent rap fans. What irony there.

Just think, when Nations of Millions came out, it was crack, gangs, exit Reagen, enter Bush. Now its terrorism, endless war, and more Bush.

My only complaint about the album is that PE shouldve come harder. Much harder. They have alot to be mad about, after all. The only song that had me listen again and again was the rock driven "What A Fool Believes". I know there are a bunch of good bangers, but as one who can recite the track lists to all of PE's first four albums, I have to say that I wasn't really impressed by their attempts to reach kids half their age.

However, I'd have to say that I want to hear more of what this generation has to offer, like this new cat coming up named Saigon. He seems to have a real intense story to tell, and Im sure he will turn a few heads. He'll be what Public Enemy used to be. Despite the fact that this album was not a classic, I want to hear more of what PE has to offer up, and I hope they will forever keep on pissing people off more than Michael Moore!

I know that the album was released like 7 months ago, but I just had to remind you all, its out. Get it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hip Hop Essentials

Check out: Hip Hop Essentials!

It seems like a strong collection of hip hop classics. A bit overhyped, this is good for younger hip hop fans to learn about the roots of the culture. I got most of these songs on better collections like the Hip Hop From The Top series.

However, this one collection is the only CD with Joeski Love's "Pee Wee's Dance" and Mellow Man Ace's "Mentriosa". If anybody else knows where else I can find these songs please holler at me!

Otherwise, I won't be spending my money on this. If they got it on ITunes, cool, I will download, but I wont buy the actual set. This seems like this will be tied to some VH1 special or something. It's got a slick website, though.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Martin Luther King

But even if it were not present, I would yet have to live with the meaning of my commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ. To me, the relationship of this ministry to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I am speaking against the war. Could it be that they do not know that the Good News was meant for all men-for communist and capitalist, for their children and ours, for black and for white, for revolutionary and conservative? Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the one who loved his enemies so fully that he died for them? What then can I say to the Vietcong or to Castro or to Mao as a faithful minister of this one? Can I threaten them with death or must I not share with them my life?

Finally, as I try to explain for you and for myself the road that leads from Montgomery to this place, I would have offered all that was most valid if I simply said that I must be true to my conviction that I share with all men the calling to be a son of the living God. Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of sonship and brotherhood. Because I believe that the Father is deeply concerned, especially for His suffering and helpless and outcast children, I come tonight to speak for them. This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation's self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation, for those it calls "enemy," for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.

And as I ponder the madness of Vietnam and search within myself for ways to understand and respond in compassion, my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula. I speak now not of the soldiers of each side, not of the ideologies of the Liberation Front, not of the junta in Saigon, but simply of the people who have been living under the curse of war for almost three continuous decades now. I think of them, too, because it is clear to me that there will be no meaningful solution there until some attempt is made to know them and hear their broken cries.

They must see Americans as strange liberators. The Vietnamese people proclaimed their own independence in 1954-in 1945 rather-after a combined French and Japanese occupation and before the communist revolution in China. They were led by Ho Chi Minh. Even though they quoted the American Declaration of Independence in their own document of freedom, we refused to recognize them. Instead, we decided to support France in its reconquest of her former colony. Our government felt then that the Vietnamese people were not ready for independence, and we again fell victim to the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long. With that tragic decision we rejected a revolutionary government seeking self-determination and a government that had been established not by China-for whom the Vietnamese have no great love-but by clearly indigenous forces that included some communists. For the peasants this new government meant real land reform, one of the most important needs in their lives.

From Martin Luther King's speech "Beyond Vietnam"

Also check out Soundslam:Martin Luther King Day: Not Just A Day Off

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Is Flavor Flav What A Girl Wants?
by Dangerous Lee

Why are attractive, some are ugly, women breaking their necks to win Flavor Flav’s heart on VH-1’s Bachelor styled Flavor of Love? VH-1 has given Flav another show to showcase just how ignorant and hideous he can be. If we weren’t freaked out by his and Brigitte Nielsen’s relationship while watching Strange Love then we will be sure to get our fill this time around.

It’s quite obvious that these ladies want fame and fortune while they pretend to want real love from Flav and have his best interest at heart. The theme song should be Kanye's Golddigger!

One lady who was nicknamed Miss Latin, because Flav is not good with remembering names so he nicknamed all the contestants (another clue that he’s not all there), was ratted out by another contestant because she called her ex-boyfriend from Flav’s love palace. She was soon booted because she was not devoted to Flavs' flavor. Can you blame her? She realized she wasn't as greedy as she thought she was. No amount of money or fame could make her continue to pretend that she wants to be on Flav's arm.

None of those women are into Flav romantically. He’s a ghetto clown with horrible manners and weak vocabulary. I know damn well there were ads all over the place looking for lonely and desperate ladies who may or may not be fans of Public Enemy who want their shot at 15 minutes of fame. He and Brigitte were supposed to be so in love, but she still married her lil’ punk ass finance, Matia. Even she had sense enough to let him go.

I also know that Public Enemy has got to be pissed with Flav. I mean he has really sold out to what the image of Public Enemy was all about. Right now Flav is looking like a Public Idiot.

I guess you can’t fault him. He has more than a few baby mammas and his kids have got to eat and he has to keep his grille (did I spell that right?) shinning, so make that money at any cost to your dignity, Flav. We’ll keep watching the train wreck!

From Dangerous Lee's Myspace Blog.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Why the hip hop nation should pay attention to Alito

This week, the hearings for Supreme Court justice nominee Samuel Alito dominated Washington. Really trying to figure out where a Supreme Court justice is coming from is a daunting task.

To me, watching the hearings, it was a mixture of some highs and lows. Quite frankly, like most Americans, it didn't really interest me. From what I saw, the Republicans kept on going on about what a wonderful man he was. I was like, damn, get off his dyck. The Democrats seemed to milk his being part of some geeky right wing group in his college years. Apparently, this groups hates "negros" and thinks that woman are best in the kitchen, I guess. He kept on saying, "Gee, I can't remember." when asked about what this group did. Thats pretty much in a nutshell what they wasted a whole week doing.

Of course they had one black guy repin' some civil rights organization, saying that more or less from analysis of all his zillions of decisions made in the past, he must love black people so much he should have married one. The black dude had such a funny looking mustache and I couldn't help but think that damn, he needs to clip that shyt off.

What this Asian law professor said in his testimony on Alito's questionable record drew my attention. Apparently, Alito made a very telling conclusion in the case of a teen shot by a cop. I did some research and found an article on Slate: Shoot To Kill:Alito's blank check for cops.

In a 15-page memo, he argued in favor of letting states give police the power to shoot to kill at their discretion whenever a suspect flees, whether or not he poses a threat. Alito's memo is written with his usual dispassion. But he's forceful in his belief that the Constitution has no role to play in a cop's decision about whether to shoot an unarmed suspect.

Now, for any of you law students out there, or any Court TV types, you should read the 15 page memo!

I guess that one case cannot define the man, so who am I to judge? Nothing that "We the People" can do anyways, since the Republican dominated government will vote for him "just because." Oh well, now to count down the days to the overturning of Roe Vs. Wade; after all, thats what 51% of the AmeriKKKan people want.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Idiot Savants

Vice Pres. CHENEY: (From "Meet the Press") The read we get on the people of Iraq is there's no question but what they want to get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that. FromCity Pages

"I think we are welcomed. But it was not a peaceful welcome." —George W. Bush, defending Vice President Dick Cheney's pre-war assertion that the United States would be welcomed in Iraq as liberators, NBC Nightly News interview, Dec. 12, 2005
From Bushisms
It's 50 Cent against the world, even if it is the season to be jolly.

This was posted in a Dip-set Yahoo! group, kinda sounds funny to me....

After giving his fans a full fledge performance at his G-Unit Christmas Concert that took place at New York's Nassau Coliseum, December 26th 2005, 50 asked his fans to stick their middle fingers in the air while they chanted along to an original 50 hymn that went "F--- you Bobby," claiming that the DTP crooner, Bobby Valentino, was set to perform after the Unit, but refused to.

Apparently, 50 also dissed Juelz Santana, who was allegedly on the ballot to perform that night, but was a no-show. "Juelz Santana isn't coming tonight because he's a b!tch and he was scared to come," said an unidentified man from 50's camp while holding the mic.

Juelz later cleared the allegations on New York's Hot 97 radio station, stating that the error was on behalf of the concert organizers. "It's New York, ya dig?," said Juelz. "We [Dipset] run this city."

OK.....And I thought it was Bloomberg..LOL.

Friday, January 06, 2006

The forgotten "refugees" of Katrina:now this concerns me.....

Note: Because the residents of New Orleans seem to be off the radar, I think it is shameful that in our collective short attention spans, all the rest of us "compassionate" Americans have moved on.

Michael Brown, Do You Care about Katrina Suicide?
By Allie Deger

On December 27, 2005 The New York Times ran a rather unsettling article concerning the sharp increase in suicide among those affected by Hurricane Katrina. The newly doubled rate has recently been propelled into discussion by most major news agencies, following the addition of the breaking double-murder-suicide of the Dearings, a North Texas family.

Since evacuees were first herded like cattle into the Superdome, suicides among a group that formerly had relatively low rates have now climbed to the national average. Upon first glance this may seem like a low statistic (9/100,000 for Katrina survivors vs. 10/100,000 for the nation), but consider the broader picture: A given group, predominately African-American New Orleans residents who previously did not kill themselves, now do. Consider that the Dearing family was living in a small apartment with limited government assistance that did not contribute to the rent. Consider that the Dearings were going to be evicted from their apartment in only a week’s time.

There were three suicides at the Superdome. 2.7 million are still without power. It is believed that the suicide rates will continue to rise during 2006. FEMA's "long-term" financial aid lasts … 18 months.

There is an apparent correlation between what can be understated as a calamity and the recent influx of suicides. This hurricane, this ruin, has broken people. Is it outlandish to want to hold an official accountable? Let us revisit a few memorable words by the impeccably articulate Michael Brown "If you'll look at my lovely FEMA attire, you'll really vomit. I am a fashion god." This, of course was not in regard to the suicides that were concurrently taking place. This was in regard to his new dress shirt Brown was to wear on television.

Michael Brown should be criminally charged for manslaughter due to his negligence, which led to the suicide of seven people in the four months that followed Hurricane Katrina. Instead, the former Arabian horse expert is out of a job, but CONTINUES to receive a salary of $148,000.

Is this a proportional response?

Also check out: New Orleans Residents All Over The Country should Be Put On Red Alert: The Neo Cons Are Trying To Illegally Bulldoze Your Homes And Steal Your Property
Note to FBI....(knocking on an agents head) Hello!

This has to be the headline of the year: MS-13 gang growing extremely dangerous, FBI says

Note: As I read this article, I can't help but think that its really stupid when the feds state the obvious. Haven't they seen whats going on with this gang in Northern VA and in the suburbs of Maryland, like an hour away from the FBI headquarters? I'm like, what the hell are these people smoking?

In early November, the FBI and Houston police learned that six suspected members of Mara Salvatrucha, a violent Central American gang known as MS-13, were raiding a house on Liberty Street where a rival gang had stashed drugs.

MS-13 - the focus of a nationwide crackdown by FBI and federal immigration agents - has become known in recent years for home invasion robberies, drug dealing and machete attacks on its enemies. But what happened in Houston on Nov. 2, FBI and Houston police officials say, has heightened concerns that MS-13 could be far more dangerous than thought.

The MS-13 suspects swept through the house like a well-trained assault team, using paramilitary tactics including perimeter lookouts, high-powered weaponry (an AK-47 rifle was among the weapons recovered later), and a quick, room-by-room sweep of the house that was notable for its precision and sophistication, Houston police spokesman Alvin Wright says.

When the MS-13 suspects were challenged by authorities, the result was an intense shootout that killed two suspects, identified as Juan Antonio Bautista, 29, and Jose Antonio Pino, 33. The four others were arrested and face an array of state charges, including robbery and assault.

Bob Clifford, who directs the FBI unit created last year to combat MS-13, says the battle symbolized MS-13's development from a smattering of loosely organized cells across the nation to an increasingly efficient and dangerous organization that has become a significant threat to public safety.

"Our worst suspicions about MS-13 have been confirmed" by the Houston shooting and other recent gang-related incidents, Clifford says.

From low-income neighborhoods in Los Angeles, MS-13 has spread throughout the USA, largely following the migration patterns of immigrants from El Salvador and other Central American nations. With a membership that the FBI estimates could be as high as 10,000, MS-13 is most active in Los Angeles, the Mid-Atlantic, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Routes for trafficking

Clifford says the group also has formed commerce routes across the nation for drug-trafficking operations that often include "theft crews" who steal over-the-counter cough and cold medicines from drugstores. Such medicines, which can be abused or used to make other drugs, are then sold to help finance MS-13 units, Clifford says.

In recent years, MS-13's reputation as a particularly brutal gang was cemented by a series of incidents, several of them in Northern Virginia. In one, a former MS-13 member who had become a police informant was fatally stabbed and her head almost severed. In another, MS-13 members used a machete to cut off several fingers of a rival gang member.

The Houston shootout, however, raised questions about whether the gang - whose original members in Los Angeles included people with paramilitary training who fled the civil war in El Salvador during the 1980s - is evolving into an organization that is in their image.

The Houston incident sparked an FBI investigation that has reached into El Salvador to try to determine whether MS-13 members are receiving formal training in weapons and military tactics before they come to the USA - often as illegal immigrants.

Raids of suspected MS-13 safe houses in Central America, Mexico and the USA by federal and international law enforcement officials resulted in more than 600 arrests and the discovery of gang "constitutions," the FBI said.

The documents, most of them crudely handwritten codes of conduct, listed a range of punishments - from death to severe beatings - for transgressions against the gang. The seizures marked the first time that such organizational records had been recovered in this country.

Federal agents and local police say that recent arrests of MS-13 members have shed light on how the gang is raising money in the USA.

Stealing from drugstores

Three months ago in Madison, Wis., local police and FBI investigators arrested three suspected MS-13 members who allegedly were involved in stealing tens of thousands of dollars' worth of over-the-counter medicines from 22 Walgreens drugstores throughout the Midwest.

Madison detectives and FBI investigators later determined that the medicines were being transported to a warehouse in Louisville to be resold.

"We had not seen evidence of their presence here before (the arrests) or since," says Mike Hanson, spokesman for the Madison Police Department. "Our understanding is they were passing through here. They knew the number of Walgreens stores and were familiar with the routes in and out of town."

In several cases, Hanson says, the suspects used a special bag that blocked the drugstores' electronic sensors from detecting items that were being stolen from the stores.

"The suspects researched Walgreens throughout the Midwest and on a routine basis averaged $45,000 to $55,000 worth of stolen merchandise per day," Hanson says.

Clifford says "it would be dangerous to look at MS-13 as just another street gang."

Note: One FBI agent to another: "Uh gee, Dick, those MS-13 guys are some bad dudes."