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Thursday, March 31, 2005The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) this week allayed fears that HIV/AIDS tests in Africa were inaccurate.
Dr Tim Tucker, a virologist at the SAMRC, was responding to a recently-published article that claimed there was an 83% chance that the HIV test mechanism in Africa - called Enzyme-Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay (Elisa) would produce false results.
Even when people work under the assumption (hypothesis) that HIV causes AIDS and try to experimentally verify the results using one of the technique used to detect antibodies to the alleged AIDS virus (HIV), if the results doesn't support mainstream dogma, it is rejected. I can't emphasize enough, that something is wrong with how science is applied and practiced with the HIV/AID theory.
Chimuterngwende-Gordon writes that: "people are diagnosed on the basis of unspecific symptoms, such as weight loss and diarrhoea". She further holds that the long-term use of HIV drugs is known to cause immunosuppression and side effects that are indistinguishable from AIDS.
It is really irresponsible to diagnose AIDS based on unspecific symptom such as weight loss and diarrhea. How is this AIDS? We all know that Africa is plagued with unsafe drinking water, lack of sewerage systems, malnutrition, TB, malaria, etc. etc. If a good doctors (depending on the training) asked the right questions or had the proper equipment to diagnose diseases, they could easily determine what caused any symptoms a patient has without automatically lumping all the common ailments already known in Africa under the banner of HIV/AIDS. I really suspect this is why so many people are dying in Africa because they are not being treated for diseases that have known cures. It is almost as if someone is trying to decrease the surface population.
By diagnosing people with HIV/AIDS - is an automatic death sentence. If you take the drugs you will certainly die within a 10-year span under excruciating conditions. And, if you don't take the drugs and you test negative, you will be branded for life although the evidence is out there that the test is not accurate. Either way, you become stigmatized for no good reason.
I'm at the point that I think it is best that no one takes the test (period). There is ample evidence that shows people will never develop AIDS from HIV. Another point to look at - out of all the health care workers who are working around this alleged contagious virus, there haven't been one single individual who has caught this virus from those who was supposedly infected with this alleged deadly virus. Quite interesting indeed...
President Mbeki is right when he said that in science, no theory should be immune from challenge, and debate over an issue affecting millions of lives should never be declared over.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005Food For Thought
If there is an AIDS epidemic in the African American community as the proponents of the HIV/AIDS theory suggests, how did they decide that our community is plagued with HIV/AIDS if we are not being tested? What data is being used to show that we have an AIDS epidemic in our community and need to be tested when these same proponents are admitting that we are not being tested because our belief in an AIDS conspiracy is preventing us from accepting that we need to be tested, let alone treated for this alleged disease. How did they decide that we have an epidemic and need to be treated when we are not even being tested for HIV/AIDS? Something is seriously flawed with this reasoning unless an epidemic can be hidden. Hmm - a hidden epidemic within a community!!!
Other people better wake up and smell the coffee....
Tuesday, March 29, 2005Is this the true Origin of AIDS in Africa?
If you ask the average African American about how they thinks AIDS was introduced into Africa, the response would be the same across all social economic classes; most of them would say - the CIA was behind it. Now, it doesn't take any stretch of the imagination to see that the CIA could easily have used the WHO to introduced AIDS in Africa through vaccinations.
Take a look at the article that was sent by Brad Biggers (to maintain a balance in this disucssion, please take a look at his Website, as his views based on my first glance appears to be in line with mainstream HIV/AIDS data). The proponents of this HIV/AIDS theory states that this conspiracy theory is hurting the African American community. I think most people probably believe that if there is an epidemic in the African American community, one would think that you should know at least someone else who has AIDS/HIV. So far, no matter how many people I've asked, they can't seem to tell me anyone they know who has AIDS. Therefore, the information is suspicious at least to me. But, this will be dealt with at a later date.
Now - if this story is true, Dr. Alan Cantwell has confirmed one of our biggest fears, which proves that we were indeed justified for thinking that AIDS (if Africans are infected with a single virus) was introduced into the African population. As a result of living in this country for >389 years, you do have a tendency to become paranoid with the powers that be. A person once said, just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean that someone is not out to get you. When living with people who have savagely mistreated you - I think you have a tendency to understand the behavior of the culture and you are able to detect covert behaviors in its subtle forms.
I think there may be more to this story since I think that Africans are plagues by many century old diseases. These myriads of diseases can be easily treated with proper health care, potable water, and proper nutrition as a start. All of these things would generate a healthy boost to anybody's immune system and taking away any of these things will depress your immune system eventually resulting in AIDS.
If one takes a closer look at Africa, there are a lot of potential things that could cause AIDS independent of HIV or in combination with HIV if something was injected and the right environmental conditions are met, this injected viruses could flourish. I've always thought if Africans reflected on when this HIV/AIDS was first discovered in their society, it would correlate with the widespread vaccination of the people. But, the Africans that I've met so far -are not even willing to entertain this idea. If HIV/AIDS exists on the continent, where in hell did it come from? There's always an origin for everything.
By Alan Cantwell Jr., M.D.
On May 11, 1987, a highly important AIDS story appeared on the front page of The London Times, one of the world's most respected newspapers. The headline ran, "Smallpox vaccine triggered AIDS virus." Written by science editor Pearce Wright, the story suggested that the smallpox eradication vaccine program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) was responsible for unleashing AIDS in Africa.
Between the years 1966-1977, almost 100 million Blacks living in Central Africa were injected by the WHO. Scientists now speculate that the smallpox vaccine might have awakened a "dormant" AIDS virus infection on the continent.
A WHO official admitted, "Now I believe the smallpox vaccine theory is the explanation for the explosion of African AIDS." Robert Gallo added, "The link between the WHO program and the epidemic is an interesting and important hypothesis. I cannot say it actually happened but I have been saying for some years that the use of live vaccines such as that used for smallpox can activate a dormant infection such as HIV."
Rappoport was mystified as to why no mention of the smallpox story appeared in the major U. S. media. He contacted spokespersons for the Associated Press in Boston, Washington and New York; Reuters at the United Nations; and United Press International in New York. All the agencies "said they had heard nothing of the story out of London."
During the years 1966-1977, the WHO administered 24,000 million doses (2.4 billion) of smallpox vaccine worldwide. Could any of these vaccine batches contain a genetically engineered virus designed for biowarfare purposes? According to Allan Chase's Magic Shots, "The Soviet Union donated 140 million doses; the United States 40 million doses; twenty other nations combined to donate another 220 million doses" The remaining two billion doses of vaccine were made in newly established labs in third world countries, with the help of WHO specialists.
Was AIDS introduced into millions of Africans during the WHO vaccine program? Animal and human cells harbor all sorts of viruses, including viruses not yet discovered Animal tissue cell cultures are often used in the manufacture of viral vaccines. Therefore, the possibility of vaccine contamination with an animal virus is a constant danger in the pharmaceutical production of vaccines. Read more about the ORIGINS OF HIV The Secret AIDS Genocide Plot
Dr. Robert Strecker, M.D., Ph.D., and Ted Strecker, Esq., have compiled a list of 50 other articles from respected scientific journals that led them to conclude that AIDS was predicted, requested, produced and released by the U.S. Government via smallpox vaccinations in Africa and hepatitis B vaccinations in America under the supervision of Dr. Wolf Szmuness.
The list, "AIDS Reference,"can be obtained by writing to The Strecker Group, 1216 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90017. Their video, The Strecker Memorandum condenses this information into a 90-minute tour de force. I have this tape.
Monday, March 28, 2005Keep faith out of politics, says Blair
I agree with Blair, what can I say. Is America regressing to the stone age or what? Hopefully, we can regain some type of sainity once Bush is out of office provided old Jeb Bush doesn't run for President.
Tony Blair is opposed to a US-style faith politics in British public life.
"I do not want to end up with an American-style of politics with us all going out there beating our chest about our faith.
I think that is a bit unhealthy."
This article shows the hypocrisy of the far right-wingers. If Schiavo's husband's act is an act of barbarism, then what would you call Delay's family act in refusing medical care for their father? This is a prime example why people shouldn't allow others to decide what is a moral issue for them. Oftentimes, those who scream the loudest, have skeletons in the closet. These types of people can't be trusted. If you sit back, watch, and listen - the true intentions of others will unfold.
DeLay is among the strongest advocates of keeping the woman, who doctors say has been in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years, connected to her feeding tube. DeLay has denounced Schiavo's husband, as well as judges, for committing what he calls "an act of barbarism" in removing the tube.
In 1988, however, there was no such fiery rhetoric as the congressman quietly joined the sad family consensus to let his father die. "There was no point to even really talking about it," Maxine DeLay, the congressman's 81-year-old widowed mother, recalled in an interview last week. "There was no way [Charles] wanted to live like that. Tom knew — we all knew — his father wouldn't have wanted to live that way."Doctors advised that he would "basically be a vegetable," said the congressman's aunt, JoAnne DeLay.
Sunday, March 27, 2005The United States of Jesus
I always thought that the Terry Schiavo case was a poster child for the Republicans to rally behind and never really thought they had good intentions behind all the hoopla. Especially, if you listened to some of the comments coming from that camp. People were saying things like - of my G_d, this poor woman is suffering, I can't bear the pain she must be feeling (all the while I was thinking how can anyone feel pain if they are brain dead). Underneath all the protests, the Conservative leaders are actually making money off the back of this poor woman and her family's misery. What hypocrisy.
If this happens (The US of Jesus) - I wonder what would happen to all the religious tolerance in the US? hmm!!!
An exerpt from the article - The United States of Jesus.
This Schiavo matter, clearly, helps these far-right groups line their pockets. It gets the far-right grassroots worked up into a froth. The leaders of this push believe it provides them with a wedge issue with which to attack Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, a supposition yet to be proven.
The more strategery-minded in the crew saw it as some cheese dangled before Senate Democrats to lure them into a ‘Culture of Life,’ mudfight, and perhaps as a distraction to deflect attention from the looming battle over the filibuster. Thankfully, the Senate Democrats refused to take the bait.There’s more to it, though. Much more. The group Americans United for Separation of Church and State got hold of a recording from a March 17-19 meeting of the right-wing group The Family Research Council.
Both Rep. DeLay and Sen. Frist spoke at this meeting, and both declared their intention to refashion America into the United States of Jesus. A tasty quote from the confab by Mr. DeLay: "One thing that God has brought to us is Terri Schiavo, to help elevate the visibility of what is going on in America."According to the Americans United release, during the FRC meeting, Frist and DeLay assured attendees that they would do what it takes to keep Schiavo connected to a feeding tube and also would exert great power to push a whole host of issues central to the Religious Right's agenda. DeLay urged the gathering to contact lawmakers in both chambers to support legislation that would allow churches to become much more involved in partisan politicking.
The Texas Republican blasted current federal tax law, which bars both secular and religious nonprofit groups from endorsing political candidates. "It forces Christians back into the church and that's what is going on," DeLay claimed. "That's not what Christ asked us to do. We have to fight back."I forgot to mention one aspect of this: The Schiavo noise is an excellent blast shield for DeLay, who is facing a raft of serious ethics charges that include a scandal in Texas for his active participation in illegally funneling corporate funds to assist state political campaigns. DeLay's political action committee, Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC), is under criminal investigation for using corporate money to finance Texas campaigns. DeLay has tried to distance himself from the group, but documents show DeLay "personally forwarded at least one large check" to the group and was "in direct contact with lobbyists for some of the nation's largest companies" on TRMPAC's behalf.
Dr. Peter Duesberg was a noted and successful college professor (UC Berkeley), researcher in molecular biology, member of the National Academy of Sciences and leading candidate for a Nobel Prize, until he dared speak the unspeakable, publishing a 22-page paper in the March 1987 issue of Cancer Research not only proving that the HIV virus cannot be the sole cause of AIDS, but also calling into serious question the theory that AIDS is a single infectious disease caused by any microbe, at all.
On the basis of his experience with retroviruses, Duesberg has challenged the virus-AIDS hypothesis in the pages of Cancer Research, The Lancet, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Science, Nature, Genetica, Journal of AIDS, AIDS Forschung, Biomed. & Pharmacother., New Engl. J. Med., Chemical and Engineering News, Naturwissenschaften, Research in Immunology , Pharmacology & Therapeutics and the British Medical Journal. He has instead proposed the hypothesis that the various AIDS diseases are brought on by the long-term consumption of recreational drugs and anti-HIV drugs, such as the DNA chain terminator AZT, which is prescribed to prevent or treat AIDS.
When AIDS was first discovered in the U.S., it was in the Gay community. These people were heavy drug users. According to the movie, The Other Side of AIDS, Gay men would experience on average 250 sexual encounters in one year. They said to make the penetration of anal sex more pleasurable they used drugs often. One man said, because of the unprotected sex, we created a condition among ourselves that was analogous to what is seen in third world countries (unsanitary conditions). He said there were outbreaks of dysentery prior to the alleged HIV/AIDS epidemic and other opportunistic infections that broke out within the gay community that weakened the immune system of many in that community, which led to a disease that was called an acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). According to Duesberg and others, HIV does not cause this disease.
Because Duesberg challenged the Dogma on AIDS, his funding was revoked as well. This is quite a severe punishment for someone with his credentials. You really have to wonder, why one can't question the authenticity of HIV/AIDS, when everyone knows that scientific knowledge changes all the time as it should to accommodate updated discoveries...
Websites with links to many other websites:
http://www.virusmyth.com - - A Rethinking AIDS Website composed of over 1200 webpages with over 850 articles
Adams, Jad, AIDS: The HIV myth. St. Martin's Press: New York, 1989.
Al-Bayati, Mohammed, Get All The Facts: HIV does not cause AIDS. Toxi-Health International: Dixon, CA 1999
Burlett, Ellinor, The Gravest Show on Earth: America in the age of AIDS. Houghton Mifflin: USA 1995.
Duesberg, Peter, ed., AIDS: Virus or drug-induced? Contemporary Issues in Genetics and Evolution vol. 5. Kluwer Academic Publishers: London, 1996.
Duesberg, Peter, Infectious AIDS: Have we been misled? North Atlantic Books: USA, 1995.
Duesberg, Peter, Inventing the AIDS Virus. Regenery: USA 1996.
Epstein, Steven, Impure Science: AIDS, activism and the politics of knowledge. University of California Press: USA, 1996.
Giraldo, Roberto, AIDS and Stressors. Foundation Arte Y Ciencia, Medellin: Columbia, 1997.
Hodgkinson, Neville, AIDS: The failure of contemporary science. Fourth Estate: London, 1996.
Kitzerow, Marvin, The AIDS Indictment. MRKCO Publishing: USA 2000.
Lauristen, John & Young, Ian eds., The AIDS Cult: Essays on the gay health crisis. Askelpious: USA 1997.
Lauritsen, John, The AIDS War: Propoganda, profiteering and genocide from the medical-industrial complex. Asklepious Press: USA, 1993.
Lauritsen, John, Poisen by Prescription: The AZT story. Asklepios Press: USA, 1990.
Maggiore, Christine, What if Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong? The American Foundation of AIDS Alternatives: Studio City, CA 2000.
Nussbaum, Bruce, Good Intentions: How big business and the medical establishment are corrupting the fight against AIDS. Atlantic Monthly Press: USA, 1990.
Papadopulos Eleopulos, Eleni, et al., Mother to Child Transmission of HIV and its Prevention with AZT and Nevirapine. Riobay Publishing: Western Australia, 2001.
Rappoport, Jon, AIDS, Inc.: Scandal of the century. Human Energy Press: USA, 1988.
Root-Bernstein, Robert, Rethinking AIDS: The tragic cost of premature consensus. The Free Press/Macmillan: USA, 1993.
Shenton, Joan. Positively False: Exposing the myths around HIV and AIDS. I.B. Tauris: London, 1998.
Willner, Robert, Deathly Deception. Peltec Publishing Co.: USA, 1994.
Young, Ian, The Stonewall Experiment: A gay psychohistory. Cassell: UK/USA 1995.
PART II. The Moral and religious condition of the Negroes
I. Disadvantages to be encountered in prosecuting an inquiry into the Moral and Religious Condition of the Negroes in the United States, . . . . . 101
1. The First Disadvantage.--Our intimate knowledge of the degraded moral character of the Negroes . . . . . 103
2 The Second Disadvantage.--Our difference of color and superior relations in society, . . . . . 104
3. The Third Disadvantage.--Our latent, and in many instances, manifest, disinclination to the full disclosure of the Moral and Religious Condition of the Negroes, . . . . . 106
4. The Fourth Disadvantage.--The difficulty of obtaining an insight into the Negro Character, . . . . . 110
Thursday, March 24, 2005The Other Side of AIDS - Part I
Last Night I went to the progressive film center in Chicago to see The Other Side of AIDS. It was a very interesting and enlightening film. The best advice the film could have given is that people should be informed and proactive when it comes to their health.
According to Peter Duesberg Ph.D., professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, who isolated the first cancer gene through his work on retroviruses in 1970, and mapped the genetic structure of these viruses; and Kary Mullis Ph.D., who won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his invention of the polymerase chain reaction technique for detecting DNA (the technique used to search for fragments of HIV in AIDS patients) said that there is no scientific evidence that HIV is the Virus that causes AIDS. There is a growing number of scientists that also agree with them that HIV - the virus is harmless and it is the treatment that are killing people who test positive for this alleged virus. If this is true, why would the FDA/WHO, CDC, etc. concoct this elaborate rouse that HIV is the virus that causes AIDS and that people need to take all of those harmful antiviral drugs?
It is interesting to note that the HIV test that is used to detect the antibodies against HIV is not conclusive. They can't be certain that this HIV test is not identifying other non-specific antibodies that have nothing to do with HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). Scientific inquiries always require controls.
Our Lab does Westerns all the time and before we can publish any manuscripts of our research, we must compare our work to a known standard or protein, in this case, it would be HIV itself. If an individual has HIV, then you will be able to see a protein band corresponding to the same molecular weight of HIV. A fundamental control that is required in any experiment is to take the blood of an HIV + persons and infect that with a person's blood that tested negative and compare the results with a non-tainted sample and the HIV+ sample to determine if there is a difference. I this doesn't happen, how then can you verify that a person has HIV or what you see isn't a result of a false positive. In any experimental procedures, you must account for this phenomenon of non-specific binding and/or false positives. There is no way that we could get away with publishing a manuscript without having concrete evidence that what we said is verifiable and accurate. This is what is happening with HIV. The controls are not in place to verify that people actually have the virus or not. If HIV can't be verified, then you can't say conclusive that there are antibodies being produced as a direct result of HIV. Since testing HIV+ is an automatic death sentence for any individual, it is imperative that individuals who test positive for HIV are compared to those who test negative and if a difference is found - it can be ascribed to the presence of HIV. This is not happening. Something is seriously flawed with the scientific reasoning and testing behind the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
I will end with Albert Einstein quote taken from Duesberg Website "The important thing is to not stop questioning."
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Wednesday, March 23, 2005China's Human Rights Record on the United States in 2004
This is quite interesting as the shoe is on the other foot. I think it's about time some outside party formally exposed the U.S. for its double standards.
In 2004 the atrocity of US troops abusing Iraqi POWs exposed the dark side of human rights performance of the United States. The scandal shocked the humanity and was condemned by the international community. It is quite ironic that on Feb. 28 of this year, the State Department of the United States once again posed as the "the world human rights police" and released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2004.
As in previous years, the reports pointed fingers at human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions (including China) but kept silent on the US misdeeds in this field. Therefore, the world people have to probe the human rights record behind the Statue of Liberty in the United States.
I'm sure this report isn't a surprise to many people scientist or otherwise.
The long-awaited final results of the GM trials for Britain's biggest crop, winter oil seed rape, show that wildlife and the environment would suffer if the crop was grown in the UK, in effect ending the biotech industry's hopes of introducing GM varieties in the foreseeable future.
The government, which has been keen to introduce GM crops, now has the results of the world's most comprehensive crop study, demonstrating that the GM varieties currently on offer would be detrimental to the countryside. Bayer CropScience, the company that owns the patent on the GM oil seed rape being tested, said afterwards that it was not going ahead with its application to grow the crop in Europe.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005Do we have a right to comment on evil acts committed in the name of G_d?
On Friday, 3/18 - I referred to the evil committed against people under the guise of Islam and someone posted an irate (inappropriate in my opinion) comment. They told me that I need to stop all the ranting and raving against Islam and I need to stop my racist behavior and although you are black you don't like other blacks.
First, I guess we can throw the notion of freedom of speech out the window. Second, my site is clearly Afro-centric, so the black reference is quite absurd. However, I am perplexed that the person didn’t show any compassion towards the millions of people who were killed or maimed in the name of Islam.
If we never talk about evil acts, how will it stop? I wonder what would happen if Muslims showed the same type of indignation towards those who committed atrocities in the name of Allah?
Should we be afraid to speak out against religious beliefs when those alleged sacred beliefs become violent towards others? At what point can people speak out against evil behavior committed because their G_d said it was ok? This is the message I’m left with from the encounter…
This whole interaction was very interesting indeed…
I just like this title.... Suppose if this alleged Jesus came back black, I'm sure more than Karl Rove would kill him....
It's hard to believe what some people will do for money. Nigeria could have/should have been a beacon for Africa, but instead they allowed themselves to be corrupted by U.S. corporations.
By the way, I heard Cheney (the V.P.) is currently being paid by the U.S. government and Halliburton, talking about double dipping and a conflict of interest.... It is common knowledge that Halliburton is one of the major players that’s benefiting from this immoral and unlawful war on Iraq so it’s no surprise that Halliburton is one of the contractors benefiting from the "Nigerian Oil Killing Fields".
If you ignore all the corruption surrounding this last election, for the most part, Americans voted these corrupt leaders in office. I've heard from reliable sources that Bush/Cheney and their boys are stealing money left and right with this war on terrorism. There is a certain amount of money that is called leakage that is literally disappearing from the governmental coffers. Leakage refers to untraceable stolen taxpayer's money.
Monday, March 21, 2005Roll Call - For the relief of the parents of Theresa Marie Schiavo
Illinoisans need to get rid of Bobby Rush. This man doesn't vote on any major issues. What is he doing? You would at least be able to respect him if he took a stance, even if you don’t agree with the stance. Instead of taking a stance, he appears to cower on all major issues. I’m really beginning to dislike him. I will most definitely tell friends and family about his voting record. He doesn’t need to be in Congress if he is not willing to show that he has any type of backbone or balls. Right now, he is utterly useless….
Maybe, I need to start a campaign against Bobby Rush or start a Website like the one that been started that is titled Dump Dick Durbin. What a great title. Anyway, Dick Durbin is a Senator from Illinois and is the Assistant Minority Leader (Number 2 person in the Senate). This is the fifth time in history that an Illinois Senator has served as a Senate leader. Having said that, Durbin has apparently pissed off at least one person who has dedicated a Blog to him that says he needs to be dumped. This is how I feel about Bobby Rush, I need to find some type of catchy title and start a blog that is dedicated to removing Bobby Rush, such as Replace, Remove, Rob Rush or better yet, "Let's Flush Bobby Rush Like Used Toilet paper". But seriously speaking - I think this man must be removed like yesterday and I will make sure everyone I know, knows about his voting record...
I also agree with Congressman Conyers. This bill is setting the stage (precedence) for giving the U.S. government too much control over our lives. One can argue rightfully so that this woman does has the right to life, but a fundamental question that should be considered, what rights are we giving up for the sake of one? Should everybody’s rights be infringed upon for the rights of the one?
Excerpts from a statement about the Terri Schiavo's case by Congressman John Conyers Jr.
It will be hard for this member to envision a case or circumstance that Congress will not be willing to involve itself in under this precedent.
By passing this legislation:
1. We will be casting aside the principle of separation of powers.
2. We will be abandoning our role as a serious legislative branch, and take on the role not only of Judge, but of Doctor, Priest, Parent and Spouse.
3. We will abandon any pretense of federalism.
4. It should be obvious to all that we are no longer a nation of laws, but have been reduced to a nation of men.
5. We will be telling our friends abroad that even though we expect them to live by the rule of law, Congress can ignore it when it doesn't suit our needs.
6. We diminish our nation as a democracy and ourselves as legislators.
There is only one principle at stake here - manipulating the court system to achieve pre-determined substantive outcomes.
Friday, March 18, 2005UN sees East Congo as worse crisis than Darfur
What is going on in Africa? First, Rwanda, then Darfur, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Are our African brothers gone mad or what? Is it something in the water, the food, that are making people nuts?
U.N. emergency relief coordinator Jan Egeland said that over the last six years the toll in the Democratic Republic of Congo's amounted to "one tsunami every six months" -- a reference to the December disaster which left about 300,000 people dead or missing in Asia.
Can you believe the government in Khartoum is also persecuting women who were raped and now pregnant for violating Islamic Sharia Laws against sexual relations outside marriage? Talking about evil gone unchecked. This is another reason why I don't like Islam. You are constantly bombarded with very stupid and evil acts committed against women by men. Today, Islam seems like it's the single most horrific thing that could ever happen to a woman. I submit this question, based upon all the evil things that are happening in the name of Allah, is it really a legitimate religion? What about the alleged benevolence of this G_d? Does it exist? If it does, where is this proof?
Another point about the brutality under this Islamic control region - militiamen fighting in north-east Congo grilled bodies on a spit and boiled two girls alive as their mother watched, UN peacekeepers claimed today.
This brutality of women is not unique to African Muslims, women are also being killed and brutalized in Arabic countries as well. What the hell is wrong with this religion?
This is not the first time I've heard about the U.S. having plans prior to the invasion of Iraq for the oil in that country. It is interesting to note that the first thing the U.S. did when Iraq was invaded was to take over the oil fields.
It is clear that the U.S. is trying to have world domination over all the oil reserves. Just take a look at all the strategic locations that America has placed military bases. Is it a coincidence that the military bases happen to be in places where they can either control access to the oil fields or control the movement of oil to the market? Does this mean that the world has seen its peak oil production and there are no major reserves left to be discovered? Hmm!!!
The Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) is about to be ravaged for one reason. Three Democratic Senators jumped the fence and voted with the drill bits, undoing a twenty-year-long fight to preserve the land. Senators Landrieu, Akaka and Inouye were the reason this went 51-49 the wrong way.
Government geologists have estimated a likely reserve of as much as 10.4 billion barrels. The United States uses about 20 million barrels of oil a day. "We won't see this oil for 10 years. It will have minimal impact," said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.
If the government's geologists are only predicting that this drilling will yield a measly 10.4 billion barrels, why is the government allowing the oil companies to drill? We probably can assume this is a high estimate, therefore if Americans consume 20 million barrels a day, the oil reserves in ANWR will last slightly less than 1 1/2 years. I heard other estimates that the oil would only last for 6 months. Is America that desperate to do such a shameful and evil act that will generate very little rewards? I can see why and I do understand the reasons that environmental friendly people are screaming.
Thursday, March 17, 2005House Approves $81.4 Billion War Spending Package
The House on Wednesday approved an $81.4 billion emergency spending package for combat and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan, which would push the total cost of the wars beyond $300 billion.
How Did Your US Representative Vote?
By a 388-43 vote, the House gave President Bush most of the money he had requested, with strong support from both Republicans and Democrats. The Senate will consider its version in April. The legislation is the fifth emergency spending plan Bush has sent to Congress for wars since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It provides $76.8 billion for defense-related expenses and, overall, is roughly $500 million less than the president's request.
In a statement, Bush said the House passage showed a "strong bipartisan support for our troops and for our strategy to win the war on terror." This statement by Bush indicates to me that we have only one party and this new party is called the Demopublicans or Republicrats.
If the monies slated for combat and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan were re-allocated to social security, it would certainly solve the so-called social security crisis for decades to come. But, I guess - America needs the war and all that foreign oil to boosts its economy. I'm sure the rewards America will reap from Iraq and Afghanistan far outweighs any negative benefits that are perceived at this moment in time.
After all, I read an article recently that said the U.S. economy is so dependent on fossil fuel and its by-products that within months the whole country would collapse and subsequently many people would die shortly thereafter if we didn't have this much needed petroleum. Therefore, America must by any means necessary assure that it has access to as much fossil fuel as earthly possible to assure her survival as it stands now. Even a basic commodity like food (that is taken for granted by Americans) is dependent upon having adequate access to fossil fuel to bring crops to our local supermarkets. You really have to wonder why a country such as this, would build its economy on a product that is not sustainable. I guess when the earth no longer produces fossil fuel; America will be the last nation standing, i.e. with access to fossil fuel. Very interesting concept indeed.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005Social Security in a Nutshell
I got this article from blackpundit.com and it explains social security very well.
After reading this article, I can see why social security is in trouble. There's no money in the fund only IOU's in the form of Treasury notes. Unfortunately, these notes can't be sold, traded, etc. These notes are called IOU's since the government is the only one that can redeem them. If the monies have been used to fund expenditures like the war, how can these bonds be redeemed for cash? Right now, they are saying it takes 4 - 5 people to fund one person on social security. However, as the baby boomers approaches retirement age, it is estimated that the amount of people paying one person's social security benefits will be reduced to 2 working people funding every one individual. This is a serious issue since there are no social security reserves since the government issues an IOU initially based upon the amount of payroll taxes collected for this so called "social security fund". The bottom line - it's only a paper transaction between two governmental branches as the actual funds are never deposited in this infamous "social security fund". These notes are then locked into a vault I guess until they are redeemed. Redeemed how???? This is the billion dollar question....
I'm not a Bush fan, but I think, if his proposal was modified appropriately, it would be feasible and it probably would fix the problem (as long as it is modified). More on this later...
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Which female R&B artist are you?
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Sunday, March 13, 2005How Open Minded Are You?
How Open Minded Are You?
"If you don't understand the nature (and pervasiveness) of racism and white supremacy, then everything you see, and think you understand, will only deceive or confuse you."
September 3, 2003 Wednesday
Racism at its worst: 'Brown paper bag test'
BYLINE: By BILL MAXWELL
Biloxi Sun Herald
Each year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission receives about 85,000 discrimination cases, a phenomenon to be expected in a society that touts itself as a "melting pot."
Many of these cases involve the complaints of minority groups against majority groups. We rarely expect a member of a minority group to discriminate against someone else in the same group. But that is exactly what happens among African-Americans.
More than any other minority group in the United States, blacks discriminate against one another. The discrimination, called "colorism," is based on skin tone: whether a person is dark-skinned or light-skinned or in the broad middle somewhere.
Most African-Americans refuse to discuss this self-destructive problem even in private. According to the EEOC, though, the number of such cases are steadily increasing, jumping from 413 in fiscal year 1994 to 1,382 in 2002, a figure that represents about 3 percent of all cases the agency receives yearly.
The most recent case making news in the black press involves two employees of an Applebee's restaurant in Jonesboro, Ga., near Atlanta. There, Dwight Burch, a dark-skinned waiter, who has left the restaurant, filed a lawsuit against Applebee's and his light-skinned African-American manager.
In the suit, Burch alleged that during his three-month stint, the manager repeatedly referred to him as a "black monkey" and a "tar baby." The manager also told Burch to bleach his skin, and Burch was fired after he refused to do so, the suit states.
Colorism has a long and ugly history among American blacks, dating back to slavery, when light-skinned blacks were automatically given preferential treatment by plantation owners and their henchmen.
Colorism's history is fascinating: Fair-skinned slaves automatically enjoyed plum jobs in the master's house, if they had to work at all. Many traveled throughout the nation and abroad with their masters and their families. They were exposed to the finer things, and many became educated as a result. Their darker-toned peers toiled in the fields. They were the ones who were beaten, burned and hanged, the ones permanently condemned to be the lowest of the low in U.S. society. For them, even learning - reading, 'riting, 'rithmetic - was illegal.
When slavery ended, light-skinned blacks established social organizations that barred darker ex-slaves. Elite blacks of the early 20th century were fair-skinned almost to the person. Even today, most blacks in high positions have fair skin tones, and most blacks who do menial jobs or are in prison are dark. Believe it or not, popular black magazines, such as Ebony and Essence, prefer light-skinned models in their beauty-product ads.
For many years, entrance to special social events operated on the "brown paper bag" principle, which I will explain. Until quite recently, black fraternities and sororities, for example, recruited according to skin tone. Spike Lee's film "School Daze" satirizes the problem, and Alice Walker's novel "The Color Purple" makes it a biting subtext.
In his 1996 book "The Future of the Race," Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of the Afro-American studies department at Harvard, described his encounter with the brown paper bag when he came to Yale in the late 1960s, when skin-tone bias was brazenly practiced: "Some of the brothers who came from New Orleans held a 'bag party.' As a classmate explained it to me, a bag party was a New Orleans custom wherein a brown paper bag was stuck on the door.
"Anyone darker than the bag was denied entrance. That was one cultural legacy that would be put to rest in a hurry - we all made sure of that. But in a manner of speaking, it was replaced by an opposite test whereby those who were deemed 'not black enough' ideologically were to be shunned. I was not sure this was an improvement."
Gates was overly optimistic. The brown paper bag test remains in black culture in various incarnations, as the Applebee's case and the EEOC's statistics confirm. We separate ourselves by skin tone almost as much as we ever did. Check out the female beauties in rap videos.
Back to the Applebee's case. A spokesman for the chain issued this statement: "No one should have to put up with mean and humiliating comments about the color of their skin on the job... . It makes no difference that these comments are made by someone of your own race. Actually, that makes it even worse." Although the chain denied the allegations, it paid Burch $40,000 to settle the suit.
Now for the irony of ironies: Applebee's has added a protection, along with cultural sensitivity training, against skin-tone discrimination to its antidiscrimination policies.
In other words, the company must protect African-Americans from other African-Americans.
Discrimination from whites and other groups remains a big problem for blacks. But colorism is just as serious, if not more so. Colorism saps our strength from the inside. It weakens our power and ability to fight the outside forces that keep us marginalized in larger society.
Bill Maxwell is a columnist for the St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1211, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. E-mail, email@example.com
CALIFORNIA EMPLOYMENT LAW LETTER
SEPTEMBER 1, 2003 SECTION: Volume 13, Issue 13
HEADLINE: Color bias suit raises issues for employers
BYLINE: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
The Applebee's restaurant chain has agreed to pay $ 40,000 to a dark-skinned African- American waiter who claims he was harassed on the basis of his color by his light-skinned African-American supervisor. There has recently been a significant increase in these types of charges filed with the EEOC.
According to a lawsuit filed by the EEOC in Atlanta against Applebee's, the supervisor called the waiter derogatory names, such as "tar baby" and "black monkey," and suggested that he should have his skin bleached. The waiter further alleged that he was fired when he complained about the supervisor's conduct.
As part of the settlement, the company has agreed to add "color" to the list of protected classifications in its discrimination policy. According to the director of the EEOC's Atlanta office: "It is important that employers realize that 'color' is a separate protected basis under Title VII. Employers violate federal law when they discriminate based on color, including the harassment of employees because of their respective skin colors."
Statistics reveal that an increasing number of color discrimination charges are being filed with the EEOC. Those charges have increased by more than 200 percent over the last eight years, making it critical that employers ensure that their discrimination policies include color and that all managers understand the meaning of that term. Copyright 2003 M. Lee Smith Publishers LLC
Atlanta Journal and Constitution
August 8, 2003, Friday
HEADLINE: Applebee's Settles Intraracial-Harassment Complaint
BYLINE: By Tammy Joyner
A former Applebee's employee who said he was harassed by his black supervisor because of his color has received a $ 40,000 settlement in an agreement reached between the Kansas-based restaurant chain and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The lawsuit, part of a rare but growing trend of intraracial harassment claims, was resolved through a consent decree filed with the U.S. District Court in Atlanta. In addition to paying Dwight Burch, who worked at the Applebee's in Jonesboro, the company must provide anti-discrimination training to its workers.
Burch said he was called derogatory names by the store manager because he is dark-skinned. The manager is light-skinned. Burch said he was fired when he threatened to report the store manager's behavior to Applebee's headquarters in Overland Park, Kan.
Applebee's spokesman Frank Ybarra said in a statement that the company admits no wrongdoing and settled "to clear the way for the sale of our restaurants in Atlanta to one of our franchisees."
Burch joined the suburban Atlanta restaurant in December 2000 and was fired in March 2001.
"I am grateful that the EEOC filed this lawsuit, not just for me but for other workers, too," Burch said in an EEOC statement. "No one should have to put up with mean and humiliating comments about the color of their skin on the job."
Color bias filings have risen from 413 in 1994 to 1,382 in 2002.
"It's an important case," said Robert Royal, EEOC regional attorney in Atlanta. "People don't realize color discrimination is [covered] under Title VII. It affords protection not only to African-Americans but Hispanics ... and everybody of color."
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
August 7, 2003
EEOC Settles Color Harassment Lawsuit With Applebee's Neighborhood Bar and Grill
Charging Party Dwight Burch (right) is pictured in front of Applebee's with EEOC Atlanta Regional Attorney Robert Royal
Rare Bias Case Involves Dark Skin Color of African American Employee
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced the settlement of a rare color harassment and retaliation lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against Applebee's Neighborhood Bar & Grill, an international restaurant chain headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas. The settlement provides $40,000 to Dwight Burch, an African American former employee who was discriminated against based on his dark skin color by a light skinned African American manager, and terminated when he complained to corporate headquarters.
The lawsuit was resolved through a Consent Decree filed with the U.S. District Court in Atlanta that sets forth the terms of the settlement (Case No. 1:02-CV-829). In addition to the monetary relief for Mr. Burch, the Consent Decree requires training and reporting by Applebee's. Prior to the lawsuit, Applebee's did not have a written policy in effect at any of its nationwide restaurants prohibiting discrimination based on color. Applebee's now has amended its harassment and discrimination policies to include color as a protected basis in accordance with Title VII. In both its Answer to the lawsuit and in the Consent Decree, Applebee's denies any liability or wrongdoing.
Mr. Burch filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC alleging that the store manager, a light skinned African American, had consistently made derogatory remarks to him about his dark skin color, and had discharged him when he threatened to report the store manager's harassing remarks to Applebee's headquarters office. Mr. Burch began working for Applebee's as a server at its Tara Boulevard, Atlanta, Georgia, location on December 16, 2000. The store manager, assigned to the facility on January 1, 2001, terminated Mr. Burch on March 26, 2001 – less than 90 days after his arrival at the restaurant.
"I am grateful that the EEOC filed this lawsuit, not just for me but for other workers to," said Mr. Burch. "I liked my job and got along well with everyone. No-one should have to put up with mean and humiliating comments about the color of their skin on the job. My mother taught me that we are all God's children and each one of us is special. It makes no difference that these comments are made by someone of your own race. Actually, that makes it even worse. That person should know better, especially if he is a manager."
The EEOC investigated Mr. Burch's allegations and concluded that there was probable cause to believe that the allegations were true. The agency filed suit only after exhausting conciliation efforts to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement with the company.
Bernice Williams-Kimbrough, Director of the EEOC's Atlanta District Office, said: "We are pleased that Applebee's has agreed to resolve this case. We are committed to fighting discrimination in all its forms, including issues of color harassment and retaliation for opposing unlawful practices. It is very important that employees are able to engage in protected activity without fear of retaliation. It is equally important that employers realize that ‘color' is a separate protected basis under Title VII. Employers violate federal law when they discriminate based on color, including the harassment of employees because of their respective skin colors."
The Commission has observed an increasing number of color discrimination charge filings at agency field offices across the country. Color bias filings have increased by over 200% since the mid-1990s from 413 in Fiscal Year 1994 to 1,382 in FY 2002. The majority of charge filing last fiscal year were in the Northeast (44%), followed by the West (21%), South (15%), Midwest (12.5%), and Southwest (7.5%).
In addition to enforcing Title VII, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment or pregnancy) or national origin and protects employees who complain about such offenses from retaliation, the EEOC enforces the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which protects workers age 40 and older from discrimination based on age; the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits gender-based wage discrimination; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the federal sector; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Further information about the Commission is available on the agency's web site at www.eeoc.gov.
A friend of mines is a good friend of Tony Browder. Tony sent this letter to 20/20 and copied it to various individuals voicing his disappointment with how 20/20 handled the colorism segment that was aired on March 4th. If you’ve ever heard or read any of Tony Browder’s books, when you watched the segment, you automatically knew that the piece was mishandled. It is good to see that Tony voiced his disappointment about the segment.
Subject: Re: Analysis of 20/20 Colorism Program
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 19:14:14 -0500
A Brief Analysis of 20/20's Colorism Show
To say that I was disappointed with 20/20's mishandling of their recent program on "Colorism" would be an understatement, but I was not surprised.
Here is the backstory:
In October, 2003 I received a call from Frank Mastropolo, producer of 20/20, who was referred to by Marita Golden, Author of the then forthcoming book Don't Play in the Sun. Marita is a long time friend, and the President of the Hurston-Wright Foundation, of which I am an advisory board member. Frank was planning a segment on colorism that was inspired by an intraracial-harrassment law suit filed by a dark-skinned African American employee against his lighter-skinned manager (see attached articles).
Frank and I had several lengthy phone conversations on the topic of colorism. I made it a point to stressed that this was learned behavior that African Americans had mastered after being subjected to generations of racism, segregation and discrimination by their former enslavers and current employers. I didn't condone the behavior and stressed the importance of viewing the problem in an historical context.
Frank expressed interest in taping me at a speaking engagement where I would discuss issues of racism and colorism so I arranged a program at University of Maryland with a small audience of African American students who he could also interview for the segment. I was very conscious of how my comments, and those of the students, could be manipulated in the editing room by ABC, so I asked my contact at U of MD to select a group of articulate and socially conscious students who would do their university and their community proud.
Frank and I worked out the details and he brought a crew to the University on December 8, 2003. He taped a 1/2 hour interview with me, a one hour presentation with me and the students, 40 minutes with the students and the program host, and another 40 minutes with me, the host and the students.
Over the next month - Frank called with numerous questions in an effort to do a thorough job on the topic. He told me they planned to air the show in February '04. Meanwhile, Marita and I compared notes of our individual interviews and hoped for the best. Then we began to hear from several African American employees at 20/20 that the producers were interviewing folk on the street and several black comedians, and we began to worry. February came and went and we never heard from Frank.
Finally, 13 months later, I receive an e-mail from Frank on March 3 informing me that the show will air on the next evening. I notified all of you about the show and suggested you share your opinion about the segment with ABC. My dear friend Rabiah saw the show and sent an e-mail to Frank that mirrored my feelings about the segment. Rabiah wrote...
March 12, 2005
Mr. Frank Mastropolo,
I watched your piece on color expecting to see and hear a much more in depth story. This is not news in the African American community however it is in the wider viewing audience. I was hopeful upon hearing that Mr.. Browder was being interviewed as he has researched in depth this very subject and has presented it in lectures to packed rooms of students, educators, and parents. Having done so he has shed light on how this affects young peoples self esteem and how to resolve this issue.
I am extremely disappointed in your piece as it did not give any real substance to this issue but rather exploited it as a tantalizing bit of gossip about an "unknown inside behavior" about the Black community. I am puzzled as to what this 5 minute or was it a 4 minute spotlight did to educate or to offer any meaningful resolution to this behavior.
Having the means within your reach to do a serious and enlightening segment that did justice to the topic and not using it but rather choosing to trivialize it as you did makes me question yours and your producers motives.
To sit and watch a most lengthy piece on how young stars waste their money, which I realize might interest some, and then have a serious topic presented as if it were the piece that did not warrant more than a mere glance confirms for me my better choice of watching CSI on CBS.
Rabiah AL Nur
Rabiah Al Nur
Spring of Light
If there is a lesson to be learned from this experience it would be..."If you don't understand the nature (and pervasiveness) of racism and white supremacy, then everything you see, and think you understand, will only deceive or confuse you."
Saturday, March 12, 2005Barack Obama for President 2008
We the people of the United States of America herby endorse a future candidacy of Senator Barack Obama of Illinois to be elected as the 44th President of the United States on Novemeber 4th, 2008.
Gathering To Save Our Democracy
Nashville, Tennessee, April 8-10, 2005
Friday, March 11, 2005Quote from LA times - Robert Scheer
Let me go one better to suggest the heresy of removing the cap, without increasing benefits for top earners. Make all income, even that of those making millions of dollars a year, subject to Social Security taxes, thereby bringing more money into the system.
This is a good idea. If this was implemented, it would single handedly solve the social security problem. The way social security is structured; it gives a tax benefit to the affluent. Why should there be tax benefits for the affluent as they can afford to pay the taxes anyway? America's poor and lower middle class are the ones that are footing the bill for social security since only the first $90,000 of your income is taxed by social security. The less affluent people stand to lose the most with Bush's plan and these people are the one who can't afford to lose their social security benefits in a market that is uncertain.
Washington - Sen. Barack Obama on Thursday called President Bush's suggestion that African-Americans could reap greater rewards from overhauling Social Security a "stunning" argument that ignored the true health issues facing blacks in this country.
As the president launched a two-day tour through the South to build support for his controversial plan to revamp Social Security, Democrats challenged a White House assertion that blacks would particularly gain from Bush's proposed private retirement accounts because they have fewer years to collect benefits considering they die younger.
Thursday, March 10, 2005African Ancestry -
I had my DNA tested by African Ancestry (http://www.africanancestry.com/); this company was founded by African Americans - Rick Kittles, PhD., and Gina Page (from my understanding she helped with the seed money to start the company).
Anyway, I always yearned to know what part of Africa my ancestors came from. Rick Kittles developed two tests that can trace African Americans maternal and paternal lineages back to their original ancestors using either a matri-clan or patri-clan test. The matri-clan test analyzes an individual mitochondrial DNA, which is passed from mother to child (males or females) whereas the patri-clan test analyzes the Y chromosome, which is passed from father to son. Since I aleady know my fathers' Y chromosome came from his Jewish grandfather, I decided to trace my mother's lineage by buying the matri-clan test ($350). Using the mitochondrial DNA one can trace your mother's, mother, mother, mother's ancestry - all the way back to the first African female in your lineage that was stolen and enslaved by Europeans. This is exciting news: I can find my very own Mitchondrial Eve - "The First Woman"....
Before, I disclose the results of the test, I will give a brief description of mitchondrial DNA. The mitochondria are subcellular organelles that serve as sites for the production of energy. Mitochondria contain their own independent genome called mtDNA composed of 16,569 nucleotide pairs that do not recombine because it is inherited intact from your mother. As a result, mtDNA provides a historical record that contains information about maternal ancestry.
Moving right alone, my results are rather interesting. Since I was using my mitochondrial DNA, it should have ultimately lead me to the tribe of my "Mother Eve". Instead, my mitochondrial DNA inherited from my mother who was utimately inherited from the First Eve (African Mother) is closely related two groups: The Mende people in Sierra Leone and the Kru people in Liberia. What this suggests is that there was a common ancestor between the two groups. I hypothesize that a single woman had at least two daughters that married into different families. One migrated to Sierra Leone and the other stayed in Liberia or vice verse. To my surprise, instead of being related to only one group, I'm extremely lucky and fortunate to be related to two different groups. Two for the price of one (Twofer). It is unfortunate that these two countries have been ravaged by civil unrest/wars. I am certainly looking forward to visiting both places soon.
Dr. Kittles analyzes or reads the mtDNA. His company analyzes a portion of your mitochondrial DNA sequences called the Hypervariable Segment I region (HSVI), which is a non-coding portion of your mtDNA.
FYI- as a general rule, unless people are talking about your immune system, when you hear people talking about variable portions of DNA, you can automatically assume the region(s) do not code for proteins (this could lead to a disease state in some people or even death, unless it confers some type of selective benefit to the individual(s) such as what is seen in some Africans and Middle Easterners - one sickle cell allele (Hemoglobin S). Inheriting one sickle allele automatically confers resistance to malaria, which is a good thing, where as if an individual inherites two sickle allele -the outcome is early death. This happened to one of my first cousins. He died by the time he was either 6 or 7 years old.
His lab analyzes approximately 360 base pairs of DNA using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). There are specific primers that can be purchased that will allow him to amplify the specified region (HSVI) and then sequence the DNA, i.e. break it down to its' simplest components. The simplest components are called base pairs and they are represented by the letters A, C, T, and G, which allows him to easily decode the DNA sequences and catalog the results. Where the majority of humans may have one base pair (or letter); there are a small number of humans that have a different base pair at the same position. The scientific term for these differences or mutations are called single nucleotide polymorphisms. Polymorphisms is a fancy way of saying many forms. Those differences tell scientist something unique about the ancestry of one group vs. the next. Dr. Kittles then reads these mutations and compares them to sequences complied in his African Lineage Database (ALD). This database was complied mostly from West Africans and a few other historically known African groups where people were stolen from and enslaved in the Americas, etc..
The right to vote is the fundamental citizenship right that protects all other rights. Maybe that explains the shape we're in.
The Bible says that if you build a house on sand, when it rains, the winds blow and the storms come it will not stand. The last two presidential elections have demonstrated that our voting system is built on sand.
Bush Is Obsessed With Fixing It
He hates government programs no matter how much good they do.
The problem with Social Security is that it isn't broken, which is precisely why the president is so eager to destroy it. It is the continued success, rather than failure, of the program that irks him.As George W. Bush continues to flail at Social Security, even in the face of increased public opposition, you have to wonder: "Why?"
On March 4th, the ABC show 20/20 did a short segment (5 - 10 minutes at the most) on this topic, colorism, the open secret in the African American community. The host of the show interviewed Tony Browder, I guess as the resident expert concerning this topic and several teenagers to ascertain their thoughts.
I can only assume Tony's comments were severely edited since he didn't say anything that was too pertinent on the subject. Since I've heard Tony Browder speak on many occasions, I know he had a lot to say on this topic that would be more relevant to the African American community than what was aired on 20/20. Tony Browder is the author of several books dealing with African/African American issues, which makes the little blurb that was aired suspect.
I was surprised and disappointed to see that some African American teens were actually buying into the color class thing that is being perpetuated by Hollywood and the music industry.
What was disturbing about the show, although not surprising was the reporting on this subject. It was grossly inaccurate. The host insinuated that African Americans have this colorism (an open secret) problem when this was the first time I've ever heard this term being used to describe our community. Most people I asked about this term had never heard it before either. Some people said their children have informed them the issue is re-surfacing. They also attribute this phenomenon to Hollywood and the music industry. For instance, I read an interview a while back about Black actors and actresses experience in Hollywood. They said when it comes to getting parts in movies; people in Hollywood give those parts preferentially to their lighter skinned counterparts. In addition, these parts that are given to the lighter skinned African Americans, if they are males they are executives roles in firms and if they are females, then they are only given upward mobile parts and are never asked to play denigrating roles in any form like their darker skinned comrades. Speaking about denigrating roles, what about Denzel Washington’s winning an Oscar for playing that stupid role in Training Day?
One can clearly see that the problem doesn't originate within the African American community but is a problem that is being thrust upon us by outsiders, a created problem at best. Halle Berry is a classic example of favoritism in Hollywood, she is getting more roles because of her alleged crossover appeal (half-whiteness) although there are far better African American actresses out there than her. The question then becomes - how do we position ourselves as a group in a better position so that we do not have to accept any type of crap coming out of Hollywood or from the music industry when there are five major conglomerates controlling all the media in the U.S? Unless we find ways to put an end to the bombardment of negative images, we will never earn the respect we deserve as a people.
Since African Americans consist of a heterogeneous group, the teens that were interviewed, do their views reflect the larger community? I believe depending on where you live will dictate your outlook on lifte. Afterall, I think we are a sum total of our environment.
Since the establishment has focused on this topic, I think it worthy of us to discuss this situation to nip this in the bud if this is a problem within our community. I will discuss this topic periodically under different headings.
This type of insanity must stop!!!!
Tuesday, March 08, 2005Who Controls The Media?
This easy-to-read chart breaks it all down - even down to which cable outlets are controlled by which conglomerates.
Old chart of "The World's Ten Biggest Media Conglomerates". Since Vivendi has been recently acquired by GE, the chart should be called " The Big 9". http://www.thenation.com/special/bigten.html
This chart shows that concentration of media owndership isn't just a problem in the U.S. - it's happening worldwide.
Monday, March 07, 2005What's missing from News in the United States is the news
Considering that there are only 6 major corporations that own the vast majority of the media in the USA, it is no surprise that censorship is occurring http://www.mediachannel.org/ownership/chart.shtml.
Americans are in deep trouble. In 1983, there were 50 corporations that controlled the vast majority of all news media in the U.S. However, by 2004, there were 5 major corporations that controlled all the media http://www.corporations.org/media/. In 21 years, 45 media corporations have been eliminated - so much for the antitrust laws that were suppose to prevent these kinds of conglomerates.
Whoever controls the media, controls the minds of the people. These corporations are controlling pop culture since they are the ones responsible for all the images/music/movies that people are seeing and hearing. Many African American rap artists are perpetrating. The artists have convinced many youths that they own their own recording labels. Younger people belive that studios such as Def Jam, Murder Inc., etc, are owned by African American artists. Unfortunately, they are all subsidiaries of the major corporations in the U.S. For instance, Vivendi Universal owns many of these so-called Black independent recording labels. African Americans do not control any of the images, messages, or the people that are hired for their own so call videos. The major media conglomerates dictate every image/facet of pop culture including the shades of Black or lack thereof of people that are being portrayed in music videos and movies.
Recently, I went to a talk at the Caruthers Center for Inner City Studies - the presenter stated that a French company used to be the majority owner of Vivendi Universal. Since the French didn't support the Iraq war with America, as a punishment, GE through a hostile takeover, purchased over 80% of Vivendi. He went on to say, the owners of the media conglomerates said that this is a unique club and it is closed to the public and they said the youths are like Africa, a group that is ripe to be exploited. We can dictate to them what we want them to think, act, and believe. What is this saying about Africa as well?
It is interesting to note that GE is also a major owner of private correctional facilities (jails) in the U.S. The “gangtaisms” image that’s being portrayed in the media is there because the corporations are perpetuating these types of behavior to elicit a certain type of response. Many African American see this as a huge problem or probably “The problem” facing the African American community in this century. These images are a way that major corporation assures that they will have a continuous supply of young Black males who will enter the correctional facilities, a revolving door so to speak.
It is apparent to the casual observer that there are only certain types of images being bombarded in the African American community and its not a coincidence that all of these messages/images happen to portray the dark skinned Black person as negative (outright immoral and criminal in many instances). The industry is trying once again to accentuate differences such as revitalizing the light vs. dark skin syndrome as well as drive a wedge between the youth and their parents (old vs. new school) in the same way that some African communities have been expoloited such as Rwanda and the Sudan that led to a certain outcome. The consequences of this manipualtion is manifested in evil that is uncomprehensible to the rational mind and has proven to be more destructive than any world war that have ever been fought. Will this manipulation eventually work with African Americans like it has with other African people? We all know this is not a new phenomenon that is used by the so called dominant group to debase and destroy any group that is different.
Although slavery has been officially abolished in the U.S., the U.S. Constitution does indeed sanction slavery for people who have been incarcerated. Since the correctional facilities are own by major corporations, they have access to free labor and are now exploiting a market (the youth) using images that have been created by themselves to bring about a desired outcome.
Sunday, March 06, 200510 Most Powerful American Women
Two of the 10 most powerful American women are African Americans (The infamous, Condolezza Rice and the all inspiring Oprah Winfrey). This is a milestone for African Americans.
Saturday, March 05, 2005Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion
The God Gene lecture
Thursday May 26, 2005
1200 New York Avenue, NW
Friday, March 04, 2005ABC 20/20 -- "Colorism" with Tony Browder -- Friday March 4
This should prove interesting...
There have been three stages of American empire since the creation of this nation. Each has fed the other, and each has been established and fortified by war. More importantly, each has been fortified by the vast profits derived by the few in the making of war. The first two stages did not collapse, so much as they were absorbed by the next iteration, carrying over all circumstances and attendant difficulties. We exist today within the third stage of empire, one that is sick at the core.
It seems all too clear that this third American empire is threatening to collapse under its own ponderous weight. The movement conservatives cannot contain the forces that have been unleashed against them. The American military is proving itself to be incapable of sustaining the unreasonable demands being placed upon it. The ghosts from the second empire loom large, in Europe and Africa and the Middle East and Central Asia. The American economy, sustained for sixty years by petroleum and war, stands at grave risk of being subsumed by both.
Thursday, March 03, 2005Welcome to Allen Studios featuring the art of Tina Allen
Tina Allen is an internationally renowned sculptor and painter. Her creations have appeared in some of the most prestigious galleries in the United States and abroad. Tina's creative expression began at the young age of 5 when she started painting.
I've met Tina Allen before. Her oldest daughter and I are in the same lab. Tina told Josy that she wanted to meet all of the members in the lab for lunch. She is a very talented and personable woman and that is an understatement.
This is our lab’s Website http://www.ameerlab.northwestern.edu/lab.html
When this picture was taken, Josy wasn't around. We need to take another lab picture since some of the members have graduated as well as new members are missing from the photo.
The 60 largest American charitable contributions of the year.
Oprah Winfrey is ranked as the 24th largest contributor to a charitable organization although all of her $50 million went to her foundations. She is truly inspiring.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005'I'm a Nigger, and you will just have to put up with my blackness,' Professor Amina Wadud Confronts Her Hecklers in Toronto
I received this email from a friend with the following heading "Internalized racism within the Muslim community outed"
Before I start, my friend never addressed the fact that this lady may have other issues lurking within her consciousness. I think there is something seriously wrong with people who call themselves a Nigger while giving a talk to the public. Just because this is what others may think of you or your ethnic group, doesn't mean that you have to embrace that idea in any form to make your point. Personally, I would have walked out on her talk based on her self-affirmation statement.
Having said the above, this is one reason why I don't like any of the major religions that are practiced today. It doesn't work for most people. It doesn't cleanse people hearts of malice and ill will towards others. It simply doesn't make people act good or decent. If there is a God almighty as people claim, then common sense should dictate that everything that this God almighty made must be good. Isn't this God almighty suppose to be perfect? Maybe people are just lying to themselves about this God thing. Maybe this internalized racism is an indicator that God doesn't exist. If there really is a God, one would think that people would be afraid to show this type of hostility to someone that was created by this same God they are acknowledging/worshiping, unless these individuals/groups think that their God made some of the people unworthy/not so perfect in some form or fashion. If this is the case, then this indicates that this God is only worthy to be praise by the same individuals who forged the religion, the very idea of their God.
If people say they believe in a God that they can't see and this God suppose to be universal, how then can anyone have contempt for someone else because these individuals/groups happened to be born with some type of superficial trait that is so inconsequential such as skin color? This proves to me that their belief in their God does not transcend their cultural boundaries and maybe that their God doesn't even exit. After all, history can attest to the fact that religions have never deterred any group with a superior complex from acting in despicable ways against someone who is not of their culture - whom they perceived to be inferior. When people think there are no consequences for their actions against others, then these people will do all types of horrific things that not even their alleged God can prevent them from doing. It really makes you wonder why anybody in their right mind would believe in somebody else’s idea of God if the inventors can't themselves overcome their own prejudices and control their evil urges. I question most people's belief in God as well as their idea(s) of God.
There is ample proof that either they got this God thing all wrong or that God doesn’t exist (period) and certainly not in the way they think. One can only conclude that certain men in power came together and made up these ridiculous stories of God sanctioning all sorts of evil to control the minds of the weak. God is a mechanism of control that allows one society to sanction the ills inflicted on another society by whatever group that perceives themselves to be dominant at any given time. This perceived dominance allows one to believe that they are indeed sanctioned by a superior God, which has bestowed some type of inalienable rights that haven't been accorded to the other group. I think that the average man is inherently evil. This evilness is manifested when they think their evil deeds will go un-punished. Finally, it appears that the thought of an after life with God is not a deterrent for men that will prevent them from perpetrating all types of evil against people that are different from themselves.
I took a break because I took on two more students. Right now I am supervising four students (2 masters' and 2 undergraduates). Since I've embarked upon my PhD studies, I supervised a total of 6 students. A friend of mines who happens to have a Masters and PhD in physics from Princeton told me they are really working me to death since it is a big commitment to train students. He said they are getting their money's worth out of me. I told him that I prefer training students to doing the actual work myself, so I'm looking to take on more students.
Everyone here in the lab think that I'm crazy for taking on so many students while at the same time trying to complete my PhD requirements. The other students and the post docs asked me how do you manage? All of them told me that it slows them down tremendously to have to train someone else and they find that it is easier to do the work themselves. My response to them was that it indeed slows you down but only temporarily, after the students are trained, you in essence become so productive since you have more hands working on your project. I've managed to divide my project up so that each individual is working on their on mini-project. They've also said that they think I'm the most productive person in the lab. The good thing about training people is that you have increased your chances to get many manuscripts published in a reasonable amount of time since your name will be on the paper as a second, maybe even a first author to the Masters student and you will definitely be the first or primary author on the work that the undergraduate students are doing for you. I told them I'm in a win-win situation.
Northwestern has a policy that if you publish at least three manuscripts; you can graduate within a reasonable amount of time. When I say reasonable, I mean within a 5-year period. This is my fifth year and I'm trying very hard to finish by the end of the year. Everything is looking good. One of the graduate students I'm training is making very good progress. We will be analyzing an assay today and if that works, I have already designed enough experiments for him to do and we can start writing a paper by May. I've also designed other experiments that one of my undergraduates is anxious to assist me with them. If all goes well, I can start writing another manuscript at least by June.
Currently, I have two publications. I only need one more manuscript published and I'm eligible to graduate. Hopefully, I will be able to get at least 2 - 3 more, as it will look good on the resume...
1. Daniels CM, Wolverton E, Sprague S, and Ameer GA. (2005) Assessment of the stability of an immunoadsorbent for the extracorporeal removal of b2-microglobulin from blood. Blood Purification (scheduled to come out in the May issue).
2. Kang RS, Daniels CM, Francis SA, Shih SC, Salerno WJ, Hicke L, and Radhakrishnan I. (2003). Solution structure of a CUE-ubiquitin complex reveals a conserved mode of ubiquitin binding. Cell 113 (5):621-30.
Tuesday, March 01, 2005This is weird
You're a tax-and-spend liberal democrat. People like you are the reason everyone else votes for guys like Reagan or George W.
You scored as Buffy Summers. You are a very strong individual. You do, however, have some trouble admitting how you truly feel. You've experienced a lot during your life, but you more than manage. Always willing to help, you're a great friend.
Which Buffy The Vampire Slayer Character Are You Most Like!?
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