Saturday, November 29, 2008

Not A Good Look Of The Week

Was It That Serious?

The things folks will do this day for material things. Open the door for the vultures and they would run right over you!

A Wal-Mart worker died early Friday after an "out-of-control" mob of frenzied shoppers smashed through the Long Island store's front doors and trampled him, police said.

The Black Friday stampede plunged the Valley Stream outlet into chaos, knocking several employees to the ground and sending others scurrying atop vending machines to avoid the horde.

When the madness ended, 34-year-old Jdimytai Damour was dead and four shoppers, including a woman eight months pregnant, were injured.

"He was bum-rushed by 200 people," said Wal-Mart worker Jimmy Overby, 43.

"They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me.

"They took me down, too ... I didn't know if I was going to live through it. I literally had to fight people off my back," Overby said.

Damour, a temporary maintenance worker from Jamaica, Queens, was gasping for air as shoppers continued to surge into the store after its 5 a.m. opening, witnesses said.

Even officers who arrived to perform CPR on the trampled worker were stepped on by wild-eyed shoppers streaming inside, a cop at the scene said.

"They pushed him down and walked all over him," Damour's sobbing sister, Danielle, 41, said. "How could these people do that?

"He was such a young man with a good heart, full of life. He didn't deserve that."

Damour's sister said doctors told the family he died of a heart attack.

His cousin, Ernst Damour, called the circumstances "completely unacceptable."

"His body was a stepping bag with so much disregard for human life," Ernst Damour, 37, said. "There has to be some accountability."

Roughly 2,000 people gathered outside the Wal-Mart's doors in the predawn darkness.

Chanting "push the doors in," the crowd pressed against the glass as the clock ticked down to the 5 a.m. opening.

Sensing catastrophe, nervous employees formed a human chain inside the entrance to slow down the mass of shoppers.

It didn't work.

The mob barreled in and overwhelmed workers.

"They were jumping over the barricades and breaking down the door," said Pat Alexander, 53, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. "Everyone was screaming. You just had to keep walking on your toes to keep from falling over."

After the throng toppled Damour, his fellow employees had to fight through the crowd to help him, police said.

Witness Kimberly Cribbs said shoppers acted like "savages."

"When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling, 'I've been on line since Friday morning!'" Cribbs said. "They kept shopping." SMH a man done lost his life to greedy,selfish,callous vulutres!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cynthia McKinney can't leave u.s. - denied - go figure

Former Congresswoman and presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney has been prevented from leaving the country after she planned to give a speech in Damascus Syria at a Conference being held to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Has McKinney been put on a terrorist watch list merely for speaking out in support of 9/11 first responders and passionately questioning the official 9/11 story?

“Today, November 23rd, I was slated to give remarks in Damascus, Syria at a Conference being held to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and, sadly, the 60th year that the Palestinian people have been denied their Right of Return enshrined in that Universal Declaration. But a funny thing happened to me while at the Atlanta airport on my way to the Conference: I was not allowed to exit the country,” writes McKinney.

“I do believe that it was just a misunderstanding,” she adds, though why a well known former Georgia congresswoman who represented Atlanta, the city in which she was born, would not be allowed to board a plane raises disturbing questions.

Has McKinney been put on a terrorist watch list merely for speaking out in support of 9/11 first responders and passionately questioning the official 9/11 story?

As many will recall, McKinney was perhaps the first major public figure to doubt the official version of events way back in 2002, which at the time was tantamount to treason.

McKinney has since become a vocal advocate for the 9/11 truth movement and appeared at numerous 9/11 truth conference and events.

She also made headlines for attempting to get answers on what had happened to $2.3 trillion dollars that was quietly declared “missing” from the Pentagon budget the day before 9/11.

McKinney was set to travel to Damascus to give a speech about the ailing plight of Palestinians and the Israeli lock down of Gaza, which is preventing Palestinian citizens, half of them children, from getting access to basic staples such as food, fuel and medical supplies, but Uncle Sam stopped her from doing so.

A misunderstanding? This is not the first time McKinney has been apprehended by the authorities. In April 2006 a Capitol Police officer prevented McKinney from entering a House office building when she did not present identification. Capitol police immediately apologized to McKinney after the incident, but the officer in question later claimed that McKinney had hit him. The fact that McKinney was not arrested on the spot for assaulting a police officer strongly suggests that assault claim was concocted or exaggerated.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanks for Taking Your Shiit Day!

There’s nothing like one-o-them home cooked meals by Momma.

Just the thought of extended family getting together and partaking in the bonding ritual of a feast, is enough to bring a nostalgic tear to the eye.

And when something becomes a tradition it can be hard to break from, even if its roots prove to be decadent and warped.

Even though many African people in the United States know not to recognize Columbus Day we have yet to renounce Thanksgiving and we neglect its true historical significance. Who can deny that Columbus was nothing more than a colonial pirate who stumbled, lost and starving, onto the shores of this continent? He would have certainly perished if it weren’t for his indigenous rescuers, whom he repaid with plunder, pillage and enslavement.

We take comfort in knowing that he wasn't from Africa, and that the likes of him committed in essence the same assault on Africa. But doesn’t Thanksgiving have the same decadent origins? How absurd is it for Black people/Africans to recognize Thanksgiving as anything other than a “celebration in the taking.”

In discussions about why African-"Americans" can honor this tradition of forgotten origins it is common to hear proclamations about how it has now become “a time for family and friends,” a “time to be thankful for the blessings in our lives.” After all, what purpose does it serve to dwell on the past?

Someone murders a family and is demented enough to commemorate the atrocity, declaring it a thankful occasion. As years go by the offspring of the murderers—who have since all died—invite you to also give thanks on this occasion, while the survivors are never given the opportunity to have closure or redress. Everyone encourages them that this should now become a thankful time and for them to forgive and forget the historical truth behind the occasion.

Maybe we don’t realize that Thanksgiving is literally the celebration of a massacre of a whole people. This is shown as a 1623 Thanksgiving sermon in Plymouth Massachusetts “gave special thanks to God for the devastat¬ing plague of smallpox that destroy¬ed the majority of the Wampanoag Indians. He praised God for eliminating ‘chief¬ly young men and children, the very seeds of in¬crease, thus clearing the forests to make way for a better growth’." (Dr. Felipe de Ortego y Gasca, Thanksgiving in America, November 1991) The smallpox was intentionally passed to the Wampanoag.

Maybe we aren’t primarily responsible for the theft of land or the genocide of indigenous people. But to insinuate that what happened and is still happening to indigenous Americans is a relic of the past makes one an accomplice.

It's not in the past that our indigenous sisters and brothers are still oppressed, still having land taken from them, and still experiencing “Treaties” being broken. The standoff between the Shoshone in Nevada and the federal government over land rights is a good case in point.

It’s not in some distant past that Native Americans are being subjected to all the symptoms of oppression: disease, homelessness, dilapidated and vermin-infested housing, substance abuse, inadequate education, unemployment, and police brutality. One of their freedom fighters, Leonard Peltier has languished in prison for nearly 30 years; framed by events provoked by an outward assault on Native people.

If our history of slavery as African people and the continued racist contempt for us by the status quo still shows how far we have to go, then the settler-colonialist legacy and continued racist contempt for the fundamental human rights of America’s Indigenous people bears on the civic responsibilities of anyone who claims to be American.

We have no right to claim a land that is not ours no matter how much we worked and slaved to build it. This is especially true for those who do not incorporate support for Indigenous people into the struggle for their own rights.

Malcolm X taught us that land is the material basis of all political and economic power for any people. When you take away someone’s land, you take away his or her entire source of livelihood and right to sovereignty. We must recognize we reside here at the expense of our Native American sisters and brothers.

We even owe them a historical debt for often providing us with the only real refuge from slavery when some of us were able to escape. They have had their land stolen from them and we were stolen from our land. But if we are to stay and struggle here in America, then we should only do it in deference to them. We are obliged to speak out on their behalf on every platform, in every venue, at every opportunity before we ever make claims to this land.

I wonder how we would feel if the Boers of South Africa had proclaimed the Sharpeville Massacre as an event to celebrate with a “thanksgiving”?

“Doesn’t the fact that America is as great as it is due to contributions --involuntary and otherwise-- from African people mean we have earned a piece of the pie?”

But let’s say someone kidnaps you from your house. They take you to invade another person’s house, abusing that person and locking them in the closet. After kidnapping you from your home and invading this other house you are kept to serve your captor and help renovate this “new” house. Eventually they “grant” you freedom and allow you some nominal access to this new house. But—whose house is it really?

When the issue of America being stolen land is brought into discussions about African-American claims to this nation, it is common to be reminded by the establishment in the following manner: “We weren’t the ones who stole it and the past is past and nothing can be done about it now.”

We know how these discussions go. We've engaged in countless numbers of them. In our attempts to rehabilitate the integrity of African people in America, we have had to go to great lengths and still have a long way to go.

We fought to institutionalize a Black History Month to counter the omission and misrepresentation of us in America’s history. We've researched and published about the multitude of scientific and technological contributions our great minds have given to this and other societies. We have won affirmative action legislation and many of us have ascended social, economic and political ladders to become sport and Hollywood celebrities, corporate CEOs, and mayors and congresspersons.

However, we don't feel that we have the same obligation that white people have to the dispossessed indigenous people of the Americas. Somehow our struggles have absolved us of all responsibility of making reparations for their plight.

But we gotta keep it real. Our “American” hands don’t seem so clean when we consider the history of some things we often regard with pride. While it’s accepted that the Buffalo Soldiers did not participate in the massacres of Native Americans, they were still employed in “keeping the peace,” building forts on reservations, making sure Native Americans stayed in reservations, and protecting white settlements. How many of us proudly display portraits of the legacy of the Buffalo soldiers in our homes or workplaces?

At the height of the Anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa, Americans had the audacity to claim a higher moral ground than the apartheid government. Even many Africans in America spoke out loudly of how backward South Africa was and how the US government and US corporations doing business with there should realize the disrespect to all people of African descent.

We even compared it to the Jim Crow laws we were subjected to in America and presented these as an ugly past. We saw and see America as having moved beyond practices like South Africa’s apartheid system.

As Jesse Jackson put it at the Democratic National Convention, in San Francisco, on July 18, 1984: “From Fannie Lou Hamer in Atlantic City in 1964 to the Rainbow Coalition in San Francisco today; from the Atlantic to the Pacific, we have experienced pain but progress as we ended America's apartheid laws.”

But how could this be? It isn't even a perfect analogy. We are not indigenous to this land and are more equivalent in status to the so-called “coloreds” in South Africa. Our struggle and claims did not speak to the nature of settler-colonialism. We conveniently overlook the real analogy there, the real disgraceful similarities between the US and South Africa. America makes a mockery of the meaning of democracy. Truth be told, South Africa has statutorily abolished apartheid even before America has.

With Native Americans still statutorily being deprived of their human rights, there should be no surprise why America gives so much support to the settler-colonial state of Israel. They are no different. They sympathize with Israeli settlers over the natural land rights of the indigenous Palestinians.

Maybe the reason why Black people in this country don't want to give all due respect to the Native Americans is because they are afraid it might in theory mean moving back to Africa. The comforts some of us have come to associate with America just aren't home in Africa, although, some of us here in America still suffer so much that we honestly wouldn't see much difference between our state of underdevelopment in Africa versus that in America.

If anything, our mutual oppression should mean a natural alliance between us and our Indigenous sisters and brothers. An alliance, that we would be unjust to pay only lip service. We need to say loudly to them that Africa, not America remains our only legitimate homeland.

ome Native Americans treat the holiday as a day of mourning. This reaction is understandable.

The story of the Wamapanoag tribe and the Pilgrims in Plymouth Massachusetts is compelling and sad: the Pilgrims, in late 1621 close to destitution, were taught how to cultivate local crops, catch fish and generally take care of themselves by the locals. However, the success of the community that ensued meant that more and more Europeans came to the area, and the Wampanoags were driven off their territory. In 1675, some of the younger members made a series of attacks on white immigrants at Swansea and the tribe was nearly exterminated by the settlers' reprisals. Today there are about 3000 of the tribe left, mostly on a reservation on Martha's Vineyard.

All over America this story was repeated in different forms for a couple of centuries. Even if we find it hard to allow the use of the term 'genocide' to their story, there is no doubt that Native Americans are amply justified in their grievances. So what would be an appropriate response to tomorrow's holiday? I really don't know. But those of us who now live a life of relative prosperity and peace in this country certainly should give thanks to the Wampanoags.

Funny Picture Of The Day

Monday, November 24, 2008

Funny Picture Of The Day

In a sign of bad economic times, more than 40,000 show up when a Weld family invites people to gather surplus produce.

Want one more palpable sign of a desperate economy?

An estimated 40,000 people came to a Weld County farm Saturday to collect free potatoes, carrots and leeks.

Cars snaked around cornfields and parallel parked along Colorado 66 and 119 early in the morning to get free food from the Miller family, who farm 600 acres outside of Platteville, about 37 miles north of Denver.

As this prolonged Indian summer continued, the Millers had decided to give away produce because so much was left over at the end of their annual fall festival. Any day now, a few deep freezes would kill it off.

They expected between 5,000 and 10,000 people spread out over a couple of days. Instead, they found themselves on Saturday morning inundated with cars and people with sacks and wagons and barrels ready to harvest whatever was available.

The Millers canceled the second day of the giveaway originally planned for today because, as Chris Miller put it, "the pickins' are very slim now."

At one point, 30 acres of family farmland had become a parking lot. Their crowd estimate of 40,000 plus was based on the number of cars. Sheriff's officials said they "wouldn't be surprised" if that count was accurate.

Traffic was backed up almost to Interstate 25, and police ticketed people who had illegally abandoned their cars in the frenzy.

"Overwhelmed is putting it mildly," Miller said. "People obviously need food."

Evidently, Platteville isn't the only place where this is the case. Last week in Denver, thieves broke into freezers owned by the Park Hill Grandparents Organization and stole Thanksgiving trimmings — including more than a dozen frozen turkeys — set to be donated.

And in Lakewood on Saturday, people lined up in the dark at 6 a.m. to collect Thanksgiving boxes, donated by the Jeffco Action Center. By the end of the day, 5,141 people had gotten food — the biggest demand in 40 years.

At the Miller Farm, it never got truly unruly.

They had friends and family members help direct cars. Sheriff's deputies cruised up and down highways trying to move traffic along, after fielding complaints from neighbors.

The family makes most of its money in the summer and fall, visiting 42 farmers markets a week, and hosting a fall festival where relatives charge an entry fee and then teach people about where their food comes from.

Normally, any unpicked produce goes back to the land. But after hearing reports of food being stolen from some nearby churches, the Millers decided to let people take what they wanted for free.

Sandra Justice, a Greeley resident who works at a technology company, brought her mother and son to pick potatoes. The price was nice, she said, but Justice also enjoyed picking her own food in these downtrodden times.

"Everybody is so depressed about the economy," she said, noting she hauled off about 10 bags of vegetables. "This was a pure party. Everybody having a great time getting something for free.

Drinking The Obama Kool Aid

Is it a coincidence that practically all of Barack Obama's appointed cabinet members are former associates of the Bill Clinton glory days of the '90s? Why is Obama begging Hillary Clinton to accept his secretary of state job? Do they have to do the hard work for you now while you receive all the praise and glory?

Rahm Emanuel, Eric Holder, Tom Daschle, Bill Richardson and Joe Biden - all of these folks are not new, fresh faces like you told your blind followers. This is not the change you promised them, Obama. Are you afraid of the presidents of Iran, China, North Korea, etc., so much that you need a real woman to take care of business and make a safe America just like we did during the Clinton era? Is that why you are begging Hillary to accept? Is the economy becoming such a hurdle to overcome that you need the advice and counsel of the Clinton administration?

For more than a year, you have been telling your folks that we need change, but you're not changing anything. You are going by the textbook and have finally realized who was really qualified and who is boss. Be original, Obama. Clinton should be in the Oval Office, not a novice like you.

In achieving your primary victory earlier this year, you have made a lot of left-wing policy promises that I guarantee will never be accomplished under your tenure. Let's see if Obama follows through with his promise of bringing all of the troops home by the end of 2009. Let's see if Obama can get away with raising anyone's taxes given the sluggish economy. Let's see if Obama is ready to abolish "don't ask, don't tell." Let's see if Obama can give affordable health care right now. Let's see.

The writing is on the wall. Hook, line and sinker are the only words that describe Obama voters. They believed in an idol only to eventually find out Washington, D.C., is the same show just with different characters. Get your popcorn ready because the humiliation is about to begin. Who wears the pants in the cabinet meeting, Obama or Clinton?

Silly rapper Jim Jones said he isn't going to call dudes niggas anymore, instead he's going to call them Obama's. This whole Obama cult behavior is just plain indecorous.

New York City orders churches not to shelter homeless

NEW YORK — Twenty-two New York City churches have been ordered by the city to stop providing shelter to the homeless.

With temperatures below freezing Saturday, the churches had to follow a city rule requiring faith-based shelters to be open at least five days a week or not at all.

Arnold Cohen, president of the Partnership for the Homeless, a non-profit organization that serves as a link between city officials and shelters, delivered the news to the churches several weeks ago that they no longer qualify.

As a result hundreds of people now won't have a place to sleep, he said.

The city's emergency shelter network contract requires sites to operate at least five nights a week. The 22 churches have limited resources, since they operate their homeless beds using mostly volunteers.

On Saturday, the city Department of Homeless Services said there is plenty of space at other shelters to accept all those who have been sleeping in the churches. The spaces include four new faith-based sites where the number of beds combined with availability amounts to a greater total number of nights for people to stay, said Homeless Services spokeswoman Heather Janik.

There are now about 250 beds in churches, mosques and synagogues. They're close to drop-in centres where people receive other services, including food, Janik said.

"This city is investing more than ever to make sure people have a place to lay their heads at night," she said, adding the number of faith-based and other types of shelter beds will increase by 50 per cent in the next fiscal year to more than 1,000.

Patrick Markee of the Coalition for the Homeless non-profit advocacy group disputed the city figures showing an increase in beds. He said the city proposes to close down drop-in shelters overnight.

"That's a net loss," he said.

"However you cut it, there will be less shelter for the street homeless at a time when the economic downturn is causing more homelessness."

Janik said drop-in centres provide only "folding chairs," not beds.

"That's unacceptable and we think there are better programs and ways," she said.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hitlary Clinton Is Said to Opt for Secretary of State Position

Hillary Rodham Clinton has decided to give up her Senate seat and accept the position of secretary of state, making her the public face around the world for the administration of the man who beat her for the Democratic presidential nomination, two confidants said Friday.
The New Team

Mrs. Clinton came to her decision after additional discussion with President-elect Barack Obama about the nature of her role and his plans for foreign policy, said one of the confidants, who insisted on anonymity to discuss the situation. Mr. Obama’s office told reporters Thursday that the nomination is “on track” but Clinton associates only confirmed Friday afternoon that she has decided.
Audio Back Story With Peter Baker (mp3)

“She’s ready,” said the confidant. Mrs. Clinton was reassured after talking again with Mr. Obama because their first meeting in Chicago last week “was so general,” the confidant said. The purpose of the follow-up talk, he added, was not to extract particular concessions but “just getting comfortable” with the idea of working together.

A second Clinton associate confirmed that her camp believes they have a done deal. Senior Obama advisers said Friday morning that the offer had not been formally accepted and no announcement will be made until after Thanksgiving. But they said they were convinced that the nascent alliance was now ready to be sealed.

Mrs. Clinton’s spokesman, Philippe Reines, issued a statement Friday afternoon cautioning that the nomination is not final. “We’re still in discussions, which are very much on track,” he said. “Any reports beyond that are premature.”

The apparent accord between perhaps the two leading figures in the Democratic Party climaxed a week-long drama that riveted the nation’s capital. Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton fought the most competitive Democratic nomination battle in modern times, one that polarized their party for months and left bitterness in both camps. But in asking Mrs. Clinton to join his Cabinet, Mr. Obama signaled that he wants to turn a rival into a partner and she concluded that she could have the most influence by saying yes.

The decision followed days of intense vetting and negotiations intended to clear any potential obstacles to her taking the job due to her husband’s global business and philanthropic activities. Lawyers for Mr. Obama and former President Bill Clinton combed through his finances and crafted a set of guidelines for his future activities intended to avoid any appearances of conflict of interest should she take the job.

People close to the vetting said Mr. Clinton turned over the names of 208,000 donors to his foundation and library and agreed to all of the conditions requested by Mr. Obama’s transition team, including restrictions on his future paid speeches and role at his international foundation.

As secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton will have a powerful platform to travel the world and help repair relations with other countries strained after eight years of President Bush’s policies. But at the same time, she will now have to subordinate her own agenda and ambitions to Mr. Obama’s and sacrifice the independence that comes with a Senate seat and the 18 million votes she collected during their arduous primary battle.

Driving Mrs. Clinton’s deliberations in part, friends said, was a sense of disenchantment with the Senate, where despite her stature she remained low in the ranks of seniority that governs the body. She was particularly upset, they said, at the reception she felt she received when she returned from the campaign trail and sought a more significant leadership role in the expanding Democratic majority.

“Her experience in the Senate with some of her colleagues has not been the easiest time for her,” said one longtime friend. “She’s still a very junior senator. She doesn’t have a committee. And she’s had some disappointing times with her colleagues.”

In particular, the friend said, Mrs. Clinton was upset when the Senate Democratic leadership rejected the possibility of her heading a special task force with a staff and a mandate to develop legislation expanding health care coverage. The idea of giving her an existing leadership post was also dismissed because the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, did not want to force out any senators currently holding those jobs.

But Mr. Reid wants to come up with some sort of leadership position to recognize Mrs. Clinton’s standing and aides said he was confident he could arrive at something with sufficient muscle to appeal to her. He told a closed-door meeting of the Senate Democratic caucus on Tuesday that he was looking for a way to create a new leadership role for her, two people in the room said.

Mrs. Clinton would bring a distinctive background to the State Department. As first lady, she traveled the world for eight years, visiting more than 80 countries, not only meeting with foreign leaders but also villages, clinics and other remote areas that rarely get on a president’s itinerary. Mr. Obama during the primaries belittled that experience as little more than having tea and pointed to schedules showing many ceremonial events on those trips.

But more than any first lady before her, Mrs. Clinton dived deep into particular policy issues in the international arena, from women’s rights to microlending to alleviate poverty. As a senator for the last eight years, she served on the Armed Services Committee and continued her interest in foreign affairs.

She and Mr. Obama agree on the broad outlines of a new foreign policy for the post-Bush era, but they disagreed sharply in several key areas, particularly over how to deal with Iran and Pakistan. She characterized Mr. Obama as naïve in his view of those two countries, while he criticized her judgment for going along with Mr. Bush on the war in Iraq at first.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Not A Good Look Of The Week

Funny Picture Of The Day

Dayum somebody was mad at that person!

From Motown To No Hope Town

Motor City: From Motown to no-hope town

Music and motor cars made Detroit's name – but the crisis in the automotive industry has created an economic and social disaster area. Stephen Foley tours the wreckage

Wednesday, 19 November 2008
The Ford Focus assembly line at the company's factory in Wayne, Michigan

It is the same odd realisation that overwhelms you at the great ruins of Central America or ancient Europe, the pyramids of Teotihuacan in Mexico or the labyrinthine streets of Ephesus in Turkey – the sense that a bustling civilisation, a hive of industry, need not even be destroyed to fall into ruin. It can just be abandoned.

Crunching across the shattered glass of so many windows, over the dust and the detritus under foot and through the weeds and even trees that have burst through the broken concrete, you find little reminders of what this place once was: the plant where the Packard motor company spat out its luxury cars to a world obsessed with the automobile and in love with the high technology coming out of Detroit, the motor city where more than three-quarters of the world's vehicles were produced.

It was abandoned 50 years ago, and yet it still stands, 35 acres of decaying history, accumulating a new layer of graffiti and a smattering of new oddities mysteriously dumped here. Thousands of shoes? A boat? Why on earth?

And then there are the echoes of production lines and of a corporation that survived the Depression and retooled to help the Second World War effort. Vast halls where vehicles were pieced together. A few letters stuck to the windows of the offices on the first floor, too few to make a guess as to its old occupant. Toilet seats on the floor of what used to be the ladies. The metal grid that once held the ceiling tiles has rusted and broken up and now dangles like stalactites. The copper wiring has long been stripped out of the walls by scavengers. Outside, the piles of rubble in what was once the main yard are covered by a thin layer of snow. It is cold in Detroit.

The Packard plant – once grandiloquently called Motor City Industrial Park, now more decrepitly "Mo or City In u tr Park" – is five minutes from downtown Detroit, if not exactly the heart of the city then as close as. These modern-day ruins have fascinated for two generations, as wave after wave of lay-offs and corporate collapses has reduced the size of the Detroit auto industry, and as the city itself has been abandoned by more than half the residents who lived here in its heyday in the Fifties. From a peak population of 1.85 million, Detroit is down to 917,000, and there is simply no need to tear down the structures of the past. There are no crowds, only vacant lots every few blocks, from the heart of the city centre out into the suburbs, up to and beyond the famed 8 Mile Road that used to divide the city, racially and economically. Even the famous music label Motown Records, created in 1959, left the city in the Seventies.

The Packard plant is haunted by the ghost of crises past, no doubt – but perhaps also by the ghost of crises yet to come.

Because Detroit is a city under siege again, from the impersonal, unforgiving forces of the global credit crisis, and – the locals say – from the rest of the nation, which has soaked up the grim images coming out of the city for many decades and no longer has the heart to help when that is what is most needed. The bosses of the three big automakers that are at the core of the Detroit economy were on Capitol Hill yesterday, pleading for money. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler have already shed tens of thousands of jobs this decade, the latest phase of a relentless downsizing of the industry that gave Detroit its name, Motor City, and its soul. The job cuts have continued through factory automation and through increased competition – as foreign makers first learnt to make cars, then learnt to make better cars than Detroit – accelerated each time by a new recession, or in the past couple of years by the high petrol prices that have reduced demand for the gas-guzzlers that gave the Big Three most of their profits.

Now, though, is something even worse. The credit crisis has cut off loans that potential buyers need to fork out for new wheels, meaning that sales at the Big Three are down by between a 33 and 45 per cent in a year. Even a healthy industry would struggle to adjust to that. The car makers are now losing so much money they cannot even afford to write the redundancy cheques that might get them down to the right size. With credit markets frozen, they cannot get the loans to bridge the gap either.

"I've lived in Detroit for 30 years, and this is the worst that it has felt in all that time," says Robert Mutean. "We feel abandoned a bit. The country's loyalty is not where it should be."

He is browsing listlessly in the gift store at Ford Field, home of the local American football team owned by Bill Ford Jnr, the chairman of the car company. The Detroit Lions are halfway through the season and, without a win, are becoming a pitiful metaphor for the city. Mr Mutean, 36, is not one of the 240,000 people employed by the Big Three, but he is one of the hundreds of thousands whose livelihoods depend on them, since he works for a shipping company that moves cars out of their factories and supplies in. As many as three million jobs could be lost if all three firms go bust as the effects ripple through the US and cause a convulsion in the economies that rely heavily on auto industry jobs, according to a recent study by the Centre for Automotive Research.

In a nail salon across from GM's glittering headquarters – the six-skyscraper Renaissance Centre it has been trying in vain to mortgage to stave off bankruptcy for a few more weeks – Christine Passerini is worried. One way or the other, she says, a majority of her clients are connected to the industry – and she is bitter about the environmentalists on the West Coast who oppose bailing out Detroit. "In California they are saying they want us dead. Dead. But we keep that state going, too, through the auto industry," she says, adding that supplier and dealer jobs are spread across the US. "And they have just put on the Los Angeles motor show."

In the Ford Field store, Mr Mutean says: "I blame American companies for shipping jobs overseas. The people that the automakers have let go are the people who would otherwise have had the money to buy their product – and it is an endless cycle downward now. What do you expect when you lay off 30 or 40 per cent of your workforce?"

Ford's rise to pre-eminence came when the self-reinforcing spiral was upwards, after Henry Ford, its legendary founder, doubled his employees' pay in 1914 to an unprecedented $5 an hour, attracting skilled workers from around the country to Detroit and putting the mass-produced Model T within reach of the ordinary consumer.

It was in Highland Park, the city-within-a-city four miles from downtown Detroit, that Mr Ford transformed the industry with the world's first car assembly line. That pioneering factory is long closed now, as is the old Chrysler headquarters that used to be round the corner and its Arsenal of Democracy sign that stood before the gates when the industry retooled for the war effort. Instead, Highland Park is struggling on as a shadow of its former self, in fact winning some new businesses to the area but still blighted by unemployment rates that are above 30 per cent.

The deleterious effects across Detroit of abandoned and burnt-out homes has been greatly exacerbated by the sub-prime mortgage debacle, which first lured tens of thousands of people into loans they could not afford and then spat them out of their homes through foreclosures.

For the few residents who braved the cold on Monday night, a local council meeting in Highland Park was headlined by concerns about crime. Mayor Hubert Yopp's warnings included to call ahead before getting home so someone in the house could meet you, and to move your car repeatedly while shopping.

Crime is the most serious of numerous afflictions for a neighbourhood that has already suffered the decline that many more areas have experienced. "When an area loses 5,000 people, that is $6m in property taxes and water purification revenue that is just gone," says Chris Woodard, a councilman. "Clearing the weeds, shovelling the snow off the sidewalk, it takes money. This city is in a financial emergency."

How much more of Detroit, how many of the still-vibrant neighbourhoods close to the remaining car plants and supplier factories, will soon experience the struggles of Highland Park?

On Capitol Hill yesterday, as in an online video posted on YouTube and in other lobbying efforts, the Big Three are arguing that they are just as integral to the functioning of the US economy and the employment of American people as the banks of Wall Street that have been bailed out so far.

Certainly the closure of one plant, the bankruptcy of one automaker is not the end of it. Across the road from Packard, another abandoned building carries the sign: Arlan's Discount Store. And another: USA Food Center. Beyond, another vacant lot with the ghosts of who knows what other stores, or bars, or diners that used to service the thousands of workers here.

Motor City: A legend in cars and music

* Detroit, the state capital of Michigan, was founded as a fur trading post in 1701 by the Frenchman Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac.

* Henry Ford started his automotive factory in the city in 1903 and invented the assembly line in 1913. The Big Three – General Motors, Ford and Chrysler – made Detroit their headquarters and Motor City became an industrial powerhouse. In 1955 four out of every five cars sold globally was US made, half of them by GM.

* Detroit is the 11th most populated city in the US, with 900,000 inhabitants, but that is only half what it was in the 1950s boom days.

* Detroit was for much of the 1960s the music capital of America, famous for a style of soul music known as the Motown Sound. This was characterised by the use of tambourine, strings, horn and "call and response" gospel-style vocals. Motown Records, the label founded by Berry Gordy in 1959 launched the careers of Diana Ross, The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. The label left town in the 1970s and the empty former headquarters of Tamla-Motown was demolished in 2006 for a car park.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Pyramid Found in Kemet

SAQQARA, Egypt (AP) _ Archaeologists have discovered a new pyramid under the sands of Saqqara, an ancient burial site that has yielded a string of unearthed pyramids in recent years but remains largely unexplored.

The 4,300-year-old monument most likely belonged to the queen mother of the founder of Egypt's 6th Dynasty, and was built several hundred years after the famed Great Pyramids of Giza, antiquities chief Zahi Hawass told reporters in announcing the find Tuesday.

The discovery is part of the sprawling necropolis and burial site of the rulers of ancient Memphis, the capital of Egypt's Old Kingdom, about 12 miles south of Giza.

All that remains of the pyramid is a 16-foot-tall structure that had been buried under 65 feet of sand.

"There was so much sand dumped here that no one had any idea there was something buried underneath," said Hawass.

Hawass' team had been excavating at the location for two years, but only determined two months ago that the structure, with sides about 72 feet long, was the base of a pyramid. The pyramid is the 118th discovered so far in Egypt, and the 12th to be found in Saqqara. Most are in ruins; only about a dozen pyramids remain intact across the country.

Archaeologists also found parts of the pyramid's white limestone casing — believed to have once covered the entire structure — which enabled them to calculate that the complete pyramid was once 45 feet high.

"To find a new pyramid is always exciting," said Hawass. "And this one is magical. It belonged to a queen."

Hawass said he believes the pyramid belonged to Queen Sesheshet, who is thought to have played a significant role in establishing the 6th Dynasty and uniting two branches of the feuding royal family. Her son, Teti, ruled for about a dozen years until his likely assassination, in a sign of the turbulent times.

The pyramids of Teti's two wives, discovered 100 years ago and in 1994 respectively, lie next to it, part of a burial complex alongside the collapsed pyramid of Teti himself.

The Egyptian team is still digging and is two weeks from entering the burial chamber inside the pyramid, where Hawass hopes they will find proof of its owner — a sarcophagus or at least an inscription of the queen, he said.

Finding more than that is unlikely, as robbers in antiquity looted the pyramid, he said, pointing to a gaping shaft on the structure's top, a testament of the plunder.

On Tuesday, workers wearing white turbans and dust-covered robes scurried back and forth, carrying large rocks and bags heaped with sand away from the site.

Using an air brush, one worker cleaned sand from stunning hieroglyphic details on the white limestone casing, while archaeologists studied the inscriptions and students drew blueprints of the pyramid's base.

Dieter Wildung, a leading Egyptologist and head of Berlin's Egyptian Museum, said it was common in the Old Kingdom for kings to build pyramids for their queens and mothers next to their own.

"Hawass is likely right" that the pyramid belonged to Sesheshet, said Wildung, who was not involved in the dig. "These parallel situations give a very strong argument in favor of his interpretation."

But Joe Wegner, an associate professor of Egyptian archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania who has been involved in other expeditions at Saqqara, cautioned that until "inscriptional confirmation is found, it's still an educated guess" that the pyramid is Sesheshet's.

Although evidence of the queen's existence was found elsewhere in Egypt in inscriptions and a papyrus document — a medical prescription to strengthen the queen's thinning hair — the site of her burial was not known.

The find is important because it adds to the understanding of the 6th Dynasty, which reigned from 2,322 B.C. to 2,151 B.C. It was the last dynasty of the Old Kingdom, which spanned the third millennium B.C. and whose achievements are considered the first peak of pharaonic civilization.

Saqqara is most famous for the Step Pyramid of King Djoser, built in the 27th century B.C.

Excavations have been going on here for about 150 years, uncovering a vast Old Kingdom necropolis of pyramids, tombs and funerary complexes, as well as tombs dating from the New Kingdom about 1,000 years later.

Still, only about a third of the Saqqara complex has been explored so far, with recent digging turning up a number of key finds.

The last new pyramid, found here three years ago, is thought to belong to the wife of Teti's successor, Pepi I.

In June, Hawass' team unveiled a "rediscovery" at Saqqara — a pyramid believed to have been built by King Menkauhor, an obscure pharaoh whose pyramid was first discovered in 1842 but was later buried in sand.

I wonder what they are really looking for?

Racist Publisher writes: White guilt? Done; over; history

White guilt? Done; over; history

Tom Adkins

is the publisher of

There go my fellow conservatives, glumly shuffling along, depressed by the election aftermath. Not me. I'm virtually euphoric. Don't get me wrong. I'm not thrilled with America's flirtation with neosocialism. But there's a massive silver lining in the magical clouds that lofted Barack Obama to the presidency. For today, without a shred of intellectually legitimate opposition, I can loudly proclaim to America:

The Era of White Guilt is over.

This seemingly impossible event occurred because the vast majority of white Americans didn't give a fluff about skin color and enthusiastically pulled the voting lever for a black man. Not just any black man. A very liberal black man who spent his early career race-hustling banks, praying in a racist church for 20 years, and actively working with America-hating domestic terrorists. Yet white Americans made Barack Obama their leader. Therefore, as of Nov. 4, 2008, white guilt is dead.

So today, I'm feeling a little "uppity," if you will. For more than a century, the millstone of white guilt hung around our necks, retribution for slave-owning predecessors. In the 1960s, American liberals began yanking that millstone while sticking a fork in the eye of black Americans, exacerbating the racial divide to extort a socialist solution to the country's problems. But if a black man can become president, exactly what significant barrier is left? The election of Barack Obama destroys the validation of liberal white guilt. The dragon is hereby slain.

So today, I'm feeling a little "uppity," if you will. From this day forward, my tolerance level for having my skin color hustled is exactly ZERO. No more Rev. Jeremiah Wright's "God Damn America," Al Sharpton's Church of Perpetual Victimization, or Jesse Jackson's rainbow racism. Cornel West? You're a fraud. All those "black studies" programs must now teach kids to thank Whitey. And I want that on the final.

Congressional Black Caucus? Irrelevant. U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.)? Shut up. ACORN? Outlawed. Black Panthers? Go home and pet your kitty. Black separatists? Find another nation that offers better dreams. To those Eurosnots who forged careers hating America? I'm still waiting for the first black French president.

No more quotas. No more handouts. No more complaining that "the man" is keeping you down. "The man" is now black.

It's time to toss that massive, obsolete race-hustle machine upon the heap of the other stupid '60s ideas. Drag it over there, right between free love and cop-killing. Careful, don't trip on streaking. Just dump it. And then wash your hands. It's filthy.

Obama's ascension also creates another gargantuan irony. How can liberals sell American racism, class envy and unfairness when our new black president and his wife went to Ivy League schools, got high-paying jobs, became millionaires, bought a mansion, and are now moving to the White House? How unfair is that? Now, like a delicious O. Henry tale, Obama's spread-the-wealth campaign rendered itself moot by its own victory! America is officially a meritocracy. Obama's election has validated American conservatism.

So ... Wham!!!

That's the sound of my foot kicking the door shut on the era of white guilt. The rites have been muttered, the carcass lowered, dirt shoveled, and tombstone erected. Dead and buried.

MessAthon 5

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Ankh: The original Cross.

The Ankh is defined as "The Key of Life" or "The Source of ALL Living." It is known as the original cross, which is a powerful symbol that was first created by Af-RA-KAM people in Ancient Kama'at (Egypt). It is a symbol of femininity. The wom(b)man's uterus is shaped like the Ankh. It represents the union of male and female sexual organs, that which brings life into existence. The male's penis is the staff of life, whic symbolizes the Greek letter "ALpha" and the female's vaginal area surmounts the staff of life (Magic Wand, Magic Stick), her ovaries and her womb, which symbolizes the Greek letter "OMega," forms the circle and cross portion and together they form the original cross, the Ankh.
The Ankh is commonly known to mean life in the language of Ancient Kama'at (land of the Blacks) renamed Egypt by the Greeks. It is also a symbol for the power to give and sustain life, the Ankh is typically associated with material things such as water (which was believed by Kama'atu [Egyptians] to regenerate life), air, sun, as well as with the Gods, who are frequently pictured carrying an Ankh. The Kama'atian (Egyptian) Ngu (Pharaoh-King) is associated with the Ankh also, either in possession of an Ankh (providing life to his people) or being given an Ankh (or stream of Ankhs) by the Neteru (Gods), for he represented the "Living Ankh." There are numerous examples that have been found that were made from metal, clay and wood. It is usually worn as an amulet to extend the life of living and placed on the mummy to energize the resurrected Soul;. The Neteru (Gods) and the Ngu-Ru (Kings) are often shown carrying the Ankh to distinguish them from mere mortals. The Ankh symbolized eternal life and bestowed immortality on anyone who possessed it. It is believed that life energy emanating from the Ankh can be absorbed by anyone within a certain proximity. An Ankh serves as an antenna or conduit for the divine power of life that permeates the universe. The amulet is a powerful talisman that provides the wearer with protection from the evil forces of decay and degeneration.
The loop of the Ankh is held by the Neteru (Gods). It is associated with Aset (Isis) and Asaru (Osiris) in the Early Dynastic Period. The Loop of the Ankh also represent the feminine discipline or the (Womb), while the elongated section represent the masculine discipline or the (Penis). These two sacred units then come together and form life. Because of its powerful appeal, the Ankh was used in various religious and cultural rituals involving royalty. In the Treasures of Tutankhamun, the Ankh was a major artifact found in the tomb. The circle symbolizes eternal life and the cross below it represents the material plane. The Ankh is called the "Crux Ansata," it is of Kama'atian (Egyptian) origin and can be traced to the Early Dynastic Period, appearing frequently in artwork of various material and in relief, depicting the Neteru (Gods).
It is usually held to the nose of the deceased king by the Neteru (Gods) to represent the "Breath of Life" given in the after-world. The Ankh also resembles a key and is considered the key to eternal life. Its influence was felt in every dynastic period and survives as an icon possessing mystical power throughout the ancient Coptic Christian era. The Ankh possessed by each Neter (God) had power associated with that Neter (Nature-Deity). The Ankh of the Neter Anpu (Anubis) is related to the protection of the Dead; that of Neter Sekma'at, War; Neter Hapi related to the living waters of the Nile and Neter Amen, the "Soul God," the "Breath of Life."

UPS or CPR? lol

This video had me dying!

South park's episode about Obama's Victory full of hidden subliminals.

McCain and Obama laughing their asses off at the fake (s)election

High Five!

Randy Marsh, thé South Park symbol of the general consensus reality brainwashed idiot is celebrating like one that can't contain his hope-nosis. Even the kids are abandoned blindly. "Obamaaa! Wooo!"

The true intentions are revealed: McCain and Obama were planning to steal
the "Hope Diamond" all along, they were just "getting the money".
Or in the corporate owned politicians case, keeping it.

Gotta include Sarah Palin laughing her ass off at the dumb media and coming out a press conference as a Martial Artist super thief. Though who knows how dumb or controlled shé really is. If that Sarkozy prank call is real, holy shit - they couldn't even technically transfer a damn phone call without problems. Her inclusion in the election still makes me think I'm in a bad dream that such a thing is possible, maybe the republicans just thought after Bush they'd give the simpletons that still wanna vote for them another puppet they can identify with

The Dark Knight Obama causes some McCain-Palin voters to lose it, some to commit suicide and some to seek refuge in an "ark" cause they think the world is coming to an end. It is absolutely mind boggling to me how Obama didn't win by even more votes after such a propaganda campaign, though the many fake accusations (and nevermind the real issues with the puppet) that the mainstream media threw up must have startled some simple conservatives... I don't even want to imagine how a mind works that still supports the republicans. However the same counts for the mind that bought all this hope bullshit. Thanks for that too mainstream media. I look forward to seeing how they will "2+2=5" the world with Hope instead of Fear as the new theme.

Look it's a near-unconscious Liberal getting it up the ass by Obama!
Gotta love South Park metaphors. That's just "prophetic".

"Oh! Goddammit! Obama said things would be different!
That son of a bitch lied to us!"

Monday, November 10, 2008

Funny Picture Of The Day

Gordon Brown calls for new world order to beat recession

Prime Minister Gordon Brown will today set out a five-point plan to create a "stronger and more just" world order in the wake of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression
Mr Brown wants agreement on a world trade deal and reform of the international financial system Photo: REUTERS

Mr Brown will call on fellow world leaders to use the current worldwide economic downturn as an opportunity to thoroughly reform international financial institutions and create a new "truly global society" with Britain, the US and Europe providing leadership.

His call comes ahead of an emergency summit of world leaders and finance ministers from 20 major countries, the G20, in Washington next weekend.

Mr Brown will say that the Washington meeting must establish a consensus on a new Bretton Woods-style framework for the international financial system, featuring a reformed International Monetary Fund which will act as a global early-warning system for financial problems.

The original Bretton Woods agreements, signed in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire in 1944, established post-war international monetary protocols governing trade, banking and other financial relations among nations, including fixed exchange rates and the IMF.

Mr Brown's plan for strengthening the global economy 60 years later involves recapitalisation of banks to permit the resumption of normal lending to households and businesses, better international co-ordination of fiscal and monetary policy and a new IMF fund to help struggling economies and stop financial problems spreading between nations.

He also wants agreement on a world trade deal and reform of the international financial system based on principles of "transparency, integrity, responsibility, sound banking practice and global governance with co-ordination across borders".

As Britain moves into a painful recession Mr Brown has staked his own leadership on helping to find a way out of the global crisis.

In a speech to City financiers at the annual Lord Mayor's banquet in London he will say: "The British Government will begin to begin a new Bretton Woods with a new IMF that offers, by its surveillance of every economy, an early warning system and a crisis prevention mechanism for the whole world.

"The alliance between Britain and the US, and more broadly between Europe and the US, can and must provide leadership, not in order to make the rules ourselves, but to lead the global effort to build a stronger and more just international order.

"My message is that we must be internationalist not protectionist, interventionist not neutral, progressive not reactive and forward-looking not frozen by events. We can seize the moment and in doing so build a truly global society."

Mr Brown has already discussed IMF reforms with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and has called on countries including China and the oil-rich Gulf states to fund the bulk of an increase in the IMF's bailout pot.

The Prime Minister wants the markets to be subjected to morality and ordinary people's interests are put first.

He believes that in electing Barack Obama, US voters have showed their belief in a "progressive" agenda of government intervention to help families and businesses through the current crisis.

He will say: "Uniquely in this global age, it is now in our power to come together so that 2008 is remembered not just for the failure of a financial crash that engulfed the world but for the resilience and optimism with which we faced the storm, endured it and prevailed."

However, the head of the IMF played down expectations of a new Bretton Woods system ahead of the G20 summit.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF's managing director, said: "Expectations should not be oversold. Things are not going to change overnight. Bretton Woods took two years to prepare. A lot of people are talking about Bretton Woods II. The words sound nice but we are not going to create a new international treaty."

The European Union has called for an overhaul of the IMF with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency, saying: "We want to change the rules of the game".

The US, however, has been more lukewarm on the possibility of radical change

Exterminators: Bedbugs making a comeback

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Bedbugs were once considered all but eradicated, but exterminators say the bugs are making a comeback.

If you buy a new bed, you may think you don’t have to worry about bedbugs, but that isn’t always the case.

Watch News 4 coverage
> Larger player

Just a few weeks ago, Jacob Bowman, 12, was waking up in the mornings covered in welts.

His mom and doctors were mystified.

One night, Jacob awoke to find his bed crawling with bugs. He said he freaked out; so did his mom.

"I pulled the mattress up, pulled the box spring up and when we saw the black spots, which were the eggs ... I pretty much kind of lost it,” said Jacob’s mom, Maureen Bowman.

Bowman had recently purchased her son a new mattress and box springs. It turns out they were infested with bedbugs.

That’s when the real ordeal began.

Exterminator Tim McCarthy found bugs everywhere.

"There were bed bugs in the wall coverings, (on) pictures (and) a clock,” McCarthy said.

The Bowmans house was turned inside out.

Bedding and clothing was bagged up and Bowman’s sons were sent packing.

“Three of the boys’ bedrooms (were) shut off for three weeks. They were sleeping in family rooms,” Bowman said.

Such drastic measures are necessary because bedbugs are survivors. They suck blood and can go a year or more without feeding.

The bugs are tiny -- about the size of a tick -- and rarely come out during the day, so they’re hard to spot.

McCarthy said homeowners should thoroughly inspect any bedding before it’s purchased.

"Kind of roll it back a little bit. You'll see … blood spots … if there are bugs,” McCarthy said.

Check for bedbugs as soon as you suspect anything. Do it at night like Jacob did.

"Just wake up at midnight, and just look on your bed. Are there any bugs crawling around?,” McCarthy said.

The bites themselves can be hard to identify. If they are lined up in a row, that’s one good sign of bed bugs.

Once you fid the bugs, you have to be thorough. Everything in the room must be treated.

But McCarthy said you can kill bugs in bedding or clothing without pesticides by washing and drying the articles at a temperature above 140 degrees for 10 minutes.

"If you can do that, you'll effectively kill the egg casings and adults,” McCarthy said.

The most common cause of bedbugs on new mattresses is cross-contamination -- when new bedding is shipped or stored with old bedding.

New bedding should also be wrapped in some sort of plastic.

The store that sold the Bowmans their bed is covering the family’s exterminating cost, which in some cases can top $1,000.

Is this sign that America is becoming a third world country?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Does this look Familiar?

Of course, eagles only have two wings ... left wing and right wing.

But both wings are controlled by the ...

Brain in the Middle.

That's the way politics in America works,
as you can see above:

Or like the soda's Pepsi and Coke. Different brand, but same beverage, also notice how Pepsi is Blue like the Democratic party and Coke is Red like the Republican party.

Funny Picture Of The Day

Nile Valley Contributions To Civilization: By Anthony T. Browder

Author: Anthony Browder - The Nile Valley Contribution To Civilization. From the introduction of this book, you get the idea that Anthony Browder is very influence by the work done by John G. Jackson, John Henrik Clarke, and Yosef ben-Jochannan. These three men have done some of the most profound research and writing on early African history and the Nile Valley contribution to civilization. The writings of these men contain a lot of scholarship, which to many people may be very difficult to read and understand. This is why this book is so important. Anthony Browder took what Jackson, Clarke, and Jochannan wrote about in their books and translated it so that the average person could read and understand it. The theme of this book is centered on early Africa, early Africa's stolen legacy and early Africa's contributions to civilization. It also puts an emphasis on how those early contributions was translated into today's American society.

he theme of this book is centered on early Africa, early Africa's stolen legacy and early Africa's contributions to civilization. It also puts an emphasis on how those early contributions was translated into today's American society. In chapters 1-3, Mr. Browder talks about the people of early African civilization. He tells where they came from, who they were, what they did, and when they existed. He puts a special emphasis on the many accomplishments of the early African people. In chapters 4-7, Mr. Browder talks about the stolen legacy of early African civilization. He shows how other civilization took what the early African contributed and made it its own. He goes to great links to show and prove that what the Europeans claim as theirs was actually African in origin and rightfully belong to the African. In addition, he explains how American society has adopted early African symbols into its government structure. The finally chapters 8-10 are designed to assist the African/African-American mind to cope with the information given in chapters 1-7. The last chapters all have to do with building pride and understanding where we still must go and what we still must be.

The period of this book stretches from about 4000BC into the present. The book is structured as to give a chronological development of early African history and its gives you a progressive pattern of how this history has contributed to civilization.

The first seven chapters of this book are excellent. I have read many books on the subject of early African history and its contribution to civilization. This book is the easiest to read and understand. I believe that my son when he reaches the age of 10 would be able to read and comprehend this book. The only weakness of this book is chapters 8-10. These chapters I feel are an extension of his earlier books The Browder File Vol. II and I. I feel as though these chapters have nothing to do with the basic theme of this book, which is centered on early African history and its contribution to civilization

Read a book! Read a motherfuckin’ book! Read a book! Read a book! Read a motherfuckin’ book.

Not A Good Look Of The Week

Dayum I thought halloween was over!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Bottled Water Quality Investigation: 10 Major Brands, 38 Pollutants

Bottled water contains disinfection byproducts, fertilizer residue, and pain medication

October 2008

Authors: Olga Naidenko, PhD, Senior Scientist; Nneka Leiba, MPH, Researcher; Renee Sharp, MS, Senior Scientist; Jane Houlihan, MSCE, Vice President for Research

The bottled water industry promotes an image of purity, but comprehensive testing by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) reveals a surprising array of chemical contaminants in every bottled water brand analyzed, including toxic byproducts of chlorination in Walmart’s Sam’s Choice and Giant Supermarket's Acadia brands, at levels no different than routinely found in tap water. Several Sam's Choice samples purchased in California exceeded legal limits for bottled water contaminants in that state. Cancer-causing contaminants in bottled water purchased in 5 states (North Carolina, California, Virginia, Delaware and Maryland) and the District of Columbia substantially exceeded the voluntary standards established by the bottled water industry.

Unlike tap water, where consumers are provided with test results every year, the bottled water industry does not disclose the results of any contaminant testing that it conducts. Instead, the industry hides behind the claim that bottled water is held to the same safety standards as tap water. But with promotional campaigns saturated with images of mountain springs, and prices 1,900 times the price of tap water, consumers are clearly led to believe that they are buying a product that has been purified to a level beyond the water that comes out of the garden hose.

To the contrary, our tests strongly indicate that the purity of bottled water cannot be trusted. Given the industry's refusal to make available data to support their claims of superiority, consumer confidence in the purity of bottled water is simply not justified.

Laboratory tests conducted for EWG at one of the country’s leading water quality laboratories found that 10 popular brands of bottled water, purchased from grocery stores and other retailers in 9 states and the District of Columbia, contained 38 chemical pollutants altogether, with an average of 8 contaminants in each brand. More than one-third of the chemicals found are not regulated in bottled water. In the Sam's Choice and Acadia brands levels of some chemicals exceeded legal limits in California as well as industry-sponsored voluntary safety standards. Four brands were also contaminated with bacteria.
Walmart and Giant Brands No Different than Tap Water

Two of 10 brands tested, Walmart's and Giant's store brands, bore the chemical signature of standard municipal water treatment — a cocktail of chlorine disinfection byproducts, and for Giant water, even fluoride. In other words, this bottled water was chemically indistinguishable from tap water. The only striking difference: the price tag.

In both brands levels of disinfection byproducts exceeded safety standards established by the state of California and the bottled water industry:

* Walmart’s Sam’s Choice bottled water purchased at several locations in the San Francisco bay area was polluted with disinfection byproducts called trihalomethanes at levels that exceed the state’s legal limit for bottled water (CDPR 2008). These byproducts are linked to cancer and reproductive problems and form when disinfectants react with residual pollution in the water. Las Vegas tap water was the source for these bottles, according to Walmart representatives (EWG 2008).

* Also in Walmart’s Sam’s Choice brand, lab tests found a cancer-causing chemical called bromodichloromethane at levels that exceed safety standards for cancer-causing chemicals under California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65, OEHHA 2008). EWG is filing suit under this act to ensure that Walmart posts a warning on bottles as required by law: “WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer."

* These same chemicals also polluted Giant's Acadia brand at levels in excess of California’s safety standards, but this brand is sold only in Mid-Atlantic states where California’s health-based limits do not apply. Nevertheless, disinfection byproducts in both Acadia and Sam’s Choice bottled water exceeded the industry trade association’s voluntary safety standards (IBWA 2008a), for samples purchased in Washington DC and 5 states (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and California). The bottled water industry boasts that its internal regulations are stricter than the FDA bottled water regulations(IBWA 2008b), but voluntary standards that companies are failing to meet are of little use in protecting public health.

Figure 1. Pollutants in Walmart and Giant Bottled Water Exceed Industry and California Standards

The California legal limit of 10 parts per billion (ppb) for total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) in bottled water has been set by the California Health and Safety Code, Division 104, Part 5 (Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law, CDPH 2008). The industry standard, Bottled Water Code of Practice, published by the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA 2008a), also sets a limit for TTHMs at 10 ppb. Two of the TTHM chemicals, bromodichloromethane and chloroform, are regulated in California under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, also known as Proposition 65 (OEHHA 2008). For bromodichloromethane, a concentration above 2.5 ppb exceeds a cancer safety standard, as established by the state of California (OEHHA 2008). The standard is based on the Proposition 65 No Significant Risk Level for bromodichloromethane at 5 micrograms per day. For a water consumption rate of 2 L/day (Title 27, California Code of Regulations, Article 7, Section § 25721), this corresponds to a contaminant concentration in water of 2.5 ppb. The concentration values indicated by the bars correspond to findings from the specific brand purchased at the specific location. For the entire dataset, see section Walmart and Giant Water Exceeds Safety Limits. Two independent samples of Sam's Choice water were purchased in Oakland, CA, with total trihalomethane levels at 21 and 23 ppb and levels of bromodichloromethane at 7.7 and 8.5 ppb. Two independent samples of Acadia water were purchased in Stafford, VA with total trihalomethane levels at 22 and 23 ppb.
Broad Range of Pollutants Found in 10 Brands

Altogether, the analyses conducted by the University of Iowa Hygienic Laboratory of these 10 brands of bottled water revealed a wide range of pollutants, including not only disinfection byproducts, but also common urban wastewater pollutants like caffeine and pharmaceuticals (Tylenol); heavy metals and minerals including arsenic and radioactive isotopes; fertilizer residue (nitrate and ammonia); and a broad range of other, tentatively identified industrial chemicals used as solvents, plasticizers, viscosity decreasing agents, and propellants.

The identity of most brands in this study are anonymous. This is typical scientific practice for market-basket style testing programs. We consider these results to represent a snapshot of the market during the window of time in which we purchased samples. While our study findings show that consumers can't trust that bottled water is pure or cleaner than tap water, it was not designed to indicate pollutant profiles typical over time for particular brands. Walmart and Giant bottled water brands are named in this study because our first tests and numerous followup tests confirmed that these brands contained contaminants at levels that exceeded state standards or voluntary industry guidelines.

The study also included assays for breast cancer cell proliferation, conducted at the University of Missouri. One bottled water brand spurred a 78% increase in the growth of the breast cancer cells compared to the control sample, with 1,200 initial breast cancer cells multiplying to 32,000 in 4 days, versus only 18,000 for the control sample, indicating that chemical contaminants in the bottled water sample stimulated accelerated division of cancer cells. When estrogen-blocking chemicals were added, the effect was inhibited, showing that the cancer-spurring chemicals mimic estrogen, a hormone linked to breast cancer. Though this result is considered a modest effect relative to the potency of some other industrial chemicals in spurring breast cancer cell growth, the sheer volume of bottled water people consume elevates the health significance of the finding. While the specific chemical(s) responsible for this cancer cell proliferation were not identified in this pilot study, ingestion of endocrine-disrupting and cancer-promoting chemicals from plastics is considered to be a potentially important health concern (Le 2008).
With Bottled Water, You Don't Know What You're Getting

Americans drink twice as much bottled water today as they did ten years ago, for an annual total of over nine billion gallons with producer revenues nearing twelve billions (BMC 2007; IBWA 2008c). Purity should be included in a price that, at a typical cost of $3.79 per gallon, is 1,900 times the cost of public tap water.1 But EWG’s tests indicate that in some cases the industry may be delivering a beverage little cleaner than tap water, sold at a premium price. The health consequences of exposures to these complex mixtures of contaminants like those found in bottled water have never been studied.

Unlike public water utilities, bottled water companies are not required to notify their customers of the occurrence of contaminants in the water, or, in most states, to tell their customers where the water comes from, how and if it is purified, and if it is merely bottled tap water. Information provided on the U.S. EPA website clearly describes the lack of quality assurance for bottled water: "Bottled water is not necessarily safer than your tap water" (EPA 2007b). The Agency further adds following consumer information:

Some bottled water is treated more than tap water, while some is treated less or not treated at all. Bottled water costs much more than tap water on a per gallon basis... Consumers who choose to purchase bottled water should carefully read its label to understand what they are buying, whether it is a better taste, or a certain method of treatment (EPA 2007b).

In conjunction with this testing program, EWG conducted a survey of 228 brands of bottled water, compiling information from websites, labels and other marketing materials. We found that fewer than half describe the water source (i.e., municipal or natural) or provide any information on whether or how the water is treated. In the absence of complete disclosure on the label, consumers are left in the dark, making it difficult for shoppers to know if they are getting what they expect for the price.

Figure 2. Walmart and Giant Are Bottling Tap Water

The municipal water sources of the Walmart’s Sam’s Choice and Giant’s Acadia bottled waters were identified through contact with Walmart representatives, their bottled water manufacturer, and city/utility officials; or from the label (Giant). Data on the levels of disinfection byproducts (total trihalomethanes or TTHMs) in these municipal water sources were obtained from Notla Water Authority in Blairsville, Georgia; Las Vegas Valley Water District; and Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. These data were from tap water tests carried out in 2007, which the water utilities disclosed to their customers in an annual report. For every utility the range of values from lowest to the highest represents the concentrations of TTHMs that were found in the tap water over the course of the year. Notla Water Authority provided a single value for TTHMs, not a range.

This study did not focus on the environmental impacts of bottled water, but they are striking and have been well publicized. Of the 36 billion bottles sold in 2006, only a fifth were recycled (Doss 2008). The rest ended up in landfills, incinerators, and as trash on land and in streams, rivers, and oceans. Water bottle production in the U.S. uses 1.5 million barrels of oil per every year, according to a U.S. Conference of Mayors’ resolution passed in 2007, enough energy to power 250,000 homes or fuel 100,000 cars for a year (US Mayors 2007). As oil prices are continuing to skyrocket, the direct and indirect costs of making and shipping and landfilling the water bottles continue to rise as well (Gashler 2008, Hauter 2008).

Extracting water for bottling places a strain on rivers, streams, and community drinking water supplies as well. When the water is not bottled from a municipal supply, companies instead draw it from groundwater supplies, rivers, springs or streams. This "water mining," as it is called, can remove substantial amounts of water that otherwise would have contributed to community water supplies or to the natural flow of streams and rivers (Boldt-Van Rooy 2003, Hyndman 2007, ECONorthwest, 2007).

Currently there is a double standard where tap water suppliers provide information to consumers on contaminants, filtration techniques, and source water; bottled water companies do not. This double standard must be eliminated immediately; Bottled water should conform to the same right-to-know standards as tap water.

To bring bottled water up to the standards of tap water we recommend:

* Full disclosure of all test results for all contaminants. This must be done in a way that is readily available to the public.

* Disclosure of all treatment techniques used to purify the water, and:

* Clear and specific disclosure of the name and location of the source water.

To ensure that public health and the environment are protected, we recommend:

* Federal, state, and local policymakers must strengthen protections for rivers, streams, and groundwater that serve as America’s drinking water sources. Even though it is not necessarily any healthier, some Americans turn to bottled water in part because they distrust the quality of their tap water. And sometimes this is for good reason. Some drinking water (tap and bottled) is grossly polluted at its source – in rivers, streams, and underground aquifers fouled by decades of wastes that generations of political and business leaders have dismissed, ignored, and left for others to solve. A 2005 EWG study found nearly 300 contaminants in drinking water all across the country. Source water protection programs must be improved, implemented, and enforced nationwide (EWG 2005b). The environmental impacts associated with bottled water production and distribution aggravate the nation's water quality problems rather than contributing to their solution.

* Consumers should drink filtered tap water instead of bottled water. Americans pay an average of two-tenths of a cent per gallon to drink water from the tap. A carbon filter at the tap or in a pitcher costs a manageable $0.31 per gallon (12 times lower than the typical cost of bottled water), and removes many of the contaminants found in public tap water supplies.2 A whole-house carbon filter strips out chemicals not only from drinking water, but also from water used in the shower, clothes washer and dishwasher where they can volatilize into the air for families to breathe in. For an average four-person household, the cost for this system is about $0.25 per person per day.3 A single gallon of bottled water costs 15 times this amount.

EWG's study has revealed that bottled water can contain complex mixtures of industrial chemicals never tested for safety, and may be no cleaner than tap water. Given some bottled water company's failure to adhere to the industry's own purity standards, Americans cannot take the quality of bottled water for granted. Indeed, test results like those presented in this study may give many Americans reason enough to reconsider their habit of purchasing bottled water and turn back to the tap.

1 A recent survey documented bottled water prices ranging from $0.89 to $8.26 per gallon (Food and Water Watch 2007). Retail prices vary widely depending on whether people are buying bottled water in bulk or individual bottles. Given this wide range in prices, EWG assumed a flat $1.00 per liter price per liter (or $3.79 per gallon), which is what most consumers would pay for a typical liter bottle of water bought from a convenience store. In comparison, EPA estimates that tap water costs consumers about $0.002 per gallon, on average, nationwide (EPA 2004).
2 EWG compared the prices and capacities of 7 faucet-mounted and pitcher filters. The prices ranged from $19.99 to $39.99 with treatment capacities ranging from 40 gallons to 100 gallons. With this information, we estimate an average cost of these types of systems as $0.31 per gallon.
3 EWG compared 5 different whole house carbon filter units and documented prices in the range between $64.99 to $795 per unit, with life spans between 3 and 36 months. Thus, the annual cost is in the range of $260 - $595 with an average of $375. This leads to an estimated cost of $1.00/day that translates into $0.25 daily cost per person for an average four-person household.