You've heard the jokes. About Martha Stewart, Michael Jackson and all the other famous people who may be heading to prison. A beefy cellmate will bring them a 'dose of reality'. We know the joke, we're Americans. It's all about prison rape. So why was everyone so shocked that poorly disciplined American soldiers would humiliate prisoners of war? Humiliation is what Americans expect to happen to prisoners, especially sexual humiliation.
Bob Herbert finally breaks the barrier for mentioning the sort of ugliness that goes on in American prisons.
On Oct. 23, 1996, officers from the Tactical Squad of the Georgia Department of Corrections raided the inmates' living quarters at Dooly State Prison, a medium-security facility in Unadilla, Ga. This was part of a series of brutal shakedowns at prisons around the state that were designed to show the prisoners that a new and tougher regime was in charge.
What followed, according to the lawsuit, was simply sick. Officers opened cell doors and ordered the inmates, all males, to run outside and strip. With female prison staff members looking on, and at times laughing, several inmates were subjected to extensive and wholly unnecessary body cavity searches. The inmates were ordered to lift their genitals, to squat, to bend over and display themselves, etc
Most African Americans have no use for Minister Louis Farrakhan or his Nation of Islam. There are several reasons for this. However, if you are in prison, membership in the Nation is a man's best defense against rape. That's where many converts come from. Taking some of the traditional conservative roles of male and female roles of Islam as their basis, the NOI is especially adamant and forward thinking in establishing this defense. Outside of the typical denunciations, it would be interesting to see what those deep inside the Nation of Islam's prison programs have been saying about Abu Ghraib.
John Dos Passos argues a number of things in 1946 that are being repeated about Iraq. An excellent gem of a letter about our bungling in Europe.
Try these points on for size:
I learned about this from hearing a fairly good speech by Bill Bennett, called 'The Politics of War and Civil Society'.
Other juicy tidbits. This 'unilateral' action includes a coalition of 31 nations. The Gulf War 'multilateral' action included a coaltion of 34 nations. This is a huge difference?
The last seven times the US military was engaged, it was done for on behalf of muslims.
Victor Davis Hanson asserts in a jumble of historical facts that multiculturalists are responsible for spreading a fog of victimology which has poisoned the American spirit and resolve. Ultimately he places blame at the foot of Marxism, which is a good thing because there is much to multiculturalism he refuses to understand in his current indictment. What he refuses to see is the extent to which multiculturalism is not internationalist politics but an expression of the desires of non-whites to have cultural influence and economic power in America.
I don't know if Hanson is the main exponent of this false nexus and have not read Mexifornia, but many who quote from it suggest a panicky loss of control and understanding of how America is changing. I find it difficult to believe that blacks, latins and asians are widely persuaded by Left academics' Marxist agenda, and I think that anyone credulous enough to take that as gospel is letting prejudice work. The Culture Wars are over, but this rearguard action is spoiling for a new fight.
The reason that it is important to recognize that multiculturalism isn't Marxist goes something like this to my mind. Multiculturalism calls for an internal empire. It demands access to markets for people of all ethnicities, and with the understanding that the best kind of ethnic diversity is a good thing, multiculturalists want a piece of American pie. An academia chock full of Leftist apologists are not going to bend the will of new immigrants to this nation. When Indians and Koreans came, they didn't check in with Anhuradi Roy to determine how they would stock the shelves of the stores they opened.
Anyone who does business in China knows that despite the fact that there are many Cantonese speakers, the power lies with Mandarin. It is foolish to suggest that Americans who speak Spanish are any threat to what America is all about. Even for those who are cynically concerned about keeping power away from Hispanics have few legitimate concerns. Masking tape is printed with instructions in Spanish, Bar Exams are not. Say what you will about bilinguilism but Telemundo is not a threat to Fox News, even though Telemundo has been here much longer.
Simply because Republicans have been relatively incompetent to recruit these people into their ranks, and for good reason considering the number of blood and soil nativists inspired by works like Mexifornia, doesn't mean they are part of a mass conspiracy to subvert the values of America. So conservatives need to watch out for how they alienate potential allies in ignorance.
This horse may or may not be dead, but I'm going to beat it nonetheless. And since this coincides with the last bit of the Negro Digest content I've scanned so far, I think it would be a fitting way for me to cap off the latest meta-discussion about Bill Cosby.
As I first stated, this kind of discussion is nothing new. Although the tone has changed a bit from 1967 when this original piece was written by Pops for the Negro Digest, the message is the same and should be loud and clear. Independence is ours to take if we are willing to be responsible. Self-reliance is the key to all progress.
Although I couldn't OCR the text for easy reading here in the blog, I have a nice scanned pdf file here. Most everyone should be able to read it. (It's a little bit over 2MB so be patient with the download.) Still, there's one little excerpt I'd like to highlight.
The message would be loud and clear and directed specifically to all black people in America. That others would hear it is not important.
Cringely has a great idea that numbs the brain. Unfortunately it's one of those things that only works at the dorms of tech schools and certain areas just south of San Francisco.
It's based on the latest incarnation of the geeks old proverb, 'If you build it, they will come." Since half the computing on the planet could now be open source, this has morphed to 'If you configure it, they will pay.' Not bloody likely.
What Cringely and boing boingers tend to forget is that most people are lazy. We don't have the time nor the patience to figure out half of these technologies:
If you have a WRT54G, here's what you can use it for after less than an hour's work. You get all the original Linksys functions plus SSH, Wonder Shaper, L7 regexp iptables filtering, frottle, parprouted, the latest Busybox utilities, several custom modifications to DHCP and dnsmasq, a PPTP server, static DHCP address mapping, OSPF routing, external logging, as well as support for client, ad hoc, AP, and WDS wireless modes.
Then he must certainly add:
If that last paragraph meant nothing at all to you, look at it this way: the WRT54G with Sveasoft firmware is all you need to become your cul de sac's wireless ISP. Going further, if a bunch of your friends in town had similarly configured WRT54Gs, they could seamlessly work together and put out of business your local telephone company.
This sounds remarkably like: "Look at it this way: an ordinary PC with Kazaa or Morpheous software is all you need to become your cul de sac's digital jukebox. Going furhter, if a a bunch of your friends in town had similarly configured PCs, they could seamlessly work together and put out of business your local record store."
Putting people out of business is not so simple as geeks would like to belief. It sounds perverse, but the techno-troglodytes of the world with their inferior expensive technologies fight back, with lawyers. They're not always wrong for doing so.
Of course I like the concept, and it's a cool way to say on your phone bill. But the millions are not going start configuring routers. As soon as they do, Kazaa! There's a can of worms in them thar hills.
Terry Gross' interview with William Langewiesche the author of 'The Outlaw Sea' was fascinating today. Among the interesting topics was Alang, the ship graveyard, a massive beach where thousands of poor Indians take apart supertankers by hand.
I followed up on Cosby just enough to hear Cornel West and Mike Dyson comment. (Thanks NPR for the .ram files). West came correct, Dyson went out into left field. I also breezed through Mark Neal's piece on Hiphop long enough to hear him drop a half dozen 'sheroes' names, and then came to a disdainful stop by the time I got to this:
As Pough notes, "rappers become grunt workers for the patriarchy: they sow the field of misogyny for the patriarchy and provide the labor necessary to keep it in operation, much as Black men and women provided the free and exploited labor that built the United States."
Then I went to Tavis' site and read the transcript. Cosby said the following:
I am saying to the people, “Hey, man, the bridge is out. The bridge is out.” You can drive over there. You can get angry with me if you want to. A friend of mine said--I was sitting with a diabetic friend of mine, and this cat has got to take a shot or else he'll go blblblblbl--like that. So the cat sat down and he ordered a Coca-Cola. And I said, “Hey, man, what are you doing with a Coca-Cola?” The guy said, “What you want me--” I said, “OK, man.” You can go ahead and get mad at me, but you're not gonna get mad at the Coca-Cola. I'm not the one sending--you understand?
In the milleu precision writing, we would say that Dr. Cosby is lacking in specificity. In the Old School, we would slap Mr. Neal upside his head as soon as he referenced the next authoritative author. Cosby is a multimillionaire because he understands something about communicating basic things in simple accessible language. And he makes you laugh when he does it. He doesn't get bogged down in jargon.
When Smiley suggested that he and Cos could talk for hours, Cosby said no. You don't need to talk for hours. The concept is simple. Let Dyson talk for hours. Let a thousand academics write ten thousand books. What do you get?
Isn't it fascinating that Cosby got the whole country talking with just a few well placed simple words? Isn't it fascinating that one or two sentences removed turns the whole meaning? It is very refreshing to me to see wisdom expressed plainly, and I think Cosby underlines the point that it needn't have been him if somebody's dad had done their job.
Cosby will not run for president. There will not be a 12 step program. People just have to use their heads, because when common sense is not enough, and people start turning to theorists, it's already too late.
Funny, maybe that's why certain intellectuals trip so hard over hiphop. Sometimes it only takes 16 bars to tell the truth.
About 12 years ago, when the hottest jam on the radio was Black Sheep's 'The Choice is Yours' I happened to be a house party in Ft. Greene with the kind of cool people I used to party with those days. Among them was a young brother who was an Assistant Professor at some non-trivial university. The brother had dreads, a PhD and a 70k gig.
The topic drifted to the kinds of problems black folks who come correct have with ordinary white folks. It's an old subject I think best written up by Brent Staples in his 'Parallel Lines'. While Brent was a PhD Candidate at the U of Chicago, he used to purposely sneak up on dainty whitefolks and give them a fright. This particular brother said something about black power that I had never heard before, and it's something I never forgot. He had to get into one of these upper middle class white kids parents face over some bullshit. And his bottom line went something like this: All your entire life, you have been working hard and climbing in society for what? You saved your money for years and years and put all your hopes into your child's education. You and thousands of others compete for years on end to get good SAT scores. Then your kid competes with all the rest from across the country and around the world, just to get your kid into my class. So think very carefully about what you say to me because I am the man whose grade can make the difference between success and failure for what you've been claiming as your values all your life.
In my entire life I have never imagined in any black on white revenge fantasy so sweet as that. You cannot buy grades at university, and there is nothing rich white bigots can do but burst their own blood vessels when it comes to dealing with black professors. I know there have been some black profs who get off on this kind of power trip, but thankfully that's a world of politics I don't have to deal with. I say get your tenure and go buck wild. In the meantime, not for the black power trip, but out of real respect for what it take to go that length past achievement and social climbing to true excellence and scholarship we ought to keep this man's lesson in mind. Everybody in America has to come face to face with this 'elitism', black and white alike.
There are people who know, and there are people who don't. Props needs to go to those who do know; that work is real.
Checking out Walter Williams, I see he makes the slippery slope argument on the acceptability of Same Sex Marriage toward polygamy and bestiality. He's right and he's wrong.
It's a cruel sort of dismissal to the validity of the fraction of non-straights who have loving relationships to suggest that their sexual taste runs directly to goats and pigs. Sheep I could see, but pigs?
Seriously, the argument we hear in support of SSM is often of this variety. 'So long as nobody gets hurt, they should have the freedom to do what they choose.' I have a problem with that logic.
I know we talked about this before vis a vis the video hos in Nelly's employ, but let's overwork the metaphor shall we? You see, none of the bimbos on the booty shaking circuit are hurt. It's an affront to decency, but people have to make a living, right? It seems to me that you cannot suggest that perverse, empty sexual relationships are not costly, there is a such concept as an opportunity cost. If your concept of sex and love follows the concepts sold by of Snoop Dogg or R. Kelly something is out of place. But nobody gets hurt just watching a video, right? But it is not somebody (outside of STDs) that gets hurt so much as something gets hurt. Sybaritic sex does damage to the concept of monogamy. And that is true whether or not you are straight.
Now independent of whether or not you are grossed out by the sexual tastes of bling rappers of both genders, it doesn't take much of a stretch of the imagination to understand what damage they do to family values. Speak to any reasonable married parent about what they believe to be the influence of today's hiphop. They hate it. Yes, we've been over this before.
In a free country, citizens are under no obligation to protect Marriage or Family. It's strictly optional. If you pursuit of happiness does not include gay sex, you only need be tolerant. Nobody gets hurt by straight couples kissing on television. But if you ask any lesbian or gay activist, they will give you an earful about how such behavior does damage to their concepts of love. I can't speak for gays and therefore can't tell you if they hate 'The Bachelor' as much as I hate R. Kelly, but I definitely understand the parallel when it comes to damaging concepts. And it is something I would hope we don't forget.
Americans' free choices always have direct and indirect costs. Every player that gets his freak on with multiple partners does damage to the concept of stable productive relationships, Marriage and Family. We know this. There's no force or coercion involved; nobody gets hurt. They're just doing what makes them feel good. But something is hurt. There can be no question about it.
Those of us who believe in the traditional concepts of Marriage and Family sometimes get overzealous. We overstep when we tell people what they ought to be doing. But we are not wrong to make clear the costs of going in one direction. When we say that Same Sex Marriage does damage to the concept of Marriage, we're not making this up.
Once again, I stand with great respect to my man Lester Spence. Today marks his debut at Africana.com. The good doctor who has been holding down the fort at VisionCircle.org has made another advance in getting the good word out to thoughtful folks. So you will find him regularly at Africana, and hopefully sometimes back at his old stomping grounds. With the utmost respect I wish him well in his new endeavors.
My new associate-in-league Avery Tooley threw out a word to me today. Contrarian. I find it intriguing and something that I'm not sure that I can get away from. I would not like to be known as a contrarian, not least because of one of my rules, that the Devil's Advocate is merely masking his contempt. And yet it is often true that I find myself at odds with people I admire. I do so because I enjoy pointing out what I see as logical weaknesses in positions that I abandon. I respect others for taking that angle, but I have to show them why they're weak. This fact was readily apparent to me in my recent face to face with George Kelly. The Left, I explained to him, is not sufficiently seditious to upset the great comfortable garden capital has made of America.
At any rate it is with that sword of contrarian swinging above my head that give me an itch this evening in light of one of Spence's closing paragraphs:
Finally, we have to begin to think outside of the box and use tactics of misdirection and passive aggression in order to make further strides. For most of us, for example, the odds of us casting a vote for the Republican Party are about the same as the odds of us being struck by lightning. How could we hack the Republican Party for progressive purposes?
Yike. Maybe Carly Simon has my number, because I probably thought that song was about me. Me? A contrarian, passive-aggressive misdirected hacker? I can't cop to all that, but I see where that idea might come from. I'm sure he means it in the best way. Those of us dedicated to our future pluralism are going to have to make genuine juke moves to shake off the old. Not only our old predictable selves, but the old predictable enemies who still think they can post up on us and know our next step.
Like most capable people, Spence has a positive outlook. I share his optimism. P6 is hooked into the concept as well. We're moving forward. Black politics ain't what it used to be.
Something about the screaming 'Oh My God' over and over is getting under my skin. You've seen it. Somebody's teeth get whitened & straightened to movie star brilliance. Somebody's automobile has been transformed into something fabulous. Somebody's house has been remade to look like a showroom at Expo. A busload of mechanics or construction workers or cosmetic engineers descend on a humble piece of a humble person's property and within a week or so a miracle occurs, all televised for your entertainment, envy and moral edification.
I like the premise. As a kind of humanitarian extention of the Monster Garage concept, you could do a lot worse. On the other hand, you could do a lot better. A couple months ago, Rodney Allen Rippey (yes that one) told the crowd at Ofari's that he was trying to get his reality show bankrolled. His concept, do a good deed. Change somebody's life by granting them a wish. If I could have any job on this planet, I could think of nothing more rewarding than being an 'angel'. A man on the street philanthropist with a monster bank account. Should we be surprised that Hollywood has fallen way short?
These makeover shows dramatize the great transformative power of American wealth and expertise. And nothing says you are American quite like the holding in abeyance of ordinary fears and pain in anticipation of one's own transformation. We call it the American Dream, but at it's most basic level it is a great physical transformation. Interestingly, I am tutoring F9 in the difference between physical change and chemical change. One could say that a real American undergoes a chemical change, when their material surroundings undergo a physical change.
These fundamental qualities of American malleability is what makes this nation the perfect destination. I have long been a support of both the external and internal empire. Our unique ability t build malltowns and subdivisions is reason enough for us to handle a hundred million more immigrants. Bring them here. There's plenty of room and we have the technology to make people and their environments better, stronger, faster.
But instead of a patriotic and serious Oscar Goldman directing the bionics of extreme makeovers, we have reality show producers who are keyed into the money shots of screaming and weeping people. I sit with my jaw open considering the awful calculus of parsing through the applications these producers must receive. Are the applicants [sym]pathetic enough to begin with? I don't even want to think about the criteria.
Where early on in the season, the lucky contestants were ordinary middle class families (speaking specifically of the Home edition of Extreme Makeover, sponsored by Sears), now they seem to be exclusively families who have suffered some tragedy, suddenly fatherless or unable to live in a home declared unsafe. It is this transition from a fantasy show to a do-gooder's show that has got me upset. The formula suddenly fails.
As it happens, the spousal unit has been catering these past few weeks for the volunteers at Habitat for Humanity. They have been operating in 'North Long Beach' aka Compton. Although I've never volunteered, I've always admired their work and thought it would be an excellent use of my spare time. As far as I'm concerned, building homes for the poor on the regular is about as civilized an occupation as anyone can have. So most charities compare unfavorably to Habitat. What chance does Extreme Makeover have?
I have written off Hollywood's moral center. So I have no expectations. It works for me because when something like Empire of the Sun comes along, I retain the ability to be genuinely touched. Conversely, when they try so unsubtly to tug at my heart I resist strenuously, and I have to say these tearjerking Home Editions are self-congratulatory clunkers.
I say stick to 'Pimp My Ride'.
Going one step further into the murky realm of analyzing the American temperament, I would venture to say that the attitude of these producers might be shared with the producers of Gulf War II. As with Extreme Makeovers, there are limits to how much happiness material comforts bring. And since only Americans undergo chemical change when presented with a miraculous physical change, I'm sure a fair number of neocons were disappointed to find an insufficient number of Iraqi citizens screaming and weeping for joy. Maybe 'Oh My God' doesn't translate well into Arabic and/or Islam. As a neocon squarely in ideological agreement with the PNAC, I've been disappointed, but not bitterly.
Just as I see through the screams of delight, I know that the tragedy overshadows joy when the cameras are gone. My father died, an Extreme candidate might say, and all I got was this lousy remodeled kitchen. Surely Iraqis, orphaned of domestic tranquility must be looking forward to the day when their newly remade nation is truly and finally a comfortable and safe home.
It's a good idea to throw money and talent at problems and we Americans are uniquely gifted in our abilities. But big splashy productions trying for ratings points are not the way to go about nation building. Those of us who have an inkling about the slow way of building liveable homes understand what patience and effort goes into the job. We eventually see through the hoopla of the fast-paced, exclusively sponsored, high stakes cosmetic engineering of Extreme Makeovers. Geopolitical security is not show business, and I for one am not impressed with the lightning speed. Not any longer. I'm all out of 'Oh My God'.
I haven't looked close enough at this occupation to be completely disillusioned, nor am I afraid to. But as I look at this Administration's record with regard to its lack of responsiveness and willingness to admit errors, I can only expect to hear more details from the detractors and fewer from the champions. The premise was right, the future is improved and the world is safer. But this production wears on the nerves of people who can take bad news, and the whiter, brighter teeth of the Bush Administration are an insult to all of us.
A very insightful piece stands over at Doc Rampage. I can't be certain how right he is about the Left, but what he says about conservatives is right on the money. And all this time I thought it was obvious. But speaking the obvious doesn't always help, sometimes you have to interpret and explain the obvious. The Doc does a fine job.
When a leftist says that American society is no better than, for example, Arab Muslim societies, what he means is that American society does no better at producing good people than does Arab Muslim society. And he's generally correct. If there is less brutality and cruelty in America than in the Middle East, it is only because American law and social customs keep it under control better. It's still there under the surface, and in the right circumstances it comes out. When leftists say that Abu Ghraib is revealing, what they mean is that this demonstrates the existence of that underlying current of evil --a current that exists as surely in America as anywhere else.
Again, the left is correct. What they fail to understand is how utterly obvious that fact is to conservatives. Of course there are brutal and cruel people in America. Of course some of these brutal and cruel people are in the military. Of course even otherwise good people sometimes do evil things. None of this shocks the right, or even seems worth remarking on. That is why conservatives misunderstand what the left is saying. When a person says something utterly obvious, you assume that they mean something else by the remark. If you ask a friend how he likes your new car and he says, "Well, it's red." You assume he doesn't just mean to tell you the color of the car. And when the left constantly points out evil things done by Americans or the American government, the right is inclined to react similarly, looking for the meaning in these obvious and trivial statements.
Losers Sandra Tsing Loh and Jayson Blair are in the news both duly serving as twin barometers of journalism's ability to eat its own dogfood with a smile.
There an interesting kind of intolerance for both of them. Where liberal defenders of free speech portray Loh as a scapegoat for the chilling effect of Ashcroft's purported assault on civil liberties, Blair takes the full hit for his part in his demise.
I can't think of anything Loh has ever done which merits a massive defense, and I take some satisfaction in noting many journalists have been equally dismissive. Unlike Matt Welch however, I don't find their dismissal cruel or unusual.
In any case, what is most important in matters of free speech has everything to do with the nature of the expression suppressed. In Loh's case, it is only comedy. In Blair's case, there was apparently no truth at all.
As a child of the 60s, I understand the pressure put on blacks who would organize grass roots political campaigns. When the FBI would spy and infiltrate organizations in order to foment discord and chaos. That's an affront to free speech, for real. But if the slippery slope starts with the likes of Blair, Loh and Howard Stern we have a lot of vulgar mindlessness to lose before we hit upon something substantial. Journalists might find some more appealing individuals to defend if they need the support of ordinary (and espcially blogging) Americans.
I'm doing a little work on the new League and I stumbled across this picture taken in 1881 of Booker T. Washington. I think that it's an extraordinary shot showing him to be quite a passionate man. I just couldn't pass it without posting it here.
UPDATE: I corrected this to read 1881 (from 1861, thanks to Molotov). 1881 was the founding year of the Tuskeegee Institute. Tuskeegee was founded as a 'Normal School' which looks to be the forerunner of today's public elementary schools.
There's a great article over in today's Salon magazine. Get a day pass and read it. I am taking this as insight to things that have gone before I was anywhere close to the Republican party. It is a very valuable history for me, and I think it will be for many.
The link is here.
Armey's stature as a former House leader lends his critique special weight. But most remarkable is that he is willing to make it at all. While many House conservatives say privately that they feel helpless in sticking up for their principles in the face of ruthless intimidation from the Bush White House and DeLay, few have dared to speak as boldly as Armey has. DeLay, who is known as "The Hammer" for his ability to pound Republicans into supporting the party line, doesn't just discourage dissent, he beats it to a pulp. And the "with us or against us" mentality, once directed only toward terrorists and Democrats, is increasingly targeting conservative dissenters as well.
During last fall's battle over Medicare prescription drug benefits, for example, DeLay engaged Stuart Butler, a vice president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, in an oddly personal debate at a meeting of the Republican Study Committee, a group of 50 House conservatives. DeLay ridiculed the venerable think tank's research as uninformed. (Its insistence that the Bush administration was low-balling the bill's costs turned out to be correct.) His attacks were so aggressive -- "name-calling," as one attendee described it -- that many Republicans left muttering that DeLay had crossed a line.
I don't often rant, but I've got a bug up my ass about something said on Orkut. I'm spending way too much time over there.
First of all, I wonder if you are familiar with NSBE. Check out nsbe.org. And I say yes it is 'elitist' to study Analytical Geometry (second year calculus) when so many blackfolks struggle to get a 400 math on their SAT. But there are blackfolks who got it goin' on like that. But I would put my foot down on anybody who has beef with this organization. Do they go back to the community? All the time. They say do the math - no excuses. That's why we have black engineers today.
Now back in the 80s it was my job (and I was elected by black people to do this job, twice) to be in charge of getting money so this organization could survive and do its job. The program I designed and administered brought in over a quarter of a million dollars of corporate money per year. But I could do so only because I had good grades, a part time job and time and energy to do so. As it happens, a brother that pledges Alpha, holds down a 3.5GPA and has a corporate internship needs support too. So I had to look where? UP. So I did, and I found the support I needed. But that also means that there is a black community out there who isn't spending all their effort trying to get gangbangers out of jail or help teenage mothers get off drugs or complaining about Nelly videos.
That means there are some 'elitist' blacks out there helping other 'elitist' blacks get to the point where 'money aint a thing'. And if you truly believe in the kind of work that takes highschool students who are willing and able to become college students of engineering, or medicine or law, then you have to support that 'elitist' cause. Still, all that was at the level of black students getting money from white owned corporations. Where are the black corporations? Well they are coming, from people like me.
Now start talking community activism with Democrats and what do you hear? TONS of disrespect for 'elitists' like me and Dr. Cosby who donated $20 million to Spelman. When you talk to Republicans what do you hear? You hear what is it we need to do to help people build small businesses and corporations. That's what you hear. Local politics. So I'm going where I get support? UP.
When I hear blackfolks complain about Republicans, they have to go all the way to Haiti or Iraq or the White House to start their beef. But when it comes to local politics, they don't know shit and they don't do shit. I've been there and done that with community activism, and it wasn't that hard - I did it while I was still in college with the aid of thousands of dollars. So the bottom line question to people who expect to be effective is where are you going to get the money? Are you going to get it from white liberal charity, or from black owned businesses and corporations? You think on that question a while and tell me who's selling out.
I've had a little time to reflect on what I think manifested itself this week in the controversy over Cosby. Professor Kim has the most detailed analysis I've seen.
As I've said before, there is a battle for the soul of blackness itself. There is no singular black leadership, and no particular need for one. So into that vacuum are a number of contingent groups trying to own black. I'm certainly a partisan in that representing what I call the Old School. There are many ways of breaking out the groups of African Americans, and I'm not the first to suggest that our class boundaries are somewhat different that those of the mainstream. Still, I tend to think class, as it's generally understood, is an adequate explaination. Nevertheless I am also compelled to note the way a form of anti-black prejudice takes in these battles.
By any standard Bill Cosby is an extraordinary man. People tend to forget that his book, Fatherhood, was a huge success. Cosby stood in the late 80s as one of the lone exemplars of the urban professional who was not just an old ex-yuppie. A man with his share of triumphs and tragedies, Cosby was America's Dad. He was the man who famously told Eddie Murphy to chill on the profanity, even when the whole country was laughing along with Eddie. He's a great promoter of college education and has been, for as long as I can remember, a big patron of the Penn Relays. I could go on, but I'll let AARP do some talking. Notably:
Cosby has also been a major contributor to education over the years. In 1989, he set a philanthropy record by awarding $20 million to Spelman College, an African-American liberal arts school for women outside Atlanta. The majority of the gift was used for construction of the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Academic Center, in honor of his wife of nearly 40 years, who also holds a doctorate in education and continues to support the cause. The remainder funded a Cosby-endowed professorship in the arts.
So what is it that causes ordinary blackfolks to take umbrage at the statements of this extraordinary man? Beyond the partisan fight, I believe that there is a prejudice that this black man cannot be that correct. By what authority does any black man tell others how to live?
I am reacting, of course, to some black liberal reactions I have seen on the 'net calling Cosby a sellout and worse. Dyson calling him ignorant is piece of unreality I find hard to swallow, but I'm sure Dyson can figure a way to fast-talk his way out of that. But I'm also reacting to the white conservative reactions which have popped up. They are two sides of the same coin. Black liberals are astonished at the nerve of a black man who dares to criticize dysfunctional blacks. White conservatives are astonished at the nerve of a black man who dares criticize dysfunctional blacks. The fundamental agreement between these groups is disbelief, both undercutting Cosby with anti-black prejudice. One from the perspective that he can't be trusted from now on the other from the perspective that he couldn't be trusted until now. And yet, from the perspective of conservative and successful black families, there's nothing new in Cosby's utterances. Indeed one black blogger noted that the only interesting thing about the whole dustup was that Cosby said it and not his mom.
Of course none of this would matter if it weren't for the fact that Dr. Cosby is right. But it is a significant indicator of the political difficulties conservative, well educated and economically successful African Americans will have simply speaking the truth they know, as shifting political opinions to the left and right stare in disbelief. Be that as it may, we in the Old School can once again take comfort in the words of DuBois.
I'm sure you must have heard by now about the German couple who didn't know they had to have sex in order to get pregnant. If you didn't, here's the scoop.
As far as I'm concerned they are perfect candidates for the Darwin Awards. But what about the people who are actually getting them into sex therapy? Stop being do-gooders. This couple and their religious sect were doing us all a favor.
You have got to read this. Split your sides and think deeply at once. Damn!
I want that "Public Support" meter to rise and fall according to Troops Lost, Length of Conflict, Innocents Killed and Whether or Not There is Anything Else On TV That Week. I want to lose 200 Public Support points because, in a war where 8,000 units have been lost, one of my Mutalisks happened to be caught on video accidentally eating one clergyman. Then, later, my destruction of an entire enemy city goes unnoticed because the Nude Zero-Gravity Futureball championship went into overtime.
I would like to take some time to illustrate my political purposes going forward and paint my vision, putting it in the context of where I'm coming from.
There are three elements of my political activity that are in play right now. As well, things are jumping off in my business as well, so that plays directly with what kind of time and priority I have.
I am starting up a chapter of the California College of Republicans in the 47th Assembly District of my state. This is the place where I grew up. This is about flesh and blood, face to face grass roots Republican politics. It's about being part of the machine. And I expect it to be part of the home base for black conservative bourgie LA. The Dons, Ladera, View Park and all that is in the mix. But it is naturally, inclusive of all the folks of Southwest LA.
At some point, CCR 47 is going to have a community blogs, mailing list, bulletin board service and all that.
Keeping It Right is a brand new discussion list for conservative, right wing, libertarian, and republican-oriented African American bloggers. Or primary effort at conception is to get our collective act together. At the moment it's all about the top black bloggers on the right side working together to increase our visibility such that we don't get overlooked. That's all it is right now, it can grow.
Vision Circle is a group blog dedicated to serious black politics. It is generally, of the Old School bent basically because of the personal orientation and experience of the two people who write there, myself and Dr. Spence. Our schedules are tight so volume is low right now. The point of Vision Circle is to get people with some very clear thinking, an academic level of discipline, and/or lots of hands on political experience to deal with the issues, and most importantly policy positions of African Americans.
When people complain that there is no substance to Al Sharpton's campaigns or policies, we want them to know that Vision Cirle exists. It's for grown folks. In many ways Vision Circle is an online policy think tank. It is not about activism, but thoughtful commentary and review of law and govnerment policy.
Looking forward, there are several things I would like to see. One is an authoritative black group blog producing work on par with the major bloggers. Quite frankly I am very annoyed that when black politics gets in the news that blogs other than those run by blackfolks are getting the traffic. This is the summary of a slight gripe that has grown a bit with no disrespect to non-black bloggers. If and when it happens, there is going to have to be two, because I simply don't see Lynn Johnson and La Shawn Barber writing for the same group blog. That is all good.
But let me be clear that I don't see this as simply a left, right split. Vision Circle still stands as the policy joint. See? It may or may not be a synthesis. I just think that it's important to separate partisan advocacy from policy discussion - to the extent that is possible.
So that's basically the way I see things. Grass Roots (CCR47), Advocacy (KIR) and Policy & Analysis (VC).
Saturday morning was fabulous. I made my semi-regular trip over to Ofari's. This time I was there to meet some folks who are helping me get started with my chapter of the CCR. It turned out, however, to be a real blockbuster of a visit.
Although I didn't take complete advantage of it, I had an opportunity to meet with Bernard Parks, the Councilman of the 10th District and former Chief of Police. I don't know why people still take seriously the notion that Magic Johnson's destiny is to be Mayor while Parks is still around and interested. Again, I didn't speak with him, but I'll tell you that he's larger than life.
The main panel before Parks consisted of Anne-Marie Johnson who is a political animal of fearsome breeding, the legendary basso profundo Lee Bailey of Radioscope fame, a woman whose name I forget who runs the country's largest black film festival, and my frat brother Joseph C. Phillips (!). The subject was Soul Plane, the latest ghetto fabulous production out of Hollywood. Our panelists were generally full of piss and vinegar about the matter, especially Johnson, but all conceded that this is the way the market works. I keep forgetting to hog the mic when I come to Ofari's, then again I have a blog for my full set of opinions.
I am of two minds when it comes to ghetto fabulous entertainment. The first and foremost is the Uppity Position, the second and significant is the Belle Isle Picnic Position. In either case, it speaks to a real difference between real people, but as far as black pride goes, you have to be proud of who you are. Take care of your family and values, and stop worrying about what other people think. Be a minority within a minority within a fragment of a demographic sliver. Just be proud of it.
I don't know what's wrong with people who even care about what Hollywood films say about black people. If you can't get the right 'message' out there, so what? If it isn't taught at university it's just peasant bullcrap anyway. Why lose sleep over that? Anything 'other' people think about you and your people is not confirmed or denied by Soul Plane or Scary Movie 3 or American Pie or whatever. Stop whining and ignore this trash, and don't respect anyone who takes it seriously. Period.
Belle Isle Picnic Position
If you do like watermelon and biscuits for breakfast, then you should count your blessings that there is a ghetto fabulous movie for you. Here is mass entertainment for the masses, isn't it nice that it's a black mass? These stereotypes weren't picked out of thin air, they represent real black folks. Real tacky black folks but real nonetheless. Give the tacky people a break and be happy for them. This is their movie. What does that hurt?
As for me, I'll probably get the bootleg.
But seriously for a moment, I should reiterate that I don't believe in the moral persuasion nor effectiveness of consumer boycotts. It underscores the market forces without making a significant difference. The consciousness attending such efforts is fleeting and only gratifying to activists, who aren't truly leading anyone but glomming onto the demographic already targetted by the manufacturer. The attention given activists is codpendent on the marketing budget. So their agenda is also controlled by the manufacturer.
So the thing that really annoys me most is that those people who have the Uppity Position (who are something of a minority when it comes to what Hollywood percieves to be the African American market) spent too much time hating on what the Belle Isle Picnic people are obviously going to pay to go see instead of pubbing up their own efforts. Why did I not remember the name of the woman who runs the biggest African American independent film festival? It's precisely because everyone on the panel spent too much time grumbling about the significance of the negative, and what that 'means' about race and stereotypes.
Again, the little white man in some black heads still isn't dead. Worrying about what whitefolks think will drive you to drink. It's precisely because there will always be some who believe just what you fear. What these insufficiently proud African Americans forget is that Hollywood is irrelevant to that racist thinking. The Klan doesn't need Soul Plane as an excuse. And nobody needs white liberal guilt shushing people in sensitive response to the bleating boycotters.
I blame Ofari because this is the way he does things. What needed to happen was to pub up the Film Festival and dis Soul Plane en passant. Then again, maybe so many people wouldn't have shown up if they didn't have a chance to spit on Soul Plane.
The Crenshaw Strip has a history that has never been told, but it lives on in memory. Over on Orkut's Angry Black Man community (the most jumpin' off set in the whole joint) the subject turned to Chicken.
That's funny because the other night at the Comedy and Magic Club, where they were joking about naked pyramids, a black comic tossed out a line that I never heard before. 'More nervous than a black family's pet chicken'. Cracked me up, because we had a pet chicken. He didn't last. On the other hand, the girl across the street had one and treated it like a kid sister. But I digress.
Yeah man, I used to always go to Pioneer Chicken just off of Crenshaw next to Boy's Market. You used to be able to buy had a bucket of fried gizzards. Man that was the bomb! Gizzards and Orange Whip! Pioneer Pete and that whole western theme. Best batter in the western hemisphere, worst service on the planet. A bittersweet experience every time.
Now if you want to go back, you cannot overlook Chicken Delight on Adams between Normandie and Vermont (on the south side). Nor can you forget Jim Dandy Chicken. Jim Dandy used to right at Crenshaw and Jefferson. That's where you could get a half pint of fried clams. Wooo! And of course no story about Los Angeles and Chicken would be complete without Golden Bird, the proprietors who have always been.. well, significant figures in the seditty community.
That's just the chicken. I can still remember the first time I ever went to Fatburger. Yeah, the original one on Western just north of Jefferson. That nasty little shack had the best burger. It was after church at St. John's, and my would-be girl and her mom (who is now practically a bishop in the Episcopal Church) used to stop by there all the time. They had to take me home one time and so I had my first Fatburger when sometime in 1978. It changed my life because since then I've always looked for dumpy fastfood joints to deliver way beyond what they appear capable of delivering.
It was in that spirit that I did find Oki Dog. I'm talking about the Oki Dog on Santa Monica Blvd. That trashy, nasty joint with all the junior hoodlums and runaway kids and boozy bums with post-traumatic whatever that's called. The Oki Dog is actually two hot dogs smothered in chili and cheese topped with pastrami wrapped in a flour tortilla instead of a hot dog bun. It is by far the epitome of junk food and has yet to be topped in any universe.
Back to my 'hood. Now if you can remember this joint, you're showing your age. But who could forget the Nubian Queen. The NQ was by far the nicest restaurant ever to hit the black community (back when we were all just one black community). Right on Crenshaw half a block south of Adams, the Nubian Queen had all the ambience of that Michael Jackson video 'Do You Remember the Time'. It was that slick. The service was good, polite and the food was good. They went broke within a year, but for one shining moment...
Right next door, and probably still there is Leo's BBQ. I cannot remember a time when Leo's didn't exist. It was probably there when the Windmill was still on Adams and Crenshaw and the owner of the chinese laundry still wore a queue. That's some LA history for yo' ass! Of course Johnnies Pastrami Stand is still there. Johnnies was scene of so many interesting and dangerous nights in my imagination. Whenever pops went to get a sandwich or two, I was always afraid to leave the car. It was populated with 'the element'; the real pimps. You see, West Adams, for all its churches on the hill, and more that a few motels further west, and strangely beautiful women with no place to go. I always used to ask my father why anybody would want to have their vacation in this neighborhood. It was a long time before I understood why he used to crack up at that question.
El Rey was the coolest taco stand around. Over on Santa Barbara and Arlington (or was it Western?), you could get them to make you a suicide - orange soda mixed with root beer. I never was much into the tacos, but I always got thirsty driving by. I also used to drool at the waitress drawn on the side of a little bar called the House of Dimes on Jefferson just west of Western around the corner from Fatburger. How many black boys would stare at that miniskirt on the green wall? There must have been thousands with that same memory.
One of these days, I'll probably visit all of the old black bars and dives that I never bothered to in my 20s when I finally got over my fears. I wonder if their stories will ever be told. Here's to hope.
The second time I went to the UK, I hung out with a bunch of blokes in the midlands. As far as I was concerned it was about as deep into the boondocks as anyone could possibly. A cute village where property never changes hands and if you are unfortunate to land there, it suddenly becomes apparent why 13 year old kids get sopping drunk. It's BORING.
On the other hand, this lack of cosmopolite diversions makes for excellent chumminess. You have nothing to do but hang out at the pub with your mates and delve into several degrees of honest conversation beyond which you might encounter on this side of the pond. At least that was the impression I got when one bloke told me something about my drinking preferences.
I was working there to solve a database performance problem, this being the 90s and all. And once I finally nailed it, it was cheers and smiles all round. But before I had gained everyone's full confidence they at least had the courtesy of sharing tea and coffee as was their tradition. I wasn't a big coffee drinker and I told them so, I'd rather sample the kinds of beverages I'd never seen before in the states. And after a few trials of this and that, I settled on Lucozade. This rather freaked out my host, but he couldn't refrain from laughing. You see, in the UK at the time, me ordering a Lucozade was the equivalent of me ordering a fried-chicken and watermelon sandwich.
After he finished cracking up, he told me what was so funny. I found the whole thing curious and memorable, but I wasn't put off by it in any way. At some point later I recall a similar reference in a Martin Amis novel. Funny that in a country where they sell grape soda with as much alcohol as beers, that they talk shite about Lucozade. Odd thing stereotypes.
Fast forward to now. About one month ago this week, I finally had one of those energy drinks that people waste their money on. This one was called Monster. I took one drink and I was transported back to Stratford upon Avon. I didn't think much of it until yesterday I had yet another energy drink. This one is called Merlins. Hold on here. What's this? The same damned taste.
I suppose there are only so many good ideas in the world. The trick is getting the marketing budget.
I've already heard some naked pyramid jokes. I knew it would only be a matter of time. I don't think it's particularly significant that people drunk at a comedy club would yuk it up about things (that was the context), but I do think it significant that sensible, sober people will. And that's what's about to happen next. I predict.
As of this moment I am ranked 1710 in the city of Paris for Project Gotham Racing 2. I've been playing it all night. There are several new tracks and cars that are finally downloadable from XBox Live for the game. It costs 5 bucks and of course it's more than worth it.
There are a couple of really good tracks. Several of which (of course) run around the traffic circle at L'Arc du Triumphe. There's a really nice tri-oval called Les Deux Ponts (The Two Bridges) which I predict is going to be the Paris equivalent of KGB Corner. It's fast. And there are some interesting hairpins and cresting turns that throw you a curve. But by far the most challenging aspects of the new Paris tracks are the traffic circles. There are some you can more or less take a straight line through, some you have to angle towards and accellerate through and some where you have to slow down and do a chicane-like maneuver. Sometimes there are two of them and you have to remember which side is deadly depending on which direction you're going. These dividers are trickier than the ones in Chicago, so be prepared.
The playing field is leveled a bit. The TVR Cerbera Speed 12 is available in the download. Ha ha to all you scrubs who paid 30 bucks for the cheat. I've heard that the color glitch has been fixed, but I haven't verified that.
There are seven new cars in the download including the Speed 12. The most fun to drive so far is the Ferarri 288 GTO. It's got nice accelleration and speed and it's a real slider. Somebody said that it's the one Magnum PI used to drive, but that was a 308. They look very much alike. Also the new BMW 645 and the Corvette C6 are included. The 'Vette's about the same as the Z06 with a slightly growlier engine and what seems to be taller gearing. The BMW has amazing brakes. The others I have yet to try.
Interestingly enough, there's no weather selections when you're hosting Paris. I would have really liked to have seen the Eiffel Tower at night, but.. il n'est pas possible. Alors..
Several folks are frothing at the mouth over Bill Cosby's admonishments. The best quote I can find is as follows: Note my bold emphasis
"Ladies and gentlemen, the lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids – $500 sneakers for what? And won't spend $200 for 'Hooked on Phonics.' They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English. I can't even talk the way these people talk: 'Why you ain't,' 'Where you is' ... And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk. ... Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. ... You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth!
Lots of conservative commentators show how few blackfolks they know by being dead flat shocked by such talk. Over here in the Old School it was our bread and butter. Nobody knows class warfare like us uppity negroes. But Cosby is not engage in warfare, it's simply the kind of thing you hear from blackfolks with strong families and values. This should come as no surprise to our white conservative cousins, but apparently not enough of them are linked over to Cobb (and the upcoming black right league).
I should take a moment for those of you following this story to link you to Joseph C. Phillips, who was a young star of the Cosby Show and is very well tied into Republican politics. We've been in communications on and off, for some time.
I may or may not get into a detailed analysis of the statements and the reactions, but all I'm saying right now is this. This is not new.
I remember that the RocketBook was a good idea, priced entirely too high. I wonder if it could make a comeback.
This device only costs 1200 bucks, which is the cost of a good laptop. But for musicians the benefit is readily apparent.
Kurt Bester, 48, a pianist and composer who also tested the device, said it had freed him from fumbling with paper when he plays since he can turn the page by tapping the screen or pressing a foot pedal. The bright screen helps him read music in dark rooms, take notes and even archive music he writes before it has been printed.
"This is my sheet-music iPod," he said.
I'm sure the thing has a foot pedal so that you can turn the page without having to let your fingers leave your instrument, which by itself is well worth it. But what's fascinating about Freehand's innovation is the price point.
Remember that Tivos now cost about 200 bucks. Considering how much has been crammed onto the Microsoft and Apple platforms, not to mention game consoles, PDA and cell phones, there must be a wide variety of special purpose devices that professionals could use much better than a PC.
I think this could be an important development.
Ellis Cose has put together a remarkable report on the state of American eduction in the post-Brown years which includes some very important survey information as well as.. well everything.
From the report:
Brown was so much more than just another lawsuit. “Brown led to the sit-ins, the freedom marches … the Civil Rights Act of 1964. … If you look at Brown as … the icebreaker that broke up the sea, that frozen sea, then you will see it was an unequivocal success,” declared Jack Greenberg, former head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and one of the lawyers who litigated Brown. Clearly Brown altered forever, and for the better, the political and social landscape of an insufficiently conscience stricken nation. It succeeded, as Greenberg attests, in dramatically shaking things up and, in the process, of transforming a reluctant America. Yet, measured purely by its effects on the poor schoolchildren of color at its center, Brown is a disappointment—in many respects, a failure. Between past hopes and current results lies an abyss filled with forsaken dreams. So this commemoration, this toasting of the heroes of who slew Jim Crow, is muted by the realization that Brown was not nearly enough.
A year or so ago, back when I still had patience for it, I used to keep up with the writings over at Discriminations. I've since concluded that the author, while well intentioned, is dainty and lacking in historical perspective. In one of his harangues, he cheers on the closing of minority apprenticeship programs at universities like MIT. My biographical response is below.
One of the most difficult things about defending a proper Affirmative Action has to do with the notion that 'a leg up' should work at multiple levels of society. The presumptive liberal justification for Affirmative Action is that it is a species of welfare designed purely to raise the poorest blacks to a socially acceptable level. So you hear much grumbling about the fact that middle class blacks get Affirmative Action. However if you take Affirmative Action as I do, as not merely an economic, but a social integrator, then you see its value as something that empowers the society of blacks it was conceived to benefit. When blacks in the middle class and even upper middle class recieve Affirmative Action benefits, they open up to the community of blackfolks, valuable and hertofore unknown knowledge about the inner workings of the highest parts of society.
Ellis Cose writes of the dilemmas facing blacks in the middle and upper middle classes in his book 'The Rage of a Privileged Class'. What all of my peers confirm is their frustration with their underemployment. It is a problem which hardly ever sees the light of public debate. This lack is part and parcel of the presumption that the suppressed status of the African American requires only marginal remedies, that any black person not in deprivation ought to be grateful for what they get, that affluent blacks have no complaint worthy of attention and all other such injuntions against the Uppity Negro.
With that preface, my response:
my parents were sociologists, but i learned to program computers when i was 13 years old in 1974. i could explain nuclear fusion and fission in the 7th grade and independently figured out negative numbers when i was 9.
as a national achievement finalist (and national merit semifinalist) i was invited to the mite program. i regularly scored in the high 80th percentiles on all standardized tests. but i was a junior in highschool before i ever even *heard* of MIT.
I am writing a critique of a 1986 article of Cornel West's called 'Unmasking the Black Conservatives'. But it's actually more interesting to follow the arc of the careers of the people he wrote about, and so I'm sidetracked at the moment.
Since he's a regular writer, I've included Walter Williams into the blogroll. I find it rather amazing that he manages to keep such a low profile considering: Dr. Walter E. Williams holds a B.A. in economics from California State University, Los Angeles, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from UCLA. He also holds a Doctor of Humane Letters from Virginia Union University and Grove City College, Doctor of Laws from Washington and Jefferson College and Doctor Honoris Causa en Ciencias Sociales from Universidad Francisco Marroquin, in Guatemala, where he is also Professor Honorario.
Dr. Williams has served on the faculty of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics, since 1980; from 1995 to 2001, he served as department chairman. He has also served on the faculties of Los Angeles City College, California State University Los Angeles, and Temple University in Philadelphia, and Grove City College, Grove City, Pa.
Robert L. Woodson, Sr., is founder and president of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise (NCNE). Often referred to as the godfather of the movement to empower neighborhood-based organizations, Bob Woodson's social activism dates back to the 1960's, when as a young civil rights activist, he developed and coordinated national and local community development programs. During the 70's he directed the National Urban League's Administration of Justice division and then served as a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
My daughter just bought a crucifix for her best friend who is a Jehovah's Witness. My wife intercepted the gift and asked me to research first. I came across a tirade of 'facts' that may or may not be true. For what it's worth, it's an astounding compilation. Despite it's inflammatory nature, I think it's a safe bet that the crucifix is not a hot idea.
Sarin is found in Iraq. AHawk says it all.
Lastly, if you're pleased with the use of Sarin against anyone, anywhere, because it helps you score political points, you're a monstrous excuse for a human being, and should kill yourself at the earliest possible convenience. Preferably with Sarin, for that extra bit of irony that the kids are all into these days.
One of the oddities of my Jazz knowledge and my musical knowledge in general is that it is inarticulate. I know that I know Elvin Jones, and I think that my favorite of his work is on 'Countdown' from the Giant Steps album, but since I can't find the CD, I cannot be sure.
I just know he died, playing all the way to the end.
All my 'trane is in the mp3 mix today. Rest in Peace.
So what is going on here? Has Google run out of server juice? For the third time this week, Orkut has been out of commission. And there are reports that GMail had a bug that lets you have a terabyte of storage instead of a gigabyte.
I think some of the operators at Google have been wringing their hands in IPO anticipation instead of having them on the switch.
Hate is too strong a term. How about using the terms over at BookerRising? 'We' means African Americans.
Hip hop influence on kids: 52% negative, 23% neutral, 18% positive
Ages 18-29: 42% hip hop a negative influence, 28% neutral, 24% positive
Ages 30-44: 52% hip hop a negative influence, 22% neutral, 20% positive
Ages 45-54: 55% hip hop a negative influence, 24% neutral, 16% positive
Ages 55-64: 55% hip hop a negative influence, 17% neutral, 14% positive
Ages 65+: 58% hip hop a negative influence, 25% neutral, 6% positive
There's some really fascinating statistical data over that way. Do check it out. Although there's one I find difficult to believe which was that in 1950 only 8% of African Americans had highschool diplomas. Amazing if true.
Check out this international standard for 3rd & 4th Grade Math from TIMMS.
TIMSS is a collaborative research project sponsored by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). In 1994-95, achievement tests in mathematics and science were administered to carefully selected samples of students in classrooms around the world. With more than 40 countries participating, five grades assessed in two school subjects, more than half a million students tested in more than 30 languages, and millions of open-ended responses generated, TIMSS is the largest and most ambitious study of comparative educational achievement ever undertaken.