Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Misc. news

Here's a roundup of some of the events making the news. Pull up a chair:


Scientists: The new magicians
According to this article, British scientists have figured out how to leviate small objects. I wish the article did a better job of explaining the process to those of us who suck at science and physics. But all the same, this is pretty amazing to me.
More over David Blaine. Get outta the way Criss Angel. It seems that science has got your number.


Intel, racism inside?
After heated opposition from protesters, Intel has removed what has been considered a racially offensive ad. Many folks in the media, the blogosphere, and the general public have been in an uproar over the now infamous Intel ad which features a white man in the center of multiple black track athletes. The caption in the ad states that Intel can “Multiply computing performance and maximize the power of your employees”.

I guess on the one hand, I can clearly see the racist undertone. Picturing black men as some sort of symbol of labor (it didn’t help that these men, though clearly track runners in their starting position, appear to be bowing). And, yes, Intel should’ve put a little more thought into the ad. But is this really cause for uprising? You be the judge.

Guilty until proven innocent
As it turns out, our trusty government also needs a little oversight themselves every now and then. Not only have they been known to botch many cases that destroy the lives of innocent people, they even occasionally set them up outright.

According to sources four men were exonerated after secret F.B.I. memos were uncovered proving that the Feds deliberately withheld critical information during a trial in 1968. The memos indicated that mob hitmen Joseph “The Animal” Barboza; also the government’s key witness, had lied when he said the four men had killed another, low-level mobster. $100 million is reportedly being used as compensation for the men's false imprisonments.

Cases like this remind me that not only is our form of “justice” not blind, but it can be downright evil.

A break from the action. Well, sort of...
While American soldiers and Iraqi civilians continue to lose their lives the Iraqi Parliament is on a month-long vacation. This coming right before Congress also took their leave. In a somewhat related story, a significant Sunni bloc has withdrawn itself from the Iraqi Parliament. All of this provides further evidence that any so-called political reconciliation will not be accomplished any time soon. Indeed, this is the “stable” government for whom over 3500 soldiers and tens of thousands civilians have died.

Personally I think we should leave it up to the members of the Executive and Legislative Branches to go to each family who has lost a solider and personally tell them that while their sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers are getting killed, they’re going on vacation.

Iraq's gone Gonzo
I couldn't make this one up if I tried. Apparently, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has visited Iraq to offer his assessment on the state of the nation's justice system. Um. Let me repeat that, just in case you didn't hear me correctly the first time. Alberto "I don't recall" Gonzales is offering his assessment on Iraq's justice system. Seriously folks; using Gonzales as a spokesperson for a good justice system is like using Michael Vick as a spokesperson for PETA. It's like using B.ET. as an outlet to combat negative images about black people (Never mind. They already tried. And failed).

Then again, perhaps this move is being done to reinforce the ever-so incredible contributions we've made to Iraq thus far. Yeah. I'm glad you got the joke too.

House passes wiretapping bill
Despite being controlled by Democrats, the House of Representatives recently passed a bill allowing the government to eavesdrop on foreign suspects whose communications pass through the United States. This bill, an extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows the government to warrantlessly intercept and listen in on any conversations transmitted to the U.S.; even if the suspect is not directly tied to any terrorist organizations.

To the House Democrats: thank you for allowing this bill to pass. For a minute there, I almost forget why I don't respect you.

The Romney sacrifice
I've always tried to give Mitt Romney a chance. Though I tend not to like the filthy-rich CEO, GOP types, I was willing to overlook that for him. But after an off-the-wall statement he recently made, I'm done with him for good. When asked why none of his age-appropriate sons were serving in Iraq, good ole Mitt said:

"It's remarkable how we can show our support for our nation, and one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected, because they think I'd be a great president. My son, Josh, bought the family Winnebago and has visited 99 counties, most of them with his three kids and his wife. And I respect that and respect all of those in the way they serve this great country"

Yep. That's what he said. Helping their wealthy dad get elected and traveling around in a Winnebago does just as much service to this country as dying, losing a limb, or watching a similar fate befall one of your friends. OK.

He later tried to cover his tracks by saying:

"I didn't mean in any way to compare service in the country with my boys in any way. Service in this country is an extraordinary sacrifice being made by individuals and their families."

I guess his lame apology was enough to at least secure Iowa's Republican Straw Vote. Congrats for dodging a bullet Mitt. Or was it the money that saved you?

More Congressional corruption
Though rumors and accusations of corruption have been building up against Republican Senator Ted Stevens and his son for years, there has finally been some action taken against them. According to reports:

FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents searched the Alaska home of veteran Sen. Ted Stevens Monday amid a corruption probe that has already snared two oil-company executives and a state lobbyist. Source

Frankly, nothing about this party surprises me any more. For that matter, nothing about this entire Congressional body surprises me any more. I’ve given up on them a long time ago. I’d like to see them all go; not least of all Sen. Stevens. I’ve all but given up believing that politicians are honest and that they don’t – nor have they ever – worked in the interest of the people who elected them.

The end of an error
Deputy Chief of Staff and sinister mastermind Karl Rove has submitted his resignation. Rove, chief political strategist and the proclaimed "architect" for President Bush is giving it all up as of August 31st.

More than likely, with Rove distancing himself from Washington, any attempts to bring him or the White House down will be moot at this point. I highly doubt that most people will look past their own jubiliation over his leaving to remember that this is the infamous Karl Rove; the very guy who put this moron of a president in office. I'll continue to be amazed at how people can come in; lie, cheat, and steal their way into office, then make a clean getaway without so much as a peep of opposition. Stupid Democrats...

Our government makes people sick. Literally.
This story is a little old, but still worth mentioning. According to reports, many Hurricane Katrina evacuees have testified to getting sick because of levels of formaldeyhyde toxins found in their government sponsored trailers. This looks like a job for...FEMA!

Murderous pastor's wife may go goes free
According to CNN, Mary Winkler the 33-year-old who admittedly killed her minister husband will likely has walked. According to lawyers Winkler will be has been released after she served five months in jail before her trial and another two months in a mental institute.

This story proves two contentions that I have: (1) Murder is apparently OK if your husband is abusive. Simply leaving him is overrated, (2) White, middle-aged women who claim insanity have a much better chance of beating the system than anyone else.

The Jena Six
As far as I can tell, there haven't been any new developments on the story of the Jena six. For those of you who haven't been following the story, six black youth in Jena, Louisiana face the possibility of 100 years in prison for assaulting a white youth in a school fight. They're being charged with attempted murder and conspiracy of all things.

The city of Jena has been in the spotlight lately because of all the racial tension that has emerged. Including in this racial tension are the two recent incidents: (1) where three nooses were found under a "whites only" shadetree after a black student sat under it and (2): When black students at a convenience store were threatened by a young white man with a shotgun. They wrestled the gun from him and ran away. While no charges were filed against the white man, the black students were arrested for the theft of the gun.

All I know is that I'm ashamed to live in a country where this type of racial conflict can so easily go against one group, while many of the real culprits are walking free. Remember what I just said about being a middle-aged white woman?

Bad parenting of the tragic type
File this one under "Things we can't blame on racism". Semetta Heyward, a 27 year old single mother in South Carolina is being charged with homocide after she left her two children (1 and 4 years old) in a sweltering vehicle while she was at work. Her babysitter flaked on her and her employer wouldn't give her the day off. Since the children's father wasn't around to take care of them (I'm not sure where he was), Heyward took them with her to work; leaving them in the car. After she found them dead, she took them home, bathed and clothed them, and stuff their bodies in garbage bags hidden under her kitchen sink. WTF?!

Even more bad parenting
Here's another installment of "Things we can't blame on racism." Ramona Coleman has been charged with child endangerment after giving her 3-year-old son cocaine and marijuana, thinking that it was "funny". Though Child Protection Services have been attempted to reunite Coleman with her son (why, I don't know...), it's not likely it will happen. According to reports, when she arrived in court for her hearing, she did so while she was high. Again, WTF?!

Newark kids executed
I was sick to my stomach when I heard this story. Three students in Newark were murdered execution style, and another was critically wounded in an apparent robbery attempt. The three students were forced to kneel against the wall of a local high school and were all shot in the head from point blank range. The surviving victim was found close the scene with a gunshot wound to the head. Two of the students were currently enrolled at Delaware State University, and the other two were scheduled to attend in the fall. Interestingly, one of the suspects is an illegal immigrant. Also, in a related story, another murder took place in Newark last week.

I was able to locate the Myspace page of one of the victims, Dashon Harvey. But CNN provided more information about each of the victims.

A brutal attack in Florida
In another sickening story, a Haitian immigrant and her son were brutalized, tortured, robbed, and raped by 10 men in a run-down housing project in Florida. The suspects (two of whom were as young as 14 and 16) raped the woman, beat her 12 year old, and forced to mother to have oral sex with her own son. After the assault, they attempted to cleanse away any evidence using an assortment of cleaners. One solution they used burned the boy's eyes. This story has brought to light (1) the horrific things black folks don't mind doing to one another and (2) what types of things happen in housing projects.

After hearing about most of these stories, I think I'm gonna hold off following the news for a while. I'm not sure if my heart can take much more of this right now. Please continue to pray for this world. God knows we need it.

- ACL

12 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

HeiressChild said...

most of these, i've heard about. really sad. it's almost like anything goes these days. if it's happening in the high places (govt), and they're getting away with it, what more can you expect elsewhere? doesn't make it right, that's for sure.

Cynthia said...

The world is in bad shape indeed.

*PRAYING*

Joanne said...

I'm in agreement with everybody else in that we need to pray now more than ever!

I'd like to address a couple of the stories. I don't follow politics as much as you do. In fact, I don't hear about most of what goes on until I read your blog. So I don't have much to input about that. But I can speak to the other stories.

It shames me to hear stories of how people neglect their children. This is what happens when people have children before they're ready, the nuclear family isn't in tact, and people don't think about their actions. Where are the fathers? Did the parents receive counseling before having children? These days, having children is more of a recreational activiity than it is a responsibility, and the children suffer because of it.

As it relates to the killings and the brutality, they are just sad and unfortunate events that prove that we have a self-hatred for ourselves. You would think that it's harder to inflict hurt on people who look like you and share your experiences. But sadly it's just the opposite.

We need God RIGHT NOW!

The H.C. said...

Good Grief Dre,
This post has a million (O.K. I'm exaggerating a little.) points to cover. Are we going to see another bleeding fingers picture? I've got tons to say but I can't seem to find the time. So for now -Great Post.

KC said...

I'm with HC. There's a lot to cover here. But I'll do my best:

(1) The levitation article was pretty cool, but you're right. It was pretty confusing.

(2) I think the Intel situation is a little overblown. But somebody at Intel should've thought "You know, maybe this isn't a good idea"

(3) With the FBI setting up people, it makes me wonder how often they've framed innocent people, black men especially.

(4) I wonder how many more people are going to die and get hurt while the real warmongers are taking a break. Sad.

(5) Gonzo has robbed the US of any credibility it had left after Bush, Rummy, Rove, Condi, and Cheney got done.

(6) Dre, you might wanna be careful on what you say now that the Democrats have caved in...again.

(7) Romney is no different than any other chickenhawk. Were you expecting something different?

(8) I wonder if Fox News will label Sen. Stevens as a Democrat. LOL!

(9) Karl Rove's gone. Good riddnce

(10) FEMA is and always will be a joke.

(11) The benefits of being white in America; a red state at that. Dog killing will get you time. Killing your husband is OK.

(12) The Jena Six trial amazes me, especially in light of the minister-killing wife story.

(13) I'm so sick of hearing stories about failed black parents. When will we get our acts together? How many more of us need to get killed, hurt, or arrested before we step up our game?

Good post, Andre. Very informative.

Andre said...

@ Heiress: "it's almost like anything goes these days."

No doubt. Tragic.

@ Cyn: "*PRAYING*"

Me too.

@ Joanne: "This is what happens when people have children before they're ready, the nuclear family isn't in tact, and people don't think about their actions. Where are the fathers? Did the parents receive counseling before having children? These days, having children is more of a recreational activiity than it is a responsibility, and the children suffer because of it."

I agree with most of what you said here. The only thing I disagree with is the nuclear family idea. While I support nuclear families, I know -- especially in many parts of the black community -- that "family" extends outside of the nuclear arrangement. You have Godmothers, grandparents, extended familiy, etc. But I get your point.

"As it relates to the killings and the brutality, they are just sad and unfortunate events that prove that we have a self-hatred for ourselves. You would think that it's harder to inflict hurt on people who look like you and share your experiences. But sadly it's just the opposite."

You're right on the money with this assessment. Sad, but true.

@ HC: Sorry for bombarding y'all with all these stories. I started a post that I saved as a draft. But with each piece I added, more news developed. In fact, I forced myself to stop when I did. I didn't think I could take anymore for one day.

Still, maybe I could've divided this into more than one post. My bad. I'm trippin'...

@ KC: Since you took the time to respond to each one of the briefs, I won't bother reiterating things. You already know where I stand; and I with you.

But I will point out a great comment you made. It amazes me as well that Mike Vick is going down big time for dog fighting while this tramp is getting away with murder. I just read that Vick is negotiating a plea agreement; but could still do at least a year. Don't get me wrong: dog-fighting is cruel and inhumane. But what about KILLING ANOTHER HUMAN?! She blew this man away and then drove over 300 miles as a getaway. Yet, she couldn't seem to leave this man before she killed him. And she spent 67 DAYS IN JAIL before she was ultimately released.

Something is definitely wrong with that picture.

HeiressChild said...

shortly after i read this yesterday and left comments, this was on the news--right down the street from me, someone abandoned a 20-month old baby boy in his stroller with a can of tea. just left him in the middle of the sidewalk. one of the store owners noticed the stroller just sitting there, went out and checked, and called police. the little boy is now in protective services and they're searching for the parents.

i never understand how people can do things to anyone, but especially our young and innocent children.

what is a nuclear family? i've never heard the term before.

Andre said...

@ Sylvia: someone abandoned a 20-month old baby boy in his stroller with a can of tea. just left him in the middle of the sidewalk. one of the store owners noticed the stroller just sitting there, went out and checked, and called police. the little boy is now in protective services and they're searching for the parents."

Ridiculous. It's a doggone shame that knuckleheads are out there having children without having a clue on how to take care of them. They either go out and abort unborn children (or as I like to call it, activating their "Get out of responsibility" cards), neglect their born children, or pull ridiculous stunts like this. In the end, the one who suffers most is the child who never asked to be here in the first place.

This is definitely one we can't blame on Republicans.

BTW, Here's the definition of a westernized "nuclear" family. Basically, it's a family with the father, mother, children, cat, dog, and white picket fence.

The H.C. said...

Hey Dre,
I finally found the time.....so here goes.
1) Am I finally going to get my flying car? That's all I want to know.
2)In this day in age, not one person saw that as possibly offensive? Yikes.
3) Is anyone suprised? I was set up once myself. After some of Flint's Finest beat the crap out of my friend they conveniently "found" a bag of pot in our car. We were without. We dropped or charges....they dropped theirs.
4) If it wasn't for all the innocent decent Iraqis, I would join the people who don't care if they all get killed.
5)Alberto Gonzales? Isn't this whole thing with him just about Janet Reno paybacks? Around and around it goes. And we wonder why we still don't have health care, fair education, etc., etc. Then when Hillary gets in, it's the Republicans turn. Does anyone besides me think this is one long distraction to keep us from focusing on what's important? The crime is.....it works very well.
6) I was just discussing this with my boss this morning. Democrats want to run my family. Tell me how to disipline my children, how I should educate them on sex, then they want to take away my right to know when they have major surgery (Abortion). Then the Republicans want to watch me take a shower in case Bin Laden should be in there with me. Between the two of them, I wonder which one will take away my right to mumble how much I hate them both.
7)Your just mad because Romney's going to get the Republican nomination like I told you he would. Face it Andre, a bunch of right-wingers ain't nominating philandering, cross-dressing, Gouliani.
8)@KC O.K., I admit, that was funny.
9)Now who will you Dems blame when your people "get fooled" by G.W.?
10) If you wait for the Government to save you, you will be in the same shape as those people. I promise you.
11)I couldn't care less what color they are....throw them all away. Everyone will be better for it. Black or white.
12)(Please see my previous statement.)
13)@KC The good news is; black people such as yourself are seeing the problem and are moving in the right direction. I wish I could say the same about white people who seem to be degenerating by the minute.

Great post Dre! (You know I love these.)

Saved sinner said...

I also heard about most of these stories. But some of them were new to me.

My heart goes out to the victims of the world. May God allow His perfect peace to fall on them.

Andre said...

@ HC:

1) Am I finally going to get my flying car? That's all I want to know.

If you're like David Blaine or Criss Angel, just use trick photography. You can make anything fly; including cars.

2)In this day in age, not one person saw that as possibly offensive? Yikes.

I know. You'd think global marketing firms and cats with advanced marketing credentials could've thought twice about this. At the very least, you could've thrown a couple of white people in the ad. Sheesh.

3) Is anyone suprised? I was set up once myself. After some of Flint's Finest beat the crap out of my friend they conveniently "found" a bag of pot in our car. We were without. We dropped or charges....they dropped theirs.

You were set up? Probably explains why you decided to add the "Conservative" part to your monicker. They tend to evade the law more than hippies.

4) If it wasn't for all the innocent decent Iraqis, I would join the people who don't care if they all get killed.

No argument there.

5) Alberto Gonzales? Isn't this whole thing with him just about Janet Reno paybacks?

Sort of. But it's also about a guy who advocates torture and the death penalty and who tries to bury Habeus Corpus being the face of the American Justice System. Freaky.
6)Between the two of them, I wonder which one will take away my right to mumble how much I hate them both.

Apparently, stopping pissed off people like you would be the only time Dems and the GOP would ever agree on anything.

7)Your just mad because Romney's going to get the Republican nomination like I told you he would. Face it Andre, a bunch of right-wingers ain't nominating philandering, cross-dressing, Gouliani.

Rudy "Ghoul"iani, "Full-of-s**t" Romney, and John Mc-"Raising Cain" never really scored too high on my likability scale; but I at least gave Romney a chance.

Though I'm not in alignment with most of his views, I think Ron Paul could stir things in Washington as a Republican.

8)@KC O.K., I admit, that was funny.

While you're laughing, I wouldn't doubt if that actually happened.

9)Now who will you Dems blame when your people "get fooled" by G.W.?

Hope you're not including me in "you Dems"...

10) If you wait for the Government to save you, you will be in the same shape as those people. I promise you.

No doubt.

11)I couldn't care less what color they are....throw them all away. Everyone will be better for it. Black or white.

Again, no argument there.

13)@KC The good news is; black people such as yourself are seeing the problem and are moving in the right direction.

I'm not so sure about that entirely. The "crowned" leaders in the black community are spending so much of their time focusing on Imus (who's back, by the way) white-on-black violence, that they ignore one of the fastest growing epidemics; black youth killing each other.

I wish I could say the same about white people who seem to be degenerating by the minute.

Disfunction is non-discriminate. It's people in general who seem to be degenerating.

Andre said...

@ Saved: Hear, hear.