Friday, April 30, 2010

Funny thing happened to me on the way to work today. I usually just wash and press them myself, but the other day when I was at the cleaners to get some slacks out. I asked the owner of the dry cleaners about the special and he told me that if I asked for it I could get my shirts starched and pressed for 1 dollar as a way of saying thanks for the patronage. So this morning I went to the dry cleaners to take some shirts to be laundered, but it was closed until 8am. I thought to myself, "Damn what kind of shit is this a cleaners that is not open early enough for working people to go to on their way to work in the mornings." So interesting that today when I got to school one of my favorite students had a head cold and was going to the bathroom to get toilet tissue and would come back with bundles of balled up tissue of which he would blow his nose once and throw this bundle in the garbage. Thoughtfully and pissed off about the waste I then showed him how to get tissue off the roll is an organized way with a simple continous fold of the tissue. Later we started talking about the waste of the world's resources, the rain forest, zinc, tantalum, titanium, Bill Gates and why he feels obligated to give back to Africa(Read the blog on he 3T's). I then went on the internet and pulled up a article about the deforestaion of rainforest on this planet and the causes. Below I dared to share it with you, please read and share with others. The worlds resources are not infinite and have a limited supply and usage. I have a question; if a person from and industrialized country uses sixty times as much of a resource than a person from a third world country what does he do with it. The answer is "waste it." Example: when you brush your teeth and turn on the cold water do you turn it off after you wet your toothbrush or just let it run while you brush and your teeth. If you let it run where does the water that is running go? Please let us stop wasting.

Causes of Rainforest Destruction Underlying Causes (

More Than Just Poverty and Overpopulation
Poverty and overpopulation are believed to be the main causes of forest loss, according to the international agencies such as the FAO and intergovernmental bodies. They believe they can solve the problem by encouraging development and trying to reduce population growth. However, the World Rainforest Movement and many other non-governmental organisations hold unrestrained development and the excessive consumption habits of rich industrialised countries directly responsible for most forest loss.
1 Development and Overconsumption: the Basic Causes
The World Rainforest Movement's Emergency Call to Action for the Forests and Their Peoples asserts that "deforestation is the inevitable result of the current social and economic policies being carried out in the name development". It is the push for development which gives rise to commercial logging, cash crops, cattle ranching, large dams, colonisation schemes, the dispossession of peasants and indigenous people and the promotion of tourism. Harrison Ngau, an indigenous tribesman from Sarawak, Malaysia and winner of the Goldman Environment Award in 1990, has this to say about why tropical forests are being destroyed:
The roots of the problem of deforestation and waste of resources are located in the industrialised countries, where most of our resources, such as tropical timber end up. The rich nations with one quarter of the world's population consume four fifth of the world's resources. It is the throw away culture of the industrialised countries, now advertised in and forced on to the Third World countries that is leading to the throwing away of the world. Such so-called progress leads to destruction and despair![World Rainforest Movement]

2 Colonialism
Tropical rainforests are found mainly in the Third World countries, Australia and Hawaii being the only exceptions. All of these countries have indigenous populations who had their own system of land management and/or ownership in place for thousand of years before the intervention of colonists from rich industrialised nations. The colonial powers (Britain, France, Spain and Portugal), whilst exploiting the resources of many of these countries, attempted to destroy indigenous peoples' rights to remain on their land. Colonialism turned previously self-sufficient economies into zones of agriculture export production (Colchester and Lohmann). This process continues today and the situation is worsening.
3 Exploitation by Industrialised Countries
Wealthy countries have been consuming so much of their own resources that they are no longer sustaining their growing populations and increasingly, they are turning to the resources of the financially poorer countries. "Twenty per cent of the world's population is using 80 % of the world's resources" (Orams & McQuire).
Currently, although many indigenous people are claiming their culture and rights, they face stubborn opposition, as the governments in their own countries have often 'adopted the same growth-syndrome as their Western neighbours, with the emphasis on maximising exports, revenues and exploiting resources for short-term gain. Corruption in government, the military and economic powers is well known' (Orams & McQuire).
The problem is made worse by the low price for most Third World exports on the international market. The United States has been accused of manipulating prices for agricultural commodities for its own benefit at the expense of tropical countries

4 The Debt Burden
The governments of the financially poorer countries feel they need to make money in order to repay their huge international debts. In the 1970's and 80's, they borrowed vast sums of money from development agencies in industrialised countries in order to improve their own economies. Most are still battling to make repayments due to escalating interest rates (Orams & McQuire).
Since 1987, the flow of debt repayments from Third World countries to rich countries has exceeded the flow of aid money going to Third World countries (RIC). Poor countries feel compelled to exploit their natural resources, including their forests, partly to earn foreign exchange for servicing their debts. Non-government organisations in Third World countries have for many years been pointing out that there is no chance of stopping impoverishment and destruction of nature without a solution to the debt crisis.
For example, in some countries in South-East Asia, the construction of roads for logging operations was funded by Japanese aid. Later, the forests were exploited by Japanese timber companies. The timber companies made the profits and the South-East Asian countries were left owing Japan money for the construction of the roads (Orams & Maquire).

5 The Role of Poverty and Overpopulation
Poverty, while undeniably responsible for much of the damage to rainforests, has to a large extent been brought about by the greed of the rich industrialised nations and the Third World elites who seek to emulate them. Development, which is often seen as the solution to world poverty, seldom helps those whose need is greatest. It is often the cause rather than the cure for poverty.The claim that overpopulation is the cause of deforestation is used by many governments and aid agencies as an excuse for inaction. In tropical countries, pressure from human settlement comes about more from inequitable land distribution that from population pressure. In general, most of the land is owned by a small but powerful elite which displaces poor farmers into rainforest areas. So long as these elites maintain their grip on power, lasting land reform will be difficult to achieve.
Overpopulation is not a problem exclusive to Third World countries. An individual in an industrialised country is likely to consume in the order of sixty times as much of the world's resources as a person in a poor country. The growing populations in rich industrialised nations are therefore responsible for much of the exploitation of the earth, and there is a clear link between the overconsumption in rich countries and deforestation in the tropical forests.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


The Frisbee, slinky, andof course the Hula-Hoop, do you remember these toys? These were toys that sold millions and are still selling today from the 1960's. Remember when all the cheap little trinkets and things were made in China. Not so much anymore according Mr. Daxi Lee, Chairman of the Chinese Association of Businesses. Chinese people do not want menial labor jobs, they only want work in technology. China is the center for tech manufacturing of the world. China produces along with India more college graduates than any country in the world. India is the center for most computer programming in the world. India will graduate as many honor students as we have students. WTF. China graduates 30 percent of their students in engineering. America is behind the eight ball to begin with.
Americans because of lessening skills and education are now happy to have jobs forming plastics toys and working at fast food counters. We are becoming a second class country and the only way we can retain our position in the world is education in technology.
Can you imagine some of our students taking courses for a major in what amounts to a degree in playground. History majors, how many history teacher do we need and how many history experts does NASA need or the DOD (department of defense). Maybe, NASA or the DOD needs a Latin expert or maybe Aramaic expert a language that is not even spoken anymore. Maybe we can find an art major that is planning on becoming a tattoo artist, that will really help the United States. What can a person do with a art history degree? What can a person do with a poetry degree? A major in women studies is totally useless is this needed to become a member of women’s lib organization or maybe an officer of that organization? And WTF is leisure studies? Does this teach you how to make margaritas on the beach and enjoy them under a beach umbrella. Is this an off shoot of a major in hospitality? Come on let’s get real. After the last sentence I wonder the validity of some of the college and universities offering these majors. What kind of college offers leisure studies?
What self respecting college president would allow this as a part of his or her college’s curriculum? What is the board of trustees thinking?” We have money invested in the college and we need a return on our investment.”We can charge $32,000 a year and the parents will pay it for their children to get a 4 year degree in tether ball.” Now, for those who won't get a skill or college degree or is a national security threat because of your party all the time attitude, STOP! Get a skill, preferably a technological skill and put it to some good use. Be an asset to the world not a druggy or drunk.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The End of America As We Know It

WWII Over Money and Land

The Treaty of Versailles

The Treaty of Versailles angered the German people for many reasons. The first was that it was a Diktat ('Dictated Peace'): Germany had no say in the formulation of the treaty and was forced to agree to the terms of the treaty regardless of whether its people liked them or not. Over time, other European powers came to realise that the original terms had been too strict. When Hitler broke the treaty many years later, the reticence of the other powers to react immediately was taken as an indication that many of them agreed with Hitler that the treaty had been implemented wrongly anyway. In effect, the Treaty of Versailles didn't settle any disputes; it created more issues between countries already fractious and struggling to recover from the last war.

A significant sticking point was a clause in the treaty that made provisions for the Rhineland (which borders France and Belgium)to become a demilitarised zone - Germany would be prohibited from stationing any military troops in the Rhineland. Additionally, Germany was ordered to disarm, supposedly the first step towards world disarmament, but no one else was encouraged to join Germany in disarmament. Germany would technically be defenceless should France decide to invade them - which they eventually did in 1923 when Germany was unable to pay the reparations owed to France that year.
Reparations - effectively a 'fine' for the damage done by Germany in 1914-18 - was possibly the most unpopular part of the Treaty of Versailles. At the end of the war, land had been destroyed all over Europe, but especially in France. The treaty said that Germany had to make reparations by paying regular sums of money to France. What this clause failed to recognise was that the war had equally damaged Germany's economy and they simply could not afford to pay. The German solution to this was, in retrospect, foolish - they printed more money. The effect was that the German currency devalued to the point where the economy was on the verge of total collapse. This issue of reparations was eventually solved by the Dawes Plan and Germany were able to pay France again.

The Dawes Plan

The Dawes Plan was created so that Germany could afford their reparations to France, but it also seemed to solve many of the world's money problems. America loaned money to Germany, Germany used it to pay for the reparations, France used it to pay Britain the money they owed, and Britain used it to pay America the money they owed. This seemed to be the perfect solution to everybody's problems, and countries started getting along with each other again. However, it had one major flaw - if anything went wrong, and one of the countries was no longer able to pay another, then conflict would ensue and the economic and diplomatic situation could be worse than it was before. This happened in 1929 with the Great Depression

The Great Depression

The stock market crash in America caused economic strife throughout the world. America could no longer loan Germany money for reparations, and they even wanted the money back. The result was that America went into isolation with the intent of nursing their own economy and avoiding being dragged into another costly European war. Countries all over the world were facing economic crises, and distrust started to form again between countries. Unemployment was high all over the world, and countries solved this problem by creating large armies. The global depression was therefore a contributing cause of the Second World War as it gave Germany an excuse to break the Treaty of Versailles and establish larger armed forces on their own turf.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Value of Slavery in the South During the Confederacy

"Confederacy Month", I thought it was Slavery Celebration Month."

It’s a good thing I was at home when I read this sentence, because I would have scared the shit out of the coffee shop crowd when I hollered out. Between that and the woman last night on Twitter who kept insisting to me that Obama has “failed”, even as the man on my TV recounted the number of nuclear non-proliferation deals the president got done this week, I am convinced that these Tea Baggers and militia men and and Governors Bob McConnell and Haley Barbour have fallen down a rabbit hole, and are now watching real life from behind a glass enclosure, where a mixture of laughing gas and goofer dust is being pumped into the air they breathe.

The headline I saw a couple of days ago over at Talking Points Memo read “VA Gov McDonnell Institutes Writing Test For Felons Seeking Voting Rights.” It won’t take USA TODAY 24 hours to come up with a color coded chart that shows in graphic detail how many of these felons are minorities. Bob McConnell is obviously trying to get his “Cracker Cred” up to snuff. Or maybe the dumb ass political consultant with the slicked back hair, the one the Virginia state GOP is paying waay, waay too much for this kind of advice, is smoking rufeys for breakfast before he jumps on the strategy conference call. But even if he were, BOB - cause you don’t deserve to be called “Governor” of shit right now – wouldn’t you realize, when someone threw this out there as an idea, that it is politically tone deaf? Do you think you only serve the people who voted for you, and not your entire state?

For those of you who have no idea what the Civil War was all about:
By 1860 there were approximately 4,000,000 slaves in the United States, the second largest slave society--slave population--in the world. The only one larger was Russian serfdom. Brazil was close. But in 1860 American slaves, as a financial asset, were worth approximately three and a half billion dollars--that's just as property. Three and a half billion dollars was the net worth, roughly, of slaves in 1860. In today's dollars that would be approximately seventy-five billion dollars. In 1860 slaves as an asset were worth more than all of America's manufacturing, all of the railroads, all of the productive capacity of the United States put together. Slaves were the single largest, by far, financial asset of property in the entire American economy. The only thing worth more than the slaves in the American economy of the 1850s was the land itself, and no one can really put a dollar value on all of the land of North America.

It was about the money - the same thing it's about now. But I bet you won't see this kind of stuff in your kid's history books. Not so long as Americans who long for the inequities of yesteryear insist on teaching "2+2=5", so that the bullshit they are trying to pass off as "authentic history" will pass the smell test.

As I used to tell my buddy years ago, when he asked why so many Southern whites were still mad about the confederacy, "Can you imagine waking up one morning to see all your money walking around free? Black people waving at you from across the street, telling you that you've got to PAY now for the labor you used to get for providing a few meals and a rickety roof to lay their heads under?"

This is really, in the grand scheme of things, irrelevant - black people are here to stay. And most of us - let me repeat that - THE MAJORITY OF US - are doing the right thing 24/7/365.

So if I were you, BOB, I'd take my pseudo-Nazi Confederate paraphernalia and pile it up with all the others who continue to insist on paying homage to the most treasonous act in the history of the United States, soak that shit in a few thousand gallons of gas, and burn every goddamn remnant until there's nothing left but a pile of ashes.

Robert E. Lee is not coming back, the Calvary will not ride again, and your great-great grandmother was, is, and will always be wrong about "the South will rise again", so long as you and Haley Barbour's Boss Hogg ass are the best you have to offer.

This is "America Has A Black President" month.

The next celebration will begin May 1st. The one after that will be June 1st. The one after that...

...I think you get the picture.

Is that "Hail To The Chief" I here

Monday, April 19, 2010

Good Morning. China is on there way to being the number one technological leader and economic power of the world. We as a country have to continue to invest more in our future. By the Chinese govenment estimation, by 2030 they without a doubt will be Numero Uno.
My name is Michael. I am also a middle aged black man. I am a newly highly qualified blology teacher at the high school level. This is my second year in the in Dade County school system. Every year at the beginning of the academic year we have a faculty meeting to go over the school's and the student's last years performances. Black children are at the bottom of the learning curve, not because of any learning deficiency but beacusse of the lack of trust of their teachers and the lack know how. My continued support to them is greatly needed as a teacher and others like me who help to increase the graduation rate of all students. Engineering graduates should be a topic concern and focus of our education system. Please help me help them.

Thank You,
Michael S.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Jim Crow Law is Back and Kicking in Virginia

Virginia is one of only two states remaining (Kentucky is the other) that deny the right to vote for life to everyone with a criminal conviction, unless the individual applies for, and is granted, clemency from the governor. Virginia would also be the only state in 2010 to require a written essay.

The roots of Virginia's criminal disenfranchisement law are firmly planted in Jim Crow. During the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1901-02, delegate Carter Glass (later a prominent U.S. Senator) described the criminal disenfranchisement provision as part of a plan to "eliminate the darkey as a political factor in this state in less than 5 years, so that in no single county...will there be the least concern felt for the complete supremacy of the white race in the affairs of government."

The law certainly has had its intended effect. More than 300,000 people have lost the right to vote for life in Virginia. One in five African-Americans, and one in four African-American men, is permanently disenfranchised in the Commonwealth. African Americans make up one fifth of Virginia's population, but over half of those denied the right to vote are African-American.

The application to get one's right to vote back has always been onerous in Virginia, and the number of people "approved" each year is tiny. Former Governor Tim Kaine approved the most applications in history, a whopping total that amounted to less than 2 percent of the disenfranchised population.

But McDonnell's newest requirement is not just another box to check in a bureaucratic process. It introduces an entirely arbitrary and subjective standard that allows the most powerful elected official in the state to play fast and loose with one of America's most fundamental rights. This essay exam is no different than the arbitrary, unpassable tests that politicians and government officials employed for decades after Reconstruction to keep African-Americans from voting. And it is no different than the notorious literacy tests employed during the same period. If you can't read, you can't write. All of these nefarious tricks were outlawed by Congress with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Another piece of federal legislation, the Democracy Restoration Act, is now pending before Congress. That bill would restore the right to vote in federal elections to every American citizen who is out of prison, living in the community.
( Erika Wood 8:54 AM on 04/15/2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nothing Comes to a Lazy Person But Poverty

Money to some people is everything. You have to have a nice house or nice clothes and a brand new Lexus to be happy. To me being wealthy is alot better than being rich. In order to be wealthy, to have a successful career you have got to have a job. In order to make something of yourself you have to work hard. My grandfather tells me all the time, to start at the bottom to get to the top. That means you got to start off by working hard days and long nights. So if whenever you get older you can retire and live life right. If you choose to not worrk hard, go to work when ever you want and do whatever then you are looking at poverty. Wouldn't you like to drive the car you want, live where ever you want and have fun right? For people in poverty, because of their income they can't live where ever they want. Money can make your life easier rather than difficult. All it takes is just hard work and some self determination. Don't be lazy this is the one life kind of deal. So that's why I am going to do everything I can become wealthy no matter what it takes. Just because people tell you that can't accomplish something doesn't mean you can't. It's up to you if you really want to do it.

Written by Vince Guillard of Tift County High School who is 12th grade senior.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Shocking New Report; 321 Killed in Massacre

Dressed in military uniforms, rebels hacked villagers to death.

At least 321 Congolese villagers were hacked to death by fighters from the Lord's Resistance Army in December, the BBC reports. It's the worst massacre ever perpetrated by the rebel group, which says it is fighting to create a Christian theocracy in Uganda, but has spread its murderous rampage to Sudan, Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Witnesses say the rebels, dressed in military uniforms and pretending to be Congolese soldiers, asked people in remote villages to carry food for them across a river and killed them with machetes if they refused. "As we marched, the LRA killed people—two at one village, three at the next, and then four at the next," a witness who escaped told the BBC. "They wanted to kill me, but the leader said I should be kept alive, as they needed strong soldiers." At least 80 children were kidnapped, the boys to be fighters and the girls to be sex slaves.
Nearly every cellphone—not to mention MP3 players, laptops, and videogame systems—contains minerals that were mined in the Congo. Known as the 3Ts, tin, tantalum, and tungsten are the main source of income for military groups and demand for them continues to fuel regional conflict.
Congress is working on legislation that would require companies to be transparent about where they obtain the 3Ts, but the electronics industry has spent $2 million to weaken the proposed rules. Those companies say their supply chains are too complex to make sure the materials are conflict-free, but the Enough Project says there are a mere six major steps in the chain from the mines to a cellphone in a customer's pocket.
The question is can we stop buying electronic devices, at least long enough to show the electronic industry that we care about ours and stop contributing to the murdering our people indirectly by the purchase of these products. I am not surprised if other folks don’t care about our people but we should give a big DAMN about ours…