Friday, October 31, 2008

When Hip Hop or Soul Annoys Me

When Hip Hop or Soul Annoys Me

Posted using ShareThis

Click that link, and enjoy the musical treat.

Is It?

Some people say that love is cheap these days. Is real love some easily-pawned capital, some weakness that makes good people into easy prey? Tell me your thoughts on the subject.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Welcome to the 2008 Jim Crow Show: Voters Suffer from Federal Inaction

This story is featured on Current, a TV channel/website that features viewer-generated stories from around the globe. This story, featured on today's top listings on Current TV, denotes the Justice Department's investigation of ACORN, the poverty-class voter advocacy group that Fox News counts as, in anchor Brit Hume's words, "a striking example of liberal malfeasance and voter fraud." Read this story, and decide for yourself.

On the eve of the 2008 election, the Department leaks a FBI probe of ACORN but remains silent on widespread voter intimidation tactics.
Partisan considerations still appear to be contributing to the Department of Justice's actions when it comes to enforcing the nation's voting rights laws.

With Election Day less than two weeks away, proponents of more tightly regulating the voting process -- this time led by congressional Republicans -- have gotten their desired response from the nation's guardian of civil rights' laws: a FBI investigation into ACORN, the low-income advocacy coalition that registered 1.3 million new voters in 2008.

Last week, two FBI officials told reporters an ACORN investigation was underway, violating Department rules for disclosing information on cases that could impact an election. The Obama campaign's response was to ask the Attorney General to include that leak in a special prosecutors' investigation of the U.S. attorney firing scandal. No response to that request has been forthcoming.

But more disturbing to civil rights attorneys is the Department's silence on what voting rights lawyers say are myriad voter suppression tactics by partisans in the campaign's final weeks. These efforts include attempts by Republicans to disqualify legal voter registrations, unlawfully purge voters, threaten individual voters with polling place challenges, fabricate barriers to student voting and abuse prosecutorial authority by investigating 2008's early voters.

"Voter suppression is not new. But this year has brought heightened efforts to disenfranchise and intimidate voters," said Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, in a Wednesday press conference. "We've seen legal challenges to registered, valid voters in Ohio; Fear tactics threatening that mortgage foreclosures or unpaid bills will thwart your right to vote or may even result in arrest; and massive attempts to confuse voters through robo-calls, official looking web sites and e-mails. These are targeted and insidious attempts to suppress the vote, particularly in communities of color."

The Justice Department did not respond to requests to comment.

What is most striking about the voting rights lawyers' criticism of the Department is that the agency does not have to wait until Election Day to act. Under Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act, the Department can move to stop voter intimidation schemes without having to prove the motive behind those actions. This section of the law does not require the government show any intent by partisans to discriminate, the lawyers say. Instead, if the result is intimidation or suppression of minority voters, it can act.

"We really need the Justice Department to get out there and make a pronouncement, publicly, that voter intimidation and voter suppression will not be tolerated because it violates federal law," said Gerry Hebert, executive director of the Campaign Legal Center and a former Department Voting Section Chief. "We have asked the Attorney General to do this and thus far there has been a deafening silence."

"I think the Department's response to these issues, at best, is tepid, and at worst ignores what we think is a serious problem and their responsibility to address it," Henderson said. "The Department of Justice often argues that its jurisdiction is limited. But we think the interpretation that they have given to their jurisdiction is exceedingly narrow and it certainly ignores the larger responsibility to use the bully pulpit of the Attorney General to make clear that the Department will vigorously prosecute where possible, under federal law, any attempt to suppress the right of duly registered American citizens."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Taste the World--At SCRIBD

I love Scribd, the online resource for thousands of books and documents that anyone can use to host their work or printed ideas. Taste the world's ideas--and flavors--at Scribd.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New Music: The Foreign Exchange

This album has been on constant repeat on every music device I own. Good music makes me happy!

The Foreign Exchange, featuring Muhsinah..."Daykeeper."

Virtual Obsession: Virtual "Divorcee" Goes Postal

Some stories speak for themselves. From
A 43-year-old Japanese piano teacher's sudden divorce from her online husband in a virtual game world made her so angry that she logged on and killed his digital persona, police said Thursday.

She used his identification and password to log onto popular interactive game "Maple Story" to carry out the virtual murder in mid-May, a police official in northern Sapporo City said on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.

"I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry," the official quoted her as telling investigators and admitting the allegations.

The woman had not plotted any revenge in the real world, the official said.

She was charged with illegal access onto a computer and manipulating electronic data, police said. If convicted, she could face a prison term of up to five years or a fine up to $5,000.

As in "Second Life" in the U.S., players in "Maple Story" raise and manipulate digital images called "avatars" that represent themselves, while engaging in relationships, social activities and fighting against monsters and other obstacles.

The woman used login information she got from the 33-year-old office worker when their characters were happily married, and killed the character. The man complained to police when he discovered that his beloved online avatar was dead.

The woman was arrested Wednesday and was taken across the country, traveling 620 miles from her home in southern Miyazaki to be detained in Sappporo, where the man lives, the official said.

The police official said he did not know if she was married in the real world.

In recent years, virtual lives have had consequences in the real world. In August, a woman was charged in Delaware with plotting the real-life abduction of a boyfriend she met through "Second Life."

In Tokyo, police arrested a 16-year-old boy on charges of swindling virtual currency worth $360,000 in an interactive role playing game by manipulating another player's portfolio using a stolen ID and password.

Virtual games are popular in Japan, and "Second Life" has drawn a fair number of Japanese participants. They rank third by nationality among users, after Americans and Brazilians.

Take a walk, take a trip, take a vacation! When the online world is as real a place as the tangible, people who succumb to such delusions are in enormous danger of crossing the slim line between sanity and madness.

I hope this young man kept his home address secret.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

So Tragic, You Have to Laugh

Wanda Sykes defines the state of affairs surrounding the current bailout package for the financial community far better than any MSNBC or Bloomberg TV analyst. That is the gift of comedy: speaking the ugliest, straightest truth in the funniest way possible.

Now could somebody tell me where MY bailout package is?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Little Groove to Move You

Nothing excites me and mellows me out like a nice groove, something that the hard-to-earn label "straight funk" fits like hand in glove. I fell in groove with this band nearly 18 years ago, and the good feeling lives on. Engage, enjoy, and immerse yourself in some good music--"live" from the Paradiso in Amsterdam, the Brand New Heavies.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Common: Taking Chances, Still Making Good Music

Common takes a different direction on his latest single, "Universal Mind Control."

The song is definitely meant for juke dancers and the b-boy set. Hip hop culture children will dig the strong tribute to Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock," the classic b-boy jam that shook the world over 20 years ago and still stands as a must for any dj who wants to show true school appeal and old school love. The video, shot and directed by Hype Williams, also pays campy homage to the seminal German electropop group Kraftwerk, whose songs "Trans-Europe Express" and "Numbers" served as the sampled basis of Bambaataa's classic (Common's short profile poses in shirt and tie with big glasses are strongly similar to old Kraftwerk album covers).

Lyrical content is still important to Common (whew!), and "Universal Mind Control" covers a few--slightly--over Pharrell's space-age production. Listen closely; this is not Common's usual in-your-face-smoothly style. Instead, the Chicago rhymer intermingles thoughts on materialism in the music industry with his own Kanye West-like boasts on outfits, fly girls and Grand Maurnier. Thematically not what listeners have come to know and love in Common's music, this track may require a second or even third listen. Take the listen; it is good music.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Debate a/k/a They Paid the Ref!

This one is making my fists itch.

God help me, McCain is starting to tick me off.

Brokaw is playing the dirty referee position like a criminal pro.

I CAN'T WAIT to vote this year!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Everyone Needs a Song...Sometimes...

This is a little love-shout to every woman who is feeling the pinch of a crazy economy, relationship problems, backaches, or anything else that's messing with your brain and heart right now. This is a fist in the air for every man who is sick and tired of being sick and tired right now; substitute "man" for every "woman" and "girl" reference. God bless from the West to all.