community Service means Business!

24 July 2004

Ethel the Blog: this smacks of reason!

Ethel the Blog
"Now the excerpts from the chapter by Michael Levine, a 25-year veteran of the DEA.
When President Nixon first declared war on drugs in 1971, there were fewer than 500,000 hard-core addicts in the entire nation, most of whom were addicted to heroin. Three decades later, despite the expenditure of $1 trillion in tax dollars, the number of hard-core addicts is shortly expected to exceed five million. Our nation has become the supermarket of the drug world, with a wider variety and bigger supply of drugs at cheaper prices than ever before. The problem now not only affects every town and hamlet on the map, but it is difficult to find a family anywhere that is not somehow affected. P. 258
The Chang Mai factory the CIA prevented me from destroying was the source of massive amounts of heroin being smuggled into the US in the bodies and body bags of GIs killed in Vietnam. P. 264
My unit, the Hard Narcotics Smuggling Squad, was charged with investigating all heroin and cocaine smuggling through the Port of New York."....

Ethel the Blog: Lock-down on the horizon

Ethel the Blog:
The drumbeat gets louder as the loyal scribblers of the cabal keep their latest talking point going.
Federal election officials will meet next week with officials of the Department of Homeland Security to discuss whether and how they would delay the November presidential election in the event of a catastrophic terrorist attack, a top elections official told MSNBC on Monday.
The official, DeForest B. Soaries Jr., chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, denied in an interview on MSNBC's Countdown that federal officials had any plans to postpone the election, but he confirmed a report in the new edition of Newsweek magazine that the panel was seeking to establish a process to do so should it become necessary.
... So where the hell is all the tough talk now? Where's Mr. 'Bring It On!' when it comes to maintaining the cornerstone of American democracy come hell or high water? How about somebody in the cabal finding (or at least borrowing) some real cojones and saying, 'No matter what happens, some two-bit punk with a grievance and a fist full of explosives isn't going to f*ck with the basis of our democracy. And it's f*cking ludicrous to think that a group consisting of a few hundred members at most is going to conquer a country with the biggest economy and military the world has ever seen.' Oh, wait a minute. That's not the point, is it?posted by Steven Baum 7/13/2004 10:33:10 AM | link "

Ethel the Blog: Hold your enemies closer still.

Ethel the Blog:

"Allowing suspension of the elections on just the threat of a terror attack would create a hole in the legislation big enough to drive an oil tanker, or an open dictatorship, through. Since the legislation has not been seen yet we do not know what it will say. Once introduced, the bill would then go into Senate and House Committees (Republican controlled) where the language could easily be modified to give discretionary power to the Administration. At that moment the Constitution would overtly cease to have any operational meaning at all. The separation of powers would vanish.
Judging from the news stories tonight we will probably see the legislation introduced fairly quickly. From the instant it appears, this legislation must be tracked daily, even hourly, at
This of course assumes that the debate won't be shrouded in the 'national security' cloak preferred by budding totalitarians everywhere, and that the language will be too vague (or exact, for that matter) for Scalia et al. to arrive at whatever conclusion is required for the cabal to stay in control.
posted by Steven Baum 7/13/2004 01:33:49 PM | link "

who you sweatin'?

No Sweat -- Union-Made Sweatshop-Free Casual Apparel: "

Bienestar International manufactures union-made casual clothing under the brand name No Sweat. Our clothing is produced by independent trade union members in the US, Canada, and the developing world. We believe that the most viable response to globalization is a global labor movement.
No Sweat defines the market for goods that support independent trade unions - the only historically proven solution to sweatshops. We market direct to consumers, relying primarily on internet sales for distribution. The savings in advertising offset our higher labor costs, enabling us to provide a competitive product and a living wage. We rely on you to help us spread the word! Check out our new Globalize THIS. Together we can show the garment industry what a real fashion statement looks like. Shop No Sweat Now! - 100% union-made, sweatshop-free shopping!"

bankruptcy laws for the corporate crowd only!

us airways did it.  why can't i?

from Ethel the Blog
The credit mafia claims that it's really, really being hurt by people who use the current bankruptcy laws to "game" the system, i.e. to run up debts, declare bankruptcy, and keep repeating the process. This is belied by evidence indicating that over 90% of bankruptcies result from job loss, enormous medical bills not covered by insurance, and divorce, with only 3% of those filing for bankruptcy fitting the category of "abuser." So just how badly is this supposed holocaust of abuse hurting the credit mafia?
In 2003, credit-card companies racked up about $30.2 billion in profits, according to CardTrak, a consumer group tracking bank credit cards. That's up from $20.5 billion in 2000 and $6.4 billion in 1990.

well maybe i like to glow in dark

Radiation Levels in Pittsburgh, PA.: "Radiation Levels in Pittsburgh, PA.
The background radiation level in my Pittsburgh office is currently 13.55 micro-roentgens per hour.
That's equivalent to about 12 chest X-rays per year. "

Forums - North Korea Says "Too Bad" Over US Nuclear Abandonment Proposal

Forums - North Korea Says "Too Bad" Over US Nuclear Abandonment Proposal: "North Korea Nixes U.S. Nuclear Proposal


Saturday July 24, 2004

SEOUL, South Korea - North Korea on Saturday rejected a U.S. suggestion that it follow the example of Libya and abandon its nuclear weapons programs to open the way for economic aid and improved ties with Washington.

Calling the American proposal 'nothing but a sham offer,' the communist state reiterated that it would freeze its nuclear facilities as a first step toward their dismantling, but only if Washington provides energy aid, lifts economic sanctions and delists the North as a sponsor of terrorism.

'It is a daydream for the U.S. to contemplate forcing the (North) to lay down arms first under the situation where both are in a state of armistice and at war technically,' said an unidentified spokesman of the North's Foreign Ministry."

South of the Rio Grande

George Person: Breaking the silence over possible imminent threat - PRAVDA.Ru
With an ever increasing Hispanic population in the USA, it will be a very unpopular decision both North and South of the border should the USA decide to put a barrier stemming the tide of illegal immigration and blocking the terrorists disguised as illegals coming into the country...its just too political, and the Hispanics are an extremely powerful voting block...who will eventually become the majority in the not too distant future...before the end of my life time possibly....

I believe the vision President Vincente Fox of Mexico essentially possess is the eventual merger of North, Central, and South America into one very large free trade and free travel zone....where the Western hemisphere becomes a united economic and political region, defended by a common set of values and religious background....

our taxes at work

Committee Meetings/Hearings Scheduled
Day in the Life:
This document provides a brief description of each committee meeting and hearing scheduled to take place today, and on days thereafter. The time and location of each meeting/hearing is identified. Meetings that have been canceled or postponed are also noted.

Thursday, Jul. 22, 2004
9 a.m.
    Governmental Affairs
    Investigations Subcommittee
         To resume hearings to examine the extent to which
         consumers can purchase pharmaceuticals over the
         Internet without a medical prescription, the
         importation of pharmaceuticals into the United
         States, and whether the pharmaceuticals from
         foreign sources are counterfeit, expired, unsafe,
         or illegitimate, focusing on the extent to which
         U.S. consumers can purchase dangerous and often
         addictive controlled substances from Internet
         pharmacy websites and the procedures utilized by
         the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, the
         Drug Enforcement Administration, the United
         States Postal Service, and the Food and Drug
         Administration, as well as the private sector to
         address these issues.
9:30 a.m.
    Commerce, Science, and Transportation
         Business meeting to consider pending calendar
9:30 a.m.
    Foreign Relations
         To hold hearings to examine the current situation
         in Iraq post-transition.
9:30 a.m.
         Business meeting to consider pending calendar
9:30 a.m.
    Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education
         To hold hearings to examine activities and
         funding issues of the Appalachian Council and
         Working for America Institute.
10 a.m.
    Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
         To continue hearings to examine regulation NMS
         and developments in market structure.
10 a.m.
         To hold hearings to examine the role of higher
         education financing in strengthening U.S.
         competitiveness in a global economy.
10 a.m.
    Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
         To hold hearings to examine preparations for
         possible future terrorist attacks.
10 a.m.
    Joint Economic Committee
         To hold hearings to examine the demographics of
         health care, focusing on evidence regarding
         declining rates of chronic disability and assess
         the best opportunities for further health
11 a.m.
         Meeting of conferees on H.R.3550, to authorize
         funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety
         programs, and transit programs.
                                                   2167 RHOB
2 p.m.
         To hold hearings to examine S.2560, to amend
         chapter 5 of title 17, United States Code,
         relating to inducement of copyright infringement.
2:30 p.m.
    Energy and Natural Resources
    National Parks Subcommittee
         To hold an oversight hearing to examine the
         implementation of the National Parks Air Tour
         Management Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-181).
2:30 p.m.
    Commerce, Science, and Transportation
    Science, Technology, and Space Subcommittee
         To hold hearings to examine space exploration of
2:30 p.m.
         To hold hearings to examine intelligence reform.
3:30 p.m.
    Governmental Affairs
         To hold hearings to examine the nomination of
         Allen Weinstein, of Maryland, to be Archivist of
         the United States.

just reid:

A Letter to The Black Caucus from A Black Woman Living in South Central 
by Donna J. Warren
Published on Thursday, July 22, 2004 by  

“You demanded Independent Candidates Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo withdraw from the presidential race in favor of NAFTA approving, Iraq invading, Afghanistan bombing, Sudanese pharmaceutical plant bombing, right-wing Israeli prime minister and murderer Ariel Sharon supporting; impeachment of George W. Bush for the forced removal of democratically elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide refusing, and mandatory minimum sentencing supporting - John Kerry. “ (more…)

Last Gasp
One breath for revolution

Hold your breath as long as you can. But keep reading. Here’s what you’ll experience: your respiration has stopped, but your heart continues beating, converting oxygen from inhaled air into carbon dioxide. With no way out, the CO2 concentrates in the blood, raising its acid levels and lowering the amount of oxygen that makes it to the brain and other organs. You’ll feel this first as a sensation of fullness or saturation, then as light-headedness, possibly altered vision, an inability to focus on these words, and a growing sense of desperation. Eventually, when the CO2 levels reach the “critical line,” your nervous system will override the brain’s command to not breathe, prompting an uncontrollable impulse to open your lungs wide, sucking in sweet, precious air. If you don’t, you’re options are grim: pass out, possibly with brain damage, or die. (more… )
U.S. House votes to strike comment that 2000 election was stolen.
As highlighted by, according to a July 16, 2004 AP story
(CNN ):
 “Think the passions from the 2000 presidential election have cooled? Certainly not in the House of Representatives, which voted to strike a Florida representative's words from the record after she said Republicans "stole" that closely fought contest.
  [...] Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida and several other House Democrats have made that suggestion. They argue that some black voters were disenfranchised in 2000 and problems could occur again this fall.
  [...] "I come from Florida, where you and others participated in what I call the United States coup d'etat. We need to make sure it doesn't happen again," Brown said. "Over and over again after the election when you stole the election, you came back here and said, 'Get over it.' No, we're not going to get over it. And we want verification from the world."
  At that point, Buyer demanded that Brown's words be "taken down," or removed from the debate's permanent record.
  The House's presiding officer, Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas, ruled that Brown's words violated a House rule.
  "Members should not accuse other members of committing a crime such as, quote, stealing, end quote, an election," Thornberry said.
  When Brown objected to his ruling, the Republican-run House voted 219-187 along party lines to strike her words.
  The AP story probably should have said "strict" party lines, as can be seen from the Roll Call. According to Congressional Record page H5866, some even changed their initial vote, in order to make the vote come out to be along strict party lines:
Mr. BISHOP of New York and Mr. LIPINSKI changed their vote from ‘‘aye’’ to ‘‘no.’’
Messrs. PICKERING, LEWIS of California, THOMAS, and BURR changed their vote from ‘‘no’’ to ‘‘aye.’’
It's evidently more important in the U.S. House to foster bitter partisanship than to host open debate about free elections.
See the Nov. 2, 2002 story 91,000 wrongly disenfranchised in Florida in 2000 still barred from voting in 2002.

21 July 2004

I just enrolled! Now my mad skillz will be off da Hiz' ook.

News University: Training for Journalists. Anytime. Anywhere.

The Online News Association and News University are excited to present a new e-learning module for online producers and Web editors. The module is based on four 2003 Online Journalism Award finalists. It breaks the projects down and examines the processes that four organizations -- the Los Angeles Times, Beliefnet, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, and the 9/11 Sonic Memorial team -- used to produce award-quality work.

liquor makes me thnk, real good!

DPRK-made Drinks to Be Sold in U.S. 
Pyongyang, July 20 (KCNA)
 -- Pyongyang Liquor is soon to be sold in the U.S.    Pak Il U, 55, a Korean resident in the U.S who is manager of the Dong Woo U.S.A. INC., had an interview with KCNA at Koryo Hotel when he was visiting Pyongyang. The publication of the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration gave him a great delight, he said. A way has been paved for the Korean nation to reunify the country by itself. 
I have thought that when all the Koreans in the north, south and overseas are united with a strong sense of patriotism and try to let the world know well about Korea, the door of national reunification will be opened, he said. 
After much deliberation over the way for disabusing American society of its mistaken thought about the DPRK and giving the Korean-Americans a correct understanding of the fatherland, I made up my mind to sell Pyongyang Liquor in the United States, he said, and went on: "I have spent much time and efforts for its realization. Pyongyang is the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
When people drink Pyongyang Liquor, a traditional liquor of Korea, they will think of Korea and chat about the history and traditions of the nation. That's why I made such a decision." ...
More news from Korea

I'd like to Order, now!

I'm saving all my love for you
Before his departure, CPA chief Paul Bremer issued 100 Orders to dramatically restructure Iraq's economy to fit free-market ideals. And no Iraqi, including future elected officials, can undo them.
Order #39 allows for the following: (1) privatization of Iraq's 200 state-owned enterprises; (2) 100 percent foreign ownership of Iraqi businesses; (3) "national treatment" of foreign firms; (4) unrestricted, tax-free remittance of all profits and other funds; and (5) 40-year ownership licenses. Thus, it allows the U.S. corporations operating in Iraq to own every business, do all of the work, and send all of their money home. Nothing needs to be reinvested locally to service the Iraqi economy, no Iraqi need be hired, no public services need be guaranteed, and workers' rights can easily be ignored. And corporations can take out their investments at any time.

Order #40 turns the banking sector from a state-run to a market-driven system overnight by allowing foreign banks to enter the Iraqi market and to purchase up to 50 percent of Iraqi banks.

Order #49 drops the tax rate on corporations from a high of 40 percent to a flat rate of 15 percent. The income tax rate is also capped at 15 percent.
Order #12 enacted on June 7, 2003 and renewed on February 24, 2004, suspends "all tariffs, customs duties, import taxes, licensing fees and similar surcharges for goods entering or leaving Iraq, and all other trade restrictions that may apply to such goods." This led to an immediate and dramatic inflow of cheap consumer products, which has essentially wiped out all local providers of the same products. This could have significant long-term implications for domestic production as well.

Order #17 grants foreign contractors, including private security firms, full immunity from Iraq 's laws. Even if they do injure a third party by killing someone or causing environmental damage such as dumping toxic chemicals or poisoning drinking water, the injured third party can not turn to the Iraqi legal system, rather, the charges must be brought to U.S. courts under U.S. laws.

Order #77 established the Board of Supreme Audit and named its president and his two deputies. The Board oversees inspectors in every Ministry with wide-ranging authority to review government contracts, audit classified programs, and prescribe regulations and procedures.

Order #57 created and appointed an inspector within every Iraqi Ministry with five-year terms who can perform audits, write policies, and have full access to all offices, materials, and employees of the Ministries.

....but other than that, you have full sovereignty...jim

Saturday Nite WMD's

AlterNet: War on Iraq: Mass Destruction in Small Packages

..."While small arms are deadly and dangerous, they are also profitable - which makes them difficult to regulate and control. According to data collected by the Small Arms Survey in Geneva, they account for more than $4 billion in profits each year. The United States has the dubious honor of being the largest exporter, with $741.4 million in sales in 2003, which accounts for 18 percent of the market. The U.S. also purchased $602.5 million in small arms and munitions in 2003, making it the largest importer of small arms, as well."

Densha ni noru.
Get on the train.

Vocabulary / Expressions

densha = train
noru = to get on

Notes: "Ni" is a particle which marks the goal of the movement. "To get off the train" is "densha o oriru".

who makes a 'crack baby'?

Discovery Health :: HealthScout News

Study Questions 'Crack Baby' Syndrome
"Poor parenting in infancy may be more to blame for developmental problems in children born to cocaine-addicted mothers, rather than any effect of cocaine exposure in utero, according to a new study.

The Georgia study found that children born to women who used cocaine during their pregnancy do better if they live with caregivers other than their mother or other family members, according to a study by the Society for Research in Child Development.

The study included 83 children whose mothers took cocaine during pregnancy and 63 non-exposed children."

Swim with the Fishies!

Swim with Dolphins in Hawaii. Dolphin Retreats!

December 19-26 2004 Winter Solstice Retreat- "Celebration with the Dolphins"

"Visit the wild dolphins to experience the healing and joy they offer. Enjoy the warm waters and fresh sunlight. We journey by kayak or free-swimming. These retreats are unique in their spiritual approach to being with the dolphins in a way that is honoring and respectful. During this retreat we also journey to sacred sites, and benefit from group breath, meditation, and toning sessions. An unforgetable journey of light that will change you forever more- you will never forget the playful energies of the dolphins, the blessings of the sea and sun as it sets over the horizon!"

what will they think of next!? jim

Family Centers

  • Family Centers

    PENNSYLVANIA: Building Strong Families and Strong Communities

    For nearly a decade, Pennsylvania's Family Centers have integrated and provided community services to help families become healthier, better educated and self-sufficient. Family Centers help parents:
  • Learn about their children's development.
  • Engage in parent education and child development activities.
  • Access health care information as well as assistance regarding health care services and insurance.
  • Access education, training and employment information.
  • Receive information and assistance on other community resources, such as well-baby care, immunizations and early intervention services.
  • Since each Family Center takes a unique approach to meeting their community's needs, not all services are available in every center.

However, Family Center services may include:

Adult Education
Job Training and Placement
Language Skills
Literacy Programs
Parent Support Groups
Parenting Skills Programs
Child Health and Development Screenings
Family Activities
Toy and Book Lending Libraries
Child Care Programs
Summer and After-School Activities
The Parents As Teachers (PAT) Program (This program is for families with children who are birth to five years of age.)

Family Center Facts
  • There are 48 state-funded Family Centers in Pennsylvania.
  • Twenty-three are school-based, and 25 are community-based centers.
  • Family Centers are located in 30 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties.
  • Over 72% of Pennsylvania's population live in counties served by Family Centers.

This just in....FLORIDA

State: Company: State knew about felons list problems

State election officials knew since at least 1998 that a recently scrapped felons list designed to clear convicted felons from voter rolls would have a glitch and exclude Hispanics, according to a company that helped create the list...
...Florida is one of a handful of states that does not automatically restore voting rights to convicted felons once they have completed their sentences.

Every Vote Counts Ten states identified as legislative battlegrounds ..

SALT LAKE CITY – Political control of legislative bodies in 10 states could change in the November election, the National Conference of State Legislatures said in an analysis that identified the battleground states as Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

Arrested, Charged, but Not Convicted!

New Web Site To ID Local Suspects
POSTED: 5:16 pm EDT July 20, 2004

PITTSBURGH -- A Web site identifying people who have been arrested in Allegheny County and charged with a crime, but not convicted, will launch Aug. 1, according to District Attorney Stephen Zappala. Names, pictures and hometowns of suspects will be posted on the site and removed after three days. Such identifying information is already available to the public but will be easier to access online, Zappala said Tuesday.

perhaps there is a valid reason for not making this information instantly available to the entire on-line community...jim

POSTED: 5:16 pm EDT July 20, 2004

PITTSBURGH -- A Web site identifying people who have been arrested in Allegheny County and charged with a crime, but not convicted, will launch Aug. 1, according to District Attorney Stephen Zappala.
Names, pictures and hometowns of suspects will be posted on the site and removed after three days.
Such identifying information is already available to the public but will be easier to access online, Zappala said Tuesday.


MSNBC - Teen Dies In Rec Center Pool Mishap

7:13 a.m. EDT July 21, 2004 - A 15-year-old boy was pronounced dead at a local hospital after going underwater in an apparent pool accident Tuesday afternoon.
Pittsburgh police and paramedics were called to the Kingsley Association recreation center on Frankstown Avenue in Larimer shortly before 5 p.m.

20 July 2004

MSNBC - New skills open doors for job hunters

"Experts predict that in ten years there will be over 30 million job openings but only 23 million workers with the right degrees to fill those jobs."

“Whenever we see an economic downturn, enrollments swell in community colleges across the country as people look to our institutions as the place to get needed skills to become employed or reemployed or advance their careers,” said George Boggs, president of the American Association of Community Colleges."


Casino Boots Ronstadt for Praising Moore

Singer Linda Ronstadt not only got booed, she got the boot after praising filmmaker Michael Moore and his new movie ``Fahrenheit 9/11'' during a performance.

"It was a very ugly scene,'' Aladdin President Bill Timmins told The Associated Press. ``She praised him and all of a sudden all bedlam broke loose.''
Timmins, who is British and was watching the show, said he didn't allow Ronstadt back in her luxury suite afterward and she was escorted off the property.

Ronstadt's antics "spoiled a wonderful evening for our guests and we had to do something about it,'' Timmins said.

Protect Your Child in the Kitchen
From your child’s perspective, the kitchen is a fun place to explore, somewhere where cookies appear like magic, and there are lots of things to smell, taste and touch. But a kitchen can be a very dangerous place for a child. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says that 2.5 million children are injured or killed from accidents in the home each year.
Child Magazine offers some safety tips to keep your little one safe.

-Never hold a child while you are cooking
-Store a fire extinguisher out of kid’s reach, but easily accessible to adults.
-Use back burners of the stove when possible and turn pot and pan handles towards the rear of the stove.
-Post all emergency phone numbers near the phone.
-Move all cleaning products, knives, and plastic bags out of a child’s reach.
-For children under 5, make sure kitchen cabinets and drawers have safety latches. Also consider getting an Oven Lock and a Refrigerator Latch.
-Move refrigerator magnets up above a child’s reach.
-Put other small choking hazards (like toothpicks, rubber bands) and all glassware in sealed cabinets.
-Seal off electrical outlets with safety plugs and unplug and tie up appliance cords when not in use.

Hidden Treasures In Everyday Moments:

Beginner's Mind Philosophy
Imagine the joy of rediscovering chocolate every time you eat it.Seeing the ocean for the first time, hearing a new song, or discovering the taste of a new food: each of these is an adventure. People usually approach a brand-new activity without excessive pre-judgment, thus allowing themselves a full experience. The strategy behind Beginner's Mind Philosophy, known in Japanese as Shoshin, is to bring that sense of eager anticipation to all of life's experiences, whether they are new or well known.
Daily OM

19 July 2004

Horticulture Mulch Fest at Bidwell

below are photos of the hard-working Horticulture Technology students here at the Center.
they successfully pulled together this fund-raising event and even managed to enjoy themselves despite the effort.  Congratulations to this dedicated group of students! 

why won't they buy?... Posted by Hello

food for beast within Posted by Hello

accessorize your patio... Posted by Hello

and more... Posted by Hello

etc... Posted by Hello

more florals Posted by Hello

view from below Posted by Hello

picture within pixels Posted by Hello

seeds and sprouts Posted by Hello

gifts galore Posted by Hello

horticulture team Posted by Hello

Democracy by the Dollars

Democracy by the Dollars
By Pratap Chatterjee, CorpWatch.
Posted July 19, 2004.

What can a North Carolina firm teach Iraqis about democracy? Not much, as it turns out – not when it spends millions of dollars making life comfortable for its own staff rather than the Iraqis.
In March 2003, the U.S. Agency for International Development awarded the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International of North Carolina a $167 million contract to help 180 Iraqi cities and towns "foster efficient, transparent, and accountable sub-national government that supports the country's transition to sovereignty."

18 July 2004


Hip Hop Cops
By Salim Muwakkil,
 In These Times.
Law enforcement conflates rap stars with gang members merely because most of them are young black men.

 “Even before recent revelations of hip-hop surveillance units, in March 2003, The Source declared in a headline: "State of Emergency: Hip-Hop Under Attack." The magazine, the country's largest hip-hop oriented publication, sounded the alarm about attacks from the increasingly influential cultural right and more intrusive police scrutiny. It featured an interview with a New York City cop who admitted that a special unit existed specifically to monitor, even harass, hip-hop figures. The unidentified cop told The Source that these efforts were aided by an increased focus on security after 9/11, which "opened up avenues for the government to change laws and violate public rights."

DISMANTLING THE ‘BLING’: Another Look at Hip-Hop by Reynard Blake Jr.

“Back in 1967, Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton (
Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America)  provided an analysis that could be crucial to today’s African-American hip-hop artists:”

”Those who would assume the responsibility of representing black people in the country must be able to throw off the notion that they can effectively do so and still maintain a maximum amount of security.  Jobs will have to be sacrificed, positions of prestige and status given up, favors forfeited.  It may well be--and we think it is--that leadership and security are basically incompatible.  When one forcefully challenges the racist system, one cannot, at the same time, expect that system to reward him or even treat him comfortably.”
“On one hand, the diminishing control and role of African-Americans and Latinos in hip-hop is the natural progression of an international art form; as more cultures become part of hip-hop culture, they will add the uniqueness of their native culture to the art form. Conversely, as hip-hop is distributed by corporate media, its gatekeepers will increasingly define the art form, and only allow certain acts to reach the mainstream.” 
“Most of the rules I learned as a child in the ‘60s and ‘70s have been corrupted or rewritten.  Hip hop, just to take the most obvious example, has spread from the urban underground where I found it in my early story on Kurtis Blow [a hip-hop artist and pioneer – RNB], to white – or at least well-heeled – suburbia.  During this same period, breakthrough black superstars made more money than ever in history – most of it helping to subsidize multinational corporations that reconfigure black artistry into reproducible formulas.”
“Corporate control of hip-hop also presents a serious threat to its significance.  As corporations promote a sort of hip-hop opium or mind-numbing art that does not address issues, its authenticity and relevance become suspect. Jeff Chang underscored this concept in

”Today, the most cursory glance at the Billboard charts or video shows on Viacom-owned MTV and BET suggests rap has been given over to cocaine-cooking, cartoon-watching, Rakim-quoting, gold-rims-coveting, death-worshiping young 'uns. One might even ask whether rap has abandoned the revolution.”

“Furthermore, corporate control of hip-hop becomes an exercise in the replication of exploitation; the models in marketing used by the corporation are now assumed by the artists; the outsourcing of product development (clothes and other items) to foreign countries, paying those employees or independent contractors far below living wages, and selling those products to anxious global markets with astounding product mark-ups.  In short, the hip-hop semi-conglomerate learns the following equation: E=MC2, which I translate to Exploitation=Mass Consumption, where the work of underpaid people is used to feed the North American penchant for spending (doubled).”

Child Labor: A Worldwide Danger
The International Labor Organization says that approximately 250 million children between the ages of five and fourteen work in developing countries, at least 120 million on a full time basis.
“Child labor currently helps support the economies of many developing nations. According to reports by such groups as Human Rights Watch, some cases of child labor may also be supporting American corporations. But who is supporting the children?”
“All over the world, poverty forces kids as young as four-years-old into hard labor. Child laborers often work long hours, are given dangerous tasks, and are paid extremely low wages. Furthermore, labor obligations frequently prevent young workers from receiving an education. These illegal working conditions deprive kids of their childhood and ultimately endanger their lives.”
“The case of El Salvador has recently been investigated by Human Rights Watch. The 139-page report found that the 30,000 Salvadorian children who work in the sugarcane fields are constantly subject to severe injuries. The job of cutting sugarcane, considered the most dangerous of all agricultural work, leaves kids with deep cuts and gashes from the machetes and knives they are required to use. Further health risks are attributed to smoke inhalation and burns, because the sugarcane is often burned before it is cut.” 

A campaign of Circle of Life
SEAC (Student Environmental Action Coalition)
SEAC, pronounced "seek," is a student and youth run national network of progressive organizations and individuals whose aim is to uproot environmental injustices through action and education. We define the environment to include the physical, economic, political and cultural conditions in which we live.
By challenging the power structure which threatens these environmental conditions, SEAC works to create progressive social change on both the local and global levels.
United for a Fair Economy
United for a Fair Economy is a national, independent, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. UFE raises awareness that concentrated wealth and power undermine the economy, corrupt democracy, deepen the racial divide, and tear communities apart. We support and help build social movements for greater equality.
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is dedicated to innovative thinking, broad public education, and committed action. Since 1982, the Foundation has sought to enhance the security of all people by working to reduce the threats posed by nuclear weapons. One of the Foundation's specific campaigns is empowering student leaders and supporting student efforts to oppose the increasing militarization of their schools including student mobilization at the University of California, which has managed the nation's nuclear weapons laboratories for 60+ years.
Voice Yourself
“Founded by well-known actor Woody Harrelson, Voice Yourself is a lively communication hub that promotes simple organic living through conscious consumerism, the sharing of ideas and information, as well as encouraging social change through peaceful civil disobedience. We believe all life on earth is sacred. Voice Yourself promotes and inspires individual action to create global momentum towards simpler living and to restore balance and harmony to our planet.”
“There is now little doubt that there is a close correlation between the "war on drugs" (and on "gangs") and the growth of the prison industrial complex.  This "war" was officially launched by President Reagan in the mid-1980s when he promised that the police would attack the drug problem "with more ferocity than ever before."  What he did not say, however, was that the enforcement of the new drug laws "would focus almost exclusively on low-level dealers in minority neighborhoods." Indeed, the police found such dealers in these areas mainly because that is precisely where they looked for them, rather than, say, on college campuses.”
“The results were immediate: the arrest rates for blacks on drug charges shot dramatically upward in the late 1980s and well into the 1990s.  In fact, while blacks constitute only around 12% of the U.S. population and about 13% of all monthly drug users (and their rate of illegal drug use is roughly the same as for whites), they represent 35 percent of those arrested for drug possession and 74% of those sentenced to prison on drug charges.”
“Sentencing in the federal system for drug offenses shows some startling changes during the past half century.  Between 1945 and 1995, the proportion of those going to prison for all offenses rose from 47 percent to 69 percent, compared to a decrease of those granted probation (from 40% to 24%), while the average sentence has risen by over 300 percent.  The changes in the sentences for drug law violations are most dramatic.  Whereas, in 1945 the percentage of drug offenders going to prison was high enough at 73 percent, by 1995 fully 90 percent were going to prison!  And the average sentence for drug cases went from only 22 months in 1945 to almost 90 months in 1995, an increase of 300 percent!”  

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