Archive for 2005

Letter to Osama bin Laden

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

Here is the text of an e-mail titled Open Letter to Osama bin Laden that I was forwarded. Not sure who it is by but I like the ideas behind it:

An Open Letter To
Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri.
(Wherever You Are)

Aslam-o-Alaikum!

Do you know what degree of shame, abomination, misery and wretchedness
is being heaped on the innocent and peace-following Muslims all over
the world because of this so-called and self styled Jihad of yours?

Do you know how many innocent, unsullied people are being daily
butchered as result of this professed Jihad of yours? How many
children are being orphaned and women being widowed precisely for the
same reason.

And do you know, killing one faultless human being is like killing the
entire humanity. You must definitely be knowing that you will surely
be held accountable for this all bloodshed. Will you, then, be able to
face your God? I challenge, no!

Then, why have you become an agent of some hidden hand. Why are you
taking the responsibility of the murder of entire humanity to yourself
on his behest. Why are you dragging the Muslims down? Why are you
demeaning Islam by presenting it as a terrorist religion? Acting like
this, which religion are you rendering a great service to? Are you
raising the standard of Islam high or you (if you reflect on it) are
causing the heads of the followers of the path of the righteous bow
down with shame in-front of the entire humanity.

Today most of the Muslims believe that you are not a true Muslim but
planted by the enemies to destroy the image of Islam.

For God’s sake, take recourse to sense, and announce a CEASEFIRE
at once so the inhabitants of world may be introduced to that divine
aspect of the Muslims at whose hands no soul suffer, whose words and
actions bear no tinge of dichotomy, whose speech, when uttered, conveys
to others the message of love and protection, whose thoughts, when
thought, are devoted to the well being of others. Herein lies the true
success, and herein lies the victory of the true religion of Allah.

S.A.Rehman
(Peace Activist)
PAKISTAN

Copies being sent to Muslim Brothers and Sisters for information and
with a request to pray for an earliest end of the war.

Censorship In Kurdistan

Wednesday, December 21st, 2005

David Axe, writing at Defense Tech, points out that censorship exists in Kurdistan. The Northern parts of Iraq controlled by the Kurds, known as Kurdistan, has censorship to the extent that criticism of the leadership is not tolerated. It is a scary fact that the closest model we have to how a successful Iraq is Kurdistan where censorship is the status quo.

Canibus Speaks On His Time As A Soldier

Monday, December 12th, 2005

In a recent interview with BallerStatus.net, Canibus spoke about his recent time as a soldier:

BallerStatus.net: You were also in the Army a year or so ago. Can you talk about that whole experience, and what happened as far as you leaving?

Canibus: I enlisted in Dec ’01 for 24 months. This is neither the venue nor the time to discuss that experience. I will always love the Troops for their sacrifice. They happen to be the most committed, selfless people I have met in my life and I feel like some of that has rubbed off on me. My 1st SGT told me once, “Follow your orders but don’t believe them.”

BallerStatus.net: What was your reasoning behind joining the army?

Canibus: There are three reasons. One, I was thru with rap music and sought to define my relevance another way. Secondly, I wanted to be a part of something meaningful in defense of life, justice, and freedom. Lastly, to help prepare for what is to come. I hve always felt that Generation X will be followed by Y and Z. After that? Def Con Zero.

BallerStatus.net: Would you say the Army has a noticable effect on any new music you record now?

Canibus: Of course. I was augmented in ways that will mirror itself through the music, just as the reality of what we will face in due time, as a nation will change the hearts and minds of Americans.

BallerStatus.net: Are you a supporter of a particular political party or ideology?

Canibus: There are only two ideologies in life as we do or do not know. We explore one in this life and the other after death. Everything else in between are semantics. We are animals of the earth.

BallerStatus.net: Do you support the war in Iraq?

Canibus: I support the Troops. The real decisions are theirs to make, as well as the consequences to bear. American Soldiers deal with a great deal of responsibility. The world will speak of this war for decades, maybe centuries to come. They deserve more, but they deserve it now!

BallerStatus.net: How do you respond to the comment that, “A Black man has no place in the army?”

Canibus: Foolishness. Our fight is not about race. It is a race itself. My TC (tank commander) was Puerto Rican. My Section SGT was Irish American. My LT was Mandarin. My 1st SGT was like John Wayne, and my CMD SGT MJR was Black. This is a mixed world.

Pelosi Complains About Prescription-Drug Bill

Friday, December 9th, 2005

Today Nancy Pelosi tried to get a resolution to pass the House that basically accused the Republicans of passing a bad Medicare prescription-drug bill because they are corrupt. The resolution was voted down on party lines.

In a press release Pelosi said:

“Across the country, seniors are trying to navigate the complicated and confusing Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit; it is complicated and confusing because it was written to meet the needs of drug companies and private insurers, not the needs of Medicare beneficiaries.

“Today Democrats tried to hold Republicans responsible for the culture of corruption and cronyism that led to this sham of a bill. Instead, Republicans have rejected calls to give beneficiaries an additional six months to choose a plan, and remove the prohibition so the government can negotiate for lower prices. Democrats believe that our seniors deserve better, that is why we are going to keep working for a real Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit.”

The passage of the Medicare prescription-drug plan had more to do with the White House lying about the cost of the plan than Republican corruption in Congress. Republicans in Congress desiring to rid the Democrats of the prescription-drug issue as one to be used in future Congressional campaigns. Corruption in Congress had very little to do with the passage of the bill and why it is confusing.

Snoop Dogg to Become Executive Producer of XM Channel 65

Friday, December 9th, 2005

XM has put Snoop Dogg in charge as executive producer of XM Satelite Radio Channel 65 The Rhyme. Snoop will serve as the creative director for the channel which plays old-school hip-hop.

“I am truly excited about being able to have total control over the music and programming for The Rhyme on XM. I will play music that people have never heard and music that they haven’t heard in a long time,” said Snoop Dogg. “We need more Snoop Dogg music all the time because the music I play makes people feel good. Consider yourself a part of this new Snoop Dogg eargasm.”

Snoop Dogg will also be returning to his radio show on the channel “Welcome to Da Chuuch With Big Snoop Dogg,” in early 2006. I remember listening to Snoop’s radio show and enjoying the blues, soul and old-school hip-hop he was playing.

What To Do On World AIDS Day

Thursday, December 1st, 2005

Today, December 1, 2005 has been declared World AIDS Day by the United Nations. So far, the global AIDS epidemic has resulted in 25 million deaths. In 2004, an estimated 3 million plus people died of AIDS globally.

Wearing a ribbon or joining a protest alone will not have a significant on stopping AIDS. There is something you can do that does not require asking the Bush Administration to spend more money on AIDS research, download AIDS@Home. AIDS@Home is a computer program that uses your computer’s spare cycles to understand the best molecular structure that can be used to fight the AIDS epidemic. AIDS@home helps the Scripps Research Institute and the World Community Grid do the necessary research to fight the AIDS research.

Rap Did Not Cause The French Riots

Thursday, December 1st, 2005

Rap music did not cause the French riots. French Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin, has dismissed claims by some of his party colleagues that rap music fuelled suburban rioting in France. Earlier in this week members of his party had blamed the riots on the influence of rap music.

Maybe David Brooks will listen to the words of Villepin and admit hip-hop is not responsible for the French riots unlike in his earlier column. It is time to stop the trend of blaming hip-hop for unrelated problems.

Ron Paul On "Slashing The Budget

Monday, November 28th, 2005

In Ron Paul’s latest speech before Congress he criticized the Republicans for not really cutting the budget. All the Republicans did was cut the increases which was enough to enrage some Democrats, causing Democrats to accuse the Republicans of dramatically slashing various federal programs.

Here is the text of the speech:

Only in Washington DC can a spending increase be called a spending cut– but that’s exactly what happened last week. Congress passed a budget bill that merely slows the rate at which some federal spending grows by a tiny percentage, and both parties acted as though a revolution had taken place.

Republicans trumpeted the measure as a huge victory for fiscal conservatism, while Democrats were enraged by the supposed “slashing” of government programs. The uproar shows just how entrenched the spending culture has become on Capitol Hill– even insignificant reductions in the rate of growth in federal spending are seen as earth-shattering. But if we’re really serious about cutting federal spending, why not simply cut 10% from the 2006 budget?

Remember, the same Republicans claiming victory for slowing spending next year also passed the Medicare prescription drug bill, which will add over $50 billion to the federal budget in 2006 alone! In just one year the Medicare bill adds ten times in new spending what the budget bill purportedly cuts. So nobody who voted for the Medicare drug bill has any business talking about government spending. Neither do those who refuse to consider cutting one penny from the military and foreign aid budgets. You cannot conduct a foreign policy based on remaking whole nations using military force and pretend to operate a frugal government.

The Democrats, by contrast, never want to cut spending on anything, no matter how much the federal budget grows– and it’s doubled in 15 years. A $2.4 trillion federal budget is woefully inadequate in their eyes, and ten years from now they’ll say the same thing about a $5 trillion budget. No amount of spending will ever satisfy those who believe government should address every human problem and involve itself in every aspect of our lives.

The budget bill fails to address the root of the spending problem–this belief that Congress continually must create new federal programs and agencies. However, with the federal government’s unfunded liabilities– Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid– projected to reach as much as $50 trillion by the end of this year, Congress no longer can avoid serious efforts to rein in spending. Instead of a smoke-and-mirrors approach, Congress should begin the journey toward fiscal responsibility by declaring a ten percent reduction in real spending, followed by a renewed commitment to fund only those government functions that are consistent with the Constitution.

Hip-Hop Coming of Age In China

Saturday, November 12th, 2005

Austin Arensberg has a post on thedevelopment of hip-hop in China. Quote:

But anyone that saw and heard the first attempts at Hip Hop in China would have chuckled showing just how far off target the MCs were. Many DJs wouldn’t even bother to rap in Chinese, offering instead the more ‘rappable’ English. But movements can’t be transplanted to a new place by mere duplication alone. 20 years after Deng Xiaoping presented China in the world’s largest debutant party it has been the critique that Chinese pop culture is as fake as the DVDs sold on its streets that has stuck.

Westerners have lamented for years that China’s cultural products were either heirlooms to the past or sad imitations of whatever was new and coolest in Europe or America. But over the past few years there has been considerable momentum indicating that Chinese cultural ambassadors are finding their own rythm. This past year saw an event in Shanghai with MCs rapping in Shanghainese, a dialect on the ropes reinvigorated with a raw and daring infusion of youthful energy. Black MCs in China sample old songs people have long forgotten, Chinese MCs sample a dying language.

China’s clubs from Ningxia to Beijing bump Hip Hop nightly and recently Star Club here in the capital had a raging night with a Japanese DJ spinning the newest hits to an adoring crowd of the young, rich, and powerful Chinese. The riots and violence of last spring seemed a world away.

Hip Hop tends to reinvent itself every few years feeding on the change rather than being redered obsolete. It is fitting than that Chinese youth, thrust unwittingly into a new hyper speed of development where all views are as foggy as the polluted skyline, have chosen to weave out of the madness a new form of music that is their own. I suspect that if those hipsters in Washinton Heights back in the early 1980’s could meet the kids in here in China’s clubs they would have more in common than most people would think.

POLITICWIKI: Build a Political Platform from Scratch

Tuesday, November 8th, 2005

I received an email asking me to post the following information:

Researchers in Indiana are currently examining the effectiveness of a wiki in
helping multiple authors create a political platform. A “wiki” is an internet
site that allows multiple authors to edit pages through the web. Although more
than a decade old, wiki forums have only recently started to be used widespread
for collaboration projects.

Participants in this six-month study, offered by Indiana University in
cooperation with 3rdparty.org, are asked to create a new political party
platform from scratch. The findings could help improve and innovate political
forums in the future. If interested in participating in this experiment, please
go to the following web site URL:

http://www.politicexchange.org/politicwiki/consent.cfm

If you have questions at any time about the study or the procedures, you may
contact the researcher, Kevin Makice, by sending email to kmakice@indiana.edu.