Archive for September, 2005

Hip-Hop Will Help Free Romania

Friday, September 30th, 2005

Matt Welch has an article on how hip-hop will help free Romania.

Putting Geraldo and Anderson Cooper In Their Place

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

Crooks and Liars has video of Jon Stewart mocking Anderson Cooper and Geraldo’s over the top reporrting tactics.

Knight-Ridder On The Growth of Hip-Hop Among Palestinians

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

The Knight Ridder story depicts the recent growth of Palestinian hip-hop. The article states that Palestinian hip-hop was initially able to grow quicker among Arabs in Israel. Arabs in Israel were provided more oppurtunity of freedom than in the Palestinian territories.

The article continues by pointing out the difficulties of the acceptance of hip-hop expanding into Gaza City. At a recent rally to celebrate the end of Israeli rule of the Gaza strip, a local hip-hop group was stoned. The conservative wrath of Hamas may not be too accepting of hip-hop.

The Real Story Behind Christian Hip-Hop

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

Hashim Warren thinks the growth of Christian Hip-Hop is part of the growing regionalization of hip-hop. Not to get engaged in blogger triumphalism but I think the growth of publishing on the internet has definitely let to the exposure of hip-hop’s regionalization.

Volunteers of America

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

I just received an e-mail from Volunteers of America in regards to Hurricane Katrina relief. The organization gets a decent rating from Here are the details:

Hurricane Katrina Aftermath
During the tremendous crisis our country is facing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Volunteers of America is working with all of its 39 affiliates across the country to reach out to those who are hungry, homeless and fighting for survival.

Volunteers of America has a tremendous presence in the Gulf States. In the days and weeks to come, we are preparing to send staff and resources to provide relief to those employees that are shepherding the hundreds of displaced and severely disabled individuals who have been evacuated to neighboring counties and states. The following is just a sampling of the devastation which has befallen the people who we serve:

Loss of housing to over 1,200 hundred of low income seniors and families
Loss of housing and support services to 300 severely developmentally disabled adults and children
Loss of housing and support services to 200 homeless veterans
Loss of housing and support services to 300 disabled and homeless adults
This doesn’t account for the hundreds of children Volunteers of America cared for through their day care and after school programs. The families of those children have lost everything. The area they lived in was hit first and hardest by the floods. Our love and prayers go out to those families.

National President and CEO of Volunteers of America Charles Gould attended a prayer service at the National Cathedral on Friday, September 16, in Washington, D.C. with President Bush and other leaders of community and faith-based organizations. The interfaith service was held in remembrance of the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

View a satellite image of the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina and its affect on our program locations in New Orleans.

Stories of Hope:

A Volunteers of America staff member organizes donated supplies for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in Alabama.
Volunteers of America’s national office has reserved over 350 apartments in affordable housing communities in 21states across the country for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. These Section 202 and 811 housing communities are currently home to over 3,500 low-income seniors, families, and people with disabilities.
Volunteers of America’s Southeast affiliate is providing hurricane victims in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, with disaster-relief staples, such food, water and clothing.
Volunteers of America’s Texas affiliate has helped almost 200 developmentally disabled people who evacuated New Orleans find housing in Texas.
Volunteers of America’s Florida affiliate has sent its Veterans Mobile Service Center to the New Orleans area to provide medical assistance and other needed supplies to hurricane victims.
Volunteers of America’s Colorado affiliate is helping victims of Hurricane Katrina find housing in the Denver area.

Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with our team members and the people we serve across the southeast. Despite the huge loss of life, this horrific event has drawn people of all faiths together for a common purpose—to help those in need. Volunteers of America is confident that Americans will continue to let their courage, generosity and selflessness shine by helping our organization so that we can fund our services that help people in need—the homeless, the hungry, the elderly, at-risk children and youth, and the disabled. For more information about Volunteers of America or to donate to our programs, please call 1-800-899-0089 or make an on-line donation here

If you want to look for other efficient charities, try

I found out about this charity through e-mail. I would not suggest anyone respond directly to a charity through e-mail because of a chance of phishing claiming to represent legitimate charities and made up charities.

Radicals Not Moderates For Islam

Sunday, September 25th, 2005

Mark A. LeVIne argues that Islam needs radicals not moderates. Quote:

What we really mean by “moderate” are leaders who play by our rules, don’t challenge US/Western power and policies, and suppress any militant tendencies against us among their own peoples. Not surprisingly, the peoples of the region have a different view of these leaders: they are oppressive handmaidens of American empire.

They might look like Nadia Yassine, the leader of Morocco’s biggest political force, the religiously oriented Justice and Development movement. In our first meeting she explained that Islam was “hijacked by men” after the Prophet Muhammad’s death and has suffered for it ever since. The next time I saw her she suggested that Morocco might be better off as a republic rather than a monarchy, a view that landed her in jail courtesy of the moderate government of Morocco.

It is she who first suggested to me that what Islam needs are radicals, not moderate–”but radicals in a good sense.” Sitting next to her and nodding in agreement was the Swiss Muslim philosopher Tariq Ramadan. One of the leading progressive voices in Europe, his visa to teach at Notre Dame was revoked by the US government on trumped charges of being “tied to terrorists.” This only months after senior CIA and State Department analysts asked me how they could find more Muslims “who are the real deal like him.”

Big Pimpin – Egyptian, Not Bollywood

Sunday, September 25th, 2005

Wayne&Wax has a great post on the Egyptian musical origins of Jay-z’s Big Pimpin’ produced by Timbaland. Because I’m a political junkie this was my favorite part:

After putting the phrases together, i was struck that the line “take ‘em out the hood, keep ‘em lookin’ good” suggests quite another set of meanings when heard in the context of egyptian music: one can either hear jay-z critiquing conservative islam’s call for women to wear veils – recalling vybz kartel’s “you nuh haffi hide your face like bin laden gal” – or one can hear him assailing the american-style torture interrogation techniques so symbolized by hooded abu ghraib prisoners.

I have noticed the media misidentify other Middle Eastern sampled songs as having Bollywood origins.

Norway’s Troops To Leave Iraq

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

Norway’s troops will leave Iraq. From Reuters:


5:13 p.m. September 15, 2005

OSLO – Norwegian Labor party leader Jens Stoltenberg, who is set to be premier after winning an election this week, told U.S. President George W. Bush on Thursday that Norway would pull its soldiers out of Iraq, a spokesman said.
NATO ally Norway has about 20 soldiers in Iraq in staff officer positions within the British and Polish contingents and in NATO training for Iraqi forces.

Norway did not support the U.S.-led war in Iraq, saying there was no clear U.N. mandate for an invasion, but sent soldiers after Washington said the war had ended.

‘President Bush called Mr Stoltenberg to congratulate him on the election victory, and they discussed cooperation on the war on terror and Stoltenberg said we would bring the soldiers in Iraq home,’ Stoltenberg’s spokesman Torbjoern Eriksen said.

Is It Too Early Too Laugh At Katrina?

Monday, September 19th, 2005

Is it too early to laugh at Katrina? The AP has an article about comedians joking about events related to Hurricane Katrina. Professional comedians who look to current events for material are bound to make jokes about the ironic things around the event as D.L. Hughley put it.

“Q: What is George W. Bush’s position on Roe vs. Wade?
A: He really doesn’t care how people get out of New Orleans.”

The first time I read this joke on the internet I laughed but felt it was too soon and in a little bit of poor tastes. Not everybody is ready for Katrina jokes yet.

Katrina: The Gathering

Sunday, September 18th, 2005

I used to play Magic: The Gathering when I was in high school. So the humor in Katrina: The Gathering was not lost on me. The site contains a blog post full of Magic: The Gathering cards replaced with characters and events related to Hurricane Katrina. The commentary through Magic cards is particularly biting since the post is created by people from opposite sides of the political spectrum.

Here are two examples from the blog post: