Wednesday, December 29, 2010

FOX NEWS: Execute Mike Vick!

The ubiquitous and conservative pundit, Tucker Carlson, filling in for Sean Hannity on Fox News, weighed in on Mike Vick's quest for redemption after paying a huge debt for his self-confessed morality lapse, stated that not only shouldn't Vick be forgiven, he should be executed:

I’m Christian. I’ve made mistakes. I believe fervently in second chances. Michael Vick killed dogs in a heartless and cruel way. I think, firstly, he should have been executed for that. The idea the president of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs is beyond the pale.

Tucker took umbrage that President Obama called the Philadelphia Eagles owner to praise his act of giving Vick a second chance.

This represents an appalling low for the over-the-top FOX News and it epitomizes the situational morality they promote. On the one hand, they are staunch supporters of the NRA and recreational hunting (think Sarah Palin hunting caribou for fun or Dick Cheney shooting his friend while quail hunting); while on the other hand, they discover their righteous indignation over Vick efforts to rehabilitate himself after losing over 20 million dollars and serving over two years in prison for his cruel crimes.

Not to even mention, their silence on Cheney cooking the books, in order to led us to a preemptive and protracted war in Iraq. This war resulted in no WMD, terrorist relocating to Iraq, an embolden Iran, thousands and thousands of causalities and lost lives. Yet the head on the platter demanded by FOX is Vick's. Like I said, situational morality...

The Bling-Bling of Mansa Musa

Ask the average person about Mansa Musa and they will probably respond with a blank look. This is because our western mis-education conveniently omits great non-European/American figures - in particular, Sub-Saharan Africans. We are erroneously taught that pre-colonial Sub-Saharan Africa had little or no outstanding contribution to world history. This could not be further from the truth.

The great Mansa Musa, king of the Mali empire from 1312 to 1337, is best known for his extravagant pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324; building Mosques and madrases from Western Africa to Egypt; and his intellectual and financial contributions to the University of Sankore located in Timbuktu. He was widely believed to be the wealthiest and most powerful man in his time.

Pilgrimage to Mecca

Musa made his pilgrimage in 1324, his procession reported to include 60,000 men, 12,000 slaves, heralds dressed in silks who bore gold staffs, organized horses and handled bags. Musa provided all necessities for the procession, feeding the entire company of men and animals. Also in the train were 80 camels, which varying reports claim carried 300 pounds of gold. Musa not only gave to the cities he passed on the way to Mecca, including Cairo and Medina, but also traded gold for souvenirs. Furthermore, it has been recorded that he built a mosque each and every Friday.

Contribution to Timbuktu:

Timbuktu soon became a center of trade, culture, and Islam; markets brought in merchants from Nigeria, Egypt, and other African kingdoms, a university was founded in the city (as well as in the Malian cities of Djenné and Ségou), and Islam was spread through the markets and university, making Timbuktu a new area for Islamic scholarship. News of the Malian empire’s city of wealth even traveled across the Mediterranean to southern Europe, where traders from Venice, Granada, and Genoa soon added Timbuktu to their maps to trade manufactured goods for gold. The University of Sankoré in Timbuktu was restaffed under Musa's reign, with jurists, astronomers, and mathematicians. The university became a center of learning and culture, drawing Muslim scholars from around Africa and the Middle East to Timbuktu.

Urban Report

Corey Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey and rising young star with national potential, discusses: Newark receiving a 100 million dollar education grant from Facebook, the recession's impact in urban America, reaching out to other big city mayors, President Obama's leadership and much more.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Kwanzaa celebrates and reaffirms the values important to African Americans. Created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, in 1966, the week-long event is based on seven principles (as established by Dr. Karenga):

Umoja(Unity): To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.

Kujichagulia(Self Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

Ujima(Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and our sisters’ problems our problems and to solve them together.

Ujamaa(Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Nia(Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Kuumba(Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Imani(Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Beginning December 26th each year, the celebration is most notably symbolized by seven candles and the colors black, for the people; red for their struggles and green for the future. The candles are placed in a Kinara (candle holder), with one black candle centered between three red candles to the left and three green candles to the right.

On the first day of Kwanzaa the black candle is lit and the rest of the candles are lit during the remaining days, from left to right, symbolizing that people must come first, then the struggle and finally the hope for a better future that comes from the struggle.

Each of the seven principles represents the core values to improve and preserve the African American community. Celebrators are encouraged to use creativity instead of commercialism to convey the message of the Nguzo Saba (Seven Principles) in order to make home, community and the world a better place for all.

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Obama: Man Most Admired

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