Sunday, November 29, 2009

day of black consciousness

BRASILIA, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Over 12 states in Brazil celebrated on Friday the Day of Black Consciousness in honor of the country's 17th-century anti-slavery leader Zumbi dos Palmares.

In cities such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, people held parades against racism, discrimination, prejudice, homophobia, sexism and religious intolerance.

Many economic and financial activities around the country were suspended on the day, including the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange, which is set to reopen on Monday.

The Day of Black Consciousness was first celebrated in 1978 to commemorate Zumbi dos Palmares, a black Brazilian who led a group of runaway slaves in Brazil, known as the Quilombo dos Palmares, to fight the then Portuguese colonizers in the 17th century and was killed in an ambush on Nov. 20, 1695.

The social gap between black and white citizens has been narrowed drastically since Brazil abolished slavery in 1888 due to governmental efforts.

However, black Brazilians still account for about 35 percent of the country's population living below the poverty line.

Meanwhile, problems such as black Brazilian citizens' lower wages, longer working hours, and worse employment situation in comparison with their white counterparts highlight the urgency to build a more socially and economically equal country.

According to a census conducted in 2000, the black and mulattos make up about half of the total population of 170 million in the Latin American country.

See also: BRAZIL: 'Quilombos' Keep Black Cultural Identity Alive by Fabiana Frayssinet

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

happy yawm al-arafat y'all

Wow, so Thursday is the Day of Arafat and Friday is Eid.

It was reported from Abu Qutadah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked about fasting on the Day of Arafah. He said, ‘It expiates for the sins of the previous year and of the coming year.’ Narrated by Muslim.

Most years there seems to be at least one or two interesting coincidences between Islamic holy days and Christian/Jewish/secular/Gregorian ones... this year it is how the Day of Arafat and Eid al-Adha synch-up with Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Interesting. Fasting and sacrifice contrasted with pigging-out and conspicuous consumption.

fort hood tragedy, islam and america

Fort Hood Tragedy, Islam, and America - updated 11/20/09 by Sheila Musaji is a decent summary of the issues from a Muslim perspective which also includes many different links to other good articles.

Friday, November 20, 2009

pray for obama

Apparently, in some Christian circles, a popular design on bumper stickers, t-shirt, mugs etc. has the words "Pray for Obama" followed by "Psalm 109:8". If you bother to look up the passage, you'd find the verse is: Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Ha. Ha. Very clever. Although if you look at the next verse, the passage becomes much more sinister: Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.

I hope the FBI is watching these people.

Friday, November 13, 2009

us deports lou dobs

This makes enough sense for me to half believe it.

The Onion: U.S. Deports Lou Dobbs: CNN Host Had Been Living Illegally In Country Since 1961

WANTAGE, NJ—Acting on anonymous tips from within the Hispanic-American community, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials on Wednesday deported Luis Miguel Salvador Aguila Dominguez, who for the last 48 years had been living illegally in the United States under the name Lou Dobbs.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, federal agents stormed the undocumented immigrant's home in an evening raid just hours after the 64-year-old newscaster suddenly announced that he was resigning from CNN, and immediately placed him on an Aeromexico flight departing from Newark Liberty Airport.
Enlarge Image Family

"Dobbs," around 1970, still returned regularly to Mexico to be with his family and work as a farmer.

"Mr. Dominguez did not come quietly, but in the end he came," said Sam Whitlock of the U.S. Border Patrol, who was injured during the arrest. "He pulled a knife on me, like they will, and swore a bunch in Spanish and spit on us when we finally managed to grab him by the serape and throw him against a wall. But the important thing is that he's now back where he belongs."

Evidence collected by investigators indicates that Dominguez/Dobbs, who has long claimed Texas heritage, was actually born in the Mexican state of Puebla to parents of Colombian descent, neither of whom were U.S. citizens. In the summer of his 16th year, he and 14 of his brothers and sisters paid smugglers to let them ride atop packages of cocaine in the cargo hold of a fishing boat bound for Texas under cover of night.

In addition to holding multiple jobs without ever obtaining a guest-worker permit or H-1B visa, "Dobbs" is reported to have collected welfare every month for nearly five decades. He appeared in good health when apprehended, having used Medicaid to obtain numerous health care services over the years, but immigration officials fear he still may have exposed the American population to the many infectious diseases illegal immigrants tend to carry, including both malaria and leprosy.

CNN, as per its policy initiated by Dominguez, is complying freely with the ongoing DHS investigation into the multitude of illegal activities in which its former employee was entrenched.

"No one here knew anything about Mr. Dobbs' past, and to be honest, we never asked," said a source within CNN, who asked not to be identified. "All we knew was that he was willing to take the job most American newscasters didn't want—namely, speaking out hysterically against immigration at every turn to help us gain ratings points against Fox News."

After arriving in Texas in 1961, "Dobbs" is believed to have wandered around the American southeast making a meager living as a car thief, low-level drug dealer, and migrant farm laborer. At age 18, he reportedly delivered an ounce of marijuana to attendees at an Atlanta media conference, where his harsh, booming voice and fiery temper caught the attention of none other than Ted Turner. At the tycoon's urging, the young man shaved his long, drooping mustachios, applied for federal tuition waivers, and took advantage of affirmative-action policies to gain admittance to Harvard University. In 1980, Turner gave him a job at CNN that had previously been held by an American-born reporter.

When searching the former newscaster's house in Wantage, NJ, Border Patrol agents found several boxes of horded food stamps, a fully-equipped stolen-car chop shop, a 350-deck DVD pirating warehouse, and a garment facility where up to 100 illegal workers put in 85-hour weeks producing knockoff purses, shoes, and other counterfeit clothing.

Many younger members of the Border Patrol team that participated in Wednesday's raid said it was "an honor and a privilege" to help deport Dominguez, as years of listening to tirades against illegal immigrants on Lou Dobbs Tonight had been a major factor in their choice of career.

"This is a battle for the soul of our country," Agent Jared Burns, 23, said as he helped the 17 Dominguez children board the bus that would take them to a detention facility where their legal status will eventually be determined. "Today is a proud day for any true American."

Immediately before press time, "Dobbs" arrived in Mexico City, and was surrounded by members of the international press.

"¡Esos hijos de puta sufrirán por esto!" a handcuffed Dominguez shouted at reporters from the tarmac. "Sin mi vigilancia, mis hermanos y yo nos apresuraríamos a la frontera a robar sus carros y a violar sus mujeres. ¡Arriba!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


I just saw the premiere of the reimagined V the other night. I don't have a strong opinion about it yet. I wonder how it will compare to previous aliens-among-us tv series (e.g. Earth: Final Conflict, First Wave and War of the Worlds) Also, since according to the reimagined show, aliens have been on Earth for decades, I wonder how much the series will draw from David Icke (one-time soccer player, now professional conspiracy theorist who advocates the idea that shape-shifting reptilians are secretly running the world).