Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Bush Presidency (Past & Present) In A Nutshell...

[SIDEBAR: Counting down the days until it's a wrap...Unfortunately, the Post-Bush Era is likely to be comparable to the world's sloppiest house party thrown by some home invasion thugs...Almost impossible to clean up, and the house is so damaged it's almost impossible to sell... Your only viable options are to move, or tear it down and start from scratch...Here's to new beginnings...we hope...]

Cops Gone Wild Part 18: The Taser An Unarmed Man Standing On A Ledge Edition

Last week, NYPD officers caused the death of an unarmed mentally disturbed man who had climbed outside on a storefront ledge nude. The mother of the man who was exhibiting bizarre behavior, called 911 seeking assistance for her son. Instead of seeing her son receive the help he needed, she is now mourning his death.

When the police arrived to "help" Inman Morales, instead of coaxing him off they ledge, they tasered him. Using such force was obviously excessive since Mr. Morales wasn't brandishing a weapon. There was also no chance that Mr. Morales had a concealed weapon, because he wasn't wearing any clothing.

As a result of being tasered Inman Morales plunged head first off of the ledge on which he was statant, to his death. The NYPD's Deputy Commissioner recounted the tragic incident by saying, "While officers had radioed for an inflatable bag as the incident unfolded, it had not yet arrived at the scene when Morales fell. None of the ESU [Emergency Service Unit] officers on the scene were positioned to break his fall, nor did they devise a plan in advance to do so."

It seems that the officers who were involved in causing the death of Mr. Morales acted outside of departmental guidelines which reportedly directs officers to avoid tasering people who could possibly fall from an elevated surface.

The lieutenant who gave the green light for the tasering has allegedly been placed on modified assignment. The officer who actually shocked Inman Morales with his stun gun, has reportedly been given administrative duties. The NYPD's Emergency Service Unit is also said to be undergoing retraining on the proper use of a taser.

Michael Bloomberg, the man who has been accused by the press of wanting to change the law so he can serve a third term as New York's mayor, had this to say about the nonsensical, life-aborting actions of the NYPD: I'm "not sure this was handled right."

I don't have an abacus with enough beads to tally the number of deaths caused by police officers acting nonsensically. I don't understand the light pinch (if that) that police officers consistently get for unjustifiably taking people's lives.

[SIDEBAR: I still remember when I thought that having Bloomberg as a mayor would be good for the city, but with responses like the one he gave regarding the death of Mr. Morales (among other actions), I feel sadly mistaken].

R.I.P. Inman Morales & Khiel Coppin.

Video Of The Week

Another inspirational entrepreneurial story...

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

Black Law's Dictionary defines, a "grandfather clause" as: a "provision in a new law or regulation exempting those already in or a part of the existing system which is being regulated. An exception to a restriction that allows all those already doing something to continue doing it even if they would be stopped by the new restriction. A clause introduced into several of the constitutions of the southern states, limiting the right to vote to those who can read and write any article of the constitution of the United States, and have worked or been regularly employed in some lawful employment for the greater part of the year next preceding the time they offer to register unless prevented from labor or ability to read or write by physical disability, or who own property assessed at three hundred dollars upon which the taxes have been paid; but excepting those who have served in the army or navy of the United States or in the Confederate States in time of war, their lawful descendants in every degree, and persons of good character who understand the duties and obligations of citizenship under a republican form of government."

Quote Of The Day

"His road of thought is what makes every man what he is." -Zora Neale Hurston

Monday, September 29, 2008

African American Voting: A Retrospective

"As of 1901, nearly every African American had been effectively stripped of all elective rights in Alabama and virtually every southern state. After passage of a new state constitution in 1901, Alabama allowed the registration only of voters who could read or write and were regularly employed, or who owned property valued at $300 or more- a measure clearly aimed at complete elimination of Blacks from voting. In Mississippi, only those who were able to pay a poll tax of up to $3 and who could, according to the voting registrar's personal assessment, read or understand any clause in the U.S. Constitution could register. Louisiana permitted only those who could read and write or owned at least $300 worth of property. (However, any person who could vote on January 1, 1867, or his descendants, was allowed to continue voting regardless of reading skills. This literal 'grandfather clause' guaranteed continued voting rights for illiterate and impoverished Whites).

South Carolina required literacy or property ownership. North Carolina charged a $2 poll tax and required the ability to read. Virginia, after 1904, allowed to vote only those who had paid their annual $1 poll tax in each of the three years prior to an election and who could fill out a registration form without assistance. Veterans from either the armies of the Union or the Confederacy were exempted of the requirements- though few of the thousands of African Americans who fought in the Union army were acknowledged as veterans." - From, "Slavery By Another Name" By: Douglas A. Blackmon

The Fly Or Die Commerce Report: The Billion Dollar Black Hair Care Industry Edition

While perusing an old issue (May 2008) of Ebony Magazine last weekend, I came across an interesting article. The article entitled, "Koreans Capitalize On Black Beauty's Big Business" By: Adrienne P. Samuels discusses the billion dollar hair care business that is bolstered by Black dollars.

According to the article, Black people spend "between an estimated $1.8 billion to $15 billion a year" on hair care.

Here are some thought provoking quotes from the article:

1) "As Blacks found more interesting ways to switch up their hairstyles, the beauty supply stores were more than happy to stock the products needed. Of course most of them brought their products from Korean distributors, thereby keeping all the money in the nationality.

One of those distributors is 7-Dollar Beauty Supply of Dallas. For them, says owner Jun Lee, the Jheri curl was the introduction of the glory years and a portent of great things to come.

'Business was really good back in the 80s and early 90s and that's when you needed the curls,' says Lee, who sell so much product that one of the world's largest perm manufacturers gave him gift tickets to the 2008 Super Bowl. 'People used a lot of activator and men were involved so we had a lot of product we were selling. And the most beautiful thing is they were washing it down the drain.'"

2) "According to market research company Mintel, Blacks make up 'only 13 percent of the American population, but account for 30 percent of hair care spending.'

Our hunger for hair wares started in the 1880s. Madam C.J. Walker (a Black woman) became the nation's first self-made female millionaire via popularizing the use of the hot comb to straighten Black hair. Fast forward 100 years, to the 1980s, when many Black-owned, Chicago-based companies became the primary manufacturers of Black hair care products, including relaxers. Many of those old-school companies sold themselves to White companies. Today, only a handful of Black-owned manufacturers and distributors exist, such as the Atlanta-based Bronner Brothers and North Carolina-based Dudley Products Company.

Black manufacturers have been largely replaced with White-owned groups such as SoftSheen-Carson,L'Oreal and Proctor & Gamble- all companies that tend to advertise heavily to Black audiences."

3) "Hamilton, who also owns a beauty supply store in Waukegan, IL, says that Koreans don't necessarily keep Blacks out the game. It's more of a supply and demand issue, she says. The distributor makes a contract with every store and the distributor agrees to not sell the same products to any store that opens within say, 5 miles of the first store. This way, everybody make more money with less competition.

Of course, if competition does find a way to enter the block, someone- usually the Korean- will lower his or her prices.

'If somebody comes next door to me and oepns a beauty supply, they're not going to get my brands,' says Hamilton. 'It doesn't matter if they're Korean or not. A lot of times we sign contracts saying for so many square miles you can't sell.'

However, documentary filmaker Aron Ranen isn't buying it.

Ranen's 2006 DVD, entitled 'Black Hair: The Korean Takeover Of The Black Hair Care Industry,' bills itself as an expose on how Koreans took over the ethnic beauty supply arena and conspire to keep all others out of the business.

In the film, which has been viewed at least 250,000 times on YouTube, Ranen suggests that Korean distributors only sell products to Korean stores, thereby canceling out the opportunity for new, and Black entrepreneurs to sell products. Ranen also suggests that Korean storeowners are not likely to sell products produced by Black companies.

'I don't think people understand the magnitude of this issue,' says Ranen, 46, who is White and originally from the New York area. He decided to make the documentary after hearing a few comments from friends. 'This is a global thing. It's not about the local store. It's about stores around the world.'

Language is also a factor, Ranen says, since the largest Black hair care trade magazines are printed in Korean. Also, a quick visit to many web sites for distributors will show the pages printed in Korean with an option to view in English.

While creating the documentary, which was filmed in part in Chicago and California, Ranen came across several Black stylists and other entrepreneurs who felt the situation was unfair. They created the Black Owned Beauty Supply Association, or BOBSA."

4) Everyone- no matter their race- at this point has learned to work together, says Clyde Hammond, president of Summit Laboratories and chairman of AHBAI [American Health and Beauty Aids Institute]. Hammond, who is Black, runs a Chicago-based company that produces hair care products. He understands how much of the business got away from Blacks. However, he said, it would be nice to see more Black owners and distributors.

'I wish we could find some African Americans who would step up and say, I wan to be an entrepreneur,' says Hammond. 'We would work to support them and back them.'"

The above quotes gives the reader a lot to think about, including: the reasons for the dearth of Black distributors in an industry that is mostly funded by Black consumers, how Black consumers decide where and how to spend their dollars, and how our images of ourselves and what we consider beautiful play into our spending habits- to name a few.

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

Black Law's Dictionary defines, "entrapment" as: "The act of officers or agents of the government in inducing a person to commit a crime not contemplated by him, for the purpose of instituting a criminal prosecution against him. According to the generally accepted view, a law enforcement official, or an undercover agent acting in cooperation with such an official, perpetrates an entrapment when, for the purpose of obtaining evidence of a crime, he originates the idea of the crime and then induces another person to engage in conduct constituting such a crime when the other person is not otherwise disposed to do so.

A public law enforcement official or a person acting in cooperation with such an official perpetuates an entrapment if for the purpose of obtaining evidence of the commission of an offense, he induces or encourages another to engage in conduct constituting such offense by either: (a) making knowingly false representations designed to induce the belief that such conduct is not prohibited; or (b) employing methods of persuasion or inducement which create a substantial risk that such an offense will be committed by persons other than those who are ready to commit it."

Quote Of The Day

"Failure to recognize possibilities is the most dangerous and common mistake one can make." -Mae Jemison

Friday, September 26, 2008

Slavery After Emancipation: Debt Slavery & Forced Confessions In Kangaroo Courts

"The county convict leasing system, with its efficient mechanisms for forcing Black men to do the bidding of White business operators, soon leached into the process of collecting debts of any kind. White farmers who advanced money to Black tenants at the beginning of a crop season began to enforce their debts not by evicting those Black men who fell behind, but by swearing out criminal warrants accusing them of fraud. Facing certain conviction by a local White judge, most laborers willingly agreed to accept their White landlords- who had brought them to court in the first place- as their 'sureties.' The defendants typically would 'confess judgment, an archaic legal concept under which the accused confesses his responsibility before being tried. The local judge then accepted payment and forfeiture of a bond from the White surety, rather than render a verdict on the alleged 'crime.' In return, the African American farmer would sign a contract to work without compensation for the White landlord for however long it took to pay back the amount of the bond.

The instances of confessing judgment spread rapidly through the farming regions of the South, according to local court dockets of the 1880s and 1890s...On its face, the arrangement appeared similar to other practices that would remain common in the courts for the next century and beyond- granting mercy to a criminal partly in exchange for a commitment to repair the damage of their crimes, and place themselves under the close supervision of a trusted party.

Occasionally, confessing judgment in the 1880s was precisely just such a legitimate, human resolution of a legal matter. But only rarely. The records of thousands of prosecutions show it was vastly more likely that an arrested Black man- knowing he had no possibility of true due process, or acquittal- agreed to confess judgment specifically to avoid the far more dire alternatives that he knew lay in wait. It was the nineteenth-century equivalent to modern plea bargains, in which a defendant agrees to a lesser sentence ahead of trial in order to be spared any possibility of the most severe punishment. The exception being that in the variation of this practice in the 1880s, it was a nearly forgone conclusion that the man under arrest would be found guilty of something. Often, his only hope for moderating the blow was to negotiate the most bearable form of forced labor.

The Black men who confessed judgment avoided being sold into the slave mines, but traded that fate for onerous labor contracts closer to home or working under men they had at least elementary knowledge of- their present landlord, or often with the same farm families under whom they or their slave forebears had worked in antebellum times. The result was that Black tenant farmers and sharecroppers often returned as uncompensated convict laborers, subject to imprisonment, shackles, and the lash, to the same fields where a few days earlier they had worked as independent, free men. White farmers often continued to claim that convict laborer was incurring additional debts for necessities such as visits by a doctor, medical care, clothing, damaged implements, or housing. Once captured by a contract under which the Black man was not free until all his debts were paid, the 'convict'- who in fact might never have been found guilty of a crime- could be held almost indefinitely. Moreover, almost any White person who became involved in the resolution of a Black man's legal situation could casually add his own 'costs' to the balance of a prisoner's debt and compel him to labor for an even longer period." -From, "Slavery By Another Name" By: Douglas A. Blackmon

Book Excerpt Of The Week: Part 2, "The Spirituality of Success" By: Vincent Roazzi

"Personal energy limitations or personal energy use not only refers to our physical energy, but also applies to our mental and spiritual energy.

Thomas Edison was once ridiculed for not being able to remember his own phone number. His reply was why should he clutter his mind with facts that could be easily accessed in a book. For our purpose, I would like o expand that answer to why should a person use his mental energy to remember an unimportant fact when he can use that mental energy to think.

We can chose to use our mind as a storehouse of knowledge, or we can use it to think. Napoleon Hill wrote the first major breakthrough to success in a book entitled, 'Think and Grow Rich.' He didn't say, 'work hard and grow rich' or 'do and grow rich.' He specifically chose the word 'think' because it's what most people didn't do. They spend their mental energy engaging in activities that don't help to bring them closer to their dreams. Worry, fear, other people's opinions, and a host of other mind drains rob them of success; rob them of creative energy their mind can use to ensure success.

What are the drains on your mental energy? How do you rationalize not being focused on your dream? How do you, or the people around you, undermine your attempts at becoming successful- whether purposely or unconsciously? When will you be ready to commit all of your energy to your dream? These are the questions that result in success." -From, "The Spirituality of Success" By: Vincent Roazzi

Book Excerpt Of The Week: Part 1, "The Spirituality of Success" By: Vincent Roazzi

"There are no gurus, genies, or fairy godmothers that can touch you with a wand and change your life. There is no magic that I, or anyone else, can perform that will give you the success you desire. The Wizard of Oz is a metaphor for those of us 'searching' for success. Like Dorothy, we all engage in elaborate searches for something that was under our noses all the time.

Becoming successful is like coming home. That which you seek has been in your possession all the while. You are the magic! You are success!...Like Dorothy, you have had the power all the time- you only lack the knowledge of that power, but it's there. It's hidden under all the layers of conditioning and programming that you've accumulated over the years." -From, "The Spirituality of Success" By: Vincent Roazzi

TODAY IS...

PLEASE PASS THIS ON! (EACH ONE TEACH ONE OR TWO!) THIS IS PHASE ONE ON HOW WE CAN HELP TO STRENGTHEN & EMPOWER OUR COMMUNITY:The 2008 not guilty verdict in the Sean Bell case evoked outrage, emotion, and debate. It is not an anomaly that the police officers involved in the Sean Bell slaying were acquitted of all charges on all counts in State Supreme Court. I could run out of ink printing the names of people who have been victimized by the inaptly named justice system.

The American justice system has been especially terroristic towards the African American community. Many community members can cite historic and personal accounts to prove this. Therefore, it would be foolhardy (at the least) to turn to a system that has methodically oppressed us, and request that they free us. We can only free ourselves through extreme discipline and intelligent planning.

As a community we have been too compliant with leaders who organize ineffective, delayed reactions. The only strategy that can save us in this last hour is one that calls for a collective code of conduct that will be conducive to improving the conditions of our community, and shifting the paradigm of how we are treated by outside entities. The first step of this code of conduct should be based on economics.

The old adage of “money talks,” still reigns true in the new millennium. Any political scientist worth his or her library card will tell you that: “Economic powerlessness equals political powerlessness,” and conversely “economic power equals political power.” This means that if we continue to allow our wealth to be extracted from our community, we will remain impotent.

The power of the collective “Black Dollar” is often discussed. However, that power has been left unchanneled. Today is the day to change that. A one-time boycott is not going to bring long-term change and respect to our community. Our community has launched boycotts before. Our success and ascension will be based on what we consistently do. For this reason, we should initiate “BUY BLACK FRIDAYS.”

BUY BLACK FRIDAYS is a small step towards our community acquiring power via controlling our economics. Every Friday, people who acknowledge the injustice and oppression that the African American community has been consistently subjected to should do one of the following:

Option #1: Spend $0 on Friday
Option #2: Spend no more than $10 on Friday
Option #3: Only Shop at Black Businesses on Friday
[PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ABOVE OPTIONS CAN & SHOULD BE EXERCISED ON A DAILY BASIS. However, we can all at the very least focus on Fridays. This way we can take a collective stand and build our collective discipline. Please remember that this is only Phase 1!].

To the people who are tempted to label “BUY BLACK FRIDAYS” as racist, I say this: In the big scheme of things, this is about right & wrong, justice & injustice. The African American community is a strong, proud community that has endured the brunt of America’s iron fist. We must stop the pounding. I feel that any fair-minded individual will concur, and join in.

ANY business that is privileged to enjoy the support of the African American community MUST return that support.

I thank you in advance for your effort and dedication.

-Elsie Law AKA Starface

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

Black Law's Dictionary defines, "entrepreneur" as: "One who, on his own, initiates and assumes the financial risks of a new enterprise and who undertakes its management."

Quote Of The Day

"As a people, we must remember that we are not as weak as we have allowed ourselves to be painted, and we are not as strong as we can be." -John E. Jacob

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Anecdote Of The Week: Does A Tyrant Need A Reason D'Etre?

"One day a Wolf met a Lamb who had strayed from the field. The Wolf resolved not to kill the Lamb without a good excuse that would justify his right to eat him.

So he said, 'Ah, you are the Lamb who insulted me so harshly last year.'

'Indeed no,' bleated the Lamb. 'A year ago, I was not yet born.'

The Wolf tried again. 'Then you must be the Lamb that feeds in my pasture.'

'No, good sir,' the Lamb protested, 'I have not yet tasted grass.'

'Well,' snapped the Wolf, 'then you are the Lamb who drinks from my well.'

'No!' exclaimed the Lamb, 'I have no need of water, for my mother's milk is both food and drink to me.'

Seizing the Lamb, the Wolf snarled, 'I will have my supper- even though you deny everyone of my accusations!' As the Lamb struggled to be free, he thought, 'Any excuse will serve a tyrant.'"- An Aesop Fable

Slavery After Emancipation: The Beginning Of The Prison Industrial Complex- Part 4

"By the end of Reconstruction in 1877, every formerly Confederate state except Virginia had adopted the practice of leasing Black prisoners into commercial hands. There were variations among the states, but all shared the same basic formula. Nearly all the penal functions of government were turned over to the companies purchasing convicts. In return for what they paid each state, the companies received absolute control of the prisoners. They were ostensibly required to provide their own prisons, clothing, and food, and bore the responsibility for keeping the convicts incarcerated. Company guards were empowered to chain prisoners, shoot those attempting to flee, torture any who wouldn't submit, and whip the disobedient- naked or clothed- almost without limit. Over eight decades, almost never were there penalties to any acquirer of these slaves for their mistreatment or deaths...

Convict leasing adopted practices almost identical to those emerging in slavery in the 1850s.

By the late 1870s, the defining characteristics of the new involuntary servitude were clearly apparent. It would be obsessed with ensuring disparate treatment of Blacks,who at times in the ensuing fifty years would constitute 90 percent or more of those sold into labor. They were routinely starved and brutalized by corporations, farmers, government officials, and small-town businessmen intent on achieving the most lucrative balance between the productivity of captive labor and the cost of sustaining them. The consequences for African Americans were grim. In the first two years that Alabama leased its prisoners, nearly 20 percent of them died. In the following year, mortality rose to 35 percent. In the fourth, nearly 45 percent were killed." -From, "Slavery By Another Name" By: Douglas A. Blackmon

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

"In 1883, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1875, the one federal law forcing Whites to comply with the provisions of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments- awarding voting and legal rights to Blacks- could be enforced only under the most rare circumstances. Civil rights was a local, not federal issue, the court found.

The effect was to open the floodgates for laws throughout the South specifically aimed at eliminating those new rights for former slaves and their descendants. Justice John Marshall Harlan, the only member of the court to oppose the opinion, publicly worried that the amendments representing the ideals of equality and freedom articulated by Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address, as well as the arching moral justification for the carnage of the Civil War, had been renounced." From, "Slavery By Another Name" By: Douglas A. Blackmon

Quote Of The Day

"It takes strength to remember; it takes another kind to forget. It takes a hero to do both." -James Baldwin

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Be Active With Your Community Board...

According to The New York City Website, The Community Board serves the following functions:
"Boards have an important advisory role in dealing with land use and zoning matters, the City budget, municipal service delivery, and many other matters relating to their communities' welfare.

LAND USE AND ZONING:
Community Boards must be consulted on placement of most municipal facilities in the community and on other land use issues. They may also initiate their own plans for the growth and well being of their communities. Also, any application for a change in or variance from the zoning resolution must come before the Board for review, and the Board's position is considered in the final determination of these applications.

CITY BUDGET:
Community Boards assess the needs of their own neighborhoods, meet with City agencies, and make recommendations in the City's budget process to address them.

OTHER COMMUNITY CONCERNS:
Any problem which affects part or all of the community, from a traffic problem to deteriorating housing, is a proper concern of a Community Board.

LIMITATIONS:
The Community Board, its District Manager, and its office staff serve as advocates and service coordinators for the community and its residents. They cannot order any City agency or official to perform any task, but Boards are usually successful in resolving the problems they address."

In New York City, The Community Boards are divided into various regions by borough. For example, Brooklyn's Community Board 8 covers the following neighborhoods: Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, and Weeksville. It caters to the residents who live within the confines of the 77th Precinct. Each Community Board holds monthly meetings. All types of information is given out at these meetings; including information on: construction projects, community budgets, community events, free community programs, and various types of available jobs and job training programs.

CLICK HERE
to locate Brooklyn's Community Boards.
CLICK HERE to locate The Bronx's Community Boards.
CLICK HERE to locate Manhattan's Community Boards.
CLICK HERE to locate Queens' Community Boards.
CLICK HERE to locate Staten Island's Community Boards.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words Pic Of The Week

"The Cell" By: Nelson Mandela

Slavery After Emancipation: The Beginning Of The Prison Industrial Complex- Part 3

"In 1871, Tennessee leased its nearly eight hundred prisoners, nearly all of them Black to Thomas O'Conner, a founding partner along with Arthur Colyar of Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Co. In the four decades after the war, as Coylar built his company into an industrial behemoth, its center of operations gradually shifted to Alabama, where it was increasingly apparent that truly vast reserves of coal and iron ore lay beneath the surface.

Colyar, like Milner, was one of those prominent southern businessmen who bridged the era of slavery and the distinct new economic opportunities of the region at the end of the nineteenth century. They were true slavers, raised in the old traditions of bondage, but also men who believed that African Americans under the lash were the key to building an industrial sector in the South to fend off the growing influence of northern capitalists.

Already, Whites realized that the combination of trumped-up legal charges and forced labor as punishment created both a desirable business proposition and an incredibly effective tool for intimidating rank-and-file emancipated African Americans and doing away with their most effective leaders.

The newly installed White government of Hale County- deep in the majority Black cotton growing sections of Alabama- began leasing prisoners to private parties in August 1875. A local grand jury said the new practice was 'contributing much to the revenues of the county, instead of being an expense.' The money derived from selling convicts was placed in the Fine and Forfeiture Fund, which was used to pay fees to judges, sheriffs, other low officials, and witnesses who helped convict defendants...

By the end of 1877, fifty convict laborers were at work in Milner's Newcastle Coal Company mine outside Birmingham. An additional fifty-eight men had been forced into the Eureka mines he founded near Helena. A total of 557 prisoners had been turned over that year to private corporations by the state of Alabama." -From, "Slavery By Another Name" By: Douglas A. Blackmon

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

When there are an inordinate amount of defendants of plaintiffs involved in a lawsuit, the court creates a class action suit- in which there is a single lawsuit filed for the whole group. Doing this eliminates the chance of there being different judgments for a case involving the same details.

According to "Law 101": "Once a class action is certified the court engages in unusual procedures to make sure that the interests of the class members are protected. In most class actions, the representatives are required to give notice to members of the class action and of their right to opt out- to choose not be members of the class and to conduct their own litigation...They might also be required to publish advertisements in newspapers to try to reach people...The members might also have to be notified of any proposed settlement and given an opportunity to comment on its fairness before the judge approves it."

Quote Of The Day

"If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started." -Marcus Garvey

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Video Of The Week

Great advice from a very accomplished individual:

Are NYC Housing Project's Residents Being Harassed By The Police? Gentrification May Be The Reason Why

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest recently conducted a survey to determine how residents of New York City housing projects are treated by the police.

The surveyors asked 181 residents of a Brooklyn housing project, and an East Harlem housing project how many times they were stopped and questioned by the police. According to the New York Daily News, the results were as follows: Of the 106 people surveyed at the Thomas Jefferson housing project in Harlem, 30% said that they had been arrested for trespassing at their own place of residence, "70% said they had been repeatedly stopped by cops demanding identification...More than half queried at Walt Whitman [a Fort Greene Brooklyn housing project] said police had stopped them at least once in the last year."

While the surveyed residents feel violated by the intense scrutiny and unwarranted arrests, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne failed to address the residents concerns; instead he issued a statement saying, "Collecting anecdotes from anyone who opens the door does not constitute data." Mr. Browne also stated that the projects were being targeted because they had a spike in crime this year.

I think Mr. Browne should note that if "collecting anecdotes from anyone who opens the door does not constitute data," then unwarranted and unlawful harassment of residents definitely doesn't constitute good police work, or a crime deterrent.

[CLICK HERE: For yesterday's story about a 17-year old Brooklyn housing project resident who got her jaw broken by a NYPD housing officer, after he allegedly stooped her for riding her bike on the sidewalk.]

[A VERY IMPORTANT SIDEBAR: With New York City housing projects being "allegedly" targeted by the city and real estate developers to become New York's newest high-price condos, residents are likely being harassed in order to pressure them to move out. The projects are the hottest most coveted real estate in the city for wealthy developers.]

Slavery After Emancipation: The Beginning Of The Prison Industrial Complex- Part 2

"Hardly a year after the end of the war, in 1866, Alabama governor Robert M. Patton, in return for the total sum of $5, leased for six years his state's 374 state prisoners to a company calling itself 'Smith and McMillen.' The transaction was in fact a sham, as the partnership was actually controlled by the Alabama and Chattanooga Railroad. Governor Patton became president of the railroad three years later. Such duplicity would be endemic to convict leasing. For the next eighty years, in every southern state, the question of who controlled the fates of Black prisoners, which few Black men and women among armies of defendants had committed true crimes, and who was receiving the financial benefits of their reenslavement would almost always never be answered.

Later in 1866, Texas leased 250 convicts to two railroads at the rate of $12.50 a month. In May 1868, the state of Georgia signed a lease under which the Georgia and Alabama railroad acquired one hundred convicts, all of them Black, for $2,500. Later that year, the state sold 134 prisoners to the Selma,Rome and Dalton Railroad and sent 109 others to the line being constructed between the towns of Macon and Brunswick, Georgia.

Arkansas began contracting out its state convicts in 1867, selling the rights to prisoners convicted of both state crimes and federal offenses. Mississippi turned over its 241 prisoners to the state's largest cotton planter, Edmund Richardson, in 1868. Three years later, the convicts were transferred to Nathan Bedford Forrest, the former Confederate general, who in civilian life already was a major planter and railroad developer. In 1866, he and five other rebel officers had founded the Ku Klux Klan. Florida leased out half of the one hundred prisoners in its Chattahoochee penitentiary in 1869.

North Carolina began 'farming out' its convicts in 1872. After White South Carolinians led by Democrat Wade Hampton violently ousted the last Black government of the state in 1877, the legislature promptly passed a law allowing for the sale of the state's four hundred Black and thirty White prisoners." -From, "Slavery By Another Name" By: Douglas A. Blackmon

Definitions Better Than Webster's: Part 13

VAGRANCY:
"Vagrancy, the offense of a person not being able to prove at a given moment that he or she is employed, was a new and flimsy concoction dredged up from legal obscurity at the end of the nineteenth century by the state legislatures of Alabama and other southern states. It was capriciously enforced by local sheriffs and constables, adjudicated by mayors and notaries public, recorded haphazardly or not at all in court records, and most tellingly in a time of massive unemployment among all southern man, was reserved almost exclusively for Black men." -From, "Slavery By Another Name" By: Douglas A. Blackmon

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

Black's Law Dictionary defines "vagrancy" as: "At common law, the act of going about from place to place by a person without visible means of support, who is idle, and who, though able to work for his or her maintenance, refuses to do so, but lives without labor or on the charity of others.

As defined by Kansas Criminal Code, vagrancy is: (a) Engaging in unlawful occupation; or (b) Being if the age of 18 years or over and able to work and without lawful means of support and failing or refusing to seek employment; or (c) Loitering in any community without visible means of support; or (d) Loitering on the streets or in a place open to the public with intent to solicit for immoral purposes; or (e) Deriving support in whole or in part from begging.

State vagrancy statutes, however, vary greatly, and many have been declared unconstitutional because, as drawn, they purport to punish conduct which is not criminal or are worded too vaguely to inform persons of the nature of the act declared criminal."

Quote Of The Day

"A professional is an amateur who didn't quit."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Slavery After Emancipation: The Beginning Of The Prison Industrial Complex- Part 1

"With the southern economy in ruins, state officials limited to the barest resources, and county governments with even fewer, the concept of reintroducing the forced labor of Blacks as a means of funding government services was viewed by Whites as an inherently practical method of eliminating the cost of building prisons and returning Blacks to their appropriate position in society. Forcing convicts to work as part of punishment for an ostensible crime was clearly legal too; the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, adopted in 1865 to formally abolish slavery, specifically permitted involuntary servitude as a punishment for 'duly convicted' criminals.

Beginning in the late 1860s, and accelerating after the return of White political control in 1877, every southern state enacted an array of interlocking laws essentially intended to criminalize Black life. Many such laws were struck down in court appeals or through federal interventions, but new statutes embracing the same strictures on Black life quickly appeared to replace them. Few laws specifically enunciated their applicability only to Blacks, but it was widely understood that these provisions would rarely if ever be enforced on Whites. Every southern state except Arkansas and Tennessee had passed laws by the end of 1865 outlawing vagrancy and so vaguely defining it that virtually any freed slave not under the protection of a White man could be arrested for the crime. An 1865 Mississippi statute required African American workers to enter into labor contracts with White farmers by January 1 of every year or risk arrest. Four other states legislated that African Americans could not legally be hired for work without a discharge paper from their previous employer- effectively preventing them from leaving the plantation of the White man they worked for. In the 1880s, Alabama, North Carolina, and Florida enacted laws making it a criminal act for a Black man to change employers without permission.

In nearly all cases, the potential penalty awaiting Black men, and a small number of women, snared by those laws was the prospect of being sold into forced labor. Many states in the South and the North attempted to place their prisoners in private hands during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The state of Alabama was long predisposed to the idea, rather than taking on the cost of housing and feeding prisoners itself. It experimented with turning over convicts to private 'wardens' during the 1840s and 1850s but was ultimately unsatisfied with the results. The state saved some expense but gathered no revenue. Moreover, the physical abuse that came to be almost synonymous with privatized incarceration always was eventually unacceptable in an era when virtually every convict was White. The punishment of slaves for misdeeds rested with their owners." -From, "Slavery By Another Name" By: Douglas A. Blackmon

Book Review Of The Month: "I See Black People: The Rise and Fall of African American Owned Television and Radio" By: Kristal Brent Zook

A society that doesn't have a viable means of truthful communication isn't much of a society. Communication is what every form of human interaction and creation is about. A large majority of our technological advances focuses on making communication speedier and more efficient. The importance of communication makes the controllers of its distribution very powerful and influential.

Television and radio communicates messages that are subliminal and overt, to masses of people every nanosecond of the day. But, what happens when the ownership of the conduits of message relaying is in the hands of a few? The results of that stingy type of ownership is a feeding of myopic viewpoints to the general public, and a silencing of voices that don't have the means of widespread message-sending. What good is having the right to freedom of speech, if you don't have a noticeable platform on which to exercise that right? This is why the dearth of ownership of television and radio stations in the hands of African Americans is such a pertinent issue for the Black community.

In, "I See Black People: The Rise and Fall of African American Owned Television and Radio," the author, Kristal Brent Zook, explores the history of Black ownership of media corporations. She smartly does this via ten interviews with pioneering African American media moguls. These interviews are revelatory regarding what it takes to own and operate radio and television stations. The interviewees also address what it means to be an African American in the tight fisted, mostly closed shop realm of media ownership.

Through the book's subjects renderings of their sacrifices, tribulations and triumphs, the reader is able to relate to the moguls' passionate attempts to strive in a business that has been traditionally unwelcoming to minority ownership. The book leaves the reader aware of the many market niches that are ignored by the media big wigs. These niches are begging ti be catered to, or at the very least even acknowledged.

After reading this terse and enlightening tome, I was left contemplating what the future of African American ownership will be. With all of the digital transmissions being implemented for television and radio, will the FCC be wise enough to allow savvy moguls from various ethnic groups to have an opportunity to "sit at the big table?"

Including deserving experts from a multitude of cultures in the running of media outlets will help to benefit society by providing a balance of viewpoints. Plus, for all of the number-crunchers: It would help the bottom line too. Consumers need to demand that their voices are heard in this new, digital revolution.

Cops Gone Wild Part 17: The Break A Teenage Girl's Jaw In Two Places and Leave Her Handcuffed To A Hospital Bed For Over A Week Edition

A 17 year-old girl, who is a resident of a Bedford Stuyvesant housing project, was stopped by police officers for the minor offense of riding her bicycle on the sidewalk. The teenager was near her place of residence when she was stopped. The situation quickly escalated when one of the officers were allegedly offended by something the young girl called him. The "offensive" moniker that the teenager uttered, which witnesses attest provoked the officer to unjustifiable violence, was: "Rookie."

The teenager called the officer a "rookie," after he badgered her to get her to reveal her address. As soon as the term left her lips, NYPD Housing Officer Desmond Nichols allegedly punched the young girl in her jaw- breaking it in two places.

The teenage Brooklynite was then handcuffed and arrested. She was charged with riding her bicycle on the sidewalk and marijuana possession. According to the NY Daily News, Officer Nichols also "tried to cite her for resisting arrest, but the prosecutor did not file that charge."

After being arrested and charged with the above states infractions, the teenage girl was handcuffed to a hospital bed for more than a week as she tried to recuperate from her injuries. The NYPD and Brooklyn District Attorney are reportedly investigating this situation.

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

Black's Law Dictionary defines "implead" as follows: "To sue; to prosecute. To bring new party into action on ground that new party is, or may be, liable to party who brings him in, for all or part of the subject matter claim."

Quote Of The Day

"Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as they can from a lack of bread." -Richard Wright

Friday, September 19, 2008

Book Excerpt Of The Week: Part 2, "Wisdom Of The Peaceful Warrior" By: Dan Millman

"You've probably heard the saying that everyone is an optimist in the first hours of a diet. So when we make positive changes, take on new disciplines, or start new exercise routines or dietary regimens, we begin with enthusiasm and may even experience positive results in a relatively short time.

But inevitably, over time, we hit plateaus and find that with the peaks come valleys. Our disciplines are no longer new; they become routine (after three days or weeks or months or years). And at some point the initial passion or motivation wears thin. It's no longer fun telling friends about our new and exciting enterprise. All that's left is us and the daily decision to persist or not...

In this phase our old, familiar, and generally easier lifestyles call us back to the way things were. Fits of nostalgia fill our fantasy lives as doubts arise. After all, what was so bad about the way things were?

Applying willpower against the inertia of old habits is like applying friction to roll a boulder uphill; it creates psychic heat that has a purifying, empowering effect. But it burns just the same, and we hear the sire's sweet song, urging us to go back to the familiar, to be like everyone else, to be welcomed back into the fold, to take the pressure off.

Thus, to stop engaging in a destructive habit, such as smoking or binge drinking, it isn't enough to stop just once; we have to stop ourselves again and again, each and every time temptation arises- even when no one's praising us or cheering us on except ourselves. At times like this, remember these words attributed to Abraham Lincoln: 'I desire to live that if at the end, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me.'

From the transcendental view, whatever we do is perfect (no right or wrong, only consequences). We each have our own choices to make, our own lives to live. But at certain decision points, when we don't know which path to take, it may be helpful to ask, 'What do I want to look back on ten years from now? What if my children faced this choice? What choice would I wish for them?'

Character is revealed through the choices we make under pressure. The choices we make and the actions we take after the honeymoon is over- when motivation fades and doubts arise- are the true test of character. If our behaviors are aligned with our highest aims, despite resistance or boredom or fear, them we continue to persist just one more hour, just one more way, along the peaceful warrior's way." -From, "Wisdom Of The Peaceful Warrior" By: Dan Millman

Book Excerpt Of The Week: Part 1, "Wisdom Of The Peaceful Warrior" By: Dan Millman

"Whenever we improve or refine one of our habits or behaviors, we may find that friends, colleagues, lived ones, and peers take notice and comments or opinions. When one part of a system changes, it creates a pressure for another part to change, so it's natural for others to react to our changes.

More concretely, let's say Joe and Sally, a married couple, have both gotten out of shape from too much eating and too little exercise. Then let's say one of them decides to start a regular exercise routine and to eat less. Do you think the other spouse is going to cheer the first on and follow this good example? Perhaps, because a change in one person does create an innate pressure for the other to change as well. But the person, 'left behind' may sometimes engage in undermining behavior- expressing a wish, conscious or not, for the partner to go back to being the old Sally or Joe.

We humans constantly compare ourselves with, and even compete with, others. It isn't necessarily the most ideal or mature tendency, but it's a common one...

People feel more comfortable around those who make them feel good about themselves, and our discipline may cause others to reflect on their own habits. So if we take a higher path, or just a different one, those who remain in place may feel less comfortable around us- our smoking or drinking buddies may even discourage our efforts to stop.

Walking a different path, no longer fitting in, can be a test of character. It may entail finding new friends who share our values. We have to deal with the fear that our changes in behavior or lifestyle may distance us from our spouses, partners, or friends. When moving into new and unfamiliar territory, explorers typically face the fear of separation, being cut off from the group. At times like these, we need to remember that we're not all here to fit in; some of us are here to lead.

If we're belittled by others who may feel threatened by a change we're making, we can ask ourselves, 'Am I going to worship the god of opinion or listen to the God of my heart? Will I let others intimidate me into being more like them? Is fitting in such a high virtue? Or will I lead by example and give them the space to make their own choices as well?" -From, "Wisdom Of The Peaceful Warrior" By: Dan Millman

TODAY IS...

PLEASE PASS THIS ON! (EACH ONE TEACH ONE OR TWO!) THIS IS PHASE ONE ON HOW WE CAN HELP TO STRENGTHEN & EMPOWER OUR COMMUNITY:The 2008 not guilty verdict in the Sean Bell case evoked outrage, emotion, and debate. It is not an anomaly that the police officers involved in the Sean Bell slaying were acquitted of all charges on all counts in State Supreme Court. I could run out of ink printing the names of people who have been victimized by the inaptly named justice system.

The American justice system has been especially terroristic towards the African American community. Many community members can cite historic and personal accounts to prove this. Therefore, it would be foolhardy (at the least) to turn to a system that has methodically oppressed us, and request that they free us. We can only free ourselves through extreme discipline and intelligent planning.

As a community we have been too compliant with leaders who organize ineffective, delayed reactions. The only strategy that can save us in this last hour is one that calls for a collective code of conduct that will be conducive to improving the conditions of our community, and shifting the paradigm of how we are treated by outside entities. The first step of this code of conduct should be based on economics.

The old adage of “money talks,” still reigns true in the new millennium. Any political scientist worth his or her library card will tell you that: “Economic powerlessness equals political powerlessness,” and conversely “economic power equals political power.” This means that if we continue to allow our wealth to be extracted from our community, we will remain impotent.

The power of the collective “Black Dollar” is often discussed. However, that power has been left unchanneled. Today is the day to change that. A one-time boycott is not going to bring long-term change and respect to our community. Our community has launched boycotts before. Our success and ascension will be based on what we consistently do. For this reason, we should initiate “BUY BLACK FRIDAYS.”

BUY BLACK FRIDAYS is a small step towards our community acquiring power via controlling our economics. Every Friday, people who acknowledge the injustice and oppression that the African American community has been consistently subjected to should do one of the following:

Option #1: Spend $0 on Friday
Option #2: Spend no more than $10 on Friday
Option #3: Only Shop at Black Businesses on Friday
[PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ABOVE OPTIONS CAN & SHOULD BE EXERCISED ON A DAILY BASIS. However, we can all at the very least focus on Fridays. This way we can take a collective stand and build our collective discipline. Please remember that this is only Phase 1!].

To the people who are tempted to label “BUY BLACK FRIDAYS” as racist, I say this: In the big scheme of things, this is about right & wrong, justice & injustice. The African American community is a strong, proud community that has endured the brunt of America’s iron fist. We must stop the pounding. I feel that any fair-minded individual will concur, and join in.

ANY business that is privileged to enjoy the support of the African American community MUST return that support.

I thank you in advance for your effort and dedication.

-Elsie Law AKA Starface

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

According to Nolo's website glossary, a grand jury is defined as: "A group that decides whether there is enough to justify an indictment (formal charges) and a trial in a criminal case. A grand jury indictment is the first step, after arrest, in any formal prosecution of a felony."

Quote Of The Day

"We have allowed our civilization to outrun our culture, and so we are in danger now of ending up with guided missiles in the hands of misguided men." -Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Number Of NYC Chain Stores Is Off The Charts

It's obviously obvious that NYC is saturated with chain stores. New chain store franchises are constantly popping up. You can hardly walk a couple of blocks in the city, without bumping into a name-brand chain store.

If you are from New York, you can almost literally patronize a different Dunkin Donuts every day for a year. According to The New York Daily News, a survey conducted by a New York based think tank (The Center For An Urban Future), has counted 341 Dunkin Donuts within the city.

While Dunkin Donuts leads the pack for having the highest number of retailers in NYC, there are other retailers whose presence numbers into the hundreds. The Center For An Urban Future, came up with the following tally:
-335 Subway Sandwich Shops
-248 McDonald's
-235 Starbucks
-216 Duane Reade
-215 Baskin Robbins

The multitudes of national chains is said to be the reason that mom and pop shops are going by the wayside. The gradual elimination of local mom and pop shops is killing small businesses that were once the pride and the flavor of many neighborhoods.

The endangered species status of mom and pop shops is changing the way that economics is generated and circulated throughout the community. Support your local mom and pop shops. They deserve a chance to compete in the market too.

Pioneer Spotlight- Willie Davis: NFL Hall-Of-Famer & Entrepreneur Extraordinaire

Willie Davis has broken ground in sports and business. An excerpt from, "I See Black People: The Rise and Fall of African American Owned Television and Radio" By: Kristal Brent Zook, gives a brief synopsis of his accomplishments:

"Willie Davis, a former NFL Super Bowl champion for the Green Bay Packers, was unlike most athletes of his day. Not only did he play in the first two Super Bowls, in 1967 and 1968, and become a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981, but Davis also had the foresight to plan for a life after sports by attending the University of Chicago during off seasons. He was awarded his MBA in 1968, just before retiring from professional football.

In South Los Angeles, Davis went on to found the West Coast Beverage Company, a venture he quickly grew into a multimillion-dollar enterprise with a total of 126 employees. In 1976, Davis shifted gears again and founded All Pro Broadcasting, Inc., which remains a majority Black-owned media company in partnership with Northwestern Mutual Life. That same year, All Pro acquired its first radio station, K-ACE in Los Angeles, a rhythm and blues and oldies format that Davis salvaged from bankruptcy and made profitable. Today, the company owns four radio stations."

Anecdote Of The Week: Do You Value Quantity Or Quality?

"The beasts of field and forest were arguing as to which of the animals produced the greatest number of young ones.

Just then a lioness passed by. The beasts stopped her and said, 'We are trying to find out who among us has the most offspring. Pray tell us, madam, how many cubs are born to you at one time?'

The lioness smiled and answered, 'Only one, but pray remember, he is a lion! Value is in worth, not in number.'" -From, "Aesop's Fables"

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

According to Nolo's website glossary, nolo contendere is explained by stating: "If a defendant pleads nolo contendere, she neither admits nor denies that she committed the crime, but agrees to a punishment (usually a fine or jail time) as if guilty. Usually, this type of plea is entered because it can't be used as an admission of guilt if a civil case is held after the criminal trial."

Quote Of The Day

"The first step to taking over a country is to take over its media." -Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Solomon Jamerson (From, "I See Black People: The Rise and Fall of African American Owned Television and Radio" By: Kristal Brent Zook)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Have You Seen One Of These In Your Neighborhood?

Have you seen the above pictured contraption in your neighborhood? It is called "Sky Watch." It is a high tech surveillance device that is sold by "ICx Tactical Platforms." On their website, ICx labels Sky Watch as a "Force Multiplier."


Here's how the the company describes the 20-foot high collapsible to their potential customers, on their website:

"Every tower includes the basics for the comfort and safety of the officer inside through adjustable heat and air conditioning, tinted sliding glass windows and comfortable seating. And no matter the application, only one man is required to set up and deploy a unit.

Sky Watch can easily be relocated and is rugged enough to handle even the most primitive off-road conditions. And all models are adaptable for cameras, radios, public address systems and other equipment integration.

Now, one officer can cover an area previously requiring three or more personnel.

STANDARD FEATURES:
Totally self-sustained
Heating and air conditioning
Customized surveillance equipment integration
Tinted windows
Solar panel for increased energy output
Control console with weatherproof switch panel
Roof-mounted flood lights
Two 110V GFI outlets
One 12V outlet
Fail safe hydraulic system with electric and manual ascent and descent controls
Wind speed meter Generator or shore power options

APLICATIONS:
Force Protection
Port Security
Consequence management
Disaster response
Flight line protection and surveillance
Parking lot surveillance and traffic management"


These towers can reportedly cost the buyer as much as $100,000. Their marketers also boast that they, contain "four cameras, a high-powered spotlight, and various sensors. The digital cameras, continue to record when the booth is unstaffed, saving the video to a hard drive."

Sky Watch is being used for "border control," as well as increasingly popping up in urban cities across the nation.

[SIDEBAR: Heavy surveillance has not been proven to reduce crime. Earlier this year, a serial rapist ran loose in a Brooklyn housing project; racking up victims within a small geographic area that had over 200 high tech surveillance cameras. So if it's not preventing crime, then I must ask, "Why all of the heavy-handed surveillance?"

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words Pic Of The Week

The above collage is entitled, "New Orleans: Ragging Home." It was created by Romare Bearden. Romare Bearden (1911-1988) was a North Carolina-born, Harlem raised artist, who also briefly played in the Negro Baseball Leagues.

Definitions Better Than Webster's: Part 12

FAITH:
"Faith is the courage to live as if everything that happens is for our highest good and learning." -"Wisdom Of The Peaceful Warrior" By: Dan Millman

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

According to Black's Law Dictionary, an arraignment is a "procedure whereby the accused is brought before the court to plead to the criminal charge in the indictment or information. The charge is read to him and he is asked to plead 'guilty' or 'not guilty' or, where permitted, 'nolo contendere.' Arraignment shall be conducted in open court and shall consist of reading the indictment or information to the defendant or stating to him the substance of the charge and calling on him to plead thereto. He shall be given a copy of the indictment or information before he is called upon to plead."

Quote Of The Day

"The accuracy of your assessment of yourself, a lot of times, will determine your success. You can't be too hard on yourself, and you can't be too easy. You have to be accurate." -Wynton Marsalis

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Adverse Effects Of Electronic Smog

The modern technological byproduct of "electronic smog" is said to be detrimental to certain forms of nature. Man-made electrical fields, that are created via wi-fi, cellphones, and power lines, are increasingly becoming denser as more people become converts to mobile technology.

According to The Independent, "Dr Ulrich Warnke, who has been researching the effects of man-made electrical fields on wildlife for more than 30 years," has said that, "man-made technology has created transmitters which have fundamentally changed the natural electromagnetic energies and forces on the earth's surface. Animals that depend on natural electrical, magnetic and electromagnetic fields for their orientation and navigation are confused by the much stronger and constantly changing artificial fields."

The doctor is specifically boisterous of the effects that electronic smog is having on sparrows and bee colonies. The Independent, has quoted Dr. Warnke as saying that his research has shown that the dense man-manufactured electrical fields "could be responsible for the disappearance of bees in Europe and the US (in what is known as colony collapse disorder), for the decline of the house sparrow (whose numbers have fallen by half in Britain over the past 30 years), and that it could also interfere with bird migration."

There is still no concrete evidence as to how this electronic smog is effecting us homosapiens. However, some researchers are blaming electrical fields for everything from cancer to miscarriages to suicides. My concern is that we won't know the truth until it is too late. Being that the truth of this situation could tamper with the bottom line of almost every high-powered corporation, there is likely an ongoing campaign to conceal it.

Here's Something The Cigarette Companies Neglected To Tell You...

Polonium, a radioactive carcinogenic, is one of the ingredients that is found in cigarettes. Reportedly, for decades, some of the most profitable tobacco corporations on the globe have been researching the lethal effects that polonium can have on people who ingest it. However, they failed to release the full scope of their findings; leaving customers in the dark about the death that the the radioactive substance could provoke.

According to The Independent, after "experts have examined more than 1,500 internal documents from tobacco companies," the cat is out of the bag regarding the damage that the chemical can do.

Experts state that, "Polonium 210 is known to cause lung cancers in animals and studies suggest it is responsible for 1 per cent of all lung cancers- equivalent to 11,700 deaths globally- each year in the US." [Quoted From, "The Independent"]

Despite having knowledge of the deadly nature of polonium, tobacco companies have not eliminated the chemical from their products. While the presence of polonium is said to naturally occur in tobacco leaves, tobacco companies aware of its deadly side effects hired scientists to attempt to remove the substance or nullify its effects. However, they were unsuccessful.

After their failure, the profit-rich companies neglected to inform the public of their findings and lack of success. After all, they didn't want to scare off customers, and cause their riches to dwindle.

For all the smokers out there: Is the knowledge that you are puffing on a radioactive substance enough to make you quit?

Video Of The Week

Some inspiration for all of the entrepreneurs. You may not do it her way...but, THERE IS A WAY! Nothing is impossible!


Related:
CLICK HERE For: Book Excerpt Of The Week- Part 1, "Sweet Expectations: Michele Hoskins' Recipe For Success" By: Michele Hoskins
CLICK HERE For: Book Excerpt Of The Week- Part 2, "Sweet Expectations: Michele Hoskins' Recipe For Success" By: Michele Hoskins

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

According to the Government Printing Office's website, "The United States Statutes at Large, typically referred to as the Statutes at Large, is the permanent collection of all laws and resolutions enacted during each session of Congress. The Statutes at Large is prepared and published by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR), National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Every public and private law passed by Congress is published in the Statutes at Large, in order of the date it was enacted into law."

Quote Of The Day

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else." -Charles Dickens

Monday, September 15, 2008

Invention Spotlight: The Solar Powered, Pilotless Plane

The UK has invented an impressive airplane that can fly by the power of the sun. According to the BBC, the solar-powered aircraft can fly anytime of the day or night- "running through the night on batteries it had charged in the sunlight."

The new solar-powered plane doesn't need to be pilot operated. It can be directed to maneuver via remote control or satellite.

The prototype plane, nicknamed The Zephyr-6, recently set an unofficial world record for being the longest flying unmanned aircraft. The Zephyr-6 reportedly flew uninterrupted for 82 hours and 37 minutes.

The BBC states that the U.S. military is looking to implement this new technology to assist their military ground troops. They are reportedly hoping to use the solar-powered plane for reconnaissance operations, and battlefield communication. There are also hopes that the solar planes will be used commercially, in the future.

The Fly Or Die Commerce Report: The "Another One Bites The Dust" Edition

Lehman Brothers, the fourth largest investment bank in The United States, has filed for bankruptcy. The financial institute was founded in 1850 by three brothers, and has approximately 25,000 employees worldwide.

The fall of Lehman brothers, makes it the third of the top five U.S. investment banks to take a fall. It has now joined Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns as financial world casualties.

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

The U.S. Code: Title 25, addresses the U.S. Law regarding Indians. Under this particular title of the U.S. Code, there are 44 chapters- dealing with everything from: "Indian Tribal Justice Support," "Native American Languages," "National Indian Forest Resources Management," "Tribally Controlled School Grants," "Indian Land Claim Settlements," the "Constitutional Rights of Indians," and "The Bureau Of Indian Affairs,"- to name a few.

Quote Of The Day

"We can't fight, and beg from those we fight at the same time." -A.G. Gaston

Friday, September 12, 2008

Book Excerpt Of The Week: Part 2, "Soul Stories" By: Gary Zukav

"Until you have the courage to enter into relationships of substance and depth, you can't develop spiritually. It doesn't matter how long you meditate, or how many intentions you set. Sooner or later you have to apply what you meditated, prayed and intended. That requires other people. When other people are committed to growing spiritually, too, then you are in a spiritual partnership.

We are all beginning to want spiritual partners, and to create spiritual partnerships. Shallow talk isn't enough anymore. Making money, raising children, and buying houses aren't enough. Only spiritual growth satisfies. That is because we are all becoming new females and new males.

Every spiritual partnership is different. Some look like marriages. Others look like businesses. Others look like baseball teams. Spiritual partners decide what their partnerships look like. They also decide what roles they play in them. Each spiritual partner sees himself as a soul first, and a personality second. Each is committed to growing spiritually. Each knows that the purpose of spiritual partnership is spiritual growth.

When a marriage, a business, or a baseball team becomes a spiritual partnership, there is no limit to the creativity, love, and spiritual growth that it can produce. Its future is limited only by the choices that the partners make. Marriages, businesses, and baseball teams that don't become spiritual partnerships, don't have a future." -From, "Soul Stories" By: Gary Zukav

Book Excerpt Of The Week: Part 1, "Soul Stories" By: Gary Zukav

"An intention is not a wish. A wish doesn't cause anything to happen. An intention pushes against the way things are in your life. Those things push back exactly the same way. (Remember, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction).

You can see what your intentions are by looking at what is happening around you. Are the people in your life kind and loving? If so, your intentions are kind and loving. (And you are a member of the love and kindness clubs). Are the people around you angry or jealous? If so, your intentions are angry or jealous. (And you are a member of the anger and jealousy clubs).

You intentions create everything you experience. For example, if you play baseball, your intentions, not the game, determine what you experience. If you intend to win, you will be anxious before each game. You will be miserable if you lose. You will worry about you teammates, and how they play. If you intend to do your best, your experience will be very different. You will look forward to playing. You will be relaxed and ready for anything. You will be grateful to the other team for giving you the chance to do your best." -From, "Soul Stories" By: Gary Zukav

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

According To The U.S. Government Printing Office's website, "The United States Code is the codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States. It is divided by broad subjects into 50 titles and published by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives. Since 1926, the United States Code has been published every six years. In between editions, annual cumulative supplements are published in order to present the most current information."

TODAY IS...

PLEASE PASS THIS ON! (EACH ONE TEACH ONE OR TWO!) THIS IS PHASE ONE ON HOW WE CAN HELP TO STRENGTHEN & EMPOWER OUR COMMUNITY:The 2008 not guilty verdict in the Sean Bell case evoked outrage, emotion, and debate. It is not an anomaly that the police officers involved in the Sean Bell slaying were acquitted of all charges on all counts in State Supreme Court. I could run out of ink printing the names of people who have been victimized by the inaptly named justice system.

The American justice system has been especially terroristic towards the African American community. Many community members can cite historic and personal accounts to prove this. Therefore, it would be foolhardy (at the least) to turn to a system that has methodically oppressed us, and request that they free us. We can only free ourselves through extreme discipline and intelligent planning.

As a community we have been too compliant with leaders who organize ineffective, delayed reactions. The only strategy that can save us in this last hour is one that calls for a collective code of conduct that will be conducive to improving the conditions of our community, and shifting the paradigm of how we are treated by outside entities. The first step of this code of conduct should be based on economics.

The old adage of “money talks,” still reigns true in the new millennium. Any political scientist worth his or her library card will tell you that: “Economic powerlessness equals political powerlessness,” and conversely “economic power equals political power.” This means that if we continue to allow our wealth to be extracted from our community, we will remain impotent.

The power of the collective “Black Dollar” is often discussed. However, that power has been left unchanneled. Today is the day to change that. A one-time boycott is not going to bring long-term change and respect to our community. Our community has launched boycotts before. Our success and ascension will be based on what we consistently do. For this reason, we should initiate “BUY BLACK FRIDAYS.”

BUY BLACK FRIDAYS is a small step towards our community acquiring power via controlling our economics. Every Friday, people who acknowledge the injustice and oppression that the African American community has been consistently subjected to should do one of the following:

Option #1: Spend $0 on Friday
Option #2: Spend no more than $10 on Friday
Option #3: Only Shop at Black Businesses on Friday
[PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ABOVE OPTIONS CAN & SHOULD BE EXERCISED ON A DAILY BASIS. However, we can all at the very least focus on Fridays. This way we can take a collective stand and build our collective discipline. Please remember that this is only Phase 1!].

To the people who are tempted to label “BUY BLACK FRIDAYS” as racist, I say this: In the big scheme of things, this is about right & wrong, justice & injustice. The African American community is a strong, proud community that has endured the brunt of America’s iron fist. We must stop the pounding. I feel that any fair-minded individual will concur, and join in.

ANY business that is privileged to enjoy the support of the African American community MUST return that support.

I thank you in advance for your effort and dedication.

-Elsie Law AKA Starface

Quote Of The Day

"Take advantage of every opportunity; where there is none, make it for yourself." -Marcus Garvey

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Anecdote Of The Week: Do You Practice What You Preach?

"A mother brought her young son to Mahatma Gandhi. She begged, 'Please, Mahatma. Tell my son to stop eating sugar.'

Gandhi paused, then said, 'Bring your son back in two weeks.' Puzzled the woman thanked him and said that she would do as he asked.

Two weeks later, she returned with her son. Gandhi looked the youngster in the eye and said, 'Stop eating sugar.'

Grateful but bewildered, the woman asked, 'Why did you tell him to come back in two weeks? You could have told him the same thing then.'

Gandhi replied, 'Two weeks ago, I was eating sugar.'"

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

As defined by Black's Law Dictionary, bylaws are: "Regulations, ordinances, rules or laws adopted by an association or corporation or the like for its government. The word is also sometimes used to designate the local laws or municipal statutes of a city or town, though, more commonly the tendency is to employ the word 'ordinance' exclusively for this class of enactments, reserving 'bylaw' for the rules adopted by corporations."